CX747
Topic Author
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Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:27 pm

The orignal post was deleted, probably because it got to political. So, let us discuss the current state of affairs for the US military and its aviation assets. Not the war in Iraq, not if you think we already spend to much etc etc etc.


The original poster is correct, the United States has sat on its behind since the late 1980s and not done the necessary things to keep it's military update and prepared to defend this great nation. Most if not all of our aviation equipment was designed in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 were all designed BEFORE Reagan ever stepped into office. That in and of itself is a sorry state of affairs. Our current inability to replace this equipment comes from not doing slowly and over time. We just continued to fly them until their wings fell off or in the case of the F-15 the longerons cracked and the airframe came apart.

The main problem (as stated earlier) is the fact that from the early 1990s on, we curtailed our purchases to an almost standstill. The Bush Administration is partly to blame for this disaster and Clinton's "Legacy" should have a huge asterisk next to it. *Budget surplus and overall healthy economy helped by cutting the Defense budget and infusing the civilian market with billions to bloat an economy that at some point would burst.*

Overall, I think the Army has done the best job in updating its fleet. The UH-1 Huey is all but gone and has been replaced by the ever versatile UH-60. The fleet is currently being upgraded to a universal standard and new build models flow rapidly to the fleet. The CH-47 fleet has been overworked but again the Army is fielding F and G models that for the most part will be NEW BUILDS. The Apache fleet has rotated over from 1980s workhorse A models to upgraded refurb/new D models. During this time, the Army has also been able to field a Huey replacement and Blackhawk stress reliever in teh form of the UH-72. The vast majority of this money came from the extremely brilliant decision to cancel the RAH-66 Commanche. While it was a bitter pill to swallow, the Army has totally upgraded its entire fleet and put itself in a position where it is not operating an ancient and worn out fleet.

In my opinion Naval Aviation took a fatal blow the day that both the F-14D and A6-F/G programs were axed. When the A-12 program was cut shortly thereafter, Naval Aviation and all that it was died. Ever since the last F-14D rolled off the line, the Navy has been purchasing inferior equipment at affordable prices. Whoever was in charge of the Navy's aviation programs at that point in time should be ashamed of themselves. Dick Cheney should also be ashamed for cancelling the D model Tomcat. An aviation program that was ahead of schedule and UNDER BUDGET. The Hornet mafia and its supporters in Congress won that day and ever since then the Navy has been double speaking about the Super Hornet and "Brown Water Ops" compared to "Blue Water Ops". The F/A-18C is a great little A-7 replacement and nothing more. It was never designed to be a fleet defender or heavy bomber. The F-14 should be hoisted on a pedestal for carrying carrier operations since the A-6Es retirement. The one thing that you can say about the Navy is the fact that it has new aircraft on the decks. They quickly and quietly fielded a new fleet of F/A-18Fs and Es to replace the F-14. Whether or not those aircraft can fill the shoes of its predecessors is a debatable question at best. These jack of all trades master of none will also replace EA-6B which is getting on in years. The F/A-18 "Legacy" fleet is wheezing, coughing and blacking out. I read an article the other day about how many F/A-18Cs were nearing the end of their trap life. I almost spit my drink out. Explain to me how only 2-3 years ago VF-14, VF-41 and VF-211 were operating 25+ year old F-14A Tomcats on long hauls to Afghanistan and Iraq but C model Hornets purchased in the early 1990s are almost done? One program that the Navy has done very well with, is the upgrading and purchasing of new E-2C Hawkeyes. These aircraft are tough, rugged and have plenty of growth potential. Overall, the Navy is in OK shape. They settled down pretty quickly with the girl next door. Unfortunately, it was her younger and uglier sister.

The state of the United States Marine Corps aviation wing is one of sorrow. Their fighter fleet is based around the 1980s purchased F/A-18C and D models. They were built to stronger standards than the Navy's so they have held up slightly better. With that being said, they are getting close to 20 years old and they have to wheeze it out until the F-35 shows up next decade. The Harrier fleet has been well taken care of and refurbished in the late 90s early 2000s. The Corp did a great job in updating their CAS aircraft. Whether or not the money was wisely spent is another story. The helicopter fleet is old, ancient and ummm did I say old? Thankfully the CH-46 fleet is being replaced. With that said, no one is sure whether or not the replacement will actually be able to do the job. Only time will tell if the 20+ year in design phase V-22. The CH-53E fleet has a replacement on its way but it won't be here until 2015. The CH-53K is an outstanding platform that should more than fit the bill. The Huey and Cobra upgrade program is turning out a nice product on the Cobra side of the house. The Huey upgrade should have been abandoned and a new helo fielded.

The USAF is in a tough spot in certain areas. The fighter fleet is not getting any younger and 180 F-15As just went to the retirement home. They are fielding the F-22 but at the moment will not have nearly enough to replace the F-15C fleet that is wearing thin. So, C model F-15s will be updated with wizbang helmet technology and thrown into the fray when the time comes. The F-15E fleet is still relatively young and serves as the backbone of the strike fighter fleet. The F-16 is beginning to show some of its age but should be able to hold on until the F-35 shows up. The A-10 fleet is being updated to A-10C standard which is outstanding. With all of that being said, almost all of these aircraft are 15-20+ years old. They have been updated/sewn back together but replacements are going to be needed and the F-35 can't be the answer to all things constrained budgetary wise. Exactly how long will the B-52 serve as a frontline hauler? I think last estimates were 80+ years. SHAMEFUL at the least. The B-1 fleet is not getting any younger but hasn't hit any major pot holes. I would count the B-2 but there are only 21 of them. They are young, underworked and nicely maintained. That smacks in high contrast to the rest of the trigger puller fleet that continues to pull sandbox duty over Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cargo fleet is vastly overworked and 5+ years of the C-17's fleet life has been flown off of it due to the high temp of OEF/OIF operations. The C-5 has always been a mess and the C-5M programs stinks of wasted money down the drain. Where or where is the C-141? While the C-17 is a fantastic aircraft, it can't replace both the C-5 and C-141 in the limited numbers being purchased. At least the AF and Congress is trying to through more C-17s at the problem rather than just stare at it and rub their chins. The C-130 fleet trundles on with duck tape, band aides and super glue holding together the E models. The H models are worked hard and for some unknown reason the Air Force refuses to field enough J model replacements. It is a testament to Lockheed that these beasts continue to take abuse day in and day out all over the world.

