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Belesarius

Bash the F-35 thred.

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It's nice to see the F-35 actually getting bashed a little bit.  :)

 

As Tied said, the F-35 is similar to the M2 in that it tried to accomplish so many different things. A dedicated CAS bird will do a better go at CAS than the F-35, a dedicated Air Superiorty fighter will do better at AS than the F-35 etc etc. Multi-role aircraft are fine, but they can't be expected to be the one solution to every problem...as the USAF believes it will be. 

 

In some ways yes, and in some ways no. The F-35 may actually be a better FAC plane, for example, than the A-10, because of its avionics that allow it to network with UAVs. The F-35 also is much, much easier to fly than other aircraft, giving its pilot enhanced situational awareness (more useful for paying attention to what networked UAVs are doing than actually looking out the glass, but still). The F-35's weapons integration should also be much better than the A-10, and may well enhance its precision.

Look at the F-35 as a stealth, supersonic, A-7 with an iPhon, which is sort of what it is, and it doesn't seem like it will be that bad.

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The USN made a deliberate trade-off when they went to a mostly hornet/super hornet air arm.  Was it as good a bomber as an A-7?  Was it as good a fleet defense fighter as an F-14?

 

No, but it was deemed worth it.  The maintenance time savings and logistics simplifications to be had from only operating a single type were so large that the sortie rate would be so much higher that it would easily outweigh any loss of performance.

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I wonder if there's any intention to remedy the inherent contradiction of an airframe that can go into danger's way and perform various earth-moving jobs but can't actually do it while carrying the tools to do the job because they aren't stealth, and if so, what timeline a reasonably full set of capabilities will be attained in that regard.

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I wonder if there's any intention to remedy the inherent contradiction of an airframe that can go into danger's way and perform various earth-moving jobs but can't actually do it while carrying the tools to do the job because they aren't stealth, and if so, what timeline a reasonably full set of capabilities will be attained in that regard.

 

I mean, it has internal bays, buddy.

 

It's a dual-use bird. It can perform F-117-like early strikes with a handful of smart bombs, or it can go high-vis with a bunch of external ordnance.

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I mean, it has internal bays, buddy.

 

It's a dual-use bird. It can perform F-117-like early strikes with a handful of smart bombs, or it can go high-vis with a bunch of external ordnance.

Aren't the internal bays sort of piddly though? I mean, four 500lb bombs = bays full.

 

Edit: http://aviationweek.com/awin/f-35-bay-presents-challenges-weapons

Note the first comment, which points out (among other things) that for the little you gain in sticking your weapons into a stealthy bay, you might as well just hang longer-ranged standoff weapons on a standard airframe and win by saturation and standoff. There is then nothing stopping you from just leaving the strike aircraft parked outside of intercept range and lobbing ordinance in over the horizon until something sticks.

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2bQNt8Z.jpg

 

5,000 lbs per this diagram, plus AMRAAMs per this diagram.  Not sure how many GBU-38/Bs you could cram if you wanted to.

 

That's pretty good; it matches the F-117 for air to surface ordnance and adds A2A missiles, and that's more than double the weight of A2G that a raptor can carry.

 

IIRC, if you just filled a JSF's internal bays with huge GBUs and AMRAAMs and flew it just on internal gas, it would have about 100 NM better radius than an F-16 with the same two bombs and two AAMs with two drop tanks.  Or something like that.  Yes; you can cram lots and lots of bombs on dinky little tactical fighters, but they don't fly very far when you do.  A rule of thumb for drop tanks is that about half of the fuel in a drop tank is consumed offsetting the additional drag from the drop tank.

 

So it depends on what you're measuring against.  They're small bays compared to what you'd want for, say, reducing Dresden to a moonscape, but they're downright cavernous compared to other tactical aircraft.

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The F-117 also wasn't intended to be a replacement for things like the A-10 or F-15E.

 

Neither of which carry ordnance stealthily within weapons bays, either.

Also, as colli points out, the F-35 has a very useful "slick flight" capability that gives it more range on certain mission profiles than its specs suggest.

For all the naysaying, I fully expect the fielded and de-bugged F-35 to be a fantastic multirole plane that neither Russia nor China will be able to match for a while.

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Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's still pretty good. (Could've been better if the navy's army's Air Force hadn't stuck their dick in it, but :shrug:).

The J-31 looks like it should be at least fairly close, in terms of airframe design (engines and electronic bits are a bit murkier).

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Neither of which carry ordnance stealthily within weapons bays, either.

Also, as colli points out, the F-35 has a very useful "slick flight" capability that gives it more range on certain mission profiles than its specs suggest.

For all the naysaying, I fully expect the fielded and de-bugged F-35 to be a fantastic multirole plane that neither Russia nor China will be able to match for a while.

Yeah, i don't think we will have anything similar in service for many years.

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The PAK-FA might have similar internal weapons capacity; I'm not sure, but those bays look really big.

 

Obviously, PAK-FA is a much bigger aircraft.

 

If the PAK-FA has proper integration with all of the tasty new Russian A2G ordnance, and decent internal fuel capacity, and be able to designate its own ground targets (raptor can't I believe), then it should be at least a match for the JSF in the strike role in everything but stealth.  Probably better in some ways, e.g. it can probably supercruise, and the JSF can't.

 

But in the JSF's weight class?  Do the Russians even have anything on the drawing board?

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What about that LMFS thing? 

It is light aircraft that exist ~only on paper, i doubt that it will be near F-35 in general. Or, at least, it will not be addopted to service any time soon.

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