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(BBC)   Bad: Pentagon grounds the entire F-35 fleet. Fark: This is apparently a monthly occurrence now   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 121
    More: Scary, F-35B  
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5816 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Feb 2013 at 9:40 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-23 02:39:37 AM
Are they doing anything with them?  Aside from appearing in The Avengers.
 
2013-02-23 03:54:18 AM

Alphax: Are they doing anything with them?  Aside from appearing in The Avengers.


According to TFA, selling them to the Brits.  Which is likely the only reason the BBC cares.

Of course, it's the STOVL version, which is like the Brits' beloved Harrier, only faster, stealthier, and more likely to have a fuel line randomly come loose... huh, I wasn't aware that Jaguar was a subcontractor.
 
2013-02-23 04:19:23 AM
they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.
 
2013-02-23 04:23:07 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


Or get the pilots without the planes.. if you can get Tony Stark to share his tech..
 
2013-02-23 06:39:12 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


I am 99.9% sure nobody has been killed, but it is possible I missed something
 
2013-02-23 07:02:11 AM
The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?
 
2013-02-23 07:06:01 AM

Therion: The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?


Social Darwinist.
 
2013-02-23 07:42:28 AM
It's all the time waiting on tech support hotlines to talk to Indians about why the Chinese computer parts don't work.
 
2013-02-23 08:37:53 AM
How about we just buy a bunch more F/A-18s? They work pretty damn well, from what I hear. Cancel the project, allow them to take time, and their own money developing a stealthy plane thingy that actually works, and then we buy it?

Deal?
 
2013-02-23 08:58:33 AM
More Warthogs.  CAS baby!
 
2013-02-23 09:09:00 AM

Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!


I would fully endorse that expenditure. Though, I would ask that they be attached to Army Aviation. The Air Force just don't understand time-on-station. To have someone that can stick around for a bit longer and be ready to make repeated runs on a target or targets. They prefer their jets and that goes totally against what the A-10 can do.

Hell, I think the entire Air Force should be merged back into the Army, but I know I'll never see that happen.
 
2013-02-23 09:31:48 AM

Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!


They are good tank killers, ok at CAS, but for that helicopters are king.
 
2013-02-23 09:33:27 AM

NewportBarGuy: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

I would fully endorse that expenditure. Though, I would ask that they be attached to Army Aviation. The Air Force just don't understand time-on-station. To have someone that can stick around for a bit longer and be ready to make repeated runs on a target or targets. They prefer their jets and that goes totally against what the A-10 can do.

Hell, I think the entire Air Force should be merged back into the Army, but I know I'll never see that happen.


A-10s ARE awesome on the battlefield, relatively cheap and have a great record for bringing pilots back after ungodly damage, but a good ole F-15 is my favorite of all fighter/bombers. Yes the design is old, but they are still around because for once the government got something right in the beginning.
 
2013-02-23 09:40:06 AM

liam76: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

They are good tank killers, ok at CAS, but for that helicopters are king.


heh... A buddy of mine was in a TN NG Cav unit. He got deployed to Iraq and was attached up in the North. Well, it turns out that a drone went down over the border in Iran. This was early on... 2005-2006ish. So, they had to go over the border and get it back. Fun mission, right? Apparently, some of the Iranian Army showed up and told them they could not take it. Off in the distance, a squadron of Apache Gunships pops over the horizon. Yeah, Achmed... We'll be taking this. OK? Apparently, just the sight of those birds neutralized the situation and everyone went on to have a nice day.

I'll agree. I absolutely love the Apache. Though... we can't talk about the apache without this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4CQfaBGWSo

"Oh ye of little faith..."

"Ohhh shiat."
 
2013-02-23 09:47:36 AM

NewportBarGuy: liam76: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

They are good tank killers, ok at CAS, but for that helicopters are king.

heh... A buddy of mine was in a TN NG Cav unit. He got deployed to Iraq and was attached up in the North. Well, it turns out that a drone went down over the border in Iran. This was early on... 2005-2006ish. So, they had to go over the border and get it back. Fun mission, right? Apparently, some of the Iranian Army showed up and told them they could not take it. Off in the distance, a squadron of Apache Gunships pops over the horizon. Yeah, Achmed... We'll be taking this. OK? Apparently, just the sight of those birds neutralized the situation and everyone went on to have a nice day.

I'll agree. I absolutely love the Apache. Though... we can't talk about the apache without this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4CQfaBGWSo

"Oh ye of little faith..."

"Ohhh shiat."


That story seems pretty unlikely.
 
2013-02-23 09:47:53 AM
I bet Iran doesn't have these problems.
 
2013-02-23 09:49:07 AM

jehovahs witness protection: NewportBarGuy: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

I would fully endorse that expenditure. Though, I would ask that they be attached to Army Aviation. The Air Force just don't understand time-on-station. To have someone that can stick around for a bit longer and be ready to make repeated runs on a target or targets. They prefer their jets and that goes totally against what the A-10 can do.

Hell, I think the entire Air Force should be merged back into the Army, but I know I'll never see that happen.

A-10s ARE awesome on the battlefield, relatively cheap and have a great record for bringing pilots back after ungodly damage, but a good ole F-15 is my favorite of all fighter/bombers. Yes the design is old, but they are still around because for once the government got something right in the beginning.


The fact that you can buy six F-15E's for the price of one F-35 should tell you that something is seriously wrong with our defense budget.
.
 
2013-02-23 09:49:15 AM
It's kinda funny that this one ineffective, wasteful, useless weapons program is more than most nations spend on their entire armed forces.  And the GOP thinks that PBS is a drain on the US gov't.
 
2013-02-23 09:50:34 AM

Therion: The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?


You answered your own question. You really think that the F35 program cost $400bn? I'm really curious (even though NOBODY would ever own up to it) how much of that 400 was "consultancy" fees, interest on loans, sub-sub-subcontractor salaries, and bonuses for their bosses, how much went to building private-access roads and byways to the secret facilities where the parts manufacture and engineering were done, how much ended up being spent on work that was completely useless, redundant, and nothing of value was gained from the expenditure on?

sithon: /they should convert them to drones.


Or, you know, build 100 (1000?) drones for the cost of ONE of these planes, never risk losing a pilot, and gaining much greater "mission capability".

But then we wouldn't "have to" spend 400 billion on an obsolete-before-it-was-begun weapons program.
 
2013-02-23 09:51:11 AM

NewportBarGuy: liam76: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

They are good tank killers, ok at CAS, but for that helicopters are king.

heh... A buddy of mine was in a TN NG Cav unit. He got deployed to Iraq and was attached up in the North. Well, it turns out that a drone went down over the border in Iran. This was early on... 2005-2006ish. So, they had to go over the border and get it back. Fun mission, right? Apparently, some of the Iranian Army showed up and told them they could not take it. Off in the distance, a squadron of Apache Gunships pops over the horizon. Yeah, Achmed... We'll be taking this. OK? Apparently, just the sight of those birds neutralized the situation and everyone went on to have a nice day.

I'll agree. I absolutely love the Apache. Though... we can't talk about the apache without this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4CQfaBGWSo

"Oh ye of little faith..."

"Ohhh shiat."


That video always cracks me up.

But among helicopters I am still going to have to say the Cobra and Huey are better suited for CAS.
 
