Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Fighters, Bombers and Recon Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
Subject: F-35 COULD be obsolete before it even enters service
mustang22    8/14/2009 12:06:21 PM
There?s a sleeper in the race for fielding more UAV capability. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is already flying its reduced-signature Predator C while company researchers simultaneously explore a range of missions from ballistic missile intercept to suppression of enemy air defenses. The new Predator C has a turbojet engine with hidden exhaust and recessed air intakes, swept wings and V-tail for redirecting radar reflections and some shaping. Depending on how much a customer wants to spend, the signature can be reduced to the point that with standoff weapons and cooperative tactics with other aircraft, even advanced air defense can be finessed and avoided. The capability is making it interesting to the U.S. Navy, Britain and Italy. ?They already have the ground stations and infrastructure in place [from operating Predator A and B]. Predator C plugs right into that,? says GAAS?s chief, retired admiral Tom Cassidy. ?Right now there is no prohibition about selling Predator C overseas to NATO countries, Japan or Australia. The entire Predator family is in Missile Technology Control Regime category one.? Widespread interest in what could be a cheaper, modular, stealthy UAV brings up the question of how many different kinds of missions could the new aircraft be tailored for? The issue would turn around increasing capabilities without the design becoming too large, slow, expensive and vulnerable. ?Ballistic Missile Defense is another area we?re looking hard at,? Cassidy says. ?Boost phase intercept [would be possible] by carrying an interceptor missile that would be cued by other detection devices as well as an on-board sensor. Or the UAV sensors could cue ground-based or shipboard interceptor missiles. It could go both ways.? An Aegis-based SM-3 has already destroyed an errant satellite in space. Raytheon is being eyed as the source of an air-launched interceptor missile ? a longer-range, faster variant of its AIM-120 AMRAAM. ?We?re looking at Predator C as a player in that,? he says. In addition, ?We could do a lot of the signals intelligence and electronic attack mission from the Predator C since the EA-6Bs are going away. We?re putting 45 KVA generators on the Predator B. That?s plenty of electric power to hang jammers on the wings. Predator C would be a natural for that too. We have not decided what level of electric power we will have on the Predator C. We?ll see what kind of new jammer capabilities are out there.? Predator C illustrations have shown it with a tailhook and folding wings which indicates an anticipated role on aircraft carrier. ?The Navy has an interest in Predator C,? Cassidy admits. ?We can make it carrier suitable. We just have to beef up the landing gear, put a tailhook on it and add a nose tow for the catapult. The control system and throttle response is adequate.? There?s also a move afoot to promote modularity and flexibility of payloads and weapons with interchangeable wings. ?We?re looking at the inner wing box and how the outer panels attach to it,? he says. ?We have a wing fold there and we can put on alternative outer wing panels with a several foot wing tip extension to get longer endurance out of the airplane. It will take a few knots off the top end speed as a trade off for a couple of hours extra endurance.?
 
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: 1 2
mustang22       8/14/2009 12:13:41 PM
The F-35's capabilities are redundant, they can and should be performed by up and coming UAV's. I still firmly believe we are making a huge mistake cancelling the F-22 and will be waiting for the firestorm to come my way.
 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       8/14/2009 9:25:04 PM
this is just becoming silly now.  there are electronic capabilities where the JSf can hand the F-22 it's arse.

if the JSF is on the way out then the F-22 has no hope on through life development to even meet some of the JSF capabilities.

this kind of debate is dumbing the debate down to ridiculous levels.

someone should shoot that journo 
 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       8/14/2009 9:42:23 PM
just to reinforce this - the F-22 development problems means that it hasn't been included in any of the NCW and system fusion projects for a number of years - ie it couldn't be integrated.

this kind of commentary just shows how much the author does not know about the F-22 through life and integration problems.

wtf would the US want to invest money into a plane that can't integrate into its future force needs?  it beggars belief that this horse (discussion) is still running the race when we know how many damn problems it already has - and how it wasn't even factored into the 2014-2018 developments due to those problems.

this debate is becoming really quite silly.  its akin to arguing for refitting the Missouri abd bringing back SAGs to fight china.

unbelievable 
 
Quote    Reply

LB    It is getting silly   8/15/2009 4:46:54 AM
Silly is indeed the proper word.  It's one thing when something like Predator C, X-47, etc. can perform a given mission but quite another to say they make the F-35, or any manned aircraft obsolete.  It's in fact ridiculous.  If the F-35 is obsolete then what about F-15s, F-16s, Su-27s, etc?  Obviously they are all also obsolete.
 
So when the obsolete manned aircraft shoots down the somewhat low observable, slow, non maneuverable, and non air to air capable UCAV down exactly how obsolete is it?  It was 52 years ago that the 1957 UK White Paper stated aircraft would be made obsolete by surface to air missiles.  Tanks have been said to be obsolete to one or another anti tank system many times.  Manned aircraft will continue to be supplemented by UCAV's but we are nowhere near them being made obsolete and certainly not by Predator C.
 
When a stealthy, fast, high flying, UCAV, with advanced air to air sensors and weapons is shown to be more effective shooting down the F-35 then it is shooting down the UCAV then the F-35 will be obsolete.  
 
