JoeCanuck
Topic Author
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More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:01 pm

In what seems like a never ending stream of bad news for the F-35 program, Aviation Week reports that the 'B' model has moved another step closer to the chopping block.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...20Strike%20Fighter&channel=defense

Quote:
Navy Undersecretary Robert Work told the Navy and Marine Corps in July to provide lower-cost alternatives to the Navy’s current tactical aviation plan, and to examine the consequences of terminating either the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) version or the carrier-compatible F-35C. Work is seeking decisions in time for the 2013 budget submission.

Just kill the 'B', already. It's the number one thing stalling the entire program and it would save further billions in development and production costs. As well, it would probably reduce the price per unit of the 'A' and 'C' models and get them to the customers significantly sooner.

As the article points out, there are serious questions about the forward deployment capabilities of the 'B', and even more questions about it's tactical abilities even if it can be forward deployed. If the Pentagon is right and each plane needs a special 1000sq ft landing pad made out of exotic concrete landing pad, it kinda takes away the advantage of mobility if each plane needs a cement truck as support equipment necessary for deployment, it would seem to reduce its usefulness somewhat.
What the...?
 
connies4ever
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:08 pm

Fairly damning article about the 'B', for sure, from a practicality p.o.v.

Once again (I know I sound like a broken record) the 'one size fits all' solution mentality just generally speaking does not work. Terminate it and move on, perhaps to a Marine-focussed UCAV.

Related, I believe, I see from my latest AIR International that the USMC has purchased 40 now-retired Harrier GR.7/9s from the RN for use as a spares source, for something like $150M. Yes, the Harrier and the AV-8B are not identical, but there is a fair bit of commonality.

If they need that many spares, they intend to keep the AV-8Bs operational for far longer than originally planned. Which may mean they see the writing on the wall for the F-35B.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Oroka
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:38 pm

Im still not clear on why an amphibious army needs supersonic stealth fighter jets.
 
FoxTwo
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:46 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):

I second that. Why is the hornet not suitable? I suppose the economy / intense spending may have something in common with this.
F2
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:41 pm

Quoting FoxTwo (Reply 3):

I second that. Why is the hornet not suitable? I suppose the economy / intense spending may have something in common with this.

F/A-18s can't operate off of LHA/LHD decks and a CVN isn't necessarily always available to support amphibious operations, especially with talk of a shrinking carrier force.
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Oroka
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:33 pm

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 4):
F/A-18s can't operate off of LHA/LHD decks and a CVN isn't necessarily always available to support amphibious operations, especially with talk of a shrinking carrier force.

Maybe if the USN didnt have to operate 10 mini aircraft carriers, they could afford to keep their super carriers. Give the USMC's fighter assets to the USN, and let the Marines do what marines were meant to do, invade with ground assets from the sea, not zip over head in fighter jets.

You have the USAF with fighter jets, then you have the USN with fighter jets, and the USMC with fighter jets... 3 of 4 branches of the US military has an air force... might as well make a F-35D and give the Army 300 of them. You could call it the US Army Air Corp.


Really, why does the USMC need fighter jets at all?
 
BMI727
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:44 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 1):
Fairly damning article about the 'B', for sure, from a practicality p.o.v.

A damning article about an ill-conceived program that should have been shot down before politicians and bureaucrats fell in love with it and convinced themselves it could work. Lightning II? More like the Aardvark II.

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 4):
F/A-18s can't operate off of LHA/LHD decks and a CVN isn't necessarily always available to support amphibious operations, especially with talk of a shrinking carrier force.

Perhaps someone needs to remind the Corps what the H in LHA is.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
Really, why does the USMC need fighter jets at all?

They need some close air support ability beyond helicopters. That said, in the near term the Hornets are fine and I would favor a highly modernized A-10 for the USAF and USMC to fulfill this role. It has to be cheaper than the F-35, which is in all liklihood going to be subpar for this mission anyway.
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ThePointblank
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:25 am

Take this report with a major grain of salt and skepticism; Bill Sweetman is known for being openly anti-F-35 (and anti-Marine Corps for that matter), to the point where his editors actually censored him a while back.

