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Thread: F-35 Where do we go from here?

  1. #31
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Either way, my position here is to keep Abrams, but refurbish and upgrade those tanks which are needed, and stop building new ones when we struggle to maintain the ones already in service, unless we have a trusted buyer to pay a premium for them.

    We should never build platforms the military has explicitly told Congress it doesn't want.

  2. #32
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    You guys both make good points, but the bottom line is this: it takes BOTH.

    Airpower can't take and hold territory.

    Ground troops can, but without airpower it is much more costly.

    The US has pretty much had control of the air in every war/conflict since WWII, and if you think that is not important to ground troops, just ask em.

    You CAN make the argument that we don't need main battle tanks, but the same argument cannot be made that we don't need air superiority.

    The F-35 equals air superiority.

    And, for that Iraqi tank unit that was dug in to survive our air attacks...it's not really an effective fighting force when every time someone sticks his head out of his hole he gets killed.

  3. #33
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    Well once again, the F-35 was never intended for air superiority. The F-22 is supposed to do that (which we don't have enough of).

  4. #34
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller47 View Post
    You guys both make good points, but the bottom line is this: it takes BOTH.

    Airpower can't take and hold territory.

    Ground troops can, but without airpower it is much more costly.

    The US has pretty much had control of the air in every war/conflict since WWII, and if you think that is not important to ground troops, just ask em.

    You CAN make the argument that we don't need main battle tanks, but the same argument cannot be made that we don't need air superiority.

    The F-35 equals air superiority.

    And, for that Iraqi tank unit that was dug in to survive our air attacks...it's not really an effective fighting force when every time someone sticks his head out of his hole he gets killed.
    Vietnam's air superiority was spotty. South Vietnam yes, Cambodia kind-of, North Vietnam was a constant struggle. They abandoned tech and weapons known to work (fast, maneuverable fighters that can dogfight for technology platforms that intended to strike from long range and had limited utility up close). Only in the closing days of the war did they start finding reliable answers to ground-based air defenses, and there were still cases (Linebacker II) where because of predictable planning they got eaten alive.

    Here's the problems that I know F-35 has:

    • Limited close-air support, the idea of replacing A-10 with it is bonkers. Nuff said, this is just a terrible idea, if stealth is your concern then use something else until air defenses are down.

    • Single-engine that must be complex and high-maintenance to provide enough thrust for the platform. If it fails, you've got a preventable loss of platform and possibly life. They did this when their greatest strike-fighter success stories have twin engines (F/A-18, F-15 Strike Eagle).

    • Consistent technical problems that should never have happened and create worries about the fighter's overall development (to have a test pilot die for lack of oxygen is a grave embarrassment).

    • All-internal storage limits ammo and fuel capacity (required for stealth, I know, but see above on the A-10).

    • Too much importance assigned to the V/STOL system when the Navy is building full-size carriers that can support conventional fighters just fine... We need to remember that the British wanted the Harrier first because at the time they fielded only smaller-size carriers. The general versatility of the fighter's ability to land in open terrain is questionable, the terrain has to be pretty much flat and totally secure. Why not just scratch out airfields? It's not like that would be an innovation.

    • Most importantly, far, far too much cost considering the program's benefits and its limits. "We're in too deep now." That's about the only reason this program is still around.
    Last edited by Singularity; 20th January 2015 at 09:16 AM.
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  5. #35
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Otherwise I'll say again, land power is highly important. Main-battle tanks, except against other tanks, have very limited utility.

    Build land power to kingdom come, but build it for a rapid-response, asymmetrical war, while maintaining our fleet of tanks "just in case."

    Building new tanks when it's wasteful to throw away platforms that simply need to be upgraded is facially stupid.

  6. #36
    Veteran Member Dutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THOR View Post
    This mega dollar project appears to still be a wreck. Way over cost, under performing, unable to sell it.

    This article is a few months old and there are still serious issues.

