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F-35 head says production should be slowed

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 6, 2011
The head of the US F-35 JSF program has said production of the jet should be slowed. (JPO)

The number of potential cracks and hot spots discovered in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s airframe during initial fatigue testing has led the head of the US program to call for a slow down of production over the next few years.

The comments by US Navy Vice Admiral David Venlet, which came in an interview with the website AOL Defence, are another blow for the troubled F-35 program and its prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed has repeatedly pushed the US to ramp up production in an effort to improve economies of scale. But Venlet said early fatigue testing had already found enough parts that require redesign or replacement to add roughly US$3 to $5 million to the cost of each plane that will require a retrofit. Lockheed is currently building the planes for roughly US$111 million each.

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Venlet said the problems would not affect safety or performance of the fighter but would shorten its life span and were best addressed now. The discoveries came after a bulkhead crack was found in the F-35B last year, leading to a range of engineering analyses meant to identify parts likely to crack before the jet reached its 8000 hour life span.

“Most of [the problems] are little ones, but when you bundle them all up and package them and look at where they are in the airplane and how hard they are to get at after you buy the jet, the cost burden of that is what sucks the wind out of your lungs,” Venlet told AOL Defense. “I believe it’s wise to sort of temper production for a while here until we get some of these heavy years of learning under our belt and get that managed right.”

Venlet also criticised as a “miscalculation” the program’s assumption that F-35 production could begin even as flight testing continued, though he said it remained his job to see the program through as it was.

“What we’re doing is, we’re taking the keys to the shiny new jet, giving it to the fleet and saying, ‘Give me that jet back in the first year. I’ve got to go take it up to this depot for a couple of months and tear into it and put in some structural mods, because if I don’t, we’re not going to be able to fly it more than a couple, three, four, five years.’ That’s what concurrency is doing to us,” he told AOL.

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Venlet declined to say how much he thought production should be slowed, according to the website. The Pentagon has ordered 30 F-35s in fiscal year 2011, down from previous plans to order 42. Production had been scheduled to ramp up each year, hitting 108 by FY 2016 and more than 200 once fatigue and flight testing was finished, but those plans have already come under heavy doubt as the Pentagon faces deep budget cuts.

The US is ultimately scheduled to buy 2443 of the jets as part of a US$379 billion program to replace a variety of current fighters. Eleven other countries including Australia are also part of the F-35 program. Flight testing of the aircraft is roughly 18 per cent complete, with 1394 test flights having been flown through the end of November.

Already the Pentagon’s most expensive project ever, the F-35 has faced repeated cost overruns that yesterday led US Senator John McCain to bash the program as a “scandal and a tragedy” and call on Lockheed to assume more of the burden for any future overruns.

McCain, a leading US defence figure and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, earlier this year led a effort that would have seen the F-35 canceled within 18 months if costs kept rising. That effort was narrowly defeated in the Senate.

Australia launched its own review of the F-35 program schedule in October before committing to its first batch of 14 out of a requirement of 100 F-35s. The review is meant to ensure that delivery delays in the JSF program will not lead to a capability gap with the retirement of the RAAF’s ageing F/A-18A/B ‘classic’ Hornet fleet.

Meanwhile, last week also saw the end of a long-running side show to the F-35 program as General Electric and Rolls-Royce officially dropped development of the F136 “alternate” engine for the JSF. The program had been the darling of some US lawmakers, who viewed it as healthy competition that would put pressure on official F-35 engine maker Pratt & Whitney and lead to a better and more cost effective design.

The US cut funding for the program in February. GE and Rolls-Royce had said they would self-fund continued development, but announced an end to the program on December 1.

88 Comments

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin – With Admiral David Venlet’s comments “Most of (the problems) are little ones, but when you bundle them all up and package them and look at where they are in the airplane and how hard they are to get at after you buy the jet, the cost burden of that is what sucks the wind out of your lungs”. “I believe its wise to sort of temper production for a while here until we get some of these heavy years of learning under our belt and get that managed right”

    The question is Andrew “What will be delivered (if the F-35 ever arrives) will be obsolete, and that the JSF is certainly not affordable or sustainable to fly and maintain. With cost increases, schedule delays and continuing more technical problems (when the aircraft becomes operational in 2018 or later and is having more failures which reduces its mission effectiveness, headaches for the maintenance crews etc) also increases the risk that the program will not able to deliver the aircraft quantities and capabilities in the time required by the warfighter?

  • Peter

    says:

    If it was up to me Andrew I’ll completely bailout and get away from the F-35 program its going to ruin the RAAF.

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    tragic news for a program that was poorly devised and now proving increasingly difficult to implement, optimism and opportunism are no substitute for doing the hard yards to match what is possible with what is acheivable. Overall a sadly misguided program which has already sucked the air out of fighter development in the US, time is proving another enemy of this program, potential buyers cannot wait forever to see optimism convert to reality, serious thought needs to be given to alternatives, but to be crude, there’s bugger all out there.

  • Geoff Koh

    says:

    VADM Venlet’s stated goal is to the navigate the Programme on a course to develop an affordable mature design (one can assume block III). But interestingly, he does specify his hopes of the jet ultimately being affordable, implying that there’s a chance it might not be ‘affordable’. Thus, if and when the final analysis is made which could be as late as 2015-2016 in determining that the jet simply is not affordable, only then would it be proper to begin considering alternatives. But to consider alternatives now is inefficient and wasted energy as all efforts should be directed at tracking the Programme to viability. Just wait and see, don’t worry about the fear mongering now. My bet is the F-35 will be just fine.

    If per wild chance the F-35 is not viable as an RAAF option however, then by 2015 or so RAAF would at least have 4-8 jets bought and paid for to operate as high-end component to her overall mix. Sort of a ‘sure, we only have a few, but we only need one to reach you’ type deterrence. Very effective strategy actually.

    And by then an easy fall-back option could simply be to acquire a couple dozen of USAF’s soon to be upgraded block 40/50 Super Vipers. I’m sure they’d make available a small % of their vast inventory as USAF plans to upgrade over 300 of this amazing jets and fly them to 2030. Remember, it’s very cheap and easy to SLEP a jet and modernize them with latest avionics; far less complex and costly than buying new jets. Makes much better sense all around and who would mess with such a potent air force anyway!?! Imagine such a dream-team mix of remaining legacy hornets, Super Hornets, 4-8 F-35 and a couple dozen F-16 super vipers. All RAAF would require to top off such a power house would perhaps be a few Predator drones or Global hawks. Call it a day.

  • Ron

    says:

    Dont get me started….

  • Alex

    says:

    What about LM shut the F-35 program and restart the f-22 with partner country have the raptor ;). If we getting f-35 for $111m a copy that is nearly the price of the raptor.

  • Alex

    says:

    At least LM should make a f-22 lite for the international customers.

  • Alex

    says:

    At least LM should make f-22 lite for the international customers.

  • James

    says:

    For whatever reason Australia has always been reluctant to buying “off the shelf”. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. What is the likely hood of the RAAF using the F-35 in anger anyway? We haven’t fired a missile (or gun round more likely) in anger I suspect since Korea? Why waste our tax payers money on something that in all probability won’t be deployed. I’d rather see us go down the path of something like the Silent Eagle. Like Geoff alluded to in regards to modernized airframes, it has a capability comparable to new 5th generation aircraft at a fraction of the cost. This aircraft even outperforms the F-35 in some areas…. I’m confident the F-35 will be a capable aircraft in the long run but are we willing to risk the cost of more setbacks, cost overruns, and ‘gap fillers’….?

  • Peter

    says:

    Hello Geoff Koh

    I do agree that the F-16C/D Super Viper Block 40/50 and 52 is cheap to SLEP a jet and modernise them with 5th Generation avionics etc. Of course the F-16 is truly a great and magnificient aircraft, Australia needs a high capability fighter with two engines, longer range, bigger weapons payload, better manoeuvrability and much better acceleration as well as AESA radar, Link 16, AIM-120C-7/D, AIM-9X, sensor fusion, networking and data fusion that are all valid ones the RAAF needs.

    Please note Geoff Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide which means (long) range is very important and must not be ignored. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-35 Fulcrum, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are unsuitable. Is because they have too short a range for use by a such a large country as Australia. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in NATO and some Asian countries to operate small fighters. The reason why the low capability types are only ideal for those countries is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas. They can be equipped with either single or two engines. (Actual range varies with mission)

    For Australia as you know we are surrounded by the vast oceans which means for the RAAF armed with short range fighters means they have to be refuelled to fly from e.g. Perth to Brisbane and would require significant air-tanker transport to operate outside of Australia’s maritime boundary. This also means the small fighters will have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere. Plus single-engine is still not trusted which is totally unsuitable for long range and overwater flights as mentioned before, the thing is you have to remember is the RAAF had 116 Mirage IIIs and lost 41 of them (due to pilot errors, maintenace problems, “engine failures” and lack of spare parts) which led the fleet shrink to 75 aircraft.

    Check out this website Geoff at http://www.newaustralia.net it has about defence including Saving Billions on Air Forces you’ll find out more information about the cancellation of the F-35 JSF etc.

  • random

    says:

    The problem is that the manufacturers and the military organisations are perpetually in some delirious stupor, egging eachother on the build something 2 -3 generations advanced rather than just 1 – 1 1/2. This is made worse by the ever increasing squeeze that litigious and often completely unproductive “general compliance” places upon military budgets. There also seems to be a common sense (or lack of) amongst manufacturers and governments that everything new must represent some “ridiculous quantum leap” to be justifiable. That equates to growth for growth’s sake. Furthermore, when it comes time to hold someone’s feet to the fire, everyone is equally culpable, and they all fundamentally need eachother to extricate themselves from the mess, so no-one is ever held responsible. You can’t burn someone if you need them to help clean up the mess.

    In Australia we typically come unstuck buying first generation equipment (because we become exposed to the failures of R & D when mixed with LRIP; we generally only order the minimum amount, or in many cases less than what we could actually use). Very few “OTS” second gen procurements go badly awry, and most are on or ahead of both time & budget. The bugs are generally worked out or the program has been cancelled.

    Equally we come horribly unstuck when government decides to put local content and marginal electorate considerations ahead of functionality and fit-for-purpose (with typical blame become apportioned to project mismanagement, rather than someone actually standing up and saying “well it was just an outright stupid decision to go with that equipment”).

    Many brilliant pieces of equipment started out rather poorly before gaining a positive reputation – the current problem is that with ever increasing complexity, the production run is small, unit cost is huge, and the fix is thus equally imposing.

  • Pete S

    says:

    James,
    Are you for real? Ever heard of a few minor conflicts that we were involved in like Vietnam, the Malayan Emergency and most recently Iraq? If you are specifically thinking fighters (Vietnam was Canberra bombers and FAC aircraft), then Mirages were involved in Malaya, and 14 F18s flew missions (including dropping over 300 bombs I think) and shooting the gun at ground targets. We desperately need a 5th gen multi-role fighter to maintain our relevance in world military issues – and there’s nothing else out there that is comparable.

  • Pete S

    says:

    I missed a point – the F18s I refer to we’re involved in Iraq 2003.

  • Peter

    says:

    Pete S – Have a look at the NewAustralia website that I put up for Geoff Koh or anyone to see about the cancellation of the JSF, so therefore you can get an idea of why the JSF is the wrong aircraft for RAAFs requirements before you say there’s nothing else out there that is comparable.

  • John N

    says:

    I must say I always get a laugh when the “anti F-35” lobby get on their high horse whenever their is any negagive press regarding the F-35.

    People have very very short memories, what about the F-111?

    Don’t forget all the issues that the F-111 faced, technical and political, it took 10 years from order to delivery for the RAAF to get their aircraft.

    But what did we get in the end? An amazing aircraft that gave the Australian taxpayer 37 years, I’ll repeat that, 37 years of great service!!

    The F-35 won’t be any different, yes there are problems, but what highly technical programme doesn’t? The US cant and wont let it fail.

    I for one look forward to some time in the future when there are 100 F-35A’s spread around our airbases, supported by (hopefully) a dozen F/A-18F’s upgraded to EA/18G’s, tankers, long range SSM and ASM’s, Wedgetail, P-8A’s, Global Hawk, Air Warfare Destroyers and Subs with Cruise Missiles, etc, networked together to provide the necessary deterrence to any possible agressor.

    Yes we are a “long” way from anything, as someone mentioned, but that also works in our favour too, don’t forget that any potential agressor also has to cover vast tracts of ocean to get to us, It’s not like its Pearl Harbour 1941, where we will wake up one Sunday morning and an attacking fleet will be sitting just over the horizon off Sydney Heads, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, etc.

    With modern sensors and intel, we will know way in advance, anything sitting on the ocean heading towards us will be sitting ducks for aircraft (or ships and subs) with anti-shipping missiles etc.

    And forget about the F-22, it aint going to happen! The US is shutting the production line down, when the last comes off soon, and anyway, its not for export, not going to happen!!

  • Peter

    says:

    Hi John N

    Well I must say I always get a laugh when I hear more disasters, more schedule delays, cost overruns for the F-35 program.

    Nobody hasn’t forgotten about issues the F-111 faced with technical problems and political which took 10 years from order to delivery for the RAAF to get the aircraft at the time. The F-111 is far better than the Super Hornet/F-35 for strike bombing role. The F-15 and F-22 are far better fighters than the Super Hornet/F-35 for air-to-air combat.

    The F-35 JSF is still a wrong aircraft as mentioned on the comment page and take a look on the NewAustralia website. Again it’ll be inferior to the equivalent Russian/Chinese fighters coming off the production line. The Super Hornets are a joke to compete them. The F-35 program is already a failure John, it’s unaffordable to buy and maintain etc. It will not be able to take on emerging high-end threats, its also too expensive to procure, own and operate for non-anti access operations. Waste of money if you ask me.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – Of course the F-22 is not for export and the production line is going to cease until mid-2012. We should look for other options on the table, you or anbody else can’t say that there’s nothing else out there that is comparable because as I said high capability fighters are the only right choices such as the advanced F-15E+ or F-15SE, Su-35BM Super Flanker-E or the T-50 PAK-FA. To me you got to have “Plan-B” still the JSF is not on the cab.

  • Dane

    says:

    Forget the JSF for now. Wait until it has matured completely (around 2020-24) to see how effective it is and get the F/A-18E to replace the classic Hornets. This is the most logical and cheap option due to the increasing cost of maintaining the aging classics which are undergoing HUG and CBR programs. The JSF is not the be all and all of air combat there other options out there, pity the government is so narrow minded.

  • Peter

    says:

    Thats right Dane the Federal Government/top defence chiefs do have a very narrow mind, they are very choosy with aircraft choices and very much lack of understanding of the looming JSF disasters, what you said about the JSF when it becomes matured around 2020-25 it doesn’t matter its still “useless”, like you said Dane this is a good time to look for other alternatives on the table that can do the job far better than the JSF. The F/A-18E/F to replace the A/B model Hornets maybe logical and cheap option but the Super Hornet has the similar performance deficiencies to the F-35 and it’s equally incapable of creadibly performing against modern high-end threats.

    “Guys just to remind you all, read about what I said to Geoff Koh before going into conclusions about more Super Hornets etc” so you get better understanding the different picture side of the story.

    Cheers

  • jimmy latsos

    says:

    Gidday John N,the comparison with the F111and the F35 is really not valid in my opinion , as the F111 did have developmment problems as you said but it was designed and built in late 50’s and 60’s were supersonic flight was really in its early teens and the terain avoiding/following radar, the swing wing design were revolutionary for that time,and the most important fact is that it was developed in an era where computing power was very poor compared to todays technology .Your average mobile phone would have more computing power than General Dynamics “super computers” for that time.The point i am trying to make is that in this day and age of ultra modern technologys in both military and commercial applications that these aerospace “giants” are still having trouble getting the F35 into service and on budget,and will be well longer than the 10 years getting the F35 into FOC than the mighty F111 was!.
    And stealth to me will NOT be as effictive in the near future as Russia and China are developing modern counter stealth radars that will be widely available world wide soon,would this mean that the F35 would have to fly low to the ground to avoid these new radars,.Wasn’t the F111 designed to do that years ago?,how ironic.

  • John N

    says:

    Peter,

    Well I’m still laughing too! Had a look at your “NewAustralia” website, full of lies and twisted facts!!

    For example some of the “facts” stated were:

    * The F111 fleet was retired “half way” through its service life, are you really suggesting that F111’s could have been flying and been an effective deterent close to 2050?? Wrong!

    * The 24 F/A-18F’s costing “$A7.6 billion or $A316 per aircraft”, what a load of crap, to my understanding when Def Min Nelson announced the purchase of the 24 F/A18F’s for $A6.1 Billion, it was for the TOTAL cost of ownership, arming, basing, crewing, operation, etc, etc for 10 years!! The actual cost of the aircraft themselves is well less than 1/3 of the above figure.

    * Ferry range of aircraft listed, this is totally misleading, “ferry range” and “combat range” are two totally different things, also the figures for “ferry range” is misleading on its own, as you well know, if you are as knowledgeable as you appear to claim to be, that for example the F35 ferry range is “without” external tanks, and other aircraft are “with” external tanks, its not really comparing apples with apples is it?

    * And the whole big deal about Australia being 4000km “wide”, so what, big deal!! Are you seriously suggesting that in the “extremely” unlikely event that someone wants to do a direct attack on Australia, that all our combat aircraft are going to be sitting in Perth or Sydney “just” waiting to launch and respond to an attack?

    So in the “extremely” unlikely event that we get attacked, and there will be plenty of warning, our combat aircraft will be based in the bases spread across the north, negating a lot of the “4000km” argument.

    And on top of that were are all these so called long ranged advanced enemy aircraft going to based? How far are they going to have to fly before they get here?

    Getting back to alternatives to the F35, which I believe isn’t going to happen, but for argument sake, for a start Australia will, for all sorts of reasons, never never purchase Russian or Chinese aircraft, again, never going to happen, the F22 will never happen, the F111’s are now land fill too.

    What does that really leave? Don’t think the European’s will have a chance, so it comes down to the F/A18E-F’s or the F-15, since the US is not ordering any new F-15’s, and will have well and truly retired them somewhere in the 2020’s to 2030’s, that leaves the Super Hornets or the F35.

    In the worst case, we may have to purchase some additional FA/18E-F’s to fill any further gap, but my money is still on the F35.

  • John N

    says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    Actually I do think its a fair comparison, the F111 was the “cutting” edge of technology at its time, it went though major issues, wings falling off, major structural issues, problems with all sorts of technologies, and all the political and cost overrun issues too. Just as the F35 is having all its issues today too.

    People seem to be focusing on the F35’s issues as if the Russian and Chinese won’t have more than their fair share of issues with their so called 5th gen fighters too.

    Just because the Russians and the Chinese have in recent times flown “prototypes” of their so called 5th gen fighters that it means that its “game over” for the west, might as well put our hands up and surrender now!

    You, I and all the rest of the people contributing to this debate don’t really know the full capabilities of the F35 and its competitors, but the airforces and governments wanting to order them do.

    Who know what technologies and counter technologies are being developed or are going to be developed in the coming years, but we can’t just sit here on our backsides for the next 10-20 years doing nothing waiting for them to happen.

    Is everyone suggesting that the largest military and industrial power has got it all wrong? I don’t think so.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – Yes I’d had a look on the NewAustralia website. I find that the Federal Government/top defence chiefs have full of lies claiming that the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Check it out about “Is the JSF a true 5th Generation Fighter”? on APA website. Because it isn’t.

    Yes I’m suggesting that the F-111 can be operated past 2010. It was claimed by DSTO that the F-111 fleet can be operated through to 2020 or 2025. Then if the F-111s are retired on that timeframe for example, it can be replaced by UCAV when they are matured. I didn’t comment on retiring the F-111 fleet by 2050.

    Although the US is not ordering any new F-15s (which they should’ve to replace the existing C/D models as an alternative), but that still leaves the production line open for other new and existing customers to order the F-15E variants, check on the flightglobal website that the USAF looks dramatically extend F-15 service life. The USAF has revealed new interest in critical avionics and mission systems. They are seeking to keep at least around 414 F-15C/Ds which will be extended from 9,000 hrs to 18,000 hours and for the F-15E variant was originally set at 8,000 hours but could potentially be raised to 32,000 hours after the tests are complete.

    Now getting back on the alternatives on the JSF, to me John it should happen its still a good time to seek other options. I didn’t say that Australia should buy the Chinese Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon whats been said on their its included for “comparisons only”. I understand that the F-22 is not for sale its been discontinued ok. Their’s absolutely nothing nothing wrong with the Russians. If you can’t see Australia rejecting our good relations with the US. Well if the JSF program keeps rising in cost and has more and more problems etc and Boeing keeps the Super Hornet production (for the RAAF/Government to buy more) and does deliver the capabilities as promised. I suggest Australia should look for the Su-35BM or the PAK-FA. For the customers request they can be equipped with western avionics, western weaponry and engines because they are cheaper than the US to buy and maintain.

  • John N

    says:

    Peter,

    Throughout this whole debate you have been pointing to the “NewAustralia” website, as if it is the font of all truth and knowledge, seems to me that you are a very big supporter of its claims, are you associated with it, yes or no? Simple question.

    Back to “NewAustralia” it claimed, and I assume you support its claims, that the F111 was half way through its life, eg that means close to 2050.

    You also said the F111 “can be operated past 2010”, sorry, wrong, the F111’s are all now either gate guards, rotting in the US desert or land fill in a Qld dump, so any debate about the F111 is totally pointless, agree?

    I though the F111 was a fantastic aircraft, have always thought that, but what I think of it now doesn’t matter anymore, its gone!!

    I note that you didn’t respond to any of the other points that I made about “NewAustralia’s” claims, why not?

    The fact that the US is not ordering any new F15’s is a big deal, look at all the new systems we have or going to purchase, C17’s, MH60R’s, F/A18F’s, P8A, F35A’s, etc, the sustainment and upgrade of these systems over 20-30 years is tied to what the major user is doing, it IS a big deal.

    Look at the commercial world, if you are running a PC with Windows 95 now, well guess what, Microsoft isn’t going to support it, you need to upgrade to Windows 7!

    And again, Australia is NEVER going to order Russian, Chinese, European fighter aircraft, really don’t think that is ever going to happen, for a lot of reasons, especially because of our close ties with the US.

