lhcvg
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Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:35 pm

I was reading about the F-35 versions yesterday, and realized that the MC version is the only one with vertical lift capability. I was always under the impression that part of the deal with the F-35 was that the Navy could eliminate the myriad dangers of carrier landings but still maintain first-rate performance (the F-35 being the first STOVL a/c to truly have first-rate performance vis-a-vis traditional fixed wing a/c, IMHO). From the specs it seems like a standard "navalized" land-based version (larger control surfaces, beefier landing gear, etc.). Why wouldn't the USN want STOVL capability, since from my perspective being able to eliminate the "controlled crash" carrier landings would be a major boon? I say this because it doesn't look like the MC version really suffers that much of a performance hit for having to carry around the VTOL fan setup.
 
474218
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:12 pm



Quoting LHCVG (Thread starter):
I say this because it doesn't look like the MC version really suffers that much of a performance hit for having to carry around the VTOL fan setup.

The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:24 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.

Right but it can still go supersonic and dogfight and carry top of the line armaments -- as in, naval a/c typically suffer in both payload and range vis-a-vis land-based a/c anyway, and STOVL would seem to be a great new capability.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:55 pm



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 2):
vis-a-vis

I just had to say I've never read 'vis a vis' as much as I have today. 3 seperate posts all with that term... interesting.  Smile
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par13del
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 2):
Right but it can still go supersonic and dogfight and carry top of the line armaments -- as in, naval a/c typically suffer in both payload and range vis-a-vis land-based a/c anyway, and STOVL would seem to be a great new capability.

You are taking the specs put out by the OEM, Air Force, Navy and Marines at face value, if they are all valid on the production a/c that will be a first. I would not be shcoked to see that other than speed the F-35Band AV-8B being the same in term of combat capability.

Also bear in mind that unlike the Air Force and to some degree the Navy, the Marines are more interested in CAS rather than dog fighting.
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:47 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.

Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

The facts of the mater are that the USMC has a very weak case for replacing anything other than AV-8's with F-35B's.

[Edited 2009-07-25 09:48:09]
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:02 pm



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced.

It depends on what the purpose of the aircraft is. The F-35A and C's will operate from fixed bases and carriers will be used to provide tactical support. The F-35B will be used in forward bases and will be used for close ground troop support.
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:11 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.

Yeah, the Navy likes to hang as many bombs and missiles from a jet as it can handle. This is because of the first strike concept. A CVN may be the only US asset in a area of operations, especially early on. The USAF may not have basing rights in the region so the Navy packs as much punch per sortie as they can.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 4):
Also bear in mind that unlike the Air Force and to some degree the Navy, the Marines are more interested in CAS rather than dog fighting.

That's pretty much their only mission. They're trained to dogfight but they'll only use the ability if they have to. They wouldn't be sent on missions where A2A is the main objective unless it's to protect the ground forces from air threats. The VSTOL capability also gives the Marines the ability to forward base their F-35Bs. They could fly off the carrier, get their feet dry and then stay in country to do the bidding of the grunts on the ground. The Navy has no need for such capability.
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lhcvg
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:28 pm



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 7):
The VSTOL capability also gives the Marines the ability to forward base their F-35Bs. They could fly off the carrier, get their feet dry and then stay in country to do the bidding of the grunts on the ground. The Navy has no need for such capability.

That's a good point -- that perhaps the vertical capability does indeed sacrifice enough combat capability (range, payload, stealthiness(?)) that it is only good for the MC application where it is very much needed.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:45 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

The Brits have no money to spend on to many new ships. There is a "slight" price difference between the RN's new 65,000 ton Queen Elizabeth-class CVFs and the USN's new 112,000 ton Gerald R. Ford class CVNs.

The two QE CVFs (HMS Queen Elizabeth {now building} and HMS Prince of Wales) will carry 40 aircraft, including 36 F-35Bs, plus 12 CH-47E helios.
 
BMI727
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:50 am



Quoting LHCVG (Thread starter):
Why wouldn't the USN want STOVL capability,

They don't need it. American carriers are large enough that the catapult and arrestor wire system is sufficient.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
The F-35B will be used in forward bases and will be used for close ground troop support.

I also think that they plan to base some on the amphibious assault ships.
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:16 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
They don't need it. American carriers are large enough that the catapult and arrestor wire system is sufficient.

