Kablammo! and recent events...

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steve2267

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 20:46

Pres Trump's recent decision to arrange introductions for Iranian General Soleimani, and Iran promising more "responses", I got to thinking about F-35's being deployed to the region. Then I recalled some news of a recent deployment. Sure enough, the 34th TFS Rude Rams deployed from Hill AFB to Al Dhafra Air Base outside Abu Dhabi last November. The articles I found stated the deployment was for six months, but did not mention how many aircraft. Seeing imagery for 24 or so Strike Eagles on the ramp @ Al Dhafra from Google Earth, it seems reasonable that the Rams deployed a full squadron of 24 Lightnings. With a 590nm A-G range, unrefueled, the Lightnings appear to be able to cover all of the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and most of Iran. Tehran is just inside the range from airfields in Bahrain, but I do not know if CentCom is still basing tactical aircraft there or on Qatar.

Does anyone know if the USMC has a MEU floating around with F-35Bs on board, and where it is? I thought there was an LHD with more than six Bees on board; last I heard they were around the Philippines, but my Google-fu fails me.

Would there be any advantage strategically or tactically if the US could put a Lightning carrier in the Persian Gulf with upwards of 24 Bees? Or if it gets exciting, is the Persian Gulf the last place you want to be with a carrier (i.e. bottled up?), and it is best to simply deploy from fixed air bases?

If this situation heats up, USAF LIghtnings may draw blood before the Israelis.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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wrightwing

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 21:28

steve2267 wrote:Pres Trump's recent decision to arrange introductions for Iranian General Soleimani, and Iran promising more "responses", I got to thinking about F-35's being deployed to the region. Then I recalled some news of a recent deployment. Sure enough, the 34th TFS Rude Rams deployed from Hill AFB to Al Dhafra Air Base outside Abu Dhabi last November. The articles I found stated the deployment was for six months, but did not mention how many aircraft. Seeing imagery for 24 or so Strike Eagles on the ramp @ Al Dhafra from Google Earth, it seems reasonable that the Rams deployed a full squadron of 24 Lightnings. With a 590nm A-G range, unrefueled, the Lightnings appear to be able to cover all of the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and most of Iran. Tehran is just inside the range from airfields in Bahrain, but I do not know if CentCom is still basing tactical aircraft there or on Qatar.

Does anyone know if the USMC has a MEU floating around with F-35Bs on board, and where it is? I thought there was an LHD with more than six Bees on board; last I heard they were around the Philippines, but my Google-fu fails me.

Would there be any advantage strategically or tactically if the US could put a Lightning carrier in the Persian Gulf with upwards of 24 Bees? Or if it gets exciting, is the Persian Gulf the last place you want to be with a carrier (i.e. bottled up?), and it is best to simply deploy from fixed air bases?

If this situation heats up, USAF LIghtnings may draw blood before the Israelis.

F-35As have a strike range of ~670+nm, and it's doubtful that carriers/LHAs will want to get themselves in narrow waters, when there's no military necessity. They'd likely stay in the Arabian Sea, as well operating aricraft from myriad land bases.
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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 22:16

Iran has to move now ; Or the US military machine will be in place.

I they wait for the one above? They will end below.

PS; I believe in numbers. Israel has enough F-35 to teach them a lesson or 2.
F-35 range is NOT an issue.
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steve2267

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 22:30

wrightwing wrote:F-35As have a strike range of ~670+nm, and it's doubtful that carriers/LHAs will want to get themselves in narrow waters, when there's no military necessity. They'd likely stay in the Arabian Sea, as well operating aricraft from myriad land bases.


From where does the 670 figure come? Latest LM Fast Facts still lists 590nm as the "combat radius" of the -A model. 590nm was what I was using for my Google Earth swags.

Google Earth is still showing KC-135s, Bones, even what appears to be some A-6 types @ Abu Nakhlah circa 2018/2019 imagery. If Qatar was a basing option, that puts Tehran at 634nm from Abu Nakhlah airfield.

