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bilgerat
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The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 8:40 am

Here's something a friend sent me:

http://www.au.af.mil/au/afri/aspj/di...ay-Jun/F-Pietrucha.pdf?source=GovD

It's quite a long read but well worth it. The case made is how the F-35 is the wrong aircraft for the USAF and gives an alternative to how the USAF could re-structure and re-equip if the F-35 were to be cancelled.

The salient points are:

- The F-35 is only 1/3 of the way through its test programme and as such most of the mooted capabilities are unproven. This is not a good thing given the programme's track record of cost overruns and technical problems.

- The F-35 is poorly suited for Asia-Pacific operations against China.

- The USAF focus on pursuing individual platforms such as the F-35 and F-22 rather than a focus on air power capabilities is misguided.

- The pursuit of a "5th gen only" fighter fleet actually leaves the USAF less flexible and less able to respond to potential conflicts.

- The current doctrine of pursuing the highest level of technology available is both inefficient and doesn't necessarily yield results commensurate with the investment.

The alternative presented for the USAF is:

- Pursue a high-medium-low mix of combat aircraft that give the flexibility to respond to any situation.

- Cancel all spending on F-35 after FY2014.

- Retain those F-35A already purchased as a replacement for the F-117 stealthy strike capability.

- Harvest the sensor and avionics technology developed for the F-35 and retrofit these to existing legacy airframes.

- Procure a number of new build F-16F to replace the oldest F-16 Block 40 airframes.

- Procure a number of new F-15G "Strike Weasel" aircraft with dedicated SEAD capabilities.

- Procure two combat capable versions of T-X - one with a light strike/attack capability that is able to be rapidly and cheaply deployed with a "shoestring" logistics train, and one as an "all up" version with an air-air capability for the ANG to use in the air sovereignty mission. These combat capable versions of T-X would make up the bulk of the Air Force Reserve Component and form the USAF's strategic reserve.

- Retain the A-10, but in decreased numbers.

- Procure an OA-X turboprop light attack aircraft for use in counter insurgency and assymetric warfare scenarios.

This all goes hand in hand with retaining the current F-22 and F-15E fleets, losing a small amount of the current F-15C/D "Golden Eagle" fleet, and retiring around 280 of the current F-16 fleet but ensuring those remaining receive avionics upgrades.

The author points to how the US Army took a long hard look at the Comanche and cancelled it, using the money saved to re-capitalise the entire Army aviation. The author proposes a similar approach be taken with F-35.

He says the current plans to procure 1,700+ F-35s are based on the assumption that the sequestration limits will go away and there will be more money available in the future. He says his plan can be achieved within the budget limits set by sequestration and all new aircraft procurement will be complete by 2023, which frees up extra money for the NGB and NGAD programmes.

The author says this plan would create a USAF Tacair that is flexible enough to respond to any level of threat or emergency around the world.


Some very interesting ideas, well worth pondering.
 
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autothrust
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 9:26 am

Very interesting link thanks for sharing. However there is ZERO chance the F-35 to be canceled. It has to much lobbyism and money already spent to fail.

What strikes me is this quote:

Quote:
O&M costs for the F-35 currently hover around $32,000 per flying hour
compared to the F-16’s $19,000; the A-10’s $18,000; and the F-15E’s $28,000

I really don't understand why the A-10 are retired, many countries would love to have some of them.
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bilgerat
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 9:55 am

I agree the chances of F-35 being cancelled are pretty much nil. As you say there are simply too many lobby dollars invested now for that to happen.

The overall arc of the author's argument - that pursuing the 5th gen high tech approach to the exclusion of all else is misguided - I very much agree with.

Still, it makes huge piles of money for the companies that build and sell this stuff.... and I think that's pretty much the crux of the matter.
 
bunumuring
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 10:52 am

Hi all,,
I think the author's argument has some merit as well, but agree that the chances of the F-35 being cancelled are zero.
Interestingly, Australia is kind of adopting a bit of this thinking with the decision to retain the Super Hornet and reduce slightly the planned F-35 purchase to create a hi-lo mix. The Growlers were of course always going to stay with the F-35s anyway.
I personally believe the V/STOL requirements of the F-35 program should have led to a completely separate plane being developed, perhaps with some commonality to the eventual CTOL F-35 (engines at least?).
I also believe that Australia should have included some F-35Bs in the order announced a few weeks ago for shipboard operations from the future HMAS Canberra LHD and sister ship... maybe that will happen in the future...
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
nomadd22
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 11:45 am

More nonsense that ignores the very basic fact that you don't plan for today's needs. You plan for the needs in 30 years. The data cherry picking and comparison of a new system to mature systems doesn't fool anybody that matters. And stupid suggestions like "Cancel all F-35 spending after 2014" ignores current contract with termination clauses that would approach keeping the contracts intact and the need to keep the current F-35 fleet current.
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 11:55 am

If the enemy fields just 100 5th gen. fighters, they practically deny the airspace to your 4th gen. fighters and if you cancel the F-35 the US armed forces still need a new fighter.

Sure there are many faults to the F-35 - like having a stealthy jump jet that costs so much, you will never station it close to the front lines, but the money is spent and the plane is decent.
 
bilgerat
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 12:04 pm



Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 4):
More nonsense that ignores the very basic fact that you don't plan for today's needs. You plan for the needs in 30 years.

Did you read the article in full?

The author believes that the doctrine of procuring gold plated jets that are designed for the worse case scenario - a peer conflict - will also make them suitable for every other scenario is a highly flawed doctrine and will perpetuate the institutional problems he outlines in his article.

[Edited 2014-05-19 05:05:30]
 
bilgerat
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 12:13 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 5):

If the enemy fields just 100 5th gen. fighters, they practically deny the airspace to your 4th gen. fighters and if you cancel the F-35 the US armed forces still need a new fighter.

