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kc135topboom
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Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:17 pm

The USAF is considering buying up to 72 new build F-15s, F-16s, or F/A-18E/Fs due to delays and short comings with the USAF version, the F-35A.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-c...2=5861afc8e7e942c3b71b26040b498e4f

(Subscription required)

They should have done this a long time ago. I wonder if the USMC (F-35B) and USN (F-35C) would consider more new build F/A-18E/Fs?
 
Sooner787
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:36 pm

I think the AF and Marines should buy a few Growlers for their own ops.
and fill out the rest of the order with F/A - 18 E's   
 
mrg
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:44 pm

Thanks for the link. Quoting from the article:

"Although “the last time we looked, this was more expensive than buying F-35s in bulk,” the senior leader says, the issue is being re-examined."

I don't think any contract will come to pass. The F-35 has transitioned from pre-production to series production. The USAF has tied it's flag to the mast of the F-35.
It would surely be utterly whacky to now consider further F-15/16 purchases. What signal does this send to the international partners?
Completely whacky. Off the wall, really.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:47 pm

The F-35 is not in series production yet. It is still in LRIP. Series production is still years down the road.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:12 pm

Boeing is also looking to land F-15 and F/A-18 orders from the Middle East so the USAF might be taking that into consideration as a larger total order could result in better pricing.

Not sure how desperate LockMart is to sell F-16s considering they own the the F-35...
 
LMP737
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:16 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 1):
I think the AF and Marines should buy a few Growlers for their own ops.

The USAF IMHO should have it's own fast mover ECM aircraft. But as some on this message board point out they can't afford it.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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Spacepope
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:41 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):
The USAF IMHO should have it's own fast mover ECM aircraft.

Indeed. Bring back the Spark Vark!
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Ozair
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:23 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
They should have done this a long time ago.

Agree but now as the article correctly states, it is more expensive to buy additional F-15s, 16s and 18s than it is to purchase F-35. Had the decision been made in 2011, when the program was re-baselined it would have made economic sense. It does not now.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
The F-35 is not in series production yet. It is still in LRIP. Series production is still years down the road.

Talk about splitting hairs. Series production is almost always just associated with mass production, of which the definition is The manufacture of goods in large quantities, often using standardized designs and assembly-line techniques. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Series+production

The F-35 fits that description fine. The irony of your statement is that the F-35 will this year, during LRIP 8, produce more airframes than the F-15, 16 and 18 production lines combined. LRIP 9 will be seventy odd aircraft, LRIP 10 & 11 will be over one hundred aircraft each before FRIP starts in 2018 with over one hundred and fifty aircraft...

http://www.f-16.net/forum/download/file.php?id=17993&t=1

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 1):
I think the AF and Marines should buy a few Growlers for their own ops.
Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):
The USAF IMHO should have it's own fast mover ECM aircraft.

The USAF doesn't want a dedicated ECM aircraft and hasn't had one since 1998. Since then they have had plenty of money and time to modify an existing frame but have not and there is no current requirement for them to get a dedicated aircraft. I trust the USAF to understand the threat environment and be able to correctly determine what capabilities they need to handle that threat.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:18 am

It's more than likely that the USAF is just doing its calculations for future budget planning, especially for the FY2018 budget. They would want to present all of the options available to Congress and to the new President. Doing some due diligence, consider all options and analyze the cost implications going forward.

But do note that the USAF has already said that buying older designs would cost more than buying F-35's. They probably want exact numbers and scenario's to back that up.
 
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Florianopolis
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:13 am

Do you hear that noise? It's all the Boeing lobbyists getting a raise.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:26 am

Imho it is just a study to show the superiority of the F-35 even when you look at the financial aspect. Order more F-35, it is the only option.
 
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:00 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
The USAF is considering buying up to 72 new build F-15s, F-16s, or F/A-18E/Fs due to delays and short comings with the USAF version, the F-35A.

Excellent idea, just need to add a zero to that number.



After all, the number of F35's planned will require a lot of escorts.
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par13del
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:09 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):
The USAF IMHO should have it's own fast mover ECM aircraft. But as some on this message board point out they can't afford it.

The US Air Force do not perform missions that will require ECM support, such missions were obsoleted by the need to purchase more F-22's, B-2's and F-35's.
 
diverted
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:21 pm

Weren't they studying an upgrade/SLEP of the F-16 to bring it more or less up to F16V standard? And then they axed it in favour of using the funds for the F35 program?

Wouldn't it make more sense to upgrade current aircraft rather than buy more of the same aircraft?

Let's be honest, the number that the AF envisions for their F35A fleet is unrealistic. How is it not more economical to keep a few hundred F16s around for those mission that you don't need your latest greatest air asset (like dropping bombs in the sandbox)

Would imagine that with the support infrastruce the USAF has in place that they could continue flying upgraded F16s for the next 20 years. (No matter what, they F16 will be around for a while, there's no way they'll all be replaced in the next 5-10 years)

But hey, I'm not a lobbyist, congressman, or an arms manufacturer, so what do I know. I'm not making any money off these decisions. But someone sure is.
 
BMI727
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:43 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 12):
The US Air Force do not perform missions that will require ECM support, such missions were obsoleted by the need to purchase more F-22's, B-2's and F-35's.

