Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning and F-22 'Raptor' : News & Discussion

Picdelamirand-oil

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@Picdelamirand-oil do you have a source or evidence for this?
L’avion de combat F-35, développé par Lockheed-Martin, disposera de l’ensemble des capacités inscrites dans son cahier des charges qu’une fois qu’il aura été porté au standard « Block 4 », dont le développement a par ailleurs déjà pris du retard, tout en générant des surcoûts

Dans le détail, il s’agit d’intégrer à cet appareil 66 nouvelles fonctionnalités, pour un montant qui devrait atteindre, selon les calculs Government Accountability Office [GAO, équivalent américain de la Cour des comptes] 14,4 milliards de dollars au lieu des 10,6 milliards initialement prévus par le Bureau du programme F-35 au Pentagone.

Seulement, l’ajout de ces nouvelles capacités supposerait également une mise à niveau du moteur F-135 de l’avion, lequel est fourni par Pratt & Whitney. Or, selon la vice-président du motoriste américain, Jen Latka, la modernisation de ce moteur n’a pas été incluse dans le standard Block 4. C’est en effet ce qu’elle a récemment expliqué dans un entretien accordé à Defense News.

Ainsi, selon elle, le F-135 serait déjà « exploité au-delà de ses spécifications » car de nouvelles fonctionnalités ont été ajoutées au F-35. Et le problème ne pourra qu’empirer avec le Block 4 dans la mesure où l’appareil sera plus lourd, ce qui nécessitera une meilleure gestion thermique et davantage de puissance. C’est ce qu’a d’ailleurs reconnu le général Eric Fick, le responsable du programme F-35 au Pentagone, lors d’une récente audition parlementaire.
Translation
The F-35 fighter, developed by Lockheed-Martin, will only have all the capabilities specified in its specifications once it has been upgraded to the "Block 4" standard, the development of which has already fallen behind schedule, while generating additional costs

In detail, it is a question of integrating 66 new functions into this aircraft, for an amount that should reach, according to the calculations of the Government Accountability Office [GAO, the American equivalent of the Court of Auditors], 14.4 billion dollars instead of the 10.6 billion initially planned by the F-35 Programme Office at the Pentagon.

However, the addition of these new capabilities would also require an upgrade of the aircraft's F-135 engine, which is supplied by Pratt & Whitney. However, according to Jen Latka, vice president of the American engine manufacturer, the upgrade of this engine was not included in the Block 4 standard. This is what she recently explained in an interview with Defense News.

Thus, according to her, the F-135 is already "operating beyond its specifications" because new features have been added to the F-35. And the problem will only get worse with the Block 4 as the aircraft will be heavier, requiring better thermal management and more power. This was acknowledged by General Eric Fick, the Pentagon's F-35 programme manager, at a recent parliamentary hearing.

There is certainly other sources but it needs a lot of work to find them.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Preparatory report of the Comptroller General on the cost of armaments for the 2022 budget :

Page 6:
Aircraft and Related Systems
$52.4 billion – 21 percent of the Investment budget request

Includes funding for aircraft research and development, aircraft procurement, initial spares, and aircraft support equipment.

The single largest defense program, the 5th generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), request of $12.0 billion for 85 aircraft for the Navy (F-35C), Marine Corps (F-35B & C) and Air Force (F-35A), which also includes the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2) Block IV modification program which aims to bring aircraft procured in prior fiscal years to the Block IV configuration.

Also in the FY 2022 request are 12 - 4th generation F-15EX aircraft to supplement the Air Force Tactical Aviation (TACAIR) strike capability. The FY 2022 PB program also reflects the Department’s strategy to layer capability to address different threats;
5th generation F-35 jet fighters to address advance technology aircraft being deployed by Russia and China;
a modernized 4th generation F-15EX aircraft, which nominally have lower operating costs when compared to 5th generation combat jets such as the F-22 and the F-35 to supplement the 5th generation systems.

Also in this category is the funding for attack and utility helicopters; Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS); manned reconnaissance platforms and systems; the incremental cost for the VC-25B Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) aircraft; the KC-46A Pegasus tanker; as well as future platforms such as the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber and the Next Generation Air Dominance (6th generation fighter).
 

Spitfire6

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Having an IFR that doesn't retract is like having your head permanently stuck out the sunroof in a car doing 120mph, not to mention all the sh*t balloons you need to hang under the aircraft on a Rafale.

