CAS and the F35- Scathing report on F35

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    To quote Ross Perot "The giant sucking sound you hear" will be the defense budget going woosh into the coffers of Lockheed supplying the Airplane built for the sake of building it. The F35 program is literally destroying the capability of the US Military while masquerading as the next gen of military aircraft. Sacrificing everything for the sake of stealth- and we'll wind up being surprised once again when the guys we will find ourselves fighting are once again not fighting with the most advanced technologies and yet seem to be able to function despite our $500 million dollar airplanes and $zillion dollar satellite technology. We never learn:thumbdown:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...ealth-fighter-10-years-behind-older-jets.html

     
  2. co80016

    co80016 Member

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    im sure you're such an expert
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Nope- just a Taxpayer and Soldier which means I have a reasonable appreciation of what it means to spend a ton of money as well as what the need for CAS is, and with a MA in History and another from the Navy War College, I might have read a book or two on the promises made for technology in warfare compared to the actual results delivered. (Here's a hint- except in optimal cases, the technology usually falls short of the promises to win from afar, eliminate American casualties and remove the need to physically control the terrain) But other than that- no I'm not an expert. Why? Does it take an expert to recognize a phenomenally expensive program that appears like it is going to fail to deliver on its requirements??
     
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Well, I AM an expert on the F-35. in fact, not to toot my own horn but I am considered THE expert in the HQ AF staff on the F-35's capabilities and operational requirements -- it's my job.

    Is the article correct? Well, frankly, yes AND no. There are limitations in the aircraft's initial operational capabilities, particularly when conducting CAS in the same manner we are conducting it downrange now, that we're going to have to accept due to the delays in the program. The AF leadership is well aware of that, mostly because I TOLD THEM. But, because we are aware of them, we plan to fix all of the issues the article identified within the next 7 years as part of the initial block of Follow on Development. Does it stink that we have to wait that long? Sure, but we're asking the jet to do a LOT more than just CAS (and that is a separate debate I'll save for another day). Just remember, the AF DID NOT WANT to retire its primary CAS fighter (the A-10, which we originally planned to keep until the 2030s), but fiscal realities caused by the Sequester FORCED the AF to retire an entire fleet to save operational costs.

    Ultimately, does Bruno have it right to complain about the program as a waste of taxpayer dollars? Sure. Heck, I complain about it as well, and I'm VERY vocal in my opinions to the Senior-most AF leadership on ways to address them (doesn't mean they'll listen to me though :) ). But I know what the F-35 will bring to the war fighter in just a few short years, and as the expert I share the same opinion as those who are flying them today -- when this jet finishes development in two years, it WILL be a game-changer.

    And no, it's not based on technology to win from afar, totally eliminate American casualties, or remove the need to eventually control the ground (although the Bosnian Conflict puts that need as 100% required into question). That's NOT the F-35's job. It's job is to ensure we can continue to DOMINATE the skies above the Battle space for decades to come, which is now a standard an expectation for the way America goes to war. It helps ensure our own forces are safe from attack from the air, ensures our ground forces maintain freedom to maneuver, while allowing the US and our Allies to continue to hold any potential adversaries most dear / most defended targets at risk. And future generations who may have to fight in areas where there actually is an Air threat or have the ability to challenge our control of the skies will GREATLY appreciate that fact in future conflicts.
     
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  5. co80016

    co80016 Member

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    you tell him Bullet! CAS has changed and it's time to get onboard with the future.
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Not really sure that was the point of Bullet's post.

    I'm sure your experience in the field is vast, but I'm thinking it might be a good idea if you refrain from telling everyone to get on board until you have actually gotten on board. One year ROTC and an acceptance to USAFA Prep School does not provide as much experience as you might think.
     
  7. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    That's not what I am saying at all, though. Some aspects of CAS have never nor will never change. But some have, and as long as the air support can provide the effects that ground commander wants, who cares what platform is delivering it. But that is a big "if", and in some limited cases, platforms like the A-10, the. AC-130, and the Cobra or Apache are the more appropriate platforms.

    But it is usually the man or woman in control of those platforms, whether in the cockpit or the JTAC on the ground, that is the most important factor in CAS. Their expertise is the critical key. That is where getting rid of the A-10 hurts the most -- the loss of an entire community of airmen dedicated to that mission.
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I'm dying. Dying. USAFA prep school admittee lecturing Bruno on CAS. Welp, I can die now. I've seen it all.
     
