Skip to comments.Reduced F-35 performance specifications may have significant operational impact
Posted on 01/31/2013 11:06:08 AM PST by JerseyanExile
The Pentagon's decision to reduce the performance specifications for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will have a significant operational impact, a number of highly experienced fighter pilots consulted by Flightglobal concur. But the careful development of tactics and disciplined employment of the jet may be able to mitigate some of those shortcomings.
The US Department of Defense's decision to relax the sustained turn performance of all three variants of the F-35 was revealed earlier this month in the Pentagon's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation 2012 report. Turn performance for the US Air Force's F-35A was reduced from 5.3 sustained g's to 4.6 sustained g's. The F-35B had its sustained g's cut from five to 4.5 g's, while the US Navy variant had its turn performance truncated from 5.1 to five sustained g's. Acceleration times from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2 were extended by eight seconds, 16 seconds and 43 seconds for the A, B and C-models respectively. The baseline standard used for the comparison was a clean Lockheed F-16 Block 50 with two wingtip Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAMs. "What an embarrassment, and there will be obvious tactical implications. Having a maximum sustained turn performance of less than 5g is the equivalent of an [McDonnell Douglas] F-4 or an [Northrop] F-5," another highly experienced fighter pilot says. "[It's] certainly not anywhere near the performance of most fourth and fifth-generation aircraft."
At higher altitudes, the reduced performance will directly impact survivability against advanced Russian-designed "double-digit" surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems such as the Almaz-Antey S-300PMU2 (also called the SA-20 Gargoyle by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the pilot says. At lower altitudes, where fighters might operate in for the close air support or forward air control role, the reduced airframe performance will place pilots at increased risk against shorter-range SAMs and...
(Excerpt) Read more at flightglobal.com ...
Even after all these years it is still about Energy Maneuverability (EM). Thanks for posting.
Next thing you know, they’ll be lowering the standards so women can serve in the front lines...oh wait...
what are we going to do, tell the other side they can’t fly faster, turn harder and accelerate quicker than we can?
Your multi-gazillion dollar machine doesn’t perform up to specs?
No problem! We’ll just change the specs!
Make em run on E-15, and have little windmills in the wings that produce electricity as they fly.
Are we talking about defense contracting or women in combat?
Almost every new weapons system — P-8, LCS, MCM, F-22, F-35, LPD-17, FCS, UCS — is showing severe problems. Very bad news and indicative of a process that doesn’t work.
“But much of the discussion is theoretical at this point, the F-35 has not been operationally tested, nor have tactics been developed for the aircraft’s usage. How the aircraft will eventually fare once fully developed and fielded is an open question.”
Developing effective tactics requires a fielded aircraft; fielding requires production approval; production approval requires successfully passing operational testing; successful operational testing requires having an aircraft that can meet the performance specifications of the several services involved; adjusting the performance specifications allows the aircraft to conclude the development phase and proceed to operational test.
The Pentagon apparently has decided that: 1) even with the limitations on the F-35, having a force comprised almost entirely of 5th generation fighters is better than the current mix of 3rd, 4th and a small number of 5th generation fighters and/or 2) they expect to fix the sustained turn rate and acceleration to Mach issues through post-production engineering upgrades.
But what do I know? I’m a history major.
And, in either case, reality always catches up with you sooner or later.
Karnak holds the envelope to his forehead:
“I see foreign sales cancellations.
I won’t bother opening the envelope.”
That was the knock on the Phantom, couldn't turn with the Migs.
At least it was fast. Apparently the F-35 can't even boast that.
I have said since Day One for us (Canada) that this aircraft will never move into mass production. We’ve cancelled it now and I can see more cancelations.
The F-35 Edsel.