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JSF vs. Rafale for a Royal Navy future aircraft carriers

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Woody

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With all this talk of fitting Eurofighters with catapult bridals and the current woes of the JSF, puts me in mind of the article below. Does anyone know if there has been any further developments?

Britain may consider buying up to 150 French fighter jets for two new-generation aircraft carriers scheduled to go into service with the Royal Navy in 2013.

If the Government went ahead with the £5bn deal, it would mean cancelling existing US contracts to supply aircraft for the carriers and could cause a major crisis in Anglo-American relations.

The unexpected verbal offer to buy the Rafale Marine jets came on January 24 when Defence Secretary John Reid met his opposite number, Michele Alliot-Marie, for crucial talks in London.

It followed well publicised difficulties between Britain and America on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) project, dogged by a row over sharing technology.

It is understood that Reid said he would consider the French offer. Even agreeing to give the proposal serious consideration could be seen as a major snub to the Americans, whose relations with the French on defence are strained.

The French offer follows America's continued refusal to agree to the transfer of advanced technology on the JSF - the jet being built in the US by Lockheed Martin with co-operation from Britain.

The Ministry of Defence has already paid the Americans £2bn for development. BAE Systems, Britain's leading defence contractor, which is a vital partner in the project, was hoping for about £14bn in development and production contracts.

The MoD declined to give details of the French offer, but defence sources in Paris confirmed that a lengthy conversation took place.

The American refusal to share technology means that if one of the JSFs needed repairs, the work would have to be carried out in America.

It would also mean British forces would not have the right codes to arm the planes if they wanted to use them for missions not approved by the Pentagon.

There is growing anger at the Americans' obduracy over technology transfer. Britain has now made it clear that without 'achieving the appropriate level of sovereignty' over the JSF, it will consider cancelling the contract.

Washington's reluctance to give up the technology to its closest military ally is fuelled by fears that Britain might allow foreign firms access to America's most precious commercial and defence secrets.

Faced by the the refusal to share technology, Lord Grayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, said: 'There has to be a Plan B. We need to make sure we have done the work needed to ensure we have an option.'

The MoD still hopes that the Americans will change their minds. Meanwhile, it is looking at its options. Giving consideration to the French offer could strengthen the MoD's negotiating hand with Washington.

The 60,000-tonne carriers planned for the Royal Navy are designed to have powerful catapults built into the deck. This means they are not restricted to the vertical take-off version of the JSF. They could fire conventional take-off JSFs as well as modified Typhoon Eurofighters.

The Rafale Marine is already in service and is designed for use on France's new carrier - identical to those being built for the Royal Navy.

The decision by Paris to buy the design of the UK carriers for their own second large carrier makes the French option more palatable.

The French jets cost about £35 million each and would be cheaper, if probably unpopular, with the forces.

Gerald Howarth, Conservative defence spokesman, said: 'This shows the danger of the American refusal to give us the technology. They could drive us into the arms of the French.'

Tom McGhie and Jack Gee, Mail on Sunday 26 February 2006

The Rafale has got be the most underrated (or least talked about here) of all modern fighters. It's cheaper, more maneuverable and probably just as stealthy (with real missiles) as the JSF and much more suited to a carrier than the Typhoon, not to mention, available now!

Can anybody think (apart from politics) why the UK doesn't buy them?

Cheers, Woody
 

Jemiba

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"It's cheaper, more maneuverable and probably just as stealthy (with real missiles) as the JSF and much more suited to a carrier than the Typhoon, not to mention, available now!"

But it isn't built by a country, Great Britain has very special relations with ... ;D
 

Abraham Gubler

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Woody said:
The Rafale has got be the most underrated (or least talked about here) of all modern fighters. It's cheaper, more maneuverable and probably just as stealthy (with real missiles) as the JSF and much more suited to a carrier than the Typhoon, not to mention, available now!

Are you serious? The Rafale does not have a frontal RCS of -30 dB! I think you also got everything else wrong in your post.
 

Archibald

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The F-35 is a compromised truck

VTOL + Stealth + Multirole
USAF + USN + USMC

into a single engine, single-seat fighter.
Feasible with modern technology, but don't expect a marvel...
JSF strength = integration within a wider system of sensors (AWACS, datalink, JDAMs... and so on) of US/ NATO origin of course.
Thanks to that the F-35 will repeat F-16 overwhelming success... ;D

To be honest, the Roynal Navy will never buy Rafale. It was a kind of "blackmail" to obtain (sensitive) technology transfers to UK.

"Hey, you Yankees, we Brits are your best allies, so transfer the goddam technology or else.."
"Or else, what you gonna do ?"
"We will buy fighters... from the frogs, and wreck our long standing partnership. UNDERSTAND??!!!"
"Ok, here's your technology..."
 

Woody

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Are you serious? The Rafale does not have a frontal RCS of -30 dB! I think you also got everything else wrong in your post.

The only air to air missile the JSF can carry internally is the sidewinder, a weapon the UK does not intend to have it use (it can't carry ASRAAM interally). Since stealth is mainly of use at beyond visual range (BVR), how would the JSF utilise this in air to air combat, without being able to carry BVR weapons steathily?

