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(Mother Jones)   The US Air Force's new fighter jets can do everything, and by everything we mean almost nothing, including fly very much   (motherjones.com) divider line 351
    More: Asinine, fighter aircrafts, flight tests, F-16, F-35, air forces, F-15E, airplanes  
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2012-05-02 08:00:43 PM  

lazyguineapig33: in conclusion, USAAF did well because of numbers, not because of great planes. and that is a fact.


From the numbers you posted, the Butcher Bird's only advantage is in climb rate. And none of those numbers reflect maneuverability, the most important factor in a fighter:

www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org

Not to say that the German planes weren't good for their early war production era.

Mustangs apparently didn't fair too poorly against the 209.

(The 209 is still one of the best looking aircraft ever produced IMHO)

OT:
The F-35:
g-ecx.images-amazon.com

An F-16 or F/A-18:
www.wilderness-survival-skills.com

I know which one I'd want in a fight.
 
2012-05-02 08:00:47 PM  
Don't drones basically accomplish the same goal (though in a very different way) as stealth? Instead of being sneaky or unseen, have a dozen or so drones for every manned aircraft with the drones going in first. The drones get shot at and also shoot back at the anti-aircraft capabilities or go after the targets too dangerous for human piloted aircraft. Seems like it'd be cheaper.

Nowadays stealth seems like it is most useful for reconnaissance aircraft (unless we're planning on making a first strike on some nation).
 
2012-05-02 08:01:16 PM  
FTA: the F-35 lacks the F-16's agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-15E's range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can't even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won't be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission

Translation: HERPDERP, I have no basic understanding of what a multirole fighter is, or why it isn't as good in each role as a plane specialized in each role.
 
2012-05-02 08:02:54 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: Oznog: I don't know much about the F35, but the Stealth Bomber was criticized as an extravagant, useless toy by many.


Perhaps because it *is* an extravagant, useless toy?

Seriously, it's pretty much useless.

1) It's cheaper to deliver nukes by ICBM
2) It's cheaper to deliver a farkton of conventional bombs via B-52 or B-1
3) It's vastly cheaper to use drones to take out point targets.

What role does it serve?


It's one of our more dollar-intensive ordinance delivery vectors.

/Simpsons did it.
 
2012-05-02 08:03:18 PM  

MBrady: So, don't blame the defense contractor, blame the USAF for their clusterfark


Not the defense contractor as much as their lawyers.

Govt lawyers (or at least the ones who work on lawyers) blow.

The contractor doesn't meet spec, and the govt pays them more to make spec.

We also have contractors offering to build in key states of congressmen/senators who hold the defense purse strings.
 
2012-05-02 08:04:16 PM  
chandrashekhara.files.wordpress.com

This is where they all end up.
 
2012-05-02 08:05:38 PM  
hasty ambushThe top line prop planes of Gemany, UK, US and even Japan were close enough in performance characteristics (each with its own strengths and weaknesses) that the real difference was in pilot quality.

Didn't the allies start the war with weaker fighters, but eventually get superior fighters.

Yes, rotating experienced fighters helped alot. Also Germany had better designs they could not get build at the end, Japan tweaked the zero, but could only improve it so much.
 
2012-05-02 08:06:21 PM  

DeusMeh: also posting some love for the A-10. its a FARKING flying TANK!! how can you go wrong with that?? and i thought they just did a refit for them to A-10c and added a bunch of digital bells and whistles. phasing out those gloriously ugly bastards is pure fail.

but maybe some farker with stronger military geek-fu than i can answer this for me...outside of europe and israel, who the fark has a military that can go toe to toe with our 30 yr old fleet of current jets? i haven't heard squat about a new mig in YEARS, so really, whats the point?


I think some of our biggest competition is the stuff we've sold ourselves to various "allies" in the past. Of course you have the latest reversed engineered stuff (J-20) from China. I would like to see us get our hands on one of those planes and see if they are propaganda or a real issue. The Internet news I have read is that the J-20 is still a decade away, who knows? At the rate our country is pumping money into China, I don't think we have that long. There are a LOT of good engineers for sale on the market...
 
