Skip to comments.JSF 'no match' for latest Russian fighters or Chinese radar
Posted on 02/07/2012 4:14:53 PM PST by kronos77
THE stealth qualities of the futuristic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on order for the Royal Australian Air Force are overrated and the plane's combat performance greatly exaggerated, a defence lobby group has claimed.
The complaints by Air Power Australia, longtime critics of the $16 billion JSF acquisition, were made last night before a public hearing of parliament's defence sub-committee.
Latest-generation Russian fighters such as the Sukhoi T-50 would easily defeat the F-35 in air-to-air combat, Air Power's Peter Goon said, referring to recent modelling tests by his organisation.
"The aircraft we are planning to buy is carrying over 2000 pounds (900kg) of dead weight," Mr Goon said, referring to the JSF's big jet engines.
New Russian and Chinese air defence radars would also have little trouble detecting the JSF, a craft touted for its stealth qualities, he added.
The RAAF says it wants 100 US-designed JSFs to replace the decommisioned F-111 strike aircraft, with the first squadron supposed to be operating by 2018.
But the program has been mired in cost overruns and delays.
Last month US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the purchase of US JSFs to be delayed to allow Lockheed-Martin time to resolve production and technical shortcomings.
The company is contracted to deliver the first two training aircraft in 2014 with another 12 scheduled for 2015-17.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith has said he is now considering an option to order additional F/A-18F Super Hornets to fill any capability gap created by further JSF production delays.
(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.com.au ...
But, can the Super Hornet take on the T-50?
FR aviation-types: Is there any truth to the assertation that the F35 is inferior to the T50?
It’s the pilot not the plane.
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Interesting article... If the JSF is so bad in comparison to the Russian and Chinese designs then how come the Chinese have done everything in their power to steal every secret it has? And those efforts have been successful in delaying the program over and over again.
The Goon Show, back on Down Under.
It’s the “Two Ronnies” that I like here!
interesting, considering 35% of our aircraft are pilot-less.
the future will be thousands of drones versus a handful of 1980s tech
any cost overruns are, of course, planned to help handicap / cripple US air superiority
They said the same things about the MiG-25 Foxbat until a Soviet defected in one.
Found out that every time they attained the incredible performance the engine would fail.
Read the book by the defector, after actually seeing one of them no one was impressed. Unground rivets on wings etc.
The F-35 is a multirole strike fighter, not an air superiority fighter. As such, I wouldn't expect it to be able to out-fly the T-50 or Su-30.
I would expect it to out-bomb them, however.
Best air superiority fighter (guns on guns, no missiles) is the F-16. I had a flight in one and it’s the best thing you’ll ever have with your clothes on.
The truth is that phase radar has taken away the stealth.
IIRC when that Foxbat flew to Japan the USAF and JSDF found vacuum tubes among its electronic components. Years later Soviet apologists would say they were there to make the Foxbat less vulnerable to EMPs. The Japanese model outfit Hasegawa had a detailed model of the Foxbat on the market about two months after the defection.
That used to be somewhat true, but not so much anymore. Essentially, our entire air superiority doctrine is now built around first-look/first-shoot, and we rely upon our technology to do that.
If a 4th generation fighter manages to close in on an F-35, the newer fighter’s advantages largely disappear, leaving it in a knife fight with a more agile and maneuverable foe.
We threw in the towel on fair fighting a long time ago. Our whole strategy revolves around being invisible and untargetable.
What this article does NOT explain to my satisfaction, however, is why the F-35 is “no match for newer Communist bloc radars.” We know the Serbs downed an F-117, and we also know how.
The thing is, the trick the Serbs used isn’t something you can pull off anywhere or anytime. You have to have certain elements in place before hand and you also have to be looking specifically for a certain something (or lack thereof) to even point your missile in the right general direction.
I think it was nearly fifty years ago that McNamara edicted one design to replace multiple specialized ones. That didn’t work out then, either. Some people never learn.
I wonder if those were climate modeling computers they used?
This is one of the biggest pieces of nonsense around (not that you are responsible for that, I realise you are just repeating what others are saying).
