What's new

Russia Responds to the Joint Strike Fighter Program

Fighter488

FULL MEMBER
Dec 5, 2009
1,050
0
568
Hi All

These are long articles folks, but worth reading.

Fighter.






Lockheed Martin X-35 Prototype Demonstrator for F-35 / Two (2) built
Photo – Tom Reynolds / USAF

F35 Joint Strike Fighter Program data is still secret

On April 21, 2009, the Wall Street Journal (USA) reported that computer spies had hacked the US DOD computer system and stolen highly classified data from the world’s most expensive weapons program – the Joint Strike Fighter Program. This Lockheed Martin fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, accesses 7.5 million lines of computer code, more than triple the amount used in the current top Air Force fighter, the F-22 Raptor. The Raptor deploys the most advanced stealth technology of any air force in the world and for that reason is banned from export.

Although forever denying they indulge in cyberwarfare, China was immediately the first suspect for the stolen data event announced in late April, 2009. Vague statements from the United States Department of Defense implied the theft attempt had been traced to China via IP addresses. Details were not forthcoming except that anonymous informants reported that the F-35 Lightning II Program has been repeatedly broken into. Supposedly, this latest attempt downloaded a great deal of data but the most sensitive information from the program was not stolen. Let’s quickly look at the reality of cyber theft of classified and critically important F-35 data from secure research facilities at the United States Department of Defense and USAF.


USAF CyberCommand
Graphic Art – dangerroom / wired

I have no specific knowledge about, or access to, the computer security procedures used by America’s military establishment, but there is a simple procedure that makes stealing any computer data difficult. This procedure is widely known to anyone of high school age and older. The computer holding the sensitive data is never networked or connected to another computer. Frequent backups are done to a removable hard drive which is locked in a safe when not in use. Data can be easily shared among project personnel using copies on removable drives.

The only way for an outside entity to steal data in this environment is to break into the project office and physically steal physical computers and hard drives. Unless 24’s Jack Bauer has defected, this is near impossible in the real world. Official Pentagon statements that F-35 data was not stolen, either from USA contractors or foreign partners, have said that a physical break-in would be required. That brief statement implies this simple security procedure is used. Hacker probes are detected weekly at the Pentagon and military facilities elsewhere. It is not difficult to cloak a computer, hide its IP address and make it invisible in cyberspace. Tens of thousands of advanced, personal and business computer users understand the protocol and use it daily.

It seems that at the end of the day, nothing of value could be stolen by a cyber attack against the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. The few confirmed cases where a foreign agent successfully stole and then sold US military secrets involved the theft of ‘hard copy’, data in a physical form such as a computer drive and/or hard (i.e. paper) copies of highly classified reports.


United States “Trillion Dollar National Reserve Note”
Graphic Art – methodshop

A One Trillion USD cost estimate for the F-35 Lightning II Program was released on March 12, 2008 by the United States Government General Accounting Office. The GAO is the investigative arm of the United States Congress and is highly respected for its honesty, integrity and professionalism. The oft-quoted $300 billion figure covers the production and acquisition of 2.458 aircraft for three military services in the United States: Air Force, Navy and Marines. An additional $650 billion is needed to operate and maintain this large fleet of F-35s that will be the first rank USA fighter well into the 21st century. Increase in operating costs is driven by the obvious factors: ongoing design changes, depot maintenance, increased fuel consumption and higher fuel costs.

The Obama administration has planned to equal, or exceed, the $17 billion budget planned by the Bush Administration for cyber-security. With this vast sum in play for the F-35 Lightning II Program and cyber security in general, can we find out more about what is at stake? For those critical of the large budget and who wish these funds were sent elsewhere to support domestic needs amidst the serious recession stalking the American landscape, understand that there is no possibility of a simple, lateral budget transfer. Military budgets cannot be sent back to a general fund and then easily re-assigned. Unless the United States forgoes its imperial vision, programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter will always be defined as essential, then funded and implemented.


Cover Art / F-35 Lightning II Program Brief – USAF
Photo – F-35 Lightning II Program / USAF

Can we in the general public, and forever outside the defense establishment, get a realistic overview as to what would be achieved after spending USD One Trillion? I think we can make that determination with enough accuracy to fuel endless debates as to whether the expense is justified. This article will not enter that debate for which there can never be a resolution – only arguments – about policies that mandate such hugely expensive military aircraft. Setting the policy debate aside, let us see what One (1) Trillion USD buys for the United States Air Force and Lockheed’s international customers for the F-35. The F-35 Lightning II may turn out to be a badly flawed, very expensive aircraft.


F–35 on runway at night
Photo – irandefense.net

In April 2008, The United States Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, announced sweeping changes in Air Force leadership and budget priorities. Production of the F-117 will be halted at 187 aircraft. Further development of the supersonic B-2 bomber was canceled. Amidst these and other cutbacks, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program was preserved and their purchase in 2010 was doubled to 30 aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II was designed with multiple objectives in mind, including a low enough level of stealth capability to make export possible without revealing cutting edge technology that guarantees America’s dominance of the global military air space. Technology that would allow for export of large numbers of the F-35 was designed into the program from its inception. Nations that integrate the F-35 into their long term, strategic military aviation policy are further embedded in the United States web of strategic alliances. Furthermore, a large revenue stream is generated for Lockheed Martin and other contractors who build components for the F-35 Lightning II.


First F-35B STOVL Fighter Unveiled at Lockheed Martin, December 18, 2008.
Photo – airattack

F-35 / Profile and Mission

The F-35 article at Wikipedia is an excellent aircraft profile and review of international strategic partnerships. The F-35 Lighting II is a Fifth Generation Fighter, single seat with stealth capability and multiple mission support. The USAF plans to acquire a total of 1765 aircraft.

