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Thursday, June 20, 2019

The decline of development

The growing number of development issues with the F-35 will not surprise anyone who understands that the US empire is in its decline-and-contraction stage:
According to a June 2018 report by the Government Accountability Office, the program had 111 category 1 deficiencies on the books in January 2018. By May 24, 2018, that number had decreased to 64 open category 1 problems out of a total 913 deficiencies, according to one document obtained by Defense News.

Another document obtained by Defense News noted that at least 13 issues would need to be held as category 1 deficiencies going into operational tests in fall 2018.

The 13 deficiencies include:
  • The F-35’s logistics system currently has no way for foreign F-35 operators to keep their secret data from being sent to the United States.
  • The spare parts inventory shown by the F-35’s logistics system does not always reflect reality, causing occasional mission cancellations.
  • Cabin pressure spikes in the cockpit of the F-35 have been known to cause barotrauma, the word given to extreme ear and sinus pain.
  • In very cold conditions — defined as at or near minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit — the F-35 will erroneously report that one of its batteries have failed, sometimes prompting missions to be aborted.
  • Supersonic flight in excess of Mach 1.2 can cause structural damage and blistering to the stealth coating of the F-35B and F-35C.
  • After doing certain maneuvers, F-35B and F-35C pilots are not always able to completely control the aircraft’s pitch, roll and yaw.
  • If the F-35A and F-35B blows a tire upon landing, the impact could also take out both hydraulic lines and pose a loss-of-aircraft risk.
  • A “green glow” sometimes appears on the helmet-mounted display, washing out the imagery in the helmet and making it difficult to land the F-35C on an aircraft carrier.
  • On nights with little starlight, the night vision camera sometimes displays green striations that make it difficult for all variants to see the horizon or to land on ships.
  • The sea search mode of the F-35’s radar only illuminates a small slice of the sea’s surface.
  • When the F-35B vertically lands on very hot days, older engines may be unable to produce the required thrust to keep the jet airborne, resulting in a hard landing.
The Pentagon has identified four additional category 1 deficiencies since beginning operational tests in December 2018, mostly centered around weapons interfaces, Winter said.
For the price of the F-35, the USA could have built 79,787 F-16s, or 17.3x more than were ever built. If you don't understand why the USA is going to lose its next major war, look up the kill rate between German Panthers and US Shermans or between Tigers and T-34s. One F-35 might be better than one F-16, but it's not capable of taking on 200 at a time.

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107 Comments:

Blogger Crew June 20, 2019 1:09 PM  

Yes, the Germans would likely have been better off up armoring and up gunning the Panzer IV rather than developing new super tanks.

Blogger Patrick Kelly June 20, 2019 1:12 PM  

Somewhere in Germany near end of WWII

American Tank Commander: "So, do you still think one German Tiger is still better than ten American Sherman's?"

Captured German Tank Commander: "Yes"

ATC: "Then how do you explain your defeat and capture?"

GTC: "You damn Yankees always bring 11 tanks..."

Blogger Noah B. June 20, 2019 1:14 PM  

And Russia and China already have ground based radars that can detect and track the F35. US military dominance is over.

Blogger Skyler the Weird June 20, 2019 1:15 PM  

The Defense Contractors aren't even being allowed to hire qualified CIS males of European or Asian descent to do the actual work for unqualified POCs and Womyn. Shades of planes falling from the sky in a poor Ayn Rand discourse disguised as a novel.

Blogger The Gaelic Lands June 20, 2019 1:16 PM  

No matter. As long as there are self-chosenites within the command structure of the military, there is no secrecy nor technology that is not given or sold to the enemies of America. This goes to explain how America has not won a conflict since WW2 because the self-chosenites wish to destroy it. In the Vietnam war, whatever plans the Americans had were instantly given to the communist North via the communist self-chosenites within the US command structure.

With the likes of Paul Wolfowitz or Donald Rumsfeld or their current day equivalent having the highest levels of access, the war is already over.

Blogger NO GOOGLES June 20, 2019 1:17 PM  

The F-35 has its share of problems (and of course, it's overpriced) but the comparison between WWII tanks is not really apt. Stealth fighters and standoff missiles mean the comparison (if you want to stick with tanks) would be more akin to M1A1 tanks vs the Iraqi built T-72s.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 20, 2019 1:18 PM  

Germans would have been better off without moron leadership, sound familiar? Speaking of low trust cultures that particular culture, the culture of no indoor plumbing has taken over Lockmart, hell the F-35 plans are probably approved by the Chinese or Indian government before our pentagon clowns sign off on them.

A week or so a go some white DoD clowns or State Dept. honk honks offered the F-35 to the Indian government. All I want to know is if the Indians present at that offer could refrain from openly laughing?

Blogger Freeholder June 20, 2019 1:18 PM  

It doesn't really matter. We as a culture are no longer willing to take the casualties needed to win. We don't have enough of a base culture to staff the F-16's in those numbers much less the reaction of us losing a large portion of them again a technically superior foe. The cultural decline is even worse than the technical issues.

Blogger Mark Stoval June 20, 2019 1:21 PM  

"One F-35 might be better than one F-16, but it's not capable of taking on 200 at a time."

Yes, that is so very true. Yet all the leaders of the Empire know that -- even the morons.

Since '45 the real objective has been for the defense corporations and other outfits to make profits. Obscene profits. It is not about winning.

Blogger xevious2030 June 20, 2019 1:26 PM  

GPS and Chinese satellite killers. Will the US have MAD to keep them safe? Hostility to Russia is retarded.

Blogger Ron June 20, 2019 1:30 PM  

Sweden seems to be on the right track with the Saab Gripen. It will be interesting to see if their newest version will catch on with international sales.

Blogger NA June 20, 2019 1:31 PM  

The infogalactic read on the F-35 to me awhile and it wasn't even covering 2018 history. Appalling program.

