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The F-35 Discussion Topic (No Holds Barred II)

marauder2048

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lastdingo said:
Why? What do they have that's still to be expected to be in working order?
They've had huge cash shortages since the early 90's, after all.

All I saw so far was about the having SA-2, -3, -5; that's 60's equipment, without even the famous SA-6 of Yom Kippur War fame.
Their SA-7 are likely defective by now, and were rather harmless 30 years ago already.

I wouldn't be surprised if they cannibalised old SAM solid rocket fuels for other missiles or converted SAMs into SRBMs with chemical warheads.
Those cash shortages have long since been rectified; rare earths are in high demand especially since China has been throttling their own output.

Given that we've seen fairly modern Chinese-origin TELs in DPRK parades it's not unreasonable to assume that the North Koreans
have improved air defense elements as well. And there's that rapprochement with Russia...
 

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marauder2048 said:
Those cash shortages have long since been rectified; rare earths are in high demand especially since China has been throttling their own output.
I don't think so. According to CIA World Factbook:

North Korea

Exports: $3.834 billion (2013 est.) $3.955 billion (2012 est.)


Imports: $4.647 billion (2013 est.) $4.832 billion (2012 est.)
They're bleeding out by almost a billion dollars annually, which is

GDP (official exchange rate): $28 billion (2013 est.)

approx. 4 % of GDP, and they have

Debt - external: $5 billion (2013 est.)

already!

North Korea still has huge trade problems and is still extremely short on foreign currency. It simply cannot set up a respectable "IADS". Its air defences are numerous, but weak (and the missile systems are likely mostly inoperative) - even by 1970's standards.

No country needs better aircraft than late F-4 / early F-16 to wage air war against North Korea's with ease if its air force personnel is competent.
 

marauder2048

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lastdingo said:
marauder2048 said:
Those cash shortages have long since been rectified; rare earths are in high demand especially since China has been throttling their own output.
I don't think so. According to CIA World Factbook:

North Korea

Exports: $3.834 billion (2013 est.) $3.955 billion (2012 est.)


Imports: $4.647 billion (2013 est.) $4.832 billion (2012 est.)
They're bleeding out by almost a billion dollars annually, which is

GDP (official exchange rate): $28 billion (2013 est.)

approx. 4 % of GDP, and they have

Debt - external: $5 billion (2013 est.)

already!

North Korea still has huge trade problems and is still extremely short on foreign currency. It simply cannot set up a respectable "IADS". Its air defences are numerous, but weak (and the missile systems are likely mostly inoperative) - even by 1970's standards.

No country needs better aircraft than late F-4 / early F-16 to wage air war against North Korea's with ease if its air force personnel is competent.
All old estimates before China began restricting its rare earths exports. A sizable chunk of NK's rare earths are sold to Japan under the table.
 

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marauder2048 said:
All old estimates before China began restricting its rare earths exports.
Actually, it's EXACTLY the opposite of what you claim here.
Back in 2012 the PRC began to ease its rare earths export restrictions which had been in place for years by that time.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-ends-rare-earth-minerals-export-quotas-1420441285
 

marauder2048

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lastdingo said:
marauder2048 said:
All old estimates before China began restricting its rare earths exports.
Actually, it's EXACTLY the opposite of what you claim here.
Back in 2012 the PRC began to ease its rare earths export restrictions which had been in place for years by that time.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-ends-rare-earth-minerals-export-quotas-1420441285
Did you read the entire article? There are many non-reviewable, extra-legal mechanisms to restrict rare earths exports.
 

lastdingo

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Oh boy, did you already forget how you asserted that

China began restricting its rare earths exports
after 2013?


It had its rare earths exports restricted many years before 2013, period.

I only claimed

Back in 2012 the PRC began to ease its rare earths export restrictions
not that it abolished them entirely, so you didn't even correct me on anything.