Again did you read the article?

This guy is taking a very holistic approach to air power and is saying the notion of "I have 5th gen therefore I win" is a flawed one.
 
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 12:51 pm

Quoting bilgerat (Reply 7):

Again did you read the article?

This guy is taking a very holistic approach to air power and is saying the notion of "I have 5th gen therefore I win" is a flawed one.

And the notion is correct, yet having a larger number of 5th gen fighters would probably be enough to make the US think twice about engaging in armed conflict. But on the other hand nations able to field 100+ 5th gen fighters are either allies or major powers with nukes, which makes armed conflict with those very unlikely in the first place.

In the end it all depends on your political doctrine. If you fancy the thought of being able to bomb any country, you need a large 5th gen. fleet, if you are planing for the likely conflicts (and those that you could afford to fight) you need a much smaller force.
 
bilgerat
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 1:19 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 8):
But on the other hand nations able to field 100+ 5th gen fighters are either allies or major powers with nukes, which makes armed conflict with those very unlikely in the first place.

I generally agree. In fact the article points out that it's very unlikely Russia or China are going to be fielding their respective 5th gen fighters in greater numbers than the US already fields the F-22.

The author also mentions it would actually be a good thing to let China take on the burden of developing 5th gen types. That's quite an interesting idea if you think about it.
 
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 2:41 pm

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):

Thank you for your great summary!

This all makes sense.


Regarding the first Gulf war in 1990/1991 - how was the combat record of these F-117? Did they earn their pay? Or were they flown in as an air show, so to speak?


David
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bilgerat
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 3:03 pm

During Desert Storm I believe the F-117 was the only coalition aircraft that could successfully attack targets in the Baghdad area whilst the Iraqi air defence network was still largely functioning.

Package Q on 19th January 1991 showed what happens when non-stealth aircraft try and penetrate defended airspace. Ironically this gave part of the impetus for developing JSF.
 
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 3:44 pm

F-117A did so well, even their pilots were surprised.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 4:28 pm

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- The USAF focus on pursuing individual platforms such as the F-35 and F-22 rather than a focus on air power capabilities is misguided.

I'd have to give some credence to this. Really, the focus should be on entire package from drones all the way up to strategic bombers and how they work together.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
The current doctrine of pursuing the highest level of technology available is both inefficient and doesn't necessarily yield results commensurate with the investment.

Yeah, I agree. Technology is great but its not everything and you need sound strategy to employ it.

Quoting bilgerat (Reply 11):
During Desert Storm I believe the F-117 was the only coalition aircraft that could successfully attack targets in the Baghdad area whilst the Iraqi air defence network was still largely functioning.

Yes, its RCS is lower than the B2 if I am not mistaken.

The whole point of JSF though is that in one big order you get enough cost savings to offset some of these issues. And I do agree there needs to be long term thinking. A F-16F is not going to do you any good in 20 years. Even if you brought back the AV-8B as your jump jet its kind of pointless. Its operational costs and maintenance will go up for the next 20 years. JSF might actually go down once the kinks are worked out. I also think the 1720 order number is too high. I think you can trim that a few hundred easily.

A-10 is a great plane but the need for a Gatling gun has long passed. I'd keep the fleet in ready reserve or better yet sell them to an Eastern European NATO ally. The CAS mission is there but I think the fleets of JSF, Drones and Spectres can fill the gap and by eliminating the entire A-10 program you save a ton of money. There is no reason to think JSF can't do CAS even if you don't think its stealthy. It can carry enough SDB's and you can easily line the cockpit with Kevlar if needed.
 
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autothrust
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 5:11 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 13):
A-10 is a great plane but the need for a Gatling gun has long passed.

This is just not true. Ive posted the reason already in the other forum ACC Commander On Upgrades/Cuts- F22,F35,A10,U2.

Besides that, it' s not only its gun which makes the A-10 such a immense powerful CAS Maschine.

-Long endurance
-Exremly robust
-loitering the mission area for hours
-slow speed gives better overview of the situation

etc...

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 13):
Drones and Spectres can fill the gap and by eliminating the entire A-10 program you save a ton of money.

Disagree, not only can't drones rescue ground soldiers from an ambush, they are not gonna survive a single bullet.

The A-10 is really hard to destroy.

Besides the A-10C with new wing (money already spent) is not an expensive plane to operate.
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INFINITI329
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 5:49 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 14):
they are not gonna survive a single bullet.

A-10 can take several and still dish out an a** whoopin without sweat

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
Procure two combat capable versions of T-X - one with a light strike/attack capability that is able to be rapidly and cheaply deployed with a "shoestring" logistics train, and one as an "all up" version with an air-air capability for the ANG to use in the air sovereignty mission. These combat capable versions of T-X would make up the bulk of the Air Force Reserve Component and form the USAF's strategic reserve.

This basicly waters down the guard and reserve. It has been proven with Iraq & Afghanistan that you need strong reserve competent to fight any future wars with the threat we face today. They need to be as capable as their active duty counterparts. Sticking them with trainer aircraft with missiles on it is not they way you maintain capability and not how you want to protect the homeland
 
bilgerat
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 6:08 pm

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 15):
This basicly waters down the guard and reserve.

The author sees the combat versions of T-X as part of a mix of combat aircraft that allow the USAF to better tailor itself to the mission at hand rather than using the gold plated 5th gen fighters to do everything.

Again, please take the time to read the article before responding - all I've given above is a broad summary.
 
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 6:26 pm

I remember the time that the Comanche was terminated. It was after that big fiasco during Iraq War II where some AH-64 was sent in to attack some town and was shot up pretty badly.