    America's F-35: Coming In for a "Crash Landing"? | The National Interest

    The F-35 is double-inferior,Ē John Stillion and Harold Scott Perdue concluded in their written summary of the war game, later leaked to the press. The new plane ďcanít turn, canít climb, canít run,Ē they warned.
    I'm of the opinion the "defence" industry is less about defence and more of a government works program. In the case of this fighter, I'd say it's a raging success at producing both jobs and corporate profits.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    • Most importantly, far, far too much cost considering the program's benefits and its limits. "We're in too deep now." That's about the only reason this program is still around.[/size][/font]
    First: if we are going to list government projects and programs which cost far, far too much compared to why what we taxpayers get in return, well, that'd be a long list.

    Second if you think "We're in too deep now" as the only reason that the F-35 is still alive...you are sadly mistaken.

    It is alive because the big defense contractors own much of our Congress, like big unions, big oil, big pharma, big _________(insert name here)....

    PLENTY of special interests own PLENTY of our politicians.

    Like all big government weapons systems, it is sub-contracted out to many different states (45 states in this case), which is a standard tactic. All 45 of those states can cry about loss of jobs if the program is threatened.

    I agree about a single engine design being inferior. If we spend this much per airframe, why not two engines?

    All the other stuff: name a major weapons system that did not/does not have problems.

    Pretty much all of them do...and it doesn't mean it will, or will not be a successful program.
    Thanks from justagurlinseattle

  8. #38
    Veteran Member Dutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    Every dollar we tank into... tanks is one we can't spend on much more useful and practical technology, like submarines.

    The Navy is building stealth technology into ships, but realistically it doesn't take much for an anti-ship missile to take them out anyway. And if such an attack succeeds, it's a great dollar-for-dollar investment for the enemy.

    We need a force across several sectors that is versatile, fast, can deploy quickly (or is already deployed round-the-clock and simply cycles back when needed) and can HIDE as a matter of course.
    ..............or a fully functional assault rifle.

  9. #39
    Veteran Member Dutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    Otherwise I'll say again, land power is highly important. Main-battle tanks, except against other tanks, have very limited utility.

    Build land power to kingdom come, but build it for a rapid-response, asymmetrical war, while maintaining our fleet of tanks "just in case."

    Building new tanks when it's wasteful to throw away platforms that simply need to be upgraded is facially stupid.
    If we ever decide to actually defend "this" country we don't need a large land army. We would still need a competitive navy and air force tho. I'm of the opinion we should stop the military adventurism overseas and start building things to sell people as opposed to things to bomb them with.

  10. #40
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller47 View Post
    First: if we are going to list government projects and programs which cost far, far too much compared to why what we taxpayers get in return, well, that'd be a long list.

    Second if you think "We're in too deep now" as the only reason that the F-35 is still alive...you are sadly mistaken.

    It is alive because the big defense contractors own much of our Congress, like big unions, big oil, big pharma, big _________(insert name here)....

    PLENTY of special interests own PLENTY of our politicians.

    Like all big government weapons systems, it is sub-contracted out to many different states (45 states in this case), which is a standard tactic. All 45 of those states can cry about loss of jobs if the program is threatened.

    I agree about a single engine design being inferior. If we spend this much per airframe, why not two engines?

    All the other stuff: name a major weapons system that did not/does not have problems.

    Pretty much all of them do...and it doesn't mean it will, or will not be a successful program.
    F/A-18, the platform F-35 is meant to eventually replace, had a near-flawless development.

    I've only read about a couple of structural issues that were quickly fixed. F-35 has killed people before entering battle, and the wrong guys.

    The point is not to pursue flawlessness, which would be stupid, but to recognize that we're pouring money into a black hole.

    I don't get your whole deal about special interests owning Congress. In essence, if your point is "we're wasting money on this and many things," yeah... that's what I'm saying.

    We're not talking about what's practical here. None of us has any ability to influence weapons development policy. We're talking about what we SHOULD do.

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