Your assertions that North Korea solved its trade and foreign currency liquidity issues post-2013 is wrong, and worse: Even if it had done so, it would certainly not have built respectable IADS within less than two years. So no, NK is still piss poor, and still incapable of modernizing its military. Its military is still stuck in the 1960's and South Korea does not face any qualitative challenge by NK.
 

marauder2048

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lastdingo said:
Oh boy, did you already forget how you asserted that

China began restricting its rare earths exports
after 2013?


It had its rare earths exports restricted many years before 2013, period.

I only claimed

Back in 2012 the PRC began to ease its rare earths export restrictions
not that it abolished them entirely, so you didn't even correct me on anything.


Your assertions that North Korea solved its trade and foreign currency liquidity issues post-2013 is wrong, and worse: Even if it had done so, it would certainly not have built respectable IADS within less than two years. So no, NK is still piss poor, and still incapable of modernizing its military. Its military is still stuck in the 1960's and South Korea does not face any qualitative challenge by NK.
Since when are public domain trade and currency liquidity relevant to clandestine military buildups? There is something called barter and NK has something many countries need; about $3.2 trillion in economically recoverable rare earths.

And China performed no easing: in fact, they lost a WTO case this year on its restrictions and will now move to non-tariff/export quota based approaches. Everyone has been trying to diversify in the intervening years since China announced official restrictions and has been willing to pay a premium to guarantee a continuous supply.

As for a military stuck in the 60's...I don't believe MiG-29s are 60's era designs. And the late-generation SA-5s they got in the late 80's aren't feeble.
 

sferrin

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lastdingo said:
Oh boy, did you already forget how you asserted that

China began restricting its rare earths exports
after 2013?


It had its rare earths exports restricted many years before 2013, period.

I only claimed

Back in 2012 the PRC began to ease its rare earths export restrictions
not that it abolished them entirely, so you didn't even correct me on anything.


Your assertions that North Korea solved its trade and foreign currency liquidity issues post-2013 is wrong, and worse: Even if it had done so, it would certainly not have built respectable IADS within less than two years. So no, NK is still piss poor, and still incapable of modernizing its military. Its military is still stuck in the 1960's and South Korea does not face any qualitative challenge by NK.

Pretty sure the topic is the F-35 not North Korean trade.
 

lastdingo

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Military power is relative. The knowledge that NK is no qulitative match beyond what could be handled with 70's equipment is relevant to the appraisal of the F-35 in SEAD/DEAD/general A2G/air superiority roles.

There are but two air forces which help justify the air force modernisation effort and expense; the Russian and the Chinese ones. Both will have dedicated heavy LO fighters in service during the 2020's and 2030's, which affects the viability of the F-35 in the fighter role.

The F-35's fighter role may then be suppressed by approx. 180 F-22's in USAF service, but it'll be very relevant for USN and all other expected customers other than maybe the UK and Italy.

The F-35 is fiscal overkill against poor opposing forces such as NK's, and it's likely insufficient as a fighter for most (potential) buyers when facing great powers. Most medium and small air forces do not afford a dedicated high end fighter in parallel, so the choice in favour of the F-35 reduced them to auxiliary air forces helpful in A2G missions mostly. This doesn't look well for customers like Norway, which faces the Russian air power hub at Murmansk, while being far away from any realistic Typhoon or F-22 base.
By comparison, back in the 80's even small countries like Belgium and Denmark had a respectable F-16 fighter force.



@Marauder: The global rare earths market was estimated to be USD 5 bn large in 2014.
I say NK did not export rare earths worth a fifth of this in a clandestine fashion (and claims about their reserves in the ground are even less reputable than Saudi Arabia's). You may think so, but it's merely your fantasy until you come up with a modicum of evidence. I cited the CIA World Factbook - go ahead, try to beat that reference weight.
 

sferrin

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lastdingo said:
Military power is relative. The knowledge that NK is no qulitative match beyond what could be handled with 70's equipment is relevant to the appraisal of the F-35 in SEAD/DEAD/general A2G/air superiority roles.

