Monday, June 24, 2013

Why the F-15SE is not a "stealth" alternative to the F-35

Over at the American Innovation blog, "Mangler Muldoon" does a terrific and well sourced job of explaining why the F-15SE that many critics of the F-35 claim can be "stealthed up" to match the F-35, will never achieve that claim.  While certainly a 4th generation plus aircraft, it does not come near matching the low observability of either the F-22 or F-35:

All aspect stealth aircraft, such as the F-35 and F-22, utilize a combination of shaping techniques (planform alignment) and radar absorbent material (RAM) coatings to reduce their radar cross section. Platform alignment is a technique for reducing an aircraft’s radar cross section by orienting all the flight surfaces of the aircraft at the same angles.

Although RAM coatings are important, shaping techniques have a larger impact on reducing an airframe's overall rcs. Unlike the F-22 and F-35, the F-15SE did not benefit from meticulous platform alignment shaping from the onset and relies primarily upon RAM coatings to reduce its radar signature.

He also notes something I've been saying for quite some time - stealth, or low observability, has to be engineered in from the beginning:

Stealth is a trait that is designed into the aircraft from its inception and cannot simply be added in latter on a defense contractor’s whim. Prior to the silent eagle, no 4th generation aircraft had ever qualified for the low observable frontal radar cross section designation. The F-15SE design features 15 degree oriented canted tails which produce lower radar returns when compared to the F-15E’s original vertical tails. All stealth aircraft have internal weapon bays; storage of weapons on conventional outer wing pylons would compromise the airframe’s stealth qualities. Boeing’s engineers ingeniously modified the existing conformal fuel tanks to carry weapons. Depending upon the desired ordinance, the fuel tanks are partially drained to allow for weapons storage. The lack of externally stored weapons also reduces drag increasing the already impressive aerodynamic performance of the strike eagle.


Radar signature:

The combination of RAM, weapon bays, and canted tails grants the F-15SE a reduced frontal radar cross section; the side and rear aspects remain unstealthy and produce significant radar returns given the lack of shaping techniques. The exact size of the F-15SE’s rcs has not been released to the general public. It is plausible to assume the F-15SE qualifies for at least the low observable (0.1-.01m^2) designation which is necessary to qualify F-15SE as a stealth aircraft. Boeing initially claimed the silent eagle was as stealthy as the Lockheed Martin F-35 but Boeing has subsequently recanted its view. To provide some perspective, the F-35 is cited to have a frontal radar cross section of .0015m^2 (Global Security, 2011) and the standard eagle has a frontal rcs of 5.0m^2. My assessment is that the silent eagle has a radar signature larger than that of the original F-117A Nighthawk (.025m^2) but not larger than the upper bound .1m^2 figure for low observable aircraft. Thus, I would estimate a figure between .025m^2 and 0.1m^2. For the sake of simplicity, for the rest of the series the figure .05m^2 for the front aspect will be used but please note this is merely my own estimation and .05m^2 is not an official figure from Boeing. The use of .05m^2 is merely intended to provide perspective relative to other stealth aircraft and some basis for analyzing the potential air defense penetration capabilities of the F-15SE.

The reasoning is as follow:

The F-15SE does not feature S-shaped air inlets, divertless supersonic inlets (DSI), or radar grill/mesh panels (e.g. F-117 and RQ-170) to shield its engine fan blades from possible radar returns.

All previous conventional stealth aircraft put into service such as the F-22A, F-35, B-2, F-117A, and RQ-170 shield the face of the engine from radar returns.

Lack of planform alignment in the design, shaping contributes more towards stealth than RAM.

The F-117A Nighthawk is likely stealthier than the F-15SE as it was designed from the onset to be a stealth airframe but the primitive shaping techniques and RAM resulted in a comparatively larger rcs when compared to more advanced low observable airframes such as the F-22A. Of the rcs signatures of known stealth aircraft, the closest “fit” in terms of approximate rcs size to the F-15SE is likely the F-117A.

IR Signature

In the F-15SE’s IR signature has not been significantly altered from the base strike eagle. Stealth aircraft typically incorporate design features to minimize the aircraft's IR signature. The F-22A utilizes specially shaped engine nozzles to reduce its IR signature while the F-35 utilizes a combination of ceramic material coatings on the engine nozzle and heat sinks to reduce its IR signature. The shape of the engine nozzles on the F-15SE remains unchanged and no heat sinks have been added. It can be argued that an aircraft’s IR signature is less important than its radar cross section as even the most capable infrared search and track (IRST) systems have a relatively short range when compared to high power fighter radars. For example, the PIRATE IRST system equipped in the Eurofighter Typhoon can detect a fighter aircraft at 27 nautical miles compared to the AN/APG-77 actively scanned electronic array radar on the F-22 which can detect fighter sized targets from over 120 + nautical miles away. This is not to say IR signature reduce has no benefits; a reduced IR signature would reduce the effective range of an IRST and the range of enemy IR guided missiles.

Electronic Signature

An often overlooked aspect of stealth is an aircraft's electronic signature. Several types of electronic emissions originating from either the aircraft's communication system or its radar can potentially betray its location to the enemy. Unfortunately the topic of electronic emissions is exceedingly dull (it will put most people to sleep), very complicated, and a lot of information is classified so to simplify things two types of systems will be examined: emission locator systems and radar warning receivers (RWR). Both types of systems are passive detection methods that could potentially locate an aircraft. Emission locator systems can, under the right circumstances, identify the origin of enemy communication signals while RWR can detect the emission source for radars.

In terms of electronic emissions, the F-15SE does not incorporate a specialized minimally detectable communication system. The F-15SE uses the standard link-16 system in addition to the standard AN/ARC-164 HAVE QUICK II radio system. These systems are generally regarded to provide secure jam resistant communication but their emissions are detectable by emitter locator systems such as the KRTP-86 Tamara.

"[Emission locator systems] were developed during the last two decades of the Cold War to bolster Warsaw Pact air defence capabilities in the high density European Theatre, where it was expected that the US would heavily jam all surveillance, acquisition and engagement radars used in the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS). The intent behind these passive sensors was to provide a capability to passively detect, locate and track US and NATO aircraft using their RF emissions, to cue other IADS elements to an engagement." - Kopp, 2008

Go read the rest of his assessment.  Like I said, very well done and some good information that counters a lot of the critic's claims.  Low observability, or stealth, can be improved on 4th generation aircraft, but unless it is designed into the airframe from the beginning, it will always be inferior to those airframes in which the design has been incorporated. 