There are three models of the F-35. The F-35A, a conventional land takeoff and landing aircraft, is the smallest and lightest of the models and the only one with an internal cannon. The F-35A is intended to outperform the F-16 Fighting Falcon in stealth payload, range, and avionics. It will replace the F-16 starting in 2013 and the A-10 Thunderbolt starting in 2028.

The F-35B is a short takeoff and vertical landing fighter; The US Marine Corps plans to purchase 340 F-35Bs and replace all current F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier II and EA-6B Prowler. The F-35B was unveiled at Lockheed’s Fort Worth plant on 18 December 2007 and first test flight was June 11, 2008. The F-35B will be available in 2012.

The F-35C is a carrier based fighter that has a large folding wing and larger control surfaces than the F-35A for better control at low speeds. Large wing area facilitates decreased landing speed, increased range and payload and twice the range possible with internal fuel when compared to the F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The United States Navy intends to buy 480 F-35Cs to replace various models of F/A 18 Hornets. Two functional prototype F-35Cs have been manufactured and production models are scheduled for 2015.


Pratt & Whitney F13 Engine
Photo – Gingojo / Wikimedia

Performance parameters for the F-35 that have been released include: a) maximum speed of Mach 1.6+ (1200 mph, 1931 kmh); b) range of 1200 nautical miles (2220 km) for the F-35A and F-35C; c) range of 900 nautical miles (1670 km) for the F-35C; d) service ceiling of 60,000 ft; and f) g limits for each model of 9 g. Rate of climb is classified. There are vertical takeoff and landing versions being developed for each of the two jet engines adopted: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 .


Lockheed Martin F-35 variants
Graphic Art – Lockheed Martin

Major finance for the JSF Program is provided by the United States and there are several important country partners including the UK, Italy (Alenia) and Turkey. The major contractors are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems in that order. First flight was 15 December, 2006 and initial deliver/fly-away cost was $83 million. One approach to holding down costs was to have the three variations of the F-35 share 80% of the parts.


F-35 JSF Program – Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA)
Graphic Art – F-35 Lightning II Program / USAF

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and performs final aircraft assembly, overall system integration, mission system, and manufactures the forward fuselage, wings and flight controls systems. Northrop Grumman provides Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, center fuselage, weapons bay, and arrestor gear. BAE Systems provides aft fuselage and empennages, horizontal and vertical tails, crew life support and escape systems, electronic warfare systems, fuel system, and Flight Control Software (FCS1). Alenia will perform final assembly for Italy and possibly assembly of all European aircraft with the exception of the F-35s bought by the UK.


F-35 – cockpit instruments
Digital graphic art – irandefense.net

In terms of competitive upgrade, the F-35 is required to: a) have a long range capacity second only to the F-22; b) be 4 times more effect than familiar legacy fighters in air to air combat; c) be 8 times more effective than existing aircraft in air to ground combat; and c) 3 times superior when flying reconnaissance and suppression of air defense missions. Other important advances include integrating avionics and sensor data from on board and off board sensors to maximize the pilot’s situational awareness and improve weapon delivery. The pilot has a full-panel-width panoramic cockpit display.


F-35 Lightning II – weapon bays open
Photo – airattack

The weaponry designed for the F-35 include four barrel cannons, one or two air-to-air missiles and two air-to-ground bomb bays. To the extent that the Air Force is comfortable with compromising stealth capabilities, additional missiles, bomb bays and fuel tanks can be added to the Lightning II. The F-35 can carry more weapons than any of the aircraft it is designed to replace.

These extraordinary demands are to be met in addition to longer range and less required logistical support than any existing legacy aircraft. This ‘order’ is tall indeed, but is it too ‘tall’ for what is possible even when the contractors have an extraordinary record of achievement with the development of cutting edge military aircraft?


F-35 initial flight on Dec. 15, 2006 over Fort Worth, Texas
Photo – David Drais / Lockheed Martin

Test Flight and Pre-Production

An F-35 reached supersonic speeds for the first time on November 13, 2008 when the test flight of AA-1 achieved Mach 1.05 at 30,000’ with four passes through the sound barrier and eight minutes in supersonic flight. The BF-1 is the first weight optimized design and it made a conventional takeoff flight on June 11, 2008. On December 19, 2008, Lockheed Martin rolled out the first weight optimized F-35A (AF-1) which is the first F-35 to be assembled at full production speed. It is structurally identical to those F-35As (land based takeoff and landing) that will be delivered to allies starting in 2010. As of January 5, 2009, six F-35A’s have been completed and 17 are in production of which 13 are pre-production test aircraft. The other four are production fighter aircraft that will be stationed at the Eglin USAF Base in Florida.


F-35 Mission Concept
Graphic Art – irandefense.net

F-35 / 21st Century and USA Strategic Policy

In the United States Air Force, the F-35 with its multiple capabilities will replace several aircraft including the F-16 and A-10, and it is intended to be the world’s premier strike aircraft through 2040. If this ambitious goal can be achieved, United States dominance of military airspace is guaranteed for at least four generations, and the USA will remain the world’s dominant superpower well into the 21st century. (The naval equivalent of a stealth super weapon is the USA nuclear submarine fleet.).

Russia and later in the 21st century China, are the only candidates for serious competition that might someday challenge United States dominance in the air and seas. If the JSF Program is also a diplomatic weapon that will continue ‘peace through intimidation’ vs Russia and China, that is very important. Uncomfortable as some readers may be when considering these aspects of the world situation, their reality and importance cannot be minimized. Personal philosophy and individual political views aside, empire building and world domination in the social, economic and military spheres has dominated much of the historical record since the days of ancient Egypt.

