F-35 Program - General Discussion

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I had the very fortunate opportunity to work beside a peep who's living was in the back of an AEW&C and they put a lot of asterisk's behind such a claim. Now, noting there is a difference between an E-2, E-7 and E-3...

There are two physical realities that will prevent such a statement being true - physics and accommodation. The first relates to the radar, the E-7 / E-3 aircraft simply have more power and a larger radar. They also have room for other bits and pieces that can me melded into the air picture. Pending a significant, elemental breakthrough, the larger aircraft will always have more quantity and variety of ergatrons to throw at the situation, granting better SA.

The second bit links to the crew. Without significant amounts of AI on the F-35 (and if it has it, the AEW&C has it - see power statement above) it's one person trying to understand the picture, fly the aircraft and fight the system. Compare to an AEW&C that, at worst has 3 people studying the air picture and nothing else. On the bigger aircraft that increases. With more eyes there are more specialisations and more ability to understand the situation.

They described it (broadly - and I'm paraphrasing) as a half-back v a coach. The half-back understands and sees the play on the field at that time and nothing else. The coach see's the whole match and has specialists looking at both teams to detail what happens next, then next, then next.
I suppose it would be more appropriate to qualify the statement with an "second only to a purpose designed AEW&C", and "offers AEW SA like performance in some areas". Perhaps the real improvement being noted is the F-35s sensor fusion is providing pilots with a level of SA they have only ever experienced when operation with a dedicated AEW capability, that is information they were previously reliant on an external capability to provide is now part of their embedded ISR suite.

Then again if the comparison is being drawn to a legacy AEW platform. Perhaps the difference isn't so great. I know the E-7 is world leading, but perhaps there are some things the F-35 automatically does better than an older E-3.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
I suppose it's also a little unclear as to whether this level of SA is provided by a single F35 or a flight of 4. I suspect the latter is more likely, with the fusion of multi-ship sensor data (both passive and active) being used to paint a picture that is greater and more detailed than what could be achieved merely by the sum of the flight's parts. I do take Takao's point in that it is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison, but I imagine this kind of 5th gen "data hoovering" is going to become ever more important as OPFOR A2/AD capabilities force dedicated ISR aircraft like E7 to operate at an increasingly greater distance from the FEBA.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I suppose it's also a little unclear as to whether this level of SA is provided by a single F35 or a flight of 4. I suspect the latter is more likely, with the fusion of multi-ship sensor data (both passive and active) being used to paint a picture that is greater and more detailed than what could be achieved merely by the sum of the flight's parts. I do take Takao's point in that it is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison, but I imagine this kind of 5th gen "data hoovering" is going to become ever more important as OPFOR A2/AD capabilities force dedicated ISR aircraft like E7 to operate at an increasingly greater distance from the FEBA.
It probably an unfortunate apples to oranges comparison that was an attempt to get the message across of just how much more capable the systems are than is the case with legacy combat aircraft. The F-35 has lots of mandraulic (persondraulic) processes automated so I imagine it would be a massive step up for many experienced combat pilots. Sort of like getting into a car with a fully sorted infotainment system, verses one with android auto and carplay tacked on to a legacy system, they both do the same thing but one just works and the other involves a lot of effort to get the same result.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Yep, plus sensor fusion combined with a secure, high bandwidth datalink like MADL probably lets an F35 flight do things from an SA standpoint that legacy jets can't. Cooperative geolocation of emitters springs to mind, alongside cooperative IRST and even radar employment (virtual arrays?).
 

locutus

New Member
Got bored last night and decided to visit Strategy Page for the first time in at least a year or more. Started reading a thread called AESA Angers Iran under the Fighters, Bombers, Recon board. I'm pasting a paragraph from the article here. Has anyone heard of this incident? I find it very difficult to believe.