It was assumed that what ever they learned about that incident caused the Army to re-think it's strategy and cancelled the Comanche.

At the time it may have been thought that if it was a flight of Comanche as opposed to Apache going into that town, the results would have been worst.

bt
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 7:25 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 1):
I really don't understand why the A-10 are retired, many countries would love to have some of them.

Who is threatened with invasion from thousands of soviet tanks? Canada? Please. It's 2014, the A-10 should've been gone a long time ago. Only the fanbois want to keep it around for nostalgia reasons because its their favourite airplane in video games. Real commanders on the ground fighting the battle don't want them.
 
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 9:48 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 18):
Real commanders on the ground fighting the battle don't want them.

Who have you talked to? Have you ever been in the US military? Combat vet status.....combat flight hours? Or are you an armchair general?
 
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Mon May 19, 2014 11:42 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 4):
More nonsense that ignores the very basic fact that you don't plan for today's needs. You plan for the needs in 30 years. The data cherry picking and comparison of a new system to mature systems doesn't fool anybody that matters. And stupid suggestions like "Cancel all F-35 spending after 2014" ignores current contract with termination clauses that would approach keeping the contracts intact and the need to keep the current F-35 fleet current.

The prime contractor, LM hasn't fulfilled their part of the contract on delivery, price, capability and specifications. Getting out of the F-35 contract is easier than you think.

Plan for tomorrows capabilities and requirements is all fine and good, but the F-35 has not shown it can handle tomorrows battlefield, either.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 5):
If the enemy fields just 100 5th gen. fighters, they practically deny the airspace to your 4th gen. fighters and if you cancel the F-35 the US armed forces still need a new fighter.

Really? Just how is any enemy going to do that? Gen.4 fighters are very capable and have developed tactics that will allow them to operate in airspace defended by stealth fighters. Stealth aircraft are extremely expensive to develop, buy, maintain, and operate. They are also not invincible. Like every aircraft they have weaknesses and limitations. Exploit those and you can beat a modern stealth fighter with a P-51D, let alone a F-15C.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 13):
There is no reason to think JSF can't do CAS even if you don't think its stealthy.

Really? The F-16 can allegedly do the CAS mission, but do they really do it? No. The Generals will not send a $65 million F-16 fighter into a ground fight hornet's nest. So what makes anyone think they will send in a $115 million F-35?

Quoting JohnM (Reply 19):
Quoting Powerslide (Reply 18):Real commanders on the ground fighting the battle don't want them.
Who have you talked to? Have you ever been in the US military? Combat vet status.....combat flight hours? Or are you an armchair general?

No, he has no combat flying time, and has no US military experience. He may not even be a pilot or a crew member. I doubt very much any US ground Commander would talk tactics with a young man from Canada, let alone what weapons platforms they want to protect their troops. He is just another F-35 fanboy, and that is fine, but he has a tendency to think the F-35 is the world's greatest weapons platform.
 
Ozair
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 2:00 am

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
It's quite a long read but well worth it.

I disagree.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
The case made is how the F-35 is the wrong aircraft for the USAF and gives an alternative to how the USAF could re-structure and re-equip if the F-35 were to be cancelled.

There are a whole bunch of holes in his analysis.

For starters his comparison to the Comanche is poor at best. He talks of the divestment from the Comanche being a good thing, but then completely ignores the fact that the US Army has struggled to field a replacement. The so called low cost solution in the form of the COTS ARH-70, has been anything but, and was cancelled due to significant budget overruns. Why would a T/X-F/X be any different?

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- The F-35 is only 1/3 of the way through its test programme and as such most of the mooted capabilities are unproven. This is not a good thing given the programme's track record of cost overruns and technical problems.

The F-35 program may be one third of the way through testing but it has spend 91% of the funding already to develop and test the aircraft. They only need another 5 billion or so to complete the development and testing of the aircraft. That would be a colossal waste of resources.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):

- The F-35 is poorly suited for Asia-Pacific operations against China.

The F-35 is better suited than any other US fighter aircraft currently in production. For starters it has a longer range in a war like configuration than any other tactical fighter/attack jet, it has advanced sensors that provide greater situational awareness and it has the ability to survive in a high threat environment.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- The current doctrine of pursuing the highest level of technology available is both inefficient and doesn't necessarily yield results commensurate with the investment.

And yet the F-15 is a stunning example of where he is wrong. It was the gold plated solution in the 1970s, was decried by critics for being too expensive, too complex and too difficult to maintain. 40 years on it has an incredible air to air record, is still in limited production and its variants coming off the production line are more capable than its foreign competitor in the Su-35.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- Pursue a high-medium-low mix of combat aircraft that give the flexibility to respond to any situation.

The high-low mix is notionally flawed and the modification and continued production of F-16 aircraft over the last 30 years has proven that. What the F-16 has proven is that tactical fighter aircraft need to be multi-role and capable of responding to a whole slew of mission sets. Cost savings have come from reducing the number of aircraft types and procuring F-16s from a high rate production line that provides real cost savings.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- Harvest the sensor and avionics technology developed for the F-35 and retrofit these to existing legacy airframes.

At a great cost. The systems themselves may be able to be fit into legacy aircraft but the costs of modifying older airframes that already have reduced lifespans is huge. Look at the programs around the world that have modified 3rd and 4th gen aircraft. It has not been cheap. Australia spent billions of dollars on its HUG upgrades, in the end creating a fleet of aircraft that have been difficult to maintain. Why? Because systems have been added that stress the airframe or push more wiring through areas not meant to take it. Fault finding becomes more difficult and therefore aircraft are on the ground for longer.

If Australia had a second chance, they would have replaced the entire fleet with Super Hornets from 2005 and saved money!

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- Procure a number of new build F-16F to replace the oldest F-16 Block 40 airframes.

