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Bash the F-35 thred.

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It comes from a person who as his very first reply to me made a bigoted insult. As a second reply, he instead insulted me directly. As for forum, I had read few threads and I can see what kind of forum this is. It is mostly concerned about posting random pieces of information or pictures all day long. In very few threads where I had posted, I had liven up a debate. There are people here who obviously know more about military than posting memes all day and calling that a quality post. It was a pleasure to discuss with them in a past. 

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Perhaps to contribute some personal experience, and place the F-35 in context with other US platforms from your POGO link. (Who, I should add, are an organization with the dubious mandate of finding problems and complaining about them, they're an institutional chicken little.) 

The F-15C fleet is currently limited to ~7g's for the simple reason that the airframes are literally falling apart if the pilots pull higher g's. The F-18E fleet still has OBOGs issues, meaning the airplane will occasionally decide that today is not the pilot's day, and give them the warm comforting blanket of Oxygen Deprivation. (Leading to at least one fatal crash in the past few years, and doubtless contributing to others.)  F-22s are a massive pile of software jank flying in close formation, with neither the budget nor the expertise to overhaul their badly dated avionics. Vipers have their own host of technical issues related to being old fighters that haven't gotten as much love as they should. I can go on for any platform basically ad nausea. 

The point is to say that all military fighters have issues like this, some of them long lasting and incredibly severe. The reason you're hearing about the F-35's issues is that it is a very expensive program with a lot of detractors, and not because it has more teething issues than can be expected from a rapidly maturing gen 5. 

This gets back to the earlier statement wrt POGO - their institutional mandate (to be as charitable as possible) prevents them from placing these issues into context and producing an overall measurement of the effectiveness of a platform. If all you ever do is rattle off flaws and to-dos, any piece of military equipment is going to look like junk. If you actually want to speak meaningfully on the subject, you've got to weigh those inevitable downsides against the very real and very potent capabilities that F-35 brings to the fight.

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28 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

It comes from a person who as his very first reply to me made a bigoted insult. As a second reply, he instead insulted me directly. As for forum, I had read few threads and I can see what kind of forum this is. It is mostly concerned about posting random pieces of information or pictures all day long. In very few threads where I had posted, I had liven up a debate. There are people here who obviously know more about military than posting memes all day and calling that a quality post. It was a pleasure to discuss with them in a past. 

 

Known idiot wanders in from another forum, spews decade-debunked bullshit, and then whines about being treated poorly. News at 11.

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I'm not sure that problems which are found within legacy fighters are as severe or as many. Could you provide information which equally scolds F-16 or any other well established aircraft as they do F-35? 

 

Furthermore, I would not doubt reliability of said sources, because they do have extremely solid primary sources over which they critique said airplanes. It uses official sources released by the government and then you have to either go full conspiracy theorist route saying that either government is lying or just accept that an article is true over what it is saying. A good example is how publicly revealed price for F-35 is just a sham. When you investigate official Pentagon expenditure for said aircraft, it is quoted as a lot higher. When whom I should trust? Isn't it true that various public statements, countless press articles and uncritical reports from pilots might not be saying how things truly are? What they form public opinion to be a lot more positive of an aircraft than it deserves to be? I'm well familiar with realities of this world, being overly critical over something as important as this can cost you your career, so most people remain silent. Pentagon Wars is a good documentary and a comedy which proves that saving lives, doing your job and actually caring for quality of military equipment will cost your career.

 

In the end, said source does not comment on what we should do, at least I did not read it. It asks for a very simple thing, to fix the damn thing before starting production or developing new features. What we do now with F-35 is sinking resources into platform which has nearly a thousand officially registered defects and grand total of 9 critical defects within F-35 production model which can cause destruction of an aircraft or death of its pilot or at very least cause serious damage to its systems. This creates a massive technological debt which we would have later to fix or to suffer through as we do with F-22 bloated software. The only difference in my eyes that F-35 is widely known to have an extremely big technological debt which we allow to pile on. While aircraft like F-22 could be excused for its very high costs or bloated software as being unrivaled aircraft of its era. All of these aircrafts also had a lot less problems when they were introduced than F-35 five years ago.