The Triton UAV that was shot down was flying over international waters, as is normal, and at high altitude, so they could scan deep into Iran for whatever visual, radar and electronic data they could obtain. Iran insisted, without any evidence, that the Triton was over Iranian territory. This downing of an expensive (over $120 million) American UAV was meant to be provocative and, for the domestic Iranian audience, evidence that all the Iranian air defenses can get the job done. That is often not the case as there was recently an incident where an F-35 was seen (visually) over Iranian cities taking pictures but Iranian radars were unable to detect it. The commander of the Iranian air defense forces lost his job over that and the incident was not given a lot of publicity inside Iran.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Got bored last night and decided to visit Strategy Page for the first time in at least a year or more. Started reading a thread called AESA Angers Iran under the Fighters, Bombers, Recon board. I'm pasting a paragraph from the article here. Has anyone heard of this incident? I find it very difficult to believe.

The Triton UAV that was shot down was flying over international waters, as is normal, and at high altitude, so they could scan deep into Iran for whatever visual, radar and electronic data they could obtain. Iran insisted, without any evidence, that the Triton was over Iranian territory. This downing of an expensive (over $120 million) American UAV was meant to be provocative and, for the domestic Iranian audience, evidence that all the Iranian air defenses can get the job done. That is often not the case as there was recently an incident where an F-35 was seen (visually) over Iranian cities taking pictures but Iranian radars were unable to detect it. The commander of the Iranian air defense forces lost his job over that and the incident was not given a lot of publicity inside Iran.
Having read the article I wouldn't put a lot of stock in it. That's not to say that the F35 would be incapable of penetrating Iranian air defences in this way, but the source doesn't seem overly reputable.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Lockheed Martin announced on Monday 30/12/2019, that it has met its 2019 delivery target of 131 F-35 aircraft to the US and foreign partners. Lockheed Martin hits 2019 F-35 delivery target of 131 jets. It can't be to far away from going into full production. 2023 possibly?
The acquisition cost will be affected by production rate.

The production rate IIRC hovers around between 169 to 159, from lot 14 to 17:

— 141 F-35s for Lot 12 (2020), 160 F-35s for Lot 13 (2021) and 169 F-35s for Lot 14 (2022).​

— Lot 15 for 2023 delivery to all F-35 buyers globally is 116 F-35As, 29 F-35Bs, and 24 F-35Cs; a total of 169.
—Lot 16 for 2024 delivery to all F-35 buyers globally is 101 F-35As, 32 F-35Bs, 24 F-35Cs; a total of 157 aircraft.
— Lot 17 for 2025 delivery to all F-35 buyers globally is 98 F-35As, 37 F -35Bs, and 24 F-35Cs; a total of 159 aircraft.

This means Lockheed Martin has a build rate of about 8-10 F-35As per month, 3 F-35Bs per month and 2 F-35Cs per month.

If my above numbers and years, from memory are wrong, please feel freee to correct them.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Ian Knight posted some video from a test where eight SDBs were dropped from a F-35A's weapons bays.

Ian Knight also mentions that 16 SDBs were launched in the test.

With over 530+ fighters delivered, the F-35 program is delivering its promise of providing a 5th gen aircraft for partners and allies in 9 countries, with Singapore as the 10th country to acquire 4 to 12 of these F-35Bs around 2026-28.

The F-35 has four basic missions:

(i) air superiority, or offensive and defensive counterair;​

(ii) suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses (known as SEAD and DEAD);​

(iii) close air support; and​

(iv) strategic attack against high-value strategic and mobile targets.​

Singapore’s defence minister has confirmed that the 1st four F-35Bs (block 4 onwards) are to be delivered in 2026. Block 4 also adds a fifth basic mission, Mathias W. Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer said: “extended surface warfare.” Upgrades will enhance radar “for maritime surveillance, identification and targeting,” he explained, “because ‘maritime surface’ and ‘land surface’ are two different problems.” Search patterns on the open ocean will be improved, as will “being able to sense the order of battle in the maritime world.”

