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    F-35 Development and News Thread:

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    Mike E
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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Mike E on Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:03 am

    higurashihougi wrote:@Hannibal Barca: As far as I know the problem of US military industry is NOT the technology, but the way people use them.

    Many kinds of US weapon express a clear technological superiority but many of these superiority are unneccessary and they created more problems than benefits. For example the disaster named M16 first generation and another disaster named F-35.

    Correct me if I am wrong but for me a basic design actually have a considerable rooms for improvement, with this in mind the current F-teens are still capable for general roles and can more or less keep the pace quite well if intensively modernized.

    US next 5th gen fighter should have been an upgraded version of the F-22 and should belong to the elite forces or using for special missions.

    The problem "of the US military industry" is their military industrial complex... They own both parties, never mind the army itself, so they can get away with overcharging subpar products.

    That doesn't really make sense... I get what your trying to say, but technological advantages don't equal a better product, more so when the product doesn't work well.

    Legacy fighters on both sides are still capable, however, only the upgraded ones and well maintained ones are still useful for confronting modern aircraft.

    Even the F-22 wasn't all smilies...

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:16 pm

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-f-35-coming-crash-landing-11332

    Here we go! Even their own propaganda is revving up the "cancellation" debate!

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Airbornewolf on Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:59 pm

    Mike E wrote:

    The problem "of the US military industry" is their military industrial complex... They own both parties, never mind the army itself, so they can get away with overcharging subpar products.


    no shit, and not just the U.S industry.

    "we" dutchies got sold for example the GILL-missile system. it was sold as some "holy grail" accurate AT-missile system. and yes....it did peformed nice in controlled enviroments in europe . but as soon we tried it to blow up an standard shipping container in Afghanistan in the middle of the day the damn missile could not distinguish the container from the surrounding terrain because the terrain and container where "hotter than design parameters". the missile struck about 100 meters next to target.

    so...they sold us a missile system that does not work in the desert during the day.... meanwhile,....Taliban RPG-7 works fine in the desert you know? Razz. it would have been Nice to have the Gill for surgical strikes on Structures without calling in the Americans to blow said target into an low-orbit around the planet Earth together with surrounding structures by "excessive" force.

    but...it took two modification projects to make the Gill suitable for desert environments. great buy!!

    Same goes for JDAM. often its described as some super-accurate weapon but the things malfuntion and end up off target just as much as they strike. JDAM is nothing more than equipping a "dumb freefal bomb" with an guidance package and attaching steerable fins that guide it to an GPS position. and ...while you drive you car you do not notice it much. but solar radiation from the sun in fact does have a big impact on sattelite communications. including bombs using GPS,...and i have not even mentioned icing on the bombs steeringfins because of bad weather or the weapon simply does not "engage" after weapon release.
    only the Paveway's i got faith in, the pilot's do not release the weapon unless the bomb runs its arming/guidance test and acquires the laser beam on target.

    the F-35 is the next lemon in a line of western weapon systems. ive stood countless times shaking my head looking at "new" weapons that not even functioned in training excercises. like the Fennek vehicle equipped with Stinger missiles. looks "tacticool" but you know what?. they need to raise an antenna next to the vehicle or they cant engage aircraft because of the "fire control" network. i do not know about you guys, but i think "devolution" is taking place here.... the good old days even some afghan farmer could pick up a stinger and with a few tips shot down aircraft.

    nothing against the Russians, but just to illustrate the ease-of use of an weapon....

    ... in my politically-impossible political judgement. we should purchase the SU-35 multirole fighter or in the least go for an european proven fighter-bomber and just drop this F-35 nightmare.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Werewolf on Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:09 pm

    Airbornewolf, you can ask germany how well our Euro Hawks work, we will tell you when they start to fly...we are working on it 3 years and counting.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Hannibal Barca on Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:37 pm

    Thank you guys great insights!

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:02 am

    Mike E wrote:http://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-f-35-coming-crash-landing-11332

    Here we go! Even their own propaganda is revving up the "cancellation" debate!

    This project is "too big to fail". It is unlikely for the U.S. to cancel it.

    What the DoD will do is probably spent billons of USD to fix the 1001 flaws in the design, although building a new model will be much more cost-effective.