There are but two air forces which help justify the air force modernisation effort and expense;
Please tell me you're not one of those who think mechanical systems last forever. Modernization would be justified even if Gobon was the only threat. Jets wear out.
 

kaiserd

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lastdingo said:
Military power is relative. The knowledge that NK is no qulitative match beyond what could be handled with 70's equipment is relevant to the appraisal of the F-35 in SEAD/DEAD/general A2G/air superiority roles.

There are but two air forces which help justify the air force modernisation effort and expense; the Russian and the Chinese ones. Both will have dedicated heavy LO fighters in service during the 2020's and 2030's, which affects the viability of the F-35 in the fighter role.

The F-35's fighter role may then be suppressed by approx. 180 F-22's in USAF service, but it'll be very relevant for USN and all other expected customers other than maybe the UK and Italy.

The F-35 is fiscal overkill against poor opposing forces such as NK's, and it's likely insufficient as a fighter for most (potential) buyers when facing great powers. Most medium and small air forces do not afford a dedicated high end fighter in parallel, so the choice in favour of the F-35 reduced them to auxiliary air forces helpful in A2G missions mostly. This doesn't look well for customers like Norway, which faces the Russian air power hub at Murmansk, while being far away from any realistic Typhoon or F-22 base.
By comparison, back in the 80's even small countries like Belgium and Denmark had a respectable F-16 fighter force.



@Marauder: The global rare earths market was estimated to be USD 5 bn large in 2014.
I say NK did not export rare earths worth a fifth of this in a clandestine fashion (and claims about their reserves in the ground are even less reputable than Saudi Arabia's). You may think so, but it's merely your fantasy until you come up with a modicum of evidence. I cited the CIA World Factbook - go ahead, try to beat that reference weight.
A few quick points;
- As I'm sure others will note that even allowing for life-extensions and mid-life updates fighter aircraft inevitably wear out and have to be replaced.
- The resulting question is what to replace them with; the resulting answer is, with everything else being equal, is the best available aircraft as these should have the longest viable lived. For most customers that's likely to be the F35 (with possible pattern being countries denied the F35 going for the Typhoon or Rafale).
- If everything isn't equal (military budgets etc) some countries will opt for cheaper options such as the Gripen F. These will likely to be less of a match versus Russian and Chinese 5-generation fighters than the F35 would have been.
- I'm a fan of the F16 but the comparison you are making re: it's relative prowess versus the F35 when each entered service is quite wrong. The mid-late euro F16s entered service as fighter bombers with the Soviet "best-in-class" the Su27 Flanker entering service around me the same time or shortly after. The Flanker had a better dogfighting missile (Archer) and had a viable (if still semi-active) medium range missile (Almo). Now having jettisoned its bombs and having survived long enough to get to the merge a F16 could give a Flanker a fight but it would be at a disadvantage. In realty it was the AMRAAM capability in the 90's without the large scale fielding of the contemporary Adder that gave the F16 its strongest period as an effective pure fighter. The F35 will likely give a much greater jump in relative air to air leathality than the F16 ever did, a short of the F22 it easily represents the most capable opponent for a Russian or Chinese 5th generation fighter that can be fielded in this decade and the next.
 

kaiserd

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Quick additional point; when did "small or medium" airforces ever operate top of line air superiority fighters?
Not exactly how I would describe the average F15 customer who tended to need deep pockets and/or a larger fighter force to support.
 

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Triton said:
I can imagine that the weight restriction could be misinterpreted as a form of gender discrimination. This is probably the reason that Lt. Col. Christina Mau is mentioned specifically.

I think that they were already asked specifically if this was going to be negatively affecting female pilots of smaller stature, so they're getting ahead of that as it is.
 

sferrin

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kaiserd said:
lastdingo said:
Military power is relative. The knowledge that NK is no qulitative match beyond what could be handled with 70's equipment is relevant to the appraisal of the F-35 in SEAD/DEAD/general A2G/air superiority roles.

There are but two air forces which help justify the air force modernisation effort and expense; the Russian and the Chinese ones. Both will have dedicated heavy LO fighters in service during the 2020's and 2030's, which affects the viability of the F-35 in the fighter role.