  1. Thanks for the extra publicity Graff, glad you liked it.

  2. Why the F-35 is not a "stealth alternative to the F/A-18F

    1. You still haven't gotten it, have you?

      The F/A-18E/F has a slightly reduced frontal RCS, and an AESA radar to eliminate ESM detection. That's it! That's all! There's nothing else! So, how "stealth" is the Super Hornet?

      Not much. The F/A-18E/F has a frontal RCS of approximately 0.1 square meters. This gives it a smaller than average radar cross section, but that is still several orders of magnitude greater than the RCS of a VLO aircraft such as the F-35 or F-22. VLO is defined as having a RCS of around or less than 0.001 square meters, and the F-35 and F-22 have frontal RCSs even smaller. The Super Hornet is closer in RCS to a legacy fighter -- its RCS is thirty times smaller than a standard fighter, but one hundred times larger than that of a VLO aircraft. So, while the Super Hornet may have a smaller cross section, it is NOT "stealth" -- it is nowhere near VLO, and in fact it is just barely LO (defined as 0.1 square meters or smaller). The Super Hornet represents "first generation" LO, along with aircraft such as the B-1B. It has some radar cross section reduction, but that reduction is nowhere near enough to classify it as a "stealth" aircraft, and it has nowhere near the signature reduction of an F-35 or F-22. In other words, it won't be able to hide from modern radar systems.

      But it gets better! Although the F/A-18E/F has had its signature reduced, the reduction was almost entirely from the frontal aspect only. This means that the Super Hornet only has signature reduction features vis-a-vis a radar "looking" at it from head on. In other words, if viewed from any angle other than a relatively narrow window directly in front of the aircraft, the Super Hornet isn't LO at all; its RCS is comparable to legacy fighters, and it has no signature reduction. In a world with interconnected air force systems and heavily networked IADS, this means that the Super Hornet will be visible to virtually every opponent in the area as soon as an aircraft gets within radar range of it from any direction other than directly in front of the aircraft. Assuming the Super Hornet will never be faced with an enemy coming from any direction other than head on is a rather large assumption to make.

      But that's not all! The Super Hornet has some frontal RCS reduction features, and it has an AESA radar to make ESM detection extremely unlikely, but it has no infrared signature reduction features. Unlike the F-35, which has S-shaped inlets, buried engines, composite engine nozzles, multiple heat sinks, and engine airflow bypass systems to reduce its infrared signature, the Super Hornet is nowhere near LO in the infrared spectrum.

      In conclusion, the F/A-18E/F is no more a stealth alternative to the F-35 than the F-15SE is. Its RCS reduction is relatively small, and is nowhere near large enough to characterize it as LO -- it is more similar in its RCS to non-stealthy aircraft than it is to a VLO aircraft such as the F-35. Furthermore, it is only "stealthy" from the front -- from any direction other than directly in front of it, it has a radar cross section similar to other legacy fighters -- from most directions, it doesn't have any RCS reduction at all! Finally, it includes none of the IR signature reduction measures that the F-35 does. In short, it is better than a legacy fighter with no signature reduction, but it is nowhere near as "stealth" or as capable as an all-aspect VLO aircraft such as the F-35.


    1. You go to WIRED.COM for your defense-related information? You gotta be shittin' me.

      Not only did the article manage to give an incorrect price for the F-35, it also mentioned "setbacks" that have already been corrected. This is in keeping with's frightening inability to discuss anything military-related without losing whatever shred of credibility they still maintain.

      Yes, the F/A-18E/F might (key word: might) receive upgrades that will reduce its RCS, but your delusion that those upgrades will produce an all-aspect VLO aircraft are completely incorrect. That 0.1 square meter RCS I mentioned? That was with a completely clean configuration. In other words, the actual frontal RCS of a Super Hornet would be quite a bit higher, due to fuel tanks, weapons storage, etc. The Wired article you cite states that the Super Hornet will receive LO fuel pods and weapons bays, and the only thing those will do is reduce the RCS of the weapons and fuel the Super Hornet carries -- in other words, even if the F/A-18E/F received super-ultra-mega-stealth weapons bays and fuel pods that completely reduced the RCS of the weapons and fuel it carried, its frontal RCS would still be 0.1 square meters -- which is still several ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE greater than that of the F-35. In other words, even if all of those upgrades are fully funded and implemented, and even if they are much more effective than can be realistically hoped for, the Super Hornet will still have a frontal RCS around one hundred times greater than the F-35 -- or, to put it in an inverse statement, the F-35 will be one hundred times smaller than the Super Hornet, in terms of RCS. Of course, since it is quite likely that those upgrades will not be implemented (your article mentioned that they have not been funded), and because, realistically, externally stored weapons/fuel will still produce some kind of radar return, the Super Hornet's actual RCS will most likely be even larger.

      And you still have yet to digest the fact that, even if all of those upgrades somehow did give the F/A-18E/F a frontal RCS as low as the F-35, they don't do anything about the Super Hornet's large side and rear RCS. In other words, even if all of the upgrades you mentioned were implemented, and even if they did somehow manage to make the F/A-18E/F VLO, the side and rear or the Super Hornet would still have an RCS comparable to that of a completely non-stealthy legacy fighter. Again, assuming that the Super Hornet will never face an adversary coming from any direction other than directly ahead of it is a rather large assumption to make.

      And you completely failed to address the fact that the Super Hornet has nowhere near as much IR signature reduction as the Lightening. Unlike the F-35, the Super Hornet is more or less the same as a legacy fighter when viewed from the IR spectrum. Also, the F-35 includes a LPI datalink to allow it to communicate without giving away its position. The Super Hornet does not. That in and of itself is a major disadvantage.

      So, without further ado, I will misquote a statement that accurately describes your "contributions" to this blog:

      Superrhinoceront, the statements you make are some of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent posts were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone reading this blog is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    2. Oh, and I think I'll quickly preempt an argument you will most likely make. At this point, you are probably going to say something along the lines of: "If the Super Hornet can't have low-observable features anywhere close to those of the F-35, why is the Navy looking at methods to make it an LO aircraft like the Lightening? Doesn't the fact that they are taking these steps indicate that they view the Super Hornet as a contingency for the F-35?"

      The Wired article you cited takes this view, but it is completely incorrect. Your article makes it seem like the Navy is preparing for the F-35 program to fail, and planning to give the Super Hornet LO features so it can take the place of the Lightening.