    Sometime people want to have a Pyrrhic victory just for the sake of saving face. Even though the next battle will be a crushing defeat.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:28 am

    the problem for the F-35 is that the makers have been promising it will be everything to everyone.

    What they actually needed was a cheap simple plane with modest range and payload, was hard to spot from some angles and could take off from land an sea.

    What they needed to build was a modern Buccaneer.

    For all its imperfections during the height of the cold war the Bucc was as fast as any other aircraft with ordinance under its wings... ie high subsonic, it had more range than an F-16, it could take off and land on carriers, it was relatively small and cheap, but could deliver nuclear weapons deep into enemy territory and fly back home.

    Instead they have tried to make the small light cheap fighter more expensive than the big heavy fighter.

    The single VSTOL version has corrupted the design of all three or four versions they have now and so it is never going to be as simple and as cheap as a stealthy F-16 could have been.

    It has been a case of lets add these features and replace the A-10, and these features and replace the Harrier, and these features and replace the Tornado IDS and these features and replace the Tornado ground attack version...

    they lost sight of the original role and the result has to be crap.


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  kvs on Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:29 am

    The word corruption is relevant to this discussion. The F-35 project is a corrupt enterprise designed to milk taxpayers for money. Can you hear the violin music in the background when they talk about delays? Serious cost overruns and delays are the hallmark of corruption. Visit a 3rd world country and check out the infrastructure projects. They built the pyramids faster back in the day.

    Here in Canada our dear leader Harper has signed up $25 billion for these jets. It will probably be $35 billion by the time Canada gets them. Canada needs a good interceptor and not some short range 3rd world regime change tool.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Viktor on Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:55 pm

    Nice thumbsup

    Here's Another Sign Of How Astronomically Expensive The F-35 Is

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  nemrod on Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:43 pm


    Is the JSF not a sitting duck ?
    http://in.rbth.com/blogs/2014/10/12/why_the_f-35_is_a_sitting_duck_for_the_flankers_38959.html


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:18 am

    Against third world countries it will be fine... but then so would upgraded existing aircraft already doing the job much more cheaply.


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:28 am

    In nemrod's article, there is a comment of a man named Michael Lemuel Dizon. He disagreed with the article and he claimed that F-35 is a good fighter.

    Basically he described about the stealth capability of the F-35, the avionics and sensors, he said that compared to F-16 the F-35 had better wingload, weapon loads, and is designed to have the same maneuverability as the F-teen.

    He concluded F-35 is a great fighter and Sukhoi cannot matchs it.

    This is his full comment.

    My friends, I would like to ask what do you think about his comment ?

    Michael Lemuel Dizon wrote:Lets discuss the F-35's strengths in A-A combat.

    The F-35 is not the best fighter in the world, but it offers a lot of advantages against other aircraft.

    1. Low observability (stealth) : the aircraft is very difficult to detect in 3 ways:

    1A.
    Radar: the aircraft has a very low radar signature against most types of radars.

    Some critics will argue that low frequency (LF) radars like those created in the 1940s or 50s can detect stealth. This is actually true, however, LF radars are also very inaccurate.

    They may alert you of the presence of stealth aircraft, but not exactly where, the speed, heading etc. not enough info to target the aircraft.

    LF radars are also confused by many things like, clouds, dust, smoke, birds, insects, all of these things will look like a target for LF radars.

    They are also ridiculously easy to jam, even by 1960 era jammers. imagine what the F-35's
    AN/ASQ-239 advanced Barracuda jammer would do to it.

    1B.
    Infrared: the F-35 has an advanced thermal management system that circulates fuel around the aircraft to reduce it's thermal signature. the heat is absorbed by the fuel, not enough to ignite the fuel but enough to make IR countermeasures like flares more effective.

    The F-35s engine nozzle may look more conventional than the F-22s flat thrust vectoring nozzle, but it is actually a product of the LOAN (low observable asymmetric nozzle) program, which reduces both radar and heat signatures.

    1C.
    Electronic emissions: Radar waves emitted by an aircraft can be detected by passive radar receivers.
    However the F-35's APG-81 AESA radar changes frequencies thousands of times every second making it very difficult for Passive receivers to track it down, this is called LPI capability or Low probability of intercept.