 

 This is my view, I do believe that political interest groups are painting F-35 with unboundless optimism and are "lying" in some cases. Like with its newest cost which does not include a lot of critical support elements required to actually flyaway with it. I also however believe that F-35 is most modern aircraft on the market which is available for procurement. I'm negative over F-35, because I believe it is a lemon of an aircraft, but that does not mean that we should not procure it. It is simply too big of a project to fail now and there are no other real alternatives on market. 4'th Gen ++ aircraft are getting quickly outdated with development of newest fighter jets and introduction of newest anti air weaponary and it would be unwise now to start procurement of those aircraft as they will have to remain viable for at least few decades to come. When we start to look for investing into newest platform available, we sadly have no alternative available and have to go with F-35. This is why despite my harsh criticism and dislike for this airplane, I would still hypothetically proccure F-35 for my nation.  I just want to make sure you understand my stance on this plane correctly. It is not that I consider it worthless piece of junk, I would just go with literally any other fifth gen aircraft if I would have anything to choose from. 

 

Quote

Known idiot wanders in from another forum, spews decade-debunked bullshit, and then whines about being treated poorly. News at 11.

 

If you say so.

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I like how OSC already explained it to you and you ignored him.

 

You're accusing your opponents of being "conspiracy theorists" while you struggle to maintain an argument about the "defectiveness" of an OPERATIONAL aircraft in active use with eleven countries. It boggles.

 

And you wonder why I'm being dismissive and insulting to you. You're a completely unserious person.

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I did no such thing. On the contrary, I had asked to know more about what he had said. I also had argued that no other aircraft had as many defects and problems as F-35. I'm awaiting now for his response on that. Furthermore, I had discussed about reliability of those sources and had said that if you question official budget reports and tell me that it is unreliable or false information, then you are going into conspiratorial territory. I did not stated nor suggested that he does that nor anybody here. I'm defending legitimacy of sources which I had quoted and I try to show why they must be accepted as legitimate. Cherry picking information is most typical form of delusion where person just accepts positive information about something and ignores everything negative. This makes person's view on something extremely bias. Person becomes incapable of looking at things critically. I do not imply nor accuse anyone of doing cherry picking here specifically right now. However, I do say that if you want to be honest about F-35 you have to accept all sources, good or bad. So far I get a vibe that people prefer to ignore any information which is negative. I will be glad to defend information which I had presented if someone would want to take a crack at it. POGO's source would be a good start and I will be glad if OSC could prove me wrong on this. This would be especially easy as POGO had provided very precise information on amount of defects existing even in current model of F-35 and we could compare the number of defects on any other serial production legacy fighter. 

 

Also, if you would bother reading my comments properly, you would know that I had explained and admitted that F-35 is the best aircraft on the market three times already and you still did not catched that. Could you please behave more professionally, because to me you are just tiring and annoying. 

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Unfortunately I won't be able to respond at length, since I need to head into work in just a few minutes. Broadly, most of the issues I outlined with the "Legacy" fleet are publicly available, including from POGO.

https://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2012/05/pilots-arent-guinea-pigs-ground-the-f-22-until-dangerous-oxygen-problem-resolved.html

and

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2018/03/pentagons-21st-century-icarus/

"Breathing problems aboard the Navy’s main fighter, the F-18, spiked from 57 in 2012 to 125 in 2016. The breathing gear on the Navy’s F-18s and T-45s “is inadequate to consistently provide high quality breathing air,” the Navy itself concluded last June. “The net result is contaminants can enter aircrew breathing air provided by OBOGS and potentially induce hypoxia.” The Navy flubbed its probe into a series of F-18 oxygen-related crashes that killed four pilots, a Navy-commissioned NASA report, ordered by Congress, concluded in September." And, yes, the 2nd article includes the fact that F-35As are also having platforms - but this is exactly my point; all platforms are dealing with problems like this. I'm sure you can find sources from your NGO of choice for the structural problems with the Eagle or any of the other problems I've listed.

Regarding the Viper stuff, the F-16 is a very mature and relatively simple platform, so I wouldn't say the issues are as severe as the F-35A's, which isn't surprising. They're mostly to do with the fact that the majority of the Blk 30 fleet is using mech-array radars as far as I'm aware, which is about as useful as a knife in a gunfight. 

I won't really dispute that there is a technological debt on F-35 - the fact that it was developed prior to massive advances in computing power and metallurgy means it's avionics and engine need some love, for example. I instead dispute that it's severe or unusual - the fighters as they stand are the best multirole in the sky, bar none, and the level of rework and continuing development they're receiving isn't so much a sign of malfeasance or incompetence as it is a normal and frankly healthy part of keeping fighters on the bleeding edge of performance.

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42 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Also, if you would bother reading my comments properly, you would know that I had explained and admitted that F-35 is the best aircraft on the market three times already and you still did not catched that. Could you please behave more professionally, because to me you are just tiring and annoying. 

 

What do you expect? What value, even if only entertainment value, do you think you've added? All you've done is trot out "arguments" from nearly a decade ago, or more, and slapped some CYA language over them lest someone hold you to the implications of advocating for those positions. Are you even aware of the rebuttals to the Kopp/Sprey drivel? I suggest you take a week or two to catch up on the Chip Burke debates/testimonials and the wealth of information and context here before getting back to us with a comparative analysis informed by a modicum of understanding of the compromises inherent in fighter aircraft design and the trajectory of air combat. 

 

42 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

I also had argued that no other aircraft had as many defects and problems as F-35. I'm awaiting now for his response on that.

 

Try googling "F-16 GAO."

 

Try googling "F-15 GAO."

 

Try googling "F-18 GAO."

 

FYI, POGO was only established in 1981.

 

As OSC said, I think you'll be shocked to find that agencies tasked with finding problems to justify their existence end up finding them.

 

Oh, and don't forget to role in all the problems with legacy, podded sensors and systems that are integral to the F-35.

 

Have fun! 

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Thank you for your sources. I will read them and maybe write something tomorrow. I'm also busy now working, but I just can't focus and try to do anything than the work I'm supposed to do. :)

 

But just to be clear what I'm saying in order not to talk past each other:

1) I claim that F-35 is a lemon. To me it means that this platform is overly delayed, has mediocre performance which you would expect from fifth generation plane and possesses more than usual flaws which will need to be fixed in a future. This is to comparison of what you would expect compared  to other similar projects.

2) I claim that F-35 has more inherent problems than it should at this point. (This is the point which we are discussing)

3) I agree that F-35 is currently the best plane available on the market. However, to me F-35 is the best simply, because it is the only readily available fifth generation fighter which can be readily purchased. You can't proccure F-22 or Su-57 and those planes are a lot more specialized. F-35 is a lot more flexible aircraft which can do a lot of roles, but it does not excel at any of those roles. It also falls short in performance as fifth generation aircraft. In my eyes, such aircraft is perfect for export. I do not disagree with you on this point and I want to make my position clear to avoid any further misunderstandings. 

 

Quote

What do you expect? What value, even if only entertainment value, do you think you've added? All you've done is trot out "arguments" from nearly a decade ago, or more, and slapped some CYA language over them lest someone hold you to the implications of advocating for those positions. Are you even aware of the rebuttals to the Kopp/Sprey drivel? I suggest you take a week or two to catch up on the Chip Burke debates/testimonials and the wealth of information and context here before getting back to us with a comparative analysis informed by a modicum of understanding of the compromises inherent in fighter aircraft design and the trajectory of air combat. 

 

I highly doubt that those people have anything relevant to say in regards to my initial critique of said aircraft. You should had taken a look to what I had quoted as many of those things are relevant even today. Furthermore, I had revitalised this thread and an actual discussion might start out of it. That is a lot more valuable than posting memes or pictures of an aircraft. 

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I had investigated that claim and it seems to be a rumor which was started by that site. 

 

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4373897

 

As far as I could find they are referring to wing AESA system.

 

https://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-06.html

https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/sukhoi-su-35/

 

Though, picture does not state if a radar is AESA or PESA. 

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Hi, this is definitely not pierre sprey

 

F35 sucks and our next gen aircraft should have been turbojet retrofitted p51s. F16 should have never had radar. The future of air combat is WVR gun fighting

 

-not pierre sprey

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On 7/28/2020 at 2:09 AM, Calicifer said:

Though source is a little bit older and F-35 might became little less shit during two decades of development, but it still highlights why I dislike this aircraft. It is just so limited when compared to more specialized aircraft.

 

I was just thinking this felt like I took a time machine back to 2012-2014. Just for future reference, expect people to treat you like an idiot when the first thing you do is shit on the carpet with ancient debunked misinfo.

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35 minutes ago, Ramlaen said:

 

I was just thinking this felt like I took a time machine back to 2012-2014. Just for future reference, expect people to treat you like an idiot when the first thing you do is shit on the carpet with ancient debunked misinfo.

 

I'm yet to see how said information is debunked. Even official sources in 2020 say that aircraft is crap. I will look into deeper if there is a an equal comparison between troubles which previous aircrafts can they be compared in terms of scale and severity. So far from an overwhelmingly emotional response I received, I feel that this is solely emotional matter of touching piece of engineering to which people are emotionally attached. Otherwise, flaws within F-35 would not had been a surprise for people here and they would know that this aircraft constantly receives harsh criticism. 

 

I'm also reading information which other members had provided and so far it is inaccurate. I read about F-18A prototypes and developing woes it had. There are a lot of various problems there, but a lot of them being about aircraft not performing up to scratch. Some entries are particularly curious as minor modification fixes for example F-18A acceleration problem quite easily despite officials responsible for commenting on it were baffled and made up pathetic excuses like "it will barely ever need to do that anyways". I had found that to be hilarious.

 

It would be more difficult however to track down how many of those problems persisted after aircraft had entered serial production. Then another part is unrelated information about missiles not performing as they should. Then there are some downright questionable entries about missiles having to be guided by plane's radar and that is supposed to be design flaw within an aircraft. I knew that all prototypes have plenty of small little problems which need to be fixed before vehicle or aircraft enters serial production and quite often, not all of those flaws are fixed. The hardest part is comparing scale and severity of those flaws and how smooth development and introduction of previous generation of aircraft were compared to F-35.

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29 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Even official sources in 2020 say that aircraft is crap.

 

Feel free to show you are just pretending to be retarded and actually cite these 'official' sources.

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On 7/28/2020 at 2:09 AM, Calicifer said:

Hey guys, this is F-35 bash "thred". I think you had lost your way on your way to 31 page. So I will add some good old fashioned hatred back into this thread!

 


This guy’s reading comprehension and grasp of irony, sarcasm, and the nuances of the English language are almost as good as his knowledge of aerospace and weapons procurement.

Does he not know why this is called the “Bash the F-35 Thred” with “Thred” intentionally misspelled?

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2 hours ago, Calicifer said:

I knew that all prototypes have plenty of small little problems which need to be fixed before vehicle or aircraft enters serial production and quite often, not all of those flaws are fixed. The hardest part is comparing scale and severity of those flaws and how smooth development and introduction of previous generation of aircraft were compared to F-35.

 

So in your clearly learned opinion how would you rate the F-14? Yeah, you might say sticking TF30s in the A-model birds was a "small problem."  Only something like 375 or so TF30 A models made into the sky to try and kill their crews for staring at the throttle the wrong way. 

