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Why Did The US Navy Retire The S3B?  
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4780 posts, RR: 19
Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 12597 times:

That Aircraft and it's role as a long range, high speed sub hunter seemed invaluable.


Apart from the obvious wish just to save money by operating less types it's retirement seemed to leave a huge gap in the Carriers defensive capability.


Thoughts, opinions ?


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 12581 times:

Because they were no longer faced with a few hundred Soviet submarines chasing after them essentially.

The S-3 offered a valuable capability but it just was not needed as much in the post Cold-War environment. Some will argue with the emerging Diesel-Electric threats out there that you need it but in my view those are far more likely to be used as an area denial weapon and the biggest problem is they may well be operating in an area where you could not operate your aircraft with impunity.

The US pretty clearly intends to hunt for those kind of threats with its own submarines and submersible UAV's, at least when it is pressing forward in offensive operations. Defensively they will use the P-8 and UAV's for area work and helicopters for close in work.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2412 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12565 times:
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To expand on what BigJKU said, their ASW capability was actually eliminated from the aircraft (MAD booms removed, sonobuoy chutes faired over, etc.), well before the aircraft were actually retired - that's how little the USN thought of that particular mission at that time. At the time they retired, their primary role was anti-surface, and tanker.

And at the end of the day, these were 30+ year old airframes. I suspect the USN will want to reacquire some organic ASW asset for carriers as the submarine threat reemerges, but the S-3s would be in a world of trouble performing those missions at age 40-50.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12562 times:

Yeah, it just would not be that hard to put together a new S-3 really (well, the government could screw up buying sewage but anyway). Honestly all you need is a couple of small commercial, low consumption turbofans on a high-wing aircraft that can carry a few people onboard, a lot of fuel, a couple of torpedoes and a bunch of sonar buoy's. All the tech will be there from the P-3 really. You would just carry less of all of it on a different airframe.

I honestly don't think there will be huge interest in it though unless a new blue-water submarine threat emerges.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12546 times:

The primary method of finding submarines was and still is via acoustic arrays.

Once the arrays find a submarine - aircraft go out to localize the boat and verify the individual identity.

The S-3 mission was one to sweep the area near a carrier battle group beyond the reach of the small ships and helicopters. When there were several hundred Soviet attack and guided missile submarines in commission - it could be reasonably presumed that a couple were following every US CBG. The S-3 was designed to localize those.

Now with less than 50 Russian attack submarines today, and limited numbers of attack submarines of other nations - there isn't such an intense need for daily active ASW search. That need declined rapidly in the mid-90s.

Technology of the larger airborne aircraft has improved - and carrier deck space is always at a premium.

By the late 90s - the S-3s on active duty were no longer ASW aircraft - mainly used as tankers and anti-surface warfare with AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 SLAM/ER missiles. In the 1991 Gulf War - the S-3B did a lot of work - but almost no ASW role. All the ASW stuff was removed to make the plane lighter and better able to do the tanker and ASuW roles.

In the end - it came down to 30 year old aircraft no longer doing their primary misson.

But the size, patrol range and hardpoint capability keep the aircraft flying. NASA operates one, and VX-30 still has three supporting the Pacific Missile Test Range.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4780 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 12430 times:

Interesting. I always just thought it was a cool looking Aircraft.


Not very scientific, i just like it.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12961 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 12346 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):
Yeah, it just would not be that hard to put together a new S-3 really (well, the government could screw up buying sewage but anyway).

It seems the USN bought more C-2 frames in the mid 80s and all the earlier ones have been retired.

In the same time period it also bought more E-2 frames and USAF bought more U-2Rs.

And Uncle Ronnie decided to dust off the Wisconsin class BBs as well!

So, nothing is impossible, including seeing some newly minted S-3s.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4):
The primary method of finding submarines was and still is via acoustic arrays.

Are you thinking stationary, towed, dropped, or all of the above?

Quoting Max Q (Reply 5):
Interesting. I always just thought it was a cool looking Aircraft.

Not very scientific, i just like it.

No requirement to be scientific. It's a cool airplane.

Funny, one of my earliest memories in my career was a co-worker bitching about having to work with "ancient" stuff on the S-3 program, and that was in the mid 80s!  



