Obama F136 Bluff Called

Obama F136 Bluff Called

UPDATED: GE/RR Launch F136 YouTube Site, Appeal For Support As HAC-D Meets

UPDATE: The Obama Administration’s bluff has been called by the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, which voted 11–5 this afternoon in favor of funding the F136 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. The vote tally comes from unofficial sources.

The congressional calculus on the F136 has grown so complex it would take a political physicist to figure out just how likely the engine is to survive. The chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Rep. Norm Dicks, says he will not put funding for the second Joint Strike Fighter engine in his bill. But it looks as if his fellow subcommittee members want it in and Dicks isn’t saying no — at least not publicly. The closed markup is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today


So the engine may get funded by the House. But in the Senate, which has always been more problematic for the GE-Rolls Royce coalition, the F136 appears to have lost the support of one of its staunchest friends, Sen. Daniel Inouye, also known as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He told the New York Times that the deficit and the opposition of the Obama administration mean the F136 is dead.

That doesn’t mean that the wily senator from Hawaii won’t bow to his House colleagues in conference, as he did last year. But it certainly sends a strong signal to GE-RR supporters that they must redouble their efforts to have any hope of salvaging the program.

To that end, a “Dear Colleague” letter went out yesterday from the chairman and the ranking member of the House Acquisition Reform Panel, in which they “strongly encourage” their colleagues to support the engine in the interests of competition. They tie the second engine to acquisition reform and say a second engine program is in the best interests of those who support acquisition reform and savings on major weapons programs.

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What a mess. The government should put the F136 on hold and not make any decisions until the F-35 is on more stable ground and actually in full-rate production.

They should continue F136 development until we know that the F135 / F-35 combo performs as predicted.

Ultimately, it may come down to how bad President Obama wants the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

I still think this second engine idea is stupid. Its one thing if its actually needed, its one thing if it were working and proved to meet some need, but it doesn’t. The F135 cost $7.3B and the F136 will end up around $4.5B with more work to go… when all is said and done whether we buy one engine or some combination of the two, we’ll have spent $12B+ on developement of an F35 engine. Any “saving” that occurs by justifying one engine over the othe must be of such significance as to cover the other engines developement or one effort or the other will have simply been a waste. Given the 3200 F35 planned to be built and assuming both engines were ready today the price difference between each would have to be $2.4M to justify the existance of these parallel efforts. $2.4M saving on an engine just to break even in this effort. I don’t think its even possible. Right now the Pentagons best estimates places this as a break even investment. If it really is at best a break even situation, it would still have to justify all this extra time and effort on the part of congress, a cost that seemingly never has to be justified.

“Nobody knows what to do! Let’s keep on spending money until we figure it out.”

It would be absolutely insane for the USG to NOT continue with funding the F136. It’s not like the “old” days, when all the services had several different mission type fighter aircraft to lean on. One day, it will be ONLY the F22 and F35.…and they will both have about the same engine if only the F135 gets funded.

Even still, shouldn’t this be handled differently, maybe as an upgrade or a full replacement engine, instead of a developement project that needs to occur right now? By running in the way it is, it puts more risk on the F35 program. Get one engine to work and then design the second one afterwards. It seems like this should have been done long before the point the program is at now.

Jeff, you make an interesting point. However, the F136 engine left the station in 1996. One good thing for sure is going on as we speak in regards to F136 development. Since the F136 is a few years behind the F135, the F136 team is better prepared to react to changes made by Lockheed that would require the propulsion system to be modified. We have seen several instances where the F135 team has had to make modifications to critical pieces of hardware and the F136 team already had hardware that met the requirement. Additionally, more F135 modifications are in the planning stages.

I’m in the industry and I work for a subsidiary of one of the 2 competing companies and indeed have designed multiple components (more than 10) for BOTH engines. Obviously the 2nd engine in the race is going to benefit from the lessons learned by the 1st guy. All the GE PR efforts seem to tout that they’re somehow outperforming — this is patently false, they’re simply sliding by where PW had to do the hard development work breaking new ground; in addition, having not even completed any flight testing this is an unproveable claim for GE best case.

Also the GAO claims that a 2nd engine will somehow magically save 40% of the total program development costs is ridiculous (~$20b of a somewhat > $50b effort for all the engines). It’s kind of insulting that GE keeps trotting that line out. Furthermore, what is this silliness about competition and saving American jobs? We all know that BOTH of these companies are fully globalized and are outsourcing everything they possibly can. It is hypocritical at best for them to try tugging at those heart strings.

