ThePointblank
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USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:00 am

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...hornets-caught-us-by-surprise.html

Quote:
The extent of corrosion damage on the U.S. military's F/A-18 Hornet fleet is requiring more maintenance than expected, an admiral said.

The Navy and Marine Corps are flying the legacy fighter jets longer than planned -- 10,000 flight hours, up from 6,000 flight hours -- because of delays in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, according to Navy Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, the service's director of air warfare. As a result, the 1980s-era, twin-engine aircraft is experiencing a high degree of wear and tear, including corrosion.

"The corrosion impacts, I would say, caught us by surprise," he said this week during a Navy and Marine Corps aviation conference on Capitol Hill. "When we opened them up and realized the extent of the corrosion damage, we realized we couldn't just replace the parts we were going to replace. We had to put those airplanes aside."

There are approximately 620 F-18A/D Hornets currently in service, according to a 2015 report on naval programs. The Marine Corps still flies the aircraft as a frontline fighter, while the Navy operates the plane behind the newer F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Marines in recent months have flown F-18s to strike militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

An extension from 6000 hours to 10000 hours is a 66% addition to the planned life expectancy of each surviving Hornet. The oldest A's will be about 30 years old now, with around 6000 hours each. Extending the service life to 10,000 hours basically means that if the amount of flying remains constant, the USN will be adding another 20 years to a 30 year old aircraft; which means another 20 years of exposure to salt water and corrosion.

From the comments made by the USN, they didn't consider corrosion to be an issue had they stuck to the original service life of the F/A-18, and it became an issue once the service lives had to be extended.
 
strfyr51
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:21 pm

they don't consider corrosion to be a problem as the CO of any squadron that fails a corrosion check would be relieved of his/Her command ASAP. The USN takes corrosion SERIOUSLY..
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:24 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 1):
they don't consider corrosion to be a problem as the CO of any squadron that fails a corrosion check would be relieved of his/Her command ASAP. The USN takes corrosion SERIOUSLY..

It's become an issue because the aircraft are flying much longer than they are supposed to, and they have started opening up the aircraft in ways that were never intended for and discovering corrosion issues. The centre barrel replacement work is the biggest one, and it does open an F/A-18 in a way that McDD never intended the aircraft to be disassembled.

Reminds me during the 1990's when the USN contracted Raytheon to do refurbishment work on the P-3C fleet. When Raytheon started pulling apart the P-3's to do the work, they found corrosion much more severe than anticipated. Both Raytheon and the USN agreed to mutually terminate the contract only after a handful of aircraft were refurbished because of the extent of the corrosion:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...cember/Pages/Navy_Ponders4304.aspx

Edit: found a video that shows the centre barrel replacement work on the F/A-18. I imagine that with the state of aircraft dissassembly, they would be finding more issues with corrosion than the standard checks would find:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLqgpWRQOqg

[Edited 2015-06-07 20:32:55]
 
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seahawk
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:25 am

A good reason why they need to buy more F-35Cs now. It is a waste of money to work on those legacy planes.
 
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moo
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:37 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 3):

A good reason why they need to buy more F-35Cs now. It is a waste of money to work on those legacy planes.

That depends on how long the lead time is on F-35Cs verses the attrition of life expired Hornets - some life extension work may have to be undertaken regardless of which option is taken, or available capability may see a temporary dip during the cross over.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:13 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 3):
A good reason why they need to buy more F-35Cs now. It is a waste of money to work on those legacy planes.

OR.......order more Rhinos to replaced some of the corroded birds until the F-35C's

arrive in large numbers   
 
zanl188
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:25 am

Another video re: center barrel replacement

http://youtu.be/Y5hax06xClQ
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seahawk
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:39 pm

Breaking up in the air:

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/blu...arts-in-flight-twice-in-1709836712

Imho it time for a massive 500+ planes order of F-35 now.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:27 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 3):
A good reason why they need to buy more F-35Cs now. It is a waste of money to work on those legacy planes.

The F/A-18A/B/C/D work, and with a proven combat record. The F-35, any variant doesn't work, and won't work for many years to come, if ever.

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 5):
OR.......order more Rhinos to replaced some of the corroded birds until the F-35C's

        

Quoting seahawk (Reply 7):
Imho it time for a massive 500+ planes order of F-35 now.

First you talk about wasting money, then advocate buying 500 more F-35s at an average price of $100M each. That is another $50B thrown down a bottomless pit.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:09 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
The F/A-18A/B/C/D work, and with a proven combat record. The F-35, any variant doesn't work, and won't work for many years to come, if ever.

Um... read the article. They are short airframes because of corrosion problems with the classic Hornet fleet. They are will be short by 100 aircraft compared to the authorized strength by 2020. The problem is made worst by Sequestration, which places mandatory spending caps on everything.

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 5):
OR.......order more Rhinos to replaced some of the corroded birds until the F-35C's

Boeing's not producing Super Hornets at a very fast rate. Lockheed Martin is going to be cranking out 97 F-35's in a fiscal year under LRIP Lot 10. Boeing can only produce a small fraction of that.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
First you talk about wasting money, then advocate buying 500 more F-35s at an average price of $100M each. That is another $50B thrown down a bottomless pit.

Economies of scale will drive per unit prices down (as demonstrated by every LRIP lot). And the F-35 is cheaper than you might think against other aircraft. A fully kitted Super Hornet with GFE costs about as much as a F-35C today.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:54 am

More re: F/A-18 fatigue issues and aircraft shortages:

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/navy-...-super-hornets-in-service-1.353395

Quote:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The Navy's fighter jet fleet has been flown hard during nearly 15 years of conflict in the Middle East. And with the next-generation fighter years from being operational, the service's F/A-18 Super Hornets and legacy Hornets must continue flying far longer than originally planned.

The result: Too many jets are down for service-extending upgrades, and not enough are ready to fly. For now, Navy leaders say they can manage the shortfall by ramping up maintenance and putting extra flight hours on airplanes that aren't down for repairs.

Residents around Oceana Naval Air Station likely haven't noticed a difference: With multiple air wings preparing for deployments, there's been no reduction of window-rattling practice flights.

But without additional funding to build a few dozen new Super Hornets over the next couple of years, top brass warn they eventually won't have enough jets to keep pilots proficient and respond to conflicts.

The article notes that of the 560 F/A-18 Hornets in service, half are down for long-term maintenance. Of the 523 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, 1 in 5 is down for maintenance.

Basically 3 contributing factors:

1. Aircraft flying longer than expected;
2. Sequestration: spending freeze, automatic budget cuts, and a civilian hiring freeze meant the USN lost hundreds of mechanics and technicians at depots;
3. As mentioned earlier, when they started pulling Hornets apart to do life extension work, more corrosion than expected in areas that they did not anticipate, requiring additional repairs
 
LMP737
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:48 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 10):
1. Aircraft flying longer than expected;

,

And why is that? It's rather simple, the F-35 program is a grossly mismanaged program that is years behind schedule and billions over budget. If the opposite were true most of those planes you speak of would have already been replaced.
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seahawk
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:04 am

It just does not get the support it needs. F-35 is ready. Buy 200 each year and it will work.

