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The F-35: Mediocre at Everything and Expensive as Hell


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#21 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:27 AM

I see the F-22 and F-35 as the B1s of air combat: too expensive to be risked in combat for their marginal (if that) performance advantages over B-52s (or F-15/16s).
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"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
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#22 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:50 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 06 February 2016 - 10:27 AM, said:

I see the F-22 and F-35 as the B1s of air combat: too expensive to be risked in combat for their marginal (if that) performance advantages over B-52s (or F-15/16s).

Sorta like WWII; everyone wants to talk about Panthers and Tigers and ME262s and the Yamato class BBs, but it's the Shermans and T-34s and prop fighters flying from Jeep carriers that won the war.

(over simplified, but basically true).
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#23 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:08 AM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 06 February 2016 - 10:50 AM, said:

Sorta like WWII; everyone wants to talk about Panthers and Tigers and ME262s and the Yamato class BBs, but it's the Shermans and T-34s and prop fighters flying from Jeep carriers that won the war.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC P-38s and P-51s shot down more Me-262s than vice versa. As the Russions say, quantity has a quality all its own.

When you can buy a squadron of F-16s for the price of one F-35, you keep the F-35s on the ground.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#24 Traveler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:13 AM

B-but pilots cost a lot too! This issue of stealth and firing first vs. actual dogfighting is a tough one to game out. While the many deficiencies do look like a boondoggle, it seems they are fixing most of them. They will never fix maneuverability, but if that were the criterion, it never would have been built. Like I say, they asked for too many flight envelopes.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#25 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:36 AM

Yes; honestly a lot of German jets were shot down while taking off and landing. The allies learned to wait for them, and the Germans had to assign Focke Wolf and ME prop fighters to fly CAP over the jet bases.

While the Tiger and Panther tanks had thicker armor and better guns, their main advantage was fighting defensively. When the allied tanks were defending (Lorraine, Bulge) the German tanks didn't perform much better. Allied studies showed the winner of any tank battle was generally the one who got the first hit. Contrary to some commentary, allied pilots and tankers were not really on duicide missions when facing the "better" axis equipment, and most axis units didn't have the top line planes or tanks.

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#26 Traveler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 12:37 PM

Learn something new everyday. I thought Sherman peashooters wouldn't even dent a Tiger.
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#27 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 01:04 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 06 February 2016 - 11:36 AM, said:

Yes; honestly a lot of German jets were shot down while taking off and landing. The allies learned to wait for them, and the Germans had to assign Focke Wolf and ME prop fighters to fly CAP over the jet bases.

And that, too, played to the Allies. As long as someone came up to play and die, they were happy. Because the primary objective was the destruction of the Luftwaffe. There's a credible argument that the daylight bombing runs over Europe were more about forcing the Luftwaffe to come out and die than about destroying German production or anything of the sort (although that was OK too if the Luftwaffe didn't come out.) It was brutal attrition warfare, pitting better-trained, supplied, and increasingly experienced Allied pilots against minimally-trained, ill-supplied, and increasingly inexperienced German ones. The odds just kept getting worse for the Luftwaffe.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#28 Traveler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 03:19 PM

When they were flying, it was another thing. Although P-51s were capable of hitting 500 mph in a dive, which is pretty incredible. Still the 262s wreaked havoc once airborne.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#29 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 03:29 PM

View PostTraveler, on 06 February 2016 - 12:37 PM, said:

Learn something new everyday. I thought Sherman peashooters wouldn't even dent a Tiger.

From the front, no. Which is why it was tough on the offense (which we frequently were). The Tiger had good flank armor as well, but the Panther was vulnerable to even the 57mm AT gun that was standard for the infantry.

The biggest issue is that we rarely faced the bigger tanks because they couldn't produce as many, and they were unreliable so generally "lost" a lot of tanks just on the approach.
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#30 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 03:38 PM

View PostTraveler, on 06 February 2016 - 03:19 PM, said:

Still the 262s wreaked havoc once airborne.

If they got a good climb and dive, they could catch the bombers pretty well. On the other hand. they had a couple of good passes and then they had to run for home because their fuel consumption was enormous and once they got low on fuel they were at best targets -- their dead-stick flight properties were not admirable.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#31 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 03:44 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 06 February 2016 - 03:29 PM, said:

The biggest issue is that we rarely faced the bigger tanks because they couldn't produce as many, and they were unreliable so generally "lost" a lot of tanks just on the approach.

An often-overlooked advantage we had was rubber. German tank treads ran metal-on-metal with no cushion and needed an unholy amount of maintenance as a result. Ours were good for a lot longer in motion. (Which is one reason the Germans preferred playing defense. Another was fuel, or the lack thereof.) Tanks are fair portable artillery, but when the other side has the real thing they don't last long. Get some GI with a field phone or radio link out as forward observer and it doesn't matter how well your tanks do vs. theirs because their tanks are on the receiving end of well-aimed indirect fire (and WWII tanks were not all that well armored on top.)
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#32 HockeyDon

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 05:56 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 05 February 2016 - 07:58 PM, said:

The guys who have to put their asses in the birds say that the Apache does pretty well -- pop up, shoot, get behind terrain. The A-10's big liability (and this was well understood back in 1991 when I was in Huntsville) is revenge shots. It's good at coming in unseen and doing the dirty deed, but that puts it over the enemy and now they know it's there.

I'd buy that. When I was at GD I sat across from a top sergeant that drove tanks before retirement. He mentioned that when doing field practice/war games the things to watch out for were helicopters and Harriers. They could hear the noise but didn't always know which direction it was coming from till it popped up. By then it was almost certainly too late. Being "fired" upon from upwards of 4000 ft. was a real bitch but that pop-up tactic was the No.1 problem.