The F-35's fighter role may then be suppressed by approx. 180 F-22's in USAF service, but it'll be very relevant for USN and all other expected customers other than maybe the UK and Italy.

The F-35 is fiscal overkill against poor opposing forces such as NK's, and it's likely insufficient as a fighter for most (potential) buyers when facing great powers. Most medium and small air forces do not afford a dedicated high end fighter in parallel, so the choice in favour of the F-35 reduced them to auxiliary air forces helpful in A2G missions mostly. This doesn't look well for customers like Norway, which faces the Russian air power hub at Murmansk, while being far away from any realistic Typhoon or F-22 base.
By comparison, back in the 80's even small countries like Belgium and Denmark had a respectable F-16 fighter force.



@Marauder: The global rare earths market was estimated to be USD 5 bn large in 2014.
I say NK did not export rare earths worth a fifth of this in a clandestine fashion (and claims about their reserves in the ground are even less reputable than Saudi Arabia's). You may think so, but it's merely your fantasy until you come up with a modicum of evidence. I cited the CIA World Factbook - go ahead, try to beat that reference weight.
A few quick points;
- As I'm sure others will note that even allowing for life-extensions and mid-life updates fighter aircraft inevitably wear out and have to be replaced.
- The resulting question is what to replace them with; the resulting answer is, with everything else being equal, is the best available aircraft as these should have the longest viable lived. For most customers that's likely to be the F35 (with possible pattern being countries denied the F35 going for the Typhoon or Rafale).
- If everything isn't equal (military budgets etc) some countries will opt for cheaper options such as the Gripen F. These will likely to be less of a match versus Russian and Chinese 5-generation fighters than the F35 would have been.
- I'm a fan of the F16 but the comparison you are making re: it's relative prowess versus the F35 when each entered service is quite wrong. The mid-late euro F16s entered service as fighter bombers with the Soviet "best-in-class" the Su27 Flanker entering service around me the same time or shortly after. The Flanker had a better dogfighting missile (Archer) and had a viable (if still semi-active) medium range missile (Almo). Now having jettisoned its bombs and having survived long enough to get to the merge a F16 could give a Flanker a fight but it would be at a disadvantage.
Let's not forget that for years after the F-16 entered service it didn't even have BVR. It was outclassed in the air-to-air mission by the Mig-23 with it's AA-7 Apex. Nearly 1000 F-16s entered service with no BVR capability.
 

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kaiserd said:
Quick additional point; when did "small or medium" airforces ever operate top of line air superiority fighters?
Not exactly how I would describe the average F15 customer who tended to need deep pockets and/or a larger fighter force to support.
It was common in the 30's, even during WW2 (Turkey bought Fw 190As during the war, for example).
Mirage IIIs were exported widely, and were on par with if not more efficient than anything the USAF or Soviet air force had for air superiority during the 60's and most of the 70's.
The F-16s in service in the UAE are superior to USAF F-16s, if not (in regard to efficiency) USAF F-15s.
F-15s were less efficient air superiority fighters than the European F-16s unless detached from search radar support (land-based or Sentry).
The MiG-29 was the premier air superiority fighter of Soviet Union/Russia in the 80's and 90's (Su-27 were much rarer long range niche fighters by comparison), and was widely exported to small air forces.

A large air force having a vast qualitative overmatch based on a single fighter type rather than only by an orchestra of specialised aircraft is a F-22-era novelty. The USAF had no good air superiority fighter between Super Sabre and Eagle, that is during the late 60's!


@sferrin:
The AA-7 wasn't really effective, particularly not against a RWR-equipped and agile F-16. Pk for AA-7 vs. AF-16 would no doubt have not been able to compensate for the MiG-23's inferiority in dogfights (the MiG-23 wasn't weak in dogfights, but still inferior). It was the MiG-29 -once equipped with R-73 and if well-maintained - that was the problem for F-16s.



edit: typo fixed
 

sferrin

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lastdingo said:
@sferrin:
The AA-7 wasn't really effective, particularly not against a RWR-equipped and agile F-16.
Pure speculation. Nor does it change the fact that the Mig-23 would get first shot almost every time, forcing the F-16 to evade while the MiG closed in with AA-8s. Same with the Mig-25. Not something one can just hand-wave away.
 

