Hill Aides Call For JSF Restructure

Hill Aides Call For JSF Restructure

A preliminary Pentagon cost estimate that the F-35 could cost as much as $17.1 billion more than currently planned is prompting calls from congressional sources for the program to be reassessed and restructured.

The congressional sources also wryly noted this seemed to raise questions about the wisdom of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ recent trip to the F-35 plant in Fort Worth to show his support for the program. One aide scoffed that the new cost estimates were “no surprise to anyone who hasn’t drunk the JSF Kool-Aid.”

The new cost estimate comes from the JSF Joint Estimate Team, formed this summer by Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn.

Two congressional aides familiar with the program said the cost estimate seemed to indicate that the approach of developing, building, flying and testing planes as they come off the assembly line – known as concurrency – may pose too much program risk in the short term and should lead Defense Secretary Robert Gates to scale back the emphasis on producing and testing planes and trim the number of planes the Pentagon wants to buy in next year’s budget.

“Unfortunately, DoD has put all its eggs in the JSF basket and it is now too big to fail, just like Wall Street. The JSF program has shown no signs of getting back on schedule, and I think a Nunn-McCurdy is fairly likely. Gates should get out in front and restructure the program,” said one congressional aide.

A second congressional aide agreed that the push by the program office and Lockheed Martin to build, fly and test may be too aggressive. “I think what the JET is saying is, you know guys, you will just need more time to refine this configuration so you can be sure it all works the way it should,” this aide said, noting that the program has completed about 2 percent of flight tests for the 50 aircraft authorized so far.

At the same time, this aide questioned the $17 billion estimate, saying “it seems incredibly high to me.” The earlier estimate of $7 billion seemed much more likely to this aide, who noted that no one on Capitol Hill had yet been briefed on the new numbers.

For its part, F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin said that while it recognized “the Joint Estimate Team’s earnest efforts” it disagreed with the conclusions, said program spokseman John Kent.

“Lockheed Martin acknowledges that modest risks to our cost and schedule baselines exist, but we envision no scenario that would justify a substantial delay to completion of development or transition to production milestones. We are on track to field 5th Generation fighters to nine countries and 13 Services” Kent said in the statement.

“Eleven SDD aircraft have been delivered thus far and the remaining eight jets are demonstrating greatly improved span times as are the 31 LRIP aircraft now in production. We are below the USG’s Selected Acquisition Report estimate for production costs. Engineering development is 85% complete and yielding outstanding results in early ground and flight tests compared to legacy. Our test plans are based on detailed test requirements and build on the extensive investments in F-35 design architecture, systems engineering, risk reduction, and simulation facilities, as well as a rigorous disciplined verification plan, compared to legacy programs,” Kent’s statement said. “The program is early in the flight test phase, so it is much too soon conclude that the expected payoffs will not be realized.”

InsideDefense broke the story of the cost estimate Thursday evening.

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Good Afternoon Folks,

Does anyone else smell a rat here as in Lockheed is padding the profits they would have made on the canceled F-22 into the F-35 program now that as Colin hinted at they have the DoD by the short hairs?

Lets see Lockheed Martin is dealing with bureaucrats, Generals and Admirals who are soon to retire and are looking for a six figure salary with million plus stock options to ease into their golden years.

How about say, canceling the Naval version and going with an F-18 buy till the X-47 is developed?

How about doing what the Marines wanted to do in the first place and drop 79 off their buy before they got their arms twisted?

How about shopping overseas for that 80% solution airframe for some of the F-35’s?

In the real world this is called hard ball, and it happens when you let one or two companies monopolize an industry like what happened during the Clinton/Bush W. years, to the defense industry the DoD is now being held up, with out even the benefits of a gun and a mask.

Byron Skinner

How about ignore Barry and build more f22s.

As a wise military man said,“beware the military induistrial complex”.

when gates and obama are done the US will be borrowing aircraft from museums. The F 16’s, F 15’s F 18’s etc are all wearing out. The F22 is too small a force to stand alone. The F 35 maybe a worst case example of the TFX (F111). WHen gates and obama are done the US will be a good 3rd rate power

Welcome back to the Democratic Party Defense funding!
Just like Carter, 1 B%@ from Tucson fleet was airworthy, all others were used for parts on the 1.

I mean the B52, not B%@@

If this was a real shooting war against USSR Golden Eagles or similar modern airplanes, we will never be able to produce any aircraft fast enough, good enough and cheaply enough.

Imagine if Britain has these troubles trying to keep up the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain? Fail.

The development costs are set, they are high, and they are already spent. The fewer planes are purchased, the higher the cost, since the development costs are divided into each plane.
BTW Clinton was hell bent on drastically reducing the number of defense contractors, and he did, thereby reducing competition.

Good Afternoon Folks,

The question here has nothing to do with aircraft, it’s about money. Lockheed could care less about the defense of the United States, they are a corporation and a corporation has on one goal and that’s return on equity to shareholders, period. If there was another buyer out there with this kind of cash Lockheed would be peddling the F-35 to them also.

What has happened here is that the Pentagons Procurement and Acquisition Department(s) have lost control of this project and the contractor is running wild with change orders, add-on and any extra charges Lockheed thinks it can get away with.

The only real business solution would be for the DoD to suspend the program, after all the F-35 is not going to play any part in the current wars that is not already being done by an existing weapons/system platform. Run a full blown audit on the entire program from the very first RFQ. Only after that come up with a price per unit and how many of each that will be purchased.

It’s up to Lockheed to present a product that meets the requirements and needs of the DoD at a price that the customer (the taxpayer) is willing to pay.

This is not a defense issue but a business issue and should be settled like a business issue and not under a gun be held to the taxpayers head that doesn’t exist. We either can afford F-35 or we can’t.

Byron Skinner

We can easily afford the F-35, we can afford all of these military programs which are far more important than some of the things the government would rather spend money on.

For the USAF we should build a total of 1500 F-35As, 600 F-22s, 200 FB-23s (or FB-22s), 100 or so COIN attack planes, and upgrade our F-15Es and A-10Cs. Such a fleet along with UAVs like MQ-X could be the backbone of the USAF for another two decades at minimum. Eventually the A-10C should get a dedicated replacement, and we need a new strategic bomber before 2040 to replace B-52s and B-1s.

When it comes to non-combat aircraft we still need new tankers and the more transports, the better.

The F-22 has too many production problems and is too expensive. The F-22 is not the answer. It’s emblematic of the problem.


Daniel Russ

More F-22s is the answer?? Come on guys. John Young complained about $8 billion additional cost to upgrade some of the 186 F-22s. This JET $17 billion estimate, even if correct, makes sure we get 2456 F-35s done right. Much different aircraft totals for twice the cost “complaint”.…and that estimate may include a second engine that could ultimately save money.

$300 billion / 2456 F-35 = $122.15 billion per F-35 INCLUDING R&D
$317 billion / 2456 F-35 = $129.07 billion per F-35
And U.S. industry may well sell another 1,500 F-35s to allies…something we could never do with F-22

Now just be glad that we no longer have to finance more F-22s so we can properly fund F-35s able to do it all like a F-15E, except with stealth and supporting 3 services, instead more F-22s contributing nothing to current wars and helping only one service fight imagined air combat hordes.

More F-22s are part of the answer, not all of it, but part. We need to keep F-35 production numbers high, but the concept of the “high-low” mix is still sound. If the USAF is to keep similar numbers of fighters, they should have more F-22s, enough to provide the core of our air-superiority assets for many years into the future. The F-22 certainly has upgrade potential, but with only a handful the government may not be willing to pay for future upgrades. Additional F-22s can help fill requirements that sill exist and ease the pressure on the F-35 program, plus the development of both aircraft can continue to share much equipment.