This is a very shortsighted and dangerous view, although to be fair it's not entirely your fault. The popular portrayal of stealth bears much of the blame for the existence of such ideas.

People who believe that low observables render electronic countermeasures obsolete are just like those who believed that air-to-air missiles rendered guns and dogfighting skills obsolete.

Quoting diverted (Reply 13):
Weren't they studying an upgrade/SLEP of the F-16 to bring it more or less up to F16V standard? And then they axed it in favour of using the funds for the F35 program?

That's not the same as an upgrade not being worthwhile. It just means that the USAF had to use the funds to protect a program that is too big to fail.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
diverted
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:18 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
That's not the same as an upgrade not being worthwhile. It just means that the USAF had to use the funds to protect a program that is too big to fail.

I agree with you--my point was, is purchasing new aircraft cheaper than upgrading/refurbishing aircraft already in inventory? If not, I don't see how it can be considered a viable option when upgrades were already looked at and turned down as the funds would apparently be better spent protecting the F35 program.
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:06 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
That's not the same as an upgrade not being worthwhile. It just means that the USAF had to use the funds to protect a program that is too big to fail.

The EW mission falls to the Navy and Marines, if you look at some of the Expeditionary Air Wings they often contain a spot for a Marine VMAQ squadron.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:42 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
That's not the same as an upgrade not being worthwhile. It just means that the USAF had to use the funds to protect a program that is too big to fail.

Incorrect. In the DoD, there is a concept called 'color of money'. I've explained it before:

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.

In this case, a F-16 life extension and upgrade would fall under O&M (with a bit of money going into R&D), while buying new F-35's would fall under Procurement. You can't take money from O&M by axing a program, and putting into Procurement for new F-35's unless Congress explicitly approves it in a budget or appropriation bill.

In fact, the USAF has gotten into trouble in the past for trying to sneak Procurement as O&M; for example, the original KC-767 lease was budgeted under O&M because as it was a lease, and the USAF didn't own the aircraft, it wasn't technically a procurement, and thus USAF could use O&M funds to pay for the lease. Furthermore, as O&M funds aren't subject to the same level of Congressional oversight as Procurement funds, the USAF thought they could get this approved very quickly and quietly.

But Senator McCain blew the lid off of this scheme as a result of the Darleen Druyun corruption case and well and truly killed any future ideas that involved a lease or lease option.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):

This is a very shortsighted and dangerous view, although to be fair it's not entirely your fault. The popular portrayal of stealth bears much of the blame for the existence of such ideas.

The jamming footprint required to support a stealth fleet is very different from a jamming footprint for a non-stealth fleet, or a mixed fleet. When you have a high number of stealth platforms, you can rely on less overall EA/EW support, and that support doesn't have to come from large platforms; witness the procurement of the ADM-160 MALD-J by the USAF and USN, which is a EA/EW version of the ADM-160 MALD decoy.

When you have a smaller radar signature, and you are harder to detect to begin within, the smaller and less jamming assets you need to begin with.
 
BMI727
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:56 am

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 16):
The EW mission falls to the Navy and Marines, if you look at some of the Expeditionary Air Wings they often contain a spot for a Marine VMAQ squadron.

The lack of low observable platforms has forced the Navy to invest more in electronic warfare, but the idea that stealth aircraft make electronic warfare unnecessary is completely backwards.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
Incorrect. In the DoD, there is a concept called 'color of money'.

Everybody knows the military can't just shift money around on their own. My point is still valid because it's based on what they go ask Congress for and how they prioritize. They need to make sure that the F-35 is not short of funds and, in a slightly perverted sense, avoid funding projects that might make the F-35 seem less necessary.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
The jamming footprint required to support a stealth fleet is very different from a jamming footprint for a non-stealth fleet, or a mixed fleet.

Who says that?
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:39 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
Who says that?
http://www.rfcafe.com/references/ele...r-handbook/radar-cross-section.htm

A technical and mathematical regarding RCS and jamming. Enjoy the technical reading.

Even then, the level of EW jamming required for a fleet of 100 F-35's is remarkably different than the level of jamming required for a fleet of 100 F-16/F-15E's. The F-35's can make do with its organic capability, supplemented by equipment like MALD-J, and the existing joint EA/EW support provided by the USN through their EA-18G's. 100 F-16's and F-15E's however would require a lot different level of EW and even then would represent a situation where you have significantly less capable as strike assets that can exist in a defended environment. The threat environment against a near peer opponent has evolved where there is no distinction between First Day of War, and a Second Day scenario in terms of air defence capabilities; air defences will now pose a significant threat even after the first day of strikes directly attacking air defence systems, so relying on having air defence systems neutralized after the first day will be foolhardy.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
Everybody knows the military can't just shift money around on their own. My point is still valid because it's based on what they go ask Congress for and how they prioritize. They need to make sure that the F-35 is not short of funds and, in a slightly perverted sense, avoid funding projects that might make the F-35 seem less necessary.

DoD budget has been frozen and slashed across the board, all thanks to Sequestration. Basically, as the budget has been frozen, and Congress effectively deadlocked for years, preventing the passage of budget and appropriations bills, Congress has been using Continuing Resolutions to keep the government running, which continues the pre-existing appropriations at the same levels as the previous fiscal year (or with minor modifications) for a set amount of time.
 