My (original) question was more along the lines of, if given the ability to have a STOVL platform that is not so performance limited as the "old" Harrier-type planes, why not avoid the danger and hassle of carrier landings?  flamed 
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:40 am



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 11):
My (original) question was more along the lines of, if given the ability to have a STOVL platform that is not so performance limited as the "old" Harrier-type planes, why not avoid the danger and hassle of carrier landings?

As appears to have been indicated, you sacrifice lifting capability when you design a V/STOL airplane; giving up fuel or munitions ... or both to meet the takeoff and landing specifications. The F-35B wasn't designed to serve the US Navy. It was designed with the needs of the RAF and US Marines in mind; provide an airplane that can operate close to the front with minimum support functions to keep it going. In that regard, it appears it meets the specific need very well. F-35C is meant to offer longer range, greater load carrying capability and perhaps both at the same time (though I doubt it; you usually sacrifice some on one to get maximum of the other). It provides this by not having the extra weight associated with V/STOL related systems and equipment.
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:44 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

there are actually no more naval British Harriers in service, they are all RAF attack versions left in their Joint Force Harrier. Maybe someone in the RAF wants to keep VSTOL capability and they are going to make the RN pay for it!
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:50 am



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 7):

Yeah, the Navy likes to hang as many bombs and missiles from a jet as it can handle.

Not only that, but they would like to bring them back aboard if they don't use them, so carryback capability is very important to the Navy. Another reason why they went for a larger wing.
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:20 am



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 11):
My (original) question was more along the lines of, if given the ability to have a STOVL platform that is not so performance limited as the "old" Harrier-type planes, why not avoid the danger and hassle of carrier landings?

Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:24 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):
Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training

Vertical landings are no picnic either. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, though the F-35 alleviates the hot gas ingestion issue. The Harrier's safety record isn't the best out there.

Plus, Top Gun would not have been nearly as cool if they took off and landed vertically.
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lhcvg
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:25 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):

Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training

In that case I stand corrected. I was just always under the impression that a trap landing was worse due to the much higher approach speed vs. what I would see as slow and gentle vertical landing just like a helo.
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:14 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

Considering they are about the only Navy with anything like modern combat experience against an enemy that could seriously threaten their fleet, i.e. not just dropping bombs on some 3rd world country, in an environment that did not have a vast fleet of land based aircraft in range either, I'd not write off that experience, even if it does cause some sort of Not Invented Here issues for some.

And the most recent example in history, of a potential carrier versus carrier action, the other side could not launch their catapult aircraft because of insufficient wind over deck.
Then the southern surface action element of their fleet was attacked and they ran for home, losing their probably best chance of inflicting a knock out blow.
But that action showed what the real capital ships of the RN were, nuclear subs.

The CVF carriers are not just naval assets, they are to be joint force ones.
This is an important thing to consider, since along with the dedicated RN F-35's, RAF examples will be routinely operating off CVF's, in a similar manner to the USMC off USN decks.

There are of course advantages with cat launch, F-35C with more range, fixed wing AEW.
But, buying and operating these is considerably more expensive, has a higher accident rate, a larger crew (a major cost for all professionally manned navies), plus bringing it back for the RN after a gap of nearly 40 years would be a major challenge too.
France, with roughly a similar sized fleet, GDP etc, has stuck with Cat launch, for good historical reasons for them, but they have just one carrier. With a second looking less and less likely.
I'd prefer two CVF's. Plus the existing dedicated Commando Carrier.
The best conventional carrier in the world is not much good if the only one you've got is stuck in a refit when you need it.

The RN is not attempting to try and replicate a USN carrier group, trying to would cause a major imbalance in the make up of the defence posture.
Even if the Treasury ever allowed it.
This is about fitting the projected needs when there are many other demands of new procurement as important, not about some 'willy waving' competition.

Driving the CVF size and design, is not size of air-group, but sortie rates. Where STOVL has an advantage for fairly obvious reasons.
In combat in the South Atlantic, despite it's limitations, despite being somewhat cranky in some areas of maintenance, despite being 8000 miles from base, despite being based on (in the case of HMS Invincible though less so for ex conventional carrier Hermes ), vessels not overloaded with space, despite the often poor weather, the Harriers in 1982 had a 99% availability rate.
Away from the aircraft, there was also no issue with catapult availability. Unlike the other side had.