As far as I'm aware the Rafale's frontal RCS is pretty small, at least as small as the Typhoons (you do like the Typhoon don't you?). The only practical assessment would be with a reasonable BVR load-out. Does anyone actually have any comparative data?

Its great that the JSF can carry a couple of small JDAMs but what provision does the JSF have for carrying exocet and scalp? - weapons the Rafale was designed around.

The JSF was designed to only equal the maneuverability of the F-16 (according to Lockheed Martin), an aircraft the Rafale has been demonstrated to better. Since then the JSF has put on weight.

Figures I have read in Flight and other places price the Rafale at half the current cost of the JSF.

Are you going to dispute that the Rafale is carrier equipped?, or available now?

If I'm wrong - prove it.

Regurgitators of cooperate PR need not reply.

Cheers, Woody

PS. I agree Archibald, that this was political maneuvering to squeeze the US but why? Why do the UK want this donkey anyway (bring back the Sea Harrier) ;D And since even the US congress is now having serious JSF second thoughts, I refer to my original question: have secret negotiations with France got any further?
 

TinWing

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The topic is temporarily locked due to the non-factual and opinion-based nature of the posts.

Topic moved to bar and unlocked.
 

Sundog

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The only air to air missile the JSF can carry internally is the sidewinder, a weapon the UK does not intend to have it use (it can't carry ASRAAM interally). Since stealth is mainly of use at beyond visual range (BVR), how would the JSF utilise this in air to air combat, without being able to carry BVR weapons steathily?

FYI, the F-35 just flew a flight test with AMRAAM's internally. I must admit, I find all the speculation on the F-35 incredibly humorous, considering it's full flight envelope isn't actually known yet and very little information has been released on it's flight/systems performance.

A couple of notes though;

1) The F-35 can do everything the aircraft it's replacing could do and then some.

2) The F-35 was never intended to be an air dominance fighter. That's what the F-22 is for and the F-22 seems quite capable of handling that role.

It seems to me that the F-35 is meeting it's mission requirements quite well. As such, the problem many critics have isn't with the aircraft as much as it's with it's mission.

I'll reserve judgement until more reliable information is available.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Sundog said:
2) The F-35 was never intended to be an air dominance fighter. That's what the F-22 is for and the F-22 seems quite capable of handling that role.

That's not quite true. The F-35 is designed for air dominance but just in a different way to the F-22 as a benefit of their 10-20 year separation in chronology.
 

r16

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well the internet dwellers have long been critising the F-35 and its gimmickry , how it is going to perform if the datalinking and glorious methodology of firing onto targets found by 3rd party systems fails or is made to fail ? F-22 is the reason F-35 can be called acceptable , western technological superioty is the reason that makes it possible . Lose either one and ı for one will crowing for the coming decades that we have been proved right , F-35 was not a fighter ...
 

Abraham Gubler

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r16 you're spot on right. Without western technology the F-35 won't work. Thanks for pointing that out.
 

donnage99

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On f-35's approach to closed-in dogfight:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiNMio9zN2Q&fmt=18

According to Northrop, f-35's DAS would render maneuverability of enemy aircraft "irrelevant."
 

KJ_Lesnick

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So this Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System is essentially like having sensors that work like cameras which provide complete coverage of the whole aircraft for a couple of dozen miles in each direction (up, down, left, right, front, back), can identify individual aircraft, identify ground targets, and guide infrared missiles while the plane turns away?

I would take it, this would make the airplane virtually undefeatable, and would make countermeasures impossible.

Does the F-22 have this system? And does this system have better range than the radars used on the F-22/F-35's?


KJ Lesnick
BTW: Wouldn't this DAS also make every fighter with it by nature also a reconnaisance platform? Do you think civilians will have to worry about our government using this technology for surveillance (as fighter planes would obviously have to fly over the CONUS)? -- call me paranoid, but it seems that over the past several years our government has done extraordinary research into spying on as many things as possible all at once and has seemed to have no qualms in developing this technology for civilian law-enforcement.
 

Just call me Ray

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KJ_Lesnick said:
So this Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System is essentially like having sensors that work like cameras which provide complete coverage of the whole aircraft for a couple of dozen miles in each direction (up, down, left, right, front, back), can identify individual aircraft, identify ground targets, and guide infrared missiles while the plane turns away?

I would take it, this would make the airplane virtually undefeatable, and would make countermeasures impossible.

I believe that would be putting too much faith into the system. It would also have to rely on the missiles (AIM-9X/ASRAAM etc) living up to their promises of supermaneuverability and off-boresight capability, if those promises were even made in the first place (not gonna be the case if for whatever reason you're carrying Mikes, for example)

Does the F-22 have this system? And does this system have better range than the radars used on the F-22/F-35's?

I believe the F-22 at least has a similar system


BTW: Wouldn't this DAS also make every fighter with it by nature also a reconnaisance platform?