What other options are there. Expensive SLEPs for the legacy fleet? More Super Hornets or maybe giving up 2 CAWs and 2 carriers.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:26 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 11):
And why is that? It's rather simple, the F-35 program is a grossly mismanaged program that is years behind schedule and billions over budget. If the opposite were true most of those planes you speak of would have already been replaced.

1. Aircraft development times extending into decades isn't new. Look how long it took to develop Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen, and the F-22. If your aircraft development time is fairly short, it means you are reusing a lot of existing technology and components.

2. The USN when they developed the F/A-18 treated the design as a sort of a throw-away fighter back during the Cold War. Once the aircraft hit the original design life expectancy of 6,000 hours, the airframe was to be disposed of, and the USN would simply buy a new aircraft. Once the Cold War ended, the USN had to retain the F/A-18's in service, and service life extension was implemented to extend service life to 8,000 hours. That's being extended again.

Furthermore, the USN has a different fatigue standard for aircraft than the USAF. The USN uses fatigue to determine the structural safety of their airplanes. Basically, that means if a structural crack is spotted, the airplane is deemed unsafe and is immediately grounded pending a decision to repair or retire. When the USN designs their aircraft, in the design and development phase, fatigue analysis and ground test is conducted to 4 times the expected airframe life expectancy based upon expected usage. This means for an 8,000 hour airplane, it must pass 32,000 hours without cracking. Due to the extreme variability of fatigue analysis and test and variability in actual usage compared to design usage, the USN allows only 1/4 of ground test lifetime as the rated design life of the airframe.

When any crack appears, a failure is declared, and corrective action is taken on the design, usually beefing up or redesigning the structure(s) involved.

The USAF uses a different and more modern fatigue standard; it's called Fracture Mechanics. Under this standard, crack growth is analyzed, tested, and tracked during service usage. Due to the much higher knowledge base of fracture mechanics, cracks are permitted in flying airframes until they reach a critical length, upon which the airframe is either repaired or replaced. Analysis and ground tests during the design and development phase are conducted to two airplane lifetimes, compared to four in Fatigue criteria.

The point to take home is that USAF airplanes are allowed to fly with safe cracks and the USN airplanes are not. The USN method does add costs because it forces the USN to either retire or conduct service life extensions at a much more frequent rate than the USAF would for a similar design.

It's interesting to note that all variants of the F-35 are being tested to the USN fatigue standards, not the USAF's standards. That's why when you hear about cracks appearing in the F-35, it provokes an immediate redesign and beefing up of structure in the design.

3. The extended design phase of the F-35 is caused primarily by the US government and DoD, not the manufacturer. As I mentioned in other threads:

60 Minutes On F-35 JSF (by ThePointblank Feb 16 2014 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
The problem is that delay was due to issues with government oversight and customer requested design changes. There’s been ~5-6 years IOC delay as a result of this.

One year was from taking 3 instead of 2 to fully staff the program. I blame Lockheed Martin for thinking they could do it in 2 years when it’s always taken 3 years for a program this size and they knew it wouldn’t be done any differently than before, and I also blame the Program Office for believing it. The blame goes both ways here.

Then there was ~2 years for what is commonly referred to as the ‘weight reduction’ redesign which in reality was a recovery from an ill-conceived design requirements change between the technology demonstrator program and the award of the contract to Lockheed Martin.

Basically, very early on after the contract award, someone modified and approved the specs that specified that all three variants of the F-35 share the same weapons bay size, meaning that all three variants would have been capable of handling 2000lb class weapons internally. Originally, it was only the F-35C that was required to be able to handle a 2000lb class weapon while F-35A and F-35B only required 1000lb class weapons. It was few years later well into design and prototyping did everyone realized that as a result of the design change, F-35B was going to be overweight, so they changed the specs back to requiring internal carriage for a 1000lb class weapon in each weapons bay. But as a result of this late change, some components had to be extensively redesigned to accommodate the change and to save weight.

I presume this was a Customer idea, because if it had been a Contractor one, the Contractor would have been thrown under the bus by the Customer (e.g. A-12 Avenger II) by now. That's why I believe that no one was playing the blame game between the DoD and Lockheed Martin because if they did, the DoD probably knows full well they were the ones that caused the problem in the first place.

Now add about 2-3 years (so far) as a result of Congress and DoD choosing to stretch the program for dubious reasons (cough, *Concurrency!*, cough), and there’s your ‘dogging delays’, ‘cost’, and ‘redesign’s all rolled up in three events. Just about everything else that has happened on this program has been a mere side show in comparison.


[Edited 2015-06-30 00:31:10]

[Edited 2015-06-30 00:31:37]
 
LMP737
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:40 pm

You can cut and paste all you want. It does not change the fact that the F-35 program is an ineptly run program of $$$$$$$$$$$$ purportions.
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Ozair
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:09 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 14):
It does not change the fact that the F-35 program is an ineptly run program of $$$$$$$$$$$$ purportions.

So prove your statement...

I have provided time and again on this site the cost numbers for development of the F-35 program compared to Typhoon, Rafale and F-22. When put into the context of aircraft developed at a similar time to do a similar function the F-35 has not cost significantly more and is providing airframe(s) that are all-round more capable than those previously mentioned and certainly than those it is slated to replace.

Not only that but many of the technologies developed for the F-35 are and will be reused on future airframes for the US. An example is the LRS-B which will probably require less total development dollars given the F-35 fusion engine, sensors, stealth skin technology and F135 engine are all likely to be incorporated.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 11):
It's rather simple, the F-35 program is a grossly mismanaged program that is years behind schedule and billions over budget.

No one denies that the program could have been better managed and both LM and the Program Office/DOD are at fault. LM for agreeing to things and the Program/DoD for suggesting/authorizing them.

Back on topic, it should be no surprise that airframes are running out of hours.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 11):
most of those planes you speak of would have already been replaced.

The consequences may have been more time on early F-35C airframes compared to legacy Hornets but I doubt that sequestration would have made either option viable. Maintenance dollars are the bigger issue here, not replacement airframes. The USN hasn't really seen a reduction in tempo for the last 15 years compared to a shrinking budget to support operations and main line maintenance.
 
LMP737
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:45 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
So prove your statement...

The numbers, $160 billiion over budget and seven years behind schedule. And it does not help when one of the DOD acquisition chiefs calls the program acquisition malpractice.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
I have provided time and again on this site the cost numbers for development of the F-35 program compared to Typhoon, Rafale and F-22. When put into the context of aircraft developed at a similar time to do a similar function the F-35 has not cost significantly more and is providing airframe(s) that are all-round more capable than those previously mentioned and certainly than those it is slated to replace.

