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  #251  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Do you think it was worth it to include the B variant in order to gain the capability to operate from Marine LDAAS, given the design compromises and the value of LDAAS themselves? I get the impression it wasn't but you may well know something I don't since you often do on these matters.

I offered the last part as a possibility in which it might make sense in other circumstances. Maybe that muddied my message too much.
It was worth it to include the B variant because many of the partner countries who bought into the program wanted them. So it wasn't just for the Marine Corps. Japan is planning to buy several for their smaller helicopter carriers, and the UK is planning them for their new carriers. My guess is they won't be the only ones.
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  #252  
Old 04-27-2019, 03:33 AM
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Having VSTOL aircraft means never having to say you don’t have options.
Use them from a standard air base/airport and take off/land conventionally to save fuel/best range;
Use them from a big deck carrier and launch with catapults/recover with arresting cables to save fuel/better range;
Use them from an amphib ship for air cover/protect the landing force.
After securing a defendable area, have the helos bring in some Marston matting and you have a landing zone to operate the VSTOLs/helos/V-22 Ospreys from.
I like options.
  #253  
Old 04-27-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dba Fred View Post
Having VSTOL aircraft means never having to say you don’t have options.
Use them from a standard air base/airport and take off/land conventionally to save fuel/best range;
Use them from a big deck carrier and launch with catapults/recover with arresting cables to save fuel/better range;
Use them from an amphib ship for air cover/protect the landing force.
After securing a defendable area, have the helos bring in some Marston matting and you have a landing zone to operate the VSTOLs/helos/V-22 Ospreys from.
I like options.
I don't think the F-35B is compatible with catapults or carrier arresting gear. They could still probably operate from a CVN in a pinch, but they would probably do it in STOVL mode, not utilising the catapults or arresting gear.
  #254  
Old 04-27-2019, 02:59 PM
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Yeah, the Lightning II B variant was STOVL but they couldn't make it VTOL - apparently just not thrust-y enough to take off vertically with full fuel and weapons load weight.
  #255  
Old 04-27-2019, 05:24 PM
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My bad, I would swear I put that in the Suggestion Box :-)

(But are you really sure, not even “Hold my beer and watch this” once?)
  #256  
Old 05-01-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Yeah, the Lightning II B variant was STOVL but they couldn't make it VTOL - apparently just not thrust-y enough to take off vertically with full fuel and weapons load weight.
Yup, the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem is rated for a maximum thrust of 41,900 lbf while hovering (18,000 lbf from the main engine nozzle swiveling down, 20,000 lbf from the lift fan, and 3,900 lbf from the roll posts). The F-35B's empty weight is 32,300 lbs, and it has internal capacity for 13,5000 lbs of fuel and a few thousand lbs of weapons (2x GBU-32 & 2x AIM-120 I believe). External stores increase the weapons capacity to a total of 15,000 lbs.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 05-01-2019 at 04:19 PM.
  #257  
Old 05-01-2019, 04:21 PM
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BTW, the F-35A, based in my neck of the woods at Hill AFB, yesterday got to drop bombs in a combat air strike for the first time: https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/NEWS-A...ombat-mission/
  #258  
Old 05-11-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
The crash of a U.S. Marine Corps F-35 that temporarily grounded the entire fleet of next-generation jets in 2018 was caused by a manufacturing defect in a fuel tube made by a United Technologies subcontractor, according to congressional investigators.

The defect “caused an engine fuel tube to rupture during flight, resulting in a loss of power to the engine,” the Government Accounting Office said this week in a report on major weapons systems that referred to the September crash in South Carolina. The Pentagon told the watchdog that it identified 117 aircraft -- about 40 percent of the worldwide F-35 fleet at the time -- with the same type of fuel tubes that had to be replaced.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...efect-gao-says
  #259  
Old 05-27-2019, 04:03 PM
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Despite the crash, Japan is now going to buy another 105 Lightning IIs.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/new...l8RfyQXHjKKkgs
  #260  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Despite the crash, Japan is now going to buy another 105 Lightning IIs.
That looks more like a formalization of the intent they announced last December before the crash. At the time the numbers they were looking at increasing their purchase by added up to 105.

Quote:
Tokyo previously planned to procure 42 F-35A models. However, a source close to the program confirmed that Japan will be adding 63 F-35A models, as well as 42 F-35B models, for a total of 147 F-35 fighters.
A look at Japan's air power situation in comparison to the Chinese threat from a couple months ago.
  #261  
Old 06-13-2019, 11:05 PM
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If accurate, this is a pretty damning article - America Is Stuck With a $400 Billion Stealth Fighter That Can’t Fight.

Quote:
But startling reports by trade publication Defense News on Wednesday revealed flaws that previously only builder Lockheed Martin, the military, and the plane’s foreign buyers knew about.

