A more balanced article than a similar one by Bill sweetman writing for the tabloid but still some points that are not well made -
JSF and the F-22 are protected from higher frequencies in the Ku, X, C and parts of the S bands. But both jets can be seen on enemy radars operating in the longer wavelengths like L, UHF and VHF.
This is not at all known. How stealthy is the F-35 and F-22 in these bands? (L, UHF, VHF?). What sort of impact does the F-35's stealth have on detection ranges of these bands? Any stealth fighter is vulnerable to these bands including the chinese jets, Russian stealth and what not.
Last time i checked those VHF radars were HUGE, expect them to be prime targets for cruise missile and broadband stealth bombers.
“I don’t see how you long survive in the world of 2020 or 2030 when dealing with these systems if you don’t have the lower frequency coverage,” the former official said.
And what is the coverage of the Active elements in the F-35s classified EW suite? No one is disclosing that no are they. It remains classified.
Further, new foreign rival warships are increasingly being built with both high and low frequency radars.
Radars which require the ship to emit and we all know where that goes once you put a 5th generation EW suite against an emitting target. Even with broad RF coverage the detection advantage would still go for the F-35 with its multi-band passive suite. How will these ships target the aircraft? The JSM will have a greater than 100nm range with a passive seeker. The LRASM will have a greater then 300 nm range..Both these weapons are smart weapons with the latter having the capability to operate in GPS/RF denied environments and passively.
Firstly, given the proliferation of low frequency radars, there are serious questions about the ability of the F-35C’s survivability against the toughest of air defenses, the former official said.
The Former official said? Why not ask a current serving program person who actually has the data in hand? The F-35 just recently was tested against high end chinese and Russian radar simulators over at the extensive and secretive radar test ranges. Why not seek clarification from them? Does this former navy official by any favor more EA-18G's for the US navy?
“I question how well all these data links are going to work in a heavily contested [radio frequency] environment where you have lots and lots of jamming going on,” the former official said.
That comment pretty much says that the "former official' is unaware of the work going on to build both LPI data links as well as non LPI large volume/data pipelines. Perhaps he was never a part of the NIFCCA inner circle that had to deal with these sort of things, or did not bother to read the literature on it that is available in the open.
“I think the anti-radiation homing weapons that are passive and go long-range are very, very difficult for the NIFC-CA concept to contend with,” the former official said.
Which Anti radiation weapon has longer legs than the detection radar on the E-2? Passive Homing missiles and Home on Jam is fairly easy to deal with - Just turn the radar/jammer off - It is for this reason that passive modes are secondary targeting modes and not primary ones. What the USN ex official conveniently neglects is that most of the Anti radiation weapons that can target NIFCCA sensors, can also target Jammers such as the growler using Home On Jam modes.
Fundamentally, the Navy’s lack of an all-aspect broadband stealth jet on the carrier flight deck is giving fuel to advocates of a high-end Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft that can tackle the toughest enemy air defenses.
The US Navy has NO STEALTH ON A CARRIER. They completely BUNGLED their previous attempt to put the A-12 and what led was a 20+ year legal back and forth with the OEM in various courts. The Navy has not really shown any enthusiasm for anything new in a long time. They were skeptical on PGM's until they were forced to acquire a lot by the congress upon which they became its most ardent supporters. They are similarly showing skepticism on stealth fighters but that is changing with many USN pilots now praising that aspect of the jet as is evident from various videos.
What this article seems to suggest is a lobbing effort for the UCLASS+ i.e the original J-UCAS type vehicle with full stealth and a strike role much like theBoeing Phantom Ray
. The problem the USN has is that the Air force has its stealthy, long range RQ-180 and is developing an intercontinental broadband stealth bomber system and are thus no longer interested in a continental range UCAV. The US Navy has no experience with a program of this kind, has poor foresight when dealing with high technology and stealth and basically has a ton of ambition for its carrier air wings but an admiralty that would rather spend the money on ships and getting the ship count to a notional level with which they can earn some brownie points once they retire. This entire article seems to be lobbying from that angle (Getting the UCLASS to be the original J-UCAS) so in a way its different from the Daily Beast article but uses a similar argument that has been fairly well countered by plenty of folks around the internet (I have rebutted some of it here on this thread).
If its broadband stealth one seeks, there isn't a fighter on the planet that has 100% coverage, yet its not like the F-22 and F-35 are just stealthy in the x band, and not stealthy at all in other bands. Stealth is optimized for a range, it may not cover all that range but there still would be detection reduction even in the very high ranges. The fact that the Large VHF radars pose a significant detection advantage to the ISR attackers one can conclude that it would be easy to deal with these radars with other available assets.It is surprising
that Dave Majumdar who filed this report just a few hours ago, chose to conveniently neglect what General Mike Hostage (USAF tactical fighter boss ) said just yesterday at the AFA breakfast event. He should have reported it since it was a direct quote (His publication covered the event) so should have been pitted against that of an UNNAMED EX USN OFFICIAL with no context on that persons background and/or whether he has a position on the UCLASS, Next generation jammer and growlers. Anyhow for those who are interested, this is what General Mike Hostage said just yesterday (On the F-35). My Source is Amy Butler - Aviation week
You don't need a huge jamming capability to hide" in the signal noise of the battlefield, he says.
Hostage hints that inherent jamming is designed for self masking, self defense. He's mum on offensive capabilities.
What the USN's EX-OFFICIALS do not realize is that the F-35, much like the F-22 or any other all aspect stealth fighter does not need to have massive jamming pods to jam its way into contested airspace. Basic Physics says that. USN is on record of saying that the art of IAD-penetration is to tackle both ends of the spectrum i.e to overwhelm the RF range with stealth aircraft so as to comprehensively shrink the sensor envelope of the enemy, and at the same time to flood with airspace with NOISE from jammers. With stealth one is enjoying a massive advantage in detection ranges therefore one does not need to have a very high power jamming in order to tackle the other end of the spectrum. The last time I checked the F-35 had a largely classified EW suite. What we know about it is that its a advancement of the F-22's suite which was a no-expense spared EW job. We also know that the Apg-81 has offensive capability from the get go, with other elements of the Barracuda largely classified. We also know that the F-35 has been tested in this department and so far no red flags have been raised. Its easy for EX OFFICIALS with no knowledge of the F-35 to come out and talk about a capability of the jet that is classified. They should not expect the Program office or the Leaders to declassify these capabilities just for the sake of argument.
The current USN actually recognizes this "less" jamming need for stealth. The Next generation Jammer development is the proof. The USN has asked for very high powered (Highest power in the world) pods to be developed using the latest Gallium Nitride elements for the Growlers. The technology is asked to be Modular because the Next generation (F/A-X fighter) fighter is going to be stealth and it would not require such high power to have it and the F-35 slip through the cracks. The US Navy has called for the NGJ elements to be broken down and put on the next generation fighter so that it need not carry pods on most missions.