How well designed is the F-35 Joint Strike fighter to play a major role in the implementation of American foreign policy throughout the first half of the 21st century? To the extent that the F-35 is seriously flawed, the military aviation component that is essential to the policies used by the USA to dominate the planet is weakened. This appears to be an ‘all the eggs in one basket’ situation with respect to future USA air power; there is no backup or alternative to the F-35 Lightning II. There is no other aircraft with the entirety that has been designed into the F-35. Perhaps very high costs alone dictated this situation. The deepening recession and weakening of the USA banking system combine to further embed the pre-eminence of the F-35 within American military and foreign policy for many years to come.










Sweden_JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)
Photo – aereo.jor.br

For anyone who’s into fighter jets, this article will be a treat as it compares the latest, greatest and costliest in aviation research and development. Presented here are Sweden’s Griffin, the EU’s Typhoon and two extraordinary fighters from Russia. One thing is sure: the Joint Strike Fighter Program (F-35) of the United States and several allied nations has competition. Buckle up for our supersonic tour.

Competition for the F-35

United States defense and public news media present the F-35 as a fighter in a class by itself without serious competition. The self promotion is obvious and inaccurate. There are several aircraft programs in other countries with similar capability and objectives. In some countries, budget limitations have restricted these programs to research and design studies, and the only aircraft flying are prototypes and demonstrators. For other nations, there is limited production with delivery to the home country’s air force and a few early customers in other nations. These programs are similar to the F-35 in terms of calendar for development to final design and production. Military aviation commentators and journalists outside the United States often attribute superiority to the latest Russian fighters over those made by the USA in air combat scenarios.

The United States is far ahead when looking at commitments to purchase F-35s, particularly with Italy’s intent to buy 131 F-35s, and Turkey planning to acquire 116 Joint Strike Fighters. The United States military aviation funding capacity is usually assumed to be limitless and subject only to the political and funding whims of the season. US Secretary of State Robert Gates has recently introduced a reality check into this aspect of next generation fighter development. Still, at the end of the day, American deep pockets for finance seem to be in a tier of their own that no other nation can match.

There are ‘dark horse’ candidates for F-35 competition in Sweden and the European Union that could challenge F-35 market dominance. Is it possible for Russia, and later China, to dramatically ramp up production of their 5th generation aircraft and thereby close the gap with the United States in the race for global military aviation dominance?

Sweden – Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)


Sweden JAS 39 Gripen – Firing Test Missile
Photo – aereo.jor.br

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen (‘Griffin’) is a 4.5 generation Swedish multi-role fighter that is capable of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and reconnaissance missions. The Gripen NG (Next Generation) now in development increases thrust by 20% and can cruise at Mach 1.1 with air-to-air missiles. Demonstration flights reached Mach 1.2 this January. All models can operate from 800-meter-runways and can use public roadways for takeoff and landing; the Gripen can be re-armed and refueled in ten minutes by five men operating from a truck.


Sweden JAS 39 Gripen – cockpit
Photo – aereo.jor.br

The human machine interface in the Gripen is extraordinary with three full colour, head down displays and digital emergency instrument presentation. These multifunction displays are unique to the Gripen and take up 75% of cockpit space. Export cost is in the range of $40 to $61 million, below that of the F-35 whose per aircraft costing is now over $83 million and rising. Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, India, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and Thailand are each considering purchases of the Gripen, for a total of at least 513 aircraft. Dutch cost estimates include a saving of $7.6 billion over the lifetime of a fleet of 85 Gripen when compared to a similar fleet of F-35s.

Euro EF2000 Typhoon


Euro EF2000 Typhoon
Photo – Simplify (user) at Project Reality Forums

Not wanting to leave the field to the Americans and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program without a ‘fight’, the European Union committed to a multi-role fighter designated the Eurofighter EF 2000 Typhoon in 1986. Eurofighter GmbH is a holding company that manages three separate partner companies that manufacture the EF 2000: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems and EADS. The Typhoon is a twin-engine canard delta powered by twin EJ-200 augmented turbofans. It is designed to outperform the highest agility fighters such as the American F-117 and F-22; and the Russian MIG 29 and Su-27. Typhoon has a reduced radar cross-section but is not a considered a stealth aircraft in the usual sense.


Euro EF2000 Typhoon / Cockpit
Photo – ReaL-FrienD / Wikipedia

Typhoon’s glass cockpit does not have any of the conventional instruments and the pilot-plane interface capability is perhaps the most advanced in the world. There are three full, Multi-function Head Down Displays (MHDDs); XY cursor and voice (DVI) command; a wide angle, Heads Up Display (HUD) with Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR); Voice & Hands On Throttle And Stick (Voice+HOTAS); Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS); Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS); a Manual Data Entry Facility (MDEF) located on the left glare shield; a fully integrated aircraft warning system with a Dedicated Warnings Panel (DWP) and a speech recognition system as well.

The Eurofighter can reach Mach 2+ (2,495 km/h, 1550 mph) at 65,000’; Mach 1.2 at sea level and Mach 1.1 at supercruise (afterburners not used). Its range is 2,900 km (1,840 m) and the combat radius 556 km (345 mph) and rate of climb is >315 m/s (62,000 ft/min).

Combat contests and games show the Typhoon to be exceptional. At the Typhoon Meet held in 2008, the Euro EF2000 won all mock combat battles against F/A-18 Hornets, Mirage F1s, Harriers and F-16s even though it was heavily outnumbered. The typhoon achieves excellent agility at both supersonic and low speeds. “The Eurofighter consortium claims their fighter has a larger sustained subsonic turn rate, sustained supersonic turn rate, and faster acceleration at Mach 0.9 at 20,000 feet (6,100 m) than the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, Mirage 2000, Rafale, the Su-27, and the MiG-29”. (Source #3). It incorporates an advanced Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS), and a sophisticated and highly integrated Defensive Aids Sub-System.


