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KarelXWB
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F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:55 pm

The F-35C outer wings need a small redesign as it cannot carry the aircraft’s primary dogfight weapon.

The head of the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) says the outer wings of 32 carrier-based C-models need to be replaced to carry the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder, the aircraft’s primary dogfighting weapon.


Article
http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35c-n ... rry-aim-9x

Let's hope the costs of this redesign will be minimal.
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:28 am

At least it's just stiffening and not an airfoil redesign...
 
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kanban
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:21 am

looking at the article and comments, there appear to be other issues the fan boys would rather not address..
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:26 am

KarelXWB wrote:
The F-35C outer wings need a small redesign as it cannot carry the aircraft’s primary dogfight weapon.

Let's hope the costs of this redesign will be minimal.

This has been known for a while now and has been mentioned in I believe the last two DOT&E reports.

They have been going slow on the identified fix as it is not a priority for the program especially given the USN is not going IOC with the F-35C until Feb 2019, literally two years away from today...
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:39 am

It was known a long time ago that AIM-9X integration on the F-35C might need adjustments. And as the F-35C has the smallest buy of the 3 variants, and will be the last to enter service, it's been low on the priorities list.
 
VSMUT
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:58 am

kanban wrote:
looking at the article and comments, there appear to be other issues the fan boys would rather not address..


Looks like the fan boys agree with you on that one, they really don't want to address it :rotfl:
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:24 am

VSMUT wrote:
kanban wrote:
looking at the article and comments, there appear to be other issues the fan boys would rather not address..


Looks like the fan boys agree with you on that one, they really don't want to address it :rotfl:

???

What is there to address, the program has already identified the fix by strengthening several of the internal spars on the retractable wingtip.
 
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kanban
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:28 pm

the issue I have with it is: if these things have been known for ages, why haven't they been fixed??? Oh yes you can project some date 3-5 years out, but everything built will need modifications to bring them up to contract specification. meantime we have a flashy fleet of ineffective gate guards.

I can see Trump who refuses to pay for substandard and incomplete work refusing to pay LM.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:32 pm

Now you are taking issue with concurrancy. The ones that are flying right now we're built to an earlier development standard. While safe for flight and limited combat use, they are not a fully baked final model.

In older projects, a development standard was chosen and a large batch of fighters were built to that standard. Find out that it can't handle new weapon X? Tough tamales! You're getting 150 of them that way. Now, they start low rate production to a designated development standard and build a small batch of them and use them for a bit. What they learn is then applied to the next batch, as well as new capabilities that we're completed during that early batch. Then, they do this for a few cycles until the last low rate production batch has very few issues. Then, they issue the first full rate production batch and later take back the earlier frames and either rebuild them to the final standard, use them for testing, or buy them back and scrap them.

This addresses the days of building hundreds of deficient fighters that had to be replaced with later and later models until they were done right, often while killing trained pilots. So, while it lengthens the development cycle a lot, what you eventually get is USUALLY well ironed out.

It isn't so bad with small arms, light vehicles, etc, but gets to be quite expensive on tanks, fighters and literal combat ships, and is absolutely abominable on things like Ford class carriers where much of the first one has been torn up and rebuilt multiple times and now the second one is beginning to have the same issues.

In the end, I am confident that the F35B will be a solid fighter, exemplifying all that a 5th generation fighter should be. It will also be one of the earliest in mass production (the F22 arguably being the first, but not having all of the 5th gen features fully integrated at the time) and will therefore be shown to be lacking in some areas as it ages as compared to newer designs. What it will be is a ton more affordable in the long run than the F22, both to produce and to maintain. I kind of wish that they would take the F22, integrate all of the lessons learned from its production and usage, and from the F35 development, and produce a "B" model that is the ultimate evoluton of that design.
 
VSMUT
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:59 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
This addresses the days of building hundreds of deficient fighters that had to be replaced with later and later models until they were done right, often while killing trained pilots. So, while it lengthens the development cycle a lot, what you eventually get is USUALLY well ironed out.


Funny, I don't really remember how early F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s kept crashing and killing pilots. And I am pretty sure that the final F-15A in USAF service wasn't retired until 2009, and that many European nations operate some very early F-16As to this day. Deficient? Nah.

They also proved pretty capable of fitting a massive variety of new weapons to them, so you are also incorrect about that.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:00 pm

I don't understand. Isn't the whole point of the F35 to keep weapons housed internally? Why introduce external hardpoints?
Eat 'em up Kats!
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:31 am

I didn't say that concurrancy was a good idea. I said that that's why it's done this way now.