One less trillion dollar bank bailout from the liberal democrats and we would have enough F-136 engines to have them as lawn ornaments on every congressmans front yard!
this is one sure way to value the waste of money this president has presided over. LOOK AOUND!

The bank bailout was driven by a GOP administration and was passed by Congress only because when they voted it down the first time the market crashed 700 points. Get your facts right.

I must apologize for contradicting you in public. I feel there needs to be a better understanding of the facts on the subject of bank bailouts.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) [trillion dollar bank bailout if you prefer] was passed by both houses of Congress in late September/October of 2008 with broad bi-partisan support. It was then signed into law by President Bush on October 3, 2008.

The most recent cost analysis of the program in April of 2010 by the US Treasury Dept. indicates that the TARP will cost the US taxpayers $89 billion (WSJ 4-11-2010). This number does leave out the losses from the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September, 2008, which are projected to be $370 billion through 2020.

Had President Bush and Congress not acted decisively in the fall of 2008 the entire US economy could have collapsed and there would not be enough tax receipts remaining in this great nation’s coffers to afford any F-35s, much less the possibility of two engines.

Going single source on a 100 billion dollar program is just madness. Particularly since the single source is already 50% over budget. Does anybody really think think that P&W will be less that 4% over budget if they are allowed to eat the whole cake ?

The second engine is insurance that the whole program doesn’t cost 200, 300 or 600 billion by the time P&W is finished raping the DoD. If you don’t think it will happen just look at the F35 program itself, a 600% price increase because they know they are the only game in town.

I’m sorry,I stand corrected,.This administration has been very thrifty with Taxpayer dollars. Let me go check that fact.….……

Suggested headline: “COMMITTEE SPANKS DICKS”

LOL! There appears to be too much of that going on now, that’s the freaking problem!

Was is not the Marines version of Engine design that played part of winning the Competition away from McDonnel Douglas/Boeing?

A Marine Varient Engine Design long used in the AVI Harrier Jet? Any takes on this?

We go to the doctor and he gives us a clean bill of health year after year, yet we still maintain health insurance. We are very good drivers, never been in an accident, live in the country, and our cars are properly maintained each year or they are brand new, yet we still have auto insurance. We can go on and on with daily examples of why we have “insurance’”or protection against the inevitable. I don’t care how high tech the engines are or how good our leading edge technology is; a SINGLE engine fighter if it were to have a propulsion issue would lead to the loss of aircraft and/or loss of the pilot’s life.

This alternate engine, or the insurance that it provides to the F35 and our Military cannot be ignored. It’s a small price to pay as a country when you compare the Billions this administration and the ones before it have thrown around globally to other nations to combat drugs. Its time for America to properly invest in their Military’s future by ensuring our aviators are well protected and our missions are a success. If this was a multi-engine aircraft, then we can argue if the alternate engine is worthwhile or not. If we had several other aircraft that can fit the role of the F35 in the future, then we could argue if the alternate engine is worthwhile or not. However, the facts are the F35 will replace several fighter aircraft in our inventory today, some with multi engines and the F35 has just has ONE engine to get our Aviators back home. If you disagree with the alternate engine and what it brings to the table, then cancel ALL your personal insurance policies today.

I think a P&W engine (F119 variant) was used in both flight demonstrators (Boeing and LM) way back when. You can see both aircraft at the Museum of Naval Aviation right outside the main gate at Pax River. The F135 as it is today bears little resemblance to the F119.

We hear about military hunta’s taking over governments around the world with their military hardware. In the U.S. it is a different type of military hunta. The Military/defense industrial complex has us under a financial hunta in that they, instead of using arms against the americans, they are robbing the taxpayers to fund their lavish lifestyles and power point charts, conferences, travel, meetings, etc. Very little is actually paid for hardware and Software costs these days (contractor costs are soaring becasue of the paperwrok, meetings, reviews, etc they pile in the contracts) . Most money is used to pay for wasteful and useless oversight which is not oversight at all. Congress and the american public needs to wake up before the American style of a military hunta bankrupts America!!!

May I ask in ignorance what aircraft our enemies have that we need to develop the 135 and 136? What threats in the future will there be for such a need? And, when we develop a good working model how long in today’s leaky secrets system will an enemy take that engine and use it for themselves without expending the billions in research?