BMI727
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:26 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):

Sorry, what I meant but failed to type is that nobody says the USAF should just buy Growlers, but the thinking that having stealth aircraft means there is no need to invest in electronic warfare is a very dangerous route that will get people killed if higher ups buy into it.

Honestly, I even question the idea of F-35s or anything else having to get close in future concepts. I'd tend to take the position that better weaponry is the way to maximize the overall ability to execute a war against a near peer adversary.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Ozair
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:56 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Sorry, what I meant but failed to type is that nobody says the USAF should just buy Growlers, but the thinking that having stealth aircraft means there is no need to invest in electronic warfare is a very dangerous route that will get people killed if higher ups buy into it.

I don't think the higher ups buy that argument. With the USMC putting the NGJ on the F-35B, I see a very good chance that the USAF will also equip the F-35A with the pod, initially to support mixed fleet ops until the 15s and 16s have been retired and beyond that against advancing radar systems.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):

Honestly, I even question the idea of F-35s or anything else having to get close in future concepts. I'd tend to take the position that better weaponry is the way to maximize the overall ability to execute a war against a near peer adversary.

It all depends on the target. Even with better sensors and longer ranged weapons many targets will still require positive identification before they can be struck, especially if they're mobile.
 
mmo
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:26 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
but the thinking that having stealth aircraft means there is no need to invest in electronic warfare is a very dangerous route that will get people killed if higher ups buy into it.

While I can see where you are coming from, what you write isn't quite true. The thinking is the investment in ECM is made on each aircraft. The Growler and the Sparkvark are/very good platforms but for the 5th gen platforms the investment has to be made in each individual platform. The AF has not given up on ECM but they have put the emphasis on individual platform protection as a better way of ensuring ingress and egress.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:46 pm

My concern about this whole argument is that it's based on theory that has only been subject to friendly testing. friendly meaning labs, static tests, flying tests in controlled situations.

Many hypothesize about Russian and Chinese technology, yet their full performance parameters remain unknown.
 
Ozair
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:23 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 23):
My concern about this whole argument is that it's based on theory that has only been subject to friendly testing. friendly meaning labs, static tests, flying tests in controlled situations.

Your concern is unfounded. The USAF has operated stealth aircraft from GW1 all the way to Syria including Bosnia, GW2, and Libya. These campaigns then inform training and threat replication with the USAF maintaining the most realistic threat exercises of any nation in the world, such as the Red and Green flags, including US only exercises. They therefore have a very good understanding of the areas where stealth aircraft excel and the areas where they benefit from EW support assets.

Quoting mmo (Reply 22):
The AF has not given up on ECM but they have put the emphasis on individual platform protection as a better way of ensuring ingress and egress.

Indeed, the article also mentions the USAF considering integrating the NGJ onto the F-15E, ostensibly to support existing 4th gen aircraft in the inventory. I doubt it will happen but the suggestion is there.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:55 pm

Stealth brings no added capability after the first few air-war days with a competent enemy with an active air defense system and an Air Force. The USAF plans to fight an air-war in 30 day increments. But, after they expect to have wiped out a very significant portion or the air defense forces, both opposing fighters and ground based systems.

Stealth aircraft, like the F-117, F-22, and F-35 carry fewer munitions than the F-15C/D, F-16C/D/E/F, and F-15E Mud Hen. The B-2 carries less than the B-1B or B-52H. Yes, the F-22 and F-35 can carry external stores, but they still won't equal the F-15s and F-16s.

Stealth is good for "kicking the door in" and that's about it.

As far as jammers are concerned, yes the USAF needs them. A smart enemy will not use all its air defense assets during those first few days. Many radars will simply not be turned on, making the sites very difficult to find by the stealth bombers.

Even without jammers in the packages, the USAF is more than capable of flying interdiction mission F-15Es and F-16s, or A-10s on CAS missions at low levels and using terrain masking to get to where they need to be. Yes, stealth fighters can fly low level too, but the stealth coatings take a real beating. Maintaining the stealth coatings may be limited at FOBs, and the stealth coating maintenance limits surge operations, as that kind of maintenance is time consuming.

The USAF wants 1700+ F-35s. It has about 180 F-22s and 20 B-2s.
 
Ozair
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:43 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
Stealth brings no added capability after the first few air-war days with a competent enemy with an active air defense system and an Air Force.
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
A smart enemy will not use all its air defense assets during those first few days. Many radars will simply not be turned on, making the sites very difficult to find by the stealth bombers.

So which is it? Stealth is useless after the first few days because all the air defences are gone but then you say a smart enemy will keep stuff around, therefore indicating that a stealth airframe will still be survivable in the battlespace while a non stealth aircraft won't without massive EW support.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
Stealth aircraft, like the F-117, F-22, and F-35 carry fewer munitions than the F-15C/D, F-16C/D/E/F, and F-15E Mud Hen.

Perhaps in the case of the F-117 and to a lesser extend the F-22 but the F-35 has a greater munitions payload than the F-16 and is essentially equivalent to an F-15E.

Either way, as has been stated many many times, aircraft don't fly into combat with maximum ordnance payloads. Experience and evidence from GW1 to today visually confirm that airframes fly with loads between 4-8,000 lbs as well as maximum external fuel tanks. Look here for typical F-15E loadouts actually carried on operations, http://www.f-15e.info/joomla/en/weapons/loadout-configurations


Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
Yes, the F-22 and F-35 can carry external stores, but they still won't equal the F-15s and F-16s.