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This is the shit that happens when the military gets re-tasked from fighting wars to supporting the industry that is supposed to be maintained so that someday if we really need to fight a war they can save us.

Another big problem I noticed on the EFV program was military personnel that had no expertise in what the program needed yet had the power to dictate what the design should be. Some of that ended up being too many tasks but other parts ended up being stuff like "I want it this way and I don't care what the engineers think!"
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

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#33 Traveler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:17 PM

That is downright treasonous to put incompetents in charge. Happens more than once though...
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#34 LFC

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 12:23 PM

The Pentagon has a plan to turn B-52s and B-1s into virtual flying magazines, with fighters ahead able to order up the launches. The fighters would only carry internally storable armaments, keeping them as stealthy as possible. It's a plan created a bit out of desperation but it sounds pretty brilliant. If they could make the bombers fully autonomous, that would be really impressive.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#35 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 12:55 PM

View PostLFC, on 10 February 2016 - 12:23 PM, said:

The Pentagon has a plan to turn B-52s and B-1s into virtual flying magazines, with fighters ahead able to order up the launches. The fighters would only carry internally storable armaments, keeping them as stealthy as possible. It's a plan created a bit out of desperation but it sounds pretty brilliant. If they could make the bombers fully autonomous, that would be really impressive.

Unless the bombers turn out to be autonomous targets.

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#36 Traveler

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:39 PM

I have been suggesting this concept for years. Using nimble behind the hill light planes and helicopters to jump up to spot close air support, targeting smart artillery and missiles on ground targets. But no reason why it wouldn't work for air to air combat either, given how an AMRAAM works. Key is the datalink. It has to be unjammable. Which can be a challenge. But one that I think is easily solved with directional attennas.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#37 Traveler

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:41 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 10 February 2016 - 12:55 PM, said:

Unless the bombers turn out to be autonomous targets.
Good point. If close enough for their missiles to work, why wouldn't they be juicy targets for the nonstealthy jets? One would anticipate counter missile technology would be included.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#38 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 08:27 PM

The BUFF is pretty much a target, granted. However please note that it's still a workhorse anywhere we can achieve air supremacy, and that's a basic doctrine now anyway.

As for the B1s, they may not be as stealthy as B2s but they're not exactly easy for air-to-air missiles to spot, either. That's what we got for making them subsonic.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#39 LFC

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:36 AM

More on the mediocrity of the F-35. The military industrial complex isn't even trying to create anything solid anymore. Profit is the number one motive. If, by chance, the product they create is actually decent it's more of an accident of allowing actual engineers build something without too much interference. I don't think that happens in jets or ships anymore. There's just too much grift available at every stage of the game. As a result we can expect the Chinese and Russian technology to be able to outperform us in real combat. Way to put the troops first.

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Here’s something the public didn’t know until today: If one of the U.S. military’s new F-35 stealth fighters has to climb at a steep angle in order to dodge an enemy attack, design flaws mean the plane might suddenly tumble out of control and crash.

Also, some versions of the F-35 can’t accelerate to supersonic speed without melting their own tails or shedding the expensive coating that helps to give the planes their radar-evading qualities.

The Pentagon’s $400-billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, one of the biggest and most expensive weapons programs in history, has come under fire, so to speak, over more than a decade for delays, rising costs, design problems and technical glitches.

But startling reports by trade publication Defense News on Wednesday revealed flaws that previously only builder Lockheed Martin, the military, and the plane’s foreign buyers knew about.

The newly-exposed problems underscore the potential fragility of American air power as the armed services work to replace more and more old fighters with as many as 2,300 F-35s while also reconfiguring to confront the increasingly deadly Chinese and Russian air forces.

The problems might also help to explain why acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan reportedly described the F-35 program as “fucked up.”

Defense News obtained military documents detailing a wide range of serious problems with two of the three versions of the F-35. The Air Force’s F-35A appears to be exempt from the latest flaws, but the Marine Corps’ vertical-landing F-35B and the Navy’s carrier-compatible F-35C both suffer what the services call “category 1” deficiencies. (In military parlance, a category 1 flaw in a plane can prevent a pilot from accomplishing their mission.)

The F-35 program and the office of the secretary of defense did not respond to requests for comment.


But apparently it's all OK. Lockheed will address the problems and then all we have to do is pay to have any of the already delivered jets repaired. It's great when you can make big money up front and then get paid big money to repair your own f***-ups.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#40 Traveler

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:09 PM

From the original source:

Quote

"I would put this down to, frankly, growing pains that you’d expect from a sophisticated, modern aircraft program. Nothing really stands out [as particularly troubling], primarily because they seem to be well on the way toward being addressed,” said Mark Gunzinger, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “What has been done to address these have reduced the concerns regarding safety of flight. Doesn’t mean that there isn’t still work to be done. And it doesn’t mean new things won’t be discovered.”


The list of deficiencies as a whole is in some ways encouraging, the currently serving aviator said, because it looks like the issues are being identified by the engineers and technicians working on the program.


“I think what you see in that document is an airplane that fell behind schedule, that was rushed to get back up to schedule under immense political and industry pressure. They had a lot of next-gen[eration] technologies all at once, and they’re working through what all of that looks like together,” the aviator said.


“I don’t see anything in that document that makes me say: ‘Holy sh--, what did we buy?’ If the questions is, ‘Why does the aircraft have all these problems?’, I don’t know, it may sound trite, but it’s a really f--ing complicated machine.”
The F-35 is light years ahead all other technologies. I am not nearly as concerned as you are.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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