Euro EF2000 (Spain) Typhoon / July 2007
Photo – All Glory To The Hypnotoad / Wikimedia

The Typhoon is more expensive than the American F-35. Cost per aircraft is about £69.3 million or ~$105 million. The cost of the complete program has continued to rise as delivery dates have fallen behind contracted schedules. Since 2003, the UK Minister of Defense has refused to release project cost estimates. The 2003 figure was £20 billion ($30.2 billion), which is far below the overall costing estimated for the Joint Strike Fighter Program whose production goals are an order of magnitude higher than that planned for the Typhoon. The absence of cutting edge air to ground battle capability (now in development) in the EF2000 has led some countries to look elsewhere for their next generation fighter upgrade.

The Typhoon had its first flight March 27, 1994; the first production contract for 620 aircraft was signed January 30, 1998 but commercial production did not begin until 2003. As of May 2008, 146 Typhoons had been delivered to the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Austria has purchased a system package for EUR 1.969 billion that includes 9 years finance, logistics, training and simulator for 18 aircraft. Other countries with serious interest in the Typhoon are Greece, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The latter committed to purchasing 72 Typhoons in 2006, with 48 to be built in Saudi Arabia. As of late October 2008, the test program for the Royal Saudi Air Force began with one Typhoon in RSAF livery. The first UK RAF Typhoons were declared battle ready on 1 July 2008.

The Russians are Coming / MIG-35B

When listing aircraft that might be comparable to the F-35, we do not often see a Russian fighter mentioned. But wherever advanced Russian fighters are deployed, countries in the region look very closely at those aircraft when making decisions about upgrading their air forces to the F-35 or next generation fighters.


Sukhoi Su-35BM
Photo – daneshju.ir

The Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) is a 4.5 generation long-range, multirole, strike fighter. It closely resembles a specialized version of the Su-30. It is derived from the Su-27 program in the early 1980s wherein a Su-27M prototype first flew in 1988. Aircraft designation was changed to Su-35 in 1993 after comprehensive changes had been made. 15 Su-35 (Su-27M) aircraft have been produced, of which five Su-35s (‘Super Flanker’) have been used by the Russian Knights display team. Sukhoi began developing a 4.5 generation upgrade to the Su-35 in the mid 2000s, which is an interim design until the 5th generation PAK FA (T-50) can complete test flights and enter production. The most recent aircraft in the Su-35 family is the Sukhoi Su-35BM, alias Su-27BM or Su-27SM2. The first upgraded Su-35BM came out of the ‘black’ and into the ‘white’ at the MAKS-2007 airshow, and it flew on February 19, 2008. (“BM’ translates as ‘big modernization.’). Production is scheduled to begin in 2009.

Su-35BM has increased service life and further reductions in radar cross section. Canards were eliminated from the design because new composites and electronics further reduced aircraft weight. Fully rotating, vector thrust nozzles power Saturn engines to provide maximum maneuverability.

The Su-35BM is in prototype stage – only two have been built so far and the first flight was on February 19, 2008. Radar cross-section has been reduced and avionics are now entirely Russian. Its maximum speed is Mach 2.25 (2,400 km/h, 1,500 mph) at 18,000 m (59,100 ft), range is 3,600 km (1,940 nmi) and rate of climb is >280 m/s (>55,100 ft/min). The aircraft cost is estimated at $65 million.


MIG-35B Cockpit
Photo – daneshju.ir

A small number of Su-35s are in service with the Russian Air Force with 12 deployed as of 2008. As of July 2008, the Venezuelan government has expressed interest in buying several Su-35s, and the aircraft has been offered to India, Malaysia and Algeria.

Russia – Su-47


Su-47 / test flight
Photo – airvoila

While not intended to be developed into a battle-ready, fully functional military fighter, the Su-47 (also designated S-35 and S-37) incorporates several original and potentially important features that bear close watching. Much of what is learned from the test flights of the Su-47 will be incorporated into Russia’s production of new fifth-generation aircraft. The Su-47 Berkut (Golden Eagle) transitioned to ‘white’ status in January 2000. One aircraft has been built at a cost estimate of Russian rubles 1.67 billion ($70 million).

Innovative features of the Su-47 include: an aluminum / titanium fuselage whose components are 13% state-of-the-art composite materials and sophisticated fly-by-wire control. Forward swept and inverted wings allow for exceptional maneuverability and attack angles up to 45°. The quick turn ability of the Su-47 may have no equal. Lower minimum flight speed allows for use of short runways. Thrust vector engines of +/– 20 to 30 degrees/second further enhance the maneuverability capacity that derives from the high angle inverted wings. Its maximum speed is Mach 2.34 (2,500 km/h, 1,552 mph), range is 3,300 km (2,050 mi), ceiling is 18,000 m (59,050 ft) and rate of climb is 233 m/s (46,200 ft/min).


Su-47 (S-37) / schematic
Photo – airvoila


Russia Responds to the Joint Strike Fighter Program
Mon, May 18, 2009
Business/Politics
Environmental Graffiti Will be Changing Dramatically Soon. Get a Sneak Preview By Signing Up Here.




Sweden_JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)
Photo – aereo.jor.br

For anyone who’s into fighter jets, this article will be a treat as it compares the latest, greatest and costliest in aviation research and development. Presented here are Sweden’s Griffin, the EU’s Typhoon and two extraordinary fighters from Russia. One thing is sure: the Joint Strike Fighter Program (F-35) of the United States and several allied nations has competition. Buckle up for our supersonic tour.

Competition for the F-35

United States defense and public news media present the F-35 as a fighter in a class by itself without serious competition. The self promotion is obvious and inaccurate. There are several aircraft programs in other countries with similar capability and objectives. In some countries, budget limitations have restricted these programs to research and design studies, and the only aircraft flying are prototypes and demonstrators. For other nations, there is limited production with delivery to the home country’s air force and a few early customers in other nations. These programs are similar to the F-35 in terms of calendar for development to final design and production. Military aviation commentators and journalists outside the United States often attribute superiority to the latest Russian fighters over those made by the USA in air combat scenarios.