Is your argument "All the other programs and way over budget and poorly run so what's the problem"? If so that is not a very good one.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
The consequences may have been more time on early F-35C airframes compared to legacy Hornets but I doubt that sequestration would have made either option viable.

If the program had been on schedule the first F-35 would have been in service long before sequestration.
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Ozair
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:27 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
The numbers, $160 billiion over budget

You know if you actually read the SAR available then you would realise that the US DoD has not spent that amount on the F-35. hxxp://breakingdefense.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/04/F-35-2013-SAR.pdf

Total development cost for F-35 and F135 is US$59 billion. Even if we include the 150 F-35s produced to date at a very over inflated cost of US$300 million each we still only arrive at US$45 billion for total procurement or a grand total of US$103 Billion dollars.

I am not sure how you can claim it is over budget by US$160 billion when that sum of money has not been spent yet?

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
seven years behind schedule

You have had this explained to you already. Of the supposed 7 years 3 years of that came from requirements change and 3 years came from funding cuts by the Government which extended the test and development phase of the program. Add another year or so for LM issues and you arrive at the total.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
Is your argument "All the other programs and way over budget and poorly run so what's the problem"? If so that is not a very good one.

No, my argument is that is what it costs to develop these things. That LM and US DoD had naive assessments on cost figures in 2001 should be no surprise. So did everyone else. Can you provide an example of a new build military aircraft program, from any country, in the last 30 years that did progress on schedule and on budget?

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
If the program had been on schedule the first F-35 would have been in service long before sequestration.

The original 2003 estimates for IOC were late 2010 for F-35B, late 2011 for F-35A and late 2012 for F-35C.

https://ericpalmer.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/2003f35.jpg

Sequestration took effect in March 2013. F-35C, the naval variant slated to replace legacy Hornets, was never scheduled to IOC earlier than late 2012 and it was quite clear from 2006-7 that this wasn't going to be achievable.
 
diverted
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:08 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 17):
No, my argument is that is what it costs to develop these things. That LM and US DoD had naive assessments on cost figures in 2001 should be no surprise. So did everyone else. Can you provide an example of a new build military aircraft program, from any country, in the last 30 years that did progress on schedule and on budget?

So by your own admission, we're at $103B USD for the F-35 program.

Given the massive US debt, who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? What does the F-35 do that additional F15/16/18/22(had production not been shut down due to the F35) s and holding onto the A-10s can't that's worth so much?

What major adversary are they expecting to face that those aircraft aren't up to par? Have there not been studies showing that the F-35 is outmatched when faced against an F-16? That it's best bet in a dogfight is a rudder hard over and hope for the best? Granted, dogfights are most likely a thing of the past, but where is the value proposition for the F35?

Some additional Super Hornets, F16 Block 52s, F15-Es and a larger F-22 fleet, and IMHO the whole F35 could have been sidestepped.

Sure, once the Harrier's are gone, the Marines won't have a VTOL aircraft, but really, do they need one? I don't understand why the Marines need their own air force.

Based on the sort of missions these aircraft are flyling, it seems evident to me that the F35 is a waste of time and money.
Why are all the F-16s and F-18s having hour issues? Because they've been having the wings flown off them in the middle east. Where the biggest threat is Akbar and his AK47 or a manpad, and the best thing is a big gun and bombs (Hey, A-10 looking at you)

No offense to our Russian comrades, but the SU-27/34/35 MIg 35 etc. don't seem to pose that big of a threat when faced with an F-22, or F-15. And the T-50 doesn't seem like it's a massive threat either (If it's ever fully operational)
 
Ozair
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:39 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
So by your own admission, we're at $103B USD for the F-35 program.

It’s actually short of that. The procurement figure of US$300 mill each for 150 aircraft is inflated to stop any call that I was using a figure that favoured the F-35.

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Given the massive US debt, who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? What does the F-35 do that additional F15/16/18/22(had production not been shut down due to the F35) s and holding onto the A-10s can't that's worth so much?

So when do you want to renew the tac air fleet? Go ahead and buy more F-15/16/18s and push the requirement to replace these another 10-15 years down the road. Do you think it will be cheaper to replace them in 10-15 years? Do you think it will be cheaper to operate already 40 year old designs in 10-15 years? Do you think these designs can be modernized enough to handle modern dense IADS equipped with SA-20 style systems?

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
What major adversary are they expecting to face that those aircraft aren't up to par? Have there not been studies showing that the F-35 is outmatched when faced against an F-16?

F-35 was designed to handle current and expected adversary aircraft as well as handle current and expected double digit SAM systems. The US and their Allies have succeeded so far because they have had significant overmatch in quality, technology and numbers. F-35 will continue that trend. Buying existing 4th gen aircraft will not. If the US is prepared to sucede these advantages then they can continue to purchase existing aircraft. If the US wants to maintain that edge, then an affordable 5th gen aircraft is required and the F-35 is that aircraft.

I am not aware of any credible studies that have demonstrated that the F-16 outmatches an F-35. If you have them I would be interested in examining their hypothesis and conclusion.

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Some additional Super Hornets, F16 Block 52s, F15-Es and a larger F-22 fleet, and IMHO the whole F35 could have been sidestepped.

Sorry but that won’t cut it. Of those mentioned, only the F-22 can survive within a modern dense IADS. The F-22 is also limited by a significant per hour operating cost, a shorter range than F-35, a reduced payload compared to F-35, and no internal targeting system. I have mentioned this so many times previously, the F-22 is not a solution to the perceived cost of the F-35. Once production ramps up F-35 will be as cheap or cheaper to acquire and operate as any of the 4th gen aircraft.

Add to that, proliferating advanced SAM systems and the expectation that J-20, T-50 etc will be exported around the globe. Suddenly legacy systems are not capable enough to overmatch the threat.

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Sure, once the Harrier's are gone, the Marines won't have a VTOL aircraft, but really, do they need one? I don't understand why the Marines need their own air force.

Already discussed in numerous threads. Whether people here agree or not, the USMC has mandated funding from the US Congress to maintain their air and fleet assets.

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Based on the sort of missions these aircraft are flying, it seems evident to me that the F35 is a waste of time and money.

Sure, but what do you propose, buy two different airframes. One to operate in low Intensity conflicts and one to operate in high intensity conflicts? Do you expect this to be cheaper than using the high conflict solution for both as opposed to creating an entirely new production, supply and logistical chain to maintain low threat assets that can never be used against an adversary that has even a rudimentary level of surface to air weaponry?