On a low rate production line these airframes would cost as much if not more than an F-35, while offering less capability.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- Procure a number of new F-15G "Strike Weasel" aircraft with dedicated SEAD capabilities.

Same as above.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- Procure two combat capable versions of T-X - one with a light strike/attack capability that is able to be rapidly and cheaply deployed with a "shoestring" logistics train, and one as an "all up" version with an air-air capability for the ANG to use in the air sovereignty mission. These combat capable versions of T-X would make up the bulk of the Air Force Reserve Component and form the USAF's strategic reserve.

I have no problem with a T-X for Guard units but what he advocates is an F-16C capability. Do we really think this could be produced for under 50 million? With such a small production run it would suffer the same costs pressures the Eurofighter Typhoon has with supporting a small fleet of airframes.

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
The author says this plan would create a USAF Tacair that is flexible enough to respond to any level of threat or emergency around the world.

But he is wrong. It does not create a fleet of TACAIR that can sustain first day strike, nor can maintain the current western edge against emerging platforms.

Nor is there any evidence that his plan would actually cost less. It would not reduce the number if aircraft types (which is where real cost savings are found), would increase development funding for aircraft with limited mission sets, and create additional low rate inefficient production lines to build limited numbers of airframes.

Finally it addresses none of the issues surrounding how to deal with emerging 5th gen threats from Russia and China.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 1):
What strikes me is this quote:

Quote:
O&M costs for the F-35 currently hover around $32,000 per flying hour
compared to the F-16’s $19,000; the A-10’s $18,000; and the F-15E’s $28,000

The figures are wrong. The latest USAF reports puts the F-16 at closer to 25k for a start.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 1):
I really don't understand why the A-10 are retired, many countries would love to have some of them.

And yet many have been sitting in the boneyard for the last ten years and no one has been interested. There is no market for a used A-10.

Quoting bilgerat (Reply 2):
Still, it makes huge piles of money for the companies that build and sell this stuff.... and I think that's pretty much the crux of the matter.

No actually it doesn't. It provides essentially fixed income streams at quite a low profit margin for the industry. The extra dollars for LM comes from increasing the global fleet of F-35s and providing support for the next 42 years and even these contracts are competitively awarded.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):

The prime contractor, LM hasn't fulfilled their part of the contract on delivery, price, capability and specifications

Actually so far they have.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
Gen.4 fighters are very capable and have developed tactics that will allow them to operate in airspace defended by stealth fighters.

Rubbish. Countless exercises have proven that the F-22 dominates 4.5G platforms.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
Stealth aircraft are extremely expensive to develop, buy, maintain, and operate.

And yet the Russians and Chinese are also developing 5th gen aircraft. If it was such a black hole, can be mitigated and not worth the expense, why are they doing it?
 
KBJCpilot
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 2:24 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 21):
Quoting bilgerat (Reply 2):
Still, it makes huge piles of money for the companies that build and sell this stuff.... and I think that's pretty much the crux of the matter.

No actually it doesn't. It provides essentially fixed income streams at quite a low profit margin for the industry. The extra dollars for LM comes from increasing the global fleet of F-35s and providing support for the next 42 years and even these contracts are competitively awarded.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):

The prime contractor, LM hasn't fulfilled their part of the contract on delivery, price, capability and specifications

Actually so far they have.

I didn't know that we had a LM PR guy working the A.Net message boards tonight.

The F35 is a waste of money and the program should be cut. It is a perfect example of the military-industrial complex that is enriching the Representatives and Senators from LM states while wasting billions of dollars. It is over-budget, behind on development, and a colossal example of pork barrel politics at their worst.
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checksixx
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 3:18 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 18):
It's 2014, the A-10 should've been gone a long time ago. Only the fanbois want to keep it around for nostalgia reasons because its their favourite airplane in video games. Real commanders on the ground fighting the battle don't want them.

Says the person who clearly has never had to call for CAS in a combat zone. You speak the polar opposite of what anyone would hear from commanders in our theater of operations. Not my opinion, its a fact.
 
Scruffer
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 3:35 am

Quoting bilgerat (Thread starter):
- Pursue a high-medium-low mix of combat aircraft that give the flexibility to respond to any situation.

The last thing we need is more aircraft types in small numbers.

It doesn't save money, and it doesn't improve our capabilities.
 
Ozair
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 3:44 am

Quoting KBJCpilot (Reply 22):
I didn't know that we had a LM PR guy working the A.Net message boards tonight.

Unfortunately I am not paid by LM or any of their subsidiaries. At the moment I work for a company that has little to do with the defence sector but would love to get back into that space. Either way, I have been on the board a while. Read my posting history if you really want to know what I think.

Quoting KBJCpilot (Reply 22):

The F35 is a waste of money and the program should be cut. It is a perfect example of the military-industrial complex that is enriching the Representatives and Senators from LM states while wasting billions of dollars. It is over-budget, behind on development, and a colossal example of pork barrel politics at their worst.

So provide some actual info? Better yet, provide an example of a fighter aircraft developed anywhere in the world in the last 30 years that has actually been on time, on budget and with the promised capability? There is a reason these things cost money and take time to develop.

In the case of the F-35, the primary reason for delay and cost growth has been US Government interference. While LM should rightly take some blame for saying yes to requirements changes (scope creep being the number one issue with defence contracts and cost growth) the fact the JSF PO even asked the question in the first place should be where most of the blame resides.
 
Scruffer
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 4:22 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 25):
So provide some actual info? Better yet, provide an example of a fighter aircraft developed anywhere in the world in the last 30 years that has actually been on time, on budget and with the promised capability? There is a reason these things cost money and take time to develop.

