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F-35 vs. F-16 Range - The Ghastly Truth
Aviation Week ^ | 3/31/2010 | Bill Sweetman

Posted on 03/31/2010 4:44:27 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

F-35 vs. F-16 Range - The Ghastly Truth

Posted by Bill Sweetman at 3/31/2010 5:49 AM CDT

Since the last T-50 post degenerated into the 110th Ares JSF flame war, I thought I'd continue the discussion in a separate thread. In particular, Solomon wanted to know my source for a 630 nm range figure for the F-16. Here it is:

Lockheed Martin brochure c.1998

The best F-16 you could get today - like a Block 60 or the Israeli F-16I (also sold to Singapore) should do better than that, because lots of people will sell you an internal active jamming system, permitting you to ditch the ALQ-184, an F110-GE-132 engine will get you to best altitude quicker, and JDAMs are slicker than GBU-10s.

As for the F-35A, let's look (once again) at LockMart data, from the executive summary provided to Norway in 2008:

Ah, you say, 728 nm is still better than 630 nm. Well, yes, but there's a catch. Another chart from the same document gives more detail:

No low-altitude penetration - just a drop below the cloudbase to ID a maritime target. Smaller 500-pound bombs and two fewer missiles - with maximum external fuel. Only the inboard pylons can carry tanks, and the "18,000 pounds" includes all external and internal stations - and there are 11 total, not external, stations. So you can't "load the aircraft like an F-16" and extend the range.

The only options beyond the configuration here are to carry more or heavier weapons, but that will degrade the range. And the reduction, beyond substituting 2000 pound internal JDAMs for the GBU-12S, may be rapid. As noted here before, the F-35 gains suprisingly little range - only 8 per cent - from the 30 per cent fuel load increase that you get from external tanks. That tells us that the drag is very sensitive to external stores, increased weight or a combination of the two.

How does this happen with a bigger, more powerful, much more expensive and newer-technology airplane? Part of the answer is that external fuel is a pretty good way of cheating the range equation, because as you use up the fuel you shed the weight and wetted area of the tanks. Also, the structure that accommodates the F-35A's internal fuel has to be stressed to 9g and 8000 hours. Drop tanks don't. Less easily estimated factors for the F-35: a broad forward fuselage and relatively short-span wing (ten feet less than the similar-weight Super Hornet), both dictated by the STOVL version.

Which brings me back to this post from last year....


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; f16; f35; lockheedmartin

1 posted on 03/31/2010 4:44:28 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
"...and the "18,000 pounds" includes all external and internal stations"

Absolutely not true.

Aviation week and all the other anti-F35 rags can KMFA.

2 posted on 03/31/2010 4:49:38 AM PDT by SZonian (We began as a REPUBLIC, a nation of laws. We became a DEMOCRACY, majority rules. Next step is?)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Ping


3 posted on 03/31/2010 4:51:26 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Craven spirits wear their master's collars but real men would rather feed the battlefield's vultures)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Too bad they didn't develop the 'F-16U'.


4 posted on 03/31/2010 4:59:41 AM PDT by GBA
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To: sukhoi-30mki
I agree. The USAF/USN/USMC are all screwed in the air.

If we ever had another major global war on the scale of World War II, I seriously doubt this nation could ever again build the necessary numbers of ships, tanks, and planes of sufficient capabilities to win it.

5 posted on 03/31/2010 5:07:56 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Also, I’ve read Sweetman for years, and he generally knows what he’s talking about.


6 posted on 03/31/2010 5:09:11 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: SZonian

anti-F35 rags/ragging

there’s a lot of that going around.


7 posted on 03/31/2010 5:12:52 AM PDT by valkyry1
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

I don’t have the slightest idea what to believe anymore.


8 posted on 03/31/2010 5:14:59 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Obama's Success is America's Failure)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

It is indeed sad to see the industrial capacity of the United States to be degraded to this extent.