While on the subject of old and overworked aircraft, the KC-135 comes to mind. Now I'm not one for porkbarrell spending, but Mr. Mcain, CAN WE FIELD A REPLACEMENT????????? The KC-10 fleet is worked hard but put away dry so there are no worries there. Overall the Air Force is heading towards the day when it has too many fleets to replace and not enough budget. Ala we retire the F-117.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
buss61
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:29 pm

Well said! The F-14s should still be flying as well as the A-6s. This idea that one plane is going to do the job of several is alot more complicated than anybody expected. And about the Cobra, the last time I checked I think it was on the Zulu model, so its definately time to find a replacement.
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Galaxy5007
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:32 pm



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The cargo fleet is vastly overworked and 5+ years of the C-17's fleet life has been flown off of it due to the high temp of OEF/OIF operations. The C-5 has always been a mess and the C-5M programs stinks of wasted money down the drain. Where or where is the C-141? While the C-17 is a fantastic aircraft, it can't replace both the C-5 and C-141 in the limited numbers being purchased. At least the AF and Congress is trying to through more C-17s at the problem rather than just stare at it and rub their chins. The C-130 fleet trundles on with duck tape, band aides and super glue holding together the E models. The H models are worked hard and for some unknown reason the Air Force refuses to field enough J model replacements. It is a testament to Lockheed that these beasts continue to take abuse day in and day out all over the world.

The C-141 was retired out of service due to Zero remaining service life for the airframe. Most of the 141s were already retired in 2004, the last being in May of 2006 from Wright-Patterson to the AF Museum. Since 2004, the C-17 has been the workhorse of the cargo fleet by all means. The C-5 has supplemented, but since its been plagued with problems, from skin cracks, major structural components cracking in the A-models, to constant software problems with the B-models that have been AMP modified. The RERP/C-5M program isn't exactly a waste of money. Give the first 3 prototypes time, and wait until QT&E is done before wiping the slate of them. Yes, they have gone over budget, but look at the economy, that isn't helping any. The price of alot of materials have skyrocketed since the initial bid in 2000-2001. So I don't see them throwing the program out the door because of it. The B-models and 2 C models for sure will get converted. However, with the ongoing problems with the A-models, I don't necessarily believe that all of them will get completely moderninzed. The big problems that are showing up after RERP still go with fuel leaks, nitrogen system issues and hydraulic system problems that all have plagued the plane from day one. But what do you expect on a flying football field that gets flown like crazy when they do have it up and running. I've seen alot of good in the C-5. Myself, working at Dover for 5 years have seen what the plane is capable of, and I've seen all the constant issues it has. They are working on it...just give it time. Age doesn't matter, what matters is how much the plane is used and abused. Some of the 141s were only 2-3 years older than the A-models, and have over 40K hours on them. The A-models barely average 20K hours to this day! Infact, there are several B-models that have more hours than the As!
 
Arniepie
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:38 pm

There seems to be one constant trend in all major defence programs in the western world (US and EU) and that is that every single one of them is vastly over budget, overweight and over time.
That is maybe why we cannot purchase the replacements we need in time and in numbers.
As long as this trend goes on as is ,the Defence industrial complex is in no hurry to change its policies and working methods.

In the end it's up to the politicians to provide for the incentives to make the companies run in line with promised budgets and delivery times.
[edit post]
 
CX747
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:15 pm

First off, I would like to apologize for my original post. I was at work and did not have time to do a proper proof read!

I like the C-5 and want to believe in it. We need an aircraft of that size and capability. Unfortunately, giving the C-5 more time is silly. The aircraft has been operational for over 15+ years and continues to have the same issues. I don't think we should retire the C-5 because we need its size and range. The sad state of affairs for the C-5 fleet though means that the United States is currently leasing/renting large Antonov models as fill ins. What should the US do with the C-5 fleet?

One thing that I did not mention is the fact that the USAF quietly continued to purchase small numbers of F-15Es and F-16s through the late 1990s and early 2000s. That might...be the current saving grace of their strike fleet. I can't wait to see what the next-generation of strike fighter/bomber looks like that is due circa 2018. Supposedly it will be manned.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
zanl188
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:50 pm



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The C-5 has always been a mess and the C-5M programs stinks of wasted money down the drain.

The A's should have been RERP'd when they got the new wings. The Bs should have had CF-6s from day one.

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TheSonntag
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:06 pm

I think todays long development times for new hardware are a real reason for concern. You are not alone in the US, think of the Eurofighter, NH90, A400M, Tiger, and you see that we have the same problems in Europe, as well.

What always surprises me is the fact that 1939 warplanes have very little in common with 1945 warplanes, engine power and other capabilities skyrocketed in this period. Only 10 years later, Mach 2 was achieved.

Today, developments tend to be bureaucratic, slow, and expensive. But times have changed, and equipment isn't used for 5 years like in WW2, but for 80 years (B52). I think development times of 20 years for something which will be used for decades is acceptable, if the result is good.