The United States is far ahead when looking at commitments to purchase F-35s, particularly with Italy’s intent to buy 131 F-35s, and Turkey planning to acquire 116 Joint Strike Fighters. The United States military aviation funding capacity is usually assumed to be limitless and subject only to the political and funding whims of the season. US Secretary of State Robert Gates has recently introduced a reality check into this aspect of next generation fighter development. Still, at the end of the day, American deep pockets for finance seem to be in a tier of their own that no other nation can match.

There are ‘dark horse’ candidates for F-35 competition in Sweden and the European Union that could challenge F-35 market dominance. Is it possible for Russia, and later China, to dramatically ramp up production of their 5th generation aircraft and thereby close the gap with the United States in the race for global military aviation dominance?

Sweden – Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)


Sweden JAS 39 Gripen – Firing Test Missile
Photo – aereo.jor.br

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen (‘Griffin’) is a 4.5 generation Swedish multi-role fighter that is capable of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and reconnaissance missions. The Gripen NG (Next Generation) now in development increases thrust by 20% and can cruise at Mach 1.1 with air-to-air missiles. Demonstration flights reached Mach 1.2 this January. All models can operate from 800-meter-runways and can use public roadways for takeoff and landing; the Gripen can be re-armed and refueled in ten minutes by five men operating from a truck.


Sweden JAS 39 Gripen – cockpit
Photo – aereo.jor.br

The human machine interface in the Gripen is extraordinary with three full colour, head down displays and digital emergency instrument presentation. These multifunction displays are unique to the Gripen and take up 75% of cockpit space. Export cost is in the range of $40 to $61 million, below that of the F-35 whose per aircraft costing is now over $83 million and rising. Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, India, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and Thailand are each considering purchases of the Gripen, for a total of at least 513 aircraft. Dutch cost estimates include a saving of $7.6 billion over the lifetime of a fleet of 85 Gripen when compared to a similar fleet of F-35s.

Euro EF2000 Typhoon


Euro EF2000 Typhoon
Photo – Simplify (user) at Project Reality Forums

Not wanting to leave the field to the Americans and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program without a ‘fight’, the European Union committed to a multi-role fighter designated the Eurofighter EF 2000 Typhoon in 1986. Eurofighter GmbH is a holding company that manages three separate partner companies that manufacture the EF 2000: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems and EADS. The Typhoon is a twin-engine canard delta powered by twin EJ-200 augmented turbofans. It is designed to outperform the highest agility fighters such as the American F-117 and F-22; and the Russian MIG 29 and Su-27. Typhoon has a reduced radar cross-section but is not a considered a stealth aircraft in the usual sense.


Euro EF2000 Typhoon / Cockpit
Photo – ReaL-FrienD / Wikipedia

Typhoon’s glass cockpit does not have any of the conventional instruments and the pilot-plane interface capability is perhaps the most advanced in the world. There are three full, Multi-function Head Down Displays (MHDDs); XY cursor and voice (DVI) command; a wide angle, Heads Up Display (HUD) with Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR); Voice & Hands On Throttle And Stick (Voice+HOTAS); Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS); Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS); a Manual Data Entry Facility (MDEF) located on the left glare shield; a fully integrated aircraft warning system with a Dedicated Warnings Panel (DWP) and a speech recognition system as well.

The Eurofighter can reach Mach 2+ (2,495 km/h, 1550 mph) at 65,000’; Mach 1.2 at sea level and Mach 1.1 at supercruise (afterburners not used). Its range is 2,900 km (1,840 m) and the combat radius 556 km (345 mph) and rate of climb is >315 m/s (62,000 ft/min).

Combat contests and games show the Typhoon to be exceptional. At the Typhoon Meet held in 2008, the Euro EF2000 won all mock combat battles against F/A-18 Hornets, Mirage F1s, Harriers and F-16s even though it was heavily outnumbered. The typhoon achieves excellent agility at both supersonic and low speeds. “The Eurofighter consortium claims their fighter has a larger sustained subsonic turn rate, sustained supersonic turn rate, and faster acceleration at Mach 0.9 at 20,000 feet (6,100 m) than the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, Mirage 2000, Rafale, the Su-27, and the MiG-29”. (Source #3). It incorporates an advanced Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS), and a sophisticated and highly integrated Defensive Aids Sub-System.


Euro EF2000 (Spain) Typhoon / July 2007
Photo – All Glory To The Hypnotoad / Wikimedia

The Typhoon is more expensive than the American F-35. Cost per aircraft is about £69.3 million or ~$105 million. The cost of the complete program has continued to rise as delivery dates have fallen behind contracted schedules. Since 2003, the UK Minister of Defense has refused to release project cost estimates. The 2003 figure was £20 billion ($30.2 billion), which is far below the overall costing estimated for the Joint Strike Fighter Program whose production goals are an order of magnitude higher than that planned for the Typhoon. The absence of cutting edge air to ground battle capability (now in development) in the EF2000 has led some countries to look elsewhere for their next generation fighter upgrade.

The Typhoon had its first flight March 27, 1994; the first production contract for 620 aircraft was signed January 30, 1998 but commercial production did not begin until 2003. As of May 2008, 146 Typhoons had been delivered to the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Austria has purchased a system package for EUR 1.969 billion that includes 9 years finance, logistics, training and simulator for 18 aircraft. Other countries with serious interest in the Typhoon are Greece, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The latter committed to purchasing 72 Typhoons in 2006, with 48 to be built in Saudi Arabia. As of late October 2008, the test program for the Royal Saudi Air Force began with one Typhoon in RSAF livery. The first UK RAF Typhoons were declared battle ready on 1 July 2008.