In the case of the F-35, the primary reason for delay and cost growth has been US Government interference. While LM should rightly take some blame for saying yes to requirements changes (scope creep being the number one issue with defence contracts and cost growth) the fact the JSF PO even asked the question in the first place should be where most of the blame resides.

The worst problem is that we have such huge development cycles these days. Scope creep wouldn't be much of an issue if these cycles were 5 years instead of what feels like 25 for the F-35....
 
Ozair
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 4:54 am

Quoting Scruffer (Reply 26):
The worst problem is that we have such huge development cycles these days. Scope creep wouldn't be much of an issue if these cycles were 5 years instead of what feels like 25 for the F-35....

Agree and it feels like program acquisition reform often adds additional layers of the process in place of simplifying it. Combine that with the prevalence of GAO protests by the losing bidder and the process can drag.

Saying that, Eurofighter was a good 20+ years, F-22 was 20+, Rafale was 20+. For tactical fighter aircraft those time frames are becoming the norm.
 
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 5:48 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):

Really? Just how is any enemy going to do that? Gen.4 fighters are very capable and have developed tactics that will allow them to operate in airspace defended by stealth fighters. Stealth aircraft are extremely expensive to develop, buy, maintain, and operate. They are also not invincible. Like every aircraft they have weaknesses and limitations. Exploit those and you can beat a modern stealth fighter with a P-51D, let alone a F-15C.

Threatening to inflict losses or causing losses that are higher than what the Western public opinion is going to accept. Considering that the public hardly accepts even minor losses, this is not too hard. At least as long as we are talking about a limited conflict. So while they can not deny the airspace to you in the military sense, they can in the political.
 
GDB
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 5:59 am

In the 70's, McD proposed several F-4 upgrades, new avionics, some with new engines, largely aimed at the export market .
There were also others developed for specific AF's, such as Israel and the then West Germany, that were actually deployed.
This proposal is nothing more than a 21st Century version of that.
Imagine if you will, how effective the USAF's fleet would have been by the 1990's and 2000's had for some reason, a F-4 upgrade gone ahead once further F-16 development, from the F-16C onwards, had been axed, while the F-15 stayed in limited numbers. Along with an expanded F-5E buy this time in a combat rather than DACT role.
 
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 6:21 am

Well, that depends. The up-graded Super F-4 would be a suitable F-15E alternative, it would also haul dumb bombs just a well as the F-16 and fly lazy CAP circles as well as the F-15. Peace Icarus F-4E AUP and German ICEs showed that there was still lots of life in the F-4, for not much money spent. Especially as the airframe is very strong and 7000+ hours seemed to go easily.

So in all fairness, it could be that some capabilities would have been in the service earlier. (LGB using which the F-4 did since Vietnam, while the F-16 did not do it by 1991 and the Mudhen just started)
 
bunumuring
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 8:31 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 21):
If Australia had a second chance, they would have replaced the entire fleet with Super Hornets from 2005 and saved money

Mate, I agree.
But I guess John Howard (then PM) and his government bought into the F-35 relatively early and nothing else was considered. After that, the F-35 was immune to criticism and held up as some kind of Holy Grail.
Kind of like how Qantas probably would have bought the 777 a decade ago if the 787 delays were seen in a more dim light ...
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
Kiwirob
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 8:54 am

Quoting Bunumuring (Reply 3):
I also believe that Australia should have included some F-35Bs in the order announced a few weeks ago for shipboard operations from the future HMAS Canberra LHD and sister ship... maybe that will happen in the future...
Cheers,
Bunumuring.

That will never happen, the only reason the Canberra's have the ski jump is because it would have cost far too much to redesign the vessels if it was removed.
 
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 11:34 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 32):
That will never happen, the only reason the Canberra's have the ski jump is because it would have cost far too much to redesign the vessels if it was removed.

Are you sure about that?

http://australianaviation.com.au/201...s-possibility-of-acquiring-f-35bs/

Senator Johnston said the acquisition of the F-35B was “an option which has been considered from day one.”
 
bunumuring
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 2:20 pm

Hi Ozair,
I agree. It is speculated from time to time in the media that the F-35B makes sense for the Canberra. Thanks for the informative link!
I totally agree with the whole concept of 12-16 F-35Bs becoming the Canberra's (+ sister ship) ultimate weapon.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
GDB
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 6:37 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 30):

Well, that depends. The up-graded Super F-4 would be a suitable F-15E alternative, it would also haul dumb bombs just a well as the F-16 and fly lazy CAP circles as well as the F-15. Peace Icarus F-4E AUP and German ICEs showed that there was still lots of life in the F-4, for not much money spent. Especially as the airframe is very strong and 7000+ hours seemed to go easily.

Though in the case of Germany, the F-4F's were considerably newer than other fleets, with the exceptions of some of the Iranian, Japanese of South Korean ones.
However, unlike the USAF and Israel, no rigours of combat deployments either.
The Luftwaffe only used them for air defence too?

But it was just an analogy to illustrate the wrong headedness of the proposal this thread is about.
Though imagine the USAF having to do Desert Storm without all those F-16C's, with fewer F-15C's and no F-15E, with any upgraded F-4, even the early 80's Boeing proposals of new avionics, engines, a conformal under-fuselage fairing for fuel/weapons, not only is the price tag high, it's still a 1950's design.
And still inferior to a Strike Eagle, later Block F-16C's too and outclassed if any closer in air combat happens, with it did in ODS.
Whether new build, not an option after the end of the 70's, or retro fitted , as the ultimate Boeing proposal, to what will then be an ageing fleet.

[Edited 2014-05-20 11:39:49]
 
Kiwirob
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 7:48 pm

Quoting Bunumuring (Reply 34):
Hi Ozair,
I agree. It is speculated from time to time in the media that the F-35B makes sense for the Canberra. Thanks for the informative link!
I totally agree with the whole concept of 12-16 F-35Bs becoming the Canberra's (+ sister ship) ultimate weapon.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.

