Author Topic: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)  (Read 1675240 times)

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Offline Colin P

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4450 on: July 29, 2019, 20:44:46 »
Well if Canada bows out, Japan will take up the slack. I would say that our aviation industry is now on notice.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4451 on: July 30, 2019, 11:23:39 »
Looks like South Korea following Japan's F-35B lead, getting into STOVL carrier business:

Quote
South Korea Moving Toward F-35B Acquisition

South Korea’s most recent fighter acquisition program gave the air force the type that it wanted, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning, but not in the numbers it wanted. The budget stretched only to 40 fighters, not 60, and ever since the air force has hankered for the other 20.

But those 20 additional aircraft may be F-35Bs instead, according to an industry source who says the air force is working toward the acquisition. Meanwhile, the defense ministry has confirmed plans for an assault ship that could operate such fighters, which are capable of short takeoff and vertical landing.

The air force is moving to initial operational capability with the first batch, which were ordered in 2014 following a 2013 selection. Missions for F-35 units will include strikes against strategic targets, such as mobile missile launchers, the government says.

When the F-35A selection was announced, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said that a later order for 20 more fighters could be subject to changed requirements. Still, the air force continued to lobby for another 20 F-35As, sources familiar with the matter have said. But its interest has lately switched to F-35Bs, the industry source tells Aviation Week. These fighters would be bought under a program called F-X Phase 4. No timing was disclosed. Separately, the Jongang Ilbo newspaper reports that an order for 20 F-35Bs is indeed planned. It adds that the assault ship will be able to accommodate 16 such fighters.

While F-35Bs might be justified as useful for operating from bases wrecked by North Korean missile bombardment, the switch in versions appears to be driven by the prospect of operating a ship somewhat like an aircraft carrier—and perhaps by an ambition to match Japanese plans to do the same.

Construction of the assault ship, under project LPX-2, has been approved, a defense ministry spokesperson tells Aviation Week, adding that this would be a long-term acquisition process. The type of aircraft to be operated from the ship is still under study, the spokesperson says.

The “aircraft carrier” will be put into service by 2030 at a cost of 3 trillion won ($2.5 billion), says YTN television, adding that equipping it with F-35Bs will cost a further 2 trillion won.

According to the Jongang Ilbo, the ship will be 250 m (820 ft.) long and displace 40,000 tons when fully loaded. That makes it closely comparable to the largest U.S. assault ships, with which it will share the LHD configuration—having a full-length flight deck for helicopter (and sometimes airplane) operations and a well deck, or dock, for accommodating and launching landing craft. Unlike U.S. LHDs, but similar to those of other countries, the South Korean ship will have a ski jump, a ramp at the bow for assisting horizontal takeoffs, the paper reports.

An LHD with fighters hardly seems relevant to defense against North Korea, the territory of which can be easily reached from South Korean airfields. But President Moon Jae-In said in May 2018: “Even if the relationship between South Korea and North Korea improves, the South Korean military should have capabilities to respond to unspecified and diverse threats.”

China is an obvious threat and, according to South Korean defense thinking, so is Japan. Moreover, South Korea has a well-established habit of following Japan in acquiring prestigious defense equipment or capabilities. Japan said in December that it would acquire F-35Bs and modify two helicopter carriers to operate them [emphasis added].

The Japanese ships, Izumo and Kaga, displace only 27,000 tons at full load. But they are dedicated to operating aircraft, with few compromises for auxiliary roles such as amphibious assault. And they are capable of 30 kt.; assault ships typically have maximum speeds below 25 kt...
https://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft/south-korea-moving-toward-f-35b-acquisition

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4452 on: July 30, 2019, 13:55:57 »
More on Israeli F-35s in action:
Quote
In Major Shift, Israel Twice Struck Iranian Targets in Iraq 'Using F-35'
Citing Western diplomats, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reports two strikes this month northeast of Baghdad mark an expansion of Israeli attacks against Iranian targets

    Israel struck Syrian army bases in the country's south, report says
    Israel targeted sites of Iranian-backed forces in Syria attack, reports say
    Hezbollah operative said killed by Israel recruited members in Syrian Golan Heights

Israel has expanded the scope of its anti-Iranian attacks and struck targets in Iraq, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday [July 30].

