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F-35 A2A in Question

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Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 01 Oct 2008, 10:38
Here's an interesting DID article on the F-35 and it's potential as the next mainstream US fighter jet, as well as it's prospects in other countries. Realistically we may be looking at a situation where the USAF will be left with one true air-superiority platform, the 183 F-22A's that are being built.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/The ... #more-5089
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 02 Oct 2008, 02:27
We shouldn't be buying this plane or any American plane currently available for international sale. They don't suit our needs and the questions raised about the F-35's performance are concerning to say the least. Russian planes are far better suited to our needs and the possibility of local manufacture is very tangible.

Our current side on the political fence prevents us from pursuing that option. I used to care a lot more about this, but now, I'd almost be happy if we bought the Superbug/F-35 and then got our butts kicked.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
Party Bureaucrat
Post 02 Oct 2008, 02:52
Quote:
Russian planes are far better suited to our needs and the possibility of local manufacture is very tangible.

==Not really, latest Russian stuff are pretty much all vaporware, only the Indians are desperate enough to try their lucks on them.

As to F-35's air to air capability, the performance of individual platforms no longer matters that much, the US has such a systematic superiority over all potential rivals, that I do not believe there will be much air to air combat in any of US's wars in the future.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 02 Oct 2008, 03:12
Quote:
Not really, latest Russian stuff are pretty much all vaporware, only the Indians are desperate enough to try their lucks on them.


And the Chinese...

Yet the Indian planes have been able to beat equivalent American fighters in war games. Plus there is Russia's upcoming 5th gen fighter (which India looks set on buying) to consider. The only legitimate concern is longevity of airframes and cost of maintenance. If we could manufacture planes locally and have a license to build replacement parts, I don't think this would be a major problem.

The Americans also thought that within visual range air-to-air combat was a thing of the past before the Korean War, they were proven wrong.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 02 Oct 2008, 03:39
I'm not sure what you mean by vaporware, but Su-30MKI's have been quite capable compared to practically anything in service with the USAF. The only superior platform currently in service is the F/A-22A. Even the newest Super Hornets with AESA are roughly evenly matched to the MKI's. But as for the needs of Australia, the problem is that Russian fighters would require huge changes in maintenance and pilot training procedures. Their networking commonality with link 16 and other western C3 gear is also questionable.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
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Post 02 Oct 2008, 04:35
Quote:
And the Chinese...

==No, the Chinese has not bought any of the latest Russian weapons, in fact no deal on complete weapon systems have been signed since 2004, and the Chinese also turned down Russian offers to upgrade the Su-27 and Kilo submarines in Chinese service, ever wondered why that is the case? The only large deals remaining are the 34 Il-76 cargo planes and the licensed production of 200 Mi-171 transport helicopters, nothing high tech.

Quote:
Yet the Indian planes have been able to beat equivalent American fighters in war games.

==German MiG-29's were able to beat F-16's in most of the war games, but what happened in Iraq and Yugoslavia?

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Plus there is Russia's upcoming 5th gen fighter (which India looks set on buying) to consider.

==The PAK-AF is the king of Vaporware, no one knows how long until it enters service, and no one knows how much it will cost eventually, no one even knows what it's going to look like, and Sukhoi is already trying to sell it. The problem with Russian weapon developers now is that they sell unfinished products to get money so that they can complete those products, very shoddy business practice.

Quote:
The only legitimate concern is longevity of airframes and cost of maintenance. If we could manufacture planes locally and have a license to build replacement parts, I don't think this would be a major problem.

==Name three countries that can't design and manufacture its own fighter aircraft during WWII but can now. Building aircraft is a very difficult business, that capability take decades to build up, from what I have seen, Australia has neither the brains nor the will to build an aviation industry.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 02 Oct 2008, 21:11
Quote:
Name three countries that can't design and manufacture its own fighter aircraft during WWII but can now.


China, Iran, and iirc Czech Republic.

