Hey Bullet

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Maximus, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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  2. kevster

    kevster Member

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    A similar thread about the J-20.

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=16505&page=3

    I am also interested to get Bullet's thoughts on this.

    Also the article said that F-22 production was capped at 18??? I thought they were going to produce somewhere around 180 22s??? I certainly hope that when President Obama leaves office production will start up again.
     
  3. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    I would refer you to the same question posted in the "off topic" section:

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=16505

    But that thread diverted into a debate on the strategic level of conflict between the US and China. The article you link refers to some specific tactical capabilities, and I'll address a few (again, keeping it very limited for classification and Opsec purposes).

    First off, interesting article, but there definitely seems to be an agenda to this feel of it, geared towards adding to fears that we (the US) are getting weaker in military strength on the world stage. Some of the quotes from "Whiz" Buckley seem added just to expound on that fear, especially his overall assessment that this aircraft is leaps and bounds above where we are. About his only statement I would agree with is: "It was built to reduce radar signatures." And like I said before, there is more than just stealth involved in the equation as to which jet is tactically more capable. The Chinese fighter's canards are interesting, but I liked to see it do a little more than just taxi tests before I declare a new world champion.

    Mr. Fischer (never heard of the Think Tank he works for before) has some insightful assessments, particularly this one: "Limiting F-22 production could prove a grave mistake". But overall, my opinion is his thoughts lean a little towards Chicken Little's assessment of the current sky condition.

    A lot of people get paid a lot of money to make educated assessments about stuff like this. Most don't have the full information or background required to make nothing better than "a hunch or good guess".

    There is a Dragon out there, and it is rising. Still a long way to go before it can catch up to the heights the Bald Eagle is currently at. And money won't always solve the problem of them getting there (but it sure does help!).
     
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Simply a typo, and the junior executive deputy editor just had no clue on the subject, so he/she couldn't catch the mistake.

    F-22 production is capped at 187 total planes. The last lot is on the production line as we speak. But all the tooling required prior to this phase has been shut down and put away, and sub-lines used to make the sub-contracted parts needed to get it to that point have been shut-down, with most of those companies either closing shop or switching to making cell phones and MP3s.
     
  5. Jabbawocky007

    Jabbawocky007 AFROTC Cadet

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    Just by the video, the Chinese plane looks strikingly similar to the YF-23.

    Could the same company have had a hand in desiging the J-20?
     
  6. kevster

    kevster Member

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    Yes good question 007. Bullet do you know what restrictions the US gov puts on companies like Lockheed, boeing,....ect?? For instance why couldn't a foreign country such as Russia or China contract Lockheed to design a jet for them?? My apologies if this is a stupid question.
     
  7. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    From what I read, the J-20 really doesn't have an engine, could this possibly be reverse "Star Wars"? In that I mean; could the Chinese be doing a head fake and trying to get us to go bankrupt overspending now? You know in a reverse old Soviet era out spending game?
     
  8. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    kevster, no such thing as a stupid question.

    As to why American defense countries don't just sell their designs and equipment to countries like Russia and China? Well, first, our state department has strict lists of countries and entities American companies are allowed to sell products and technologies to. Penalties are pretty severe for breaking those rules, or for knowingly allowing your company's products or technologies to eventually get into the hands of the countries on the restricted list through a third party.

    We're more than happy to sell our stuff to countries we feel are friends and will remain so, and encourage our friends to buy our stuff all the time, which makes companies like Lockheed and Boeing very happy. In fact, the F-35 is being built and sold to 8 partner nations, who have contributed development money so they can get the best price down the road. We've already made agreements with Israel to buy some as well (at a higher price per copy since they are not contributing to the plane's development), and have started negotiations with even more. Continues a long tradition we have, selling our planes to other nations. Just look at how many companies fly the F-15, F-16, and F-18.

