Around fighter-bombers F-35, which American advertisers “appointed” the best aircraft in the world, the clouds are gathering. And “appointed” not only in the segment, but also among all cars of front aircraft. Moreover, they are still tipped laurels of strategic aircraft.
Almost 220 aircraft of three modifications have already been transferred to the air force, Navy and KMP (marine Corps) — A (for ground airfields), B (with a shortened take-off and vertical landing for universal landing ships of the KMP) and C (for aircraft carriers). But only 2% of the “exploited” in the Navy F-35C are able to perform all the tasks assigned to them (patrolling, bombing, air battles, communication with the group, etc.). For other modifications a little better: F-35B — 16%, F-35A — 34%. Only one task can perform less than half of the machines. But it is clear, with such functionality planes are not necessary to anyone. The sad (for the Pentagon) situation has developed and with the possibility of aircraft of all three modifications not only to perform someone task, and in General to break away from the ground or from the deck. In 2018, 7 consecutive months, the aircraft could 30% of the allotted time for flights to climb into the sky. In the remaining months of the year, this figure was 20%. This year, despite the lack of statistics, the situation could not improve, but only worsen. Because in the squadrons there is an acute shortage of spare parts. It comes to “cannibalism”, that is, with some aircraft parts are removed and installed on others.
There are two reasons for this shameful phenomenon. First, the company-developer and manufacturer of the aircraft “Lockheed-Martin” at the planning stage of production could not assume that the F-35 would be such an unreliable machine. In the process of operation (yet not hard) the reliability of nodes to be so low, not corresponding to the calculated data. We had to urgently increase the production of spare parts. But even this forcing does not meet the increasing demand for spare parts.
Secondly, the logistics system under such heavy loads began to fail. To some extent, this is due to the fact that the nodes for this aircraft are produced not only in the United States but also in a number of countries that have cooperated with Lockheed-Martin. And orders passed on to the consumer with the big delay. And then completely lost in the way. And this is not a full load on the supply system, because our army plans to use not 220, but 2440 aircraft in the future, which is 11 times more.
However, there is a possibility that the situation with the production of not only spare parts, but also the aircraft itself will deteriorate dramatically. Because Turkey, participating in cooperation, intends to withdraw from the project. And it produces for the F-35 all three modifications of the fuselage elements, hatches compartments, which houses the internal weapons, displays for the cockpit and a number of other elements.
By the way, (and inappropriately for the Pentagon) relative to the fuselage, wing, and tail there is a very serious problem. Which under certain conditions is able to deprive the aircraft of its main advantage — stealth. The fact that the F-35 with alarming speed, not provided for in the design, degrades and destroys the stealth coating, the composition of which is secret. And the “naked” plane becomes perfectly visible for aviation radars. (For radar modern air defense systems it is clearly visible and coated).
It turned out that three reasons contribute to this. Less likely to “undress” ground aircraft F-35A. They have a coating is destroyed when flying at supersonic speeds. This occurs from the aerodynamic heating of the outer skin of the hull and wing, and from high wind loads.
Significantly worse things are the aircraft for aircraft carriers — F-35S. The destruction of the coating, in this case, contributes to the aggressive marine environment. Air saturated with salts is a chemically active reagent. At the same time, the greatest danger for the stealth coating is represented by flights at low altitudes, where the concentration of chemically active substances is the highest. At high altitudes, the effect is not so strong. Of course, this aircraft is adversely affected by supersonic flights, although the maximum speed of all three modifications is not so high — 1900 km/h.
And most of all suffers from the coating F-35, which is also operated in marine conditions — on the universal amphibious assault ships. An additional destructive factor for them is significant vibrations that occur during a shortened takeoff.
This is a very serious problem. If the coating of the wing or fuselage on the all-in-one structural elements is destroyed, its restoration is assumed in the factory. What further reduces the readiness of the fleet. And the factory “Lockheed Martin” in the state of Texas on a plane coating is applied for three days.
In emergency cases, of course, you can fly and partially “naked” plane. Strictly speaking, this is not a complete loss of stealth laid by the designers. Because the radio-absorbing coating works to reduce the effective scattering area in conjunction with the geometry of the aircraft. The geometry is chosen such that the waves from the enemy radar “slipped” from the skin of the aircraft, that is, reflected not back to the radiating radar, and to the side.
However, in the case of even a partial loss of stealth is more rational to use some other machines that do not claim to “invisibility”, but the flight characteristics are significantly ahead of the F-35, which was nicknamed “pregnant penguin” for the resemblance. And in this part ahead of it all currently operated American front-line aircraft, ranging from the “long-lived” F-16. Perhaps, even attack aircraft A-10 capable to do in the air more useful, than F-35.
That is, all the talk about the versatility of this aircraft, which allegedly in air combat, will destroy any enemy fighter, is absolutely groundless. So in the classification name, “fighter-bomber” should leave only one word — “bomber”. That is, they can have a good machine. However, it provided weak resistance of the enemy.
In late April, the Americans first used the modification of the F-35A is not in battle, according to media reports, citing the press service of the Central Command of the US air force, and to strike at ground targets. Two of the bomber, deployed at the airbase of al-Dhafra in the UAE, struck a cache of weapons the militants of ISIS* in the North of Iraq. It is not reported whether the blows were successful. last year, the ILC used carrier-based bombers, the F-35 for strikes against terrorist bases in Afghanistan. In both cases, it was “easy walks”, because the terrorists do not have the means to defeat the F-35.
Where assertive from time to time was the Israelis bombed an Iranian base in Syria. However, after delivery by Russia to the Syrian defense forces three divisions of the s-300ПМ2, which still, by the way, was not on combat duty, the Israeli pilots were much more careful. Though for some time and told how to break the C-300 in chips.
From the above, we can conclude that the plane, in fact, turned out the same as it was conceived. Though with a number of errors that still cannot be eliminated. That is, the tactical and technical requirements for it were formulated at the end of the last century when the cold war was won “finally and irrevocably.” In the military doctrine of the United States, neither Russia nor China as potential enemies did not appear. It seemed that from now on the American hegemony is not threatened “neither now nor ever, nor forever and ever.” The main and the only opponent were considered various terrorist forces. But against them, and imprisoned the F-35. But now we have to inflate the cheeks and try to prove to the world that this aircraft is the crown of the creation of aircraft designers, against which all other aircraft are absolutely insignificant.