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

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
3,633
4,247
74
France
They have already started operationalizing the Block 3F. By 2024, they should be completely combat capable with advanced European weapons.
It's only Lockheed Martin propaganda, There is hundred of critical failures, critical in the sense that they prevent being able to participate in a war (a real war not an operetta war).
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
It's only Lockheed Martin propaganda, There is hundred of critical failures, critical in the sense that they prevent being able to participate in a war (a real war not an operetta war).

Okay, we have to wait and see if that's the case.

One good litmus test is if the IN agrees to buy the F-35 if the failures still exist by the time they make the purchase. IN will obviously ask them to prove capability before they make a purchase.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
3,633
4,247
74
France
Okay, we have to wait and see if that's the case.

One good litmus test is if the IN agrees to buy the F-35 if the failures still exist by the time they make the purchase. IN will obviously ask them to prove capability before they make a purchase.

"Several essential capabilities – including aimed gunshots and Air-to-Air Range Infrastructure – had not yet been flight tested or did not yet work properly when Block 3FR6 was released," according to DOT&E's review. "The services [Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy] ... designated 276 deficiencies in combat performance as 'critical to correct' in Block 3F, but less than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with attempted corrections in 3FR6."

On top of that, DOT&E said that the delays with Revision 6, coupled with funding problems, had forced the F-35 program office to scrap its own existing plans for two follow-on software blocks, 3FR7 and 3FR8. At this point, it seems almost impossible to assess the true capabilities of any “Block 3F” code, positively or negatively, based on public descriptions, especially given the sheer number of major revisions and minor changes.

But most significantly, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we do know that the service already deliberately watered down its capability criteria to meet its own, self-imposed schedule for declaring IOC with the F-35A in August 2016. This was mainly out of fear that delaying the milestone any further would become a political and public relations nightmare that could've potentially impacted Congressional support and foreign sales.
Let’s Talk About The USAF's Claim Of 'Fully Combat Capable' F-35s
 

A Person

Senior member
Dec 1, 2017
1,135
1,117
A Place
Don't dismiss the F-35 for the navy.
1. It's an American who said that. I'll wait for an official statement from the Government of India or the Indian Navy.
2. If India gets the F-35, know that you will not get what you want with it. You'll get the airplane, sure, but with it you'll get a lot of attached strings. A lot more than you've ever gotten with any other aircraft. But you won't get meaningful transfer of technology or access to software, everything will have to go through Lockheed Martin and be approved by the Pentagon.

If you're willing to pay the price, then so be it.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
1. It's an American who said that. I'll wait for an official statement from the Government of India or the Indian Navy.
2. If India gets the F-35, know that you will not get what you want with it. You'll get the airplane, sure, but with it you'll get a lot of attached strings. A lot more than you've ever gotten with any other aircraft. But you won't get meaningful transfer of technology or access to software, everything will have to go through Lockheed Martin and be approved by the Pentagon.

If you're willing to pay the price, then so be it.

It depends. The F-35Bs may end up being the only jet fully compatible with both the carriers, and the AAS, of course. I'm not sure if the Americans will actually work with the Russians to make the F-35 fly off Russian carriers, but I'm actually rooting for an AAS-equipped F-35 purchase rather than anything else.

As for weapons integration and such, we will have to depend on the Americans, British and Israelis. For the M-2000, we had to call in the French, we couldn't do anything by ourselves. So it's nothing special. The Russians did the same with our Mig-29s. We only perform integration work on aircraft like Jags and MKI, which we have manufactured in India. It's not like we have people experienced in this segment when there is no ToT involved.

The point is there is some kind of maneuvering happening behind the scenes with respect to the F-35. What is particularly noteworthy is the person who spoke about it is an Admiral who runs USPACOM, one of the important guys working with the Indian Navy. Pretty much all the stuff he names is navy related. This is obviously not related to the IAF's rejection of the F-35.

What really sticks out is the words he used there:
U.S. Pacific Command Boss Mentions Potential Sale Of F-35 To India
"At the moment, India is considering a number of U.S. systems for purchase, all of which USPACOM fully supports: ...and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter..."

To date, no one has ever said India is actually "considering" the purchase. Every other time it was just "LM is open to sell the F-35 to India" or "The Pentagon will accept a request from India for the F-35." This is absolutely the first time someone has said that India is actually considering it.