2013-02-23 09:51:36 AM
Yep pretty stupid you have this plane trying to replace half a dozen various airplanes and can't really do the job of any of them well, yet costs a whole lot more and isn't even airworthy half of the time.

Can't believe this is what our country has become.  Its pretty sad.
 
2013-02-23 09:51:46 AM
Keep them that way.
 
2013-02-23 09:52:22 AM
So we're ordering another hundred, right?
 
2013-02-23 09:53:25 AM

NewportBarGuy: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

I would fully endorse that expenditure. Though, I would ask that they be attached to Army Aviation. The Air Force just don't understand time-on-station. To have someone that can stick around for a bit longer and be ready to make repeated runs on a target or targets. They prefer their jets and that goes totally against what the A-10 can do.

Hell, I think the entire Air Force should be merged back into the Army, but I know I'll never see that happen.


I'd agree with that.

The USAF has always hated the A-10.  They like supersonic, sleek, high-tech sexy jets.  Fly high and fly fast.  The A-10 is ugly, slow and low-tech. . .and the best damn close air support platform ever built.  It's like a flying tank, both in firepower and durability.  The thing is "death from above" incarnate.

The US Army Aviation community would be all over itself if it got the A-10.  The USAF would be glad to be rid of it, but they'd be resentful that the Army got any more fixed-wing assets than the handful it has now.

Why aren't we cancelling the F-35 as a massive waste of taxpayer money?  Oh yeah, politics.

We should just be updating/upgrading the F-15, F-16 and F-18 designs.  Boeing actually developed a stealth variant of the F-15, the Silent Eagle, as a competitor, but the politics of the F-35 make it nearly unkillable (it's ridiculously inefficient construction is spread out over almost every single state in the union, so pretty much every Congressman gets to say it brings jobs to his state).

Eliminate the F-35, fix the bugs in the life support of the F-22, invest in the F-15 Silent Eagle, and keep upgrading and replacing the F-16 and F-18's in service.

Save lots on defense budget, without having to slash troop pay, naval power (so we can actually send ships to the Gulf if we need to ), or our ability to fight small, regional wars against podunk little countries with the very best in 1970's era Soviet surplus hardware, like our recent wars have been, while maintaining some credible threat against China and Russia and their new stealth designs (they ripped off of us).
 
2013-02-23 09:55:33 AM
Bleeding edge technology will have bleeding edge problems, it is the price of progress, always has been, always will be...

Overall, it's actually a problem that is getting better not worse..

Limited flight envelope aircraft like Apaches and A10s can only do what they do because we are able to establish immediate, unquestioned air dominance in their theater of operation. Put a A10 up against a 45 year old Mig21 (to say nothing of more modern Russian fighters) and you get a dead A10.

The real issue is whether or not we really need this aircraft at this moment in time to be able to establish that kind of dominance. It's hard to justify it at this pint.
 
2013-02-23 10:00:43 AM

kim jong-un: That story seems pretty unlikely.


Just telling it second-hand. I went through basic with the guy, so I'll take him at his word. Trust me, even as he was telling it to me alarm bells were going off... But, it's not totally unlikely.
 
2013-02-23 10:01:31 AM

NewportBarGuy: How about we just buy a bunch more F/A-18s? They work pretty damn well, from what I hear. Cancel the project, allow them to take time, and their own money developing a stealthy plane thingy that actually works, and then we buy it?

Deal?


It can take 20 to 30 years to develop a new fighter. F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.


It sucks that we have put all our eggs in this one basket but that is where we stand. Not only us, but a good amount of our allies too. So everyone hope that they can make this damn thing work.
 
2013-02-23 10:04:20 AM

dforkus: Bleeding edge technology will have bleeding edge problems, it is the price of progress, always has been, always will be...

Overall, it's actually a problem that is getting better not worse..

Limited flight envelope aircraft like Apaches and A10s can only do what they do because we are able to establish immediate, unquestioned air dominance in their theater of operation. Put a A10 up against a 45 year old Mig21 (to say nothing of more modern Russian fighters) and you get a dead A10.

The real issue is whether or not we really need this aircraft at this moment in time to be able to establish that kind of dominance. It's hard to justify it at this pint.


The F-35 is only stealthy from the front, and only if it doesn't have any external attachments, i.e. no extra fuel or weapons.  Without external fuel or weapons you have four missiles and a limited range, and oh yeah, don't let your enemy get behind you because their radar will light you up like a Christmas tree.  The VTOL option reduces fuel and payload even more.

This is bleeding edge technology?
 
2013-02-23 10:04:55 AM

grinding_journalist: You answered your own question. You really think that the F35 program cost $400bn? I'm really curious (even though NOBODY would ever own up to it) how much of that 400 was "consultancy" fees, interest on loans, sub-sub-subcontractor salaries, and bonuses for their bosses, how much went to building private-access roads and byways to the secret facilities where the parts manufacture and engineering were done, how much ended up being spent on work that was completely useless, redundant, and nothing of value was gained from the expenditure on?


Why do you hate America!?
 
2013-02-23 10:07:29 AM

Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology


trying to get it all on one platform is.
 
2013-02-23 10:07:48 AM

bbfreak: It can take 20 to 30 years to develop a new fighter. F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.


If the US ends up in widespread conventional warfare vs the Chinese and Russians, lack of a multi-role fighter that has no specific role it excells at isn't going to be the biggest problem.
 
2013-02-23 10:09:22 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


Actually no one has been killed (or even delivered to or flown by Canadian forces) and Herper has done the right thing for once and cancelled the order in light of the KPMG audit.
 
2013-02-23 10:09:38 AM

NewportBarGuy: How about we just buy a bunch more F/A-18s? They work pretty damn well, from what I hear. Cancel the project, allow them to take time, and their own money developing a stealthy plane thingy that actually works, and then we buy it?

Deal?


They actually tried marketing an upgraded F-15 Silent Eagle which gave an F-15C some of the stealthy lines of an F-22. Kind of looks like an F-15 and an F-22 had a weird looking kid. Proven airframe (plus you have a proven ground attack platform in the F-15E Strike Eagle variant), lower radar signature, evolutionary upgrades, and a damn life support system that doesn't strangle the pilots to death.

As far as I know, the F-35 isn't even fully operational. AF.MIL just had a recent story where the first F-35 squadron just did their first "four and four" exercise, where they launch four jets, do a simulated mission, land, re-arm and re-fuel, then re-launch all four for another sortie.

I guess it was a big deal in the fighter mafia.
 
2013-02-23 10:11:49 AM

bbfreak: NewportBarGuy: How about we just buy a bunch more F/A-18s? They work pretty damn well, from what I hear. Cancel the project, allow them to take time, and their own money developing a stealthy plane thingy that actually works, and then we buy it?

Deal?

It can take 20 to 30 years to develop a new fighter. F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.


It sucks that we have put all our eggs in this one basket but that is where we stand. Not only us, but a good amount of our allies too. So everyone hope that they can make this damn thing work.


The Japanese have bought exactly two of them.  Total production estimates have gone from 5000 down to 3500.  And most European countries are eying the Eurofighter as an alternative.  So our allies are not married to this turkey.  We are.
 
2013-02-23 10:12:10 AM

Therion: The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?


We clearly didn't spend enough on this program. If it had been properly funded, we wouldn't be having all these problems. Duh.
 