Still not going to work very well the Aussie Canberras have some fairly big under the skin changes from the Spanish Juan Carlos I

Quoting Ozair (Reply 33):
Are you sure about that?

Yes I am, did you actually read the entire article, the Aussie Canberra's were optimised for amphibious ops, they do not have sufficient fuel and weapons bunkerage to operate F-35Bs, that was one of the changes from the Juan Carlos, they also don't have the heat resistant deck coating needed. At best they can be used to lilly pad other operators F-35B's but unless the govt is going to spent a great deal of money to modify them for F-35B you will never see them onboard. From everything I've ever read the RAN don't want them either.
 
tommy1808
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 7:50 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 35):
However, unlike the USAF and Israel, no rigours of combat deployments either.
The Luftwaffe only used them for air defence too?

They where used as fighter/bombers and saw extensive low level use at 200 feet AGL.

Updated F4s did and are doing pretty well in Exercises.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
bunumuring
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 9:03 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 36):
Quoting Ozair (Reply 33):
Are you sure about that?

Yes I am, did you actually read the entire article, the Aussie Canberra's were optimised for amphibious ops, they do not have sufficient fuel and weapons bunkerage to operate F-35Bs, that was one of the changes from the Juan Carlos, they also don't have the heat resistant deck coating needed. At best they can be used to lilly pad other operators F-35B's but unless the govt is going to spent a great deal of money to modify them for F-35B you will never see them onboard. From everything I've ever read the RAN don't want them either.

Thanks for that information mate, I was not aware of the implications of such changes.

It is such a shame. I really believe Australia should have such a capability. Within grasp but so far away, I guess.

Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Tue May 20, 2014 10:23 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 21):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):Gen.4 fighters are very capable and have developed tactics that will allow them to operate in airspace defended by stealth fighters.
Rubbish. Countless exercises have proven that the F-22 dominates 4.5G platforms.

I thought we were talking about the F-35? The F-22 is a far superior aircraft than the F-35 ever will be.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 21):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20): Stealth aircraft are extremely expensive to develop, buy, maintain, and operate.
And yet the Russians and Chinese are also developing 5th gen aircraft. If it was such a black hole, can be mitigated and not worth the expense, why are they doing it?

Its called keeping up with the Jones. The USAF has been flying stealth aircraft since the 1980s, and China, nor Russia had anything that could counter the threat on the F-117, B-2, and F-22.

Quoting KBJCpilot (Reply 22):
The F35 is a waste of money and the program should be cut. It is a perfect example of the military-industrial complex that is enriching the Representatives and Senators from LM states while wasting billions of dollars. It is over-budget, behind on development, and a colossal example of pork barrel politics at their worst.

  

The DOD has identified problems with the F-35 fleet going back to 2011, when the first first started going big in the flight test program:

In November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:
The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.
The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
The software development is behind schedule.
The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced for VTOL operations.
There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.
The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.

In March 2013, USAF test pilots, flying with pre-operational software that did not utilize the all-aspect infrared AAQ-37 DAS sensor, noted a lack of visibility from the F-35 cockpit during evaluation flights which would get them consistently shot down in combat. Defense spending analyst Winslow Wheeler concluded from flight evaluation reports that the F-35A "is flawed beyond redemption"; in response, program manager Bogdan suggested that pilots worried about being shot down should fly cargo aircraft instead. The same report found (in addition to the usual problems with the aircraft listed above):
Current aircraft software is inadequate for even basic pilot training.
Ejection seat may fail causing pilot fatality.
Several pilot-vehicle interface issues, including lack of feedback on touch screen controls.
The radar performs poorly or not at all.
Engine replacement takes an average of 52 hours, instead of the two hours specified.
Maintenance tools do not work.

The JPO responded that more experienced pilots would be able to safely operate the aircraft and that procedures would improve over time.

Even in the final "3F" software version, the F-35 will lack ROVER, in spite of having close air support as one of its primary missions

A 2014 Pentagon report found these additional problems:
Only a third of the fleet is airworthy.
The Inertial navigation system does not work.
There is an unknown bug with the AMRAAM.
DAS confuses the aircraft's own flare launches with incoming missiles.
A single well placed bullet can render the F-35B's vertical landing capabilities useless

The F-35A/B/Cs are all lemons that we cannot depend upon to fly and fight. They are a bottomless pits for money to waste.
 
Ozair
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 12:53 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
The F-22 is a far superior aircraft than the F-35 ever will be.

Of course, except for the fact it has a shorter range, a less capable radar, no IRST system, no DAS and a more difficult stealth coating to maintain.

For BVR engagements where stealth is key, there will be little to no difference in the performance of either aircraft.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
Its called keeping up with the Jones.

So the F-22 is the greatest fighter ever made and yet when Russia and China want to develop a 5th Gen aircraft it is for status and not for capability?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
The DOD has identified problems with the F-35 fleet going back to 2011, when the first first started going big in the flight test program:

News flash Boom, the aircraft is in testing and has yet to reach IOC.

Testing is the period in a development program where you are supposed to find out all the issues that the computer models, technological limitations and manufacturing issues. In the case of the F-35, it has the most comprehensive testing program in aviation history.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
The F-35A/B/Cs are all lemons that we cannot depend upon to fly and fight. They are a bottomless pits for money to waste.

Its a shame you think that. I have proven on a number of occasions the cost value of the F-35, especially against its rivals, and that is before you consider the increased capabilities it offers over 4.5G platforms.