The Russians are Coming / MIG-35B

When listing aircraft that might be comparable to the F-35, we do not often see a Russian fighter mentioned. But wherever advanced Russian fighters are deployed, countries in the region look very closely at those aircraft when making decisions about upgrading their air forces to the F-35 or next generation fighters.


Sukhoi Su-35BM
Photo – daneshju.ir

The Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) is a 4.5 generation long-range, multirole, strike fighter. It closely resembles a specialized version of the Su-30. It is derived from the Su-27 program in the early 1980s wherein a Su-27M prototype first flew in 1988. Aircraft designation was changed to Su-35 in 1993 after comprehensive changes had been made. 15 Su-35 (Su-27M) aircraft have been produced, of which five Su-35s (‘Super Flanker’) have been used by the Russian Knights display team. Sukhoi began developing a 4.5 generation upgrade to the Su-35 in the mid 2000s, which is an interim design until the 5th generation PAK FA (T-50) can complete test flights and enter production. The most recent aircraft in the Su-35 family is the Sukhoi Su-35BM, alias Su-27BM or Su-27SM2. The first upgraded Su-35BM came out of the ‘black’ and into the ‘white’ at the MAKS-2007 airshow, and it flew on February 19, 2008. (“BM’ translates as ‘big modernization.’). Production is scheduled to begin in 2009.

Su-35BM has increased service life and further reductions in radar cross section. Canards were eliminated from the design because new composites and electronics further reduced aircraft weight. Fully rotating, vector thrust nozzles power Saturn engines to provide maximum maneuverability.

The Su-35BM is in prototype stage – only two have been built so far and the first flight was on February 19, 2008. Radar cross-section has been reduced and avionics are now entirely Russian. Its maximum speed is Mach 2.25 (2,400 km/h, 1,500 mph) at 18,000 m (59,100 ft), range is 3,600 km (1,940 nmi) and rate of climb is >280 m/s (>55,100 ft/min). The aircraft cost is estimated at $65 million.


MIG-35B Cockpit
Photo – daneshju.ir

A small number of Su-35s are in service with the Russian Air Force with 12 deployed as of 2008. As of July 2008, the Venezuelan government has expressed interest in buying several Su-35s, and the aircraft has been offered to India, Malaysia and Algeria.

Russia – Su-47


Su-47 / test flight
Photo – airvoila

While not intended to be developed into a battle-ready, fully functional military fighter, the Su-47 (also designated S-35 and S-37) incorporates several original and potentially important features that bear close watching. Much of what is learned from the test flights of the Su-47 will be incorporated into Russia’s production of new fifth-generation aircraft. The Su-47 Berkut (Golden Eagle) transitioned to ‘white’ status in January 2000. One aircraft has been built at a cost estimate of Russian rubles 1.67 billion ($70 million).

Innovative features of the Su-47 include: an aluminum / titanium fuselage whose components are 13% state-of-the-art composite materials and sophisticated fly-by-wire control. Forward swept and inverted wings allow for exceptional maneuverability and attack angles up to 45°. The quick turn ability of the Su-47 may have no equal. Lower minimum flight speed allows for use of short runways. Thrust vector engines of +/– 20 to 30 degrees/second further enhance the maneuverability capacity that derives from the high angle inverted wings. Its maximum speed is Mach 2.34 (2,500 km/h, 1,552 mph), range is 3,300 km (2,050 mi), ceiling is 18,000 m (59,050 ft) and rate of climb is 233 m/s (46,200 ft/min).


Su-47 (S-37) / schematic
Photo – airvoila






Environmental Graffiti Will be Changing Dramatically Soon. Get a Sneak Preview By Signing Up Here.




F-35C in flight over the Grand Canyon
Photo – f22 enthusiast / f-16.net

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has several important international partners. Despite design problems with stealth capability, the production of battle-ready aircraft has begun. Israel, Turkey, Italy and Australia have made the largest purchase commitment at this time. Find out more, in the final part of Environmental Graffiti’s three-article series taking an in-depth look at everything you needed to know about the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

International Collaboration / F-35 Exports

From its inception, the Joint Strike Fighter Program was designed to live up to its name. Extensive allied participation was actively solicited for many reasons. There would be some cost savings but considering the record setting finance required, the United States would always bear most of the cost burden. By releasing new jet fighter technology that is very advanced, yet not deemed sensitive enough to require shielding with maximum security, the United States can share some of its finest research and development in the design of 5th Generation fighter aircraft. Other countries benefit for obvious reasons while the United States continues to shoulder the majority of costs. The web of alliances that the USA controls continues to build, strengthen and expand.

If you like the U.S. approach to global affairs, the war on terror and use of its air force, than this is an excellent situation. Otherwise, these three articles are discussing a 21st century ‘killing appliance from Hell”.


JSF Program / International Partners Flags”
Photo – F-35 Lightening II Program / USAF

There will always remain a central and thorny question which is both political, military and philosophical. Does the chance of air war using maximum force weaponry rise if more nations possess such weapon systems? Perhaps, but that scenario is only activated if political and military leaders choose to do so.

We see extensive and horrifying civilian casualties in Pakistan and Afghanistan from the collateral damage that arises from flying unmanned drone missions whose targets are believed to shelter enemies and dangerous terrorist assets. Those drone missions could be flown less; or they could stand down until essential intelligence support is dramatically improved; or they could be flown unarmed without public admission of that fact in order to frighten and intimidate but not kill. These are alternatives that have barely been considered if at all.

When the F-35 and similar aircraft from other countries are deployed, how and when they shall be used will be the most important chapters in their biography and the most significant aspect of their existence for the world at large.