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7658 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 12341 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):
Yeah, it just would not be that hard to put together a new S-3 really (well, the government could screw up buying sewage but anyway). Honestly all you need is a couple of small commercial, low consumption turbofans on a high-wing aircraft that can carry a few people onboard, a lot of fuel, a couple of torpedoes and a bunch of sonar buoy's. All the tech will be there from the P-3 really.

Makes you wonder why the US Navy is using high end a/c like the F-18E/F to act as a tanker which is required on almost all blue water operations, I think we need to look beyond the actual a/c and focus on the multi-purpose missions it was capable of performing, which have all been transferred to the Hornet other than anti-sub which have gone to the helicopters, lets hope the computers keep up.
We have an a/c which with a flick of a switch can go from air to air, air to ground (land and sea), weasel (being replaced with a dedicated frame), buddy stores, hopefully pilot training is sufficient to have the pilots work in sync with the computer modes.

The problem that the Navy faces is the same as the Air Force and the Army, the military industrial complex has decided that each new item must be a weapons platform which advances technology, so good luck trying to get them to produce a small commercial low consumption turbofan on a high wing a/c, if it was that simple a new and improved S3 would have been on the decks years ago rather than them continuing to operate 20 year old frames. Imagine such a frame being built a couple decades ago which would have served the tanker role, AEW role, surface patrol and possibly assist in COD missions.
Today, a RFP for such an a/c to relieve the burden on the Hornets, P8's, Hawkeyes (2D) and allow the carriers to operate further out to sea would probably cost in the billions and necessitate the retirement of the cruiser force (RAM on the carrier makes them redundant) and probably half the destroyer force (the subs are multi-mission) to afford the development and deployment, no different than what was killed / eliminated / made redundant to get the F-22 built in massive numbers  


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 12327 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4):
Now with less than 50 Russian attack submarines today, and limited numbers of attack submarines of other nations - there isn't such an intense need for daily active ASW search. That need declined rapidly in the mid-90s.

But I seriously doubt that to continue to be the trend. Russia is said to begin investing billions back into their Navy over the next decade, so along with they and China, ASW should still be a very important threat to consider for any CVBG.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7658 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 12299 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 8):
so along with they and China, ASW should still be a very important threat to consider for any CVBG.

I think the mantra is when we need it we will build it, or to put it another way, if we attempt to get it when the need for it is evident, it will be funded to the hilt, whatever the cost, an ounce of prevention is not always worth a pound of cure  


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 12294 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):
All the tech will be there from the P-3 really

The original (at least) ASW suite on the Canadian CP-140 Auroras (nee P-3 Orion) was lifted from the Viking. I am fairly sure improved during one of the MLUs.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 8):
But I seriously doubt that to continue to be the trend. Russia is said to begin investing billions back into their Navy over the next decade, so along with they and China, ASW should still be a very important threat to consider for any CVBG.

Putin's investments in defense will only be funded, IMHO, as long as the energy revenue continues to flow.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 12294 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
Are you thinking stationary, towed, dropped, or all of the above?

Stationary are the best and cover a lot of the operational areas. There is no longer a need for dedicated shore stations for each array. Such data is not consolidated and better analysis is available.

Strategic towed arrays can focus on operational areas not under stationary coverage. But again - there needs to be some indication from a stationary array as to where a towed array should be looking for subs.

Once a general location is determined, futher localization can be done with tactical level towed arrays and droppable sonobouys if desired.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12259 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 8):
But I seriously doubt that to continue to be the trend. Russia is said to begin investing billions back into their Navy over the next decade, so along with they and China, ASW should still be a very important threat to consider for any CVBG.

I will believe it when I see it. And I doubt it would ever be at the volume it was during the Cold War. A good part of the Russian threat was the fact that they never threw anything away. There were huge numbers of subs because they had been building them for 30 plus years and never getting rid of any of them. They dumped a ton of that crap in their down period and they still have nothing like the budget they had years ago.

China is an interesting case but they are a very long way from doing blue water operations with submarines at this point. They can buy them from the Russians but the Russians are going to be a bit cautious about selling them top end stuff anymore.