The F-35 will IOC with the following capabilities,
1. All-weather A2A capability
2. All-weather A2G fixed target attack via SAR & JDAM (or datalinked GPS coordinates)
3. Limited clear-weather moving target attack via EOTS & Paveway
4. Full datalinks (MADL & Link-16)
5. Multi-ship data fusion
6. EODAS tracking
7. BDA

Rafale IOC'd with
Mica EM and Magic-2 missiles and nothing else. No air to ground capability at all. No Link-16. No IRST. No targeting pod. No helmet mounted sight.

Typhoon was similar.

SH didn't go full up with its capabilities until 8 years after FOC.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 36):
the Aussie Canberra's were optimised for amphibious ops, they do not have sufficient fuel and weapons bunkerage to operate F-35Bs

No one in Australia, including the RAN, expects to operate the LHDs as a carrier. They will be able to operate a small detachment for specific mission sets. Not only that but there is a lot of utility in using F-35B in general.

If the need was there we could either purchase an additional LHD or modify those we have to accommodate the F-35B better (look at what we did with Manoora and Kanimbla). After all, the US is modifying their amphibs to F-35B standard.
 
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 5:12 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 35):
Whether new build, not an option after the end of the 70's, or retro fitted , as the ultimate Boeing proposal, to what will then be an ageing fleet.

An ageing fleet with many capabilities not found on the new airframes at the same time. If I look at the high demand for LGB throwing F-111s, I dare say that modernized F-4s capable of using LGBs would have been a welcome addition, more useful than F-16A dropping dumb bombs. Modernizing your old airframes makes lots of sense until your new plane is fully mature and available in numbers, while costing very little in comparison and reducing the pressure on the new project.

Looking at today I think it would make a lot of sense if the USAF would still buy F-15E / F15-SE or F-16F by 12-36 frames a year. Those would allow them to retire the ageing F-15C and the oldest F-16s and they would still be useful in many conflicts even when and if F-35 is finally ready and around in numbers.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 6:27 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 40):
They will be able to operate a small detachment for specific mission sets. Not only that but there is a lot of utility in using F-35B in general.

If the need was there we could either purchase an additional LHD or modify those we have to accommodate the F-35B better (look at what we did with Manoora and Kanimbla). After all, the US is modifying their amphibs to F-35B standard.

These are brand new ships, the design they were based on was designed to operate F-35B, the RAN had there's modified to the point where they are no longer suitable for operating F-35B, if there was any intention on behalf to the RAN to operate F-35B they would have stuck with the baseline configuration of Juan Carlos I and not made the changes they did. The only reason the skijump is still there is the cost to modify the design to remove it was to high. I do not believe you will ever see an order of F-35B from the Australian govt.
 
Ozair
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 7:15 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 42):
the RAN had there's modified to the point where they are no longer suitable for operating F-35B,

What are you basing this on?

From the article quoted in reply 33.

The Canberra class LHDs are being built optimised for amphibious operations using water craft and helicopters, and do not have sufficient fuel and weapons bunkerage to operate F-35Bs without a considerable upgrade in the RAN’s support ship fleet.

It does not say that the LHDs cannot operate F-35s, it only states that the RAN would require additional support ships to sustain the type of operations F-35s would undertake. The LHD will have aviation fuel storage to support the embarked rotary wing assets as well as munition storage areas for the vehicles. So it appears that to support F-35 ops you may require an additional AOR or two, something the RAN is sorely lacking in anyway if they plan to support any type of amphibious operation.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 42):
I do not believe you will ever see an order of F-35B from the Australian govt.

I agree that the chances are slim but I don't believe it can be ruled out at this stage.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 8:59 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 21):
For starters his comparison to the Comanche is poor at best. He talks of the divestment from the Comanche being a good thing, but then completely ignores the fact that the US Army has struggled to field a replacement. The so called low cost solution in the form of the COTS ARH-70, has been anything but, and was cancelled due to significant budget overruns. Why would a T/X-F/X be any different?

Let it be a warning to everyone out there that say "Just cancel Y and buy X." The Army has been trying to buy X for 20 years now!

Also, ARH-70 cost $10 billion dollars for zero helicopters... we could have bought the Commanche instead and gotten actual aircraft!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 21):
At a great cost. The systems themselves may be able to be fit into legacy aircraft but the costs of modifying older airframes that already have reduced lifespans is huge. Look at the programs around the world that have modified 3rd and 4th gen aircraft. It has not been cheap. Australia spent billions of dollars on its HUG upgrades, in the end creating a fleet of aircraft that have been difficult to maintain. Why? Because systems have been added that stress the airframe or push more wiring through areas not meant to take it. Fault finding becomes more difficult and therefore aircraft are on the ground for longer.

You can look at the costs for the ultimate F-16 variant: The F-16 Block 60. $3 billion dollars back in 1996 for development one of the most advanced versions of the F-16 in existence. Would be $4.2 billion dollars today. And that excludes the procurement cost, which today, would have exceeded $80 million dollars per unit. God knows how much another version of the Block 60 will cost today.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
Its called keeping up with the Jones. The USAF has been flying stealth aircraft since the 1980s, and China, nor Russia had anything that could counter the threat on the F-117, B-2, and F-22.

Sure, and I am sure that the numerous Red Flag and related exercises that demonstrated the dominance of the F-22 over 4th generation fighters due to its stealth, performance and sensors has NOTHING to do with it. I'm sure the reports of the utter helplessness of the pilots of these 4th generation fighters against the F-22 in such exercises is just exaggerated.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 41):
I dare say that modernized F-4s capable of using LGBs would have been a welcome addition, more useful than F-16A dropping dumb bombs.