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Where the biggest threat is Akbar and his AK47 or a manpad, and the best thing is a big gun and bombs (Hey, A-10 looking at you)

Actually, UAVs have been far more valuable than A-10s for the last 10 years of Middle East conflict. A-10s, as well as F-15/16/18s have done great service when greater firepower has been required but the real performers of these conflicts have been the UAVs.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:50 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 19):
So when do you want to renew the tac air fleet? Go ahead and buy more F-15/16/18s and push the requirement to replace these another 10-15 years down the road. Do you think it will be cheaper to replace them in 10-15 years? Do you think it will be cheaper to operate already 40 year old designs in 10-15 years? Do you think these designs can be modernized enough to handle modern dense IADS equipped with SA-20 style systems?

Correct. The existing tactical fleet is aging. Corrosion and delamination on F/A-18's, corrosion on F-22's, cracks on F-15's and F-16's. We are using the existing tactical fighter force longer than the design life spans of the aircraft.

The F/A-18 Hornet has had their service life extended twice, once from 6,000 to 8,000 hours, and again to 10,000 hours. F-15's are flying well past their 8,000 hour design life expectancy. F-16's will have their service life expectancy extended from 8,000 hours to as many as 12,000 hours. 17% of F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet has exceeded 3,000 hours out of their 6,000 hour design life expectancy.

So what do you do to recapitalize? It's like owning a old pickup truck; you can't keep fixing the truck forever. Your needs are also changing due to technology and mission requirements. It's time for a new vehicle.

Also, for those complaining about the costs, think about how much we are spending on maintaining the existing tactical fighter force, refurbishment, service life extensions, and upgrades to keep them tactically relevant. How much more extra maintenance is being required to keep increasingly old aircraft serviceable and mission ready. Capital costs for buying new equipment is a easy and very visible target for criticism, founded or unfounded. Maintenance and upgrade costs are more buried and less debated in public.

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Why are all the F-16s and F-18s having hour issues? Because they've been having the wings flown off them in the middle east. Where the biggest threat is Akbar and his AK47 or a manpad, and the best thing is a big gun and bombs (Hey, A-10 looking at you)

FYI, actual combat is LESS stressful on airframes than training. Right now, the current tactical fighter force is primarily being asked to conduct ground attack missions, which have a very relaxed mission profile. Training imposes a lot more stress on airframes because they are training for counter air missions as well.
 
diverted
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:49 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 19):
So when do you want to renew the tac air fleet? Go ahead and buy more F-15/16/18s and push the requirement to replace these another 10-15 years down the road. Do you think it will be cheaper to replace them in 10-15 years? Do you think it will be cheaper to operate already 40 year old designs in 10-15 years? Do you think these designs can be modernized enough to handle modern dense IADS equipped with SA-20 style systems?

I don't see the issue with block 52 F-16s, some more F-15's and F-22s. Essentially the status quo until "all the eggs in one basket" theory can be proven. I think trying to optimize one airframe for multiple missions compromises all of them. I don't see why the F-35 couldn't have been an F-35 for the Navy and Air Force, and that's it. If the Marines need a VTOL aircraft let them lay out their requirements and go from there.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 19):
Sorry but that won’t cut it. Of those mentioned, only the F-22 can survive within a modern dense IADS. The F-22 is also limited by a significant per hour operating cost, a shorter range than F-35, a reduced payload compared to F-35, and no internal targeting system. I have mentioned this so many times previously, the F-22 is not a solution to the perceived cost of the F-35. Once production ramps up F-35 will be as cheap or cheaper to acquire and operate as any of the 4th gen aircraft.
Quoting Ozair (Reply 19):
Sorry but that won’t cut it. Of those mentioned, only the F-22 can survive within a modern dense IADS. The F-22 is also limited by a significant per hour operating cost, a shorter range than F-35, a reduced payload compared to F-35, and no internal targeting system. I have mentioned this so many times previously, the F-22 is not a solution to the perceived cost of the F-35. Once production ramps up F-35 will be as cheap or cheaper to acquire and operate as any of the 4th gen aircraft.

And how often are F-16's being shot down by these modern IADs?

Perhaps the F-22's operating costs could be brought down and payloads up had the government not shut the program down in favour of the F-35. $67B for 195 airplanes.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 19):
Sure, but what do you propose, buy two different airframes. One to operate in low Intensity conflicts and one to operate in high intensity conflicts? Do you expect this to be cheaper than using the high conflict solution for both as opposed to creating an entirely new production, supply and logistical chain to maintain low threat assets that can never be used against an adversary that has even a rudimentary level of surface to air weaponry?

No, just airframes optimized for their missions. Similar to how the Marines fly the Harrier now, instead of a VTOL F-16 derivative.

I have no doubts that if the F-35A was designed on its own, except for a carrier variant, it would be a much more capable aircraft.

I'm not saying that new airplanes are a bad thing. I'm saying that for how much money has been spent, it doesn't seem like a good ROI, especially taking into account that aircraft keep gettin delivered, and they're nowhere close to operational.

Anyways,

http://aviationweek.com/site-files/a.../F-35%20High%20AoA%20Maneuvers.pdf

Anyways, no idea whether or not this is legit, but it is what it is
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:00 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 21):
I don't see the issue with block 52 F-16s, some more F-15's and F-22s. Essentially the status quo until "all the eggs in one basket" theory can be proven. I think trying to optimize one airframe for multiple missions compromises all of them. I don't see why the F-35 couldn't have been an F-35 for the Navy and Air Force, and that's it. If the Marines need a VTOL aircraft let them lay out their requirements and go from there.

The fact that Lockheed Martin was able to make a common basis of design for 3 different services shows that the concept works. The F-35 in reality is 3 separate designs sharing the same avionics and engine type:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/images/f35_technology_commonality.jpg

Even then, the unique parts between the 3 variants are closely related components. The same designers designed those sections, and the same supplier fabricates them. Same design methods, same materials, same fabrication methods (same repair techniques).

This may not seem like much but this is tremendous in a high-rate manufacturing environment. The part numbers for these skins are virtually identical, which helps the factory recognizes parts and build sequences (which is critical in a stationized work setting). Same goes for assembly of components before each section is mated up to each other. There's tremendous manufacturing and fabrication savings involved here in comparison to 3 different unrelated designs.

There's no way that Congress would have allowed the DoD to approve 3 separate fighter designs. Only one would have made it through, and the DoD knew that.

Quoting diverted (Reply 21):
And how often are F-16's being shot down by these modern IADs?

The fact that we haven't met an opponent with any amount of sophistication and skill doesn't mean one should be blind to developments. Proliferation of advanced air defence systems have shot up with potential adversaries.

Quoting diverted (Reply 21):
Perhaps the F-22's operating costs could be brought down and payloads up had the government not shut the program down in favour of the F-35. $67B for 195 airplanes.

