F-35 : The Greatest American Gamble

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A Jack of all trades but a master of none

These words precisely suit the 5th generation gamble made by the USA and its allies.The multi billion $ F-35 program has been the target of critics worldwide ever since it got delayed and shot past its budget. Reports claim that the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as the F-35 program is known, to be a massive failure and waste of money. People blindly agree with the critics and join the F-35 bashing bandwagon, unaware of the actual potentials and the shortcomings of the aircraft. I say that for an aircraft like this, I will have its share of Pros and Cons no matter what. I will highlight both of them for you and you can decide for yourselves whether to criticize it or support it. But whatever you do, it will be the backbone of the USAF in the future.

PROS

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4 thoughts on “F-35 : The Greatest American Gamble

    Another Guest (from Australia) said:
    February 21, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    The F-35 aircraft designs will not meet specification nor the operational requirements laid down in the JSF JORD (Joint Operational Requirements Document) by significant degrees, noting that these operational requirements and resulting specifications, themselves, were predicated on the capabilities of reference legacy Soviet Cold War threats from an era past (not for the 21st Century anti-access/area denial emerging threats) and subsequently subjected to the illogical and deeply flawed process known as CAIV (Cost As and Independent Variable).

    The designs of all three JSF variants are presenting with critical single points of failure while even the most basic elements of aircraft design (e.g. weight, volume, aerodynamics, structures, thermal management, electrical power, etc.) will almost certainly end up in what Engineers call “Coffin Corner”.

    In essence, the unethical Thana Marketing strategy is using to sell the JSF, along with the acquisition malpractice of concurrency in not only development, the production and testing but the actual designs of the JSF variants, themselves, have resulted in the JSF marketeers writing cheques that the aircraft designs and JSF Program cannot honour.

    I make it very clear that if put against newer aircraft from Russia and China, I guarantee the F-35 aircraft will not survive the future conflicts up against the Su-30/Su-35S variants, MiG-29M2/MiG-35, PAK-FA, J-20 and J-31 aircraft in Beyond Visual Range and Within Visual Range engagements.

    Stealth technology is all based on a lie. Why?

    It is a pure fantasy and a scam, not even the F-22 Raptors can hide. It is supposed to be invisible for radar which it never was. It just reduces the cross section and visibility, making the plane look smaller on radar than it is. Nothing more or nothing less.

    Stealth is useful only against short-wavelength radar of the kind that might be carried on an interceptor or used by a radar-guided missile. Physicists say no amount of RAM (Radar Absorbent Material) coating will protect you from 15ft to 20ft wavelength radar of the kind the Russians have had since the 1940s.

    If you are putting F-35 up against the newer generation of much, much more powerful long-wave length Russian radars, as well as the P-14 Tall King family and P-18 Spoon-Rest of Cold-War era radars and some of the newer Chinese radars of a ground-to-air unit that would have no difficulty detecting and tracking an approaching F-35.

    For more information, here are the links.

    http://www.whale.to/b/stealth_countermeasures.html

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-Low-Band-Radars.html

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Nebo-SVU-Analysis.html

    http://defense-update.com/20141111_jy-26-chinas-new-counter-stealth-radar.html#.VIrQV7kcSCg

    http://defense-update.com/20141113_the-chinese-great-radar-wall.html#.VKegI7kcSCh

    http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20140509000110&cid=1101

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/28/new-u-s-stealth-jet-can-t-hide-from-russian-radar.html

    Unfortunately there is a little margin for error, the large exhaust nozzle of the F-35 will be extremely hot, it has an enormous fuel burn and has a very big heat signature (when using its full afterburner). That is a dead give away when the Flankers, Fulcrums and the PAK-FA aircraft are equipped with an Infra-Red Search & Track (IRST) sensor to pick up the heat pluming F-35. The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminium combusts at 1100. You are talking about something really, really hot. If you have got a dirty big sensor on the front of your Su-35S or your PAK-FA or whatever, it lights up like Christmas lights and there is nothing you can do about it. The plume because of the symmetric exhaust, is all over the place. It is not shielded, it is not ducted in any useful way. The Sukhois or MiGs equipped with the heat seeking BVR (Beyond Visual Range) AA-12 (R-77) Adder air-to-air missiles will be able to seek and destroy the F-35. It is going to be a fire explosion and waiting to happen.

    The F-35 will also be detected by the L-Band AESA which will be equipped on the Su-35S and PAK-FA. It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO stealth aircraft, as well as the F-35.