And the F-35B is the only aircraft that can operate out of the American carriers and the assault ships, which will be of significant importance to the Indian Navy. The Chinese also won't be able to differentiate between Indian operated F-35s, Japanese operated F-35s, Australian operated F-35s and American operated F-35s. The tactical significance is immeasurable.
 

A Person

Senior member
Dec 1, 2017
1,135
1,117
A Place
The F-35Bs may end up being the only jet fully compatible with both the carriers
F-35B has a wingspan of 10.7 meters, non-foldable. And no wingtip pylons that could be removed, either.

Also it needs thermal reinforcement so that it can actually land with melting a hole in the deck. I suppose with STOBAR carriers you could go for a B/C hybrid with the C's reinforced tailhook instead of landing vertically or with SRVL. I suppose you could also go for the F-35C's foldable wings on your hybrid, to get the folded wingspan down to 9.1m.

And the F-35B is the only aircraft that can operate out of the American carriers and the assault ships
I do not believe the US Navy is planning on having any F-35B on its aircraft carriers -- notably because of the thermal reinforcement issue. They're only for the amphibious assault ships.

Also Australia is only buying F-35A, and while Japan is thinking about using the B model on their helicopter carriers, the decision has not been made yet. Tactically, China won't have much trouble determining that an F-35 taking off from a US carrier is a F-35C of the US Navy (possibly of the Marines, since they will also get a few C to operate from carriers, to replace their vintage Hornets).

To date, no one has ever said India is actually "considering" the purchase.
Ajai Shukla said that before. Okay, he phrased it as "interested in procuring" rather than "considering purchase", but IMO that's a distinction without a difference. He even claimed the IAF had asked for a classified briefing from LockMart.
Capability jump: IAF looks to buy fifth-generation F-35 fighter
The F-35 JPO replied it was unaware of any demand, and the Indian Air Force published an official denial.
And that is why I don't care how it's phrased, but by who it's phrased. I want it to be officially declared by someone who is in a position to make such decisions -- and as far as I know, American military personnel, even if they are admirals of Pacific Command, are not allowed to dictate India's procurement choices.
 

zinswinsin

Well-Known member
Dec 4, 2017
572
344
USA
No one is going to directly state interest before it actually moves to a possibility politically and financially ie after 2019. It's a huge geopolitical commitment that will effect relations even if India decides not to purchase it.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
3,633
4,247
74
France
You would generally expect that the arrival of Block 4B would mean the Block 3F problems were more or less rectified.
This has never been the case with the previous blocks (2A, 2B, 3I). They never finished tuning a block, nor even developed all the features needed. The liability of each block is called the technical debt, and it increases block after block, it has never decreased.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
F-35B has a wingspan of 10.7 meters, non-foldable. And no wingtip pylons that could be removed, either.

Also it needs thermal reinforcement so that it can actually land with melting a hole in the deck. I suppose with STOBAR carriers you could go for a B/C hybrid with the C's reinforced tailhook instead of landing vertically or with SRVL. I suppose you could also go for the F-35C's foldable wings on your hybrid, to get the folded wingspan down to 9.1m.

The F-35B's aerodynamic performance is already bad enough that it can carry folded wings without making it even worse. The C is also possible. Both options are better than the SH.

I do not believe the US Navy is planning on having any F-35B on its aircraft carriers -- notably because of the thermal reinforcement issue. They're only for the amphibious assault ships.

No, the Americans plan on using only the F-35C. But we could buy some for the third carrier. I haven't talked about the third carrier. Nor the 4th, 5th or 6th that the IN eventually want.

Also Australia is only buying F-35A, and while Japan is thinking about using the B model on their helicopter carriers, the decision has not been made yet. Tactically, China won't have much trouble determining that an F-35 taking off from a US carrier is a F-35C of the US Navy (possibly of the Marines, since they will also get a few C to operate from carriers, to replace their vintage Hornets).

I doubt the Chinese will be able to differentiate between the A, B and C on radar.

Ajai Shukla said that before. Okay, he phrased it as "interested in procuring" rather than "considering purchase", but IMO that's a distinction without a difference. He even claimed the IAF had asked for a classified briefing from LockMart.
Capability jump: IAF looks to buy fifth-generation F-35 fighter
The F-35 JPO replied it was unaware of any demand, and the Indian Air Force published an official denial.
And that is why I don't care how it's phrased, but by who it's phrased. I want it to be officially declared by someone who is in a position to make such decisions -- and as far as I know, American military personnel, even if they are admirals of Pacific Command, are not allowed to dictate India's procurement choices.