User currently offlinesprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1855 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 12215 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 7):
retirement of the cruiser force (RAM on the carrier makes them redundant) and probably half the destroyer force


I wouldnt put too much faith in the RAM. As I was an FFG sailor, one of the "missions" we had was to catch a Soviet missle instead of it hitting a carrier when the missle mag was empty. Same goes for the CG/DDG force. Also the CG/DDGs carry Tomahawks.

I bet the biggest reason they were killed was they arent "Sexy". Why spend less money on a plain jane multirole non-high-tech airframe when you can spend four times the price on a stud-muffin F/A 18 E/F/G/H all the way to Z?

Same goes for the AF when it comes to the A-10.
Same goes for the littoral combat ships, why do they need to be steathy? where is the big gun needed for NGFS? Do they really need to go 50kts? Sorry for that, being a real tin can sailor (the Burke class are CG size ships, the last "destroyer" that was a "tin-can" was the Adams class DDG) sometimes you just need something small, quick(say 30-40 kts) with a decent sized gun (no less than 5 inch, the 76mm on the Perrys were nice but..) and able to defend its self (maybe an 8 or 16 cell Mk-41 VLS). END RANT

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 12172 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):
I wouldnt put too much faith in the RAM. As I was an FFG sailor, one of the "missions" we had was to catch a Soviet missle instead of it hitting a carrier when the missle mag was empty. Same goes for the CG/DDG force. Also the CG/DDGs carry Tomahawks.

First I think that post you are replying too was made very tongue in cheek. Second, everything I have read states that RAM is a very good anti-missile system. It has achieved very high kill rates and is often doing so by achieving skin to skin hits of its targets. If it comes to that things are not going well in the first place though as it really ought to be dealt with by the CAP, SM-2's, SM-6's and ESSM's the fleet is carrying around in large numbers.

That being said I would much rather have RAM as my goalkeeper on the backline than Phalanx or Goalkeeper. It would do fairly well in that emergency role and fits in as part of the overall system.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):
I bet the biggest reason they were killed was they arent "Sexy". Why spend less money on a plain jane multirole non-high-tech airframe when you can spend four times the price on a stud-muffin F/A 18 E/F/G/H all the way to Z?

I like the presumptions that the military is stupid. They are the ones who ordered the S-3 in the first place. The fact of the matter is that the USN had a dedicated ASW aircraft for a long time. When the threat went away, so did the aircraft. If it comes back (in a blue rather than brown water arena) then you will likely see ASW aircraft back on carriers. It is not like the US abandoned the field (they are building the P-8 which has all the tech you need for the mission after all) and they continue to invest in ASW helicopters.

It is not a case of them wanting something "sexy". It is a case of them prioritizing funds properly as there is nothing for the S-3 to hunt anymore and you really can't justify keeping it around without the ASW role for a long time and in this case you have a capability that can go on a pretty simple airframe with pretty simple engines and tech that will be continually developed for the P-8/P-3 families. Of all the aircraft you could lose from the Cold War toolbox the S-3 is probably the easiest to regenerate in short order.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):
Same goes for the AF when it comes to the A-10.

I get so sick of seeing this complaint. Can anyone show me where the Air Force is trying to get rid of the A-10? Because they are not. They will wind down the force a bit to extend the service life of the other frames. If they get no other funding they won't replace it because the mission it is designed for is no longer necessary (we have other far more efficient ways of dealing with tanks now) and you can't justify all new R&D cost for a new COIN aircraft. The Air Force is supportive and has upgraded its A-10's. It will fly them until they can't fly anymore. This complaint is just silly.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):
Same goes for the littoral combat ships, why do they need to be steathy? where is the big gun needed for NGFS? Do they really need to go 50kts? Sorry for that, being a real tin can sailor (the Burke class are CG size ships, the last "destroyer" that was a "tin-can" was the Adams class DDG) sometimes you just need something small, quick(say 30-40 kts) with a decent sized gun (no less than 5 inch, the 76mm on the Perrys were nice but..) and able to defend its self (maybe an 8 or 16 cell Mk-41 VLS). END RANT

