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F-35: The God that Failed

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Lucas (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 24 Feb 21, 17:19Post
From Forbes, The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed


TLDR: an alphabet-soup agency that blasts away $700B a year committed stupidly to an airplane that is a boondoggle.
miamiair (netAirspace FAA) 24 Feb 21, 17:28Post
A flying Edsel.
And let's get one thing straight. There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician; the other is an artist in love with flight. — E. B. Jeppesen
JLAmber (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 24 Feb 21, 20:49Post
Everyone in defence in the UK who wasn't getting a backhander knew we would have been far better off committing to the next round of harrier upgrades and adding a few extra Eurofighters rather than spaffing billions on the F-35.

The US has the Super Hornet that will match anything piloted from an aircraft carrier, and the latest F-16 variants have easily outperformed the F-35 in combat trials. The next generation of fighters will be unmanned so there was never any need to shoehorn another aircraft in-between, especially one that underperforms at such a cost.
A million great ideas...
ShanwickOceanic (netAirspace FAA) 24 Feb 21, 21:55Post
Hopefully this finally rules it out as the Finnish F-18 replacement.
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
For it is the number of a man; and its number is One hundred threescore and twelve.
JLAmber (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 24 Feb 21, 22:22Post
ShanwickOceanic wrote:Hopefully this finally rules it out as the Finnish F-18 replacement.


But they'd make a great background for shots of aircraft that can actually fly!

On that subject, Eurofighter are bullishly confident of getting the Finnish AF order. Still wouldn't be surprised if they went for the plug-and-play option of Super Hornets though.
A million great ideas...
ShanwickOceanic (netAirspace FAA) 24 Feb 21, 22:50Post
Super Hornet is what I expect to happen, despite the Swedes' bleating about cross-border commonality (which would just happen to have us buying their jets).
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
For it is the number of a man; and its number is One hundred threescore and twelve.
Lucas (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 24 Feb 21, 22:55Post
Sorry to hear that other countries got roped into this nonsense! What's of course awesome is that at the same time, we've been ordering new F-15s as "complements."

That's shocking since the F-35 was supposed to just about replace all the airplanes in the sky. Who else remembers that time that Sec of the AF Deb James suggested that we abolish the A-10 and replace it with the B-1 bomber for close air support? What soldier in a TIC situation wants to hear "BRRRRRRTTTTT" after all? So sure, the F-35 isn't the best replacement, but we can complement it with B-1s.

paul mcallister 25 Feb 21, 00:14Post
For my 2 pence worth the F-35 was never going to work, and they will probably be withdrawn from service sooner rather than later.
It`s too small and complex to be a true multi-role aircraft, and the US have sucked in their allies to try and take some of the burden and lower unit costs.

From what I have read the aircraft is a compromise all round, and not a very good compromise at that.
Military aircraft design as far as fighters are concerned has likely reached it`s peak in what can be achieved, so perhaps tried and trusted designs which use modern construction technics and electronics is a more cost effective way to go ?

Stealth is all very well and good, but it seems to me that the US in particular seem to be almost fixated with it, and as many a current fighter pilot will tell you, ISIS doesn`t have an airforce.
ShanwickOceanic (netAirspace FAA) 25 Feb 21, 09:10Post
Lucas wrote:What soldier in a TIC situation wants to hear "BRRRRRRTTTTT" after all? So sure, the F-35 isn't the best replacement, but we can complement it with B-1s.

Hang on, I remember this one... ah yes:

The Pentagon's Office of Operational Test and Evaluation plans to pit the full-up F-35 against the legacy A-10 Warthog and potentially other fighter jets to evaluate the next-generation aircraft's ability to protect soldiers on the ground. The tests will identify the assets the F-35 brings to the close-in fight, and where it falls short compared to legacy planes, according to DOT&E chief Michael Gilmore.

[...]

"We're looking at all the missions and where it would make sense to do comparison testing and where it wouldn't, and we're going to be working with the services to develop that plan," Gilmore said. "I expect there will be comparison testing against other aircraft; I'm just not prepared at this point to tell you exactly which ones."

Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2015/08 ... inst-a-10/

If that isn't management-speak for "We're still trying to figure out how to rig this test so ol' Bert doesn't whip this young whippersnapper's ass and we lose all our kickbacks" I'll eat my hat.
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
For it is the number of a man; and its number is One hundred threescore and twelve.
Lucas (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 26 Feb 21, 02:44Post
ShanwickOceanic wrote:
If that isn't management-speak for "We're still trying to figure out how to rig this test so ol' Bert doesn't whip this young whippersnapper's ass and we lose all our kickbacks" I'll eat my hat.