Quote:
German MiG-29's were able to beat F-16's in most of the war games, but what happened in Iraq and Yugoslavia?


There is a big difference between the Fulcrums in the GDR and in Yugoslavia. There is also a big difference in pilot training. Finally the assets available to support those Fulcrums were highly limited. So it's not as much the inferiority of the aircraft, as the airforce that they were part of.

Quote:
Sukhoi is already trying to sell it. The problem with Russian weapon developers now is that they sell unfinished products to get money so that they can complete those products, very shoddy business practice.


Not quite the case. Russian weapon designers develop a general version of the platform for the VVS. Then they customize it to fit customer needs. The PAK-FA is not being sold or strictly speaking offered to anyone. The Su-35BM is, but then again that aircraft is almost completed, with pre-production models being delivered as we speak.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 07 Oct 2008, 05:24
James wrote:
==No, the Chinese has not bought any of the latest Russian weapons, in fact no deal on complete weapon systems have been signed since 2004, and the Chinese also turned down Russian offers to upgrade the Su-27 and Kilo submarines in Chinese service, ever wondered why that is the case?


The Chinese are now more interested in getting their own native industry up and running. Why is that the case? Because they've worked with enough foreign technology (most of which has been Russian) to get it off the ground and are eager to be independent. That has nothing to do with "Vaporware". They are simply doing what we should be.

Also, to my mind, deals made for hardware in 2004 are pretty current, especially when looked at in military terms.

When we look at this from an Australian POV, anything Russia would be prepared to sell us couldn't be vapor any more than the F-35 currently is. The Russians already have variants suitable to replace the F-111 which our air force can evaluate.

TRL wrote:
But as for the needs of Australia, the problem is that Russian fighters would require huge changes in maintenance and pilot training procedures. Their networking commonality with link 16 and other western C3 gear is also questionable.


I agree that integration wouldn't be easy, but I venture that it isn't impossible. There are quite few air forces in the world which use both Russian and Western planes in conjunction and as far as I know, effectively enough to meet their requirements.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 07 Oct 2008, 09:53
The Australian airforce is much smaller then most of those airforces (the main one being India). However there are also other issues. The F-35 is a VLO platform with excellent, truly 5th gen avionics. It's deficiencies are only in comparison to the F-22, as it is quite the superior (on a platform to platform level) to any other air superiority platforms. The issue of course comes up that Oz doesn't have the support assets to utilize it's penetration potential to the full, against for example a prepared IADS which can and will detect even VLO aircraft. I'm interested in why you think it's Vaporware.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 07 Oct 2008, 10:20
I don't. I was merely using it as an example to point out that most of the alternatives are just as 'non-vaporish'.

My main beef with the F-35 and in particular, the Superbug is range. Ideally, we need planes that have a long range which don't need to refuel en-route. You have to realise that most of our bases are in the south. We have one in Darwin, but it is vulnerable to strikes from the enemy (depending on how well equipped they are of course). We can't rely on it. Russian planes are largely superior in this regard and there isn't a lot of point of having a superior plane if the enemy has the opportunity to catch it with it's pants down. That alone makes the effort and expense required to integrate Russian technology and adapt it to our needs worth it.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
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Post 07 Oct 2008, 14:57
Quote:
China, Iran, and iirc Czech Republic.

==Czechoslovakia did produce it's own fighters before WWII, and I wouldn't call L-159 a real fighter. The three countries are China, India, and Iran, and among these, only China has indigenous fighters enter full service. So basically, one country managed to acquire the capability to design, build and put into service fighter aircraft in the past 60 years, that's how hard it is to build planes.

Quote:
There is also a big difference in pilot training. Finally the assets available to support those Fulcrums were highly limited. So it's not as much the inferiority of the aircraft, as the airforce that they were part of.

==And that's the problem, which countries have pilot training and support assets that can rival those of US and its allies?

Quote:
Not quite the case. Russian weapon designers develop a general version of the platform for the VVS. Then they customize it to fit customer needs.