That's the idea. To create a battle information network relying on various systems, including the systems that would be at the front lines and traditionally would be on the receiving end rather than the gathering end of information. The idea is the same as any other recon system - gather as much information as you can as possible, because, yes as they say on those old G.I. Joe cartoons, knowing really is half the battle, and that goes for real battles as well.

And I wouldn't worry about being spied upon. I doubt these systems can even distinguish cell phone conversations much less intercept and listen in on them. They're only designed to be able to pick up and either directly receive or relay specific signals.
 

r16

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as this is the bar section , ı believe ı might just put forward some advocacy of devil but not to the extent that gets people kicked out . Which only appears to be insulting to America.

ı have never been a fan of the JSF ; as it can be deduced from my earlier letter campaign in the 2000s . It was a fighter when it was the Thundercat , by the time it became F-35 it was not . Conceived in the Great Fulcrum/Flanker Scare of the Eighties and half in the black , the programme was meant to provide cover for the Marines and USN units without carriers nearby. But then the Red Menace was out cold and it became a commercial venture meant to ensure sales and even sinisterly ( my claims from now on ) air superioty . ı believe the integrated systems are built with back doors that will allow the Westerners to deal with any number of F-35s that have become the Blue Threat . Apart from the fact that there will be no data links to hand over targets to the weakly equipped hostile Lightning, the plane will not be operating as a weapon system , it might crash on its own and ı wonder if it is possible to get it explode on the tarmac . The closest analogy will the Mig-29 which is appearently designed to operate in the same way as the F-35 ; its score was 12 losses to no kills as far as ı know . F-35 is the first plane actually designed to be shot down by Americans if need be . It is not a fighter .


a target and seriously expensive , too.

ı propose THK versions to be delivered with a single 20 feet roundel centred on the center point of the wings . As it has been noticed that the latest and the baddest of our Falcons were delivered without software that would knock out our Harm force and probably the Lantern force as well in case of an Aegean conflict for starters . There has been many maps going around in NATO meetings that show my country broken up and while the drift might indicate some evil doings it is actually courtesy to Americans with stars on their shoulders and real slow minds as many of them fail to understand how it is in the US' interest to pick on us . They have survived so far only because of their real shiny shoes , ı guess . And while it might really sound weird we once again guess one sweep by the mighty Raptor will get dozens of Falcons . By mere radar which is also a wireless set . Back in 2000 or so one THK F-16 went down as one part of the FCS said "Let's go." while the other said "Let's sit." The pilot had a similar surname to the then president . The good thing that came out of it was that a civilian NGO group rushed to search and rescue the pilot , they had an accident and were told to get interested in their own affairs . The group had earned media acclaim as it appeared they were the only people helping the victims of the August '99 earthquake . A good thing about my country is that when the soldier really speaks , many shut up .

ı have personal experience of how a floppy disk done in 2005 refuses to be scanned by a 2006 virus programme . ı have no protection nor web connection at home , use web cafes to get my weekly ration to read and look so those pesky viruses have no use against me and the dozens residing in my computer are allowable unless they bring the thing down . As my Civ3 is acting up again ı can only say ı promise regret . For those untrackable intrusions all ı can say is that guys with illegally reproduced photocopies of the briefings Microsoft gave to European countries about their intentional backdoors are confidently advising the virus owners to tell it to the Marines .

having your reputation ground to ground just allows you to keep a proud face against the drunkards and their work . You just can't be laughed off .
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Just call me Ray,

I believe the F-22 at least has a similar system

Understood

That's the idea. To create a battle information network relying on various systems, including the systems that would be at the front lines and traditionally would be on the receiving end rather than the gathering end of information. The idea is the same as any other recon system - gather as much information as you can as possible, because, yes as they say on those old G.I. Joe cartoons, knowing really is half the battle, and that goes for real battles as well.

Knowing is more like 95% of the battle. If you knew where everybody was exactly you could simply take the enemies all out before they did a thing...

And I wouldn't worry about being spied upon. I doubt these systems can even distinguish cell phone conversations much less intercept and listen in on them. They're only designed to be able to pick up and either directly receive or relay specific signals.

I'm worried about photographic surveillance... It would essentially be coupling loads and loads and loads of cameras all to each other. Essentially you could place hundreds of square miles (10 x 10 miles = 100 miles) under complete surveillance. (Our government has been coming up with ideas of placing cameras everywhere in a city and coupling them all together to place a whole city under surveillance.)


r16,

ı have never been a fan of the JSF ; as it can be deduced from my earlier letter campaign in the 2000s . It was a fighter when it was the Thundercat , by the time it became F-35 it was not . Conceived in the Great Fulcrum/Flanker Scare of the Eighties and half in the black , the programme was meant to provide cover for the Marines and USN units without carriers nearby. But then the Red Menace was out cold and it became a commercial venture meant to ensure sales and even sinisterly ( my claims from now on ) air superioty . ı believe the integrated systems are built with back doors that will allow the Westerners to deal with any number of F-35s that have become the Blue Threat . Apart from the fact that there will be no data links to hand over targets to the weakly equipped hostile Lightning, the plane will not be operating as a weapon system , it might crash on its own and ı wonder if it is possible to get it explode on the tarmac . The closest analogy will the Mig-29 which is appearently designed to operate in the same way as the F-35 ; its score was 12 losses to no kills as far as ı know . F-35 is the first plane actually designed to be shot down by Americans if need be . It is not a fighter .
(Bold-emphasis Mine)

Are you serious? The F-35 might have back-doors set up so with countries we export it to (in case they try anything) we could either disable it's data-links, render it ineffective, and even potentially destroy it?