9 posted on 03/31/2010 5:16:07 AM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine
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To: sukhoi-30mki

for the cost

an F35 should be named after a US state


10 posted on 03/31/2010 5:24:37 AM PDT by element92
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Does it really make sense to compare capabilities using sales brochures?


11 posted on 03/31/2010 5:26:23 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GBA

They said FU to the F-16U?..............


12 posted on 03/31/2010 5:26:49 AM PDT by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
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To: element92
for the cost......an F35 should be named after a US state

California?............It's going broke.................

13 posted on 03/31/2010 5:27:45 AM PDT by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Maybe we should wait for Consumer Reports?.................


14 posted on 03/31/2010 5:28:17 AM PDT by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
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To: AngryJawa

I believe I’ll have another drink...............


15 posted on 03/31/2010 5:29:07 AM PDT by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

This sort of controversy nearly killed the B-1 and the F-18 among others.

I think if the F-35 can ever get into production it will surprise many a detractor and be a fantastic airplane.

My 0.000002$, I wish they would have put about a 2’ wingspan extension on the Air Force version. Of course these things you never really find out into until the aircraft has been in operation for awhile.

The people in the know, Gates, the Air Force etc are still for it.


16 posted on 03/31/2010 5:38:01 AM PDT by valkyry1
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

I dont agree with that, but the problem is WW2 will pale to next major war IMO.


17 posted on 03/31/2010 5:41:19 AM PDT by valkyry1
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To: sukhoi-30mki
To all, go to:

http://www.f-16.net/

It's all about payload/range versus aerodynamics/speed. That relationship defines operational characteristics.

Fuel capacity is now largely irrelevant due to airborne refueling. There is now more emphasis on all-weather target aquisition and ordnance.

18 posted on 03/31/2010 5:48:29 AM PDT by gandalftb (OK State: Go Cowboys)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
I seriously doubt this nation could ever again build the necessary numbers of ships, tanks, and planes of sufficient capabilities to win it.

You might appreciate this email that's been circulating:

John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN )

for 6 am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA )

was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG )

He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA ),

designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE )

and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA )

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA )

he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO )

to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN )

to the radio (MADE IN INDIA )

he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY )

filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia )

and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (made in MALAYSIA ),

John decided to relax for a while.

He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL ),

poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE )

and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA ),

and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA .

AND NOW HE'S HOPING HE CAN GET HELP FROM A PRESIDENT

MADE IN KENYA

19 posted on 03/31/2010 5:58:42 AM PDT by GBA
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Not to worry.

Russian air force faces its own 'fighter gap'

By Stephen Trimble on March 17, 2010 5:08 PM

Next time Russian air force modernization comes up to justify more spending on US fighters, please consider this article by RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik. No matter how badly the so-called "fighter gap" grows in the US tactical aircraft inventory, Moscow's problem is even worse, as Kramnik describes.

Kramnik forecasts the USAF will reduce its fixed wing and helicopter fleets from 5,000 to 3,000-3,500 over the next 10 years. Of those, 1,700-2,000 will be combat aircraft.

Russia's Ministry of Defense has signed a flurry of recent fighter orders, but even those don't dramatically change the overall picture, as Kramnik writes.

The Russian Air Force now has about 2,800 aircraft, including nearly 1,500 warplanes. The air fleet is expected to decline still further. Virtually all un-modernized aircraft will be scrapped at the end of their service life.

Consequently, the Air Force will have some 1,500-1,700 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, including only about 800 combat-ready warplanes. The number could increase if additional state defense contracts are awarded. Options are currently being considered.

Is this enough or not? The industrial world, including Russia, the NATO countries and the United States, continues to scale down its air forces. This is an objective process. The number of newly procured aircraft does not equal the number of planes currently being decommissioned, most of which were built in the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s.

Such reductions are motivated by some objective factors, including the end of the Cold War and plunging industrial world defense spending (relative to GDP), and subjective factors, including vastly superior modern combat equipment efficiency rendering it unnecessary to replace older aircraft one for one.