Shukla was referring to the IAF. His numbers, 126, are also wrong, there's no way that many F-35s are coming in.

I value the USPACOM's words much more highly than that of Shukla's. Now, what we need is a confirmation from India.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
This has never been the case with the previous blocks (2A, 2B, 3I). They never finished tuning a block, nor even developed all the features needed. The liability of each block is called the technical debt, and it increases block after block, it has never decreased.

I suppose we have to wait for more information on that.
 

A Person

Senior member
Dec 1, 2017
1,135
1,117
A Place
The C version is probably the best of all.
I wouldn't be so categoric. Sure it's got bigger wings, but it comes with its own baggage because of naval constraints. The best performances are probably in the A version since it's the one that doesn't have to compromise for unconventional take off and landing methods.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
I wouldn't be so categoric. Sure it's got bigger wings, but it comes with its own baggage because of naval constraints. The best performances are probably in the A version since it's the one that doesn't have to compromise for unconventional take off and landing methods.

I like the B 'cause we can use it without a runway. It is specially important if we are cooperating with the Americans in dealing with all the Chinese islands in the SCS. It will also help defend our own islands and the islands of friendly nations.

We are finally planning on actually creating expeditionary capabilities and the B is the version you need for such a purpose.

When it comes to catobar capability, there's the Rafale-M/MSA followed by AMCA. The C would be a waste of money and we will need 100+, which means we will need license production.
 

A Person

Senior member
Dec 1, 2017
1,135
1,117
A Place
I like the B 'cause we can use it without a runway.
Meh. Unless space is extremely limited (read: naval operations), a runway will always be prefereable to (because cheaper and simpler to build and to maintain than) the thermal-resistant landing pads the F-35B needs for STOVL operations.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
Meh. Unless space is extremely limited (read: naval operations), a runway will always be prefereable to (because cheaper and simpler to build and to maintain than) the thermal-resistant landing pads the F-35B needs for STOVL operations.

I am talking about naval operations.

We are planning on buying 4 LHDs for now. And this number could increase in time, especially if we decide to build some of our own. We may very well end up with 4-8 new ships. So it's obvious we will find it is in our interest to operate F-35Bs from these ships, along with some Ospreys. It's not like alternatives are available. The IN has operated Sea Harriers and I bet would like to have STOVL capability again.

You are making a far too big a deal about those landing pads.
 

A Person

Senior member
Dec 1, 2017
1,135
1,117
A Place
Generally I find people make far too big a deal about the B's STOVL capabilities. The F-35B from a LHD will never be as powerful as an F-35C from a CVN, and the whole original requirement for STOVL aircraft -- operating from bombed-out airbases during WW3 -- was a stupid dead-hand. IMO, amphibious assault ships should be for copters, and naval fixed wing should be catapulted away. The whole "gator navy" thing seems like a poor return on investment because you try to shoehorn together platforms that are not adapted for each other.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
Generally I find people make far too big a deal about the B's STOVL capabilities. The F-35B from a LHD will never be as powerful as an F-35C from a CVN, and the whole original requirement for STOVL aircraft -- operating from bombed-out airbases during WW3 -- was a stupid dead-hand. IMO, amphibious assault ships should be for copters, and naval fixed wing should be catapulted away. The whole "gator navy" thing seems like a poor return on investment because you try to shoehorn together platforms that are not adapted for each other.

The problem is the IN won't have enough carriers until 2050 and beyond. The F-35B will lose its utility by then. But an AAS with even 6 F-35Bs can ensure fighter operations over areas that require fighter cover for the helicopters operating from the AAS without the need to move a carrier alongside it. It's air superiority on the cheap. Once a beach-head is secured, the fleet can be doubled or tripled in a very short time with a landing pad or two. This is impossible with any other aircraft.
 

zinswinsin

Well-Known member
Dec 4, 2017
572
344
USA
The thermal resistant pad problem is so overstated. It was a problem for a little while in like 2015 and hasn’t been one since. Given that so many nations seem to have taken an interest with f-35s on assault ships. (Italy,Japan,Korea,turkey,Spain) one would think the problem isn’t much of a problem.