Whether this is achieved is debatable. I am optimistic on the A400M and Eurofighter. I think you will manage with the JSF.
 
buss61
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:10 pm



Quoting CX747 (Reply 4):
I like the C-5 and want to believe in it. We need an aircraft of that size and capability. Unfortunately, giving the C-5 more time is silly. The aircraft has been operational for over 15+ years and continues to have the same issues. I don't think we should retire the C-5 because we need its size and range. The sad state of affairs for the C-5 fleet though means that the United States is currently leasing/renting large Antonov models as fill ins. What should the US do with the C-5 fleet?

Maybe the USAF should contact Antonov and see how they make there aircraft work. Obviously there doing something right or they wouldnt have the largest transport aircraft in the world and we wouldnt be using them for our heavy lifting. But Lockheed is an outstanding company and a trusted contributer to American airpower and with a little time I am sure they can come up with something.
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CX747
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:03 am

I would like to agree that more time is what the C-5 program needs. At some point though, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves if we can actually fix the problem. One reason that the C-5 continues to get 4th and 5th chances is the fact that there are no other operational alternatives.

Quoting Buss61 (Reply 1):
And about the Cobra, the last time I checked I think it was on the Zulu model, so its definately time to find a replacement

Actually, the Zulu model is the newest addition. Bell is converting current Whiskey models into Zulus! The AH-1W still makes a heck of an attack helicopter and the upgrades will only make is more lethal.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:18 am

Before I get going, it's just my opinion that starting a post of extraordinary length (especially with a controversial topic) is generally poor form. When someone posts two pages of single-spaced text, it's not a discussion starter as much as a rant. That's admittedly why I left the rude comment I did last time around, so apologizes there. But moving on:

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The orignal post was deleted, probably because it got to political

I don't think we should shy away from the political factor. The act of war is an extension of politics, or really, politics gone wrong. They are inseparable as far as I am concerned, especially living in a nation where the Secretary of Defense is a political appointment!

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Most if not all of our aviation equipment was designed in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 were all designed BEFORE Reagan ever stepped into office. That in and of itself is a sorry state of affairs.

1. That's a ridiculous thing to say because we all know that several aircraft types have been developed since the early-70s. Let's leave hyperbole out of this.

2. This is armchair fleet planning. Aircraft like the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 have been given significant upgrades over the years to both in-service and new-build aircraft. Comparing a new-build F-16E Block 60 is a vastly more capable aircraft than the original F-16A. When the prototype for an aircraft type flew is not the best indicator of performance.

3. If there is one area right now where the United States may be best positioned compared to other industrialized nations, it's air power. Our current generation of fighters have yet to face significant challenge in combat. What is our kill-rate since Vietnam? >99% ? The nature of this as an aviation-related website makes me think some people are ignoring more pressing needs of our armed services.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Ala we retire the F-117.

First, I think the F-117 was a great example of a "nimble" project for it's ability to take advantage of off-the-shelf components and create something never before seen in combat aviation.

But, it's capability was basically analogous to a manned, re-usable cruise missile. That's an extremely tough case to make in terms of both cost and capability.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Exactly how long will the B-52 serve as a frontline hauler? I think last estimates were 80 years. SHAMEFUL at the least.

And this is why: for a number of reasons, we are incapable of just replacing an aircraft with just modestly more capable aircraft. We insist on going for broke with radical technology, and when the costs balloon, we can't order enough to meet our needs. So we tell ourselves that a smaller number of more capable aircraft will fill the gap...

If we hadn't tried building a semi-stealth, super-sonic, swing-wing B-52 replacement (for example), I have no doubt we could have built 100-150 twin turbofan-engined bombers with simmilar payload and range by 1985-1990.

This is why I am frustrated that the F-15 groundings will probably lead to an additional F-22 order. Not that the F-22 doesn't have its role in our military, but that role should not be intercepting commercial and general aviation aircraft. We will always need aircraft based in the CONUS for those purposes, so I view F-22s filling this role as wasteful.

Quoting Buss61 (Reply 7):
Maybe the USAF should contact Antonov and see how they make there aircraft work. Obviously there doing something right or they wouldnt have the largest transport aircraft in the world and we wouldnt be using them for our heavy lifting.

Cheaper labor doesn't hurt...

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 6):
I think todays long development times for new hardware are a real reason for concern.

What always surprises me is the fact that 1939 warplanes have very little in common with 1945 warplanes, engine power and other capabilities skyrocketed in this period.

German history textbooks do mention World War II, right? (kidding)

The long development cycles are a sign of the times. Mainly, peace. During WWII, there was the real threat of whoever didn't innovate and manufacture the most war machines was going to lose their way of life forever. Regardless of what some talking heads say, that isn't nearly the case now. It's not that we are incapable of doing such things, it just consumes far greater resources then and now to rush something.

Also during WWII, aircraft that weren't quite ready were put into service anyway. Today, we balk at losing a single airframe due to mechanical problems, so we test longer and more elaborately.

Well, there's a few other things I had to say but I'm out of ebreath...
 
halls120
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:58 am



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Dick Cheney should also be ashamed for cancelling the D model Tomcat. An aviation program that was ahead of schedule and UNDER BUDGET.

My next door neighbor had the Tomcat desk in OPNAV when Cheney killed it. He, along with many others, worked long and hard to keep that line open, and when the Hornet weenies stabbed them in the back, it was a sad day indeed.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:59 am



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
The A's should have been RERP'd when they got the new wings. The Bs should have had CF-6s from day one.

I agree!

Quoting CX747 (Reply 4):
The sad state of affairs for the C-5 fleet though means that the United States is currently leasing/renting large Antonov models as fill ins



Quoting Buss61 (Reply 7):
Maybe the USAF should contact Antonov and see how they make there aircraft work.

Actually the US is NOT renting or leasing any AN-124s. They are having some of the airliners that fly the AN-124 help with some cargo issues, but very little on a military standpoint.