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sferrin said:
DrRansom said:
sferrin - we'll see how close the F-35 performed to the F-18. That'll have to wait until after the control laws are fixed.
Yep. Imagine if Social Media were around for the F-14's first crash with those underpowered "interim" engines, or scores of engineless F-15s sitting there "useless", F-16s that couldn't fight at night or engage BVR, "flawed" B-52s that have their tails fall off, etc. etc. etc. Because "if it bleeds it leads" we are constantly bombarded by negativity (not just the F-35 but in general). Some shrink PhD candidate has probably already written a thesis on the effect it is having on society. I can't imagine it would be positive.
There is a significant difference in all of your examples. The F-14 could have been fixed with a new engine; it was not a design flaw in the airplane. The engineless F-15's were not a design flaw in the airplane. The F-16s w/o BVR/night fighting abilities was correctable with avionics, and again, not a design flaw.
The problem with the F-35 is THE F-35s AIRFRAME. It arguably has the worlds most powerful engine in a fighter, and the sweetest avionics ever flown. What is the end result? It can't turn or accelerate with airplanes 40 years old. I hear that will be remedied eventually with a new airframe in 2035. It's not as if the DoD doesn't know how to build fast, stealthy, maneuverable airplanes.
 

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tacitblue said:
The problem with the F-35 is THE F-35s AIRFRAME. It arguably has the worlds most powerful engine in a fighter, and the sweetest avionics ever flown. What is the end result? It can't turn or accelerate with airplanes 40 years old.
 

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sferrin said:
lastdingo said:
@sferrin:
The AA-7 wasn't really effective, particularly not against a RWR-equipped and agile F-16.
Pure speculation. Nor does it change the fact that the Mig-23 would get first shot almost every time, forcing the F-16 to evade while the MiG closed in with AA-8s. Same with the Mig-25. Not something one can just hand-wave away.
Actually, even the AA-10 has a poor track record and a very low pk against aware, agile fighters.
The AMRAAM didn't even score well against largely unaware fighters.
AA-7 was primitive compared to both of these.[/quote]



edit: For some reason I cannot modify the final /quote away, no matter how often I try.
 

sferrin

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lastdingo said:
Actually, even the AA-10 has a poor track record and a very low pk against aware, agile fighters.
The AMRAAM didn't even score well against largely unaware fighters.
AA-7 was primitive compared to both of these.
Again, "well the other guy's missiles suck anyway" is not a viable defense.
 

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sferrin said:
lastdingo said:
Actually, even the AA-10 has a poor track record and a very low pk against aware, agile fighters.
The AMRAAM didn't even score well against largely unaware fighters.
AA-7 was primitive compared to both of these.
Again, "well the other guy's missiles suck anyway" is not a viable defense.
The BVR fight is supposed to attrit the enemy before the WVR fight (in simple cases). The less lethality there is in BVR, the more WVR fights will happen.
Now early F-16s had no BVR capability and MiG-23 had little - which means the MiG-23 won't reduce the F-16 opposition (or its energy) by much prior to the WVR fight.

20 MiG-23 facing 20 F-16A and killing 50% in BVR would end up 20vs10 in WVR and likely win.
20 MiG-23 facing 20 F-16A and killing 10% in BVR would end up 20vs18 in WVR and likely lose.

The pk (per missile, or per BVR phase) is relevant, and your one-liner doesn't change this.


This applies to F-35 as well.
 