According to the report, which cites anonymous Western diplomats, Israel struck Iranian warehouses storing arms and missiles at Camp Ashraf, north-east of Baghdad, twice in the past month...
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iraq/.premium-israel-reportedly-struck-iranian-weapons-depots-in-iraq-1.7604353/.premium-israel-reportedly-struck-iranian-weapons-depots-in-iraq-1.7604353


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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4453 on: August 21, 2019, 11:26:17 »
Excellent round-up of history and status of F-35 program by Valerie Insinna of Defense News, in the NY Times Magazine (imagine such a non-politically torqued major article in the Canadian media):

Quote
Inside America’s Dysfunctional Trillion-Dollar Fighter-Jet Program
The F-35 was once the Pentagon’s high-profile problem child. Has it finally moved past its reputation of being an overhyped and underperforming warplane?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/magazine/f35-joint-strike-fighter-program.html

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4454 on: August 31, 2019, 10:32:37 »
Two pieces:

1) RAF F-35Bs will operate from HMS Queen Liz for first time, alongside USMC planes (with video):

Quote
HMS Queen Elizabeth Sets Sail From Portsmouth
A British F-35B fighter jet will land on her deck for the first time as part of Westlant 19.

Britain's largest-ever warship has set sail for the US, where British fighter jets will take off from her flight deck for the first time.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, a £3 billion aircraft carrier, is deploying to the east coast of the United States where her crew will work alongside the US Navy for operational testing of British F-35B Lightning jets.

The tests are part of Westlant 19, which will see the carrier work alongside American and British ships, helicopters and fighter jets.

In total, seven British F-35Bs are taking part, as well as pilots, deck crew and F-35s from the US Marine Corps.

Commodore Mike Utley, Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG), said: It's a massive enterprise of thousands of people that will deploy on this next deployment who will take the next step from being able to operate Lightning aircraft from this ship and put that all together with the broader capability set.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon and Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland will sail alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of a Carrier Task Group.

Last year saw a similar exercise take place, but this time, there will be more personnel on the ship...


The aircraft carrier passes Portsmouth's city walls (Picture: Royal Navy).
https://www.forces.net/news/hms-queen-elizabeth-prepares-set-sail-portsmouth

2) Meanwhile in UK:

Quote
Check Out These Photos Of USAF B-2s And RAF F-35Bs Flying Together For The First Time
Three B-2s are in the United Kingdom to take part in various training exercises including these first-of-their-kind sorties with foreign F-35s.
...
A core component of the multi-national F-35 program has been about enabling the different operators, particular those of whom are NATO members, to further increase their ability to conduct operations together and exchange information using the jet's powerful sensor fusion capabilities. That latter point means that Joint Strike FIghters will be able to "quarterback" and act as key leaders during future coalition operations.

In the United Kingdom has been especially keen to explore the expanding potential for cooperation that the Joint Strike Fighters afford. U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs have been training alongside their British counterparts already ahead of plans to deploy onboard the first-in-class aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth when it sets out on its inaugural operational deployment, which is slated to occur in 2021. The ship is presently on its way to the United States where it will embark front-line Marine F-35Bs for the first time for operational trials to support preparations for that cruise.

In addition, F-35s, as with other fifth-generation fighter jets, are expected to operate in areas that are too dangerous for non-stealth aircraft to venture. The B-2s, as well as the future B-21 Raider stealth bombers, also exist to provide the ability to strike targets deep within dense hostile air defense networks. As such, it is possible that future coalition operations, including those with NATO members in the lead, could include F-35s and B-2s operating in these denied areas where it could be important for them to understand how to at least coordinate their activities.

...The United States has already stepped up routine deployments of B-2s and other bombers to Europe in recent years, primarily as part efforts to deter any potential Russian aggression and reassure allies and partners in the region.

At the same time, they have become visible parts of major training exercises across Europe, including the B-2's very public first-ever visit to Iceland just this week. As The War Zone already highlighted at the time, sending the stealth bomber there was a significant demonstration of the Air Force's efforts to explore and expand its ability to use less common locations to support operations involving its most advanced combat aircraft. This could be especially important during a future high-end conflict or other crisis in which established bases, such as RAF Fairford, may become unavailable.

All told, as NATO members, including the United States, continue to deploy more and more F-35s and integrate them into their routine operations, and if American bomber deployments to the region continue as they have been, it seems likely that we will only see more exercises that involve cooperation and coordination between them in the future.


