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F-35 - An Eagle or a Turkey?

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#91 Armand


    About the same age as another old Fokker: The F-27

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

The design of the former British jump jet carriers sacrified the until then Fairey Gannet AEW's solitarely reliing on the AEW of the NATO partners.
This prooved critical when RN took on the Falklands alone hence without AEW of the NATO partner,
and seemingly have the Brits duplicated the detail on this newbuild :-o

Edited by Armand, 02 July 2017 - 11:58 AM.

#92 GregP


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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:18 AM

Could be that no matter who you are, your defense has to be affordable. If not, the country will fail.


Perhaps that played a part; I don't know.

#93 USAF Steve

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:10 PM

One thing the F-35 has proven itself to be is controversial.   Probably the most controversial aircraft since the F-111, which coincidentally also tried to be all things to all people rather than just pick a role and do whatever it takes to be the best at that.


I suppose it's heartening to recall that in the end the F-111 proved itself to be a most capable aircraft and remained in service for many years.  It had a lot of teething troubles too, and eventually the Navy backed out of their involvement in favor of Navy designs.  Might be too late for that in the case of the F-35 but in my opinion if the powers-that-be had remembered the lesson of the F-111 they may not have attempted to make one air frame fit all the different roles it's expected to.


I've read that the unit cost is coming down quite a bit, and for the A model it's now in the $85M range which is very expensive but not hugely different than any other modern military plane.  I think the F-117 was around $60M per plane and that was back in the early 80s, so not all that far off.  


I think one problem that the Pentagon was faced with is trying to figure out who the 'enemy' is, and who it might be in 2050 or 2060 AD.  Hard to build a solution for a problem you can't define!

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#94 GregP


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Posted 25 July 2017 - 08:23 PM

I don't believe the F-35 is a bad airplane. I think it is ludicrous to base your entire air force on a plane that is a bomb truck, but not many (2), has 2 AAMs on it, cannot dogfight, and we STILL don't know the range because if you run it near empty, the fuel will overheat since it is used to cool the plane.


If it is your AF backbone, it WILL dogfight within visual range, and the F-35 is a loser in within-visual-range fighting of any kind. It's probably a very good plane BVR. But politicians have never given permission for BVR kills to date, so the point is entirely moot.


We can use some F-35s, sure. But not as the basis for the Air Force, for crying out loud. I wish Trump had cancelled it forthwith and gone after a good backbone aircraft for the Air Force.


I hope we aren't beaten too badly when this thing is our mainstay, but I have little faith it will, be that way.


The F-35 fanboys defend and say it was never meant to be a dogfighter, but I was around when this thing was born, and that was a promise from the outset. You can't even calculate the fuel fraction for it because NOBODY will tell us how much fuel it can use and still fly before it overheats!


So, it has a mediocre thrust to weight ratio, an unknown fuel fraction and range, can't carry many bombs if stealthy, can't carry many missile if stealthy, and can't dogfight when it is caught within visual range. And we call that our wonder plane? Sounds like idiots are running the Air Force to me.


I like the plane for a specific role. That is BVR attack. If we aren't going to employ that tactic, the plane is a serious kink in the armor and needs to be retired NOW. It would fall out of the sky in droves over Hanoi, but could probably do quite well in a sneak attack versus most defenses. Sneak attacks don't win wars. They are a thorn in someone's side, but aren't strategic in the slightest.


In a head-to-head confrontation versus a first-line enemy, the F-35 comes up WAY too short. And we don't have enough F-22s to do much good. At least it is a very good fighter! That assumes both the F-22 and F-35 pilots get enough Oxygen to stay awake! Both have had issues with that very thing.


The positives on the F-35, and it has some, are FAR outweighed by the negatives when it becomes your main Air Force aircraft. As an attack plane, it does just fine. As more, it is severely lacking.


If I ever hear the words "concurrent development" again, I want to hurt whoever speaks them. All it means is "pay the vendor regardless of the product delivered."

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