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

WHOHE

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That's pretty generic amounts of ToT. Pretty much everybody interested in getting their own weapons for the F-35 will get that much as long as they have a license production deal for a large enough number to make it feasible. Like the Japanese.
Nope. Try again this time with a source to back up your "claim."
That's the case with all aircraft.
Nope. Since Israeli F-15I's would need air refueling in a strike against Iran meaning many support aircraft that will be hard to hide from Iran spies and other nations ISR. F-35's won't need support aircraft = smaller footprint.
Google F414 Enhanced Engine.
Lol. They call them, GE-400, and they won't be ready until 2024 and they only ordered 48. Btw it doesn't improve its range anywhere near the F-35c.
[/URL]

I'm sure anybody would rather have 75 F-35s over 50 F-35s + 25 F-15s. Unless...



Er... no. The USAF is designing the NGAD for deep penetration missions.

The USN is not planning on using either the F-335C or their version of NGAD for deep penetration. They simply want the USAF to take over this domain completely.
F-35c will be the Navy's deep strike fighter Navy NGAD isn't going to be IOC until early 2030's and when it does go IOC it will use standoff weapons for deep strikes and likely so will the F-35C since by that time Navy is going to have air delivery standoff capability.
That's not deep strike, that's more like the range needed for CAS. Google Chengdu and check if the F-35 can reach that place.
USN carrier group where it operates with F-35c will be able to hit all costal and near coastal airbases severely handicapping their ability to CAP East and South china sea not to mention all chicom naval ports.
unnamed.png


Actually, the Israelis will end up with pretty much equal numbers. But again, based on what you say, the Israelis should be chosing the F-35 over the F-15. But of course, the IAF wants to make money, right?
Nope.
 
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randomradio

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Nope. Try again this time with a source to back up your "claim."

Lol. You are funny. This doesn't require a source, it requries understanding. First off, the US doesn't provide ToT because of laws. But certain types of ToT are allowed when it comes to integration of weapons.

Lol. They call them, GE-400, and they won't be ready until 2024 and they only ordered 48. Btw it doesn't improve its range anywhere near the F-35c.

How dumb.

F-35c will be the Navy's deep strike fighter Navy NGAD isn't going to be IOC until early 2030's and when it does go IOC it will use standoff weapons for deep strikes and likely so will the F-35C since by that time Navy is going to have air delivery standoff capability.

USN carrier group where it operates with F-35c will be able to hit all costal and near coastal airbases severely handicapping their ability to CAP East and South china sea not to mention all chicom naval ports.
View attachment 20867

:ROFLMAO:

Deep penetration became coastal bases.
 
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WHOHE

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So I suppose you will refuel over Chinese coastal bases then?
F-35c doesn't need to top off over chicoms to strike deep in chicom territory. F-35c combat radius increases with JSOW, JASSM-ER, LRASM and JASSM-XR. XR will have a range over 1000 miles. Also 7-8 years from now F-35c could be armed with hypersonic missiles like a production model of HAWC.
 

randomradio

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F-35c doesn't need to top off over chicoms to strike deep in chicom territory. F-35c combat radius increases with JSOW, JASSM-ER, LRASM and JASSM-XR. XR will have a range over 1000 miles. Also 7-8 years from now F-35c could be armed with hypersonic missiles like a production model of HAWC.

So what you're saying is the F-35 will fire off standoff missiles that don't fit inside the F-35's internal bays, and you are calling that deep strike. Right... Yep. You clearly know what you're talking about.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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So what you're saying is the F-35 will fire off standoff missiles that don't fit inside the F-35's internal bays, and you are calling that deep strike. Right... Yep. You clearly know what you're talking about.
What he is saying is that the Rafale's way of waging war is better than that of the F-35. The idea of focusing on stealth so as to be able to get closer to targets and consume cheaper weapons is a failure.
 
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WHOHE

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So what you're saying is the F-35 will fire off standoff missiles that don't fit inside the F-35's internal bays, and you are calling that deep strike. Right... Yep. You clearly know what you're talking about.
What I'm saying is the F-35c with two external L.O missiles, superior EW and superior SA will be able to penetrate chicom airspace and strike deep inside chicom a capability that Rafail, Typhoon or F-15EX doesn't have for obvious reasons.
 