And many of the things he said are half-truths. The biggest example:

Quote:
Navy construction specifications continue to warn that the F-35B will impose temperatures as high as 1700F (several hundred degrees higher than a Harrier exhaust) on vertical-landing pads, with a transonic exhaust velocity. This is enough to cause standard concrete to “spall”—that is, shed surface flakes in a near-explosive manner—with a 50% chance of damage on the first landing.

In reality, see this lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8wSeIz9uL8

And I will note that the F-35B exhaust temps on deck plates were characterized in formal testing conducted by the government in January 2010 . The government, the Navy and LM know exactly what the exhaust temperatures are. The jet wouldn't be going to the ship next month if there were problems -- the Navy brass would never allow the sea-based test flights to proceed if it did.

Further, the temperature of 1800 degree F is measured at the nozzle. The temperature at the pavement surface can be as high as 1400 degrees F. The velocity of 1000 degrees F is at the velocity at the nozzle. The pressure of 36 psi is on the pavement. That 1700 degree F temp was based off of a preliminary Navy document that came out well before the F-35B first flew, and thus did not have any real world information to back it up.
 
Spacepope
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:25 am

And it keeps piling on:

http://defense.aol.com/2011/09/01/f-...fix-found-navy-version-unaffected/

Quote:
UPDATED Washington: A new problem -- described in a Pentagon email as "not a serious issue" -- has been found with the wings of the Air Force and Marine versions of the F-35.

The problem is with the wing's forward root rib and was discovered in standard durability tests. The ribs -- which provide the core strength of the wings -- must be redesigned. The problem appears to be one stemming from design -- not quality control -- and a redesign production plan for the affected F-35 fleet's wings will be in place by the fourth quarter, a Capitol Hill source tells AOL Defense.
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Oroka
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:02 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
They need some close air support ability beyond helicopters.

And the USN or USAF cant perform these roles because?
 
HaveBlue
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:49 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
Really, why does the USMC need fighter jets at all?

The Marines have a long and sacred tradition of backing up their own infantry with their own air support, and I admire that. I believe they all go thru the same boot camp and their is supposedly a much tighter bond between the fighter jocks and the infantry they are supporting.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):
And I will note that the F-35B exhaust temps on deck plates were characterized in formal testing conducted

Good points you make their, and just an aside... we had a AV-8B Harrier practicing for an airshow here at Daytona Beach around 1990 that, during the hover part, blew apart a good section of runway which caused airlines and military arrivals to be diverted... so even the Harrier can be fickle when it comes to exhaust temps effects (granted a landing wouldn't have been as detrimental as hovering).
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Powerslide
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:09 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
And it keeps piling on:

http://defense.aol.com/2011/09/01/f-...cted/

So the Flight Test Program continues to work.

Excellent news.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:02 am

I agree kill the B and quit wasting money on this thing and get it built already.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:19 am

I for one hope the B model gets produced... it is an amazing machine, and something lots of countries tried to make happen from the '50's onward but wasn't able too. As an aviation fan I can't imagine wanting to see all that work and progress cast aside.
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Eagleboy
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:04 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
Im still not clear on why an amphibious army needs supersonic stealth fighter jets.
Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 10):
The Marines have a long and sacred tradition of backing up their own infantry with their own air support, and I admire that. I believe they all go thru the same boot camp and their is supposedly a much tighter bond between the fighter jocks and the infantry they are supporting.

I too can see the attachment to your own organic air element. But in this day and age the duplication of resources doesn't seem worth it, especially when the USMC model is the major problematic part of the program.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 13):
I for one hope the B model gets produced... it is an amazing machine, and something lots of countries tried to make happen from the '50's onward but wasn't able too. As an aviation fan I can't imagine wanting to see all that work and progress cast aside.

Well the UK (who really were the only country to actually make V/STOL work operationally) have given up on their sacred Harrier's and the F-35B.

(USSR had the Yak-38 Forger but it wasn't very successful in service. Spain, Thailand, India and Italy use or have used Harriers on their own carriers. And of course the USMC operate AV-8B's which are 2nd generation Harrier's)
 
BMI727
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:31 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 9):
And the USN or USAF cant perform these roles because?