F-22 needed a major avionics replacement program in order to continue production.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:53 am

F/A-18 Super Hornets are apparently burning through airframe hours due to the aerial tanking mission, with the first aircraft about to hit the 6,000 hour limit starting next year:

http://news.usni.org/2015/08/12/navy...-super-hornets-approach-6000-hours

Quote:
Carrier air wings are burning through the service life of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets faster than anticipated, forcing the Navy to think about how to complete its tanker mission without further draining life from the fighters.

Super Hornets perform the tanking mission when air wings are deployed, but high operational tempos and a depleted legacy Hornet fleet – many of the jets are stuck waiting for their Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) maintenance work while the aviation depots try to work through a backlog – contributed to the Super Hornets reaching the end of their 6,000-hour service life several years sooner than expected.

Commander of Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, speaking at an event Wednesday hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the U.S. Naval Institute, addressed the Super Hornet fleet and its fast-approaching SLEP.

“If you look at the Super Hornet squadrons over our [Hornet] classics, they’re flying a couple extra sorties every day that are providing those tanker missions,” Shoemaker told USNI News after the event.
“So there is a cost to that tanker mission, but again it’s only while we’re deployed, and I think we’ve gotten smarter” about performing the tanker mission in a way that minimizes stress on the airframes.

The article goes on to talk about the potential to move the aerial tanking mission off the Super Hornets and potentially on the upcoming V-22 Osprey's the USN will be getting for COD. The USMC has already done development work on an aerial refueling system for the V-22, and it has been tested.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:03 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
So prove your statement...

Why don't you prove that the F-35 program is on schedule and on budget.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
Ozair
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:29 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 24):


Why don't you prove that the F-35 program is on schedule and on budget.

??? Besides debunking your ridiculous statement in reply 16 I never claimed the F-35 was on time and on budget. I did explain the reasons why it was behind time and the budgetary issues flow from that.

What we do know is that since the program was re-baselined in 2011 each successive SAR has confirmed that the F-35 was progressing on time and on budget... From the 2014 SAR.

The F-35 program continues to make solid and steady progress and is moving forward in a disciplined manner. Since the program re-baseline in 2011 the program has remained fundamentally on cost and on schedule to this new baseline.

I can provide the link to the Dec 2014 F-35 SAR if you like but chose to remove it from the post given the link doesn't format very nicely.
 
CX747
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:11 am

The problem right now is.....the here and now. USN Aviation has been reactive instead of proactive since the early 90s. Super Hornets are available right now. They should be Super Tomcats but I digress. Purchase a number of Super Hornets to fill the gap. Have the new CV-22s take over tanking duties to decrease hours. I thought that all legacy Hornet squadrons in the USN were now gone from frontline service.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:10 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 26):
The problem right now is.....the here and now. USN Aviation has been reactive instead of proactive since the early 90s. Super Hornets are available right now. They should be Super Tomcats but I digress. Purchase a number of Super Hornets to fill the gap. Have the new CV-22s take over tanking duties to decrease hours. I thought that all legacy Hornet squadrons in the USN were now gone from frontline service.

The issue is that the NAVAIR is having to deal with the impact of budget cuts while keeping the current tempo of missions and deployments up. Right now, the current fiscal situation is completely untenable; while there are automatic budget cuts due to Sequestration, Congress keeps adding money with all sorts of special one time spending measures to fill in various areas of the budget.

It's fine to cut budgets, as long as you accept and plan for a decrease in operational tempo, which means less deployments and less missions. Right now, things are reaching the boiling point in terms of serviceability and availability for all services and arms, not just USN aviation.

For example, right now, there is no USN carrier in the Middle East. Why? Because half of the carrier fleet is down for maintenance, some of it deferred maintenance that's now caught up. The USN is also unable to meet its commitment to field two carrier strike groups, with another three able to surge and deploy should the need arise.

In the event that Sequestration cuts are reversed and full funding is restored, it would be at least 2018 before the Navy would be able to regain those operational readiness levels because it takes time for ships to finish refits and be worked up again for deployment. Don't forget the USN is short a carrier from their mandated 11 carrier force ever since USS Enterprise was retired, finally (and this was needed; Enterprise was ridden hard and was completely worn out by 2012 and she never went through a SLEP even though in 1995 she was already in very poor material condition).

You should not forget the role Congress has on the budgetary and fiscal environment. The role of Congress is very important, and it often plays a bigger role than industry or the military.

Often the military wants to cut a program, retire a weapons system, or close a base for very valid and realistic reasons, but Congress refuses to go along because the base or the factory is in a particular state or district. Often, as demonstrated by the example of the V-22 Osprey, the Pentagon, even the SecDef, and some members of Congress will try to kill a program only to have one of the military services, such as the USMC, team up with other members of Congress and with industry to keep the program alive because the service desperately needs the hardware.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:14 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 26):
Have the new CV-22s take over tanking duties to decrease hours

Actually they should revisit the KS-3 tanker program and pull some frames out of the desert for that mission
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:53 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 28):
Actually they should revisit the KS-3 tanker program and pull some frames out of the desert for that mission

Would be another supply chain to maintain in an already tight fiscal environment. Remember, it's not just acquisition costs that can kill your budget, it's the back end costs, such as maintenance, depot and training costs that can really bite into you. A CV-22 tanker fits right in with NAVAIR's existing supply chain, as they could lean upon the USMC's existing supply chain and training facilities to reduce O&M costs.
 
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seahawk
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:02 am

And V-22 will take on the COD role any way.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:04 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
It's fine to cut budgets, as long as you accept and plan for a decrease in operational tempo, which means less deployments and less missions. Right now, things are reaching the boiling point in terms of serviceability and availability for all services and arms, not just USN aviation.

For example, right now, there is no USN carrier in the Middle East. Why? Because half of the carrier fleet is down for maintenance, some of it deferred maintenance that's now caught up. The USN is also unable to meet its commitment to field two carrier strike groups, with another three able to surge and deploy should the need arise.

In the event that Sequestration cuts are reversed and full funding is restored, it would be at least 2018 before the Navy would be able to regain those operational readiness levels because it takes time for ships to finish refits and be worked up again for deployment. Don't forget the USN is short a carrier from their mandated 11 carrier force ever since USS Enterprise was retired, finally (and this was needed; Enterprise was ridden hard and was completely worn out by 2012 and she never went through a SLEP even though in 1995 she was already in very poor material condition).

Fully understand your point, but at the same time, it just goes to show you what a $hitshow everything has become. Already short a ship from where they're supposed to be, yet recently weren't they talking about retiring the George Washington (halfway through its life)to funnel the funds to their new, late, overbudget carrier class that couldn't even launch aircraft from its fancy new catapults?

Seems to be a common theme in western military procurement lately....