Pratt & Whitney F135_Engine Test
Photo – airattack

Eight countries including the UK, Israel, Australia and Turkey have agreed to contribute more than $4.3 billion to the Joint Strike Fighter Project. The UK is the only Level 1 partner. Total project costs are now estimated at $1 trillion. Sales of 2400 F-35s could generate at least $200 million and there is a statement in the press that major partner nations might purchase a total of 3100 F-35s through 2035. Given the tumultuous international economic climate and other unpredictable factors, estimates of F-35 production and sales to partner nations must be taken with several pounds of salt.

The United Kingdom initially planned to acquire 138 F-35Bs for the RAF and Royal Navy per statements in December 2006. The British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy planned to use the F-35B VTOL to replace their Harrier GR7/GR9s. After initial agreement, the USA has since refused to grant access to technology that would allow the UK to maintain and upgrade the F-35 on its own. Although Britain has committed to two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers as naval bases for the F-35B, as of March 2009 contracts for the purchase of only three F-35Bs have been signed.

Italy plans to acquire 74 F-35As and 57 F-35Bs, although it will not participate in F-35 testing and evaluation and will not purchase test aircraft.


X-35C / 2001 Test Flight
Photo – USAF

The Netherlands had planned to acquire 85 F-35As but on April 29, 2009, Labor Party MPs ruled against going forward with the purchase of two test F-35s. Labor is critical to the ruling coalition in the Netherlands that is led by the Christian Democrats who do not want to move forward with the F-35 to upgrade the Dutch Air Force. Several other parties are supporting the F-35, others are not. A last minute decision agreed to a non-refundable down payment for the purchase of one JSF operational test aircraft. The final decision to purchase 85 of the F35 Joint Strike Aircraft has been deferred until 2012.

Denmark is one of two international suppliers to Northrup Grumman for center fuselage components and is considering replacing 48 of its aging F-16s with F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Norway is a Level 3 partner in the System Development and Demonstration Phase of the F-35 program. On November 20, 2008, Norway committed to replacing its fleet of F-16s with the F-35 instead of the Swedish (Saab) JaS 39 Gripen.

Canada has been involved with the Joint Strike Fighter Program from the beginning and is expected to invest a total of $160 million in order to gain access to information, technology transfer and business for Canadian sub-contractors. Total value of contracts issued to Canadian companies is projected to be at least $4.8 billion.


Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning
Photo – Lockheed Martin

Turkey joined the JSF Project in 2002 and intends to order 116 F-35s with a value of at least $11 billion. These aircraft will be produced in Turkey by Turkish Aerospace Industries whose supplier contracts for center fuselage components with Northrup Grumman have a value of over $3 billion. After 2013, Turkey will produce 100% of the Turkish Air Force’s F-35s under license from Lockheed Martin as was done with their F-16 fighter program.

Israel signed a Letter of Agreement worth $20 million to join the System Development and Demonstration as a security participant but briefly lost their partnership status after the Chinese arms deal crisis. Israel intends to buy more than 100 F-35As starting with an initial purchase of 25 aircraft at a cost of more than $5 billion to replace their fleet of F-16s. Delivery may begin in 2012 and Israel is likely to be the first nation to receive the F-35.

With the exception of the JSF/HMDS helmet mounted display that is developed with Elbit Systems, there will be no Israeli technology installed on their F-35s. A request to manufacture one third of the F-35s in Israel is outstanding. As of April 21, 2009, negotiations between the Israeli Defense Ministry and Lockheed Martin about the purchase of F-35s were bogged down over unit costs and the technicalities of integrating Israeli-specific avionics and armaments, the latter being the most serious issue. Latest news bytes talk about a delivery date of 2014 for a squadron of 25 F-35s with activation of the squadron to be in 2016. A further 50 F-35s would follow later.


F-35 Lightning II test aircraft AA-1 undergoes a flight check over Fort Worth, Texas
Photo – Lockheed Martin

To further complicate matters with Israel, their defense establishment is now reviewing the entire situation. The Israeli IDF is investigating whether upgrades to existing Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters or purchase of advanced versions of both aircraft plus the Boeing F-15 Eagle would more than suffice and render the F-35 squadrons unnecessary. Most Israeli military funding comes from U.S. Foreign Military Financing Credits that will total $11.425 billion from 2009 through 2012.

In essence, the United States would buy the F-35 for Israel, a feature of the United States-Israel military relationship that is not well known to the general public. To stir the pot further, there is now an intense debate in the United States and elsewhere about the extent to which Israeli politics in the Middle East influence United States policy in the region. FMF credits add further credence to the view that Israel has very deep access and influence upon United States Middle East policy. Does the tail wag the dog after all in the eastern Mediterranean?


F-35 / Helmet Mounted Display System / Electro-Optical Targeting – Sapphire Windows / Lower Hemisphere – Forward Coverage / Spherical Coverage -Distributed Aperture System
Graphic Art – irandefense.net

Australia is participating in the Joint Strike Fighter Project and already committed to the F-35 in June of 2002, perhaps the first country to do so with the objective to obtain cost savings when purchasing the F-35. Australia is a Level 3 partner in the F-35 Systems Development Phase. The Australian Department of Defense 2009 White Paper states an intent to purchase a minimum of 72 F-35s to replace three of four F/A-18F Super Hornet squadrons starting in 2010. If the global economic recession allows, additional purchases will bring the number of F-35s in the Australian Air Force to 100 and outfit a fourth squadron. Acquisition of the F/A-18F Super Hornet is part of a risk mitigation strategy as difficulties with finalizing design and production of the F-35 continue. A request to the United States to sell Australia F-22 fighters was rejected.

Other countries expressing an interest in and/or have been offered the F-35 by the United States include: Singapore, India (F35A, F35B), Brazil, Finland, Spain (Navy), Greece and the Republic of China (Taiwan) where that interest was quickly rejected by the USA for obvious political reasons.