The two US Air Force B-2s and two RAF F-35Bs pose against the Dover countryside on Aug. 29, 2019.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29631/check-out-these-photos-of-usaf-b-2s-and-raf-f-35bs-flying-together-for-the-first-time

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4455 on: August 31, 2019, 22:28:52 »
HMS QE will be in Halifax to make nice with the RCN.  :D

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4456 on: September 03, 2019, 14:00:38 »
What about the program partners who are supposed to get the business?

Quote
Lockheed makes its pitch to Polish industry in exchange for F-35 deal

 American defense company Lockheed Martin is vying for a contract to supply 32 F-35 fighter jets to Poland by offering to deliver new-generation Block 4 versions and ensuring that selected components for the jets are produced by Polish manufacturers.

“If Poland decides to buy the F-35, it will receive Block 4 aircraft. This version will include a new computer, additional weapons and systems, and it will be able to be fitted with six missiles instead of four,” Greg Ulmer, the vice president and general manager responsible for the F-35 program at Lockheed Martin, told Defense News at the MSPO defense industry show.

The company official said Polish defense industry players are already part of the aircraft’s global supply chain, and deliver components for F-35s.

“So far, we’ve delivered 425 F-35s, and we’re on track to deliver 131 this year. In 2018, we delivered 91 fighters; and in 2017, 66 fighters. The peak in deliveries is expected to come in 2024,” Ulmer said. “By 2030, we expect there will be 500 F-35s in Europe. Once Polish companies are approved as our supplier partners, they could make parts not only for the Polish aircraft, but also for those supplied to other countries, such as the U.S. or Japan [? emphasis added].”

In May, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said his ministry sent a letter of request to the U.S. regarding Poland’s plan to acquire the F-35. Warsaw aims to replace its Air Force’s outdated, Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 jets with fifth-generation fighters.
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/09/03/lockheed-makes-its-pitch-to-polish-industry-in-exchange-for-f-35-deal/

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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4457 on: September 03, 2019, 14:43:00 »
What about the program partners who are supposed to get the business?

You're only guaranteed so much if you're not buying the jet. There's also a lot more contracts going to be available when they pull completely out of Turkey.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4458 on: September 10, 2019, 15:51:50 »
The Italian job for the Netherlands:

Quote
First Dutch F-35A Assembled In Italy Makes Maiden Flight

AN-9 (F-009) made its first flight today.

The first Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35A built by the Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) at Cameri, in northwestern Italy, made its first flight earlier today.

The Italian FACO, a 101-acre facility including 22 buildings and more than one million square feet of covered work space, housing 11 assembly stations, and five maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade bays, is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Leonardo in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. According to Lockheed, 800 skilled personnel are engaged in full assembly of the Conventional Take-off/Landing F-35A and F-35B aircraft variants and is also producing 835 F-35A full wing sets to support all customers in the program. It has the only F-35B production capability outside the United States and was selected in December 2014 as the European F-35 airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade center for the entire European region.

AN-9 (F-009) is the ninth of the Netherlands’ 37 F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) stealth jets on order [Dutch want to get more, operate jointly with Belgians]. The aircraft will undertake test and acceptance flights in Italy before being delivered to the RNlAF at Leeuwarden Air Base next month.

The first eight F-35As are being assembled at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility in the U.S. with two F-35s already used for testing at Edwards AFB, California, and the rest destined to Luke Air Force Base for pilot training.

29 F-35A jets for the Royal Netherlands Air Force will be built at Cameri that has already assembled the F-35As for the Italian Air Force and the first F-35Bs for the Italian Navy (out of 60 CTOL and 30 STOVL procured by the Italian MoD [emphasis added).

The first two Dutch F-35A aircraft, AN-1 (F-001) and AN-2 (F-002), arrived at Leeuwarden air base, in the Netherlands, at the end of the type’s first eastbound transatlantic crossing, on May 23, 2016. The two aircraft started their journey to Europe from Edwards Air Force Base, California, and crossed the Pond as “NAF 81” (then “Archer 1” and “Archer 2”) after a stopover in Patuxent River, Maryland, supported by two KDC-10s. During their brief European deployment, on Jun. 10, 2016, the two RNlAF F-35s made the type’s international airshow debut during the “Luchtmachtdagen 2016” airshow at Leeuwarden Air Base. After a short “tour” in anticipation of the type’s final arrival slated for October 2019, F-001 and F-002 returned to the U.S.
https://theaviationist.com/2019/09/09/first-dutch-f-35a-assembled-in-italy-makes-maiden-flight/

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4459 on: September 11, 2019, 14:26:12 »
Poles ever closer to signing on for F-35A:

Quote
Poland cleared to buy F-35 fleet

 The U.S. State Department has ok’d Poland to buy the F-35, America’s most advanced fighter, setting up Poland as the newest customer for the fifth-generation jet.

The proposed order covers 32 of the conventional take off and landing F-35A variants, with an estimated price tag of $6.5 billion, according to a Wednesday announcement on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

While Congress can still act to block the sale, it is not expected to run into any major opposition on the Hill. As with all DSCA notifications, quantities and dollar figures can change during negotiations.

“This proposed sale of F-35s will provide Poland with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces,” the DSCA announcement reads. “The proposed sale will augment Poland’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.”

Poland formally sent its request for the F-35 back in May, with the goal of replacing its legacy MiG-29 and Su-22 fleets. Procuring the F-35 is part of a broader defense modernization effort from Warsaw, which will see the country spend $47 billion by 2026 on new equipment.

Along with the fighters themselves, the proposed package includes 33 F135 engines, electronic warfare and C4 systems, access to the fighter’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a full mission trainer, and other support capabilities.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the plane itself, with Pratt & Whitney the engine manufacturer. The deal will include some form of industrial offset, to be negotiated between the companies and Warsaw at a later date [emphasis added].

Lockheed executives have said Poland will be getting planes with the Block 4 package installed, and Greg Ulmer, Lockheed’s vice president and general manager for the program, has expressed an interest in having Poland take part in the industrial base for the planes.

“Once Polish companies are approved as our supplier partners, they could make parts not only for the Polish aircraft, but also for those supplied to other countries, such as the U.S. or Japan,” Ulmer said.

However, Poland shouldn’t get its hopes up for becoming a full-on partner with the F-35, as the Pentagon has been adamant that the broad industrial participation program is locked in place.
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/09/11/poland-cleared-to-buy-f-35-fleet/

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« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 14:29:35 by MarkOttawa »
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4460 on: September 11, 2019, 14:35:46 »
Defence for F-35A (further links at original):

Quote
The F-35A Is Set To Finally Get Chaff Countermeasures To Confuse Enemy Radars
These cartridges full of radar-reflecting material have been curiously absent from the stealthy fighter's already highly capable defense suite.

Air Force is hoping to integrate a new, advanced chaff countermeasure onto its F-35A Joint Strike Fighters next year, according to a report. The cartridges, which release radar reflective material to blind and confuse enemy aircraft and air defenses, are a staple across many of the service's other combat aircraft, but have been curiously absent from the stealthy F-35's otherwise extensive defensive suite.

Aviation Week's Defense Editor Steve Trimble, a good friend of The War Zone, was first to spot the detail on Sept. 9, 2019. The Air Force included the information about the new chaff cartridge, known presently as the ARM-210, in a draft environmental impact statement, dated August 2019, regarding the basing of F-35s at various Air National Guard facilities. The report includes a host of information on how the aircraft might impact their surrounding environments, including the potential release of countermeasures, such as infrared decoy flares and chaff.

"The ARM-210 chaff proposed for use by the F-35A is currently unavailable and undergoing operational testing," according to the environmental review. "It is expected to be available for use in 2020."

It is unclear whether this applies to the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B or U.S. Navy F-35C variants, as well, or any of the three variants in service with foreign air forces. The F-35's use or potential use of chaff has long been something of a debate, in general. Recent U.S. military budget documents and other sources make no mention of it among the aircraft's expendable countermeasures – flares and towed decoys – which had suggested that it was, indeed, a capability the Joint Strike Fighter lacked and might not necessarily have needed given its stealthy design.


Lockheed Martin
An image showing the general layout of the defensive systems on a Marine Corps F-35B. The general location of the infrared countermeasures (IRCM) dispensers, as well as Radiofrequency Countermeasures (RFCM) dispenser, loaded with flares and towed decoys respectively, are the same as on the F-35A. The IRCM dispensers will likely be used to fire the new ARM-210 chaff cartridges in the future.


However, F-35 simulators have included the ability to replicate this functionality, according to Trimble. He also noted that a briefing in 2018 from U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, then head of the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), had included a reference to "advanced chaff" as being part of the still-in-development Block 4 upgrades for the Joint Strike Fighters.

    Some have asserted that the F-35 doesn't use chaff. And that sort of makes sense. There's no evidence I'm aware of that its stealthy stablemates, the F-22 and B-2, possess a chaff dispenser. But you can find pic's of F-35 simulator screens showing a line for chaff dispensers. /2
    — Steve Trimble (@TheDEWLine) September 9, 2019

The ongoing testing of the ARM-210 now confirms that at least the Air Force plans to integrate chaff into its F-35As in the near future. This cartridge's specifications, and how it differs from RR-180 and RR-188 types the service already has as a countermeasure option for other combat aircraft, is unclear.

"ARM-210 chaff is similar to the RR-180 and RR-188 chaff currently in use by the F-16, F-15, and A-10 aircraft proposed for replacement [with the F-35]," the environmental impact report says, without offering any other details. "A  bundle of chaff consists of approximately 5 to 5.6 million fibers that are cut to reflect radar signals, and when dispensed from aircraft, form an electronic 'cloud' that breaks the radar signal and temporarily hides the maneuvering aircraft from radar detection," it says more generally.

Chaff, which dates back to World War II, originally consisted of aluminum strips cut to various lengths. More modern examples, use metallicized synthetic fibers, which help them hang in the air longer, offering more persistent effects. The Armtec RR-188, for example, uses bundles of aluminum-coated silica fibers. There have been a number of chaff releases within the United States in the past few years as part of training exercises that have highlighted just how long-lasting and far-ranging the clouds can become depending on release altitude and environmental factors. The size and composition of the fibers are directly connected to what radar bands the chaff affects, which can make them particularly effective against specific threats...
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29734/the-f-35a-will-finally-get-chaff-countermeasures-to-confuse-enemy-radars-next-year

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4461 on: September 11, 2019, 18:05:12 »
So something with the radar signature of a golfball is suddenly going to advertize its presence with a football field sized sign.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4462 on: September 11, 2019, 18:10:47 »
So something with the radar signature of a golfball is suddenly going to advertize its presence with a football field sized sign.

If they're at the point that they need chaff, that football-sized sign will let the golf ball slip away.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4463 on: September 11, 2019, 18:13:01 »
If they're at the point that they need chaff, that football-sized sign will let the golf ball slip away.

Ok I’m infantry so short sentences please.
I take it they’ve tested these things and observed it’s signature at points maybe not be what was expected.
Am I right?
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4464 on: September 11, 2019, 18:13:51 »
If they're at the point that they need chaff, that football-sized sign will let the golf ball slip away.

Fair point.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4465 on: September 11, 2019, 18:18:22 »
Ok I’m infantry so short sentences please.
I take it they’ve tested these things and observed it’s signature at points maybe not be what was expected.
Am I right?

Not quite. 

The F-35 has (supposedly) the radar return of a golf ball.  Generalizing a ton but for our purposes, chaff are thin strips of metal that airplanes throw out when a radar-guided missile is launched against them as a last-ditch attempt to evade.  The chaff blooms out into a cloud (ie. the "football sign") and the missile hopefully gets seduced into flying into that instead while the airplane is somewhere else.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4466 on: September 12, 2019, 00:33:21 »

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4467 on: September 12, 2019, 15:21:25 »
Glad to see Poland buying them, that will definitely give them a capability leaps & bounds above anything they’ve ever had.  I do worry though (although at this point the US seems to have been happy to give our adversaries the radar data they need) — letting Poland fly them around right beside Russia will surely give the Russians plenty of intel on them.  Wasn’t that the concern with turkey and the S400?
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4468 on: September 13, 2019, 13:22:24 »
Glad to see Poland buying them, that will definitely give them a capability leaps & bounds above anything they’ve ever had.  I do worry though (although at this point the US seems to have been happy to give our adversaries the radar data they need) — letting Poland fly them around right beside Russia will surely give the Russians plenty of intel on them.  Wasn’t that the concern with turkey and the S400?

The US is operating F-35s in Iraq right now with Syrian S-400s right next door. That's clearly not a concern.