Thats the "stealth probe" that all "we are also kind of stealth" fighters have sticking out. its the "Active stealth" part

Yes, but it has the aerodynamics of a subsonic guinea fowl.
Rafale looks like a stubby fat gripen to me, but at least the F414 has some power for the Gripen.
 
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Innominate

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Hawn-Briefing-Slide-jpeg.jpg

This spring, Laurie Hawn, former CF-18 Commanding Officer and former Member of Parliament, participated in a 3-way debate about Canada’s fighter competition with Boeing test pilot and friend of many of us, Ricardo Traven, and someone else talking on behalf of the Saab Gripen. During that briefing, Laurie used a slide that was passed from Lockheed Martin (LM) and is part of an unclassified briefing based on a once classified battle analysis. The scenario is essentially us (Blue Forces) outnumbered 3:1 against a Red Force. That adversary, logically either Russian or Chinese, would fly 4+ Gen fighters and would be up against different scenarios of good-guy fighters (Blue).

We start with 40 Blue fighters against 120 Red fighters. We assume 80% availability of our jets and that they fly once a day. We also assume the very best of capabilities for the advanced 4th Gen fighters that we use for Blue forces, likely more capable than a Canadian Super Hornet or a Canadian Gripen could ever be. We assume that if we lose 20 of our Blue fighters, we have lost the battle. The tool used is a US Government war game with a ‘Lanchester Assessment’ war gaming analysis which uses real world assumptions for how this battle would be conducted. Neither Lockheed Martin nor the F-35 Program Office invented this data. It comes from US Government assessments and was released for public viewing by LM (hence how it came to be sent to Laurie Hawn).

The Red Force is the best of our adversaries’ capabilities. In the scenarios, the Blue Force starts with only 4th Gen fighters…and they only take out 6 Red before 20 Blue jets are lost. When 5th Gen starts to be introduced, the exchange ratios improve with growing amounts of 5th Gen versus 4th Gen. When 75% of the 5th Gen fighters in the Blue mix, all 120 adversaries are destroyed but there are still 19 Blue losses. Only when there are exclusively 5th Gen fighters for Blue, does the Blue force neutralize all the adversaries while losing 9 fighters of their own.

So, what does this war game mean? Who really understands or cares about military war gaming? The lesson is stark even for politicians to see. If Canada buys 4th Gen Super Hornet or Gripen fighters and ever encounters the adversary that we face across the polar icecap or off the Western coast of British Columbia, Canadian fighters will get shot down, pilots will die. I read often that Canadians don’t expect to be sent in on Day 1 of the War. Ask the Canadian pilots who flew in Desert Storm in 1991, ask the pilots who flew in Operation Allied Force in 1999 and ask any of us who have been deployed in combat operations whether the Canadians were going to be sent in last when the real fighting was over. That assumption is absurd; there is no second string in combat…everyone is going into battle. If Canada elects to buy a last generation fighter to replace the CF-18, then expect the risk of losing Canadian pilots in combat to be extremely high.

I usually stay away from the fear mongering when talking about F-35 or other fighters. I heard it too often from my Boeing friends how Canadian fighter pilots are going to lose an engine in a single engine fighter from the ‘goose that didn’t get the memo’ and then crash and die in the arctic, never to be found. All that rhetoric gets old especially as so much of it is taken wildly out of context.

The classified version of this briefing is more elaborate and was offered to Canada’s Standing Committee on Defense. At the time, MP Stephen Fuhr (Liberal for Kelowna-Lake Country), who was once a CF-18 pilot and was head of that committee, repeatedly refused to receive the classified briefing about this analysis. If he and other members of the committee had been briefed, they would have been compelled to honor the analysis and realize the potential consequences of pursuing a 4th Gen replacement for the CF-18. As a stanch Boeing supporter, Fuhr was never going to permit F-35 to be given a forum where Super Hornet and 4th Gen fighter lack of survivability would be questioned. Although he has since failed to be re-elected and returned to civilian life, the effect remained. Canadian politicians were never briefed on what other nations’ leaders knew about the F-35 and future wars. Today, in the last stages of this round of Canada’s fighter competition, no interaction with politicians is permitted and this briefing cannot be given to them. Perhaps someday, decision makers will get to hear this information much as I have passed on a watered-down version in this blog.

It would be more effective if all Canadians could hear this assessment. No one in Canada would ever allow Canadian fighter pilots to be sent into combat where their survivability would be at risk. Forget the politicians, public opinion would be strong enough to dissuade a 4th Gen fighter from being selected.

Fear mongering…maybe there is a place for it in Canada.
 
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randomradio

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“Operational analysis has indicated that the even-more-advanced Block 4 configuration is necessary to be effective in a conflict with China,” the report states. “However, challenges with maturing all of the Block 4 technologies has slid delivery of the full Block IV suite to at least 2029, and this is a significant factor in the Air Force's decision to slow F-35A procurement.”

Looks like it's going to meet Picdel's estimate of 2031 quite easily.

Anyway, it appears the F-35 won't be available with the necessary capabilities by 2026-27, during a potential war over Taiwan. Hopefully the F-22 MLU is complete by then.
 
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AbRaj

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Rafale looks like a stubby fat gripen to me, but at least the F414 has some power for the Gripen.
Gripen E is an excellent SE fighter for Swedish Air Force and good option for countries under the domain of US influence.

But for other countries who want to be independent of US arm twisting tactics, it's a nightmare just like Typhoon.
And that's Where Burst Makes much more sense.

France Was wise enough not to depend too much there other countries icts for development. Rafale don't claim to be a stealth fighter like say Su 57 or J20 but LO fighter which is potent enough to do most of the jobs at comparatively affordable price and not that maintenance intensive. It has all the right weapons for multi-role deployment.
It has Airforce and Navy Both versions with high degree of commonality THUS Reducing costs. It has a modern multirole Digital AESA and an advanced EW suit capable to work effectively in contested airspace.

Also it has firm backing of Dassault and French forces for further development.
And that's a lot of advantages for a country seeking for a Fourth gen plus fighter.
 
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Optimist

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Thats the "stealth probe" that all "we are also kind of stealth" fighters have sticking out. its the "Active stealth" part
Is that what it is for. I thought it was somewhere to hang the 'situational awareness binoculars' When not in use by the back seat. That the Rafale found to be essential in Afghanistan.
 

AbRaj

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Gripen E is an excellent SE fighter for Swedish Air Force and good option for countries under the domain of US influence.

But for other countries who want to be independent of US arm twisting tactics, it's a nightmare just like Typhoon.
And that's Where Burst Makes much more sense.

France Was wise enough not to depend too much there other countries icts for development. Rafale don't claim to be a stealth fighter like say Su 57 or J20 but LO fighter which is potent enough to do most of the jobs at comparatively affordable price and not that maintenance intensive. It has all the right weapons for multi-role deployment.
It has Airforce and Navy Both versions with high degree of commonality THUS Reducing costs. It has a modern multirole Digital AESA and an advanced EW suit capable to work effectively in contested airspace.

Also it has firm backing of Dassault and French forces for further development.
And that's a lot of advantages for a country seeking for a Fourth gen plus fighter.
Damn this iPhone autocorrect. It's shit (just like F35 😀) or maybe it's Chrome browser. Both are shit anyway.
 
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Optimist

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Gripen E is an excellent SE fighter for Swedish Air Force and good option for countries under the domain of US influence.

But for other countries who want to be independent of US arm twisting tactics, it's a nightmare just like Typhoon.
And that's Where Burst Makes much more sense.

France Was wise enough not to depend too much there other countries icts for development. Rafale don't claim to be a stealth fighter like say Su 57 or J20 but LO fighter which is potent enough to do most of the jobs at comparatively affordable price and not that maintenance intensive. It has all the right weapons for multi-role deployment.
It has Airforce and Navy Both versions with high degree of commonality THUS Reducing costs. It has a modern multirole Digital AESA and an advanced EW suit capable to work effectively in contested airspace.

Also it has firm backing of Dassault and French forces for further development.
And that's a lot of advantages for a country seeking for a Fourth gen plus fighter.
India had to spend significant money. To upgrade the Rafale to a point where it was good enough to go into service with India. It was so expensive, only a small number were bought. Future buys will be hard. Hopefully the skills transferred from Dassault, will aid other Indian developments.
 
