JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 19 Mar 2012 08:08

I will personally throw eggs on the guy who touts the AMCA as the worlds smallest and lightest 5th gen strike a/c.
that would be missing the biggest lesson from Tejas and JSF - size matters.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby alexis » 19 Mar 2012 11:27

If we want a strike or multirole fighter, we should make a big one like J20. However the main problem in case we make a big aircraft is the engines. if it is too big, then 2 kaveris may not be able to propel it.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby koti » 19 Mar 2012 11:50

The bigger it gets.... the bigger its cross section, and the bigger its unmaintainability....
Ref: Raptor

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby alexis » 19 Mar 2012 11:59

koti wrote:The bigger it gets.... the bigger its cross section, and the bigger its unmaintainability....
Ref: Raptor


better a fighter that flies, than one that is perennially late.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 19 Mar 2012 12:00

I dont agree. didnt mean a obese fatbox like J20, but neither a JSF which will struggle to fit enough inside its small bay to justify its price and hype. Raptor is bigger than JSF but but all accounts say its RCS is less, esp from the rear aspect.

the kaveri-snecma design and our AMCA design teams need to sit together to set proper goals so we are neither caught flat footed wrt to payload and performance or left without a suitable engine.

and if at all we go for a JSFish airframe which the AMCA model certainly indicates, work needs to be defined and planned from day1 for the future weapons it will need to carry - like special folding fins version of regular weapons, Diet-Lite smart weapons, SDB type bombs...none of these are simple or cheap to fill out the weapons matrix.

imo we can plan for two supersonic qualified stealth weapon stations underwing to hold 4 x BVR AAM.
a small conformal station at wing root for 2 x WVR aam.
and space inside for 4 x 1000lb / 8 x 500lb weapons in strike role
or 4 more AAMs (incl long LRAAMs) in A2A role....in which case it can drop the underwing carriers for better perf.

in strike role:
4 x 1000lb/8 x 1000lb/ 2 x ALCM cruise missiles
2 x wvr aam
upto 4 bvr aam (though none or only 2 may be carried to save weight & fuel burn)

in a2a role:
4 x LRAAM
2 x wvr aam
2-4 bvr/wvr aam if desired in stealth carrier for loitering patrol missions

and the engines should be separated a bit to create a capacious internal bay. JSFs issues stem from its single engine, bulky landing gear and hence lack of room.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 19 Mar 2012 12:17

also might as well increase the wing area a bit for fuel fraction purposes as VLO a.c arent allowed to carry drop tanks.
the japanese zero fighter had very long wings for its size, was light in construction and had a 900mile range apparently!

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby koti » 19 Mar 2012 12:43

Singha wrote:in strike role:4 x 1000lb/8 x 1000lb/ 2 x ALCM cruise missiles2 x wvr aamupto 4 bvr aam (though none or only 2 may be carried to save weight & fuel burn)

That is a lot to ask IMO.
Even the current non stealth AC seldom employ such a config.

And again, though the capability parity will exist as stated between JSFish and J20ish planes, they are not to be compared IMO. This will again be a question of operating a fleet of MKI's against a fleet of MKI and Rafale.
They can comfortably sit in their respective roles.

MCA IMO should be capable enough for handling point defense against AC in Raptor/J20/PakFA Category.
Should be good enough to accompany or pre-perform SEAD/DEAD for MKI's or Rafales to do the rest of the cleaning.

That may not place MCA in a very good one to one position against J20 or F22 but definitely will be a lot better positioned when adjacent to PAKFA or MKI.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby PratikDas » 20 Mar 2012 05:12

News from Australia

SMH: Aeronautics giant talks Joint Strike Fighter troubles

Aeronautics giant Lockheed Martin will today give evidence on the troubled Joint Strike Fighter project. Tim Lester reports.

Click for a video report. Sorry, just got back from work to find that there is no JSF content in the video

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby arunsrinivasan » 22 Mar 2012 08:09

:twisted:
Pentagon: Trillion-Dollar Jet on Brink of Budgetary Disaster

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the supposed backbone of the Pentagon’s future air arsenal, could need additional years of work and billions of dollars in unplanned fixes, the Air Force and the Government Accountability Office revealed on Tuesday. Congressional testimony by Air Force and Navy leaders, plus a new report by the GAO, heaped bad news on a program that was already almost a decade late, hundreds of billions of dollars over its original budget and vexed by mismanagement, safety woes and rigged test results.