    I know there is this bias out there against these "evil" corporations in the defense industry, how they would sell their moms to the devil if the price is right, so why should we trust them with our biggest secrets. Well, I work with these companies every day, and can say wholeheartedly the people in these companies are some of the most patriotic people in America (usually ex-military), dedicated to making their products the best because they know that what they do ensures that our airmen, sailors, soldiers, marines, coastguardsmen, or merchant marines get the job done and get home safely. Truly are great individuals who care about what they are doing and who they are doing it for. So most of my heart trusts they wouldn't just sell American fighting forces down the river for the highest bidder.

    Now, the problem I do have, and the real reason why defense companies get a bad rap, is that they promise a "glossy brochure" of capabilities and cost for their products, telling the US military "we can give you the moon, and it will only cost you $10". What usually occurs is these companies discover getting the moon is a little more difficult than they anticipated, and costs a heck of a lot more. That's why you see so many recent defense programs go behind schedule and over budget.

    Second reason, pretty simple: if you were Russia and China, would you TRUST an American company to design and build our latest and greatest weapon?

    As to THIS Chinese plane? Why do you think it looks so similar to one of ours? Let me give you an analogy: my dog is getting old. Tough for him to get on our bed at night (yeah, I know. We spoil him). Pima wanted me to get him some dog steps. So, being the good and obedient husband I am, I shopped around. Something like $90 - $125 bucks! So, I did the smarter thing. I used pictures of the dog steps advertised on-line for $100, figured out the dimensions and the materials I would need to buy, and built a copy for myself. Cost me $20 in material, and a couple of hours of my time.

    You think the Chinese can do something similar with pictures of our top planes? In this case, it IS a nice looking copy on the outside. But the real challenge for them would be to match our brains and systems on the inside of the jet.
     
  9. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Possibly. Or it could just be that making an engine for a stealth aircraft is a little harder than the Chinese are ready for.

    I will say this, you make a potential enemy extremely nervous when you demonstrate either capability a generation better than theirs or new technology they don't even have. THAT gets them spending like crazy to catch up, or in trying to match it or overcome it by buying more of the same stuff they already have (i.e. the "Star Wars" program of the 80s, and Russia's reaction to it.)

    Not the case here....
     
  10. kevster

    kevster Member

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    Ahh I see. I guess I was under the impression that these companies try and work for the highest bidder regardless of the political climate. Its great to know that they have our best interests in mind.

    Thanks for the clarification in regards to the J-20. I guess there is a little more to a plane than a flashy exterior.

    I know your a fighter guy so my next question has to be about the training our pilots get. My pops was an IP in 38s so I'm somewhat familiar with "basic training" but what happens after UPT when a guy gets assigned to a Strike or a Viper? Is there anything about our training that gives us an edge over other countries??
     
  11. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Bullet, again, gives great detail. The short answer, HELL YES. Some of our tec (think E-3s and such) is very out of date compared to what others have, but the way we train and HOW we use it is so much better than most out there. You hit the point, we use our assets better than anyone.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FYI,

    Bullet will not be able to answer you for a few days because "he has left the building" for the AF needs.

    Don't have pity for him, I am sure tonight he will be enjoying the lovely weather of the River Walk while the rest of us freeze here in VA.

    As Hornet stated we use our assets better than many others around the world do.

    I look at it this way. In the AF our guys play war at Nellis all the time, we allow otrher friendly countries to play with us also and that is just Red Flag, we also have Cope Thunder, Maple Flag and other TDYs that are purely for playing war. Who do the Chinese get to play with besides themselves?
     
  13. kevster

    kevster Member

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    Bump......but no rush :thumb:
     
  14. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Sorry for the delay in getting you this answer. Duty called last week.

    Well, kevster, you've hit upon another reason (and perhaps the most important one) on why we will continue to hold a significant tactical advantage over the Chinese, and should for a while to come. The quality of our aviators and the training they receive.

    The training of our combat aircrews is based on five tenets: 1) knowing your plane's capabilities cold, 2) knowing the tactics we use just as cold, 3) knowing the enemy's capabilities and tactics just as well, 4) making our training as realistic as possible (to include exercise such as RED FLAG, COPE THUNDER, and the like), and lastly 5) having training that ensures our aircrews THINK and REACT versus just training them to "execute the plan" without any allowance for dealing with anything outside of the plan.