Blogger Chris Mallory June 20, 2019 1:32 PM  

Freeholder wrote:t doesn't really matter. We as a culture are no longer willing to take the casualties needed to win.
So which war of the past 70 years would you have sent your sons and nephews to die in? Korea? VN? The various Middle Eastern Boogaloos to benefit Israel?

Blogger David Ray Milton June 20, 2019 1:32 PM  

I’m new to the study of war strategy, but am currently reading A History of Warfare. This observation was actually just indirectly made in the book, but I never heard about it in school. American manufacturing and supply won WW2. If one country can’t outproduce an enemy that it doesn’t have a insurmountable tactical advantage over (like the Nazis we’re unable to do), then they’re hosed.

The opportunity cost for developing the F-35 is staggering. The empire is in trouble indeed.

Blogger Gregory the Great June 20, 2019 1:36 PM  

Any non-combat ready F-35s could be stored in the hangars of Berlin's new airport which is not combat ready either.

Blogger buwaya June 20, 2019 1:36 PM  

The US cannot base 200:1 or pay for the personnel to handle many more units than it is currently supporting. Logistics and force structure issues also matter, not just procurement.

Even if you manage 2:1, F16/F18:F35, limited by logistics/basing/personnel, you still have the problem that F16/F/18 are largely obsolete vs modern air defenses. You cannot buy qyality with quantity. Its like comparing pre-Dreadnaughts vs Dreadnaughts in battleship counts in 1914.

The issue list seems modest vs any deployed platform ever. Even your WWII planes had long problem lists in teething; these were often ignored in the rush to bring them into production.

Your best point is the extreme cost of procurement. Something needs to be done about this. Its been a major beef since the 1950's. But who will bell that cat?

Blogger binks webelf June 20, 2019 1:38 PM  

https://www.google.ca/search?q=canada+f35

Despite how much the Trudeaus hate the military, the previous Canadian government lock-stepped them into buying this turkey-bird, even thought the F-18 has a proven track-record, and suits our weather better than a FUBAR & fussy super-plane which reacts badly to cold. And heat. And landing.

I figure the Chinese have already engineered an in-flight off-switch for these things, come any threat of WW3.

Blogger Aeroschmidt June 20, 2019 1:39 PM  

If they wanna pay me 100$/hr to work on the F-35, I wouldn't object. Money spends the same as a commercial program that's actually has to work.

Blogger binks webelf June 20, 2019 1:41 PM  

All is well. Nothing to see here. Never been better. Hubris never brings on nemesis.

This is the article Vox quotes from above.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/06/12/the-pentagon-is-battling-the-clock-to-fix-serious-unreported-f-35-problems/
The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 1:42 PM  

The Navy has not yet totally bought in, thus keeping the F-18e/f line going for quite some time in the future. The airforce even made a slight caveat this year trusting new versions of the F-!5 (F-15EX) to start to replace air defence squadrons existing C/D models. I think the word is getting out that the F-35 really does have serious issues regardless of her fanboys constant drum banging.

Blogger binks webelf June 20, 2019 1:42 PM  

https://warisboring.com/f-d-how-the-u-s-and-its-allies-got-stuck-with-the-world-s-worst-new-warplane/
F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was meant to improve the U.S. air arsenal, but has made it weaker instead

Blogger Ominous Cowherd June 20, 2019 1:49 PM  

Mark Stoval wrote:Since '45 the real objective has been for the defense corporations and other outfits to make profits. Obscene profits. It is not about winning.

The object is graft for all. The profits only matter as far as they support the graft. Jobs for flag officers, campaign contributions and pork barrels for congresscriters, and Other People's Money to pay for it all.

Blogger bara June 20, 2019 1:51 PM  

This past weekend I watched "The Pentagon Wars" (notionally a comedy, but way too close to the truth), currently on Amazon, if that's your kind of thing. The F-35 is the Bradley of aircraft and the stories we tell about it 30 years down the line will be both terrifying and hilarious, if there's still anyone left to tell them.

Blogger NA June 20, 2019 1:51 PM  

Opportunity cost is very correct. We have no alternative aircraft. We can't even build F16s or F18s to replace our aging force.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd June 20, 2019 1:52 PM  

buwaya wrote:The US cannot base 200:1 or pay for the personnel to handle many more units than it is currently supporting. Logistics and force structure issues also matter, not just procurement.

If we hadn't pissed away all our resources on Little Crappy Ships and the F35 and all the other crap the MIC over-prices and under-delivers, we could afford a lot more logistics to go with the lot more fighters.

The totally corrupt procurement system doesn't just deliver bad stuff, it makes it impossible to afford the good stuff.

In the Third World, they call it bribery. In America, we call it campaign contributions.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 20, 2019 1:59 PM  

Maybe of some interest, Bill Lind has written at his traditionalist right website about the Marines talking up Maneuver Warfare, which to me sounds like they at least know that firepower dominance might not be the thing the next go around. I'm sure they well know the sortie rate of the F-35 Thunderpig.

Blogger Giraffe June 20, 2019 2:01 PM  

Why we ever sell our stuff even to allies is beyond me.

Blogger Avalanche June 20, 2019 2:02 PM  

"The F-35’s logistics system currently has no way for foreign F-35 operators to keep their secret data from being sent to the United States."

Feature, not a bug!

Blogger Nostromo June 20, 2019 2:08 PM  

Numbers is it own quality, but who would fly those 80,000 extra planes? The new minted Americans.

Blogger Nostromo June 20, 2019 2:11 PM  

Hmmmm...wonder what nickname the boys will come up for the F-15EX?

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 2:17 PM  

@30

DEATH FROM ABOVE

Blogger Christian Schulzke June 20, 2019 2:19 PM  

Nostromo has it correct. Even if we built a lot of extra planes I highly doubt we could find qualified personnel to pilot them without seriously lowering standards.

Blogger DonReynolds June 20, 2019 2:19 PM  

American military success has always been based on overwhelming numbers rather than having the best weapons on the battlefield. Up until WWII, that doctrine worked well, but fighting the Axis powers really broke their mind. In both the European and Pacific theaters, being out-classed and out-performed by their enemy for years at a time was difficult to accept. Even as the enemy seemed beat by overwhelming numbers, the quality of the weapons and apparent skills on the battlefield, were pretty convincing, and this was the same lesson learned by the Soviets and the Chinese, both of whom had the same military doctrine as the Americans of winning by numbers. An ant is no match for an elephant, but millions of ants can overcome and devour an elephant.

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 2:21 PM  

@30
I think the f-15EX is going to have something like 12 AA missiles possible on station. Of course no supercruise (i dont think) but with 12 AA do you even need that? Do you even need stealth? I know that in the last aerial combat the stealth was used to eliminate SAMS and then the un-stealthy came in behind to clean up the riff raff.
Sure there is adversary stealth now, but I am most positive that whatever problems we have, they have more.

Blogger buwaya June 20, 2019 2:24 PM  

"The F-35 is the Bradley of aircraft "

As far as I know the Bradley turned out OK for the intended use, mass mechanized warfare.

Blogger buwaya June 20, 2019 2:28 PM  

"I think the f-15EX is going to have something like 12 AA missiles possible on station. Of course no supercruise (i dont think) but with 12 AA do you even need that? Do you even need stealth? "

If the other side has the same class of aircraft and missiles as the F-15, then you may just trade off against your opponents. Which is a losing game against the Chinese at least.

With stealth you potentially have a range advantage - that is, you can lock on them much further away than they can lock on you.

Blogger Wraithburn June 20, 2019 2:33 PM  

David Ray Milton wrote:I’m new to the study of war strategy, but am currently reading A History of Warfare. This observation was actually just indirectly made in the book, but I never heard about it in school. American manufacturing and supply won WW2. If one country can’t outproduce an enemy that it doesn’t have a insurmountable tactical advantage over (like the Nazis we’re unable to do), then they’re hosed.

The opportunity cost for developing the F-35 is staggering. The empire is in trouble indeed.


You might enjoy The German Way of War after you finish that. In some regards America now has a similar position as Prussia/Germany has historically had, sandwiched between two fronts with a small elite force that has to defeat any enemies in detail on each side.

We just have much, much farther to go.

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 2:34 PM  

"With stealth you potentially have a range advantage - that is, you can lock on them much further away than they can lock on you."

This is true. I will not deny. The US is fielding far more stealth operationally at this very moment than any contender. I think what is going on is to try to balance that approach without breaking the bank. Even though the bank (for all nations in my opinion) was broke a long time ago.

Blogger NO GOOGLES June 20, 2019 2:35 PM  

Others have addressed this too, but having 20000 extra F16s wouldn't really help against China or Russia - they're almost dead meat against modern AA that these countries field. The F-35 can in some cases be detected but there is a vast gulf between "detecting" and "targeting good enough to actually hit it with a missile".

In reality I think the decline in competence of our personnel is going to be a FAR larger problem than teething problems with the F-35. If we get to the point where we're trading F-35s for 2 or even 5 enemy fighters we've already lost the battle.

Another far larger mistake was not producing more F-22s when we still had the assembly lines and tooling. The F-22 will be the best actual air supremacy fighter for at least the next 10-15 years, maybe as much as 30 years and we barely have a handful of squadrons of them.

Blogger Azimus June 20, 2019 2:50 PM  

At the Trump rally in Wisconsin last October, I stood in the very long line with an Air National Guard Maintenance Sergeant w/10yrs+ experience. He was applauding the F-35 and the fact that it had hundreds of sensors and told you exactly what needed to be done, no diagnosis necessary by the maint. crew. This seems... problematic. If the onboard sensor fails, what then?

Also, he said spare parts were specifically manufactured to the specific airframe - no interchangeable parts. I was stupified by the insanity of this - years of reading about WW2 air corps units described keeping 8 planes in the air by cannibalizing parts from 4 others, etc. Now an F-35 can't fly unless it has the replacement front landing gear specifically built for it by the OEM? These are combat ineffectiveness problems INTENTIONALLY baked into the cake by the manufacturer and the air force for... what...

Blogger Azimus June 20, 2019 2:57 PM  

I excuse Germany - they were fighting Russia, the US, and the British Empire simultaneously - "quantity" was not an option that was realistically available to them in the "Quality vs Quantity" argument, particularly by the end of 1942. If they had done a better job supplying parts for licensed builders of PzIII's and PzIV's and fighter engines early in the warti Italy and Romania in particular they might've had more effective allies - but then their politics prevented that...

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 2:58 PM  

@39
My memory tells me that the bureaucrat that cancelled the F-22 was a globalist through and through.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 20, 2019 3:04 PM  

@Azimus

This is not a criticism of you but to military procurement arguments in general.

Comparisons of today's strategic material requirements to WWII's have as much relevance as WWII's compared to Napoleon's Peninsula Campaign.

It's s totally different world. The big pictures are radically different.

Blogger xevious2030 June 20, 2019 3:21 PM  

YF-23 was a better direction, a start for differing sizes and differing missions without reinventing the wheel, just a bigger/smaller one. The F-22 won because it "looked" more like an "airplane." Problem with it was though, one size design for a more limited mission spectrum.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd June 20, 2019 3:24 PM  

NO GOOGLES wrote:In reality I think the decline in competence of our personnel is going to be a FAR larger problem than teething problems with the F-35.

Our competence may be declining, but our diversity will make up for it!

Azimus wrote:He was applauding the F-35 and the fact that it had hundreds of sensors and told you exactly what needed to be done, no diagnosis necessary by the maint. crew. This seems... problematic.

This is how you try to compensate for incompetence. The problem is that the incompetent maintenance monkeys are incompetent. Any problems that the sensors can't diagnose can't be diagnosed by monkeys. Any parts that need swapping might be swapped correctly by maintenance monkeys - or not.

Azimus wrote:... he said spare parts were specifically manufactured to the specific airframe ...

That will be very effective at minimizing reliability and maximizing inventory and graft opportunities. We have to keep our down time up and our up time down! Who cares if we lose a war? There are campaign contributions coming due! Retiring flag officers need jobs! Borrow another trillion from China and all will be well.

Blogger Xellos June 20, 2019 3:33 PM  

>The spare parts inventory shown by the F-35’s logistics system does not always reflect reality
Reality making a trans joke?

>A “green glow” sometimes appears on the helmet-mounted display
Must be the CIA (RIP Terry Davis).

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 3:36 PM  

@44
I agree and sometimes I think that the "monica" was a better choice than the f-35. Seems that during the Bush years nothing really mattered except who was on their nepotistic empire role. Shame, but not the first time that happened.

Blogger freddie_mac June 20, 2019 3:36 PM  

@40 Azimus
[F-35] had hundreds of sensors and told you exactly what needed to be done, no diagnosis necessary by the maint. crew. ...
spare parts were specifically manufactured to the specific airframe - no interchangeable parts.


Hmm, seems to be perfectly designed for a diverse ground crew -- no thought required! Of course, this doesn't address the problem of a faulty sensor (false positive or false negative) or needing to cannibalize replacement parts in a dire situation. The ole white guys would have been able to figure out how to make parts work across a wide variety of platforms; diverse ground crew goes with what they're told.

Blogger wahr01 June 20, 2019 3:39 PM  

This is a category error:

The F-35 project is not designed to win wars, it's designed to line contractor pocket-books and provide jobs to specific congressional districts.

It is doing its job spectacularly.

Blogger Chris Mallory June 20, 2019 3:40 PM  

Probably a better option would be to hope the XQ-58A Valkyrie could be developed to take the place of manned fighters. Right now they are running at $2 million a unit. Even if the end cost was $5 million we could have bought 300,000 for what the F-35 cost. Of course the Fighter Mafia would fight tooth and nail against it.

Blogger Zander Stander June 20, 2019 3:44 PM  

Tsk tsk, so much doubleplusungood wrongthink in one place. Don't you know the CEO of Lockheed Martin is a woman?

Blogger wahr01 June 20, 2019 3:47 PM  

@50

Yes.
The Chinese need a second air force at the click of a keyboard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3tedlWs1XY

Blogger David Ray Milton June 20, 2019 3:57 PM  

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been looking for good reads on the topic.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction June 20, 2019 4:11 PM  

Don’t think I agree. There’s limits to tracking and aircraft can fly low to the earth to reduce risk of detection. Overwhelming an opponent is a strategy that works.

I doubt there is any country, including the US, that possess an AA system that could withstand a concerted assault by thousands of aircraft at once.

Now if it’s worth the cost in human life or even materials (I have to assume it’s within our technological capability to turn F16 into drones) is another question.

Blogger Johnny Reb June 20, 2019 4:12 PM  

Deficiencies have always been a problem with new aircraft. It's life. I thought the osprey would be a turkey. Turns out a million flight hours+ and a few accidents later it's turned out to be decent a/c and possibly the future of rotary avition. The f35? Word on the ground is its coming into its own. Takes time. My choice. No. But who thought the B52, F18, F15, ECT but it would still be around. They had their problems, them again there are plenty of great aircraft with problems languishing in boneyards even after issues are fixed. Two of my favorites, the Lockheed Cheyenne, where after issues were fixed the army could have had 4400 vs. the 700ish Apaches. Or the Comanche - on time, on budget, on target. Canceled. Afterwards asked how much to spool up. Well 3-4 times initial cost because you had us destroy every thing. Vox is right MPAI. Such is life nowadays. Learn to navigate the sjw and hr gauntlet my friends it shall not be kind to you as it has also been unkind to me.

Blogger ADS June 20, 2019 4:23 PM  

We no longer have the ability to manufacture F-16s, which leads me to the obvious conclusion that jet fighters are a hoax and never really existed. At the very least, we're not being told the whole truth about the so-called "fighting falcons" by the government and anybody who believes in them has been Foolconned.

/s

Blogger The Greay Man June 20, 2019 4:28 PM  

Here is the full article since I didn't see Vox's link:

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/06/12/the-pentagon-is-battling-the-clock-to-fix-serious-unreported-f-35-problems/

click here (testing HTML in these comments?)

Blogger Noah B. June 20, 2019 4:41 PM  

Looks like Eddie Gallagher is going to walk.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/medic-testifies-that-he-not-navy-seal-eddie-gallagher-was-responsible-for-isis-fighters-death

Blogger berb2000 June 20, 2019 4:52 PM  

@56
F-16's are still being manufactured for other countries. Also Lockheed (like Boeing with the F-18) are trying to open up a new line in India I think under the name of F-21. I think it may be a bad idea, but I also think the end game plan is to counter CHinese AF as current Indian attempts to make their own fighter aircraft have been pretty sad. And working with Indian culture for many years, I can see why. However, I have worked with many Indian individuals that are pretty smart cookies.
Still no reason to sell the farm.

Remember, when the US and UK worked together on military aircraft in particular, they started turning out many aircraft that outperformed their German and Japanese counterparts in WW2. And yes, even their Soviet counterparts, although so many America second military buffs are lame to admit.

Blogger papabear June 20, 2019 5:20 PM  

And the last war we fought in such a manner with an enemy comparable to us was?

Blogger McJibblits June 20, 2019 5:25 PM  

When our new jets are running TempleOS, you'll know we've ascended.

Blogger David F June 20, 2019 5:43 PM  

I can't find a good modern price for the F-16 block 70/72. The 'packages' sold to foreign governments include a lot of support gear and so on, and tend to run $150M per plane.

The $1.5T 'cost' of the F-35 program includes many years of operating costs, so you can't divide it by the 1989 dollar $18.8M price for a F-16C and get a reasonable comparison.

A fairer accounting is: F-35 R&D+Procurement costs ($350M for what looks like about 3600 units) vs 2019 dollar price for the F-16 ($29M).

That gets us to 12,400 F-16s, vs 3600 F-35. From what I've heard of the Red Flag exercises, F-35s can defeat older planes at 20:1 ratios or better, so 4:1 isn't even remotely a contest.

Once the worst of the bugs are worked out, the F-35 program will seem well worth it. (And no, I don't consider 'monster ground radar systems can spot it' a big problem. Because terminal guidance matters, and those radars won't last long.)

Blogger Primus Pilus June 20, 2019 6:13 PM  

Freeholder wrote:It doesn't really matter. We as a culture are no longer willing to take the casualties needed to win.

Good. We shouldn't tolerate a single death of our people in any war that doesn't involve defending our homes from invasion. The US Empire can go hang.

The last just war fought by an American military against foreign invasion was fought by the CSA.

Blogger Primus Pilus June 20, 2019 6:14 PM  

McJibblits wrote:When our new jets are running TempleOS, you'll know we've ascended.

Rest in peace, Terry A. Davis. o7

Blogger Clay June 20, 2019 6:21 PM  

Ah, remember the Osprey? It was considered a death-trap. So was the M16, and Apache chopper. Takes a while to develop, because usually, they are working on something "better".

Blogger Barfolo June 20, 2019 6:27 PM  

"This past weekend I watched "The Pentagon Wars" (notionally a comedy, but way too close to the truth), currently on Amazon, if that's your kind of thing. The F-35 is the Bradley of aircraft and the stories we tell about it 30 years down the line will be both terrifying and hilarious, if there's still anyone left to tell them."

More true than you would believe possible if you weren't there at the time.

Blogger Ron June 20, 2019 6:32 PM  

"F-35s can defeat older planes at 20:1 ratios or better"

Currently, F-35s can carry four AIM-120s internally. This will be expanded to six with the next upgrade. Hard to reach 20:1 with four or six missiles which may be vulnerable to current Russian ECM.

Blogger AzDesertRat June 20, 2019 6:34 PM  

Forget the development issues, where is the supply chain that is going to keep them in the air, or build new ones on a war time footing, should that come to pass.
Here's a little nugget of information from the F-35 aerospace world. Only two companies in all of America were making the fuel manifold housings for the F-35. One of them went tits up and bankrupt over a year ago. The second is struggling to deliver even minimum levels of manifolds to meet demand, these are incredibly complex machined parts. The company that is supposed to be coming online to be the new 2nd supplier is nearly a year behind schedule and is possibly throwing in the towel because they cannot find skilled enough programmers/engineers to figure out how to machine it.

Blogger John Best. June 20, 2019 6:38 PM  

I think the point with the built cost of the F-16 compared to the F-35 is that you can actually replace your loses in war with the F-16, with the F-35 you can't. Fast jets in general are wrong and don't offer anything in 3rd and 4th generation warfare. Much like MBT's, super carriers, helicopters, cruisers, destroyers, nuclear powered submarines, IFV's, self-propelled artillery, heavy infantry. All these things are useless, very expensive, very complex, they all need to be done away with. You could half the British defense budget and double our military capability by moving to 3rd and 4th generation warfare. I know people like to make fun of the LCS's but they are actually closer to what the US and western navies actually need than any other ships. They are small, fast and agile, sure they are build out of plastic, have no armament and a tiny crew, but so is every other ship in the western navies. What we need is ASuW light-frigates, smaller louder and more agile submarines, light-carriers with lighter slower attack planes, frigates to support the submarines and carrier aircraft. Improved air defence systems and medium sized transport aircraft. Along with light-infantry, light-tanks, mobile light-artillery and ground support aircraft. The legacy ships, tanks, aircraft need to go.

Blogger English Tom June 20, 2019 6:40 PM  

I read somewhere that the F35 will use its sensors to pinpoint enemy planes etc and a transport aircraft would be following it, filled with missiles that would be used to take out the target said F35 has 'painted.'
Anyone have any further info on this tactic?

Blogger Azimus June 20, 2019 6:53 PM  

Anyone have any further info on this tactic?

I can't confirm or deny for you but it seems like the inverse of the AWACS model.

Blogger John Best. June 20, 2019 6:54 PM  

@62 That is a tactical analysis of an operational and strategic debate. I am against fast-jets, I think they are useless, but how can an aircraft with fewer than 20 missiles shoot down 20 aircraft? It is a joke, as are the 'war games' or planned scenario's the military use. The other problem is you don't defeat the enemy by shooting down his planes or killing his troops or sinking his ships, you defeat them enemy by giving them something else to do instead of fight you. If the Bismarck had just damaged the Hood, the Bismarck may well have got back to France or continued its mission. However because the Hood was sunk the British moved everything they had to sink the Bismarck. So the aim is to distract, damage and discombobulate the enemy, not destroy them.

Blogger Doktor Jeep June 20, 2019 7:07 PM  

Somebody in the Air Force is paying attention. The F15 is getting an upgrade. Maybe they think they can avert the inevitable. But our next war is still going to be lost on the ground anyway.
Hopefully because white men won't fight it. Let the people who are taking over deal with it. Oh and women have a century of suffrage and no draft requirement they need to be making up for.
Yes a military made up of women and untermensch will lose. But we already lost the country so let's not lose the demographic in the process. If we lose the next war with countless dead white men in the field that may well be what the left intended all along.

Blogger qualitycontrol June 20, 2019 7:13 PM  

I'm no expert in military technology but as I understand the idea behind stealth aircraft is that only nato, russia and china have the technology to actually track them and shoot them down. Even Iran will be hard pressed to bring down a B2 with their outdated S-300. The way the serbians traced down a nighthawk can't be applied to a mass level.

