estorilm
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Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:03 pm

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-defence-lockheed-exclusive/exclusive-lockheed-martin-to-propose-stealthy-hybrid-of-f-22-and-f-35-for-japan-sources-idUSKBN1HR0MM

Fairly shocking news, it would essentially hand over / declassify many aspects of the F-22's systems and construction. I suppose by 2030 it might be somewhat meaningless as the design elements and some technology would be ~4 decades old (bizarre to think about.) With newer F-35 technology floating all around the world now, keeping the F-22 in the shadows is less important.

I wonder if this is perhaps a brilliant alternative method for Lockheed to find a way to produce more "F-22-like" fighters for the USAF? Get Japan to pay for some of the development, procurement, and export models, then build the larger number of air superiority fighters we actually wanted. Might also be while they priced themselves out of re-starting F-22 production, because it's banned from export anyways.

I'd imagine F-22 performance with F-35-era electronics and sensor-fusion.

Still, Japan has the F-15 AND the F-35 already, why are they pushing for something even better than the existing F-22? If China becomes that much of a threat, it'll be NATO ops anyways.

Either way it appears Lockheed will continue to lock-down and dominate worldwide 5th-gen fighter superiority and production for the foreseeable future.

Unless of course the US govt doesn't even let this happen. Then again with all these foreign so-called 5th gen fighters popping up, it could give the USAF a unique opportunity to punch out a very capable fighter at a relatively low cost (compared to anything like the F-22 initial or re-start programs.)
 
Max Q
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:19 am

I hope you’re right


With the ancient force of F15 and F16’s not getting any younger, a very small force of F22’s and the performance compromised F35 put forward as the ‘answer to all problems’ the USAF in particular needs a real stealth air superiority fighter in large numbers to replace the F15 and augment the F22




They can then relegate the F35 to the strike mission it is best suited for
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:39 am

Only compared to the F22 is the F35 lacking in the air superiority role.
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:03 am

estorilm wrote:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-defence-lockheed-exclusive/exclusive-lockheed-martin-to-propose-stealthy-hybrid-of-f-22-and-f-35-for-japan-sources-idUSKBN1HR0MM

Fairly shocking news, it would essentially hand over / declassify many aspects of the F-22's systems and construction. I suppose by 2030 it might be somewhat meaningless as the design elements and some technology would be ~4 decades old (bizarre to think about.) With newer F-35 technology floating all around the world now, keeping the F-22 in the shadows is less important.

I wonder if this is perhaps a brilliant alternative method for Lockheed to find a way to produce more "F-22-like" fighters for the USAF? Get Japan to pay for some of the development, procurement, and export models, then build the larger number of air superiority fighters we actually wanted. Might also be while they priced themselves out of re-starting F-22 production, because it's banned from export anyways.

I'd imagine F-22 performance with F-35-era electronics and sensor-fusion.

I see this as a modification to the F-35, not an increase in F-22 like aircraft.

If you remove some of the concessions for naval employment on the F-35, namely the ability to operate on the LHAs, then you can modify the airframe to significantly enhance performance in a few key air superiority areas. An increase in length would see the F-35 fit better into the area rule, increasing supersonic performance, lowering transonic drag and certainly providing out of the box supercruise at the M1.5 level. With a longer length the internal bays could be increased increasing payload and fuel carriage, the same single engine could be used but perhaps with a smaller fan for better supersonic performance while the overall maneuverability of the F-35 is already at or above comparable aircraft. Using essentially the same systems as the F-35 and following its upgrade path, including the sensor fusion engine, would reduce costs especially given it is all approved for export anyway.

Some of these changes had been mooted for an F-35E to come in around the late 2020s early 30s anyway so perhaps LM see an opportunity to get ahead of that curve. From an LM perspective, it may also de-risk any efforts they are working on for the USAF 6th gen PCA.

estorilm wrote:
Either way it appears Lockheed will continue to lock-down and dominate worldwide 5th-gen fighter superiority and production for the foreseeable future.

Unless of course the US govt doesn't even let this happen. Then again with all these foreign so-called 5th gen fighters popping up, it could give the USAF a unique opportunity to punch out a very capable fighter at a relatively low cost (compared to anything like the F-22 initial or re-start programs.)

I think LM has a good strangle hold on manned 5th gen and above. Perhaps NG will move closer with their B-21 work for future unmanned 5th gen platforms but will have to wait and see.

All the chips are in place for this to happen and happen reasonably quickly, Japan now has an F-35 production line using Japanese components and producing local jets so the infrastructure is building to support this effort. The export potential of this aircraft is interesting too...
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:53 am

Seems like changing fuselage outline means lots of cost and time.
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:28 am

Planeflyer wrote:
Seems like changing fuselage outline means lots of cost and time.

Definetly more cost and risk with those modifications but almost certainly less than going through a new design process.

The F-35 is currently 15m long so it should be quite possible to push that out to 17m with a fuselage plug that also increases the wing chord.

The other issue is the wing sweep on the F-22 is 42 degress while the F-35 is 35 degress. To improve supersonic performance a swept angle closer to the F-22 would be needed. Not at all hard if you are changing the fuselage at the same time.

Given any modifications would require a test and valaidation program anyway those changes make a big impact to supersonic performance and would clearly be worth it if an air superiority mission set is the aim.
 
salttee
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:10 am

Ozair wrote:
Planeflyer wrote:
Seems like changing fuselage outline means lots of cost and time.

Definetly more cost and risk with those modifications but almost certainly less than going through a new design process.

The F-35 is currently 15m long so it should be quite possible to push that out to 17m with a fuselage plug that also increases the wing chord.

The other issue is the wing sweep on the F-22 is 42 degrees while the F-35 is 35 degrees. To improve supersonic performance a swept angle closer to the F-22 would be needed. Not at all hard if you are changing the fuselage at the same time.

Given any modifications would require a test and valaidation program anyway those changes make a big impact to supersonic performance and would clearly be worth it if an air superiority mission set is the aim.
Isn't the hit on the F-35 for air to air the fact that when close in it is under-powered id pitted against say a F-15, F-18, Typhoon or F-22? And maybe some vs the F-22 because it has limited super cruise ability?

If you're going to add a second engine to an F-35, you're going to be pretty much starting from scratch, you may be able to port some things over, but it would have to be about 90% new by my reckoning.
You'll need bigger fuel tanks, that alone pretty much wipes the old design out.

I don't think the Japanese are going to be willing to foot the bill for another F-35 sized project, even with a 10% discount.
 
P1aneMad
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:25 am

LM is essentially proposing a brand new aircraft. With all the costs and YEARS in development, testing and validation that it entails.
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:44 am

salttee wrote:
Isn't the hit on the F-35 for air to air the fact that when close in it is under-powered id pitted against say a F-15, F-18, Typhoon or F-22? And maybe some vs the F-22 because it has limited super cruise ability?

