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F-35, a waste of money.

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  • F-35, a waste of money.

    During a time in the military where we have tight budgets and the Department of Defense keeps looking for ways to recoup money be screwing over the service men and women, despite riding them horrible over the past 10+ years, we have the military continue to dump billions into failed programs.

    This platform is a failure and always was going to be a failure because the entire concept is a failure. You cannot have instruments of war be multipurpose and expect them to do any of the jobs asked of it well. An aircraft designed to be air to air will be better at air to air, every time. An aircraft that is designed to be air to ground will be better at air to ground, every time. This is a prevalent thing in the military, not just with this platform. Generals just can't seem to understand that you cannot turn an Ginsu into a Swiss Army Knife and expect it to dice tomatoes as well.

    Oh yeah, and let's me not forget to repeat that the DoD is continually moving to cut the benefits of the service members who've sweet, bled, and had their families ripped apart by multiple deployments.

    In the report, which Axe had obtained but did not publish in full, the F-35 pilot reported that his aircraft was in a "clean" configuration for the test, carrying nothing under its wings or in its internal weapons bays. The F-16, on the other hand, was flying with under-wing external fuel drop-tanks, which in theory would have put the aircraft at an aerodynamic disadvantage.
    Apparently, it didn't. "Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement," the F-35 pilot reported. That means the F-35 constantly found itself flying slower and more sluggishly, unable to effectively maneuver to get the F-16 in its sights.
    Yes, let's not find any cuts that would effect these uber large contractors. That would be a horrible idea.

  • #2
    Another couple trillion down the shitter. Thanks Clinton, W, and Obama


    • #3
      Originally posted by fishjoel View Post
      This platform is a failure and always was going to be a failure because the entire concept is a failure. You cannot have instruments of war be multipurpose and expect them to do any of the jobs asked of it well. An aircraft designed to be air to air will be better at air to air, every time. An aircraft that is designed to be air to ground will be better at air to ground, every time. This is a prevalent thing in the military, not just with this platform. Generals just can't seem to understand that you cannot turn an Ginsu into a Swiss Army Knife and expect it to dice tomatoes as well.
      Oh, if only you where around to tell us this back in the 60's, the last time we developed a multipurpose fighter. We might have avoided the debacle that was the Lightweight Fighter Program. : rolleyes :

      The Air Force has long operated a "Hi-Low" procurement strategy for it front-line fighters. A top of the line fighter would be produced in relatively modest numbers due to the expense, and a lower performing, less expensive fighter would be produced in higher numbers to cover airspace. Thus we have the air-superiority F-15, undefeated in air to air combat, and we have the "Swiss army knife" F-16. The Navy followed a similar pattern with the F-14 and F-18. The strategy has been largely duplicated by peer states in the Eastern block, with the combination of the Su-27 and MiG-29 filling the Hi-Low roles respectively. Hardly a failure.

      Going foreword, this pattern is repeated, with the F-22 filling the air-superiority "Hi" role, and the F-35 filling the "multipurpose" "low" role in the Air Force. The Navy is using the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in the "Hi" air superiority role, though its lack of stealth skews the pricing a bit. This allows us to use our relatively meager fleet of F-22's against the highly maneuverable Su-27 derivatives that peer adversaries posses, while the much larger stealth F-35 fleet dismantles their defenses and military infrastructure. The F-35 is not designed to dogfight. That said, the F-35 could still shoot down anything in anyone's operational arsenals, with the exception of the F-22, without the target even knowing they where in danger until the missile is already locked on and fired. That's the whole point of stealth. It allows you to shoot at your enemy, forcing them to flee, before they know your there. Instead of an "in your face" dog fighter, it is essentially an ambush fighter. Or, lacking long range ordinance, disengaging from a more maneuverable foe before they know your there. The test described above literally tied both arms behind the F-35's back as the aircraft involved was an early test model....

      Aircraft AF-2 did not have the mission systems software to use the sensors that allow the F-35 to see its enemy long before it knows the F-35 is in the area. Second, AF-2 does not have the special stealth coating that operational F-35s have that make them virtually invisible to radar. And third, it is not equipped with the weapons or software that allow the F-35 pilot to turn, aim a weapon with the helmet, and fire at an enemy without having to point the airplane at its target.
      There have been numerous occasions where a four-ship of F-35s has engaged a four-ship of F-16s in simulated combat scenarios and the F-35s won each of those encounters because of its sensors, weapons, and stealth technology.
      F-16 was designed in the 1960's under the "Fighter Mafia" mentality, which demands that every air frame have balls to the wall performance because the immature weapons technology of the Vietnam era could not be trusted. Well, it's not the 1960's anymore. Missiles work. Stealth works. Computers work. That might not be as fun and ego boosting to adrenaline junkies, but it wins wars. Dog fights are increasingly rare, easily predictable based on what our foes field, and we have an air frame that can already out fly anything on anyone else drawing board for that, the F-22. On the other hand, given numerous aircraft losses we've suffered to enemy SAMs, the ability to strike and out shoot while unseen is far important than the ability to out fly everything in the air. Even the most nimble fighter still can't fight while evading a missile, anymore than a swordsman can evade a bullet...