The F-16 has an amazing fire control computer with a super accurate bombing mode. The Israeli's demonstrated the F-16's excellent accuracy in the Osirak raid, dropping Mk84 dumb bombs aimed with CCIP with a level of accuracy that matched the accuracy of precision guided munitions. The Israeli's originally planned to use F-4E's armed with PGM's in the raid, but provided a better alternative due to the F-4E's limitations.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 41):
Modernizing your old airframes makes lots of sense until your new plane is fully mature and available in numbers, while costing very little in comparison and reducing the pressure on the new project.

Except when the older airframes are suffering from structural fatigue issues... then, you can either spent a lot of money on a structural repair program for what may be only a few more years of extra service, or buy new aircraft.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 40):
SH didn't go full up with its capabilities until 8 years after FOC.

Even worst; many key systems with the Super Hornet are not considered operationally effective for use in certain threat environments TODAY!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):

The DOD has identified problems with the F-35 fleet going back to 2011, when the first first started going big in the flight test program:

Ahem, this is the Super Hornet's issues today:
- Updated version of the current avionics software is over a year late
- 6 of the 14 capabilities that were planned were stripped out, namely AESA electronic warfare capability, integrated ESM and high-gain ESM to detect emitters using only onboard sensors, the ability to identify specific emitters, single-ship geolocation, integration of the ALQ-214(V)4 defensive jammer, and RNAV (Area Navigation) for GPS civil airspace navigation instead of using TACAN
- JSOW C-1 integration has also been pushed back due to software issues
- software instability with the AN/APG-79 AESA radar that has plagued the radar for over 7 years causing issues with radar reliability coupled with poor built-in test (BIT) performance
- lack of demonstrated capabilities for an end-to-end multi-AIM-120 missile shot to take on multiple opponents
http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/...pdf/other/2013DOTEAnnualReport.pdf
 
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seahawk
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 3:13 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):
Except when the older airframes are suffering from structural fatigue issues... then, you can either spent a lot of money on a structural repair program for what may be only a few more years of extra service, or buy new aircraft.

If you buy enough new aircraft which are ready to take on the mission.
 
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kanban
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 5:19 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 40):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):

It's always interesting that when presented if F-35 manufacturing/design/performance shortcomings, the response is a list of other planes that had problems initially as if that makes the condition acceptable. For the amount of money going into this program, the short falls in deliver are unacceptable, and are compounded by LM's continued production of substandard vehicles. Even corrections are carefully couched in terms of "estimated" incorporation dates which will have to be followed by extensive testing and in many cases extensive retrofit of the hangar queens.

The advantage today is we have a multitude platforms with varying capabilities that can be matched to the need, and relying on one platform that may or may not be fully operational in the next 15-20 years seems to leave you crisis inventors with your arses hanging out. ( Oh please China, North Korea, Iran wait a few more years while we get our un-defeatable super plane working).

If anything it will be the drying up of funding that will eventually kill the program with only about 30% of the envisioned fleet produced regardless of what the military brass are told to say.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 6:13 pm

Quoting checksixx (Reply 23):
Says the person who clearly has never had to call for CAS in a combat zone. You speak the polar opposite of what anyone would hear from commanders in our theater of operations. Not my opinion, its a fact.

I'm in favor of mothballing the A10 but I do agree A-10 has always been well regarded. It's gun, low speed flying capability, endurance and outstanding cockpit visibility make it clearly superior to JSF in the CAS role. What I am saying is that JSF combined with better future drones, AH-64s, Spectres will do enough that you can mothball the fleet until another 8 year ground war starts (hopefully doesn't).

I recognize no multi-role fighter is ever going to top purpose built A-10s. We can't afford titanium lined flying tanks anymore though. At least those JSF units could perform CAP missions when needed unlike the A-10.

The Marine Corp isn't even getting CAS from A10s anyway and they were doing fine with AV8Bs and Hornets. JSF should outperform either of those for certain, so it can and has been done.

If it really saves 40B, I say can it.

Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
This proposal is nothing more than a 21st Century version of that.
Imagine if you will, how effective the USAF's fleet would have been by the 1990's and 2000's had for some reason, a F-4 upgrade gone ahead once further F-16 development, from the F-16C onwards, had been axed, while the F-15 stayed in limited n

Good point. F4s would be eaten alive by Su-27s

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):
The F-16 has an amazing fire control computer with a super accurate bombing mode. The Israeli's demonstrated the F-16's excellent accuracy in the Osirak raid, dropping Mk84 dumb bombs aimed with CCIP with a level of accuracy that matched the accuracy of precision guided munitions. The Israeli's originally planned to use F-4E's armed with PGM's in the raid, but provided a better alternative due to the F-4E's limitations.

That's a little misleading. Iran bombed Osirik 2 years prior with F-4s with 75% of their iron bombs hitting too. Both were employing dive tactics. If I popped up an F-16 right over Osirak and went 100 ft to 10,000ft and then nosedived I too would be 90% accurate. The point is not to fly a suicide trajectory. Try that against a S300 and find out what happens.
 
GDB
Posts: 13541
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 6:53 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 47):
That's a little misleading. Iran bombed Osirik 2 years prior with F-4s with 75% of their iron bombs hitting too.

Are you sure? I always thought it was F-16's, which was always surprising if true given they were A models that could not have been in Israeli service for long, or with anyone else.
 
solarflyer22
Posts: 1517
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RE: The Comanche And The Albatross (F-35)

Wed May 21, 2014 8:09 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 48):
Are you sure? I always thought it was F-16's, which was always surprising if true given they were A models that could not have been in Israeli service for long, or with anyone else.

I think you misread my line. Israel definitely used F-16A models, ironically the batch ordered by the Shah of Iran before being deposed. Iran used F-4's but didn't target the reactor vessel due to fear of fallout. Israel specifically targeted the reactor though its not clear to me there was actually a proliferation threat. The French were adamant that it was not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Scorch_Sword

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