      The first issue with this "logic" is that the Super Hornet and Lightening aren't competitors -- the Lightening is replacing the regular Hornet, whereas the Super Hornet is replacing the (now decommissioned) F-14 Tomcats. The two aircraft are not competing; they are supplementing each other.

      So, why is the Navy looking for ways to make the Super Hornet more LO? The reason is simple: whatever issues the F/A-18E/F may have, it will be in service until the late 2030s or early 2040s, when it is planned to be replaced by the Sixth-generation fighter that is now in the concept stage. In other words, it will be in service for a while. The Navy recognizes this, and is thus equipping the Super Hornet with whatever features can be used to improve its nascent LO capabilities. The idea that the Navy is preparing the Super Hornet as a replacement for a "failed" F-35 is blown out of the water by a statement included in the article itself: as the naval officer says, the Navy recognizes that they need the F-35 and the all-aspect stealth it brings to the table. The Super Hornet upgrades are simply meant to keep the F/A-18E/Fs that will remain in service alongside the Lightening relevant (to use the military term) as long as possible, as the Super Hornet will need every advance it can get to remain useful for the remainder of its projected service life.

      In fact, the entire premise of the statement made in the article (that the Navy recognizes that it needs the F-35's capabilities, that it identifies low observability as a key capability, and that it is therefore attempting to give the Super Hornet every LO upgrade it can) totally debunks your idea that LO is of limited usefulness and that the F-35 is therefore a dud.

      Congratulations; you have managed to debunk yourself! We need to have an award for that kind of achievement...


  4. The fact that you start using insults only shows your lack of arguments. 

    The USNavy was never convinced about the "total stealth" necessity at any cost. They are more interested in logistics, affordability, effectiveness, stand of attacks, electronic warfare, cooperative engagements, aegis interceptors and the near future the use of drones combined with it's more than 500 Super Hornets, Growlers at least untill 2030.
    In the mean time you only see few USAF raptors in service and never use in combat, and few F-35 not combat ready, with their capacities degraded and with a long way to go to do the 70% of the missing test to fix all their glitches. That's why the USAF recently aproved the upgrade of their F-15/16 to keep them in service at least for two more decades.

    After more than a decade of delays the USNavy finally received their first F-35C, not combat ready, not for carrier operations, just for training of pilots and crue on the air and land. 

    But before that they have already launch and made tauch and go landings of their X-47B.... :)

    The fact that the USNavy will start the test of the improved ultra hornet only shows that they are not fully convinced with the F-35C and that's all the stealth they need. 

    If they receive few F-35C will be more for pollitical reasons than for any real necessity.

    At the end, you will have three times more Super Hornets and X-47B on the decks (wIth a lot of missiles and BOMBS ) thant the few F-35C with it's few amount of missiles and bombs carried internally.(if they finally buys all of them).

    Some thing like this.....hahaha

    1. Lack of arguments? I've been refuting everything you've said. You're just too idiotic to realize it.

      So, the Navy was "never convinced" that they needed low observability? Why, then, did a senior Navy official say that the Navy needed the capabilities the F-35 brings to the table in the exact article you linked to? Are you beset with some kind of selective reading disorder, where you only remember statements that support your own beliefs?

      You act as if any time the military receives upgrades to existing aircraft, or a new aircraft other than the F-35, it means they are looking for alternatives for the aircraft. By that logic, the fact that the Air Force procured the F-16 before F-15 procurement had finished would "prove" that they were attempting to replace the F-15 with it (they didn't), the fact that the Navy procured the Arleigh Burke class destroyer at the same time as they were receiving Ticonderoga class cruisers would "prove" that the Ticonderoga class was a dud, and the fact that the Army was receiving Stryker combat vehicles before M1A2 SEP procurement was complete would "prove" that the Abrams was a failed project that was being replaced. In reality, the military is not limited to procuring one kind of aircraft at a time -- they can, and often do, buy multiple aircraft types. Your statement "the Navy is procuring other aircraft before finishing F-35 procurement, therefore they are looking at replacing it, and never wanted it anyways" is so full of logical holes that its stupidity is apparent to anyone with two brain cells to rub together (but apparently not yourself) that it is complete and utter bullshit.

      The fact is, the military procures multiple aircraft together (there's no rule that only one aircraft type can be bought at once) to complement each other. The X-47B, for example, will be used for reconnaissance and light strike missions. In this facility, it will complement the F-35C. However, it was never intended to, will not, and simply COULD not, replace the F-35, simply because it has no aerial combat capabilities. Its purpose is to complement the F-35C, not replace it, but you are apparently too incapable of basic thought to realize this.

      The military upgrades aircraft for a variety of reasons. The main one is to keep the aircraft "relevant",that is, to keep it capable for the rest of its service life. The fact that the Air Force or Navy is upgrading the F-16 or Super Hornet in no way means that they are abandoning the F-35 project -- let's take a look at your "logic" (or lack thereof), shall we?

      Currently, the Air Force is upgrading the B-1B. It is receiving new electronics equipment, and has received a slew of other upgrades in the last few years. Clearly, this shows that they recognize the B-2 Spirit as useless, and are abandoning the aircraft.

      While procuring the B-1B, the Air Force upgraded a large number of B-52s. Clearly, this indicates that they believed the B-1B was a complete dud, and was totally useless.

      The truth is, all aircraft are upgraded, even if they are at the end of their service life. The F-16s are being upgraded because they won't all be replaced by the F-35A in one instance -- some of the last ones to be replaced will be in service for some time to come. For that reason, the Air Force has decided to upgrade them, in order to keep them useful for the remainder of their service life.

      For the same reason, the Navy is upgrading the Super Hornet. They recognize that the F/A-18E/F will be in service until the late 2030s or early 2040s, and so they are upgrading it to keep it relevant. Your illogical statement that any upgrades given to aircraft while another aircraft is in the procurement process indicates that the aircraft being procured is useless or is being abandoned only demonstrates the tenuous grasp you have of reality.

    2. Then you make another illogical statement (you appear to be very good at doing that). You state that the fact that there are few fifth generation aircraft in service indicates that fifth generation aircraft are duds. Let's examine this logical refuse, shall we?

      At the end of the Second World War, very few jet aircraft were in service. The US Air Force only had a few P-80s, not combat ready, and there was a long way to go to get it into service -- and, worse still, the American jets had never been used in combat! Clearly, this indicates that this new "jet aircraft" technology is a dud, that the P-80 was completely useless, and that we should go on procuring prop planes.

