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Subject: Lockheed Martin improves F-35 bid for Korean F-X III, blasts KFX program as waste of money
SlowMan    10/21/2009 12:56:36 PM
< http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/KOREA102109.xml > Lockheed Martin is offering to outsource its own work share of JSF program to Korean companies as offset if Korean DoD selects F-35 for F-X III competition. At the same time, KFX program is blasted as being poor value for money. However, F-35 selection is even less likely based on what's revealed. Both F-X III fighter and KFX are required to carry and launch the next-generation indigenous supersonic antiship missile currently under development, based on the licensed Russian Yakhont missile tech and is expected to weigh around the same as Yahkhont/Brahmos. Currently only F-15K is able to carry this 2.5~3 ton missile, and F-35 may not be able to operate this one along with 2.2 ton GBU-28 bunker buster also being bought in large quantity by Korean air force to deal with North Korean underground facility. You have a similar case with Indian MRCA. Indian air force wants to operate its Brahmos missile from the winner of MRCA competition, which favors Mig-35 selection over smaller rivals.
 
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SlowMan       12/1/2009 10:02:47 AM
Another F-X III article, including interviews with Lockheed Martin vice president Steve O'Brian and Boeing IDS vice president Gregory Lexton < http://news.joins.com/article/487/3901487.html?ctg=1000 >
 
- Nothing new, other than Lockheed Martin and Boeing VPs restating what's already publicly known with their own mouths.
- 2014 first delivery date stands.
- As expected, F-X III and KFX are tied. Winner of F-X III is also the winner of KFX. Vendor selection could come as early as next year. This puts F-35 bid at a great disadvantage as it is less willing to transfer tech than Boeing is.
- No European vender in sight at the moment.
- Lockheed's promising the delivery of first Block 3 aircraft by 2014.
- Lockheed claims they tried to stealthify F-16 and F-111 before, and failed. Accordingly, F-15 SE would not work based on their experience.
 
 

 
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sentinel28a       12/1/2009 1:46:06 PM
That's an interesting assertion by Lockheed Martin.  The only attempts to "stealthify" the F-16 that I know of was the F-16XL program, which was done more as an eye towards competing with the F-15E, and the only F-111 program I know of that never came to fruition (aside from the disastrous F-111B) was the proposed reengining of the F-111s with B-1 engines.
 
 
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gf0012-aust       12/1/2009 2:17:01 PM
- Lockheed claims they tried to stealthify F-16 and F-111 before, and failed. Accordingly, F-15 SE would not work based on their experience.

There's a whole lot reasons why the above is incorrect at a number of levels (or a complete failure in loss of translation from a source), but I guess a few others will be jumping and showing why some of it is errant nonsense...
 

 





 
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Hamilcar       12/1/2009 7:20:32 PM


- Lockheed claims they tried to stealthify F-16 and F-111 before, and failed. Accordingly, F-15 SE would not work based on their experience.





There's a whole lot reasons why the above is incorrect at a number of levels (or a complete failure in loss of translation from a source), but I guess a few others will be jumping and showing why some of it is errant nonsense...

 



 













 
It was the F-16 AT-21.

F-16AT, Falcon 21

The Falcon 21 or F-16AT was proposed in 1990 as a low-cost alternative to the ATF. It was to use the basic F-16XL design, along with one of the proposed ATF engines. However, it was to use a trapezoidal delta wing rather than the F-16XL's cranked-arrow wing.
 
As designed it would have a severely reduced as opposed to true Low Observable signal management. By that time, American aviation engineers were confident that they could take a clunker like the original Hornet, and signal manage it to the point where it could become a reduced observable aircraft (Super Hornet). So not only could General Dynamics do it, but they put how down on paper. Furthermore Lockheed CAN use something like the A-6 Intruder baseline aircraft and produce a true LO aircraft. They did. It was called the F-117.         
 
Here was a concept for the F-16U that never was accepted.
 
http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/7533/f16llll1.jpg" width="701" height="439" />

 Like the Silent Eagle, it is not Low Observable, but it has a very few signal management features. The one thing that would have radically helped the whole Falcon family is a redesign of the engine tunnel, intake, and a different thrust nozzle  The tail is still a big problem.
 
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gf0012-aust       12/2/2009 1:02:51 AM
and then there is the F-111 comment.....

another hallmark moment.
 
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SlowMan       12/2/2009 11:15:17 AM
@ gf0012-aust

> and then there is the F-111 comment..... another hallmark moment.

Except that it came straight from the mouth of a Lockheed Martin vice president in an interview. I can imagine General Dynamics(before LM takeover) trying to apply RCS reduction to its products in the late 80s.

Anyhow, this is how things looks like right now for the F-X III + KFX contest, set to be the biggest new fighter contest of this decade.

Announced Bids

Lockheed Martin : F-35 + F-50(F/A-50 upgraded to Gripen C/D spec) pairing
Boeing : F-15SE + some kind of Ultra Hornet pairing

Expected Bids(With $30~35 billion on the table, pie is too big to pass up)

EADS : Typhoon + Super Typhoon pairing
SAAB : 120 Gripens for same money + P306 pairing
Dassault : Swore to never bid on Korean contracts again, must honor French men's words.
 
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Hamilcar       12/2/2009 12:54:47 PM
Except that it came straight from the mouth of a Lockheed Martin vice president in an interview. I can imagine General Dynamics(before LM takeover) trying to apply RCS reduction to its products in the late 80s.
 
Its called the Bone, slow man. North American Rockwell looked at a previous GD design and scaled up. They tried to make it in 1976 and James Earl Carter personally rejected it, for sundry stupid reasons. 
 