WHOHE

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Laugh all you want bub but this....
F-35-LRASM-Lockheed-Martin.jpg

... Can penetrate, avoid or take out IADS in this configuration and still remain stealthy unlike this...
unnamed.jpg


This won't last very long.
 

randomradio

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What I'm saying is the F-35c with two external L.O missiles, superior EW and superior SA will be able to penetrate chicom airspace and strike deep inside chicom a capability that Rafail, Typhoon or F-15EX doesn't have for obvious reasons.

All that's stuff 4th gen aircraft already do, and have been doing since they were invented. Not what the F-35 was designed for.

Congratulations. America is proud of you.
 

BMD

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That still doesn't explain how the Typhoon matches the range of the F-35A.
It doesn't.
View attachment 20870

This won't last very long.
Exactly, this load isn't even intended to penetrate enemy AD, it's intended for stand-off strike, so range is moot, because IFR will be available.

Laugh all you want bub but this....
View attachment 20869
2xJSOW-ER can be carried internally, as can JSM. It will also be able to carry 4xSPEAR per bay to take out enemy air defences. So one plane with SPEAR, one with JSOW-ER.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Laugh all you want bub but this....

... Can penetrate, avoid or take out IADS in this configuration and still remain stealthy unlike this...


This won't last very long.
Only the Americans are stupid enough to believe that the Rafale will make its penetration with its drop tanks. In addition, it will have automatic terrain following, which combined with its low observable characteristics, especially in IR, and its electronic stealth, makes it more survivable than the F-35.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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F-35: the unknowns are still not cleared up
Yannick Smaldore 17 August 2021

Since the beginning of the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) programme, the future of the F-35 Lightning II has oscillated between commercial success and industrial fiasco. A situation that does not seem likely to change in the years to come. Between calamitous management and persistent technical defects, the programme is still accumulating delays and cost overruns. Worse still, the promised aircraft should no longer meet the Pentagon's new operational requirements. So is the F-35 really "too big to fail"?

While the JSF programme has until now seemed almost unchallenged across the Atlantic, the last few months have seen a succession of particularly critical statements about the F-35. In the final days of the Trump administration, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller openly described the F-35 as a "piece of shit". In February, General Charles Q. Brown, USAF Chief of Staff, confirmed the launch of studies aimed at developing a new light fighter less ambitious - and cheaper - than the F-35, echoing earlier statements by former Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper, who suggested replacing some of the 1,763 F-35As planned for the USAF with new F-16Vs. Gradually, the idea of reducing F-35 orders to finance the F-22's successor, the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), seems to be gaining ground both in the Pentagon and in Congress.

In March, members of the Armed Forces Committee described the aircraft as a "fiasco", saying that it was better to "stop throwing money down this rat hole". The following month, the language was even sharper, with Republican Representative Donald Norcross saying "if this programme is going to be a failure, we're going to have to invest in other, more affordable programmes". The Court of Auditors, which appeared before the Committee, also noted that it was strictly impossible for the US forces to ever buy and operate the number of aircraft planned.

Perhaps even worse for Lockheed Martin's communication, recent months have also seen pilots clearly expressing their doubts about the F-35's design. The cockpit's human/machine interface has been particularly criticised, whether it be the low resolution of the helmet display, the unfortunate disappearance of the HUD (head-up display) or the voice commands that are unusable in combat situations. The lack of physical buttons around the large touchscreen also means that at least one in five interactions are done on the wrong part of the screen! This defect seriously calls into question the combat effectiveness of the F-35's pilots and the overall safety of the aircraft.

A disputed commercial success?

In addition to these political declarations, the F-35 has suffered its first commercial setbacks, particularly from the aircraft's long-standing customers. Already equipped with F-35s, the USAF and the Israeli Air Force have chosen to jointly operate the F-35 and the Eagle II, a new variant of the F-15. There are also persistent rumours that the Royal Air Force and the US Marine Corps may significantly reduce their orders for the F-35B, and that the aircraft will no longer be considered as a replacement for the Spanish Harrier. In addition, Turkey has been forced out of the JSF programme, even though Ankara was a major potential customer for the F-35A and F-35B.

At the same time, the aircraft has found new outlets, notably with Asian air forces (Japan, Singapore, South Korea) that want a STOVL (1) aircraft that can be deployed from archipelagos or light aircraft carriers. After being temporarily blocked by the Biden administration, the sale of 50 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates was finally authorised in April, paving the way for other sales in the Middle East.