Do you want to be the guy to tell the Marines that they can't have something?

Anyway, I don't see a problem with them having their own planes as long as they are the same planes the Air Force and Navy use. Just buy more of the same and spare themselves the huge development costs of dedicated variants.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Oroka
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:38 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 10):
The Marines have a long and sacred tradition of backing up their own infantry with their own air support, and I admire that. I believe they all go thru the same boot camp and their is supposedly a much tighter bond between the fighter jocks and the infantry they are supporting.

That is becoming a really expensive tradition to keep up with, creating a duplicate capability. $29B a year is a lot of money to have a second army that can be deployed from the sea, with their own ships, and own fighter support.

I just with the entire Canadian military had half the capacity of the USMC.
 
connies4ever
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:41 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 14):
Well the UK (who really were the only country to actually make V/STOL work operationally) have given up on their sacred Harrier's and the F-35B.

Yes, the Harriers are gone, but only becuase there is no more money available in the UK. Even less than the US. So the Harriers had to go, also the Nimrods, also the older Hercs, and some of the Tornados. And some of the Typhoons are being sold off to Saudi Arabia even before delivery.

Actually, the Marines with the AV-8B did rather better than the Harriers as it could carry more and had a bigger 'bring back' factor.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Anyway, I don't see a problem with them having their own planes as long as they are the same planes the Air Force and Navy use. Just buy more of the same and spare themselves the huge development costs of dedicated variants.

Quite. For CAS I don't see anything wrong with a mix of AV-8Bs and A-10s -- although the A-10 is definitely not carrier capable, but the point being it's a very effective CAS platform. When you've got battalion/regiment-sized forces on the beach, I don't quite see the point of stealth a/c.
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Powerslide
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:43 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 16):
I just with the entire Canadian military had half the capacity of the USMC.

Also with less than half the budget and half the man-power. You can't compare the size of the USMC to the entire Canadian Military. Both have different objectives and roles.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 16):
$29B a year is a lot of money to have a second army that can be deployed from the sea, with their own ships, and own fighter support.

Says who,a Canadian?
 
cmb56
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:42 pm

So what would be the effect if the conventional A model was dropped as well and all three services flew a variation of the C model? Going back a few decades the F4 Phantom was basically the same across the three services.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:57 pm

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 19):
So what would be the effect if the conventional A model was dropped as well and all three services flew a variation of the C model? Going back a few decades the F4 Phantom was basically the same across the three services.

The A model is too far along, and development and testing has gone very well for the A model. Also, many partner nations prefer the A model compared to the other variants.
 
connies4ever
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:12 am

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 19):
So what would be the effect if the conventional A model was dropped as well and all three services flew a variation of the C model? Going back a few decades the F4 Phantom was basically the same across the three services.

The 'C' is or will be overbuilt (i.e., heavier than necessary) w.r.t. the 'A' variant:

- strengthened landing gear for deck landings;
- arrester hook assembly
- not sure if the AAR probe is different (likely not, even if probably a minor change)
- bigger wing with folding mechanism (therefore heavier)

which I would guess in the best of all world of the F-35 means less payload/radius.
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ThePointblank
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:46 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 21):
The 'C' is or will be overbuilt (i.e., heavier than necessary) w.r.t. the 'A' variant:

- strengthened landing gear for deck landings;
- arrester hook assembly
- not sure if the AAR probe is different (likely not, even if probably a minor change)
- bigger wing with folding mechanism (therefore heavier)

which I would guess in the best of all world of the F-35 means less payload/radius.

The C variant has bigger fuel tanks, and is has the longest range of all 3 variants.
 
connies4ever
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:03 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
The C variant has bigger fuel tanks, and is has the longest range of all 3 variants.

And that would be due to ... no fuel in the folding section of the wing. Aha ! unless the wing doesn't fold therefore the whole extended wing is available for fuel. I can't see that there would be more volume in the fuse for extra fuel.