Ideas like buying Super Hornets for the ANG are simply foolish when the solution is in front of our nose like this.

John Young had something of a grudge against the F-22, always opposed the program every chance he got while supporting the DDG-1000 every step of the way. The F-35 should not be viewed as a successor to the F-15E either. In USAF service it should be considered the successor to our multi-role F-16 series.

The F35 to me looks very capable of out flying the F16 while at max gross weight on the same chart paper. But what do I know? If we can use them, let’s build the durn things. F22’s too. I like to see 1000 of them, just like the old Darts back in the Cold War days long time ago.… now that was air defense and whatever else we wanted to do.

Suppose Newport had a brick and delay a carrier due to money or someone’s bruised feelings?

I would hate the idea of other nations buying many aircraft that will threaten to bury our USAF aircraft in a zombie like swarm.

Heck, the USSR with thier S400-S500 air defense systems probably can knock down AWACs over Europe from frigging Moscow for crying out loud.

Good Evening Cole and Colonial-Marine,

The F-22 is the answer, to what? The US will have 187 F-22’s when the program is complete.

Lets take a look and who might be a problem: India has 10-Mig-35’s, 105 Su-30MKI and < 100 Mig 27’s. Total 205 first line fighters. China the PLAAF has 79 Su-27’s with 76 Su-30MK’s on order from Russia, 24–48 Su-30Mk2 in the PLAN. Russia has a total of 650 aircraft of all types with most being Mig 31’s. In 2007 40% of Russian air fields were not operational.

It would appear that at this time 187 F-22 are more then enough and even overkill. The likely hood that any of these three countries will produce a 5th. Generation fighter before is very, very unlikely. The country closely to do it wold be India which has all the prototypes of the Mig 35 and the design and production license with Russia.

Spending the money on any more fighters just doesn’t make sense guys.

Byron Skinner

Good Evening Folks,

Let me try this again, I guess Colin didn’t like my first post, since it disappeared. So I will try again.

The US will have 187 F-22 when the buy is done. To be brief where other countries that may be foes of are at. India has the second strongest AF next to the US with appox. 245 Mig 35’s (10) 105 Su-30MK2’s and <100 Mig 27’s Russia has a total of 650 fighters mostly Mig 31’s BUT as of 2007 291 were RED LINED and 40% of Russian air fields were out of commission and the AF was manned at about 65% China. of the appox 1500 fighter aircraft only the following are considered by the USAF and USN to be of any threat the PLAAF 79 Su-27’s with 76 Su-30’s om order from Russia, the PLAN has between 24–48 Su-30MK2’s, note all Chinese aircraft are based in or near Beijing.

I would say that the US has more then enough fighters without buying any F-35’s or any more F-22. It’s a waste of money and Lockheed is trying to screw the DoD for profits that it lost with the cancelation of the F-22. President Obama should say enough is enough and just cancel the F-35 outright.

Byron Skinner

I continue to see posts such as the one above vilifying inappropriately the capabilities of Russian and Chinese fighters. The numbers mentioned for the Russian air force from 2007 are no longer accurate. Omitted is the deployment of two regiments with the greatly improved SU-27SM. No mention was made of the retrofit and upgrades to the MIG 31BM incorporating the new Zaslon-AM radar and new and improved R-37,R-73,and R-77 missiles. Also omitted was any mention of the start of production of the SU-34, and the training of air crews on this plane with the 4th Center for Combat Training.

Also not mentioned was the new SU-35 which will be purchased in large quantities by both the Russians and their allies (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, possibly Iran and Syria). It is technically superior to all present US fighters with the exception of the F-22 and is capable of supercruise, has new and improved 3DTVC — thrust vectoring, and will be equipped with AESA radar. L-Band AESA radar in the wings will nullify the lower level stealth incorporated in the F-35 making it detectable and vulnerable. The Chinese have been rapidly improving the J-10 which is already a very capable and dangerous fighter. The recently released J-10B prototype is greatly improved over the original with a DSI intake, AESA radar, and future thrust vectoring engines. Also not mentioned is the J-11, the Chinese made SU-30 which incorporates much improved indigenous avionics and weapons over the Russian original.

On a different note, the F-35 is not a replacement for the Raptor and in no way will duplicate the air to air performance capabilities of the F-22. The performance envelope of the F-35 is inferior to many of the front line Russian fighters both in speed, maneuverability, and missile load out.

Gidday all, The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) looks like buying “around” 100 F-35A’s to serve as Australia’s ONLY ® ONLY front-line Fighter. Australia has been involved in this programme (program to you Americans) from a very early stage and is a “Partner”. The cost per unit for us appears to be a huge secret (I could tell ya but then I’d have ta kill ya) — even guesstimates are hard to come by. Australia is a HUGE country with a small population and will never be able to properly defend itself without the assistance of our major ally (the USA). This is a major reason why Australia has been involved in EVERY conflict the USA has asked us to help with — we don’t have quantity but the quality we provide is second to none and it’s that quality that I fear will suffer with all our eggs going into the F-35 ‘basket’. By the maufacturers own ‘admission’ the F-35 is NOT a fighter, it’s capabilities are tilted towards Ground Attack over Air to Air by a ratio that varies (depending on the source, moon, tide, how you’re holding your tongue etc) from 70% — 30% to 80% — 20%. This is not very impressive as far as I’m concerned. The weapon load is just short of a joke — Air to Air weapons = 4 missiles (AMRAAM/ASRAAM mix. I’ll say that again 4 (yes) 4 Missiles —- that just sucks! Air to Ground isn’t much better with 2 bombs/missiles being carried (nothing left over for Air to Air) UNTIL we decide that stealth isn’t as important as weapons but even then the loads are pretty average at best. I see clear similarities between this programme and the F-16 Programme without the F-16’s saving graces (huge weapons load and great manoeuvrability). The weapons load can be increased by not using it as a stealthy aircraft and fitting external stores but what’s the point? I’d rather have twice as many F/A18F’s and spend the change on advanced weapons. No-one listens to me so it’s just another case of BOHICA and wait and see. I honestly hope I’m wrong. btw.…if you want a REAL laugh have a look at what you (USA) was/is looking at to replace the Presidential Helos (over US$400Million a copy — woohoo. “Would you like apple sauce with your pork sir?”)

G’day mates. Distance protects you from Chinese massed air attack. 100 F-35s would be more than up to task against any foe other than China…which is why you have allies. A coalition of the willing, such as your armed forces, the Japanese, Taiwanese, South Koreans, Brits, U.S…..and probably India, are more than up to handling and deterring any Chinese attack?

L-Band radar? When eventually worked out (big if) Russian/Chinese fighters may know general locations of friendly aircraft when an AMRAAM is already inbound. Are there are any L-Band missiles? Do their wings offer sufficient room for powerful L-Band radar?

The comparison of power and agility of Russian fighters vs. F-35 reminds me of old movies where a big muscular bad guy pops up out of the crowd 50’ away and demonstrates all manner of kicks and punches in the air, while Indiana Jones simply whips out his pistol and shoots the beast. Now add that all the “martial arts” (air combat) training that made the beast so impressive will be lacking in the Russian/Chinese beast relative to the U.S. pilot with more flight hours, better simulation, and better AWACS and AESA situational awareness. Our training, stealth, radars, AMRAAM, and ability to afford O&S and high tech manufacturing provide us (and you) that kind of advantage.