    2. Advanced Sensors/Fusion

    The F-35 has some of the World's most advanced sensors
    APG-81: a powerful AESA radar that is so advanced it can actually take a picture using nothing more than radar waves. This is called SAR mode.

    AAQ-40 EOTS: an advanced optical camera that can zoom, identify and guide weapons to a target.

    AAQ-37 DAS: 6 infra red cameras positioned around the aircraft that builds a 360 degree video of the aircraft then feeds it to the pilot's helmet. If the pilot looks down, he will not see the floor of the aircraft, he will see what the DAS camera located on the belly sees. If he looks behind, he will not see the back of his seat, he will see what the DAS camera behind the aircraft sees.

    Fusion: 4th gen fighters had a different monitor for their radar, a different one for their passive radar receiver, and a different one for the Infrared sensor. Some targets can be seen by the IR sensor, but cant be seen by the radar, some targets can be detected by the radar, but can't be seen by the IR sensor. the pilot had to figure out which was which and draw a conclusion.

    The F-35's sensor fusion engine does this all for him. The pilot simply looks at his screen and sees what target is out there. It doesn't matter which sensor is detecting what, all of them are located in one screen.

    3. Aerodynamic agility/speed:

    A lot of people think that the F-35 is not maneuverable because it was not meant to be. This not true.

    The requirement for the JSF program was to build a fighter that matched the F-16 and F/A-18s maneuvering abilities.

    The F-16 is the best American 4th gen in terms of acceleration and high Sustained G capabilities.

    To match this the F-35 had to have wing loading properties similar to the F-16. The F-16(block 50) weighs 18,900 lbs when empty and has a 300 foot wing. the F-35A weighs 29,300 lbs. and has a 460 foot wing.

    The wing loading of both aircraft when empty sits at approximately 63 lbs / sq feet. Basically the same.

    The F-35 has the advantage of being less weight sensitive also. Adding 4 AMRAAMs will add 7% to the F-16s empty weight, but only 4.5% to the F-35s.

    In combat you will see what the F-35 brings to the fight

    Typical Air-Air load.

    F-16C (block 50)
    Empty: 18,900 lbs
    Load: 8,000 lbs (6,000lbs of fuel + 6 missiles)
    Combat Weight: 26,900 lbs
    Wing Area: 300 feet
    Thrust: 28,600 lbs

    Wing loading: 89.66 lbs / square feet
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 1.06

    ________________________________________________________

    F-35A
    Empty: 29,300 lbs
    Load: 11,000 lbs (9,000lbs of fuel + 6 missiles)
    Combat Weight: 40,300 lbs
    Wing Area: 460 feet
    Thrust: 43,000 lbs

    Wing loading: 87.60 lbs / square feet
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 1.06

    Even when loaded with 50% more fuel than the F-16, the F-35's wing loading is still better.
    Its thrust to weight ratio is identical to the Block 50's.

    Furthermore it will not have any of the F-16's parasitic drag due to external weapons carriage.

    another measure of agility is an aircrafts capability to execute high Angle of attack maneuvers, to point the nose away from the aircraft's flight path vector (direction of where it is actually going).

    This is the F/A-18's greatest kinematic strength. And it is what the Hornet is known and feared for in air-air combat.

    The F-35 will also enjoy High AOA abilities. Its flight control surface AOA limit is 50 degrees and has been tested to 73 degrees with ease, most fighters are limited to around 25 degrees AOA.

    It is important to note that F-16s and F/A-18s are still regarded as one of the best dogfighting aircraft in the World and still able to hold their own against the likes of Typhoons, Rafales, Flankers and even Raptors

    Conclusion: the F-35 will still enjoy tremendous agility and acceleration, other planes might be able to offer better agility, but it will be marginal, as human pilots can only go up to a little over 9Gs. the F-35 can go beyond that. so it doesn't matter if your airplane can go 15Gs because no pilot will find that useful anyway.

    The F-35 brings more to the table than just agility, it will bring a lot of situational awareness while at the same time, robbing enemies of the awareness they so desperately need.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Mike E on Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:13 am

    1A. Low-frequency radars are easy to jam? Even if they were, modern techniques like band-hopping can prevent jamming for the most part. I never heard that before, anyone know more on that subject? 

