F-35 Multirole Joint Strike Fighter

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aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
What will be will be, Canada will make their decision, but using the clown club logic I don't see how the Shornet, Typhoon, Rafale etc etc etc all airframes designed at least a decade before the F35 will ever compete against the superior "potential" Foes of the future :)

I also see in a lot of these articles that the crap has started again about the JSF being single engined and the need for Canada to have a twin engined aircraft ! What a load of rubbish, most if not all of the twin engined proposals they have put forward are IMHO more likely to suffer issues from ingestion than the JSF ever will
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
What will be will be, Canada will make their decision, but using the clown club logic I don't see how the Shornet, Typhoon, Rafale etc etc etc all airframes designed at least a decade before the F35 will ever compete against the superior "potential" Foes of the future :)

I also see in a lot of these articles that the crap has started again about the JSF being single engined and the need for Canada to have a twin engined aircraft ! What a load of rubbish, most if not all of the twin engined proposals they have put forward are IMHO more likely to suffer issues from ingestion than the JSF ever will
Everything else being equal, 2 engines equals twice as much that can go wrong...

Yes a twin engine fighter with one engine out might be able to make it home safely, whereas a single engine fighter might suffer a single catastrophic failure and cause the loss of the aircraft and maybe the pilot too. However modern single engine aircraft have repeatedly proven themselves sufficiently reliable as to rule out this sort of catastrophe as a big risk. Often single engine fighter have suffered terminal damage, yet still life the pilot able to survive and go home.

A fighter with only one wing after major damage incurred has done so too.

The point to take from this is not how many engines said fighter has, but what sort of redundancy and survivability is built into the design.

The F-16 is an extremely reliable design when compared to any jet, twin engined or single. The F-35 is likely to prove the same. That whole line of argument is specious and pointless contributing to.
 

colay

New Member
Here's another bit of FUD being bandied about once again.
What's the problem really? The RCAF can have the FC-35A configured for either boom or probe & drogue refuelling. Also, detractors convenienly ignore pics and videos of F-35s happily tanking from KC-130s.

RCAF Faces Significant Refuelling Issue With Future Fighter Purchase | Ottawa Citizen

RCAF Faces Significant Refuelling Issue With Future Fighter Purchase

Editor’s Issue note: Defence Watch has received this from a recently retired RCAF officer.

Here is what he writes:

The cheapest version of the F-35 is built to USAF specifications which means it will be equipped to be refuelled in the air using the boom system which the USAF uses.

Our CF-18s were built to USN specs so they use the drogue and probe system. This means of course that all of our Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) systems (on two Airbuses and five Hercules) are incompatible with the version of the F-35 which is the cheapest and which is (probably?) the version that is the basis for the current cost numbers. In addition, the boom style of AAR requires a specially trained operator in the tanker aircraft, something we don’t have and would have to acquire.

So, if we buy the USAF version of the F-35 we would immediately be without national AAR capability compatible with our newly acquired fighter aircraft. We were without it for a while in the late 90′s and early 00′s when our old 707′s were retired and the Air Force pressed hard and constantly until we spent several hundred million dollars to get two Airbuses modified to provide this capability using, of course the probe and drogue system.

We had also bought five KC-130s in the mid 90′s with the same system, though they are not ideal for refuelling the CF-18s because of mismatched speeds/altitude capabilities of the two platforms and so the push was on to get the system in the Airbuses. None of these aircraft have the boom system and I would estimate it would be technologically impossible and/or prohibitively expensive to modify them..
 

jack412

Member
It's even funnier when you take into account that Canada has already included the probe in their 2010 costings. Just another know-nothing talking head dragged out. I'm sure Boeing has nothing to do with feeding the media... [/sarcasm]

edit... and what spud said above
 

colay

New Member
What's strange is the source is supposedly a recently retired RCAF fighter pilot. Instant legitimacy for 99% of people who,read the story.,.:rolleyes:
 
The Lexington Institute is a "pay to play" Washington DC, well Arlington VA, lobby. They aren't an unbiased, objective independent think tank or government agency. I wouldn't trust them anymore than the anti-defense media.