I think that article raised my BP 10 points! You have got to be kidding me. It's full of gems, but seriously, this one:
"You can't guess at what the improvements are, you can't guess at what the capability gaps are when we bring on these new complex systems,



You can't GUESS? Really? How the hell does concept and design even function? It is like freaking magic? Poof, what did we get here? I mean you can't even GUESS how different an F-35 and A-10 might be?

I hate when people invent lies that are so bold that they're just completely unmoored from reality. We're talking absolutely untethered.

Which is of course my way of saying, "Thank you for the article. It made me almost rage-stroke." Wow I detest Welsh.
ShanwickOceanic (netAirspace FAA) 26 Feb 21, 10:58Post
Lucas wrote:Wow I detest Welsh.

Bunch of sheep sha- oh. I see what you mean. :))
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
For it is the number of a man; and its number is One hundred threescore and twelve.
Queso (netAirspace ATC Tower Chief & Founding Member) 26 Feb 21, 20:24Post
It's sickening to think how many F-15EX's could have been bought with the money that has been (and is still being) wasted on the F-35.

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It's official- I'm staying where I'm at.
JLAmber (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 26 Feb 21, 22:00Post
Lucas wrote:You can't GUESS? Really? How the hell does concept and design even function? It is like freaking magic? Poof, what did we get here? I mean you can't even GUESS how different an F-35 and A-10 might be?


For $1.7trillion I would expect forensic knowledge of each individual performance measure, recitable verbatim by every suit who rubber stamped it!
A million great ideas...
darrenvox 27 Feb 21, 02:48Post
oooh what a waste of time and money
darrensfs9site.weebly.com
DXing 02 Mar 21, 19:10Post
Well, paul mcallister nailed it.

paul mcallister wrote:From what I have read the aircraft is a compromise all round


Just as was the F-4 that went to the Air Force, Navy, and Marines, just as was the F-102 which ended up as a new plane, the F-106, just as was the F-104 when Germany wanted it as a ground attack fighter so it had to be redesigned for that mission since no one needs a Mach 2 tank buster.

Like the Osprey, this is a complicated piece of machinery. That being said, the F-35 went 17 years before it had an actual crash in 2018. That's pretty good no matter what else might be said about the aircraft. Certainly better than the Osprey's record and yet the Osprey, now that it is firmly in operational status, is becoming a favorite of the Marines that fly and ride in it.

Unit price for the F-35 is set to start coming down on the next batch, and as far as

paul mcallister wrote:Stealth is all very well and good, but it seems to me that the US in particular seem to be almost fixated with it, and as many a current fighter pilot will tell you, ISIS doesn`t have an airforce.


That is true, but China does and that's who you have to play too.

This takes nothing away from the venerable F-15, F-16, or F-18 but in a high threat antiaircraft zone, stealth has its uses. The idea is to kill the missile before the missile or air crew knows you are there isn't it? In ground attack I don't think anything in service or planned beats an A-10 but against another aircraft or in a high threat anti-aircraft zone, I wouldn't want to go in with an A-10 either.

During WW2 the P-38 Lightening was pretty good at ground attack, fighter, and recon duties, but by no means was it the best at any of them. So the current Lightening suffers the same fate. Asked for something by everyone but unable to do everything asked by all. Still, I think it will have a good operational record but any Air Force that employs the F-35 will still need dedicated aircraft for specific missions.

Lucas wrote:Who else remembers that time that Sec of the AF Deb James suggested that we abolish the A-10 and replace it with the B-1 bomber for close air support?


I guess I don't. Someone had been reading too many Dale Brown novels.
What's the point of an open door policy if inside the open door sits a closed mind?
paul mcallister 03 Mar 21, 21:27Post
To DXing...

My post was meant to be read in it`s entirety, and I don`t appreciate you quoting bits of it out of context in some attempt to make me look foolish.

You might think the F-35 is the bees knees, that`s fine, however that does not make my opinion any less valid or something to mock.
DXing 04 Mar 21, 13:48Post
paul mcallister wrote:To DXing...

My post was meant to be read in it`s entirety, and I don`t appreciate you quoting bits of it out of context in some attempt to make me look foolish.

You might think the F-35 is the bees knees, that`s fine, however that does not make my opinion any less valid or something to mock.


I'm sorry if you feel that way. Certainly wasn't my intention. I agree with you that the aircraft is a compromise. Too many things asked of one product. I don't agree that the need for stealth is not necessary in a front line fighter or bomber given that ISIS is not the worst case environment they are built to endure.

I certainly did not intone I thought the aircraft was the be all and end all. Quite the opposite in fact. It may be a jack of all trades, fighter, battlefield close air support, and low-level reconnaissance (due to its stealth), but it won't be a master of any. That being said it does have a role. Going into a high SAM threat area, I'd rather be riding in one of those than a 4th generation fighter that is highly maneuverable but easily tracked.
What's the point of an open door policy if inside the open door sits a closed mind?
paul mcallister 04 Mar 21, 21:24Post
Ok,fair emough, I understand your view point, just to clarify on the stealth situation, yes stealth can be very useful but it also has it`s limitations, and I tend to think it`s importance is somewhat exaggerated probably because the US is really the only nation so far to have it.