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lastdingo said:
sferrin said:
lastdingo said:
Actually, even the AA-10 has a poor track record and a very low pk against aware, agile fighters.
The AMRAAM didn't even score well against largely unaware fighters.
AA-7 was primitive compared to both of these.
Again, "well the other guy's missiles suck anyway" is not a viable defense.
The BVR fight is supposed to attrit the enemy before the WVR fight (in simple cases). The less lethality there is in BVR, the more WVR fights will happen.
Now early F-16s had no BVR capability and MiG-23 had little - which means the MiG-23 won't reduce the F-16 opposition (or its energy) by much prior to the WVR fight.
The Mig-23 had far more than "little". It had a long range look-down, shoot-down PD radar and a pair of AA-7s. It was a combination that caused enough concern that NATO generals weren't crazy about giving up their F-4s.
 

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Until we got our hands on the MiG-23 and realized what a load of carp it was, that is.
 

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LowObservable said:
Until we got our hands on the MiG-23 and realized what a load of carp it was, that is.
"Hey that thing is probably a load of crap, so we don't need to worry about it" doesn't sound like a viable strategy either. You have to base your force on what your best guess of the other guy's capability is. We thought the Mig-23 was a viable threat (certainly NATO generals did) yet we elected to put the F-16 into service with no BVR anyway.
 

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sferrin said:
tacitblue said:
The problem with the F-35 is THE F-35s AIRFRAME. It arguably has the worlds most powerful engine in a fighter, and the sweetest avionics ever flown. What is the end result? It can't turn or accelerate with airplanes 40 years old.
Wow! What a rebuttal.
 

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tacitblue said:
sferrin said:
tacitblue said:
The problem with the F-35 is THE F-35s AIRFRAME. It arguably has the worlds most powerful engine in a fighter, and the sweetest avionics ever flown. What is the end result? It can't turn or accelerate with airplanes 40 years old.
Wow! What a rebuttal.
I didn't think you'd understand, or have the attention span for, anything more complicated.
 

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sferrin said:
tacitblue said:
sferrin said:
tacitblue said:
The problem with the F-35 is THE F-35s AIRFRAME. It arguably has the worlds most powerful engine in a fighter, and the sweetest avionics ever flown. What is the end result? It can't turn or accelerate with airplanes 40 years old.
Wow! What a rebuttal.
I didn't think you'd understand, or have the attention span for, anything more complicated.
Ha ha! Woah, going for an emotional response. Are you on lockmarts payroll? You're taking your move from a liberal democrat's playbook.
 

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tacitblue said:
sferrin said:
tacitblue said:
sferrin said:
tacitblue said:
The problem with the F-35 is THE F-35s AIRFRAME. It arguably has the worlds most powerful engine in a fighter, and the sweetest avionics ever flown. What is the end result? It can't turn or accelerate with airplanes 40 years old.
Wow! What a rebuttal.
I didn't think you'd understand, or have the attention span for, anything more complicated.
Ha ha! Woah, going for an emotional response. Are you on lockmarts payroll? You're taking your move from a liberal democrat's playbook.
You don't disappoint.
 

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sferrin said:
LowObservable said:
Until we got our hands on the MiG-23 and realized what a load of carp it was, that is.
"Hey that thing is probably a load of crap, so we don't need to worry about it" doesn't sound like a viable strategy either. You have to base your force on what your best guess of the other guy's capability is. We thought the Mig-23 was a viable threat (certainly NATO generals did) yet we elected to put the F-16 into service with no BVR anyway.

...because BVR was crap and only workable under a strict tactical regime that was almost guaranteed to collapse on day 1.
Without said regime BVR fratricide would have become unbearable. 1980's radars were not able to identify aircraft types yet.

In the end, F-16s were top quality when introduced and used by several small air forces during the 80's. This gave them top quality fighters, unlike ~2020 when three heavy LO fighters (and possibly the more agility-oriented Typhoon) will be top dogs, while the F-16 successor will be a very uncertain A2A asset. The small partner nations likely expected to get a more air combat oriented JSF when they signed up than the F-35 appears to become.
 

quellish

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sferrin said:
Pure speculation. Nor does it change the fact that the Mig-23 would get first shot almost every time, forcing the F-16 to evade while the MiG closed in with AA-8s. Same with the Mig-25. Not something one can just hand-wave away.
The HAVE PAD final report has been declassified and available for a number of years. It would be wise to review those kinds of materials before stating "fact".
 