==And the VVS usually doesn't have the money to complete those projects, so the developers sell what they have to foreign customers, and if it contains a lot of untested new technologies, then the customers would be trying their luck, pretty much what happened with Su-30MKI.

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The Su-35BM is, but then again that aircraft is almost completed, with pre-production models being delivered as we speak.

==You can't call an aircraft in pre-production run "almost completed", as it normally take at least a year from IOC to identify and remedy all the problems in design and manufacture and may of the latests stuff Russia sells has not gone through this stage, so they are not actually ready when they are sold to foreign customers.

Quote:
My main beef with the F-35 and in particular, the Superbug is range. Ideally, we need planes that have a long range which don't need to refuel en-route. You have to realise that most of our bases are in the south. We have one in Darwin, but it is vulnerable to strikes from the enemy (depending on how well equipped they are of course). We can't rely on it. Russian planes are largely superior in this regard and there isn't a lot of point of having a superior plane if the enemy has the opportunity to catch it with it's pants down. That alone makes the effort and expense required to integrate Russian technology and adapt it to our needs worth it.

==What exactly is the job of the Australian air force you envision? Defense of major industrial and population centres? Strategic deterrent? Serve as a part of US led coalitions around the world? The sort of task you give it defines the type of air craft it should get.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 07 Oct 2008, 15:25
Australia actually has produced its own fighter (during WWII) and there might be a couple of others iirc.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-air-support/ww2-allied/boomerang.htm

Quote:
==What exactly is the job of the Australian air force you envision? defence of major industrial and population centres? Strategic deterrent? Serve as a part of US led coalitions around the world? The sort of task you give it defines the type of air craft it should get.


Mostly defense of major industrial and population centres (keeping in mind that a lot of our mining infrastructure is in the north) and as a strategic deterrent. Both of which require planes that don't need to refuel en-route, especially the latter.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 08 Oct 2008, 06:42
Quote:
And that's the problem, which countries have pilot training and support assets that can rival those of US and its allie


You critisized Russian fighter design by pointing to those conflicts. I countered by pointing out that the fighters themselves had very little to do with success or failure in the hands they were in. Now do we have an understanding? In other words, give those countries F-15C/D fighters, and the same thing would've happened.

Quote:
You can't call an aircraft in pre-production run "almost completed", as it normally take at least a year from IOC to identify and remedy all the problems in design and manufacture and may of the latests stuff Russia sells has not gone through this stage, so they are not actually ready when they are sold to foreign customers.


I completely disagree. The MKI is not a valid example as it was a compelete aircraft, the Su-30MK. The MKI derivation was on a request for customization from India. The Su-35BM is not being sold to anyone right now, nor have any deliveries been promised to anyone yet. Venezuela is considering it, and so is Libya. But no contracts have been signed and I suspect none will be until it's ready for serial production.

Quote:
Czechoslovakia did produce it's own fighters before WWII, and I wouldn't call L-159 a real fighter. The three countries are China, India, and Iran, and among these, only China has indigenous fighters enter full service. So basically, one country managed to acquire the capability to design, build and put into service fighter aircraft in the past 60 years, that's how hard it is to build planes.


I believe Iranian indigenous fighters have entered service.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 May 2007, 22:05
Unperson
Post 13 Oct 2008, 20:20
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I believe Iranian indigenous fighters have entered service.



Yes, the Shafagh is a fifth generation stealth fighter.

They also tested another Fighter Jet ('Saeqeh') last year, quite impressive I must add. I’d say they are quite similar to the American F-18… a sturdier version. Regardless, it's still an indigenous development. If you look at it that way, many aircrafts share design similarities.

During the Afghan/Soviet war the CIA had been ordered to get mujahideen something capable of shooting down the Soviet Hind 24 Gun Ship. They ended up giving them over 10,000 American Stingers to shoot down Soviet aircraft. That was the only weapon they could get to bring down a Soviet Hind 24 Gun-Ship.