But it's true that this was arrived at almost by accident.
Having determined that the best way to spend limited resources in the Cold War, in the case of the RN, was to build up more nuclear subs and more capable Frigates, to counter the threat from the Soviet sub fleet, the Sea Harriers were seen as a add on to provide an over the horizon defence against AV-MF aircraft such as TU-95, TU-16, TU-22, TU-22M, Il-38, which could provide over the horizon targeting of ship, air and sub launched anti ship missiles. This was their main way of striking at NATO surface vessels.

Had the USSR had a carrier fleet then, maybe the decision making for the RN would have been different.
No doubt the Admiralty did also consider this new fleet of naval jets also provided a limited 'out of area' capability, though this was not a major consideration in planning back then.
Certainly not engaging in a war of attrition against a land based AF many times larger.
But from those 'impotent' ski jumps, the Sea Harriers on the first day of air to air combat, performed well enough to make the enemy decide that would be the last day of air to air as far as they were concerned. A strategic mistake for them considering their huge numerical advantage.

So what is planned now is basically an 'on steroids version of the current set up.
Since it is most likely that any combat action for the CVF's will be in support of an amphibious operation, the F-35B's limitations compared to F-35C, are not so stark.

In an ideal world the RN might well prefer a conventional carrier and F-35C, but no one lives in that world, if there is a lesson from the cancellation of the CVA-01 of the 1960's, it is when you go for gold plating, there is a danger you might end up with nothing.
This has not been forgotten, even if in the case of CVA-01 and the carriers it was to replace, changes in the nation's defence posture and economic reality, was to undermine the whole 'East Of Suez' role they mainly served anyway.
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:57 pm

The marine weren't the only ones wanting the F-35B I know under the bush administration the airforce was looking into a few of them also, not sure if they are still considering them or not but if the aircraft is going to replace the A-10 (which I am not a fan of it doing) then the F-35B would be the more logical choice.
 
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:25 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 19):
I know under the bush administration the airforce was looking into a few of them also, not sure if they are still considering them or not but if the aircraft is going to replace the A-10 (which I am not a fan of it doing) then the F-35B would be the more logical choice.

I don't know that the F-35B could replace the A-10A and I never have heard the Air Force was interested in the F-35B either. As best I can tell, the Air Force appropriations have been for the F-35A and they want a lot of them. I suspect the only replacement for the A-10 will be an airplane specifically designed to replace it. F-35 is too fast and not heavily enough gun armed.
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:41 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 20):
I suspect the only replacement for the A-10 will be an airplane specifically designed to replace it. F-35 is too fast and not heavily enough gun armed.

Yeah I never understood the whole F-35 as A-10 replacement idea. To me, a dedicated CAS a/c is entirely the opposite of the F-35, just like the A-10 is --- Ugly, slow (but highly maneuverable at low altitude and airspeeds), bristling with armaments and defenses, with little need or use for stealth (considering that most of the time you could see it flying by since it doesn't operate at 30000 feet).
 
trex8
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:51 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 19):
The marine weren't the only ones wanting the F-35B I know under the bush administration the airforce was looking into a few of them also, not sure if they are still considering them or not but if the aircraft is going to replace the A-10 (which I am not a fan of it doing) then the F-35B would be the more logical choice.

Israel has an interest in the STOVL variant for later buys and so does Taiwan.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:21 pm

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 21):
Yeah I never understood the whole F-35 as A-10 replacement idea. To me, a dedicated CAS a/c is entirely the opposite of the F-35, just like the A-10 is --- Ugly, slow (but highly maneuverable at low altitude and airspeeds), bristling with armaments and defenses, with little need or use for stealth (considering that most of the time you could see it flying by since it doesn't operate at 30000 feet).

The cheapest solution would probably be new-build A-10s. (    )
I have to think it would cheaper to design and build an "A-10D" than it would an entirely new platform. The A-10 cost:benefit is already off the hook and the "Super Hog" could pack in even more new tech without going to a more expenseive and unsuitable platform like the F-35. Maybe more powerful engines, better countermeasures, better radar, maybe even FBW. Then you would again have the unstoppable killing machine that the A-10A was when it made the scene.  