      The Super Hornet (love the fanboyism!) has all the "stealth" you need? DID YOU NOT READ MY LAST POST?! Are you really that stupid? You can go on, proudly spouting refuted points, pretending that your ignorance makes you look intelligent, or you can actually read what I wrote and realize that the Super Hornet is nowhere near an all-aspect LO aircraft. Does it have signature reduction features? Yes. Is it anywhere close to an all-aspect VLO aircraft? No, and the fact that you keep screaming "YES IT IS!!" does not constitute any kind of proof to the contrary. And again, the Super Hornet and F-35 are not competing projects -- the F-35 is replacing the F/A-18, and the F/A-18E/F is replacing the F-14 -- so the fact that you believe upgrades to one indicate an inability on the other's behalf is truly idiotic.

      Again, neither the X-47B nor the F/A-18E/F have the capabilities of the F-35, which is why the F-35 is being procured. The X-47B is great for recon and light strike, but it cannot undergo aerial combat, and the fact that there is no human control over the aircraft makes it difficult to use in a combat situation. The F/A-18E/F might have some signature reduction, but it is nowhere near that of the F-35C. It doesn't matter how many missiles and BOMBS they can carry; if they can't get to their target, they effectively have zero missiles and zero BOMBS.

      You keep harping on about jamming, decoys, standoff weapons, etc. What you fail to realize is that the F-35 carries these as well -- the Lightening has jamming and cyber warfare capabilities, and can be outfitted with jamming pods (in the future, it will receive NGJ pods). It can carry the MALD and MALD-J decoys just as well as the Super Hornet, F-16, or X-47B. It has standoff capabilities with the JSOW or JASSM-ER. In short, it does everything they can do, with the added advantage of being VLO -- which is a massive advantage, and an advantage no other fighter aircraft besides the F-22 has. The F-35 also has the DAS and the helmet mounted display -- something no fighter aircraft currently in service (yes, that includes your beloved F/A-18E/F) has.

      Has the F-35 undergone delays? Yes, but those are mainly behind it now -- the tailhook and helmet jitter problems have been solved, and the aircraft is currently ahead of schedule in the number of tests it has completed. The cost has come down as production ramps up (I guess Wheeler never heard of economies of scale...), and the first F-35s are entering service. The IOC dates have been set, and within a few years, full production will be reached. You can keep talking about delays and issues that were fixed half a year ago; the fact is that those have been dealt with, despite your inability to realize it.

    3. Seriously? You just sent me a link to someone with no military experience and no understanding of aerial combat claiming to have knowledge of how the F-35 operates? What, is the ability to make You Tube videos now tantamount to having knowledge about combat systems? Your affinity for fanboy porn videos made by people without a clue (instead of actual evidence and studies conducted by people with experience with combat systems) does shed some light on why you are so ridiculously stupid when it comes to discussing military aircraft. If I wanted to, I could make a video showing a single F-35C destroying entire air forces of opposing Su-27s, J-10s, etc... does that make the video correct?

      And I find your statement that the military will receive only "a few" F-35s laughable. Half of all carrier air wings will be composed of F-35s. In total, the military will buy 2,443 of them. That's "a few"? Please.



  7. So if the F-35 is a silver bullet, capable to destroy all the enemy air defenses and detect everything at thousands of miles away.... why it needs a complement like the X-47B?

    Maybe because the X-47B double its range and has a lot more endurance?
    Or because is even more stealth and can enter thru contested areas with total autonomy to destroy enemy defenses with out being detected?

    The F-35 is arriving too expensive and a decade too late, and is not even ready.

    For now, and the next two decades, the X-47B will be the ideal complement of the Super Hornets and Growlers.

    1. Such a great strawman!

      I never said the F-35 is a silver bullet. To my knowledge, neither has Mr. Graff. Neither has virtually every single person with any knowledge of aerial combat. I like to leave such fanboyism to people such as yourself.

      What I said is that the F-35's capabilities make it one of the best fighter aircraft in development. The combination of extreme sensor fusion, the DAS, an AESA radar, standoff weapons, electronic warfare capabilities, all-aspect, multi-spectrum VLO, and very good maneuverability make the F-35 a very capable aircraft.

      The F/A-18E/F has the AESA radar, it has standoff weapons, it has electronic warfare capability, and it has good maneuverability, but it does not have the extreme sensor fusion, the DAS, or the all-aspect, multi-spectrum VLO the F-35 has.

      The X-47B has many of those aspects. It has all-aspect, multi-spectral VLO, it has the capability to hold standoff weapons, it has sensor fusion, and it has an AESA radar. However, it does not have good maneuverability (it's a drone, after all), and it does not have a DAS-equivalent. It does have the capability to have an EO/IR system mounted, but that would be a ground-searching system, and even if an air-search system was added, it would not have the 360 degree FOV the DAS has; it would be the same as the IRST systems on legacy jets -- tiny field of view and all. The X-47B does have nascent electronic warfare capabilities; it can have jamming capabilities added, but due to power constraints (jamming pods take a LOT of juice), it doesn't have full electronic warfare capabilities.

      Also, the X-47B is a robotic aircraft. This means that it has no aerial combat capabilities whatsoever -- even an old first-generation jet fighter like the P-80 could best it in a dogfight. It's not as simple as just strapping on AIM-120Ds and telling it to go shoot an air target -- the X-47B simply doesn't have the AI required to make it competent in an aerial battle; just like every other robotic aircraft. That's why the military doesn't plan on procuring unmanned aircraft with the ability to conduct aerial combat until the 2030s (the Sixth-generation fighter), and even then, the aircraft will be "optionally manned," indicating that even with two decades or more of development, the military doesn't believe we will have the artificial intelligence capabilities to give robotic aircraft fully capable aerial combat skills. At some point, we will acquire the technological ability to allow unmanned aircraft to fight in aerial combat just as well (or better than) manned aircraft; at that point, the F-35, F-22, F/A-18E/F, and every other combat aircraft will all become replaceable. However, that point is still multiple decades away, and for now and the near future, robotic aircraft cannot engage in any kind of aerial combat, which does limit their abilities.

