Marine Corps pilots stoked about their new F-35's

Avionist:
The combined F-35 fleet now has over 75,000 flight hours, yet many continue to question the performance and value of the aircraft. Much of this can be expected given early program challenges, and the reality that many of the F-35s capabilities are classified. Add that many do not grasp the war the F-35 was designed to deter – or fight. 21st century warfare and capability has about as much in common with wars of the past as your 1970’s land line has to your smartphone. It is in this “smartphone” battlespace that the F-35 is designed to fight and to do so with a distinctly unfair advantage.

To understand the significance and value of the F-35, cut through the complexity and noise. Simplify. Put aside the politicians “it does not work!” the ideologues, the self-proclaimed experts and listen to the voice of the pilots. The pilots will take the aircraft into combat, their own lives in the balance as they penetrate contested space and are wildly outnumbered by adversary aircraft.
...
BC; I was conducting a strike mission and Red Air was coming at me. In a 4th Gen fighter you must do a whole lot of interpretation. You see things in azimuth, and you see things in elevation. In the F-35 you just see the God’s eye view of the whole world. It’s very much like you are watching the briefing in real time.

I am coming in to perform the simulated weapons release, and Red Air is coming the other direction. I have enough situational awareness to assess whether Red Air is going to be a factor to me by the time I release the weapon. I can make the decision, I’m going to go to the target, I’m going to release this weapon. Simultaneously I pre-target the threat, and as soon as I release the A2G weapon, I can flip a switch with my thumb and shoot the Red Air. This is difficult to do in a 4th Gen fighter, because there is so much manipulation of systems in the cockpit. All while paying attention to the basic mechanics of flying the airplane and interpreting threat warnings that are often very vague, or only directional. In the F-35 I know where the threats are, what they are and I can thread the needle. I can tell that the adversary is out in front of me and I can make a very, very smart decision about whether to continue or get out of there. All that, and I can very easily switch between mission sets.

Mo; I was leading a four ship of F-35s on a strike against 4th Gen adversaries, F-16s and F/A-18s. We fought our way in, we mapped the target, found the target, dropped JDAMs on the target and turned around and fought our way out. All the targets got hit, nobody got detected, and all the adversaries died. I thought, yes, this works, very, very, very well. Never detected, nobody had any idea we were out there.

A second moment was just this past Thursday. I spent a fair amount of my life as a tail hook guy – [landing F/A-18s on US Navy Supercarriers] on long carrier deployments. The last 18 seconds of a Carrier landing are intense. The last 18 seconds of making a vertical landing on this much smaller USMC Assault Carrier – is a lot more relaxed. The F-35C is doing some great stuff. Making a vertical landing [my first this week] on the moving ship, that is much smaller than anything I’ve landed on at sea – with less stress, was awesome.

...
There is more.

The situational awareness in the F-35 appears to be a quantum leap from fourth generation fighters.  The plane appears to respond quickly and easily to combat operations. It will be interesting to see how it stands up the Chicom knockoff.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Iraq says civilian casualties in Mosul caused by ISIS booby trap, not US air strike

Liberal fascists strike against Trump supporters in Berkeley

OPEC reduces production again in price maintenance program