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Last Updated: Mon Jan 27 11:18:09 UTC 2014






Joint Strike Fighter
JSF

In 2002, in a surprise decision, the then Defence Minister announced that the planned AIR 6000 flyoff to choose Australia's future fighter aircraft was to be effectively stopped, with the developmental Joint Strike Fighter declared to be the preferred aircraft type.

The Joint Strike Fighter is not designed to perform air superiority roles, unlike the larger F-22A, and is not well adapted to performing the penetrating long range strike role filled by the F-111 until 2010.

There has been considerable adverse press associated with JSF cost overruns, project delays, and other difficulties observed in this program.

The JSF Program and resulting aircraft designs have, since the very first days of the program, been burdened by fatal optimism, a total indifference to what is real, placement of form over substance, the acquisition malpractice of concurrency and the fact that the STOVL F-35B is the baseline for all three variants, having dictated and constrained most if not all key aircraft parameters in the definition and resulting design of the other two JSF variants.

The F-35 JSF aircraft designs will not meet specification nor the operational requirements laid down in the JSF JORD (Joint Operational Requirements Document) by significant degrees, noting that these operational requirements and resulting specifications, themselves, were predicated on the capabilities of reference threats from an era past and subsequently subjected to the illogical and deeply flawed process known as CAIV (Cost As and Independent Variable). 

The designs of all three JSF variants are presenting with critical single points of failure while even the most basic elements of aircraft design (e.g. weight, volume, aerodynamics, structures, thermal management, electrical power, etc.) will almost certainly end up in what Engineers call "Coffin Corner".

In essence, the unethical Thana Marketing strategy used to sell the JSF, along with the acquisition malpractice of concurrency in not only development, production and testing but the actual designs of the JSF variants, themselves, have resulted in the JSF marketeers writing cheques that the aircraft designs and
JSF Program cannot honour.

A more detailed summary of these points is available in Hansard, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, 07/02/2012, Inquiry into the Department of Defence annual report 2010-11 and associated Submissions by Air Power Australia. Further technical discussion can be found in the OSD DOT&E FY2012 Annual Report.

This website indexes a selection of relevant articles, submissions and papers.



First distributed publicly in December, 2011.

Is the JSF Really a Fifth Generation Fighter?
  Modern Fighters
Current Threat
5th Generation Fighter Capabilities
F-22A Raptor T-50 PAK-FA  Chengdu
J-20
F-35A JSF
Lightning II
Gen 4++
Su-35S
USA Russia China International Russia
Super Cruise Yes
> 1.7 Mach
(0)
Yes, ~1.8 Mach with persistence
(0)
Yes
(0)
No
(-1)
Yes
(0)
High Agility
Supersonic / Subsonic
Yes
(0)
Extreme Plus
(+1)
Yes
(0)
Neither
(-1)
Extreme
(+1)
High Specific Excess Power - Ps Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
No
(-1)
Yes
(0)
Thrust Vectoring Control - TVC 2-D
Yes
2-D
(0)
Yes
3-D
(+1)
 Accommodated
3-D
(0)
No
(-1)
Yes
3-D
(+1)
Highly Integrated Avionics Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Electronically Steered Array (ESA) Radar High Power Aperture
(+1)
High Power Aperture
(+1)
Yes
(0)
Medium Power Aperture
(0)
High Power
Aperture
(+1)
Sidelooking ESA Apertures Fitted For But Not With (FFBNW)
(0)
Yes
(+1)
Insufficient
Data
No
(-1)
Yes
(0)
High Situational Awareness (SA) - Onboard/Offboard Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Likely
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Supersonic Weapons Delivery Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
No
(Bomber Doors / Toed-In Carriage)
(-1)
Yes
(0)
Large Thrust to Weight
Multi-Engine
Thrust Growth
Yes
2 Engines
Large Growth
(0)
Yes
2 Engines
Large Growth
(0)
Yes
2 Engines
Large Growth
(0)
Middling T/W
One Engine
Little Growth
(-1)
Yes
2 Engines
Large Growth
(0)
High Combat Ceiling Loiter / Operate (plus > 7 deg/sec turn rate, sustained @ 30 kft) Yes
> 55 kft
Yes
(0)
Yes
> 60 kft
Yes
(0)
Yes
> 50 kft
Yes
(0)
No
< 45 kft
No
(-1)
Yes
> 55 kft
Yes
(0)
Very Low Observable RF Stealth / Low Observables All Aspect Wideband
(+1)
Yes or Partial
(0)
Yes or
Partial
(0)
Yes but Partial
(0)
Not Intended
(-1)
Good Non RF Observables
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
Yes
(0)
No
VOVS/WVE
(-1)
Not Intended
(-1)
Large Internal Usable Fuel Load (klbs) Yes >18 klbs
PLUS thermal cooling
fuel load ~2,000 lbs
(0)
Yes, ~22 klbs
includes fuel for thermal cooling
(0)
Yes, ~25 klbs
includes fuel for
thermal cooling
(+1)
No, <18 klbs
MINUS fuel for thermal cooling
(-1)
Yes
>23 klbs
(+1)
Internal Weapon Carriage Hard Point Stations Yes
6 + 2
(0)
Yes
6+2
(0)
Yes
6 + 2
(0)
Yes
4
(0)
Partial
(Tunnel Pod)
2 - 4
(-1)
ZOCT Scoring
by 5th Gen Metrics
+2 +4 +1
-10 +1
Table © 2009 - 2013, Peter Goon, Air Power Australia, Peter Goon & Associates.
Update Source Documents:
Initial release table 8th November, 2009: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-081109-1.html
T-50 PAK-FA Update Sources: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2010-01.html; http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2012-03.html
J-20 Update Sources:  http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-J-XX-Prototype.html; http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2011-03.html
F-35 Update Sources: http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_sdd.htm;http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/98RS02776/abstract;
http://www.wakenet3-europe.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/2nd_workshop/presentations/020-Barbaresco.pdf;
http://www.jsf.mil/