The later is not a case for those still in the middle ages but we have some alleged friends or supposed friendly antagonists that would love to have that engine after we develop it.

Aircraft developed 40 years ago can still do a job and safely (with upgrades).

Remember that the Democrats took control of the “House and Senate in “2006”

The countries considered our old enemies have developed several new fighters while we bicker over our economy and tax dollars. They could care less about our bickering and more about how to over throw this country. You all have good points, we need a leader in Washington and we aren’t getting that type of help.
Why does our public have to make decisions for our leaders when we voted them in to make good decisions for our country. I think all the fighting over what to do could be solved by an investigation, and looking at history as to how many engines we need for a fighter that will probably have to last us twenty years. It is a good debate, I hope they make the right decision, our freedom could depend on it. I have enjoyed all of your insights and I do think a back up engine is a good decision if we can afford one. We did have different contractors and different engines for our previous fighters. I know we have budget problems, but how can you say it is not worth our freedom to go ahead with an alternative in case one engine where to have technical problems down the road, Tough times make tough decisions, God bless our leaders in making the right ones.

Frank A. There are several Legacy Aircraft that still get the job done for some Air Forces. However, if we want to retain our freedom and eliminate NOT reduce any aggression on our land from the enemies we know of today and for those new ones who pop up tomorrow, we need to have aircraft like the F22 and F35 to keep every American safe. Also, like you stated, leaks, feedom of information act, internet, and “other” sources do in fact get our American technologies in the hands of those we do not consider friendly. Thus, even greater the stance that we actively continue to pursue and field leading edge technology like the F22 and F35. Once any usefull information gets out on the F22 and F35, it will take 20–25 years for anyone to develop a comparable weapon system, by then we will have a “NEW” system near production. This cycle has been going on for over 60years.

@Formula: Seems to me that it’s better to drive carefully and avoid an accident to begin with.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve done the math on my health insurance, and I’d be better off paying cash for services rendered. At least that way I’d be earning interest on the money before I spent it!

The DoD has said they neither need it nor want it. The only people peddling the F136 are the pols who want it for the votes. They couldn’t give a $hit less if it’s needed or wanted by the military. I’d be surprised if many of them professing it’s importance could even tell you which end the air goes in.

As a former Logisitics Officer in the Air force who witnessed the Pratt & Whitney debacle, for the F15 we need this engine. Pratt in my mind did not respond to any of the urgent problems their engine had in the 80’s, and even denied they were existing. Once they knew another engine could replace theirs , suddenly problems they did not admit to were solved , deliveries that could not be made , were delivered ahead of time .
. The AF does a pretty good job , but many Navy and Army systems are sole source , non competitive bidding . Thats how cost overruns occur . We as a country get soaked because they know that DOD has no choice but to cancel or add funding to these programs.
This program is way to big to scr** up. You wonder why a C5 coffee pots from these contractors cost $$$$$ , why a simple screw you could buy at Lowes cost $100 , its because their contracts allow this , i have seen this. Competition brings out their best effort , lack of competition brings cost overrun. Our weapon systems are not jobs program for the unemployed , you are making a weapon someone will have to use to protect their life , give them the best , not the acceptable.

The contract for the F-35 engine was originally given directly to Pratt without any competition.

That seems shocking but it’s true.

Given the history of the F-15 and F-16 and large military acquisitions in general, it would seem very prudent to continue development of the F136.

wouldn’t it be more frugal to pay our enemies to plant bombs where we need them.

this plane was so one crap, they make all of possible for have better quality in the paper.
others plane was better to it, except for one furtiv form.
when we are going fight one great country who developped great plane like russia, france or china? when?
What is important today? cold war is end, the time of great war against the great power was end . we fight country who was important for own interest like petrol, not for prove one superiority or take territory, we have nuclear bomb, we can destroy all the earth, others country can destroy all the earth, we can’t rule the world now, nobody can make it, we are in the step of generally peace with occidental culture, we are going to give this culture for have one global peace, we are going make war for that, we are going kill for that, when this culture was make and last culture in the world decimed, we can start the exploration of the space and can make one another history of human, we just need survive, kill bad people for have universal culture and language.