[Edited 2009-07-26 10:24:14]
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lhcvg
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:08 pm



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 23):
The cheapest solution would probably be new-build A-10s. ( )
I have to think it would cheaper to design and build an "A-10D" than it would an entirely new platform. The A-10 cost:benefit is already off the hook and the "Super Hog" could pack in even more new tech without going to a more expenseive and unsuitable platform like the F-35. Maybe more powerful engines, better countermeasures, better radar, maybe even FBW. Then you would again have the unstoppable killing machine that the A-10A was when it made the scene.

Game, set, match. No need to reinvent the wheel when the current general design is perfect, just bring it up to modern tech standards a la 737NG or 748. Even if they factored in that the tooling and lines are no longer available, considering there is nothing really that exotic about the materials or techniques here I would agree that it shouldn't be TOO expensive, given the benefit provided. And then too, down the road they could turn them into UAVs.
 
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par13del
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:51 pm



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 23):
The cheapest solution would probably be new-build A-10s. ( )



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 24):
Game, set, match. No need to reinvent the wheel when the current general design is perfect, just bring it up to modern tech standards a la 737NG or 748.

Numerous problems with such solutions.
Program would not require 10+ years of design work
Program would not require 5+ years of initial prototype production and low rate initial production
Due to the lack of time from design to production, profits would be lower, revenue streams would be minimal, bonus payments would be low or non-existent, work force would not grow due to number of retirements and re-training over the decades lost, etc.

Those are just the minor problems, you still have to deal with the Air Force who does not need or want the a/c and would retire it as soon as it enters service to increase the buy of more F-22's, all in all, its not worth it, to damn practical  Smile
 
lhcvg
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:38 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 25):
Numerous problems with such solutions.
Program would not require 10+ years of design work
Program would not require 5+ years of initial prototype production and low rate initial production
Due to the lack of time from design to production, profits would be lower, revenue streams would be minimal, bonus payments would be low or non-existent, work force would not grow due to number of retirements and re-training over the decades lost, etc.

Those are just the minor problems, you still have to deal with the Air Force who does not need or want the a/c and would retire it as soon as it enters service to increase the buy of more F-22's, all in all, its not worth it, to damn practical

This is true-- we can't let Boeing or LM NOT make oodles of profits!
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:34 pm



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 24):
Game, set, match. No need to reinvent the wheel when the current general design is perfect, just bring it up to modern tech standards a la 737NG or 748

Unfortunately, not that easy. The newer engines of that family and size class are *twice* as heavy. So either you stick with the current underpowered and undesirable engine, or pay big money to get a new engine with increased thrust without going to the larger versions. They have refused to pay the money for this option since day 1 though.

If you go with a off the shelf engine, you have to redo the whole plane as the extra wieght requires new rear fuselage, new wings, new landing gear, and other structure to keep the payload the same with an extra 5tons of engines on the back. A likely choice if you want to build a bunch of them as twin seat models since the extra wieght and length could be a bonus for balance. In the end though the fuel burn savings in the newer better engines is wasted in hauling around the larger plane.

In the end the USAF is getting a A10 redo, they just get it done a chunk of plane at a time. yes a nose to tail redo on the basic design with current technology would be best, but its politicly impossible not only in congress, but in every other area that would have to approve of the program. So the small bite approch works, if slowly.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:58 am



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 20):
I don't know that the F-35B could replace the A-10A and I never have heard the Air Force was interested in the F-35B either. As best I can tell, the Air Force appropriations have been for the F-35A and they want a lot of them. I suspect the only replacement for the A-10 will be an airplane specifically designed to replace it. F-35 is too fast and not heavily enough gun armed.

I don't think that it can either, but from my understanding the F-35 is replacing the F-16's,older F-18's (not the superhornet) and eventually the A-10's, they did just do an upgrade to the A-10's which should get it through another 5-10 years depending on funding but eventually the F-35 will be replacing it. Yes the airforce was at one time interested in the F-35B I am not sure if they still are or if any funding has been appropriated I am trying to find the article on it now when I do I will post it, I know it was when Gates first took over as defense secretary. The reason for me saying it would be the logical choice is, the F-35B with its verticle take off would be ideal for front line airfields that may have been damaged or in poor condition and only that, I think the A-10 is perfect for what it does and may never have a proper replacement.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:38 am

Would the F-35B be the tank killer the A-10 is? Yeah, you can kill tanks with missiles, but would the F-35's cannon knock out a tank?
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BladeLWS
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:03 am



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 29):
Would the F-35B be the tank killer the A-10 is? Yeah, you can kill tanks with missiles, but would the F-35's cannon knock out a tank?