2012-05-02 08:07:30 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: Happy Hours: spcMike: Oznog: The SR71 Blackbird would be easy to criticize too. I mean, such a piece of junk, it leaks fuel all over the runway because it can't seal its own airframe when cold. It lacks the technology of a $10 jerry can. So a person could readily conclude it's an ill-designed piece of junk that was never designed to actually be USED.

The leaks are actually meant to be in there as the heat generated by the aircraft in flight causes the fuel tank to expand. Without the holes in the tank it would've over pressurized and burst.

But lets not bring engineering into this.

sounds like they didn't. I would think engineering would overcome such a problem without having it leak fuel.

They did solve it in the most elegant way possible. Physics did it for them.


Oh god. Why do we have to hash this out in every stupid airplane thread??
 
2012-05-02 08:08:14 PM  

Secret Polish Boyfriend: Riothamus: MorePeasPlease: Riothamus: I've never understood why the USAF never opened up a pure ground-attack pilot school for people who only wanted to fly A10s, and ordered more A10s. I mean, they don't go supersonic, A10 pilots probably don't need to be as well trained as fighter pilots (so you can lower requirements a bit).

Christ, you really need to educate yourself.

On what? The A-10 is a simpler, slower aircraft than just about anything else in the US arsenal. It's not a hell of a lot faster than the prop planes from WWII, and we cranked out TONS of pilots back then. And for the price of one F35, we could build about 15 A10s. And the F35 isn't particularly useful when fighting an insurgency.

So on what, exactly, do I need to educate myself?

Yeah, I'm a bit confused, too. I think the issue may be your statement about training, which I think was misunderstood. I don't think that you meant that flying an A-10 was easy or required little training; what I understood you saying was that flying an A-10 doesn't demand the same nimbleness as a supersonic fighter flying on and off carriers and/or getting into dogfights. I understand this to be generally true; I have been told that training for A-10 pilots is more focused on tactics and identification. They spend relatively much more time shooting than maneuvering, and are generally flown with fighter support for protection, since they can't do that mission. The idea behind the F-35 was to meld the two functions together, but that idea has been questioned, since with two separate aircraft you can have separate (and more appropriate) tools and pilots focusing on the task at hand (which is demanding enough).


Yeah, I should have been more clear and phrased better. I was referring more to how more of the population physically cut out to fly slower aircraft due to not having absolute peak reflexes, etc. instead of "hey, flying cannon fodder!" I wasn't implying that A10 pilots have an easy job.
 
2012-05-02 08:09:48 PM  

nickerj1: FTA: the F-35 lacks the F-16's agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-15E's range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can't even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won't be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission

Translation: HERPDERP, I have no basic understanding of what a multirole fighter is, or why it isn't as good in each role as a plane specialized in each role.


HERPDERP! I don't see the importance in doing one job so well that nobody can stop it.
 
2012-05-02 08:12:28 PM  

hasty ambush: The F4U-4 IMHO was ther best all around prop fighter of WWII.


Well, except for it being so dangerous operated from a carrier that the Navy gave it to the Marines.

My personal favorite WW2 fighter (techical factors aside) is this under-appreciated little bird:

www.jontanis.com
 
2012-05-02 08:14:38 PM  

Ehh: The P-38: "1937 Army specification for an interceptor that could reach 20,000 feet in 6 minutes...appeared in force in the Southwest Pacific in mid-1943."

So the procurement system hasn't been corrupted since then?


P-38s first started flying January 1939, entered operational service after the attack on Pearl Harbor. PLUS most P-38s were sent to Europe because of Arcadia Conference that made Europe the top priority. Hints the "Europe First" strategy.

General George C. Kenney, commander of the USAAF Fifth Air Force operating in New Guinea was begging for P-38s and could not could not get enough of them tell the P-38 was replaced by the P-51 in Europe.
 
2012-05-02 08:14:58 PM  

lazyguineapig33: Chief_ Danz153A: Riothamus:
"I've never understood why the USAF never opened up a pure ground-attack pilot school for people who only wanted to fly A10s, and ordered more A10s. I mean, they don't go supersonic, A10 pilots probably don't need to be as well trained as fighter pilots (so you can lower requirements a bit). But in modern warfare, close air support is the most useful component of air combat. The Russians figured that out in WWII."

Are you implying the absolute "I WIN THE AVIATION INTERNETS" of the IL-2!? Because I agree!
[www.warbirdphotographs.com image 640x230]

The A-10 is absolutely fantastic at what it does and it does if for far cheaper than the F35 EVER will. The Air Force thankfully has adopted more ground-support formal instruction for their pilots, so there is that. As far as them needing less instruction than a fighter pilot... egh... air to air is the easy part now due to modern munitions. Locking in on a poorly marked target and ensuring you don't hit 20 or so friendlies in a danger-close type mission... that's a big pile of colon-puckery. Strafing with this bad bird was also done during this war and that's even more of a colon-pucker as it's not guided munition *and* there are civilian worries *and* there are friendly crunchies in the area. Tough stuff.

As for other threads worth commenting on: P51 was amazing when mated to the Merlin. Still would prefer it over the Spitfire. P-38 was a sexy awkward beast too after they knocked out all the bumps (tweaked stuff like reversing the rotation of the engines due to some weird aerodynamic factors).

the il-2 suffered obscene losses during WWII, it wasnt a good plane it was just more numerous than any combat plane ever made. additionally, the p51 is average at best (poorly armed as well) and the p38 is not very good either because of high moment of inertia. i know its unamerican to say the name p51 and not have a spontaneous ejaculation, but if you look at the performance facts of contemp ...


It's almost like you copy/pasted "your" knowledge from another poster at
http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/fw-190-dora-9-vs-p-51d-must a ng-3151.html

Or something...
 
2012-05-02 08:18:26 PM  
I can't imagine the designers putting in "crashes and burns" into the performance specifications.
 
2012-05-02 08:18:52 PM  

Gleeman: From the numbers you posted, the Butcher Bird's only advantage is in climb rate. And none of those numbers reflect maneuverability, the most important factor in a fighter:


For fighters, speed is life. Being able to out-climb and out-dive your opponent is just as important if not more so than turn rate.
 
2012-05-02 08:21:37 PM  
The problem with building a multirole aircraft like the F-35 is that it tends to be average at each of its roles.

Average planes get shot down a lot like the F-111.

www.military-wallpaper.net
 
2012-05-02 08:22:02 PM  
Wait! So we all agree a liberal douchebag blog like Mother Jones does not have a farking clue? Wow, the internets are wondermous.
 
2012-05-02 08:23:16 PM  
oobiedoobieI can't imagine the designers putting in "crashes and burns" into the performance specifications.

I think they were put in the specs of the zero.

/It was a tad underarmored.
 
2012-05-02 08:24:02 PM  

HempHead: The problem with building a multirole aircraft like the F-35 is that it tends to be average at each of its roles.

Average planes get shot down a lot like the F-111.

[www.military-wallpaper.net image 640x480]

sharetv.org

The graveyards are full of middling swordsmen. Best not to be a swordsman at all than a middling swordsman.
 
2012-05-02 08:24:26 PM  

AcneVulgaris: We have enough nukes to kill everyone several times. We could have airplanes made out of nerf and nobody would dare invade us.


First you have to take the ignorant position that we can retreat behind a fortress America and we only have to worry about an actual physical invasion for that to be true. However we are still essentially an Island nation economically and politically always have been. In 1776 a higher percentage of our per capita GDP came from foreign trade than it does now. Our first wars were about protecting our rights to trade ; The revolution were one of our grievances against the crown was the restrictions on trade, the Naval war with France, the War of 1812 and the Barbary Wars parts 1 and 2.

This means we have worldwide interests to protect foremost among them maintaining free use of the seas. This means force projection capability. Being able to keep open the Malacca Straits or Dardanelles Strait for example. China is building a blue water navy and a modern Air Force not to prevent invasion or to invade Taiwan but to protect its shipping lines. Many of these the same lanes we rely on. The old Soviet Union being more of a Continental Power less reliant on overseas trade concentrated on building a Navy geared more to sea denial not freedom of the seas which requires a less costly more specialized Navy to disrupt the trade of its enemies.

