F-35 Multirole Joint Strike Fighter

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Bonza

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Winslow Wheeler is an idiot, that is my one and only thought. Of course he invents reasons why his ideas, against all emerging logic, must still be the correct ones. We've seen the same behaviour out of Air Power Australia for years and I'm not surprised in the least that he's taken this approach.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
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Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen speaking on 12 March 2013 at the Committee of Supply Debate 2013 said:

"Investing steadily over the long-term allows MINDEF to keep a constant lookout for platforms with cutting-edge capabilities that can provide Singapore with that strategic advantage. For this reason, we joined the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Programme as a Security Cooperation Participant (SCP) back in 2004. The JSF, as some members know, now the F-35, has the potential to be the most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft for decades to come.

Though the F-35 aircraft is still in development, we are nonetheless interested in the platform for our future needs. The F-35 will be the vanguard of next generation fighter aircraft when operational. Our F-5s are nearing the end of their operational life and our F-16s are at their mid-way mark. For the longer term, the RSAF has identified the F-35 as a suitable aircraft to further modernise our fighter fleet. We are now in the final stages of evaluating the F-35. So in the interest of transparency, I'm telling you we're now in the final stages of evaluating the F-35. MINDEF will have to be satisfied that this state-of-the-art multi-role fighter meets our long-term needs, is on track to be operationally capable and, most importantly, is a cost-effective platform. I've given many necessary caveats before we make a final decision, but we are evaluating the platform."
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has 24 F-15SGs, 20 F-16Cs and 40 F-16Ds, 28 F-5Ss and nine F-5Ts, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. It also has 19 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters among its other assorted aircraft. It is not a surprise to see news reports stating that, 'Singapore Poised To Announce Purchase Of 12 F-35Bs'. It has been leaked to the press (see also a Reuters article on the same topic) that Singapore plans to procure the F-35B and as noted in the AOL news article dated 25 March 2013:

"The Singaporeans are extremely shy about declaring their intentions in public, eager to offer few chances for China and Malaysia to react, but two sources familiar with the program confirmed the likely announcement. Given Singapore's tiny size its choice of which of the three F-35 versions to buy is not surprising. A plane that can take off almost vertically and can land vertically is able to operate from a much smaller footprint than, say the F-35A (the Air Force version) or F-16 Block 60s. And, given Singapore's geography, the F-35B makes great sense for its ability to operate closely with the US Marines...

...One senior official from the region, who has access to the most sensitive classified information about the system, told me recently that the F-35 is "simply undefeatable." And this official said the aircraft is expected to maintain its dominance for at least one quarter of a century...

...Strengthening this highly capable net will be the new F-35 plant Japan is expected to announce soon. Mistubishi Heavy Industries is expected to construct a plant to build Japan's F-35s. It would eventually provide the US and its Pacific allies with a central repair and replacement plant in the region, one in addition to any repair centers the US builds in the region.

Add the regular port visits to Singapore by the Littoral Combat Ship fleet to the F-35 decision and you've got a pretty powerful national security statement by the tiny state."

It is known that as a Security Cooperation Participant, Singapore had requested studies on the suitability of the F-35B, in augmenting and enhancing the RSAF's ability to address its threat matrix (which includes neighbours who can be at times ambitious and willing to impose an embargo, or such other coercive measure, as part of their negotiating tactics to settle disputes) and fit within the RSAF's concept of operations.

To assure Singapore's survival, it has aided its neighbours when in need – due to financial crisis or natural disaster – regardless of ideological or cultural differences but it retains breathing room to manage its vital strategic interests by consistently funding and growing the capabilities of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