    So I go back to what I originally said, I still believe that we will have the F35 in service, despite all the problems facing it at the moment.

    I’d love to see what you think is the real alternative, do you have one, a specific one? and Why?

  • Dane

    says:

    Another reason you can rule out Russian/Chinese fighters is that they aren’t interoperable with US aircraft. Even in the off we did buy them, the US would never give us equipment to bring them up to such a standard. Similar with the KC-30 and LAIRCMS not being fitted or maintained in Europe.

    Whatever aircraft is chosen, people will always find faults with it, be it the F/A-18E/F or (just throwing it out there for arguments sake) the Eurofighter. One thing that will matter regardless of what is chosen, is numbers of type purchased. We have growing threats from all of northern reaches and with India Shortly to commission an aircraft carrier, it would make sense to purchase in large number. the 100-150 is ideal, allowing for enough fighters for training purposes while still leaving a significant number in front-line squadrons.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – I believe you misread the “note” bit. It just reminder that “The ADF has purchased 24 F/A-18Fs for A$6.6 billion or $A316 billion per aircraft”. You’re missing the entire broader point here aren’t you. You wouldn’t be laughing while reading this is because you’re putting this barrier in-front you and not willing to take any notice what I’ve got to say. Just listen very carefully.

    Yes ferry range is listed. This is certainly not misleading. Indeed I’ve suggested that the Chinese Su-27/30/J-11 Flanker family will directly attack Australia. The answer is yes. Is because the Su-27/30 family are a long range combat aircraft with the IL-78 tanker escorting them. Which will be explained later how the turkey has beaten in wargames simulation.

    The were over around 200 or 300 F-111s at boneyard for the RAAF engineers to access them and to be reused again. They can be patched and blended with boron patches to reduces cracking and there was an roadmap upgrade for the F-111 fleet back in 2001 which I’ve seen at the time for the aircraft to be upgraded with glass cockpit, weaponry, sensors etc. Until later it was either cancelled or suspended which was totally wrong thing to do.

    Do you really want know the results of the Flankers ferry range is because the Flanker family can outrange, outclimb, outrun and outturn the Super Hornet/JSF?

    Su-27SMK: At high altitude of 2,354 miles (3,790 km) with internal fuel only, with two 440 gallon (2,000 litre) external fuel tanks with a range of 2,726 miles (4,390 km) with one top up from the tanker it can fly at 3,230 miles (5,200 km)

    Su-30: At high altitude of 1,863 miles (3,000 km) with internal fuel only, with one top up from the tanker with a range of 3,230 miles (5,200 km) and with two top ups from the tanker is 4,341 miles (6,990 km).

    Su-35BM Super Flanker-E: At high altitude of 2,236 miles (3,600+ km) with internal fuel only, with two 440 gallon (2,000 litre) fuel tanks with a range of 2,796 miles (4,500 km) with one top up from the tanker is around 3,913 miles (6,300 km) with two top ups is N/A.

    Now this 2,222 mile (4,000 km) range is not a big deal at all. As I stated again Australia needs a high capability fighter to do the job better, again small fighters with short range have fuel inefficient which means they have to be refuelled by tanker transport to fly across Australia or anywhere they are deployed for maritime strike, air-to-air combat or ground attack mission etc. Small fighters as I explained to you “they are suited to smaller NATO and some Asian countries is because there population size is small, they are surrounded by vast land areas which means for them the range is not as important”. Yes Australia is small country, but remember we are surrounded by the vast oceans which means that single engine aircraft are unacceptable for RAAFs requirements

    With Perth to Brisbane to me its just an example of how they’ll fly and how wide our country is.

    You also telling me John that I don’t know the full capabilities of the JSF. Well I got news for you John and again you wouldn’t be laughing at this when you read this true statement about why is the F-35 a wrong aircraft? The fact is that I certainly do know about its full capabilities and I can tell you its not great its absolutely terrible. Why? Is because I have friends and colleagues in the defence aviation claim that the JSF is a lemon and its totally incapable of facing high-end threats that would not cement Australia’s regional air power lead. This aircraft has limitations, it cannot do a lot of things as aspected to show and promise that is a true 5th Generation fighter, is because it doesn’t meet the partner nations. The JSF will be inferior to the Russian/Chinese fighters proliferating in the region especially the very potent Sukhoi Flanker family. The F-35A is too overweight which has too much cross section on the fuselage, the wings are too small which lacks the manoeuvrability, the wings on all JSF variants are optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre, which means it doesn’t provide enough lift and drag to defeat BVR and WVR AAMs from enemy fighters in a dogfight or stand-off ranges, advanced SAMS and AAAs.

    The F-35s fuselage is too thinned skinned. Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety precautions on the aircraft to protect against fire. The JSF will be an very easy target to shoot down because its such a delicate aeroplane which means it has huge internal fuel wrapped around inside the fuselage and fuel also surrounded to the engine as well. Because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes the aircraft to catch on fire. Because the JSF had weight problems during testing and Lockheed Martin made an argument claims the JSF doesn’t need fire safety precaution and has been dropped. The F-35 will generate more heat (in full afterburner) this will make the adversaries to detect the JSF at BVR using heat seeking missiles (while engaging stealth aircraft at 56 miles-90 km). Which I find the whole situation very very disappointing and a big disaster and certainly not a very survivable aeroplane.

    The F-35 JSF has inferior acceleration, can’t turn well enough which lacks the aerodynamic performance to be employed effectively as an air defence interceptor/fighter, short range with no loiter time and very pittiful weapons load that is totally unsuited as a bomber and cruise missile defence and unsuited for air superiority role when compared against the Sukhoi family of aircraft, particularly post-2010 configurations, definately post-2015 evoled growth variants. (Without agility,speed, long range and weapons load) Relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabiilities, BVR and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying straight and level of presents of guns or missiles with very gentle manoeuvres the JSF will be a “dead duck”. The JSF is not lethal, for Australia, this means that for an outrageous amount of money spent on air-to-air and air-to-ground fighting capabilities the JSF brings absolutely nothing on the table that existing aircraft designs such as the F-111, F-15 variants, F-22, A-10 and other aircraft – cannot already do and do better.

    Detailed modelling, analysis and participation in highly fidelity wargame simulator exercise which have shown and demonstrated by my colleagues that the JSF has been defeated in all realistic current and future threats that Australia is likely to face by the Sukhoi family and J-20 stealth fighter. Part of the presentation showed a computer simulation which calculated that the F-35 would be consistently defeated by the Su-35BM Super Flanker-E. The defeat calculated by the scenario also showed the loss of the F-35’s supporting airborne-early warning and air refuelling aircraft. While the Super Hornets of both Blue Forces were seriously and significantly overmatched a.k.a useless.

    Single-engine is in fact a very nasty risk as stated before. It’ll cause heavy losses to the entire fleet, seriously its going to horrify the aircrews lives at huge risk, when the engine fails the JSF will fly like a glider anywhere behind enemy lines or over the ocean it’ll drop like a stone and cause a crash. Also the F-35A’s Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments and may also causes excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – No I don’t agree about the F-111. No sorry you’re wrong, the F-111 is a very hard aircraft to replace in the strike bombing role that no other aircraft in the world can match its fire power etc. The F-111 is still a fantastic aircraft if it weren’t retired it should’ve been updated to retire them safely in 2020/25 as it was. Read what I said about the nasty problems the JSF is facing and will face this more controversey problem in service with the RAAF when it comes online.

  • Peter

    says:

    If you problem with that John N I suggest that you contact Air Power Australia or talk to Former Air Commander Peter Criss about this solution.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N, Andrew McLaughlin and to the other JSF advocates – Also just to let you guys know that the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence and Federal Government – with facts etc.

    Cheers

  • Dane

    says:

    The F-111 had its day, the JSF will be superior to anything currently in service as it offers far better situational awareness (SA) for the pilots. Also, doubters about the single engine need not worry, the engine technology today is far better than the Mirages, meaning less flame outs and other technical issues. Range isn’t a good comparison for this aircraft as Australia boasts one of the best OTH radar systems in the world, allowing us to track aircraft before they get too close. This means we can send our fighters to a pin point location and have the battle ground of choosing. But that would be the last option in anyones mind using the F-35, you dont need to get close to your enemy to have to shoot them down, the AESA radar will see them before they see you. Thus the F-35 is simply a means of delivering munitions. This is where the F-111 is now defunct. TFR will only get you so far. With guided AA munitions now easily avialable, the F-11 would be a relatively easy target at low altidude, given the experince of the operator. The F-35, however, can loiter 100’s of kilometers away, wait for the call for a bomb drop fly within a safe distance of the target, realease a munition and return home or continue loitering. It is a f ar better aircraft than the F-111 and once it has overcome its many teething problems, it will prove itself as the best.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – I strongly disagee with that. LOL Its still a wrong aircraft for Australia.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane and to the other JSF advocates – Thats the most laughable statement I ever heard Dane about “the JSF is far better than the F-111 or other aircraft”. The JSF is 50 times worse in long range strike interdiction, close air support and air-to-air combat is because it’ll be so much easier to shoot down, it’ll be so much more flammable etc and it doesn’t even have an ability to stay and wait over the battlefield until the situation develops when its needed with huge fuel flow very inefficient and no loiter time and it doesn’t have a powerful punch to do the job effectively, seriously the JSF will be a truely useless piece of equipment, again it will ruin the RAAFs frontline fighter/strike force, it will degrade the air force further is because the pilots will fly worse they’ll get less training which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because thee whole force will have to shrink and you’re just having a show piece air force that they can’t do anything.

    The reason why the pilots will not be often enough to train properly is because the JSF will be a super complicated aircraft to maintain and can’t fly very much which means it’ll spend around 50 or 100 hours on the ground putting stealth coatings etc to make the aircraft stealthy or not stealthy at any how.

    Do you have any idea how extremely dangerous the aeroplane is and do you ever realise how the JSF is going to survive with one engine?

    However Dane, the engine technology today may be better while modern engines are very reliable, but don’t ever say the engine won’t fail because it will fail at anytime and will cause 100 F-35 fleet will have to be grounded. In fact Dane I’ll say again single-engine is still a very nasty risk and totally unsafe for overwater operations (which is ill-suited for overwater operations for maritime strike missions etc) and will certainly cause heavy losses to the entire fleet. If you or anyone else is a JSF pilot for example the question is would you be comfortable enough to put your butt into the F-35 when the engine fails over the ocean? The very clear answer is you’ll be far far away from your home base over the Pacific Ocean if you’re flying longer distance for overseas deployment and if something goes wrong with that engine you have to eject and you’ll be ending up in the ocean in the middle of nowhere freezing to death. This requires the Navy to commit search and rescue assets to support any operational deployment JSFs or any single engine fighters. The RAAF still needs two-engines to provide superior flight safety in long range or overwater operations, as the loss of one engine does not guarantee the loss of the aircraft, although it’s apt to cause the mission to be aborted. For Australia’s geography this is likely to result in a smaller number of lost aircraft during decades of peacetime training, but also a better ability for these aircraft to survive battle damage over a target and recover to home base to be repaired. It also reduces demands on Navy warships to be available to rescue aircrew in the event of engine failure and thus become exposed to enemy air attack.

    Yes the JSF does offer situational awareness for the pilots. The APG-81 AESA radar provides respectable air-to-air coverage capability, it’s optimised as a bomber to meet Joint Operational Requirements Documents (JORD) and has less detection footprint. The JSF is optimised for “Forward” and “Side” aspect performance limited to X-band only target KPP downgraded to LO from VLO- an order of magnitude change, however in its key metric of detection range performance the APG-81, APG-79 AESA from the F/A-18E/F Block 2 and other AESA radars from small fighters will be outclassed by the Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E (Snow Leopord) radar designed for the Su-35S/BM Super Flanker-E, plus an available option for the Su-30MKI and MKM Flanker-H variants.

    The N035 Irbis-E fire control radar tested from the Su-30MKK “503 Blue”, it has a passive phased array of 35 inches (900 mm) diameter scanned mechanically to give a 120 degree field of view in azimuth. This radar can track up to 30 aerial targets while guiding missiles to 8 priority threats, in air-to-surface mode it can track up to 8 targets. Detection range in air-to-air mode was up to 218-248 miles (350-400 km) for typical fighter-type target and 56 miles (90 km) for stealthy target with an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) including the JSF. In air-to-surface mode the radar could select large ship with an RCS of 538,195 sq.ft (50,000 m) at 248 miles (400 km), a railway bridge with an RCS of 10,763 sq.ft (1,000 m) at 93-124 miles (150-200 km), a patrol boat with an RCS of 2,152 sq.ft (200 m) at 62-74 miles (100-120 km) and a group of tanks with an RCS of 323 sq.ft (30 m) at 37-43 miles (60-70 km).

  • Peter

    says:

    All you pro-JSF advocates are absolutely crazy to think and say that its a right aircraft with all the lies and misinformation that you people are conned that you folks keep on listen on the wrong side of any stories what the Governement, the RAAF and aircraft companies say to you all. I don’t trust Lockheed Martin including Tom Burbage he is a crook, con-artist and a liar.

    Why should any customer do any business with them or even join the most pathetic turkey program that is behind schedule, cost overruns etc when it cannot beat Russian/Chinese fighters? Answer that folks.

  • Dane

    says:

    Peter, your thinking is old hat. Modern combat has changed in every sense be it air, ground or naval, since the inception of the F-111. There are are number of flaws in your argument which need to be pointed out.

    Firstly, the pilots of the future will be Gen Y and are, as science has proven, quiet capable when it comes picking up new skills very quickly. As with every aircraft, including the F-111, you cant just hop in the pilots seat and fly it. It takes months of training in simulators to even fly the real thing. So pilots will be well trained to handle the new technologies in the F-35. Also, the F-35 is designed to not overload pilots with information. The helmets they wear will have only required data displayed in them, including targeting and flight data. The F-111 would have been better over many older fighters with its HUD, making jets less heads-down intensive.

    F-35 maintenance will be a lot easier with the aircraft being designed with engieering aspects in mind. A complete engine is expected to take no less than 4 hours. Also, technicians will be able to plug a computer in the aircraft and it will run a complete systems check before and return from a mission. This technology is already being used on the C-17 and C-130J.

    In regards to engine capability, while it is in flight testing now, and limited production, it will get better. Reliability will surpass anything currently in use on Australian aircraft. Yes it will require maintenance from time to time, it will be able to go longer periods without the need for servicing in a war situation. In regards to maratime ops and overseas deployments, you are forgetting two important factors. Firstly, we once again have an AAR capability in the KC-30, a luxury the F-111 never had as its range didn’t nescitate it, and this extend deployment range, loiter time and combat radius. Secondly, you are forgetting that the Defence Force is juist that, a defence force. This limits our missions to our territorial waters but with the range of anti-shipping missiles being increased, you have to fly less distance over water to the release point.. Remember, you don’t have to see the target to shoot it.

    SA will come from sources for a pilot under the networked forces project. This means a pilot will be able to see more than what is on his or her radar display. The Wedgetail will provide most of this but it can from other sources including UAVs, Orions and naval radar. The combination of this system will be an astronomical leap forward from the F-111’s radar system.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane, John N, Andrew McLaughlin and to the other pro-JSF advocates

    If you guys are asking about How can the 40+ year old F-111 airframes last another 30 years? The F-111 has not had its day yet.

    The simple answer is: aircraft are machines, not people. The “age” of an aircraft’s airframe structure is primarily measured by the hours it has flown compared with the life for which it was designed to operate. After some 30 years, the F-111 airframe structure is just over half way into its design life, before any consideration of life extention which is normal for RAAF aircraft.

    The detailed answer: The USAF currently plann to fly their 40 year old B-52H Stratofortress fleet for another 40 years, and their 20 year old B-1B Lancer bombers for another 40 years. The prospects are very good that the 35 year old C-5 Galaxy fleet will serve at least for another 20 years, and many of the 40 year old KC-135 Stratotanker fleet may be flown another 30 years. In military aviation, the calendar age of aircraft means very little – what determines their useful life is their utility in doing the job for which they are tasked, the systems they carry, their accrued flying time and thus fatigue to the structure, and corrosion damage to the airframe.

    Australia is very fortunate to the F-111s, which have an overdesigned airframe, originally stressed for landings and takeoffs on aircraft carriers. The principal fatigue issue with the F-111s lie in the integrity of some parts of the aircraft’s “swing wings” or “variable geometry”. Fortunately it takes only about a day to swap wings on an F-111, which means that a robust stock of refurbished wings could the aircraft to kept in service for decades at a very economical cost. Around 200 or 300 airframes remain mothballed in the US AMARC facility. Most of the avionics and wiring in the F-111 fleet were replaced during a billion dollar avionic upgrade that was completed in 1999, therefore remain competitive in combat – an ongoing issue for combat aircraft for any age today. The existing pool of Pratt & Whitney TF-30 turbofan engines will last comfortably until 2020, if lie extention beyond that date is required new engines could be readily adapted, as the existing engines (and, therefore, the engine bays of the F-111) are longer than their modern replacements.

    The reason why the F-111 is a very difficult aircraft to replace in the long range strike interdiction role is because the aircraft was designed at the peak of the Cold War to meet an unusually tough performamce specification, both in terms of what payload of weapons it could deliver to what distance, and in terms of achieving high speeds in combat. As a result it is one of the largest and highest performing strike aircraft ever built, the nearest equivalent is size being the MiG-31 Foxhound. Again no other fighter (including small airframes with short range and low capabilty such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35 Fulcrum, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF) since the F-111 can match its range and weapons payload. Replacing the combat effect of each F-111 will require the operationally much more expensive use of small fighters and aerial tankers.

    Another reason why the F-111 is very suitable aircraft for helping to defend Australia and for helping to keep the peace in our region of the world is because the aircraft is a very robust fighter-bomber which carries typically twice or more the internal fuel of other fighter jets, as a result of which it typically delivers twice the combat radius, usually with twice the payload of weapons. Therefore, it provides a lot of punch in a single aircraft, with only two person crew. Australia’s defence environment economies in terms of dollar cost to deliver a given payload of smart bombs or cruise missiles to a given distance. Since Australia invested during the 1990s hundreds of millions of dollars into an extensive support infrastructure at RAAF Amberley, the RAAF was provisioned to maintain the F-111 indefinately – and largely independently.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – My thinking is not old hat ok. There are no numbers of my arguments needed to be pointed out. Well my colleagues in the defence don’t believe you.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – I reckon you are forgetting what I said to you, the F-35 maintenance will be harder with the aircraft being designed with engineering aspects in mind. Well these Gen Y systems are very capable like you said, but they can be integrated on existing platforms as well which I saw the roadmap upgrade plan for the F-111 fleet back in 2001, to the F-15 Silent Eagle etc. Dane I reckon you have forgotting what I said about long range is still needed. This certainly does not limit the missions to our territorial waters but with the range of anti-shipping and cruise missiles has been increased, some certain rules you can fly less distance over the ocean to release the point depends where the target is located – Remember you still have to positively identifiy the target and shoot it. If you have problem with my explanation I suggest that you talk to the APA team.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – I think we should leave it there ok. Don’t say anything else. Lets give the anti-F-35 supporters to have a go with there opinions.

  • Mick

    says:

    Peter,
    You’ve literally copied your entire answer (comment 35) to Dave’s rebuttal from the Air Power Australia website. See here: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-FAQ-2005.html
    How original…..Tell me, do you have any of your own opinions on the JSF or do you just listen to Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon all day? I believe both sides of this argument have their merits but it is important to separate fact from faction. Lockheed Martin knows it will be held accountable by the US Government and all JSF partners, including Australia, if it fails, hence the motivation to get it right. Short term pain for long term gain. You’ve got to see the bigger picture.

  • Peter

    says:

    Mick – Yes I do have an opinion, as well as I do listen to Carlo Kopp, Peter Goon, retired RAAF fighter pilots, generals, officers and other folks too. I mean thats what you got to do if someone tries to explain the reasons to you it’s about gathering and understanding ideas etc. To me its really not relevant what you do at least you get the idea whats been said and figuring out in different ways. I don’t care what I did to Dave’s and John N’s rebuttal is because they put an protective barrier of not taking any notice what I got to say. Thats the reason why I did copy one of the answers from the FAQ for them to read and understand whats been explained.

    Do you listen to what Lockheed Martin, Defence politicians or any pro-JSF advocates all day? Because I believe those sides of their arguments have their merits too. I do appreciate what your coming from Mick about seeing a bigger picture, which I do yes, but the APA and other websites do have a very interesting ideas and facts. But I do point out about who do I agree the most and what issues I take. You know what I mean. The same goes for everyone. You know I work for the defence right and I have my friends and colleagues say the JSF is a wrong aircraft and they agree with my opinion too and we need to try out to have other plans for what better equipment Australia needs best.

  • Robert

    says:

    i dont have much to do with airplanes but i read a lot, needless to say i cried when they caned the F111, i have read how good a machine it had become and just what it could do, just what we needed, it is okay to say there are all these airframes just sitting , but as explained to me just over a week ago by a hydraulics person at Amberley, there are lots of little things that go into keeping them airborne, like seals, like he said, they arent available anymore, they have to be made, and that takes over a year and costs a small fortune, just like the trucks i own, parts to keep the quality made older ones going are getting harder to find,

    my opinion is it is better to have 300 of a older , capable machine than 100 duds, and my opinion is the JSF is just that , a dud. every thing i have read points to that conclusion, and i am only a coach builder come truck driver, our experts who buy this stuff dont have to go off and fight with this gear, just like when i was a nasho, we had a rifle that had fire power, the kids today have pop guns, we are going backwards, that was proven in Veitnaim,

    and now the goverment is going to up grade the truck fleet with new electronic vehicles, well, with the ones we have you can drive them until they sieze up, computer one;s shut down even if there isnt enough water in the top tank, i hear it all the time from drivers of the fancy rigs you see today, go around a bend, the sensor is uncovered, puter shuts the engine down,

  • Roger

    says:

    As I have indicated before on another discussion, for people with a bit more knowledge about the F35 and its capabiltiies look at F-16.net forums on the F35. Japan has just chosen the F35 because it is the best plane for the role intended. Sure it may not out accelarate a new beaut Su-XX but the SU -XX must be able to see it before it can do anything. And while it may avoid missles trying the air show “cobra” it bleeding of energy during that hands the initatiative to opponents. And thats if it can get in the air.
    As shown during Red flag exercises the Indians wanted a full minute between take offs of their planes (SU’s) to avoid Foreign object damage. Does not give it too much confidence in their durability. Combat is not just about “combat” but sortie turnaround.
    The F35 while not as all aspect as stealthy as the F22 compared to other planes it is still stealthy. For example to the T-50 and the Russians’ own statements about how stealthy it is make it less stealthy than F-35, which is an interesting admission.