«… when all is said and done whether we buy one engine or some combination of the two, we’ll have spent $12B+ on developement of an F35 engine. Any “saving” that occurs by justifying one engine over the othe must be of such significance as to cover the other engines developement or one effort or the other will have simply been a waste»

The GAO estimated funding the alternative engine now would save $20 Billion over the life of the program. So there’s your “savings” and that doesn’t even take into consideration the improvements and gretaer reliabity which comes with competition.

Under the Constitution, the Congress has the responsibility to provide for the Army and Navy. The President just submits a proposed budget for consideration. The Pentagon budget has as much pork in it if not more than after Congress finishes with it. I’m a proponent of 2 engines because it will save the taxpayer money and ensure the warfighter has what he/she needs to win the war and preserve the peace.

You mean like the competition for the F-18 engines? GE loves competition only when they are on the oustide-looking-in. This is nothing but pure pork. This is also not 1975, so GE and their fanboys can stop peddaling 35 year old issues. The P&W engine in the F119 is doing extremely well by all accounts. We should expect nothing different in the F135.

You sound like my wife everytime she buys crap “on sale” I don’t need to “save me money”.

If you want competition, then introduce GE as a second contractor for manufacturing the F135. Designing a whole other engine is beyond pointless. The F135 is a good design. If GE can make it better, more power to them. But don’t waste taxpayer dollars to develop a completely different design just so that GE can make more money on the design end.

Your post fails to recognize a very major truth — we don’t know if the F136 is anything more than a paper tiger. Crappy insurance that doesn’t really cover your needs is worse than no insurance at all. Bringing GE on as a second manufacturer of the F136 is a much more sensible coverage policy. You get corporate competition without the wasteful second design.

Plus, the F135 is a proven design. Nuff said.

Both the Chinese and the Russians are working on 5th generation fighter designs. The Russians have a flying prototype already.

The F35 is 100% necessary if we want to retain the title of ‘world’s best Air Force’.

Is this the engine that dadt is tied to????????

How about some history from the original engine war in the late 70s and early 80s between Pratt and GE from someone who was there from the very beginning. It was the infamous flameouts and continuous quality and cost problems in the single engine F-16 Pratt F-100 engine that instigated the AF to come on bended knee to GE to put up a competition engine. Fortunately at that time, GE already had an engine developed that met the performance and reliability criteria demanded by the AF, the orphan engine from the “at that time” recently cancelled B-1A. TaDa. With development costs vastly reduced, GE was arm twisted to put up a quick-and-dirty 3 engine barebones demo program to verify that it could be “pinched” in the middle to fit the F-16, then that first engine rehabbed and mated up with another to see if it would fit the F-15, and we were off to the races for a measly $79M (which was actually a buy-in because all the lowest GE cost estimates at the time were indicating it was going to really cost about $110M for that demo). The real plum in this story for GE was that this engine, later to become the F-110 when fully fleshed out for fighters, was then put up for the Navy’s F-14 which was flying with its anemic TF-30 Pratt engine that was the son of something developed back from the F-111 days. This concept eventually led to the Super Tom. So, the upshot of the whole adventure was to get GE to go against all their business sense and into the comparatively small profit margin fighter engine game which they had be reluctant to get into because they did not really want to get into it with Pratt and make Pratt irritated enough to go at GE in the high-profit wide body fan-jet engine market which GE “owned” up until then. So, while the head-to-head competition for the fighter market proved initially beneficial for GE, in the end, their worst nightmare came true when Pratt did get into the wide-body high-bypass game and took considerable market share away from GE. And GE never did get more than 50% of the fighter market in the end anyway due to the AF’s twisted head-to-head competition split strategy. The bottom line — today’s program dynamics in no way replicate the so-called competitive conditions of the old days. If the F-35 engine from Pratt is indeed a bad actor (sound familiar), bringing on GE with an unproven engine at this time will more than likely only create a situation with two “bad” engines. No cost savings, no quality or reliability improvements, no nothing but hot air. Just some thoughts from across time.….

I’ve seen the dual engine aircraft in the sky practicing against a Mig while camping near an air base. It sat rotating in mid air during a dog fight while a Mig circled around and around. Unbelievable aircraft. Could not believe my eyes.

And, as you point out, GE’s entry in the “great engine war” was a mod of something they already had, rather than an entirely-new design like the F136 is going to be.

