If not the F-35 then what else?

Discussion in 'U.S. Air Force' started by Pathfinder, Mar 25, 2016.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    For years people in the defense community, civilian leadership, and military have criticized the F-35 for various reasons. Criticisms against the F-35 include its alleged inability to dog fight, the idea that the F-35 is not stealthy, the idea that one plane can't be used for CAS and Air Superiority. I want to ask a simple question, if not the F-35 then what else? Should we have developed a new CAS jet and build more F-22's? Should we have developed a real 4.5 generation fighter like the Rafael to replace the F-16?
     
  2. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    Maybe a modernized F-16 like that of the UAE? The F-22 would fall the same cost criticism as the F-35, especially as the production line is buried in a desert at the moment and would take time and money to restart. But why not replace the F-16 with the F-16? Sure, it's not a stealth platform. But does that even matter? Radars, electronic warfare, IR sensors, countermeasures are getting good enough to track stealth at ranges that would normally be thought of as safe from detection, as is the point of stealth (to limit detection range, not eliminate it). But an aircraft that's cost effective and offers everything you'll find in the Typhoon and Rafale, just with an American flare, is an attractive alternative.

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    It'd be even better if you can add an enclosed weapons pod.

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    But here's an important question: would an alternative be cost effective? The Typhoon and Rafale aren't cheap. Neither is the Super Bug or a modernized F-16. When compared with the F-35, especially when put into mass production, are the competitors really offering anything radically different?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
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  3. T-123456

    T-123456 Captain Staff Member International Mod

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    Isnt the F-16 Block 60 on par with the Rafale or Typhoon?
     
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  4. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    The aircraft we developed decades ago are still effective for modern missions. The missions haven't really changed and there havn't been any huge leaps in fighter air craft technologies except for "stealth" which in my opinion is a falacy. You can never fully conceal something that physically exists. Stealth is t even a significant development especially since it doesn't really work. The F-35 has advanced sensors and other sub systems that give it an edge over other aircraft but I would imagine that those other air craft could carry the same sub systems as well.

    If I could design the Air Force of the future I would have some super tucsnos, A-10's or an equivalent aircraft, I would have those Arsenal planes loaded with cruise missiles and air to air missiles, and I would have a highly agile dog fighter. I would keep the newer and upgraded F-15's and 16's around.
     
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  5. Atilla

    Atilla Major

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    The Turkish Air Force is acquiring over 100 F-35's, it seems that they will be replacing F-4 Phantoms in service. Even the F-35 will be in service with the 172nd that was deactivated when some F-4's were retired, now that squadron is being reactivated for the F-35.

    http://www.americanmilitaryforum.com/forums/threads/turkey-prepares-airbase-for-f-35-arrival.513/

    F-16's will stay in service for a long time and eventually be replaced with the TF-X. The conceptual design for the TF-X will be selected soon, this will decide if it will be a single engine or twin engine air superiority plane. I think with the Russian threat and Iranian purchase of Su-30's we will choose twin engine.

    The F-35 will work well for us because of how we will use it in our air force. It is not being used to replace everything only a specific jet. The F-35 will give us more capabilities and cause big headaches for our neighbors who can not afford to upgrade their air forces.

    The F-35 program is needed and there could be no replacement. China and Russia have 5th generation fighters, America must also have. I think if the F-35 had less delays no one would be complaining about it.
     
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