At an estimated $1 trillion to develop, purchase and support through 2050, the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 was already the most expensive conventional weapons program ever even before Tuesday’s bulletins. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are counting on buying as many as 2,500 F-35s to replace almost every tactical jet in their current inventories. More than a dozen foreign countries are lined up to acquire the stealthy, single-engine fighter, as well.

In its report the GAO reserved its most dire language for the JSF’s software, which agency expert Michael Sullivan said is “as complicated as anything on earth.” The new jet needs nearly 10 million lines of on-board code, compared to 5 million for the older F-22 and just 1.5 million for the Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet. “Software providing essential JSF capability has grown in size and complexity, and is taking longer to complete than expected,” the GAO warned.

Software delays plus continuing mechanical and safety problems prompted JSF program chief Adm. David Venlet to back away from a firm schedule for the new fighter’s frontline introduction. When the F-35 was conceived in the late 1990s, it was expected to begin flying combat missions as early as 2010. Lately military officials have mentioned 2018 as a likely start date. In his Congressional testimony, Venlet declined to even mention a possible timeframe for the JSF’s service entry.

The GAO predicts the JSF’s $400-billion combined development and production cost will grow later this year, once the Pentagon computes a new program “baseline” — something it’s already done no fewer than five times since 2001. Aside from a 400-plane reduction in 2003, the Pentagon has always opted to increase the program’s budget rather than cut production numbers. That’s no longer possible, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told Congress. “To the extent that there continue to be cost growth or challenges … we’ll have to take down the number of aircraft,” he said.

Air Combat Command, which oversees most of the Air Force’s fighter squadrons, seconded Donley’s view. “We cannot simply buy our way out of our problems or shortfalls as we have been able to do in the past,” the command stated in a report last week.

If cuts do occur, the U.S. will be in good company. Australia, Canada and Japan have already begun backing away from the troubled JSF as the new plane has gradually exceeded their budgets. For these countries, alternatives include the Super Hornet and an upgraded F-15 from Boeing, Lockheed’s new F-16V and the European Typhoon, Rafale and Gripen fighters. But so far the U.S. military prefers the F-35, even if the stealthy jet is more than a decade late, twice as expensive as originally projected and available in fewer numbers. “We will remain committed to the long-term success of the F-35 program,” Air Combat Command asserted.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 22 Mar 2012 13:46

".....committed to the long term succes of the JSF" .....and short term bankruptcy?! How I love this turkey,it's giving me endless ribtickling moments! I wonder what the odds are for parts of the programme being axed.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Austin » 24 Mar 2012 17:58

Air International Feb 2012

F-35: The Good , The Bad and The Ugly
F-22: Raptor Reality


http://www.mediafire.com/?78nhv7t0ai915xl

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 27 Mar 2012 06:27

If you're a keen observer of the JSF-35 program, then this will interest you. If you're like me, and you're already convinced that this bird is a turkey, you can probably do without reading any more of this post.

I have followed the JSF-35 program from the very begining with particular interest, being that I am a Canadian and successive Canadian Governments (lead by both the "Liberals" and "Conservatives") have foolishly followed the American lead on the JSF-35.

Canada is a JSF "Partner Nation" (which means we bore early development costs, will eventually share in the work (if we buy-in for real), as we currentlly have the option (but not the obligation) to buy 65 of these turkeys for between $9 and $16 Billion Canadian (depending on how you tally life-cycle costs), and for reference, the Canadian dollar is currently better than par with the USD). This would make the JSF program the most expensive defense aquisition in Canadian history. Also consider, there are other, I would say better-informed calculations that put the actual cost to the Canadian taxpayer, much higher than these figures, and remember, we're talking 65 copies -- which essentially have as many aircraft as in the MMRCA.

It's also a no-tender deal........ :-? .............. announced without competitive or transparent comparisons (never mind flight testing, as in the MMRCA)............ :-? ............ just six weeks after a formal document outlining requirements was even published............... :-? ............... a document that was hidden until recently ............. :!: ................. which now reveals that the JSF-35 should have been disqualified from consideration for Canada's replacement of the (C)F-18s we currently fly, because the JSF-35 fails to provide a 360-degree IR capability, which the RCAF stipulated as a "Mandatory Requirement".