No, it is quite the opposite. The feedback from aircrew is the engine is phenomenal. It accelerates faster than an F-16 in the subsonic and transsonic region while multiple former Hornet aircrew have described that the F-35 handles and accelerates like a Hornet with four engines.

For WVR engagements the F-35 has a higher AoA than all but the Hornet, the same as the F-22, and F-22s don't fight WVR above M1, the turning circle is simply too great at those speeds. For BVR, the F-35 sits above M1 quite comfortably but not as well as the Eurofighter or F-22.

salttee wrote:
If you're going to add a second engine to an F-35, you're going to be pretty much starting from scratch, you may be able to port some things over, but it would have to be about 90% new by my reckoning.
You'll need bigger fuel tanks, that alone pretty much wipes the old design out.

Any F-35 derivative won't get a second engine, there is literally no need. There is an already identified growth in the engine, 10% thrust increase by 2020 and another 10% expected 3 to 5 years later. A stretch of the airframe would see additional fuel carried in both the wing and body tanks.

salttee wrote:
I don't think the Japanese are going to be willing to foot the bill for another F-35 sized project, even with a 10% discount.

The Japanese reportedly paid four times the cost of the F-16 Blk 50 for each F-2, if you include dev costs for the F-2 but not for the F-16. They could easily have gone for a vanilla F-16 but opted for the local enhancements. While this option is likely to be more costly than a vanilla F-35 clearly there is a history of Japan pursuing this type of venture. This difference here is Japan could potentially export this aircraft.

How much would the types of modifications I have proposed cost? I think they could probably do it for US$6-8 billion including the test program given how much commonality the aircraft could have with existing F-35s. Same structures and materials, same basic engine, same systems etc.

Is it worth it? Probably not but that didn't stop the Japanese last time...
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:14 am

Ozair wrote:
If you remove some of the concessions for naval employment on the F-35, namely the ability to operate on the LHAs, then you can modify the airframe to significantly enhance performance in a few key air superiority areas. An increase in length would see the F-35 fit better into the area rule, increasing supersonic performance, lowering transonic drag and certainly providing out of the box supercruise at the M1.5 level. With a longer length the internal bays could be increased increasing payload and fuel carriage, the same single engine could be used but perhaps with a smaller fan for better supersonic performance while the overall maneuverability of the F-35 is already at or above comparable aircraft. Using essentially the same systems as the F-35 and following its upgrade path, including the sensor fusion engine, would reduce costs especially given it is all approved for export anyway.


I don't think the concessions for naval employment, including the STOVL requirement really hampers performance on the F-35 that much.

Remember, the space that the lift fan takes up in the F-35B in the other two variants is used as space for internal fuel. That's the reason why the F-35A and C have so much range (almost double in fact) compared to the aircraft they will replace, and compared to the F-35B.

Another thing: if you look at the front profile of the F-35 compared to other fairly similar aircraft in the same weight class, such as Rafale, Eurofighter, or the Super Hornet, all of these aircraft are very similar in terms of the frontal cross section. Same situation if you look at all of these aircraft directly above as well.

The performance penalties the F-35A gets as a result from being a related design to the F-35B and C are fairly minimal; the most notable evidence of the navalization of the F-35 platform is with the F-35C's larger wings and strengthened structural components, which does negatively impacts the acceleration and top speed. However, the larger wing confers better turn performance, range, and better low speed handling characteristics, which were all things the Navy wanted. Even then, the differences are minimized, as the commonality between all of the variants are achieved by using 'cousin' components (similar or almost identical in shape, but scaled differently to achieve variant-specific requirements).

The requirement for STOVL for F-35B doesn't appear to have significantly impacted the design on the F-35A as well; the only things that was specified by the USMC in terms of dimensions and handling was that the USMC wanted an aircraft that allowed them to park 6 aircraft aft of a LHA or LHD's island in a way that none of them can fowl the landing area, and that they can move any aircraft without having to move another. Oh, and the wing span could not exceed 35ft; that was the only hard and fast requirement the Marines had that affected the dimensions. Thus, the aircraft could be as large as they want, as long as you could meet the 35ft wing span requirement, and achieve the specified performance with the supplied engine.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:40 pm

How much cost and weight could be removed by using new 3d printing methods for the Titanium components in the F35?
 
Max Q
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:22 am

I’ve not seen any other single engine fighter with such a wide ‘bulky’ profile as the F35, it looks like a twin engine fighter from head on


The surrounding structure for the lift fan takes up a large amount of space significantly widening the airframe causing a lot of drag


So these design and performance limiting compromises made for the B model were carried over to the A and C versions for the
sake of commonality


If LM were to revisit this niche with a single
engine stealth design and no allowance
or performance penalties for Stovl it could
be an impressive fighter


A real and worthy successor to the F16
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:43 am

Max Q wrote:
I’ve not seen any other single engine fighter with such a wide ‘bulky’ profile as the F35, it looks like a twin engine fighter from head on

Max, the thrust of the F135 is equal to or greater than the twin engines on the Eurofighter, Rafale and Super Hornet.

Max Q wrote:
The surrounding structure for the lift fan takes up a large amount of space significantly widening the airframe causing a lot of drag

The following profile shows that the F-35 has no greater profile than comparable jets, especially when you consider that it has the ability to carry ordnance internally which none of its competitors do, thereby reducing drag. Add to that the F-35A and C carry over 18,000 lbs of fuel internally, again not creating external drag from drop tanks, demonstrating that your comparison is invalid.

Image

Image

Finally, visual appearance has little to do with drag... The F-35 clean, as stated by Lt Gen Bogdan, has the same drag as the F-16, a much smaller jet.

Max Q wrote:
So these design and performance limiting compromises made for the B model were carried over to the A and C versions for the
sake of commonality

No, the design consideration for how the F-35 is laid out is driven primarily by stealth including internal payload. As we have pointed out to you multiple times, the frontal aspect is common with the F-22, J-20, FC-31 etc and the number of engines or the presence of a lift fan on the Bee clearly has nothing to do with it.

Max Q wrote:
If LM were to revisit this niche with a single engine stealth design and no allowance or performance penalties for Stovl it could be an impressive fighter

A real and worthy successor to the F16

The compromise that came with the F-35 is about length of the aircraft and has nothing to do with the lift fan or STOVL features of the aircraft.