Keep in mind, The C-5 Galaxy is held on STRICT military requirements that must be met before they can fly. There are SEVERAL times when a C-5 could fly no problem, but is restricted for something stupid, like a temp hose installed in place of a hard line. It happens alot.

Also, keep in mind that there is 111 C-5s, about 60 at disposal at one time, where there are only 26 AN-124s around worldwide, and estimating ony 20 are in service at a time, due to scheduled and unschedule maintenance procedures, training, etc.
 
MissedApproach
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:06 am



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 6):
we have the same problems in Europe, as well.

True, but you also have some really well run programs. The Gripen was one of the first of the new fighter generation to fly, & is doing quite well in the export market as well.


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TheSonntag
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:05 am



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
German history textbooks do mention World War II, right? (kidding)

Isn't this something we have won  duck   Wink

This is very true, but would we see faster development times in wartime today? Probably not, because WW3 would not last long enough to develop anything...
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:24 am



Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 12):
True, but you also have some really well run programs. The Gripen was one of the first of the new fighter generation to fly, & is doing quite well in the export market as well.

Not really the gripen program has had its problems also, namely radar and engine troubles. So every program has troubles. Its also the less capable of all the new aircraft.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:12 pm

I think that the US military is fine the way it is right now...why does everyone always insist on more? And why do so many people complain that the US military is outdated? If everything is old and junk then how come US is still #1? I think the OP should take a closer look at the global situation before complaining and criticizing every aircraft in the fleet. No other country in the world right now has an air force to match except maybe Russia or China and even they aren't that close. So we're using F-15s and F-16s...why is that bad? Many countries out there can only dream of these planes and are still using Mig-21s and F-4s....
 
checksixx
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:47 pm



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
We just continued to fly them until their wings fell off or in the case of the F-15 the longerons cracked and the airframe came apart.

You must not have seen the report...this was due to flaws in the manufacturing of this area, not how we're flying them.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The vast majority of this money came from the extremely brilliant decision to cancel the RAH-66 Commanche.

No...most of the extra money the Army has these days is money that was taken from the Air Force and Navy and given to them. The USA is fixing its budgeting problems, but they were about the worst of all the services on money managment. About how they were doing it...the intent was good, but screwed them in the end.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
When the A-12 program was cut shortly thereafter, Naval Aviation and all that it was died.

Agree on the 14 and 6...but not on A-12...it never made it off the books so it really had no effect on Naval Aviation. It would have been a money pit anyways....

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Dick Cheney should also be ashamed for cancelling the D model Tomcat.

He didn't cancel the 'D' model, he killed the Tomcat production program.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The state of the United States Marine Corps aviation wing is one of sorrow. Their fighter fleet is based around the 1980s purchased F/A-18C and D models.

You might want to read up before you start in on the Marines. They have intentionally not purchased aircraft while putting funding in for the first F-35B frames produced...sort of pre-purchasing them. They should actually be commended for such impressive budget use.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
So, C model F-15s will be updated with wizbang helmet technology and thrown into the fray when the time comes.

When the time comes???? They have been doing this for years already....

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The B-1 fleet is not getting any younger but hasn't hit any major pot holes.

Alright...I'm going to go a little easier on you as its clear you have not done much research here. The B-1 program has been nothing but potholes....

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The C-5 has always been a mess and the C-5M programs stinks of wasted money down the drain.

Quite the opposite actually...Its getting exactly what it needed the whole time. Its getting the 'Tomcat' upgrade essentially. How exactly is upgrading them a waste in your opinion??

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Where or where is the C-141?

Last time one was in the air was in May 2006...

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Ala we retire the F-117.

The 117 fleet was scheduled to be retired before they even decided to bed Raptor's there...had nothing to do with budget issues...it was going to happen.
 
YANQUI67
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:38 am



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
They were built to stronger standards than the Navy's so they have held up slightly better.

The Navy and Marine Hornet are exactly the same. The only reason the Marines jets hold up better is because they didnt have to go the boat as often as their Navy comrades. The Navy Hornets are brutalized on the boat, but that is what they were meant to do. They fly just fine, but they are running out of traps though. That is why you see reserve squadrons flying Charlies while some active duty squadrons are still flying old Alpha models.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:00 am



Quoting Buss61 (Reply 7):
Maybe the USAF should contact Antonov and see how they make there aircraft work. Obviously there doing something right or they wouldnt have the largest transport aircraft in the world and we wouldnt be using them for our heavy lifting.

Yes, bring back the navigator's station!

Quoting Buss61 (Reply 7):
But Lockheed is an outstanding company and a trusted contributer to American airpower and with a little time I am sure they can come up with something.

Well, between the C-5 reliability issue and the C-141 cracking issues I am not so sure.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
Also during WWII, aircraft that weren't quite ready were put into service anyway. Today, we balk at losing a single airframe due to mechanical problems, so we test longer and more elaborately.

Yep, and similarly, the number of men and machines lost in training is staggering by today's standards. I was at the USN flight museum in Pensacola and they said the best source for classic WWII aircraft to rebuild is the Great Lakes, because of the number of machines lost in training accidents. They used a few converted merchant ships to teach carrier landings, and these were stationed on the Great Lakes.
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MissedApproach
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:05 am



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 14):
radar and engine troubles.

I guess I was incommunicado when that was going on, though I do remember a couple of really high profile crashes.

To me the question is, with the advent of high off-boresight missiles, helmet mounted targetting systems, LGB's, JDAM & JSOW, do we really need clean-sheet designes anymore? Given the expensive developement programs with lengthy gestation periods, should we ask for a durable airframe of good performance (vs. extreme performance) & plug in new engines & electronics every 10 years instead?