 

Every single Super Bug that will likely ever fly has gigantic, toed-out pylons because of unanticipated store separation issues. 

 

It's not even clear if your criticism is with issues due to specific engineering decisions that are liable to occur in any new aircraft program, let alone three as with the F35s, or with the general configuration of the aircraft. To the latter possibility, why is it even useful to compare the F-35 to the F-22, Su-57, or J-20? They all have very different design criteria, different missions, and fight in different organizations. I bet you're fun discussing WWII armor too. 

 

And like, dude, Kopp was trying get F-22s for Australia. Have you noticed that APA stopped trying to stir shit up after F-22 production ended in 2012? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

 

Feel free to show you are just pretending to be retarded and actually cite these 'official' sources.

 

I already did previously in this thread. 

 

Quote

So in your clearly learned opinion how would you rate the F-14? Yeah, you might say sticking TF30s in the A-model birds was a "small problem."  Only something like 375 or so TF30 A models made into the sky to try and kill their crews for staring at the throttle the wrong way. 

 

Every single Super Bug that will likely ever fly has gigantic, toed-out pylons because of unanticipated store separation issues. 

 

It's not even clear if your criticism is with issues due to specific engineering decisions that are liable to occur in any new aircraft program, let alone three as with the F35s, or with the general configuration of the aircraft. To the latter possibility, why is it even useful to compare the F-35 to the F-22, Su-57, or J-20? They all have very different design criteria, different missions, and fight in different organizations. I bet you're fun discussing WWII armor too. 

 

And like, dude, Kopp was trying get F-22s for Australia. Have you noticed that APA stopped trying to stir shit up after F-22 production ended in 2012? 

 

 

I can't comment on F-14. I knew it had a lot of issues in the past, but how they do compare with F-35, I'm not sure. I have critique in both aspects, from design of an aircraft to its engineering problems. Aircraft does not excel at any role and it is painfully mediocre for fifth generation aircraft in any niche. From technical standpoint, endless delays, cost overruns, critical errors and countless smaller issues with F-35. My point isn't that this does not happen with other aircraft, but that the scale of those things in F-35 is way out of proportion compared to previous projects. A good example, people do mention that there were some issues in the past and with other aircraft. For example, you had mentioned few of them yourself, but by comparison, F-35 currently has 9 such issues which can cause loss of an aircraft. It is well into aircraft's lifespan and serial production. Considering that it had 5 whole years to work out those issues after its official finish line, that is little bit unfair to compare problems which this aircraft has to prototypes of previous aircrafts which you had directed me to read.

 

Btw: I'm still reading sources which you had provided. You said to google a lot of things, but I obviously can read only one of all sources you had offered me. They are bloody big and for the most part, they have little correlation to what I'm saying. If there is any particular piece of information which you feel I should read, I will be glad to read it.

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3 hours ago, Calicifer said:

F-35 currently has 9 such issues which can cause loss of an aircraft.


No it doesn’t. No F-35 model has any CAT 1A deficiencies at present. Are you surprised to learn that POGO and the media either don’t bother to differentiate CAT 1A from 1B deficiencies (the program office’s metrics) or use the Air Force’s definition of CAT 1 that is a lot broader and includes less serious deficiencies than those that represent a serious risk to the aircraft? 

 

Are you purposefully trying to conduct an impossible analysis to justify your preconceived notion that the F-35 is crap? Can you go back in time and apply today’s level of oversight and risk averseness to legacy programs?
 

I’ve already given you more of my time than you appear to deserve. You don’t seem to have realistic expectations or a realistic frame of reference. So rather than submit a few hundred FOIA request hoping to get that nugget of releasable info that will surely, surely change your mind, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my day. 