I agree about limited maneuver room in the Gulf. Not sure I'd want to risk a big boat in that little pond. On the other hand, a flattop would give a lot of flexibility dealing with IADS etc up and down the Iranian coastline. An extra 18-24 Killer Bees could be awfully handy for that.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 22:38

"If the pilot took off with full fuel 2 amraams and 2 2000lbs bombs flew 590nm and came back with a 10 min weapon deployment time they would land with around 7,000-8,000lbs still in the tank. "

FY2019 SAR demonstrated Radii
A-669nm
B-505nm
C-670nm
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steve2267

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 22:58

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:"If the pilot took off with full fuel 2 amraams and 2 2000lbs bombs flew 590nm and came back with a 10 min weapon deployment time they would land with around 7,000-8,000lbs still in the tank. "

FY2019 SAR demonstrated Radii
A-669nm
B-505nm
C-670nm


Spurts, in round numbers, are you working with about 4675lb/hr @ .9 Mach cruise? 0.11nm/lb of go juice? I understand reserves, and regulations... but if one was willing to arrive back at home base with 45min of reserve @ normal cruise speed... sounds like the Lightning can go 815-825nm there and back. Doesn't leave any gas for fun and games though. Dang, but Lt Col Gunn wasn't joking when he said, "The jet has legs... reaaally looong legs..."
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Gums

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 23:18

Salute!

I do not think they would cruise at 0.9M, but maybe 25 or 30K and 0.8x M. The fuel flows sound high to me.

Rough gouge would be an easy 600 + N.M range with suggested loadout. One pass, haul a$$. Possible not even one defensive shot by a missile. Maybe a trigger happy gunner shooting at clouds after the bombs or missiles hit.

I don't have those lb/hr numbers you guys are quoting, but anything over 3500 lb/hr at 0.8 or 0.85 M seems high.

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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 23:34

steve2267 wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:"If the pilot took off with full fuel 2 amraams and 2 2000lbs bombs flew 590nm and came back with a 10 min weapon deployment time they would land with around 7,000-8,000lbs still in the tank. "

FY2019 SAR demonstrated Radii
A-669nm
B-505nm
C-670nm


Spurts, in round numbers, are you working with about 4675lb/hr @ .9 Mach cruise? 0.11nm/lb of go juice? I understand reserves, and regulations... but if one was willing to arrive back at home base with 45min of reserve @ normal cruise speed... sounds like the Lightning can go 815-825nm there and back. Doesn't leave any gas for fun and games though. Dang, but Lt Col Gunn wasn't joking when he said, "The jet has legs... reaaally looong legs..."


I'm just re-posting quotes I have collected along the way. From these quotes, I have inferred that Max End is ~4600pph and Max R is about .11nm/lb at high and fast conditions (10,000-15,000 feet higher and 50-80 knots faster than an F-16 in "full war equipment") so I figure 40k+ and 0.9M+

Normal Recovery Fuel is 2,500lb.
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Unread post03 Jan 2020, 23:40

Gums wrote:Salute!

I do not think they would cruise at 0.9M, but maybe 25 or 30K and 0.8x M. The fuel flows sound high to me.

Rough gouge would be an easy 600 + N.M range with suggested loadout. One pass, haul a$$. Possible not even one defensive shot by a missile. Maybe a trigger happy gunner shooting at clouds after the bombs or missiles hit.

I don't have those lb/hr numbers you guys are quoting, but anything over 3500 lb/hr at 0.8 or 0.85 M seems high.

Gums sends...


Gums, my numbers were swagged from Spurts post. So, I dunno any more than that.

Are your 3500 lb/hr coming from your own napkin calculator, Viper experience with some Kentucky windage applied, other?

I thought I had read 0.9 Mach cruise from somewhere, but I yield. Is it possible they cruise most of the way @ 0.8 or 0.85 M, but push it up to 0.9 Mach for the run? When hauling a$$, leave the throttle alone? Or push it up a bit? The Stubbee seems to slip through the Mach quite easily. One vid I was watching the other day of an LM PR type showing a reporter around the cockpit of the simulator showed the Stubbee @ 1.06 or 1.07 Mach. No mention made of the speed. Don't think he was in burner... think they may have "set it and forget it" wrt the throttle... and she just wanted to beat her own sound...

I didn't make allowance for fuel burn during climb. But neither did I account for coming back to near idle for that loooong approach back to base.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post04 Jan 2020, 00:54

From the SAR —

“For Demonstrated Performance, extensive flight test data was used to calibrate the aero-performance model. The values listed herein as “Demonstrated Performance” are based on the final aero-performance model (up-and-away) for the F-35A and F-35B.”