  9. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    The A-10 could rip anything on the ground. Sorry to see it retired.. Lecture Bruno, I don't think you would like to go down that road. Saw Spooky and Shadow in action and they like they said called them "moaning death". Then they added the 105 and they were more awesome. Could use a few of them now. A-1E Skyraiders were great also for close in and a very great plane.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Thank you Scout for making my day! I have seen a lot of CAS from pretty much the entire inventory of aircraft. For me, there was nothing like seeing a Gunship in action. I think once or twice when it came in i sort of forgot what was going on around me just to watch! Every aircraft brings different capabilities, regardless of technology, it still came down to the Pilot and TAC/FAC working together to put bombs on target. There were some crazy help pilots! But man they did an amazing job. Having spent nearly 12 years of my life working in acquisitions I can appreciate what it takes to develop, test, field equipment. I think my biggest concern is even though the gaps in capabilities for initial operational capabilities have been identified, is the funding needed to get to full operational capability. The article sort of addresses what those gaps are, but for someone who understands how this whole system works, i would be curious to see what officially is missing, or if something hasn't met Threshold, how much longer to get there. With the way the DoD budget is going, there are no guarantees. I am sure Bullet and I could have entire conversation of acronyms that very few people would understand thanks to DAU!
     
  11. thepalmers4

    thepalmers4 Member

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    Please suffer some random comments from not an expert.

    Regarding CAS, the Marines are working with Bell and Boeing to put forward-firing weapons on the V-22. Why? To deal with LZ threats and to free up the AV-8s and F-35s for other missions. It seems the Marines are not hot on the idea of using their fighters for their CAS mission.

    Regarding the F-35, what a mess! Help me with the F-35 status… has the pre-Farnsborough engine failure been sorted out? How about the helmet display jitters? The fueling temperature problem? The landing pad requirements? These are just a few that I’ve read about.

    Boeing published a F-15SE vs F-35 comparison sheet a couple of years ago when the Koreans were waffling about their F-35 commitment. The difference in traditional capabilities was staggering. If you weren’t locked into stealth and willing to spend $$$ for it, the choice was clear.

    The issue to me is not so much the $$$. The issue with the gravest national security implications is the time required to field new, major systems, which seems to be 12-15 years. We have been watching Russia rearm and China arm for many years now. Both are eager to project force in their theaters. Will the F-35 be ready? Or useful when it is?

    The procurement issue has been a real head-scratcher for me, a whose side are they on issue. Army helo modernization? Navy Littorals? Coast Guard? I read last week that the Danes may claim the North Pole, because they have found an underwater ridge that connects Greenland to it. At least they will have to fight the Russkies for it!
     
  12. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    1) The Marines want foward-firing ordnance for their V-22s as a SELF PROTECTION measure. They fully intend to keep their fast mover / attack helo combination for CAS, and to say they are no longer "hot" to keep these assets for the CAS mission is simply false. The V-22 simply isn't maneuverable for effective CAS.

    2) I'll gladly help you with the F-35 issues: The pre-Farnsborough engine issue? Fixed, with a slight modification already successfully tested and being fielded. The helmet issues? A fix for all the problems is being tested now, and should be fielded in time for the AF's Initial Operational Capability decision in 2016. The fuel temp issue? Not really an issue, just a mis-speak from a low-level fuels airman and his NCO who really didn't understand what they were talking about. The F-35 has already been tested to the upper temp limits, with hot-fuel being used to run a jet on a hot day at Yuma on the ground for over an hour with ZERO impacts. Bottom Line -- it's meeting the fuel temp requirements it was designed for. Landing pad requirements? Fixed years ago.

    Remember, this is a plane still conducting development and testing. This is where discoveries are made, and ultimately fixed. The second of it's three planned major development blocks will complete testing in a month or two, with the last development block completing testing in 2017. Bottom Line #2: it should be ready as planned, with perhaps a couple of mission system capabilities needing extra work, but planned to be fixed shortly after Fully Operational Capability is declared.

    3) The "Stealth Eagle" comparison? Uhm, who PUBLISHED this comparison? That's right, the guys who PRODUCE the "Stealth Eagle". Look, I flew the Strike Eagle, and I still LOVE the Strike Eagle. But I have to ask you -- after the hard sales push by Boeing to the Koreans, which jet did they select? The Koreans already have other jets for those "traditional" missions and capabilities, that's not what they were looking for when they selected their new fighter.

    4) Yeah, the time to develop a new weapon system takes a loooooong time. Exasperatingly long. The technology involved is staggeringly complex, and the testing required to ensure it meets requirements is just as long and complex. A lot of people ask why this is so. Well remember, the systems these new platforms are designed to meet and defeat are also getting more and more complex and capable -- we need the new-fangled toys to ensure we can conduct the mission and maintain air superiority, which I have stated before is no longer just a requirement for how we conduct war but an EXPECTATION. Also remember, it took YEARS to develop the F-15, the F-16, and the F-18. All new fighters require time to develop and test. And the F-35 is LIGHT YEARS ahead of where these jets where when they were first operationally capable.
     
