The first messages of the awesome abilities of the JSF in CAS missions are popping up on the net. The USAF used this impressive machine during Green Flag…. They say in the same way as they use A-10 and F-16 fighters.. but with the difference there has been no JSF shot down… and unfortunately there have been some blue force A-10 and F-16 killed…. Oh my..
This was according to a paid Aviation week article..
“Not a single F-35 was “shot down” during the joint-force Green Flag exercises testing the jet and its pilots’ prowess operating it in a contested air-support role in the Western U.S. this month, according to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cameron Dadgar, head of the exercise and leader of the 549th Combat Training Sqdn. at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
“This is notable because A-10s and F-16s were defeated in the same conditions, operating in an environment with hostile aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, he said. USAF officials suggest this validates the theory of Air Force leaders that sacrificing weapons load for stealth in the F-35’s design proved solid, at least for these mission sets. Skeptics, however, say the exercise was a public relations stunt designed to sell the jet as the service continues its uphill battle to convince Congress and others that the aircraft will be a sufficient replacement for the F-15E, F-16 and A-10 for future close air support (CAS) missions.”
We get more insight from the abovetopsecret forum website.
But If we dig deeper into these events: Breakingdefense.com interviews Nellis Air Force Base commander (and F-35 pilot) Maj. Gen Jay Silveria.
The planes aren’t using ordnance but are using their sensors to find and target the enemies — based on the sort of capabilities Russia and China boast — and then are sharing data with the older airplanes who kill them.
“We are continuing to expand our integration with other players,” Silveria said. And he was supposed to fly an F-35 with F-22s last Saturday. Also, he said the F-35s will be executing Close Air Support sorties this week to work out tactics, techniques and procedures.
So the JSF isn’t using ordnance but is just used to search ground targets, not totally the same way as the A-10’s and F-16’s are used.
IMO this whole exercise was nothing more to show that the JSF isn’t that bat. It will be a great replacement of the A-10 and all other aircraft… But then again. What about the survivability? Can it hit and run? Can it outperform opponents flying in to the after they.. (JSF) fired all their defensive Air-to-Air missiles? (If the JSF is in it’s stealth mode there isn’t much room for missiles and air-to-ground ordnance..) Lets just read what one of the JSF test pilots think of it?
The two jets would be playing the roles of opposing fighters in a pretend air battle, which the Air Force organized specifically to test out the F-35’s prowess as a close-range dogfighter in an air-to-air tangle involving high “angles of attack,” or AoA, and “aggressive stick/pedal inputs.”
In other words, the F-35 pilot would fly his jet hard, turning and maneuvering in order to “shoot down” the F-16, whose pilot would be doing his own best to evade and kill the F-35.
“The evaluation focused on the overall effectiveness of the aircraft in performing various specified maneuvers in a dynamic environment,” the F-35 tester wrote. “This consisted of traditional Basic Fighter Maneuvers in offensive, defensive and neutral setups at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 feet.”
The F-35 was flying “clean,” with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage.
But the JSF’s advantage didn’t actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. “Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the pilot reported.
The F-35 pilot came right out and said it — if you’re flying a JSF, there’s no point in trying to get into a sustained, close turning battle with another fighter. “There were not compelling reasons to fight in this region.” God help you if the enemy surprises you and you have no choice but to turn.
The JSF tester found just one way to win a short-range air-to-air engagement — by performing a very specific maneuver. “Once established at high AoA, a prolonged full rudder input generated a fast enough yaw rate to create excessive heading crossing angles with opportunities to point for missile shots.”
And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn’t even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet’s cramped cockpit. “The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft.” That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him.
David Axe from War is Boring wrote this article based on a report from this distinctive test pilot “for official use only.” Well I use it now officially. A short round up:
- The JSF was flying clean, no things attached to his belly, to keep it as stealth as possible. The USAF and RNLAF ofcourse assume such an encounter will never happen because the JSF is “invisible” for radar and would have taken down a enemy fighter before it ever new what happened.. (well this can only be done two to four times because after that it wil be out of missiles…) And when the JSF will open up it’s belly to fire the missiles… it will be seen! Not to mention the IRST equipped fighters ( Russian and Chinese MIG like aircraft, but also Rafale, Super Hornet, Gripen E/F, Sea Gripen and many other possible opponents)
- The F-16 had two extra underwing fuel tanks, the JSF should be in an advantage position here.