 
 
 
 
Quote    Reply

Herald12345    The Predatpr C is a small bird with less than 1000 kilograms usable loft.    8/15/2009 11:09:40 AM
Not very credible to say it can do all that is claimed for it in the intro when the numbers say not possible isn't it?.

Predator C is a jet-powered MALE subsonic recon bird with a very limited tactical load.
 
Herald
 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       8/15/2009 4:41:41 PM
apart from which. on first "day/days" of war issues, I'd suspect that the chinese will be a whole lot more twitchy about where and what the SSGN's are doing than what the F-22's can and are at.  The latter has an element of predictive force planning that they can scenario US responses with.  The SSGN's are a whole different ballgame and can do far more damage.

me, I'd be taking the buck rogers road if I was the US and I'd be looking at how SLSAM /SLASAMs could be intergrated into the SSGN's and modifying those rotary dispensers on the B2's....

 
 
Quote    Reply

sinoflex       8/16/2009 2:14:15 AM
As you and others have astutely pointed out, the US Navy is the X-factor for the PLA war planners.  The discussion has been focused on the 1000 ballistic missiles the PLA  may have aimed at Taiwan.   The 600+ TLAMS on the 4 SSGNs represent a similar significant capability as well, not to mention however many are loaded on the Burkes, Ticonderogas and SSNs that are commited to the battle.  Even a conservative number of 10 ships loaded with 30 TLAMs each would add another 300.  Loaded with submunitions even a few would be deadly against airfield ramps crowded with fueled and armed aircraft.  I wonder how effective the TLAMs would be at penetrating the PLA IADS although given sufficient numbers air defences can be overwhelmed.  At a minimum this would help to deplete the PLA SAM stockpiles. 
 
It would also be helpful if the JAASM program would get on track to provide a stealthy penetrator that can be launched from beyond the range of long range SAMs. 

apart from which. on first "day/days" of war issues, I'd suspect that the chinese will be a whole lot more twitchy about where and what the SSGN's are doing than what the F-22's can and are at.  The latter has an element of predictive force planning that they can scenario US responses with.  The SSGN's are a whole different ballgame and can do far more damage.

me, I'd be taking the buck rogers road if I was the US and I'd be looking at how SLSAM /SLASAMs could be intergrated into the SSGN's and modifying those rotary dispensers on the B2's....




 
 
Quote    Reply

warpig       8/16/2009 2:46:57 AM
I wonder how effective the TLAMs would be at penetrating the PLA IADS although given sufficient numbers air defences can be overwhelmed.  At a minimum this would help to deplete the PLA SAM stockpiles. 

It would also be helpful if the JAASM program would get on track to provide a stealthy penetrator that can be launched from beyond the range of long range SAMs. 


 
 
Don't worry about penetrating China's IADS with cruise missiles.  While the coastline directly west across the Strait from Taiwan will be covered by several battalions of S-300, which could engage TLAMs, that umbrella will only protect a few airbases, and the cruise missiles have the range to enable being easily routed around either flank to avoid the MEZs of the S-300s, before heading inland to the rest of the airbases.  There is one other region around Nanchang where a couple S-300 battalions provide some cover to any bases there.  Other than that, about the only defenses the rest of the bases have are AAA, which is not particularly effective.
 
I agree that it would be nice to have more JASSMs and JASSM-ERs.
 
 
Quote    Reply

sinoflex       8/16/2009 5:56:27 PM
Am I correct in assuming that a battalion consists of 12 wheeled launchers with 4 tubes each?
 

I wonder how effective the TLAMs would be at penetrating the PLA IADS although given sufficient numbers air defences can be overwhelmed.  At a minimum this would help to deplete the PLA SAM stockpiles. 



It would also be helpful if the JAASM program would get on track to provide a stealthy penetrator that can be launched from beyond the range of long range SAMs. 







 

 

Don't worry about penetrating China's IADS with cruise missiles.  While the coastline directly west across the Strait from Taiwan will be covered by several battalions of S-300, which could engage TLAMs, that umbrella will only protect a few airbases, and the cruise missiles have the range to enable being easily routed around either flank to avoid the MEZs of the S-300s, before heading inland to the rest of the airbases.  There is one other region around Nanchang where a couple S-300 battalions provide some cover to any bases there.  Other than that, about the only defenses the rest of the bases have are AAA, which is not particularly effective.

 

I agree that it would be nice to have more JASSMs and JASSM-ERs.

 

 
Quote    Reply

warpig       8/17/2009 2:01:26 AM
Actually all the imagery I've seen only shows four launchers with four missiles each are ever deployed at one time.  Possibly there could be more in storage, but it looks like that is the standard size of each battalion:  Four launch vehicles, one FLAP LID target engagement radar, one TIN SHIELD local target acquisition radar, and one CLAM SHELL low-altitude target acquisition radar--although I don't always see a CLAM SHELL at every site.  There are also at least two SAM Brigades with BIG BIRD battle management radars, one in Shanghai and one in Beijing.
 
 
Quote    Reply
1 2



 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics