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Political Talk
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:36 PM   #21
bimmerfan08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhumb View Post
If conservatives really want to cut some major waste, fraud and abuse, then this would be a perfect place to start and with a lot of other DoD programs to go with it, many that are essentially little more than, or have been irrevocably corrupted by becoming, federal employment programs. DoD contractors, the infamous military/industrial complex, have become masters in playing and milking the system.

The F35 program, while certainly having some merit and justification in the abstract, in reality, it has become a living caricature of a bloated weapons program that does everything, money to contractors mostly, but actual work well. That a fully capable figher can't be delivered for the princely sum of $1.5 trillion and counting, yes, with a "T" fer chrisakes, then it ought to be cancelled now and the contractors who so badly bungled this program barred from competing for its replacement.

If conservatives only addressed DoD programs with the same level of flinty miserliness that they do domestic and social programs, rather than fawning obsequiousness, then perhaps I would have greater respect for their putative budget-cutting rhetoric. If the DoD can't deliver adequate national security with a budget greater than the next 10-15 biggest militaries COMBINED, then perhaps this should be target #1 for conservative scrutiny and budget cutting.
I must be the definition of a true fiscal conservative then.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:44 AM   #22
Xcelratr
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I wonder how the development of UAVs changes the perspective on the F35.


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Why feel the need to push a new development that is not ready to be implemented? Better yet, why the need for a new(er) fighter when the US has fighters that outperform the F-35?
The F16 and F15 are 35 y/o aircraft. The F18 is 30 y/o.

All 3 are bad-ass and really damn good at what they do. But you can only rework a basic design for so many decades before you have to start fresh. None of them are designed to be stealthy, and at some point you come up with avionics and new weapons that just won't work with the existing airframe.

The more roles you try to fill with a single airframe, the harder it's going to be to design it. USAF, USN, USMC all have different priorities. And the mfg/govt want to be able to export the plane.

Is it cheaper to have a single expensive program that produces a heavily-compromised aircraft, or two or three cheaper programs that produce more specialized and capable aircraft?

Regardless of the answer to that, it does sound like this F35 program is a mess.

And I think getting it straightened out should be our first priority, right after cleaning up the domestic and social issues that so-called-liberals want to fix by making them as bloated as DoD (s @ rhumb).
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:50 AM   #23
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I do understand the need to develop new, stealthier planes to replace the aging F-15, F-16 and F-18 for front line duty. Ostensibly that is what the F-35 is supposed to do (at least the F-16 and F-18 while the F-22 replaces the F-15), but it has turned into such a horrible mess of a program and plane that, if allowed to continue, will likely end up costing something approaching 2 Trillion dollars overall.

I think having several separate platforms for the specific needs would be a better overall approach for various reasons:
  • Far more redundancy with multiple designs and companies producing them -- all the eggs won't be in one basket.
  • The program(s) won't be too big to kill, which is probably the main thing keeping the F-35 alive now.
  • The individual, more precisely tailored designs will perform their respective missions better.
  • Smaller, more comprehensible program management rather than the bloated monster the F-35 program's become.
While I can understand some of the rational of using a shared platform for all three branches versions, at least in the abstract, the reality has proven this approach disasterous. I think the main driving force was more political than performance in the end -- spread the wealth across so many Congressional districts (defense system conservative welfare essentially) to garner immense political support and, as mentioned, make it too big to kill, especiall with no alternatives to turn to or compete with.

The advent of UAVs will also probably make the F-35 rather dated when it, eventually, hits the flightline. UAVs will likely make Nth degree stealth designs, with their ensuing costs, complexity and performance compromises, less necessary as we'll send in more expendible UAVs into the hottest combat zones. I would surmise the MAVs would need less stealthy, simpler, cheaper designs that would perform better and the two -- UAVs and MAVs -- would complement each other.

I think something more akin, conceptually, to a stealthier latter-day F-16 would be ideal for the AF as would a neo F-18 for the Navy. As for a STVL version for the Marines, I'm just not sure the need justifies the cost. Yeah, it would be nice to have, but perhaps develop something with the Brits to replace the Harrier.

Last edited by Rhumb; 04-09-2013 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:59 AM   #24
MPOWERD
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Originally Posted by Xcelratr View Post
I wonder how the development of UAVs changes the perspective on the F35.




The F16 and F15 are 35 y/o aircraft. The F18 is 30 y/o.

All 3 are bad-ass and really damn good at what they do. But you can only rework a basic design for so many decades before you have to start fresh. None of them are designed to be stealthy, and at some point you come up with avionics and new weapons that just won't work with the existing airframe.

The more roles you try to fill with a single airframe, the harder it's going to be to design it. USAF, USN, USMC all have different priorities. And the mfg/govt want to be able to export the plane.

Is it cheaper to have a single expensive program that produces a heavily-compromised aircraft, or two or three cheaper programs that produce more specialized and capable aircraft?

Regardless of the answer to that, it does sound like this F35 program is a mess.

And I think getting it straightened out should be our first priority, right after cleaning up the domestic and social issues that so-called-liberals want to fix by making them as bloated as DoD (s @ rhumb).
F-15s are outclassed in all respects by current production fighters in Russian, China, and in Europe.

F-16s are at the end of their development and would be expensive to update further for shorter life spans. New production Vipers are also quite expensive.

The F-18E/Fs Super Hornets are not 30 years old. They are in current production and will replace all legacy C and D model Hornets when production is completed.

In addition all US service F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s are not stealthy.

The F-35C will supplement USN F-18E/Fs and is desperately needed by the USN as they do not have a stealthy penetrator and will not be able to perform their current mission without it if faced with a modern air defense system.

The F-35B is needed my the USMC as the Harrier fleet, even with the purchase of the retired British Harrier fleet will not be able to continue to fly much longer and is a very vulnerable aircraft to heat seeking weapons due to the placement of the exhaust nozzles in the center of the aircraft.

The F-35A for the Air Force was originally envisioned as a less expensive partner to the F-22 to use for strike missions but has proved to be so expensive that it will not be able to be produced in numbers sufficient to justify it. The USAF should have dropped the project and built more F-22s since they can can now carry some of the same weapons in a more stealthy aircraft that is has supercruise (supersonic in MIL power without afterburner which the F-35 can not do) and thus have a reduced IR signature in comparison and a much longer range (as afterburner uses excessive amounts of fuel)...

So thank Obama for the cancellation of less expensive F-22s and instead producing the more expensive and less capable F-35 (except avionics where the F-35 has truly superior battlefield integration compared to the older avionics in the F-22)

Last edited by MPOWERD; 04-15-2013 at 01:59 AM.
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