- The configuration advantage wasn’t helpful for the JSF: the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement
- The JSF was to slow and the trim rate was also to slow, to use the 25mm gun. The F-16 was long gone before the JSF pilot could use it effectively (also the munitions load for the gun is very thrifty. Only 182 25mm bullets. For a 4 barrel canon firing 3000 rounds a minute.. this is only enough ammo for 3,64 secondsJ .
- The JSF had only one change, a high angle of attack approach to gain speed. This however is a one time opportunity to fire close range missiles (like the Sidewinder). One time opportunity because this maneuver costs a lot of fuel. In other words, having tried the trick once, an F-35 pilot is out of options and needs to get away quick.
- As I stated on a long time ago, also the cockpit and the Helmet have a problem in such a dogfight scenario. The helmet will bump to very side and the pilot will be hindered to fast look around him to search for the opposing fighter visually. “The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft.” That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him.
These examples point to the main JSF problem. This problem is conceptual (as I pointed out many, many times before) In theory this plane looks promising and high-tech solution for every problem are available, or will be available if we pay loads and loads of dollars for it. But sometimes the old fashioned dogfight will be needed. The opposing fighter must be searched visually not with high-tech instruments or Virtual reality imagination..
This conceptual problem is wrong and the USAF and allies must stop ignoring all developments worldwide which proof this is true. Counter stealth radar, the use of passive radar, the use of IRST combined with AESA radar, the ability of fighter aircraft to out perform and out maneuver the JSF, the ability to perform more sustained sorties with lower cost and lower fuel use will set the JSF on a side trail, if real battle will come forward.
The JSF needs the F22 for air cover so it won’t need to try to dogfight. But the USAF can’t do this al the time, the USMC and US Navy neither. Several partner countries don’t have this luxury of a second Air Defense fighter to defend the stealthy JSF. What about those countries?
Well the USAF doesn’t seem to care, one reason could be these countries will never be able to use the JSF without the help and support (training, logistic and software / EW code) without the permission of the USAF. Besides that these Air Forces won’t get the full developed JSF or it’s doctrine. No all US-only materials will be cleaned out and also the threat library won’t be shared freely with all partner countries/ users. There has been set-up a separate organization to accommodate that, what would be the reason for that if all partner nations would receive the same information data for which they paid a lot of money btw?
And it won’t only be for the US services. Once the US publication is written and approved, Silveria said the US-only sections will be cleaned out and the partner countries and others who buy the F-35 will receive the publication.
Also, the threat files — the “mission data files” detailing possible threats the F-35 will face in its different theaters — are being compiled and shared jointly.
“The mission data file is also driving us closer. That will force that continued collaboration,” Silveria said. So the CONOPs will be joint for US forces and all those other countries will know how to fight with the US. That’s an impressive air package for any enemy to face.
Im not anti- American, I believe the US has done a great deal for humanity and for the good of all. But I also believe the current state of the US is evil. The greed from the USG and Military industry (MIC) is covered with a sauce of patriotism, justice and human rights devotion. But underneath we see the congressmembers are giving a way billions of dollars to support the MIC in their state building unwanted tanks, building to expensive JSF fighter planes to effectively perform tasks. Building and developing naval vessels which are so expensive and still not perform as promised. The public doesn’t know, and the politicians.. well the politicians… as stated above are deeply in it. They look the other way, to make a political deal (like they did in the Netherlands where the Labour party (PvdA) long time opposed the JSF and wanted to exit the participation, and now is the party who, togerher with the Liberal party (VVD) ordered the first 8 ‘production” JSF. They know what they are doing, they read the GOA and technical reports with (public known JSF problems) They know it wil be to expensive to operate and to use it in “cheap” QRA situations, but they don’t care.