KJ Lesnick
Let's hope me and R-16 don't get a heart-attack
 

donnage99

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The f-22 does not have this system. It doesn't have infrared sensors that give 360 degree coverage and HMD (helmet mounted display) like f-35. Everything in dogfight for f-22 is left to its hi-end speed/supercruise/agility.
 

Just call me Ray

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Kendra,

The system is not capable of taking photographic recon whatsoever. To do that would still require cameras, which would just waste space and provide an unneeded capacity to aircraft like the F-22 or F-35. That's what recon aircraft are for. The DAS system is only capable of receiving electronic signals and interpreting where the origin of those signals were and what system that origin is - for example, determining that a threat is a V-300S air defense system or an Su-30. It cannot intercept and decrypt random electronic signals, like being able to somehow magically decode a cell phone conversation.


r-16

...just....ppbfbfbfhttwwwwww
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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donnage99
The f-22 does not have this system. It doesn't have infrared sensors that give 360 degree coverage and HMD (helmet mounted display) like f-35. Everything in dogfight for f-22 is left to its hi-end speed/supercruise/agility.

I thought this system didn't just include infrared, but include optical sensors which were sensors that acted like regular cameras (in otherwords they worked with regular visual wavelengths of light in addition to infrared) -- I would almost swear that there was some kind of optical system the F-35 had

BTW: I thought the F-35 had supercruise capability too...


Just call me Ray,

Kendra,

The system is not capable of taking photographic recon whatsoever. To do that would still require cameras, which would just waste space and provide an unneeded capacity to aircraft like the F-22 or F-35. That's what recon aircraft are for. The DAS system is only capable of receiving electronic signals and interpreting where the origin of those signals were and what system that origin is - for example, determining that a threat is a V-300S air defense system or an Su-30. It cannot intercept and decrypt random electronic signals, like being able to somehow magically decode a cell phone conversation.

I thought the F-35 included some kind of optical system... Optical generally infers camera, or at least camera like capability...


Kendra Lesnick
 

bagera3005

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Cockpit

The F-35 features a full-panel-width "panoramic cockpit display (PCD)", with dimensions of 20 by 8 inches (50 by 20 centimeters).[17] A cockpit speech-recognition system (Direct Voice Input) is planned to improve the pilot's ability to operate the aircraft over the current-generation. The F-35 will be the first U.S. operational fixed-wing aircraft to use this system, although similar systems have been used in AV-8B and trialled in previous U.S. jets, particularly the F-16 VISTA.[18] In development the system has been integrated by Adacel Systems Inc with the speech recognition module supplied by SRI International.[19]

A helmet mounted display system (HMDS) will be fitted to all models of the F-35. While some fourth-generation fighters (such as the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen) have offered HMDS along with a head up display (HUD), this will be the first time in several decades that a front-line tactical jet fighter has been designed to not carry a HUD.[20]

The pilot flies the aircraft by means of a right-hand side-stick and left-hand throttle, both of which are supplied by BAE Systems.[21]

Sensors

The main sensor on board the F-35 is its AN/APG-81 AESA-radar, designed by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.[22] It is augmented by the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) mounted under the nose of the aircraft, designed by Lockheed Martin and BAE.[23] Further electro-optical sensors are distributed over the aircraft as part of the AN/AAS-37 system which acts as missile warning system and can aid in navigation and night operations.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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The electro optical targeting system can essentially provide camera coverage for miles around the aircraft in all directions though right?

KJ Lesnick
 

Just call me Ray

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Kendra,

Once again the electro-optical targeting system will not be able to take photographic recon panoramas like dedicated recon aircraft will be. The electro-optical targeting system is in effect the same sort of system as the IRS-T system equipping the Eurofighter and most Russian aircraft (in effect we're really just finishing a game of catch-up with this). It's optimized to track aerial threats, not spy on people on the ground. There is only one such device, located underneath the nose of the F-35. The F-22 may get such an upgrade in the future, which would make sense given its air dominance role, but neither aircraft has the ability to use optical sensors for full 360 degree coverage, though both aircraft have 360 degree electronic coverage, though the F-22's might not be as advanced as DAS (once again it may be upgraded for such a system - the F-22 has a lot of upgrade and expandability potential built right into it).
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Ray...

I did see part of that demonstration video in this thread, and it did say it could track vehicles on the ground... So I assume if it could track vehicles and identify one from the other, it could probably spot people too.


Kendra Lesnick
 

r16

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r-16 is the forum idiot and the second arm (ie the fastest moving) on a clock that shows the correct time twice everyday .

when he gets it right it is seriously right , and that is why he is still alive . Local stuff ...

ı hope this matches the sound effect .
 