His bad decision was ultimately vindicated by a half decade's rework of the bird to meet the new USAF doctrine. Guess what that work was? 
 
See if you can figure it out.  
 
 
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sentinel28a       12/3/2009 2:18:47 PM
Thanks for the post, Hamlicar.  Didn't know about that version of the F-16--yeah, maybe not stealthy, but it does look cool...
 
Interestingly enough, this came up in my Cold War class last night.  After Carter cancelled the B-1, there was a proposal floated by General Dynamics of a F-111 variant to take up the slack--the FB-111 being already in service as an "interim" until the B-1 came on line, which is eventually what happened.  From what I understand, and what the student said he understood (he was in the USAF at the time), it was a reengined F-111 with larger wings and B-1 engines.  Nothing about stealth.
 
I'll also add that when Carter cancelled the B-1, it stunned everyone, including the Soviet Union.  The Russians were sure that Carter was just talking out his ass when he ran on cancelling the B-1 in the 1976 election, and were shocked when he actually did it.  They assumed Carter would at least try to trade something for it--the US would give up the B-1 if the USSR halted production of the Tu-22M or the SS-20, for instance.  Instead, Carter gave away the store, and besides mortally pissing off the USAF, it also scared hell out of the Europeans, who were afraid he was going to sell them down the river next. (A legit fear, since Carter actually asked the JCS if it would be possible to reduce the US nuclear force down to 200 Tridents.  They said "Hell, no, have you lost your mind" politely and Carter dropped the issue.)
 
Anyway, back to the discussion on the F-35.  I just thought the part about the worst President in modern history might be interesting.
 
 
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Hamilcar       12/4/2009 2:42:08 AM

Thanks for the post, Hamlicar.  Didn't know about that version of the F-16--yeah, maybe not stealthy, but it does look cool...

 Few people know about everything the US tried with Falcon. I certainly don't. Its like the SU-27 to us. If we can or could, then we try some new variant.  It is that good a design. 

Interestingly enough, this came up in my Cold War class last night.  After Carter cancelled the B-1, there was a proposal floated by General Dynamics of a F-111 variant to take up the slack--the FB-111 being already in service as an "interim" until the B-1 came on line, which is eventually what happened.  From what I understand, and what the student said he understood (he was in the USAF at the time), it was a reengined F-111 with larger wings and B-1 engines.  Nothing about stealth.

It couldn't be with that high mounted wing and those intakes.

I'll also add that when Carter canceled the B-1, it stunned everyone, including the Soviet Union.  The Russians were sure that Carter was just talking out his ass when he ran on canceling the B-1 in the 1976 election, and were shocked when he actually did it.  They assumed Carter would at least try to trade something for it--the US would give up the B-1 if the USSR halted production of the Tu-22M or the SS-20, for instance.  Instead, Carter gave away the store, and besides mortally pissing off the USAF, it also scared hell out of the Europeans, who were afraid he was going to sell them down the river next. (A legit fear, since Carter actually asked the JCS if it would be possible to reduce the US nuclear force down to 200 Tridents.  They said "Hell, no, have you lost your mind" politely and Carter dropped the issue.)

The B-1 B was actually signal managed somewhat with a view towards making a long range low level penetrator, so that it could intrude into defended Russian air space using the curvature of the Earth radar horizon defense. To that end, the engines were modified to be lower heat, radio, and noise emitters, the wing was reworked to allow short supersonic dash in THICK air, some effort was made on the aero-shell to reduce signal return from top aspect to look down radars and IR sensors, a very comprehensive and extremely fault prone threat receiver and threat decoy system was installed, and a defensive electronics false target signal emitter system was attempted. That didn't work so well either. Its taken decades to fix some of those electronic warfare mistakes, but the point that GF made about the F-111 applies here. The SAME approach to signal management, change the engines, change the tactics, alter the electronics, tweak what you can in the aeroshell to reduce critical aspect RCS  was done to the Aardvark. Just not as much because there wasn't that much you could do to a flying plank to scatter a radio return from the top aspect.              

Anyway, back to the discussion on the F-35.  I just thought the part about the worst President in modern history might be interesting.

 It was. Are you sure that Woodrow Wilson, or the one we have now, isn't in the race for worst?


 
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StobieWan       12/4/2009 4:25:58 AM
I'd heard similar from a USAF technician - details are hazy but he was a big fan of the F-111 after a rocky start with the bird - apparently he'd seen the results of re-cabling the thing with fibre optics, which cut about 400 KG in weight out of the frame, amongst other ideas. The re-engined idea F111 had more than a few fans and there was a big push at one point to skip the B1 entirely.
 
Carter cancelled the B1 (I've heard) because he'd been briefed on the B2 and the F117 - bear with me as I've no idea if he had made cancelling the B1 part of an election promise and the briefings just happily coincided with that however.
 
Effectively, Reagan campaigned partly on the back of opening the B1 line up and buying it, without any access to the classified briefings on the B2, which would have made the B1 look very obsolete *in the nuclear strike role*.
 
This is all very third hand/I seem to recall stuff though,
 
Ian
 
 


Interestingly enough, this came up in my Cold War class last night.  After Carter cancelled the B-1, there was a proposal floated by General Dynamics of a F-111 variant to take up the slack--the FB-111 being already in service as an "interim" until the B-1 came on line, which is eventually what happened.  From what I understand, and what the student said he understood (he was in the USAF at the time), it was a reengined F-111 with larger wings and B-1 engines.  Nothing about stealth.

 
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