2013-02-23 10:12:57 AM
can't spend shiat for clean energy, but here's 400 billion for weapons that don't work.  amuruka!
 
2013-02-23 10:13:08 AM
We're like the Spartans now. We wait for the full moon to march.
 
2013-02-23 10:13:38 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-23 10:13:42 AM
Both the F-22 and F-35 are disappointing with the F-35 coming in at almost worthless. If government was run like a business, they'd cut their loses now, cancel the thing, and invest in newer F-15 and F-18s.
 
2013-02-23 10:13:45 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


You know, because Canada would have done so much better on its own.  No snark, that's just the reality.  The point of the JSF was to split the cost of developing a 5th generation fighter which could serve all the roles of the participant nations.  The only other 5th gen fighter in production is the F-22, and that's designed only to be a land-based fighter (it was never designed for STOVL or CATOBAR operations).  The F-35 and F-22 are the only 5th gen fighters in production, period.  The Russians and the Chinese are close to having production 5th gen fighters, but everyone else is looking at about 2020 or beyond.

Sadly, the F-35 is the only way Canada would ever have access to this kind of fighter.  Maybe the program hasn't been handled very well (I don't keep up with it), but otherwise you would be stuck with FA-18s (which entered service in 1982).  The FA-18 is a respectable fighter, but against stealth aircraft, it's going to last about as long as a flying house.

The F-35 will likely be the last manned NATO fighter, most people knew that before it ever got off the drawing board.  That's not the point.  The point was to give NATO nations a true 5th gen fighter with CATOBAR and STOVL capabilities before the rest of the world, and keep a technological advantage over our rivals.  The drones will be coming in the next round, don't worry.
 
2013-02-23 10:14:03 AM

liam76: Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology

trying to get it all on one platform is.


A jack of all trades is a master of none.
 
2013-02-23 10:14:07 AM

95629: Yep pretty stupid you have this plane trying to replace half a dozen various airplanes and can't really do the job of any of them well, yet costs a whole lot more and isn't even airworthy half of the time.

Can't believe this is what our country has become.  Its pretty sad.


Yup, we definitely should  not spend any money on military R&D.  We should just stick to what we already have.  Then in 30 years we'll still have our 'ol reliable muskets while everyone else has lasers and battle mechs.
 
2013-02-23 10:14:51 AM

Sgt Otter: Proven airframe (plus you have a proven ground attack platform in the F-15E Strike Eagle variant), lower radar signature, evolutionary upgrades, and a damn life support system that doesn't strangle the pilots to death.


That would be nice, but they we can't plan to fight a war against space aliens or something. The cost of developing a new generation fighter is just ridiculously prohibitive when we can just upgrade proven airframes.

These $200-400 mil per plane initial price tags are just ridiculous.

Maybe that's why the Zoomies are working on a fleet of Dirigibles.
 
2013-02-23 10:15:31 AM
The plane is magnificent. Unfortunately, the government forgot the cardinal rule of acquisition: you can have a really good plane at a decent cost or you can have a hugely expensive plane that tries to be too many things for too many people and fails at virtually all of them. This has been tried before.

There's a reason the Harrier looks the way it does, it's a function of necessity. The F-35, by trying to incorporate all of the S/VTOL stuff, has totally compromised its design such that it may never be reliable. Oh, but it'll be cheaper if they make a all-in-one plane! Yeah, about that... Yet another expensive lesson that has to be relearned.
 
2013-02-23 10:16:06 AM

dforkus: Bleeding edge technology will have bleeding edge problems, it is the price of progress, always has been, always will be...

Overall, it's actually a problem that is getting better not worse..

Limited flight envelope aircraft like Apaches and A10s can only do what they do because we are able to establish immediate, unquestioned air dominance in their theater of operation. Put a A10 up against a 45 year old Mig21 (to say nothing of more modern Russian fighters) and you get a dead A10.

The real issue is whether or not we really need this aircraft at this moment in time to be able to establish that kind of dominance. It's hard to justify it at this pint.


You have a point, but in the environments we have air superiority.
 
2013-02-23 10:20:28 AM

bbfreak: ... F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.



F-18E, F, and G's are in production for at least the next 2 years I think plus Australia is buying some too.  From a Navy stand point that aicraft is VERY integral to any potential conflict...China, Russia, or whomever.
 
2013-02-23 10:20:36 AM

Nofun: The FA-18 is a respectable fighter, but against stealth aircraft, it's going to last about as long as a flying house.


An F-22, maybe.  But get behind an F-35, and the stealth is gone.  It's only stealthy from the front, and even then only if it's got nothing externally mounted.
 
2013-02-23 10:22:32 AM

Kimpak: Yup, we definitely should not spend any money on military R&D


Actually the problem is we don't spend much on various forms of R&D day after day, so when we need certain stuff we lack the knowledgebase to properly make it. If you haven't racked up tens of thousands of hours of time trying out various material properties, aerodynamic properties etc then when you get a contract for a new plane, you're gonna have a bad time. There's no excuse for the F-22 being such a piece of shiat. There's no defense for how over budget it ended up. And both problems have the same root causes, one of which is a lack of continuous R&D expenditures by the companies involved in it. Another is not letting engineers be in charge and letting them decide how many people they need and so on. As for the F-35, well plenty of people spoke up way back when and pointed out trying to get 3 planes from one airframe was a poorly thought out idea at best and a completely disaster waiting to happen at worst. See, the three F-35 variants don't actually share an entire airframe, because they can't. The B model needs a slightly altered airframe to accommodate the engine that allows it to take off and land vertically. The C model needs substantially beefed up landing gear, an arrest hook and attachment points and some other stuff for carrier operations. Oh and bigger wings.
 
2013-02-23 10:22:44 AM

Marcus Aurelius: liam76: Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology

trying to get it all on one platform is.

A jack of all trades is a master of none.


I agree that the acquisition strategy of making every country and service happy with the same jet was a bad idea, just pointing out that putting all those capabilities on the same platform does make it "bleeding edge".
 
2013-02-23 10:23:21 AM

Marcus Aurelius: liam76: Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology

trying to get it all on one platform is.

A jack of all trades is a master of none.



though it's hard to imagine with the F35's pricetag, I guess one counter could be that to produce separate aircraft for each "trade" would be even more cost prohibitive.....that would also mean a lot more pilots, maintainers, logistics, etc.
 
2013-02-23 10:23:24 AM
I used to get grounded a lot too.

Usually cuz I stayed out all day riding my bike and forgot to come home for lunch.

They should just remind the planes it's for their own good and that people worry when you disappear all day without checking in.
 
2013-02-23 10:23:34 AM

bbfreak: F-18's aren't made anymore.


Are you sure the E/F variant isn't made? As far as I know the USN has not yet bought all its fleet yet and the RAAF has some on order. I think the USN has also ordered some to cover for the delay in the F-35.

The US Military made basically the same mistake that people have time and again: New design philosophy + new airframe + new avionics all in one aircraft. The Indians found that the hard way with their Light Combat Aircraft programme that started 20 years ago. On the other hand the Rafale by the French is an example of how to do things right - it's the end product of a line that started with the Mirage 2000, then the variants of the 2000 (dash 5, D, N), then the test Mirage 4000 with twin engines and then the Rafale. They left the Eurofighter programme and delivered the plane six years before the EF was - and after the Eurofighter's name had to be changed from the "2000" to the "Typhoon" because it was so late...
 