And as bad guys bring a knives to a gunfight, Indiana Jones won’t be drunk, nor will be the persons designing and manufacturing his “pistol” and “bullets.” Even better, Indiana Jones will be invisible or nebulous at best until it’s too late, unlike an F/A-18E/F or Eurofighter you might think is an alternative.

The great thing about upping the ante in future air combat expense for stealth is that few nations can afford to play the game in anything but small numbers. Malaysia, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea fighter numbers? Give me a break. Even S-400’s cost a lot and still are defeated by stealth aircraft and cruise missiles, not to mention Growlers.

Meanwhile, all the hypothetical air combat must be balanced by thoughts of supporting actual ground combat (thanks Australia) in real conflicts with air-to-ground…as F-15E, F-16, and B-2 do on a daily basis…and F-35s would do equally well at a reasonable O&S cost.

Good Morning RSF.

I didn’t mention the ‘QUALITY” factors of the Russian/Indian or Chinese fighter platform intentionally, it’s not part of the discussion. But if you insist.

Russia: The Russian air force is a mere shadow of what the old Soviet Air Arms were, the new Russian AF centralized all the air defense and inceptor Regiments into a single organization. You mention technological up grades and improved weapons systems, the trick is to produce these new improved and better platforms and weapons which the Russian Aero Space/Defense Industries are not, at this time, and will unlikely be able to do with out the assistance from India for decades to come.

The Russian military had since the break up has made a lot of projections and promises of better days to come, ALL of which have gone unmeet, current projections of new platforms and systems are now in the range of 2025 and later, long after Putin is only a memory.

Russia has a resource based economy, oil, and a rapidly declining population in both numbers, estimated to be about a 100 million by 2050, currently is somewhere between 150–130 million, and in educational abilities, a less the 50% literacy and falling.

You cite the 2007 numbers which I used, they are the last ones available that could be assumed to be reliable, as being old and out of date, with the 2008 recession and Russia’s cash reserves of $460 billion all but gone by June of 2009 it is very unlikely that things will have gotten better in the Russian Federation’s military.

China: The J-10, which I will agree is largely unknown to the west, the small amount of reliable intelligence the west has, are a few pictures and electronic signatures, China with reason doesn’t do air shows in the west, it appears the J-10 to be another of China’s failures in air frames. The first J-10(A)‘s had a total production run of 120 units, the J-10B is to have 40 copies made.

The only reliable aircraft in the PLAAF are the hand full of Russian built Su’s and there availability for service is dependent on rather suspected maintenance.

China’s military industrial in all areas, Aircraft, Ground Combat Vehicles, submarines and surface ships and decades behind the west.

Cole: Upping the ante in air combat is rather fruitless when you are so far ahead of any potential rivals. Of the three countries India, which trains with the USAF and USN is by far the most capable tactically and industrially. In fact a recent review (2008) of the issue of China’s air combat abilities indicated that either Japan or South Korea without any tactically help from the US would defeat the PLAAF and the PLAN. Twain with it F-5’s and F-16’s could fight China to a draw.

Russian Radar: The S-300 Air Defense System is a bust and Iran want’s it’s money back, the S-400 seems to be still born and now Russia is saying wait for the S-500 Air Defense System. AS General Swartz hinted at in September the US now has operationally Cyber Weapons that make all these Air Defense Systems 20th. Century Cold War museum artifacts.

Again the justification of the F-35 is just not there. The AF should suspend the contract, reorganize its own procurement procedures, audit what has been done in the program so far, and why the price has gone up so dramatically. Then decide if the F-35 is what we as a country needs to spend all this money on. The $300–400 billion estimated cost of the F-35 could be put to a lot better use in the military or in the economy in general.

If the answer to the above question is yes we need the F-35 the do what every other business in the country does, find out how much it will cost for how many units and hold Lockheed to that number.

Byron Skinner

OK, lets start with Cole:

The L-Band AESA is already flying aboard AWACS aircraft both in Russia and China so it is quite natural for Russia to now to include this technology in the newest fighter, and yes they will produce it. In engineering terms, they have created a cheap and effective way of countering a US billion dollar fighter called the F-35, which was built on the illusion that Russian radar technology would remain the same and could be countered by a less sophisticated stealth.

Your statements about China being far away and not a danger might be true except that they are building at a rapid rate one of the largest blue water navies in history.

Your statements about the quality of our pilots I agree with. However, it would be best to combine our great pilots with the best technology, and the F-35 will not be that fighter. The S-400 might be defeated by a Raptor or a B-2, but it won’t be happening with the JSF with its reduced level of stealth.

A small note. As I read the InsideDefence story the $17 billon figure does not refer to a new cost estimate, but rather the nominal threshold of a Nunn-McCurdy breach. The unconfirmed assertion is that the new JET cost estimate “will be at least where they were last year.” Last year GAO estimated a $7.4 billion increase, which included both the JET’s findings and JSFPO’s own revised estimate of a $2.4 billion increase. Thus last year JSFPO and JET were off by $5 billion, which included $1.4 billion for the F136 engine.

B. Bolsøy

RSF, would you agree there is a major difference between L-Band on a huge AWACS and L-Band power coming out of a narrow fighter wing? How long will their AWACS L-Band radars last with F-22s around and B-2 bombing their airfields and locations of modern fighters. BTW, earlier I meant to say B-1B was contributing daily in Afghanistan…not B-2. Also, the $17 billion adds a few million to the price of each fighter…not billions as I originally misprinted. They still cost about half of the gutted F-22 price you guys would likely pay were it allowed.

We both know, China’s Navy will never come close to that of the U.S. and allies nor will their aerial tanker fleet. How long do you think their few carriers and tankers would last? Meanwhile, the other naysayer aircraft, A330 tanker you guys use has now demonstrated refueling and will help you guys fly F-35s initially in stealth configuration and with drop tanks, and later with ample external stores to bomb the aggressors along with all your other allies. How do Australians know that F-35 will be seen by S-400? We KNOW they can see legacy 4.5 generation aircraft like F/A-18E/F.

Hi, Mr.Obey should have released the availability of the F-22 to America’s closest allies in Australia, Japan and the UK. We all wanted it. LM had actually produced a foreign sale version from Day 1 of it’s inception. However we had to actually officially request the proposal. It would have lowered the per unit cost, allowed the USAF to buy more, place a number of squadrons with the RAAF, RAF and Japanese in “extremely” useful geographies around the globe (for all of us including the US Government), and allowed cross pollination of training and tactics as we have done for, at least from the Australian point of view, many many years with Hornet, Orion, C-17, Hercules, Refuellers and F-111. Now we all lose. You don’t get the number of Raptors you want, we, Down Under, don’t get any Raptors, we’re all now forced to commit to an F-35 that is approaching the current price of a Raptor, for an inferior aircraft. Aussie Raptors, at least, would have sent a pretty useful message to our neighbours in the north (Indonesia, North Korea, China etc). Common adversaries we have with our cousins in the US.

Good Evening Cole and RFJ,

Lets see oh what the hell with start wit RFJ’s statement of China building a “Blue Water Navy”, not unless if call buying two additional, aging, but still serviceable Cold War Missile “Sovremennry Class” Destroyers and an additional eight Kilo Class (Project 636) Diesel Submarines from Russia as building a world class Blue Water Navy.

Of the four Kilos the Chinese, two Project 636 and two export models, two are out of service and waiting to be take to Russia for over hauls the other two seldom put to sea, and when they do it’s only for a few days. The two Sovremennry’s the Chines own, the most capable surface ships the Chinese are tied up to the pier most of the time.