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AbRaj

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India had to spend significant money. To upgrade the Rafale to a point where it was good enough to go into service with India. It was so expensive, only a small number were bought. Future buys will be hard. Hopefully the skills transferred from Dassault, will aid other Indian developments.​
Correct
Initial plan was to order them in large quantities and therefore we spend a lot on what they called “India specific Enhancements”
Here are those 13 India-specific enhancements to the Rafale jets:
  • Radio Altimeter height measurement from 10,000 feet to 15,000 feet
  • Radar Warning receiver (RWR) frequency band from 2.5 -18 GHz to 10 18 GHz
  • Low Band Jammer (LBJ) pod with frequency band of 1- 4.5 gHz
  • Flight Data Recorder (FDR) recording time from 10 hours data to 16 hours data plus two hours of audio
  • High altitude engine start-up to 12,000 feet
  • Non Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) mode in Radar
  • Doppler Beam Sharpening (DBS) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) modes in Radar
  • Ground Moving Target Indicator and Ground Moving Target Track (GMTI / T) modes in Radar
  • Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST)
  • Helmet Mounted Display (HMD)
  • Training Mode in Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS)
  • Towed DecoysVery High Frequency Omni Range (VOR)


Nothing specific. Just routine upgrade so that they can operate in high altitude and in contested airspace for which Dassault made us pay, and which will be offered to its future customers. Don't forget that Rafale won against Typhoon because it was L1 bidder (Lowest price).

Anyway despite of the cancellation of the tender, IAF is planning to buy the same plane in batches. And if Dassult can offer us a good deal, overall it will still be cost effective choice for IAF, considering that we don't have to pay for anything extra for ground infrastructure, maintenance and training etc.
PS: we are not making them here, so I doubt any skill will be transferred in this case. It's a CBU purchase directly from France.
 

randomradio

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India had to spend significant money. To upgrade the Rafale to a point where it was good enough to go into service with India. It was so expensive, only a small number were bought. Future buys will be hard. Hopefully the skills transferred from Dassault, will aid other Indian developments.

The IAF wanted 80 jets, then settled for 36. The rest will come in through a tender.

There is room for a second order of 36 while the tender is running, it's difficult to say if they will go for it or just stick with the tender.
 

Optimist

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The US won't help much, to set up local production. I thought that was the selling point of the Rafale. So the manufacturing isn't going ahead with any future buys either? I saw that the SU-57 is still being offered.
 

randomradio

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The US won't help much, to set up local production. I thought that was the selling point of the Rafale. So the manufacturing isn't going ahead with any future buys either? I saw that the SU-57 is still being offered.

The US is willing to set up local production, the only difference is the Europeans and Russians can offer more critical technologies. While the US is only good for the airframe, the Europeans and Russians are good for the engine too. Electronics ToT is expected to be a bit limited from all.

The MRFA tender for 114 jets will see local production. The IAF doesn't want large purchases made without the ability to support the jet in India.

The Su-57 is a whole different requirement. The options are to go for our own version, license produce the export version, buy a small number or scrap it entirely, the decision is pending, awaiting the completion of the jet around 2024-25, or after MRFA is done with. Anyway, I bet the govt plans to fish for political benefits with the US.
 

zinswinsin

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NGAD should absolutely drop the short range version and toss all efforts onto the long range version.

F-35 can handle Europe just fine. The Russians will not hit 100 SU-57's by the end of decade lmao.

China is all that matters.
 

zinswinsin

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The US is willing to set up local production, the only difference is the Europeans and Russians can offer more critical technologies. While the US is only good for the airframe, the Europeans and Russians are good for the engine too. Electronics ToT is expected to be a bit limited from all.

The MRFA tender for 114 jets will see local production. The IAF doesn't want large purchases made without the ability to support the jet in India.

The Su-57 is a whole different requirement. The options are to go for our own version, license produce the export version, buy a small number or scrap it entirely, the decision is pending, awaiting the completion of the jet around 2024-25, or after MRFA is done with. Anyway, I bet the govt plans to fish for political benefits with the US.

I will say that US opinion of tech transferring is a lot different after AUKUS. What better way to ruffle some more feathers than an engine tech transfer?

Nuclear submarine technology was the blue chip of the blue chip yet we gave it to the Australians. I don't think there would be an issue if India approached Congress again over the 404 or 414.

Japan is going to require assistance with the F-3, India getting the engine for 4.5 planes seems like a good idea to my pea brain and I'm sure it's a discussion point in DC and the Pentagon.

If USA is working on 6th gen engines IDK, I would much rather India catch up quick.