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Thread: F-35 Detractors - You're Wrong

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    F-35 Detractors - You're Wrong

    Check out this article regarding all the recent crap we've been hearing about how bad the F-35 is. Very enlightening.

    Setting the Record Straight on F-35


    (Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; issued September 19, 2008)



    FORT WORTH, Texas --- U.S. Air Force analyses show the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is at least 400 percent more effective in air-to-air combat capability than the best fighters currently available in the international market.

    The Air Force's standard air-to-air engagement analysis model, also used by allied air forces to assess air-combat performance, pitted the 5th generation F-35 against all advanced 4th generation fighters in a variety of simulated scenarios. The results were clear: the F-35 outperformed the most highly evolved fighters in aerial combat by significant margins.

    "In all F-35 Program Office and U.S. Air Force air-to-air combat effectiveness analysis to date, the F-35 enjoys a significant Combat Loss Exchange Ratio advantage over the current and future air-to-air threats, to include Sukhois," said Maj. Gen. Charles R. Davis, F-35 program executive officer.

    Recent claims that Russian fighters defeated F-35s in a Hawaii-based simulated combat exercise are untrue, according to Maj. Gen. Davis.

    "The reports are completely false and misleading and have absolutely no basis in fact," Maj. Gen. Davis said. "The August 2008 Pacific Vision Wargame that has been referenced recently in the media did not even address air-to-air combat effectiveness. The F-35 is required to be able to effectively defeat current and projected air-to-air threats. All available information, at the highest classification, indicates that F-35 is effectively meeting these aggressive operational challenges."

    The Pacific Vision Wargame was a table-top exercise designed to assess basing and force-structure vulnerabilities, and did not include air-to-air combat exercises or any comparisons of different aircraft platforms.

    Other erroneous allegations about the program were recently made in a letter distributed and written by industry-watchers Winston Wheeler and Pierre Sprey.

    "It's not clear why they attacked the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president of F-35 program integration. "It is clear they don't understand the underlying requirements of the F-35 program, the capabilities needed to meet those requirements or the real programmatic performance of the JSF team."

    Here are the facts:

    -- The F-35 is a racehorse, not a "dog," as Wheeler/Sprey suggest. In stealth combat configuration, the F-35 aerodynamically outperforms all other combat-configured 4th generation aircraft in top-end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and combat radius. This allows unprecedented "see/shoot first" and combat radius advantages.

    -- The high thrust-to-weight ratios of the lightweight fighter program Wheeler/Sprey recall from 30 years ago did not take into consideration combat-range fuel, sensors or armament, which dramatically alter wing loading, thrust-to-weight ratios and maneuverability. We do consider all of this in today's fighters.

    -- The F-35 has the most powerful engine ever installed in a fighter, with thrust equivalent to both engines today in Eurofighter or F/A-18 aircraft. The conventional version of the F-35 has 9g capability and matches the turn rates of the F-16 and F/A-18. More importantly, in a combat load, with all fuel, targeting sensor pods and weapons carried internally, the F-35's aerodynamic performance far exceeds all legacy aircraft equipped with a similar capability.

    -- When the threat situation diminishes so that it is safe for legacy aircraft to participate in the fight, the F-35 can also carry ordnance on six external wing stations in addition to its four internal stations.

    Other important facts:

    -- External weapon clearance is part of the current F-35 test program.

    -- The government has already proven that no other aircraft can survive against the 5th generation stealth that only the F-22 and the F-35 possess; it is impossible to add this stealth to fourth-generation fighters.

    -- The F-35's data collection, integration and information sharing capabilities will transform the battlespace of the future and will redefine the close air support mission. The F-35 is specifically designed to take advantage of lessons learned from the F-117 stealth aircraft. Unlike the F-117, the ability to share tactically important information is built into the F-35, along with stealth.

    -- F-35 is developing, testing, and fielding mature software years ahead of legacy programs, further reducing development risk. The F-35's advanced software, already flying on two test aircraft with remarkable stability, is demonstrating the advantages of developing highly-common, tri-variant aircraft. The software developed span the entire aircraft and support systems including the aircraft itself, logistics systems, flight and maintenance trainers, maintenance information system and flight-test instrumentation.

    -- Rather than relying exclusively on flight testing, the F-35 is retiring development risk through the most comprehensive laboratories, sensor test beds, and integrated full-fusion flying test bed ever created for an aircraft program. Representing only 25% of our verification plans, still the F-35's flight test program is comparable in hours to the combined flight test programs of the three primary U.S. aircraft it will replace.

    -- The F-35 is one aircraft program designed to replace many different types of aircraft around the world -- F-16, F/A-18, F-117, A-10, AV-8B, Sea Harrier, GR.7, F-111 and Tornado -- flown by 14 air forces.

    -- In addition to 19 developmental test aircraft, the F-35 is producing 20 fully instrumented, production-configured operational test aircraft. No program in history has employed this many test vehicles.

    "Simply put, advanced stealth and sensor fusion allow the F-35 pilot to see, target and destroy the adversary and strategic targets in a very high surface-to-air threat scenario, and deal with air threats intent on denying access -- all before the F-35 is ever detected, then return safely to do it again," said Burbage.