There have been a couple of comments, and I will try to dig them out, that the "C" variant may itself be in some difficulty now, and the UK MoD has made it fairly clear that if the USN buy is reduced substantially, the UK is out and will look for a European (i.e., navalised Typhoon) solution. I'd guess if the "C" purchase reduction were true, then more F/A-18E/Fs are in the cards. Or a reduced deployed force.

Not sure if any USN reduction would be to known technical issues, but it might well be due to the fact that the US is, well, broke.
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ThePointblank
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:00 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 23):
And that would be due to ... no fuel in the folding section of the wing. Aha ! unless the wing doesn't fold therefore the whole extended wing is available for fuel. I can't see that there would be more volume in the fuse for extra fuel.

There have been a couple of comments, and I will try to dig them out, that the "C" variant may itself be in some difficulty now, and the UK MoD has made it fairly clear that if the USN buy is reduced substantially, the UK is out and will look for a European (i.e., navalised Typhoon) solution. I'd guess if the "C" purchase reduction were true, then more F/A-18E/Fs are in the cards. Or a reduced deployed force.

Not sure if any USN reduction would be to known technical issues, but it might well be due to the fact that the US is, well, broke.

There is more room for fuel in the C variant; it can take 8,900kg of fuel, compared to the 8,390 kg of fuel the A variant can. Not to mention the larger wing which provides more lift.

The Navy won't give up F-35C; it is the only new fighter type they will be fielding in the near future. The Navy has no future fighter in development, as practically every other proposal is a only a concept. The Air Force won't give up on the A variant; they are backed into a corner as they have zero new fighters on purchase other than F-35.
 
connies4ever
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:20 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
There is more room for fuel in the C variant; it can take 8,900kg of fuel, compared to the 8,390 kg of fuel the A variant can. Not to mention the larger wing which provides more lift.

The Navy won't give up F-35C; it is the only new fighter type they will be fielding in the near future. The Navy has no future fighter in development, as practically every other proposal is a only a concept. The Air Force won't give up on the A variant; they are backed into a corner as they have zero new fighters on purchase other than F-35.

Interested to know where the extra 500kg of fuel is stored.

Whether or not the USN gets the numbers of F-35Cs they want is a political decision. Not a military one. Good thing, too, given the history of this beast. Basically I think that less than what is currently forecast, again due to the fact that the US can no longer afford these types of expenditures, something has to give (or several things), and one of them will be the Defense Appropriation Bill. It will be much leaner.

So, bye-bye F-35B. Fewer F-35Cs, and likely fewer F-35As. Fewer international partners, UK might pull out, Oz looking even now for more F-18E/F
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FoxTwo
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:25 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Do you want to be the guy to tell the Marines that they can't have something?

Oh common, is that what all this is about? Not being able to say NO for the first time in US Military History? WW2 ended nearly 70 years ago. Why can there not be ONE integrated Air Branch where they specialize in each role? Does the USMC really have no use for ANYTHING other than the ancient harrier? Have the USN guys work alongside the AF / MC as one joint branch ? Why can the Marines not use the F/A-18s or any other support platform? They must have a VTOL or something similar to park on "their" decks ready for when "they" may need them. I am very excited about the F-35 program, however the line needs to be drawn somewhere. The USMC does not NEED their own specialized air branch anymore. Are army pilots not suitable enough to transport them from point a-b?

Once again, does the economy have anything to do with this insane spending? How many times a day is the USN / USMC / USAF / USA each launching their own individual missions - pursuing their own individuals interests? Other than "pride" , there is no way to justify trillions per year.

There is smart - and then there is overkill. This is overkill.

[Edited 2011-09-03 09:27:56]
F2
 
BMI727
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:01 pm

Quoting FoxTwo (Reply 26):
The USMC does not NEED their own specialized air branch anymore.

Then you need that many more planes flying in the Air Force and Navy. The savings probably wouldn't be that much, mostly administrative. As long as the Marines aren't spending tons of money getting their own planes developed, I don't see much of a problem at all.

Quoting FoxTwo (Reply 26):
I am very excited about the F-35 program,

The JSF was idiocy from the start.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Powerslide
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:06 pm

The pentagon should reclassify the F-35 as a Black Project just to stop the idiotic news stories by reporters that have zero knowledge of of aircraft development.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
The JSF was idiocy from the start.