I won't defend the LCS (I think the speed requirements are absurd) but I do find it telling that your solution for the LCS problem is a ship that would cost at least as much as the LCS if not more. As soon as you put a VLS on it that means you need radars to match and a combat system to manage it all and it very quickly ceases to be cheap in any sense of the word. Not that LCS is with its stupid speed requirements but I would much rather have seen the USN supplement with something that was basically a Brandenburg class ship. Though I would trade the VLS there for the ability to carry two helicopters (the SH-60 is about twice as heavy as the Lynx) if push came to shove.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7658 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 11979 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
That being said I would much rather have RAM as my goalkeeper on the backline than Phalanx or Goalkeeper. It would do fairly well in that emergency role and fits in as part of the overall system.

I would like to see the RAM and the Phalanx deployed together, to me the Phalanx is the last line of defence, it carries enough rounds to be used multiple times. To me the RAM was a solution to a problem of having space to locate launchers, it is easier to deploy and can be placed on ships where little to no custom installation is required.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
I won't defend the LCS (I think the speed requirements are absurd) but I do find it telling that your solution for the LCS problem is a ship that would cost at least as much as the LCS if not more.

I also think they need a frigate, my opinion the LCS is a target waiting to be hit, imagine deploying a ship of war with the arms not yet designed or fully designed.
I still have not heard much that have said that the Perry Class was a mistake, a cheap and I mean cheap ship is required to do littoral work, I'm not saying rebuild Perry's but a frigate is required. Other nations have frigates as their primary ship so it has much more sensors and weapons than the USA would need on theirs, after all, when the Perry's go the Burkes are the low end ships and they cost a billion dollars a piece, the LCS right now is a whole different story. Where are the mission modules and where did the idea come from that they could / would be ready when the ship was built.


User currently offlinesprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1855 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11877 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
like the presumptions that the military is stupid

Well it is.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
That being said I would much rather have RAM as my goalkeeper on the backline than Phalanx or Goalkeeper.

That being said. the CIWS was 1970's tech, I would hope that RAM is much better. RAM is a sea sparrow replacement. thats all. The phalanx was designed as a "last ditch' weapon, within a mile. RAM/Sea Sparrow was for further out.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
They are the ones who ordered the S-3 in the first place. The fact of the matter is that the USN had a dedicated ASW aircraft for a long time. When the threat went away, so did the aircraft

I disagree. The "threat" went away in 1989/90. They were up graded it for ASuW, Land attack, refueling etc. in the mid-eighties. They became a "sea-control" aircraft. Do you really think a SH-60 can perform the ASW role for a CVN? by the time a sub is within a seahawks range, its too late. An you really want a supersonic fighter/attack aircraft doing refueling? how about loitering over a given area for hours looking for a go-fast with pirates on it? P-3/P-8 would work, if you have an airbase near-by. See a lot of them near Somalia?

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
I get so sick of seeing this complaint.

I take it you were not alive in the late 80's. I was, serving in the Navy at the time, and do remember a lot of articles in the AF Times and such about how they wanted to kill the A-10 and replace it with the F-16. If you want me to dig up articles I will. They have tried to kill it ever since but have shut up since 2002.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
If they get no other funding they won't replace it because the mission it is designed for is no longer necessary (we have other far more efficient ways of dealing with tanks now) and you can't justify all new R&D cost for a new COIN aircraft.

Really? Have a UAV come in hot and you TRUST IT? Can a UAV tell the difference between a good guy and a bad guy? The controller is 6000 miles away. Nothing like a real human on the trigger. Why do you think the Marine aviators have camo helmets? Because they are MARINES first.


Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
you put a VLS on it that means you need radars to match and a combat system to manage it all and it very quickly ceases to be cheap in any sense of the word.

I do disagree. The Mk-92 FCS on the FFG was a good system, and IIRC we could hand off weapons to a Aegis system. No need for anything more, beyond 50 miles, you would have a CG/DDG.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
Though I would trade the VLS there for the ability to carry two helicopters (the SH-60 is about twice as heavy as the Lynx) if push came to shove.

The Adelaide Class FFG has the Mk-41 VLS and the capability to carry two helos. Not that a FFG carries two, I spent 4 years on one and never seen two onboard(the second hangar was a weight room).