2013-02-23 10:23:59 AM

liam76: Marcus Aurelius: liam76: Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology

trying to get it all on one platform is.

A jack of all trades is a master of none.

I agree that the acquisition strategy of making every country and service happy with the same jet was a bad idea, just pointing out that putting all those capabilities on the same platform does make it "bleeding edge".


It may be bleeding edge, but it's stupid bleeding edge.
 
2013-02-23 10:26:49 AM

johnny_vegas: bbfreak: ... F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.


F-18E, F, and G's are in production for at least the next 2 years I think plus Australia is buying some too.  From a Navy stand point that aicraft is VERY integral to any potential conflict...China, Russia, or whomever.


This will remain to be true for the next couple of years but the F35-C (carrier variant) production will start ramping up significantly in 2014/15 and will end up replacing most of the F-18s over the next 5-10 years.

CSB:  I just quit working for LM last week.  After being on the inside of that clusterfark, I'm surprised they manage to build any aircraft at all.  The ADP (advanced development program) division is truly world class engineering, but the principal production facilities in Texas and Georgia are tremendously awful bureaucracies run mostly by incompetent good ole' boys.  I won't miss working there at all.
 
2013-02-23 10:27:22 AM

dforkus: Limited flight envelope aircraft like Apaches and A10s can only do what they do because we are able to establish immediate, unquestioned air dominance in their theater of operation. Put a A10 up against a 45 year old Mig21 (to say nothing of more modern Russian fighters) and you get a dead A10.

The real issue is whether or not we really need this aircraft at this moment in time to be able to establish that kind of dominance. It's hard to justify it at this pint.


I don't think anybody has tried to argue that the A-10 is an air superiority fighter.  As far as I know, there is only one confirmed air-to-air kill by an A-10, and that was a gun kill versus a Mi-24 in the Gulf War.  From what I've heard out of the Red Flag exercises at Nellis however, A-10 pilots are not as helpless in air-to-air as you might imagine.  They are not dogfighters, but they can bite back and they know how to exploit the weaknesses of the big air superiority fighters (go low and slow, blend in with ground clutter and terrain to hinder radar acquisition, make them get slow and in gun range to engage)

Yeah, you have to establish air superiority before you send in the A-10.  When has that been a problem for us?  Vietnam, and that was because we were hamstrung with ridiculously restrictive rules of engagement?

The problem with the F-35 is that it tries to do a lot of things, and do them all poorly.  Last "do everything" fighter we tried was the FB-111, and that was a real turd of an aircraft.

It tries to be a USAF air superiority fighter, a USMC jump-jet Harrier replacement with close air support capability, and a USN carrier fighter (never mind the USN hates single-engined aircraft for carrier use because they don't like the idea of a flameout at sea).  It is only stealthy from the front, and only if the external hardpoints aren't in use.  They've already slashed internal firefighting/damage control systems to save cost, so if it'shiat by hostile fire it's pretty much a loss.

This isn't bleeding edge, the F-22 was bleeding edge, this is a watered down byproduct of the F-22.  This is just bleeding red ink.

Flush this stinker and plow the money back into defense programs that aren't a national disgrace.
 
2013-02-23 10:29:24 AM

bemis23: johnny_vegas: bbfreak: ... F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.


F-18E, F, and G's are in production for at least the next 2 years I think plus Australia is buying some too.  From a Navy stand point that aicraft is VERY integral to any potential conflict...China, Russia, or whomever.

This will remain to be true for the next couple of years but the F35-C (carrier variant) production will start ramping up significantly in 2014/15 and will end up replacing most of the F-18s over the next 5-10 years.

CSB:  I just quit working for LM last week.  After being on the inside of that clusterfark, I'm surprised they manage to build any aircraft at all.  The ADP (advanced development program) division is truly world class engineering, but the principal production facilities in Texas and Georgia are tremendously awful bureaucracies run mostly by incompetent good ole' boys.  I won't miss working there at all.


True on the F-35C, but super hornets will stay in service for almost another 20 years
 
2013-02-23 10:30:18 AM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: The plane is magnificent. Unfortunately, the government forgot the cardinal rule of acquisition: you can have a really good plane at a decent cost or you can have a hugely expensive plane that tries to be too many things for too many people and fails at virtually all of them. This has been tried before.

There's a reason the Harrier looks the way it does, it's a function of necessity. The F-35, by trying to incorporate all of the S/VTOL stuff, has totally compromised its design such that it may never be reliable. Oh, but it'll be cheaper if they make a all-in-one plane! Yeah, about that... Yet another expensive lesson that has to be relearned.




Learned twice, but I agree.
Asking too much of one vehicle means inviting more difficulties, failures, and potential for missing the budget and delivery schedule.

When it comes to machines, keeping it simple is good. They should have put the stealth on one jet and used another to do the bomb-trucking rather than try to make a stealth truck.
 
2013-02-23 10:31:26 AM
The last plane that sort of worked for everyone was the F-4 and the F-18.  Give all the A-10's to the ARMY.  They will orgasm!  It is ugly, durable, safe and can loiter.
 
2013-02-23 10:35:47 AM

Fear_and_Loathing: The last plane that sort of worked for everyone was the F-4 and the F-18.  Give all the A-10's to the ARMY.  They will orgasm!  It is ugly, durable, safe and can loiter.


The funny thing about that is that the F-4 wasn't intended to be what it was. The Air Force fought as hard as it could to avoid using a Navy plane, but in the end they couldn't come up with something better. It was intended to be a fleet interceptor, nothing more. The F-4 vastly exceeded its mandate. It was at that point that the contractors recognized that they could oversell aircraft performance and make more money.
 
2013-02-23 10:45:23 AM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: The funny thing about that is that the F-4 wasn't intended to be what it was. The Air Force fought as hard as it could to avoid using a Navy plane, but in the end they couldn't come up with something better. It was intended to be a fleet interceptor, nothing more. The F-4 vastly exceeded its mandate. It was at that point that the contractors recognized that they could oversell aircraft performance and make more money.


Bingo. Didn't start out as a one-size-fits-all aircraft.
 
2013-02-23 10:50:02 AM
Neither did the F-15 or the F-16 for that matter.
 
2013-02-23 10:50:56 AM
An interesting thing to do, and kill a few minutes, is to look up how many military aircraft were designed between, say, 1946 and 1980 and since 1980. There were a lot more designed, many never getting past the testing/fly off stage, in the first time period. In some cases there were planes designed without even explicitly being asked for by the DoD. They just wanted to see what they could do and show off what they could do. This had the benefit of keeping engineers busy and of providing continuous experience for engineers. That level of gaining experience doesn't exist any more. Plus there's the lack of competition. There were a handful of times when there was a call for submissions made for a particular plane and the DoD would get five different submissions. And getting four was pretty common. And now the companies that are left, well they don't exactly crank out prototypes and possible new model variants just because they want to see what they can do. Also the DoD did fund quite a few various technology demonstrators to be built from existing aircraft, the F-16XL comes to mind as a particularly beautiful example. That also doesn't happen much any more. Which further cuts down on how much experience there is for people to get.
 
2013-02-23 10:51:16 AM

Fear_and_Loathing: The last plane that sort of worked for everyone was the F-4 and the F-18.  Give all the A-10's to the ARMY.  They will orgasm!  It is ugly, durable, safe and can loiter.


