11 November 2015

More F-35 Defense

Being a youtube junky I've been looking at USAF F-16C's.

A common warload I see is 2x AIM-120.  2x AIM-9.  2x 370-gal. drop-tanks on the wings.  2 stations with the bombs for the attack.  Centerline is a jamming pod.  Sensor pods on the sides of the intake.

Not a clean load-out at all.

The air-to-ground stores being on stations 3 and 7 are a limit, 3 per station max.  2,000 lb. per station max.

This is not stealthy and very dirty.  To do more than a head on-pass air-to-air it's going to have to dump the tanks and the AtG ordnance down to the parent station.

THIS is the plane the F-35A should be compared to.  Not a stripped F-16D chase plane.

Fully stealthy it seems to give up a lot.  2 air-to-ground stores and 2 AIM-120.  The air to ground station has a 2,500 lb. limit.  In the future there should be a double rack for two bombs per station, but for now it's a single weapon.

F-16's have mostly been carrying singles on their wings too.  Often a Maverick on one side an a JDAM on the other.  F-35 can do this too.

The F-16C all decked out as above, even if we go max load and have 6x 500 lb JDAM on board.  It's maxed out.

Giving up on Stealth the F-35A can hang another 7,500 lb of attack stuff under each wing and add an AIM-9 to the outermost station too.

The F/A-18C is almost worse.

2x AIM-9 on the wingtips.  2x 330-gal. drop tanks.  Sensor pods on the fuselage side stations.  Often the centerline is empty, but another 330-gal. tank can be here.  That leaves just two stations for air-to-ground.  Is this sounding familiar?

The F-35C has the same loadout as the F-35A, except it's missing the gun all stealthed up.  There's going to be a gun pod, someday, for the centerline station.

AV-8B is a real light weight for weapons carry when flying off the boat.

2x AIM-9 and 4x air-to ground weapons with a podded gun, sometimes.  The stations are rated to near 2,000 lb. each, but rarely is more than a single weapon per station carried.  More like 4x 500 lb. JDAM or 4x Maverick.

The F-35B carries less than it's sisters when doing STOVL.  The internal bomb station is limited to 1,500 lb. and just 6,500 can be carried on the wings.  The optional future gun-pod will be available here too.

When the teeny-tiny guided small diameter bombs are available for the internal bay 8 weapons can be carried with the stealth intact in all three variants.  Even more fun is the GBU-53/B is a glide type bomb so it's stand-off.

Racks for up to 16 more can be carried externally.

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