Of the Chinese built surface ships the newest the “Luhu Class” is not highly though of by western Navies that have seen it at sea, which is a rather rare event. Diesel submarines the Chinese construct are copies of the Russian Kilos, the Song Class, which is the most numerous vessel in the Chinese Fleets, by class, with about 30 boats in the water with a production of two to three a year being diesels that are not considered Blue Water boats.

On the nuclear issue the current Han boat of which six were built, but only five can be found at the pier, only one ever goes to sea, about five to seven days a year. The Han is noisy and prone to leaks, several times a surfaced Han had to be towed back to port. THe Type 093, one built so far has not venture out of Chinese waters in the four years it’s been wet. The SSBN China has one Xia Class that basically rotting at the pier, it has had only one successful launch of it’s Jl-1 Missile and that was in march of 1988. China’s newest SSBN the Type 094, one has been completed and is currently in a sea cave on Hainan Island with the South Seas Fleet, I guess waiting for the Jl-2 missile which is years away from being operational if ever. There are other boats of the Type 094 Class in various stages of construction, if ever completed the class would have a total of six boats that could carry 16 Jl-2 missiles each.

In short RSF China has no Blue Water Fleet and it is doubtful that they ever will. Meanwhile the US is not sitting still. The replacements for the Virginias are already in development and the USS Ford will like the Enterprise be a one class carrier that will introduce the replacements for the Nimitz Class.

Gee Cole ole’ pal I really don’t know how to break this to you, but China’s one and only AWACS, built on a Russian Il-76 air frame crashed into a mountain earlier this year with 40 people on board, nearly everybody in China who knew anything about AWACS. The next AWACS will be a Loooooong time in coming.

China is a caged Tiger that is restricted to it’s own territorial borders. Because of the constant threat of domestic unrest they have to maintain a large ground force. Although the PLA/PLAAF/PLAN Regular military is only about 2.5 million China also supports another million and growin in the PAP, another million and growing in the newly created PLA Reserve units which has most of the support and service personal for the PLA, and at least 6 million 18–30 year olds in the uniformed and Armed People Militia.

For a country with a GDP of 6–7 Trillion Dollars (2007) this in itself is a heavy economic burden and in the long run is economically unstainable let alone supporting any major weapons programs or developing a military industrial base that could compete with the United Sates or NATO.

China as a world military power in the 21st. Century exist only in the eyes of the U.S. military industrial complete who need to keep the myth going in order to sell more major weapon system like the SST F-35 that have no mission that is not currently be done by existing platforms.

Byron Skinner

Mr. Skinner:
Your statement that the Russian aerospace industry is a shadow of its past does not seem to correspond to the advanced 4/4.5 generation fighters that they are selling to various nations throughout the world. Here is a partial list of nations that have purchased Flankers in the last 10 years.

Algeria: 18 SU-30MKA, 20 more on order
Angola: 8 SU-27/UB
Belarus: 23 SU-27
China: 76 SU-30MKK’s, 78 SU-27’s, 24 SU-30MK2, (100 J-11).
Eritrea: 8 SU-27SK
Ethiopia: 11 SU-27SK, 3 SU-27SP, 4 SU-27UB
India: 98 SU-30MKI’s
Indonesia: 5 SU-30MK/MK2, 6 SU-30MK2’s on order, 5 SU-27SK’s
Kazakhstan: 30 SU-27SK with an additional 12 on order.
Malaysia: 18 SU-30MKM
Ukraine: 74 SU-27’s
Uzbekistan: 25 SU-27’s
Venezuela: 24 SU-30MK2’s
Vietnam: 12 SU-MK2V (12 more are on order)

The majority of the SU-30’s listed above are new build fighters built and delivered in the last 6 years. Does that sound like an aerospace industry that is a shadow of its former self?

The declining population of Russia, socioeconomic status/education of the population, and that it is an oil based economy has no relevance to the existing and developing aerospace industry. By the way, they seem to do just fine building spacecraft and working with us as equal partners in the International Space Station.

The Chinese J-10 is not a failure, it is a success and stands as China’s first completely developed indigenous fighter. To the best of my knowledge, there is no plan to end the production of the J-10B at 40 airframes, and with the many improvements that have been made to the plane, that seems quite unlikely.

Your comments about the China being defeated in air combat against either Japan or South Korea seem to be in stark contrast to the recent Rand study indicating that the US would lose an air war with China across the straight of Taiwan, and as such I can’t take this very seriously.

Overall, your comments mirror the disinformation spawned by our present Sec.Def and used as a justification to end the production of the Raptor.

As such we can agree to disagree on the aforementioned topics.


Mr. Skinner has referenced old information on the Chinese Navy again omitting the construction of new classes of ships, large underground hardened nuclear sub bases, and other insignificant things.

The following links are quite good in covering the latest Chinese Military developments:



I’d say let’s use all domestic materials to produce F-22 and F-23 to bring the total cost down. Let’s produce 5000 of F-22 and 5000 of F-23.

Imported materials is what keeping these jet planes high cost.

O WTF!! Dont these guys KNOW wat thier doing??? Jesus H, man keep that F-15SE line pumping, i think we are gonna need ‘em. By the way, sell the JAPANESE, the AUSSIES the F-22, keep the line going. O FUBAR!!!!

My GOD i was really reading Daniel Russ’s comments..whoa man he’s probably right. Wat would happen if we REALLY got into a major conflict? The DEF. CONTRACTORS are killing us like those swine on WALL ST.. man Gordon Gekko would f-ing love this…this is wats ruining our nation…greed is NOT good..

Steve, maybe its 4 a first strike? Thats about it, really..i know there are hardpoints on this and it can carry a nice variety of JDAMS AMRAAMS, etc..but damn dude i think we-no THEY f-ed up..

It wont be the first time the US Military was given poor tools to make war with or those in insufficient quantity. I dont know if anyone realized how much our enemies are working together to study our stuff and then engineer necessary hardware in sufficient numbers .. 4–1? 10–1 odds to bury us all.

We have not been in a proper shooting war vs other Jets of like kind for so long we dont know how many we will lose on day one and how long it will take to replace them. Have we so casually thrown away America’s Industry that fast since World War Two?

What a waste.


This has nothing to do with the F-35.

What is really going on here is nothing new. It is the Democrat party in power looking for an excuse to not spend money on defense. It didn’t start with this program and it won’t end with it. Those out of short pants and with political awareness that goes back more than a decade recognize this for what it is.

Administration officials and Congress have no idea what we need. They never have. They force DOD to buy weapons and platforms that they don’t want to support their pork powered vote buying. They fight against programs that don’t affect their districts or that take money away from their pet social projects.

The president is proposing 13 of the 17 billion needed in the form of $250 checks to vets even as he acknowledges there is no money to pay for them.

The administration has spent more than a trillion dollars in TARP and buyouts in less than one year and is planning to spend another 650 billion on TARP II as they admit that TARP I didn’t work. Then they plan another 1.35 trillion for health care. And on and on.

This has nothing to do with the F-35 and it’s merits or faults or costs. After all 17 billion is a drop in the bucket according to them when considered in the total package. That’s what they said when stick stuck with allegations of waste.

This is about what it has always been for the left. Not spending on defense which they hate as usurpers of ‘their money for their programs’, and nothing else. This has nothing to do with what is good for America. It has to do with being in power, being the big dog off the porch and funding their socialist agenda.

Getting it done while the getting is good. Like I said, this has been going on since the twenties with Roosevelt’s fiasco that made the Great Depression last longer and left us unprepared for WWII, Johnson’s Great Society which created two programs which are 47 billion in the red today and are about to be expanded without fixing them.