As stated above, that is simply incorrect. While the F-22 is cleared for only A2A munitions and tanks on the external stations, the F-35 is capable of 18,000 lbs load, far more than the F-16 and when you actually look at the weapon combinations, very equivalent to an F-15E.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bQ6mjoe4hyU/URlvUS3Y8OI/AAAAAAAAB70/ovn-PvuHwe0/s1600/F35+payload+data+2012.bmp

In fact, the F-35 when it receives Blk 3F software, be capable of carrying more A2A missiles than any other USAF aircraft.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
As far as jammers are concerned, yes the USAF needs them.

The USAF has jammers, almost every aircraft in the inventory has the capability to have either internal or external jamming systems. What is hasn't had, and clearly defined that it doesn't need, are dedicated jamming aircraft. MMO already stated the concept.

Quoting mmo (Reply 22):
The AF has not given up on ECM but they have put the emphasis on individual platform protection as a better way of ensuring ingress and egress.

.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
Even without jammers in the packages, the USAF is more than capable of flying interdiction mission F-15Es and F-16s, or A-10s on CAS missions at low levels and using terrain masking to get to where they need to be.

Sorry Boom, you are again about 25 years too late. GW1, and subsequent operations, validated that mid level bombing is the preferred delivery method, especially when aircraft are dropping PGMs. Sure they can fly low, but no one does because the likelihood of being damaged or shot down increases significantly.

In fact, if you read the other thread USAF: F-35 Replaces F-16 & A-10. What? (by holzmann Sep 13 2015 in Military Aviation & Space Flight) I posted a link to Vietnam CAS operations which highlighted the dangers of performing low level CAS, already identified in the 1965-73 period. The low level threat has only increased since then.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
Yes, stealth fighters can fly low level too, but the stealth coatings take a real beating. Maintaining the stealth coatings may be limited at FOBs, and the stealth coating maintenance limits surge operations, as that kind of maintenance is time consuming.

Again, that may be the case with the F-22 and B-2 but it is not the case with the F-35. A KPP of the jet is the maintainability of the stealth coating. The F-35 coating and additional RAM treatments are so good they were transferred back into the F-22 program to enhance that jet and reduce operational costs. http://www.dailytech.com/F35+Stealth...gs+Applied+to+F22/article21321.htm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
The USAF wants 1700+ F-35s. It has about 180 F-22s and 20 B-2s.

The USAF expects to receive those 1700+ F-35s over the next 30 years. Given the F-15, F-16, A-10 will all need replacing in that time that seems perfectly rational and logical to me.

The US purchased over 1000 F-15A/B/C/D models and have less than 300 in service. http://www.uswarplanes.net/f15.html

They purchased approx 2500 F-16s and now have 1200 in service. http://www.f-16.net/fleet-reports_article2.html

Again, the article you linked very clearly states the issue, it was previously already cheaper to purchase bulk buy F-35s than top up orders for F-15s and 16s. That has only improved as F-35 costs come down.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:16 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Sorry, what I meant but failed to type is that nobody says the USAF should just buy Growlers, but the thinking that having stealth aircraft means there is no need to invest in electronic warfare is a very dangerous route that will get people killed if higher ups buy into it.

Honestly, I even question the idea of F-35s or anything else having to get close in future concepts. I'd tend to take the position that better weaponry is the way to maximize the overall ability to execute a war against a near peer adversary.

I agree. There will always be a need for EW, but for the foreseeable future, the USAF has what it needs through joint operations and existing assets. The USAF has invested in self-defence jamming capabilities for their current tactical jet force, and have invested in developing a stand-off jammer that can fit in a MALD. Stealth and EW are highly synergistic, as having one will also increase the capabilities of the other.

It is also very unlikely that the USAF will deploy without the USN providing some assistance (and vice versa).
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:32 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 24):
Your concern is unfounded.

My comments are aimed at the F-35.. yes other plane shave done these things, but not the vaunted F-35.. So their not needing s baby sitter is still theory.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 26):
In fact, the F-35 when it receives Blk 3F software,

the operative word here is "when"....
 
Ozair
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:46 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
My comments are aimed at the F-35.. yes other plane shave done these things, but not the vaunted F-35.. So their not needing s baby sitter is still theory.

What an absurd argument and as usual you hold the F-35 to a different standard. Perhaps we should have flown the F-22 in Syria last year with a baby sitter? After all, it had never flown in a real environment/conflict before.

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
the operative word here is "when"....
Block 3F provides 100% of the software required for full warfighting capability, including but not limited to datalink imagery, full weapons, and embedded training. Mission Systems Block 3F software development is 98% complete and due to be rolled out in the third quarter of 2017.
http://www.janes.com/article/53954/l...deliver-block-3f-software-for-f-35
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:12 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 29):

What I continue to note is how the plane is being credited with systems not yet incorporated and capabilities that are at this point unproven on this platform.. not saying someday they will be there, but LM's miscues (like Boeings) continue to leave doubt.

I envy today's youth that know everything for certain and never entertain doubts of complete success.
 
Ozair
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:28 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 30):

What I continue to note is how the plane is being credited with systems not yet incorporated and capabilities that are at this point unproven on this platform..