Absolutely.  The only real way that any nation can create an airborne weapons platform that exceeds the competition in all areas is if the nation building it has access to better engineers, better technology and better fabrication than other nations... oh, and the capital to spend on getting all that together.

I think the fact that the F18 was introduced in the early 80s (when the USSR was trying to hide the fact it was coming apart at the seams economically) and the F4 in the 60s (when the US was the unquestioned superpower in the world in the post WW2 era) supports this idea.

The US doesn't live in that world anymore.
 
2013-02-23 10:56:44 AM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Fear_and_Loathing: The last plane that sort of worked for everyone was the F-4 and the F-18.  Give all the A-10's to the ARMY.  They will orgasm!  It is ugly, durable, safe and can loiter.

The funny thing about that is that the F-4 wasn't intended to be what it was. The Air Force fought as hard as it could to avoid using a Navy plane, but in the end they couldn't come up with something better. It was intended to be a fleet interceptor, nothing more. The F-4 vastly exceeded its mandate. It was at that point that the contractors recognized that they could oversell aircraft performance and make more money.


Yup.  The flying brick.  Hell of an aircraft though.
 
2013-02-23 11:02:35 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


yes, you guys bought 65 and we in aus signed up for 100

we seem to be desperate to give uncle sam a nice bj for some reason, cause splashing so much cash on a diagram on a napkin is making the iranian jet look like a viable alternative about now
 
2013-02-23 11:03:08 AM

Mercutio74: I think the fact that the F18


Interesting thing about the F-18 is that it actually was developed from the YF-17, which lost out to the F-16 for the Air Force's multi-role fighter competition in the mid 70s. MD took what they had redesigned a fair bit of it but kept the overall configuration and presto, the F-18.
 
2013-02-23 11:07:15 AM

Alphax: Are they doing anything with them?  Aside from appearing in The Avengers.


Also "Live Free and Die Hard"
 
2013-02-23 11:13:07 AM
The main problem with the F-35 is that - because there various nations buying the plane - Lockheed was required by contract to farm out some of the hardware and software development to countries like Italy, Spain, Turkey, Canada and Great Britain. It's hard just to get 6 people to meet at the same restaurant for dinner. Try getting all those people on the same page with specifications, methods, materials, code, etc.

Despite these difficulties, the F-35 can fly rings around F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s. --That is, when it's not having one of its PMS moments.
Overall the program is expensive, yes, but the amortized cost per plane is 1/3rd that of the F-22. The long-term logistics costs make it cheaper than the planes it is replacing.
 
2013-02-23 11:15:54 AM

Marcus Aurelius: liam76: Marcus Aurelius: liam76: Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology

trying to get it all on one platform is.

A jack of all trades is a master of none.

I agree that the acquisition strategy of making every country and service happy with the same jet was a bad idea, just pointing out that putting all those capabilities on the same platform does make it "bleeding edge".

It may be bleeding edge, but it's stupid bleeding edge.


Bleeding edge nontheless. Unless you know of any other Low observable, supersonic, single engine, STOVL aircraft with a fully fiberoptic communication bus.

STOVL is like the four wheel steering fad that hit sportcars in the 90s. Sounds cool, but isn't needed and needlessly complicates things.
 
2013-02-23 11:19:38 AM
www.allmediany.com
Hey, I just introduced an amendment. We're going to buy tanks and more F-35s. We need to be prepared for an unknowable war.
 
2013-02-23 11:21:32 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


Wow ... I'm not sure you got anything right here.

First of all, we haven't bought any of them. Our previous Liberal government bought into the JSF program as a tier 3 participant.  This gives us some of themanufacturing business and the right to purchase the jets after the higher tier participants have received theirs.

In December the Conservatives scrapped plans to purchase the F-35. They are not 100% off the table but we are looking at other choices. This is even though we have also already invested a lot of money into the program since the Liberals bought into it. The fact is our F-18s are pushing their airframe life limits so we have little choice.

Note that the political finger-pointing is idiotic as both parties have participated in leading us to a F-35 purchase.

Is this the best purchase for Canada? I'm not sure. I highly doubt that the Russians can afford to put out any real numbers of any of their 5th gen prototypes. As the F-22 and F-35 clearly demonstrate, these things are brutally expensive. Will the Chinese be able to afford it? Maybe but they cannot project power ... so they are not really a threat to us.

There are a couple of European fighters that are now being considered including the French Rafale and, I assume, the Eurofighter Typhoon. I also agree with posters above that some of the proven and upgraded 4th generation fighters should be considered. We've been operating the Hornets for a long time so I would guess that shifting to new Super Hornets would actually be the easiest route for us.

Canada has different needs than the US as we do not operate Marine carriers or Navy super-carriers ... so even if we go forward with the F-35 it would be the 'a' version. We need long operating range and speed (we have a lot of country to cover) .
 
2013-02-23 11:22:48 AM

usbport: Despite these difficulties, the F-35 can fly rings around F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s. --That is, when it's not having one of its PMS moments.
Overall the program is expensive, yes, but the amortized cost per plane is 1/3rd that of the F-22. The long-term logistics costs make it cheaper than the planes it is replacing.


Which prompts me to wonder...  Would it have been cheaper and more effective to develop single-role platforms?  One would think that this approach would have created a shorter R&D period, wouldn't have put half a trillion dollars into one basket, and in the end created more flexible and robust options for deployment in a world where tactics, strategy and global politics evolve far more quickly than 10-20 year development cycles.
 
2013-02-23 11:25:05 AM
it is a murdoch tabloid, but the sentiment is quite acceptable to me

"US Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, who heads the US military's $16 billion JSF program, admits the F-35 Lightning II jet can't fly within 40km of a lightning storm because its fuel tanks could ignite"

news.com.au
 
2013-02-23 11:25:59 AM
NewportBarGuy:

... we can't talk about the apache without this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4CQfaBGWSo

"Oh ye of little faith..."

"Ohhh shiat."


The exchange just before that is awesome
"Think It'll fit?"
"Nnnope"
 
2013-02-23 11:26:45 AM
http://www.migflug.com/jetflights/uav-replace-fighter-jets.html

Remind me again why WWII era boats and planes (despite being versioned up) are still relevant?

Oh yeah, it's because fat military contractors own congressmen.
 
2013-02-23 11:27:52 AM
Well if DICE did not keep nerfing it over and over and over this would not have happened.
 
2013-02-23 11:30:49 AM
http://youtu.be/55PLYJncO9U

" as Steve points out: Often the weak point is the pilot, and we have to invest in his safety. When a UAVs is lost, we don't have to rescue the drone, we just send another one. "
 
2013-02-23 11:31:10 AM

Marcus Aurelius: bbfreak: NewportBarGuy: How about we just buy a bunch more F/A-18s? They work pretty damn well, from what I hear. Cancel the project, allow them to take time, and their own money developing a stealthy plane thingy that actually works, and then we buy it?

Deal?

It can take 20 to 30 years to develop a new fighter. F-18's aren't made anymore. Restarting manufacturing of F-18's would be expensive and do us little good against the Chinese and Russians.


It sucks that we have put all our eggs in this one basket but that is where we stand. Not only us, but a good amount of our allies too. So everyone hope that they can make this damn thing work.