Coolwhip — although you were “technically” wrong about the Bank bailout or TARP, you do have the general idea correct. Yes, I am a conservative that usually votes Republican, simply because I see them as the lesser of the two evils. I do blame Bush and the Republican Congress (2000–2006) for only doing things half right. It’s good that they cut taxes, but very bad that they did NOT cut spending. Two wars and ENTITLEMENTS have drained the hell out of our economy. Bad as they were, Obama and the Democrats are far WORSE. They have QUADRIPLED what Bush spent, and they are sinking all of that money down black holes. The problem with Socialism is that you run out of other peoples money.

Dead on right Smokem! I currently test both the F100 and F110 engines, I used to test both the TF-30 and the F110-400. The GE engines were far better and had very few problems, the P&W engines on the other hand are a total pain in the rear. Whats worse is having to deal with P&W, they do not give hardly any info you need unless you beat it out of them, GE is much more cooperative and easier to work with. P&W will never admit to any fault of theirs and fight tooth and nail to say it’s your fault, what a way to treat your customer. What’s worse is that P&W contracts out most of their work, so half the time they don’t have a clue as to what their contractor did. So yes, bring on the F-136! Competition is the ONLY thing that keeps them honest.

As you say TJ, Smokem is dead on right. Particularly his last comment, “bringing on GE with an unproven engine at this time will more than likely only create a situation with two “bad” engines. No cost savings, no quality or reliability improvements, no nothing but hot air. Just some thoughts from across time.…. ”

He is also right when he says, “today’s program dynamics in no way replicate the so-called competitive conditions of the old days.”

The F136 is a turd of an idea, kept alive by people who are adamant about ramming a square peg into a round hole because something only vaguely similar worked on a problem over 20 years ago.

Indeed — one less trillion dollar bank bailout, and we could have been trying to pay for these shiny new un-needed engines with pretty green pieces of paper with no value at all.
Ask the U.S.S.R. how that whole keeping up a military with a crumbling economy worked for them.

How about national defense? The F35 aircraft will be the predominant aircraft across all military services within a decade. Do we really want a single engine aircraft with a sole source engine manufacturer? Add to this the fact that the maker of the F135 engine (PW) continues to source military hardware to offshore locations. All we need is a small hickup in the supply chain and we end up with a hole in national defense. National defense is the first benefit of an F136 competition engine, but surely history tells us that the second benefit is reduced life cycle cost in the billions.

Ryan shouldn’t you return to work, P&W expects their employees to give 8 hours work for 8 hours pay.

Win the War, Preserve the Peace? What the F? Who we gonna use this against, Kyrgistan? These planes and big ships are just expensive toys for immature boys!!

That would be funny and appropriate if I couldn’t turn around and say the same thing back to you, replacing P&W with GE.

Honestly, I’d rather have GE as the primary contractor. I think the initial bidding process was flawed. Nonetheless, we now have a proven engine design from P&W and there is no compelling reason to develop a second one. I would full-heartedly agree with making GE a second manufacturing contractor just to introduce a little competition. But the whole F136 concept is and always was a massive turd sandwich.

That’s why you bring on GE as a second manufacturing contractor with the already proven F135 design. You then do away with all of the potential catastrophes you just envisioned, without wasting money on an unnecessary design.

It is really beyond me why nobody is pushing this ‘have your cake and eat it too’ approach to the JSF.

The proprietary-information protections would be nightmarish. PW probably has a lot of its own research money tied up in the F135; the government can’t just give that to GE without a big nasty fight. This isn’t like WWII where the War Department could just take the B-17 drawings and give them to Lockheed, or take the F4F drawings and give them to GM, or order Vought and Grumman to send each other production examples to study. If PW has any IRAD in the F135 it’ll be a hell of a job to get them to let it go, particularly in the current legal climate.

Actually, the Navy does this all the time with their destroyer and attack sub contracts. They have multiple builders working off a common design. Particularly when it comes to submarine design, the potential headaches for advanced and highly classified design work being shared between manufacturers is a direct analog to the current situation. But the Navy makes it work. In this case, P&W would naturally be entitled to licensing fees on every engine GE builds, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. If there is a need for a future redesign of any given engine component, they can compete on the component design and let market forces (ground crews and pilots) decide the winning design.

Bottom line, this solution is very doable. It’s simply a matter of the AF bucking up and telling GE and P&W that this is the way it’s gonna be. If the Navy can do it, why can’t the Air Force? This is a case of the contractors having AF procurement by the balls when it should be the other way around.