And yet the program keeps delivering on its promises and as each issue has arisen LM and the project team have successfully reached the desired conclusion. Despite the program having issues earlier in development, since 2011-12 it has been consistently on time and on budget. That is the last four years and there is nothing currently identified that will prevent that from continuing. That time frame brings the F-35 into line with other comparable aircraft for development time to final operational capability.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:25 pm

F-35 is a revolution in warfighting. Like any revolution, some fail to see it.
 
mrg
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:29 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 32):
F-35 is a revolution in warfighting. Like any revolution, some fail to see it.

I'm sure as hell failing to see it. I like the plane as such. It looks good. I'm not sure about the extremely centralised maintenance system
Does the engine represent a quantum leap with regard to consumption or durability?
Will the maintenance and operating costs be so low that its operators will be able to lavish 300+ hours a year on their pilots.

Let's wait and see how the plane handles 10-15 years of line service, getting dinged when the crew chief drops a toolbox on the wing, fuel and lubricants start to stain the
surface, panels and leading edges loose alignment.

It will perhaps represent a mild evolutionary step in "warfighting". A twin seat F15, 18, Rafale, Typhoon et. al directing stealthy UCAVS- that will be a bigger evolutionary step.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:10 am

Quoting mrg (Reply 33):
I'm not sure about the extremely centralised maintenance system

It is a major step forward in terms of ensuring serviceability. For one, the aircraft has complex self-diagnostic capabilities built into the aircraft; the airplane will tell you what's wrong, and all the maintainer has to do is replace the parts involved. In existing aircraft, if an aircraft breaks or goes out of service, maintainers could literally spent hundreds of man-hours trying to track down one problem before they can get around fixing it.

It's akin to how modern cars all have onboard engine computers; a car mechanic can just plug in his computer to the car's computer, and the car will tell him what's wrong. The mechanic can spend less time doing diagnostic work, more time fixing vehicles, and getting them back out the door.

The F-35 has been built with maintainability in mind beyond having advanced self-diagnostic capabilities; for example, the aircraft does away with hydraulic pumps and actuators in favour of self-contained electro-hydraulic actuators for each control surface. You won't believe how much savings is represented there in terms of maintainability; ask anyone who works on aircraft hydraulics regularly how much of a change that would represent. No more chasing down hydraulic lines and bleeding them after replacing components, it's unbolt old actuator, bolt in new actuator, make electrical connections, and done.

Quoting mrg (Reply 33):
It will perhaps represent a mild evolutionary step in "warfighting".

The sensor fusion capabilities of the F-35 is a quantum step forward compared to any other fighter in existence. Having that advanced multi-sensor and networked fused battlespace management capability means the pilot can totally control who does what when in the battlespace. No other aircraft have anything approaching the computer/network/lines of code in the F-35 system. It is not just a fighter; it is a totally new element of a totally new combat world. Think fighter plus electronic warfare, plus AWACS, plus JSTARS, plus U-2 all rolled into one air frame.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:24 pm

USAF denies any plans to acquire more F-15 or F-16s.

Comments made by USAF participant last week at London conference was not an official view of USAF.

Air force instead is committed to 1,763 F-35As through 2038, and in the interim it intends to modernise and upgrade its F-16s and F-15s including AESA radars.


USAF denies seeking more F-16 or F-15 combat jets
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...e-f-16-or-f-15-combat-jets-419473/

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LMP737
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:01 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 12):
The US Air Force do not perform missions that will require ECM support, such missions were obsoleted by the need to purchase more F-22's, B-2's and F-35's.

People say that till an aircraft gets blown out of the sky.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:25 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
It is a major step forward in terms of ensuring serviceability. For one, the aircraft has complex self-diagnostic capabilities built into the aircraft; the airplane will tell you what's wrong, and all the maintainer has to do is replace the parts involved.

So does my Honda.

It baffles me how my government spends billions on an aircraft that they want to be a cure-all for almost 20 years and it still isn't in full production, and to even have it replace a Mach 2 front line fighter! And they can the F22 production, a great aircraft that is actually ground breaking and designed to take on future fighters of technologically advanced nations and to replace the best fighter in human history, the F15, in favor of this joke of an aircraft.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
L-188
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:35 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 1):
I think the AF and Marines should buy a few Growlers for their own ops.

The USAF IMHO should have it's own fast mover ECM aircraft. But as some on this message board point out they can't afford it.

Agreed, but Billy Bob Clinton wanted to shrink the DOD budget so gave that mission to the Navy and their slow EA-6B's.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):

Sorry, what I meant but failed to type is that nobody says the USAF should just buy Growlers, but the thinking that having stealth aircraft means there is no need to invest in electronic warfare is a very dangerous route that will get people killed if higher ups buy into it.

I am not a fan of adding another type to the USAF. But take those electronics and mount them on a two seat F-15.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 36):

People say that till an aircraft gets blown out of the sky.

Damn straight. Air Force generals don't seem to give a damn about supporting US Army troops on the ground. The fighter mafia thinks that is beneath them, which is why they keep trying to kill of the A-10
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
LMP737
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:55 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 38):
Agreed, but Billy Bob Clinton wanted to shrink the DOD budget so gave that mission to the Navy and their slow EA-6B's.

