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Sturgeon's House

Bash the F-35 thred.


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I don't really think stealth is going to prevent MRAAM launches by the time it's a feature in everyone's inventory. ROE might do that for us, but with the speed stealth is getting challenged, it doesn't look very good for the SRAAM-gun knife fight scenario filled future. Then again other things might catch up on detection first so who really knows I suppose?


I don't think a B-2 could fit on a carrier. 

That just means we need a bigger boat (not really).

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An important thing to remember with stealth is that the detection range against an aircraft is a fourth root function, so if you want to reduce a plane's detection range by a certain radar system, you have to reduce its RCS by a factor of 16.


So, SU-27 and F-25 have RCS on the order of 20 m^2, while superhornet, rafale and eurofighter typhoon have RCS estimated on the order of 1 m^2 (this seems to be the typical figure for upgrading an old design to low observables to or building a design with modest, opportunistic LO features).  So these designs would be detected at 45% or so the range of the older fighters.


PAK-FA has, according to Suhkoi, RCS between .1 m^2 and 1 m^2.  .1 is probably the best case figure, and that probably corresponds to the front (same as other measurements).  So PAK-FA gets detected at about the quarter of the range of a flanker.  Not bad; PAK-FA can get into or close to IR-guided missile range for anything with a non-AESA radar.


Estimates for the JSF's RCS are all over the place, but they're all at least one order of magnitude smaller than that.  In other words, a JSF from the front would get detected at about one seventh the range of an F-15.  Going by wikipedia's figures for maximum detection range of a baseline SU-27's N001 radar, a JSF could get 20-25 km in before it got detected.  The JSF can sling AMRAAMs from well beyond that in a head-on engagement, so there's really no reason that the JSF ever needs to show up on the flanker's tube at all.  Just cut throttle, guide the AMRAAM in by datalink (which won't trigger the flanker's RWR), and the first clue the flanker driver has that something is amiss is when their RWR starts screeching when the AMRAAM goes active at bad-breath distance.


It gets even uglier when you factor in jamming and other active countermeasures.  Detection range is a fourth root function, but signal to noise ratio is directly proportional to RCS.  So a missile that's being jammed by the PAK-FA's Himalaya jamming system will have several hundred times more difficulty discriminating between signal and jamming than a missile similarly attacking a flanker.


Given the above, I think it's fair to say that a low-observable platform with BVR AAMs and AESA has very little to fear from fourth-generation fighters.  So what if the JSF is in a sticky situation up close against some of the better fourth-generation fighters?  It has no reason to ever fight them up close if it doesn't want to!  It can lob AMRAAMs from beyond their detection range or it can just leave.


No, the only problem is going to be something with decent stealth and an AESA radar that the JSF could stumble on to about the time that both fighters see each other.  Like, you know, a PAK-FA.

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I don't think a B-2 could fit on a carrier. 

My point was more that they shouldn't have tried to have it all ways. Better to 'fess up to it being a crap fighter and work harder to optimise stealth and payload.


Instead they tried to make it manoeuvre on top of every other thing it got burdened with and added one more shitty compromise into the mix.

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My point was more that they shouldn't have tried to have it all ways. Better to 'fess up to it being a crap fighter and work harder to optimise stealth and payload.


Instead they tried to make it manoeuvre on top of every other thing it got burdened with and added one more shitty compromise into the mix.



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It's actually South African technology originally.


The Soviets fell in love with it and put it on their fulcrums and flankers.


I believe the way it works is that there's a gimbal on the heat-seeking array of the missile, and the pilot's helmet can steer that around.  Instead of the target needing to be in a five degree cone, it's more like a forty-five degree cone.




Pk of BVR AAMs is complicated.  Those "maximum range" numbers you see on spec sheets for AAMs?  Those are basically made-up numbers.


BVR AAMs work better at high altitude.  There's less air, so they have less drag and thus go further.  If they're high enough, their targets' engines and control surfaces don't work optimally either, so they have an easier time catching them.