The groundwork for Exercise Torrent was laid 35 years ago and the first Exercise Torrent was conducted in 1986. The capabilities RSAF demonstrated today can be traced to the Operational Master Plan (OMP) for RSAF air bases that the Ministry of Defence drew up in the mid-1970s. Dr Goh Keng Swee, the architect of the SAF, was defence minister then and Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the then prime minister. Singapore's defence planners recognised even then that attacks against air bases could clip the RSAF's wings. Therefore, the RSAF has developed over the years several measures to mitigate any attempt to restrict its air operations, including hardened/camouflaged airbases, a well-established runway repair capability, main taxiways which serve as secondary runways and public roads which double up as alternate runways should the need arise. [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBMD4QTSyqM"]From Roads to Runways - YouTube[/nomedia]


The RSAF's flighter fleet would count for nothing if runways were damaged. Lack of air cover would, in turn, jeopardise the mobilisation of SAF units during the first 6 critical hours, when large numbers of citizen soldiers reporting at mobilisation centres (citizen soldiers on alert are required to report to their mobilisation centres within 6 hours or less) would present an aggressor with a target-rich environment (eg. Exercise Torrent VI, last held in 2008 - where the RSAF converted a public road into an alternate runway). [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnkNaF45BK0"]RSAF Exercise Torrent 2008 - HD - YouTube[/nomedia]


During Exercise Torrent VI, 400 RSAF personnel took 48 hours to transform a 2,500m long road into a runway. Twelve warplanes - representing all of the RSAF's fighter types in service in 2008 and one E-2C Hawkeye - broke the speed limit along Lim Chu Kang Road as they showcased the RSAF's little-known capability to launch and recover aircraft using a public road, under the OMP. For a country that counts the hours in hardening its defence posture, evaluating the F-35B for fit within the SAF's concept of operations make perfect sense.

Further, a squadron of easily-dispersed F-35Bs would ensure that the RSAF would keep-up with air power generation even if all its airbases and runways are under attack at the same time. Knowing that the RSAF retains an air combat capability with alternate runways and F-35B would complicate any aggressor's calculations in attempting a first strike to negate Singapore's defences.

Of particular interest is the low key growth of Japan-Singapore defence relations. Both countries are co-chairing the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Military Medicine. In 2012, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen made his introductory visit to Japan from 9 – 11 October. He met with his counterpart Satoshi Morimoto (and also met Chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee Yasukazu Hamada). Further, in Oct 2012, Japan's navy marked its 60th anniversary with a fleet review that was joined by vessels from the United States, Singapore and Australia.

In 2013, Chief of Staff of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), General Haruhiko Kataoka, called on Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in his introductory visit to Singapore from January 27 to 29 (and met with Singapore Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong and Chief of Air Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng).
 
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Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen speaking on 12 March 2013 at the Committee of Supply Debate 2013 said:

"Investing steadily over the long-term allows MINDEF to keep a constant lookout for platforms with cutting-edge capabilities... The JSF, as some members know, now the F-35, has the potential to be the most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft for decades to come.

Though the F-35 aircraft is still in development, we are nonetheless interested in the platform for our future needs. The F-35 will be the vanguard of next generation fighter aircraft when operational... For the longer term, the RSAF has identified the F-35 as a suitable aircraft to further modernise our fighter fleet. We are now in the final stages of evaluating the F-35... I've given many necessary caveats before we make a final decision, but we are evaluating the platform."

The Republic of Singapore Air Force has 24 F-15SGs, 20 F-16Cs and 40 F-16Ds, 28 F-5Ss and nine F-5Ts, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. It also has 19 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters among its other assorted aircraft. It is not a surprise to see news reports stating that, 'Singapore Poised To Announce Purchase Of 12 F-35Bs'...

...

During Exercise Torrent VI, 400 RSAF personnel took 48 hours to transform a 2,500m long road into a runway. Twelve warplanes - representing all of the RSAF's fighter types in service in 2008 and one E-2C Hawkeye - broke the speed limit along Lim Chu Kang Road as they showcased the RSAF's little-known capability to launch and recover aircraft using a public road, under the OMP. For a country that counts the hours in hardening its defence posture, evaluating the F-35B for fit within the SAF's concept of operations make perfect sense...
I am glad to see thats being given due consideration, and I might add that I enjoyed perusing your fighter 101, I have learned a great deal myself about the F-35s weapons and capabilities, whether directly from this thread or others here on Defense talk or researching flight global or the Air Force Magazines Daily Report, as well as on Sino Defense.