20 posted on 03/31/2010 6:43:59 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Yo-Yo; sukhoi-30mki
Oops, sorry. Meant to post this on the Figher Gap thread.
21 posted on 03/31/2010 6:45:41 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: valkyry1

I need to watch myself. I’m tired of the blatantly false information being spread around and will probably get myself in trouble if I’m not careful.

Yesterday there was some “article” about a simulated fight between a flight of F35’s and F/A18’s engaging a flight of Flankers and the outcome was 1 Flanker down and the two flights of good guys (8 total) all going down.

Utter BS. The F35’s and F/A18’s engaged them visually vs. using their OTH capabilities.

The misinformation/disinformation war against the F35 is in full swing. This is how the F22 fleet size got cut so badly and how the Presidential helo program got axed.


22 posted on 03/31/2010 6:56:49 AM PDT by SZonian (We began as a REPUBLIC, a nation of laws. We became a DEMOCRACY, majority rules. Next step is?)
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To: SZonian

Yes that was from Air Power Australia. They are down on the F-18E/F Super-Hornet and the F-35 (because they did not get the F-22), so the article is not surprising.

They make some absurd comparisons of the F-35 to other airplanes, such as our F-105 for one.

I have read most if not all of that website. And they were also in love with the F-111, wanted to keep it flying to 2015 and longer with advanced versions if I recall correctly.


23 posted on 03/31/2010 7:23:21 AM PDT by valkyry1
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To: sukhoi-30mki

24 posted on 03/31/2010 7:27:03 AM PDT by luckybogey
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To: valkyry1

If the USA is not going to allow the F22 to be built and sold for FMS, why the tantrum?

It’s not like the Aussies can overturn the decisions on their own. I suspect they’re doing this to put more pressure on their pols to in turn put more pressure on the USA to allow FMS sales to Australia?

I don’t know that I would mind that so much, the Aussies have always been dependable allies. I would feel the same about the Brits as well except for their hard lurch to the left recently. The muzzie thing there (GB) has me a bit concerned as well.


25 posted on 03/31/2010 7:36:35 AM PDT by SZonian (We began as a REPUBLIC, a nation of laws. We became a DEMOCRACY, majority rules. Next step is?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I really don’t know what to believe save to say that the data does not favor the F-35 claims.

Instinctively, it feels improbable to build a quality tool that fits all tasks.

It also feels like we are in trouble with not enough airplanes, not enough of the right types and what appears to be an increasingly demoralized air force who feel doomed to fly radio controlled airplanes.


26 posted on 03/31/2010 7:58:05 AM PDT by Sequoyah101 (Half of the population is below average)
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To: GBA

Bookmarked.


27 posted on 03/31/2010 8:04:16 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Sparky1776; militant2; TaMoDee; freedumb2003; PERKY2004

F-16 ping.


28 posted on 03/31/2010 9:19:52 AM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: GBA
I have seen the various gloved F-16 delta's but this one slipped my radar.

Wow....

Delta wings/Low Aspect Ratios have more sweet spots than people realize, one being the ability to have high internal fuel stores, especially if the airfoil gets a high % thickness.

I read a while back, Lockheed Martin had Solid Modeled the Saab Drakken Double Delta to run it within their CFD software.

One may ask a real curious, Why?

29 posted on 03/31/2010 9:26:38 AM PDT by taildragger (Palin/Mulally 2012)
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To: luckybogey


30 posted on 03/31/2010 5:28:11 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: SZonian
Why the F-22 and the PAK-FA have the “Right Stuff” and why the F/A-18 and the F-35 do not

http://www.ndu.edu/press/jfq_pages/editions/i57/kopp.pdf

Save the PDF document and bookmark the Air Power Australia homepage website on your browser.

31 posted on 03/31/2010 7:11:25 PM PDT by myknowledge (B.H. Obama's just a frontman. A frontman for who? The globalist elite, stupid!)
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