The F-35 beats the F-16 on every metric, it is more than a worthy successor.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:38 am

As is being speculated on other forums, given how much internal tear-up would be required in the F-22 to adopt modern construction techniques, and to fully integrate all of the various sensors that the F-35 has distributed throughout it's body, you are starting with essentially an airframe design and not much else. You'd also be rather daft to use the same engine, so a more modern powerplant would also be on order. With all of that said, why do you start with the F-22? Northrop Grumman has certainly not burned all the books on the F-23, and from what has been released about 6th generation development, a V tail seems to be something that is high on the design priority list.

The YF-23's shortcomings were based on the health of the company that was developing it, a slightly inferior maneuverability in the very low speed regime, and a perception that it might be more costly to produce. It demonstrated greater range than the F-22. It also demonstrated a significantly lower RCS than the F-22. Those two things seem to be something that any fighter would VERY much need in the pacific theater. Lockheed is quite busy with everything they have going on. The new Raider should be near the prototyping and production side of its resource curve, so there is some capacity for design and early development there that can be tapped for this project.

None of the above is to say that the F-22 is a bad fighter or choice for this project, just that the YF-23 would be just about as good of a place to start given how much would get changed.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:19 pm

Max Q wrote:
I’ve not seen any other single engine fighter with such a wide ‘bulky’ profile as the F35, it looks like a twin engine fighter from head on


The surrounding structure for the lift fan takes up a large amount of space significantly widening the airframe causing a lot of drag


So these design and performance limiting compromises made for the B model were carried over to the A and C versions for the
sake of commonality


If LM were to revisit this niche with a single
engine stealth design and no allowance
or performance penalties for Stovl it could
be an impressive fighter


A real and worthy successor to the F16

While the F-35 is in some ways not a "graceful" a design as the original F-16, you must realize that the F-16 is not the same as she was in the beginning either. The current production versions with CFT's etc. are very bulky looking.

Image

Image

Image

Image

The F-35 is a very worthy successor to the F-16.

Image

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:34 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Northrop Grumman has certainly not burned all the books on the F-23, and from what has been released about 6th generation development, a V tail seems to be something that is high on the design priority list.

The YF-23's shortcomings were based on the health of the company that was developing it, a slightly inferior maneuverability in the very low speed regime, and a perception that it might be more costly to produce. It demonstrated greater range than the F-22. It also demonstrated a significantly lower RCS than the F-22. Those two things seem to be something that any fighter would VERY much need in the pacific theater. Lockheed is quite busy with everything they have going on. The new Raider should be near the prototyping and production side of its resource curve, so there is some capacity for design and early development there that can be tapped for this project.

None of the above is to say that the F-22 is a bad fighter or choice for this project, just that the YF-23 would be just about as good of a place to start given how much would get changed.

The YF-23 is nowhere near mature enough to be possible to be considered. While you have indicated that the YF-23 had a number of subjective advantages over the YF-22 that would not necessarily have translated over to the F-23. The F-22 went through significant revision and the YF-23 would have had to go through significantly more to get to a production standard. It would make far more sense to start again than revive that design and likely be about as costly.

The key question is what could be offered from the F-22 that is better than that available with the F-35? The answer is the high mach supercruise. Everything else the F-35 has is better, upgraded from the F-22 and in many cases being transferred back to the F-22.

The expensive way to get that high mach supercruise is to bring back F-22 production for one customer (the US has already stated it will not be reviving the F-22) and funding a massive exercise to transfer modern tech into a now old aircraft designed in the 1980s. Alternatively design a whole new aircraft whose development would run to at least US$20 billion.

The cheaper way to get that performance is modify an already in production 5th gen aircraft for that specific performance goal. As I’ve already indicated a fuselage plug and wing swept modifications get you that performance and in the Japanese context maintain some commonality with their now existing and future fleet.

Of course this could all be a negotiating tactic by the Japanese to try and get a cheaper price out of LM for more F-35As…
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:32 pm

Another article from Japan that covers the possible procurement. Some difficult design decisions to incorporate everything japan is requesting and if they do go new build then the cost will be very large.

Govt wants F-2 successor jet to carry radar-boosting drones / List of specs drafted with strong China in mind
The Defense Ministry has compiled a design concept of new fighter jets that will replace the Air Self-Defense Forces’ F-2 fighter jets, planning for the succeeding jets to be able to carry and launch drones to detect distant enemy planes and also to share radar information with the drones, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The new planes will be large stealth fighters, exceeding the capability of the cutting-edge F-35A fighter jets introduced by the ASDF. The Defense Ministry will examine how to develop the new jets, such as joint development with the United States, in a bid to deal with China’s modernizing air force.

In March, the ministry notified the governments of the United States and Britain of part of the design concept of the F-2 successor, such as its performance requirements. Other than carrying small drones, the ministry considers that the new jets will have the capacity to internally carry eight air-to-air missiles, doubling the load of the F-35A. Its maximum speed will be Mach 2, almost equal to that of the F-2, and key features will be designed to be similar or superior to the F-35A, such as its radars’ detection range, stealth technology and cruising distance. Regarding carrying air-to-ship missiles, the ministry assumes they will be carried externally depending on their missions.

As Japan’s neighboring countries have been enhancing their level of stealth technology, which guards against radar detection, the ministry has recognized the need to handle the situation by having the new jets carry drones.

China announced deployment of its domestically developed cutting-edge Chengdu J-20 stealth fighters in February. High stealth technology used by other countries’ aircraft means an overwhelming disadvantage in combat for Japanese aircraft as it will become difficult to detect other planes until they approach very close to the Japanese planes. For this reason, the ministry came up with the idea of carrying drones to detect enemy planes from a long distance. The ministry plans to develop the drones along with the new fighter jets.

Doubling the number of air-to-air missiles the plane can carry compared to the F-35A is also a part of the idea to counter China’s moves.

F-35A jets are state-of-the-art aircraft, jointly developed by nine countries, including the United States and Britain. Their deployment to Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture started in January. While the F-35A is highly capable, it is said to be able to internally carry only four air-to-air missile because it is somewhat smaller than other jets.

The F-2 fighter jet was jointly developed by Japan and the United States based on U.S. F-16 jets, and they have been manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. The jets have high offensive capability against ships to suit Japan’s security environment as a nation surrounded by the sea. The ASDF introduced F-2 jets in 2000 and the fighters are expected to retire from around 2030. The ASDF currently deploys about 90 F-2 jets.

In total, Japan has about 300 fighters, excluding the aging F-4 jets, while China has about 800 jets with similar capabilities.

To avoid being overwhelmed by the number of Chinese fighter jets, the ministry decided to fill the gap by strengthening the fighting capability of each fighter jet, such as making the F-2 successor larger and increasing its missile load.

The ministry has examined three options regarding the method of developing an F-2 successor — domestic development, joint development with other countries, or improving existing foreign-made fighter jets.

The government is likely to abandon the idea of domestic development due to the estimated cost of ¥1 trillion to ¥2 trillion.