    The F-35 has a very big cross section (like a fat pregnant pig) in comparison to the wavelength. However L-band has very good resolution, and as such facilities usually need to be huge. Mounting small L-band radar on a plane, as has been implemented on the Su-35S, PAK-FA will enable both of these aircraft to lock onto F-35.

    For more information about the L-band Active Electronically Steered Array, here is the link, http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-06.html.

    Well, unfortunately some hostile nations could well be purchasing the Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar, advanced S-400 and S-500 SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) systems and a very high possibility purchasing Sukhoi Su-35S Super Flanker-E 4++ Generation and soon upcoming Sukhoi PAK-FA 5th Generation fighters which will render the F-35 obsolete.

    If you want to find out more about this counter stealth radar, here’s a description.

    Development initiated late 1990s leveraging experience in Nebo SVU VHF-Band AESA radar;

    2012-2013 IOC intended;

    Designed from the outset to detect stealth fighters and provide early warning and track data to missile batteries and fighters;

    The VHF component will provide a significant detection and tracking capability against fighter and UCAV sized stealth targets;

    High off-road capability permits placement well away from built up areas, enabling concealment;

    Rapid deploy and stow times permit evasion of air attacks by frequent movement, defeats cruise missiles like JASSM;

    Initial Nebo M builds for Russian Air Defence Forces, but expected like other “counter-stealth” radars to be marketed for global export to arbitrary clientele.

    The VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35 at a distance of tens of miles. That is without a doubt. What that means is that the aircraft is going to be in great difficulty if it tries to deal with what I call a modern or contemporary threat. The same is also true when you deal with these newer stealth fighters, because they are designed to compete with the F-22. They fly higher; they are faster and more agile—much, much more agile. They have more powerful radars and much, much better antenna packages for other sensors. The F-35 is not meeting its specifications and its specifications are inadequate to deal with the changed environment.

    The question all the pro-F-35 advocates/fanbase like Lt.Gen Chris Bogdan, Steve O’Brien, Orlando Carvalho, Billie Flynn, Marillyn Hewson, Loren Thompson and all who have to ask themselves (and answer honestly) is:

    “What is America and its allies are going to do in the post-2015 ‘stealth-on stealth’/’counter-stealth’ world where all the leading reference threats, both airborne and surface based, being proliferated around the world by some of the world’s best capitalists, have the common design aim of going up against and defeating the F-22A Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and B-2A Spirit stealth bomber; especially when there are so few of the latter capabilities to be a persuasive deterrent let alone an effective defence?”

    Another problem is you’re getting a super complicated aeroplane that won’t be able to fly very much.

    The two main features of stealth design include a radar absorbent material coating and overall aerodynamic design changes that reduce the reflection of radar. Both of these approaches create tremendous challenges. Because stealth aircraft spend a lot of time around 50 or 100 hours on the ground inside in a special atmosphere controlled facility, which need to be retreated after every flight by applying RAM coatings and to prevent rain or dust from damaging them, which goes to show you how unbelievably expensive and very labor intensive. Further, the treatment requires the handling of toxic materials by workers. A lawsuit was filed in 1994 by five workers and the widows of two others alleging that the coating treatment caused the worker’s illnesses.

    Also, pilots won’t get enough flight hours in the real aircraft (to refine their skills). Look at the cost per flight hour for stealth aircraft vs. non-stealth. You’ll be talking about somewhere between $35,000 – $40,000 or higher.

    Another Guest (from Australia) said:
    February 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Col Michael W. Pietrucha, USAF, wrote a 24 page article in Air and Space Power Journal, “The Comanche and the Albatross: About Our Neck Was Hung”. He has got a good point why the F-35 must be cancelled now.

    The F-35 is based on a belief that radar low observability will remain effective against future air defence threats. Although true for the F-117 against Iraq’s Kari system in 1991, stealthiness is unlikely to remain so against an adversary that has two decades to prepare for US stealth fighters, which have much higher infrared, visual, and emitter signatures than did the F-117.

    Outside China and Russia, no massive threat from an advanced integrated air defence system exists. Moreover, China is a poor example of a threat to cite if someone is trying to justify a short-ranged fighter with limited payload flown from island bases within range of overwhelming missile attack. Losses of US aircraft have mainly been helicopters since the Vietnam war and fixed wing losses were not shot down.