Recommend reading-The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 by A. T. Mahan
 
2012-05-02 08:25:54 PM  

HempHead: The problem with building a multirole aircraft like the F-35 is that it tends to be average at each of its roles.

Average planes get shot down a lot like the F-111.

[www.military-wallpaper.net image 640x480]


Hence, you have a real fighter like the F22Raptor, that is suffering alot of the same ills the Falcon and Phantom had when they got pushed hard. These things get worked out. Stupid pillow biting liberals think science is some thing they get from the mayor of San Francisco and whine when it isn't so. Quelle suprise.
 
2012-05-02 08:26:57 PM  
lazyguineapig33 BS copied from a website., see here for the 6yr old comment...

http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/fw-190-dora-9-vs-p-51d-must a ng-3151.html

I am also sure our pilots had nothing to do with performance...
 
2012-05-02 08:31:38 PM  

Riothamus: HempHead: The problem with building a multirole aircraft like the F-35 is that it tends to be average at each of its roles.

Average planes get shot down a lot like the F-111.

[www.military-wallpaper.net image 640x480]
[sharetv.org image 400x300]

The graveyards are full of middling swordsmen. Best not to be a swordsman at all than a middling swordsman.


So true. The best thing to do is to screw your own sister for political gain.
 
2012-05-02 08:33:08 PM  
Oznog: I don't know much about the F35, but the Stealth Bomber was criticized as an extravagant, useless toy by many.

The A10 Warthog was first delivered in 1976. The Air Force didn't want it then, as loitering close-in air support wasn't what they did. It was relatively slow and absurdly cumbersome. Then they wanted to replace it with an F16 variant designed for the close-in air support. Didn't see combat until Gulf War 1991, when they realized it was the king of a modern battlefield.

The SR71 Blackbird would be easy to criticize too. I mean, such a piece of junk, it leaks fuel all over the runway because it can't seal its own airframe when cold. It lacks the technology of a $10 jerry can. So a person could readily conclude it's an ill-designed piece of junk that was never designed to actually be USED.


Thing about those planes were they were designed from the ground up to do one thing well.

When you engineer something to do everything, it does nothing well. That's the JSF in a nutshell.

They didn't have a clear, single metric to work towards, so they though up 50 and the yes men kept saying yes to a very bad idea. Now it's a very expensive, bad idea.
 
2012-05-02 08:33:26 PM  

Enemabag Jones: hasty ambushThe top line prop planes of Gemany, UK, US and even Japan were close enough in performance characteristics (each with its own strengths and weaknesses) that the real difference was in pilot quality.

Didn't the allies start the war with weaker fighters, but eventually get superior fighters.

Yes, rotating experienced fighters helped alot. Also Germany had better designs they could not get build at the end, Japan tweaked the zero, but could only improve it so much.


But Japan had the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayateprobably their best fighter.
 
2012-05-02 08:36:47 PM  

Oznog: I don't know much about the F35, but the Stealth Bomber was criticized as an extravagant, useless toy by many.

The A10 Warthog was first delivered in 1976. The Air Force didn't want it then, as loitering close-in air support wasn't what they did. It was relatively slow and absurdly cumbersome. Then they wanted to replace it with an F16 variant designed for the close-in air support. Didn't see combat until Gulf War 1991, when they realized it was the king of a modern battlefield.

The SR71 Blackbird would be easy to criticize too. I mean, such a piece of junk, it leaks fuel all over the runway because it can't seal its own airframe when cold. It lacks the technology of a $10 jerry can. So a person could readily conclude it's an ill-designed piece of junk that was never designed to actually be USED.


Each of those 3 aircraft were specialized airframes that did one job very well.

The B-2 is a pure-stealth long-range strategic bomber. It can go deep into hostile territory, evading detection and drop heavy ordnance. It does that task better than anything else out there.