Even at lot 14 (block 3F), the F-35B acquisition cost has dropped to US$101.3 million — Singapore’s buy price for 2026-28 delivery should be lower as F-35B production will already have ramped-up from 32 to 37 per year in lots 16 and 17 (in the prior period). And the planned production numbers of lot 18 have not been revealed.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Apparently the F-35 Acquisition chief has a cunning plan, one that should make Baldric proud. This cunning plan is to go into full F-35 production in March 2021 which is only about 6 months away. We shall see because a lot can happen between now and then.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
And the IDF is increasing their overall purchase of the F35 up to 75, along with STAT delivery of two KC46 Pegasus.


Two KC-46s, no need for stat delivery as the RVS 2.0 isn’t due on production jets until 2024 so unless the Israelis have another alternative, why the rush?
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
A good overview of where the F35 is at nowadays from a current F35A driver:


Sounds like things are coming along nicely. Good to hear as an Aussie too, since we have almost half our fleet now.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
A good overview of where the F35 is at nowadays from a current F35A driver:


Sounds like things are coming along nicely. Good to hear as an Aussie too, since we have almost half our fleet now.
Air Power Australia, the Goon show, and its current cheerleader, Robert Gottliebsen, will contend that this video is propaganda produced by LM to hide all the known (by APA) shortcomings which they "know" exists in the F35 :rolleyes:
 

RogerP

New Member
Ian Knight posted some video from a test where eight SDBs were dropped from a F-35A's weapons bays.

Ian Knight also mentions that 16 SDBs were launched in the test.

With over 530+ fighters delivered, the F-35 program is delivering its promise of providing a 5th gen aircraft for partners and allies in 9 countries, with Singapore as the 10th country to acquire 4 to 12 of these F-35Bs around 2026-28.

The F-35 has four basic missions:
(i) air superiority, or offensive and defensive counterair;​
(ii) suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses (known as SEAD and DEAD);​
(iii) close air support; and​
(iv) strategic attack against high-value strategic and mobile targets.​

Singapore’s defence minister has confirmed that the 1st four F-35Bs (block 4 onwards) are to be delivered in 2026. Block 4 also adds a fifth basic mission, Mathias W. Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer said: “extended surface warfare.” Upgrades will enhance radar “for maritime surveillance, identification and targeting,” he explained, “because ‘maritime surface’ and ‘land surface’ are two different problems.” Search patterns on the open ocean will be improved, as will “being able to sense the order of battle in the maritime world.”

Even at lot 14 (block 3F), the F-35B acquisition cost has dropped to US$101.3 million — Singapore’s buy price for 2026-28 delivery should be lower as F-35B production will already have ramped-up from 32 to 37 per year in lots 16 and 17 (in the prior period). And the planned production numbers of lot 18 have not been revealed.
What ability, the F35 is junk as it was designed to not need a runway
The F-35 still has hundreds of problems the Pentagon has no plans on fixing - Task & Purpose (taskandpurpose.com)

LOL if we gave Russia the plans they would give them back, in fact these toys are being built in Italy and Japan. Japan lost one and either the Chinese or the Russians have it, so now they know how not to build a jet.

LOL if we gave Russia the plans they would give them back

F-35 Fail: The Stealth Fighter Still Has 883 Problems And There's No Solution in Sight | The National Interest
 

swerve

Super Moderator
"What ability, the F35 is junk as it was designed to not need a runway "
No. Three versions. Two (F-35A & F-35C) were designed for conventional take off & landing. One (F-35B) was designed for short take off (so it needs a runway of sorts, although only a short one) & vertical landing.

"Japan lost one and either the Chinese or the Russians have it "
It crashed into the sea east of NE Japan. The pilot's body & some parts were found. There's absolutely no reason to believe anyone found the wreck. The sea's quite deep there, & the Japanese would have noticed a search. It's not far from a major JASDF base.
 
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