    The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history. Two F-35s have entered flight test, two are in ground test, and 17 are in various stages of assembly, including the first two production-model jets scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Air Force in 2010.


    Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion. (ends)
    I want what I do not have.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    -- The F-35's data collection, integration and information sharing capabilities will transform the battlespace of the future and will redefine the close air support mission. The F-35 is specifically designed to take advantage of lessons learned from the F-117 stealth aircraft. Unlike the F-117, the ability to share tactically important information is built into the F-35, along with stealth.

    -- F-35 is developing, testing, and fielding mature software years ahead of legacy programs, further reducing development risk. The F-35's advanced software, already flying on two test aircraft with remarkable stability, is demonstrating the advantages of developing highly-common, tri-variant aircraft. The software developed span the entire aircraft and support systems including the aircraft itself, logistics systems, flight and maintenance trainers, maintenance information system and flight-test instrumentation.
    So when does Skynet become fully self aware? )
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    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    sounds like a commercial.
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    Quote Originally Posted by omon View Post
    sounds like a commercial.
    It pretty much is...but its more accurate than anything Sprey has said in years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    It pretty much is...but its more accurate than anything Sprey has said in years.
    Sure would be nice to have a 'middle-ground critique' of the program, not written by either the OEM or a fanatic opponent like a Sprey or a Mike Sparks.

    The F-16 Fighting Gavin far outperforms the new overpriced F-35 Truck, which is hideously vulnerable to runway IEDs.
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    In Memoriam/OAF-Old Aggravating Fart Senior Contributor Shamus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Sure would be nice to have a 'middle-ground critique' of the program, not written by either the OEM or a fanatic opponent like a Sprey or a Mike Sparks.

    The F-16 Fighting Gavin far outperforms the new overpriced F-35 Truck, which is hideously vulnerable to runway IEDs.
    You tell'em Mikey...errr....TH (It doesn't get stuck in the mud either!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Sure would be nice to have a 'middle-ground critique' of the program, not written by either the OEM or a fanatic opponent like a Sprey or a Mike Sparks.

    The F-16 Fighting Gavin far outperforms the new overpriced F-35 Truck, which is hideously vulnerable to runway IEDs.
    I read Bill Sweetman say that the F-35 is inferior in some respects to advanced versions of the F-16, mostly in aerobatic performance, but when the value of stealth and sensor performance are figured in, the F-35 wins out.

    At any rate, one of the selling points of the F-35 is that the immense production run will result in a very affordable plane. This was reinforced recently by Lockheed-Martin guaranteeing that the quoted price would be honored.

    I personally believe that even if the F-16 variants are very good planes, you can't go backwards. The day of stealth has arrived and nothing less will do. I guess we'll see if this was a good decision or not.
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    Agreed, though I wounder how the F-35 will be able to replace in A-10 in CAS? The A-10 can take tremendous damage and still bring the pilot home. Plus it has that nasty gun... What happens to the F-35 when it gets nailed with triple A? As a 'jack of all trades' fighter-bomber, it cannot be as able to shrug off damage in CAS roles as a dedicated CAS platform like the A-10. Just my two cents...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBwarrior View Post
    Agreed, though I wounder how the F-35 will be able to replace in A-10 in CAS? The A-10 can take tremendous damage and still bring the pilot home. Plus it has that nasty gun... What happens to the F-35 when it gets nailed with triple A? As a 'jack of all trades' fighter-bomber, it cannot be as able to shrug off damage in CAS roles as a dedicated CAS platform like the A-10. Just my two cents...
    I completely agree. I think the A-10 should keep that role. The first time I heard that the F-35 would be replacing the A-10 in the CAS role, I thought the military brass had lost their minds. Many years later and I still think so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBwarrior View Post
    Agreed, though I wounder how the F-35 will be able to replace in A-10 in CAS? The A-10 can take tremendous damage and still bring the pilot home. Plus it has that nasty gun... What happens to the F-35 when it gets nailed with triple A? As a 'jack of all trades' fighter-bomber, it cannot be as able to shrug off damage in CAS roles as a dedicated CAS platform like the A-10. Just my two cents...
    Oh God, no! Any aircraft with an air superiority mission will be inferior to A-10 in CAS.
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    The A-10 isnt going anywhere for another 15 years.

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    The key point is what will happen after 15 years ? Will the USAF look for a specific CAS aircraft OR adopt the F-35 to this role OR go for a UCAV ?

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    I would be interested to see the F-35 pitted against the eurofighter in some real tests.
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    Counter-Punch My Warthog First

    Let's start knocking the damn things outta the sky first. Until they're no longer survivable where we're asking them to fight, keep the hog.

    It's like the .50 cal. It's irreplaceable, or damn near and it's the only aircraft which commits the air force to the CAS role. Can't do anything else and that's just fine with the army.
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    I wonder if the Army is starting to hedge its bets on the future of CAS by getting serious with UCAVs. The Sky Warrior seems to me be a start in that direction. Certainly the A-10s are worth their weight in gold and will continue to be for quite some time(especially after the wicked upgrades they are getting), but I wonder if the Army is making moves to try and bring more of the burden of CAS under their own control. 15-20 years from now might the AF relinquish a large part of CAS to UCAVs under Army control?

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