If you're interested: Read this article from Canada, and view the two videos, the bottom one of which has three Canadian MPs from the three biggest federal political parties.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2 ... -jets.html

Canadians are starting to get a sense that this was a dirty deal, and not just the wrong deal. There is even differing messages coming out of the MPs (Defense Minister and Deputy Defense Minister)...... The back-peddling has begun, as the delays and difficulties with the program will almost certainly mean that Canada will either have to acquire some kind of interim aircraft, be they more F-18s (winterized and with added endurance, to become "CF-18s"); or we're going to have to seriously restrict flight operations; or worse yet -- we're going to start losing pilots and planes.

I soooooo wish that Canada had done a competitive comparison for this next aircraft, like the IAF did with the MMRCA. That was a process that I think represents the professionalism of the IAF very well, and which I believe has resulted in the perfect choice for India, the Rafale. I think that the Rafale might just be a good bird for Canada too, IMHO (although, I would like to see an independent and professionalized process that would reach its own conclusion).

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 27 Mar 2012 06:44

More out of curiosity, just what would you do to "I soooooo wish that Canada had done a competitive comparison for this next aircraft"? Considering that when Canada bit this turkey was an egg. What would you compare it (the egg) with?

On the Indian MMRCA, even the Rafale - great as a plane as it is - at some $15-20 billion (+ another $10 billion for armament) could itself become a turkey. I do not know what the alternative would be - perhaps 100 Rafales or something like that. But, when all said and done, the Indian MMRCA could be as expensive.

?????

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 27 Mar 2012 08:12

^^^ NRao,

Speaking from within the Canadian context, some years ago, when the Government of Canada "bought-in" to the program, it did so on a "second tier" level. Which is to say: It was the United States Air Force and Navy, along with the UK's RAF and the UK Navy, that actually sat down together (sort of), and drew-up the operational requirements. They did not carefully consider the requirements of any of the other eight (lesser) partner nations. As a result, we've got the JSF-35, much as it is, or will likely (hopefully) be, potentially, if everything improves dramatically, except for the threat environment, which should hopefully soften somewhat :?: (Yeah, I know, it's wishful thinking.......)

More specifically, because the "Royal Canadian Air Force" must patrol large expanses of Artic airspace, where there are few airfields or alternate landing strips, an essential requirement for such an aircraft used to be that the patrol aircraft should have at least two engines, so that an engine failure wouldn't necessarilly result in a lost aircraft. As you know, the JSF-35 has only one engine, because neither the Americans nor the Brits seem too worried about engine failure :!: (Yeah, I know, it's wishful thinking.....)

Additionally: If you follow the link I provide in my post just above; you'll note that a hastilly-prepared document outlining operational requirements of the RCAF includes a 360-degree IR sensor fusion with the helmet, which Lockheed Martin has officially given-up on for the JSF-35, for the time being. LM is now funding the development of a 'lesser' helmet-sensor fusion. This too was deemed to be a "mandatory requirement", and so LM dropping this feature would ossentibly disqualify the JSF-35 for the RCAF, but no......... the majority Conservative-party government now in office seems (mostly) determined to stick with the JSF-35 program. :(

I think the RCAF would be better served by a twin-engined aircraft, one with a 360-degree IR sensor fusion with the helmet, and which can communicate with other aircraft in the Canadian Armed Forces (which the JSF-35 also cannot do, among many other things it cannot do, and will never be able to do, because of such inherent design flaws as high wing loading and miniscule stores capacity).

On top of which, I believe that too much has been made of so-called "stealth" technology, which is dramatically over-rated, especially if one considers the capabilities of present-generation IRST systems. Furthermore; such tactics as were demonstrated by the Serbian air defense during NATO's campaign there, using "backscatter radar" (wherein radar antennae were set for passive reception of airborne cellphone-frequency signals, which bounced-off that F-117 at odd angles -- esentially using the entire cellphone network as emitting antannae, while the actual radars did the receiving to fix on the target, which was shot down). Stealth isn't all about RAM and geometry, and even if it were, it wouldn't be "all that".

Here in Canada, a lot has been made about "keeping abreast with our allies", and I guess that's not entirely illegitimate. But, does that have to mean an unproven, as-yet un-built, and absolutely ill-fitted JSF-35 for the RCAF? Why not more CF-18s in the "Super Hornet" configuration? Isn't that supposed to be a bang-up aircraft that is actually available today, when we need it (because our current CF-18s are beyond due for retirement)?