The Japanese have bought exactly two of them.  Total production estimates have gone from 5000 down to 3500.  And most European countries are eying the Eurofighter as an alternative.  So our allies are not married to this turkey.  We are.


*GIS "eurofighter"*

 media.defenseindustrydaily.com 3.bp.blogspot.com

I didn't know a jet could have a Napoleon complex.
 
2013-02-23 11:33:06 AM

Marcus Aurelius: liam76: Marcus Aurelius: This is bleeding edge technology

trying to get it all on one platform is.

A jack of all trades is a master of none.


People keep forgetting the second half of that adage: "...but better than a master of one."
 
2013-02-23 11:35:29 AM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


You're just an idiot.

Has anyone pointed out that it was the  Pratt & Whitney engine that cracked, not the aircraft itself?
 
2013-02-23 11:36:31 AM
F-35 Program: Too big to fail.
 
2013-02-23 11:37:33 AM

LoneWolf343: People keep forgetting the second half of that adage: "...but better than a master of one."


Maybe so, but if I'm trying to get through a jungle, I'd gladly trade you my swiss army knife for a machete.  The cork screw, tooth pick and nail file are great, but it's not going to get you where you need to go.
 
2013-02-23 11:53:19 AM

Marcus Aurelius: The Japanese have bought exactly two of them.  Total production estimates have gone from 5000 down to 3500.  And most European countries are eying the Eurofighter as an alternative.  So our allies are not married to this turkey.  We are.


We (UK) are pretty much locked into the F-35. Our new CV's have the ski jump after the government decided against advice of pretty much everyone at the MoD, the US and French to fit Cats and traps.

It's a shame we never seem to buy off the shelf, I imagine we could get some F/A-18's, Rafale or even redesign and navalise the Eurofighter for the cost the F-35, altering the plans and having to fund, design and build a new ASaC platform have cost so far.
 
2013-02-23 11:57:17 AM
Marcus Aurelius:
The F-35 is only stealthy from the front, and only if it doesn't have any external attachments, i.e. no extra fuel or weapons.  Without external fuel or weapons you have four missiles and a limited range, and oh yeah, don't let your enemy get behind you because their radar will light you up like a Christmas tree.  The VTOL option reduces fuel and payload even more.

This is bleeding edge technology?


The F-35 has 6 external pylons. the two outboard ones are only for AAMs, the 4 inboard ones are for tanks, HARMs, bombs, you name it. Just don't plan to use them if you need stealth. And if you're in contested airspace, have an F-22 escort since that's what they're supposed to do.
 
2013-02-23 11:57:25 AM
Did Bruce Willis take down one of those as well?
 
2013-02-23 12:02:39 PM
At 137 million a copy...you'd think they'd work!
 
2013-02-23 12:03:02 PM

Farking Canuck: sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.

Wow ... I'm not sure you got anything right here.

First of all, we haven't bought any of them. Our previous Liberal government bought into the JSF program as a tier 3 participant.  This gives us some of themanufacturing business and the right to purchase the jets after the higher tier participants have received theirs.

In December the Conservatives scrapped plans to purchase the F-35. They are not 100% off the table but we are looking at other choices. This is even though we have also already invested a lot of money into the program since the Liberals bought into it. The fact is our F-18s are pushing their airframe life limits so we have little choice.

Note that the political finger-pointing is idiotic as both parties have participated in leading us to a F-35 purchase.

Is this the best purchase for Canada? I'm not sure. I highly doubt that the Russians can afford to put out any real numbers of any of their 5th gen prototypes. As the F-22 and F-35 clearly demonstrate, these things are brutally expensive. Will the Chinese be able to afford it? Maybe but they cannot project power ... so they are not really a threat to us.

There are a couple of European fighters that are now being considered including the French Rafale and, I assume, the Eurofighter Typhoon. I also agree with posters above that some of the proven and upgraded 4th generation fighters should be considered. We've been operating the Hornets for a long time so I would guess that shifting to new Super Hornets would actually be the easiest route for us.

Canada has different needs than the US as we do not operate Marine carriers or Navy super-carriers ... so even if we go forward with the F-35 it would be the 'a' version. We need long operating range and speed (we have a lot of co ...


You'd be better off resurrecting the CF-105.
 
2013-02-23 12:14:32 PM

dbirchall: Alphax: Are they doing anything with them?  Aside from appearing in The Avengers.

According to TFA, selling them to the Brits.  Which is likely the only reason the BBC cares.

Of course, it's the STOVL version, which is like the Brits' beloved Harrier, only faster, stealthier, and more likely to have a fuel line randomly come loose... huh, I wasn't aware that Jaguar was a subcontractor.


Oh its even worse than Jaguar. Its Lockheed Martin. The same people who had their F22 grounded because the oxygen systems faulted out and started turning off the oxygen supply for pilots.

At least they eventually solved the bugs on the F117 so it would stop crashing into the ground after about a decade of testing and it went on to be used for about 10 years.

Though that is what you get when you massively over promise results at a bare budget and then pay off senators to give you no fault contracts where you can just get extra money whenever you want it, all the while playing of the reputation of the Hercules and other works you did in the 50s and 60s.
 
2013-02-23 12:21:54 PM
I always liked the P-38 Lightning. Lets bring that bad boy back.
 
2013-02-23 12:25:06 PM

Farking Canuck: s this the best purchase for Canada? I'm not sure. I highly doubt that the Russians can afford to put out any real numbers of any of their 5th gen prototypes. As the F-22 and F-35 clearly demonstrate, these things are brutally expensive. Will the Chinese be able to afford it? Maybe but they cannot project power ... so they are not really a threat to us.

There are a couple of European fighters that are now being considered including the French Rafale and, I assume, the Eurofighter Typhoon.


There are a some good arguments for going with the JAS-39/E as well:

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/01/07/why-canada-should-buy-the- saab-jas39-gripen-e-next-generation-fighter

http://gripen4canada.blogspot.ca/
 
2013-02-23 12:30:31 PM
Once again we are slipping down the same path that the US is famous for.  The US had poor equipment at the start of WWII, then we had better pilots, good tactics and generally lots of generally okay planes.   Then between WWII and Vietnam, we went to missiles, that didn't work.  Well, off the test range and had to learn dog fighting again.  The F-4 didn't even have a gun.  So 18 ways were tried to give it a gun. Now we are all tech, again, and going to lose what actually works in some fashion.  If you can field 200000 reasonable fighters instead of 100 faulty, but very spiffy ones, does the math work?.
 
2013-02-23 12:40:45 PM

usbport: Despite these difficulties, the F-35 can fly rings around F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s


Really? It can't manoeuvre better than the F-15, not in any config. It doesn't have the bubble canopy of the three and the Helmet-Mounted Sight is not working well. it cant carry as many missiles as the F-15 or the Hornets. Doesn't have the range of the Superhornet with the same payload. Doesn't have two engines like the Eagle and the Hornets. It doesn't have the Thrust-Weight ratio of at least the first two if not all the three.

The only thing it has going for it is stealth in the forward aspect. Which is lost the moment it carries more than two bombs.
 
2013-02-23 12:46:01 PM
Why not bring back the Vertibird.
 