 

 

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      By the time the J2M2 was entering service, the J2M3 was well into testing. The J2M3 was the most common variant of the Raiden, 260 were produced at Mitsubishi's factories (3). It was also the first variant to feature an armament of four 20mm cannons (oddly, of two different types of cannon with significantly different ballistics (2); the 7.7mm machine guns were replace with two Type 99 Model 1 cannons). Naturally, the performance of the J2M3 suffered slightly with the heavier armament, but it still retained its excellent rate of climb. The Raiden's excellent rate of climb was what kept it from being cancelled as higher performance aircraft like the N1K1-J Shiden came into service.
       

       
      The J2M's was designed to achieve a high climb rate, necessary for its intended role as an interceptor. The designers were successful; the J2M3, even with four 20mm cannons, was capable of climbing at 4650 feet per minute (1420 feet per minute) (2). Many fighters of World War 2, such as the CW-21, were claimed to be capable of climbing 'a mile a minute', but the Raiden was one of the few piston-engine aircraft that came close to achieving that mark. In fact, the Raiden climbed nearly as fast as the F8F Bearcat, despite being nearly three years older. Additionally, the J2M could continue to climb at high speeds for long periods; the J2M2 needed roughly 10 minutes to reach 30000 feet (9100 meters) (4), and on emergency power (using the methanol injection system), could maintain a climb rate in excess of 3000 feet per minute up to about 20000 feet (about 6000 meters).
       
       
       
       
       

       
       
       
       
       

       
      Analysis in Source (2) shows that the J2M3 was superior in several ways to one of its most common opponents, the F6F Hellcat. Though the Hellcat was faster at lower altitudes, the Raiden was equal at 6000 meters (about 20000 feet), and above that rapidly gained superiority. Additionally, the Raiden, despite not being designed for maneuverability, still had a lower stall speed than the Hellcat, and could turn tighter. The J2M3 actually had a lower wing loading than the American plane, and had flaps that could be used in combat to expand the wing area at will. As shown in the (poorly scanned) graphs on page 39 of (2), the J2M possessed a superior instantaneous turn capability to the F6F at all speeds. However, at high speeds the sustained turn capability of the American plane was superior (page 41 of (2)).
       
      The main area the American plane had the advantage was at high speeds and low altitudes; with the more powerful R-2800, the F6F could more easily overcome drag than the J2M. The F6F, as well as most other American planes, were also more solidly built than the J2M. The J2M also remained plagued by reliability issues throughout its service life.
       
      In addition to the J2M2 and J2M3 which made up the majority of Raidens built, there were a few other variants. The J2M4 was fitted with a turbo-supercharger, allowing its engine to produce significantly more power at high altitudes (1). However, this arrangement was highly unreliable, and let to only two J2M4s being built. Some sources also report that the J2M4 had two obliquely firing 20mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons in the fuselage behind the pilot (3). The J2M5 used a three stage mechanical supercharger, which proved more reliable than the turbo-supercharger, and still gave significant performance increases at altitude. Production of the J2M5 began at Koza 21st Naval Air Depot in late 1944 (6), but ultimately only about 34 would be built (3). The J2M6 was developed before the J2M4 and J2M6, it had minor updates such as an improved bubble canopy, only one was built (3). Finally, there was the J2M7, which was planned to use the same engine as the J2M5, with the improvements of the J2M6 incorporated. Few, if any, of this variant were built (3).
       
      A total of 621 J2Ms were built, mostly by Mitsubishi, which produced 473 airframes (5). However, 128 aircraft (about 1/5th of total production), were built at the Koza 21st Naval Air Depot (6). In addition to the reliability issues which delayed the introduction of the J2M, production was also hindered by American bombing, especially in 1945. For example, Appendix G of (5) shows that 270 J2Ms were ordered in 1945, but only 116 were produced in reality. (Unfortunately, sources (5) and (6) do not distinguish between different variants in their production figures.)
       
      Though the J2M2 variant first flew in October 1942, initial production of the Raiden was very slow. In the whole of 1942, only 13 airframes were produced (5). This included the three J2M1 prototypes. 90 airframes were produced in 1943, a significant increase over the year before, but still far less than had been ordered (5), and negligible compared to the production of American types. Production was highest in the spring and summer of 1944 (5), before falling off in late 1944 and 1945.
       