I read an interesting article about the state of the USN's carrier fleet, and an argument as to why a fleet of smaller carriers to complement the supercarriers may be a viable option

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why...aller-aircraft-carriers-1600899834
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:34 pm

Quoting diverted (Reply 31):
Fully understand your point, but at the same time, it just goes to show you what a $hitshow everything has become. Already short a ship from where they're supposed to be, yet recently weren't they talking about retiring the George Washington (halfway through its life)

The issue is no money for overhauls and refits. George Washington needed a reactor refueling and major overhaul, and Congress dithered about yelling at each other until they finally approved the funds for her RCOH.

Remember, in the US DoD, there is a concept called "color of money."

What this concept means is that Congress through passing of its budgets and appropriation bills, specifies how the money should be used for in the DoD budget. Specifically, it means that a certain amount of money is allocated to a specific financial account, be it Procurement, Research and Development (R&D), Operations and Maintenance (O&M) and others.

The issue is that money from one account CANNOT be used for another purpose; for example, if I have a surplus at the end of fiscal year in Procurement, and I am short money for O&M, I cannot take the surplus funds from Procurement and put it into O&M. It's illegal and in violation of the Misappropriation Act if one does so without Congressional approval.

Quoting diverted (Reply 31):
new, late, overbudget carrier class that couldn't even launch aircraft from its fancy new catapults?

First of Class ships never go smoothly. First of the Class always has teething problems and performance problems, especially if your installing radical new technologies and systems on a ship for the first time (no trial fit and in-situ testing on an experimental platform). It usually takes 3-10 hulls before you get the bugs worked out of the design.

There's a lot of new, advanced technologies and technical improvements going into the Ford class carriers, and it's going in all at once, rather than a more incremental approach. People obviously have calculated that commensurate improvements in the performance of the ship over other carriers are probable and these improvements justify the costs and the risks.


Quoting diverted (Reply 31):
I read an interesting article about the state of the USN's carrier fleet, and an argument as to why a fleet of smaller carriers to complement the supercarriers may be a viable option

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why...99834

The size of a carrier really has a major impact on sortie generation rate and effectiveness.

The air group depends on what you want to do with your carrier. Do you want to use the carrier in air defense/ASW/AEW roles? Or do you need it to conduct air strikes against ground targets in support of landings operations? Or do you have a requirement for a multirole carrier (which could conduct both previous roles and do deep strikes/anti ship missions)?

Remember that different aircraft behave differently on a carrier deck, and some aircraft need more room than others, and that alone could dictate the smallest one could build a carrier (the French found that out when they realized they needed to extend Charles de Gaulle's angle deck to operate E-2Cs, as the initial design didn't leave enough maneuvering room after last-wire pull-out).

Add to this the other requirements (i.e.: autonomy in terms of supplies and fuel, speed/range, survivability, ect) and you would get your minimum carrier size. The USN has the smallest carrier they could get away with without causing problems and a major knock on effect in terms of aircraft handling, sortie generation rates, endurance, and drydock size. If the USN could have a bigger carrier, they would; look at the rear of the Ford class carriers to spot the massive rear sponsons, where some of the machinery shops for aircraft maintenance have been moved to in comparison to the Nimitz class carriers.

Beyond that, steel is cheap (relatively). The most expensive components onboard a ship is the electronics, mission systems and weapons.

There is a general movement for new naval ships to be significantly larger than the ships they are replacing; and that's a general trend. Navies around the world recognize that larger ships are inherently more capable and are more future proof as there is more room to install future upgrades. This is especially true and important considering the long service lives of major surface combatants.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:35 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
The fact that Lockheed Martin was able to make a common basis of design for 3 different services shows that the concept works. The F-35 in reality is 3 separate designs sharing the same avionics and engine type:

No, it means they built a 'jack of all trades, master of none'


The A and C versions are so aerodynamically compromised by the design requirements of the far less purchased B version they don't approach the performance of the aircraft they are supposed to replace.


The only answer is to cancel these versions, keep building the superb updated F16 for the Air Force and a re-engined updated F18 for the Navy (as Boeing has offered)


It would save a fortune, make our military stronger and ditch a terribly expensive mistake.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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diverted
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:47 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 32):
First of Class ships never go smoothly. First of the Class always has teething problems and performance problems, especially if your installing radical new technologies and systems on a ship for the first time (no trial fit and in-situ testing on an experimental platform). It usually takes 3-10 hulls before you get the bugs worked out of the design.

There's a lot of new, advanced technologies and technical improvements going into the Ford class carriers, and it's going in all at once, rather than a more incremental approach. People obviously have calculated that commensurate improvements in the performance of the ship over other carriers are probable and these improvements justify the costs and the risks.

True-seems to be a common theme in military procurements lately. However, wasn't the last Nimitz (George H W Bush) supposed to incorporate at lot of the Ford Class technology to ease the growing pains? Furthermore, from what I'm reading, the Kennedy will be somewhere in the $11.5-12.4B range. Weren't the Nimitz carriers in and around the $4.5B range? I'm not sure I see the value in a ship that expensive when it seems the Nimitz work fine. And truth be told, I'd rather have 2 tried and true Nimitz class carriers than a Ford class which may end up trashing it's arresting gear every 20 landings.

At what point does the costs of new technology(especially in light of the US federal debt) outweigh the benefits of said system. (Keep in mind the catapults are having issues too apparently) Granted, inflation, this that and the other thing, but even the George HW Bush, being significantly different from the rest of the fleet was a $6.5B ship. I'm just having a hard time figuring out how you dump $6 BILLION more on a ship that doesn't seem to do a whole lot more than the ships it's replacing.

I've heard the biggest issue with the Nimitz class is electrical generating capabilities, as electronics have advanced and loads are greater than when the ships were designed. Still don't see how a ship that is supposed to be commissioned 2016 is double the value of a 2009 commissioned Nimitz. The main "upgrades" of the Ford class appear to be a "stealth capabilities" a new radard, EMALS instead of steam and the upgraded Sea Sparrow.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 32):
The air group depends on what you want to do with your carrier. Do you want to use the carrier in air defense/ASW/AEW roles? Or do you need it to conduct air strikes against ground targets in support of landings operations? Or do you have a requirement for a multirole carrier (which could conduct both previous roles and do deep strikes/anti ship missions)?

I'd imagine that the Forrestal or Coral Sea would have worked fine for playing in the sandbox, let alone the more advanced ships. (the primary combat theatre the past 25 years or so) Point being, for those sorts of missions, why are you using something like a Nimitz class? A smaller ship would work just fine. Imagine the fleet being split something like 5-6 supercarriers, and 6-10 smaller carriers. You could have 1 smaller carrier doing the missions that the fleet has been doing now, 2 if necessary. If you really need a display of force, send in a Nimitz class.

Of course, the old adage of the military industrial complex comes to mind. One would have thought that someone in that country would have heeded Eisenhower's warnings. Unfortunately it seems government officials and arms manufacturers heard Eisenhower's warning and took it as a lesson on how to line their pockets.