  • Peter

    says:

    Hi Roger

    The JSF is not the best aircraft for Japan the role is intended. The F-15SE Silent Eagle is the best top level fighter to fulfill the JASDF’s requirements and the Silent Eagle can handle the J-10 Vigorous Dragon, Su-27, J-11 and Su-30MKK types, and the F-22 Raptor (although ban on export, which the USAF can deploy their own aircraft to Japan) is designed to be a top level fighter which it can handle the PAK-FA and J-20 only. The JSFs APG-81 AESA can’t see the Su-35BM, PAK-FA and J-20 Might Dragon at long range.

    Remember what’s been said earlier. The F-35 will be too heavy and slugglish to be successful as an air superiority fighter in aerodynamic terms, due to the fuselage which has too much cross-section, the wings are too small which lack the manoeuvrability, the wings on all JSF variants are optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre which doesn’t provide enough lift and drag to defeat the BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and WVR (Within Visual Range) air-to-air missiles from the enemy fighters in the dogfight and stand-off ranges, advanced SAMs and AAAs.

    The JSF has poor acceleration, poor agility, short range with no loiter time and very limited weapons payload that is totally unsuitable for bomber and crusie missile defence and unsuited for air superiority role (with only “four” AAMs internally) when compared to against the Sukhoi family of aircraft, post 2010 configuration; definately post 2015 evoled growth variants.

    Relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, HMS, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It maybe fancy for the F-35 to detect the missile and jam the missile, but when it comes down to it Roger the aircraft can’t turn, can’t climb and can’t run with no escape it’ll get shot down.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger

    There are a lot of reasons of why the F-35 is a turkey, not trusted, very controversial, and wrong warplane for any air forces requirements. Is because all JSF variants will be useless in CAS (close air support role). Why? Is because the JSF doesn’t have a protective armour tub for the pilot (as a bullet proof for cannon hits around the cockpit area) as said earlier, the JSFs fuselage is too thinned skinned. Did you know about that Roger? Again Lockheed Martin has done very little to protect the aircraft against fire, its a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely and very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gun fire can very easily penetrate the skin on the fuselage and to the engine that causes the aircraft to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. In fact they’ve dropped major safety pre-cautions with to respect of fire, is because the JSF had weight problems and claiming its not needed. It’ll be a very easy target to shoot down and so much more flammable and is a very dangerous jet.

    The same thing goes for air-to-air combat up against the Sukhoi family, that’ll make the adversaries to detect the JSF at BVR using heat seeking AA-10 Alamo, AA-12 Adder missiles is because the engine of the JSF will expose more heat (in full afterburner) like a volcano.

    Plus the JSF doesn’t have a 30mm (1.18 calibre) cannon to effectively shoot down the tanks etc. Not powerful enough to do the job to support the troops on the ground in close air support. And again it doesn’t have an ability to stay and wait over the battlefield until the situation develops when its needed.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter,

    Serious the Silent eagle is a paper plane. So the F35 trumps over all as it is in development/production and still stealtier. Yes it is optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre. So? Again Mach+ combat is rare.
    “doesn’t provide enough lift and drag ” You do not want drag? Think not. F35 easily out accelerates the the F16 during flights. Has AT LEAST same manoeuvrability again as a F16. (part of its capability requiment) . “ue to the fuselage which has too much cross-section”, which is used as part of body lift design. (you do know this dont you?) 4AAMs internally. Again slated in later block for upgrade to 6 internally (they can do it but chose not too AT THIS TIME.) Now I will not go on as for any plane to get to WVR needs to see it BVR but all aspect Stealth beyond anything except the F22. Means it has first look, first shot capability. Really must this be explained again and again. Sure it may not be an A-10 in attack but an A-10 does not have the 360degree situational awareness. Even the F22 the best plane around is optimised for 120 Degree awareness. Again if you are so sure of this please debate with others more knowledgable than I. Just do not stay in the comfort zone. Good luck with that. (I know you will not but hey you might surprise me.)

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Sorry, Despite my “cheeky tone” please be aware I appreciate your arguments. I just do not think it as Sweetman put it that the F35 is a “dog”. Anyway Happy new year to ya. Roger

  • Dane

    says:

    Peter, Peter, Peter. I have tried to emphasize that F-35 will not be placed in a position to be shot at by small-arms. Why? The F-35 is a bomb truck. Tactics have changed with the times and no longer do you have fighters and bombers fly at dot feet to plant a bomb, unless doing a show of force pass. The tactics now, thanks to guided munitions, only require the pilot to fly within a distance of the target. Thus there is really no requirement to up-armour the JSF. Whoever you are talking must have been left out of the loop long ago because obviously they have no clue as to how the aircraft will be used.

    Also, since when has a fighter or bomber used afterburner during a patrol/holding pattern? They don’t because it uses precious fuel it may require to get to a fight or release point in a hurry. And even then it’s rare.

    Your sources are out-dated along with the F-111 dream you cling to.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane. Don’t get me started. You can think whatever you like to say about the JSF is this and that. My sources are not out-dated with the F-111.

    Yes the F-35 is a bomb truck, but it has a very limited weapons payload which I say again its useless and thats relying more number of JSFs to do ground attack. The F-35A’s wing area is 460 sq.ft (42.7 sq.m) which means with 4 JDAMs or AAMs on each wings will sacrifice its stealth capabilities while carrying them externally and they’ll be reflected by a lot of radars on the ground. Also read what I said about the F-35 that is useless in Close Air Support role.

    The problem with multi-role platforms Dane is that small fighters with low capability in a lot respects don’t perform very well. Single role designs were far better

    Whoever I spoke to hasn’t left out of the loop long ago, they certainly do have a clue as to how the aircraft will be used.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane, Roger, Andrew McLaughlin and to all pro-JSF advocates

    The design flaws on the F-35 will just keep on rising and again it’ll take forever to solve this problems when the aircraft becomes operational soon. It’s still a “wrong, wrong, wrong aircraft”. You people absolutely don’t ever get the message in your heads of why you folks keep going on and on saying its a right warplane to fulfill the RAAF requirements.

    1. The aircraft is the first fighter built in the last 80 years that can’t fly supersonic operationally. Because the stealth coatings will start to peel off.

    2. Central processor is underpowered. This thing can’t even put simple symbols on the helmet display without letency let along FLIR imagery or anything else.

    3. Inadequate aerodynamic modeling. Which means that if you dump fuel, there’s a chance it’ll end up with auxiliary power unit exhaust causing it to have fire on-board.

    4. The auxiliary power system itself is a poor design and too unreliable.

    5. Plus the arrestor hook on the F-35C variant was put into the wrong location, major structural changes need to be made to move it.

    Somebody should come up with new nicknames for the F-35 will be called the “Lead Sled II”, Baby Seal, BUFF or Widow Maker. Certainly not a Lightning II.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates – Although Mach 2+ combat is rare. To me you still need to have speed (which enhances both engagements of, and escape from, known threats) for safety and survivability. Think. The JSF doesn’t out-accelerate the F-16 in level flight.

    The F-16s top speed is Mach 2.0 and the F-35s top speed is Mach 1.6, which is too slow.

    If you don’t have speed and agility how can you get of the fight and survive? The question you’ve asked me was “You do not want drag? The answer is yes I do want drag, thats the reason about having bigger wings to have adequate manoeuvrability to defeat missiles and out-manoeurvring the adversaries etc. Yes the JSF does have the same manoeuvrability as the F-16, but what I mean is, the JSF doesn’t have enough drag and lift as the F-15, F-22, Su-27 Flanker family, PAK-FA, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale etc. I certainly do know about this Roger.

    Again as I said before, relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off without speed and agility again “you’re a dead duck”.

    “Slated in later block for upgrade to 6 internally (they can do it but chose not too AT THIS TIME.)” Again if the aircraft did carry 6 of these AAMs or other ground attck munitions externally it sacrifices stealth, plus the weapons bay looks narrow and small to fit 6 AAMs, JDAMs etc internally as I said it has very very limited weapons payload. Its useless

    The A-10C does have Situational Awareness Data Link, even it doesn’t have an 360 degree SA, the pilot can be equipped with the JHMCS.

    I’m so sure of this, I always debate with my colleagues, retired fighter pilots they’ve the same knowledge and opinion as me.

    Plus the Silent Eagle is not a paper plane, the demonstrator is in the testing stage.

  • Peter

    says:

    Again the JSF is a failed project, its a rotten turkey. Australia is better of buying F-15E+ variants and the RAAF should be an Eagle Country instead of buying more stingless Super Dogs.

  • Roger

    says:

    Oh my god – head slap!
    Lets go through some of your points?
    A – F-16s top speed is Mach 2.0 and the F-35s top speed is Mach 1.6.
    F16 mach 2 – when clean – No external stores – F35 Mach 1.6 fully loaded with internal stores. –
    I put that down to you not knowing.
    B – F35 “limited payload”? What is the max speed, maneuverability of all the planes you mentioned when loaded out? And also the much increased radar cross sections?
    C -Your post of 15th Jan 9;25 . The points are Verbatim copy of ITfunk Post on DoDBuzz. From 3 weeks ago. What? Is there a F35 haters play book out there?
    1. Development issue – So? Prove that means it will not work?
    2. Again – development – Prove that it means it will not work.
    3. Inadequate modelling. Main problem was the impact on the stealth coating . maintenance issue IF no fix in place. (big if)
    4. Development issue? So they cannot fix it?
    5. Arrestor hook. Major structural change MAY be needed if the folded, extended hook, other fixes do not work. Only affects C model IF it gets to that.
    D – “The F-35A’s wing area is 460 sq.ft (42.7 sq.m) which means with 4 JDAMs or AAMs on each wings will sacrifice its stealth capabilities while carrying them externally and they’ll be reflected by a lot of radars on the ground”.
    That’s the same with every plane in service now? At least the F35 can carry loads internally. As design was always intended at the start of the operation where stealth is required internal is only used and then transition to external when permissible.
    E – Again as I said before, relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off without speed and agility again “you’re a dead duck”
    Quoted from a source I lost the reference – F-16 was approximately as maneuverable as a manned aircraft with a useful payload could possibly be. Chasing after the law of diminishing returns to find that little extra bit of manoeuvrability or energy retention to exploit the OODA loop was a losing game. First of all, aerodynamics was an established science so everyone knew how to do that, and soon all modern fighters were approaching the human limit of maneuverability. And that limit was a hard brick wall. It was proved when neither the X-29 (supermaneuverable) nor X-31 (thrust vectoring) were game-changers in exercises vs. existing fighters. And everyone had the same eyes in WVR so there was no advantage to be had there. The Germans further proved mathematically (leading to the Lampyridae project before they realized that stealth, while effective, was going to do anything but save them money vs. then-current fighters) that an advantage in medium-range combat was the most important advantage in the air. Changing the first O in OODA, by giving your plane better “eyes” to get first look and first kill (improved BVR radar and BVR missiles), or taking away your enemy’s ability to lay eyes on you first (stealth), turned out to be more effective post-F-16 than trying to out-F-16 the F-16 for increasingly small dogfighting advantages. In air to air combat, a larger, more capable multi-role aircraft might give up slight advantages were a dogfight to occur; but would have more likely won before it ever came to the dogfight; among modern planes was still maneuverable enough that it wasn’t at a major disadvantage even if it did come to a dogfight; and unlike a “lightweight day fighter” was actually still useful as a bomber after the air war was won.

    The only problem with the F35 is that the development is under the most scrutiny as any in history.
    Other programs have had development issues as well. (lets not get started on the F-111 development)

    I suppose what I would like is when comparing to “other threats “ please base it on a realistic scenarios. Top speed, radar cross section, manoeuvrability without external stores is not real life , except for the F35 since it is designed for it.
    I suppose the ultimate judgement is if the stealth is not a game changer why are the T-50 and J-20 in development?

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger – My head points don’t need to be pointed out ok. Thanks.

  • Peter

    says:

    Comparing to the F-111 and F-35 development, which ones the worst in military aviation. The JSF is the one. Again the F-22 is designed to counter the T-50 and J-20 only, not the turkey JSF. You should know that.

    The PAK-FA low-observable fighter now in development is expected to be much more lethal in air-to-air combat against the F-35. The PAK-FA will include more powerful radar, advanced sensors, data fusion capabilities and networking which can minimise the effects of the limited low-observable qualities of the F-35. Also the PAK-FA will have higher performance, longer range (without refuelling) and carry more air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons than an F-35.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger – None of my colleagues in the defence agree what you said and none of us will take your advise.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter – you or your colleagues may not agree or take my AdviCe. I do not want them too. I do not pretend to be an expert and the F35 may turn out to be not the best plane ever, but please when you start throwing out all these “issues, problems and statements about F35 viability” please keep the your arguments realistic and valid. You may get people even more more informed than me discussing on the forum.

    But it is amazing you did not dispute any of my points with facts. Thanks, that speaks volumes.
    And why the deception about things like your stated F-16 top speed when it clear to anyone in the know that it was clean compare to a F35 loaded? If you are so sure then state the facts in full. Good arguments are based on logical and plausible extrapolations.

    And just to correct you (again) F22 was design to counter ANY threat in future. The T-50 is design to counter the F-22 , not the other way around , ?. And if they build more than a dozen then I think people will start noticing. And then if the engine is reliable enough to get into the air, they do seem to be having problems with those, dont they hehe. And the J-20 is designed as a more long range fighter/bomber (anti carrier). Thats is generally accepted due to is power limitations and size.

    Thanks for the little discussion. Hope you learnt something

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger – Yes I know the J-20 is designed as an long range fighter-bomber, only due with its power limitations, the size is not relevent. Larger airframes do far better job. In hindsight Roger I could’ve kept my issues, problems and statements about the turkey JSF and kept my arguments realistic and valid.. Yes I did dispute my points and facts earlier.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger

    It depends. From what I’ve researched and heard about the aerodynamic design of the J-20 is a good compromise in the sense that with advanced digital flight controls and a suitable WS-15 turbofan engine (which is still under development) the aircraft should be able to achieve better aerodynamic performance and agility than the current benchmark, the F-22 Raptor and achieve better aerodynamic performance and agility than the F-35.

    Cheers

  • Dane

    says:

    Get off Air Power Australia! the key writer for that website has no military experience and a degree in political science. big deal. that writer also touted that the RAAF should have purchased the 744F tanker variant. Wow. That shows how much he knows about anything in defence. Yes, there are former RAAF officers who contribute to that site, but I am yet to find a decent argument imn regards to anything. He also suggested that the Advanced F-111 should fly alongside F-22’s. Do I need to point out the flaws of that problem?

  • Peter

    says:

    Absolutely not Dane. My colleagues claim the key writer for that website does have military experience and a degree in political science.

    APA is still a source of truth. Why don’t you get off the less capable and useless JSF/Super Hornet. Of course Dr Carlo Kopp did suggest that the Advanced F-111 should fly alongside F-22′s. To me the Raptor or any high capability aircraft should’ve been negotiated as an F/A-18A/B Hornet replacement back in the 1990’s. I don’t need to point out the flaws of that problem at all. I point out the flaws of the Super Hornet’s and upcoming JSF’s suitability for RAAF’s requirements etc.

  • Peter

    says:

    Although it might be a problem for you Dane, but thats not to say I agree everything they say, I do have other suggestions too.

  • Dane

    says:

    APA is a source of misguided truth, if you want real RAAF experience, look at the Williams Foundation.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    So, Peter

    I’m not going to respond to any of your statements above – especially when you come on MY website and address me over an article I didn’t even write! I’ve told you repeatedly that I’ll let my work stand on its merits and that I won’t be baited into a flame war with you.

    But I will ask (rhetorically of course), weren’t you the one who used to complain, hand on heart and tear in eye, about “ad hominem” attacks directed at you?

    Andrew McLaughlin

  • Peter

    says:

    APA is again a source of guided truth. Williams Foundation ia a misguided truth. Again the JSF is a total biggest failure in the world.

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    No, I didn’t have a hand on heart with a tear in eye about “ad hominem” attacks on me, I’m extremely frustrated with the whole process that Australia are armed with the stingless F/A-18 Super Dog & soon the lemon F-35 JSF to lead the way in clearing the skies that are inferior to the Sukhoi family of aircraft, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAMs.

    You folks claim that both of those aircraft are capable of facing high end threats that would cement Australia’s regional air power lead. Absolutely crazy. I can assume the RAAF, the Government, Defence Department and Williams Foundation with comments came from Boeing and Lockheed Martin– anyone who takes pro-Super Hornet and pro-JSF advocates seriously is doing themselves a profound disservice.

    I have to admit the JSF has certainly claimed to be the biggest failed project of all time, the kinks will be unfixable and will continue to suffer with the teething problems when the aircraft comes into operational service in 2018 or later. It will be completely useless and will not be able up to do the job which is why its the most hated aircraft in the world and can’t be trusted.

    Just get away from the turkey program its going to ruin the air force. Because Tom Burbage (from Lockheed Martin) is giving you an aeroplane that is extremely expensive to maintain, its inferior to the Russians/Chinese fighters that has poor acceleration, poor manoeuvrability and lack of range, it has very limited weapons payload and the JSF also has small aperature nosecone than the large fighters radome which means the F-35 or other small fighters have small fire control radar that is less powerful, can’t generate and more likely it can’t detect stealthy targets at long range etc. The same goes to the F/A-18E/F because it has the similar performance deficiencies to the JSF that is not up to the job.

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    If you have told me that “I’ll let my work stand on its merits and that I won’t be baited into a flame war with you”. Then why are you keep on claiming they are the aircraft of choice, you can’t just sit and wait to see the lemon JSF progress because the aircraft has got such a life with technical problems, which is not progressing well and not meeting test objectives. You know I’ve have colleagues in the defence stating that what will be delivered (if F-35 ever arrives) will be obsolete; and that the F-35 is not affordable or sustainable. With cost increases, schedule delays, and continuing technical problems also increases the risk that the program will not be able to deliver the aircraft quantities and capabilities in the time required by the warfighter. The F-35 has failed the initial test of its stealth capability and remains behind schedule to provide the performance requirements.

    Again I’ve told repeatedly Andrew I’m going to say again that single engine is a terrible idea that makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that can’t get back home safely etc, the internal fuel for the JSF is too inefficient which means their range is too short and would require significant air-tanker support to be able to get them to a combat radius 1,000+ miles to striike a target. The JSF’s acceleration is inferior – its only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the supercruising Sukhoi. The wing and engine intake geometry on the JSF is optimised for subsonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. The JSF carries only “four” air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) self defence for air combat. This is going back to the Vietnam War era the story traces the history of heavy losses with the F-105 Thunderchief.

    The RAAF doesn’t need low capability fighters in increased numbers. The reason why I’m concerned is that small fighters don’t deliver the hefty punch because the weapons load is very limited, if the JSF did carry weapons externally it will sacrifice stealth (been seen by enemy radars, advanced SAMs, AAAs on the ground and enemy fighters in the air).

  • Dane

    says:

    Peter, did you ever think there was a reason the US ordered reduced numbers of the F-22? Maybe someone realised that it was too expensive for the single job it does. If they produce the F-22C with larger weapons bays to be able to allow it to carry AGM’s don’t you think that the extra space required would have to mean that either the aircraft will bulge around the bays or the internal fuel capacity will be eaten into?

    Also, Peter, you are forgetting one key thing. The Defence in Australian Defence Force. Hence why we don’t require long ranging fighters. As long as they can be refueled to extend their patrol time then we don’t require an excessive combat radius. If external tanks are required then so be it.

    As the F-22 will not be released under FMS for the foreseeable future, what do you, Peter suggest? The Australian Government will never buy Russian or Chinese/Asian built aircraft if it wishes to keep its interests and interoperability aligned with the US. I can tell you now that short of downgrading there is no alternative. The nearest European fighter is the EF-2000 Eurofighter which is of similar vintage in terms of design age to the F/A-18A. So that rules that out. The Gripen, again is of similar age to the EF-2000 and the F/A18A, and is a single engine machine. Interesting to note that the engine failure to occur on the Gripen was due to a birdstrike. This brings you back to my point earlier of the reliability of modern jet engines. Lockheed wouldn’t put an engine they even remotely thought was going to fail on the F-35.

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    There are alternatives to the JSF. Don’t say the are no alternatives, again you can’t just sit and wait to see the lemon JSF progress because the aircraft has got such a life with technical problems and it will continue to suffer more and more teething problems when it becomes IOC later.

    With the question being asked, Can Silent Eagle be a Cost Effective Alternative to Expensive
    Stealth Fighters? My answer is yes, it is cost effective to have the F-15SE for any air
    force if some countries can’t afford or qualify the 5th generation fighter etc.

    The F-15 is the only combat-proven aircraft that Australia should be considering to fulfill the requirements. During action in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Balkans and recently in Afghanistan and it showed its superior ability to perform missions required of the FX.

    The F-15 family of aircraft has a perfect air-combat record of more than 104 victories and zero defeats. F-15s downed four MiG-29 fighters during the Balkan conflict and 33 of the 35 fixed-wing aircraft Iraq lost in air combat during Operation Desert Storm. During the Balkan conflict, the F-15E was the only fighter able to attack ground targets around the clock, in all weather conditions. F-15 aircraft are used by the Air Force against terrorist targets.

    The F-15 has greater long range endurance, weapons payload and speed capabilities than its FX competitors. It will get to a fight, strike with a lethal mix of weapons, and return more effectively than the other (small airframes such as F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 JSF) FX aircraft.

    The F-15 is in production. Boeing has built more than 1,500 of all its F-15 models and the company has extended the F-15 production line well into the 2020s to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the F-15, its certainly the best replacement for 71 F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter,

    F-35 has failed the initial test of its stealth capability – Reference please? I would like to read about that if true.

    Oh and the 2.4 mach supercruising SuXX – Is that with or without external stores and how long before fuel goes bingo when reaching this magnificent 2.4 mach? (anyone remember Foxbat?). Oh and the supercruising 2.4 mach plane would glow brightly on any IR system so even the LPI radar are not needed. Every wonder why combat is primarily conducted in the submach region? (where the F35 with internal stores accelaerates quite well.)

