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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 32
    More: Scary, F-35B  
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5819 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 09:49:15 AM  
3 votes:
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 04:19:23 AM  
3 votes:
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 12:40:45 PM  
2 votes:

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 11:36:31 AM  
2 votes:
F-35 Program: Too big to fail.
2013-02-23 10:22:32 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:13:45 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:12:57 AM  
2 votes:
can't spend shiat for clean energy, but here's 400 billion for weapons that don't work.  amuruka!
2013-02-23 12:21:54 PM  
1 votes:
I always liked the P-38 Lightning. Lets bring that bad boy back.
2013-02-23 12:02:39 PM  
1 votes:
At 137 million a copy...you'd think they'd work!
2013-02-23 11:53:19 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:37:33 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:19:38 AM  
1 votes:
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 10:50:56 AM  
1 votes:
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 10:35:47 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:31:26 AM  
1 votes:
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 10:30:18 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:27:22 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:23:34 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:13:42 AM  
1 votes:
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 10:13:38 AM  
1 votes:
2.bp.blogspot.com
2013-02-23 10:07:48 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:04:20 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:55:33 AM  
1 votes:
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 09:53:25 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:51:36 AM  
1 votes:
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 09:50:34 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:49:07 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:09:00 AM  
1 votes:

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 08:37:53 AM  
1 votes:
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 07:42:28 AM  
1 votes:
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 07:02:11 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:54:18 AM  
1 votes:

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.
 
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