Wednesday, December 4, 2013

F-35: Interview with PacAf Gen. Hawk Carlisle

Gen. Hawk Carlisle outlined the emerging Pacific strategy in an interview.  And he was clear on what the deployment of the F-35 and F-22 mean to the success of that strategy:
He sees this reshaping approach as central to shaping the distributed operations approach emerging as the F-35 fleet is deployed over the decade ahead.

“The F-35 is the finest sensor-enabled aircraft ever built. The F-35 is orders of magnitude better than the F-22 (which is the greatest air to air fighter ever built) as an electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich aircraft. We already are working synergy between F-22s and fourth generation aircraft to provide greater fidelity of the information shaping air combat operations. With the F-22 and F-35 combination and the folding in of on-orbit information and surveillance systems, we will be able to generate more synergy across the fleet,” the general told us.

The other advantage of the F-35 is its commonality across the services. “We are already working on greater synergy among the air power services; with the F-35 and deploying common assets in a dispersed fleet, the efforts we are making now for today’s conditions will only lead to more effective capabilities for tomorrow’s crises as well.”
"Synergy", of course, is the key word here.  That synergy will take away much of any enemies potential advantage with superior numbers.  And the speed and accuracy with which battlefield intel is shared may remove the remainder of a numerical advantage.
“When you bring Raptor and F-35 into the mix you make every one of the platforms better in terms of its performance for the joint force,” he told us. “And referring back to your concept of S Cubed (Stealth, Sensors, and Speed), when you put those two together with long range strike the synergy unleashed by S Cubed will be significantly enhanced as well.”
 Make sure to read the whole thing.



  1. “The F-35 is the finest sensor-enabled aircraft ever built."
    That's only a claim until proven.

  2. Same goes for the claim of the F-22 as the greatest air-to-air combat aircraft.

    Also, I would like to point out that the "advantage" of being a multi-service aircraft is a political victory for the F-35, not an engineering one. The services could have shared airframes since Day One if not for the inter-services politics.

    1. Actually with the F-35 it's not an engineering victory. It's a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. The STOVL with its 50" fan especially has had a detrimental effect on other variants -- wider fuselage, no cockpit rear visibility, limits plane to one engine, increases weight -- besides inflicting the MC with increased cost (circa $25m ea) and increased vulnerability.

      So the JSF is a bomber with limited bomb capacity, an expensive, vulnerable CAS plane and a carrier version which can't go on a carrier, yet, if ever. It has poor maneuverability, excessive complexity and poor reliability.

      So much for commonality.