    “And if the JSF did carry weapons externally it will sacrifice stealth (been seen by enemy radars, advanced SAMs, AAAs on the ground and enemy fighters in the air).” Duh!
    As would every pther plane carrying external stores. But the F35 would be seen at a much reduced range than those others planes. Seriously basic stuff here.

  • Roger

    says:

    Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Fighter Jet Passes Initial Stealth Hurdle By Tony Capaccio – May 5, 2011

    “Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter jet has passed its initial radar-evasion testing and there are no “major potential changes contemplated for any of the stealth design,” according to the U.S. program office.

    Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Rein said in an e-mail that “while there are challenges in holding tight tolerance specifications, all F-35s are meeting the requirements and are compliant in form, fit, function and stealth.”

    I do not see any failure there?

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger & Dane

    Did you two ever think there was a wrong reason the US ordered reduced numbers of the F-22?

    You two are still forgetting one key thing. Hence we should require longer ranging high capability fighters. They don’t need to be refuelled several times to extend their patrol time at a required excessive combat radius, because small fighters with short range require a lot of refuelling by the air tanker for them to get a excessive combat radius. If long range aircraft are still considered and needed for the requirements then so be it.

    Although the F-22 will not be released under FMS for the foreseeable future (which it should be put in the intends pressure to the US Government to sell the F-22 to closest allies), what do you, I suggest? The Australian Government should buy Russian built Sukhoi or advanced F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft (again I didn’t recommend Chinese planes for Australia) if it wishes to keep its interests and interoperability aligned with the US. I can tell you now that short of downgrading there IS ALTERNATIVE. Again don’t say the are no alternatives, you can’t just sit and wait to see the lemon JSF progress because the aircraft has got such a life with technical problems and it will continue to suffer more and more teething problems when it becomes IOC later.

    “Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Fighter Jet Passes Initial Stealth Hurdle By Tony Capaccio – May 5, 2011.”

    “Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter jet has passed its initial radar-evasion testing and there are no “major potential changes contemplated for any of the stealth design,” according to the U.S. program office”.

    Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Rein said in an e-mail that “while there are challenges in holding tight tolerance specifications, all F-35s are meeting the requirements and are compliant in form, fit, function and stealth.”

    Don’t get your hopes up, you guys are set up with too high expectations about the stealth performance of the F-35.

    The JSF is not survivable. The kind of stealth quality the aircraft has is much less than the F-22 Raptor. The JSF will need the F-22 to survive serious high-end threats and the F-35 is not designed as a top level fighter. When stealth goes naked, due to turns that the maker of the aircraft has already stated, “can increase an aircraft’s radar cross section by a factor of 100 or more”, the F-35 has no extreme high altitude and speed of the survivable F-22. The JSF is optimised for ‘Forward’ and ‘Side’ aspect best performance limited to X band, only. The F-35 is vulnerable to advanced radar system. After China and Russia acquire brand-new radars, they could easily detect the JSF that would be seen at a much longer range than those others planes aka the F-22. Target KPP downgraded to Low Observable (LO) from Very Low Observable (VLO) – an order of magnitude change. Conversely, while the JSF’s APG-81 radar provides respectable air-to-air radar coverage capability, it is being optimised as a bomber radar to meet the Joint Operational Requirements Document (JORD) and CAIV.

    Well I certainly do see a lot of extreme high risk failure on the lemon program. Again “The JSF is a turkey that is a biggest failed project of all time”. All of you pro-JSF advocates are absolutely crazy of still going ahead with this dud. I can honestly say I’ll get away from the terrible failed project, scrap the damn thing and nail the JSF in the coffin, burn the project in the fire and see it burn as a cancellation.

    This is the reason why I considered and recommend Australia equipping both F-15AU and F-22AU concepts.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger & Dane

    Don’t put words (that I claimed the J-20 Mighty Dragon for Australia’s requirements) into my mouth.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger & Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates

    The F-22 is a superior and very capable warplane than the turkey F-35. Many of its electronic systems are identical or superior to the JSF including electronic warfare and networking data links, the F-22 has two engines (for improved survivability), F-22A’s APG-77 radar is much more powerful, providing twice the detection footprint of the JSF’s APG-81 radar. While the F-22A’s APG-77 radar provides excellent bombing capability, it remains the most capable air-to-air radar ever built thereby more electrical power and electronic cooling capacity, greater radar aperture, more thrust to weight, less supersonic drag, more manoeuvrability, super-cruise (which enhances both engagements of, and escape from, known threats and saving a lot fuel), superior stealth technology and a similar ability to carry and release precision munitions.

    Plus Roger re your comment Duh! That shows your behaviour is being childish.

    Don’t reply back.

  • Peter

    says:

    John Newman, Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates

    I saw what you put down about me. I really don’t care what pathetic criticisms and jokes you guys put down. I reckon you people just talking absolute rubbish with all of the garbage information claiming the JSF being a correct aircraft is just sheer nonsense.

    Yes thats right the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence, Federal Government, Pentagon and Congress – with facts etc.

    Yes most definately, my colleagues and myself in the ADF find that all of you pro-JSF advocates are all stupid and crazy to even think the aircraft is the future of Australia’s air power!! Then why should Australia deserve to be partners with Lockheed Martin to join the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements???

    I’d rather be partners with either Boeing (with the F-15 production) or Sukhoi (with the Su-35S Super Flanker-E or PAK-FA) companies.

    Plus the ‘Indo-Russian PAK-FA better than the JSF.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Let me give you a piece of advice, before you start sprouting this “knowledge” such as the F35 failed initial stealth test, please check your facts. Now that I have shown this to be false about the stealth test and you did not show anything to prove otherwise, this shows either your statement was just plain ignorant, or it was a lie. I cannot make a judgement about the veracity of this claim and all the others you mention but we now have valid reason to take anything you say as either , questionable , ignorant or lies. Now if the moderators on blogs were harsh they would start watching your post. They have names for posts like yours , TROLLS. They get banned if they continually post such knowingly ignorant “facts”and or lies.

    Good luck to you and I hope the moderators give you a chance to redeem yourself.

    P.S. You call me childish. Well call me what you like. At least I have integrity.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Where did I say that you said “I claimed the J-20 Mighty Dragon for Australia’s requirements”?

    I do not remember saying such.

  • Roger

    says:

    Just heard

    LM just announced (in sworn testimony) that the LER estimates for the F-35 have gone up from 3:1 to 6:1 due to better understanding of it’s RCS and results from updated SIMs (computerized and piloted).

    That is intertesting and good if holds up. Sounds like RCS is better than even they expected.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger, Andrew McLaughlin and to all pro-JSF advocates

    I have shown this to be truthful statement about the stealth test and I certainly did show everything to prove otherwise, my statement shows it was NEVER a plain ignorant, or a lie. Its only a the bunch of “TROLL NAYSAYERS” like you, Andrew McLaughlin and to all pro-JSF advocates that claim the F-35 is a fighter of the future.

    If you have valid reason to take anything you say is either , questionable , ignorant or lies. I reckon the moderators on blogs were harsh they would start watching your post pal. They will have names for posts like yours. They get banned if they continually post such knowingly ignorant “facts”and or lies about the turkey F-35 JSF is the aircraft of choice.

    Don’t you ever realise the U.S. Department of Defence has completed its latest wildly inaccurate estimate of how much it will cost to build and operate the F-35 fighter over 50 years. The first military aircraft for which 50-year costs have been calculated, which means the number is predictably huge: Its $1.45 Trillion (not millions and certainly not billions) to buy, R&D, fly and maintain this failed project.

    You want a feedback? This F-35 JSF is a terrible piece of equipment that will ruin ANY air force and navy requirements, because of all of you pro-JSF advocates have caused for any allied nation to buy extremely less capable and inferior junk aircraft.

    Why should any customers deserve to be partners with LM to join the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements??? Explain that.

    Why’s this failed project extremely expensive?

    Why is single engine aircraft unsuited to Australia’s needs?

    Why is this aircraft inferior to the Sukhoi family of aircraft, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAM systems?

    You JSF guys, the Federal Government and including you Andrew McLaughlin are the “biggest suckers” and absolutely crazy idiots in the world going ahead with this “lemon”. Pushing the turkey forward at any cost only threatens to create a budgetary sinkhole that will weaken the defences of the of your country (U.S.) and its allies. The F-35 will never become a viable combat aircraft due to very poor choices, very costly and nasty decisions made early in the design, and later Band-Aid fixes. To replace the existing combat aircraft with one single plane in 3 services is going to degrade the air force, navy and marine corp further, the pilots will fly worse, because they’ll get less training, which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because the whole force will have to shrink and very soon you’ll just have a show piece air force, navy and marine corp that they can’t do anything.

    Honestly, do you really have any idea how much the F-35 will cost to own/operate/maintain which are destined to replace?

    The whole F-35 program is an outliar. Go and check out the JSF Issue Problems.

    If this lemon (F-35) gets defeated in air combat by these adversaries, go don’t crying to me or to the APA that this piece of junk has not survived for another day, that said to you all “You see I told you so, the F-35 is a wrong aircraft – you didn’t listen what I and my colleagues explain earlier”. Oh I just heard the report the turkey F-35 will be obsolete when it delivers.

    I also don’t see the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 2 to be a viable option to replace 71 F/A-18A/B Hornet fleet. Is because the Super Hornet has a similar performance deficiences to the F-35 which the aircraft has a short range and does not have the performance envelope of a true air superiority fighter. The Super Hornets will be outclassed by the Su-27/30 Flanker family of fighters by most regional nations in all key performance parameters, aerodynamic and radar performance by widely available fighters.

    Australia need to get out of this “Hornet country”.

    I’m going to explain one more time. Australia needs a high capability fighter is because Australia is approx 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide which means (long) range is very important and can’t be ignored. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-35 Fulcrum and American F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are unsuitable. Is because they have too short a range for use by a such a large country as Australia. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in Europe and some Asian countries to operate them is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas, and more surrounding air bases (for any emergency situations e.g. hydraulic and engine failures). They can be equipped with either single or two engines (Actual range varies with mission).

    Reserach the history of our Mirages. We’ve had 116 aircraft and lost 41 fatalities, it was heavily utilised, operated at extremely low altitude in any weather, saturated airspace infested with low flying birds, rolling hills, antennaes, many other high speed aircraft and gun firing which caused surges to the SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet which resulted an engine failure.

    I hope you people wake up.

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Resign Andrew McLaughlin

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    You have a clue about air power whatsoever.

    You absolutely don’t get it. Yes the F-35 will never be able to supercruise, but again you can’t just rely on situational awareness. You still need to have extreme agility, faster acceleration (at Mach 2+) with supercruising mode, long range, radar and sensor performance.

    1. You can’t maintain air superiority with the F-35 vs. emerging threats.
    2. Which means you can not “hold any target at risk”.
    3. The F-35 has no credible “fifth-generation capabilities”; except maybe in the eyes of the marketing pukes.
    4. The idea that there are no alternatives to the F-35 (For the USAF) is untrue.
    5. “It must succeed”. Hitler was famous for statements similar to this when the German Army was getting torn to shreds; ignoring the concept that the enemy has a will of their own.

    Again you need to resign.

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    How many times I’ve told you about this. I don’t care what you put your wish in your magazine to claim the JSF is a right warplane is because you still have NO DAMN CLUE what you’re talking about. The JSF is certainly not a true 5th Generation Fighter, the lemon is a boondoggle. It’s now time to throw the turkey in the trash bin and see the rotten damn thing in the fire and see this rubbish burn for good.

    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 defence 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 defence 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 batch 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 Defence 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 take-off 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 trade-offs between agility and low weight, and the characteristics of an airframe optimised 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 multi-service, requiring still more trade-offs 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-15’s and F-16’s agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-111 and 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 Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, the Congress, pro-JSF advocates and including YOU ANDREW 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.

    “GET AWAY FROM THIS AEROPLANE ITS GOING TO RUIN OUR AIR FORCE”

    If you have a big problem with that I recommend you take it up to the APA.

    Do you listen to Lockheed Martin and RAAF personals all day about the Super Hornet/JSF issues?

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin, Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates

    I hope this information gets you to explain why the JSF is a wrong choice for Australia, If this is giving you a extreme headache, serve you right is because you 4 people really need to learn your lessons very very hard.

    The policy of pushing the failed F-35 JSF project forward at any cost only threatens to create a budgetary sinkhole that would weaken the defences of the U.S. and its allies.

    Just remeber this aircraft is a turkey, it will never become a viable combat aircraft due to cumulative poor choices made early in the design, and later Band-Aid fixes.

    You know why the F-35 is not a true 5th Generation Fighter.

    “Why’s does the Pentagon and the RAAF say the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Really?”

    Here are some of the major problems with the JSF which are:

    ost of the program. $385 billion for development and production, and about $ 1 trillion or more to maintain and operate F-35 aircraft over decades.

    Range. The short range of the JSF means they would have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere.

    Please note: Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen and American F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF have too short a range for use by such a large country as Australia. Again those aircraft are unsuitable to cement Australia’s regional air power lead and the RAAF really needs a large airframe with high capability to fulfill the requirements. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller NATO countries e.g. Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland etc, Middle East and South American nations to operate them. The reason why the small airframes are only ideal for those countries is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas which are ideal for short range fighters with either single or two engines. (Actual range varies with mission)

    Single-Engine. This makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure which is totally ill-suited for overwater operations. Remember this makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that will cause heavy losses to the entire fleet and putting pilots lives in jeopardy. The Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine will cause damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments. The F-35 engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options.

    Thinned Skinned fuselage: Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety pre-cautions on the Joint Strike Fighter to protect against fire. As an close air support which the F-35 is suppose to be (when it attempts to discriminate tanks, convoys, surface-to-air missiles and anti aircraft artillery) its totally incapable, the aircraft will be an very easy target to shoot down, because it’s a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has a huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely in the fuselage and engine. Very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes it to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    Speed. The top speed of the JSF is only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. Wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe.

    Super Cruise: No (-1)

    Thrust Vectoring Control – TVC: No (-1)

    High Agility Supersonic / Subsonic: Neither (-1)

    Large Thrust to Weight Multi Engine Thrust Growth: Middling T/W One Engine Little Growth (-1)

    High Combat Ceiling (> 7 deg/sec turn rate, sustained): No 18 lbs (0) which is very inefficient.

    APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the JSF limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the JSF dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 1 meter radar aperture enabling them to detect and attack at an JSF long before the JSF can detect the Sukhoi. It has Medium Power Aperture (0) (Detection range around 140 – 150 nm at BVR)

    “Partial Stealth”. It is argued that these disadvantages are offset by the JSF being “partially stealthy” in that it has low frontal visibility to millimetre-band radar. However, this is of little value against VHF radar using meter-long wavelengths. Russian engineers are now producing advanced VHF radar systems for the Sukhoi and for ground-based system such as Nebo SVU. As explained by my friends and colleagues in the defence, this exposes most fighter-sized ‘stealth’ aircraft. While the radar technology will only improve, the stealth characteristics of the JSF are locked-in with its flawed geometry.

    Unavailability. The JSF is not expected to be fully operational around 2018 or later.

    Weight. The JSF seems to have a serious weight problem and may be unable to take off with a full load of fuel and weapons making it even more dependent on air-tanker support.

    Only “Four” BVR Air-to-Air Missiles. The JSF can only carry four air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. By contrast late model Sukhoi Flankers can carry a wide range of AAM on twelve hard-points.

    Classified Components. The JSF is likely to have a range of components that are ‘off-limits’ to the Australia and can only be serviced in the US.

    Highly Integrated Avionics: Yes (0)

    Sidelooking ESA Apertures: No (-1)

    High Specific Excess Power – Ps: No (-1)

    High Situational Awareness (SA) – Onboard / Offboard: Yes (0)

    Andrew, you’re a complete outliar with your own analysis and opinions with your own Super Hornet/JSF options for the RAAF. I hope you’ll wake properly when you keep reading this very important info. Because ignoring my advice isn’t going to help of not responding back to me.

    With your comment: “I’m not going to respond to any of your statements above – especially when you come on my website and address me over an article I didn’t even write! I’ve told you repeatedly that I’ll let my work stand on its merits and that I won’t be baited into a flame war with you”.

    The fact is Andrew you’re too scared to even read my detail analysis about the the flaws on the lemon JSF. Putting this protective barrier in front of you of not wanting to take any of my advice what most folks are trying to explain the reasons about the F/A-18E/F and F-35 are a wrong aircraft that they can’t compete with the Sukhoi family of fighters etc. If you had told me that you are working on your merits – then why do you keep bagging on about the same issue that the Super Hornet/F-35 are the right types for the RAAF’s requirements. Again they are too vulnerable etc.

    My colleagues, friends of mine and myself in the ADF also researched on Advancing counter-stealth radar technologies.

    The Nebo M is a highly capable multiple band three dimensional high mobility radar system developed specifically for the detection and tracking of stealthy fighter aircraft (including the lemon F-35 JSF) and UAVs, in turn providing tracking data feeds for Surface Air Missile batteries and interceptor aircraft. Arguably, it is the world’s most capable counter-stealth radar system entering full rate production with a large volume order.

    Until now, counter-stealth sensors have been niche low production volume designs, often limited in capabilities, accuracy and mobility. The Nebo M announcement marks the transition from developmental designs and niche products to mainstream Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) components deployed en masse; ultimately, available in quantity on the global arms market to any nation with the interest and the available funds.

    Detractors of stealth will inevitably declare this to be the death of stealth, which fortunately it is not. What it does represent is the practical death of ‘economy stealth’ and ‘reduced observables’ aircraft, which have been so politically popular in Western nations over the last decade, usurping funding which should have properly been invested in ‘real stealth’ aircraft such as the F-22A Raptor and B-2A Spirit, or ‘Batwing’.

    The Russian decision to invest on a large scale in a capable counter-stealth radar parallels the decision to invest on a similar scale in the T-50 PAK-FA stealth fighter as a replacement for the venerable and still potent T-10 Flanker series, and the current investment in the PAK-DA, which is intended to be a Russian analogue to the B-2A, and a replacement for the Cold War era fleets of Tu-22M3 Backfire C and Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic heavy bombers.

    Concurrently, increasing numbers of new Chinese prototype radars operating in the favoured one metre VHF wavelength band are being observed. It is not known how well the PLA has progressed in this area.

    What is clear is that Western air power now faces its single biggest challenge since the early 1980s, when the Soviets effected massive advances in technology, and matched key United States capabilities of the pre-stealth era. The 1980s F-117A Nighthawk and 1990s B-2A Spirit were the magic bullet capabilities which rendered these Soviet developments ineffective, but this is no longer the case.

    Check out the APA’s Some of the High & Extreme level Risks Identified and Since Materislised in F-35A CTOL JSF Aircraft and System Designs. Then you get an idea of why the F-35 isn’t as stealthy as the F-22 Raptor, T-50 PAK-FA and J-20 Mighty Dragon. Despite what YOU and many pro-JSF advocates 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 like the Nebo-M. 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.

    There Are NO Alternatives to the F-22 Raptor. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is Certainly NOT a Substitute for the F-22 Raptor

    The widely held view in Western bureaucratic circles, that the F-22 and F-35 are interchangeable aircraft, is not true and can never be true. The F-22 provides close to three times the capability of the F-35 at a similar unit procurement cost. The F-35 lacks the performance of the F-22, the survivability of the F-22, the firepower of the F-22, and the deployability of the F-22. The limitations of the F-35 are inherent in its basic design and cannot be fixed by design modifications or upgrades. Poorly defined basic specifications for the F-35 and inadequate prototyping have resulted in an expensive aircraft which cannot be used in combat situations other than benign, requires support by a lot of F-22 Raptors and aerial tankers, and requires long concrete runways for overseas deployments.

    I wish you luck of reading my statements Andrew McLaughlin, Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates.

    Have a good day.

  • Another Guest (from Melbourne)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin, Roger, Dane and to other pro-JSF folks

    You need to be very very careful who you speaking to out their. Because that was not Peter Goon, you 4 people could be talking to any guy that is thinking and feeling the same way that are anti-JSF folks, so just be beware who you speaking to. Because I strongly agree with Peter’s statements and opinions about why both F/A-18E/F and F-35 are wrong types for Australia and I’m one of them that is anti-JSF and anti-Super Hornet.

    Because I read Pete’s statements above. Its a fact and truth and you people are total outliars.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    85 comments on a single thread, about 80 of them from just one person…often just a few minutes apart in the middle of the night. That says quite a lot in itself…

    [quote]You have a clue about air power whatsoever.[/quote]

    Thanks!

    [quote]Resign Andrew McLaughlin[/quote]

    Ok, but only because you asked so nicely.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    Peter

    I don’t know who you are nor why you’ve targeted your vitriol at me personally. I didn’t write this article, but I believe I have always reported on the JSF in a fair and balanced way, criticising it when warranted, and reporting on its successes and attributes as well.

    You obviously have plenty of time on your hands, so if you want to come out of the closet of anonimity and continue this offline, please email me at [email protected]. If not, I’ll assume you’re a gutless wonder who is happy to hide behind a pseudonym.

    Andrew McLaughlin

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Excuse me I meant Andrew McLaughlin has NO clue about air power whatsoever, which I mispelt, from 29th April 2012 at 12:33 am.

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Enough of the personal attacks please Peter, or we will block further posts from you. Thanks, Gerard Frawley, Publisher & Managing Editor

Comments are closed.

F-35 head says production should be slowed

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 6, 2011
The head of the US F-35 JSF program has said production of the jet should be slowed. (JPO)

The number of potential cracks and hot spots discovered in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s airframe during initial fatigue testing has led the head of the US program to call for a slow down of production over the next few years.

The comments by US Navy Vice Admiral David Venlet, which came in an interview with the website AOL Defence, are another blow for the troubled F-35 program and its prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed has repeatedly pushed the US to ramp up production in an effort to improve economies of scale. But Venlet said early fatigue testing had already found enough parts that require redesign or replacement to add roughly US$3 to $5 million to the cost of each plane that will require a retrofit. Lockheed is currently building the planes for roughly US$111 million each.