The A-10 is the best close air support aircraft ever made. It's a heavily reenforced flying tank. Yeah, it's not fast, sleek, or crammed with the fancy electronics the USAF loves. It doesn't need them for the CAS role. It's not a dogfighter or interceptor. The A-10 has only ever scored 1 confirmed air-to-air kill. . .and that was in Desert Storm against a Hind gunship, hardly downing MiG's. It's built to take a pounding from anti aircraft and small arms fire, while throwing enough lead and explosives downrange to turn the tide of a ground battle. Show me another aircraft anywhere in the world that can do that mission better.

The SR-71 was the best surveillance aircraft ever. Fast, high-altitude, with remarkable optics, it could go anywhere and take pictures and fly faster than just about anything they could send after it. . .including SAM's. It did have some mild stealth aspects stumbled on by accident, but that was pure coincidence. Yeah, it leaked fuel when cold. . .but that was a required adaptation to make it able to function at Mach 3+ and 70,000+ ft. Show me a Mach 3+ recon aircraft that can outperform it.

The F-35 is supposed to replace the AV-8 Harrier for Marine CAS. . .but packs less firepower.

The F-35 is supposed to replace the F-16 as a dogfighter. . .but is less maneuverable.

The F-35 is supposed to replace the F-15 as an interceptor and strike fighter. . .but is slower and has a shorter range.

The F-35 is supposed to replace the F-18 as a general-use carrier fighter/bomber. . .but is single engine (the USN hates single-engined craft for carrier duty, as a safety/reliability issue), and has less ordnance carrying capacity.

The F-35 is supposed to replace the A-10. . .but lacks the heavy GAU-8 Avenger cannon, has much less weapons load, lacks the heavily reenforced armor, and even had internal fire suppression removed from it as a cost cutting measure so it's much less survivable against combat damage.

It can do the same mission as all those aircraft, but it does them all poorly.

The F-35 does have some stealth characteristics, and is sometimes marketed as a "stealth fighter". . .but that stealth only really works from the front angle, and much less from the sides and rear, and even then it's less stealthy than the F-22 Raptor or B-2 Spirit.

So, what does the F-35 do particularly well other than cost billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars?
 
2012-05-02 08:37:02 PM  

Gleeman: I know which one I'd want in a fight.


You'd better hope you and your opponent picked the same kind of fight.

/ Never bring an F-16 to an F-35 fight
 
2012-05-02 08:40:19 PM  

hasty ambush: Enemabag Jones: hasty ambushThe top line prop planes of Gemany, UK, US and even Japan were close enough in performance characteristics (each with its own strengths and weaknesses) that the real difference was in pilot quality.

Didn't the allies start the war with weaker fighters, but eventually get superior fighters.

Yes, rotating experienced fighters helped alot. Also Germany had better designs they could not get build at the end, Japan tweaked the zero, but could only improve it so much.

But Japan had the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayateprobably their best fighter.


But couldn't build them because they lacked the industrial capacity.

The lesson to take away from all this is, if you want to win a world war, you need to be a large island nation whose allies are relatively close and whose enemies are far away, with good access to a broad spectrum of natural resources such as oil, timber and metals within your own borders, and a populace that is initially underemployed, easily united by national fervor or a foreign atrocity, and has a strong work ethic which translates easily into industrializing for war.

Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.
 
2012-05-02 08:41:20 PM  

indarwinsshadow: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Warbirds thread!

Since you mentioned it;

[www.seanmmaloney.com image 640x480]

My country hasn't built anything this nice in 50 years. All we do is buy American military hardware.


It's a shame what happened to that plane, on so many levels.

On a very fundamental level, it completely freaked out the USAF.

/can you say mig 25
 
2012-05-02 08:42:58 PM  
Silverstaff:

So, what does the F-35 do particularly well other than cost billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars?

Job creator
 
2012-05-02 08:43:47 PM  
USAF:
Couple dozen F-22s as kind of a Beta/next gen stealth project. Build them, build revisions to them, trickle enough money into the project to keep it active, but we didn't need over a hundred of them.

F-15 and F-16 are retired in favor of the F-15 Silent Eagle. It's better than anything else anyone has and once we're done with them we can likely resell them to friendly nations. Some F-15 air frames can be up converted to the SE and others can be new builds. Silent Eagle also does what the Canadians need.