The F-35 was not intended by either the RAAF or the ADF in general to be a replacement for the F-111. It just happens that we have stopped using the F-111 at about the same time as we are waiting for the F-35s and so some people have talked about the F-35s replacing the F-111s.
Australia originally ordered the F-111 in the 1960s in a very different strategic environment. We went with the F-111 over other choices to give us two specific capabilities - one, strategic strike capability on targets in South East Asia, and two, to give us a nuclear capable bomber if we decided to acquire nuclear weapons.
We have never needed either of these two capabilities, and when the F-111 was reaching the end of its life, it was decided that we didn't need to look for a replacement with those capabilities now. We are never likely to acquire nuclear weapons at this stage (unless the world changes dramatically) and the strategic strike capability we wanted can now be better handled by ship or aircraft launched missiles which can be fired by other aircraft or ships.
In essence, Australia hasn't tried to replace the F-111 because we do not believe we have the same needs for those capabilities in our modern strategic environment, that we needed at the height of the cold war.
We used the F-111s because we had them but, to a large extent, the way we've used them has been as a much lighter strike aircraft.
The F-35 is the replacement for the F-18s more than anything else.
Uh, an AMRAAM will kill about 50 miles outside of gun range. You need to alive to be superior....
How much is truly known about the Russian T-50?
They could even get a f-15se now.
“If the JSF is so bad in comparison to the Russian and Chinese designs then how come the Chinese have done everything in their power to steal every secret it has?”
With respect, the Chinese are probably working to steal US secrets related to steam valves and felt tip pens almost as much as they are working on mil secrets.
If they have to rewrite code, it should be no problem getting some H1-Bs to do it on the cheap.
First, this is NOT an air superiority fighter and was never intended to be. Second, put US Avionics and Weapons in it and YES, it would defeat the Russian and Chinese birds easily.
Without a dogfight.
Sheesh, what passes for defense analysis now days...
Is that the one western "experts" speculated had an outer skin of titanium that turned out to be just plain steel?
The F35 can control those drones through it's RADAR.
Get down in ground clutter.
I read that too about the MiG-25, when you took it about Mach 2.5, you had to nurse the engine, otherwise it would crap out on you.
The way I remember that is that, yes, everyone laughed at the round-head rivets and the vacuum tube radar...that is, until a year later when the report was released. It said the round-rivets were used in non-aerodynamic areas and that US planes (Phantoms) built in the same time frame as the MIG also used vacuum tube radar, and that the Russian radar was more powerful than ours. People weren’t laughing any longer.
IIRC, pulse CW radar can detect stealth aircraft, a technology that was used by Chain Home by the UK in the late 1930’s and World War II.
Hell, everything we buy in this country is made in China.
Don’t be surprised if most of the parts of the F-35 are also made there.
How does the F-22 stack up against the F-16 IYO?
I knew about the tube radar issue.
But my point was that what we observed as “performance” (climb rate). Always caused engine failure.
Others mentioned it is the pilot and not necessarily the plane.
The Japanese Zeros in WWII out maneuvered our fighters, but tactics overcame that. They had little armor.
Yep, plain stee.
But the UAV’s are manned to an extent. It’d be one ground pilot against another. My feeling is that when your plane is out of missiles what are you left with? Guns. And the one who is up on ACM will win the day.
This is now old news they have extended the range on the newer version. http://www.missilethreat.com/missiledefensesystems/id.52/system_detail.asp
I wonder if those were climate modeling computers they used?
Probably so. As we all know, the God-like, flawless intelligence that went into the AGW modeling programs allows them to model just about anything with just a few parametric tweaks. A config parameter adjustment here & there, and lo & behold, your super computers are modeling strike fighter performance rather than global warming.
As such, no wonder the JSF was no match for the T-50. The model would quickly allow the T-50 to recognize the persistent hockey stick flight pattern of the JSF, and kill it every time.
The Mig 25 Foxbat was largely used for surveillance and interceptor roles. For these two purposes, the plane served well.
The engine required replacement only if the aircraft was tested to its limits: + mach 3.2 speeds.
The rivets, like Imnidiot mentioned, were in non-aerodynamic areas, and therefore economically better designed than ones wasting labour-expensive, aerodynamic rivets all over the aircraft.