At the same time, Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have been constantly reminding us that the costs of the F-35 are finally under control. But between the budgetary arbitrations that will follow the COVID crisis, on the one hand, and the Chinese manoeuvres around Taiwan, which reveal the weakness of the American military in the Pacific, on the other, legislators finally seem ready to look at the JSF programme beyond the Lockheed Martin marketing prism.

The impossible F-35 test campaign

For the past two years, the eyes of the Court of Auditors, the Armed Forces Committee and the armed forces themselves have been focused on the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), a Pentagon department mandated to carry out the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) of the aircraft. This in-depth analysis of the F-35 should make it possible to identify and correct all its residual defects, whether in the airframe or in its on-board software, so that it can be declared ready for full-scale production, which would legally allow multi-year orders to be placed. Indeed, while nearly 600 have already been delivered, the Lightning II is still considered, technically, as an aircraft under development.

The Block 3F standard, which has been operational since 2018 and is already used in combat by US and Israeli forces, is still far from having all the tactical functionalities envisaged by the programme. At the end of the IOT&E, initially scheduled for summer 2019, Block 3F should have given way to Block 4, the first stable and complete version of the aircraft. But things have not gone according to plan, with DOT&E repeatedly postponing its findings, which are no longer expected until, at best, the end of 2022.

Indeed, with the IOT&E test programme running in parallel with the industry's software bug-fixing efforts, DOT&E still does not have a final, stable version of the F-35's combat system. Moreover, each defect corrected leads to almost as many new software instabilities (2). Worse still, Lockheed Martin has been unable to provide the simulation infrastructure provided for in the contract. The latter, which are finally being developed by the US Navy, are nonetheless indispensable for carrying out the dozens of tests needed to validate the effectiveness of the F-35 in the face of modern threats.

Problem after problem

Far from improving over time, the F-35's digital architecture is proving increasingly problematic. Beyond the fact that each patch leads to instabilities that require new patches, it is now clear that these incremental changes lead to a dramatic increase in potential cyber security vulnerabilities. While the development teams keep increasing the frequency of updates, the cyber test team simply cannot validate the various patches. By 2020, some security flaws identified in 2016 were still unresolved, and the amount of testing that needs to be done has grown exponentially. Worse still, the lack of a realistic simulator also prevents the vulnerability of the F-35 from being tested as a whole.

The hardware situation is not much better. As far as avionics and on-board systems are concerned, the Block 4 upgrade is based on the Tech refresh 3 (TR3). This hardware update of the aircraft's internal components will concern all F-35s produced after 2023, and will be installed as a retrofit on aircraft already delivered. At least for the most recent ones, since several hundred of the oldest aircraft will simply not be compatible with the TR3, and therefore with Block 4. In addition, some structural defects identified throughout the fleet may simply never be addressed. On the F-35A, the vibration problems caused by the internal gun could be 'solved' by limiting the use of the gun. Similarly, to reduce the damage caused by the use of the afterburner on the rear structure of the F-35B and C, it was simply decided to restrict the supersonic flight envelope of these aircraft... And faced with political pressure to start full production as soon as possible in order to keep industrial jobs, there is a great risk that other defects in the aircraft, including cybersecurity flaws, will be dealt with in the same way, downgrading contractual ambitions without any real technical resolution.

Maintenance and availability: towards a breakthrough?

These reductions in contractual ambitions have already been implemented in the context of the aircraft's maintenance. The Pentagon has accepted an amendment to the maintenance contract that doubles the repair time for the F-35. This relieves the pressure on Lockheed Martin, but at the cost of significant additional maintenance costs and a sharp reduction in the aircraft's availability.

Despite this, some improvements have been noted over the past two years, notably in the production of spare parts, the shortage of which had grounded a third of the F-35 fleet, and in the rate of in-flight breakdowns. To further reduce the aircraft's maintenance problems, the Pentagon announced in January 2020 that the ALIS (Autonomic logistics information system) integrated logistics management system, a real technical and financial failure (3), was to disappear in favour of the new ODIN (Operational data integrated network) system, scheduled for 2022. Based on a cyber-secure cloud, ODIN should be able to anticipate the logistical needs of each unit according to its activity and deployment area, but also to update and load electronic threat libraries before each flight.

Unfortunately, the latest DOT&E report sounds the alarm, pointing out that many of the mistakes Lockheed Martin made in designing ALIS seem to be repeated with ODIN, whose development was temporarily halted due to budget overruns.

