Con-ops, Competition and Capability

 October 28th, 2009

Letter by former Wing Commander Chris Mills addressed to Ed Timperlake

Re: Ed Timperlake’s  Comments on Air Power Australia Assessments of AESA Radar Competitions

We thank you for your generous comments. I don’t think I have quite reached the lofty heights of John Boyd P and his sub S– energymaneuverability research, but as a former Mirage IIIO pilot, the whole concept of energy manoeuvre was a very useful concept, and one that saved my 6 o’clock many times and got me unusual kills – e.g. fighting RN Harriers over the South China Sea.  This was like ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ as their lack of manoeuvre allowed us to stay high and hot and dive for a guns or sidewinder kill when in the right position.

And so it will be for the F-35B vs the Su-35S.

As a Marine and former CO of VMFA-321, you might like to take a peek at this APA NOTA ( Our analysis is that in engagements Su-35S vs the F-35 in all versions will be a turkey shoot, and we have tried to find serious alternatives that will provide competitive air combat advantages for the USAF, USN and USMC. The images you see in that NOTAM are not artist impressions – they are screenshots of an X-Plane simulation I made of the F-22N operating from USN sized carrier. I added canards that deploy as nosewheel doors on the
F-22N. I could get the F-22N off the deck at 81,000 lbs and make a trap at 145 KIAS at 60,000 lbs – about the same weights as the F-14. So, in theory at least, the F-22N is a feasible concept.   

Have a look generally at the APA NOTAMS – I think there is a lot of material that a professional aviator will understand and appreciate (

Our overall thesis is that Russia, China and India are all thinking about future warfare that is quite a different time-frame and focus than the short term USA obsession with the “War On Terror’.  By the time the USA wakes up to what the threat really is, it will have squandered the time and investment required to create superior weapons systems and its combat fleets will be obsolete and out of service life. The looming trillion dollar deficits required to fund social programs like health services and aged care will leave less revenue for Defence than today. 

Thanks again for the assessment of our work, and I hope you can make use of some of the other NOTAMS and analyses. 

Chris Mills, AM, MSc (USAFIT), BSc
Wing Commander (Active Reserve) AKA ‘Milo

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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