    Only Russia and China can pose the kind of anti-access, area denial (A2AD) environment that justifies a massive investment in stealth.

    These facts make the risk calculation involved with prioritising stealth over performance, range, and weapons loadout inherently suspect—and the F-35 might well be the first modern fighter to have substantially less performance than its predecessors.

    This is Col Michael W. Pietrucha’s Proposal.

    • Maintain a limited number of F-35As (those already purchased) as a replacement for the capabilities lost upon retirement of the F-117; (Well, to me the limited number of F-35As need to be sent to AMARC and to be recycled)

    • Create a modernised Tactical Air Force fleet consisting of a high-low mix of modernised F-15 and F-16 legacy fighters, light attack aircraft, and multi-purpose jet trainer / attack aircraft;

    • Recover some “sunk cost” of the F-35 program by using advanced systems to modernise legacy fighters, in effect fielding fifth-generation systems in fourth-generation airframes;

    • Restore the Air Force’s SEAD/EW (Suppression of Enemy Air. Defences – Electronic warfare) fighters and crews;

    • Expand the service’s global reach capabilities by providing deployable Tactical Air Force assets that can operate from short, rough airstrips on a logistical shoestring

    • Increase the number of absorbable cockpits to the point where the Air Force can augment the inventory of fighter/attack aviators to meet requirements;

    • Invest in affordable, exportable “light combat aircraft” derived from Air Education and Training Command’s T-X program;

    • Allow the Air Guard to maintain its position as the operational reserve and “relief valve” for experienced fighter/attack aviators while recapitalizing its portion of the CAF; and

    • Build a Tactical Air Force that can meet the nation’s demands for air-power capabilities even in the face of increasing fuel costs and decreasing budget.

    Every F-35 a country buys from Lockheed Martin damages its defence, here is the link.

    http://rt.com/op-edge/212115-lockheed-f-35-marketing-clout/

    Lockheed Martin’s thana marketing strategy which is basically designed to enable Lockheed Martin to rape any nation’s plundering taxpayers money in the western world for the next 40 to 50 years.

    The F-35 needs to be scrapped and put Lockheed Martin out of business. Also sack Lt.Gen Chris Bogdan and his staff, pro-F-35 advocates/fanbase people and get the FBI to send some of those corporate fatcats to prison-demand all money unspent refunded to taxpayers. The Pentagon, the Congress, Lockheed Martin, pro-F-35 advocates/fanbase people and the idiotic Air Force/Navy and Marine Corps top brasses have turned the USAF, USN and USMC and the allies into a complete sorry mess.

    The F-35 is at best a great national scandal, unproven and at worst the biggest piece of high-tech boondoggle to ever come out of United States of America.

    If the defence acquisition was up to me, I’ll be certainly to kill the F-35 and encourage the allies to cancel this lemon too, as a way to put it into the indoor fire and watch it burn for good. Instead take business else where. Lockheed Martin are bunch of crooks, outliers and never do business with them again. They are a bad bargain for any customer.

    It is time to put the F-35 into AMARC and to get them chopped into the recycle bin.

    Another Guest (from Australia) said:
    February 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    To all pro-F-35 advocates/fanbase people

    How on earth will the F-35 will be high and fast, using sensors and agility to fight Close Air Support (CAS) missions.

    Your opinion is irrelevant since you and your people work with the Just So Failed (JSF) program. Let’s take ground support for example since that is the hot topic of the day. Can the F-35 provide ground support? No it cannot. It has a total of 6 hardpoints, 180 rounds of ammo and 250 mi combat radius. The A-10 has 11 hardpoints, 1350 rounds and 290 mi combat radius. Does the F-35 have self-sealing fuel tanks. No. Is the pilot protected? No. Does it have redundant flight controls? No. Can it fly back to base if its engine is damaged? No. The F-35 IS INFERIOR to the A-10 in all aspects. The software is not ready for the plane yet making it unfinished. Please stop spreading the baloney propaganda. You’re drinking way too much Kool Aid.

    Also the F-35 is in serious trouble, the latest is over the gun system. It is being reported that is due to a computer glitch – that is a severe understatement.

    What it is really due to is two things: one, the disaster of ridiculously over-complex computer software system; and two, the fact that the gun itself is mainly for the purpose of close support and close in the air combat and the air force does not think that either of those are important.