Lockheed Martin Corp. of the United States has unofficially approached the ministry about joint development of the F-2 successor based on the high-performance F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets.

The government plans to compile the next Medium Term Defense Program that covers fiscal 2019 to 2023 at the end of this year, and is likely to decide how to develop the new fighter jets during these years under the new program.


http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004388538
 
Max Q
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:06 am

If the F35 is such a tremendous fighter why was it defeated by an old F16 in numerous practice dogfights?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:47 am

Max Q wrote:
If the F35 is such a tremendous fighter why was it defeated by an old F16 in numerous practice dogfights?

Read the F-35 news thread...

...Dogfighting in the F-35...
...‘The F-35 is a very different aircraft, and it took pilots a while to adjust and figure out how to max-perform it. What didn’t help is that until about 18 months ago we were restricted in envelope, which meant we couldn’t pull as much g as we wanted to, nor fly with high-alpha. It was an eye-opener for all of us when those restrictions were lifted and we finally got to see the full potential. Actually, it was an eye-opener for a lot of adversary pilots as well.’

The F-35 is far larger than the F-16, and it carries twice as much fuel and three times the payload. ‘Consequently, the F-35 loses energy a bit faster than the F-16 at higher speeds,’ continues Knight. ‘But the slow-speed handling is amazing. The F-35 pilot has the option to continuously point the nose at the adversary, even at ridiculously slow speeds, which is a great capability to have in combination with high off-boresight missiles and a helmet-mounted sight. You need to be careful maneuvering the aircraft at higher speeds, because if you keep pulling back on the stick the aircraft will give you as much alpha as it can, but it will bleed a lot of energy in the process. It’s up to the pilot to recognize when to try to maintain airspeed and energy and when to give that away to prosecute with missiles or guns. I typically tell new pilots that the F-35 sits somewhere in between the F-16 and F/A-18 when it comes to within visual range maneuvering.’

Knight divulged a little more information about flying basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) in an F-35. ‘When our envelope was cleared to practise BFM we got the opportunity to fight some fourth-generation fighters. Remember, back then the rumors were that the F-35 was a pig. The first time the opponents showed up [in the training area] they had wing tanks along with a bunch of missiles. I guess they figured that being in a dirty configuration wouldn’t really matter and that they would still easily outmaneuver us. By the end of the week, though, they had dropped their wing tanks, transitioned to a single centerline fuel tank and were still doing everything they could not to get gunned by us. A week later they stripped the jets clean of all external stores, which made the BFM fights interesting, to say the least…

‘High-g maneuvering is fun, but having high fuel capacity and the ability to carry lots of stores is great too. During the weeks when we were flying BFM we also needed to drop a GBU-12 [laser-guided bomb] on the China Lake weapons range. Back in our F-16 days we’d have had to choose, since there is no way you can BFM with a bomb on your wing, let alone having the fuel to fly both missions in a single sortie. With the F-35, however, this isn’t much of an issue. On one of the sorties, my colleague, Maj Pascal ‘Smiley’ Smaal, decided he would fly BFM and still have enough fuel to go to the range afterwards and drop his weapon. During the debrief, the adversary pilot told us he was confused as to why we went to the range after the fight. When ‘Smiley’ told him that he was carrying an inert GBU-12 the entire time and that he then dropped it afterwards during a test event, the silence on the other end of the line was golden.’..."
 
salttee
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:49 am

Max Q wrote:
If the F35 is such a tremendous fighter why was it defeated by an old F16 in numerous practice dogfights?

I've tried to understand why some people rate the F-22 high over the F-35, I know it has more power so it can accelerate a bit faster and it can super cruise to better get in position but those seem like marginal qualities. I've thought that the F-22's thrust vectoring might give a great advantage, but that is just a guess.

When I look to find out why other people think the F-22 is so much better than the F-35 within visual range (enough to make up for the fact that the F-35 is far superior beyond visual range) the only thing I've ever been able to find is this "it defeated by an old F16" which I regard as a bunch of nonsense. From what I know, that exercise was merely a test for high angle of attack maneuverability, and it was only one engagement or a short series at most. That exercise proves nothing.

Can someone actually make the case that the F-22 is significantly better at all around air to air than the F-35?
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:59 am

salttee wrote:
Max Q wrote:
If the F35 is such a tremendous fighter why was it defeated by an old F16 in numerous practice dogfights?

I've tried to understand why some people rate the F-22 high over the F-35, I know it has more power so it can accelerate a bit faster and it can super cruise to better get in position but those seem like marginal qualities. I've thought that the F-22's thrust vectoring might give a great advantage, but that is just a guess.

When I look to find out why other people think the F-22 is so much better than the F-35 within visual range (enough to make up for the fact that the F-35 is far superior beyond visual range) the only thing I've ever been able to find is this "it defeated by an old F16" which I regard as a bunch of nonsense. From what I know, that exercise was merely a test for high angle of attack maneuverability, and it was only one engagement or a short series at most. That exercise proves nothing.

Can someone actually make the case that the F-22 is significantly better at all around air to air than the F-35?

Also, pilot experience in the platform matters a ton in a fight; sometimes a pilot in an inferior platform can beat a pilot in a better platform by virtue of having more experience in their aircraft, and know how and when to push their aircraft to the limits in a fight.

That is why you sometimes hear of instructor pilots with thousands of hours flying T-38 Talon's beating up new pilots flying F-22's; it's not the fault of the platform, it's the level of experience with the pilots that matters.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:46 am

From what little is out there comparing the 22 to the 35 in WVR combat, the 22 appears to manage its energy better. The F-35 tends to loose velocity at a higher rate in tight turns and can't use power to regain it as quickly as the F-22 can. It's not that the F-35 is particularly lacking in power, it's more that the F-22 has very deep reserves of it and was designed with its primary mission being air superiority instead of being a true multi-role fighter.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:24 am

ThePointblank wrote:
That is why you sometimes hear of instructor pilots with thousands of hours flying T-38 Talon's beating up new pilots flying F-22's; it's not the fault of the platform, it's the level of experience with the pilots that matters.

That (knowing the performance envelope of their own aircraft) and additionally knowing the envelope and weaknesses of their target aircraft.

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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:34 am

Or is this a protective move to frustrate the Japanese industry further developing their own? And sharing it e.g. with Australians, UK, who knows else the coming 20 years.