2013-02-23 12:51:10 PM

CluelessMoron: Farking Canuck: s this the best purchase for Canada? I'm not sure. I highly doubt that the Russians can afford to put out any real numbers of any of their 5th gen prototypes. As the F-22 and F-35 clearly demonstrate, these things are brutally expensive. Will the Chinese be able to afford it? Maybe but they cannot project power ... so they are not really a threat to us.

There are a couple of European fighters that are now being considered including the French Rafale and, I assume, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

There are a some good arguments for going with the JAS-39/E as well:

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/01/07/why-canada-should-buy-the- saab-jas39-gripen-e-next-generation-fighter

http://gripen4canada.blogspot.ca/


Gripen seems tremendously unlikely simply because Sweden isn't a NATO ally, and I'm not sure they've ever exported to a NATO nation. Politically it would seem to be dead in the water as well.

Super Hornet is almost certain to be the replacement, simply based in needing to buy American (can't get away from that elephant in the bed) and there is crossover familiarity with the airframes and engines. It just makes the most sense.

This isn't like the helicopter debacle; that program was killed out of sheer political spite, with a finished product ready to go. There's no finished product here, and it looks like the f35 will be the next F111.
 
2013-02-23 12:52:20 PM

edmo: Both the F-22 and F-35 are disappointing with the F-35 coming in at almost worthless. If government was run like a business, they'd cut their loses now, cancel the thing, and invest in newer F-15 and F-18s.


As an F-15 driver once said, put a mediocre pilot in an F-22 and he becomes a rock star.  I'm not sure you'd find many aviators who would say they'd want to fight an F-22 or F35 in an F-15 or F-18.
 
2013-02-23 01:12:30 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Alphax: Are they doing anything with them?  Aside from appearing in The Avengers.

Also "Live Free or Die Hard"


FTFY.  Though where I saw it, they called it "Die Hard 4.0" since people outside the US don't tend to understand references to New Hampshire's motto.
 
2013-02-23 01:17:49 PM
THe good news for is that by the time people get desperate and stupid enough to actually use these pieces of shiat in a conflict I'll be a citizen in a country that actually has its head on straight, if those even exist anymore.
 
2013-02-23 01:41:59 PM
As a dirty comparison, a top of the line brand spanking new F-16E/Block 60 with the latest generation gizmos, weapons, engine cost about $80 million. That's 5000 of them we can buy.
 
2013-02-23 01:44:13 PM

grinding_journalist: Therion: The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?

You answered your own question. You really think that the F35 program cost $400bn? I'm really curious (even though NOBODY would ever own up to it) how much of that 400 was "consultancy" fees, interest on loans, sub-sub-subcontractor salaries, and bonuses for their bosses, how much went to building private-access roads and byways to the secret facilities where the parts manufacture and engineering were done, how much ended up being spent on work that was completely useless, redundant, and nothing of value was gained from the expenditure on?



 so basically you're agreeing with him. The program DOES cost the taxpayer $400 Billion.
 
2013-02-23 02:30:13 PM

Kurohone: CluelessMoron: Farking Canuck: s this the best purchase for Canada? I'm not sure. I highly doubt that the Russians can afford to put out any real numbers of any of their 5th gen prototypes. As the F-22 and F-35 clearly demonstrate, these things are brutally expensive. Will the Chinese be able to afford it? Maybe but they cannot project power ... so they are not really a threat to us.

There are a couple of European fighters that are now being considered including the French Rafale and, I assume, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

There are a some good arguments for going with the JAS-39/E as well:

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/01/07/why-canada-should-buy-the- saab-jas39-gripen-e-next-generation-fighter

http://gripen4canada.blogspot.ca/

Gripen seems tremendously unlikely simply because Sweden isn't a NATO ally, and I'm not sure they've ever exported to a NATO nation. Politically it would seem to be dead in the water as well.



The Czech  Republic and Hungary are both NATO members and use Gripens.

Thing is, Sweden is neutral, so they'll sell to anybody that isn't on their shiat list.
Consider Bofors guns: they're Swedish and used all over NATO, even by the US.
 
2013-02-23 02:58:16 PM
I'll bet the next generation of F-35 airframes doesn't have a cockpit.
 
2013-02-23 03:06:55 PM
For a cracked engine blade. Made by Pratt & Whitney. Made in Maine, one of our largest defense contractors. Whoops.
 
2013-02-23 03:24:11 PM

Gsm136: Marcus Aurelius: The Japanese have bought exactly two of them.  Total production estimates have gone from 5000 down to 3500.  And most European countries are eying the Eurofighter as an alternative.  So our allies are not married to this turkey.  We are.

We (UK) are pretty much locked into the F-35. Our new CV's have the ski jump after the government decided against advice of pretty much everyone at the MoD, the US and French to fit Cats and traps.

It's a shame we never seem to buy off the shelf, I imagine we could get some F/A-18's, Rafale or even redesign and navalise the Eurofighter for the cost the F-35, altering the plans and having to fund, design and build a new ASaC platform have cost so far.


Recently some one at the MoD had the sense to change the QE class to use the electromagnetic catapault that the US is developing for its next gen carriers. This would of allowed us to let allied planes use the carriers, use fixed wing radar craft and not just helicopters, buy the much cheaper f35c or even go with the Grippen or Raphael (i expect the French would of sold then at less than cost just to keep people in jobs). This would of added around 10-20% cost to the carrier but we would of saved three or four times that with the planes.

Then BAe's friends in the MoD and Parliament got wind of it and shut it down. Hard. So instead of getting a much better package for less money we have the worse carrier with a crippled plane.
 
2013-02-23 03:49:53 PM
I would go with zeppelins. Catch 'em totally by surprise.
 
2013-02-23 04:17:56 PM

Norfolking Chance: Gsm136: Marcus Aurelius: The Japanese have bought exactly two of them.  Total production estimates have gone from 5000 down to 3500.  And most European countries are eying the Eurofighter as an alternative.  So our allies are not married to this turkey.  We are.

We (UK) are pretty much locked into the F-35. Our new CV's have the ski jump after the government decided against advice of pretty much everyone at the MoD, the US and French to fit Cats and traps.

It's a shame we never seem to buy off the shelf, I imagine we could get some F/A-18's, Rafale or even redesign and navalise the Eurofighter for the cost the F-35, altering the plans and having to fund, design and build a new ASaC platform have cost so far.

Recently some one at the MoD had the sense to change the QE class to use the electromagnetic catapault that the US is developing for its next gen carriers. This would of allowed us to let allied planes use the carriers, use fixed wing radar craft and not just helicopters, buy the much cheaper f35c or even go with the Grippen or Raphael (i expect the French would of sold then at less than cost just to keep people in jobs). This would of added around 10-20% cost to the carrier but we would of saved three or four times that with the planes.......


OMG.  HAVE!
It's would HAVE!
/ffs
 
2013-02-23 04:45:24 PM
$400 billion is being generous. After the cost of development, the upgrades, and repairs, the cost will more likely exceed $1 trillion.
images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-02-23 06:01:03 PM

CluelessMoron: There are a some good arguments for going with the JAS-39/E as well


I knew there was another one but I thought it was German so my quick Google search didn't get any hits.

In looking at the 4 candidates I have to admit that I like the Gripen option. It blows the other options away in up front cost and operating cost (except the Super Hornet but it blows that one away in every other category and is close on cost).

I expect we will end up with the Super Hornet to avoid economic pressure from the US ... but it will be a damn shame. The Gripen fulfill our waning need for an manned fighter force at the best cost/performance ratio.
 