Well.. and then there is the fact that the F35 is a big scam that's to big to fail. So people just keep wasting money.

Blogger Critias June 20, 2019 7:21 PM  

Apologies for being very off topic, but Israel Folau has started a gofundme to raise funds to mount a legal bid agaisnt the globohomo Australian Rugby Union. https://www.gofundme.com/israel-folau

I thought people would be interested here as the story has been blogged a few times.

Blogger SirHamster June 20, 2019 7:27 PM  

Critias wrote:Apologies for being very off topic, but Israel Folau has started a gofundme to raise funds to mount a legal bid agaisnt the globohomo Australian Rugby Union. https://www.gofundme.com/israel-folau

Bad url. It is here.

Blogger sammibandit June 20, 2019 7:29 PM  

OT re: steel tarrifs and American position to manufacture

VD, I've been meaning to ask for your thoughts on the new steel trade agreement between Canada and USA and if it puts America in a good position for manufacture.

Joint Statement by Canada and the United States on Section 232 Duties on Steel and Aluminum

5. In the event that imports of aluminum or steel products surge meaningfully beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time, with consideration of market share, the importing country may request consultations with the exporting country. After such consultations, the importing party may impose duties of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum in respect to the individual product(s) where the surge took place (on the basis of the individual product categories set forth in the attached chart). If the importing party takes such action, the exporting country agrees to retaliate only in the affected sector (i.e., aluminum and aluminum-containing products or steel).

Blogger Rajadog20 June 20, 2019 7:46 PM  

A "friend" of mine is involved with a contractor that makes a part of the F35s imaging system. It's amazing how much money is spent on small parts and how many companies are involved on the F35. When you have 50 companies that all have to follow insane government protocol and have no ability to work with each other (computing system company is completely independent from the company who makes the imaging system), there is no way anything gets done within budget.


Imagine writing an incredibly complex program in C++, but a different company is responsible for each class (say there are 100 classes) and each company has no knowledge of the other classses or companies. The amount of money spent in overhead putting all the pieces together is insane. The F35 is an amazing piece of technology, although the amount of complexity in putting all the pieces together is absurd.

Blogger Sargent.matrim June 20, 2019 8:14 PM  

Don't worry, I'm sure the elite crop of female pilots coming through will convince the US's enemies that they are too morally upright and switched on to attack.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel June 20, 2019 8:15 PM  

I find the likes of recently withdrawn SoD nominee and military industrial complex poster child Patrick Shanahan to be a better indicator of our weakness than the F-35. After giving a repugnant invocation to graduates of the United States Naval Academy become social justice warriors-not warriors - we find out he and his ex-wife raised a son who at 17 took a $400 baseball bat to his mother. She might be a shrew extraordinaire and a candidate for worst mother of the year, but that's not acceptable. Here's a kid in line for a baseball scholarship at the time; so it's not like he didn't choose his weapon without consideration of how well he could wield it.

This is the problem, moral debasement=even more so than overly complex, extravagantly expensive weapons systems that pretend there is no opportunity cost, we have too many kids with $400 baseball bats and fifty cent morals.



Blogger Ska_Boss June 20, 2019 8:15 PM  

Is it just me or does everything seem to be getting worse lately.

Blogger One Deplorable DT June 20, 2019 8:48 PM  

For the price of the F-35, the USA could have built 79,787 F-16s, or 17.3x more than were ever built.

I'm going to preface this with the following: I'm not a big fan of the F-35. The program was too ambitious (a single airframe for every role) with too many cost over runs and too many problems which are still being worked out. That said...

Forbes reports a total program cost of $1.5 trillion (2018 USD) for 1,763 aircraft flown for 55 years. $1.5 trillion would buy 51,724 F-16s at a 2018 unit cost of $29 million, but it wouldn't buy a single flight hour. When all is said and done the F-35 will be roughly 3x as expensive per unit and roughly 18-20% more expensive to fly. Let's just round up and say you could build and operate 4x as many F-16s over the same time period.

The F-35's kill ratio at Red Flag 2017 was 20:1. Red Flag 2019 just completed and the USAF hasn't published numbers yet, but pilots are saying the F-35 did far better than in past exercises. The program has issues which deserve criticism, but it looks like it will turn out to be a decent fighter.

@34 - I think the f-15EX is going to have something like 12 AA missiles possible on station. Of course no supercruise (i dont think) but with 12 AA do you even need that? Do you even need stealth?

Funny you say that. The idea guiding the design of the F-15EX is that a number of them will fly at distance behind a pair of F-22s or F-35s. The stealth fighters will feed sensor data back to the F-15s allowing them to fire their missiles from long range at the enemy. At one point the USAF was considering doing this with a proposed new variant of the B-1B bomber designed to carry dozens of missiles rather than bombs.

So the F-15EX is very much a response to the question "how do we make the best possible use of expensive stealth planes with advanced sensors?" All of this came about because in early air exercises the USAF realized that the blue team did far better when Raptors with exhausted weapons stores stayed in the fight to provide sensor data to F-15s and F-16s.

Blogger English Tom June 20, 2019 10:03 PM  

@Ska_boss

It's not you!

Blogger English Tom June 20, 2019 10:05 PM  

@One Deplorable DT

Thank you for answering my question.

Blogger flyingtiger June 20, 2019 10:19 PM  

#41) The German spare parts problem was caused by the RAF bomber command flattening there production in the Ruhr valley. They also broke a few dams as a good measure. Thousands of ME 109 engines sat for months because the RAF destroyed the factories that made the crankshafts.

Blogger Clay June 21, 2019 12:53 AM  

Though I would never disdain the 15, 16, or even the 18....remember how long it took for the 15 to get a confirmed kill, since it's inception?

And...who manged it? The damn Israelis.

Blogger Paul M June 21, 2019 3:36 AM  

wahr01 wrote:The F-35 project is not designed to win wars, it's designed to line contractor pocket-books and provide jobs to specific congressional districts.