Well the gun is a 25mm which is less power than the A-10 (30mm) and more than the standard US fighter (20mm). So yes it will be able to engage tanks effectively, but only has 180 rounds (A model) or 220 rounds in the external pod (B and C won't have an internal gun), so maybe only one pass...
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:01 pm



Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 30):
Well the gun is a 25mm which is less power than the A-10 (30mm) and more than the standard US fighter (20mm). So yes it will be able to engage tanks effectively, but only has 180 rounds (A model) or 220 rounds in the external pod (B and C won't have an internal gun), so maybe only one pass...

This amazes me. I would think we'd have learned our lesson from the Viet Nam war era that figters need an internal gun. Have we again begun to relying on the air-to-air missiles to get the job done in air combat? And why on earth have the plane carrying so few rounds of ammunition? 180 rounds seem like way too little; almost a token ammunition load.
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GDB
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:37 pm

If as expected, the RAF/RN F-35B's are equipped with the Brimstone missile, they'll be fairly good AFV killers.

I don't think anyone though is about to design an aircraft solely for CAS.
Many in the USAF back in the 1970's were not exactly fans of the A-10 either.
Remember too, had it not been for the 1991 Gulf War, A-10's might well have left the USAF inventory years ago.
 
BladeLWS
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:12 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 31):
This amazes me. I would think we'd have learned our lesson from the Viet Nam war era that figters need an internal gun. Have we again begun to relying on the air-to-air missiles to get the job done in air combat? And why on earth have the plane carrying so few rounds of ammunition? 180 rounds seem like way too little; almost a token ammunition load.

The B and C models will have the option for the external gun pod to save weight. The Harrier has the same feature.
 
rwessel
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:14 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 31):
This amazes me. I would think we'd have learned our lesson from the Viet Nam war era that figters need an internal gun. Have we again begun to relying on the air-to-air missiles to get the job done in air combat? And why on earth have the plane carrying so few rounds of ammunition? 180 rounds seem like way too little; almost a token ammunition load.

Should a fighter have a gun? That’s a good question. And is the experience of Vietnam relevant today? Also a good question.

In the sixties, the USAF and USN made two significant errors. First that close range fighter v. fighter combat was a thing of the past, and second about the level of effectiveness of both long and short range missiles. Poor performance of short range missiles and lack of ACM training caused significant problems in Vietnam, and led to the reemphasis of ACM training and the reintroduction of the gun as a short range weapon.

But is the gun still meaningful today, when short range missile effectiveness has increased substantially? Consider that in the Gulf War (’91), of the 41 or so air-to-air kills, only two were made with guns (and all aircraft except one were gun equipped – in one case an EF-111 was credited with a kill after running a Mirage F-1 into the ground), and both of those were A-10s v. helicopters. IOW, *no* fighters shot down other aircraft with a gun, despite all of them having a gun. At best, recent experience seems to show that a gun has very limited utility in the air-to-air role. Which is not necessarily cause to eliminate it, but perhaps a good reason to minimize the impact on the rest of the aircraft.

While it’s a substantial reduction, the 180 rounds in the F-25A is not all that that tiny.

For reference, the F-15 carries (assuming a full load) 940 rounds of 20mm ammunition. Each 20mm round is right around 100g. The 25mm ammunition for the GAU-22/A on the F-25 is about 184g per round, so the total weight the F-25 can throw is equivalent to 330 20mm rounds (65% reduction). OTOH, the 25mm’s are much more destructive. The GAU-22/A also fires rather more slowly the M61. While I haven’t seen figures for the GAU-22/A, the five barrel GAU-12 that it’s based one (the -22/A has four barrels instead), can do 3600 rounds per minute vs. the 600rpm of the M61. Assuming 3000rpm for the -22/A, you get 3.6 seconds of fire for the F-25A vs 9.4s for the F-15 (62% reduction).