Finally, while the aircraft's availability ambitions were already, from the outset, hardly impressive, the Department of Defense (DoD) 2020 report reminds us that the objectives for the entire fleet have still not been achieved over time, either for the sortie rate or for the ability to carry out at least one mission (mission capable), and even less so for the ability to carry out all the planned missions (fully mission capable). The latter capability, which requires all the aircraft's subsystems to be functional, is particularly difficult to achieve because of the aircraft's lack of modularity. For example, since the electronic warfare and laser designation systems are integrated into the airframe of the aircraft, rather than in removable nacelles, the slightest failure of one of the components can lead to its partial or total unavailability.

How much does the F-35 cost?


Since unavailability has an impact on the sortie rate, an air force must therefore oversize its fleet to meet a specific operational objective, thereby increasing the cost of purchasing and owning its F-35 fleet, which is still difficult to evaluate. For the past ten years or so, Lockheed Martin's communication, echoed by the American press, has been constantly reminding us that the price of the F-35 is largely down. However, the reality is more nuanced, since the latest biennial report from the USAF's acquisition department shows that the unit cost of the F-35A, including development, is now $130 million, compared with $134 million in 2012.

The off-the-shelf price, excluding development, is around $80 million for the F-35A, slightly lower than for competing aircraft. But where the "fly away" price of an F-15EX, Rafale or Typhoon is really about a ready-to-fly aircraft, the F-35 requires a lot of ancillary investments to really work, from ODIN subscriptions to ground support equipment to the expensive simulators needed to make up for the lack of a two-seat F-35. The aircraft's delays, cost overruns and operational limitations are also driving US forces (and some foreign customers) to buy workarounds, such as the Eagle II or Super Hornet Block III, whose bills will not show up on the F-35's books. Ultimately, as the F-35 is part of a complex integrated system, the very notion of a "fly away" price no longer makes much sense, at least not from a comparative perspective.

But apart from the acquisition costs, it is really the operating costs of the F-35 that are problematic in the long term. While Lockheed Martin promises that the cost per flight hour of the F-35 will be $25,000 in 2025, the DoD is counting on $34,000 in 2024, compared with $44,000 today. This price is still much higher than that of the F-16 or F-15 and, over the entire career of the F-35, would result in hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs. The USAF Chief of Staff has confirmed that the F-35's operating costs make the 386-fighter squadron format planned for 2018 impossible, and that they limit the resources available for NGAD development.

The C2D2 fiasco

Finally, it is impossible to address the subject of the F-35's costs without tackling the thorny issue of Block 4, which is intended to finally provide the F-35 with all the operational capabilities originally planned for the programme. In 2018, faced with the delays, the DoD decided to develop the new Block 4 via Continuous capability development and delivery (C2D2), inspired by the Agile method used in software engineering. Rather than a single update from Block 3F to Block 4, C2D2 was to allow updates to be implemented twice a year, containing both new features of Block 4 and corrections of defects encountered on Block 3F. This complicated the task of DOT&E, which reported that C2D2 turned out to be a complete failure: the first update required thirteen months of work instead of the six planned, and twelve software developments instead of the four envisaged.

Thus, initially planned for 2024, Block 4 is no longer expected before 2027, in the best case scenario, at a cost of around 15 billion dollars. This amount is in addition to the development costs already incurred, and will necessarily be passed on to customers, who will have to pay several million dollars per aircraft when upgrading their fleet. This amount is obviously not taken into account in the export contracts signed so far, since the final cost of the Block 4 and its deployment schedule are still unknown.

A useless aircraft?

Traditionally, a customer is not required to upgrade its fighter fleet. Nevertheless, even if it will be deployed 25 or 30 years after the launch of the programme, the Block 4 is not a mid-life refurbishment of the F-35, but its first fully operational standard. The delta is so large that the latest wargames, simulating the US defence of Taiwan in 2030, did not even take into account the current Block 3F standard. A USAF deputy chief of staff said that every F-35 coming off the assembly line today was "a fighter that we wouldn't even bother to include in our scenarios".

But beyond the standard integrated on board the F-35, it is the very nature of the missions entrusted to the aircraft during the "wargames" that raises questions about the relevance of the JSF concept for the American forces. During last autumn's simulation, deep strikes against China were carried out using hypersonic weapons dropped by B-52s and F-15EXs, but also by the intervention of the future B-21 and a hypothetical NGAD. Faced with Chinese A2/AD systems, the F-35 already lacks the reach and firepower to carry out the penetration and destruction missions for which it was designed. During the simulation, the F-35 - accompanied by a hypothetical low-cost successor to the F-16 - was therefore content to perform escort, support and close defence missions.