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CX747
Topic Author
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RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:02 pm

State of the Air Force

Fighter Aircraft - average age: 20 years; average flight hours 5400+

Bomber Aircraft - average age: 32 years; average flight hours 11,400+

Tanker aircraft - average age: 44 years; average flight hours 18,900+

C2 Fleet - average age: 22 years old; average flight hours 32,000

ISR Fleet (excluding UAV) - average age: 30 years old; average flight hours 18,000

Key Groundings/Restrictions

F-15A-D - 163 of 441 are grounded for structural issues

B-52 - 6 are grounded - past due PDM grounding date - authorized a one-time flight to the bone-yard.

EC-130 - 2 of 14 are grounded due to center wing box cracks

C-130E - 3 are grounded and 13 are restricted due to Service life and wing cracks

KC-135Es - 26 of 86 are grounded due to engine strut corrosion.

AC-130U - 4 of 17 are restricted due to lack of 30MM weapons

B-2 - entire fleet is restricted due to windshield bolt hole cracks

C-5s - 39 of 108 are restricted due to crown skin restrictions (weight limiting)

Additionally

219 of 223 F-15Es have training restrictions due to vertical stab structural issues

Majority of Block 25/30/32, block 40/42, and block 50/52 F-16s need structural modifications

All 356 A-10s will need new wings and new aircraft skin - many have landing gear issues ... and all need new engines.

C-130Hs have Center Wing Box issues

C-32As have bulkhead structural issues.

Looking across the FYDP - between 2008-2013 - the Air Force will divest itself of 749 aircraft and procure only 698 aircraft (260 of which are UAVs).

To give you the idea of the scale of all of this

When the AF grounded its 600+ F-15 fleet, it grounded more aircraft than the entire F/A Navy. The F-15s it presently has grounded equate to a bit more than 3 aircraft carriers of aircraft.

The 356 A-10s that need renovations equates to more aircraft than the fixed wing USMC

The Air Force has about 5800 aircraft ... and presently about one-third are either grounded or restricted in one way or another
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
CX747
Topic Author
Posts: 5566
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:30 pm

Ok, it also seems like I have to "Check Six" here with some of the posts that are going back and forth. It is always nice to see someone want to 1v1. While I've never been one to care about "call signs", I know a few bros who would call party foul on your name. I might be making an ass out of you and me but I'm going to guess that you are a MP at Langley and not a Raptor or Albino driver "Checking Six".

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
We just continued to fly them until their wings fell off or in the case of the F-15 the longerons cracked and the airframe came apart.

You must not have seen the report...this was due to flaws in the manufacturing of this area, not how we're flying them

As you whip by in the merge..... The sentence actualy has (2) statements. The first half deals with aicraft other than the F-15 and the second half deals with the longeron issue. You are absolutely correct in stating that they way we fly the F-15 has nothing to do with the flaw. One has to wonder though if these cracks were present 10 years ago? If you drive your car for 80,000 miles certain issues arise. If you drive the car for 180,000 miles you are going to see many more issues. At what point do you call it a day and get a new car?

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The vast majority of this money came from the extremely brilliant decision to cancel the RAH-66 Commanche.

No...most of the extra money the Army has these days is money that was taken from the Air Force and Navy and given to them. The USA is fixing its budgeting problems, but they were about the worst of all the services on money managment. About how they were doing it...the intent was good, but screwed them in the end.

Cranium cranked all the way backwards and manuevers beginning.... While the Army has seen its budget increased, the money for programs came from the Army walking away from the Commanche and using its resources differently. That's why in the months following the cancellation, other programs were given the green light.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Dick Cheney should also be ashamed for cancelling the D model Tomcat.

He didn't cancel the 'D' model, he killed the Tomcat production program.

Absolutely, positively correct. He terminated the program and henceforth all future D model manufacturing was cancelled.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The state of the United States Marine Corps aviation wing is one of sorrow. Their fighter fleet is based around the 1980s purchased F/A-18C and D models.

You might want to read up before you start in on the Marines. They have intentionally not purchased aircraft while putting funding in for the first F-35B frames produced...sort of pre-purchasing them. They should actually be commended for such impressive budget use.

Is this the same brain trust that I should congratulate on waiting 20+ years to field a CH-46 replacement? Saving your money to buy a new house is a fantastic idea. With that said, if half of your current houses roof is collapsed and your not moving for a few years.........

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The B-1 fleet is not getting any younger but hasn't hit any major pot holes.

Alright...I'm going to go a little easier on you as its clear you have not done much research here. The B-1 program has been nothing but potholes....

As any good man will admit, you've got me on this one. The B-1 program has had its fair share of problems/issues/snafus etc, etc, etc. I can't speak from operational experience but it would seem to me that within the last 3-5 years the fleet has born the brunt of OIF and OEF though.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The C-5 has always been a mess and the C-5M programs stinks of wasted money down the drain.

Quite the opposite actually...Its getting exactly what it needed the whole time. Its getting the 'Tomcat' upgrade essentially. How exactly is upgrading them a waste in your opinion??

Pulling the nose on target.... I'm not even going to touch this one. Even people who work on FRED oh, wait, why do we call it FRED????????? The aircraft has fantastic capabilities but if you can't do it day in and day out.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 16):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
Ala we retire the F-117.

The 117 fleet was scheduled to be retired before they even decided to bed Raptor's there...had nothing to do with budget issues...it was going to happen.

Sorry, I can't agree with you on this one. If you have information showing this I'm more than willing to follow.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
michlis
Posts: 696
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:13 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:25 pm

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
Even people who work on FRED oh, wait, why do we call it FRED?????????

Isn't it something like Fabulous Ridiculous Economic Disaster? Regardless, my hats off those in uniform who come up with these great acronyms.   

[edited for spelling]

[Edited 2008-01-16 11:26:53]
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
 
CX747
Topic Author
Posts: 5566
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:12 pm

Close...... the F stands for something else  cheeky 

I agree that the acronyms and renamings are very orignal.

