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What is up with the F-35? Part II

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  • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
    The F-35 is not a CAS platform, but it'll do the job. The Marines should've gotten their own airplane to replace the AV-8, based on their unique needs. For political reasons, everyone had to share, impact to the mission be damned.

    You don't use a clean fighter for CAS, which means using a fifth-generation fighter is unnecessary. The AF and Navy can justify it because of their mission. The Marines need a rugged bomb truck capable of quick response. What they're getting is a $100M VSTOL F-16.
    The problem I see Jim is that just as much as the harrier was built around the Pegasus - the F-35B revolves around a supersonic requirement and a lift fan.
    Either the marines transfer flat out to Catobar, or they have to come up with the money, and the software, and all the testing that it requires to meet what was their own requirement.

    The Harrier was a godsend for the Marines development wise, someone else proved the concept and developed it, McDD developed that further. There was never going to be an easy way around building another platform around that - as it was, it will benefit from all the other goodies that are relevant to the Airforce and their Brothers in the Navy.
    Respectfully, it's up for contention that you won't use a clean fighter for CAS. The RAF used Brimstones like nobodies business in Libya.

    Smaller is better in avoiding collateral damage, you can carry more, and still achieve affective results.
    Ego Numquam

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    • Originally posted by gf0012-aust View Post
      I'm very surprised with this, tbh. Considering the size of the area Japan has to patrol, not to mention all the time they spend flying over water, I assumed they'd go for a fighter with 2 engines and greater range.

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      • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
        I'm very surprised with this, tbh. Considering the size of the area Japan has to patrol, not to mention all the time they spend flying over water, I assumed they'd go for a fighter with 2 engines and greater range.
        What about all the single engine planes the USN & USMC have had in their inventories over the past 70 odd years?
        Ego Numquam

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        • Originally posted by Chunder View Post
          What about all the single engine planes the USN & USMC have had in their inventories over the past 70 odd years?
          Apart from the Harrier, afaik, the last single-engined plane in the USN/USMC was the Corsair. Everything else had 2 engines: Intruder, F-18, F-14... and I'm willing to bet there are people not happy at trading 2 engines for 1, in the F-35C...

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          • Basically - The Navies 4th Generation Aircraft had 2 engines. Without counting everything in WW2, basically you have the A1, A4, Corsair, Crusader. All your remembering is what existed in a generation.

            Two engines came at not just the requirement for reliability, they came as a result of the increased Take of Weight of the Aircraft, and the engine tech available at the time. Otherwise, one might want to specify how many aircraft have actually had a complete engine failure to make the extra maintenance expense worth it.
            Ego Numquam

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            • Originally posted by Chunder View Post
              Basically - The Navies 4th Generation Aircraft had 2 engines. Without counting everything in WW2, basically you have the A1, A4, Corsair, Crusader. All your remembering is what existed in a generation.
              No, I was remembering what they have been using for the past 25 years. And if I remember correctly, one of the reasons for the development of the F-18 from the YF-17 instead of the YF-16 was exactly the 1v2 engine situation.

              Originally posted by Chunder View Post
              Two engines came at not just the requirement for reliability, they came as a result of the increased Take of Weight of the Aircraft, and the engine tech available at the time. Otherwise, one might want to specify how many aircraft have actually had a complete engine failure to make the extra maintenance expense worth it.
              It's not just "failure", it's also damage of any kind: battle damage, FOD, bird strike, etc. Basically anything that can put the pilot in the water, because he ran out of power ...

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              • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                No, I was remembering what they have been using for the past 25 years. And if I remember correctly, one of the reasons for the development of the F-18 from the YF-17 instead of the YF-16 was exactly the 1v2 engine situation.
                Like I said - one generation.

                It's not just "failure", it's also damage of any kind: battle damage, FOD, bird strike, etc. Basically anything that can put the pilot in the water, because he ran out of power ...
                A Naval aviator afraid of getting wet is like joining the Navy and not knowing how to swim.

                Enough to base Hundreds of aircraft off of? How many two engine fighters have landed with an engine failure?
                Ego Numquam

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                • Originally posted by Chunder View Post
                  Enough to base Hundreds of aircraft off of? How many two engine fighters have landed with an engine failure?
                  More than any with 1 engine...

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                  • Not really a concrete basis with which to run procurement under now is it?
                    Ego Numquam

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                    • Originally posted by Chunder View Post
                      The problem I see Jim is that just as much as the harrier was built around the Pegasus - the F-35B revolves around a supersonic requirement and a lift fan.
                      Either the marines transfer flat out to Catobar, or they have to come up with the money, and the software, and all the testing that it requires to meet what was their own requirement.
                      I'm well aware that it's politics/budget concerns driving this train.

                      The Harrier was a godsend for the Marines development wise, someone else proved the concept and developed it, McDD developed that further. There was never going to be an easy way around building another platform around that - as it was, it will benefit from all the other goodies that are relevant to the Airforce and their Brothers in the Navy.
                      Respectfully, it's up for contention that you won't use a clean fighter for CAS. The RAF used Brimstones like nobodies business in Libya.
                      Why would you launch a sortie with 6 A-G munitions when you can carry 20? If the answer is "because the smaller payload will allow a smaller RCS for penetration of an advanced IADS" then you are DOING IT WRONG. The mission this aircraft is designed for is not a mission the Marines will face alone.