The EA-6B while slower than the EF-111 was more capable than the Sparkvark.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
JohnM
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:18 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
For one, the aircraft has complex self-diagnostic capabilities built into the aircraft; the airplane will tell you what's wrong, and all the maintainer has to do is replace the parts involved. In existing aircraft, if an aircraft breaks or goes out of service, maintainers could literally spent hundreds of man-hours trying to track down one problem before they can get around fixing it.

It always looks good on paper. That is almost the exact quote that the C-5 was supposed to do. As a MADARS I, II, III, IV (EDS) vet, it still is not working out on the C-5. When the system actually tells the truth, it still throws you for a loop that the damn system is actually telling the truth. My understanding that the built in test features on a C-17 is actually helpful, some have told me it is actually boring to work on. Many days of working the same problem on a C-5 had me wishing for boring. LockMart doesn't seem to know how to make a good diagnostic system, MD seemed to. Most of my career was spent trying to get the maint data system working so it could even be used. Once an aircraft gets highly integrated, like the current C-5M, there are less LRUs, but other issues crop up. Some newer systems are improved, but older systems that were almost anvil reliable go down the tubes.

The new theory is that the maintainers can be trained less, do exactly what the airplane says is wrong, and all is good. The reality is that the newer troops can't (and aren't allowed) to think out of the box. When the wonderful airplane lies, it becomes a part swapfest, which causes huge expense, and a dead jet. When software gets changed, all the old lessons go out the window, because it may not work like it used to, and an entire crop of new nuisance faults crop up.

I'd take an FMC F-16 or 15 over a NMC F-35. Maybe the legacy fighters can do the job for the next decade or so until the new ones get figured out.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:19 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 37):
It baffles me how my government spends billions on an aircraft that they want to be a cure-all for almost 20 years and it still isn't in full production, and to even have it replace a Mach 2 front line fighter!

Because development of new aircraft takes time and money. Look at the development times of any all-new fighter design since the end of the Cold War from program inception to first deliveries:

Dassault Rafale: 17 years
Eurofighter Typhoon: 17 years
F-22 Raptor: 14 years
F-35 Lightning II: 13 years

So far, the F-35 does relatively well in terms of development time. If you include the time for full operational capability, F-35 is comparable.

And the F-35 replaces both the F-16 and F/A-18 Hornet in the inventory; both are sub-Mach 1 fighters when loaded with any sort of munitions and external fuel tanks. The F-35 can reach its top speed when loaded with internal fuel and full internal munitions.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 37):
And they can the F22 production, a great aircraft that is actually ground breaking and designed to take on future fighters of technologically advanced nations and to replace the best fighter in human history, the F15, in favor of this joke of an aircraft.

Because the F-22 was already massively out of date and required a very costly and time consuming re-engineering effort because the F-22 went into production with components that were already close to end of production? The F-22 has a really bad case of DMSMS (Diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages). The short story is that the F-22 went into production with the avionics using a microprocessor architecture that was obsolete by the time full production was authorized, and the OEM was slated to close production only a few years later. And with how the F-22's avionics are designed, it is practically impossible to effectively substitute a new microprocessor design without causing a major redesign effort to integrate and validate.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 38):
Damn straight. Air Force generals don't seem to give a damn about supporting US Army troops on the ground. The fighter mafia thinks that is beneath them, which is why they keep trying to kill of the A-10

Air Force generals have been having the USAF conduct almost nothing BUT CAS for the past 15 years! The current USAF chief is a former A-10 pilot and instructor! Most of the USAF's inventory of tactical aircraft and even heavy bombers have been modified and reconfigured to perform CAS! An entire generation of USAF pilots and officers have known nothing but supporting the troops on the pointy end with CAS!

So where is this fighter mafia that doesn't support CAS? It's not the current USAF chief. It's not the current pilots, or officers. So where is this cabal hiding that wants nothing to do with CAS?
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:14 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 41):
Because the F-22 was already massively out of date

Massively out of date apparently isn't a problem for the AF since they are bringing Vietnam-era Broncos out of Davis-Monthan to go fight in Syria. And if you want to talk about massive re-engineering programs, the AF is no stranger to that neither. The C5 fleet is being upgraded to the new C5M standard, brand new avionics, engines, wing structure, etc...

And I have a hard time believing that if the AF is considering using aircraft developed in the 70s (F15, F16, F18) to bridge the gap to an aircraft designed and developed in the 1990/2000s, that whats the truly obsolete plane? Sounds like the F35 to me.

Even your PM is considering cancelling you F35 order, in favor of your 1970s era F18s, which aren't getting any younger themselves.

If I'm a pilot in an F35, I pray I never have to dog fight against a Rafale, or PAK V, or the new Chinese fighter.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
mmo
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:04 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 42):

Massively out of date apparently isn't a problem for the AF since they are bringing Vietnam-era Broncos out of Davis-Monthan to go fight in Syria

If my sources are correct, and I have no reason to doubt them, the OV-10s you state were brought out of DM were actually taken from NASA. NASA had retired them and the aircraft were in flyable condition. They were specifically trialed for the Syria area due to the low threat environment. Your comments portray squadrons being taken out of DM. I don't even think there are that many stored there any more.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 42):
The C5 fleet is being upgraded to the new C5M standard, brand new avionics, engines, wing structure, etc...