Of course, I wouldn't personally favour the F-18 over the Rafale, but what I would most of all like to see is some kind of transparent comparison process that would include the Rafale and the F-18. As it seems so far, the JSF-35 was taken as the foregone conclusion, here in Canada, and I think it'll be a complete disaster for all participating nations.

JMT

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Hitesh » 27 Mar 2012 09:53

Austin, give me a reliable trustworty rar open software so I can open it.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Zynda » 27 Mar 2012 11:44

Hitesh wrote:Austin, give me a reliable trustworty rar open software so I can open it.


Hitesh, please try 7zip. It should be able to extract rar packages.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby nitinr » 28 Mar 2012 13:19

^^
rarlabs dot com
winrar is their product

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Austin » 01 Apr 2012 21:47


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Eric Leiderman » 04 Apr 2012 01:18

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/03 ... a=cde2e39c

In 2012 dollars, the average cost of each single-seat, single-engine plane, including R&D, would be $112.5 million, plus $22 million for the engine.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 04 Apr 2012 22:53

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:....
....
I soooooo wish that Canada had done a competitive comparison for this next aircraft, like the IAF did with the MMRCA. That was a process that I think represents the professionalism of the IAF very well, and which I believe has resulted in the perfect choice for India, the Rafale. I think that the Rafale might just be a good bird for Canada too, IMHO (although, I would like to see an independent and professionalized process that would reach its own conclusion).

Competitive comparison for a 5th gen fighter aircraft against what? When F-35 was proposed to Canada, what were the alternatives that were available? Even now, as we speak if Canada does an open tender for a 5th gen fighter, guess who the contenders will be?

Can one truly consider a plane which was proposed in 1970s and which first took flight in early 1980s to be a viable contender for the 21st century?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 04 Apr 2012 23:24

^^^^^ Christopher Sidor,

With respect, you are making a facile argument, taking for granted the Canadian Government's line; that a 5th generation plane was even necessary, that this JSF-35 is suitable, and that it's even a viable option within the required timeframe. (I would argue very strongly, that none of these three things are true.)

The fact of the matter is that Canada needs to replace its aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets (F-18 variants), which we use defensively for long range patrol and interdiction, usually over enormously vast expanses of open ocean or icepack. The twin-engine CF-18s have done very well for us, in this regard, and within this threat scenario, the biggest worry is the infrequent Russian sorties of prop-driven 'Bears' on long-range patrol.

Since 9/11, the need for quick-response interdiction over urban centers has come to the fore; but for this job, it would seem, the Canadian government has ceded the responsibility to American air wings stationed just across the border, because our fighters are mostly stationed in the North, ostensibly in order to keep the Russians at bay (which I don't believe either, but that's a whole other topic).

For the umpteenth time: The JSF-35 is not a "fighter", it is designed for ground attack of high-value, stationary targets protected by extensive radar-controlled air defense systems. This is a mission scenario that has very little direct relevance to Canadian defense needs. No aircraft with such lousy engine performance, poor range and heavy wing loading could be considered a viable "fighter" in this day and age. So, call it what it is -- a ground attack craft that is waaaay too much plane for the kinds of ground targets Canadians have bombed over the years (in the FYR, and recently, in Libya). If you're talking about defending Canadian skies from the Russians, you're going to need much more range than the JSF-35 is capable of, not to mention, a second engine. As for being necessary to interdict hijacked commercial airliners, a jet trainer would do just fine. Why would Canada need a ground attack craft to defend Canadian skies? No one can say.

I believe the whole reason why Canada has chosen the JSF-35 is to be able to participate in American-led ground-attack operations overseas -- the kind of mission that's never very popular in Canada.

So, to answer your question; I would not have tried to (urgently) replace Canada's CF-18s with a ground attack craft that is still in development. That would be stupid. Of course, that's exactly what the Canadian government has done, although, to be sure, they are busy trying to back-peddal out of the deal, which is turning into a major scandal over here. Yesterday's publication of the Canadian "Auditor General's Report", has now given opposition parties a strong reason to call for the PM to resign....

