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What is up with the F-35? Part II

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  • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
    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...
    ,a-4d; a-4m
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    • it is official.



      Japanese industry may be hit by new fighter - FT.com

      Japanese industry may be hit by new fighter

      By Mure Dickie in Tokyo

      In choosing the F-35 Lightning II as its new mainstay fighter, Japan has plumped for a weapons platform which lead manufacturer Lockheed Martin wolfishly boasts is of “unmatched lethality”.

      But rather than allowing some hostile intruder into its territorial airspace, the first fatality to be inflicted by Japan’s purchase could end up being the nation’s ability to build its own fighters.
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      The choice – which critics say was driven largely by the desire of Japanese air force officers to have the most advanced available aircraft – looks set to deal a heavy blow to an isolated and inefficient defence industry .

      Japan is already facing its first fighter production hiatus in more than half a century, following the delivery in September of the last F-2 aircraft built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The defence ministry says MHI will have a role in making F-35 airframes, but US reluctance to share the technology behind its radar-evading stealth abilities and weapons networking is sure to limit the extent of Japanese involvement.

      This could be the final blow for many of the hundreds of smaller manufacturers vital to Japan’s military aerospace manufacturing sector, says Shinichi Kiyotani, a Japanese defence writer who argues that the F-35 purchase could “trigger the collapse of our nation’s defence industry”.

      Debate over the long-delayed choice of the “FX”, as the replacement for two squadrons of 1970s-era F-4 Phantom jets, has certainly highlighted the woes of Japan’s defence sector. Budget pressures and an informal rule keeping defence spending at about 1 per cent of gross domestic product has left little room for growth. Analysts say increasing numbers of small and medium-sized companies involved in making parts or specialist technologies have been going bankrupt or exiting the sector, in large part because, unlike larger contractors, they cannot balance military-related revenues with sales to the civilian sector.

      But times have been hard even for big companies like MHI and heavy machinery maker IHI Corp, which the defence ministry says will help to make engines for F-35s sold to Japan. Traditional defence budget-setting means that contracts for even the biggest weapons sales tend to be parcelled out into small lots over many years. The first F-35 deliveries are not expected until 2016, for example, but the government plans to include the cost of four fighters in its budget for the year starting April 1 2012.

      Such a system leaves procurement programmes vulnerable to change and makes it difficult for contractors to factor in upfront costs, such as those involved in research and development. Meanwhile, the erosion of once cosy ties with bureaucrats and politicians means contractors can no longer rely on the government.

      Just two months ago, Toshiba Corp launched a lawsuit against the defence ministry over its cancellation of billions of yen in contracts related to the remodelling of some F-15 fighters. Last year, Fuji Heavy Industries also went to court over the government’s decision to cut its purchase of Apache attack helicopters.

      Defence contractors’ problems are exacerbated by a legacy of Japanese post-war pacifistic principles that largely bars them from the kind of cross-border co-operation that is becoming the industry norm. Exports of almost all weapons systems are banned, meaning companies like MHI have no chance to play a full role in the sort of multinational programme that led to the F-35.

      Combined with Japan’s past determination to maintain an autonomous defence industry, the result is small production runs and fiendishly high prices. Japan’s F-2, for example, reportedly cost about Y12,00bn – more than twice the price of the US F-16 on which it was largely based.

      Given Japan’s increasing fiscal strains, it would not be unreasonable to simply decide to rely on imports for future air defence. Yet, the government is hardly entertaining such a shift. Instead, the defence ministry excitedly plans domestic development of a stealth fighter. An early test aircraft is scheduled to take to the air by 2014.

      How feasible such dreams prove could depend in large part on Japan winning significant access to F-35 technology. Without it, Japan risks merely driving up the cost of the new fighter while leaving itself incapable of creating a successor.

      Domestic media have already questioned a procurement process which appears to have favoured the largely untried F-35 over its rivals, Eurofighter’s Typhoon and Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, which are already in widespread service. Both had offered far more domestic involvement in manufacture. At least such criticism should lead to greater public scrutiny of future procurement. For sections of the domestic defence sector, however, it may already be too late.

      Mure Dickie is the FT’s Tokyo Bureau Chief
      “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

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      • the vendor who won't be screaming is BAE, they hedged their bets with the two most likely artefact options and would have won either way.
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        • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
          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...

          In addition to ARs mention of the A-4, there was the F-8 Crusader, A-7 Corsair II, A-1 Skyrader going further back the F-3H Demon,FJ-3 Fury,F4d/F-6 Skyray,F9F Cougar, and F-11 Tigercat.

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          • Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
            In addition to ARs mention of the A-4, there was the F-8 Crusader, A-7 Corsair II, A-1 Skyrader going further back the F-3H Demon,FJ-3 Fury,F4d/F-6 Skyray,F9F Cougar, and F-11 Tigercat.
            Guys, come on... now you're puting me on...

            I mention "last 25 years", and you go get post WWII planes? :(

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            • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
              Guys, come on... now you're puting me on...