And this is how the american empire extracts tribute from its subject nations. They have to buy these turkeys. The money eventually makes its way to american pockets and ordinary americans, who make an income manufacturing planes that don't work and that no-one needs.

Blogger Wazdakka June 21, 2019 3:54 AM  

While the miss management of the f-35 program could be seen as a decline in the West, I am not so sure.
As has already been stated, it mirrors in many ways the development of the Bradley, on a larger scale. I agree wholeheartedly, and would add that beside the politicking, too many cooks spoil the broth would be apt.

The technological achievements seem to be considerable, and the tying together of so many new developments has been impressive, if not perfect.

Would the resources have been better spent on developing already capable platforms? I suspect that if America was in a state of conflict with a peer, then yes. As it is not then taking the time and effort to develop a new platform is probably worth it.

Trying to support three different missions with one platform may have been a mistake.

My point is that although there are still many problems, if war was declared tomorrow I suspect those issues would disappear very quickly. If they could not be overcome then a work around would suffice. I don't see the evidence of a failing empire here. Overstretch maybe?

I am no fan of the F35, and was surprised by the recent announcement by Poland to purchase it. I don't think that Finland will do so.
Also how useful is it in 4th gen warfare?

Blogger bdoran June 21, 2019 5:53 AM  

People are ignoring the F-22 - which is the USA only air superiority fighter.

The USAF will not surrender air superiority.
As for the F-35: I’m not qualified to answer.
I can point out all the same things were said about the Abrams.

Blogger Brett baker June 21, 2019 6:16 AM  

Let me second the recommendation.

Blogger Brett baker June 21, 2019 6:37 AM  

This "new weapon system sucks"is spouted by people who forget the problems the "tried and true" sucked when it was developed.

Blogger I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe June 21, 2019 7:22 AM  

Why didn't we just call it the ME-262?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 21, 2019 8:42 AM  

Do the Israelis want it? If it has some value they will press for it otherwise they will grudgingly accept this gift from the American tax payer, maybe keep it as a demonstration squadron for PR purposes.

Blogger Clay June 21, 2019 11:30 AM  

I never seem to hear anything about our LCS naval. I think we have about 34 of them. Or, planned. Never see any on the news, never know where they are. I suppose security is involved. With the addition of the F-35 VSTOLS, they could replace Carriers. Mebbe.

As far as I know, an F-22 can't jump off a carrier. Especially not an LCS. Nor, the 16. Or, a 15. The Japanese are converting Destroyers to serve as Carriers. Specifically, with the F-35 in mind.

Hmmm.

Blogger Clay June 21, 2019 11:41 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Noah B. June 21, 2019 12:02 PM  

This "new weapon system sucks"is spouted by people who forget the problems the "tried and true" sucked when it was developed.

Quite often the "tried and true" weapons do still suck.

Blogger OneWingedShark June 21, 2019 12:20 PM  

NA wrote:The infogalactic read on the F-35 to me awhile and it wasn't even covering 2018 history. Appalling program.
I wonder if you could get legit convictions of Treason from the F-35 program — I think it would be awfully hard to argue that all the incompetence, money-grab, and false bill-of-sale.

binks webelf wrote:https://www.google.ca/search?q=canada+f35

Despite how much the Trudeaus hate the military, the previous Canadian government lock-stepped them into buying this turkey-bird, even thought the F-18 has a proven track-record, and suits our weather better than a FUBAR & fussy super-plane which reacts badly to cold. And heat. And landing.

And flying. ("Supersonic flight in excess of Mach 1.2 can cause structural damage and blistering to the stealth coating of the F-35B and F-35C.")

binks webelf wrote:The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems
See the question above: at what point Treason?

binks webelf wrote:F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was meant to improve the U.S. air arsenal, but has made it weaker instead
I suspect this is by design; also note how they got rid of the F-22, despite the fact that it at least works.

Azimus wrote:Now an F-35 can't fly unless it has the replacement front landing gear specifically built for it by the OEM? These are combat ineffectiveness problems INTENTIONALLY baked into the cake by the manufacturer and the air force for... what...
A feature, not a bug — by eliminating one of the big advantages of assembly-line manufacture (ie standardization) they force each part to be custom, and thereby drive the price up!

Rajadog20 wrote:Imagine writing an incredibly complex program in C++, but a different company is responsible for each class (say there are 100 classes) and each company has no knowledge of the other classses or companies. The amount of money spent in overhead putting all the pieces together is insane.
The Ada programming languages is orders-of magnitude more appropriate: just read this thread. (And the feature being discussed is merely *one* of many that would ease the pain/difficulty of integrating code from disparate developers.)

Blogger billo June 21, 2019 3:32 PM  

Johnny Reb wrote:Deficiencies have always been a problem with new aircraft. It's life. I thought the osprey would be a turkey. Turns out a million flight hours+ and a few accidents later it's turned out to be decent a/c and possibly the future of rotary avition...

I agree that the osprey is a good analogy. As was the development of the M1 Abrams in the 1960s. And there are others. I was involved in an aquisition while in the military that was not a super big project like the F35, and was for a different arena, but the process was similar.

There is always waste, and I'm not saying there isn't. But these projects that attempt to develop "next generation" things start with people bidding under the understanding that there's still a significant amount of novel engineering and even basic science involved. Basically, you are not paying just for people to build something, you are paying for them to do research and deep problem solving to develop it. Integration of multiple complex systems can be a huge problem all by itself, even when each component works.

It would be much cheaper and easier to build something with off the shelf pieces and already written and developed software. And it would be a good product. But it would be a *last generation* product, and would be obsolete or near-obsolete by the time it was deployed. The only way to develop a "next generation" product to day is to commit to something that does't actually exist yet, knowing that many of the problems associated with it have not been solved, and there may be some *very* hard problems.