BDPopeye on Sino Defense, posted some excellant pics of the F-35Bs that the Marines have stood up at Yuma, and although I believe they have 3 now, they have flown a two ship, and performed the first STOVL operations of the B in an operational setting outside of the testing environment, which the Marines noted as a first that they are quite proud of. I also noted that Nelllis T&E crew now have four F-35As which they are proceeding to incorporate into the excellent operation Red Flag exercises at Nellis, as they establish the War Fighting capabilitys, they expect 8 more to round out the T&E squadron. So things are looking up considerably for the F-35, and I can hardly wait for the C's carrier quals which should be commencing shortly in spite of our little ordeal with sequestration???? I might add that things were progressing nicely in preparation for that big event at Patuxant NAS. Cheers Brat
 
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gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
no more angry letters from the Malays about poking into their air space. (the truck drivers will still struggle though) /grin
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
OT...

I am glad to see thats being given due consideration, and I might add that I enjoyed perusing your fighter 101...
We aim to please with our backgrounders, and I think you mean the thread on "Airpower 101 for New Members", rather than fighter 101. Cheers.

no more angry letters from the Malays about poking into their air space. (the truck drivers will still struggle though) /grin
They have other fish to fry in Sabah, at the moment, and I think I best leave it at that.
 

King Wally

Active Member
I much enjoyed the Airpower 101 read too thank you. It led me to run off and read up about the Iran - Iraq air war where Iran used the F-14 tomcat to cut down swaves of Iraqi Migs.

Full hit list here of Iranian air victories- Iranian aerial victories during the Iran-Iraq war - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It reinforced the idea to me that Air Power is a dynamic where nearly good enough doesn't cut it. Where one pilot in a superior F-14 could cut down 11 seamingly decent quality Migs/Su's/Mirages.

Thinking ahead into the 2020's I was struck by the notion of just how important a project like the JSF is. If this platform can provide just that same small edge over the enemy the outcome can be far more prolific then you think is possible. The proof will only really be known once they see service but I have a good feeling, a very good feeling.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Thinking ahead into the 2020's I was struck by the notion of just how important a project like the JSF is. If this platform can provide just that same small edge over the enemy the outcome can be far more prolific then you think is possible. The proof will only really be known once they see service but I have a good feeling, a very good feeling.
Unfortunately most of the hysteria that gets generated in the debate about JSF is platform centric - and those users are obviously clueless about how the tech and influence to warfighting has hit not only F-22, but also has influenced other programs such as the P8's, AEWC platforms and data sharing and use-reuse in general

air, land and sea programs are being influenced by the constructs that this platform has triggered.

its irrelevant in the end what those idiots think. they demonstrate time and time again that they have not gripped up the changes to warfighting that are happening. and have been evolving in the background for years

the irony is that other manufacturers (and countries) have taken the holier than thou approach and yet they're developing their own solutions using similar if not identical constructs

go figure.
 

Guynumber7

New Member
So i am wondering...is the F-35 right for Canada?


The fact remains that we will likely only go in to fight enemy nations once the USA has already knocked out the majority of enemy air defenses and fighters, so do we really need the F-35 to be a bomb platform when the SH can do it just fine?

Unless of course Harper feels like he wants to be on on the first wave
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
So i am wondering...is the F-35 right for Canada?


The fact remains that we will likely only go in to fight enemy nations once the USA has already knocked out the majority of enemy air defenses and fighters, so do we really need the F-35 to be a bomb platform when the SH can do it just fine?

Unless of course Harper feels like he wants to be on on the first wave
Depends, would you be satisfied with Canada buying 65% of the capability of F-35 at near 95% of the price?

Super Hornet is a very useful plane today. What is it going to be like in 30 years time?

Do you think Canada will necessarily commit F-35 in the "first wave" just because it has them and they are capable enough to do so?