A-10 is replaced by a Reaper Drone or something of that nature. The drone has a better loiter time and can actually do more daring strikes in that if it gets shot down, who gives a fark? Plus you can buy the suckers en masse.

USN:
New standard carrier fighter. We can use it and the British can use it. Ideally it can borrow some parts off the Silent Eagle. The deal is though parts commonality is an extra, not a required feature.

New STOL/VTOL fighter. We can use it, the British might want some (they're keeping at least one of their STOL carriers as a heli carrier IIRC). The Australians might also want some on their big deck amphibs, same with the Spanish and the Italians. Ideally has some parts commonality with the standard carrier fighter, but once again a bonus, not a required feature.

Ideally you can take the carrier fighter and use some of its parts to design a new USAF fighter as well. The USAF can back off on F-15SE procurement (send them to guard units and foreign partners) and start purchasing this new fighter as your multirole fighter after the Silent Eagle. That is assuming we don't go to drones by the time the Silent Eagle replacement begins. You can keep slowly upgrading the F-22 fleet and expanding it as the project progresses or end it when the drones take over.
 
2012-05-02 08:44:45 PM  

Riothamus: And the F35 isn't particularly useful when fighting an insurgency.

So on what, exactly, do I need to educate myself?


About not fighting the last war?
 
2012-05-02 08:46:57 PM  

One Bad Apple: Silverstaff:

So, what does the F-35 do particularly well other than cost billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars?

Job creator


+11 sir.
 
2012-05-02 08:49:53 PM  

One Bad Apple: Silverstaff:

So, what does the F-35 do particularly well other than cost billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars?

Job creator


So, it's main goal is to be a trillion-dollar government spending program that gives people jobs?

It's the Republican stimulus package!
 
2012-05-02 08:51:19 PM  

Gleeman: hasty ambush: The F4U-4 IMHO was ther best all around prop fighter of WWII.

Well, except for it being so dangerous operated from a carrier that the Navy gave it to the Marines.

My personal favorite WW2 fighter (techical factors aside) is this under-appreciated little bird:

[www.jontanis.com image 640x371]


The Royal Navy and the USMC did operate them from carriers and the USMC used it during Korea War were one shot down a Mig-15.
 
2012-05-02 08:52:26 PM  

jayphat: One Bad Apple: Silverstaff:

So, what does the F-35 do particularly well other than cost billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars?

Job creator

+11 sir.


Those jobs would still be there, building the old reliable cheaper more effective aircraft.
 
2012-05-02 08:52:33 PM  
You guys are so weird. Last year, when the fuzzy pictures of the Chinese 'stealth' came out' "OMG....we are so screwed! They are gonna eat our lunch!"
Or when any new Russian one off prototype makes an appearance "This plane is soooo much better than anything the US has!"

But when it comes to US aircraft..."we don't need all that new stuff. 40 year old F-15/16/18 designs are good enough."

I can explain this thought process in one word:
FARK
 
2012-05-02 08:52:38 PM  
hasty ambushBut Japan had the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate probably their best fighter.

Well referenced. I was not familiar with that.

Another case of the loser unable to build the latest and greatest towards the end.
 
2012-05-02 08:55:21 PM  
These F-22's were built down the road from my hose and here is the local story on them w/one of the worst videos EVAR...

http://www.11alive.com/news/article/240403/40/Air-Force-takes-last-F- 2 2-but-oxygen-problems-persist

This story (dated today) states the USAF took their final delivery of the fighter, but Wiki states that happened in a ceremony in GA on Dec 2011 after rolling off the line (I guess it sat around for half a year, seems about right for the govt). I suppose there are sooo many it's hard to keep up with them.

/sarc off
 
2012-05-02 08:55:41 PM  

Enemabag Jones: hasty ambushBut Japan had the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate probably their best fighter.

Well referenced. I was not familiar with that.

Another case of the loser unable to build the latest and greatest towards the end.


Yup, turns out:
1. Larger population
2. Industrial heart land the enemy can't bomb
3. Stable government

win a lot of major wars.

/it's actually led me to this weird disconnect where I biatch about military spending, but consider missile defense and a large navy to be needed
//although I guess not that weird, we used to cut the army pretty deep in peace time back in the day
 
2012-05-02 08:58:47 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero:
Seriously, it's pretty much useless.

1) It's cheaper to deliver nukes by ICBM
2) It's cheaper to deliver a farkton of conventional bombs via B-52 or B-1
3) It's vastly cheaper to use drones to take out point targets.

What role does it serve?


1. Ever hear of the nuclear triad? We intentionally don't put all our strategic nuclear assets in one basket. It's why we don't have all ICBM's or SLBM's. For example, a nuclear ALCM is much less obvious. You fire an ICBM and the world will know thanks to the IR bloom from the engine. A stealth launch platform can perform a nuclear first strike and the target won't even see it coming until the mushroom cloud is rising. Also, it's much quicker and easier to change the target of a B-2 strike than an ICBM or SLBM, and a big chunk of the original design intention was to be able to hit Soviet mobile ICBM launchers before they could fire.

2. B-52's and B-1's aren't stealth. A big advantage of the B-2 is the adversary doesn't see it coming. They don't know they are about to be hit, or if they suspect it they don't know where it's coming from. A B-2 with a small amount of precision ordnance can do way more damage than a B-52 dropping indiscriminate iron bombs. You don't win most war with bulk iron bombs. We dropped more iron on Vietnam than we did on Nazi Germany, and it did fark-all for winning the war there. Bulk iron won't do much in Afghanistan either, but precision strikes do.

3. UCAV's are not fix-alls. We have the technological advantage now, but are you really wagering everything on the idea that an adversary will not develop ECM that can jam the command links? If you want that link to be truly unjammable you have to put autonomous control onboard. That means either an organic pilot. . .or onboard AI and I think us here at Fark don't like the idea of AI's with autonomous hunter killer capacity. Something something Sarah Connor.
 
2012-05-02 09:02:44 PM  

Don Bigles: Desquamation: Don Bigles: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Warbirds thread!

[www.asisbiz.com image 640x434]

[www.richard-seaman.com image 640x460]

[members.quicknet.nl image 640x480]

[www.richard-seaman.com image 640x460]

I see your warbirds, and raise you the most beautiful plane ever built.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x458]

/love me some Spitfires

I prefer the P-51D myself but Spits are right up there.

Not really knocking the P-51, but I'm always kind of amused when it's held up as a great feat of American engineering, when it was designed by a German and was pretty useless until they put the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in it. It's still a nice plane, though.

And speaking of Germans...
[www.richard-seaman.com image 640x461]

/yellow-nosed bastard


I'm going to have to disagree with all of you and go with the FW-190.
www.cybermodeler.com
 
2012-05-02 09:03:30 PM  

Silverstaff: A B-2 with a small amount of precision ordnance can do way more damage than a B-52 dropping indiscriminate iron bombs.


To be fair, the BUFF drops JDAMS and GBUs as well. But yes, everyone knows they're coming
 
2012-05-02 09:04:51 PM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: You guys are so weird. Last year, when the fuzzy pictures of the Chinese 'stealth' came out' "OMG....we are so screwed! They are gonna eat our lunch!"
Or when any new Russian one off prototype makes an appearance "This plane is soooo much better than anything the US has!"

But when it comes to US aircraft..."we don't need all that new stuff. 40 year old F-15/16/18 designs are good enough."

I can explain this thought process in one word:
FARK


Well, the F-22 is a fair fight against either the Chinese or Russian stealth fighters.

Problem is, we aren't building more F-22's, we're building the F-35, which is the scaled down, watered down, weaker version of the F-22.

The F-22 is ridiculously expensive, but it is a bona-fide excellent air superiority fighter.

Congress got it in its head that they could build a fighter to "do it all" and do it well. That doesn't work. The F-111 was a dismal failure at that idea. The Space Shuttle was another one, it was supposed to be a passenger carrier, a heavy-lift cargo carrier, a scientific research craft, and do it all so economically and reliably to make other launch vehicles obsolete and make space access routine with weekly (or more often) launches.