You forget (or just plain old never knew) that both the Russians and the Chinese are also immature boys who are designing their own expensive toys that will be more advanced designs than any fighters in our inventory short of the F-22 and the F-35. And China is developing a ‘Blue water Navy’ as fast as they can.

And if you are so foolish as to dismiss Russia and China as legitimate threats then you should really stop posting while you’re somewhat ahead.

They don’t make money off the engines themselves, but off of the parts for them as you repair them over time. They should have some planes use the P&W’s and some use the GE/RR’s so there is competition as Allen L said above. Then go with the supplier that is more cost effective and reliable.

The F-35 goes the wrong way if we want to keep up as the world’s best Air Force. With the infra red search and track coming online with the Russians much of the stealth will be negated.

The sustained turning performance of the F-35A Lightning II was recently disclosed as 4.95 G at Mach 0.8 and 15,000 ft. A 1969 F-4E Phantom II could sustain 5.5 Gs at 0.8 Mach with 40 percent internal fuel at 20,000 feet. The F-35 is also much slower than the 1960s F-4E or F-105D. So the F-35A’s aerodynamic performance is ‘retrograde’ when compared with 1960s legacy fighters. Aka, its a POS hype machine.

The whole thing is senators pandering for jobs to seem like they care about the people who put them in office.

20–25 years? You need to get out of the US from time to time.

The F-35 has already been neutralized and negated by the Su-35–1/35BM and will be substantively over-matched by the T-50/PAK-FA. We need to think long, hard and fast about the PAK-FA, as the current and retrograde “F-35 based” future fighter fleet model guarantees defeat in future combat. The PAK-FA is flying now without all of the bickering and bullshit that goes on here in millionaire scumbag committees parading as government. They just come down with a fist and make it happen or else..

IRST (Infrared Search and Track) doesn’t come close to having the detection range of radar, especially with the newer AESA radars. It’s meant to be a supplemental detection technology, otherwise Russian fighter’s would have the entire nose house an IRST camera instead of radar (as conventional fighter design dictates). The US has been the leading producer and developer of fighter-based AESA radar technology (we first fielded it on our F-15’s in 1999), and Russia just recently started introducing their own but in lower availability. If IRST was such a marvel, Russia wouldn’t have bothered with expensive AESA technology. So a non-stealth fighter with IRST is still at a disadvantage in BVR to a stealth fighter.

Sustained g’s in a turn isn’t the only measure of turning maneuverability. A higher sustained g-rating in a turn doesn’t mean a tighter turning radius. An F-16 pulling a sustained 5.5g turn at 0.8 Mach will still pull a tighter turn than the F-4E because of superior aerodynamics afforded by it’s leading edge flaps, leading edge extensions, lower weight, among other design factors. And then there’s the issue of energy preservation (airspeed); the F-4E would lose a lot more airspeed pulling that kind of turn compared to an F-16 or F-35. Energy preservation is an important aspect of air combat, which is why pilots aren’t always performing max-turn maneuvers.

And there’s no point in comparing top speeds listed in magazines/books/articles. An aircraft’s flight envelope is dynamic (you even pointed out that the F-4 pulled that turning number at 40 percent fuel, yet didn’t make any mention of the F-35’s fuel load in comparison). Even though the F-4’s max speed is listed as Mach 2.23, that speed was achieved in a slick configuration (no external stores). With a useful combat load, the acceleration and top speed becomes limited.… rating at or less than an F-35A. Besides, fighters don’t spend much time at or near configured top speeds… it eats up too much fuel. What matters more is cruise speed, which the F-35A has a higher cruise speed in a combat configuration. An F-35A configured for air-to-air combat has the benefit of internal weapons carriage, which affords it an aerodynamic advantage. The F-35 also has a higher thrust-to-weight ratio in a combat configuration compared to the F-4.

So yes, when put in practical real-world terms, the F-35A is in fact superior to the F-4 in terms of maneuverability, acceleration, cruise speed, and at least on par in potential top speed.

Basically, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Also, you speak as thought IRST has been a recent development. It’s been around for a long time now… we fielded IRST on F-101’s, F-102, and as recently as the F-14. The Russians have had IRST technology for a long time as well… equipped on the Su-27 and MiG-29 well before they became upgraded to the Su-35 and MiG-35, respectively.

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