    2. Does the X-47B have double the range of the F-35? Yes. That's why it is being procured -- to give the military the ability to have a long-range reconnaissance and light strike platform. The actual usefulness of such a long range is debatable, as no competent commander is going to sit at that long a range while engaging the enemy (the sortie rate at those kinds of ranges would be shit). Also, because the X-47B is unmanned, it is limited in its ability to deal with rapidly changing battlefield conditions -- again, artificial intelligence just isn't that advanced, and won't be for quite some time. However, the X-47B does have a good deal of usefulness -- it will be able to scout out target locations, and undertake some light strike missions against some targets, at a very long range. In this role, it will be very competent. Like I said, neither I nor anyone else here ever claimed the F-35 was "a silver bullet, capable to destroy [sic] all the enemy air defenses and detect everything at thousands of miles away." It has its benefits, and it has its limitations, just like every other combat aircraft. That's why the X-47B will complement it -- it will add on a very long range reconnaissance capability, will provide local area commanders with greatly increased situational awareness and could even designate targets for the F-35. However, due to its own limitations (which I have already listed), it will not be capable of the same actions as the F-35. In this way, both aircraft will work together -- the F-35 will support the X-47B, the X-47B will support the F-35, and both will form a networked "team" to bring about a favorable battlefield result. And no, the X-47B does not have "even more stealth" than the F-35.

      Again, you mention the expense of the F-35. You fail to mention, however, that the F-35 has a URF equal to the cost of a fully combat-capable F/A-18E/F. The URF of the F-35 (the cost of purchasing a single combat capable Lightening) is virtually the same as the cost of purchasing a single combat capable F/A-18E/F (legacy aircraft cost ten to fifteen million dollars over their URF to be outfitted for combat readiness; the F-35 already has that cost bundled in with its URF). Furthermore, the F-35 will use less fuel than the Super Hornet (due to internal carriage giving it lower drag, and the new AFRL engine giving it improved specific fuel consumption), and will be able to use cheaper munitions (JDAMs) in situations where a Super Hornet would be forced to use vastly more expensive munitions (JASSMs), due to its all-aspect, multi-spectral VLO. In short, the F-35 doesn't break the bank nearly as much as the critics have stated.

      Also, you mention delays. As I stated in my last post (as if you bothered to even read it...), most of those delays have been dealt with, and the program is currently testing ahead of schedule. IOC dates have been set, the first combat aircraft have been received, the bulk of the design issues have been dealt with, and most of the computer software has been written. Does that sound like a program that is being "abandoned", or one that is falling behind to you?

      Then you state that the F-35 isn't currently combat ready. This is true, just as the F-22 wasn't combat ready before 2005, the F/A-18E/F wasn't combat ready before 1999, the F/A-18 wasn't combat ready before 1983, the F-16 wasn't combat ready before 1978, the F-15 wasn't combat ready before 1976, and the F-14 wasn't combat ready before 1974. If we scrapped military programs because the aircraft wasn't ready right when the program started, we simply wouldn't have any military at all. Expecting the military to say "right, we need a new aircraft!" and start production of combat ready aircraft right then and there is completely illogical, for obvious reasons.

  8. Just to give you an idea at what point the X-47B is the perfect complement of the Super Hornet/Growler, last year the Boeing's representative mention in Farnborough England that the co-pilot or battle manager of the Super Hornet will be able to control several of them in combat. In other words, the pilots won't need to take any stupid risk flying over advanced air defences to drop two small stupid bombs.

    They will just need to send several decoys and X-47B in advance to destroy the air defences and react acordingly with the changing situations if neccesary, the same in the air, they would be able to control several X-47B with sensors and air/air missiles to create an air superiority fence.

    That's the way of the future, the cooperative engagamentes, the net-centric operations, the electronic warfare and the stand off attacks.

    BTW, is funny that you simply igore that the SH not only has a small RDC in the front but takes a balanced aproach to survivability. Also has small intakes at the rear to combine the cold and hot air to reduce the heat signature.

    That's what the Boeing representatives call efective and balanced stealth with out sacrify the airplane performance.

    The F/A-18E/F's radar cross-section was reduced greatly from some aspects, mainly the front and rear.[5] The design of the engine inlets reduces the aircraft's frontal radar cross-section. The alignment of the leading edges of the engine inlets is designed to scatter radiation to the sides. Fixed fanlike reflecting structures in the inlet tunnel divert radar energy away from the rotating fan blades.[48]

    The Super Hornet also makes considerable use of panel joint serration and edge alignment. Considerable attention has been paid to the removal or filling of unnecessary surface join gaps and resonant cavities. Where the F/A-18A-D used grilles to cover various accessory exhaust and inlet ducts, the F/A-18E/F uses perforated panels that appear opaque to radar waves at the frequencies used. Careful attention has been paid to the alignment of many panel boundaries and edges, to direct reflected waves away from the aircraft in uniformly narrow angles.[5]

    It is claimed that the Super Hornet employs the most extensive radar cross section reduction measures of any contemporary fighter, other than the F-22 and F-35. While the F/A-18E/F is not a true stealth fighter like the F-22, it will have a frontal radar cross-section an order of magnitude smaller than prior generation fighters.[48]

    1. You mention that the Super Hornet pilot will be able to network with X-47Bs. You then forget to mention that the Lightening has this same capability -- the only difference being that the Lightening itself will be quite survivable due to its all-aspect, multi-spectral VLO characteristics.

      However, while it is very advantageous to be able to network with X-47Bs, doing so would be very difficult in a heavy ECM environment. Obviously, all datalinks that would be used to communicate between the aircraft would have ECCM, but having a strategy where a non-VLO aircraft (i.e. Super Hornet) must rely upon controlling X-47Bs in order to penetrate heavily defended air space is obviously not a very good idea. All it would take is for an opponent to take down the datalinks, and the Super Hornets would be unable to penetrate the airspace, as they themselves do not have the all-aspect, multi-spectrum VLO required to do so -- basically, if they lose contact with the X-47Bs, and the X-47Bs are unable to attack the targets themselves (which would be the case if it is a highly mobile, difficult to find target) they lose the battle.

      Also, it's not as simple as "send out some decoys, destroy the air defenses, and send in the Super Hornets." In the Serbian war, many air defense batteries managed to survive for weeks without even being detected, much less destroyed. Through the use of deception and simple decoys, they were able to survive. Now, imagine what a country with much more advanced technology and many, many more air defense batteries could do. In this scenario, a very large number of air defense batteries could survive the initial engagement. In short, you can't simplify the situation into just sending over a first wave of VLO aircraft to bomb the air defenses, then sending all the other aircraft in based upon the assumption that all the air defense batteries will be destroyed. A large number could survive for months and months, meaning that all aircraft sent into the combat zone will have to have extremely advanced survivability features, not just the first wave.