The old adage comes to mind "One person's tax dollars wasted is another man's profit"
 
Ozair
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:23 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
No, it means they built a 'jack of all trades, master of none'

Saying the same thing over and over doesn't make it true...

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
The A and C versions are so aerodynamically compromised by the design requirements of the far less purchased B version they don't approach the performance of the aircraft they are supposed to replace.

You keep making this statement but can never back it up with evidence. So I ask you again, please provide evidence that the A and C models are aerodynamically compromised?

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
The only answer is to cancel these versions, keep building the superb updated F16 for the Air Force and a re-engined updated F18 for the Navy (as Boeing has offered)

That is a great idea! Dump the US$55 billion spent so far on F-35 development of the three versions of the aircraft that fly further, carry more, are all aspect stealth and have significantly improved sensors. Instead let's buy old airframes that will cost more to support, are shorter ranged, carry less ordnance, have old sensors and have limited or no stealth capabilities.

After all, our global rivals aren't designing and manufacturing aircraft such as the T-50 and J-20...

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
It would save a fortune, make our military stronger

Irrespective of the massive capability increase that the F-35 brings, I would be interested in you trying to prove that your idea would actually save money and make the military stronger?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:37 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 34):
True-seems to be a common theme in military procurements lately. However, wasn't the last Nimitz (George H W Bush) supposed to incorporate at lot of the Ford Class technology to ease the growing pains? quote]
The USS George George H.W. Bush incorporates changes to the hullform, propellers, RCS and electronics changes that were similar in nature to the plans for the Ford class carriers. However, the Ford class carriers as a whole incorporates a number of very significant changes from the Nimitz class carriers:

- AN/SPY-3 dual band radar
- New nuclear reactor design and propulsion with 3 times the electrical generation capabilities
- increased automation, reducing crew complement by 1,000 sailors
- Changes to the deck layout, increasing sortie generation rates by 20%
- EMALS and AAG
- Change to all electric internal heating and auxiliary systems from steam
- A whole list of other changes too many to list

[quote=diverted,reply=34]
I'm reading, the Kennedy will be somewhere in the $11.5-12.4B range.

This includes a 2 year delay as forced by the US government, as original targeted delivery date was pushed back by the US DoD from 2018, to 2020. If you create a delay, you increase costs.

Quoting diverted (Reply 34):

Weren't the Nimitz carriers in and around the $4.5B range?

Contract for the last two ships, USS Ronald Reagan and USS George H.W. Bush was $4.5 billion in 1995, and $6.2 billion in 2001, in then year dollars. Adjusted for inflation, USS Ronald Reagan today would have cost $7.03 billion today, and USS George H.W. Bush would be $8.33 billion.

So, for a whole host of new technologies, the new Ford class carriers are about $4-5 billion dollars extra excluding R&D more than the last Nimitz class carriers. However, the Ford class carriers are expected to save $4-5 billion dollars in ownership costs over their service lives, so it evens out in the end.

Quoting diverted (Reply 34):
I'd imagine that the Forrestal or Coral Sea would have worked fine for playing in the sandbox, let alone the more advanced ships. (the primary combat theatre the past 25 years or so) Point being, for those sorts of missions, why are you using something like a Nimitz class? A smaller ship would work just fine. Imagine the fleet being split something like 5-6 supercarriers, and 6-10 smaller carriers. You could have 1 smaller carrier doing the missions that the fleet has been doing now, 2 if necessary. If you really need a display of force, send in a Nimitz class.

Sortie generation rates take a massive hit with a smaller deck size. For example, the sortie generation rates of FS Charles de Gaulle are no where near the capabilities of a Nimitz class carrier. Even the French were looking at a larger follow on carrier to Charles de Gaulle, and they were specifically looking at a design that was 1/4 bigger than her specifically because of sortie generation and endurance rates.

Furthermore, the general trend for aircraft is increased size over their predecessors, which means what was a 70-90 aircraft carrier 20 years ago may only be a 50-70 aircraft carrier today.

Remember: a carriers' primary weapon is ALWAYS its aircraft - and the ability to carry, operate, and support more aircraft that are more-capable will always be the top consideration when it comes to designing a carrier. You build and buy the biggest ship possible, because that's the most capable design in the end.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:03 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 36):
Remember: a carriers' primary weapon is ALWAYS its aircraft - and the ability to carry, operate, and support more aircraft that are more-capable will always be the top consideration when it comes to designing a carrier. You build and buy the biggest ship possible, because that's the most capable design in the end.

Aren't supercarriers deploying with fewer aircraft than ever? IIRC they used to deploy with 90+, and now are averaging around 75. Mind you, of course some of that is due to aircraft being less specialized and more multirole, but I'd think there's still room to toss a few more birds on board if necessary.

I'd still rather have 2 smaller carriers in a region than 1 supercarrier. It gets hit, you're SOL. Also harder to keep tabs on 2 strike groups rather than one. I'd think the operational flexibility would be pretty useful. Plus, come on, it's not like you need the most powerful thing in the US navy to go drop some bombs on Syria, LIbya, Iraq, or Afghanistan, or wherever the weapons contractors determine money should be spent this week.
 
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seahawk
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:52 am

Smaller nuclear powered carriers are pointless. Steel is cheap compared to the other parts the ship needs. You only make the package more complex, reduce the living conditions for the crew or give up growth potential. If you want to go smaller you must go conventional powered, but when you look at the new British carriers they are not cheap and only do SVTOL.
 
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RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:17 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 38):
Smaller nuclear powered carriers are pointless. Steel is cheap compared to the other parts the ship needs. You only make the package more complex, reduce the living conditions for the crew or give up growth potential. If you want to go smaller you must go conventional powered, but when you look at the new British carriers they are not cheap and only do SVTOL.



Who said anything about nuclear? Seeing as the oiler ships aren't disappearing anytime soon, unless of course the Navy can figure out how to efficiently make fuel from seawater. So if you have to be replenished with fuel anyways for the aircraft (and the other vessels in a carrier strike group) who cares if you also have to refuel your carrier? Seems like a win win to me. Oh, and you don't have to worry about radioactive junk ending up in the Columbia river.
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Quote:
On February 15, 2013, Governor Jay Inslee announced a tank storing radioactive waste at the site leaking liquids on average of 150 to 300 gallons per year. He stressed that the leak poses no immediate health risk to the public, but said that fact should not be an excuse for not doing anything.[62] On February 22, 2013, the Governor stated that "6 more tanks at Hanford site" were "leaking radioactive waste"[63] As of 2013, there are 177 tanks at Hanford, 149 of which have a single shell. Historically single shell tanks were used for storing radioactive liquid waste and designed to last 20 years. By 2005, some liquid waste was transferred from single shell tanks to (safer) double shell tanks. However, a substantial amount of residue remains in the older single shell tanks with one containing an estimated 447,000 gallons of radioactive sludge, for example. It is believed that up to six of these "empty" tanks are leaking. Two tanks are reportedly leaking at a rate of 300 gallons (1,136 liters) per year each, while the remaining four tanks are leaking at a rate of 15 gallons (57 liters) per year each.[64][65]