Quoting par13del (Reply 15):
I still have not heard much that have said that the Perry Class was a mistake, a cheap and I mean cheap ship is required to do littoral work, I'm not saying rebuild Perry's but a frigate is required.

I hear ya. The Perry's were the low of the HI/LO thought. But they have shown how tough they are(due to the crew). That also show what "minimum manning" does for a ship. Both the Stark and the Roberts needed relief form other ships to fight fires when they were hit. A computer can control a turbine, but CANT fight the fire when something goes wrong. 20 to 30 minutes is all you get per man when fighting a class "B" fire in a MER, that comes from experience,.

Ok, this went on a tangent real quick. The Navy decided that it needed more SuperHornets at the cost of the S-3. That was a mistake as they did not have a suitable replacement for the Viking. I will argue all day long that a supersonic FIGHTER can not perform the duties of tanker, and be worth the money. Let alone the ASW role, which if it was "gone" why did they get the P-8? Lets not mention the SEAD mission that the EA-6 did(which the MARINES are now doing for the AF) and a F/A 18 is going to do?

Sorry I am a "Cold War" warrior that hates to see my tax dollars spent on billion dollar crap that cant do the job, or that somebody won't risk on doing the job. Just realized that is the 64,000 dollar question. Why spend 100 when you can spend 1,000,000 and never send it into harms way. My Navy's slogan was "Into Harm's Way", now its a "A Global Force For Good". What BS.

Dan in Jupiter

Edited to put E in front of "EA-6"

[Edited 2012-07-17 19:37:22]

User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 11808 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):

I wouldnt put too much faith in the RAM. As I was an FFG sailor, one of the "missions" we had was to catch a Soviet missle instead of it hitting a carrier when the missle mag was empty.

Good lord how? Don't incoming vampires move about 30 times faster than an FFG?

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):

I bet the biggest reason they were killed was they arent "Sexy". Why spend less money on a plain jane multirole non-high-tech airframe when you can spend four times the price on a stud-muffin F/A 18 E/F/G/H all the way to Z?

Or 79^16th times more on a set of prototypes stuck in development hell for over a decade. Did I read right that the F-35 program is now literally past the $400 Billion point?

In any case, if it makes us feel any better, on a drive past Davis Monthan last week I'm pretty sure I saw at least a few dozen S-3s that looked (condition wise) like they could probably be put back to work inside 90 days, should the need arise...



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11711 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 16):
That being said. the CIWS was 1970's tech, I would hope that RAM is much better. RAM is a sea sparrow replacement. thats all. The phalanx was designed as a "last ditch' weapon, within a mile. RAM/Sea Sparrow was for further out.

Sorry but this is not right. Sea Sparrow (RIM-7) was replaced by Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (RIM-162). On the carriers the ESSM replaced the Sea Sparrow in the box launchers as basically a direct replacement on aircraft carriers. It offers expanded range (out to around 30 miles now) and is significantly faster.

RAM (RIM-116) is generally fitted as a supplement to CIWS on US carriers in a trainable box launcher. In a different form as SeaRAM it can be directly fitted into the space previously allocated to a CIWS unit as basically a direct replacement for that weapon if one wishes.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 16):

I disagree. The "threat" went away in 1989/90. They were up graded it for ASuW, Land attack, refueling etc. in the mid-eighties. They became a "sea-control" aircraft. Do you really think a SH-60 can perform the ASW role for a CVN? by the time a sub is within a seahawks range, its too late. An you really want a supersonic fighter/attack aircraft doing refueling? how about loitering over a given area for hours looking for a go-fast with pirates on it? P-3/P-8 would work, if you have an airbase near-by. See a lot of them near Somalia?

No, they did not immediately pitch the things over the side as that would have been stupid. What they didn't do was start a new aircraft program to replace them and they didn't buy more. They let them run their natural course with the fleet, numbers were gradually reduced on the flight decks and eventually they all went away. But the upgrades referenced were really nothing more than giving them something to do as they played out their lives.

