F-35

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The weakest link is the human driving the thing. Which is why they are beginning to eliminate them. That stuff has been around and has been working since the implementation of the F-22 in 2004. However, nobody will actually state how well it works.
 
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If they are bad Afghanis, they run. If they are disciplined bad Afghanis, they don't run. [Paraphrased from Full Metal Jacket]
 
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As far as cost-effectiveness, I think the Super Hornet has the edge. It's certainly less stealthy than the F-35, but the F-35's performance is supposedly only marginally better.
 
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But with this situational awarenss system manuverfablity becomes obsolete.. Turning fights are not needed when you can see and engage your enemy at any angle. No need to get your nose on the target when the targeting system works and can be fired in any spherical direction. While the Turning fight type fighter breaks for an angle The f35 is already releasing missles and continuing to track on sortie if the contact was incidental.
 
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in theory by avoiding high risk turning fights it will be able to accomplish its missions much more often. Also, cost -vs-benefit is not linear per dollar spent. A Tactical advantage in the field or in the sky is all that is needed to justify the cost. Never go cheap on safety equipment or tactical advantage if life and mission accomplishment is important. If life is cheap you can cheat that rule a little and double the sorties to accomplish the same objective.
 
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I'm glad technology has caught up to that concept. The F-4 was supposed to be an all-branch platform (JSF), put an end dogfights, and the use of a gun in aerial combat. It was a failure at that concept because technology wasn't up to the task but it still turned out to be an excellent plane.
 
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Actually, the F-4 was developed as a Navy-only fighter, that the Air Force was forced to accept by the DoD because of the miserable air to air capabilities of their then current fleet of F-100s, F-105s, F-104s and F-106s. That then current fleet was the result of thinking the next war would be nuclear, and the fighters were not capable in a conventional skirmish, even with the likes of marginal foes like North Vietnam. The F-105 was a day VFR bomber that couldn't turn, the F-104s had many other limitations, and the F-106 was an interceptor that was next to useless against other fighters. And I agree. With over 5000 produced, the F-4 was an excellent plane for it's time. The Air Force got it's revenge, though. The F-18 Hornet is a reworked YF-17 that unsuccessfully competed against the F-16 in the Air Force lightweight fighter program. Mickey D. worked a deal with Northrop to build the carrier version (since the Navy wouldn't buy aircraft from Northrop before they aquired Grumman), then snookered them out of the entire production run, selling carrier versions to the likes of Canada and Switzerland (who, of course, didn't have carriers). The JSF looks like the first fighter that is being developed from the start for the Navy, Marines and Air Force that will be accepted by all. I only hope it doesn't experience the cost growth that all other aircraft programs seem to have.
 
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It's interesting that it was "pushed" on the USAF but ended up as one of their best planes ever and they kept it in service longer than the other branches. The original dogfight concept of the F-4 was to fire a missile and fly away, similar to the the proposed F-35 dogfight concept. The air-to-air missiles back then had less than stellar history of hitting the target. There is a little controversy with the USMC signing off on the single engine concept. http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article...ew-support.html There is also some controversy in the alternate engine procurement. P&W won the initial contract but the USAF wants to hedge their bets and bring GE in as a secondary source like they did with the F-16. The Pentagon doesn't like the idea.
 
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The USAF is still flying the QF-4E and QF-4G which is amazing, they even converted a few RF-4C Phantoms into drones. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the GE engine more reliable than the P&W ?
 
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I guess its always good to have air superiority but when was the last time fighters jets have actually fought other fighers in numbers? Iran Iraq war? Anyways its neat technology, but I suspect the same communication systems will be applied to SAM's and then the future of human piloted fighters will be pretty much over... Or are the sensors so costly that mass producing isn't practical? I'm envisioning China making SAM launchers with 2 dozen smart missiles communitcating with each other to decide who's going to follow each potential target and then communicate to each other when the real targets have been found and swarm in for the kill(s).
 
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 Quote:
I guess its always good to have air superiority but when was the last time fighters jets have actually fought other fighers in numbers? Iran Iraq war?
I dunno, the thinking has been that air-to-air close combat is over has been around since the end of the Korean war and the proliferation of nukes. The F-4 initially had no cannon because of this rationale and it became a liability. If things in N. Korea heat up we could have a need.
 Quote:
Anyways its neat technology, but I suspect the same communication systems will be applied to SAM's and then the future of human piloted fighters will be pretty much over...
The current thought is the current generation of fighters are the last with a pilot in the plane. The P&W engine is already in service with the F-22, the GE is not in service. From F-16 experience, I'd prefer GEAE products.
 
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