Idiocy is the US economy. The JSF will become the benchmark for 5th gen fighter jet technology for years to come, whether internet arm-chair general fan bois like it or not. I don't see Boeing, Europe, Asia or Russia developing anything close to what LockMart has done with the F-35 and F-22 for decades to come.
 
Spacepope
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:19 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 25):
Interested to know where the extra 500kg of fuel is stored.

The wing is bigger on the C front to back WRT the A/B, and has almost 20% more area. An overhead view shows it quite well, with the trailing edge of the C's wing having cutouts for the elevators, where the A/B doesn't come close.

A/B planform:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Agustin Anaya



C planform: http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/fighter/f35/f35_schem_03.jpg

Comparison here, the wing is noticeably larger all around http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A..._WzUbduzT5iLFz_Vn4vFBAS5agTScu0Rpw
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JoeCanuck
Topic Author
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:05 am

It wouldn't take much of a catapult to launch an A-10 from a ship. JATO packs would do it...and the A-10 is probably the best ground attack/support aircraft ever...much better for marine applications than the 'B'.

Regardless, the 'B' is dragging the entire F-35 program down...double tap it and put those resources into getting the other two models into the air.
What the...?
 
mffoda
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:26 pm

The F-35A also is the only version with a cannon built in.... The others will have to carry a gun pod.  
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spudh
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:43 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 32):
It wouldn't take much of a catapult to launch an A-10 from a ship. JATO packs would do it...and the A-10 is probably the best ground attack/support aircraft ever...much better for marine applications than the 'B'.

Hell, put floats and a lifting eye on it and it would still be the best Marine close support aircraft available. 

With the wing it has I'd say getting it off the ship might not be that big a problem but getting it back might, does it have an arrestor hook?

I see its stall speed is quoted in Wikipedia as 120knots. I find that real hard to believe.
 
BMI727
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:48 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 32):

There is a lot more to making the plane carrier ready than that. The entire structure needs to be beefed if to handle the pounding, though the A-10 is fairly tough already, plus adding the hook and associated structure not to mention adding folding wings.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
LMP737
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:41 pm

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 4):
F/A-18s can't operate off of LHA/LHD decks and a CVN isn't necessarily always available to support amphibious operations, especially with talk of a shrinking carrier force.

I think that if there ever was an amphibous assault a CBG would be made avaliable to provide air cover.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
Oroka
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:53 pm

Says someone who knows their countries economy is directly tied to a certain neighbouring country that it

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 34):
I think that if there ever was an amphibous assault a CBG would be made avaliable to provide air cover.

But then that would mean that non marines were providing air support... better to spend billions of dollars than let that happen.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:48 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 30):
Regardless, the 'B' is dragging the entire F-35 program down...double tap it and put those resources into getting the other two models into the air.

All 3 variants of the F-35 are already in the advanced stages of flight testing. Even the proposed wing issue will take 45 days to resolve and fix, and the repairs for the already produced aircraft incorporated during Block 3 conversion as it's a planned long-term maintenance cycle.
 
Powerslide
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:14 pm

Back in the real world, the F-35B program continues.....

http://www.xairforces.net/newsd.asp?newsid=498&newst=8

Quote:
Marines in SC getting ready for new F-35 jets

The Marine Corps broke ground Thursday on a $70 million first installment toward a new era of F-35 jets at the air station in Beaufort. The stealthy aircraft are designed to be the next generation of fighters for the Marines, Navy and Air Force and will replace the F-18 Hornets flown out of Beaufort. The Marine version will be able to take off and land vertically and the new construction at the base will include a vertical lift off pad for pilot training.

The work begun on Thursday includes a $37 million, 60,900-square-foot hangar.

The $33 million pilot training and simulation center will support 78 pilots a year and includes classrooms, briefing rooms, flight simulators, equipment rooms and administrative offices. It is 101,000 square feet.

Construction will take about two years.

In all, there will be about $350 million in construction at the base as it prepares to house the new stealth fighters.

Hyland said security will have to be tighter for the stealth aircraft, which are designed to evade opponents' radars and electronic attacking devices.
 
LMP737
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:18 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 35):
But then that would mean that non marines were providing air support... better to spend billions of dollars than let that happen.

Four carrier air wings have a USMC F-18 squadron assigned to it so they would still have fellow Marines flying cover. If the F-35B were cancelled I could see more USMC suqadrons deploying on USN carriers.
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Flighty
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:20 am

The people who broke programs like this (I am talking about cost overruns) should be publicly shamed. They should absolutely not be employed right now. But my guess is, they are employed. This is more $$ than has been wasted by nearly any humans on earth.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:37 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 38):
Four carrier air wings have a USMC F-18 squadron assigned to it so they would still have fellow Marines flying cover. If the F-35B were cancelled I could see more USMC suqadrons deploying on USN carriers.

The CVN's can't get in as close because they are high value assets. No way will a carrier commander risk placing his carriers within 100 or 200nm of shore, as shore-based anti-ship missile batteries become a major threat, not to mention the ASW nightmare littoral waters present.

LHA's and LHD's on the other hand, are more plentiful and are supposed to get in closer because they are landing troops and equipment.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:27 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 40):

Shore batteries are old news...any boat larger than a dingy can be targeted by a missile, either from shore, the air or sea. Anything large enough to launch F-35's is just as easy to target as the Nimitz.

Besides...what's 100nm to an f-35? At 500kts, that 12 minutes.

The B won't be able to land vertically on unimproved chunks of land and they will still launch and be recovered from a ship...so what's the advantage in actual combat?

How much closer can these ships safely get to shore?

The closer you get to shore, the less you need jet speeds to support landing troops and the more the advantage goes to helicopters...which are superior to fast movers as ground support in almost every way.

I wonder how much it would have cost to mod the A-10 as a carrier craft in relation to how much has been sunk exclusively into the 'B'...and which one would be the superior ground support aircraft...

[Edited 2011-09-06 00:37:40]
What the...?
 
spudh
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:29 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 41):
I wonder how much it would have cost to mod the A-10 as a carrier craft in relation to how much has been sunk exclusively into the 'B'...and which one would be the superior ground support aircraft

I'd guess the two biggest problems would be with the undercarriage. The nose wheel is definitly not designed for catapulting and being off centre might create other problems on the cat stroke. Having said that the entire area is designed for the recoil of the cannon so should be very strong.

The other problem would be with the sink rate on the main gear. Again I doubt they were designed for high sink rate and being as widely spaced as they are I'd imagine it'd take a fair bit of redesign to fix that. I'd imagine that a wing fold could be accomodated easily enough outboard of the undercarriage although thats where all the flying control surfaces are.

Arrestor hook? I'd guess that would be straight forward enough given the simplicity and strength of the airframe.

On the plus side they are incredibly strong with loads of built in redundancy to take battle damage so maybe not much else bar avionics would need to be done (Handheld GPS to find the ship again?)

As regards superiority, I really don't think stealth is much of an advantage in close support and for the grunts on the ground nothing would come close to the A-10. Miltary planners might see it otherwise but I'd guess the grunts want screaming hot lead on the ground not sh!t hot LCD's in the cockpit.

I think if you were redesigning the A10 to go marine you'd incorporate a back seat guy in a good percentage of the reman'd airframes. I know it sounds a bit left of field but any of the articles I read about the CAS operations in GW2 and Afghan the airframes with two sets of eyes and a trained Observer in the rear seemd to be much more effective. The loitering ability of the A10 would make it superb at that role. Maybe I'm behind the times on this and the UAV's have completely taken over the observer role but I doubt there is any better enemy suppression device than a 30mm Gatling gun being directed by a guy in direct contact with the guys needing it..
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:27 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 32):
I see its stall speed is quoted in Wikipedia as 120knots. I find that real hard to believe

very large straight wing works wonders for the low stall speed. Its also why the A-10 is by far the best anti-helicopter platform we have. Well that and the gun since missles are rather unreliable tracking targets close to the ground and most helicopters don't have a huge thermal plume like a jet so sidewinders are iffy.

Quoting spudh (Reply 42):
I'd guess the two biggest problems would be with the undercarriage. The nose wheel is definitly not designed for catapulting and being off centre might create other problems on the cat stroke. Having said that the entire area is designed for the recoil of the cannon so should be very strong.

It likely would have a harness to cat with the MLG. That said a A-10 "navalised" would likely be literaly a whole new plane that just looked like an A-10 since while you are cutting up the wings for folding you might as well reprofile them. Might as well throw on a modern engine with enough power. 2nd seat adds wieght so need to up the MTOW and MLW so new undercarrige, etc. Still would be quite cheap to do as you would only use off the shelf parts and systems with no fancy new junk to cause billions in overruns.
 
Powerslide
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:33 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 39):
The people who broke programs like this (I am talking about cost overruns) should be publicly shamed.

Every fighter program since the Korean War has been delayed and overbudget, the JSF is nothing new.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 41):
I wonder how much it would have cost to mod the A-10 as a carrier craft in relation to how much has been sunk exclusively into the 'B'...and which one would be the superior ground support aircraft...

With the invention of advanced aircraft sensors the A-10 Warthog is rapidly becoming obsolete as you no longer need to fly low and slow to take out ground targets. You can now do it with stealth, speed, and altitude greatly increases safety and reduces the risk of loosing an aircraft. The F-35 sensor technology was just recently validated at “Northern Edge” so we know the technology works as advertised. The days of the knife fight in the phone booth are over because once one F-35 gets sensor resolution of an enemy target all the F-35’s know where that target is and what is doing and creating firing solutions in all the F-35 cockpits. So to engage one F-35 is to engage the entire flight of F-35's and F-22's in the air at that particular moment of time. Add to this any sea or ground assets that are sending and receiving advanced telemetry.
 
spudh
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:55 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
very large straight wing works wonders for the low stall speed.

Thats what I was thinking, I reckon the A10 stall speed is way lower than 120kts. Maybe 120 is its fully laden stall speed. The F18 lands at 125kts, the F-14 originally came in at 115 but view over the nose was prioritised so 125kts was selected with a lower AoA. With the wing on the A-10 I'd guess a stall of 90-95kts maybe even lower.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
It likely would have a harness to cat with the MLG.

Thats exactly what was going through my head when I was writing that post, visions of A4's and F4's being launched with wire ropes, i just thought that was too old fashiond to hold any water.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
Every fighter program since the Korean War has been delayed and overbudget, the JSF is nothing new.

Every fighter programme maybe but I know Lockheed handed back money on the U2 project they were so far below budget. Maybe they've learned their lesson since and retired their conscience with Kelly and Rich. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure the F5 programme and maybe even the F104 met all targets. But then again they were not wanted by and meddled with/FUBAR'd by USAF/USN so private enterprise was allowed to just get on with two of the most successful post war US fighters.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
With the invention of advanced aircraft sensors the A-10 Warthog is rapidly becoming obsolete as you no longer need to fly low and slow to take out ground targets.

The A10 will only be obsolete when the bullet is obsolete. You can't blind/Jam/fool a bullet. A bullet is a hell of a lot cheaper/more plentiful than anything used by a high fast mover. The A10 is also the only USAF aircraft flying today that has any hope of surviving an EMF strike. I don't know enough about its engine management systems to say that for certain but I know that in its original bare bones spec it was to be tactical nuclear blast resistant. The F35 is a lawn dart in that scenario or in a counter stealth scenario that employs EMF (I don't know of any such technology but if I was in that business I'd sure be working hard to find it)
 
rwessel
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:42 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 45):
Thats exactly what was going through my head when I was writing that post, visions of A4's and F4's being launched with wire ropes, i just thought that was too old fashiond to hold any water.

It's called a bridle. And they've been in the process of being phased out for decades. The USN has removed the bridle catchers (the thing that sticks out from the flightdeck/hull in front of the cats) from most of the carriers (Big-E retains hers, apparently because nobody wanted to spend the money to remove them given her imminent retirement).