    As to the "roadmap" to get you to become a lean, mean, dealer of death and destruction at 25,000 ft and Mach 1? Well, my experience is with fighters, so I'll just stick to there and allow anyone else with experience with other types of aircraft pass on their knowledge for their airframes.

    In the AF, after UPT, if you do well enough and are lucky enough to be selected for a fighter type assignment, the next step is Lead-In Fighter Training (LIFT, or whatever their calling it now). Course lasts a few months, and is designed to an introduction for new students on how to fly basic fighter tactics (advanced handling, basic fighter maneuvers, introduction to bombing patterns and tactics, stuff like that). You'll then move onto the transition course for your particular airframe. Usually lasts about 9 months. Here you'll learn your jet's systems, learn appropriate tactics for your particular airframe, and get an introduction to how to employ the aircraft.

    Once you finish the transition course and report to your first ops unit, you'll go into another 3-months of being graded every sortie where you'll be learning how your unit expects you to EMPLOY the aircraft as a weapon system (based on those tenets I mentioned above). You'll the spend the next 12 to 18 months as a young wingman, flying usually 3 - 4 times a week as part of a two-ship or four-ship PRACTICING those tenets. After that, if the leadership thinks you are ready, you'll upgrade to a two-ship flight lead (you get a wingman for yourself!) and hopefully by around the 2 1/2 - 3 year mark at your unit, you'll upgrade to 4-ship flight lead (You're leading the true back-bone of tactical fighter aviation: the four ship!). By your second tour in an ops unit, if you work hard enough and prove yourself to your squadron mates and leadership, you'll enter the upgrade to become an Instructor. A few years as an instructor, and if your really one of the best of the best, you can compete for a slot at the Weapons School: our instructors of instructors, the ones who set the tactical standards for the rest of the fleet.

    One other note on why we're so well trained. The really hard part of our training is how detailed and brutally honest we are during each mission's debrief. Theyusually last longer than the missions themselves, because they are where we review EVERY aspect of the sortie to ensure we were able t meet the objectives, in nit-picking, exhaustive, and brutal detail. Not a "beat down" session, but an honest look at what we did right, what we di wrong, and more importantly how we can fix the mistakes or how we can improve for the next sortie. There is no rank once the debrief doors close, just authority of flight leads and instructors. You can be the Wing King General or a 20 year Lt Col in that room, and if you didn't execute, you'll hear about it 9but perhaps in just a little more respectful tone than the young Lt wingman would.)

    Hope that gives you a taste of what our aircrew training is based on. Folks like Fleiger can feel free to add their thoughts and experiences as well on the topic.

    As to how the Chinese do their training? I could tell you, but I would have to kill you afterwards (and anybody else who read this post). Besides, I LIKE having a security clearance because it lets me keep my job. :thumb:
     
  15. kevster

    kevster Member

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    Thank you for the detailed post! Very insightful! :thumb: Hope I have a shot to compete for some of those programs down the road! But for now I should probably just focus on getting a EA for FT and go from there. :shake:
     
  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I can't really improve on anything that Bullet says; he hits it perfectly. :thumb:

    I will say this: he's 100% on target about the briefings and debriefings! That was new to me as a "formerly heavy jet pilot now in the fighter community" new wingman. EVERYTHING is viewed, critiqued, reviewed, and played again, and again, and again.

    And while you might feel like an idiot (like when your instructor is speaking calmly on the radio saying something like this: "A High Speed Yo-Yo would have saved your life FOUR...fox two!") and EVERYONE sees it and hears it...but you know...you'll remember that and maybe someday it WILL save your life. It's not a beat-down, there are plenty of those at the bar, but in the debrief it's "here's how you stay alive, keep me alive, and win!"

    Nope, he's dead on here! Or in "Mud Hen lingo..."

    SHACK! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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