                      Edit: Anyone know what model Japan's buying? I'm guessing the A model.

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                      • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                        Anyone know what model Japan's buying? I'm guessing the A model.
                        Lots of online speculation (see below) that they'll actually get the STOVL B model...they're building several "helicopter carrying destroyers", a polite euphemism that sounds suspiciously like "through-deck cruisers" to avoid upsetting the neighbors.

                        There are the two Hyuga-class DDH's in service, that have a 646' long flight deck. A nice "starter class" for expanded JMSDF naval aviation.

                        Next up, they've got 2 more even larger "destroyers" on the books.
                        813' long flight decks, which compares very well to the Tarawa (820'), Wasp (844')and America (844') class amphibs.


                        June 21st, 2010 TOKYO: Rumors that the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's third "aircraft carrying destroyer" would mark a major improvement in size and capability over the Hyuga class ships now entering service have been confirmed.

                        The new 22DDH will be 248 meters long and 39 meters in beam, and displace more than 24,000 tons. This makes her almost 50 percent larger than the Hyuga class and places an unbearable semantic strain on the use of the term "destroyer" to describe these ships. To put the size of the ship into context, she is comparable with a World War II Essex-class fleet carrier.

                        Illustrations of the 22DDH show her to be a full-fledged helicopter carrier with no real destroyer characteristics. The superstructure is very similar to that of the Hyuga class with the difference that the 01 deck is extended forward, probably to accommodate a vertical launch silo for air defense missiles. The point defenses of the new ships are more than doubled, with three Phalanx Mk 15 mountings and two RAM launchers replacing the pair of Phalanx mounts on the older ship. Significantly, while one of the Phalanx mounts on the Hyuga is situated forward on the flight deck, and thus obstructs fixed-wing operations, the 22DDH has all of its mounts located on sponsons clear of the flight deck itself.

                        The flight deck layout on the 22DDH differs significantly from that of the Hyuga class. One of the lifts has been moved from the centerline to the deck-edge position. The added width of the flight deck has been used to shift the axis of air operations clear of the remaining centerline elevator. The number of munitions elevators feeding the flight deck has been increased from two to four.

                        A vertical launch silo built into the rear of the flight deck on the Hyuga has been removed, once again reducing obstructions to flight operations. Flight deck operations capacity has been increased from two to seven helicopters.

                        Japanese accounts suggest that one of the reasons for the drastic increase in size of the 22DDH design is a planned shift to the V-22 Osprey as the primary air group element for these ships. It is not clear whether these would be replacements for or supplemental to the SH-60Ks that equip the Hyuga class. These accounts also make it clear that the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is seen as a key system for these ships. Apparently, provision for the operation of UAVs is being included within the design. Link
                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                        • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                          Edit: Anyone know what model Japan's buying? I'm guessing the A model.
                          The A's the only one that makes sense; I KNOW they don't need CATOBAR capability (the "C"), and I doubt they're going to sacrifice 300 miles of range simply for the added benefit (and complexity) of being able to take-off and land vertically (the "B"). The "C" does have greater range (not much), but it's probably not worth the extra expense.

                          EDIT: I stand corrected (see TH's post above).
                          Last edited by Stitch; 20 Dec 11,, 19:34.
                          "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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                          • The range limitations of the F-35B will only help support Japan's "It's for defensive purposes only" argument. I honestly don't see them NOT buying a few B models.

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                            • Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                              The A's the only one that makes sense; I KNOW they don't need CATOBAR capability (the "C"), and I doubt they're going to sacrifice 300 miles of range simply for the added benefit (and complexity) of being able to take-off and land vertically (the "B"). The "C" does have greater range (not much), but it's probably not worth the extra expense.

                              EDIT: I stand corrected (see TH's post above).
                              Actually I might stand corrected:

                              WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon office that runs the Lockheed Martin Corp on Monday hailed news that Japan had selected the F-35 as its next generation fighter and said it would help strengthen partnerships with Japan.
                              "The F-35 Program Office looks forward to strengthening partnerships with Japan, and contributing to enhanced security throughout the Asia Pacific region," the office said in a statement after Japan announced its decision.
                              Japan is the second country besides Israel to order the F-35 under the U.S. government's foreign military sales program. Lockheed is developing three variants of the radar-evading fighter for the United States and eight partner countries: Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway, which have contributed to its development cost.
                              The F-35 program office said Japan's requirement was for 40-50 new fighters, and the initial letter of agreement will include four conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft to be delivered in 2016 with an eighth batch of low-rate initial production planes.
                              The F-35 will be operated in the Asia Pacific region by U.S. forces, as well as the Royal Australian Air Force, Japan and partner nations involved in multinational military operations.
                              Japan's selection of the F-35 will allow Japan's air force to operate with the United States and other partner nations, ensuring the future of cooperative deterrence and regional security, the Pentagon office said.
                              (Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa) Link
                              Doesn't mean the entire order will be A models of course. Like Ace said, they might start out with the A and then add the B later. The tea leaves aren't very clear on this one.
                              “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                              ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                                Actually I might stand corrected:



                                Doesn't mean the entire order will be A models of course. They might start out with the A and then add the B later. The tea leaves aren't very clear on this one.
                                Perhaps reading this incorrectly, the "with an eighth batch of low-rate initial production planes" seems to refer to the B model? Considering it only recently conducted its first sea vertical landing, Japan might still be holding its breath on its success and doesn't want to commit quite yet.

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