Again, you overstate what is being done. The avionics upgrade (AMP) is to allow the C-5 to fly within the agreed global navigation system without having to get waivers......such as NATS and utilize RVSM airspace. The C-130, T-38, F-22 and other aircraft are having the same upgrade done. The new engines provide 22% more thrust, 30% shorter takeoff roll, 38% increase in climb rate to initial level off altitude and increased payload. The original engines were "state of the art" at the time. In addition, a new APU, some reskinning (not wing structure as you write) upgraded pressurization system (new engines drove that) and new autopilot (AMP drove the upgrade). The decision to upgrade the C-5 was based on the fact there is 80% of the service life left in the aircraft to be upgraded. The annual utilization of the C-5 has not been very great, thus the long life left.

I suggest you might want to get your facts straight before you start to slag other users off.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
tjh8402
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:17 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 37):


It baffles me how my government spends billions on an aircraft that they want to be a cure-all for almost 20 years and it still isn't in full production, and to even have it replace a Mach 2 front line fighter! And they can the F22 production, a great aircraft that is actually ground breaking and designed to take on future fighters of technologically advanced nations and to replace the best fighter in human history, the F15, in favor of this joke of an aircraft.

Cancelling the F-22 when we did was a huge mistake. Unfortunately, that's a decision that has been made. We can't go back and change it. We have to work with what we have. Massive amounts of $ have already been put into the F-35. It only gets cheaper from here. Turning our back on it won't get that $ back and will only make the ones we do have to procure more expensive. As it stands, going forward, it should be less $ to buy than F-15s.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 42):
Massively out of date apparently isn't a problem for the AF since they are bringing Vietnam-era Broncos out of Davis-Monthan to go fight in Syria.

It wasn't the AF that used the Broncos, it was the Navy. They brought them out as a trial run, and it is widely believed that it was for the specific mission of assisting special forces. They weren't using them in place of A-10's or F-16's. Also, the F-35 is not designed to do what the Broncos, Warthogs, and AC-130's are doing in Syria. It's designed first and foremost as a day 1 asset in an area where A2/AD systems will keep any 4th generation or earlier aircraft out of the fight.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 42):
And I have a hard time believing that if the AF is considering using aircraft developed in the 70s (F15, F16, F18) to bridge the gap to an aircraft designed and developed in the 1990/2000s, that whats the truly obsolete plane? Sounds like the F35 to me.

The legacy fighters currently in production are far different and more capable than their 70's forbearers. They've got 40 years of developments and improvements behind them. Bridging the gap has nothing to do with what's obsolete. It's simply a matter of what's available when you need it. Just like airlines still buying A320 and A330 CEOs, 737NGs, and 77W's - they buy what they need when it's available. If our older 4th gen airframes are timing out and needing replacement before we have enough F-35s, we have to look at alternatives. Going forward, because of our lack of F-22s, the AF will likely work on developing hybrid 4th gen/5th gen tactics, where the sensors and stealth of the F-22s and F-35s will be used to help direct the fire from 4th generation fighters. Supposedly, tactics have already been developed and demonstrated that allow a flight of F-22s backed up by Eurofighters to dramatically increase their respective effectiveness. the F-35's even more sophisticated sensors and data fusion and communications will only improve on this.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 42):
If I'm a pilot in an F35, I pray I never have to dog fight against a Rafale, or PAK V, or the new Chinese fighter.

The capabilities of the newest generation Russian and Chinese aircraft are still to be learned, but as far as the Rafale goes, you should hope you don't have to dogfight one in an F-15, F/A-18, or F-15 either. The Rafale has been known to notch up Raptor kills in some training scenarios, so it should be able to give any of our 4th generation fighters a run for their money. As always, training and tactics would ultimately determine the outcome.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:32 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 42):
Massively out of date apparently isn't a problem for the AF since they are bringing Vietnam-era Broncos out of Davis-Monthan to go fight in Syria. And if you want to talk about massive re-engineering programs, the AF is no stranger to that neither. The C5 fleet is being upgraded to the new C5M standard, brand new avionics, engines, wing structure, etc...

Please understand about DMSMS before you say something like that; this is a subject matter I'm extremely familiar with as a procurement specialist.

The F-22 went into production with a number of critical avionics sub-components already at EOL (End of Life), meaning that vendors for those sub-components were about to discontinue production of the product and destroy the tooling to make the components. That's a MAJOR show stopper right then and there; you can't make more F-22's without the avionics, unless you spend money to redesign and certify the avionics to replace the out of production components with new replacements. Attempts at doing so for the F-22 ended in failure or were cancelled due to spiraling costs.

DMSMS is something you need to be proactive about as a program manager; you need to identify issues BEFORE they crop up and plan for obsolesce. If you are just reacting to DMSMS issues, all you face is massive costs for redesign to continue production. You then create schedule slips, costs increases and increased risk. The earlier you identify problems, the more option one has, the cheaper the options are, and there is very minimal impact on schedule and risk.

This is a presentation from the DMSMS 2015 conference on the topic, and gives a very brief overview of the topic:
http://www.meetingdata.utcdayton.com...roceedings/presentations/P8768.pdf
 
757gb
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:18 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 45):

Thank you for the perspective and the documentation - Very educational!
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:11 pm

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 44):
Cancelling the F-22 when we did was a huge mistake. Unfortunately, that's a decision that has been made. We can't go back and change it. We have to work with what we have.