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/pol ... le2391856/

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 05 Apr 2012 07:41

if the JSF were indeed to be as nimble and highflying as its backers claim it to be in tests, would be a break from the past trends....a fat fuselage and stubby wings have not made for a agile fighter ever in the past. the whole history of air superiority is replete with tapered fuselages, big wings, big control surfaces, low drag, big engines...JSF is a unique claimant to the throne.

since Canada is not going to fighting China, maybe the only role left is A2G at medium distance with full AAR support from the 100+ tankers Khans ANG brings to the fight. in that role it will work fine, esp given the new gen precision weapons needing small weight and size. it can also drop any opposing fighters of say Iran or Noko at BVR ranges fairly easily using awacs, amraam at least risk. uptime issues can be made up deploying overstrength expeditionary mode fighter wings with lots of spare planes, crew and engines

and if all else fails theres always the trusty old F16 and F15 that can log days in the office and drop anything in khans vast inventory. :mrgreen:

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby arunsrinivasan » 27 Apr 2012 16:02

Brutal to say the least .... wonder what Ajai Shukla will say to this.

The Jet That Ate the Pentagon

The F-35 is a boondoggle. It's time to throw it in the trash bin.
BY WINSLOW WHEELER | APRIL 26, 2012

The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next -- by their count the fifth -- generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It's no secret, however, that the program -- the most expensive in American history -- is a calamity.

This month, we learned that the Pentagon has increased the price tag for the F-35 by another $289 million -- just the latest in a long string of cost increases -- and that the program is expected to account for a whopping 38 percent of Pentagon procurement for defense programs, assuming its cost will grow no more. Its many problems are acknowledged by its listing in proposals for Pentagon spending reductions by leaders from across the political spectrum, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and budget gurus such as former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget.

How bad is it? A review of the F-35's cost, schedule, and performance -- three essential measures of any Pentagon program -- shows the problems are fundamental and still growing.

First, with regard to cost -- a particularly important factor in what politicians keep saying is an austere defense budget environment -- the F-35 is simply unaffordable. Although the plane was originally billed as a low-cost solution, major cost increases have plagued the program throughout the last decade. Last year, Pentagon leadership told Congress the acquisition price had increased another 16 percent, from $328.3 billion to $379.4 billion for the 2,457 aircraft to be bought. Not to worry, however -- they pledged to finally reverse the growth.

The result? This February, the price increased another 4 percent to $395.7 billion and then even further in April. Don't expect the cost overruns to end there: The test program is only 20 percent complete, the Government Accountability Office has reported, and the toughest tests are yet to come. Overall, the program's cost has grown 75 percent from its original 2001 estimate of $226.5 billion -- and that was for a larger buy of 2,866 aircraft.

Hundreds of F-35s will be built before 2019, when initial testing is complete. The additional cost to engineer modifications to fix the inevitable deficiencies that will be uncovered is unknown, but it is sure to exceed the $534 million already known from tests so far. The total program unit cost for each individual F-35, now at $161 million, is only a temporary plateau. Expect yet another increase in early 2013, when a new round of budget restrictions is sure to hit the Pentagon, and the F-35 will take more hits in the form of reducing the numbers to be bought, thereby increasing the unit cost of each plane.

A final note on expense: The F-35 will actually cost multiples of the $395.7 billion cited above. That is the current estimate only to acquire it, not the full life-cycle cost to operate it. The current appraisal for operations and support is $1.1 trillion -- making for a grand total of $1.5 trillion, or more than the annual GDP of Spain. And that estimate is wildly optimistic: It assumes the F-35 will only be 42 percent more expensive to operate than an F-16, but the F-35 is much more complex. The only other "fifth generation" aircraft, the F-22 from the same manufacturer, is in some respects less complex than the F-35, but in 2010, it cost 300 percent more to operate per hour than the F-16. To be very conservative, expect the F-35 to be twice the operating and support cost of the F-16.

Already unaffordable, the F-35's price is headed in one direction -- due north.

The F-35 isn't only expensive -- it's way behind schedule. The first plan was to have an initial bath of F-35s available for combat in 2010. Then first deployment was to be 2012. More recently, the military services have said the deployment date is "to be determined." A new target date of 2019 has been informally suggested in testimony -- almost 10 years late.

If the F-35's performance were spectacular, it might be worth the cost and wait. But it is not. Even if the aircraft lived up to its original specifications -- and it will not -- it would be a huge disappointment. The reason it is such a mediocrity also explains why it is unaffordable and, for years to come, unobtainable.

In discussing the F-35 with aviation and acquisition experts -- some responsible for highly successful aircraft such as the F-16 and the A-10, and others with decades of experience inside the Pentagon and years of direct observation of the F-35's early history -- I learned that the F-35's problems are built into its very DNA.