F-15 "Eagle" = Albino
F-15E "Strike Eagle = Mud Hen
F-16 "Fighting Falcon" = Viper
A-10 "Thunderbolt II" = Warthog

The list goes on and on.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:13 pm



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 were all designed BEFORE Reagan ever stepped into office. That in and of itself is a sorry state of affairs.

And whats the problem with that? There are nations today trying to develop aircraft that can combat the F-15, and the nations who do have aircraft that can rival the F-15 are currently the US's allies.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The main problem (as stated earlier) is the fact that from the early 1990s on, we curtailed our purchases to an almost standstill.

Because the Soviet Union collapsed, who was the US enemy after they fell? Terrorists; and they don't have vast armies and equipment like the Soviets did. Now today, we have to watch out for the N. Koreans and the Chinese, as they are trying to build Soviet like armies.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
In my opinion Naval Aviation took a fatal blow the day that both the F-14D and A6-F/G programs were axed.

F-14 I understand, compared the 50 maintenance hours per flight hour than the F-18 5~10 maintenance hours per flight hour, you can see which aircraft overall is the better deal. However, what I did NOT agree with was brand spanking new F-14Ds with less than 200 flight hours on them, boom! Stored in the desert. No, should've used the life on those airframes.

The A-6 is a different story, and your right, the F-18A-D models could not do the job as an Intruder rep, but this is where the Super Bug comes into play. The F-18E/F is an entirely different aircraft, much like the F-15E Strike Eagle virtually replaced the F-111.

If you really want to bitch at the US Navy, tell them to order a C-2A replacement. These aircraft will be at the end of their life by 2020 at most, even after the SLEP program.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The state of the United States Marine Corps aviation wing is one of sorrow.

Wrong. The Marine Corps is one to be proud of. They are fully utilizing every single aircraft in their inventory to the last flight hour of the airframe. Thats getting your money's worth. One of the reasons why didn't didn't order the Super Bug was because of the F-35, saving their funding for the purchase of that aircraft. Smart move IMHO.

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The USAF is in a tough spot in certain areas.

The USAF just got slammed with the F-15 structural failure, which really did bite them in the ass. Plus they have the F-35, F-22, C-5M, C-17, KC-45 tanker, just to name a few. Thats at lot of programs that requires a lot of money. Out of everyone, the USAF is the one in current "dire" situation mainly due to the F-15 problems, which, by means, was really no fault of their own.

BTW: The B-52 is one airplane that continues to surprise critics. It does its job extremely well, and its tough to replace an airplane that is still unrivaled by being the workhorse is has been for over 40+ years. If anything, out of all military services, the USAF really got every single cent (and more) out of this one airplane alone.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
I don't think we should shy away from the political factor. The act of war is an extension of politics, or really, politics gone wrong. They are inseparable as far as I am concerned, especially living in a nation where the Secretary of Defense is a political appointment!

I'm really starting to lean on having this one particular appointment move over to the voting populace. We've really gotten hosed by this position (especially military) over the years and frankly, its pissing me off.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
If we hadn't tried building a semi-stealth, super-sonic, swing-wing B-52 replacement (for example), I have no doubt we could have built 100-150 twin turbofan-engined bombers with simmilar payload and range by 1985-1990.

I'm assuming you meant the B-1 Lancer built by Rockwell.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 11):
Actually the US is NOT renting or leasing any AN-124s. They are having some of the airliners that fly the AN-124 help with some cargo issues, but very little on a military standpoint.

Don't agree with this. The AN-124 is seen here in Naval Station North Island at least once a month. I'm very sure they are rented by the US military more often than not.

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 15):
I think that the US military is fine the way it is right now...why does everyone always insist on more? And why do so many people complain that the US military is outdated? If everything is old and junk then how come US is still #1?

China and North Korean are becoming viable threats. Its true most of our equipment in the military is 20 something average years of age, and if you compare that equipment to say computers, thats ANCIENT technology. True, almost all these aircraft have had some type of SLEP upgrade at some point, but even so, that will only take you so far. I believe average fleet life around 10 years of age should be the norm, but thats just me.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Yes, bring back the navigator's station!

No...hell no. A CNS/ATM upgrade will do just fine.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
Sorry, I can't agree with you on this one. If you have information showing this I'm more than willing to follow.

Uhhh yeah, better to agree with him. As soon as that F-117 was shot down, that aircraft was compromised it the motions were put forward for early retirement. The Program Budget Decision 720 (PBD 720), dated 28 December 2005, called for the retirement of the F-117 to allow more funding for the F-22. Make sense, as the F-22 is a far more capable bird than the F-117.

http://www.afa.org/magazine/March2006/0306watch.asp

Sorry, can't find the PDF file anywhere of the PBD 720, all dead links.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:05 pm



Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
Ok, it also seems like I have to "Check Six" here with some of the posts that are going back and forth. It is always nice to see someone want to 1v1. While I've never been one to care about "call signs", I know a few bros who would call party foul on your name. I might be making an ass out of you and me but I'm going to guess that you are a MP at Langley and not a Raptor or Albino driver "Checking Six".

Your right...I'm a little dry and I meant no real offense in my replies. Reading further its pretty clear that your in the know compared to many people who I see just running thier mouth. If someone doesn't like my nickname, I don't really care...its in reference to AtA, nothing else. As my profile states...I was at Langley and I was an SP...no secrets there. As far as military aviation goes, all I'll say is that I know what I know...I am into aviation and was very fortunate while in the Air Force as to what I was allowed to be a part of...beyond that, all the secrets (most of which are not anything exciting anyways) I of course wouldn't post here.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
One has to wonder though if these cracks were present 10 years ago?