But it’s not about the F-35. Not unless their is overwhelming public and loud support for it. If they think they will be voted out of office, these corrupt cowards will turn and eat their young claiming the F-35 is vital to the nations defense and they always have been.

It happens every time.

The United States is a joke,period. We let politicians control too much of what the military needs and how it conducts its missions, under the guise of the constitution. Now,with that said.……
Why not just stick with proven airframes? F-16 Vs F35? F16 is already in production, update the avionics and engine,and you have a great fighter. F15 Vs F22.…F15, with canards and thrust vectoring nozzles make this as maneuverable as the F22. Up date the avionics, and you have a first rate fighter. But, alas, this is where the joke of U.S. government comes into play…build a multi-billion dollar program, restructure, and restructure,drive up costs, and alas, you have far fewer with less capability at 500 times the cost.

Buy new F-16Es that are in production!

Sometimes we simply need to advance the technology. The F-16 by nature of it’s design lacks range and stealth features. The F-22 is superior to the F-15 in virtually every aspect. There is no reason we should not be able to build a better aircraft in this nation.

I don’t know a lot about the JSF program, but maybe we could buy half the number for the navy and try to get a license for the Rafale so we can build our own? Or is the Rafale a bad fighter jet?

Another plot uncovered!It will have an “illegal” theme.…For its creation.

The Rafale is not a bad jet, but France is small compared to the USA. I would like to think that American know how backed by reasonable capability will be just fine. The F15 was such a plane. So was the F16. I was a young adult when F16 came up and it scared our enemies. Caused them to make plans for planes that can take them on. The USSR Golden Eagle (With our Forward swept wing technology swiped from our test plane) is one example.

The Eagle is a awesome plane, however one F22 ran 6 of them off in a short and vicious furball. However I have heard the indian airforce run off a F22 with THIER jets in one of our western air competitions. I almost was able to grab the indian pilot’s video commentary on how to beat the F22 online however, I was too slow because the link was destroyed very fast, within the half hour. Spare parts for the Eagle is a problem in Georgia last I heard at teh base down there.

Fighter Pilots by nature grow fangs when the enemy plane is in position to be killed or make mistakes to result in it’s death. I have a feeling that we are seeing the last of the manned airframes and that robot planes will do battle for the skies someday on our life time.

Robots dont feel the G’s the way we do.

Yeah, you’re right! Restructuring is not the answer. This program, just like its big brother the F-22 Rapture, should be canceled outright. By the time the technology gets deployed it will be obsolete. It’s biggest defect is the Homo Sapiens Sapiens v.1.0 sitting in the pilot’s seat. Unless we can breed us a batch of humans who can take 25g accelerations and still function, we can’t afford this plane — ever.

Not only don’t robots not feel the G’s the way humans do, the can take a lot more. Worse, the UCAVs can be made smaller and less observable than crewed aircraft. Try taking down an opposition aircraft which is accelerating 2X your airframe’s capabilities and capable of turning at 4X the rate. You will never be able to get them off your 6. Even small city-states like Singapore and Dubai will be able to afford fleets of UCAVs and the training for their operators, which ups the ante considerably. We need to get with the program and recognize the change in technology and resulting doctrine rather than pouring more money down obsolescent programs. Take a chance!

Some of you have no idea what you are talking about, put down your tin hats. Lockheed is not jacking up the prices to pad their profits, or screwing over the DoD to make a ton more money because…gasp…IT’S NOT IN THEIR BEST INTERESTS TO DO THAT. Government contractors want to be ahead of schedule and underbudget..going over budget does not somehow mean they pocket more money — if anything they can get more money by being under budget as a result of award fees and performance bonuses. Not to mention all the money they’ll lose in future lost opportunities as a result of their hideous performance…seriously, you guys need to think this through logically. Lockheed is not trying to screw anyone, nor are the other defense contractors. If anything, the problem is the bureaucracy in dealing with increasingly complex programs. Like someone said, a program manager has to create a study group just to take a dump..that’s not entirely off the mark.

Think, people.

It seems to me that “THE PROGRAM” is more important than the PRODUCT when it comes to US Arms Procurement.
If you don’t thinks so then just look at the costs incurred in the Presidential Helo Fleet Replacement Program. The flyaway cost per unit (Helicopter) got to over US$400Million before the project was 86’d. US$400 Million per Helicopter .…. WOWEE!!!!!!!!
One other thing I’d like to bring up is a well known but oft forgotten saying is “Quantity has a quality all it’s own.”

Here’s a site you may be interested in, I don’t agree with all of it BUT it is written by very qualified (if one eyed) people, including Ex Senior RAAF Officers who flew F/A-18’s and F-111’s — http://​www​.ausairpower​.net

Cheers all, SteveD

The cost overruns and poor program management by our friends at Lockheed started all the way back in the JSF competition. They had a major cost overrun during the competition that should have made Boeing’s aircraft an almost instant win. Now we are seeing the side effects of ignoring that extraordinarily early cost cockup on the bottom line. Is anyone here really surprised?

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What is your opinion on GOD and his Duties. Do you believe in GOD
and have you tried to know more about him. Just come down to Mount

So we are inviting you to attend our campus. at your convenience. We
will be delighted to see you at Mount abu.

Welcome to Brahma Kumaris IT & Communications
The Aim of ‘IT & Communications’ is to become
instrumental in bringing effictiveness, creativity,
stress free life and work style through ”Spirituality.
Our endeavor is to bring peace, harmony , unity among
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here we go, barry kills the F-22 and now the game plan is to cut the F-35. Barry knows Aerospace is truly the foundation of American Power projection capability and intends to destroy. Check the recent Avaition week and note the destruction he has done to Civil light jet production as well.

I wish we could have 10,000 F-22s, F-23s, and F-35s, but that is a bit unrealistic. However we need more than we are getting now.

You got that right. The stimulus package was a big joke, just as all the bailouts were. Cash for Clunkers was just another bailout for the auto industry.….….….……

When Gates and Obama are done, there won’t be a United States of America.….….….

Your acting crazy. There is nothing wrong with a human in the combat, and close in dogfights aren’t as important as they used to be.

F-22 is the Raptor (after the bird of prey) and not the Rapture BTW.


Well good for you and your GODLY mates —- we’re acually discussing the implements used in the implementation of GOD’s great plan — NOT GOD HIMSELF. So bugger-off, there’s a good chap.

what is new they Killed McDonell Douglas, when they bought the inferiour YF 22 over the YF 23, the YF 23 was a better piece of hardware and it was cheaper. then they went and stole the flight control systems and thrust vectoring from McDonell Douglas and put it in the YF 22 and more than doubled the cost of the finaly copy. so what is new with this one, at least then it was the Honorable senetor from Georgia that made that call since he wanted to get his states votes and he was chair of the commite


What ever happen to honoring the bid they submitted to get the contract. If they can’t build it for the price they said that is there problem. Their seems to be a pattern forming from a few contractors that get the main contracts from the government. Whether it be for ships or aircraft and that is bid low and add add-on’s to the contract after they get awarded and start to produce them. Look at the problems the Navy has had with Northrup for its ships.
They finally told to stop building any new ships until they get the cost under control.
Unless someone decided to make a change after the contract was awarded the price quoted should be the only price paid. No exceptions!