      You seem to definitely be into standoff weapons. Cruise missiles are great, and they can improve the survivability of aircraft that carry them, but they aren't magic bullets. All it takes is a single CAP in a holding pattern 200 kilometers from the target, and standoff land-attack weapons suddenly aren't so great any more. Standoff weapons are advantageous, but you can't just say "we can attack the target from really far away, where it can't see us, so we don't have to worry about enemy defense systems." Not only would a CAP placed ahead of a target be able to defeat a group of aircraft carrying cruise missiles before they got in range of the target, but most ground attacks actually don't occur at such long ranges, for the simple reason that the enemy isn't just going to be sitting around waiting for you to bomb him. Because enemy air defense batteries can remain hidden, a strike package might not know the location of the opposition until they are very close -- in other words, they can't count on knowing where the target is at long range. Due to difficulties finding the target, an aircraft with standoff weapons might have to close to the range of "stupid bombs" in order to engage, even if it has long range weaponry. If the aircraft isn't survivable enough to do this, it won't be able to destroy the target.

    2. And, of course, the X-47Bs would provide no help in aerial combat -- they are entirely focused on ground attack, and so would be very limited in aerial warfare. It's not as simple as strapping on air-air missiles and telling the X-47B to attack a target -- major changes would have to be made, some of which are outside the scope of current artificial intelligence technology, to give the X-47B air-air capability. Also, the X-47B has no DAS equivalent, nor does it have a particularly powerful radar or anything other than very basic jamming equipment, all due to power constraints (drones don't produce nearly as much electricity as fighter jets, and so are limited to much more basic features).

      In this "dogfight" scenario, the Super Hornet would have to operate without the aid of the X-47B -- and without the LO technology the Lightening has, it would be outmatched. The F-35, on the other hand, has the ability to do the mission itself. It has the all-aspect VLO and other survivability features to allow it to conduct anti-air or anti-ground operations without relying on using other aircraft as proxies. It has the ability to control the X-47B, just as the Super Hornet does, but unlike the F/A-18E/F, it does not depend on having this ability to win the battle.

      But wait, you say! The Super Hornet includes LO technology! You mention several methods the F/A-18E/F uses to reduce its frontal RCS. However, it is clear that you are simply parroting a Wikipedia page, and not actually putting any thought into your post, because you completely ignore everything I have said about the Super Hornet's limited "stealth." Let me explain...

      I never ignored the Super Hornet's LO features. In fact, I wrote an entire post earlier explaining them, so the fact that you say that I "ignore" the F/A-18E/F's reduced frontal RCS indicates that your reading comprehension skills are rather sub par, to say the least.

      Yes, the Super Hornet incorporates features to reduce its frontal RCS. Yes, it incorporates panel joint serration, edge alignment, redesigned engine inlets, and leading edge realignments. All of that is completely true. However, even when all of these features are taken into account, the Super Hornet still has a frontal RCS of 0.1 meters squared, and that is before you add on weapons and fuel tanks, which will always produce a radar return, even if the much-vaunted LO weapons and fuel pods are fully funded and implemented. So, even in a best case scenario, the Super Hornet will still have an RCS of 0.1 meters squared, which, as I have said before, is more similar to that of a legacy fighter than a VLO aircraft.
      Yes, the Super Hornet does "employ the most extensive radar cross section reduction measures of any contemporary fighter" other than fifth generation aircraft. However, even when all of those changes are considered, the Super Hornet has a RCS thirty times smaller than a legacy fighter. That sounds like a lot, and it is definitely an improvement over the standard three meters squared of a non-LO fighter, but it's still one hundred times larger than an F-35, and larger still than a F-22. So, while the Super Hornet's frontal RCS is smaller than a normal legacy fighter, it is many, many times larger than a VLO aircraft, and so the Super Hornet is much more comparable in frontal RCS to a legacy fighter than a VLO aircraft -- its signature reductions simply aren't anywhere near large enough to call it a "stealth" aircraft.

    3. And the article you copied and pasted directly from Wikipedia actually points out another problem with the Super Hornet's LO features: "The F/A-18E/F's radar cross section was reduced greatly from SOME ASPECTS, mainly the FRONT and REAR." As this points out, the F/A-18E/F is nothing like an all-aspect VLO aircraft, which must be stealthy from every angle. The F/A-18E/F, on the other hand, is only LO from a very small segment of the 360 degree circle around the aircraft, and from every angle other than almost head-on and directly behind the aircraft, the Super Hornet appears on radar to be virtually the same size as a legacy aircraft. As I have said so many times before, assuming that the Super Hornet will never be attacked from any direction other than head on is a rather large assumption to make.

      You mention standoff weapons. You mention jamming. You mention datalinks and network-centric warfare. You state that an aircraft must have these features to have a "balanced" approach to survivability. You then promptly fail to mention that the Lightening will take advantage of all of those technologies as well. You delude yourself into thinking that a choice must be made between having jamming, standoff weapons, and datalinks, but not having all-aspect VLO, or having all-aspect VLO but none of the other features you mention. The beauty of the F-35 is that no such compromise must be made. You don't have to give up jamming, datalinks, and standoff weapons in order to get all-aspect VLO. The F-35 can carry standoff weapons like the JSOW or JASSM-ER. It carries jamming equipment, and will be able to be fitted with an LO pod containing the NGJ if electronic warfare operations are part of the mission plan. It has a datalink (and a LPI datalink at that) which will allow it to communicate with other F-35s, other aircraft (such as the X-47B and F/A-18E/F), and any other combatants with the datalink hardware. The F-35 includes all of these features, as well as all-aspect, multi-spectrum VLO.

      And THAT, my dear, deluded friend, is a balanced approach to survivability.

  9. The X-47B don't need to Jam anything, that's the job of the almost already 80 powerfull electronic attack Growlers dedicated exclusively at that job.

    When the X-47B or other stealth drones where able to retuel on he air they will stay undetected for many more hours than the F-35 or even days, at very high altitude over rhe artic or those contested areas with hundred of hidden air defenses, waiting for their movements or comunications to drop them hundred of cheap JDAMS.

    How are you planning to detect and jam their very short aperure satelite comunications at vert high altitude?

    The Growlers are able to comunicate with them at safe diatance via Satcom and also with the rest of the fleet of super hornets with the same capacity, sharing the info and location of the enemy airplanes, ships or Sams, managing the battle as they just did in Lybia, They don't even need satelites, they can also use stratospherics baloons for comunications over the battle area to be in safe contact with the rest of the fleet.