One has to scrutinized their sources, but I put much more trust into the Air Force Association and the Navy League than I do the Lexington Institute. But both of these organizations are linked to and support both services.
While I have a far more lengthy relationship with the AFA, I absolutely concur, they are peer reviewed by their many members who will not tolerate inaccuracies or misstatments by their association. AFB

Any way the F-35 is making significant progress and is as sound as any military project can be with our current team on the field, with sequestration coming up it is a nightmare, I do lose sleep over this whole mess?
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Many news sites report that the F-35 program has been definitely cancelled for Canada.

Federal government cancels F-35 fighter purchase

Can anyone confirm this?
According to one Australian newspaper Australia's defence minister is about to announce that a second batch of 24 SuperHornets are to be priced. It sounds to me that Australia is effectively planning to cut its F-35 order back to around half its original requirement ... maybe less.

It seems that both Australia and Canada are backing away from this program.
 

hitops

New Member
Hi, Canadian here and first time poster. I came across this forum looking for more information because of the massive attention the F35 JSF is receiving in our press. I am a layman and certainly not an expert. Hopefully some folks here can help explain some of the issues with this plane. Basically the way it has been presented to me in the media comes down to the following points:

1) Massively underestimated cost. The purchase was originally sold to us as around $16 billion, and more recently estimates have put this at $30 billion (parliamentary budget officer) and most recently $45 billion (report out recently). The government is being accused of knowing the cost all along but claiming otherwise in order to sell the purchase to Canadians. This is by far, the biggest issue and for most probably the only issue. Whether or not the original number was realistic or appropriate or not, the fact that it has now massively changed is the issue. It is a political issue, but one with a lot of traction because Canadian hate learning that they are spending many billions more in tax money on something than they thought.

2) Production problems, cost problems otherwise. We have heard various reports from US officials and lawmakers that there are many problems and cost overruns on the project. Not sure how much of that is true.

3) Arctic. We have been told the plane dose not perform well in the Arctic (major issue in the future will be sovereignty over the arctic vs Russia), and that it does not have the appropriate range to patrol our whole nation properly, especially in areas very northern and remote where there is next to no civilization. I have heard variously that this is because of the cold weather or because it is single-engine and this is a range problem.

4) General opposition to sole-sourcing. We have a predisposition against sole-sourcing because of the perception of the growing confluence of American military and private military contractors and the perception of high levels of nepotism and crony capitalism involved with the so call 'military-industrial complex'.

5) We don't understand the role for a multi-role fighter in the context of modern conflicts which do not involve inter-state conflicts requiring 5th generation planes. Our role will always be supportive or in concert with the US or NATO, and its unclear what possible conflicts would require such an advanced fighter since we are mostly involved in conflicts in third-world or developing nations where fighters from 30-40 years ago are probably better than any type of anti-air defence held by the enemy. Conversely, in the event of some other conflict, it's hard to imagine 65 JSF's would be enough against any modern actor anyway.

So again I need to emphasize I'm mostly ignorant on the technical aspects of things. By far, by far, #1 is the issue in our press. Maybe some informed person can help clarify some of this for me.
 

Cailet

Member
Not the best informed but I'll do what I can.

1) Cost estimates are a minefield and without knowing what the budget covers it's hard to respond. Some of the higher cost estimates are related to 'through-life' costs which are naturally much higher than 'flyaway' prices but it's pretty easy to obfuscate this in the soundbite battles.

2) Again, lots of soundbites with complex realities behind them. On the one hand the project has overrun it's original mark by a long way, on the other hand the actual production seems to be on pace with the major delays now being related to short-term cost-cutting in the programme which is a political problem.

3) Unless it has some ludicrous geographical bug like the International Dateline issue the F-22 had it will be much more capable than the current CF-18 in every measurable respect - payload, range etc. The single-engine debate has been done to death but essentially, modern engines are more than reliable enough for this kind of thing (see also, the F-16).