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  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Are you an intelligence expert also? My professional opinion as an intelligence expert ( a generalist with a MS in Strategic Intelligence ), F 35 is built for an enemy that doesn't exist. Russia and China catching up is more fiction than non-fiction. You get no argument from me about F35 as a great weapon system. But, what I am questioning is the need and affordability. F35 is like a middle class couple that has white collar jobs with one kid buying a F350 and subsequently going bankrupt. F350 is a good vehicle, great hauling and great protection in case of car accident.
     
  14. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Holding to the historical production of the F-18, F-16 and F-15 delays. Remember Congress also needs extra time to make sure the production and fixes are completed within their own congressional districts. I imagine they are more difficult then any technical challenges.
     
  15. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Intelligence expert? No. Do I have access to current intelligence on potential adversary capabilities? Well, from your statements I can pretty much guarantee I have more access than you. Please remember, we may not have to fight the Russians and Chinese in the near future, if ever. But I can also guarantee we'll have to face their systems -- they continue to sell them worldwide. Also remember, all three services are buying the F-35 to be their main strike fighter for the NEXT 50 YEARS, something none of the services have ever planned to do before.

    That brings me to the supposed elephant in the room -- the cost. I'm guessing you've heard that infamous "$1 Trillion" cost estimate. But that estimate includes operating the fleet for the next 50 years as well. Tell me, how much do you think it will cost to operate a fleet of 11 Super Carriers for the next 50 years? Or to operate a ten Division Army?

    I'll leave you with this final thought? So far, three services and 11 coalition member countries have reviewed the future threat and decided the F-35 is worth it. Do you think all the folks involved in that decision were NOT aware of what the potential enemy will be able to do? That the enemy this jet was designed to fight against "doesn't exist"? Are you telling me all the other intelligence experts involved were wrong?
     
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  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Wow, we're playing the clearance game now. This is great. It keeps getting better!
     
  17. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Scout, call out prep school candidates all you want when they dare to vioce an opinion you feel they should have no say in. Don't presume to play your games with me, however.

    I was asked if I was an Intelligence expert. A rather broad area, so I bluntly answered that in the area of combat fighter aviation, I am VERY well aware of current intelligence on potential adversary air defense capabilities, both in their own air systems and ground systems. I have to be as part of my job. This includes being read into the most current intelligence reports. Simply stated, I perceived a not-so-subtle dig on my credibility in regards to current intelligence in regards to potential adversary capabilities, so I provided some more background information that I do in fact have that knowledge, more than likely more so than anyone else on this board (scratch that, DEFINETLY more so), including *gasp* you.

    If it came off as a zipper measuring contest, my humble apologies. But please, NEVER treat me again as you do the young men and women you are so quick to make fun of as being "out of their element" when voicing an opinion. I agree, they don't really know what they are talking about. I, on the other hand, do.
     
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  18. USNAco2019hopeful

    USNAco2019hopeful Member

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    Don't mind me, I'm just going to sit here having no experience or credentials watching this unfold.
     
  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Well, with all due respect to your position in support of the Acquisitions Boondoggle Du Jour...

    Apparently we're all supposed to cower in wonderment as you regale us with your insider credentials? You say we shouldn't listen to Boeing because the F-15 is their bread and butter baby. Why, then, should we listen to you? The F-35 is quite clearly what's putting bread on your table. You've given us no less reason to fear your bias.

    I'd play the clearance game and do the who-knows-more about current IADS threat dance with you all day (with full confidence that it would end in a draw at worst...remember, some of us young bucks still do this stuff for a living) but I'd hate to cut in on your current hoe-down with the others, particularly LG.

    I dismiss opinions based on rumor and supposition in absence of experience (such as a prep candidate lecturing about CAS or a cadet talking about female officers in the combat branches of the Army). I call out a good ol' fashion zipper duel when I see one. Candor is my yoke to bear. In that respect I give you equal treatment with everyone else.

    Neither of you is going to give an inch on this. Don't be mad at me for simply pointing out the futility of your measuring contest.

    Cheers, and may the more stubborn man win.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  20. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Folks, keep it on track.....let's steer this back onto the tracks before it gets what could be/is a very interesting debate/discussion closed down.

    No one's taking out a ruler here, let's leave it that way

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     

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