    The F-35 don't have anything like that, and even if one day they do, who is going to manage the electronic battle? The lonely pilot in the F-35???

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    3. "The X-47B don't need to jam anything, that's the job of the almost already 80 powerful electronic attack Growlers dedicated exclusively at that job."

      With the X-47B, you get all-aspect VLO, but very little jamming capability. With the Super Hornet, you get a jamming capability, but no VLO. With the F-35, you get both. Somehow, I think it's better to include both capabilities in a single package than to place them in two different aircraft that are individually less capable.

      "When the X-47B or other stealth drones where able to retuel on he air they will stay undetected for many more hours than the F-35 or even days, at very high altitude over rhe artic or those contested areas with hundred of hidden air defenses, waiting for their movements or comunications to drop them hundred of cheap JDAMS."

      Again, you're giving autonomous vehicles human capabilities in order to make them seem more capable than they are. Unmanned vehicles aren't particularly great at discriminating between decoys and actual targets -- they operate best when bombing targets whose location they already know at the start of the mission, and that don't move and/or hide. When attempting to find hidden, mobile targets, a human-controlled aircraft is still better than one operating without human support, and will be for quite some time.

      Then you mention the ability to loiter over a target region for a long period of time. The problem with your "logic" is that you assume manned aircraft cannot do the same thing. Multiple flights of aircraft can rotate through "shifts" where they conduct sweeps of a region to find targets, and where a given area is swept by different flights of aircraft over a long period of time. This tactic has been used multiple times before, most notably in Scud hunting operations in Desert Storm and SAM sweeps in Vietnam. By using this method, manned aircraft can collectively have the same endurance as unmanned drones.

      Furthermore, even if drones had all the capabilities you claim they have, they still have no air-air capabilities, which means that an air-air fighter with the ability to penetrate defended airspace is still required. The Super Hornet can communicate with X-47Bs, to the extent that it can designate targets for it, but it can't just take control of the aircraft and pilot it into a dogfight, video game style.

      "How are you planning to detect and jam their very short aperure satelite comunications at vert high altitude? "

      Apparently, SATCOM jamming isn't a capability you have heard of...

      "The Growlers are able to comunicate with them at safe diatance via Satcom and also with the rest of the fleet of super hornets with the same capacity, sharing the info and location of the enemy airplanes, ships or Sams, managing the battle as they just did in Lybia,"

      Yep! Just like the F-35! Much like all the other capabilities you mention, the F-35 has the ability to do everything you just mentioned the Super Hornet can do. The only difference is that the F-35 has the ability to penetrate defended airspace even if it cannot use X-47Bs as proxies. The Super Hornet cannot do the same thing nearly as well.

    4. I,ve been reading your comments and I have to say I agree with you almost 100%. The only thing I think you missed the point is where you mention that X-47B and F-35 have the same stealth charateristics.. You're way off. X-47B is a flying wing design with no tails and it is an all aspect stealth jet while F-35 would definetely not go into the same category. I am a big supporter of F-35 program and I'm sure it will rule the sky. I hear people bashing it and saying that it has no menouverability compared to SU-30/35. But people don't understand that F-35 was not made for Paris air show and Pugachev's cobra manouvers. And last but not the least - 80% of most important F-35 capabilities are classified.
      As far as Growler is concerned, yes it's a great jamming platform but it was proven that it's jamming blankets to much surface and it shuts down even friendly radars, that is why F-35's jamming capabilites will be more precise and pointed.

  10. "They don't even need satelites, they can also use stratospherics baloons for comunications over the battle area to be in safe contact with the rest of the fleet."

    Assuming the enemy doesn’t attempt to jam the communications or destroy the balloons, of course (somehow, I think they’ll notice dozens of gigantic balloons appearing at the edge of a combat zone). The F-35 will indeed have the ability to datalink through sources such as atmospheric arrays – your comment that the F-35 doesn’t have that ability is completely false. Just like all the other survivability aids you mention, the F-35 will have the same capability in this field as the Super Hornet. The only difference will be that the Lightening will also have all-aspect VLO. The Super Hornet will not.

  11. In other words you will need to shift several F-35 and tired pilots to do the same job of a single X-47B.... :)

    It doesn't need to be 100% pre-programned or robotic, to detect, discriminate and destroy moving targets that it will detect; it can send that info in real time to the dedicated copilot of the fleet or Super Hornet or Growler that will discriminate and decide wich target will be destroyed by the X-47B (Thats why Australia is comanding more 2 seats Growlers as the USNavy).

    If the F-35 wants to have the same outstanding capabilities of the powerfull Growler, first it will have to be able to cool down all the electronic devices is not able to cool down properly now for its overall VLO/IR close design, plus the extra electronlc devices you wilk have to add internally.
    Then you will add externally all the pods and jammers used by the Growlers and you wont have an overall VLO fighter any more as you think, just a wormer Growler .

    Abot the Close air patrols and dogfight of the enemy fighters , who cares if they won't be able to detect the extreme VLO X-47B and they will be detected by them, sending that info to the LO Super Hornets that will destroy them at long distance if they want, or by the Amraams of the x-47B commanded from the Super Hornet co-pilot. Or they both attack at the same time if they want.

    1. No, you need to use several F-35 pilots to be able to do a better job than the X-47B -- like I said, autonomous systems aren't very good at discerning between decoys and actual targets.

      You keep mentioning how the Super Hornet could "control" the X-47B. In doing so, you manage to completely ignore the fact that the enemy will be attempting to disrupt electronic communications, and will attempt to engage any aircraft controlling the X-47Bs with aircraft of their own. Like I said, even if the X-47B was somehow able to complete all the tasks you believe it can, it would have to be controlled by an aircraft that could reliably remain undetected by enemy aircraft. The Super Hornet cannot do that; the F-35 can.

      So, you think the F-35 is easily detectable by IR? Do you even realize that the F-35 utilizes ceramic, heat-absorbing nozzles, buried engines, cold air bypass techniques, lengthened nozzles, and advanced heat sinks to reduce its IR signature? The Lightening has an IR signature lower than the Super Hornet; you act as if it is the other way around. In reality, the Super Hornet doesn't have anything close to the IR signature reduction of the F-35. So yes, the F-35 IS able to "cool down all the electronic devices" it is equipped with.