Want a world class aircraft? Specialize.
 
2012-05-02 09:05:20 PM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: You guys are so weird. Last year, when the fuzzy pictures of the Chinese 'stealth' came out' "OMG....we are so screwed! They are gonna eat our lunch!"
Or when any new Russian one off prototype makes an appearance "This plane is soooo much better than anything the US has!"

But when it comes to US aircraft..."we don't need all that new stuff. 40 year old F-15/16/18 designs are good enough."

I can explain this thought process in one word:
FARK


O_o

Which Fark are you reading? PAK-FA/J-20 threads are always about how either A) the plane in question is a shiatty copy of invincible American hardware or B) how we'll just nuke country X if they start shiat, or C) how China owns our economy and wars are irrelevant.

Frankly I don't think any country can afford enough 5th-gen fighters for it to matter. Zerg hordes of 4.5-gen aircraft are a safer bet than going for broke on wunderwaffen.
 
2012-05-02 09:07:59 PM  

Enemabag Jones: YouPeopleAreCrazy,Enemabag Jones: The SU's with their ability to direct the exhaust and do things jets should not be able to do is so amazing.
The F-22 does that as well.
And as always, this is never about airframe v airframe. There are many, many other factors. Logistics, comms, pilot skill, interoperability, etc, etc.

I think that was my point. I am not a military nerd and these thread are full of people that are pretty unforgiving on noobs....however.

The F22 is given a bad rap for being too expensive, unable to fly in the rain, too software dependent if there is a glitch, made for big wars we don't fight, ect.

One thing the F22 was good for was knocking enemies out of the air before the F22 was seen. Maybe the directed jets are good for avoiding missles, but they don't seem to have a definite purpose beyond airshows if one side has air superiority.

And the SU's are so sexy too.


Ok, so basically the F-22 was designed to be long range artillery for the air. That is perfectly fine. However, what is not fine was having the F-22 replace all current fighter air craft (not true any more since the program was cancelled) That would be like having all of our tanks replaced with artillery. Sure, great from long range. Horrible if it has to go into a city or defend against multiple approaching enemies.
 
2012-05-02 09:09:29 PM  

indarwinsshadow: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Warbirds thread!

Since you mentioned it;

[www.seanmmaloney.com image 640x480]

My country hasn't built anything this nice in 50 years. All we do is buy American military hardware.


Canada could do worse...might as well let us eat the development costs. I am sure my country isn't smart enought to charge enough for them after our politicians get to drinking and kissing each others ass.
 
2012-05-02 09:12:22 PM  

profplump: Gleeman: I know which one I'd want in a fight.

You'd better hope you and your opponent picked the same kind of fight.

/ Never bring an F-16 to an F-35 fight


the hell you say!
i842.photobucket.com
 
2012-05-02 09:13:41 PM  

hasty ambush: AcneVulgaris: We have enough nukes to kill everyone several times. We could have airplanes made out of nerf and nobody would dare invade us.

First you have to take the ignorant position that we can retreat behind a fortress America and we only have to worry about an actual physical invasion for that to be true. However we are still essentially an Island nation economically and politically always have been. In 1776 a higher percentage of our per capita GDP came from foreign trade than it does now. Our first wars were about protecting our rights to trade ; The revolution were one of our grievances against the crown was the restrictions on trade, the Naval war with France, the War of 1812 and the Barbary Wars parts 1 and 2.

This means we have worldwide interests to protect foremost among them maintaining free use of the seas. This means force projection capability. Being able to keep open the Malacca Straits or Dardanelles Strait for example. China is building a blue water navy and a modern Air Force not to prevent invasion or to invade Taiwan but to protect its shipping lines. Many of these the same lanes we rely on. The old Soviet Union being more of a Continental Power less reliant on overseas trade concentrated on building a Navy geared more to sea denial not freedom of the seas which requires a less costly more specialized Navy to disrupt the trade of its enemies.

Recommend reading-The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 by A. T. Mahan


Who needs to know history, that's old news? What are you...retarded?

/sarc off :)
 
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