Whether they're firing up or down affects Pk too.  If they're firing down, they have additional potential energy.  If they're firing up, then that's more energy they have to waste getting to the target.  However, most BVR AAMs are radar guided, and air to air radar works best if it's looking up because it isn't getting cluttered up by return signals from the ground (the pulse-doppler signal filtering for removing this clutter still isn't perfect).


BVR AAMs work best if the target is flying towards the aircraft firing them.


Et cetera.


Range and Pk are related.  The less energy the AAM has to expend getting to the target, the more energy it's going to have to maneuver to hit the target.


If the target is forewarned, there's a lot more it can do to avoid the missile.  Missiles are faster than aircraft, and can withstand many times more Gs.  However, they only have as much kinetic energy as the initial burn of their motors provided, and they bleed kinetic energy very quickly when forced to maneuver because their maneuver surfaces are so small.  So, if the pilot has enough room to work with, avoiding a mach 5, 20-G capable guided missile is not out of the question.

One of our perennial problems is that the few things we develop ourselves invariably end up sitting on a shelf until someone else steals them. See also: V-shaped hulls, Mark Shuttleworth and 90% of our medicine/veterinary graduates.


We're crap at retaining the value we create; partly through our own stupid decisions and partly because 'free trade' is a lot freer one way than the other.

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They're confidently making a lot of assumptions based on things I know aren't open-source.


-What is the probability of intercept of the SU-35's RWR/EW suite vs the LPI mode on the APG-81?  But the scenario does feature SU-35's getting a sniff of active radar pinging from the JSFs.  How likely is that?  I'm not sure that anyone in the world knows this with certainty.  It could be way less likely or way more likely than they think.


-The super flanker IDs the threat as an F-35 using IRST at 76 NM!  What the everliving fuck!?  Sukhoi claims a detection range of less than fifty nautical miles for OLS-35!  And since it's IRST, that's highly dependent on atmospheric conditions.


-The simulation of missile range sounds overly simplistic.  This article explains it pretty well.  AAM "ranges" are basically made up numbers if they lack context.  Real-life missile engagement envelopes vary enormously depending on altitude and relative velocities.


-This is supposed to be a simulation of the actual Russian Air Force going to war with NATO over some future provocation, right?  OK, why are they using AA-12s?  The Russian Air Force doesn't use AA-12s in meaningful numbers.




I agree with the overall conclusion, however, which is that, if they work as advertised, BVRAAMs+VLO is really, really hard to beat by something that doesn't have them.


That said, I am provisionally convinced that taking a JSF into a knife fight with any sort of flanker variant is a bad idea.  Possibly a really bad idea, but at the very least, a bad idea.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I see a lot of similarities in the JSF program which essentially is the same issue with the IFV concept. Too many roles were meant to be performed by the thing so it can't achieve at any of them in any significant way. During Desert Storm you have F-4, 14, 15, 16, 18, 111, 117 and the A-6, 7, 8, and 10. The F-35 was essentially suppose to replace or supplement most of these aircraft. There is overlap of capabilities between many of these aircraft, but it is insane to think that a single platform can achieve great success by replacing all of them. 


I am also surprised there isn't a person who is crazy enough to praise publicly the X-32 as the rightful JSF. 

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The Gavin isnt ugly, there is nothing there, its mediocrity on tracks


But the BTR-50 does make any gavin look like a shaved dog's asshole 

Aero-Gavin is the ugliest thing ever conceived. It is something that HP Lovecraft would describe that drives people into madness. 


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I actually like F-35 looks more than F-22s.  :lol:

F-22 is like a model. It looks too good and would be too snooty about itself. That's why I prefer F-16s, Grippens, and Sukhois. These are like real women with good personalities and quirks, and are still sexy as hell. F-35 is like a chubby girl with a cute face, but is one of those who consistently says that Marilyn Monroe was fat so you shouldn't judge her even though she just got diagnosed with diabetes. 


Aerogavin is like a transgender woman who doesn't look like a woman at all and is probably really hairy. Basically imagine Tied in drag. Aerogavin. 

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