Scrap the F-35 then…
develope a new bomber (going to happen anyway) to strike enemy AA sites from far away,
use F-22 (yes, build more!) to win the air war,
let Gripen NG (it´s cheap) carry bombs in support of the ground war…

The Rafale is not bad as such, just old tehnology. Just like the Eurofighter. They took so long to get into production. By the time these two aircraft, which are very similar as the French pulled out of the Eurofighter program and developed the Rafale on their own from the same airframe, the US and Russian aircraft technologies had already surpassed their performance. This is why the UK have now found themselves in a prickly predicament. Eurofighter is only just ramping up into production/delivery for them. They’re already at the 5000th tranche (sarcasm). They’ve only just been enabled for air to ground capapbility. They’re decades late and are early 80’s technology and thinking. Now they’ve butchered their orders, as have the Germans and Spanish, they’re BLOODY expensive (particularly for what they are), and now they’re staring down the barrel of buying F-35’s. What a mess. The Rafale is not much different. The only benefit it has is that the Frogs got it to market a hell of a lot quicker than the Euro consortium who are still arguing. 4th Gen aircraft at best. I’m not a fan of the Euro-canards anyway. Renders them to look like a block of flats on radar, apparently.

Actually, you’re off by a factor of 1000.
$300 billion / 2456 F-35 = $122.15 MILLION…much more reasonable costs per airplane…especially when you consider the $94 million for a Strike Eagle in today’s dollars.

Man, I cannot believe some of the nonsense that I am reading here. Look, I don’t care how much it takes, it is imperitive that we maintain air superiorority no matter what! Yeah we can have some F-35s, but there is no way in hell you can tell me that it will out perform an F-22, or that it will be able to replace all the aircraft that it is supposed to. To save money, we need to get rid of the Air Force and Navy versions, just keep the Marine version. We should also take a different approach to designing aircraft, all aircraft should be designed to take off quickly and from short runways or even rough runways. All our enemy has to do is take out the runway and now you have a whole squadron of F-22s grounded. We should bring back McDonnell/Douglas and other companies that are dedicated to military aircraft only. We should push ahead full speed on 5th and 6th generation fighters and attack aircraft. Every conflict we get into, we find out that we need an aircraft that can hang aroung for a long time and carry a s#!tload of firepower, like the A-10, theres no way you can tell me that the F-35 will be able to perform that job. Those of you that think that the Russians and Chinese are way behind and we don’t need all this, if we listen to you we will be in a world of hurt some day. Even if they are behind now, they are DETERMINED to catch up and surpass us. They are also willing to build in very large numbers, which is a quality in of its own. In WWII, the Tiger Tank was far superior to the Sherman and could blow it away, but against 10 Shermans, it didn’t stand a chance. Anyway, we WANT to be way ahead, we do not want a fair fight, we want to be able to go up and blow anything out of the sky, we want to own the sky.
Oh yeah, how do we pay for all of this? I can’t believe that I have to say this again, but I will gladly. Our govt’s problem is its priorities. The number one job of our govt is to protect us from all enemies, not be a F@#%ING
NANNY STATE! Only a very small percentage of the entire federal budget goes to Defense, yet over 60% goes to entitlements. You get rid of Welfare alone and you will free up alot of money for defense, and that’s just the tip of the iceburg. The ONLY form of welfare the we should have is taking care of people that have served our country and their families! Quit throwing money away on all these bums!

The problem with the F-35 (and the F-22) is that we have met the enemy and they are us. You can blame the contractors for this mess and you’re only partially correct. DOD is just as guilty with changing and unrealistic requirements, demands for technology that is not there yet, and requiring artificial schedule due dates that have no relation to reality. Illusionary budget savings are accomplished by buzz word processes (which never have a chance to succeed anyway because things change before they can be implemented). And then you throw in Congress (we have the best one money can buy) and its shifting budgets. I worked on one program where we changed requirements and designs four times in two years. In that span I through away hardware three times because it had been built ordered and built before the new “improved” changes came through from my sponsors. The whole system is broken and needs to be fixed. BTW, blaming Obama and Gates is nonsense. This goes back decades.

Agree with you on you post on everything. God bless Australia !!!
American red neck

Wow, has this article hit a nerve or what? A lot of good inputs people. But, one thing stands out very clear to me…COMPETITION!!!!! or the lack there of. The USG has got to start competing weapon systems as big as the F35. If we continue to do “business as usual” we (the tax payers) will pay nearly double for our new weapon systems. Hopefully, the acquisition reform act (signed in May 2009) will enforce this drastically needed change. I’m sick and tired of hearing from people, even on this forum how competition would create double billing (two aircraft, two engines, two supply systems, two types of training..etc)…thats all BS. What do you call the position we are in now? This F35 Program has just hit the beginning of being “over budget”; we are 17B over today, but what will it be in 2012 or 2014.…30B???

(CONTINUED)—–I say, have competition throughout LRIP and the guy with the best price wins. Also, these contractors need to start developing some “firm fixed pricing” for these new weapon systems and they need to eat the cost overruns NOT the American tax payer. So, its not just the contractors who are at fault here, its the USG…we need to be more strict in what we want and if these contractors can’t offer firm fixed pricing or be willing to eat cost overruns that they caused, then we don’t contract with them.…plain and simple. However, if these cost over runs are driven by USG “spec” changes, then the USG should eat the difference. All we have to do is just be smarter during the acquisition process and have “competent” Program Managers to see it through.

If the JSF is the correct solution, maybe it is time to open up the production for rebid. Just as there will be start up cost for two air framers ‚in the long run, competion is needed to control cost. Plus having two vendors producing would help get these aircraft in service faster. If it is not the right solution, maybe we need to lower the quantaities produced and go to the more of the proven platforms, like the F15 and F18’s?

I concur. We do have other options. The F15,F16,F18 are still top of the line aircraft. Remember fighters bring the arsonal to the fight. Also air superiority is not fought just with fighters. AWACS, E2’s F18g all pay a part in keeping the skys clear. We can keep the current production lines going on into the future at much less cost. Sure we need and will benifite from the F35 but it should not be the only thing out there in the fight.

The whole point of the F-35 program was to kill off all competition based on the now patently false assumption that a breakthrough in affordability would happen (legacy assumptions?).

It is now clear that the F-35 program is unaffordable and that no alternatives exist whithout killing it and starting again.

Based on the growth in the EMD/SDD cost and the unit cost, you could have developed 2 or 3 aircraft from differnt contractors at the same cost (if theyshare the same core avionics suite). This would have preserved competition, and resulted in better platforms for each service.

Yes hindsight is 20/20 but you still need to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

F-35 = FOLD

Can some one tell me in all honesty why we need either one of these over priced toys, to what bomb camels with. Have we not learned any thing from Vietnam? We used F-4s to bomb a log that was called a bridge. The dragon ships are the ones that did the best work on the Ho trail. As far air to air, the Russians or who ever few the Migs were afraid to come out and play when we showed up. Going down town was about the only thing they were really good at. That and the Weasle program. Take the billions and give the folks in uniform a payraise that makes sense. Stop giving it to the military complex and their minions.

You make more sense than anyone else posting here!

this ___is what us that was in the navy back when this mess was started with . How about we give lookheed the BOHICA and give this company the boot , If the company can not then good by.

Why do we need these costly fighter planes? So we could bomb third-world countries like Iraq and Afghanistan? No one mentions the cost of maintaining these planes either. Did I hear that our economy has gone down on a deep slump? We are in debt to the tune of 2 or 3 trillion dollars. This is fiscal irresponsibily taken to the max!


Right on with your B-1 and B-2 comment.


Are you mad. We obviously need to have dedicated attack aircraft like the A-10, but we need new 5th generation fighters like the F-22 and F-35 anyway, just to replace aging aircraft if nothing else. Yet they provide more capabilities than just replacing aging aircraft as well.