To your point about the F-15, F-16 and that generation of fighter, that was the culmination of 4 decades if rapid development in the milspec fighter world. Those were much improved over what came before. For those two frames, look at the preceeding century series fighters with the dozens of dead pilots and many lost frames that we're due to horrible landing characteristics that weren't really understood until they were in serial batch production. Many of them were limited to iron bombs and perhaps the sidewinder and sparrow for their entire lives.

The 4th Gen fighters benefitted a lot from computer aided design (even in its infancy in the 70s). Weapons integration benefitted from the rapid development of computers from 75 to present, which allowed more and more powerful radars, weapons control systems, and mfd integration. Earlier craft had fully fixed function computer systems based on early integrated circuits.

What some 4.5 and 5th gen fighters bring to the table is a basis on a general computing platform with missions systems being based on software primarily. Added capabilities come from software patches, not whole computer module replacements. This is a major change on design philosophy and has absolutely made a mess of the development of the F-35.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:17 am

TWA772LR wrote:
I don't understand. Isn't the whole point of the F35 to keep weapons housed internally? Why introduce external hardpoints?

Internal payload allows the F-35 to preserve its stealth characteristics when necessary while still carrying a meaningful payload. For missions where stealth is not necessary there are a seven external pylons available for carriage of ordnance.

Image

Below is an A2A graphic showing how the F-35A can carry 14 AAMs and will move to 16 AAMs when 6 AIM-120 are cleared for internal carriage. I expect a new US AAM to arrive early to mid 2020s custom designed for 5th gen platforms that will likely increase that internal loadout further.

Image
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:16 am

For reference, the only way to get 16 amrams in the air on a single frame is to use a specially outfitted F-15. This does it more economically and in greater numbers as needed. Just getting 6 in the air in LO layout will be a big step in airspace control.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:40 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
For reference, the only way to get 16 amrams in the air on a single frame is to use a specially outfitted F-15. This does it more economically and in greater numbers as needed. Just getting 6 in the air in LO layout will be a big step in airspace control.

Well not quite yet, the F-15 2040C is an offering by Boeing that has yet to be funded by the USAF or anyone else.

Image
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:48 pm

And, thusly, you have pointed out what I meant by "specially outfitted" ;)

I thought that I read somewhere that either Saudi Arabia or even the US were close to green lighting that update. Would be quite a feat of airspace saturation to have a few of those tagging along behind some F-35s that are doing some close in targeting work. As I understand it, they are developing the capability to deliver targeting information from a "hunter" F-35 that's running silent to some "long bowmen" legacy fighters that are functioning as missile trucks hanging off at a distance, allowing them to launch from a safer distance. The issue is that the AIM-120D still has rather "limited" range for that sort of thing. You'd need something that pushes the latest version of the Meteor's max range to really do that right.
 
SCAT15F
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:31 pm

Drives me up the wall that even with future variants of the F-15 they still won't fix the F-100 turkey feather problem. Adds drag and makes it look like junk. At least now there's the F110 option WITH turkey feathers. (for some reason Israel is able to make it work on the F-15I)
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:10 am

Because it isn't a "problem". The -229 engines can use them just fine, just takes funding to put them on.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:02 am

Ozair wrote:
Below is an A2A graphic showing how the F-35A can carry 14 AAMs and will move to 16 AAMs when 6 AIM-120 are cleared for internal carriage. I expect a new US AAM to arrive early to mid 2020s custom designed for 5th gen platforms that will likely increase that internal loadout further.


I don't understand why. Is it just a matter of showing off the hardpoints without bothering to illustrate a realistic mix of A2A and A2G weapons?

Alternately, what is the most AAM's an aircraft has ever fired in a sortie?

I understand F-16 pilots feeling lightly protected when carrying only 2+2 AMRAAMs and Sidewinders in addition to a strike loadout. I can't recall ever coming across a discussion where Eagle drivers, more primarily dedicated to the air-to-air missions, felt short with 4+4 or 6 + 2.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:14 am

Its not trying to show off a mixed mission. Instead, its showing off its capabilities in operating in a mixed grouping of seekers and archers. You have some F-35s operating in as stealthy of a configuration as possible passing targeting information to another set that are operating as missile trucks, packing as much BVR payload as they can to launch at designated targets. The key part of the F-35 is mission flexibility. It needs to be able to effectively do everything for everyone. This is just one aspect of it.
 