    1B. The guy must be kidding himself... LOAN nozzles can help, but I doubt it will make a significant difference when the engine is pumping out 30,000 lbf+. The heat that the nozzle itself gets heated to would be like an explosive to an IRST system... Internal temperature systems would help as well, but once again, it wouldn't be significant enough to really make a big difference. If anything, moving the heat throughout the surface would make the target easier to track after it is found, as more heat will be forward of the engine (assuming a head-on scenario).

    3. How did he find that figure? On a typical mission scenario (weight), the F-16's WL (which doesn't even have a low wing-loading) should still be lower than the F-35's. I know I did the math somewhere, I'll have to got and find it.

    The F-16 isn't the best comparo anyways, compare it to something like a MiG etc. Also, he fails to mention that the F-35 has a rather low thrust/weight ratio, doesn't have thrust-vectoring in any direction, and (to be honest) isn't even a very aerodynamic design! Compare it to something like the YF-25 and you'll see what I mean.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  medo on Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:22 am

    First, I'm sure F-35 could not jam any VHF or HF radar as they have metric wave lenght and they are usually jammed with large stand off jammers build in big transport planes. Jammer in F-35 is effective against X-band radars. Usually those big radars cover very long ranges and in direction of F-35 route will not be only one radar, but more of them, let say around 100 miles from the front radar on the sides. Even if those VHF radars detect only a vector of F-35, 3 radars could very precisely triangulate its position, so IADS will know exact position of F-35. The same is true for jamming. Jamming signal also give vector and 3 radars triangulate exact position of jammer, so you could still send fighters or use SAMs against it.

    F-22 and F-35 are very hot planes, so IRST could detect them as any other plane. Don't forget for VOPs in IADS, they will detect and track stealth planes in the same way.

    Su-30SM and Su-35 also have sensor fusion and Su-35 have similar system to DAS and data link between planes and with IADS. F-35 doesn't have much of advance here. They could get all needed info about F-35 from IADS and get close enough to pick it up on IRST and no radar needed. On longer distance, they could engage F-35 with IR version of R-77 or R-27 missile, if ARH version could not lock on stealth planes. Their jammers could also negate any AMRAAM attack from F-35. So at the end they will come to dogfight, specially as F-35 is not fast enough to escape from flankers.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:19 am

    Radar: the aircraft has a very low radar signature against most types of radars.

    Most radars in service around the world?

    Yes.

    Most of the brand new radars entering service in Russia and being fitted to the new fighter aircraft.

    No.

    Misleading.

    Some critics will argue that low frequency (LF) radars like those created in the 1940s or 50s can detect stealth. This is actually true, however, LF radars are also very inaccurate.

    The new radars entering Russian service that use low frequency don't have the accuracy problems of the radars from the 1940s and 1950s.

    They may alert you of the presence of stealth aircraft, but not exactly where, the speed, heading etc. not enough info to target the aircraft.

    new systems already in service can be sited with S-400 and can detect and track stealth targets with the accuracy to get the missiles close enough to the targets for their radars to get a lock.

    LF radars are also confused by many things like, clouds, dust, smoke, birds, insects, all of these things will look like a target for LF radars.

    Not many of those things flying at over 600km/h....

    They are also ridiculously easy to jam, even by 1960 era jammers. imagine what the F-35's
    AN/ASQ-239 advanced Barracuda jammer would do to it.

    And what does using an active jammer do to your level of stealth?

    Infrared: the F-35 has an advanced thermal management system that circulates fuel around the aircraft to reduce it's thermal signature. the heat is absorbed by the fuel, not enough to ignite the fuel but enough to make IR countermeasures like flares more effective.

    Flares are ineffective against IIR seeking missiles like the new Morfei and upgraded R-73.

    IIR seekers don't need hot targets and can target cold parts of the aircraft... including the canopy.

    The F-35s engine nozzle may look more conventional than the F-22s flat thrust vectoring nozzle, but it is actually a product of the LOAN (low observable asymmetric nozzle) program, which reduces both radar and heat signatures.

    Reduces is nice, but eliminates is necessary for stealth aircraft.

    However the F-35's APG-81 AESA radar changes frequencies thousands of times every second making it very difficult for Passive receivers to track it down, this is called LPI capability or Low probability of intercept.