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""Bob Drabant, the original Have Pad pilot, recalled the MiG-23 "could accelerate like no other fighter we had seen. . .[but] was not a dogfighter and could be easily defeated." The MiG-23 pilots would attempt to fire from a distance and then "blow through" and run or use one ship as a decoy while a second maneuvered for a surprise conversion from the rear of the "blue" forces. The Americans found the only way to defeat the MiG was to draw its pilot into a turning fight or to use the F-15's superior radar to "lock" the MiG-23 and shoot it head-on."" - The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam

Well that sounds absolutely fascinating - if you happen to have an APG-63 and BVR. Less so if you're stuck with a pair of heaters. And of course they were flying the earlier models, not the MLD.
 

kaiserd

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Not sure how the discussion got hooked on F16 versus MIG23.

My original comments, and the actual comparison that I was trying to refute, related to how the F16 entering service was supposed to be so much better in relative terms better than the F35 when it enters service.
Claims that the F35 will be easy meat for PAK-FAs and Chinese stealth fighters the comparison with the F16 is then in relation to aircraft entering around the same time or in the immediate few years subsequently and in limited numbers, and which per unit is at the very least as expensive for opponent to field (the Flanker) not existing fighters already in service (for example the MIG23).

The comparison of the mid 80's F16 (no BVR weapons, etc) versus the Flanker (AA-10s not AA-7s with capabilities similar to late not early Sparrows, AA-11s and helmet mounted sights) is a whole lot less flattering than any reasonable non-biased comparisons of the F35 and its likely adversaries as the F35 enters service.
I am merely pointing to the rather rose tinted glasses and the obvious selection bias of some of the contributors.
 

sferrin

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kaiserd said:
Not sure how the discussion got hooked on F16 versus MIG23.

My original comments, and the actual comparison that I was trying to refute, related to how the F16 entering service was supposed to be so much better in relative terms better than the F35 when it enters service.
That's where the comparison came in. :D


kaiserd said:
I am merely pointing to the rather rose tinted glasses and the obvious selection bias of some of the contributors.
For sure. [/quote]
 

lastdingo

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kaiserd,
I already mentioned the F-16 was not really matched up against the Su-27 (except in Norway). Su-27s were not front-line fighters in Europe during the Cold War. They were mostly based close to St. Petersburg and on arctic bases where their long range mattered much.
The relevant matchup in Central Europe where most F-16s were in use during the 80's was F-16 vs. MiG-21/-23/-29, and all but the MiG-29 with R-73 and helmet sight were very much inferior to a F-16 unless they had large non-technical advantages.

The Su-27 was delivered to the air forces as late as 1985, and by the end of the Cold War only about 200 of them had been built.
The famous arms deal of the century was about 348 F-16s and sealed in '75 already, with most of them being in service in small European NATO member states by '85.

It looks a lot as if PAK-FA on the other hand will become a general air superiority fighter, with Su-34 and possibly even Su-25 as A2G partners.


Small air forces having a top quality fighter was normal pre-F-22. In fact, it was not uncommon for generations to see better fighters in medium-sized air forces than in some great power/superpower air forces.
 

kaiserd

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lastdingo said:
kaiserd,
I already mentioned the F-16 was not really matched up against the Su-27 (except in Norway). Su-27s were not front-line fighters in Europe during the Cold War. They were mostly based close to St. Petersburg and on arctic bases where their long range mattered much.
The relevant matchup in Central Europe where most F-16s were in use during the 80's was F-16 vs. MiG-21/-23/-29, and all but the MiG-29 with R-73 and helmet sight were very much inferior to a F-16 unless they had large non-technical advantages.

The Su-27 was delivered to the air forces as late as 1985, and by the end of the Cold War only about 200 of them had been built.
The famous arms deal of the century was about 348 F-16s and sealed in '75 already, with most of them being in service in small European NATO member states by '85.

It looks a lot as if PAK-FA on the other hand will become a general air superiority fighter, with Su-34 and possibly even Su-25 as A2G partners.