But that's a mistake we can address with a F-22B program, as well as dusting off the FB-22A paperwork.

We can also revive the B-1R program to help supplement the F-22As we have now.

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 44):
Massive amounts of $ have already been put into the F-35. It only gets cheaper from here. Turning our back on it won't get that $ back and will only make the ones we do have to procure more expensive. As it stands, going forward, it should be less $ to buy than F-15s.

No the F-35 will not "only get cheaper from here". We are still finding out what the F-35 cannot do, or what it does not meet for contract specs. The ejection seat has been found to be a death trap, only 23% of ejections are projected to be successful, and most of those are projected to cause serious injury, not very good numbers if you have to get out of your F-35A/B/C.

There are alternatives to the bottomless money pit call the F-35. For the USAF, the F-15SE/-2040C programs (both have a reduce RCS), the proposed F-16G program, The mentioned FB-22 and B-1R, the USN/USMC could use the F/A-18E/F, as well as new build AV-8s (which the RN could also use on the new Queen Elizabeth class CVFs, the QEs could also be converted to CATOBAR). There is also Rafale M for the RN CVFs (as well as the E-2D, which currently is not planned for the QEs).

But then again the F-35 fan base will start crying about the thought of killing this turkey (Canada already has).
 
Powerslide
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:50 pm

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
But then again the F-35 fan base will start crying about the thought of killing this turkey (Canada already has).

No we haven't. The F35 isn't going anywhere despite the forum non sense.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5169
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RE: Usaf Considers 72 New Build F-15, F-16

Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:49 pm

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
But that's a mistake we can address with a F-22B program, as well as dusting off the FB-22A paperwork.

The cost to bring the F-22 to a B version would be significant and provide little capability improvement over the F-35A. It could also only occur since it would use all the technology developed from the F-35 program...

As for the FB-22, never going to happen.

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
No the F-35 will not "only get cheaper from here".

Well your statement is wrong and in direct conflict with what the JPO, the GAO and what every other agency is saying. Not only has the per unit price dropped every year but they are below the price curve for where they expected to be. The per flight hour cost continues to drop as the system matures and as the current fleet receives concurrency upgrades and new aircraft emerge from the factory in up to date configurations. It is also expected that they will announce that total dev and acq costs for the program have dropped US$12 billion from original estimates and will continue to do so as LM drives the cost of acquisition down.

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
We are still finding out what the F-35 cannot do, or what it does not meet for contract specs.

Please provide an example of something recent that the F-35 has not been able to do or didn't meet contractually?

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
The ejection seat has been found to be a death trap, only 23% of ejections are projected to be successful, and most of those are projected to cause serious injury, not very good numbers if you have to get out of your F-35A/B/C.

Perhaps you should actually read what the issue is instead of demonstrating a clear misunderstanding of the problem...

The F-35 seat allows lighter pilots than any other seat in history and it is currently only these lightweight pilots that have been restricted from flying the jet. The new HMS has been found to be better than JHMCS for ejections, because the weight is better distributed across the pilots head, but the program will continue to lighten it so it reduces the risk of neck issues on ejection. Finally, do you know who is paying for all the changes required to make the seat safer? Martin Baker, not the F-35 program.

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
There are alternatives to the bottomless money pit call the F-35.

Let's consider your alternatives

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
For the USAF, the F-15SE/-2040C programs (both have a reduce RCS), the proposed F-16G program

F-15SE - no export orders, a larger costlier aircraft that has a higher per hour operating cost and a significantly larger RCS than the F-35. Poor choice...
F-16G - The F-35 exceeds every metric of the F-16, why now when the dev program for the F-35 is almost complete would you want to fund an F-16 variant that wil be shorter ranged, have a larger RCS, less weapons carriage a smaller radar and likely the same per hour operating costs.

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
The mentioned FB-22 and B-1R

No need to revive the B-1R program, it never existed in the first place other than a sales pitch from Boeing. The USAF is planning on using an arsenal plane which should provide similar capabilities but it's purpose is to assist 5th gen aircraft in the batlespace, not replace them...

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
the USN/USMC could use the F/A-18E/F, as well as new build AV-8s (which the RN could also use on the new Queen Elizabeth class CVFs, the QEs could also be converted to CATOBAR).

The USMC never bought the SH, they never wanted it and there is not one operator of the AV-8B that would take that over the F-35B. As for converting the QE to CATOBAR, that ship has sailed...

Quote:

The "innovative, adaptable" ships are now projected by the National Audit Office to cost £5.35 billion, so it's plain that around a third of that, some £1.8bn, comes from them being "adaptable" rather than STOVL-only. Except that it turns out they aren't adaptable at all - fitting them with catapults and arrester gear would, apparently, cost as much as buying two entire new ships.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02...e_committee_carrier_badness?page=2

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
There is also Rafale M for the RN CVFs (as well as the E-2D, which currently is not planned for the QEs).

The Rafale has never seriously been considered. This is the RN after all...

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 47):
But then again the F-35 fan base will start crying about the thought of killing this turkey (Canada already has).

Crying perhaps not. Logical arguments backed up by facts, lots of that available to support the F-35. Time to jump on the bandwagon Boom, as I am sure you will in time, the F-35 will IOC this year for the USAF and produce over 300 aircraft in the next three years and 450 the three years after that.

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