Image

Maybe the program is proceding well en strategist & US defense lobbiest are scratching their heads. Japan was refused the F22 years ago and now they are proceeding on their own. They aren't poor or stupid and increasingless less docile. WW2 started 75 years ago. Soon no one was there.
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:08 am

No it was not progressing well, Japan has cancelled that program due to missing targets and general development risks.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:28 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
From what little is out there comparing the 22 to the 35 in WVR combat, the 22 appears to manage its energy better. The F-35 tends to loose velocity at a higher rate in tight turns and can't use power to regain it as quickly as the F-22 can. It's not that the F-35 is particularly lacking in power, it's more that the F-22 has very deep reserves of it and was designed with its primary mission being air superiority instead of being a true multi-role fighter.
None of that is even as convincing as "it was defeated by an old F16". Anybody else?
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:10 pm

seahawk wrote:
No it was not progressing well, Japan has cancelled that program due to missing targets and general development risks.


"We are considering domestic development, joint development and the possibility of improving existing aircraft performance, but we have not yet come to any decision," a Ministry of Defense representative said.


https://www.google.nl/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GK06R

Seahawk do you have any information the Japanese cancelled their domestic program. I can only find "delayed" and political driven discussions and benchmarking that can be expected on a $40B defense program.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:25 pm

Ozair wrote:
Max Q wrote:
I’ve not seen any other single engine fighter with such a wide ‘bulky’ profile as the F35, it looks like a twin engine fighter from head on

Max, the thrust of the F135 is equal to or greater than the twin engines on the Eurofighter, Rafale and Super Hornet.

Max Q wrote:
The surrounding structure for the lift fan takes up a large amount of space significantly widening the airframe causing a lot of drag

The following profile shows that the F-35 has no greater profile than comparable jets, especially when you consider that it has the ability to carry ordnance internally which none of its competitors do, thereby reducing drag. Add to that the F-35A and C carry over 18,000 lbs of fuel internally, again not creating external drag from drop tanks, demonstrating that your comparison is invalid.

Image

Image

Finally, visual appearance has little to do with drag... The F-35 clean, as stated by Lt Gen Bogdan, has the same drag as the F-16, a much smaller jet.

Max Q wrote:
So these design and performance limiting compromises made for the B model were carried over to the A and C versions for the
sake of commonality

No, the design consideration for how the F-35 is laid out is driven primarily by stealth including internal payload. As we have pointed out to you multiple times, the frontal aspect is common with the F-22, J-20, FC-31 etc and the number of engines or the presence of a lift fan on the Bee clearly has nothing to do with it.

Max Q wrote:
If LM were to revisit this niche with a single engine stealth design and no allowance or performance penalties for Stovl it could be an impressive fighter

A real and worthy successor to the F16

The compromise that came with the F-35 is about length of the aircraft and has nothing to do with the lift fan or STOVL features of the aircraft.

The F-35 beats the F-16 on every metric, it is more than a worthy successor.

Great information /post as usual Ozair, especially your initial posts/thoughts earlier in this thread - thanks!

It's particularly fascinating how LM managed to create such an aerodynamically-sleek aircraft in spite of its size (ie. vs. F-16).

I was recently reading some information (maybe it was in the news thread) about the F-35 engines and programs that are in place to provide some significant thrust bumps - it does appear that the airframe could be adapted for speed and range increases.

I have two issues with this though - right now LM is maxed-out for decades on current sales of the aircraft. Would they really care? Japan wouldn't want to wait 15 years to get this plane, they'd want it now - pushing back LM's current F-35 backlog.
Second issue is that both of the articles seem to hint at a very large aircraft. Internal provisions for EIGHT air-to-air missiles?! Not only would it have to be F-22-sized, it would almost need to be larger. This would seem to necessitate two engines.

I do agree obviously F-23 is totally out the window, sure F-22 production stuff is packed away or gone, but at least it even existed! There's boatloads of data and testing information already perfected for the F-22, been certified, maintenance is well established, it's been tested and proven with a wide range of weapons, etc. Most of the stuff is old and dated now, but others have been progressively improved over the years - especially software items. At the very least there would seem to be advantages of using the airframe as a starting point.

...I mean if not, I think Japan is SOL. They're asking for something that doesn't exist, AND they don't want to foot the bill for ground-up development.

But that also brings me back to my original question. WHY do they want/need such an aircraft? I'm trying to envision a scenario in which their F-35s are simply out-classed by a Chinese aircraft, or when they'd need EIGHT a2a weapons on each plane.

They seem like that one kid that's jealous because his toy isn't special and everyone else has the same (F-35) thing. :lol:
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:59 pm

salttee wrote:
Max Q wrote:
If the F35 is such a tremendous fighter why was it defeated by an old F16 in numerous practice dogfights?

I've tried to understand why some people rate the F-22 high over the F-35, I know it has more power so it can accelerate a bit faster and it can super cruise to better get in position but those seem like marginal qualities. I've thought that the F-22's thrust vectoring might give a great advantage, but that is just a guess.

When I look to find out why other people think the F-22 is so much better than the F-35 within visual range (enough to make up for the fact that the F-35 is far superior beyond visual range) the only thing I've ever been able to find is this "it defeated by an old F16" which I regard as a bunch of nonsense. From what I know, that exercise was merely a test for high angle of attack maneuverability, and it was only one engagement or a short series at most. That exercise proves nothing.

Can someone actually make the case that the F-22 is significantly better at all around air to air than the F-35?

Not that I'd want to face any of our 5th gen fighters in a conflict, but the F-22 would be the last plane on earth I'd want to go up against.

I know you said WVR, but a couple posts before also seem to imply that it's virtually worthless overall, due to a very specific type of engagement that eliminates any BVR kill possibilities.

Even WVR - at these speeds you're going to lose track of a target visually. The RCS of the Raptor is just incredible, especially from the rear - at .0001m2 vs. .005m2, it would appear that both are almost irrelevantly small, but when you compare the two together, there's a large difference. Do people really think you're going to get gun kills WVR if these two went head-to-head? Now that the F-22 has the HOBS 9X capability, I think any advantage is gone for the F-35.

If you haven't see a Raptor demo, you need to - the vectoring really does allow the plane to do some incredible things which (in the ridiculous scenario of a WVR dogfight) would be lethal. As you mentioned it can also afford to dump its energy and regain it very quickly - its thrust-to-weight ratio is absurd. Plus at the end of the day, it's carrying a lot more missiles than the F-35.