SCAT15F
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:16 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Below is an A2A graphic showing how the F-35A can carry 14 AAMs and will move to 16 AAMs when 6 AIM-120 are cleared for internal carriage. I expect a new US AAM to arrive early to mid 2020s custom designed for 5th gen platforms that will likely increase that internal loadout further.


I don't understand why. Is it just a matter of showing off the hardpoints without bothering to illustrate a realistic mix of A2A and A2G weapons?

Alternately, what is the most AAM's an aircraft has ever fired in a sortie?

I understand F-16 pilots feeling lightly protected when carrying only 2+2 AMRAAMs and Sidewinders in addition to a strike loadout. I can't recall ever coming across a discussion where Eagle drivers, more primarily dedicated to the air-to-air missions, felt short with 4+4 or 6 + 2.



That's a pretty good point. I know a couple F-15C drivers and they never mentioned missile loadout for air to air ever being an issue. I'm guessing the only time it would be an issue is if you're going up against China or Russia, and if it comes to that, we'll have much bigger problems to worry about.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:41 am

iamlucky13 wrote:

I don't understand why. Is it just a matter of showing off the hardpoints without bothering to illustrate a realistic mix of A2A and A2G weapons?

It's not uncommon to show a max A2A config.
Image

iamlucky13 wrote:
I understand F-16 pilots feeling lightly protected when carrying only 2+2 AMRAAMs and Sidewinders in addition to a strike loadout. I can't recall ever coming across a discussion where Eagle drivers, more primarily dedicated to the air-to-air missions, felt short with 4+4 or 6 + 2.

8 is about the max number most airframes carry, an example of this is Russian Su-30/35s carrying 6 AAM as a standard load in Syria. Carrying more increases drag for little benefit.
SCAT15F wrote:
That's a pretty good point. I know a couple F-15C drivers and they never mentioned missile loadout for air to air ever being an issue. I'm guessing the only time it would be an issue is if you're going up against China or Russia, and if it comes to that, we'll have much bigger problems to worry about.

As Lightning said there are a whole lot of tactical factors that could influence a max loadout. There is of course the arsenal plane concept http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1650624-most-read-2016-pentagon-arsenal-plane-b-52to allow 5th gen airframes to maintain a maximum stealth profile so from a practical perspective we probably won;t ever see an F-35 with 14 AIM-120s actually fly operationally.
 
SCAT15F
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:43 am

In the case of the F-35, More effort should be paid to fitting as many AA missiles inside the weapons bays rather than outside. Getting those 2 aim-9's or ASRAAMS inside would be much more worthwhile than replacing the outer wing sections. This is supposed to be a stealth aircraft, after all. Furthermore, the additional aerodynamic bulk of the F-35 results in part from internal weapons carriage. If a folding fin AIM-9 is needed then so be it. Don't add unnecessary drag to an already draggy airframe.

I honestly believe that 6 AMRAAM or 4 Meteor's and 2 AIM-9/ASRAAM can all be made to fit internally, and that is all that should be needed for air to air. Forget about the outer wing pylon.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:48 am

SCAT15F wrote:
In the case of the F-35, More effort should be paid to fitting as many AA missiles inside the weapons bays rather than outside. Getting those 2 aim-9's or ASRAAMS inside would be much more worthwhile than replacing the outer wing sections. This is supposed to be a stealth aircraft, after all. Furthermore, the additional aerodynamic bulk of the F-35 results in part from internal weapons carriage. If a folding fin AIM-9 is needed then so be it. Don't add unnecessary drag to an already draggy airframe.

I honestly believe that 6 AMRAAM or 4 Meteor's and 2 AIM-9/ASRAAM can all be made to fit internally, and that is all that should be needed for air to air. Forget about the outer wing pylon.



Why bother? The AIM-120 is a competent dogfighting missile in of itself. And besides, why try to go to WVR when you can just have the option to stay at BVR to engage the opponent? The only way I could foresee a benefit to getting something like ASRAAM or AIM-9X in a spot that can hold an AMRAAM is if you can carry 2-3 of them; since that isn't happening, I would rather have the option to stay at BVR if possible.

Also, we could just wait roughly decade until AFRL brings out their proposed SACM... imagine packing roughly 12 missiles into the F-35 internally, and they would all have the reach of the current AIM-120C's...
 
SCAT15F
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:48 pm

That would be a game changer...
 
acinvestigator
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Re: F-35C needs new outer wings to carry AIM-9X

Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:49 am

The F35 (RAAF F35A) has just touched down in Australia for the first time, at the Avalon Air Show. This marks the beginning of a new era in Australia's air defence capabilities. I'll be at the air show tomorrow to see the JSF in person.

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