And yes, they have useful capabilities that were not replaced. But that is nothing more than a budget decision. I am sure given unlimited resources the USN would be flying the A-12, an S-3 replacement, an F-14 replacement and then using the F-35 to replace legacy F-18's. But that is not the world we live in. They consolidated naval aviation into the best platform we could reasonable get that could do the most missions in the F-18 because that is what made the most sense at the time.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 16):
I take it you were not alive in the late 80's. I was, serving in the Navy at the time, and do remember a lot of articles in the AF Times and such about how they wanted to kill the A-10 and replace it with the F-16. If you want me to dig up articles I will. They have tried to kill it ever since but have shut up since 2002.

I am fully aware they wanted to do it in the 1980's. It is a debate for another time and thread about if they were right in regards to that mission (let's just say I harbor doubts about the ability of the A-10 to survive over the central front in Germany by the mid-80's due to advances in mobile SAM's capable against low altitude targets and their terrifying density among Soviet forces by that point) but essentially since the Gulf War the Air Force has been firmly behind the A-10. At this point the complaint that they are trying to get rid of it is kind of silly. They aren't and they won't.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 16):
Really? Have a UAV come in hot and you TRUST IT? Can a UAV tell the difference between a good guy and a bad guy? The controller is 6000 miles away. Nothing like a real human on the trigger. Why do you think the Marine aviators have camo helmets? Because they are MARINES first.

I am not really sure what you are getting at here. In a close contact situation the A-10 and any other aircraft or UAV is going to use the same weapons (Hellfire, Maverick, SDB, Paveway ect) and procedures so really one is not safer than another. Personally in a danger close situation I would prefer the help of an attack helicopter personally.

But what I was really referring to is the A-10's primary reason for creation which was to destroy large quantities of Soviet tanks well beyond the reach of direct fire weapons. There is new technology for dealing with a large advancing armored force at this point. You don't need A-10's with cluster bombs, Mavericks and cannons to do it at this point. You can perform the mission far more efficiently and with less risk using other weapons and aircraft.

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 16):
The Adelaide Class FFG has the Mk-41 VLS and the capability to carry two helos. Not that a FFG carries two, I spent 4 years on one and never seen two onboard(the second hangar was a weight room).

This also kind of proves my point that things will continue to get bigger over time. They are being replaced with ships that will be North of 6,200 tons. The program that upgraded those frigate was also not thought about terribly favorably by anyone. It is telling that the upgrades were completed starting in 2008-10 time frame and and they will be replaced by the larger ships in 2014-2017 time frame. I don't think the small ships were satisfactory at all for Australia.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11707 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 16):
See a lot of them near Somalia?

The French base in Djibouti seems to be work well for the US. We've had troops stationed ashore there since 2003, and P-3 aircraft most of the time since.

We also have access to airport in Kenya for anti-piracy aircraft.


User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3757 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11534 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):
(well, the government could screw up buying sewage but anyway)

You mean the Super Hornet.   


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7658 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 11496 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 19):
The French base in Djibouti seems to be work well for the US. We've had troops stationed ashore there since 2003, and P-3 aircraft most of the time since.

We also have access to airport in Kenya for anti-piracy aircraft.
Quoting BigJKU (Reply 18):
And yes, they have useful capabilities that were not replaced. But that is nothing more than a budget decision.

So here's the two questions:
1. Does it cost the US government more money to pay these nations to use their facilities to base a/c to do missions that could have been done by replacement a/c on the US carriers? Is the military able to get additional funding via the State Department budget but it can only be used in conjunction with foreign nations getting a "piece" of the action?

2. Does the use of these bases give these foreign nations any undue influenece over the actions that the USA may deem appropriate, and if so, is there factions within the US hierarchy who do not trust themselves and use this as a counterweight?


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 11473 times:

I think you are over-thinking it. A P-3 operating out of Diego Garcia can cover most of the Indian Ocean. The thing has a huge combat radius. More than that you are not going to cost justify sitting a carrier with 70-90 combat aircraft somewhere to stage S-3's on low priority missions. Operating a carrier cost far more than parking a few P-3's at a friendly base for these sort of missions. The P-8 would need refueling to get the range but could easily do the same thing with refueling support as well. In the future the persistent presence missions will be fulfilled by MQ-4C as well.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11449 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
1. Does it cost the US government more money to pay these nations to use their facilities to base a/c to do missions that could have been done by replacement a/c on the US carriers?