Since 2003, radioactive materials are known to be leaking from Hanford into the environment. "The highest tritium concentration detected in riverbank springs during 2002 was 58,000 pCi/L (2,100 Bq/L) at the Hanford Townsite. The highest iodine-129 concentration of 0.19 pCi/L (0.007 Bq/L) was also found in a Hanford Townsite spring. The W.H.O. guidelines for radionuclides in drinking-water limits levels of iodine-129 at 1 Bq/L, and tritium at 10,000 Bq/L.[66] Concentrations of radionuclides including tritium, technetium-99, and iodine-129 in riverbank springs near the Hanford Townsite have generally been increasing since 1994. This is an area where a major groundwater plume from the 200 East Area intercepts the river...Detected radionuclides include strontium-90, technetium-99, iodine-129, uranium-234, -235, and -238, and tritium. Other detected contaminants include arsenic, chromium, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, and sulfate."
Quote:
DOE lacks information about the extent to which the 27 double-shell tanks may be susceptible to corrosion. Without determining the extent to which the factors that contributed to the leak in AY-102 were similar to the other 27 double-shell tanks, DOE cannot be sure how long its double-shell tanks can safely store waste.[6] That waste was originally scheduled to be removed by 2018. As of 2008, the revised deadline was 2040.[75] Nearby aquifers contain an estimated 270 billion U.S. gallons (1 billion m3) of contaminated groundwater as a result of the leaks.[78] As of 2008, 1 million U.S. gallons (4,000 m3) of radioactive waste is traveling through the groundwater toward the Columbia River. This waste is expected to reach the river in 12 to 50 years if cleanup does not proceed on schedule.[4] The site includes 25 million cubic feet (710,000 m3) of solid radioactive waste
Quote:
A potential radioactive leak was reported in 2013; the clean up was estimated to have cost $40 billion with $115 billion more required

Seems to me before more nuclear powered vessels are built a means of dealing with the radioactive waste should be devised. Burying nuclear waste doesn't seem to be a very good solution. And there's also the small issue of LA class subs, Nimitz carriers etc which are all going to have their reactors and waste end up there too.

I mean, I guess it's better than just dumping them in the ocean, but come on. That's a huge disaster waiting to happen.
 
ThePointblank
Topic Author
Posts: 3213
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:51 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 39):
Who said anything about nuclear? Seeing as the oiler ships aren't disappearing anytime soon, unless of course the Navy can figure out how to efficiently make fuel from seawater. So if you have to be replenished with fuel anyways for the aircraft (and the other vessels in a carrier strike group) who cares if you also have to refuel your carrier? Seems like a win win to me. Oh, and you don't have to worry about radioactive junk ending up in the Columbia river.
From Wiki

The current Nimitz and Ford class carriers can carry a SIGNIFICANT amount of aviation fuel because they have the space to carry the fuel as they are unencumbered by the need for fuel for their own engines. The Nimitz class carriers can carry over 3.3 million gallons of aviation fuel; the average daily consumption rate while at sea and conducting operations is about 273,000 gallons of fuel for both the current nuclear carriers and the previous conventional carriers. Thus, a Nimitz class carrier needs less refueling than a similarly sized conventional carrier, and thus a smaller draw on fleet oilers.

And that's beyond the fact that a nuclear powered carrier can sustain very high speeds for sustained periods of time; the Navy has stated that trying to run a conventional carrier, like a Kitty Hawk class carrier at the same high transit speeds of a Nimitz class carrier would require 3.5-4 million gallons of naval distillate fuel to sail from Norfolk, Virginia to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea if it sailed at 28 knots, require the operating all 8 boilers onboard a conventional carrier for 7-14 days straight, which has a major impact on maintenance and watch-standing requirements. The Navy has furthermore stated that based upon historical operations, a conventional carrier would have significant trouble maintaining that level of speed for an extended period of time, beyond the fact that the fuel consumption alone would double the fuel requirements of the entire carrier battle group.

Furthermore, propulsion type can also affect sortie generation capacity in light winds or downwind conditions; carriers need to maintain a certain level of wind over deck for flight operations. In the absence of any wind, a carrier must use raw speed to maintain flight operations, and a nuclear powered carrier can easily do so for extended periods of time without consuming vast amounts of fuel. A conventional carrier would require more boilers and engines operating for extended periods of time at high capacity, with an attendant increase in fuel consumption, watch-keeping and maintenance requirements. Even gas turbine powered ships, though mitigating some of these concerns, would not fully address this.
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:35 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 37):
I'd still rather have 2 smaller carriers in a region than 1 supercarrier. It gets hit, you're SOL. Also harder to keep tabs on 2 strike groups rather than one. I'd think the operational flexibility would be pretty useful. Plus, come on, it's not like you need the most powerful thing in the US navy to go drop some bombs on Syria, LIbya, Iraq, or Afghanistan, or wherever the weapons contractors determine money should be spent this week.

The "small carrier" idea has been studied repeatedly since the sixties. It always ends up the same way. You can (optimistically) build a 1/2 capacity carrier for 2/3-to-3/4 the price of a full sized carrier. So while having two 1/2 carriers certainly has advantages over having one big carrier, it'll cost you a bunch more money if you want to be able to perform a big mission. And even modest reductions in size will cause a significant hit in capability, as you won't be able to perform the AEW mission organically anymore.

And if you want a smaller carrier, the US has nine of those - the USN just calls them "amphibious assault ships".

Also, the relatively small airwings being deployed these days are at least partially due to cost savings. Aircraft are expensive. OTOH, adding a dozen or two aircraft to the complement on a Nimitz is largely just a matter of acquiring the additional aircraft.
 
Max Q
Posts: 7700
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:50 am

The Invincible Class worked superbly for the Royal Navy, most notably in the Falklands
conflict in 1982.


The combination of an excellent, flexible aircraft in the Sea Harrier flown by some of the best Pilots
in the world from a platform that allowed launches and recoveries in weather that would completely halt
operations from a conventional carrier was invaluable and unbeatable.


It suited the RN very well in peacetime as well, a slightly bigger version would have been a far better
solution than the massive new carriers they have built.


To build a carrier the size of the Forestall class then limit its use to VSTOL aircraft is a complete waste
of the capability you gain with a large flight deck.


The RN cannot afford to keep a worthwhile air wing on board (without borrowing from the USMC) and they
don't have enough surface ships to protect it. Bizarre planning when you consider how much money this
program has soaked up and diverted from other, really essential UK defense programs like a maritime
patrol aircraft replacement.



No question the big deck CVN's are the right move for the USN, just need more of them along with the smaller
amphibious class.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society

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