The newly-exposed problems underscore the potential fragility of American air power as the armed services work to replace more and more old fighters with as many as 2,300 F-35s while also reconfiguring to confront the increasingly deadly Chinese and Russian air forces.

The problems might also help to explain why acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan reportedly described the F-35 program as “fucked up.”
It cites this piece in Defense News.

Quote:
WASHINGTON — Over the past several years, U.S. Defense Department leaders have gone from citing technical problems as their biggest concern for the F-35 program to bemoaning the expense of buying and sustaining the aircraft.

But the reality may be worse. According to documents exclusively obtained by Defense News, the F-35 continues to be marred by flaws and glitches that, if left unfixed, could create risks to pilot safety and call into question the fighter jet’s ability to accomplish key parts of its mission:

F-35B and F-35C pilots, compelled to observe limitations on airspeed to avoid damage to the F-35’s airframe or stealth coating. Cockpit pressure spikes that cause “excruciating” ear and sinus pain. Issues with the helmet-mounted display and night vision camera that contribute to the difficulty of landing the F-35C on an aircraft carrier.
  #262  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:49 PM
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Saw this cool video from Real Engineering that I thought I'd put in this thread if anyone is interested. He goes over the program and talks about what we know. It's kind of a long video, but interesting.
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  #263  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:28 PM
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Reports are indicating that Russian S-300 and S-400 air-defense radars/systems have failed to detect Israeli F-35s.
  #264  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Reports are indicating that Russian S-300 and S-400 air-defense radars/systems have failed to detect Israeli F-35s.
Yeah, I saw that but...I'm skeptical, especially about the S-400. Basically, my WAG is either the Russian's deliberately ignored the incursions (i.e. they saw them and did nothing), or it was a training or equipment issue. Myself, I'm leaning towards the Russian's deliberately letting it go so as not to give away too much wrt their capabilities. One day they might need to demonstrate that they CAN in fact see an F-35, so no point doing it now, especially when it's just Assad getting hammered, and not them. No skin off their vodka.

YMMV. I also saw a report that someone in India (I think...this is an IIRC moment and I'm too lazy to look it up) DID manage to (fairly easily) see J-20, China's stealth knockoff of the F-35. I'm a touch less skeptical here, but it might not mean what the folks who wrote the piece THINK it means, as often the US will deliberately make our stealth aircraft less stealthy if they are going to be at a public exhibition. There are actually a number of systems to do this for the US, and since the Chinese stole the plans I figure they probably have something similar. I know the Russian's do this as well.
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  #265  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Reports are indicating that Russian S-300 and S-400 air-defense radars/systems have failed to detect Israeli F-35s.
Both have VHF and S band Surveillance RADARs and unless Lockheed has managed to alter the laws of physics, that not possible.
The ‘35 (and ‘22) aren’t in any case optimised against surveillance RADARs anyway, rather they are designed to defeat fire control RADARs in the higher frequency ranges.
Plus reading the article nothing suggests they weren’t detected.... detecting a ‘35 is not a problem, it’s getting a good enough read to fire a weapon at it.
  #266  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by XT View Post

YMMV. I also saw a report that someone in India (I think...this is an IIRC moment and I'm too lazy to look it up) DID manage to (fairly easily) see J-20, China's stealth knockoff of the F-35. I'm a touch less skeptical here, but it might not mean what the folks who wrote the piece THINK it means, as often the US will deliberately make our stealth aircraft less stealthy if they are going to be at a public exhibition. There are actually a number of systems to do this for the US, and since the Chinese stole the plans I figure they probably have something similar. I know the Russian's do this as well.
The Indians, who back in February thought a slow big ass Mi-17 was in fact a fast jet and shot it down?
Who also sent Su-30 against, a birthday party balloon? And fired a missile at it?

I’ll admit I am (very) biased here, but...yeah.

Any stealth aircraft with a large vertical stabiliser is detectable in HF, VHF and to an extent L bands. The F35, F22, J20, Su-57 all are so detectable. Unless they have several feet thick Radar absorbent coating.
These aircraft are optimised to be low observable against higher frequency radars, like fire control radars onboard fighters, SAM sites and Active homing missiles.
Especially for the F22, being detected is not the end of the world.
(FYI, the J20 is not a Chinese knockoff of the F35, it’s an original design. The A/C you are looking for is the J31, and it’s not in production.)
  #267  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:58 PM
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I agree -- I would not jump to the conclusion that the F-35 can "defeat" the radars of those systems. It's more plausible to me, knowing nothing more than what that article said, that the crews were asleep or that the F-35s took a more circuitous route than depicted on the Powerpoint slide.
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