But none of those surface-to-air weapons are now capable of shooting down these new Fighter Jets!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 13 Oct 2008, 21:07
Quote:
Yes, the Shafagh is a fifth generation stealth fighter.


I'd be a little more critical of statements along those lines. Russia has made strong headway into RCS and emission reduction on our newest aircraft, but none of them can qualify as LO. You expect me to believe that Iran has produced a 5th gen. VLO platform before Russia? Or China?


Remember this is the same Iran that's busy producing F-5 knock-offs.

Quote:
During the Afghan/Soviet war the CIA had been ordered to get mujahideen something capable of shooting down the Soviet Hind 24 Gun Ship. They ended up giving them over 10,000 American Stingers to shoot down Soviet aircraft. That was the only weapon they could get to bring down a Soviet Hind 24 Gun-Ship.

But none of those surface-to-air weapons are now capable of shooting down these new Fighter Jets!


And back to fantasy land. Mi-24s can be shot down with HMGs, MANPADS, tac-SAMs, division-level SAMs, and even theater SAMs. About the only AA weapon that can't shoot them down is a BMD system.


Mind you I'm a huge fan of the Hind but when you post complete bs like that.......


EDIT: Ok so I did a little research. The Shafagh or Shafaq allegedly uses some RAM coating. However it's not even a proper fighter jet. It's subsonic (max. speed is below Mach 1), it's very small (which means there is no room for advanced radars or avionics) and is meant as a jet trainer and light fighter-bomber.

The project was ripped off of the MiG trainer design Integral I-2000. It's nothing special and nothing amazing. As to whether it's 5th gen. or not, you can call it 55th gen. if you like. It's still useless in A2A against real air superiority or even point-air defence birds.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 May 2007, 22:05
Unperson
Post 14 Oct 2008, 00:55
Quote:
And back to fantasy land. Mi-24s can be shot down with HMGs, MANPADS, tac-SAMs, division-level SAMs, and even theater SAMs. About the only AA weapon that can't shoot them down is a BMD system.


Americans wound up giving them more American Stingers than they could ever use.
Stingers/manpads are “heat-seeking” missiles & that’s why they can be locked onto targets – they chase their targets because they go after the heat/infrared signatures coming from the engine.
But when the Soviets started losing aircraft every day, the engineers came up with the idea of heat-decoy flares.
I reckon they use some kind of (very hot) burning Mg pellets (or some other chemical element of similar property) in order to mimic the aircraft engine's signals, so the incoming missiles chase the flare rather than the actual aircraft.

I’m pretty sure that such exotic technologies are going to be employed in Iran’s new fighter jets soon.

There is a line that goes, "You never really appreciate an idiot until you try to create one from scratch."
Yes, Iran has made slow progress and that's because they have been mostly self-reliant, to be very honest, Iran has benefited a lot due to the embargo.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 14 Oct 2008, 01:17
Yes. Flares and chaff are used to throw SAMs off. Nothing new. It was first used during WWII to fool early warning radars about the numbers and direction of an aerial assault. I'm sure Iran has already implemented that. It doesn't make the aircraft unkillable, many SAMs are radar guided, or have a mix or radar and IR means for targetting data. Most SAMs are also datalinked into networks meaning that they have support from AWACS, other ground-based radars, and can coordinate their actions with other GBAD and friendly fighters. Even Iran's ancient Soviet SAMs have limited networking capabilities.

You do understand that the main point of VLO platforms is so they have penetration potential against heavily protected areas. Right? So just because something can dispense flares, and has an RAM coat, doesn't mean it's going to be able to perform deep-penetration strikes. And keep in mind it takes more then just VLO to do it. You need major ECM support, both built-in and external, in the form of EW aircraft. You need situational awareness (try something like the OLS on the MiG-35, or better yet the DAS on the F-35). Of course you need sattelite navigation (preferably something that does both GPS and GLONASS), guided stand-off weapons so you can launch from a greater range.... etc. etc. etc.

Iran does not have most of that. It's not impossible that Iran produces a tiny fighter-bomber that due to it's small size and RAM coating, as well as some basic emission-reduction (for IR etc.) can sneak past high-altitude SAMs by flying low and being small, and past low-altitude SAMs by avoiding them, and using basic active counter-measures. Will it be useful for short-range strike missions, and CAS? Sure. Is it a 5th gen. multi-role air superiority plane that's going to win the skies and wipe the enemy airforce off the map? No. By the way I do think that RAM, and emission-reducing technology is a bit wishful thinking. The only source I found claiming them, is wikipedia. But even granted those (rather unlikely developments) it's nothing to be terribly excited about.

Oh and the Saeqeh you mentioned has little to do with the F-18. Look more like an F-5 modified slightly and given twin tails. It's weight is 4700 kg, making it another light fighter. Here's an interesting article.

http://conflictiran.blogspot.com/2006/1 ... aeqeh.html
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2009, 00:49
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 10 Jan 2009, 20:20
The topic title is about the F-35's air-to-air capabilities. And I'll post an answer based on my so-far knowledge about that airplane.

The F-35 has exactly the same capability in matters of weapons just like any other american jet fighter, since it uses the same weapons. But it also has one great advantage, which is its stealth design. That doesn't mean of course that it's impossible to detect it. The effectiveness of stealth characteristics depends on the frequency it's supposed to confront, and the F-35, just like the F-22, are designed to be "invisible" mainly to enemy fighters, whose radars operate at higher frequencies. Land based radars, such as the air defence radars, operate at lower frequencies. That means, if a stealth design cannot be detected by a high frequency radar, it might be detectable by a low frequency one. And thus, guide enemy fighters against it, or even cause the enemy air defence reaction.

It's the way aircraft-shape-based stealth technology is supposed to be working.
This is why I find the Russian technique of using a special pod on the PAK FA for that purpose smarter.


As for close air combat, the F-35's maneuverability is comparable to that of the F-16. The F-16 might even be better at maneuvering. In other words, in a close dogfight with the same weapons on each airplane, the F-16 can own the F-35.

So the subject should lay more on the question for which frequency the F-35's stealth design is optimized for.
Unfortunately, we need information to judge on this, and most information about that are classified.

But maybe we can come to a conclusion, taking the F-35's ROLE in consideration.

The F-35 is being developed as the air-to-ground "complement" for the F-22, which primary role is air superiority. According to the American plans, they need two fighters, one for air superiority, and one for ground attack.

That COULD POSSIBLY mean the F-35 will be less likely to be detected by land radars, since it would have to reach its target without the enemy air defences paying attention to it.
If that's true, it also means the F-35 will have more possibilities to be detected by enemy fighters. And possibly engage with them of course, which is something the American planning wants to avoid.

That's my personal view on the F-35, judging on the very little information we have right now, and that might also be the reason WHY Australia changed its mind about getting it. Maybe they had an interceptor on their mind, instead of a ground attacker.

But we won't know until the first delivery of them in Turkey takes place, planned for 2013, so we'll have the chance to test it against the F-16 over the Aegean ^-^.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2006, 04:49
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Old Bolshevik
Post 10 Jan 2009, 22:42
Quote:
That means, if a stealth design cannot be detected by a high frequency radar, it might be detectable by a low frequency one. And thus, guide enemy fighters against it, or even cause the enemy air defence reaction.


Wasn't that how the Serbs shot down the F-117 10 years ago?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 11 Jan 2009, 02:47
Quote:
That's my personal view on the F-35, judging on the very little information we have right now, and that might also be the reason WHY Australia changed its mind about getting it.


Do you have a source for this? Last I heard, the government here was seriously considering canceling our order of 24 Super bugs on the grounds that they wouldn't be able to effectively deal with the Fighters and SAMs Russian has been (or soon will be) selling to our potential adversaries. We still look pretty set on the F-35 as far as I know.
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