One interesting aspect that's being overlooked here is visibility. I realize that the sensors and cameras (helmet in general) in the F-35 are incredible, however there's very little DIRECT rearward visibility. The F-22's cockpit and canopy position/shape are really impressive, and would appear to be a dog-fighters dream.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:48 pm

WVR is a pilot training exercise today. If a F-22 pilots need to fight a WVR fight he has made some serious tactical mistakes before. But then many people judge fighters by their airshow performance, which is still stunning for the F-22 but neglects the huge energy advantage the F-22 enjoys. If you fly faster and higher you can fire earlier and disengage more easily or nearly as you wish in case of the F-22.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:29 pm

Japan wants internal carriage of 8 missiles because they expect to be significantly outnumbered in any engagement with China. I almost think that their best bet would be to get a decent number of F-15-SA models with the proposed 16 missile carriage setup to use as missile carriers for forward deployed F-35s that are handing off target guidance.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:22 pm

seahawk wrote:
WVR is a pilot training exercise today. If a F-22 pilots need to fight a WVR fight he has made some serious tactical mistakes before. But then many people judge fighters by their airshow performance, which is still stunning for the F-22 but neglects the huge energy advantage the F-22 enjoys. If you fly faster and higher you can fire earlier and disengage more easily or nearly as you wish in case of the F-22.

Agreed 100%, I was simply replying to an earlier post comparing the F-22 to F-35 WVR, however I do believe the F-22 has a large advantage in that realm.

BVR I don't really know - regardless of sensors I don't think you'd get a lock on either aircraft. Then again having said that, you might just fly right past eachother in the first place, you can only get a lock if you know what/where to look haha.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:02 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Japan wants internal carriage of 8 missiles because they expect to be significantly outnumbered in any engagement with China. I almost think that their best bet would be to get a decent number of F-15-SA models with the proposed 16 missile carriage setup to use as missile carriers for forward deployed F-35s that are handing off target guidance.

That is a good idea although you could probably change that F-15SA for a reasonably straight forward UCAV of some sort with a decent payload. By 2030 when Japan expect to start receiving this aircraft they will likely have inducted an AESA based Meteor they are working on with the British. In that context you are less concerned about initial launch velocity of the missile so an unmanned subsonic platform fits the forward staged arsenal plane concept reasonably well.

The issue may become one of responsiveness which is potentially where japan are seeking a large long range high speed aircraft really as a dedicated interceptor.

If only Canada had brought back the Avro Arrow… ;)

estorilm wrote:
One interesting aspect that's being overlooked here is visibility. I realize that the sensors and cameras (helmet in general) in the F-35 are incredible, however there's very little DIRECT rearward visibility. The F-22's cockpit and canopy position/shape are really impressive, and would appear to be a dog-fighters dream.

The feedback from one of the Norwegian pilots who blogs about his experiences is that he just got used to the larger seat that blocked some of the vision and moved his body around to compensate.
The reality though is with EODAS and flying a high AoA 9G airframe you don’t look out the back anyway because you value your neck! A lot of modern aircrew struggle with their necks due to the weight distribution of the HMS and either have to move in specific patterns within the cockpit or simply don’t look back at those angles under significant G loads. While the F-35 HMS improves on previous generations because it distributes the weight better it is still a weight on your head and neck which is amplified with every additional G.

estorilm wrote:
Great information /post as usual Ozair, especially your initial posts/thoughts earlier in this thread - thanks!

It's particularly fascinating how LM managed to create such an aerodynamically-sleek aircraft in spite of its size (ie. vs. F-16).

No worries. Indeed impressive with the F-35 but I guess that is a clear sign of the advances they have made since the 1970s.

estorilm wrote:
I was recently reading some information (maybe it was in the news thread) about the F-35 engines and programs that are in place to provide some significant thrust bumps - it does appear that the airframe could be adapted for speed and range increases.

Correct, identified thrust bumps will shortly be available for the current engine while a new engine is likely to be available by 2025 from the AETD program which will push thrust and range out even further. I have seen increase estimates of 30% which at the current radius figure of 670nm would push out to almost 900nm, very impressive given the aggressive profile.

estorilm wrote:
I have two issues with this though - right now LM is maxed-out for decades on current sales of the aircraft. Would they really care? Japan wouldn't want to wait 15 years to get this plane, they'd want it now - pushing back LM's current F-35 backlog.


Remember Japan has a domestic production line for the F-35 and also domestically manufactured the F-2 and the F-15. I expect them to want domestic manufacture on this aircraft as well. The timeframe is apparently 2030 which is consistent with the beginning of retirement of the F-2 and modernised F-15 fleets.

estorilm wrote:
Second issue is that both of the articles seem to hint at a very large aircraft. Internal provisions for EIGHT air-to-air missiles?! Not only would it have to be F-22-sized, it would almost need to be larger. This would seem to necessitate two engines.

That is where I believe a fuselage plug in the current F-35 could see an increase in that internal load. The F-22 is 19m long compared to the 15m F-35 so a couple of additional meters may bring that internal load up (with some creative layout or internal carriage and noting the F-35A will hold six AIM-120 by the end of Blk 4). The current bay is just over 4m long and the AIM-120 and Meteor are 3.7m in length. Add an additional 2 or 2.5m, potentially including depth changes, and you may be able to fit the required eight munitions. As alluded to with my response to LightningZ71’s comment with UCAVs and loyal wingmen coming shortly I’m not sure such a large internal load is that necessary.

estorilm wrote:
But that also brings me back to my original question. WHY do they want/need such an aircraft? I'm trying to envision a scenario in which their F-35s are simply out-classed by a Chinese aircraft, or when they'd need EIGHT a2a weapons on each plane.

I think it really just comes down to weight of numbers. While there is a finite limit to the number of aircraft you can put into the airspace at one time and remain tactically proficient Japan clearly, and probably correctly, identifies that they will never out number their adversaries. In that case upping the number and quality seems the solution.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:35 pm

seahawk wrote:
https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/japans-scraps-domestic-development-of-5th-generation-stealth-fighter-jet/

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia ... -1.5887187


It seems you and some media jumped to conclusions.
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:13 pm

keesje wrote:
seahawk wrote:
https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/japans-scraps-domestic-development-of-5th-generation-stealth-fighter-jet/

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia ... -1.5887187


It seems you and some media jumped to conclusions.

Ehh? Who are you directing this toward (who is jumping to conclusions)?

Tugg
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:48 pm

Tugger wrote:
keesje wrote:
seahawk wrote:
https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/japans-scraps-domestic-development-of-5th-generation-stealth-fighter-jet/

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia ... -1.5887187


It seems you and some media jumped to conclusions.

Ehh? Who are you directing this toward (who is jumping to conclusions)?

Tugg


The domestic program has not been cancelled (seahawk) or scrapped (thediplomat.com).

“We are considering domestic development, joint development and the possibility of improving existing aircraft performance, but we have not yet come to any decision,” a Ministry of Defense representative said.