LowObservable

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DAS uses megapixel IR sensors, so it actually takes decent pictures, although the optics are not as good as EOTS, let alone a LOROP camera. However, the original idea was to not record any of that imagery. At the time the system was defined, you'd have had trouble getting the necessary storage capacity on a C-135. This has changed, and a recording device might be added, but it's not in the baseline now.

If it was there, could the US wire the system up to acquire imagery of the operator's own territory? Sure, but it would be hit-or-miss whether you found anything useful.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Low Observable

If it was there, could the US wire the system up to acquire imagery of the operator's own territory? Sure, but it would be hit-or-miss whether you found anything useful.

If a government wanted to literally place entire cities under surveillance (linking cameras up to central computers with facial recognition and algorithms to detect suspicious behavior), it's reached the point where spying on every aspect of everybody's life for any potential crime they *might* commit. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't mind acquiring imagery of the operator's own territory...


KJ
 

F-14D

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KJ_Lesnick said:
Low Observable

If it was there, could the US wire the system up to acquire imagery of the operator's own territory? Sure, but it would be hit-or-miss whether you found anything useful.

If a government wanted to literally place entire cities under surveillance (linking cameras up to central computers with facial recognition and algorithms to detect suspicious behavior), it's reached the point where spying on every aspect of everybody's life for any potential crime they *might* commit. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't mind acquiring imagery of the operator's own territory...


KJ

Folks,

While some of this information on the F-35's sensors is fascinating, isn't this getting a little far out? I mean, if you wanted to do unobtrusive surveillance of your own citizens, your first choice is going to be to adapt one of the attack sensors in a well-known tactical aircraft of limited endurance? Were we worried about F-14/TARPS (which did have sensors designed to gather optical as well as non-visible range data) or its IRST which delivered perfectly usable images??

If you really wanted to do this, why not use Global Hawk, which can loiter up there for days? Or aerostats? Come to think of it, why not just use the CCTVs that cities seem to be putting up as fast as they can? Yes, their use by Torchwood has saved the Earth repeatedly, but what if some of the non-good guys started accessing those? In that case, an F-35 trying to kludge together an observation system for the five minutes it's flying by is not our big worry....

...and do we really know that the Dark Knight destroyed all of his cellphone surveillance system?
 

donnage99

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exactly what I was thinking. I mean, there are a bunch of systems that the government already have to spy on us that would do a better job then the f-35 in this aspect, so what's with all the fuss?
 

KJ_Lesnick

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F-14D

Do you think it's good that our government is putting up CCTV's everywhere they can?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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KJ, you've just invented a whole new dimension in off-topic. Please can we stick to discussing aircraft, not politics and civil liberties.
 

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Some questions for you guys here.

What's the avenue of the DAS to detect the adversary behind? Is it active or passive?

What's the method the F-35 possibly used to hide the track of missile launching? Please pay attention to how many speed and ranges the misisle would lose during the primal acceleration?
 

F-14D

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rousseau said:
Some questions for you guys here.

What's the avenue of the DAS to detect the adversary behind? Is it active or passive?

What's the method the F-35 possibly used to hide the track of missile launching? Please pay attention to how many speed and ranges the misisle would lose during the primal acceleration?

Close-in, there's probably not that much concern about concealing the missile launch. IN fact, close-in you'd probably want the other guy to know you'd launched so that he'd concentrate more on getting away from you than shooting at you.

The bigger issue with using this system for this purpose is one of those nasty little things that come back to haunt you when you try to do things on the cheap. When the competition for what would become AIM-9X was held, the US Gov't picked the least capable of all the proposals. In fact, the winning bidder bid two version, including one with a seeker with a much wider field of view, including almost over the shoulder. The Gov't picked the less capable version. They selected strictly on cost. Other capabilities were considered "nice to have" or "unneeded", but they didn't want to pay for them. AIM-9X met all of its promises, but we've seen since then that some things in AIM-9X needed to be enhanced, such as greater kinetic performance. One of the "nice to have" capabilities was lock-on after launch, meaning the missile's own seeker does not have to be tracking the target before launch (you can fire any Sidewinder without lock-on, but it's a matter of luck for it to acquire a target). For those aircraft with JHMCS, the helmet slews the seeker for lock, then you launch. The F-22 sticks the nose of the AIM-9 out of its bay and then either the aircraft maneuvers for the seeker to lock on, or the radar slews the seeker and then you launch.

To the best of my knowledge, at present AIM-9X does not have lock-on after launch. It has a wider field of view than previous versions, but still has to be tracking before launch. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Therefore, even if DAS sees the target at some extreme angle (or even behind), you can't exploit that until the seeker is maneuvered to a point where it "sees" and locks on to the target prior to launch. Hopefully, this "nice to have" capability will be added to AIM-9X by the time F-35 arrives. Given Lockheed's explanation (which is a valid one) of how it will fight, maybe we can draw the inference that there are plans to do just that.
 

rousseau

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It is the point that not concerning "lock-on after launch" but what shall happen before the F-35 launching.

How does F-35 know that adversary is following? Why Adversary has no right to launch first?
 