      Those who balk at the price tag of the F-35 could better spend their time asking their Congresscritter why construction has to be spread to as many congressional districts as possible, and studying the actual strategies and tactics behind the design, instead of complaining that we are not getting infinite capability for finite money.
      Last edited by Commodore; 07-01-2015, 01:52 PM.


      • #4
        And when they run out of missiles in a sustained engagement?

        When the chinese or russians reveal a stealth fighter of their own with similar sensor tech and stealth tech because let's face it they hacked the shit out of our systems and stole all the data, what then?

        When that stealth tech prevents either plane from a reliable lock and they have to go to guns, then what?

        I don't think moderate dogfighting capability is too much to ask for 2 trillion plus. No one is asking this thing to take an FA-22, we're talking an F-16.


        • #5
          The problem is at the moment you can go one of two ways.
          You can go the route of super manoeuvrability like Europe did with the Eurofighter or you go for stealth as you've done with F-22 and F-35.

          Both approaches are valid and Europe needed agile and fast climbing fighters as we have Russia right beside us.
          The UK interestingly is the only tier one partner on the F-35 project which means we put in significant funds to help develop the jet and have a decent share of the final manufacturing of all aircraft for all nations including those for the US.

          The jet sure isn't cheap and the UK is likely to end up with about 150 and it has its critics but overall its a decent aircraft and an ok replacement for the Harrier with the B model.

          The main problem is it's much cheaper to create tech that detects stealth aircraft than it is to create more stealthy aircraft. Nobody claims that the F-22 or any stealth aircraft are invisible to radar just that they are hard to detect and there are multiple stories of stealth jets being detected way before expected by friendly radar on things like the Green Flag exercise.


          • #6
            Originally posted by reality View Post
            And when they run out of missiles in a sustained engagement?

            When the chinese or russians reveal a stealth fighter of their own with similar sensor tech and stealth tech because let's face it they hacked the shit out of our systems and stole all the data, what then?

            When that stealth tech prevents either plane from a reliable lock and they have to go to guns, then what?

            I don't think moderate dogfighting capability is too much to ask for 2 trillion plus. No one is asking this thing to take an FA-22, we're talking an F-16.

            As has been said many time before in conflicts throughout history quantity has a quality all it's own and you only have just over 100 F-22 so they are going to be in huge demand in any global combat scenario. Yes it's a great jet but it cant be in two places at once and if you get a battle with odds like 10-1 the F-22 will be in a lot of bother.


            • #7
              Originally posted by reality View Post
              And when they run out of missiles in a sustained engagement?

              So long as capable enemy aircraft exist to challenge an F-35, an F-22 or other designated dog fighter will be nearby. That's what its for.

              The whole point of intelligence gathering is to figure out how many enemy planes there are, where they are stationed, and how many they can bring, which in turn tells you how much ordinance to bring to the party, with some to spare. That said the Navy has plans to equip drones as airborne arsenal ships. Though not dog fighters themselves, they can link to the fighters radar, and lob large numbers of long range missiles into enemy formations, forcing them to evade, allowing bomb laden F-35's to engage their targets, or escorting F-35's to press the attack. Enemies already evading missiles are not going to engage anything.

              Of course, all this assumes that the enemies front line fighters, ones that actually threaten our own, where not destroyed in their hangers by cruise missiles on the first night of the war, or actively hunted, in the air or on the ground by F-22's on the second.
              Originally posted by reality View Post
              When the chinese or russians reveal a stealth fighter of their own with similar sensor tech and stealth tech because let's face it they hacked the shit out of our systems and stole all the data, what then?

              It's one thing for the Chinese to hack our systems, its another for them to produce something that flies from it, and a whole nother thing for it to actually be comparable . And then it's a whole nother thing for them to produce enough of them to actually make a difference in a conflict.

              It's also what the F-22 is for.
              Originally posted by reality View Post
              When that stealth tech prevents either plane from a reliable lock and they have to go to guns, then what?

              That is also what the F-22 is for. I'm sensing a pattern here. Maybe Obama shouldn't have closed the production line early. It's probably for the best, when we restart it we can take the time for some upgrades, maybe even a naval variant.
              Originally posted by reality View Post
              I don't think moderate dogfighting capability is too much to ask for 2 trillion plus. No one is asking this thing to take an FA-22, we're talking an F-16.
              That number represents development, production, and 30 years of operation of 1800 of the most advanced strike fighters ever likely to fly. We'll get more than our moneys worth. More so if we can ever take down the Congressional-Industrial Complex.