      The initial J2M1 and J2M2 variants were armed with a pair of Type 97 7.7mm machine guns, and two Type 99 Model 2 20mm cannons. The Type 97 used a 7.7x56mm rimmed cartridge; a clone of the .303 British round (7). This was the same machine gun used on other IJN fighters such as the A5M and A6M. The Type 99 Model 2 20mm cannon was a clone of the Swiss Oerlikon FF L (7), and used a 20x101mm cartridge.
       
      The J2M3 and further variants replaced the Type 97 machine guns with a pair of Type 99 Model 1 20mm cannons. These cannons, derived from the Oerlikon FF, used a 20x72mm cartridge (7), firing a round with roughly the same weight as the one used in the Model 2 at much lower velocity (2000 feet per second vs. 2500 feet per second (3), some sources (7) report an even lower velocity for the Type 99). The advantage the Model 1 had was lightness; it weighed only 26 kilograms vs. 34 kilograms for the model 2. Personally, I am doubtful that saving 16 kilograms was worth the difficulty of trying to use two weapons with different ballistics at the same time. Some variants (J2M3a, J2M5a) had four Model 2 20mm cannons (3), but they seem to be in the minority.
       

       
       
      In addition to autocannons and machine guns, the J2M was also fitted with two hardpoints which small bombs or rockets could be attached to (3) (4). Given the Raiden's role as an interceptor, and the small capacity of the hardpoints (roughly 60 kilograms) (3), it is highly unlikely that the J2M was ever substantially used as a bomber. Instead, it is more likely that the hardpoints on the J2M were used as mounting points for large air to air rockets, to be used to break up bomber formations, or ensure the destruction of a large aircraft like the B-29 in one hit. The most likely candidate for the J2M's rocket armament was the Type 3 No. 6 Mark 27 Bomb (Rocket) Model 1. Weighing 145 pounds (65.8 kilograms) (8), the Mark 27 was filled with payload of 5.5 pounds of incendiary fragments; upon launch it would accelerate to high subsonic speeds, before detonating after a set time (8). It is also possible that the similar Type 3 No. 1 Mark 28 could have been used; this was similar to the Mark 27, but much smaller, with a total weight of only 19.8 pounds (9 kilograms).
       
       
       
      The first unit to use the J2M in combat was the 381st Kokutai (1). Forming in October 1943, the unit at first operated Zeros, though gradually it filled with J2M2s through 1944. Even at this point, there were still problems with the Raiden's reliability. On January 30th, a Japanese pilot died when his J2M simply disintegrated during a training flight. By March 1944, the unit had been dispatched to Balikpapan, in Borneo, to defend the vital oil fields and refineries there. But due to the issues with the J2M, it used only Zeros. The first Raidens did not arrive until September 1944 (1). Reportedly, it made its debut on September 30th, when a mixed group of J2Ms and A6Ms intercepted a formation of B-24s attacking the Balikpapan refineries. The J2Ms did well for a few days, until escorting P-47s and P-38s arrived. Some 381st Raidens were also used in defense of Manila, in the Phillipines, as the Americans retook the islands. (9) By 1945, all units were ordered to return to Japan to defend against B-29s and the coming invasion. The 381st's J2Ms never made it to Japan; some ended up in Singapore, where they were found by the British (1).
       

       
       
      least three units operated the J2M in defense of the home islands of Japan; the 302nd, 332nd, and 352nd Kokutai. The 302nd's attempted combat debut came on November 1st, 1944, when a lone F-13 (reconaissance B-29) overflew Tokyo (1). The J2Ms, along with some Zeros and other fighters, did not manage to intercept the high flying bomber. The first successful attack against the B-29s came on December 3rd, when the 302nd shot down three B-29s. Later that month the 332nd first engaged B-29s attacking the Mitsubishi plant on December 22nd, shooting down one. (1)
      The 352nd operated in Western Japan, against B-29s flying out of China in late 1944 and early 1945. At first, despite severe maintenace issues, they achieved some successes, such as on November 21st, when a formation of B-29s flying at 25,000 feet was intercepted. Three B-29s were shot down, and more damaged.