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The subject of the thread is JSF vs. Rafale for a Royal Navy future aircraft carriers, not the F-35's sensors, or the F-35 as strike element to the F-22s air superiority, though these are also interesting.

Below are the vital statistics for the two planes for comparison (if anyone has more up to date info please post).

From:-

http://www.military-heat.com/85/dassault-rafale-omnirole-fighter/

Dassault Rafale specifications

Crew: 1 or 2

Dimensions

Length 15.27 m (50.1 ft)
Wingspan 10.80 m (35.4 ft)
Height 5.34 m (17.4 ft)
Wing area 45.7 m² (492 ft²)

Weights

Empty weight 9,060 kg (20,000 lb)
Useful load 9,500 kg (21,000 lb)
Max takeoff weight 24,500 kg (54,000 lb)

Powerplant

2 x SNECMA M88-2 turbofans

Performance

Dry thrust 2 x 50 kN (11,250 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner 2 x 75 kN (17,000 lbf)
Maximum speed Mach 2 (2,130 km/h, 1,320 mph)
Range 1,800 km (970 nm, 1,100 mi)
Service ceiling 18,000 m (60,000 ft)
Rate of climb >305 m/s (60,000 ft/min)
Wing loading 326 kg/m² (83 1/3 lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight 1.13

Armament

Guns 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GIAT 30/719B cannon with 125 rounds

Missiles

Air-to-air

MICA IR/EM or
AIM-9 Sidewinder or
AIM-132 ASRAAM or
AIM-120 AMRAAM or
MBDA Meteor or
Magic II

Air-to-ground

MBDA Apache or
SCALP EG or
AASM or
AM 39 Exocet or
ASMP nuclear missile

From:-

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/fighter/f35/

Lockheed Martin F-35 specifications

CREW: one: pilot

WEIGHTS:
Empty (F-35A) about 22,500 lb (9,980 kg)
(F-35B) about 23,500 lb (10,660 kg)
(F-35C) about 24,000 lb (10,885 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff about 50,000 lb (22,680 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal:
(F-35A) 18,500 lb (8,390 kg)
(F-35B) 13,325 lb (6,045 kg)
(F-35C) 19,625 lb (8,900 kg)
external: unknown
Max Payload

(F-35A) 13,000 lb (5,895 kg)
(F-35B) 11,000 lb (4,990 kg)
(F-35C) 17,000 lb (7,710 kg)

PROPULSION:
Powerplant (F-35A/C) one Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan
(F-35B) one Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan and one Rolls-Royce/Allison shaft-driven lift-fan
Thrust (PW) about 35,000 lb (155 kN)
(RR) about 18,000 lb (80 kN)

PERFORMANCE:
Max Level Speed at altitude: at least Mach 1.5
at sea level: unknown
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling unknown
Range (F-35B) 1,080 nm (2,000 km)
(F-35C) 1,620 nm (3,000 km)
Endurance unknown
g-Limits (F-35A) +9.0 / -3.0

ARMAMENT:
Gun (F-35A) one 25-mm GAU-12 cannon
(F-35B) one external 25-mm GAU-12 gun pod
(F-35C) one external 25-mm GAU-12 gun pod
Stations four hardpoints in two internal weapon bays plus six external hardpoints
Air-to-Air Missile (internal) AIM-120C AMRAAM, AIM-132 ASRAAM
(external) AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-120B/C AMRAAM
Air-to-Surface Missile (internal) AGM-154 JSOW, Brimstone (cancelled)
(external) AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-88 HARM, AGM-158 JASSM, Storm Shadow
Bomb (internal) up to two GBU-12 Paveway laser-guided, up to two GBU-31/32/38 JDAM, up to two CBU-87/89 cluster, up to two CBU-103/104/105 WCMD
(external) GBU-10/12/16/24 Paveway laser-guided, GBU-31 JDAM, Mk 82/83/84 GP, CBU-99/100 Rockeye II cluster
Other various transport pods



In case no one else noticed, the UK isn't planning on flying F-22s off it's future carriers, so whichever plane they choose, it will have to do it's own fighting.
Also their AWACS cuing will probably be limited to the old Sea King lash-ups - probably not that useful in modern terms - until they buy Hawkeyes or equivalents (is there an equivalent?).
So much for the F-35 networking abilities.

Many of you will be please to hear I've found a picture of an F-35 weapons bay containing an clipped wing AMRAAM and what looks like a JDAM.
So in principle I concede that point (AMRAAM internal carriage) thought the bay looks a bit too clean to be anything other than a mock-up.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:F-35_weapons_bay.jpeg

I had previously been mislead by Flight reports of stealthy pylons being developed for under-wing ASSRAAM carriage, as an indication that they couldn't be carried internally - apparently they can but only one in each bay as they require an elaborate trapeze.
I'm still not clear whether any other weapons could be carried internally at the same time. (more info please)

Though much happier with the F-35's payload, I'm still concerned that it will not be able to carry the Meteor internally, the UK's chosen future BVR missile (is this correct?).
It is also worrying for other UK industry built weapon which may not ever be integrated.