Western intelligence and the MiG-25:
MiG-25RBSh with markings of 2nd Sqn/47th GvORAP (Guards independent recce Regiment)
Inaccurate intelligence analysis caused the West initially to believe the MiG-25 was an agile air-combat fighter rather than an interceptor. In response, the United States started a new program which resulted in the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. NATO obtained a better understanding of the MiG-25’s capabilities on 6 September 1976, when a Soviet Air Defence Forces pilot, Lt. Viktor Belenko, defected, landing his MiG-25P at Hakodate Airport in Japan.
The pilot overshot the runway on landing, damaging the landing gear and making the MiG-25 un-airworthy. It was carefully dismantled and analyzed by the Foreign Technology Division (now the National Air and Space Intelligence Center) of the United States Air Force, at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. After 67 days, the aircraft was returned to the Soviets in pieces. The analysis, based on technical manuals and ground tests of engines and avionics, revealed unusual technical information:
* Belenko’s particular aircraft was brand new, representing the very latest Soviet technology.
* The aircraft was assembled very quickly, and was essentially built around its massive Tumansky R-15(B) turbojets.
* Welding was done by hand. Rivets with non-flush heads were used in areas that would not cause adverse aerodynamic drag.
* The aircraft was built of a nickel alloy and not titanium as was assumed (though some titanium was used in heat-critical areas). The steel construction contributed to the craft’s 64,000 lb (29,000 kg) unarmed weight.
* Maximum acceleration (g-load) rating was just 2.2 g (21.6 m/s²) with full fuel tanks, with an absolute limit of 4.5 g (44.1 m/s²). One MiG-25 withstood an inadvertent 11.5 g (112.8 m/s²) pull during low-altitude dogfight training, but the resulting deformation damaged the airframe beyond repair.
* Combat radius was 186 miles (299 km), and maximum range on internal fuel (at subsonic speeds) was only 744 miles (1,197 km) at low altitude (< 1000 meter).
* The airspeed indicator was redlined at Mach 2.8, with typical intercept speeds near Mach 2.5 in order to extend the service life of the engines. A MiG-25 was tracked flying over Sinai at Mach 3.2 in the early 1970s, but the flight led to the destruction of its engines.
* The majority of the on-board avionics were based on vacuum-tube technology, not solid-state electronics. Although they represented aging technology, vacuum tubes were more tolerant of temperature extremes, thereby removing the need for providing complex environmental controls inside the avionics bays. In addition, the vacuum tubes were easy to replace in remote northern airfields where sophisticated transistor parts might not have been readily available. With the use of vacuum tubes, the MiG-25P’s original Smerch-A (Tornado, NATO reporting name “Foxfire”) radar had enormous power about 600 kilowatts. As with most Soviet aircraft, the MiG-25 was designed to be as rugged as possible. The use of vacuum tubes also makes the aircraft’s systems resistant to an electromagnetic pulse, for example after a nuclear blast.
CITATION: Broad, William J. “Nuclear Pulse: Awakening to the Chaos Factor” and others.
Science, Volume 212, 29 May 1981, pp. 10091012.
Nonsense. Stealth technology has always been and still is detectable with low band transceivers. Datalink the output to a fire control transceiver manned by competent techs and the solution isn’t that difficult. Stealth technology reduces detection range it does not make one invisible. The Serbs did nothing extraordinary. The Brits tracked F-117s using shipboard RADAR during Desert Storm. Crappy tactics and air force arrogance is what led to the loss of that plane in 1999.
I had the opportunity about 6 months ago to spend some time with a former USMC and Air National Guard pilot who retired as a Col. after 28 years. He had flown combat in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He had flown every fighter in the US inventory except for the F-22, and as I sat in his house looking at all the plaques on the wall, I could easily see this guy was Sierra Hotel. He’d gone to all schools, Top Gun, you name it. He had testimonials, pictures of him with famous people shaking hands, you could tell he made a mark.
I asked him what it was like flying against an F-22, and he said it was like being a baby seal. Not even close.
“Like being a baby seal...”
Those were his words...