#1 - Joint Strike Fighter Affordability Failure

The JSF program sets new benchmarks for exceeding initially intended Unit Procurement Costs in a weapon system being developed. These publications detail the scope, scale and nature of the program's failure in this area.



Is the JSF Affordable? An Australian’s Perspective

F-35 JSF Program: When is “Affordability” Not?








#2 - Joint Strike Fighter Survivability and Lethality Failure


The JSF program is almost unique historically in the extent to which its intended survivability and lethality are mismatched against the operational environment in which the aircraft is intended to be used. These publications detail the scope, scale and nature of the program's failures in these areas.



Assessing Joint Strike Fighter Defence Penetration Capabilities

Assessing Joint Strike Fighter Air Combat Capabilities

How? The Deadly Question for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Fast Forward ‘Fast Transients’: John Boyd, the F-22 and F-35 in 2016

Why the F-22 and the PAK-FA have the “Right Stuff” and why the F/A-18 and the F-35 do not

PAK-FA, F-35, F-22 and “Capability Surprise”

Coffin Corners for the Joint Strike Fighter

Why F-22A Raptor instead of F-35A Joint Strike Fighter?

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter vs Russia's New Airborne Counter-Stealth Radars

F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission

Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II  -  Assessing the Joint Strike Fighter

JSF = Thunderchief II?

Is the JSF really good enough?

F/A-22As, JSFs and 21st Century air combat

JSF F-35 Program: How Many Miles Does an F-35A Go On a Tankful of Gas?

Air Combat: Russia’s PAK-FA versus the F-22 and F-35

Sukhoi's Lightning Strikes the F-35 JSF

F-35 JSF: Can It Meet Canada's Needs?

United Kingdom: F-35 or F-22?

Is the Joint Strike Fighter Right for Australia? Pt.1 / Pt.2

The Joint Strike Fighter Decision

Hedging the Bet-  JSF for the RAAF?

Lockheed-Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - Part 1 - A Cold War Anachronism?

Lockheed-Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - Part 2 - Sizing up the Joint Strike Fighter

Replacing the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Fighter, Strategic, Operational and Technical Issues








#3 - Joint Strike Fighter Governance Failure

The JSF program introduced an unprecedented governance scheme in which the customer became a defacto marketing entity acting on behalf of the supplier, and in which concurrent development and production were planned for. These publications detail the scope, scale and nature of the program's failure in this area.



JSF Top Level Programmatic Risk Assessment / Issue 7.2 16 July 2010


F-35A JSF: Not Even Second Place...

F-35 JSF: The Gamekeeper vs the Poachers.... JET Mk.II Juxtaposition and the 'Normalisation of Deviance'

F-35 JSF Program:  Assessment of Top Level Programmatic Risks

F-35 JSF: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Do No Good

F-35 JSF and the SecDef's Nightmare

F-35 JSF: Becoming Your Own Peer Threat . . .While Killing Off the “Best Bang for the Buck” Option - the F-22A Raptor

Mr Secretary - Why Does the Pentagon Say the JSF is a 5th Generation Fighter . .  Really?

