Friday, December 23, 2011


AOL Defense has a pretty amazing piece on the F-35. Amazing because it is hard to believe.

Below is a PDF I have done which critiques the message in the piece. It is not made to make fun of the author, but to heap scorn on some incredibly silly ideas.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Laird runs the advocacy website SLDinfo, or Second Line of Defense. They are big proponents of F-35, and not surprisingly, Lockheed Martin is one of their sponsors.

nico said...

This isn't the first time that SLD talks about coupling AEGIS with the F35. What's up with that? Also previous article mentioned something about common hangars and supply chain completely integrated, etc.... Something about a 1000 fleet Navy, this guy is way out there when it comes to F35.

Canuck Fighter said...

I always ask the question about "following the money", when I see articles like this, because they amount to nothing more than cheerleading instead of journalism. That is not to say a journalist should just look at the negatives either. But a clear weakness in today's modern media is the role of asking questions which is part of the critical thinking process. It seems that private blogs are the ones doing that work today.
There are plenty of good things going on in the F-35 program. After all good technology components will have a ton of mistakes before they matures (in any industry). There are also a lot of problems, and deficient thinking and probably poor program management going on in the F-35.
To question is to make one better; to make things better. When that stops is when things get in trouble.
Remember the 2008 Financial crash? The problem actually started ten years before, when people questioned the logic of not regulating financial derivatives. The "big" guys in the room bullied the questioners, and said hey trust us we know what we are doing. Well, ten years later, look what happened. One big guy went on to be a top exec at Citibank (aka ShittyBank). We all know what happened there. Another big guy, wrote a book saying he never realized how bad things would have been (gee thanks). The story goes on and on, with other players.
It's moral and necessary obligation for people, critics and politicians to question the issues in the F-35 program. Not out of spite or hatred of Lockheed or others, but out of the need to have a genuinely successful outcome (capability, operationally, financially). If Lockheed can not show or prove the F-35 meets those needs, then it needs to be reduced in scale or mandate or even cancelled. There are and always will be other options.

Anonymous said...

Governments are also involved, as you can see by theannouncement of Canada and Australia saying how the Japanese decision supports their own decisions!!.

The Australian govt actively manages JSF misinformation in the media.


some interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Your link does not seem to work

nico said...

Good comment Canuck Fighter! Agree that this article isn't jounalism as much as it could and (probably) comes straight from LM PR machine.

SLD is the only site really pushing this AEGIS + F35 connection. They are using that result from NG when they tested DAS and now suddenly F35 is a key link with ABM capabilities. Think that is a little bit of a stretch from SLD, they make it sound like it's going to be online as soon as F35 is on line.

Anonymous said...

just search for :-
201112 Audit Report No20 DMO MPR.pdf

Its the DMO's explanation of the JSF program and how its all going very well.

Even the JSF schedule has met the benchmark..

Cocidius said...

Mr. Laird is obviously a graduate of the Lexington Institute Dr. Feelgood school of faux military "experts"!

Eric, nice job debunking (must have been fun).

The sure way to solve the credibility problems for the F-35 is to spew vaporware techno-babble (made up shit) from a bunch of paid proxies and pretend its all real. This is just business as usual from the JSF Program.

Notice the "hook" at the end about China - simply hilarious.

Please pay no attention to the supercruising two engined stealth fighter with a reverse engineered EOTS-DAS and a much larger AESA under development by the PLAAF (J-20).

While your at it, just ignore the AEGIS analog net-centric vessels like the type 052C being churned out by Chinese shipyards like hotcakes.

But hey Japan, Korea, Singapore and just about everyone else desperately needs a slow overweight, semi-functional strike fighter with an IOC of 2025!

NickCan said...

I am rather skeptical about the DAS.
It can give the direction of the target, but not the distance, so how could it give a missile a good track?

This could be particularly problematic at close range because the missile has a very short time to acquire the target.

I think it would be a better idea for visual range to develop a stealthy pylon and arm the F-35 with just one 9X block II external on one side. That would give it one more missile and we're pretty sure it would work.

The pylon could be VLO and the missile has a very low RCS from the front.

The pylon could also at the same time integrate 2 ALE-55s.

Apollo said...

Hey nick,

If the target was forward hemisphere, you could do a quick range finding pulse with the actively steered radar. Alternatively you could use laser range finding (not sure if this is part of the DAS?)

I think you're on the right track with the external loadout. I would suggest though that it would be better to have to external AMRAAMs with the aim-9x's internal (so long as the 2way datalink proves a robust LOAL capability). This way your RCS and aerodymamics are cleaned up as range is reduced and the merge is approached.

Apollo said...

Nick, a few more thoughts,

If the target is in view by two sensors (It probably definitely is if the target is on the lift axis) then sterols is may also be able to be used to determine range.

Same principle would apply if multiple F-35's were at the merge.

Anonymous said...

Darn autocorrect. That's stereopsis, not sterols. The process by which binocular vision does range finding using parallax.

NickCan said...


An internal 9X would not provide the same coverage.

Also if the missile is locked on before launch the pk would probably be higher than with a LOAL even in the case where direction and distance are known.

I'd rather play it safe in the WVR/near BVR with one external 9X with LOBL capability. The 9X could also be used with the DAS beyond 90deg for a lucky shot, and in that case it would turn faster than an AMRAAM thanks to its TV.

In fact the 9X block 2 would be perfect for that role.

The F-35 could carry 4-6 AMRAAMs internally and 1 9X block 2 internally, that would be a good balance between BVR and WVR.

It would increase the RCS somewhat but the problem is that in WVR I fear the DAS/LOAL will be crappy.

Apollo said...

Fair points nick. It would definitely be nicer to asses seeker track before sending it on its way.

War News Updates Editor said...

Another must read piece from Eric Palmer on the F-35 program.

Cocidius said...


The EOT in the F-35 is based on the Sniper XR pod which does laser range finding so it has the same functionality.

nico said...

"...By purchasing a plane for which China will have no effective counter over the next few decades, Tokyo has strengthened the prospects for stable deterrence." Well, L.Thompson seems to concur with SLD. What a surprise!

I just read that ANON just hacked STRATFOR company, I can't wait for them to hack Lexington Inst or SLD. Real interested to know how much they get paid to write this crap.

Cocidius said...


I would love to see Anon hack the Lexington Institute!

Dr. Feelgood certainly is getting paid a good chunk by LM for the F-35. Get a load of this quote after the Japanese F-35 decision was announced.

Boeing's loss of the order would be a real setback for the company's prospects in the fighter business, especially since there were few other large competitions open anymore, said Loren Thompson of Lexington Institute.

"The market place is signaling to Boeing that its days in the fighter business may be numbered," Thompson said.

Hilarious, he belongs on Comedy Central!