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  1. Yeah - I would have thought going down the F35A route would make a lot of sense from a capability standpoint. By the time it hits Block ~IV-V it will have really matured as an A2A platform, with 6 AMRAAMs internally or perhaps 4 x SACM + 4 x AMRAAM down the track (analogous to the 4 x 'winder + 4 x AMRAAM/Sparrow loadout on the Eagle). That said, I have no idea how costs would compare. I imagine the bean counters will have a big say in this one.
  2. AFAIK Tyler Rogoway floated that idea at one point, but it got in short order.
  3. The dilemma is that (AFAIK) Red Flag generally models "present day" scenarios. Right now the rival 5th gen jets in Russia and China are still in a fairly early stage of development, and the CONOPS for both platforms has yet to really mature in either of their airforces. What actual capabilities they will bring to the table is correspondingly not set in stone. I imagine this really complicates attempts to model them in an exercise where realistic representation/imitation of OPFOR threat systems is of paramount importance - you can't just throw an F22 into the Red team inventory and call it a PAK FA, or do the same with an F35 and call it a J31... at least not without first understanding what the PAK FA/J31 can actually do, and how they are typically employed. The reality is it will be some years yet before the 5th gen competitors to the F35 and F22 reach a state of developmental/operational maturity. By this time the F35s themselves will have matured as well, with all the bells and whistles that Block 4 (and beyond) will bring. Fair enough. With that said, the phrases "double inferior" and "can't turn, can't climb, can't run" have been catch cries for plenty of the anti-JSF voices out there over the years. The assertion being that F35s would get "clubbed like baby seals" even by 4th gen opponents. The Red Flag result at least goes some way to putting that notion to rest.
  4. Doubt that's representative of SDB though - fairly sure one of its main selling points is the ability to use it in close proximity to friendlies and/or civilians. Ditto for APKWS.
  5. lol. Well if Erdogan ends up with a fleet of them that might not be such a bad idea ;)
  6. Sounds like a rumour to me. My understanding is that one of the focuses of the global program is to avoid various fleets from falling too far out of lock-step with one another (as has happened to the global fleet of Falcons and Hornets, for example). How successful that will be, I don't know.
  7. Pretty sure it was agreed early on that everyone will be getting the same jets.
  8. It's about as unequivocal as you can reasonably expect from a such a forum... Other posters have addressed most of the other issues I would otherwise raise BUT: - The 7 losses in WVR are no more or less relevant than the 145 victories. - To simply assume that none of the F35's kills occurred within WVR would be rather silly IMHO. - If so much as ~1/5 of those victories occurred WVR (we don't know) that's still a ~4:1 kill ratio(!?) - Very premature to dismiss the jet as a poor WVR performer when (as Sweep said) they were only lugging a pair of slammers each, with no gun while using constrained CLAW. PR stunt? Maybe. It's still good news for the F35 whichever way you cut it.
  9. Some rather unequivocal testimony here: Bearing in mind that this was achieved with Block 3i software constraining payload to 2 x AMRAAM and 2 x GBU, I'd say this is pretty good news for the F35(!).
  10. Not to mention the fact that it's still using what? Block 3i software? Fast forward to block 4 + expanded AAM carriage, (with further time for crews to master the platform/CONOPS) and I imagine the results would be even more positive.
  11. I agree although I think you'll find there is a growing body of people in the operational community (not LM) who have a pretty sound understanding of what the jet can do, and their message has been quite clear for some time. The issue with a post like Snarf's is that it is reflective of the myriad of voices out there that lack the exposure, expertise or intellectual honesty to communicate reliable information about the F35 program (ref the "bet" between mvsgas and I earlier). The divide in perception between those voices and that of the people who actually "know" seems to be quite vast. Actually as Garrya, Sweep and GG have quite accurately highlighted, low observability (stealth) and electronic warfare (eg ECM) are actually inextricably linked concepts/features. In layman's terms, the RCS of a given aircraft has a vitally important impact on how easy it is to conceal/protect with jamming. A VLO aircraft like the F35 is MUCH easier to protect than one that lacks the same level of signature management. Combine this with the fact that not all ECM is, in fact, immediately detectable (esp when VLO means you don't need to be pumping out huge amounts of RF energy to achieve a given outcome) and you have a situation in which the F35's VLO properties work hand in hand with onboard/allied EW assets to provide a whole other layer of protection that would be extraordinarily difficult to replicate in anything other than another 5th gen aircraft.
  12. Ok you're on - I'm betting Foxtrot Alpha and War is Boring :lol: EDIT: Would love to add Aviation Week, SNAFU Blog or POGO but you only picked two so it's unfair if I get more choices!
  13. It would appear you have been misinformed ;)
  14. Simply responding to this: Which is very different to: You're just shifting the goalposts now, which is a shame. Again, there are an infinite number of things that are a "possibility" (the fielding of military unicorns, the adoption of Klingon defence shields, the outbreak of world peace and dismantling of all militaries globally) but they're not remotely as relevant as what is likely in a specified theatre and timeframe. As I said, the conversation about new propulsion tech strikes me as much more interesting. I'm out! ;)
  15. PW is sitting up and taking note as well - we seem to have some competition on our hands after all: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/farnborough-pratt-whitney-proposes-block-1-engin-427150/
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