We need them to replace many aging aircraft in the air force. The average age of our of USAF aircraft is well over 20 years old now and in a few years their maintenance costs could easily be much higher than those of new 5th generation designs. We need F-22s to replace F-15s and F-35s to replace F-16s. Besides for these we need new tankers, and we should have a fighter bomber like the proposed FB-22 or FB-23 to fill the role of a “regional bomber” the USAF wanted a few years back. By 2030 or so we will have to have new strategic bombers rolling off the production line as our current B-52s and B-1s will be retiring rapidly. In fact, many may retire a few years sooner than the 2030s due to all of the use they are seeing in the Middle East. Plus there is UAV development to consider, and hopefully a dedicated replacement for the A-10C before they retire in 2028.

Meanwhile the Navy has their own set of needs, and we need to continue researching and development new technologies. We cannot afford to cancel so many of these projects even with out debt. We can spend less per year on these projects and accept a lower rate of production and development, but we should not cancel all of our military’s procurement plans. We must find other means to repay our debt than slashing the defense budget in half as some insane liberals demand. The sooner we wrap up such huge spending in Afghanistan, the better. But nothing will improve there until a course of action is selected.

I suggest you do a little research of the Air War in Se Asia my friend. The USA’s Air to Air win/loss rate was simply appalling. The enemy managed to kick some serious butt despite having older, “less capable” aircraft. Once they worked out the ROE Restrictions (plus the fact that the US didn’t have a gun on their fighters) they adapted, improvised and overcame. “Afraid to come out and play?” — what are you smoking?

Competition hasn’t helped the LCS program — it should have but the Pork Barrellers still managed to screw it right up.

Maybe you should look at the history of the air war in Vietnam. Most of our a/c losses were do to Sam’s and flack not MIGs, hell we shot down some of their MIGs with Spads or AIEs which are piston driven aircraft. The tactics that we were forced to used was like having a boxer in the ring with one arm tied behind his back. We were not allowed to attack the Sam sites with out permission, we could not engage the MIGs unless they were airborne and a threat. Our attack routes and egress routes were always the same flight patterns so the NVA set up their AAA to take advantage of that, hence the name Thud ridge where so many airlift were lost. If our airman attacked SAM or AAA sites they often did so with the threat of facing a court-martial. LBJ used to brag that we could not bomb a shit house without his ok, That kind of micro-mgt cost us a lot of aircraft and lives. Read the book “Going Down Town” then come back and tell me about how good the enemy was in air to air. I don’t need to smoke anything to know that we never lost the war, our politicians did, and the rules of engagement they made us follow got a hell of a lot of good young men killed.

What you really entended to say was that now that the F-22 was canceled all that Mr. Obama and his allies in congress need is an excuse to kill this program too so that they can deny equipment need to keep the military strong to defend the United States from Mr. Obama’s Muslim allies. That is one of his Changes. He is no friend of this country.

I can’t believe you just said that. It only shows your ignorance. First of all gates was appointed by Bush not Obama. If he were this soft-headed anti-war person you make him out to be he wouldn’t have reappointed Gates but would have picked some left wing weanie It was the Bush White House that started the moves to shut down the F-22. The overrun on the F-35 occurred on Bush and Rumsfeld’s watch. So let’s stop with the name calling and discuss facts. i suspect Mmr Wright that you aren’t in the military because I know aactive military would speak in that manner about the duly elected Commander-in-Chief. You want to call him an idiot — that’s your right. You want to call him a left wing fool. Fine. But do not call him a traitor.

Honestly RocketSci, anytime the Dems have been in power (in recent history) the defense industry is hit hard in a very bad way. I live by companies like Pratt and Whitney and Electric Boat and they are already feeling the strain. Obama doesn’t give a damn about our air superiority, and Gates hatred of the F-22 program played into his hands.

We can agree or disagree on military policy but what got to me was Wright’s comments about “Mr. Obama’s Muslim allies”. I work in the defense indusrty so I know about ups and downs. I know it quite well because I just recently got laid off from a defense firm. And you’re right, we’re back to the old” guns and butter ” debate from Economics 101. But just because someone thinks we’re spending too much money on the military and little on something els edoesn’t make him anti-American or less of a patriot. I’m just sick of th ename calling, that’s all. You want to debate the merits of F22 and F-35 great. But let’s keep this name calling to a minimum.

Are you kidding me build more F-18’s and F-15’s? Your talking about a legacy airframe complete with leagacy avionics. The F-35 is by far the most advanced fighter ever built. The Avionics alone in the F-35 are far more advanced than even the F-22. A single F-35 Will be able to target and destroy as many as 5 targets at 1 time .Stealth alone will allow the F-35 to dominate the air and acquire the ever coveted 1st shot
You would like a Mustang to replace a Corvette.… there is no comparison.Senators and Congressmen balk at a $80 million price tag of a F-35 , and $50 Billion for the entire fleet of 2,400 F-35;s but have no problem dumping 700 Billion into a sinking Credit Crad Companys. Or 100 Billion into Cash For Clunkers , and even better $150 Billion for Car Companys etc etc.
FYI: We still have 4 or 5 different aircraft Companys in the United States : Lockheed , Northrop , Boeing , Douglas , Fairchild etc

Wonder Weapons…

Wasn’t that what partly contributed to the fall of the Nazi’s ?

Didn’t we (and the Soviets) win WWII with massive numbers of affordable built war materials and men?

Didn’t Eisenhower warn us about the Military Industrial Complex?

Considering our economy, the state our nation is in and the rise of other world powers with China and a renewed Russia, even India and Brazil on a smaller scale or the good old EU…

How can we be so blind to the historical lessons of the past?

Are we just like the Roman Empire?

Suggest you read Tom Ehrhard’s white paper on long term AF strategy (CSBA). Tom is special asst to CSAF. His history lesson the AF is pretty accurate as is the amount of money the AF budget has coughed up to the ARMY (something you constantly bleat about). I agree with part of his solution to the AF force structure in part, the part about cutting the F35, adding a few more F22s, adding long range ISR & strike and a few others. Read the article…you might learn something instead of speculating about stuff for which you have little real info or backgroun.

F-22/F-35 is not a high-low mix: It is a Super-high/Very-high mix. The bottom line is that a P-51 with a GPS guided bomb can give me everything I need CAS-wise for the COIN fight and we really only need to be able to establish superiority at the point of contact vs anyone else flying gen 4+ aircraft. 183 quarter billion dollar airplanes are more than enough to do that. When we’re already burning 3/4 trillion dollars per year on two wars and the military base budget, we absolutely CANNOT afford to burn trillions more on hundreds of extra airframes that are way more advanced than they really need to be to do the job that they’ll actually have to do.

That was due to flawed doctrine and training along with unreliable IFF equipment… buying too much into an unproven technology.

Mark, how much background does one need to comprehend that 186 F-22s and thousands of U.S. and allied F-35s are more than up to task against the “daunting” list of countries and fighters cited earlier in this thread (and many of those to include India, Vietnam, and Ukraine are friends).

COL® Ehrhard has some good ideas but adding 99 more F-22s to give up 905 F-35As is not one of them at a savings of just $50–65 billion. Is that what keeps the USAF from bleeding white? Whatever happened to quantity having a quality all its own?

BTW, I had already scanned his document a month ago, and read all the Australian stuff and Bill Sweetman and ELP rants and forum arguments. How do you think I knew all the L-Band “threat” counterarguments.