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Venlet said the problems would not affect safety or performance of the fighter but would shorten its life span and were best addressed now. The discoveries came after a bulkhead crack was found in the F-35B last year, leading to a range of engineering analyses meant to identify parts likely to crack before the jet reached its 8000 hour life span.

“Most of [the problems] are little ones, but when you bundle them all up and package them and look at where they are in the airplane and how hard they are to get at after you buy the jet, the cost burden of that is what sucks the wind out of your lungs,” Venlet told AOL Defense. “I believe it’s wise to sort of temper production for a while here until we get some of these heavy years of learning under our belt and get that managed right.”

Venlet also criticised as a “miscalculation” the program’s assumption that F-35 production could begin even as flight testing continued, though he said it remained his job to see the program through as it was.

“What we’re doing is, we’re taking the keys to the shiny new jet, giving it to the fleet and saying, ‘Give me that jet back in the first year. I’ve got to go take it up to this depot for a couple of months and tear into it and put in some structural mods, because if I don’t, we’re not going to be able to fly it more than a couple, three, four, five years.’ That’s what concurrency is doing to us,” he told AOL.

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Venlet declined to say how much he thought production should be slowed, according to the website. The Pentagon has ordered 30 F-35s in fiscal year 2011, down from previous plans to order 42. Production had been scheduled to ramp up each year, hitting 108 by FY 2016 and more than 200 once fatigue and flight testing was finished, but those plans have already come under heavy doubt as the Pentagon faces deep budget cuts.

The US is ultimately scheduled to buy 2443 of the jets as part of a US$379 billion program to replace a variety of current fighters. Eleven other countries including Australia are also part of the F-35 program. Flight testing of the aircraft is roughly 18 per cent complete, with 1394 test flights having been flown through the end of November.

Already the Pentagon’s most expensive project ever, the F-35 has faced repeated cost overruns that yesterday led US Senator John McCain to bash the program as a “scandal and a tragedy” and call on Lockheed to assume more of the burden for any future overruns.

McCain, a leading US defence figure and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, earlier this year led a effort that would have seen the F-35 canceled within 18 months if costs kept rising. That effort was narrowly defeated in the Senate.

Australia launched its own review of the F-35 program schedule in October before committing to its first batch of 14 out of a requirement of 100 F-35s. The review is meant to ensure that delivery delays in the JSF program will not lead to a capability gap with the retirement of the RAAF’s ageing F/A-18A/B ‘classic’ Hornet fleet.

Meanwhile, last week also saw the end of a long-running side show to the F-35 program as General Electric and Rolls-Royce officially dropped development of the F136 “alternate” engine for the JSF. The program had been the darling of some US lawmakers, who viewed it as healthy competition that would put pressure on official F-35 engine maker Pratt & Whitney and lead to a better and more cost effective design.

The US cut funding for the program in February. GE and Rolls-Royce had said they would self-fund continued development, but announced an end to the program on December 1.

88 Comments

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin – With Admiral David Venlet’s comments “Most of (the problems) are little ones, but when you bundle them all up and package them and look at where they are in the airplane and how hard they are to get at after you buy the jet, the cost burden of that is what sucks the wind out of your lungs”. “I believe its wise to sort of temper production for a while here until we get some of these heavy years of learning under our belt and get that managed right”

    The question is Andrew “What will be delivered (if the F-35 ever arrives) will be obsolete, and that the JSF is certainly not affordable or sustainable to fly and maintain. With cost increases, schedule delays and continuing more technical problems (when the aircraft becomes operational in 2018 or later and is having more failures which reduces its mission effectiveness, headaches for the maintenance crews etc) also increases the risk that the program will not able to deliver the aircraft quantities and capabilities in the time required by the warfighter?

  • Peter

    says:

    If it was up to me Andrew I’ll completely bailout and get away from the F-35 program its going to ruin the RAAF.

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    tragic news for a program that was poorly devised and now proving increasingly difficult to implement, optimism and opportunism are no substitute for doing the hard yards to match what is possible with what is acheivable. Overall a sadly misguided program which has already sucked the air out of fighter development in the US, time is proving another enemy of this program, potential buyers cannot wait forever to see optimism convert to reality, serious thought needs to be given to alternatives, but to be crude, there’s bugger all out there.

  • Geoff Koh

    says:

    VADM Venlet’s stated goal is to the navigate the Programme on a course to develop an affordable mature design (one can assume block III). But interestingly, he does specify his hopes of the jet ultimately being affordable, implying that there’s a chance it might not be ‘affordable’. Thus, if and when the final analysis is made which could be as late as 2015-2016 in determining that the jet simply is not affordable, only then would it be proper to begin considering alternatives. But to consider alternatives now is inefficient and wasted energy as all efforts should be directed at tracking the Programme to viability. Just wait and see, don’t worry about the fear mongering now. My bet is the F-35 will be just fine.

    If per wild chance the F-35 is not viable as an RAAF option however, then by 2015 or so RAAF would at least have 4-8 jets bought and paid for to operate as high-end component to her overall mix. Sort of a ‘sure, we only have a few, but we only need one to reach you’ type deterrence. Very effective strategy actually.

    And by then an easy fall-back option could simply be to acquire a couple dozen of USAF’s soon to be upgraded block 40/50 Super Vipers. I’m sure they’d make available a small % of their vast inventory as USAF plans to upgrade over 300 of this amazing jets and fly them to 2030. Remember, it’s very cheap and easy to SLEP a jet and modernize them with latest avionics; far less complex and costly than buying new jets. Makes much better sense all around and who would mess with such a potent air force anyway!?! Imagine such a dream-team mix of remaining legacy hornets, Super Hornets, 4-8 F-35 and a couple dozen F-16 super vipers. All RAAF would require to top off such a power house would perhaps be a few Predator drones or Global hawks. Call it a day.

  • Ron

    says:

    Dont get me started….

  • Alex

    says:

    What about LM shut the F-35 program and restart the f-22 with partner country have the raptor ;). If we getting f-35 for $111m a copy that is nearly the price of the raptor.

  • Alex

    says:

    At least LM should make a f-22 lite for the international customers.

  • Alex

    says:

    At least LM should make f-22 lite for the international customers.

  • James

    says:

    For whatever reason Australia has always been reluctant to buying “off the shelf”. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. What is the likely hood of the RAAF using the F-35 in anger anyway? We haven’t fired a missile (or gun round more likely) in anger I suspect since Korea? Why waste our tax payers money on something that in all probability won’t be deployed. I’d rather see us go down the path of something like the Silent Eagle. Like Geoff alluded to in regards to modernized airframes, it has a capability comparable to new 5th generation aircraft at a fraction of the cost. This aircraft even outperforms the F-35 in some areas…. I’m confident the F-35 will be a capable aircraft in the long run but are we willing to risk the cost of more setbacks, cost overruns, and ‘gap fillers’….?

  • Peter

    says:

    Hello Geoff Koh

    I do agree that the F-16C/D Super Viper Block 40/50 and 52 is cheap to SLEP a jet and modernise them with 5th Generation avionics etc. Of course the F-16 is truly a great and magnificient aircraft, Australia needs a high capability fighter with two engines, longer range, bigger weapons payload, better manoeuvrability and much better acceleration as well as AESA radar, Link 16, AIM-120C-7/D, AIM-9X, sensor fusion, networking and data fusion that are all valid ones the RAAF needs.

    Please note Geoff Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide which means (long) range is very important and must not be ignored. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-35 Fulcrum, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are unsuitable. Is because they have too short a range for use by a such a large country as Australia. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in NATO and some Asian countries to operate small fighters. The reason why the low capability types are only ideal for those countries is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas. They can be equipped with either single or two engines. (Actual range varies with mission)

    For Australia as you know we are surrounded by the vast oceans which means for the RAAF armed with short range fighters means they have to be refuelled to fly from e.g. Perth to Brisbane and would require significant air-tanker transport to operate outside of Australia’s maritime boundary. This also means the small fighters will have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere. Plus single-engine is still not trusted which is totally unsuitable for long range and overwater flights as mentioned before, the thing is you have to remember is the RAAF had 116 Mirage IIIs and lost 41 of them (due to pilot errors, maintenace problems, “engine failures” and lack of spare parts) which led the fleet shrink to 75 aircraft.

    Check out this website Geoff at http://www.newaustralia.net it has about defence including Saving Billions on Air Forces you’ll find out more information about the cancellation of the F-35 JSF etc.

  • random

    says:

    The problem is that the manufacturers and the military organisations are perpetually in some delirious stupor, egging eachother on the build something 2 -3 generations advanced rather than just 1 – 1 1/2. This is made worse by the ever increasing squeeze that litigious and often completely unproductive “general compliance” places upon military budgets. There also seems to be a common sense (or lack of) amongst manufacturers and governments that everything new must represent some “ridiculous quantum leap” to be justifiable. That equates to growth for growth’s sake. Furthermore, when it comes time to hold someone’s feet to the fire, everyone is equally culpable, and they all fundamentally need eachother to extricate themselves from the mess, so no-one is ever held responsible. You can’t burn someone if you need them to help clean up the mess.

    In Australia we typically come unstuck buying first generation equipment (because we become exposed to the failures of R & D when mixed with LRIP; we generally only order the minimum amount, or in many cases less than what we could actually use). Very few “OTS” second gen procurements go badly awry, and most are on or ahead of both time & budget. The bugs are generally worked out or the program has been cancelled.

    Equally we come horribly unstuck when government decides to put local content and marginal electorate considerations ahead of functionality and fit-for-purpose (with typical blame become apportioned to project mismanagement, rather than someone actually standing up and saying “well it was just an outright stupid decision to go with that equipment”).

    Many brilliant pieces of equipment started out rather poorly before gaining a positive reputation – the current problem is that with ever increasing complexity, the production run is small, unit cost is huge, and the fix is thus equally imposing.

  • Pete S

    says:

    James,
    Are you for real? Ever heard of a few minor conflicts that we were involved in like Vietnam, the Malayan Emergency and most recently Iraq? If you are specifically thinking fighters (Vietnam was Canberra bombers and FAC aircraft), then Mirages were involved in Malaya, and 14 F18s flew missions (including dropping over 300 bombs I think) and shooting the gun at ground targets. We desperately need a 5th gen multi-role fighter to maintain our relevance in world military issues – and there’s nothing else out there that is comparable.

  • Pete S

    says:

    I missed a point – the F18s I refer to we’re involved in Iraq 2003.

  • Peter

    says:

    Pete S – Have a look at the NewAustralia website that I put up for Geoff Koh or anyone to see about the cancellation of the JSF, so therefore you can get an idea of why the JSF is the wrong aircraft for RAAFs requirements before you say there’s nothing else out there that is comparable.

  • John N

    says:

    I must say I always get a laugh when the “anti F-35” lobby get on their high horse whenever their is any negagive press regarding the F-35.

    People have very very short memories, what about the F-111?

    Don’t forget all the issues that the F-111 faced, technical and political, it took 10 years from order to delivery for the RAAF to get their aircraft.

    But what did we get in the end? An amazing aircraft that gave the Australian taxpayer 37 years, I’ll repeat that, 37 years of great service!!

    The F-35 won’t be any different, yes there are problems, but what highly technical programme doesn’t? The US cant and wont let it fail.

    I for one look forward to some time in the future when there are 100 F-35A’s spread around our airbases, supported by (hopefully) a dozen F/A-18F’s upgraded to EA/18G’s, tankers, long range SSM and ASM’s, Wedgetail, P-8A’s, Global Hawk, Air Warfare Destroyers and Subs with Cruise Missiles, etc, networked together to provide the necessary deterrence to any possible agressor.

    Yes we are a “long” way from anything, as someone mentioned, but that also works in our favour too, don’t forget that any potential agressor also has to cover vast tracts of ocean to get to us, It’s not like its Pearl Harbour 1941, where we will wake up one Sunday morning and an attacking fleet will be sitting just over the horizon off Sydney Heads, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, etc.

    With modern sensors and intel, we will know way in advance, anything sitting on the ocean heading towards us will be sitting ducks for aircraft (or ships and subs) with anti-shipping missiles etc.

    And forget about the F-22, it aint going to happen! The US is shutting the production line down, when the last comes off soon, and anyway, its not for export, not going to happen!!

  • Peter

    says:

    Hi John N

    Well I must say I always get a laugh when I hear more disasters, more schedule delays, cost overruns for the F-35 program.

    Nobody hasn’t forgotten about issues the F-111 faced with technical problems and political which took 10 years from order to delivery for the RAAF to get the aircraft at the time. The F-111 is far better than the Super Hornet/F-35 for strike bombing role. The F-15 and F-22 are far better fighters than the Super Hornet/F-35 for air-to-air combat.

    The F-35 JSF is still a wrong aircraft as mentioned on the comment page and take a look on the NewAustralia website. Again it’ll be inferior to the equivalent Russian/Chinese fighters coming off the production line. The Super Hornets are a joke to compete them. The F-35 program is already a failure John, it’s unaffordable to buy and maintain etc. It will not be able to take on emerging high-end threats, its also too expensive to procure, own and operate for non-anti access operations. Waste of money if you ask me.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – Of course the F-22 is not for export and the production line is going to cease until mid-2012. We should look for other options on the table, you or anbody else can’t say that there’s nothing else out there that is comparable because as I said high capability fighters are the only right choices such as the advanced F-15E+ or F-15SE, Su-35BM Super Flanker-E or the T-50 PAK-FA. To me you got to have “Plan-B” still the JSF is not on the cab.

  • Dane

    says:

    Forget the JSF for now. Wait until it has matured completely (around 2020-24) to see how effective it is and get the F/A-18E to replace the classic Hornets. This is the most logical and cheap option due to the increasing cost of maintaining the aging classics which are undergoing HUG and CBR programs. The JSF is not the be all and all of air combat there other options out there, pity the government is so narrow minded.

  • Peter

    says:

    Thats right Dane the Federal Government/top defence chiefs do have a very narrow mind, they are very choosy with aircraft choices and very much lack of understanding of the looming JSF disasters, what you said about the JSF when it becomes matured around 2020-25 it doesn’t matter its still “useless”, like you said Dane this is a good time to look for other alternatives on the table that can do the job far better than the JSF. The F/A-18E/F to replace the A/B model Hornets maybe logical and cheap option but the Super Hornet has the similar performance deficiencies to the F-35 and it’s equally incapable of creadibly performing against modern high-end threats.

    “Guys just to remind you all, read about what I said to Geoff Koh before going into conclusions about more Super Hornets etc” so you get better understanding the different picture side of the story.

    Cheers

  • jimmy latsos

    says:

    Gidday John N,the comparison with the F111and the F35 is really not valid in my opinion , as the F111 did have developmment problems as you said but it was designed and built in late 50’s and 60’s were supersonic flight was really in its early teens and the terain avoiding/following radar, the swing wing design were revolutionary for that time,and the most important fact is that it was developed in an era where computing power was very poor compared to todays technology .Your average mobile phone would have more computing power than General Dynamics “super computers” for that time.The point i am trying to make is that in this day and age of ultra modern technologys in both military and commercial applications that these aerospace “giants” are still having trouble getting the F35 into service and on budget,and will be well longer than the 10 years getting the F35 into FOC than the mighty F111 was!.
    And stealth to me will NOT be as effictive in the near future as Russia and China are developing modern counter stealth radars that will be widely available world wide soon,would this mean that the F35 would have to fly low to the ground to avoid these new radars,.Wasn’t the F111 designed to do that years ago?,how ironic.

  • John N

    says:

    Peter,

    Well I’m still laughing too! Had a look at your “NewAustralia” website, full of lies and twisted facts!!

    For example some of the “facts” stated were:

    * The F111 fleet was retired “half way” through its service life, are you really suggesting that F111’s could have been flying and been an effective deterent close to 2050?? Wrong!

    * The 24 F/A-18F’s costing “$A7.6 billion or $A316 per aircraft”, what a load of crap, to my understanding when Def Min Nelson announced the purchase of the 24 F/A18F’s for $A6.1 Billion, it was for the TOTAL cost of ownership, arming, basing, crewing, operation, etc, etc for 10 years!! The actual cost of the aircraft themselves is well less than 1/3 of the above figure.

    * Ferry range of aircraft listed, this is totally misleading, “ferry range” and “combat range” are two totally different things, also the figures for “ferry range” is misleading on its own, as you well know, if you are as knowledgeable as you appear to claim to be, that for example the F35 ferry range is “without” external tanks, and other aircraft are “with” external tanks, its not really comparing apples with apples is it?

    * And the whole big deal about Australia being 4000km “wide”, so what, big deal!! Are you seriously suggesting that in the “extremely” unlikely event that someone wants to do a direct attack on Australia, that all our combat aircraft are going to be sitting in Perth or Sydney “just” waiting to launch and respond to an attack?

    So in the “extremely” unlikely event that we get attacked, and there will be plenty of warning, our combat aircraft will be based in the bases spread across the north, negating a lot of the “4000km” argument.

    And on top of that were are all these so called long ranged advanced enemy aircraft going to based? How far are they going to have to fly before they get here?

    Getting back to alternatives to the F35, which I believe isn’t going to happen, but for argument sake, for a start Australia will, for all sorts of reasons, never never purchase Russian or Chinese aircraft, again, never going to happen, the F22 will never happen, the F111’s are now land fill too.

    What does that really leave? Don’t think the European’s will have a chance, so it comes down to the F/A18E-F’s or the F-15, since the US is not ordering any new F-15’s, and will have well and truly retired them somewhere in the 2020’s to 2030’s, that leaves the Super Hornets or the F35.

    In the worst case, we may have to purchase some additional FA/18E-F’s to fill any further gap, but my money is still on the F35.

  • John N

    says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    Actually I do think its a fair comparison, the F111 was the “cutting” edge of technology at its time, it went though major issues, wings falling off, major structural issues, problems with all sorts of technologies, and all the political and cost overrun issues too. Just as the F35 is having all its issues today too.

    People seem to be focusing on the F35’s issues as if the Russian and Chinese won’t have more than their fair share of issues with their so called 5th gen fighters too.

    Just because the Russians and the Chinese have in recent times flown “prototypes” of their so called 5th gen fighters that it means that its “game over” for the west, might as well put our hands up and surrender now!

    You, I and all the rest of the people contributing to this debate don’t really know the full capabilities of the F35 and its competitors, but the airforces and governments wanting to order them do.

    Who know what technologies and counter technologies are being developed or are going to be developed in the coming years, but we can’t just sit here on our backsides for the next 10-20 years doing nothing waiting for them to happen.

    Is everyone suggesting that the largest military and industrial power has got it all wrong? I don’t think so.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – Yes I’d had a look on the NewAustralia website. I find that the Federal Government/top defence chiefs have full of lies claiming that the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Check it out about “Is the JSF a true 5th Generation Fighter”? on APA website. Because it isn’t.

    Yes I’m suggesting that the F-111 can be operated past 2010. It was claimed by DSTO that the F-111 fleet can be operated through to 2020 or 2025. Then if the F-111s are retired on that timeframe for example, it can be replaced by UCAV when they are matured. I didn’t comment on retiring the F-111 fleet by 2050.

    Although the US is not ordering any new F-15s (which they should’ve to replace the existing C/D models as an alternative), but that still leaves the production line open for other new and existing customers to order the F-15E variants, check on the flightglobal website that the USAF looks dramatically extend F-15 service life. The USAF has revealed new interest in critical avionics and mission systems. They are seeking to keep at least around 414 F-15C/Ds which will be extended from 9,000 hrs to 18,000 hours and for the F-15E variant was originally set at 8,000 hours but could potentially be raised to 32,000 hours after the tests are complete.

    Now getting back on the alternatives on the JSF, to me John it should happen its still a good time to seek other options. I didn’t say that Australia should buy the Chinese Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon whats been said on their its included for “comparisons only”. I understand that the F-22 is not for sale its been discontinued ok. Their’s absolutely nothing nothing wrong with the Russians. If you can’t see Australia rejecting our good relations with the US. Well if the JSF program keeps rising in cost and has more and more problems etc and Boeing keeps the Super Hornet production (for the RAAF/Government to buy more) and does deliver the capabilities as promised. I suggest Australia should look for the Su-35BM or the PAK-FA. For the customers request they can be equipped with western avionics, western weaponry and engines because they are cheaper than the US to buy and maintain.

  • John N

    says:

    Peter,

    Throughout this whole debate you have been pointing to the “NewAustralia” website, as if it is the font of all truth and knowledge, seems to me that you are a very big supporter of its claims, are you associated with it, yes or no? Simple question.

    Back to “NewAustralia” it claimed, and I assume you support its claims, that the F111 was half way through its life, eg that means close to 2050.

    You also said the F111 “can be operated past 2010”, sorry, wrong, the F111’s are all now either gate guards, rotting in the US desert or land fill in a Qld dump, so any debate about the F111 is totally pointless, agree?

    I though the F111 was a fantastic aircraft, have always thought that, but what I think of it now doesn’t matter anymore, its gone!!

    I note that you didn’t respond to any of the other points that I made about “NewAustralia’s” claims, why not?

    The fact that the US is not ordering any new F15’s is a big deal, look at all the new systems we have or going to purchase, C17’s, MH60R’s, F/A18F’s, P8A, F35A’s, etc, the sustainment and upgrade of these systems over 20-30 years is tied to what the major user is doing, it IS a big deal.

    Look at the commercial world, if you are running a PC with Windows 95 now, well guess what, Microsoft isn’t going to support it, you need to upgrade to Windows 7!

    And again, Australia is NEVER going to order Russian, Chinese, European fighter aircraft, really don’t think that is ever going to happen, for a lot of reasons, especially because of our close ties with the US.

    So I go back to what I originally said, I still believe that we will have the F35 in service, despite all the problems facing it at the moment.

    I’d love to see what you think is the real alternative, do you have one, a specific one? and Why?

  • Dane

    says:

    Another reason you can rule out Russian/Chinese fighters is that they aren’t interoperable with US aircraft. Even in the off we did buy them, the US would never give us equipment to bring them up to such a standard. Similar with the KC-30 and LAIRCMS not being fitted or maintained in Europe.