Do they send F/A-18A/B to every conflict just because you have them and they are capable enough today to do so?
 
The first operational JSF for the marines has fallen out of the sky trying to do a short take off and vertical landing.(Sorry i am having a journalist day today )

[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvu2UUo86OQ"]Marine Corps' F-35B Conducts First Vertical Landing - YouTube[/nomedia]



Also the First F-35A has arrived an Nellis AFB

[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAKn1UrQY2A"]First F-35A Aircraft Arrive at Nellis AFB for Operational Testing - YouTube[/nomedia]


A few more tick's in the box for JSF
 
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King Wally

Active Member
The first operational JSF for the marines has fallen out of the sky trying to do a short take off and vertical landing.(Sorry i am having a journalist day today )

Marine Corps' F-35B Conducts First Vertical Landing - YouTube



Also the First F-35A has arrived an Nellis AFB

First F-35A Aircraft Arrive at Nellis AFB for Operational Testing - YouTube


A few more tick's in the box for JSF
The look on my face when I watch the clip... that will teach me for missing sarcasm! :p:

So i am wondering...is the F-35 right for Canada?


The fact remains that we will likely only go in to fight enemy nations once the USA has already knocked out the majority of enemy air defenses and fighters, so do we really need the F-35 to be a bomb platform when the SH can do it just fine?

Unless of course Harper feels like he wants to be on on the first wave
The SH is a good option, but at the end of the day its not the same as the F-35. Picking up an entire fleet of new SH certainly isn't free either, its a huge investment regardless. Question is do you want to spend a crap load of money on something you dont have total confidense in come 2020/2030 or do you want to spend a little more to get something you can send into a hot situation in years to come knowing full well your playing with the strongest deck of cards at your disposal.

The decision isn't about how the situation looks this year or next year, you need to think about what multitude of maybe's you could have to face in 20 years time.

I was thinking about this the other day.... and the best example I could imagine would be if I got myself a nice little time machine and I went back to the late 70's and had to choose between say picking up a fleet of proven F-4 Phantom's/F-5 Tigers or taking a punt on the more expensive F-15's/F-16's that were coming into picture. In hindsight what would have been the right call and the best option to take your nation forward several decades?
 
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Marc 1

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
To the question of what's best - if you were a canadian fighter pilot - you'd feel pretty ripped off going into a gunfight armed with a knife. F-35 all the way.
 

RobWilliams

Super Moderator
Staff member
Bit of interservice politics here it seems like

Former USN chief suggests DOD should cancel F-35A in favour of C-model

Former US Navy chief of naval operations Adm Gary Roughead says the US Department of Defense (DoD) should consider eliminating the F-35A version of the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in favour of the carrier-based F-35C. In recent weeks, the idea has gathered momentum with current and former defence officials saying the Pentagon's office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) is studying the idea even though the DoD officially denies those claims.

Roughead says the question must be asked as to whether it is better to reduce the number of F-35 variants to a short take-off and vertical landing variant and one version that can take-off and land conventionally. "My simple logic says it probably is, but there are a lot of factors that go into it," he says.

Roughead says it makes sense to have the US Air Force adopt the C-model jet because it can operate from land bases as well as from the US Navy's 11 "big deck" aircraft carriers, whereas the A-model cannot. "The reason that I said to go with the C is because you will still want to be able to use the JSF from aircraft carriers," he says. It also has greater range than the USAF's A-model aircraft.
When push comes to shove, each department will probably defend their particular variant which is to be expected.

What d'you guys think?

Personally, i'm not so sure. The last range comment isn't particularly major as the difference is ~60km which - when we're talking numbers >1000km - doesn't seem such a big deal.

On another note, AMRAAM weapons release from a F35B (BF-03)

[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRl5S5HSa-c"]F-35B BF-03 performing an AIM 120 Weapon Separation - YouTube[/nomedia]
 

AegisFC

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Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Admiral Roughead retired in 2011 so his comments are nowhere near official. That said, various air forces have used naval fighters to good effect before, notably the F-4 and the F-18.
 

