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Author Topic: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?  (Read 12805 times)

Offline royabulgaf

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2011, 05:54:37 pm »
You probably would have got something along the lines of a smaller, single-engine F-22.  Or, perhaps more F-22s and some sort of A-10 replacement.  The Navy would get a big wing version of the mini-Raptor, and the Marines would get the new T-Bolt and told to like it.

Offline F-14D

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2011, 11:42:19 am »
Looking at it this way, if ASTOVL had not been forced into JAST by Congress, the Marines would probably have gotten closer to their actual needs in a less expensive a/c.  JSF would have been somewhat cheaper and may have weighed less. 

It's unlikely that the lack of a STOVL requirement would have resulted in more F-22s.  Both USAF and USN still had their strike requirements, and one of the JSF drivers was to provide better strike at a lower cost than the F-22 would entail.   The F-22, though was still a major factor in the sense I mentioned earlier:  USAF wanted JAST/JSF to be good, but not so good (especially air-to-air) that it might threaten F-22 funding--that wouldn't change.  So I think it's unlikely that supercruise and the like would have been a requirement;  too much concern that JSFs would be bought in place of, rather than in addition to, Raptors. 

Offline sferrin

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2011, 12:43:17 pm »
In hindsight I think if the STOVL requirement had been kept out of the JSF program the USAF and USN could have got themselves a much lower risk, higher performance design that could have provided the cost savings they hoped for.

It might possibly have looked like the sleeker MDC/NG/BAE concept with an off the shelf F119 engine and 3D thrust vectoring nozzle. It would have been interesting if the airforce and navy could have agreed on a single variant rather than seperate CTOL and CV variants  ;D

A pure ASTOVL airframe and engine design could still have shared many systems.

You've got to keep in mind how this all came about.  Congress in 1994 thought it would be a good idea for one plane to perform similar missions for the three air arms, and ordered ASTOVL to be merged into JAST.  During the '90s a number of engineers salivated at the prospect because it would be a great  engineering exercise.  The then current Administration liked the idea because it would set a good schedule to "triangulate".  Specifcally, they could further cut the number of F-22s, while simultaneously proclaim they were moving forward on a superior strike aircraft but structure the schedule so that the big money would have to come in the next Administration. 

As so often becomes the case in these kind of joint exercises, the mandate evolved into, "Build what USAF wants, and any changes the other services need will have to be variations on that".   USAF had mixed feelings about the program in the sense they wanted the plane to be good, but not too good lest it threaten the F-22. 

So this question might be asked another way as well:  What would the Marines' Harrier replacement been like if they hadn't been forced into JAST?  Now, the F-35 will meet their basic requirements because what they were looking for was a STOVL CAS machine, and a STOVL F-35A meets the bill, in fact does more than they need   They're fully on board because they knew by riding along they could get what they wanted without having to take all the incoming fire themselves.   Still, given what they wanted the plane to do, had they been allowed to go their own way one has to wonder if they would have cared that much about supersonic performance or even  much stealth...

IMO something like the Convair 200A would have been perfect for the USMC.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline SteveO

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2011, 01:44:34 pm »
...IMO something like the Convair 200A would have been perfect for the USMC.
The Convair 200A is a nice looking design but doesn't it have two lift jets behind the cockpit? I thought the USMC didn't like lift jets, that was one of the reasons the MD/NG/BAe JSF design didn't go ahead.

Hot gas up front and extra maintenance for the lift engine were the sticking points IIRC. I still think it looked simpler than the F-35B lift fan arrangement though!

Offline SteveO

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2011, 01:57:20 pm »
Back on topic, I think a CTOL/CV only JSF design would have had larger internal weapon bays, probably capable of carrying 4x 2000lb JDAM type weapons or even 2x 4500lb bunker buster weapons.

Offline SteveO

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2011, 09:57:22 am »
I wonder if the Boeing F-32 would have looked more like their MRF concept without the STOVL requirement?
(Boeing MRF pic first posted by Hesham here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2121.0/highlight,boeing+mrf.html).
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 10:35:08 am by SteveO »

Offline cthippo

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2011, 01:24:28 am »
other than Italy wanting about 15 Bs, there'd be no one else with orders to buy the F-35B.

Highly likely:

Spain - AV-8B replacement

Potentials:  Albeit slim for now.

Japan - potential use on Hyūga class DDHs
South Korea - potential use on Dokdo class LPHs
Australia - potential use on Canberra Class LHDs

There is even talk of Israel looking at a small number of the F-35B in the future.

Regards,

Greg

  If (when) the F-35B gets canceled there is going to be a HUGE market for a Harrier replacement.  Not only Spain, but also Italy and India operate Harriers as part of their naval air arms. 

  Maybe Yakolev could dust of the YAK-41 plans and partner with someone to put them into production. 

Offline royabulgaf

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2011, 02:14:46 pm »
If you count all the small state Harrier purchases, you are looking at maybe 80.  Drop India, which is moving toward CTOL carriers, and Thailand, which can't afford to run its current Harrier fleet, and you are looking at Spain and Italy, respectively.  A production run of 40-50 tops for a unique and difficult aircraft design?  Not hardly.   Their Harrier replacements will be low-time airframes from Davis-Monthan AFB. 

Offline cthippo

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2011, 06:21:52 pm »
If you count all the small state Harrier purchases, you are looking at maybe 80.  Drop India, which is moving toward CTOL carriers, and Thailand, which can't afford to run its current Harrier fleet, and you are looking at Spain and Italy, respectively.  A production run of 40-50 tops for a unique and difficult aircraft design?  Not hardly.   Their Harrier replacements will be low-time airframes from Davis-Monthan AFB. 

  The UK has based the design of their new carriers around the F-35B concept and disposed of their Harriers, and the USMC still want a S/VTOL for close air support.  While it's true that existing airframes probably still have a lot of life left in them, the need for an eventual replacement remains.

Offline Meteorit

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2011, 01:00:43 am »
The UK has based the design of their new carriers around the F-35B concept and disposed of their Harriers, and the USMC still want a S/VTOL for close air support.  While it's true that existing airframes probably still have a lot of life left in them, the need for an eventual replacement remains.

Except the UK decided to drop the F-35B and switch to F-35C instead a couple of months ago.

Offline Jemiba

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Re: JSF Program without VSTOL - what would it have meant?
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2011, 02:07:50 am »
"The UK has based the design of their new carriers around the F-35B concept .."

In my understanding the design of the carriers was suitable from the start to be equipped
for CTOL, something that was often explained by the participation of France.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...