Nor is a pod necessarily a bad idea if gun usage will be fairly rare.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:50 am



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 34):
For reference, the F-15 carries (assuming a full load) 940 rounds of 20mm ammunition. Each 20mm round is right around 100g. The 25mm ammunition for the GAU-22/A on the F-25 is about 184g per round, so the total weight the F-25 can throw is equivalent to 330 20mm rounds (65% reduction). OTOH, the 25mm’s are much more destructive. The GAU-22/A also fires rather more slowly the M61. While I haven’t seen figures for the GAU-22/A, the five barrel GAU-12 that it’s based one (the -22/A has four barrels instead), can do 3600 rounds per minute vs. the 600rpm of the M61. Assuming 3000rpm for the -22/A, you get 3.6 seconds of fire for the F-25A vs 9.4s for the F-15 (62% reduction).

I've always wondered - why have U.S. fighters always seemed to emphasize relatively smaller, higher rate of fire guns vs. slower-firing heavier ones? For instance, the German fighters with 30mm nose cannon in WWII and I think at least some Soviet a/c may have had cannon as well. Doesn't it make more sense to fire fewer 30mm rounds that could each do pretty significant damage rather than smaller vulcan guns like the M61?
 
MSNDC9
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:03 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 27):
The newer engines of that family and size class are *twice* as heavy.

It would take a CF34-3 to power it assmuing a sme changes in weight accross a re-dsigned airframe. They're not twice as heavy. It'd be about 500-lbs tops.

[Edited 2009-07-30 13:04:43]
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:01 pm



Quoting MSNDC9 (Reply 36):
It would take a CF34-3 to power it assmuing a sme changes in weight accross a re-dsigned airframe. They're not twice as heavy. It'd be about 500-lbs tops.

I am going by GE's own published figures. The ones used on the A10 were 1/2 the wieght of the size just above them in the same family.
 
rwessel
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:22 pm



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 35):
I've always wondered - why have U.S. fighters always seemed to emphasize relatively smaller, higher rate of fire guns vs. slower-firing heavier ones? For instance, the German fighters with 30mm nose cannon in WWII and I think at least some Soviet a/c may have had cannon as well. Doesn't it make more sense to fire fewer 30mm rounds that could each do pretty significant damage rather than smaller vulcan guns like the M61?

It's obviously a tradeoff. If you can fire more rounds, you have a better chance of hitting something.

OTOH, just how much damage do you need to do? Aircraft, no matter how well "armored," are pretty thin skinned targets. The 20mm already packs a fair wallop, and a 30mm is a really big shell (and gun). And as another thread that just popped up on this subject indirectly mentions, you have to consider the mission as well: The Germans and Japanese went to big caliber guns/cannon because they were faced with very large targets (aka bombers) that could absorb a lot of damage. The US simply encountered (approximately) no big bombers that needed to be shot down. And the .50s were effective against smaller aircraft - which were for the most part harder to hit anyway.

With improved fire control (electronic gunsights) over the years, there's less need to fire many shells to hit something, so there's less downside for a reduced rate of fire. That was an issue for the Germans (and Japanese) in WW2 - if you hit a bomber with your big cannon, great, if not you tended to run out of ammunition pretty quick. But I suspect that the main motivation for going to a 25mm gun on the F-35 was for increased effectiveness in the air-to-ground role, while remaining viable for the occasional air-to-air role.
 
MSNDC9
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:25 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 37):
I am going by GE's own published figures. The ones used on the A10 were 1/2 the wieght of the size just above them in the same family.

The TF-34 in use today weighs 1458 lbs. The CF34-3 - the equivalent, is a 1600 lb engine.

[Edited 2009-07-30 20:37:37]
 
Blackprojects
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:48 pm

If the RN dose not get the engine it Needs for our F-35 fleet the RN/UK MOD could pull the Plug on te Project as the Engine required is the RR Engine and this engine Keeps having funding withdrawn by the White House.

We as in the UK do not need a Nice Flat Deck for Fixed wing Cat launching operations and the Ski Jump is also being used very nicely by the Russians for Carrier operations of the Naval Sukhoi Fighters witch use arrestor gear to Land but a Ski Jump for take off.