    Whatever aircraft is chosen, people will always find faults with it, be it the F/A-18E/F or (just throwing it out there for arguments sake) the Eurofighter. One thing that will matter regardless of what is chosen, is numbers of type purchased. We have growing threats from all of northern reaches and with India Shortly to commission an aircraft carrier, it would make sense to purchase in large number. the 100-150 is ideal, allowing for enough fighters for training purposes while still leaving a significant number in front-line squadrons.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – I believe you misread the “note” bit. It just reminder that “The ADF has purchased 24 F/A-18Fs for A$6.6 billion or $A316 billion per aircraft”. You’re missing the entire broader point here aren’t you. You wouldn’t be laughing while reading this is because you’re putting this barrier in-front you and not willing to take any notice what I’ve got to say. Just listen very carefully.

    Yes ferry range is listed. This is certainly not misleading. Indeed I’ve suggested that the Chinese Su-27/30/J-11 Flanker family will directly attack Australia. The answer is yes. Is because the Su-27/30 family are a long range combat aircraft with the IL-78 tanker escorting them. Which will be explained later how the turkey has beaten in wargames simulation.

    The were over around 200 or 300 F-111s at boneyard for the RAAF engineers to access them and to be reused again. They can be patched and blended with boron patches to reduces cracking and there was an roadmap upgrade for the F-111 fleet back in 2001 which I’ve seen at the time for the aircraft to be upgraded with glass cockpit, weaponry, sensors etc. Until later it was either cancelled or suspended which was totally wrong thing to do.

    Do you really want know the results of the Flankers ferry range is because the Flanker family can outrange, outclimb, outrun and outturn the Super Hornet/JSF?

    Su-27SMK: At high altitude of 2,354 miles (3,790 km) with internal fuel only, with two 440 gallon (2,000 litre) external fuel tanks with a range of 2,726 miles (4,390 km) with one top up from the tanker it can fly at 3,230 miles (5,200 km)

    Su-30: At high altitude of 1,863 miles (3,000 km) with internal fuel only, with one top up from the tanker with a range of 3,230 miles (5,200 km) and with two top ups from the tanker is 4,341 miles (6,990 km).

    Su-35BM Super Flanker-E: At high altitude of 2,236 miles (3,600+ km) with internal fuel only, with two 440 gallon (2,000 litre) fuel tanks with a range of 2,796 miles (4,500 km) with one top up from the tanker is around 3,913 miles (6,300 km) with two top ups is N/A.

    Now this 2,222 mile (4,000 km) range is not a big deal at all. As I stated again Australia needs a high capability fighter to do the job better, again small fighters with short range have fuel inefficient which means they have to be refuelled by tanker transport to fly across Australia or anywhere they are deployed for maritime strike, air-to-air combat or ground attack mission etc. Small fighters as I explained to you “they are suited to smaller NATO and some Asian countries is because there population size is small, they are surrounded by vast land areas which means for them the range is not as important”. Yes Australia is small country, but remember we are surrounded by the vast oceans which means that single engine aircraft are unacceptable for RAAFs requirements

    With Perth to Brisbane to me its just an example of how they’ll fly and how wide our country is.

    You also telling me John that I don’t know the full capabilities of the JSF. Well I got news for you John and again you wouldn’t be laughing at this when you read this true statement about why is the F-35 a wrong aircraft? The fact is that I certainly do know about its full capabilities and I can tell you its not great its absolutely terrible. Why? Is because I have friends and colleagues in the defence aviation claim that the JSF is a lemon and its totally incapable of facing high-end threats that would not cement Australia’s regional air power lead. This aircraft has limitations, it cannot do a lot of things as aspected to show and promise that is a true 5th Generation fighter, is because it doesn’t meet the partner nations. The JSF will be inferior to the Russian/Chinese fighters proliferating in the region especially the very potent Sukhoi Flanker family. The F-35A is too overweight which has too much cross section on the fuselage, the wings are too small which lacks the manoeuvrability, the wings on all JSF variants are optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre, which means it doesn’t provide enough lift and drag to defeat BVR and WVR AAMs from enemy fighters in a dogfight or stand-off ranges, advanced SAMS and AAAs.

    The F-35s fuselage is too thinned skinned. Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety precautions on the aircraft to protect against fire. The JSF will be an very easy target to shoot down because its such a delicate aeroplane which means it has huge internal fuel wrapped around inside the fuselage and fuel also surrounded to the engine as well. Because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes the aircraft to catch on fire. Because the JSF had weight problems during testing and Lockheed Martin made an argument claims the JSF doesn’t need fire safety precaution and has been dropped. The F-35 will generate more heat (in full afterburner) this will make the adversaries to detect the JSF at BVR using heat seeking missiles (while engaging stealth aircraft at 56 miles-90 km). Which I find the whole situation very very disappointing and a big disaster and certainly not a very survivable aeroplane.

    The F-35 JSF has inferior acceleration, can’t turn well enough which lacks the aerodynamic performance to be employed effectively as an air defence interceptor/fighter, short range with no loiter time and very pittiful weapons load that is totally unsuited as a bomber and cruise missile defence and unsuited for air superiority role when compared against the Sukhoi family of aircraft, particularly post-2010 configurations, definately post-2015 evoled growth variants. (Without agility,speed, long range and weapons load) Relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabiilities, BVR and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying straight and level of presents of guns or missiles with very gentle manoeuvres the JSF will be a “dead duck”. The JSF is not lethal, for Australia, this means that for an outrageous amount of money spent on air-to-air and air-to-ground fighting capabilities the JSF brings absolutely nothing on the table that existing aircraft designs such as the F-111, F-15 variants, F-22, A-10 and other aircraft – cannot already do and do better.

    Detailed modelling, analysis and participation in highly fidelity wargame simulator exercise which have shown and demonstrated by my colleagues that the JSF has been defeated in all realistic current and future threats that Australia is likely to face by the Sukhoi family and J-20 stealth fighter. Part of the presentation showed a computer simulation which calculated that the F-35 would be consistently defeated by the Su-35BM Super Flanker-E. The defeat calculated by the scenario also showed the loss of the F-35’s supporting airborne-early warning and air refuelling aircraft. While the Super Hornets of both Blue Forces were seriously and significantly overmatched a.k.a useless.

    Single-engine is in fact a very nasty risk as stated before. It’ll cause heavy losses to the entire fleet, seriously its going to horrify the aircrews lives at huge risk, when the engine fails the JSF will fly like a glider anywhere behind enemy lines or over the ocean it’ll drop like a stone and cause a crash. Also the F-35A’s Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments and may also causes excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N – No I don’t agree about the F-111. No sorry you’re wrong, the F-111 is a very hard aircraft to replace in the strike bombing role that no other aircraft in the world can match its fire power etc. The F-111 is still a fantastic aircraft if it weren’t retired it should’ve been updated to retire them safely in 2020/25 as it was. Read what I said about the nasty problems the JSF is facing and will face this more controversey problem in service with the RAAF when it comes online.

  • Peter

    says:

    If you problem with that John N I suggest that you contact Air Power Australia or talk to Former Air Commander Peter Criss about this solution.

  • Peter

    says:

    John N, Andrew McLaughlin and to the other JSF advocates – Also just to let you guys know that the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence and Federal Government – with facts etc.

    Cheers

  • Dane

    says:

    The F-111 had its day, the JSF will be superior to anything currently in service as it offers far better situational awareness (SA) for the pilots. Also, doubters about the single engine need not worry, the engine technology today is far better than the Mirages, meaning less flame outs and other technical issues. Range isn’t a good comparison for this aircraft as Australia boasts one of the best OTH radar systems in the world, allowing us to track aircraft before they get too close. This means we can send our fighters to a pin point location and have the battle ground of choosing. But that would be the last option in anyones mind using the F-35, you dont need to get close to your enemy to have to shoot them down, the AESA radar will see them before they see you. Thus the F-35 is simply a means of delivering munitions. This is where the F-111 is now defunct. TFR will only get you so far. With guided AA munitions now easily avialable, the F-11 would be a relatively easy target at low altidude, given the experince of the operator. The F-35, however, can loiter 100’s of kilometers away, wait for the call for a bomb drop fly within a safe distance of the target, realease a munition and return home or continue loitering. It is a f ar better aircraft than the F-111 and once it has overcome its many teething problems, it will prove itself as the best.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – I strongly disagee with that. LOL Its still a wrong aircraft for Australia.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane and to the other JSF advocates – Thats the most laughable statement I ever heard Dane about “the JSF is far better than the F-111 or other aircraft”. The JSF is 50 times worse in long range strike interdiction, close air support and air-to-air combat is because it’ll be so much easier to shoot down, it’ll be so much more flammable etc and it doesn’t even have an ability to stay and wait over the battlefield until the situation develops when its needed with huge fuel flow very inefficient and no loiter time and it doesn’t have a powerful punch to do the job effectively, seriously the JSF will be a truely useless piece of equipment, again it will ruin the RAAFs frontline fighter/strike force, it will degrade the air force further is because the pilots will fly worse they’ll get less training which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because thee whole force will have to shrink and you’re just having a show piece air force that they can’t do anything.

    The reason why the pilots will not be often enough to train properly is because the JSF will be a super complicated aircraft to maintain and can’t fly very much which means it’ll spend around 50 or 100 hours on the ground putting stealth coatings etc to make the aircraft stealthy or not stealthy at any how.

    Do you have any idea how extremely dangerous the aeroplane is and do you ever realise how the JSF is going to survive with one engine?

    However Dane, the engine technology today may be better while modern engines are very reliable, but don’t ever say the engine won’t fail because it will fail at anytime and will cause 100 F-35 fleet will have to be grounded. In fact Dane I’ll say again single-engine is still a very nasty risk and totally unsafe for overwater operations (which is ill-suited for overwater operations for maritime strike missions etc) and will certainly cause heavy losses to the entire fleet. If you or anyone else is a JSF pilot for example the question is would you be comfortable enough to put your butt into the F-35 when the engine fails over the ocean? The very clear answer is you’ll be far far away from your home base over the Pacific Ocean if you’re flying longer distance for overseas deployment and if something goes wrong with that engine you have to eject and you’ll be ending up in the ocean in the middle of nowhere freezing to death. This requires the Navy to commit search and rescue assets to support any operational deployment JSFs or any single engine fighters. The RAAF still needs two-engines to provide superior flight safety in long range or overwater operations, as the loss of one engine does not guarantee the loss of the aircraft, although it’s apt to cause the mission to be aborted. For Australia’s geography this is likely to result in a smaller number of lost aircraft during decades of peacetime training, but also a better ability for these aircraft to survive battle damage over a target and recover to home base to be repaired. It also reduces demands on Navy warships to be available to rescue aircrew in the event of engine failure and thus become exposed to enemy air attack.

    Yes the JSF does offer situational awareness for the pilots. The APG-81 AESA radar provides respectable air-to-air coverage capability, it’s optimised as a bomber to meet Joint Operational Requirements Documents (JORD) and has less detection footprint. The JSF is optimised for “Forward” and “Side” aspect performance limited to X-band only target KPP downgraded to LO from VLO- an order of magnitude change, however in its key metric of detection range performance the APG-81, APG-79 AESA from the F/A-18E/F Block 2 and other AESA radars from small fighters will be outclassed by the Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E (Snow Leopord) radar designed for the Su-35S/BM Super Flanker-E, plus an available option for the Su-30MKI and MKM Flanker-H variants.

    The N035 Irbis-E fire control radar tested from the Su-30MKK “503 Blue”, it has a passive phased array of 35 inches (900 mm) diameter scanned mechanically to give a 120 degree field of view in azimuth. This radar can track up to 30 aerial targets while guiding missiles to 8 priority threats, in air-to-surface mode it can track up to 8 targets. Detection range in air-to-air mode was up to 218-248 miles (350-400 km) for typical fighter-type target and 56 miles (90 km) for stealthy target with an RCS of 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) including the JSF. In air-to-surface mode the radar could select large ship with an RCS of 538,195 sq.ft (50,000 m) at 248 miles (400 km), a railway bridge with an RCS of 10,763 sq.ft (1,000 m) at 93-124 miles (150-200 km), a patrol boat with an RCS of 2,152 sq.ft (200 m) at 62-74 miles (100-120 km) and a group of tanks with an RCS of 323 sq.ft (30 m) at 37-43 miles (60-70 km).

  • Peter

    says:

    All you pro-JSF advocates are absolutely crazy to think and say that its a right aircraft with all the lies and misinformation that you people are conned that you folks keep on listen on the wrong side of any stories what the Governement, the RAAF and aircraft companies say to you all. I don’t trust Lockheed Martin including Tom Burbage he is a crook, con-artist and a liar.

    Why should any customer do any business with them or even join the most pathetic turkey program that is behind schedule, cost overruns etc when it cannot beat Russian/Chinese fighters? Answer that folks.

  • Dane

    says:

    Peter, your thinking is old hat. Modern combat has changed in every sense be it air, ground or naval, since the inception of the F-111. There are are number of flaws in your argument which need to be pointed out.

    Firstly, the pilots of the future will be Gen Y and are, as science has proven, quiet capable when it comes picking up new skills very quickly. As with every aircraft, including the F-111, you cant just hop in the pilots seat and fly it. It takes months of training in simulators to even fly the real thing. So pilots will be well trained to handle the new technologies in the F-35. Also, the F-35 is designed to not overload pilots with information. The helmets they wear will have only required data displayed in them, including targeting and flight data. The F-111 would have been better over many older fighters with its HUD, making jets less heads-down intensive.

    F-35 maintenance will be a lot easier with the aircraft being designed with engieering aspects in mind. A complete engine is expected to take no less than 4 hours. Also, technicians will be able to plug a computer in the aircraft and it will run a complete systems check before and return from a mission. This technology is already being used on the C-17 and C-130J.

    In regards to engine capability, while it is in flight testing now, and limited production, it will get better. Reliability will surpass anything currently in use on Australian aircraft. Yes it will require maintenance from time to time, it will be able to go longer periods without the need for servicing in a war situation. In regards to maratime ops and overseas deployments, you are forgetting two important factors. Firstly, we once again have an AAR capability in the KC-30, a luxury the F-111 never had as its range didn’t nescitate it, and this extend deployment range, loiter time and combat radius. Secondly, you are forgetting that the Defence Force is juist that, a defence force. This limits our missions to our territorial waters but with the range of anti-shipping missiles being increased, you have to fly less distance over water to the release point.. Remember, you don’t have to see the target to shoot it.

    SA will come from sources for a pilot under the networked forces project. This means a pilot will be able to see more than what is on his or her radar display. The Wedgetail will provide most of this but it can from other sources including UAVs, Orions and naval radar. The combination of this system will be an astronomical leap forward from the F-111’s radar system.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane, John N, Andrew McLaughlin and to the other pro-JSF advocates

    If you guys are asking about How can the 40+ year old F-111 airframes last another 30 years? The F-111 has not had its day yet.

    The simple answer is: aircraft are machines, not people. The “age” of an aircraft’s airframe structure is primarily measured by the hours it has flown compared with the life for which it was designed to operate. After some 30 years, the F-111 airframe structure is just over half way into its design life, before any consideration of life extention which is normal for RAAF aircraft.

    The detailed answer: The USAF currently plann to fly their 40 year old B-52H Stratofortress fleet for another 40 years, and their 20 year old B-1B Lancer bombers for another 40 years. The prospects are very good that the 35 year old C-5 Galaxy fleet will serve at least for another 20 years, and many of the 40 year old KC-135 Stratotanker fleet may be flown another 30 years. In military aviation, the calendar age of aircraft means very little – what determines their useful life is their utility in doing the job for which they are tasked, the systems they carry, their accrued flying time and thus fatigue to the structure, and corrosion damage to the airframe.

    Australia is very fortunate to the F-111s, which have an overdesigned airframe, originally stressed for landings and takeoffs on aircraft carriers. The principal fatigue issue with the F-111s lie in the integrity of some parts of the aircraft’s “swing wings” or “variable geometry”. Fortunately it takes only about a day to swap wings on an F-111, which means that a robust stock of refurbished wings could the aircraft to kept in service for decades at a very economical cost. Around 200 or 300 airframes remain mothballed in the US AMARC facility. Most of the avionics and wiring in the F-111 fleet were replaced during a billion dollar avionic upgrade that was completed in 1999, therefore remain competitive in combat – an ongoing issue for combat aircraft for any age today. The existing pool of Pratt & Whitney TF-30 turbofan engines will last comfortably until 2020, if lie extention beyond that date is required new engines could be readily adapted, as the existing engines (and, therefore, the engine bays of the F-111) are longer than their modern replacements.

    The reason why the F-111 is a very difficult aircraft to replace in the long range strike interdiction role is because the aircraft was designed at the peak of the Cold War to meet an unusually tough performamce specification, both in terms of what payload of weapons it could deliver to what distance, and in terms of achieving high speeds in combat. As a result it is one of the largest and highest performing strike aircraft ever built, the nearest equivalent is size being the MiG-31 Foxhound. Again no other fighter (including small airframes with short range and low capabilty such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35 Fulcrum, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF) since the F-111 can match its range and weapons payload. Replacing the combat effect of each F-111 will require the operationally much more expensive use of small fighters and aerial tankers.

    Another reason why the F-111 is very suitable aircraft for helping to defend Australia and for helping to keep the peace in our region of the world is because the aircraft is a very robust fighter-bomber which carries typically twice or more the internal fuel of other fighter jets, as a result of which it typically delivers twice the combat radius, usually with twice the payload of weapons. Therefore, it provides a lot of punch in a single aircraft, with only two person crew. Australia’s defence environment economies in terms of dollar cost to deliver a given payload of smart bombs or cruise missiles to a given distance. Since Australia invested during the 1990s hundreds of millions of dollars into an extensive support infrastructure at RAAF Amberley, the RAAF was provisioned to maintain the F-111 indefinately – and largely independently.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – My thinking is not old hat ok. There are no numbers of my arguments needed to be pointed out. Well my colleagues in the defence don’t believe you.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – I reckon you are forgetting what I said to you, the F-35 maintenance will be harder with the aircraft being designed with engineering aspects in mind. Well these Gen Y systems are very capable like you said, but they can be integrated on existing platforms as well which I saw the roadmap upgrade plan for the F-111 fleet back in 2001, to the F-15 Silent Eagle etc. Dane I reckon you have forgotting what I said about long range is still needed. This certainly does not limit the missions to our territorial waters but with the range of anti-shipping and cruise missiles has been increased, some certain rules you can fly less distance over the ocean to release the point depends where the target is located – Remember you still have to positively identifiy the target and shoot it. If you have problem with my explanation I suggest that you talk to the APA team.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane – I think we should leave it there ok. Don’t say anything else. Lets give the anti-F-35 supporters to have a go with there opinions.

  • Mick

    says:

    Peter,
    You’ve literally copied your entire answer (comment 35) to Dave’s rebuttal from the Air Power Australia website. See here: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-FAQ-2005.html
    How original…..Tell me, do you have any of your own opinions on the JSF or do you just listen to Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon all day? I believe both sides of this argument have their merits but it is important to separate fact from faction. Lockheed Martin knows it will be held accountable by the US Government and all JSF partners, including Australia, if it fails, hence the motivation to get it right. Short term pain for long term gain. You’ve got to see the bigger picture.

  • Peter

    says:

    Mick – Yes I do have an opinion, as well as I do listen to Carlo Kopp, Peter Goon, retired RAAF fighter pilots, generals, officers and other folks too. I mean thats what you got to do if someone tries to explain the reasons to you it’s about gathering and understanding ideas etc. To me its really not relevant what you do at least you get the idea whats been said and figuring out in different ways. I don’t care what I did to Dave’s and John N’s rebuttal is because they put an protective barrier of not taking any notice what I got to say. Thats the reason why I did copy one of the answers from the FAQ for them to read and understand whats been explained.

    Do you listen to what Lockheed Martin, Defence politicians or any pro-JSF advocates all day? Because I believe those sides of their arguments have their merits too. I do appreciate what your coming from Mick about seeing a bigger picture, which I do yes, but the APA and other websites do have a very interesting ideas and facts. But I do point out about who do I agree the most and what issues I take. You know what I mean. The same goes for everyone. You know I work for the defence right and I have my friends and colleagues say the JSF is a wrong aircraft and they agree with my opinion too and we need to try out to have other plans for what better equipment Australia needs best.

  • Robert

    says:

    i dont have much to do with airplanes but i read a lot, needless to say i cried when they caned the F111, i have read how good a machine it had become and just what it could do, just what we needed, it is okay to say there are all these airframes just sitting , but as explained to me just over a week ago by a hydraulics person at Amberley, there are lots of little things that go into keeping them airborne, like seals, like he said, they arent available anymore, they have to be made, and that takes over a year and costs a small fortune, just like the trucks i own, parts to keep the quality made older ones going are getting harder to find,

    my opinion is it is better to have 300 of a older , capable machine than 100 duds, and my opinion is the JSF is just that , a dud. every thing i have read points to that conclusion, and i am only a coach builder come truck driver, our experts who buy this stuff dont have to go off and fight with this gear, just like when i was a nasho, we had a rifle that had fire power, the kids today have pop guns, we are going backwards, that was proven in Veitnaim,

    and now the goverment is going to up grade the truck fleet with new electronic vehicles, well, with the ones we have you can drive them until they sieze up, computer one;s shut down even if there isnt enough water in the top tank, i hear it all the time from drivers of the fancy rigs you see today, go around a bend, the sensor is uncovered, puter shuts the engine down,

  • Roger

    says:

    As I have indicated before on another discussion, for people with a bit more knowledge about the F35 and its capabiltiies look at F-16.net forums on the F35. Japan has just chosen the F35 because it is the best plane for the role intended. Sure it may not out accelarate a new beaut Su-XX but the SU -XX must be able to see it before it can do anything. And while it may avoid missles trying the air show “cobra” it bleeding of energy during that hands the initatiative to opponents. And thats if it can get in the air.
    As shown during Red flag exercises the Indians wanted a full minute between take offs of their planes (SU’s) to avoid Foreign object damage. Does not give it too much confidence in their durability. Combat is not just about “combat” but sortie turnaround.
    The F35 while not as all aspect as stealthy as the F22 compared to other planes it is still stealthy. For example to the T-50 and the Russians’ own statements about how stealthy it is make it less stealthy than F-35, which is an interesting admission.

  • Peter

    says:

    Hi Roger

    The JSF is not the best aircraft for Japan the role is intended. The F-15SE Silent Eagle is the best top level fighter to fulfill the JASDF’s requirements and the Silent Eagle can handle the J-10 Vigorous Dragon, Su-27, J-11 and Su-30MKK types, and the F-22 Raptor (although ban on export, which the USAF can deploy their own aircraft to Japan) is designed to be a top level fighter which it can handle the PAK-FA and J-20 only. The JSFs APG-81 AESA can’t see the Su-35BM, PAK-FA and J-20 Might Dragon at long range.