Using a land based aircraft is always cheaper than using a carrier. and

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 22):
More than that you are not going to cost justify sitting a carrier with 70-90 combat aircraft somewhere to stage S-3's on low priority missions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
2. Does the use of these bases give these foreign nations any undue influenece over the actions that the USA may deem appropriate, and if so, is there factions within the US hierarchy who do not trust themselves and use this as a counterweight?

The anti-piracy effort off Somalia is a multi-national program. NATO is heavily involved, as is France. The French have taken the lead role in several events. It is not a US only effort.

The nations in the area - especially Kenya and Djibouti - see the lawless nature of the region where the pirates are based as a great threat to their internal security, and citizens. The international effort to make shipping and the seas safe is something they want and support.

BTW another nation with troops based in Djibouti is Japan. Nations who have used their ships and/or troops against pirates include Russia, South Korea, India in addition to France and the US.

An average of 20 different nations keep warships in those waters at this time.

Kenya is emerging as the nation willing to put captured pirates on trial and punish them. Though Yemen did convict several in a trial a couple years ago.

[Edited 2012-07-18 20:51:55]

User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7658 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 11359 times:

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 17):
Good lord how? Don't incoming vampires move about 30 times faster than an FFG?

Yes, but planning for combat situations means that even though the nuke carrier is the fastest surface ship a formation will be entered to provide max protection, the Fig's attempt to catch a missile intented for the carrier means it put itself between the inbound threats line of attack and the carrier, usually the carrier has ships on all sides, the lucky / unlucky fig will be on the right / wrong side once the attack starts.


25 connies4ever : Not willing to be a b*stard, but I have a hard time following that line of thinking. If you could clear for me, I'd appreciate it.
26 rfields5421 : The concept of placing a smaller "less valuable" ship in the line of attack to protect the bigger "more valuable" ships is a long tradition in the na
27 sprout5199 : My bad, as we didn't have the SeaSparrow so I don't know the range of it. Did some looking, the RAM is between the CIWS and ESSM is range. Until they
28 BigJKU : The A-10 is last on the list to be replaced so they are leaving all the wiggle room they can. The A-10 will also be out of service life at that point
29 rfields5421 : I gave up decades ago trying to explain to civilian morons about how complicated development of new systems is in the military. Yes, there are compet
30 Post contains images Revelation : My $0.02: The term military industrial complex should be written military-industrial complex to emphasize it's both sides that are the problem. No ca
31 Max Q : With all due respect to your service we 'Civilian morons' pay your salary while you are serving. And this civilian has a son currently serving in har
32 DarkSnowyNight : I cannot imagine what kind of private sector enterprise would somehow be less organized than our military. If that has somehow actually been your exp
33 SmittyOne : LOL, exactly. What a disaster the military acquisitions process has become. And the Northrup Grummans and Lockheed Martins are laughing all the way t
34 rfields5421 : My working theory is that it is a function of organization size. One a base level, battalion level, a ship level - the US military is usually as effi
35 sprout5199 : I agree, and if the CO or CEO is a moron said organization will fail. Many CO's have been relieved for loss of confidence in their ability to command
36 Flighty : Can't agree, at least not yet. I've worked in some US govt and some megacorps. The megacorps do have bureaucracy, sometimes crazy amounts, but the bu
37 BigJKU : I am sure this will come across as harsh but it seems exceptionally presumptuous of a person who has been factually wrong all across this thread with
38 747400sp : It is sad to see both the F-14 and S-3 go. S-3's, was still in heavy use at NAS North Island in 2004.
39 Post contains images par13del : Personally, I think the Gulf Wars I and II showed how valuable the A-10 was that the Air Force had no choice but to stop trying to convert the politi
40 bigjku : Yes, but it is far easier to deal with the systems that can reach up into the higher altitudes (which almost all have radar's involved at some point
41 par13del : Which really is an Air Force issue not the Army, they want to close with the enemy and engage, however, they cannot do so until the Air Forces says i
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