I can remember a decade or two ago when the US started throwing money at biometrics and AI facial identification stuff. None of it worked as advertised. It was all a waste of money. Now its scary because it works. I had a friend who wrote some of the first software in anti-aircraft missiles that looked at spectra of jet exhaust to identify friend from foe without using a transponder. It didn't work -- until it did.

And the F35 is the same, I suspect. Doesn't mean there isn't waste. Doesn't mean that a lot of money is involved. But these articles that look at these not-quite-test systems and say it will never work are likely wrong. It's going to be a boondoggle and a waste and pie in the sky.

Until it isn't.

Blogger billo June 21, 2019 5:51 PM  

As an aside, if one wants to invoke kill ratios, I think a better one would be between the M1 Abrams and the T72/T55/Chinese Type 2. Take a look at the battle of 73 Easting in the Persian Gulf War. Iraq had more tanks on the ground than did the Allies, but at the end of the day, the Iraqis lost about 160 tanks, over 200 other armored vehicles, 12 major artillery pieces, and almost 2000 dead. The US lost one Bradley and no tanks, with six dead. With respect to tanks, that's an infinite kill ratio, since you can't divide by zero, or a kill ratio of around 300 to 1 with respect to various machinery. Similarly, in the Battle of Al Busayyah, we lost zero, while the Iraqis lost 12 tanks and 40 or so other vehicles. In the Battle of Medina Ridge, we lost 4 tanks and 8 other vehicles (including Humvees), while the Iraqis lost 186 tanks and over 300 other vehicles.

That's the difference generational changes in weapons makes. And that's why we pay for stuff that "doesn't work" until it does. While there are significant problems still with the F35; the same generational difference is there. In a recent combat test, the F35 had a 15:1 kill ratio against F22s, F18, and F15s, even with all the stuff that's broken still broken. And, I'll point out, it has successfully been deployed in the field by the Israelis.

The pattern with the F35 is like other such new generation systems. The F35 performed badly in dogfights in 2015, and cleaned the field in 2018. In part this is because you can't fly a F35 like an F15, and if you try, you will fail. I remember this same thing was a problem in Vietnam with the F111. The pilots kept flying them into mountains because the F111 was so fast and flew so close to the ground that the only way they could survive was to let the plane do the management when flying nap-of-the-earth. The pilots would panic and take back manual control -- and fly themselves into the side of the mountain. Had they let the system work the way it was designed it would have survived.

Blogger sammibandit June 21, 2019 6:55 PM  

OT

Does anyone know of Sci Fi or Speculative Fiction novels by fighter pilots? I tend to like them a lot. Something like by Pete Davies or Roald Dahl is up my alley. Thanks.

Blogger One Deplorable DT June 21, 2019 9:23 PM  

@99 - In a recent combat test, the F35 had a 15:1 kill ratio against F22s, F18, and F15s, even with all the stuff that's broken still broken.

Citation on that? I ask because you included the F-22 in that list, and I would be shocked to discover the F-35 doing well against the F-22. It brings some upgraded tech to the table (which will hopefully be put on Raptors in upgrades) but is fundamentally the same generation as the Raptor, and the Raptor has a lot of airframe advantages (engines; maneuverability; better stealth).

Not impossible for a new wrinkle in F-35 tech to give it a huge win against the F-22 in these early air exercises, but if that's the case I would love to read about it.

Blogger Dirk Manly June 22, 2019 12:22 AM  

@86

"Though I would never disdain the 15, 16, or even the 18....remember how long it took for the 15 to get a confirmed kill, since it's inception?

And...who manged it? The damn Israelis."

Lack of opportunity. Remember, we didn't fight any big wars for 25 years after the USAF finally stopped participating in the Vietnam war.

Blogger Clay June 22, 2019 2:05 AM  

Sammibandit, though not exactlay what you were asking for, try reading this, for some real stuff:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Ulrich_Rudel

Tho not a "fighter pilot", he was a bad-ass. You can find the reading links there.

Blogger sammibandit June 22, 2019 12:13 PM  

Thanks Clay

Blogger Clay June 22, 2019 3:00 PM  

Sure thing.

Blogger sammibandit June 22, 2019 4:56 PM  

It says he was wounded a week before Dresden was firebombed. I'll have to see if he gave any interviews about Dresden. Thanks again. This guy was a "maschine".

Blogger billo June 22, 2019 10:48 PM  

One Deplorable DT wrote:Citation on that? I ask because you included the F-22 in that list, and I would be shocked to discover the F-35 doing well against the F-22. It brings some upgraded tech to the table (which will hopefully be put on Raptors in upgrades) but is fundamentally the same generation as the Raptor, and the Raptor has a lot of airframe advantages (engines; maneuverability; better stealth).


You are right. I misread the articles. I stand corrected. The F35 was fighting alongside the F22, not against it. Good catch. One discussion was from:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a25078/f-35-red-flag-war-games/

Here's an earlier fight against F15s:

https://theaviationist.com/2016/06/27/f-15e-strike-eagles-unable-to-shoot-down-the-f-35s-in-8-dogfights-during-simulated-deployment/

*Somewhere* I read that the big problem that F35s have against F22s is that the F22s are much more maneuverable, and the F35 cannot win in a "dogfight" that plays to the F22 strengths. In order to win, the F35 has to use a different doctrine which involved a more stand-off kind of battle. What I remember reading was that when the F35 played to the F35 strengths, it did well.

However, when I went back to find it, the only thing I could find was a reference to an exercise pitting Norwegian F22s against US F35s, and nobody would say how it came out:

https://taskandpurpose.com/f-35-f-22-dogfight-norway

So, your intuition appears to be right and I misstated what I had read. Sorry about the error. I'll be the first to admit that this is a little out of my area of expertise -- I was Army, not Air Force -- and while I did some analysis of operational things it focused on on the ground things. I worked quite a few crashes, mostly at Nellis, but again that was mostly evaluating things on the ground after the crash.

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