    Remember what’s been said earlier. The F-35 will be too heavy and slugglish to be successful as an air superiority fighter in aerodynamic terms, due to the fuselage which has too much cross-section, the wings are too small which lack the manoeuvrability, the wings on all JSF variants are optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre which doesn’t provide enough lift and drag to defeat the BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and WVR (Within Visual Range) air-to-air missiles from the enemy fighters in the dogfight and stand-off ranges, advanced SAMs and AAAs.

    The JSF has poor acceleration, poor agility, short range with no loiter time and very limited weapons payload that is totally unsuitable for bomber and crusie missile defence and unsuited for air superiority role (with only “four” AAMs internally) when compared to against the Sukhoi family of aircraft, post 2010 configuration; definately post 2015 evoled growth variants.

    Relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, HMS, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off while flying straight and level with very gentle manoeuvres of presents of guns or missiles the JSF will be a “dead duck”. It maybe fancy for the F-35 to detect the missile and jam the missile, but when it comes down to it Roger the aircraft can’t turn, can’t climb and can’t run with no escape it’ll get shot down.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger

    There are a lot of reasons of why the F-35 is a turkey, not trusted, very controversial, and wrong warplane for any air forces requirements. Is because all JSF variants will be useless in CAS (close air support role). Why? Is because the JSF doesn’t have a protective armour tub for the pilot (as a bullet proof for cannon hits around the cockpit area) as said earlier, the JSFs fuselage is too thinned skinned. Did you know about that Roger? Again Lockheed Martin has done very little to protect the aircraft against fire, its a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely and very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gun fire can very easily penetrate the skin on the fuselage and to the engine that causes the aircraft to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. In fact they’ve dropped major safety pre-cautions with to respect of fire, is because the JSF had weight problems and claiming its not needed. It’ll be a very easy target to shoot down and so much more flammable and is a very dangerous jet.

    The same thing goes for air-to-air combat up against the Sukhoi family, that’ll make the adversaries to detect the JSF at BVR using heat seeking AA-10 Alamo, AA-12 Adder missiles is because the engine of the JSF will expose more heat (in full afterburner) like a volcano.

    Plus the JSF doesn’t have a 30mm (1.18 calibre) cannon to effectively shoot down the tanks etc. Not powerful enough to do the job to support the troops on the ground in close air support. And again it doesn’t have an ability to stay and wait over the battlefield until the situation develops when its needed.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter,

    Serious the Silent eagle is a paper plane. So the F35 trumps over all as it is in development/production and still stealtier. Yes it is optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre. So? Again Mach+ combat is rare.
    “doesn’t provide enough lift and drag ” You do not want drag? Think not. F35 easily out accelerates the the F16 during flights. Has AT LEAST same manoeuvrability again as a F16. (part of its capability requiment) . “ue to the fuselage which has too much cross-section”, which is used as part of body lift design. (you do know this dont you?) 4AAMs internally. Again slated in later block for upgrade to 6 internally (they can do it but chose not too AT THIS TIME.) Now I will not go on as for any plane to get to WVR needs to see it BVR but all aspect Stealth beyond anything except the F22. Means it has first look, first shot capability. Really must this be explained again and again. Sure it may not be an A-10 in attack but an A-10 does not have the 360degree situational awareness. Even the F22 the best plane around is optimised for 120 Degree awareness. Again if you are so sure of this please debate with others more knowledgable than I. Just do not stay in the comfort zone. Good luck with that. (I know you will not but hey you might surprise me.)

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Sorry, Despite my “cheeky tone” please be aware I appreciate your arguments. I just do not think it as Sweetman put it that the F35 is a “dog”. Anyway Happy new year to ya. Roger

  • Dane

    says:

    Peter, Peter, Peter. I have tried to emphasize that F-35 will not be placed in a position to be shot at by small-arms. Why? The F-35 is a bomb truck. Tactics have changed with the times and no longer do you have fighters and bombers fly at dot feet to plant a bomb, unless doing a show of force pass. The tactics now, thanks to guided munitions, only require the pilot to fly within a distance of the target. Thus there is really no requirement to up-armour the JSF. Whoever you are talking must have been left out of the loop long ago because obviously they have no clue as to how the aircraft will be used.

    Also, since when has a fighter or bomber used afterburner during a patrol/holding pattern? They don’t because it uses precious fuel it may require to get to a fight or release point in a hurry. And even then it’s rare.

    Your sources are out-dated along with the F-111 dream you cling to.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane. Don’t get me started. You can think whatever you like to say about the JSF is this and that. My sources are not out-dated with the F-111.

    Yes the F-35 is a bomb truck, but it has a very limited weapons payload which I say again its useless and thats relying more number of JSFs to do ground attack. The F-35A’s wing area is 460 sq.ft (42.7 sq.m) which means with 4 JDAMs or AAMs on each wings will sacrifice its stealth capabilities while carrying them externally and they’ll be reflected by a lot of radars on the ground. Also read what I said about the F-35 that is useless in Close Air Support role.

    The problem with multi-role platforms Dane is that small fighters with low capability in a lot respects don’t perform very well. Single role designs were far better

    Whoever I spoke to hasn’t left out of the loop long ago, they certainly do have a clue as to how the aircraft will be used.

  • Peter

    says:

    Dane, Roger, Andrew McLaughlin and to all pro-JSF advocates

    The design flaws on the F-35 will just keep on rising and again it’ll take forever to solve this problems when the aircraft becomes operational soon. It’s still a “wrong, wrong, wrong aircraft”. You people absolutely don’t ever get the message in your heads of why you folks keep going on and on saying its a right warplane to fulfill the RAAF requirements.

    1. The aircraft is the first fighter built in the last 80 years that can’t fly supersonic operationally. Because the stealth coatings will start to peel off.

    2. Central processor is underpowered. This thing can’t even put simple symbols on the helmet display without letency let along FLIR imagery or anything else.

    3. Inadequate aerodynamic modeling. Which means that if you dump fuel, there’s a chance it’ll end up with auxiliary power unit exhaust causing it to have fire on-board.

    4. The auxiliary power system itself is a poor design and too unreliable.

    5. Plus the arrestor hook on the F-35C variant was put into the wrong location, major structural changes need to be made to move it.

    Somebody should come up with new nicknames for the F-35 will be called the “Lead Sled II”, Baby Seal, BUFF or Widow Maker. Certainly not a Lightning II.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates – Although Mach 2+ combat is rare. To me you still need to have speed (which enhances both engagements of, and escape from, known threats) for safety and survivability. Think. The JSF doesn’t out-accelerate the F-16 in level flight.

    The F-16s top speed is Mach 2.0 and the F-35s top speed is Mach 1.6, which is too slow.

    If you don’t have speed and agility how can you get of the fight and survive? The question you’ve asked me was “You do not want drag? The answer is yes I do want drag, thats the reason about having bigger wings to have adequate manoeuvrability to defeat missiles and out-manoeurvring the adversaries etc. Yes the JSF does have the same manoeuvrability as the F-16, but what I mean is, the JSF doesn’t have enough drag and lift as the F-15, F-22, Su-27 Flanker family, PAK-FA, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale etc. I certainly do know about this Roger.

    Again as I said before, relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off without speed and agility again “you’re a dead duck”.

    “Slated in later block for upgrade to 6 internally (they can do it but chose not too AT THIS TIME.)” Again if the aircraft did carry 6 of these AAMs or other ground attck munitions externally it sacrifices stealth, plus the weapons bay looks narrow and small to fit 6 AAMs, JDAMs etc internally as I said it has very very limited weapons payload. Its useless

    The A-10C does have Situational Awareness Data Link, even it doesn’t have an 360 degree SA, the pilot can be equipped with the JHMCS.

    I’m so sure of this, I always debate with my colleagues, retired fighter pilots they’ve the same knowledge and opinion as me.

    Plus the Silent Eagle is not a paper plane, the demonstrator is in the testing stage.

  • Peter

    says:

    Again the JSF is a failed project, its a rotten turkey. Australia is better of buying F-15E+ variants and the RAAF should be an Eagle Country instead of buying more stingless Super Dogs.

  • Roger

    says:

    Oh my god – head slap!
    Lets go through some of your points?
    A – F-16s top speed is Mach 2.0 and the F-35s top speed is Mach 1.6.
    F16 mach 2 – when clean – No external stores – F35 Mach 1.6 fully loaded with internal stores. –
    I put that down to you not knowing.
    B – F35 “limited payload”? What is the max speed, maneuverability of all the planes you mentioned when loaded out? And also the much increased radar cross sections?
    C -Your post of 15th Jan 9;25 . The points are Verbatim copy of ITfunk Post on DoDBuzz. From 3 weeks ago. What? Is there a F35 haters play book out there?
    1. Development issue – So? Prove that means it will not work?
    2. Again – development – Prove that it means it will not work.
    3. Inadequate modelling. Main problem was the impact on the stealth coating . maintenance issue IF no fix in place. (big if)
    4. Development issue? So they cannot fix it?
    5. Arrestor hook. Major structural change MAY be needed if the folded, extended hook, other fixes do not work. Only affects C model IF it gets to that.
    D – “The F-35A’s wing area is 460 sq.ft (42.7 sq.m) which means with 4 JDAMs or AAMs on each wings will sacrifice its stealth capabilities while carrying them externally and they’ll be reflected by a lot of radars on the ground”.
    That’s the same with every plane in service now? At least the F35 can carry loads internally. As design was always intended at the start of the operation where stealth is required internal is only used and then transition to external when permissible.
    E – Again as I said before, relying only on stealth, AESA radar, advanced sensors, networking, data fusion capabilities, BVR AAMs and cruise missiles as stand-off without speed and agility again “you’re a dead duck”
    Quoted from a source I lost the reference – F-16 was approximately as maneuverable as a manned aircraft with a useful payload could possibly be. Chasing after the law of diminishing returns to find that little extra bit of manoeuvrability or energy retention to exploit the OODA loop was a losing game. First of all, aerodynamics was an established science so everyone knew how to do that, and soon all modern fighters were approaching the human limit of maneuverability. And that limit was a hard brick wall. It was proved when neither the X-29 (supermaneuverable) nor X-31 (thrust vectoring) were game-changers in exercises vs. existing fighters. And everyone had the same eyes in WVR so there was no advantage to be had there. The Germans further proved mathematically (leading to the Lampyridae project before they realized that stealth, while effective, was going to do anything but save them money vs. then-current fighters) that an advantage in medium-range combat was the most important advantage in the air. Changing the first O in OODA, by giving your plane better “eyes” to get first look and first kill (improved BVR radar and BVR missiles), or taking away your enemy’s ability to lay eyes on you first (stealth), turned out to be more effective post-F-16 than trying to out-F-16 the F-16 for increasingly small dogfighting advantages. In air to air combat, a larger, more capable multi-role aircraft might give up slight advantages were a dogfight to occur; but would have more likely won before it ever came to the dogfight; among modern planes was still maneuverable enough that it wasn’t at a major disadvantage even if it did come to a dogfight; and unlike a “lightweight day fighter” was actually still useful as a bomber after the air war was won.

    The only problem with the F35 is that the development is under the most scrutiny as any in history.
    Other programs have had development issues as well. (lets not get started on the F-111 development)

    I suppose what I would like is when comparing to “other threats “ please base it on a realistic scenarios. Top speed, radar cross section, manoeuvrability without external stores is not real life , except for the F35 since it is designed for it.
    I suppose the ultimate judgement is if the stealth is not a game changer why are the T-50 and J-20 in development?

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger – My head points don’t need to be pointed out ok. Thanks.

  • Peter

    says:

    Comparing to the F-111 and F-35 development, which ones the worst in military aviation. The JSF is the one. Again the F-22 is designed to counter the T-50 and J-20 only, not the turkey JSF. You should know that.

    The PAK-FA low-observable fighter now in development is expected to be much more lethal in air-to-air combat against the F-35. The PAK-FA will include more powerful radar, advanced sensors, data fusion capabilities and networking which can minimise the effects of the limited low-observable qualities of the F-35. Also the PAK-FA will have higher performance, longer range (without refuelling) and carry more air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons than an F-35.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger – None of my colleagues in the defence agree what you said and none of us will take your advise.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter – you or your colleagues may not agree or take my AdviCe. I do not want them too. I do not pretend to be an expert and the F35 may turn out to be not the best plane ever, but please when you start throwing out all these “issues, problems and statements about F35 viability” please keep the your arguments realistic and valid. You may get people even more more informed than me discussing on the forum.

    But it is amazing you did not dispute any of my points with facts. Thanks, that speaks volumes.
    And why the deception about things like your stated F-16 top speed when it clear to anyone in the know that it was clean compare to a F35 loaded? If you are so sure then state the facts in full. Good arguments are based on logical and plausible extrapolations.

    And just to correct you (again) F22 was design to counter ANY threat in future. The T-50 is design to counter the F-22 , not the other way around , ?. And if they build more than a dozen then I think people will start noticing. And then if the engine is reliable enough to get into the air, they do seem to be having problems with those, dont they hehe. And the J-20 is designed as a more long range fighter/bomber (anti carrier). Thats is generally accepted due to is power limitations and size.

    Thanks for the little discussion. Hope you learnt something

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger – Yes I know the J-20 is designed as an long range fighter-bomber, only due with its power limitations, the size is not relevent. Larger airframes do far better job. In hindsight Roger I could’ve kept my issues, problems and statements about the turkey JSF and kept my arguments realistic and valid.. Yes I did dispute my points and facts earlier.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger

    It depends. From what I’ve researched and heard about the aerodynamic design of the J-20 is a good compromise in the sense that with advanced digital flight controls and a suitable WS-15 turbofan engine (which is still under development) the aircraft should be able to achieve better aerodynamic performance and agility than the current benchmark, the F-22 Raptor and achieve better aerodynamic performance and agility than the F-35.

    Cheers

  • Dane

    says:

    Get off Air Power Australia! the key writer for that website has no military experience and a degree in political science. big deal. that writer also touted that the RAAF should have purchased the 744F tanker variant. Wow. That shows how much he knows about anything in defence. Yes, there are former RAAF officers who contribute to that site, but I am yet to find a decent argument imn regards to anything. He also suggested that the Advanced F-111 should fly alongside F-22’s. Do I need to point out the flaws of that problem?

  • Peter

    says:

    Absolutely not Dane. My colleagues claim the key writer for that website does have military experience and a degree in political science.

    APA is still a source of truth. Why don’t you get off the less capable and useless JSF/Super Hornet. Of course Dr Carlo Kopp did suggest that the Advanced F-111 should fly alongside F-22′s. To me the Raptor or any high capability aircraft should’ve been negotiated as an F/A-18A/B Hornet replacement back in the 1990’s. I don’t need to point out the flaws of that problem at all. I point out the flaws of the Super Hornet’s and upcoming JSF’s suitability for RAAF’s requirements etc.

  • Peter

    says:

    Although it might be a problem for you Dane, but thats not to say I agree everything they say, I do have other suggestions too.

  • Dane

    says:

    APA is a source of misguided truth, if you want real RAAF experience, look at the Williams Foundation.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    So, Peter

    I’m not going to respond to any of your statements above – especially when you come on MY website and address me over an article I didn’t even write! I’ve told you repeatedly that I’ll let my work stand on its merits and that I won’t be baited into a flame war with you.

    But I will ask (rhetorically of course), weren’t you the one who used to complain, hand on heart and tear in eye, about “ad hominem” attacks directed at you?

    Andrew McLaughlin

  • Peter

    says:

    APA is again a source of guided truth. Williams Foundation ia a misguided truth. Again the JSF is a total biggest failure in the world.

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    No, I didn’t have a hand on heart with a tear in eye about “ad hominem” attacks on me, I’m extremely frustrated with the whole process that Australia are armed with the stingless F/A-18 Super Dog & soon the lemon F-35 JSF to lead the way in clearing the skies that are inferior to the Sukhoi family of aircraft, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAMs.

    You folks claim that both of those aircraft are capable of facing high end threats that would cement Australia’s regional air power lead. Absolutely crazy. I can assume the RAAF, the Government, Defence Department and Williams Foundation with comments came from Boeing and Lockheed Martin– anyone who takes pro-Super Hornet and pro-JSF advocates seriously is doing themselves a profound disservice.

    I have to admit the JSF has certainly claimed to be the biggest failed project of all time, the kinks will be unfixable and will continue to suffer with the teething problems when the aircraft comes into operational service in 2018 or later. It will be completely useless and will not be able up to do the job which is why its the most hated aircraft in the world and can’t be trusted.

    Just get away from the turkey program its going to ruin the air force. Because Tom Burbage (from Lockheed Martin) is giving you an aeroplane that is extremely expensive to maintain, its inferior to the Russians/Chinese fighters that has poor acceleration, poor manoeuvrability and lack of range, it has very limited weapons payload and the JSF also has small aperature nosecone than the large fighters radome which means the F-35 or other small fighters have small fire control radar that is less powerful, can’t generate and more likely it can’t detect stealthy targets at long range etc. The same goes to the F/A-18E/F because it has the similar performance deficiencies to the JSF that is not up to the job.

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    If you have told me that “I’ll let my work stand on its merits and that I won’t be baited into a flame war with you”. Then why are you keep on claiming they are the aircraft of choice, you can’t just sit and wait to see the lemon JSF progress because the aircraft has got such a life with technical problems, which is not progressing well and not meeting test objectives. You know I’ve have colleagues in the defence stating that what will be delivered (if F-35 ever arrives) will be obsolete; and that the F-35 is not affordable or sustainable. With cost increases, schedule delays, and continuing technical problems also increases the risk that the program will not be able to deliver the aircraft quantities and capabilities in the time required by the warfighter. The F-35 has failed the initial test of its stealth capability and remains behind schedule to provide the performance requirements.

    Again I’ve told repeatedly Andrew I’m going to say again that single engine is a terrible idea that makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that can’t get back home safely etc, the internal fuel for the JSF is too inefficient which means their range is too short and would require significant air-tanker support to be able to get them to a combat radius 1,000+ miles to striike a target. The JSF’s acceleration is inferior – its only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the supercruising Sukhoi. The wing and engine intake geometry on the JSF is optimised for subsonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe. The JSF carries only “four” air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) self defence for air combat. This is going back to the Vietnam War era the story traces the history of heavy losses with the F-105 Thunderchief.

    The RAAF doesn’t need low capability fighters in increased numbers. The reason why I’m concerned is that small fighters don’t deliver the hefty punch because the weapons load is very limited, if the JSF did carry weapons externally it will sacrifice stealth (been seen by enemy radars, advanced SAMs, AAAs on the ground and enemy fighters in the air).

  • Dane

    says:

    Peter, did you ever think there was a reason the US ordered reduced numbers of the F-22? Maybe someone realised that it was too expensive for the single job it does. If they produce the F-22C with larger weapons bays to be able to allow it to carry AGM’s don’t you think that the extra space required would have to mean that either the aircraft will bulge around the bays or the internal fuel capacity will be eaten into?

    Also, Peter, you are forgetting one key thing. The Defence in Australian Defence Force. Hence why we don’t require long ranging fighters. As long as they can be refueled to extend their patrol time then we don’t require an excessive combat radius. If external tanks are required then so be it.

    As the F-22 will not be released under FMS for the foreseeable future, what do you, Peter suggest? The Australian Government will never buy Russian or Chinese/Asian built aircraft if it wishes to keep its interests and interoperability aligned with the US. I can tell you now that short of downgrading there is no alternative. The nearest European fighter is the EF-2000 Eurofighter which is of similar vintage in terms of design age to the F/A-18A. So that rules that out. The Gripen, again is of similar age to the EF-2000 and the F/A18A, and is a single engine machine. Interesting to note that the engine failure to occur on the Gripen was due to a birdstrike. This brings you back to my point earlier of the reliability of modern jet engines. Lockheed wouldn’t put an engine they even remotely thought was going to fail on the F-35.

  • Peter

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    There are alternatives to the JSF. Don’t say the are no alternatives, again you can’t just sit and wait to see the lemon JSF progress because the aircraft has got such a life with technical problems and it will continue to suffer more and more teething problems when it becomes IOC later.

    With the question being asked, Can Silent Eagle be a Cost Effective Alternative to Expensive
    Stealth Fighters? My answer is yes, it is cost effective to have the F-15SE for any air
    force if some countries can’t afford or qualify the 5th generation fighter etc.

    The F-15 is the only combat-proven aircraft that Australia should be considering to fulfill the requirements. During action in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Balkans and recently in Afghanistan and it showed its superior ability to perform missions required of the FX.

    The F-15 family of aircraft has a perfect air-combat record of more than 104 victories and zero defeats. F-15s downed four MiG-29 fighters during the Balkan conflict and 33 of the 35 fixed-wing aircraft Iraq lost in air combat during Operation Desert Storm. During the Balkan conflict, the F-15E was the only fighter able to attack ground targets around the clock, in all weather conditions. F-15 aircraft are used by the Air Force against terrorist targets.

    The F-15 has greater long range endurance, weapons payload and speed capabilities than its FX competitors. It will get to a fight, strike with a lethal mix of weapons, and return more effectively than the other (small airframes such as F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 JSF) FX aircraft.

    The F-15 is in production. Boeing has built more than 1,500 of all its F-15 models and the company has extended the F-15 production line well into the 2020s to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the F-15, its certainly the best replacement for 71 F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter,

    F-35 has failed the initial test of its stealth capability – Reference please? I would like to read about that if true.

    Oh and the 2.4 mach supercruising SuXX – Is that with or without external stores and how long before fuel goes bingo when reaching this magnificent 2.4 mach? (anyone remember Foxbat?). Oh and the supercruising 2.4 mach plane would glow brightly on any IR system so even the LPI radar are not needed. Every wonder why combat is primarily conducted in the submach region? (where the F35 with internal stores accelaerates quite well.)

    “And if the JSF did carry weapons externally it will sacrifice stealth (been seen by enemy radars, advanced SAMs, AAAs on the ground and enemy fighters in the air).” Duh!
    As would every pther plane carrying external stores. But the F35 would be seen at a much reduced range than those others planes. Seriously basic stuff here.