Obviously based on what you and I have seen and probably know, I'd venture to say that they were there 10 years ago...do you know if that was an area that MX should have been checking?

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
While the Army has seen its budget increased, the money for programs came from the Army walking away from the Commanche and using its resources differently.

Guess you missed all the reports of the Air Force and Navy being forced to hand over money to them huh? Not to mention all the Capital Hill meetings with senior Army budgeting personnel having to explain the extreme Army shortfalls.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
Is this the same brain trust that I should congratulate on waiting 20+ years to field a CH-46 replacement? Saving your money to buy a new house is a fantastic idea. With that said, if half of your current houses roof is collapsed and your not moving for a few years.........

I agree and appologize for how I came off in the Marine discussion...I was basing my opinion solely on fixed wing issues.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
As any good man will admit, you've got me on this one. The B-1 program has had its fair share of problems/issues/snafus etc, etc, etc. I can't speak from operational experience but it would seem to me that within the last 3-5 years the fleet has born the brunt of OIF and OEF though.

They have...do you or anyone else know if they're cleared to fly Sniper on the bone yet?

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
The aircraft has fantastic capabilities but if you can't do it day in and day out.

Hence the reason for the upgrades...Not to mention I don't know how many times I've personally been with a 5 crew that intentionally wouldn't fly for a minor issue that could have been waivered...just to stay an extra day somewhere....Although I did provide beers to that 141 crew in Germany for being 'broke'...that was fun...

Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
Sorry, I can't agree with you on this one. If you have information showing this I'm more than willing to follow.

F-117 retirement...well aside from the documentation I saw floating around the COMACC's office years ago (which of course I cannot produce), we may both be right...just reading it differently. Most saw the retirement of the F-117 by then end of this year as it was because of the F-22 being selected to replace it at Holloman AFB...which is correct. However, if you look in one of the QDR's...which I'll dig for later...it clearly states that the F-117 fleet retirement was simply accelerated from a planned retirement in 2011 to 2008, because of the decision to replace them with Raptor's.
 
CX747
Topic Author
Posts: 5566
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:38 am

Checksixx, the Jim Weed is on me if we ever meet.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 25):
Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
One has to wonder though if these cracks were present 10 years ago?

Obviously based on what you and I have seen and probably know, I'd venture to say that they were there 10 years ago...do you know if that was an area that MX should have been checking?

This was an unforseen manufacturing issue that the AF is trying to get to the bottom of. Whether or not we would have known about this if the F-15 A/B fleet was retired 5-10 years ago is questionable. As I stated earlier, this is one of the "unforseen" issues that arise when you drive a car 180,000 miles. Do you know when/if the "Ironmen" are going to transition to the F-22?

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 25):
Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
While the Army has seen its budget increased, the money for programs came from the Army walking away from the Commanche and using its resources differently.

Guess you missed all the reports of the Air Force and Navy being forced to hand over money to them huh? Not to mention all the Capital Hill meetings with senior Army budgeting personnel having to explain the extreme Army shortfalls.

I'm calling "No Joy". To the best of my knowledge the Army cancelled the Commanche program and reinvested that money into the rest of the fleet. Is it possible that we are both correct? The Army took the Commanche program money and began the upgrade, and later the Air Force and the Navy had to help out with the cost?

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 25):
Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
As any good man will admit, you've got me on this one. The B-1 program has had its fair share of problems/issues/snafus etc, etc, etc. I can't speak from operational experience but it would seem to me that within the last 3-5 years the fleet has born the brunt of OIF and OEF though.

They have...do you or anyone else know if they're cleared to fly Sniper on the bone yet?

I know that the 419th was testing out at Edwards. Everything went well. Giving the Bone this ability will add another lethal arrow to its quiver. Everyone loves the B-52 and the B-2 is clouded in secrecey and shadows. It is my opinion that the Bone is currently making up for a decade plus of nonsense by hauling some heavy iron and putting iron on target.

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 25):
Quoting CX747 (Reply 21):
Sorry, I can't agree with you on this one. If you have information showing this I'm more than willing to follow.

F-117 retirement...well aside from the documentation I saw floating around the COMACC's office years ago (which of course I cannot produce), we may both be right...just reading it differently. Most saw the retirement of the F-117 by then end of this year as it was because of the F-22 being selected to replace it at Holloman AFB...which is correct. However, if you look in one of the QDR's...which I'll dig for later...it clearly states that the F-117 fleet retirement was simply accelerated from a planned retirement in 2011 to 2008, because of the decision to replace them with Raptor's.

"2"...... I think that we are both looking at it from different angles. It was my understanding that eventually the F-22 would supplant the F-117 but not for quite some time. That's why they were trying grey paint schemes on a F-117 a few years ago. They wanted to see if they could operate during the daytime alongside the F-22. It was then decided that in order to pay for more F-22s, the F-117 fleet and U-2 fleet would be retired. It was an outrageous idea because I think overall retiring the 50+ fleet of stealths would only help pay for 5-10 Raptors. The F-117 fleet could not outrun the idea but thankfully the U-2 fleet was seen as being indispensable even with the advent of the Global Hawk.



FIGHTS ON!

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 24):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 were all designed BEFORE Reagan ever stepped into office. That in and of itself is a sorry state of affairs.

And whats the problem with that? There are nations today trying to develop aircraft that can combat the F-15, and the nations who do have aircraft that can rival the F-15 are currently the US's allies.

This great nation and its military did not get to its current position by resting on its backside. We always want to stay 1 or 2 or heck 5 steps ahead of the competition. We didn't stop at the F-4 when our kill-loss ratio was at 10-1. We designed the next generation.

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 24):
Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The main problem (as stated earlier) is the fact that from the early 1990s on, we curtailed our purchases to an almost standstill.