The design was born in the late 1980s in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon agency that has earned an undeserved reputation for astute innovation. It emerged as a proposal for a very short takeoff and vertical-landing aircraft (known as "STOVL") that would also be supersonic. This required an airframe design that -- simultaneously -- wanted to be short, even stumpy, and single-engine (STOVL), and also sleek, long, and with lots of excess power, usually with twin engines.

President Bill Clinton's Pentagon bogged down the already compromised design concept further by adding the requirement that it should be a multirole aircraft -- both an air-to-air fighter and a bomber. This required more difficult tradeoffs between agility and low weight, and the characteristics of an airframe optimized to carry heavy loads. Clinton-era officials also layered on "stealth," imposing additional aerodynamic shape requirements and maintenance-intensive skin coatings to reduce radar reflections. They also added two separate weapons bays, which increase permanent weight and drag, to hide onboard missiles and bombs from radars. On top of all that, they made it multiservice, requiring still more tradeoffs to accommodate more differing, but exacting, needs of the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy.

Finally, again during the Clinton administration, the advocates composed a highly "concurrent" acquisition strategy. That meant hundreds of copies of the F-35 would be produced, and the financial and political commitments would be made, before the test results showed just what was being bought.

This grotesquely unpromising plan has already resulted in multitudes of problems -- and 80 percent of the flight testing remains. A virtual flying piano, the F-35 lacks the F-16's agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-15E's range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can't even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won't be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission -- or just as importantly, to train pilots -- because its complexity prolongs maintenance and limits availability. The aircraft most like the F-35, the F-22, was able to get into the air on average for only 15 hours per month in 2010 when it was fully operational. (In 2011, the F-22 was grounded for almost five months and flew even less.)

This mediocrity is not overcome by the F-35's "fifth-generation" characteristics, the most prominent of which is its "stealth." Despite what many believe, "stealth" is not invisibility to radar; it is limited-detection ranges against some radar types at some angles. Put another way, certain radars, some of them quite antiquated, can see "stealthy" aircraft at quite long ranges, and even the susceptible radars can see the F-35 at certain angles. The ultimate demonstration of this shortcoming occurred in the 1999 Kosovo war, when 1960s vintage Soviet radar and missile equipment shot down a "stealthy" F-117 bomber and severely damaged a second.

The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper.

It's time for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, and Congress to face the facts: The F-35 is an unaffordable mediocrity, and the program will not be fixed by any combination of hardware tweaks or cost-control projects. There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it. America's air forces deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby PratikDas » 10 May 2012 12:23

SMH: Why the Joint Strike Fighter is a calamity in progress
Winslow Wheeler
May 10, 2012

<snip>The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next - by their count the fifth - generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft.

Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies (including Australia), and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years.

It's no secret, however, that the program - the most expensive in American history - is a calamity.</snip>

Image
Illustration: Simon Bosch.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 10 May 2012 21:36

When F-15 came out, it was also subject to criticism about its cost, its maintenance headache, etc. It joined service in 1976. But one criticism which was never leveled against it, was its performance. In fact it was not till Su-30 came into the market that the rest of the world had an alternative to north-Atlantic fighter which truly exceeded F-15 in all performance characteristics. Was F-15 cost, even if we take the cost in today's terms, worth it? Yes. A plane is judged based on its capability and what it brings to the table. And what F-15 gave america and its allies was just that.

Yes there are countries, which have cut back or are planning to cut back on F-35 fighter procurement, but that is because a majority of them are undergoing significant economic difficulties. In US also the decision to spend so much money on a fighter, is being questioned because US has an unemployment of 8%, a growth which is barely touching 3% and an economic malaise, which is proving hard to overcome.

If money were the primary driving mechanism in weapon system procurement, we would all be having piston-engine fighters. There is a price to be paid, for being on cutting - edge. There is a cost involved for making something which is better than what others have. It is either we take the risk or dont. We either have the heart or shy away from a challenge.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby PratikDas » 10 May 2012 23:17

Lots of wisdom there Christopher, but something is wrong when the F-35, which was from inception supposed to be a low-cost alternative to the prohibitively expensive F-22, is also proving to be prohibitively expensive.