    Broad band receivers that can monitor a wide range of frequencies at one time can detect a single point source emitting over a wide, random range of frequencies... and especially when on an X band radar the source seems to come from open empty space, such information becomes worth examining by L band radar and IRST.

    The F-35 has some of the World's most advanced sensors
    APG-81: a powerful AESA radar that is so advanced it can actually take a picture using nothing more than radar waves. This is called SAR mode.

    AAQ-40 EOTS: an advanced optical camera that can zoom, identify and guide weapons to a target.

    AAQ-37 DAS: 6 infra red cameras positioned around the aircraft that builds a 360 degree video of the aircraft then feeds it to the pilot's helmet. If the pilot looks down, he will not see the floor of the aircraft, he will see what the DAS camera located on the belly sees. If he looks behind, he will not see the back of his seat, he will see what the DAS camera behind the aircraft sees.

    Synthetic Apature Radar mode is not new, and is commonly used for ground mapping.

    MiG-35 will have all three systems mentioned above, and Su-35 will likely get an AESA radar soon enough.

    Fusion: 4th gen fighters had a different monitor for their radar, a different one for their passive radar receiver, and a different one for the Infrared sensor. Some targets can be seen by the IR sensor, but cant be seen by the radar, some targets can be detected by the radar, but can't be seen by the IR sensor. the pilot had to figure out which was which and draw a conclusion.

    The F-35's sensor fusion engine does this all for him. The pilot simply looks at his screen and sees what target is out there. It doesn't matter which sensor is detecting what, all of them are located in one screen.

    1980s MiG-29 and Su-27 had fully integrated helmet mounted sight, IRST, and radar. The target detected by Radar or IRST appeared on the screen as a target no matter how it was detected.

    On the MiG-23 target information was displayed in the HUD, with IRST and radar information combined.

    Sensor fusion is not new.

    Even when loaded with 50% more fuel than the F-16, the F-35's wing loading is still better.
    Its thrust to weight ratio is identical to the Block 50's.

    Late model F-16s are criticised for being a bit sluggish as weight was added but thrust was not increased.

    This is the F/A-18's greatest kinematic strength. And it is what the Hornet is known and feared for in air-air combat.

    Hornet known and feared? Really?

    The F-35 will also enjoy High AOA abilities. Its flight control surface AOA limit is 50 degrees and has been tested to 73 degrees with ease, most fighters are limited to around 25 degrees AOA.

    Thrust vector control on Su-35 and MiG-35 means no AOA limit.

    It is important to note that F-16s and F/A-18s are still regarded as one of the best dogfighting aircraft in the World and still able to hold their own against the likes of Typhoons, Rafales, Flankers and even Raptors

    Rubbish. A Flanker with full thrust vector control would kick the ass of any of the other aircraft listed.

    Conclusion: the F-35 will still enjoy tremendous agility and acceleration, other planes might be able to offer better agility, but it will be marginal, as human pilots can only go up to a little over 9Gs. the F-35 can go beyond that. so it doesn't matter if your airplane can go 15Gs because no pilot will find that useful anyway.

    At lower combat speeds the ability to turn starts to become critical because at low speeds the amount of air flowing over the control surfaces limits the rate of turn of any aircraft not fitted with TVC... and more importantly the risk of stalling suddenly becomes a real possiblity for any aircraft that does not have TVC.

    specially as F-35 is not fast enough to escape from flankers.

    Not only not fast enough to escape, but lacking the legs to keep running long.


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    Why F-35 is 10 Years Behind Older Jets.....

    Post  nemrod on Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:14 am

    Nowadays, F-22 too is not better situation, for that reason many opinions in the US are loudly asking for a total upgrade of its avionics. The SU-35, and Mig-35 are more than never, the best assets BRICS.
    Let's hope Russia, and China won't fall in the same trap.



    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/26/newest-u-s-stealth-fighter-10-years-behind-older-jets.html


    Newest U.S. Stealth Fighter ‘10 Years Behind’ Older Jets

    America’s $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can’t see the battlefield all that well. Which means it’s actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today’s wars.
    When the Pentagon’s nearly $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter finally enters service next year after nearly two decades in development, it won’t be able to support troops on the ground the way older planes can today. Its sensors won’t be able to see the battlefield as well; and what video the F-35 does capture, it won’t be able to transmit to infantrymen in real time.