To me the F-35s main selling points over the Rafale are: stealth, VTOL/STOVL (B version only) and systems.

The stealth is untested and potentially countered by better radars and thermal/optical sensors.
The VTOL/STOVL could be impractical due to development weight gain and payload verses range considerations.
The F-35's systems effectiveness maybe dependent on vulnerable off-board sensors (AWACS) unlikely to be available, in any case, to the Royal navy at sea.

The Rafale's main selling points over the F-35 appear to be: speed, agility, payload, availability, compatibility, systems(?) and price.

The Rafale can do mach 2 clean to the F-35's mach 1.5 and the French claim super-cruise with external stores.
The Rafale is a very agile plane which is vital in visual range combat, that comprises of the majority of combat, as visual identification is usually necessary in the real world - the F-35 has never been marketed on, or demonstrated this ability.
The Rafale can carry much more than the F-35 (twice as much as the F-35B), of weapons already existing in the UK inventory and with be able to launch Meteor.
It is in production now at an estimated(?) price of US$55 million each.
Despite the F-35's focus on affordability the price for the 2013 buy (according to Flight) is US$104 million each.
This could go up or down, just like the stock market, depending on how many are eventually bought.
I don't know much about the Rafale's radar but the Rafale has a low workload sophisticated man-machine interface and an interferometry based radar stealth system and was designed to have small radar cross section.
Perhaps is also more robust and not so dependent on US style networks as the F-35. (more info please)

The F-35 is growing on me, thanks the replies I've had, but I think you can see which way I'm currently leaning :).

Cheers, Woody
 

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F-14D

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Don't want to echo all of Woody's excellent post, but here's a bit of info (in no particular order):

The F135 engine as planned for the F-35 will put out 40,000 lbs. of thrust, as opposed to 35,000 in the F-22. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is in response to the F136 which was always starting out at 40,000 lbs.

F-35 was always designed to carry AIM-120. USAF was not all that concerned with the ability to carry AIM-9, since they are not a big proponent of that kind of weapon any more, but AMRAAM was an absolute must. As presently configured it can carry 2 AIM-120s and 2 2,000 lb bombs (2x 1,000 in the B for now). Meteor will fit in there, if someone wants to pay for the integration and modification of the launcher. Various non-US weapons can be fitted, if the host country wants to pay for it. Brimstone is already planned for integration. Because of its larger weapons bay, the F-35 could be configured to actually carry more air to air or air to ground ordnance internally than the F-22. It can also carry AIM-9 internally, but the issue of letting the seeker "see" the target prior to launch remains. It can carry ASRAAM, present British plans are two internal (it could carry four) and two external. The ASRAAM are in addition to the a/g loadout. AIM-9 can also be carried under the wings and on the wingtips. Italy, I believe plans to use the wingtip stations.

Although it is a 9g airplane, Lockheed concedes that it won't be the absolute most maneuverable aircraft out there, but that it will be agile "enough". What they say is that it will be able to see the other guy first and shoot first, and accelerate out of the close in arena and then return for another slashing attack if desired. It might be noted that this tactic, not sustained maneuvering, has been the most effective tactic in combat that actually results in kills. They still claim it will be the most effective aircraft in air-to-air combat next to the F-22, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be the best dogfighter. We'll see.

Although the JSF concept originally talked up the use of mostly offboard sensors, reality has caught up with that dream. Although it will be highly networkable, it is equipped for fully independent operation. Frankly, it would have to be if export sales are expected.

With a payload of up to 15,000 lbs (internal and external, B model), I'm not sure how that compares with Rafale. Regarding relative costs, there are so many different ways that is calculated by different sources and at different times (note that you use 2008 costs for Rafale and 2013 costs for F-35), that I find it virtually impossible to find true direct across precise cost comparisons between any two military aircraft. .

Keep in mind, I like Rafale a lot. I think it's a better aircraft than the Super Hornet. Frankly, if France had exploited their time advantage instead of diverting so much money to feel-good social programs, the Rafale would have absolutely owned the market. But that was then and this is now.
 

donnage99

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rousseau said:
It is the point that not concerning "lock-on after launch" but what shall happen before the F-35 launching.

How does F-35 know that adversary is following? Why Adversary has no right to launch first?
I don't understand your question, I think. Did you see the video I posted few pages back:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiNMio9zN2Q&fmt=18
 

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Thanks F-14.

It would be nice to see ASRAAM, internal Meteor, Exocet, Brimstone etc. all integrated into the F-35 and I'm sure the sales people have said this is possible. Unfortunately, Flight published an article some time ago saying Brimstone integration had been canceled. As we all know, what is theoretically possible with enough funding and what actually happens are two very different things (like fire suppressant foam on RAF Herculeses). I would like to see something more concrete but I'm sure we all would. We can't even be sure yet, that Britain will even get her new carriers.

Also thanks Donnage99.