      And you do realize the NGJ is being developed with an LO pod, right? The F-35 will be able to carry jamming equipment without sacrificing its all-aspect VLO -- so it will most certainly NOT be "just a warmer Growler."

      Once again, you fail to realize that the Super Hornet is not all-aspect VLO. In fact, it isn't, nor will it ever be, VLO from ANY aspect -- even its front has an RCS of 0.1 meters squared, far larger than that of a VLO aircraft. The Super Hornet is not all-aspect LO, and repeating refuted concepts over and over again does not make them any less false.

      Also, you appear to not have realized that the X-47B cannot be used for air-air warfare -- current autonomous technology just isn't advanced enough. Furthermore, the Super Hornet pilot cannot command the X-47B into aerial warfare. The Super Hornet will be able to designate targets for the X-47B, but it will not by any means be able to actually pilot the aircraft. Hopefully, you will have the mental ability to un-der-stand what I'm saying, although given your current inability to comprehend w-o-r-d-s, I doubt that you will. I'll try to write using less syllables. Perhaps that might help you out.

      As far as using the X-47B to detect enemy targets and pass the information onto the Super Hornet, and then using the information to engage using AIM-120Ds... that would require the Super Hornet to be close enough to the X-47B that the range of the X-47B's radar is within the AIM-120D's NEZ. At that point, you're talking about the Super Hornet having to remain only ten, twenty, or perhaps thirty kilometers behind the X-47Bs -- any further behind, and the enemy aircraft could pass straight through the X-47Bs radar range while the Super Hornet was too far away to engage with the AIM-120D.

      The problem with this is that, because of the F/A-18E/F's proximity to the X-47B, the Super Hornet would still have to fly through the defended territory. As I have already stated, the F/A-18E/F simply does not have the all-aspect VLO required for it to be survivable in such a situation.

  12. Wake up fan boy...

    1. You can use trite cliches and spam me with links to videos that have no bearing to what I am saying, but that does nothing to prove me wrong or you correct. I'll put it in a list form:

      1) The F/A-18E/F has no all-aspect LO, let alone all-aspect, multi-spectrum VLO.

      2) The F-35 has all the survivability features that the Super Hornet has, including electronic warfare capabilities, standoff weaponry, decoys, datalinks, etc.

      3) Your idea of using the X-47B as a proxy assumes that the enemy will not attempt to electronically interfere with the datalink, and does not even touch upon air to air combat.

      4) The Super Hornet has nothing like the DAS to give it vastly improved situational awareness, nor does it include the degree of sensor fusion the F-35 does.

      5) You keep harping on about the F-35's cost, then refuse to acknowledge the fact that an F-35 costs virtually the same as a Super Hornet, on a plane-by-plane basis -- the Super Hornet costs $55 million, plus the ten to fifteen million required to put it in a combat-ready state. The F-35's URF is $65 million.

      Like I said, fanboyism is assuming that any aircraft is perfect. It is pretending that an aircraft has capabilities it does not, and hyping those "features." I have strayed away from making statements of that nature; you have not. Every time I refute your claims, you simply make them a second time. If I state, using facts and evidence, that the Super Hornet isn't all-aspect LO, much less VLO, you simply scream "YES IT IS!!" over and over and over again. When I state that the F-35's URF plus mission readiness cost is equivalent to the Super Hornet's, you simply pretend I never made that statement, and keep going on making the same old argument, no matter how incorrect it is. Repeating the same false statement over and over again does not make it any more true.

      It's as if you expect that you will win a logical argument by simply piling your opponent under piles and piles of your stinking bullshit. That's not how rational debates work, kid. You can make logical fallacies, incorrect statements, faulty comparisons, and over-simplified arguments all you want; that doesn't make what you are saying any more true. You can repeat those statements time and time again, even after they have been disproven, and use your amazing selective reading skills to pretend that your points have never been debunked, but that doesn't make what you are saying any more true. What you have said and continue to say is complete horse shit, and your continued insistence that it is not does not make what you are saying any more true.

  13. You still dreaming.....zzzzzz

    It is still an open question as to whether the NGJ will be integrated onto the F-35. Analysis has shown that it will be costly to integrate the new pods onto the stealthy fifth-generation jet, Green says. "Some of the preliminary numbers that we had for integration on the F-35-these were not small numbers," he says. "With the budget challenges that we have, it was decided that we would really take a singular approach right now with the Growler."

    It will be several years before the USN takes another look at integrating the NGJ onto the F-35, Green says. That is because of the sheer cost of integration. In fact, when that might happen is anyone's guess.

    "Depending upon the capacity that we need in airborne electronic attack, it is conceivable that we would stay with the Growler and not even look at a second platform until late into the next decade," Green says.

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) is looking at alternative ways of conducting the electronic warfare mission. One of those might involve dispersed pieces of the NGJ pods flying on unmanned aircraft or other platforms which are commanded via data-links, Green says. Those dispersed jamming pods could be controlled from the ground or potentially from a Growler.

    1. I don't know where you're getting that data, or how outdated it is, because Lockheed Martin stated just a few months ago that the Next Generation Jammer will be implemented on the F-35 by 2022 (the article I'm linking to was produced after yours, so it would appear that you are citing the more outdated information in this case).

      Please, learn to debate people without resorting to piling bullshit on top of them in order to "prove" your point. Your childish arguments are getting rather old.

    2. "Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos has said that unlike previous generations of aircraft, the base EW systems in the standard F-35 will allow it to just attach the pods and perform the mission, without having to make a special electronic warfare version of the F-35."

      The F-35 will carry the NGJ; the confusion that it won't carry it is caused by the military's statement that they won't procure an electronic attack version of the F-35. Through selective reading, people are assuming that this equates to not giving the F-35 the NGJ, when in fact, the reason no EA-35 will be produced is because, unlike other aircraft (*cough* F/A-18E/F Super Hornet *cough*) the F-35 won't require a specialized electronic attack version -- it can simply have the pods attached to it as is, and will have the same capabilities as dedicated EA aircraft like the Growler. This leads to further capability increases on the part of the F-35, as well as reduced costs, since the military doesn't have to spend extra money procuring a second version of the F-35 to get this capability -- it comes with the original aircraft.

      So, at this point, the question is: what bullshit statement will you come up with next? I'm eagerly awaiting your next pile of drivel; it will likely be quite amusing (and hilarious).


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  16. Thanks for this great info. Here you can take a look at some great F-35 JSF photos:

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  17. and the standard eagle has a frontal rcs of 5.0m^2.

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