|Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):|
Not to the extent that the F35 is compromised. Not even close.
Neither the F14, F15 or F16 suffered the incredible compromises of forcing one conventional airframe configuration for the Air Force, one VSTOL version for the Marines and another totally different platform for the Navy.
There are no real compromises with the F-35 to adapt to all three roles. Since every jet fighter is designed around its jet engine you really wouldn't want to change that being the F-135 engine is the highest thrust engine available. Since the F-35 engine size, mass flow requirements and weapons bays dictate that you must use side air intakes that pretty much forces you into an airframe of the size and shape of the F-35. So really the only thing left to change is who supplies the avionics and systems.
F-35 is a major advancement over the aircraft it is designed specifically to replace: F-16, F/A-18, and the Harrier. It has better sensors, is stealthy, has more range and payload over any of these aircraft, and is just as maneuverable.
|Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):|
The F35 is acknowledged as being such a poor fighter the Japanese Air Force, despite buying a handful of them plan on operating their F15's until 2040 !
The Japanese intend on cascading their F-15's down to their F-4 squadrons. For the squadrons operating F-4's, it will be a major upgrade, but the former F-15 squadrons will now get F-35's.
And if the Japanese thought so poorly of F-35, then why did they not purchase the other competitors, such as Eurofighter, F-15SE, or F/A-18E/F? They picked F-35 over anyone else. A article in Jane's Defence Weekly explained the rationale behind Japan's decision; the decision-making process was more about actual combat performance and interoperability with the US and other neighbouring allied states than about industrial benefits. Everything else was secondary.
|Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):|
Same with the USAF, they know full well the F35 is basically a strike aircraft, not a fighter, they have already announced plans to significantly extend the lives of their F15's and F16's as they know they will need their capability.
Same with the Navy and their plans to extend the F18's life.
They are extending the lives of their F-15's, F-16's and F/A-18's because they are running out of airframe hours, not because they need their capability. The F-15 was designed with a airframe life of 5,000 hours. It's flying well past that already. The F/A-18 was designed for 6,000 hours. They are trying to push 10,000 hours through more inspections. Once F-35 is rolling off the assembly lines, expect to see F-15's, F-16's and F/A-18's pushed to the desert as fast as they can get F-35's.
|Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):|
The F-14 was the fix for the first time the military went down the one-size-fits-all aircraft route. Fortunately the F-35 will work out much better than the F-111, but still. The F-15 and F-16 were designed for fairly narrow roles but have proven more than capable of having their missions expanded.
Incorrect, F-111's failure was borne out of inter-service rivalry. If you looked and compared the F-111B's and the F-14's Standard Aircraft Characteristics charts, the F-111B’s dated 1 July 1967 and the F-14A’s, dated April 1977, you can see that the USN
changed the specs that they were requesting to justify killing F-111B.
Much has been made of how terribly overweight the F-111B turned out. And it was, compared to a totally unrealistic specification. Many think that the F-14A was far lighter than the F-111B, primarily because most comparisons neglect to do so using the F-111B’s design mission for both aircraft. The F-14A is still lighter, of course, because the Navy changed its requirements so that it would be. Deleted were the escape capsule, bomb bay, and swiveling wing pylon stations among other things. The Hughes Airborne Missile Control System, given a few more years of development, was lighter. The structure was designed for 6.5 gs at 49,548 lbs, about 10,000 pounds less than the F-111B’s design gross weight at that g level. In effect, the six Phoenixes and 3,800 lbs of fuel were treated as an overload for the design of the F-14A structure. At combat weight (13,800 lbs fuel and six Phoenix missiles) the F-111B therefore had a load limit of 5.8 g and the F-14A (12,000 lbs of fuel and six Phoenix missiles), a lower (but not particularly constraining) 5.2 g. The result, however, is a somewhat lower structural weight for the F-14A.
According to the F-111B SAC
, when it was loaded with full internal fuel and six Phoenixes, it weighed 77,566 lbs and required 11 knots wind-over-deck on a tropical day for launch; the F-14A, not surprisingly, weighed almost 7,000 lbs less but, surprisingly, required 16 knots wind-over-deck. However, at its takeoff gross weight the F-111B was carrying 3,000 lbs more fuel than the F-14, making the difference in takeoff gross weight for the same fuel and weapons load only 3,866 lbs, or 5%, not exactly the amount or percentage difference that most would have guessed given all the negative publicity garnered by the “Sea Pig.” With that additional fuel, the F-111B could loiter on station for 1.5 hours with the combat fuel allowance assuming an acceleration to 1.5 Mach; the F-14A with the two external tanks of overload fuel, and with the same combat Mach number (one has to read the SACs very closely), could only loiter for 1.1 hours.
As for landing, they were both heavy. In fact, the maximum arrested landing weight limit of the F-14A precluded it from landing back aboard with all six Phoenixes, whereas the F-111B had a 5,000 lb margin, all fuel, between its maximum landing weight and the landing weight with the standard landing fuel load of 2,417 lbs of fuel and six Phoenix (56,980 lbs). One does not need to be a Naval Aviator to appreciate being able to land with three times the required fuel. On a tropical day at the standard weight, the F-111B needed 15 knots wind-over-deck for landing; the F-14A could only land with five Phoenix, and even then needed 17 knots wind-over-deck at its maximum landing weight of 51,830 lbs. The F-111B was also less of an handful following an engine failure since its engines were not as widely separated as the F-14A’s.
This is not to say that the Navy didn’t do the right thing in getting the F-111B program cancelled and replacing it with the more versatile F-14, particularly since the Hughes AMCS wasn’t ready for prime time. However, with respect to its Fleet Air Defense design mission, it got an airplane that could not loiter as long or land with its full complement of missiles, had a higher stall speed at a lower weight, required more wind-over-deck for takeoffs and landings, and was more difficult to bring aboard with two engines running, not to mention with one inoperative.
The F-111B could do, pretty much, the Phoenix-based Fleet Air Defense mission that it was intended to do while weighted down with Air Force low-level supersonic mission and other requirements. The F-14 could not do the FAD mission quite as well - but well enough if needs be - and it did the carrier Navy’s other, equally important, fighter missions much better. What really killed F-111B is that the Navy never wanted what they always saw as being an 'Air Force' aircraft; they were looking for every excuse in the book to cancel it, including changing the specs. As a result of the USN
changing their specs on what they wanted, F-111B did not meet the USN
's requirements, and that gave the USN
the excuse it needed to cancel F-111B and go with F-14.