Pretty amazing how an aircraft replete with F-22 lessons, engineers, and R&D is “high risk” and China/Russia aerospace is a done deal.

Tell the pilots that fly into combat that the stealth tech is not needed, better yet tell his wife! As in any project, the better it is the more it costs, IE Bose surround sound $2500.00 other companies $400.00 — $1500.00. You get what you pay for. As for the F-15 and F-18’s they are out dated and our foes have better ones. You prevent invasions by having bigger and better weapons than your foes. Ask a historian why Japan did not want to invade mainland America and they’ll say the Japanese felt that “behind every blade of grass is a gun”. When you have the most of the best, it keeps your foes out of your back yard.

Pretty amazing that the F-35 JPO and LMCO said that they learned all the lessons on F-22 and the F-35 would therefore come in on-time and on cost. This is another ‘keep sholving $Bs” and eventually you will get something type of program ala F-22 & JASSM. As for legacy assumptions on flight testing, F-35 has been in SDD fight testing for three years. These 3 years have proven that the “legacy assumptions” are if anything optimistic for the F-35 program and has also proven that the F-35 program has no idea how to predict flight testing progress.

This whole thing is not about The F-22 or the F-35, it’s about the fat cats getting fatter and the congressman or senator in those districts getting re-elected. Neither one of this birds are all that good if you look at the cost and the maint. hrs. required for each sortie. Like the B-1, we will never use them or need them. Give the B$ to the guys and gals who put themselves in harms way, buy better helmets with liners so our actors and actress do not have to chip in and buy them, send them to war with suitable body armor so the parents don’t have to buy it. Don’t make them go to a junkyard to find enough scrap metal to protect them in their Humvees.

Yes somethings have changed thanks the citizens and the news getting involved, like in our number one veterans hospital with green slime in the toilets. GI’s who kill their spouses 2 weeks after being home because they are afraid to seek mental health.

That is where the money needs to go, not in to the pockets of some corp. or bureaucrat and people like Six deferment Dick and rummy the dummy not being tried for dereliction of duty, war crimes and crimes against humanly. If you want to start calling Presidents names, how about desertion of duty like the last one?

We can argue all of this or non of this, but none of it will mean s— if we don’t start electing people who will represent the people and honor their job and country instead of the damn dollar And worry about who is scratching whos back in order to get ahead while the country and its military suffer.

We have a lot of F-14’s, why not recycle this planes to F-22 and F-35. Therby lowering the cost budget.

Actually we have used the B-1B a ton. In Afghanistan it has provided a tremendous amount of ground support. And we still need new aircraft too, you simply cannot keep a plane flying forever. We need more F-22s to replace F-15s and we need F-35s to replace F-16s. Sooner or later we are going to need a new strategic bomber too.

Also regarding the HMMWV situation, the military cannot be blamed for the lack of armored HMMWVs in the beginning of the war. The HMMWV was never intended to be an armored car. And if all of our supply units are driving around in armored vehicles, it reduces the amount of gear they can bring up to the front. It made sense from a logistics standpoint although it was not suited for COIN operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Likewise, the lack of body armor among support and rear-line units was excusable for an Army prepared to fight conventional wars. What is not excusable were the delays in getting new equipment up to the front.

The last president did not desert his duty, he was simply not cut out for the job, much like Obama. Meanwhile Rumsfield and Cheney may have been fools, but they were not guilty of crimes against humanity despite what the far left will foam at the mouth at.

Col I am not hear to argue with you, you obivously have your postion and I have mine. The F-22 and F-35 are way to expenisve for what the tax payer is getting. The maint down time far exceeds what the F-15&16 per flight hour. The avionics have problems yet to be worked out.

Most of the capret bombing that was done was done by the BUF’s. The B1B was not designed for large conventional pay loads.

As far as the body armor goes, when my neighbors son asked his dad to see if he can get him body armor becase he does not have any speaks volums as to the value the past administration put on the lives of our troops.

And while I partialy agree with your observation on the humvees, that does not deminish the fact that the are called watermellons by the troops because they are green on the outside and red from the troops blood on the inside. All because a lack of armor

And as far as not being cut out for the job, it does not excuse the fact that he deserted his post. He took a billet that could have been filled by someone who probably went to VN in his place and may not have come home. I would be willing to bet if you or I decided we did not like our job when we were in uniform and simply left that we would not be in a position to run for any kind of civil office. Felons are not allowed to hold high public office.

Now for foaming at the mouth goes, they and the whole crew of that cabal should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the Nuremburg trials water boarding was consider a crime. Just because a Fascist regime writes laws that say its ok to break the law does not excuse or give them right to do so.

You can say what ever you wish Col. about those of us on the left, we both fought and served for that right. You can distort the truth about the last regime; they were very good at that too, but you cannot hid the fact that they lied to get us in a war. Which in reality is more of an occupation than a war? For what? So some deserter and a draft dodger can strut their stuff and call themselves war time leaders when all they are, are chicken hawks: This mess has cost the lives of thousands of civilians, and wasted the blood of our brave young warriors and run this country into deep into debt by several trillion dollars. So when you talk about foaming at the mouth, remember three things, 1.It was on their watch that 911 happened even when warned in advance. 2. There were no nukes, that was all a put up deal, 3 Any historian will tell you that with the last regime, it is the closest that we have ever come to having the our constitution subverted and this Nation we both love so much becoming a Fascist State.

In the words of forest Gump, that is all I have to say about that.

Jeez Bill — I think you’re just a little harsh mate. Is it (even remotely) possible that “they” really did think WMD’s existed in Iraq? I mean Saddam had more than ample opportunity to allow inspectors to do a proper search for WMD’s but what did he do? He flipped the bird to the entire world and failed to understand that by doing so ammounted to what was seen as an admission that he either had them or was developing them. You must remember that that GOOSE had already used WMD’s on more than one occasion.
It’s been a while since I’ve admired any of your Presidents (and very few of our own Prime Ministers) but I really think you guys are too harsh in some ways. I haven’t seen ANYTHING from your new guy to impress me yet.
What we all need is a Political Party that’s not left OR right wing who’s ONE & ONLY GOAL IS THE BETTERMENT OF THEIR COUNTRY.

So let’s get back on-topic shall we?

…and “That’s all I have to say about that!”

With the looming problem with Iran, N. Korea and with possible conflict with its allies, war in Afghanistan and Pakistan I think we needed these Planes ASAP.

Yeah, I agree with the F-22/F-35, the high/low figher mix, but I think from a logical standpoint we should have way more F-22 to complement a much cheaper and far less stealthier, but longer ranging battlefield interdiction bomber than what the F-35 has become today. If you look at how much money has been poured into the F-35 to make it “stealth” it seems like a waste. The end result is an aircraft that is only stealthy from the frontal aspect and is still not able to penetrate an integrated air defense network with any hope of survival. The F-22 can. We need a High/Low mix that is actually effective. What good are 1500 expensive semi stealthy F-35’s if they are incapable of defeating current generation Sukoi S-35’s? I never got the arguments people had for the F-22. It was trashed as being too expensive, and yes it did cost more than expected. However, the F-35 gets praised. Yet the F-35 is WAY over budget, under-capable with too many visions of what its mission should be, and made obsolete even before entering service due to Russian improvements in the Flanker and the SA-20 air defense systems.

My logic is, that with stealth, unless you go full fledged to make it an all aspect stealth airframe, then it isn’t worth the additional costs when you balance it against the minor capability improvements.

I don’t think people have, to date, looked at the F-35 program objectively. I’m sure now with the F-22 done, people might start to take notice of the train wreak that the JSF program has become.


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