At this point no active USN aircraft regularly operated from carriers need bridles. They can still use bridles if needed (apparently there are some provisions for visiting French aircraft, if nothing else), since it really just requires a certain shape hook on the catapult shuttle. But without the catcher, you get to use each bridle exactly once, before it ends up in the drink.

[Edited 2011-09-06 18:44:07]
 
BMI727
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:22 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 35):
But then that would mean that non marines were providing air support... better to spend billions of dollars than let that happen.

Except for the Marines having to develop their own F-35 variant, where do these billions come from? You can get rid of the Marine squadrons and roll them into the Navy or Air Force. But you'll still have all the planes and pilots.

Quoting spudh (Reply 42):
I really don't think stealth is much of an advantage in close support and for the grunts on the ground nothing would come close to the A-10.

It's not. When you are in a situation where the enemy can see and hear you while possessing guns and MANPADS, stealth won't go as far as good armor. It isn't really money and effort well spent in that situation. A sports car might be faster, but it won't do the job of a tank.

Quoting spudh (Reply 42):
I think if you were redesigning the A10 to go marine you'd incorporate a back seat guy in a good percentage of the reman'd airframes.

I think that you would have to design an all new plane, but using the same paradigm and tricks as the A-10. Make it carrier capable and give it to the USAF and Marines. It would be updating and improving on a proven formula and it wouldn't have to be fast or invisible. We know what we need to do, we know how to do it, and it needs to be neither invisible nor fast. In other words, such a program should offer excellent bang for the buck, like the original A-10. The only problem is that Congress may have thrown that buck away on the F-35.

And let's not forget that the A-10 is more survivable than any helicopter.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
The days of the knife fight in the phone booth are over because once one F-35 gets sensor resolution of an enemy target all the F-35’s know where that target is and what is doing and creating firing solutions in all the F-35 cockpits.

Sounds a lot like what planners were saying before Vietnam. The issue is that there will come a time when a weapon needs to be on a target, and pilots may not have the luxury of a laser target or GPS coordinates. When that time comes we need a plane that can get where it needs to be and put a weapon on a target. All that technology can be incorporated into what could be the world's best CAS platform, but I don't buy that F-35 pilots can do just as good a job cruising around at a comfy 15,000 feet and get their weapons where they need to be when they need to be there.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
Every fighter program since the Korean War has been delayed and overbudget, the JSF is nothing new.

Of course, the JSF isn't a fighter program. It's a fighter program and a bomber program and a STOVL close air support program and a low cost, high volume program. Put that all together, and it isn't a program as much as a fantasy. Lockheed Martin should be commended for doing as well as they have.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:03 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
With the invention of advanced aircraft sensors the A-10 Warthog is rapidly becoming obsolete as you no longer need to fly low and slow to take out ground targets.

Every new plane since Vietnam has been so sophisticated it didn't need a gun...except when it did. Guns have proven their worth time and again and I'm surprised they still have to justify their existence.

A gun is the most consistently reliable weapons system since the knife. There is no electronics suite more reliable or even as reliable.

As long as bad guys can hide under rocks and shoot down planes with hand held weapons, and people have to go root them out on foot, there will be need for close support...and that always comes down to a gun.
What the...?
 
Devilfish
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RE: More Grief For The F-35...

Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:20 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 47):
Quoting spudh (Reply 42):
I think if you were redesigning the A10 to go marine you'd incorporate a back seat guy in a good percentage of the reman'd airframes.

I think that you would have to design an all new plane, but using the same paradigm and tricks as the A-10. Make it carrier capable and give it to the USAF and Marines.

Problem is convincing the powers that be to give up expensive, bleeding edge whiz-bang systems in favor of an effective, lower tech platform.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 47):
In other words, such a program should offer excellent bang for the buck, like the original A-10. The only problem is that Congress may have thrown that buck away on the F-35.

Congress has been threatening to cut the Osprey (though there may not be any more money in that program, too).

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 48):
As long as bad guys can hide under rocks and shoot down planes with hand held weapons, and people have to go root them out on foot, there will be need for close support...and that always comes down to a gun.

Which is a whole lot more practical and cheaper than letting loose a brace of several-thousand-dollar smart munitions just to neutralize a small bevy of fighters.
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