Small air forces having a top quality fighter was normal pre-F-22. In fact, it was not uncommon for generations to see better fighters in medium-sized air forces than in some great power/superpower air forces.
Per your own argument / logic above if we accept that the F16 didn't face up to the Flanker (I don't really agree with this, but for the sake of argument) then how the hell does the F35 face up to the PAK FA or sundry Chinese stealth fighters.

Despite other possible aspirations the PAK FA and the Chinese aircraft are clearly not now intended to be backbone of their respective airforces but to be smaller complementary components akin to what happened to the F22.
This can be seen in the cutting of orders and pushing back of production of the PAK FA (which is still waiting for its finalised engines), and the continued orders for advanced Flanker variants.
And all of these Russian and Chinese aircraft, if they do indeed all enter service, will enter service years behind the F35. And their overall capabilities at this stage are not clear (in general and versus a F35).

Your other comments about quality of fighter types is again selective bolder-dash.
The Mirage was a good fighter but objectively not exceptionally so versus its contemporaries; its reputation owed a lot to the Israeli airforces performance versus its Arab adversaries.
Probably the best fighters of their time the F4 and the F15 generally weren't bought by such airforces, for various reasons the F22 couldn't be bought by such airforces and the Soviets aircraft generally purposely intended to be more meat-and-potatoes before the Flanker came around.
 

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LowObservable said:
By the way, for all the historical revisionists: Don't forget that both the Falklands and Bekaa Valley showed the effectiveness of the AIM-9L, while most SARH weapons were considered to have low Pk.
I don't think anybody said the AIM-9L was a piece of crap. I'd still rather have BVR in addition so I wouldn't have to play chicken with the other guy's BVR missiles while not being able to shoot back.



LowObservable said:
I guess that being basically a one-trick pony, and relying entirely on one characteristic while carrying only two weapons with low Pk against your targets, doesn't amount to a winning strategy.
LOL.
 

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The F-4 was inferior to a Mirage for continental A2A because it required almost exactly twice as many resources. F-4 fleet efficiency was way inferior because the correct comparison is two Mirage IIIE vs. one F-4E. The F-4 was a definitive loser in such a matchup.

The Mirage III was very good compared to what the USAF used at the time because the USAF had but two fighters that even deserve being compared; Super Sabre (outmatched at high altitudes at least) and Phantom II (see above). The USN had the Crusader as well, but overall the picture was clearly that both the Soviet Union and the United States had no clearly superior and dominating fighter designs in their inventory compared to countries like Pakistan, Switzerland, Brazil or Lebanon.
Even the introduction of the F-15 didn't change much, since its extremely high cost delivered an ordinary fleet efficiency only. 1980's-era U.S. air power was overwhelming due to gigantic budget (numbers or expensive planes) and the integration of support planes (tankers, AEW&C, ECM).

This paradigm changed only with the introduction of and export ban for the F-22.

And yes, I assert the Russians will use PAK-FA as their premier front-line fighter because they will use their worn Su-30 et al for secondary theatres and strategic air defence where AK-FA's fuselage advantages don't matter.
There's no need for a MiG-21-kind of cheap fighter in the mix because BVR combat has become more relevant and SAMs can easily substitute for light or medium interceptors. The old MiG-21 niche is gone. All you need nowadays is a high end fighter, not a hi/lo mix.

Again; the paradigm changed, and small Western air forces will have no such high end fighter in the 2020's unless the Russians are incompetent and cannot produce a much, much better dedicated A2A machine than the clearly multi-role and VTOL-impaired F-35.
 

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The AIM-9L was far from a piece of crap.


As for the R-23 - it's record wasn't exactly stellar.
 

sferrin

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lastdingo said:
The F-4 was inferior to a Mirage for continental A2A because it required almost exactly twice as many resources. F-4 fleet efficiency was way inferior because the correct comparison is two Mirage IIIE vs. one F-4E. The F-4 was a definitive loser in such a matchup.
"My plane is better because I need twice as many of them to win."
 
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