Someone put too much into the wishlist.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 10 May 2012 23:47

Amazing,there was this news item just recently about the USN wanting a new carrier strike fighter from 2030 onwards! Does this then signify that for all practical purposes other than national pride,the "turkey" is to be served at Thanksgiving?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Manish_Sharma » 10 May 2012 23:59

Christopher Sidor wrote:Was F-15 cost, even if we take the cost in today's terms, worth it? Yes. A plane is judged based on its capability and what it brings to the table. And what F-15 gave america and its allies was just that.

Yes there are countries, which have cut back or are planning to cut back on F-35 fighter procurement, but that is because a majority of them are undergoing significant economic difficulties. In US also the decision to spend so much money on a fighter, is being questioned because US has an unemployment of 8%, a growth which is barely touching 3% and an economic malaise, which is proving hard to overcome.

If money were the primary driving mechanism in weapon system procurement, we would all be having piston-engine fighters. There is a price to be paid, for being on cutting - edge. There is a cost involved for making something which is better than what others have. It is either we take the risk or dont. We either have the heart or shy away from a challenge.


400 billion dollars is too big a price to develop fighter/strike or any aircraft. Even if it was performing to expectations still its too much money, which it is not, so compounds the disaster!

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Austin » 11 May 2012 00:50


Christopher Sidor
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 11 May 2012 21:30

Philip wrote:Amazing,there was this news item just recently about the USN wanting a new carrier strike fighter from 2030 onwards! Does this then signify that for all practical purposes other than national pride,the "turkey" is to be served at Thanksgiving?

By 2030 China would be able to field atleast a 5th generation fighter comparable to F-22. China has the home advantage as far as Western Pacific or the second Island chain is concerned. It is estimated that J-20 will carry massive amount of fuel, thus enabling China to field a fighter, which will cover significant areas of the 2nd island chain.

JSF was meant to sweep away all the existing 4/4.5/4+ generation fighters and do what they were not able to do. But if your enemy already has a 5th gen fighter then obviously one has to target the next gen of fighter. That is not a criticism against JSF per se, it is just that one has to be a step ahead of one's adversary.

Earlier F-14 was doing the work for navy which F-15 was doing for the air force. And F-18 was supposed to be for USN what F-16 was to USAF. The problem was that real estate is a premium on a CBG. While air force can field fighters, from strips and land, thus enabling them to field a larger amount of fighters, the same is not the case as far as CBG is concerned. There is a finite number of fighters that can be fielded from a CBG. And if one has two types of fighters, each for different role, then one has to optimize the mix and numbers. This along with the life cycle cost of F-14 eventually led to its demise and the USN now depends entirely on F-18 and in the near future on F-35.

Now for reasons that were never clearly explained, USN did not follow the same principle, i.e F14 - F18 mix when it came to a 5th generation fighter. i.e. they did not end up seeking a naval or to be more precise an carrier variant of F-22. Was that a folly, is a matter of conjectures and make believe. But what F-35 has done is that, it has given PLAAF and PLAN a single target to overcome, F-35. If they somehow manage to overcome F-35, then well USN will have lots of paper weight on their CBG.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 11 May 2012 23:57

only way out seems to be build more F22 and land based UCAVs and seek land bases like guam, in japan, in philipines , in soko and singapore. china is doing its best to push philipines back into the american lap.

atleast these will be able to take on anything the chinese put in the air - on a a2a basis. F22 + new joint-aam should be a formidable combo. plus the new SM6 SAM on USN ships in effect gives them a 2nd stage amraam that deploys out to 150km and can take down everything from fighters to cruise missiles due to the nimble amraam stage.

deploy PGS hypersonic weapons on naval ships also.

JSF is no part of the solution, until the problem itself has been solved ! :oops:


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Roperia » 14 May 2012 14:54

The F-35 fighter's supersonic problems

...
The cost of Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter has doubled since 2001 to about $162 million per aircraft
...
The program called for launching construction at an early stage, at the same time the aircraft was being put through flight tests -- on the assumption that technical hurdles had been worked out in computer modeling.

The approach was supposed to save time and money, but instead "concurrency" has become a vicious circle. Technical glitches force delays in production schedules, resulting in expensive redesigns and cost overruns.

"Fundamentally, that was a miscalculation," Vice Admiral David Venlet, who was appointed last year to oversee the program, said about concurrency.
...
Tests have revealed a host of problems, including excessive vibration, a malfunctioning high tech helmet display and a flawed tail hook on the F-35C that fails to catch arresting gear wires on aircraft carriers.

There are also persistent software problems, in an aircraft that has 24 million lines of code, three times the number for the latest model US fighter, the F-22 Raptor.
...
. To limit the damage, the Defense Department expects to build 365 planes by 2017, instead of an initial plan for 1,591 in the same period
...

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby PratikDas » 19 Jun 2012 06:19

Australian Aviation: Norway approves JSF buy
June 18 2012
Norway’s parliament has voted to approve an order for 52 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters for its air force, authorising the acquisition of the first two jets.

Under the order, Norway’s first two aircraft will be operated in the US, along with two others being delivered in 2016 for training purposes. The remaining 48 F-35s delivered from 2017 onwards will be based at Ørland Main Air Station in central Norway.

As part of the deal, Norway has also confirmed that its locally developed Kongsberg Joint Strike Missile anti-ship and maritime strike weapon will be integrated into the F-35 following dialogue with the US Department of Defense.

“The F-35 provides operational capabilities and partnership opportunities that strengthen and enhance Norway’s security, European security and the NATO alliance,” said Lockheed Martin director international business development Jim Latham.

“We consider it a great privilege to work with Norway’s government and industry to build and deliver fifth generation fighter capabilities to the Royal Norwegian Air Force and provide high technology industrial benefits to Norwegian industry.”

The overall cost of the procurement phase of the project is estimated at NOK 60bn (A$9.96bn) in real terms, making it the largest ever military procurement in Norway’s history.

The Joint Strike Missile, which can be carried internally in the F-35′s weapons bays, is of interest to the RAAF in providing its forthcoming F-35As with a naval strike capability.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Austin » 21 Jun 2012 10:37


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 24 Jun 2012 20:54



From the article
The Navy stated IOC publicly as post-Block 3F software, which the [F-35]A completes before the B, which completes before the C. On that, we’re not scheduled finish Block 3F testing until after 2016. So going to the boat in 2014 – they’ve said IOC is post-Block 3F, so there’s some margin there.

2016, so that is the year this fighter is going to get certified for meeting USN standards. Provided off course everything goes according to plan. Sweet.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Roperia » 11 Mar 2013 12:27

F-35 program - too big to fail

Sequester won't hit F-35 (for now).

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 11 Mar 2013 23:00

F-35 will not be hit by the sequester for two reasons
1) There are too many american-partners involved in it. Many of the countries have conceived of their air forces and in some cases their naval air wings too on this fighter. Scrapping this would be a disaster waiting to happen. Moreover if this fighter is scrapped, USA will not be able to bind its allies closer to itself.
2) Many of the future US Marines and USN plans are around this fighter. USN learned the hard way that unlike USAF they could not field two types of fighters from its CBG, one for air-dominance and the other for A-G missions. Now coming to USAF. USAF needs a fighter which can penetrate air-defenses utilizing S-400 and its Chinese clones. F-16/ FA-18 will not simply do in this threat environment. F-22 may be able to sweep clean the enemy air space, but it will not be able to engage surface targets.

America needs F-35 otherwise post-2020 it will end up fighting a numerically superior force with one tied behind its back.

Offcourse if american economy were to stumble badly, like it did in 2007-8, then even this might not hold true. Right now USA's economic vigor appears to be returning so the F-35 program will be safe.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2013 07:46

imho USN will go the route of the already under test UCAVs for SEAD/DPSA in VLO modes. looks for stealthy next gen munitions as well.

the F-18 with its latest engines and sensors like 4th gen aesa radars should be able to manage whatever the chinese throw at it. dont forget the E2D hawkeye which is amazing pkg in such a small aircraft. they are also developing a amraam successor.

USN ships will field the SM6 which has a amraam type interceptor stage to chase fighter targets even at extreme 150km range.

Khan will manage, what we can worry about is how will IN manage? :(

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 12 Mar 2013 09:20

As things stand the russian carrier and IAC-I will not be able to carry out sustained operations in the western pacific. In the Indian ocean it is a different story. In the pacific it will be our submarines and other non-IAC naval assets which will take the lead. For us to have a AC capable of going to the pacific will require a nuclear powered aircraft carriers and berthing facilities somewhere in the western pacific. At this moment of time that looks highly unlikely. Post 2020 it is a different story.

F-35B and F-35C would have been a good fit for our aircraft carriers. But we need to move on and target AMCA or its naval variant for our IAC-II and later aircraft carriers.


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