(Reuters)
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:53 am

But the F-X prototype program also lost any funding for the moment
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:58 am

I'd have to think that, if they put the 2-3 meter plug in the F-35 fuselage, they'd also need to switch to the F-35C wing layout (though, it wouldn't need to fold for a land based version). When you increase the length of the frame, you also increase the mass, and reduce it's maneuverability. Switching to the wings of the C, while retaining the lighter components of the A, would net you similar wing loading.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:00 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
I'd have to think that, if they put the 2-3 meter plug in the F-35 fuselage, they'd also need to switch to the F-35C wing layout (though, it wouldn't need to fold for a land based version). When you increase the length of the frame, you also increase the mass, and reduce it's maneuverability. Switching to the wings of the C, while retaining the lighter components of the A, would net you similar wing loading.

The F-35C wing isn't optimal though. It's design is intentionally designed for low speed handling. The F-35C will turn better at low speed but as the figures released a few years ago show the acceleration is poor.

Wing changes for the mods I have suggested would be based around a wing swept angle closer to 45 degrees. By extension then you could keep the wing size reasonably similar while starting at the same point and probably get a similar amount of surface area. Wing loading becomes an issue for heavily loaded jets but the amount of body lift available to the F-35 already, which would be increased by a fuselage extension, would likely overcome any potential increase in weight. The maneuverability would remain similar given the surfaces would remain largely the same and I'd expect the jet to retain the 9G 50 AoA available to current aircraft and consistent with the F-22.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:40 pm

Ozair wrote:
LightningZ71 wrote:
I'd have to think that, if they put the 2-3 meter plug in the F-35 fuselage, they'd also need to switch to the F-35C wing layout (though, it wouldn't need to fold for a land based version). When you increase the length of the frame, you also increase the mass, and reduce it's maneuverability. Switching to the wings of the C, while retaining the lighter components of the A, would net you similar wing loading.

The F-35C wing isn't optimal though. It's design is intentionally designed for low speed handling. The F-35C will turn better at low speed but as the figures released a few years ago show the acceleration is poor.

Wing changes for the mods I have suggested would be based around a wing swept angle closer to 45 degrees. By extension then you could keep the wing size reasonably similar while starting at the same point and probably get a similar amount of surface area. Wing loading becomes an issue for heavily loaded jets but the amount of body lift available to the F-35 already, which would be increased by a fuselage extension, would likely overcome any potential increase in weight. The maneuverability would remain similar given the surfaces would remain largely the same and I'd expect the jet to retain the 9G 50 AoA available to current aircraft and consistent with the F-22.

Keep the control surfaces the same and add 3D vectored thrust :twisted:

Actually this hypothetical design may lend itself to a higher wing loading anyways, in addition to the 45 degree sweep - keeping the wings smaller relative to its length would help as well. 3D vectoring with a smaller wing would net faster speeds and even greater maneuverability - definitely a more expensive jet though, but I think Japan knows that already (vs. any alternatives, it might still be "cheap")
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:49 am

I suspect for this mission they will favor a twin engine in any case. Raptor rear end/wing/engineering, with more of the front of the f35 and newer avionics/integration might make some sense. Existing engines, greater stealth, more weapons carriage ability, twin engines for long range ocean patrolling.

Cost is a wildcard though, of course, especially from Lockheed. Maybe Boeing responds as well with one of their ultimate eagle or whatever they call it sketches.
 
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon May 07, 2018 11:19 pm

I read this article recently and thought it was worth posting in the thread given a couple of new pieces of info that it contains.

F-22 technology offered to Japan for next-generation fighter

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin has approached Japan with plans for a next-generation fighter jet based on its elite F-22 stealth fighter, demonstrating both Washington's trust in Tokyo as a defense partner and its eagerness to balance the scales on trade with expensive equipment.

The advanced aircraft would enter service around 2030, when Japan is set to start retiring its fleet of F-2 fighters. It would combine elements of the F-22 and Lockheed's smart F-35 stealth fighter. Developing a new fighter typically takes more than 10 years.

The Japanese government has pegged the total cost of its next-generation fighter project at around 6 trillion yen ($55 billion). This includes 1.5 trillion yen for development and another 1.5 trillion yen for acquiring around 100 of the jets, in addition to costs such as maintenance and decommissioning.

Tokyo will decide as early as this year whether to accept Lockheed's offer so that the government can draw up a medium-term defense plan that would begin in fiscal 2019.The inclusion of F-22 technology in the new jet is of particular significance to Japan. When Tokyo sought to purchase a fleet of F-22s a decade ago, U.S. lawmakers barred the Japanese government from doing so due to concerns about sending information on sensitive military technology abroad. The fighters are no longer in production.

Trade, more than military strategy, seems to have spurred Washington's change of heart. President Donald Trump looks to score political points by lowering America's roughly $70 billion trade deficit with Japan, and sees expensive military equipment as a prime tool for doing so.Part of that reasoning is economic: Fighters cost much more on a unit-by-unit basis than do cars or farm products. Another is political. The U.S. defense sector was shaken by attempts under former President Barack Obama to curb defense spending growth. By bringing contractors new business, Trump aims to fill out his record ahead of what promises to be a tough round of midterm elections in the U.S. Congress in November.

Japan, however, faces a difficult decision over whether to accept Lockheed's offer. The country has long sought to produce its next-generation fighter aircraft on its own soil. At the same time, the Northeast Asian security environment is in constant flux as China expands its military might and North Korea refuses to commit to abandoning its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. It would be difficult for Japan to turn down an offer of arms from the U.S., its strongest ally.

Lockheed will draw up the details of its development plan for the F-22/F-35 hybrid aircraft as soon as this summer. "We look forward to exploring options for Japan's F-2 replacement fighter in cooperation with both the Japanese and U.S. governments," said Lockheed. "Our leadership and experience with fifth-generation aircraft [such as the F-22 and F-35] can be leveraged to provide innovative, cost-effective capabilities to meet Japan's future security needs."

Japan hopes to hand much of the work involved to domestic companies. One potential route would be to have companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries take the lead on development while cooperating with American businesses. Another plan would involve joint development by Japanese and British contractors. Drawing technology from the F-22 would give the new plane top-of-the-line stealth capabilities as well as the ability to travel at supersonic speeds. Although stealthiness and excellent flight performance are generally seen as incompatible, the F-22 puts them into a single package, earning the jet its reputation as the world's most lethal fighter. The F-35, meanwhile, has unparalleled network and software capabilities that allow it to communicate with other aircraft and facilities on the ground and share radar data.

The major info for me is the budget Japan is talking about with this new aircraft. I’m not sure where the article gets the figures from but they are talking about a total procurement of approximately US$55 billion dollars for 100 aircraft, with half of that total split evenly between development and procurement. So that puts the total for development at approximately US$13.5 billion with the same amount for procurement spread across 100 aircraft.