I think we should be careful to remember that each of the variant profiles are different, and thus the comparative radius numbers are not apples-to-apples. Also, reference the statement above from the SAR, the early performance numbers were based on spec min engine fuel flows. As more data was accumulated from flight test, the modeled performance based on min engine was adjusted to reflect actual fuel flows.
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Unread post04 Jan 2020, 01:04

Send a "Rapid Raptor" package for good measure

As a show of force I think sending up a flight of F-22s and F-35s in stealthy configuration and having them ghost Iranian radar sites. Have F-35s take SAR pictures of those sites and release it to the public media outlets. That would send a clear message to the Iranian military and their government.
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Unread post04 Jan 2020, 01:29

F-22s recently moved to Saudi Arabia along with B-1s so they are in the neighborhood too. There is a nucleus of a strike package there if needed and no doubt B-2s could visit from the US. Iran has basically acted with violent impunity for a long time in the ME, those days are over under this President. There is no need of a land war here* but if necessary Iran can be bombed back into the stone age to curtail its regional excursions. Iran is acting covertly like Iraq did overtly under Saddam Hussein which is not conducive to its long term well being as a nation.

* Iran has no direct land borders with US allies

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Unread post04 Jan 2020, 06:40

IMO, Iran crossed a line a long time ago in 1979, for which no one stood up to them. This most recent attack against the US Embassy in Baghdad is yet another line crossed, but this President, he fights. I don't think he goes looking for a fight, but he appears not to take any sh*t from bullies, and Iran is a bully.

If Iran elects to push this matter and further escalate kinetically and overtly, then, again IMO, there is no reason to keep the gloves on -- the assets appear to be in place to:
  • take down and utterly destroy the Fordow and Natanz underground nuclear facilities with GBU-28s carried by Strike Eagles and escorted by F-35A's doing their wormhole thingy
  • F-22's in the region fly fightersweep / topcover
  • F-35's degrade / destroy / annihilate Iranian IADS and anti-shipping sites along the Persian Gulf. This may be the most critical aspect and most dangerous -- in terms of Iran launching everything they have before they lose it... could impose serious losses on commercial shipping
  • Get as many B-2's overhead each night as can be sustained. At least one with MOPs, and one with either MOPs or as many GBU-28's as possible, the remainder with either 500lb or 2000lb JDAMs. If leadership is fixed, either MOP them up, or introduce them to some old artillery tubes. The JDAMs are for targets of opportunity or to start degrading infrastructure: electric grid, generation / distribution, refineries, COMM nodes, pipelines. Try to avoid making an environmental disaster, but do degrade their ability to pump / sell oil and to refine it into petrol.
Yes, back to the stone age send them.

At the same time, Psyops should be conducted to let the Iranian people know the USA does not have a quarrel with them, but with the mullahs and Revolutionary Guard leadership, that the USA stands ready to assist the Iranian people should they request assistance to overthrow their oppressors.

In addition to escorting Strike Eagles, F-35's could possibly (?) escort the Bones on other raids to destroy Iranian military infrastructure.

Biggest concern I see is protecting the tankers. Might need to top off Strike Eagles and Lightnings before going feet dry.

I for one am tired of this Iranian BS. It is refreshing to see someone finally call their hand and stand up to them.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post04 Jan 2020, 07:18

The Persians are not a stupid people. As such, they may come to the conclusion they cannot win kinetically and rather take this fight inter the cyberdomain. An all out cyber war may be pretty damaging to everyone. Dunno. However, there is evidence to suggest the USA may be able to stomp Iran into bits and bytes. How much damage the USA might suffer in return would be a risk the President has to weigh.

On the other hand, no one "sees" cyber. You don't see dead bodies (well, as readily) or attributable damage such as when a bomb explodes. So will the Persian ego allow the Iranians to not go kinetic, and rather to fight a cyber war? Or will the lack of explosions and physical suffering cause a "loss of face" to the Persians in the minds of their "followers," "adherents," or allies?

If they go overt kinetic, then I sure hope Pres Trump takes the gloves off (or has a super plan) and destroys the Iranian nuclear programs, at a minimum.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post04 Jan 2020, 10:08

steve2267 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:F-35As have a strike range of ~670+nm, and it's doubtful that carriers/LHAs will want to get themselves in narrow waters, when there's no military necessity. They'd likely stay in the Arabian Sea, as well operating aricraft from myriad land bases.


From where does the 670 figure come? Latest LM Fast Facts still lists 590nm as the "combat radius" of the -A model. 590nm was what I was using for my Google Earth swags.


That comes from LM. 670nm A/G, 760nm A/A. It's been discussed at great length on F-35 range threads. Even those numbers are likely conservative, given some slides LM released in the past.
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