Lockheed Martin F-35 Cockpit
Graphic Art – irandefense.net

F-35 Problems

The United States Congressional General Accounting Office Report criticizes the major contractors, especially the rush to development before key technological components were ‘mature’, and a too rapid schedule to production before flight tests were completed and the F-35 signed off as ready for production. Auditors criticized both the military and the contractors for:

a) pressing into the development’s phase before key technologies were mature; b) starting manufacture of test aircraft before designs were stable and; c) moving to production before flight tests showed the aircraft was ready.
1. Weight
Depending on exact configuration, F-35 take-off weight can approach 60,000 lb (27,000 kg), which resembles the F-105 fighter of the Vietnam era. Earlier designs for the F-35 were much heavier, by 8%. In order to meet performance requirements, Lockheed added engine thrust and shed 10,000 lbs by thinning the F-35’s skin. Design changes were also made to other features of the design including the weapons bay and vertical tails. The overall impression of the aircraft’s design is a bit old fashioned and ‘conventional’.


F-35_JSF_Program variants
Photo – F-35 Lightening II Program / USAF

2. Stealth Capability
RAND Corporation simulations have shown that numerous Russian Sukhoi fighters defeat a small number of F-35s. Using public access photos, controversial Australian engineer Carol Kopp claimed that the stealth capabilities of the F-35 are near trivial and that new long-wave-length radars now operational with the Russian armed forces can detect the F-35 at any angle. Kopp claims the F-35 is truly stealthy only in a narrow cone around the nose. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Pentagon have conducted their own studies which refute inferior combat performance and lack of stealth capacity.


F-35 takeoff from carrier
Photo montage – Lockheed Martin

On April 28, 2009, Dr Carlo Kopp and Air Power Australia issued a 36-page analysis of the F-35’s stealth attributes. The critique is devastating and I quote the conclusion (Source #4):

“The Joint Strike Fighter is demonstrably not a true stealth aircraft in the sense of designs like the F-117A, B-2A and F-22A, as its stealth performance varies much more strongly with aspect and threat radar operating frequency band. The degradation of the initially intended Joint Strike Fighter stealth performance occurred during the SDD program when a series of design changes made to the lower fuselage of the aircraft resulted in fundamental shaping changes in comparison with the X-35 Dev/Val prototype aircraft. The Joint Strike Fighter SDD design departs strongly from key stealth shaping rules employed in the development of the F-117A, B-2A, and F-22A, or the never built YF-23A and A-12A designs. As a result the tactical options available to Joint Strike Fighter users when confronted with penetrating modern Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) are mostly those necessary to ensure the survival of non-stealthy legacy aircraft types.”

This negative assessment continues: “The result of these limitations is that the operational economics of a fighter force using the Joint Strike Fighter will be much inferior to a force using a true all aspect stealth aircraft such as the F-22A Raptor. As with claims made for Joint Strike Fighter air combat capability, claims made for the Joint Strike Fighter concerning the penetration of IADS equipped with modern radars and SAMs are not analytically robust, and cannot be taken seriously. Moreover, it is clear that future Joint Strike Fighter users will pay a significant price penalty for a stealth capability unable to deliver much, if any, return on such investment.”

3. Noise Pollution
The F-35 is expected to be twice as noisy on takeoff as the F-15 and 4X as loud when landing. Residents of American cities near the Davis-Monthan and Eglin Air Force Bases are very concerned and have threatened law suits.


F-35 Mission Concept
Graphic art – irandefense.net

Current Status

Some of the partner countries in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Project have wavered in their public commitment as discussed above. It is hard to see at this juncture how this most expensive weapons program can pay for itself, let alone move into accounting black ink. But then, if deemed in the national interest of the United States, final costing is of no concern. Considering genuine design challenges that remain, the embedded global economic recession, aircraft alternatives from other nations (EU Typhoon, Sweden’s JAS 39 Gripen, advanced fighters from Sukhoi in Russia), unavoidable large cost overruns and the irrelevancy of weapon systems like the F-35 Lighting II in the theater of asymmetric warfare that the global war on terrorism has brought to the world, the story of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Project has several chapters yet to be written.

The first article (I) in this three part series discusses the history of the F-35 Lightening II Program. Profile, performance standards and current status of test flight demonstrators and production aircraft are described. The second (II) article casts a searchlight on the strongest competitors for the Joint Strike Fighter Program from other nations
 

gogbot

BANNED
Aug 12, 2009
2,201
0
1,256
The FGFA will be in service by the time i read that.
You need make your point a little bit more succinct.


I dont even know what your main point is.
 

AZADPAKISTAN2009

ELITE MEMBER
Sep 8, 2009
32,598
63
34,062
Country
Pakistan
Location
China
I was lost in the article - :coffee: I went to read summaries from other ppl , who commented but nice effort keep it up
 

Fighter488

FULL MEMBER
Dec 5, 2009
1,050
0
568
Yes indeed it look an incomplete and bad job!
I can not post the link of the articles as well. I need to post 15 messages before that.
You can google 'Russia Responds to the Joint Strike Fighter Program' for the link(s).
The purpose was to give a comparative summary of different fighter planes.

Any way it look kind a backfired!
 

Gazzi

FULL MEMBER
Nov 4, 2009
946
0
454
This is a silly post......I doubt any country out there can realistically steal data like this and the US would never just put it out anywhere for it to be stolen or otherwise.

Look at it this way, the US has been to the moon 40 or so years ago, China and India are only now getting to get people in space, well China only. These countries are decades behind the US.

This is a common misconception of countires trying to compete with the US with their stupid designs. Technological edge is what US engineers live and die for daily, its like a karma for them. No countries efforts out there would really threaten the US no matter how hard they try. I think they do however, need to keep an eye on those closer to them who are the threat, itself, the US and its people are great people.....little naive and too trustworthy, but their equipment is the best in the world
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom