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The F-35: Flying Symbol of Out of Control Bureaucracy

 
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2015 08:29 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:
UNLESS of course we simply kept them out in the open Pacific 5000 miles from the Asian mainland but, then, what's the point??

a) There have been proposals for weapons that would allow carriers to bomb land targets from that distance.

b) Even if none of the proposals mentioned in "a" are developed, carriers can be used for things besides bombing land targets, like interdicting shipping in the middle of the ocean. If our carriers are forced to stay out of 10% of the world's oceans, they could in turn force enemy vessels to stay out of the other 90%.

Preventing Russian or Chinese shipping from entering 90% of the world's oceans would have nearly the same effect as a successful blockade.


gungasnake wrote:
Against Russia and/or China, they'd all be sunk very quickly.

It would take a direct hit from a tactical nuke to sink a modern American carrier.

Look at the way the USS Cole stayed afloat with that massive hole blown in its side partially below the waterline in that 2000 terrorist attack. The Cole is small and flimsy compared to a Nimitz-class carrier.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2015 08:44 am

A bit off topic, but we're about the select the next stealth bomber:
http://www.cowendaily.com/long-range-strike-bomber-contract-worth-75-bln-likely-to-be-awarded-on-sept-18/5567/

I'm hoping for Northrop Grumman. I like what they did with the B-2 and I trust them better to stick to a pure flying wing design. Plus it will help us keep a broader weapons industrial base if we keep them in business.

Also hoping for GE engines (for the purpose of keeping a broader weapons industrial base).
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2015 08:36 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
A bit off topic, but we're about the select the next stealth bomber:

An article that is both about the new stealth bomber and about the F-35 and its problems:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/08/can-a-new-stealth-bomber-make-up-for-america-s-crappiest-warplane.html
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2015 09:09 pm
@oralloy,
If we need any new bombers we should just purchase them from somebody who's actually good at making them....

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSLt9iFC1UFILpvdxcBUEMI9wxBJDfbIq-1zgufgFXYzfTu2fVZ

Hopefully, Bork Obunga's friends in ISIS are gonna be getting a real good look at a few of those shortly.
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2015 09:14 pm
@gungasnake,
http://warfare.be/0702ey70/update/september2010/4/tu160-2.jpg
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2015 10:32 pm
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:
If we need any new bombers we should just purchase them from somebody who's actually good at making them....

We need flying wing bombers though.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horten_H.XVIII
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2015 11:04 pm
Quote:
CAPITOL HILL: After several years of appearing to dislike the F-35C, or at least appearing lukewarm to buying it, the Navy today finally revealed why it wants to buy more F-18Gs from Boeing.

Basically, it all boils down to the fact that the F-18G, known as the Growler, emits a broader set of electronic warfare frequencies than does the F-35, Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, told reporters after today’s House Armed Services air and land force subcommittee hearing. The two planes flying together are a much more effective strike package, according to Navy analysis, than either one flying on its own. The F-18G “supplements and complements” the F-35, he said. In fact, Manazir said the new planes were not needed for strictly naval missions but for joint forces, including fighting alongside our allies.

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/03/why-the-navy-really-wants-22-more-fa-18gs/

Quote:
First, it showcases Welsh admitting, if not in so many words, that the F-35 won’t be a capable CAS platform until at least 2021. Even under this rubric, he caveats that it will do something called “high-end” CAS, which we take to mean CAS in a denied access environment. This is a valid requirement in a narrow number of imaginable scenarios, but it doesn’t mean the F-35 will be backwardly compatible with the meat-and-potatoes, broadly required, tightly coordinated CAS mission the A-10 currently performs in support of large-scale ground operations by maneuvering forces.

In other words, the F-35 will never be anywhere near as effective as the A-10 at traditional CAS, something proponents of the mission have long known and contended.

Second, this shows how frightened Welsh is of a CAS face-off between the A-10 and F-35 – especially one over which the Air Staff has no control and limited influence. His initial attempt to marginalize the idea before realizing it was non-negotiable was an attempt to avoid a direct comparison between the two platforms on terms unfavorable to the F-35.

Welsh knows — or should know — that such a comparison will show the F-35 has been oversold as a CAS weapon, and that it is years from being even modestly capable in the mission set. His loss of rhetorical coherence reflects a sort of wobbliness, which in turn reflects fear about the potential impact to the service’s modernization priorities if the F-35 is exposed as toothless in one of its hyped mission areas. It’s one thing for a weapon to come up short. It’s another for the service’s credibility to be publicly impeached.

But the wobbling didn’t start this week. Sources tell me anonymously that CSAF and Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, have been getting unfavorable reports about the F-35’s CAS performance for months, even as they’ve continued to tout its promise. One source shared that newly evident air refueling difficulties mean the jet can’t be fully topped off and takes excessively long to receive an onload from an air refueling tanker.

http://www.jqpublicblog.com/csafs-public-unraveling-exposes-anxiety-about-f-35-program/

One plane to do it all only works if it can do it all well. Apparently this is not the case with the F-35
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2015 12:16 am
@hawkeye10,
35 proponents are in CYA mode.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2015 03:54 am
@hawkeye10,
The additional Growler purchases might be to keep Boeing's warplane factory open if they select Northrop Grumman for the new bomber contract.

The Air Force claims that with all the mandatory budget cuts they cannot afford to keep the A-10.

I have no idea if that is true or if they are merely putting their least favorite plane on the chopping block first, but it is certainly the case that each additional type of warplane means additional parts supplies and additional training expenses. If they can eliminate an entire type of warplane, it will save a lot more money than it would appear from the mere reduction in the number of planes.

Also, the Air Force is about to hand someone a $75 billion check to build a new generation of stealth bombers. That might make money extremely tight everywhere else in their budget.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2015 04:01 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
One plane to do it all

...and in the darkness bind them. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2015 04:35 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
The Air Force claims that with all the mandatory budget cuts they cannot afford to keep the A-10.

I have no idea if that is true or if they are merely putting their least favorite plane on the chopping block first, but

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-usafs-rationale-for-retiring-the-a-10-warthog-is-bu-1562789528

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/06/25/gao-report-air-force-a10-justification/29285967/

http://www.petition2congress.com/11663/turn-over-control-a-10-thunderbolt-ii-to-us-army
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2015 11:45 am
@oralloy,
This program is 7 years behind, the planes per copy will cost at least double what was intended, and we will need to spend at least $2 billion to fix planes that are already built but dont work right because the airforce accepted them.....Ya, I want a second opinion on the A-10. This is one of the rare times when Congress micro managing of DOD has been a good thing.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2015 10:32 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
Quote:
But, the F-22 Raptor will have to support the F-35. And here comes another problem. When the Raptor was produced it was flying “with computers that were already so out of date you would not find them in a kid’s game console in somebody’s home gaming system.” Still, the U.S. Air Force was forced to use the stealth fighter plane as it was, because that was the way the spec was written. But now, the F-22 must be upgraded through a costly service life extension plan and modernisation program because, “If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22,” says Hostage to Air Force Time

That is the Air Force's plan for how to cope if they end up with 2000 F-35s but no more F-22s.

If they embed their handful of F-22s in a cloud of F-35s, the F-35s can feed all sorts of targeting data to the F-22s, which can then do the actual fighting.

The Navy is coming up with the same sort of plan that the Air Force came up with -- use their F-35s to feed data to their F/A-18s, and then let the F/A-18s do the fighting:

http://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-u-s-navy-doesn-t-seem-to-care-that-the-f-35-can-t-dogfight-9bebd1cb5e26
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2015 10:33 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
The X-47B is being retired. So I'm guessing they probably have something better to replace it already.

http://storiesbywilliams.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/x-47b_over_coastline1.jpg?w=396&h=221
Quote:
Will The F-35 Be The Last Manned Fighter Jet? Physics, Physiology, and Fiscal Facts Suggest Yes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddharrison/2015/04/29/will-the-f-35-be-the-last-manned-fighter-jet-physics-physiology-and-fiscal-facts-suggest-yes/

Actually it looks like the Navy's unmanned combat drone program was sabotaged because it was seen as a threat to manned aviation:

http://news.usni.org/2014/07/31/uclass-requirements-shifted-preserve-navys-next-generation-fighter
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2015 01:59 am
Quote:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/dwightdei112029.html#qr7RmxXVEHIzkI3v.99
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2015 03:06 am
@gungasnake,
Quote:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ike was a real obstacle to arming the military all through his presidency.

He went around telling people that we weren't going to develop nukes larger than 10-15 megatons. And then when the weapons labs tried to go forward with the development of really big nukes, he undercut them by saying they'd be making a liar out of him.

He instituted that annoying rule that the military couldn't target anything with a weapon larger than 2 megatons unless they could justify why a smaller yield wasn't sufficient.

When the military requested enough resources to ensure the destruction of 90% of enemy nukes, he told them that he would be satisfied with 70%. At least the military was able to undo this last one after he left office.

Even back during WWII he tried to stop the A-bombing of Japan.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2015 05:49 am

Interesting list of the most wasteful military spending projects:

http://www.ranker.com/list/biggest-military-wastes-of-money/mike-rothschild

#2 on the list is Hitler's Atlantic Wall.

Any guesses as to #1?
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2015 07:48 am
@oralloy,
Pretty impressive.....
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 02:01 pm
@oralloy,
I think you are indulging in a bit of hyperbole with respect to Eisenhower. He certainly did limit some excessive proposals for weapons development during the Cold War , however, under his leadership we still developed a vast military superiority with respect to the Soviet Union. He was simply wise enough to know when our real goals had been met. He was also cautious in the use of U.S. military forces overseas. He refused a request by the the beleagured French for the use of nuclear weapons during the seige of Dien Bien Phu in their war with the Viet Minh, but he later started our involvement with South Vietnam, making the first of our deployment of military forces there. He also (very early in his first term) unwisely (in my view) succomed to earnest British protests that we help them execute a coup in Iran to overthrow the elected PM Moussadegh and restore the Shah to absolute power (this so the British labor government could continue enforcing a very one sided petroleum deal with Iran (needed they said so the Labor party could finance the NHS). (I have long suspected he later regretted that decision and that likely contributed to his stern rebuke when two years later Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt and Suez.),

In any event today's news reports indicate that the FD-35 has successfully completed it's aircraft carrier suitability trials on USS Eisenhower - a ship I served on as XO. That's a big deal. The issue of whether a new aircraft has sufficient range, payload and combat maneuverability (these are generally conflicting and hard-to-achieve-together attributes) is very common in new aircraft development and there are examples to reinforce the views of folks on both sides of the matter. The F4 Phantom succeeded earlier eforts to build fast interceptors with, limited maneuverability, but long range air to air missiles to "make limited maneuverability unnecessary". It turned out the missilles were neither reliable nor effective enough to make that proposition work. However the F4 was a good deal more maneuverable than its predecessors (though not as maneuverable as other contemporary fighters like the F8U Crusader - which has it's own serious limitations); had good range and high payload capabilities; serving very effectively in many roles for the Airr Force, Navy and Marine Corps for over two decades. The F-18 ,when it was introduced, was heavily criticized as having too little range, payload and advanced electronic systems capability. (I participated in some of the early flight testing of F-18s in the 1970s.) There was truth in those criticisms, but the aircraft also offered some huge advances in design, construction, maneuverability and ease of maintenance and operations. Later modifications to the aircraft solved the range/payload issues while ongoing advances in the precision and relaibility of air to air and air to ground weapons reduced the need for high payloads. F-18s have been operating very successfully now for over 30 years. However it is time for an upgrade.

Initial judgments on aircraft are often proved wrong in operation. The P-51 Mustang was initially deemed a failure, despite it's then revolutionary new laminar flow wing design, until someone had the brillliant idea of upgrading it with a huge Rolls Royce in line engine... the rest is history.

Maneuverability in a fighter is important, but not all important. In WWII we never deployed an aircraft as maneuverable or better gunned than the Japanese Zero. However we did develop and deploy aircraft (F4U Corsairs, F7F Hellcats, P-38 Lightnings) that combined greater speed, acceleration, endurance and armor to render the Zero's advantages useless in combat.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 05:40 pm
We simply should not be spending huge sums of money on these kinds of things any more. It should not be that difficult to work out our problems with Russia and China and there are no other potential adversaries for which any such weapons would be needed.
 

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