  • Roger

    says:

    Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Fighter Jet Passes Initial Stealth Hurdle By Tony Capaccio – May 5, 2011

    “Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter jet has passed its initial radar-evasion testing and there are no “major potential changes contemplated for any of the stealth design,” according to the U.S. program office.

    Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Rein said in an e-mail that “while there are challenges in holding tight tolerance specifications, all F-35s are meeting the requirements and are compliant in form, fit, function and stealth.”

    I do not see any failure there?

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger & Dane

    Did you two ever think there was a wrong reason the US ordered reduced numbers of the F-22?

    You two are still forgetting one key thing. Hence we should require longer ranging high capability fighters. They don’t need to be refuelled several times to extend their patrol time at a required excessive combat radius, because small fighters with short range require a lot of refuelling by the air tanker for them to get a excessive combat radius. If long range aircraft are still considered and needed for the requirements then so be it.

    Although the F-22 will not be released under FMS for the foreseeable future (which it should be put in the intends pressure to the US Government to sell the F-22 to closest allies), what do you, I suggest? The Australian Government should buy Russian built Sukhoi or advanced F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft (again I didn’t recommend Chinese planes for Australia) if it wishes to keep its interests and interoperability aligned with the US. I can tell you now that short of downgrading there IS ALTERNATIVE. Again don’t say the are no alternatives, you can’t just sit and wait to see the lemon JSF progress because the aircraft has got such a life with technical problems and it will continue to suffer more and more teething problems when it becomes IOC later.

    “Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Fighter Jet Passes Initial Stealth Hurdle By Tony Capaccio – May 5, 2011.”

    “Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter jet has passed its initial radar-evasion testing and there are no “major potential changes contemplated for any of the stealth design,” according to the U.S. program office”.

    Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Rein said in an e-mail that “while there are challenges in holding tight tolerance specifications, all F-35s are meeting the requirements and are compliant in form, fit, function and stealth.”

    Don’t get your hopes up, you guys are set up with too high expectations about the stealth performance of the F-35.

    The JSF is not survivable. The kind of stealth quality the aircraft has is much less than the F-22 Raptor. The JSF will need the F-22 to survive serious high-end threats and the F-35 is not designed as a top level fighter. When stealth goes naked, due to turns that the maker of the aircraft has already stated, “can increase an aircraft’s radar cross section by a factor of 100 or more”, the F-35 has no extreme high altitude and speed of the survivable F-22. The JSF is optimised for ‘Forward’ and ‘Side’ aspect best performance limited to X band, only. The F-35 is vulnerable to advanced radar system. After China and Russia acquire brand-new radars, they could easily detect the JSF that would be seen at a much longer range than those others planes aka the F-22. Target KPP downgraded to Low Observable (LO) from Very Low Observable (VLO) – an order of magnitude change. Conversely, while the JSF’s APG-81 radar provides respectable air-to-air radar coverage capability, it is being optimised as a bomber radar to meet the Joint Operational Requirements Document (JORD) and CAIV.

    Well I certainly do see a lot of extreme high risk failure on the lemon program. Again “The JSF is a turkey that is a biggest failed project of all time”. All of you pro-JSF advocates are absolutely crazy of still going ahead with this dud. I can honestly say I’ll get away from the terrible failed project, scrap the damn thing and nail the JSF in the coffin, burn the project in the fire and see it burn as a cancellation.

    This is the reason why I considered and recommend Australia equipping both F-15AU and F-22AU concepts.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger & Dane

    Don’t put words (that I claimed the J-20 Mighty Dragon for Australia’s requirements) into my mouth.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger & Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates

    The F-22 is a superior and very capable warplane than the turkey F-35. Many of its electronic systems are identical or superior to the JSF including electronic warfare and networking data links, the F-22 has two engines (for improved survivability), F-22A’s APG-77 radar is much more powerful, providing twice the detection footprint of the JSF’s APG-81 radar. While the F-22A’s APG-77 radar provides excellent bombing capability, it remains the most capable air-to-air radar ever built thereby more electrical power and electronic cooling capacity, greater radar aperture, more thrust to weight, less supersonic drag, more manoeuvrability, super-cruise (which enhances both engagements of, and escape from, known threats and saving a lot fuel), superior stealth technology and a similar ability to carry and release precision munitions.

    Plus Roger re your comment Duh! That shows your behaviour is being childish.

    Don’t reply back.

  • Peter

    says:

    John Newman, Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates

    I saw what you put down about me. I really don’t care what pathetic criticisms and jokes you guys put down. I reckon you people just talking absolute rubbish with all of the garbage information claiming the JSF being a correct aircraft is just sheer nonsense.

    Yes thats right the APA contributers are far more knowledgable than the RAAF, Department of Defence, Federal Government, Pentagon and Congress – with facts etc.

    Yes most definately, my colleagues and myself in the ADF find that all of you pro-JSF advocates are all stupid and crazy to even think the aircraft is the future of Australia’s air power!! Then why should Australia deserve to be partners with Lockheed Martin to join the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements???

    I’d rather be partners with either Boeing (with the F-15 production) or Sukhoi (with the Su-35S Super Flanker-E or PAK-FA) companies.

    Plus the ‘Indo-Russian PAK-FA better than the JSF.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Let me give you a piece of advice, before you start sprouting this “knowledge” such as the F35 failed initial stealth test, please check your facts. Now that I have shown this to be false about the stealth test and you did not show anything to prove otherwise, this shows either your statement was just plain ignorant, or it was a lie. I cannot make a judgement about the veracity of this claim and all the others you mention but we now have valid reason to take anything you say as either , questionable , ignorant or lies. Now if the moderators on blogs were harsh they would start watching your post. They have names for posts like yours , TROLLS. They get banned if they continually post such knowingly ignorant “facts”and or lies.

    Good luck to you and I hope the moderators give you a chance to redeem yourself.

    P.S. You call me childish. Well call me what you like. At least I have integrity.

  • Roger

    says:

    Peter, Where did I say that you said “I claimed the J-20 Mighty Dragon for Australia’s requirements”?

    I do not remember saying such.

  • Roger

    says:

    Just heard

    LM just announced (in sworn testimony) that the LER estimates for the F-35 have gone up from 3:1 to 6:1 due to better understanding of it’s RCS and results from updated SIMs (computerized and piloted).

    That is intertesting and good if holds up. Sounds like RCS is better than even they expected.

  • Peter

    says:

    Roger, Andrew McLaughlin and to all pro-JSF advocates

    I have shown this to be truthful statement about the stealth test and I certainly did show everything to prove otherwise, my statement shows it was NEVER a plain ignorant, or a lie. Its only a the bunch of “TROLL NAYSAYERS” like you, Andrew McLaughlin and to all pro-JSF advocates that claim the F-35 is a fighter of the future.

    If you have valid reason to take anything you say is either , questionable , ignorant or lies. I reckon the moderators on blogs were harsh they would start watching your post pal. They will have names for posts like yours. They get banned if they continually post such knowingly ignorant “facts”and or lies about the turkey F-35 JSF is the aircraft of choice.

    Don’t you ever realise the U.S. Department of Defence has completed its latest wildly inaccurate estimate of how much it will cost to build and operate the F-35 fighter over 50 years. The first military aircraft for which 50-year costs have been calculated, which means the number is predictably huge: Its $1.45 Trillion (not millions and certainly not billions) to buy, R&D, fly and maintain this failed project.

    You want a feedback? This F-35 JSF is a terrible piece of equipment that will ruin ANY air force and navy requirements, because of all of you pro-JSF advocates have caused for any allied nation to buy extremely less capable and inferior junk aircraft.

    Why should any customers deserve to be partners with LM to join the failed JSF program that will never fulfil its mission requirements??? Explain that.

    Why’s this failed project extremely expensive?

    Why is single engine aircraft unsuited to Australia’s needs?

    Why is this aircraft inferior to the Sukhoi family of aircraft, upcoming J-20 Mighty Dragon and advanced SAM systems?

    You JSF guys, the Federal Government and including you Andrew McLaughlin are the “biggest suckers” and absolutely crazy idiots in the world going ahead with this “lemon”. Pushing the turkey forward at any cost only threatens to create a budgetary sinkhole that will weaken the defences of the of your country (U.S.) and its allies. The F-35 will never become a viable combat aircraft due to very poor choices, very costly and nasty decisions made early in the design, and later Band-Aid fixes. To replace the existing combat aircraft with one single plane in 3 services is going to degrade the air force, navy and marine corp further, the pilots will fly worse, because they’ll get less training, which is certainly the most important role to train, they’ll be far less pilots is because the whole force will have to shrink and very soon you’ll just have a show piece air force, navy and marine corp that they can’t do anything.

    Honestly, do you really have any idea how much the F-35 will cost to own/operate/maintain which are destined to replace?

    The whole F-35 program is an outliar. Go and check out the JSF Issue Problems.

    If this lemon (F-35) gets defeated in air combat by these adversaries, go don’t crying to me or to the APA that this piece of junk has not survived for another day, that said to you all “You see I told you so, the F-35 is a wrong aircraft – you didn’t listen what I and my colleagues explain earlier”. Oh I just heard the report the turkey F-35 will be obsolete when it delivers.

    I also don’t see the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 2 to be a viable option to replace 71 F/A-18A/B Hornet fleet. Is because the Super Hornet has a similar performance deficiences to the F-35 which the aircraft has a short range and does not have the performance envelope of a true air superiority fighter. The Super Hornets will be outclassed by the Su-27/30 Flanker family of fighters by most regional nations in all key performance parameters, aerodynamic and radar performance by widely available fighters.

    Australia need to get out of this “Hornet country”.

    I’m going to explain one more time. Australia needs a high capability fighter is because Australia is approx 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide which means (long) range is very important and can’t be ignored. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-35 Fulcrum and American F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are unsuitable. Is because they have too short a range for use by a such a large country as Australia. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller air forces in Europe and some Asian countries to operate them is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas, and more surrounding air bases (for any emergency situations e.g. hydraulic and engine failures). They can be equipped with either single or two engines (Actual range varies with mission).

    Reserach the history of our Mirages. We’ve had 116 aircraft and lost 41 fatalities, it was heavily utilised, operated at extremely low altitude in any weather, saturated airspace infested with low flying birds, rolling hills, antennaes, many other high speed aircraft and gun firing which caused surges to the SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet which resulted an engine failure.

    I hope you people wake up.

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Resign Andrew McLaughlin

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    You have a clue about air power whatsoever.

    You absolutely don’t get it. Yes the F-35 will never be able to supercruise, but again you can’t just rely on situational awareness. You still need to have extreme agility, faster acceleration (at Mach 2+) with supercruising mode, long range, radar and sensor performance.

    1. You can’t maintain air superiority with the F-35 vs. emerging threats.
    2. Which means you can not “hold any target at risk”.
    3. The F-35 has no credible “fifth-generation capabilities”; except maybe in the eyes of the marketing pukes.
    4. The idea that there are no alternatives to the F-35 (For the USAF) is untrue.
    5. “It must succeed”. Hitler was famous for statements similar to this when the German Army was getting torn to shreds; ignoring the concept that the enemy has a will of their own.

    Again you need to resign.

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin

    How many times I’ve told you about this. I don’t care what you put your wish in your magazine to claim the JSF is a right warplane is because you still have NO DAMN CLUE what you’re talking about. The JSF is certainly not a true 5th Generation Fighter, the lemon is a boondoggle. It’s now time to throw the turkey in the trash bin and see the rotten damn thing in the fire and see this rubbish burn for good.

    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 defence 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 defence 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 batch 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 Defence 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 take-off 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 trade-offs between agility and low weight, and the characteristics of an airframe optimised 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 multi-service, requiring still more trade-offs 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-15’s and F-16’s agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-111 and 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 Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, the Congress, pro-JSF advocates and including YOU ANDREW 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.

    “GET AWAY FROM THIS AEROPLANE ITS GOING TO RUIN OUR AIR FORCE”

    If you have a big problem with that I recommend you take it up to the APA.

    Do you listen to Lockheed Martin and RAAF personals all day about the Super Hornet/JSF issues?

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin, Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates

    I hope this information gets you to explain why the JSF is a wrong choice for Australia, If this is giving you a extreme headache, serve you right is because you 4 people really need to learn your lessons very very hard.

    The policy of pushing the failed F-35 JSF project forward at any cost only threatens to create a budgetary sinkhole that would weaken the defences of the U.S. and its allies.

    Just remeber this aircraft is a turkey, it will never become a viable combat aircraft due to cumulative poor choices made early in the design, and later Band-Aid fixes.

    You know why the F-35 is not a true 5th Generation Fighter.

    “Why’s does the Pentagon and the RAAF say the JSF is a true 5th Generation Fighter. Really?”

    Here are some of the major problems with the JSF which are:

    ost of the program. $385 billion for development and production, and about $ 1 trillion or more to maintain and operate F-35 aircraft over decades.

    Range. The short range of the JSF means they would have to be refuelled several times to fly across Australia or anywhere.

    Please note: Australia is about 2,222 nm (4,000 km) wide. Aircraft designed for European use such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen and American F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 JSF have too short a range for use by such a large country as Australia. Again those aircraft are unsuitable to cement Australia’s regional air power lead and the RAAF really needs a large airframe with high capability to fulfill the requirements. Small fighters with short range are only ideal for smaller NATO countries e.g. Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland etc, Middle East and South American nations to operate them. The reason why the small airframes are only ideal for those countries is because their range is not as important and they are surrounded by the small vast land areas which are ideal for short range fighters with either single or two engines. (Actual range varies with mission)

    Single-Engine. This makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure which is totally ill-suited for overwater operations. Remember this makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure that will cause heavy losses to the entire fleet and putting pilots lives in jeopardy. The Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine will cause damage to flight deck and runways with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments. The F-35 engine and integrated power package exhaust may cause excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options.

    Thinned Skinned fuselage: Lockheed Martin has done very little with major safety pre-cautions on the Joint Strike Fighter to protect against fire. As an close air support which the F-35 is suppose to be (when it attempts to discriminate tanks, convoys, surface-to-air missiles and anti aircraft artillery) its totally incapable, the aircraft will be an very easy target to shoot down, because it’s a very delicate aeroplane which means the aircraft has a huge F135-PW-100 turbofan engine surrounded by fuel wrapped around entirely in the fuselage and engine. Very little they can do because the .22 Rifle or any form of gunfire can very easily penetrate the skin on the airframe and causes it to catch on fire like a “blow torch”. Its a very vulnerable aircraft.

    Speed. The top speed of the JSF is only Mach 1.6 placing it at a significant disadvantage to Mach 2.4 aircraft such as the super cruising Sukhoi. Wing and engine intake geometry is optimised for sub-sonic flight – so a more powerful engine cannot fix the problem even if one would fit in the small JSF airframe.

    Super Cruise: No (-1)

    Thrust Vectoring Control – TVC: No (-1)

    High Agility Supersonic / Subsonic: Neither (-1)

    Large Thrust to Weight Multi Engine Thrust Growth: Middling T/W One Engine Little Growth (-1)

    High Combat Ceiling (> 7 deg/sec turn rate, sustained): No 18 lbs (0) which is very inefficient.

    APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the JSF limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the JSF dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 1 meter radar aperture enabling them to detect and attack at an JSF long before the JSF can detect the Sukhoi. It has Medium Power Aperture (0) (Detection range around 140 – 150 nm at BVR)

    “Partial Stealth”. It is argued that these disadvantages are offset by the JSF being “partially stealthy” in that it has low frontal visibility to millimetre-band radar. However, this is of little value against VHF radar using meter-long wavelengths. Russian engineers are now producing advanced VHF radar systems for the Sukhoi and for ground-based system such as Nebo SVU. As explained by my friends and colleagues in the defence, this exposes most fighter-sized ‘stealth’ aircraft. While the radar technology will only improve, the stealth characteristics of the JSF are locked-in with its flawed geometry.

    Unavailability. The JSF is not expected to be fully operational around 2018 or later.

    Weight. The JSF seems to have a serious weight problem and may be unable to take off with a full load of fuel and weapons making it even more dependent on air-tanker support.

    Only “Four” BVR Air-to-Air Missiles. The JSF can only carry four air-air missiles (AAM) for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. By contrast late model Sukhoi Flankers can carry a wide range of AAM on twelve hard-points.

    Classified Components. The JSF is likely to have a range of components that are ‘off-limits’ to the Australia and can only be serviced in the US.

    Highly Integrated Avionics: Yes (0)

    Sidelooking ESA Apertures: No (-1)

    High Specific Excess Power – Ps: No (-1)

    High Situational Awareness (SA) – Onboard / Offboard: Yes (0)

    Andrew, you’re a complete outliar with your own analysis and opinions with your own Super Hornet/JSF options for the RAAF. I hope you’ll wake properly when you keep reading this very important info. Because ignoring my advice isn’t going to help of not responding back to me.

    With your comment: “I’m not going to respond to any of your statements above – especially when you come on my website and address me over an article I didn’t even write! I’ve told you repeatedly that I’ll let my work stand on its merits and that I won’t be baited into a flame war with you”.

    The fact is Andrew you’re too scared to even read my detail analysis about the the flaws on the lemon JSF. Putting this protective barrier in front of you of not wanting to take any of my advice what most folks are trying to explain the reasons about the F/A-18E/F and F-35 are a wrong aircraft that they can’t compete with the Sukhoi family of fighters etc. If you had told me that you are working on your merits – then why do you keep bagging on about the same issue that the Super Hornet/F-35 are the right types for the RAAF’s requirements. Again they are too vulnerable etc.

    My colleagues, friends of mine and myself in the ADF also researched on Advancing counter-stealth radar technologies.

    The Nebo M is a highly capable multiple band three dimensional high mobility radar system developed specifically for the detection and tracking of stealthy fighter aircraft (including the lemon F-35 JSF) and UAVs, in turn providing tracking data feeds for Surface Air Missile batteries and interceptor aircraft. Arguably, it is the world’s most capable counter-stealth radar system entering full rate production with a large volume order.

    Until now, counter-stealth sensors have been niche low production volume designs, often limited in capabilities, accuracy and mobility. The Nebo M announcement marks the transition from developmental designs and niche products to mainstream Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) components deployed en masse; ultimately, available in quantity on the global arms market to any nation with the interest and the available funds.

    Detractors of stealth will inevitably declare this to be the death of stealth, which fortunately it is not. What it does represent is the practical death of ‘economy stealth’ and ‘reduced observables’ aircraft, which have been so politically popular in Western nations over the last decade, usurping funding which should have properly been invested in ‘real stealth’ aircraft such as the F-22A Raptor and B-2A Spirit, or ‘Batwing’.

    The Russian decision to invest on a large scale in a capable counter-stealth radar parallels the decision to invest on a similar scale in the T-50 PAK-FA stealth fighter as a replacement for the venerable and still potent T-10 Flanker series, and the current investment in the PAK-DA, which is intended to be a Russian analogue to the B-2A, and a replacement for the Cold War era fleets of Tu-22M3 Backfire C and Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic heavy bombers.

    Concurrently, increasing numbers of new Chinese prototype radars operating in the favoured one metre VHF wavelength band are being observed. It is not known how well the PLA has progressed in this area.

    What is clear is that Western air power now faces its single biggest challenge since the early 1980s, when the Soviets effected massive advances in technology, and matched key United States capabilities of the pre-stealth era. The 1980s F-117A Nighthawk and 1990s B-2A Spirit were the magic bullet capabilities which rendered these Soviet developments ineffective, but this is no longer the case.

    Check out the APA’s Some of the High & Extreme level Risks Identified and Since Materislised in F-35A CTOL JSF Aircraft and System Designs. Then you get an idea of why the F-35 isn’t as stealthy as the F-22 Raptor, T-50 PAK-FA and J-20 Mighty Dragon. Despite what YOU and many pro-JSF advocates 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 like the Nebo-M. 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.

    There Are NO Alternatives to the F-22 Raptor. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is Certainly NOT a Substitute for the F-22 Raptor

    The widely held view in Western bureaucratic circles, that the F-22 and F-35 are interchangeable aircraft, is not true and can never be true. The F-22 provides close to three times the capability of the F-35 at a similar unit procurement cost. The F-35 lacks the performance of the F-22, the survivability of the F-22, the firepower of the F-22, and the deployability of the F-22. The limitations of the F-35 are inherent in its basic design and cannot be fixed by design modifications or upgrades. Poorly defined basic specifications for the F-35 and inadequate prototyping have resulted in an expensive aircraft which cannot be used in combat situations other than benign, requires support by a lot of F-22 Raptors and aerial tankers, and requires long concrete runways for overseas deployments.

    I wish you luck of reading my statements Andrew McLaughlin, Roger, Dane and to all pro-JSF advocates.

    Have a good day.

  • Another Guest (from Melbourne)

    says:

    Andrew McLaughlin, Roger, Dane and to other pro-JSF folks

    You need to be very very careful who you speaking to out their. Because that was not Peter Goon, you 4 people could be talking to any guy that is thinking and feeling the same way that are anti-JSF folks, so just be beware who you speaking to. Because I strongly agree with Peter’s statements and opinions about why both F/A-18E/F and F-35 are wrong types for Australia and I’m one of them that is anti-JSF and anti-Super Hornet.

    Because I read Pete’s statements above. Its a fact and truth and you people are total outliars.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    85 comments on a single thread, about 80 of them from just one person…often just a few minutes apart in the middle of the night. That says quite a lot in itself…

    [quote]You have a clue about air power whatsoever.[/quote]

    Thanks!

    [quote]Resign Andrew McLaughlin[/quote]

    Ok, but only because you asked so nicely.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    Peter

    I don’t know who you are nor why you’ve targeted your vitriol at me personally. I didn’t write this article, but I believe I have always reported on the JSF in a fair and balanced way, criticising it when warranted, and reporting on its successes and attributes as well.

    You obviously have plenty of time on your hands, so if you want to come out of the closet of anonimity and continue this offline, please email me at [email protected]. If not, I’ll assume you’re a gutless wonder who is happy to hide behind a pseudonym.

    Andrew McLaughlin

  • Peter (another one)

    says:

    Excuse me I meant Andrew McLaughlin has NO clue about air power whatsoever, which I mispelt, from 29th April 2012 at 12:33 am.

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Enough of the personal attacks please Peter, or we will block further posts from you. Thanks, Gerard Frawley, Publisher & Managing Editor

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