              I mention "last 25 years", and you go get post WWII planes? :(
              jlvfr, to a degree, I have to agree with you; in the (recent) past, the US Navy has shown a DEFINITE preference for twin-engined designs, mostly for the reasons you mentioned above. It is somewhat of a departure from Naval doctrine to adapt a single-engine design, but I think this may be related to the same reason that airlines have finally adopted twin-engined (as opposed to three- or four-engined) designs for ETOPS (ExTended OPerationS, typically over-water operations of 1000nm+; my father-in-law, a B747-400 pilot, used to joke that ETOPS stood for Engines Turn Or People Swim): gas turbine engines, in particular commercial designs, have gotten MUCH more reliable than they were 20 or 30 years ago. When gas turbine engines were still fairly new, the MTBF was rather low. Recently, however, the MTBF for commercial gas turbines can be measured in thousands, rather than hundreds, of hours; this probably explains the US Navy's willingness to accept a single-engine design for fleet-wide service, as opposed to a twin-engined design.

              Along those lines, the F-404 engine in the first-gen F-18 (and, we can assume, the follow-on F-414 for the F-18/E/F/G) was a deliberately conservative design that emphasized reliability over performance; the F-404 is definitely capable of more performance, but GE deliberately scaled-back the design to make the engine more reliable when they were designing it.

              Incidentally, the same reasoning (redundancy) was used by the US Navy for specifying a twin-wheel nose gear on ALL naval aircraft; the twin nose-wheel on the F-111 (and the F-4) is a legacy of this requirement. There are NO single nose-wheel aircraft on an aircraft carrier!
              "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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              • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                Guys, come on... now you're puting me on...

                I mention "last 25 years", and you go get post WWII planes? :(
                Well it's true that the last single-engine aircraft in the USN inventory was retired in 1991 (the A-7), but those post-WWII single-engine aircraft make a good case, considering the maturity of jet engines at the time. Not exactly the most reliable power plants known to man I would said.
                “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
                  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.
                  The only platform that will do that for you is the B-2. It's rare that a platform carries it's full warload. At either rate, it does have external hardpoints. But it's a VTOL aircraft, I'm not sure what sort of payload it can take off with anyway, so the point may be completely moot between the both of us!
                  Ego Numquam

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                  • Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                    my father-in-law, a B747-400 pilot, used to joke that ETOPS stood for Engines Turn Or People Swim)
                    Good one!

                    Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                    Incidentally, the same reasoning (redundancy) was used by the US Navy for specifying a twin-wheel nose gear on ALL naval aircraft; the twin nose-wheel on the F-111 (and the F-4) is a legacy of this requirement. There are NO single nose-wheel aircraft on an aircraft carrier!
                    ooOOo! And I had always thought in had something to do with the design of the catapult gear *blush*

                    Anyway, here's a nice big article on the F35: Japan's purchase, plus much more (including problems...)
                    F-35 to Japan

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                    • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                      ooOOo! And I had always thought in had something to do with the design of the catapult gear *blush*
                      Same here, plus the overall beefiness required for carrier landings
                      “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 Chunder View Post
                        The only platform that will do that for you is the B-2. It's rare that a platform carries it's full warload. At either rate, it does have external hardpoints. But it's a VTOL aircraft, I'm not sure what sort of payload it can take off with anyway, so the point may be completely moot between the both of us!
                        Well, STOVL, but I agree with the point. They're still not going to be able to load it up to the gills, probably.

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                        • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                          Well, STOVL, but I agree with the point. They're still not going to be able to load it up to the gills, probably.
                          Considering the Bring-Back requirement for the F-35B's Vertical landing mode is 4940lb inc Fuel, or 3000lb exc Fuel, or 2X1,000lb JDAM + 2X Aim-120 + Reserve Fuel, It's safe to say the F-35B can have no problem in launching with full Stealth load out.

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                          • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                            Same here, plus the overall beefiness required for carrier landings
                            The theory was that a nose-wheel blow-out upon landing would be catastrophic for a single-wheeled aircraft, leading to a loss of control and, possibly, the loss of the aircraft itself. Even the X-47B, a carrier-based UAV, sports a twin-wheel nosegear.

                            Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                            ooOOo! And I had always thought in had something to do with the design of the catapult gear *blush*
                            Earlier carrier-based aircraft, right up to the F-4, were originally launched from the catapult using a cable, or bridle, attached to the front wing-root, not the nose landing gear as in modern aircraft. In the picture below, you can clearly see the bridle attached to the catapult shuttle and the aircraft:
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by TopHatter; 21 Dec 11,, 19:30.
                            "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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                            • Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                              Earlier carrier-based aircraft, right up to the F-4, were originally launched from the catapult using a cable, or bridle, attached to the front wing-root, not the nose landing gear as in modern aircraft.
                              Ahh, hence the now-outdated need for bridle catchers

                              Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                              In the picture below, you can clearly see the bridle attached to the catapult shuttle and the aircraft:
                              Please don't hotlink pics like that, it's a drain on the other site's bandwidth and we've got plenty of storage space here on the WAB :)
                              “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 jlvfr View Post
                                Guys, come on... now you're puting me on...

                                I mention "last 25 years", and you go get post WWII planes? :(
                                No. In the quote AR and I responded to you said Harrier was last single engine plane SINCE the Corsair.

                                No mention of the last 25 years.;)

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