Royal Navy Merlins will be based on our Carriers instead of Chinooks as those will most probably end up on the Helicopter carriers where they belong with the 5,000 Soldiers our Helicopter carriers can carry.

 alert   banghead   bigthumbsup 
way to go GDB
 
LMP737
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:23 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):
Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training

I don't know about vertical landings requirung more training than conventional carrier landings. With a vertical landing your biggest worry is engine failure. With a conventional carrier landing not only do you have to worry about things lile engine failure but failure of equipment on the carrier. Like the arrestor cable parting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQc557C-j-8
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
GDB
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:39 am

Given the training, STOVL carrier ops are intrinsically safer than cat and trap.
Of course that method needs plenty of training too, however compare the respective landing speeds, the lack of a need to engage with a trap.

The RN had much higher accident rates when operating conventional carrier ops compared to the Harriers that followed.
While it was a factor in the late 1950's/1960's onwards, that the RN was operating increasingly large, heavy and complex aircraft from by US standards, small carriers, the Invincible class were not really designed for Harriers from the start either.
The ski jump replaced in the construction phase, what had been a part of the bow reserved for MM-38 Exocet launchers on this helicopter carrier design.
The retention, until into the 1990's, of the bulky Sea Dart area defence SAM system was another hold over from the original Helicopter Cruiser role.

Ideally, something more like a modernised HMS Hermes in size would have been more ideally suited for choppers and Harriers, (and also like Hermes after being converted from a conventional carrier, also able to do the Commando Carrier role very well too).
But then the Treasury would have tried to kill it, since they'd have realized much sooner it was a new form of Aircraft Carrier!
 
Max Q
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:01 am

Excellent points GDB, and well written. Not sure if you mentioned this, but in the atrocious weather of the southern ocean around the Falklands there were many occasions when catapult and trap operations would have been impossible.


Several FAA ex Phantom Pilots flying Harriers in that conflict attested to that.


No question that conventional Aircraft can outperform their Vstol counterparts in most areas but
the Harrier showed how effective it could be in a unique circumstance.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
GDB
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:43 pm

Indeed Max Q, while no one pretended that the Harriers were a direct replacement for conventional carriers, many of the early crews had been conventional FAA pilots.
One 'Sharky' Ward, who had air to air kills in the Falklands, put it in a more salty way, the comparisons between a VSTOL landing and the conventional arrestor wire recovery, less grey hair and brown trousers.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:53 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
The Brits have no money to spend on to many new ships. There is a "slight" price difference between the RN's new 65,000 ton Queen Elizabeth-class CVFs and the USN's new 112,000 ton Gerald R. Ford class CVNs.

You do know that the Queen Elizabeth class are capable of being retrofitted to CTOL status, right? This is why the French want to use it as a basis for a second carrier for their Navy. Theirs would be the same design, but with CTOL from the start.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
Blackprojects
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:51 am

The Retro Fit would involve MAGLEV Launching Gear and Not Steam Powerd which is a lot less Bulky to install Aresstor Wires are Easy to install on such a Big Deck as these Ships will have.  bigthumbsup 
 
GDB
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:13 pm

Yes, the CVF's have provision (meaning space) for a future, as Black Projects stated, electro magnetic catapult.
Had the CVF(F) gone ahead (it seems to have died out), this French vessel would have been radically different in parts, the machinery, the steam plant etc.

In the UK vessels, provision is a long term thing, for some potential probably UCAV's decades hence.

Really, if F-35B had been axed, so would CVF.
 
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spudh
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RE: Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?

Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:46 pm

As MaxQ indicated above, a significant advantage for V/STOL carrier aircraft that gets missed alot is the ability to launch/recover an aircraft when weather unexpectedly turns foul. I remember reading about a joint operation in the Indian Ocean (I think) where a flight of USN aircraft got stuck in the air unable to trap due to sea conditions (I think they even had to launch a tanker they knew they couldn't recover) and having to make a run for land when the Harriers they were on excercise with were able to return safely to their ship.
In the Falkland war Harriers were able to operate and defend their airspace from land launched attacks in sea conditions that would have made CTOL equipped ships vulnerable with their defending aircraft below deck. The RN have not forgotten these valuable lessons on modern sea warfare and are sticking with V/STOL (Not withstanding the obvious savings of the smaller capital cost of the ship).

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