    Versions of the new single-engine stealth fighter are set to replace almost every type of fighter in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps inventory—including aircraft specifically designed to support ground troops like the A-10 Warthog. That will leave troops in a lurch when the F-35 eventually becomes the only game in town.

    “The F-35 will, in my opinion, be 10 years behind legacy fighters when it achieves [initial operational capability],” said one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program. “When the F-35 achieves [initial operational capability], it will not have the weapons or sensor capability, with respect to the CAS [close air support] mission set, that legacy multi-role fighters had by the mid-2000s.”

    The problem stems from the fact that the technology found on one of the stealth fighter’s primary air-to-ground sensors—its nose-mounted Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS)—is more than a decade old and hopelessly obsolete. The EOTS, which is similar in concept to a large high-resolution infrared and television camera, is used to visually identify and monitor ground targets. The system can also mark targets for laser-guided bombs.

    “EOTS is a big step backwards. The technology is 10-plus years old, hasn’t been able to take advantage of all the pod upgrades in the meantime, and there were some performance tradeoffs to accommodate space and stealth,” said another Air Force official familiar with the F-35 program. “I think it’s one area where the guys are going to be disappointed in the avionics.”

    Ironically, older jets currently in service with the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps can carry the latest generation of sensor pods, which are far more advanced than the EOTS sensor carried by the F-35. The latest generation pods—the Lockheed Martin Sniper ATP-SE and Northrop Grumman LITENING-SE—display far clearer high-definition video imagery in both in the infrared and optical spectrum—and from greater distances. Further, both pods have the ability to beam those full-motion video feeds to ground troops, which provides those forces with vital intelligence information.

    Both pods also incorporate the ability to mark targets with an infrared laser beam—which the EOTS lacks—that helps pilots and ground controllers coordinate their attacks. Some pilots consider the infrared marker to be crucial to the close air-support mission to support ground troops. The F-35 EOTS, which is an integral component of the new stealth fighter, was envisioned as a replacement for targeting pods altogether to preserve the JSF’s stealth frame. (Targeting pods can bulge out a bit, and leak out unwanted signals.) But along with the stealth came performance compromises that also hinder the ability to upgrade the system—the specifications of which were set more that 15 years ago—far before anyone imagined a jet would be providing video imagery to ground forces.

    When the Pentagon had initially drawn up the Joint Strike Fighter program’s specifications during the later half of the 1990s, the EOTS would have been bleeding-edge technology. However, in the 14 years that have passed since the Pentagon awarded Lockheed the contract to develop the F-35, technology has evolved—and the services have gained experience from over a decade of war.

    “It was an awesome system when the F-35 specs were drawn-up in the late ’90s—LANTIRN [targeting pod] was the most advanced pod at that time,” said the first Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program. “But we’re now a couple of generations beyond that spec with the targeting pods. EOTS is about a [1990s-era Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28(V)] LITENING II-equivalent targeting pod.”

    That means that the EOTS camera does not have the range or high-resolution capability that would be found on the current targeting pods carried by American fighters flying over Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. It also means that future F-35 pilots won’t be able to see their quarry in the same kind of detail that they can on current U.S. jets.

    The Air Force is currently using the advanced LITENING-SE on many of its fighters like the F-16, which is about two generations newer than the old 1990s-vintage LITENING II-pod. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin is delivering the new Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod-Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) to the Air Force—which is, ironically, an advanced version of the original Sniper XR pod that the F-35’s EOTS sensor was based on.

    More damningly, the F-35 won’t be able to send even its already lower-quality live video down to those soldiers on the ground because its specifications were set before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started. Back then, no one ever imagined needing to beam live video to ground troops from a fighter jet. Nor are there any current plans to add that capability to the F-35.

    “At no point is F-35 fragged to have VDL [video down-link] unless it carries a targeting pod and the F-35 EOTS does not have and will not get an IR [infrared] marker,” the first F-35 official said. “It won’t fit in the space available.”