For the Lightning II's defenders, the shower is all the colder for the fact that these tasks, although essential, could only be accomplished effectively by the F-35 because the scenario included the presence, in number, of NGADs and new low-cost fighters.

Aircraft that currently do not exist, and will not enter service within the decade without drastic cuts in F-35 orders. If this were to happen, the F-35 could well be confined to European operations, whether within US or NATO forces. The overall bill would be reduced for the Pentagon, but purchase and maintenance costs would skyrocket for all F-35 export customers.
 

Bon Plan

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F-35 program's future uncertain owing to design flaws, parts shortages and cost blowouts​



According to the US Defence spending watchdog, the F-35 has 883 unresolved design flaws and the Pentagon is currently reviewing the project

Mr Grazier has been watching the F-35 program for years as a Military Fellow for US Defence spending watchdog, the Project on Government Oversight. He said the combat jet currently had almost 900 design flaws, with seven considered critical.

During a Senate Estimates hearing in June, Air Vice-Marshal Gregory Hoffmann conceded spare parts were also an issue for Australia's jets.

"Some of the parts fail for the first time for reasons we need to explore," he told Estimates.

"For the engines, it's a coating problem on some of the blades that the US is experiencing. It takes time to get those through the shop and fix them."

Under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws, 7.30 has learned that as well as engine issues, other problems on the F-35s include air leaking into the canopy, oil leaks in the auxiliary power unit and de-lamination of a wing flap.

7.30 also sought details under FOI of the cost per flying hour for the F-35, but the Defence Department stated producing this information would unreasonably divert resources from its operations.

Mr Grazier said the cost per flight hour in the United States was around $36,000.
 

Ashwin

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What I'm saying is the F-35c with two external L.O missiles, superior EW and superior SA will be able to penetrate chicom airspace and strike deep inside chicom a capability that Rafail, Typhoon or F-15EX doesn't have for obvious reasons.
Ok, that's enough. It's disrespectful to intentionally misspell Rafale each and every post. It's not conducive to meaningful discussions. Multiple members have reported this.

From here on it will warrant an infraction.

If you cant put forward arguments without being disrespectful and civil maybe this is not a place for you. Consider this as a warning.
 
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Bon Plan

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"The idea that the Air Force would buy all 1,763 F-35As “has been the greatest work of fiction in defense budgeting for about a decade now,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. “What we’re really talking about is the real number. It’s not 1,763 [F-35As]. Is it 1,200? Is it 1,400? Is it 1,000? We don’t know.”

"Internal documents by the Air Force’s future war-fighting cell indicated a plan to curb orders at 1,050 jets, Aviation Week reported in December. Will Roper, the Air Force’s acquisition executive during the Trump administration, called for F-35 purchases to be capped at about 800 units, CNN reported in May."
 

randomradio

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"The idea that the Air Force would buy all 1,763 F-35As “has been the greatest work of fiction in defense budgeting for about a decade now,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. “What we’re really talking about is the real number. It’s not 1,763 [F-35As]. Is it 1,200? Is it 1,400? Is it 1,000? We don’t know.”

"Internal documents by the Air Force’s future war-fighting cell indicated a plan to curb orders at 1,050 jets, Aviation Week reported in December. Will Roper, the Air Force’s acquisition executive during the Trump administration, called for F-35 purchases to be capped at about 800 units, CNN reported in May."

I think capping the F-35 numbers has less to do with the F-35 itself and more to do with the fact that it's not an effective jet for use against China. It would make more sense for the USAF to funnel more money into the NGAD program instead. The primary export customers of the F-35 will finish procuring most of the jets they need by 2030 anyway.
 

Bon Plan

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I think capping the F-35 numbers has less to do with the F-35 itself and more to do with the fact that it's not an effective jet for use against China. It would make more sense for the USAF to funnel more money into the NGAD program instead. The primary export customers of the F-35 will finish procuring most of the jets they need by 2030 anyway.
The main drawback of USAF is the end life of F15 C/D and the small quantity of F22.
NGAD is not a solution for F35, but for F22 shortage.

With a good F22 & NGAD coverage, any other bird for CAS is potent. F35 become more and more complex so difficult to fine tune because the US want it to make a bigger and bigger part of F22 job, and it was not studied for.