      In general, when the Raidens were able to get to high altitude and attack the B-29s from above, they were relatively successful. This was particularly true when the J2Ms were assigned to intercept B-29 raids over Kyushu, which were flown at altitudes as low as 16,000 feet (1). The J2M also had virtually no capability to intercept aircraft at night, which made them essentially useless against LeMay's incendiary raids on Japanese cities. Finally the arrival of P-51s in April 1945 put the Raidens at a severe disadvantage; the P-51 was equal to or superior to the J2M in almost all respects, and by 1945 the Americans had much better trained pilots and better maintained machines. The last combat usage of the Raiden was on the morning of August 15th. The 302nd's Raidens and several Zeros engaged several Hellcats from VF-88 engaged in strafing runs. Reportedly four Hellcats were shot down, for the loss of two Raidens and at least one Zero(1). Japan surrendered only hours later.

      At least five J2Ms survived the war, though only one intact Raiden exists today. Two of the J2Ms were captured near Manila on February 20th, 1945 (9) (10). One of them was used for testing; but only briefly. On its second flight in American hands, an oil line in the engine failed, forcing it to land. The aircraft was later destroyed in a ground collision with a B-25 (9). Two more were found by the British in Singapore (1), and were flown in early 1946 but ex-IJN personnel (under close British supervision). The last Raiden was captured in Japan in 1945, and transported to the US. At some point, it ended up in a park in Los Angeles, before being restored to static display at the Planes of Fame museum in California.
       
       

       
       
      Sources:
       
       
      https://www.docdroid.net/gDMQra3/raiden-aeroplane-february-2016.pdf#page=2
      F6F-5 vs. J2M3 Comparison
      http://www.combinedfleet.com/ijna/j2m.htm
      http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/japan/Jack-11-105A.pdf
      https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015080324281;view=1up;seq=80
      https://archive.org/stream/corporationrepor34unit#page/n15/mode/2up
      http://users.telenet.be/Emmanuel.Gustin/fgun/fgun-pe.html
      http://ww2data.blogspot.com/2016/04/imperial-japanese-navy-explosives-bombs.html
      https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/j2m/3008.html
      https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/j2m/3013.html
      https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/j2m/3014.html
       
       
      Further reading:
       
      An additional two dozen Raiden photos: https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/japan/aircrafts/j2m-raiden/
       
       
    • By Belesarius
      Possible image of the H-20 bomber. Screengrab.  This will be the thread for the H-20 as more information becomes available.
       
      Anyone want to take a shot at translating what's on screen for us?
       
      Edit: This is a photoshop, as confirmed later in the thread where it was posted.
      But I'll keep the thread going for later stuff, and H-20 discussion.
       
       
       
    • By Alzoc
      Topic to post photo and video of various AFV seen through a thermal camera.
      I know that we won't be able to make any comparisons on the thermal signature of various tank without knowing which camera took the image and that the same areas (tracks, engine, sometimes exhaust) will always be the ones to show up but anyway:
       
      Just to see them under a different light than usual (pardon the terrible pun^^)
       
      Leclerc during a deployment test of the GALIX smoke dispenser:
       
      The picture on the bottom right was made using the castor sight (AMX 10 RC, AMX 30 B2)
       
      Akatsiya :
       

       
      T-72:
       


       
      A T-62 I think between 2 APC:
       

       
      Stryker:
       

       
      Jackal:
       

       
      HMMWV:
       

       
      Cougar 4x4:
       

       
      LAV:
       

    • By Collimatrix
      I found this interesting picture of the Yakovlev MFI design:
       

       
      Obviously, it was never built.  The MiG submission was the 1.44 and the Sukhoi submission was the SU-47.
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