RobWilliams

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yeah, the bit of that quote that got me thinking was

. . .In recent weeks, the idea has gathered momentum with current and former defence officials saying the Pentagon's office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) is studying the idea even though the DoD officially denies those claims.
I highlighted the important bits, could be a fair amount of smoke and mirrors however.

Ultimately, I reckon that the idea of cutting any of the variants is going to produce some extremely p!ssed off customers in one form or another, especially the A. Don't really see it happening to be honest, although it's an interesting turn of events where not so long ago there were people about who were supremely confident that by now the F35B wouldn't exist anymore.
 
Yeah, the bit of that quote that got me thinking was



I highlighted the important bits, could be a fair amount of smoke and mirrors however.

Ultimately, I reckon that the idea of cutting any of the variants is going to produce some extremely p!ssed off customers in one form or another, especially the A. Don't really see it happening to be honest, although it's an interesting turn of events where not so long ago there were people about who were supremely confident that by now the F35B wouldn't exist anymore.
I'd say you had this one nailed, it ain't gonna happen, lots of folks love to yak this airplane up, but mostly down, it is doing well, Lockmart just received the 100th Center Section from NorthRupp/Grumann and it is to be an A, I believe AF-48. cheers Brat
 

protoplasm

Member
With the additional production cost of the C vs the A there wouldn't be that much of a saving to be made. On top of that it'd frustrate every other country that is looking for A-model planes, they don't have CATOBAR carriers that need the bigger C wing or the beefed up structure so why would they want to pay for them?
 

RobWilliams

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's exactly it, but as AegisFC said earlier that naval aircraft operated in a conventional role within an air force have had success in the past.

The point of the C/A issue earlier was that then the USAF would operate the C as well as the USN meaning they too have the airframe prepped for work it should never really end up doing.

I dunno, it's all moot anyway. Each service will get their respective variant because they know that there's either nothing or 'a bit newer' of what they've already got for the next, say, 30 years if they give up their own variant. They know what's at stake.

The interesting part is that now I think there's been a full circle in regards to pointing to the variant which *should* be axed :rolleyes:

@AFB

That's a pretty neat bit of info, cheers!
 
That's exactly it, but as AegisFC said earlier that naval aircraft operated in a conventional role within an air force have had success in the past.

The point of the C/A issue earlier was that then the USAF would operate the C as well as the USN meaning they too have the airframe prepped for work it should never really end up doing.

I dunno, it's all moot anyway. Each service will get their respective variant because they know that there's either nothing or 'a bit newer' of what they've already got for the next, say, 30 years if they give up their own variant. They know what's at stake.

The interesting part is that now I think there's been a full circle in regards to pointing to the variant which *should* be axed :rolleyes:

@AFB

That's a pretty neat bit of info, cheers!
Well, one thing that allayed some of my initial concerns was popping over on our sister forum and scoping out the competition, as far as we know today, there are two-three J-20 prototypes, two flying, one J-31 with one or possibly two flights, and four or so T-50s, this does lead one to the possibility that gen five aircraft are very sophisticated from every aspect, and in my very humble opinion, the named aircraft fall short of the fifth gen bar. As much as I was bone-headed against "concurrency", once Vice-Admiral Ventlet slowed that process slightly and allowed the equipment to catch up to the engineering, well I have been astounded by the end product to say the least.
Rob you are quite right to point out the "circular" reasoning of the "version cutters", I do believe Great Britains selection of the B has been very fortunate, and has allowed the Marines to pick up their Bs, which I believe will continue to be developed into a very fine airplane, as is the A is and the C will be very shortly. I really am looking forward to the carrier quals of the C, and each one of these aircraft are filling the niche they were designed to and as the high AoA testing illustrated, having a target of 50 degrees, and exceeding that target by flying the aircraft to 23 degrees is in and of itself an amazing engineering feat, and proof that the basic aeros of the F-35 are very sound indeed. Cheers AFB
 
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