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program: Collapse is a “When” Question, not an “If” Question

JSF, F-22, C-17 and the Hon Robert Gates: “Next war-itis” – Yet another dose of ‘alternate reality’

Accountability  vs  Indifference to What is Real

JSF: Through the Prism of Risk Management

JSF: Dr Kopp Responds to Maj Gen Davis

JSF: WGCDR Mills Responds to Maj Gen Davis

JSF Alternate Realities: … and from whence they come








#4 - Joint Strike Fighter Operational Supportability Failure

The JSF program has produced a design which will be unusually challenging to operate in established operational environments, requiring unprecedented changes to the operating environment rather than design. These publications detail the scope, scale and nature of the program's failure in this area.



F-35 SAR 31 Dec 09 Document: Request for Clarification No 002


F-35 Operating and Support Cost / December 31, 2009 SAR









F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Topics





Carlo Kopp
Air Power Australia
Mar 2007
Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II  -  Assessing the Joint Strike Fighter
Carlo Kopp
APA Analyses
APA-2009-01 Assessing Joint Strike Fighter Defence Penetration Capabilities
Carlo Kopp
APA Analyses APA-2008-08 Assessing Joint Strike Fighter Air Combat Capabilities
Carlo Kopp
APA Analyses APA-2008-03 Assessing Progress on the Joint Strike Fighter Program
Chris Mills APA NOTAM Jul 2010 How? The Deadly Question for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Peter Goon
APA NOTAM
Apr 2007
The Biggest Loser
Peter Goon APA NOTAM Feb 2008
Why F-22A Raptor instead of F-35A Joint Strike Fighter?
Chris Mills
APA NOTAM Jan 2009
Coffin Corners for the Joint Strike Fighter
Peter Goon APA NOTAM Feb 2009
JSF Alternate Realities: …and from whence they come
Carlo Kopp
APA NOTAM Mar 2009
F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
Peter Goon APA NOTAM Mar 2009
JSF: Through the Prism of Risk Management
Peter Goon APA NOTAM Arp 2009
F-22A Raptor: More Bang for the Buck than F-35 JSF….with Far Less Risk
Peter Goon ADA Defender
Q4 2005
Affordability and the new air combat capability [PDF]
Carlo Kopp
Defence Today
Sep 2005
Fighter Programs Face Uncertain Future [PDF]
Carlo Kopp and
Peter Goon
HeadsUp Newsletter
Issue 318
Is the JSF really good enough? [PDF]
Carlo Kopp
HeadsUp Newsletter Issue 322
F/A-22As, JSFs and 21st Century air combat [PDF]
Carlo Kopp
Australian Aviation Nov 2004
JSF = Thunderchief II? [PDF]
Carlo Kopp
Australian Aviation Apr 2004
Is the Joint Strike Fighter Right for Australia? Pt.1 [PDF]
Carlo Kopp
Australian Aviation May 2004
Is the Joint Strike Fighter Right for Australia? Pt.2 [PDF]
Carlo Kopp
Defence Today
Sep 2002
The Joint Strike Fighter Decision
Carlo Kopp
Australian Aviation Aug 2002
Hedging the Bet-  JSF for the RAAF?
Carlo Kopp
Australian Aviation Apr 2002
Lockheed-Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter -
Part 1 - A Cold War Anachronism?
Carlo Kopp
Australian Aviation May 2002
Lockheed-Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter -
Part 2 - Sizing up the Joint Strike Fighter
Carlo Kopp
Submission to the Minister for Defence May 1998
Replacing the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Fighter, Strategic, Operational and Technical Issues


The Parliamentary Debate [Click for more ...]
Related Links [Click for more ...]








JSF Limitations - Click for more ...
JSF vs F-22A - Click for more ...
What would an F-22A Raptor look like in RAAF colours?


JSF Inadequacy as F-111 Replacement - Click for more...







The Joint Strike Fighter best compares in its roles and missions, sizing and relative capabilities to the Republic F-105D Thunderchief, the workhorse of the US bombing effort during the Vietnam conflict. What is remarkable is the extent to which a similar roles/missions requirement, defined almost four decades later, produced a combat aircraft of nearly identical size and weight.  Like the F-105, the JSF is not designed to be a top end air superiority fighter, but is designed with was intended to be a robust self defence capability.


JSF vs F-105D Stations

F-105D thunderchief over Vietnam






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