    In fact they think that close support is so unimportant that they are willing to cancel their present A-10 aeroplane. They’d like to wipe it out immediately, as soon as possible. And it is the best close air-support plane in the world. And they’ll promise that “well, later, sometime later the F-35 will replace it, we don’t know quite exactly when.”

    But the problem with the gun is real. And it is very much a part of the overall problem of the software disaster. The software is so complicated that the air force has planned it in five different blocks. And right now, they are simply flying the first block. And still having trouble with that one.

    They are struggling to get the second block to work by the end of this for a kind of phony demonstration of the first operational squadron for the Marines. They may well not even be able to get the second block working.

    The third block is supposed to come in 2016 for another phony demonstration of the first squadron of the Air Force.

    And then the fourth block, which the first block that even provides for the gun, that even allows you to shoot the gun, is not due until 2019. And we won’t know whether that block of software is working till the end of that year.

    So for now, for the next four years, we have no possibility of shooting the gun, and it is the single most important weapon for close support and for close in-air combat. Needless to say the aeroplane is incapable of doing either one of them at all without the gun. And even after the gun works, if it does, which we don’t know, the airplane will be hopelessly incapable of close support and probably worse at close-in dogfight than the MiG-21, MiG-29, Su-27 and other aircraft.

    The only reason you are not hearing about the Navy problem with the software, is the Navy does not even have the gun. Two versions – the Air Force F-35A and the F-35B for the Marines have a gun – very important to both if they could do those missions.

    But it is not that it is a glitch that has suddenly arrived and said, “Oh, we were going to have a gun, we won’t have one till 2019” – they never even planned to have software to have the gun work until 2019.

    And they are so far behind schedule, it is amazing. Since the beginning of the software engineering every year they’ve been losing six months of schedule. So they are supposed to advance a year – every year they lose six more months.

    So when they promise 2019 for the fourth version of this software that might be able to shoot the gun, it is very likely that it will be another year or two later than that. This is a promise simply based on the current schedule which they’ve never held.

    The guns are absolutely essential for two reasons. In close support it is the single most important weapon because when your troops are in the most trouble, when they are about to be overrun by enemies that are 131, 98, 65 or even 31 feet away – there is no other weapon that works. If you tried to drop laser guided bomb in that situation you are as likely to kill your friends as the enemies.

    Only the gun can be brought in that close to friendly troops to get them out of trouble. So in the deepest emergencies, the gun is the most important thing. But the air force has no interest in supporting troops. It has no interest in close support. So that is why they have scheduled the software that couldn’t even possibly shoot the gun so late in the program – because they are struggling with other enormous problems and they don’t care for close support.

    Whether this aeroplane does it or not – does not matter. They’ll just promise it will do it and let’s cancel the A-10 that does it today superbly. Let’s cancel that right away and we’ll wait for a while, the F 35 won’t work.

    Not unless there are some enormous embarrassment. So far they are spending as much effort on public relations to try to smooth the overall problems they’ve been having in actually engineering and designing the aeroplane. So unless there is some terrific series of crashes, I think, for the meanwhile, there is no chance that they will cancel the program.

    I do predict that they will have that much trouble with this aircraft within the next few years, and that we will never see them build more than 500 of these aeroplanes. That the aeroplane will become technically such an embarrassment that they’ll pretend they did not really need it anyhow, and that “it’s alright we have a better idea, we are working on a new aeroplane and forget about the F-35.”

    The Daily Beast article shows how moron pro-F-35 advocates / fanboys stick your head in the sand when presented with the facts. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/08/pentagon-misfires-in-stealth-jet-scandal.html

    Time to shove the F-35 up in your backsides.

    Another Guest (from Australia) said:
    February 21, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    To all pro-F-35 advocates/fanbase people,

    Do you what Close Air Support means and do you folks understand how it performs?

    How can you affectively provide close air support with an aircraft who cannot fly lower than 10,000 ft, why because it is so expensive.

    Close Air Support means get down at low altitude, dirty and stay within the vicinity with the ground troops around 4 to 6 hours to be able to give them all day cover when they are needed. You cannot fly high and pretty using precision bombing and the effect of the bomb blast will cause live casualties. Retiring the A-10 is going to cost lives of the Army brothers and sisters.

    http://www.pogo.org/our-work/straus-military-reform-project/weapons/2015/af-hq-declassified-and-released-incomplete-data.html

    You people need more education to understand what these tactics are and need to learn more of how to look at the facts and test the evidence, rather than drinking the Kool-Aid a.k.a believing in total to indifference to what is real.

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