The Northrop Grumman video selling the DAS system is excellent. Full credit to them for finally doing what every amateur fighter designer would have done years ago. They do hedge their bets though, talking of "near 20/20 visual acuity" (whatever that means) and their diagram of the aperture locations doesn't include a rear facing sensor (as far as I can see), where Oswall Boelke tells us to always attack from. Now if the designers can do the same for radar as they have done for DAS, so radar tracking and locks can be maintained in maneuvering, they will have cracked it. :)

Though the F-35 should have good acceleration, I'm not sure how it plans to "simply exit the fight" when fighting much faster Flankers. Does it expect to get entirely out of their range, with tailpipe blazing, before the Flanker can turn (and then be able itself to turn back before the flanker catches up to it)? The modern Flanker has a pretty good IRST as well (which isn't impressed by radar stealth) so the F-35's first look, first shoot is also a bit of an assumption.

As anyone who's tried a combat flight simulator can tell you, even when you have complete 360 degree information (all the cheets switched on) it is often impossible to keep track and use this information, maybe the helmet mounted display will help. I hope they get it right. But all in all the Northrop Grumman DAS sounds great, if it is modular and upgradable with time, I'm just not sure though they've got it on the right plane. ;)

Thanks again, Woody
 

donnage99

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Woody said:
Also thanks Donnage99.

The Northrop Grumman video selling the DAS system is excellent. Full credit to them for finally doing what every amateur fighter designer would have done years ago. They do hedge their bets though, talking of "near 20/20 visual acuity" (whatever that means) and their diagram of the aperture locations doesn't include a rear facing sensor (as far as I can see), where Oswall Boelke tells us to always attack from. Now if the designers can do the same for radar as they have done for DAS, so radar tracking and locks can be maintained in maneuvering, they will have cracked it. :)
I don't understand what you mean. Aren't they having 360 degree coverage like a ball surrounding the aircraft from all sides, including the rears?

Though the F-35 should have good acceleration, I'm not sure how it plans to "simply exit the fight" when fighting much faster Flankers. Does it expect to get entirely out of their range, with tailpipe blazing, before the Flanker can turn (and then be able itself to turn back before the flanker catches up to it)? The modern Flanker has a pretty good IRST as well (which isn't impressed by radar stealth) so the F-35's first look, first shoot is also a bit of an assumption.

As anyone who's tried a combat flight simulator can tell you, even when you have complete 360 degree information (all the cheets switched on) it is often impossible to keep track and use this information, maybe the helmet mounted display will help. I hope they get it right. But all in all the Northrop Grumman DAS sounds great, if it is modular and upgradable with time, I'm just not sure though they've got it on the right plane. ;)

Thanks again, Woody
They don't have to turn back toward the flanker. That's the whole point of the DAS, that the aircraft doesn't have to maneuver itself back to face the enemy target but still be able to get a lock on. That's why it simply "exit the fight."
 

Abraham Gubler

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Woody said:
As anyone who's tried a combat flight simulator can tell you, even when you have complete 360 degree information (all the cheets switched on) it is often impossible to keep track and use this information, maybe the helmet mounted display will help. I hope they get it right. But all in all the Northrop Grumman DAS sounds great, if it is modular and upgradable with time, I'm just not sure though they've got it on the right plane. ;)

Fortunately, apart from the inherent difference between an entertainment game and a real world fighter jet and pilot, the DAS tracking system provides the pilot with useable information about the position of any other objects nearby his aircraft rather than just an image of them on a computer screen. Having flown the JSF simulator I can tell you its all nicely presented on the big screen displays including in map modes so its easy to 'cheet' and realise where everyone is.
 

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Hi Donnage99

I don't understand what you mean. Aren't they having 360 degree coverage like a ball surrounding the aircraft from all sides, including the rears?

In the excellent video you posted, I could not see on Northrop Grumman's own diagram, any DAS sensors facing backwards. The language of the advertising seamed to leave open several loop-holes. Can anyone else confirm whether the F-35 DAS can see directly backwards?

They don't have to turn back toward the flanker. That's the whole point of the DAS, that the aircraft doesn't have to maneuver itself back to face the enemy target but still be able to get a lock on. That's why it simply "exit the fight."

As far as I know the AA-11 Archer (Russian - carried by the Flanker) and perhaps the Python 5 (Israeli) are the only missiles advertised to be able to fire at targets behind the launcher. Even the ASRAAM with lock on before launch would find if difficult and the AIM-9X, AMRAAM, Meteor - not a chance. (more information please) And even if the F-35 can see and fire backwards that doesn't equal being able to "exit the fight" with a faster opponent with many more and longer range missiles.

Fortunately, apart from the inherent difference between an entertainment game and a real world fighter jet and pilot, the DAS tracking system provides the pilot with useable information about the position of any other objects nearby his aircraft rather than just an image of them on a computer screen. Having flown the JSF simulator I can tell you its all nicely presented on the big screen displays including in map modes so its easy to 'cheet' and realise where everyone is.

Glad to hear that DAS is that easy to use Abraham. Sorry I don't have access to millions of dollars worth of other peoples money to play with, just the PC equivalents, which usually lead the capabilities of real systems by several decades ;D. Can you enlighten us on the questions above?

Also you have dismissed the significance of the Flanker threat to the F-35, can you elaborate?

Cheers, Woody
 
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