F-35 Can Lose to Legacy Fighters if You Treat it Like a Legacy Fighter

Discussion in 'U.S. Air Force' started by Pathfinder, Jun 10, 2017.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

    Dec 17, 2015
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    Here's why the F-35 once lost to F-16s, and how it made a stunning comeback


    Alex Lockie
    Apr. 18, 2017, 3:26 PM

    But according to retired US Marine Corps Maj. Dan Flatley, who helped design the training syllabus for F-35 dogfights, the F-35's lackluster performance against legacy jets had more to do with old habits of the pilots and a weapons system in its infancy rather than anything wrong with the F-35 concept itself.

    "When you first get in the F-35 and try to fight it visually, you immediately go back to everything you knew in your legacy fighter," Flatley told Business Insider in a phone interview.

    Indeed, the same report that details the F-35's losses to older jets states that the pilot himself had 2,000 flight hours in an F-15 Strike Eagle, which is a very different beast.

    “If you try to fight it like a fighter it isn’t, you’re going to have terrible results,” Flatley said of the F-35. Like any new weapons system, the F-35 takes some getting used to. In 2015, F-35 pilots were pulled from other fighters and introduced to a plane that fundamentally reimagined aerial warfare. A learning curve had to be covered.

    "If I went out and fought an F/A-18 on day one I’d get destroyed," said Flatley. "But if you do what the jet is really good at, you can do things those other jets wouldn’t dream of."

    Flatley stressed that dogfighting, where the close range diminishes the F-35's stealth and sensor fusion advantages, is certainly not the purpose of the Joint Strike Fighter, but rather it can excel in those situations in the right hands.

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  2. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

    Oct 10, 2015
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    5th Gen aircraft are all about how you use the sensors and its "stealth" capabilities. The training required to fly one is completely different, pilots need to memorize all of the scenarios in which they can use the new gizmos on their fighter, its not longer only learning about aircraft maneuvers.
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  3. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

    Oct 14, 2016
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    Wh40k, Battletech
    He-he-he. This pregnant penguin really can fly, but worse that fighters of 3rd generation.

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