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  #251  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
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, 02:33 AM
dba Fred is offline
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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, 10:31 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, 01:59 PM
Velocity is offline
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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, 04:24 PM
dba Fred is offline
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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, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
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 03:19 PM.
  #257  
Old 05-01-2019, 03:21 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, 04:43 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, 03:03 PM
Velocity is offline
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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, 05:16 PM
DinoR is offline
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Quote:
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, 10:05 PM
jasg is offline
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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.
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