    The lack of an infrared pointer is a huge problem, according to multiple Air Force pilots with experience flying combat missions in support of ground forces. In aircraft like the A-10, F-15E or F/A-18 Hornet, when ground troops pass target coordinates—or if the pilot spots enemy forces shooting—that pilot can turn on the infrared pointer to highlight the target. If the ground controller—known as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller—sees the “sparkle” from the infrared pointer, he can confirm that the pilot is illuminating the correct target.

    Further, if a pilot sees something of interest, he or she can use the infrared pointer to draw the attention of the ground controller, who can then confirm if the target is hostile or not. “F-35s will never have this,” the first F-35 official said. “It also helps pilots orientate themselves during weapons delivery passes.”

    Officials at JSF-maker Lockheed Martin couldn’t respond to queries by press time, but the F-35 program does not appear to have a plan to rectify the problem.

    One Air Force official said that with enough time and more money, the EOTS could be fixed. “Because in five years when the USAF [US Air Force] comes to Lockheed Martin and says we absolutely need an upgraded EOTS with an infrared pointer and [video down-link], Lockheed Martin says... OK no sweat, that’ll be $5 million per jet,” the Air Force official said. “Thus lies the problem in the U.S. military industrial complex. They purposefully build products that require mass amounts of money to ‘upgrade’ when in fact, they could have planned ahead and built an easily upgradable ship / aircraft / radio / weapon system.”

    One of the JSF officials agreed that the EOTS does not speak well for the Pentagon’s ability to buy new weapons. “EOTS is a poster child for one of the ills of the acquisition process,” the official said. “Because all of the subsystems depend on each other, requirements aren’t allowed to change after the design is ‘finalized.’ It’s not a big deal, unless it takes 20 years to field the jet… then it’s a problem.”

    The end result is that when the F-35 finally becomes operational after its myriad technical problems, cost overruns, and massive delays, in some ways it will be less capable than current fighters in the Pentagon’s inventory.

    “Will the F-35 even have parity with those jets in the CAS mission set 10 years from now? I don’t know, dude. It doesn’t look good.”



    higurashihougi
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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:45 am

    @Nemrod: the future Sukhoi T-50 will be the best of BRICS.

    Because nobody has ever put the 10-metre L-band radar on the fighter like T-50.

    One advantage of AESA radar is that, it is not restricted by the traditional radar surface, but people can put the radar on the aerodynamic surface of the airplane.

    And that's why T-50 can have a 10 meter L-band radar.

    But F-22 put the AESA radar on the same surface of PESA Laughing Laughing Laughing

    And F-22 stealth cover cannot escape the ground radio stations of Russia which use a very long wavelength.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:12 am

    It is known that the PAK FA will get stealthy pod mounted sensors for ground attack missions.

    Most CAS missions are not really suited to stealth aircraft, though the new 5th gen stealthy CAS aircraft they are developing will be custom designed for the role unlike the F-35.


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Battalion0415 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:25 pm

    No F-35 to Greece, Germany and Spain of this forums. Bad for this nation's.

    Greece and Spain will buy others and Germany have soon only Eurofighter's.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Battalion0415 on Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:38 pm

    F-35 to United States and Sweden I hoped.

    20 to richest in nordic like Scandinavia in english.

    We do not have bigger in Sweden.

    Maybe 70 Gripen C/D in today.

    2 division's in Norrland and one in Saternas.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Battalion0415 on Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:33 am

    Only 240 F-35 to USA.

    5+12 = 17 division's with Super Hornets and F-35.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  George1 on Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:29 am

    F-35s that have been delivered to USAF, USMC, USN are only for test and training purposes??

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Kyo on Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:07 am


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:23 am

    Except that only 4,5,7 and 8 are usable most of the time to retain stealth... and 6 is not a store location is it?

    When not being stealthy the locations 3 and 9 will most likely almost always carry external fuel tanks.


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Kyo on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:21 am

    GarryB wrote:Except that only 4,5,7 and 8 are usable most of the time to retain stealth... and 6 is not a store location is it?

    When not being stealthy the locations 3 and 9 will most likely almost always carry external fuel tanks.

    This is just a propaganda sheet of the attack variant. For WVR combat the AF variant is extremely bulky and its performance is moreover limited by having only a single engine, with a reduced T/W ratio.

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