2013-02-23 06:06:04 PM

Farking Canuck: CluelessMoron: There are a some good arguments for going with the JAS-39/E as well

I knew there was another one but I thought it was German so my quick Google search didn't get any hits.

In looking at the 4 candidates I have to admit that I like the Gripen option. It blows the other options away in up front cost and operating cost (except the Super Hornet but it blows that one away in every other category and is close on cost).

I expect we will end up with the Super Hornet to avoid economic pressure from the US ... but it will be a damn shame. The Gripen fulfill our waning need for an manned fighter force at the best cost/performance ratio.


At least with the Hornet we'll end up building a pretty good amount of the aircraft in Canada, should be a nice boost to our aerospace industry.
 
2013-02-23 11:03:41 PM

Therion: The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?


Remind me again why nobody listens to libertarians and cuts ALL OF IT?
 
2013-02-23 11:23:59 PM
Some here have advocated for an air force of nothing by A-10's, and as much as I do love that plane, this is not an option.   Some have advocated the Apache helicopter, and once again, as much as I do love this platform, it ignores the early on problems that grounded it during the Bosnian War.  Problems have seemed to have been resolved and now the Apache is arguably the most capable attack helicopter in service today.

It is my opinion that cancelling the F-22 program was a horrible mistake, especially given the F-35 had not been cleared for combat operations.  That being said, many on this thread have brought up "upgrading" proven airframes such as the F-15. F-16and F-18 to take advantage of the advances made by the F-22 program and maybe even the F-35 program in its infancy.

IMO the main problem with the F-35 program is the rampant outsourcing.  Lockheed should have developed the jet, showed that it works and then and only then outsource production to allied nations.  Too many cooks in the kitchen.... Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered come to mind when thinking about the F-35 program.

It is not too late to restart the F-22 assembly line and share the technology discoveries with the F-15. F-16 and F-18 lines.
 
2013-02-23 11:56:52 PM

Jarhead_h: Remind me again why nobody listens to libertarians


Because they're ridiculous?

/Sorry. I just find the libertarian POV highly idealistic and wildly impractical most times. Like a high school kid that knows all about the real world.
 
2013-02-24 01:14:24 AM

Macular Degenerate: For a cracked engine blade. Made by Pratt & Whitney. Made in Maine, one of our largest defense contractors. Whoops.


A cracked engine blade is not necessarily indicative of a design or manufacturing defect.  The engines go through hell, so the blades are going to wear out.  Most likely the fleet was grounded because the regular maintenance didn't detect the problem, so they have to go and review the way that the engines are being inspected.  In almost all cases, that is a non-trivial process done with great discomfort by an technician climbing in and over the engine looking at a small boroscope screen.
 
2013-02-24 01:25:44 AM

Jarhead_h: Therion: The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons programme. with a cost of nearly $400bn

Remind me again why we have to keep cutting the social safety nets?

Remind me again why nobody listens to libertarians and cuts ALL OF IT?


Because that's stupid.
 
2013-02-24 07:02:11 AM
I conquered the world in Panzer General 2 with only anti-aircraft artillery and no air force. Of course I was the Germans.
 
2013-02-24 08:04:51 AM
You can't mean the F-35 that they killed the F-22 program for. That F-22 works great... I bet they are going to cut something from the budget and raise taxes over this! AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! !

If you make it idiot proof they just build a better idiot.//
 
2013-02-24 08:11:45 AM

Fuggin Bizzy: Jarhead_h: Remind me again why nobody listens to libertarians

Because they're ridiculous?

/Sorry. I just find the libertarian POV highly idealistic and wildly impractical most times. Like a high school kid that knows all about the real world.


Thought this was appropriate:

www.leftycartoons.com
 
2013-02-24 08:23:30 AM

Silverstaff: NewportBarGuy: Fear_and_Loathing: More Warthogs.  CAS baby!

I would fully endorse that expenditure. Though, I would ask that they be attached to Army Aviation. The Air Force just don't understand time-on-station. To have someone that can stick around for a bit longer and be ready to make repeated runs on a target or targets. They prefer their jets and that goes totally against what the A-10 can do.

Hell, I think the entire Air Force should be merged back into the Army, but I know I'll never see that happen.

I'd agree with that.

The USAF has always hated the A-10.  They like supersonic, sleek, high-tech sexy jets.  Fly high and fly fast.  The A-10 is ugly, slow and low-tech. . .and the best damn close air support platform ever built.  It's like a flying tank, both in firepower and durability.  The thing is "death from above" incarnate.

The US Army Aviation community would be all over itself if it got the A-10.  The USAF would be glad to be rid of it, but they'd be resentful that the Army got any more fixed-wing assets than the handful it has now.

Why aren't we cancelling the F-35 as a massive waste of taxpayer money?  Oh yeah, politics.

We should just be updating/upgrading the F-15, F-16 and F-18 designs.  Boeing actually developed a stealth variant of the F-15, the Silent Eagle, as a competitor, but the politics of the F-35 make it nearly unkillable (it's ridiculously inefficient construction is spread out over almost every single state in the union, so pretty much every Congressman gets to say it brings jobs to his state).

Eliminate the F-35, fix the bugs in the life support of the F-22, invest in the F-15 Silent Eagle, and keep upgrading and replacing the F-16 and F-18's in service.

Save lots on defense budget, without having to slash troop pay, naval power (so we can actually send ships to the Gulf if we need to ), or our ability to fight small, regional wars against podunk little countries with the very best in 1970's era Soviet surplus hardware, like o ...


The Marines have their own air assets, seems to work OK for them.
 
2013-02-24 01:19:11 PM

Silverstaff: Fuggin Bizzy: Jarhead_h: Remind me again why nobody listens to libertarians

Because they're ridiculous?

/Sorry. I just find the libertarian POV highly idealistic and wildly impractical most times. Like a high school kid that knows all about the real world.

Thought this was appropriate:

[www.leftycartoons.com image 650x976]


It's missing a couple, but it's really quite good.

/Like the Hates People type: the "there's too many people in the world" and promotes policies that will kill other people first
 
2013-02-24 03:32:27 PM

sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.


I'm pretty certain the F35 is already drone capable.  At the very least, it was supposed to be.  Who knows if they ever got around to it.
 
2013-02-24 04:48:46 PM

Kahabut: sithon: they sold a bunch of those flying bags of crap to us in Canada as well. the conservatives still won't admit they made a mistake buying them. even though they are killing the pilots.

/they should convert them to drones.

I'm pretty certain the F35 is already drone capable.  At the very least, it was supposed to be.  Who knows if they ever got around to it.


That will cost another 10 billion or so. Cost-plus from the Beltway Bandits.
 
2013-02-24 06:17:06 PM

vygramul: Silverstaff: Fuggin Bizzy: Jarhead_h: Remind me again why nobody listens to libertarians

Because they're ridiculous?

/Sorry. I just find the libertarian POV highly idealistic and wildly impractical most times. Like a high school kid that knows all about the real world.

Thought this was appropriate:

[www.leftycartoons.com image 650x976]

It's missing a couple, but it's really quite good.

/Like the Hates People type: the "there's too many people in the world" and promotes policies that will kill other people first


Also, shouldn't the "stoned" square be larger than all the others? ;)
 
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