My main gripe with the aircraft is that the airframe is too small to carry any useful load, especially fuel and when operating it`s weapons from the internal bay it`s stealthyness is lost to a worrying degree. Also the fact that it`s a pig ugly thing doesn`t help.

I must admit I really don`t like the V/STOL version, it looks horribly overly complicated. I was a big fan of the Harrier (AV-8B etc) and the fact that our UK MOD retired them very early does not sit well with me.
DXing 05 Mar 21, 01:19Post
Well, in all honesty isn't the UK flying the F-35 now as well? ;)

I hope the U.S. and its allies are the only ones to have it for a long time but I think the Chinese have stol....uh acquired enough technology to get a basic version of it out in the real world. Losing that drone over Iran a couple of years ago will hurt more than people give credit for. Anyway, most of the countries we might have to go up against are SAM heavy and the F-35 gives a leg up on the initial strike packages detailed to mitigate the threat.

Even the B-2 loses a lot of stealth capability when it opens its bomb bay. I believe the F-117 had the same problem. Just no good way to make a smooth exterior less smooth with an internal payload when it comes time to drop or fire the weapons contained within. The F-22 might be the only aircraft, aside from the YF-23 that has figured out a way to maximize stealth in that regard but it's only because the missile door is only open as long as it takes to fire the weapon.

I agree completely that the Harrier was a much more developed VSTOL aircraft and the powers that be would probably have been much better served if they had attempted to build a stealth airframe around the guts of a Harrier rather than trying to stuff an untested propulsion system into a new airframe design.

I still believe that, just like the Osprey, at some point they will work out the teething problems and while it will never be a stellar aircraft like the P-51, F-86, or F-15, it will soldier through its career as a solid trooper.
What's the point of an open door policy if inside the open door sits a closed mind?
captoveur 08 Mar 21, 18:35Post
the most important part of the F-35 is the sensor suite.

https://www.cnet.com/news/loyal-wingman-drone-makes-its-first-flight/

Stuff like that is very close to coming out of the pipeline and with the F-15 being turned into a missile truck- the F-35 may not meet expectations for a fighter as we know it, but I think the USAF is setting themselves up for the next war better than they have for any of the previous wars. Articles coming out calling the F-35 a failure just further cement that. 90% of foreign intelligence is just reading our news.

In the mean time, they really need to be thinking about low cost bomb trucks to operate in zero threat environments for the wars we actually do fight.
I like my coffee how I like my women: Black, bitter, and preferably fair trade.
halls120 (Plank Owner) 28 Mar 21, 10:54Post
captoveur wrote:the most important part of the F-35 is the sensor suite.

https://www.cnet.com/news/loyal-wingman-drone-makes-its-first-flight/

Stuff like that is very close to coming out of the pipeline and with the F-15 being turned into a missile truck- the F-35 may not meet expectations for a fighter as we know it, but I think the USAF is setting themselves up for the next war better than they have for any of the previous wars. Articles coming out calling the F-35 a failure just further cement that. 90% of foreign intelligence is just reading our news.

In the mean time, they really need to be thinking about low cost bomb trucks to operate in zero threat environments for the wars we actually do fight.


Yes, the F-15 is a better pure fighter than the F-35, and the A-10 is likely a better CAS aircraft as well.

Here's the thing - we've been using F-15's as bomb trucks in a permissive environment, and that works real well. What you can't do is use the F-15 in the CAS role in the non-permissive environment that would be operated by Russian and Chinese air defenses until they are suppressed, and the F-15, F-16 and F-18 aren't going to take down Russian air defenses. The F-35 can, and the Russians know it.

DXing wrote: Anyway, most of the countries we might have to go up against are SAM heavy and the F-35 gives a leg up on the initial strike packages detailed to mitigate the threat.


Correct.
Queso (netAirspace ATC Tower Chief & Founding Member) 01 Apr 21, 19:45Post
DXing wrote:Anyway, most of the countries we might have to go up against are SAM heavy and the F-35 gives a leg up on the initial strike packages detailed to mitigate the threat.

Is it OK for me to doubt that? I mean, it really hasn't lived up to a lot of it's other promises, so why should we follow the primrose path on that one?
It's official- I'm staying where I'm at.
DXing 02 Apr 21, 17:55Post
Sure, but there are multiple reports out over a number of years describing how the stealth on the F-35 actually works well. It's about the only thing they got right.
What's the point of an open door policy if inside the open door sits a closed mind?
 

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