If we use that US$13.5 billion for acquisition we get a per aircraft cost of US$135 million. That is not a lot really when you consider the F-22 only reached that price at the end of its production run (in 2009 dollars). The US also last year estimated a restarted F-22 would cost approx. US$200 per unit. We also need to factor in that the first aircraft will cost more and later aircraft will cost less but 100 aircraft isn’t a great number to amortise across.

The US$13.5 billion for development seems about right to me. If we factor in US$10 billion for development of the airframe and systems and a further US$3.5 billion for an in service engine modification and certification it is a reasonable split.

My feeling is the acquisition cost is probably too high to make export of the aircraft realistic. The price point in the market seems to be around the US$100 million mark fly away not including dev, spares etc (with F-15 being a little higher and most of the medium jets being a little lower). Any Japanese aircraft will likely never see more than 150 domestic sales plus limited exports making the in service sustainment costs higher than comparable aircraft.

Finally if those numbers are realistic I would be interested to see what total development and procurement figures Japan are estimating from a wholly domestic design. They may have decided the cost would be too high or the final product won’t meet requirements.

Either way, makes you wonder if there is any fiscal sense to this acquisition against buying more off the shelf aircraft…
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed May 09, 2018 1:20 am

The problem with "off the shelf" is, what are you buying off the shelf that is equivalent to the F-22?

Weren't there early designs for the Navy version that were based on a 2 engine layout? I remember that the industry basically drew a line on that one due to it being impossible to meet commonality goals while having dual engines for the USN.

How do we make something that has high commonality with the F-35, but is based on the F-22?
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed May 09, 2018 3:24 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
The problem with "off the shelf" is, what are you buying off the shelf that is equivalent to the F-22?

In reference to what characteristic of the F-22?

If speed is the case you can buy faster jets, supercruise it stands alone (for a Western Air Force), weapons carriage is the same as the F-35 (if you can wait till end of Blk 4 which the Japanese clearly can with their identified timeframes), Stealth is better on the F-35 in both RCS reduction and maintainability (the USAF has stated this and quoted here numerous times), if range is required you can buy longer ranged aircraft, if Radar performance is required the F-35 has a better radar (evidenced by the F-35 radar jamming the F-22), if other sensor systems are required then the F-35 has an overall better sensor suite as well as far better sensor fusion engine, if datalink is required the F-35 MADL is a better system and only not on F-22 because of cost.

So you really need to define the requirement before you can identify which specific off the shelf system may meet it. If we look at what the Japanese want, larger weapons carriage, high sustained speed and stealth capability you can’t get that in any current in production jet, hence why they are suggesting a hybrid design between the two current in service 5th gen fighters.

LightningZ71 wrote:
Weren't there early designs for the Navy version that were based on a 2 engine layout? I remember that the industry basically drew a line on that one due to it being impossible to meet commonality goals while having dual engines for the USN.

The precursors to the JSF were always going to be single engine aircraft, even for the USN. The JSF program arrived from the CALF and JAST programs, both of which were looking for single engine aircraft.

The USN has no issue flying single engine airframes and some of their most successful jets have been single engine. There were thrust and performance requirements that emerged in the 70s that required two engines, hence the subsequent designs, which have been technically overcome now with single engine designs.

There was the Naval Advanced tactical Fighter but that was a different concept and role to the CALF subsequent JSF program.

LightningZ71 wrote:
How do we make something that has high commonality with the F-35, but is based on the F-22?

As I have suggested I don’t think you can affordably do it.. It is of course possible to frankenise the F-22 with F-35 systems, radar, EODAS, EOTS, fusion engine, MADL, use modified F135s, or new build F119s which PW said they would do, for the engine. That is an extremely difficult integration task though. It is beginning to sound a bit like Air Power Australia’s evolved F-111 design that tried to use everything from the F-22 it could, crazy in concept and even crazier to try and execute.

What do you get with that other than a very difficult aircraft to sustain with a small production run?

That is why I think the better prospect is to go the other way and give the F-35 modifications for those characteristics that the F-22 has that the F-35 lacks, namely supercruise and perhaps increased weapons load. F-35 will be in service for the next 50 years and in production for the next 25.

Frankly, Japan is better served spending the cash on a UCAV program that they would control from F-35 platforms via MADL. They could be loaded up with ordnance, stealthed, fast if desired and probably has great export potential for any F-35 operator.
 
TranscendZac
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue May 15, 2018 2:40 am

I assume we are also ok with selling and developing a new aircraft based on F-22 tech because we are well underway with design studies for the F-22 replacement that would likely EIS in the mid 2030s? I’ve already read reports of 6th gen designs to have lessons learned from both F-22/F-35 programs and will borrow tech currently being developed for the new B-21. I have read the F-22 replacement is to be capable of both manned/unmanned flying. Makes sense. I can’t imagine the US being ok with anyone else being on the same playing field when it comes to bleeding edge military technology. A perfect example of this is the B-21. Nobody has a bomber with the capabilities of the B-2, which is been flying for 3 decades, yet we are already developing its replacement.
Zac
 
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cpd
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:05 pm

I hear Northrop is interested in this project too. I suppose Lockheed will not be impressed at that prospect.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japa ... SKBN1JW0YU

Could something like the YF-23 make a comeback? Obviously with work to factor the technology improvements we have now.
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:49 pm

If Northrop does come in, it would be with an optionally manned version of it's many tail-less drone projects, I would guess, not really anything based on the YF-23 from 25 years ago. One thing you could count on is that any Northrop bid would be cheaper, and more likely to stay at budget, than the Lockheed F-22/35 derivative/mashup.

The F-35 planform/wing loading in particular seems particularly poorly suited to high endurance/maritime missions (similarly why a new wing had to be built by the Japanese to 'fix' the F-16 to their needs, at tremendous cost.)
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:17 pm

I seem to recall that the Japaneese "fix" for the F-16 didn't really fix much. It resulted in a heavier plane that doesn't have much of an improved range and, while better than the Block 30 F-16s, doesn't compare as well to the 52s and 60s. As for the Japaneese building a new wing, that's a bit overstating it. They developed from the F-16 Agile falcon wing, but decided that it would add too much mass if built with the same materials. Instead, they changed to what were, for the time, advanced composites to save weight. Unfortunately, they didn't fully understand the durability of those materials and had to take them back in for rework when cracks were discovered. The F-2 was miles better than the F-1 it replaced, but it wasn't a major leap over the F-16 by any stretch, save for being earlier to field an AESA radar.
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:39 pm

I agree Z71, it was somewhat 'engineering practice to practice engineering.' It's tough to take what was built as a cheap lightweight cheap fighter and make it a much heavier maritime fighter/air superiority aircraft. Of course, the original engineers sort of pulled that off with the F-16XL, but that's another topic.

Just look at the YF-17 to EA-18G as another example of somewhat insane re-engineering in the interests of politics.

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