4) No answer to that one except to say that whatever else you bought would probably be US-sourced anyway, probably Super Hornet.

5) If you're anticipating sovereignty issues with Russia in the near future you need an airforce to protect your claims. If you don't expect to have sovereignty issues then maybe you don't need the aircraft.

On the other hand it allows you to act as a full partner in NATO operations with a unified chain of supply rather than your own bespoke system.

Fundamentally, your fifth point is a matter of your national military philosophy and your expectations for the next fifty years of geopolitics and as a UK citizen I'm very poorly placed to comment.

Overall though, if you want to maintain a modern airforce into the 21st century then the F-35 is pretty much the only way to go. It's a major step up in capability from the CF-18 and you won't see an equivalent for at least 20 years.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It seems that both Australia and Canada are backing away from this program.
From an austgov perspective, that is absolute nonsense. Australia is not even remotely close to stepping away from JSF

There are a whole pile of other projects that are linked to it which are critical to future force development

Balancing and/or rebalancing force structure against curr schedule has got zero to do with Govt and Defences committment to the capability.
 

Haavarla

Active Member
Thanks for the thoughts. I am curious, as far as you know does Russia build anything comparable to the F35?
Russia AF does not need a singel engine fighter. They are quite happy with the two engine jets, which have longer range. Allbeight they are expensive to operate, i fail to see the need for a new singel engine tactical fighter spread around Russian Borders. VVS has closed down many Air Bases and concentrate their remaining units on larger and fewer Air Bases. Probably to save cost.

And looking at their current re-armament plan, there are no singel engines fighter in sight. Only Flankers, etc.
 
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StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the thoughts. I am curious, as far as you know does Russia build anything comparable to the F35?
Neither Russia or China have anything like as advanced in terms of LO, sensor fusion, EODAS etc in production. Both have aircraft at prototype stage which have some features of the F22 or F35, but neither are in serial production, and as far as I'm aware, neither have flown with what is intended to be the production engine.

There's some question marks over the intentions for the Chinese programs as to if we're looking at test articles rather than prototypes I believe.
 

SpudmanWP

The Bunker Group
F-35 Fast Facts for Dec 11th, 2012

http://f-35.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/F-35-Fast-Facts-December-11-2012.pdf

Previously unreported Tidbits:
-- On November 3, CF-2 flew an HMD Jitter FTR mission completing first pilot evaluation.
-- On November 14, during setup for a 45,000 ft test point, AF-4 flew to 50,000 ft, the design altitude limit. This is the first time F-35 has flown to 50K.
-- On November 30, BF-1 accomplished the longest duration F-35 hover at 10 minutes.
-- On December 3, BF-1 accomplished its 200th vertical landing at PAX and completed maximum weight hover, vertical landing and 90 degree translation on December 6.
-- On December 6, BF-4 flew the first STOVL mode night ops, including night hover.
 

jack412

Member
Russia AF does not need a singel engine fighter. They are quite happy with the two engine jets, which have longer range. Allbeight they are expensive to operate, i fail to see the need for a new singel engine tactical fighter spread around Russian Borders. VVS has closed down many Air Bases and concentrate their remaining units on larger and fewer Air Bases. Probably to save cost.

And looking at their current re-armament plan, there are no singel engines fighter in sight. Only Flankers, etc.
I think russia has to build a decent engine in size and reliability before they could even consider their main plane to be a single engine.

Also I saw at key that you don't seem to realise that the f-35a is a SL 750kn with internal bombs and missiles airplane.
It has a dry cruise of M1.25 and restricted/limited to a max of M1.6 wet (not it's max potential speed), also whilst with internal bombs and missiles. I'll let you get the chart for Kn, alt and Mach numbers.
 

My2Cents

Active Member
I think russia has to build a decent engine in size and reliability before they could even consider their main plane to be a single engine.
Didn't the Mig-15, Mig-17, and Mig-21 only have one engine?

The USSR only built about 34,000 of them starting back in the 50's and up to 1985.
 
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