Because the Soviet Union collapsed, who was the US enemy after they fell? Terrorists; and they don't have vast armies and equipment like the Soviets did. Now today, we have to watch out for the N. Koreans and the Chinese, as they are trying to build Soviet like armies.

I'm not quite sure where you are going with this. The increasing threat of North Korea and China SHOULD push us to field as many F-22s as possible. Our F-15s can match their Mig 29s but as I stated earlier, we don't want to match, we want ot dominate if that fateful day every comes.

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 24):
However, what I did NOT agree with was brand spanking new F-14Ds with less than 200 flight hours on them, boom! Stored in the desert. No, should've used the life on those airframes.

I was unaware of any Tomcats that went directly to AMARC. All 50+ F-14Ds were delivered to fleet or test squadrons and served from their delivery in the early 1990s until the Tomcat's retirement. Say what you want about the A model and its underpowered engines. The Delta model Tomcat was everything you ever wanted and more. As I said, it is a sad state of affairs to hear that F/A-18Cs delivered in the mid 1990s are almost shot while F-14As delivered in 1975 were soldiering on in 2003-2004. VF-14, 41 and 211 really showed the continueing potential of this platform even as it was preparing for retirement. Heck during OIF the Navy sent 4 VF-154 Tomcats to an Air Force base to help F-FAC!!! It is also a known fact that on VF-213's (F-14Ds) last cruise, they were the preferred bomber aircraft of choice over VFA-115's F/A-18Es. I just can't say enough about the last of Grumman's Cats.

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 24):
BTW: The B-52 is one airplane that continues to surprise critics. It does its job extremely well, and its tough to replace an airplane that is still unrivaled by being the workhorse is has been for over 40+ years. If anything, out of all military services, the USAF really got every single cent (and more) out of this one airplane alone.

It continues to serve as a fantastic bomb truck. Without it, the bomber force of the USAF would not be what it is today. It plays a vital albeit longer distance role and fits nicely with the B-1 and B-2.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:55 am



Quoting CX747 (Reply 26):
Do you know when/if the "Ironmen" are going to transition to the F-22?

The 71st won't get any unless...

1. They up Raptor production significantly.
2. They redistribute the airframes again.

Thats the last word I had on that...

Check
 
michlis
Posts: 696
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:13 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:27 pm



Quoting CX747 (Reply 23):
Close...... the F stands for something else

Okay then, I'm guessing 'fantastic', but likely more along the lines of the last 'f' for the BUFF.  laughing 
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:33 pm



Quoting CX747 (Reply 26):
This great nation and its military did not get to its current position by resting on its backside. We always want to stay 1 or 2 or heck 5 steps ahead of the competition. We didn't stop at the F-4 when our kill-loss ratio was at 10-1. We designed the next generation.

Hence, the F-22 and the F-35.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 26):
I'm not quite sure where you are going with this.

I should have been more specific, that was my fault. After the fall of the Soviets, Congress didn't see the need to keep throwing trillions like we did when the cold war was on, hence why we still see 1970ish aircraft in our inventory today.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 26):
I was unaware of any Tomcats that went directly to AMARC. All 50+ F-14Ds were delivered to fleet or test squadrons and served from their delivery in the early 1990s until the Tomcat's retirement.

My father worked on the F-14Ds at Miramar in the early 1990s just before his retirement. He specifically remembered his Chief saying, "Gary [my dad] we have 2 new F-14Ds arriving tomorrow, but we are sending them to the desert for storage." He checked the logs, less than 200 flight hours on them, no maintenance issues, etc. He retired soon after and cared little for keeping up-to-date with military affairs so I couldn't even begin to speculate on what happened to those birds.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
keesje
Posts: 8594
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:12 pm



Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
The C-130 fleet trundles on with duck tape, band aides and super glue holding together the E models. The H models are worked hard and for some unknown reason the Air Force refuses to field enough J model replacements. It is a testament to Lockheed that these beasts continue to take abuse day in and day out all over the world.



Quoting CX747 (Reply 20):
C-130Hs have Center Wing Box issues

I think EADS will keep a low profile on the A400M. Not actively pushing, visiting the offices twice a years, keeping everyone updated, maybe some route proving / demos next year, do a fuel stop at Stewart AFB on the way to Mobile etc. Not react on folks that say its to big or to small or whatever, just hang around..

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/A400MTANKED.jpg?t=1200585454
click to enlarge..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Devilfish
Posts: 5180
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:41 pm

This may be a step in the right direction.....

Air Force Chief of Staff Releases Future Roadmap
(Source: US Air Force; issued Jan. 16, 2008)

Quote:
"WASHINGTON --- The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, released today the Air Force's weapon system 'roadmap,' a long-term plan for providing Air Force capabilities the Nation needs in the 21st century to meet threats to the Nation's security.

As part of the Air Force's strategic planning efforts, senior leaders from the Regular Air Force, National Guard and Air Force Reserve gathered in early December to discuss this plan and collaborate on this 'roadmap' for the Nation's Air Force, a roadmap designed to meet one of the Nation's most pressing needs: recapitalization and modernization of its aging Air Force fleet."


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi...pX8AAAEAAEJLZbYAAAAU&modele=jdc_34
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:10 pm

It isn't. Its a roadmap to both streamline AND downsize the fleet.
 
F27Friendship
Posts: 1098
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:45 pm

RE: Current State Of US Military Fleet.

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:27 pm



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 24):
And whats the problem with that? There are nations today trying to develop aircraft that can combat the F-15, and the nations who do have aircraft that can rival the F-15 are currently the US's allies

well... a latest generation Flanker (like the SU-30 which Venezuela has) is a more capable fighter on paper. Of course, when you add the training of the pilots, infrastructure and shear numbers...

There are plenty descent fighters in places where you wouldn;t want them. And double-digit SAMs as well (and that;s the real threat)

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