Official: U.S. Military Superiority Isn’t Guaranteed

Official: U.S. Military Superiority Isn’t Guaranteed

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer told lawmakers that the U.S. is investing in advanced weapons for potential use in the Asia-Pacific region, but that American military technological superiority isn’t guaranteed amid budget cuts.

Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, testified last week before the House Armed Services Committee that the Defense Department is investing everything from fighter jets and surface ships, to ballistic missiles to space and cyberspace defenses. The armament is designed in part to counter the type of anti-access and area-denial systems being developed by China and other countries.

But Kendall warned lawmakers that American military technological superiority isn’t assured amid an era of automatic federal spending reductions known as sequestration.


“This is not a future problem,” he said. “It’s a here-and-now problem.”

The Pentagon faces about $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade as part of 2011 deficit-reduction legislation known as the Budget Control Act. That includes almost $500 billion in reductions already planned and another $500 billion in automatic cuts. Recent legislation delayed some of these reductions to the department, about $31 billion over the next two years.

“I feel very confident with our capabilities,” Kendall said. “I’m not sure I’d be able to say that 5 or 10 years down the road.”

The undersecretary said he became concerned about possible shortfalls in the level of U.S. funding needed to develop advanced weapons systems shortly after returning to the Defense Department as the principal deputy undersecretary in 2010. He said he grew more worried after reviewing the likely impacts to the defense budget under sequestration as part of last year’s Strategic Choices and Management Review, or SCMR (pronounced “skimmer”).

The Pentagon considered options under three budget scenarios with varying levels of cuts: $150 billion over 10 years, as included in President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request; $250 billion over a decade; or the full sequester amount of $500 billion over the same period.

Kendall said there are “a range of things that deserve greater investment than we may be able to afford at the current levels.” He declined to cite specific programs, but said last year’s budget was crafted with research and development and procurement funding to support the department’s strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region.

Kendall said he has been particularly “struck by the nature and scope” of China’s spending on anti-access and area-denial technology.

The Pentagon last year concluded that China wants to be able to control the flow of information in the event of a war to thwart data-hungry adversaries such as the U.S., according to the department’s annual assessment of China’s armed forces. The People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, considers the strategy of “information dominance” a critical form of defense against countries that it views as “information dependent,” according to the document.

“PLA authors often cite the need in modern warfare to control information, sometimes termed ‘information blockade’ or ‘information dominance,’ and to seize the initiative and gain an information advantage in the early phases of a campaign to achieve air and sea superiority,” the document states.

The country’s “investments in advanced electronic warfare systems, counterspace weapons, and computer network operations … reflect the emphasis and priority China’s leaders place on building capability for information advantage,” it states.

The report concluded China’s military build-up is continuing, with investments in missiles, drones and cyber warfare as part of a plan to deter the U.S. and other countries from intervening in the region. The U.S. calls these types of missions “anti-access/area-denial,” or A2/AD, while the PLA refers to them as “counter-intervention operations,” it states.

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The picture in the article is appropriate. Cancelling the F-22 with less than 200 was an act of both arrogance and stupidity. The arrogance was that no other country could challenge the US in the air for decades to come. The stupidity was to then force the F-35 to try to do something that it was poorly suited to do, with air dominance and to think that F-35 would actually be affordable. Hindsight being 20/20 we can now see that F-35 will be nearly as expensive as F-22 was but without the ability to dominate the A/A environment like the F-22.

As F-35 appears to be sliding to the right again, and sucking up still more budget while delivering less and less capability, we are finally waking up to the fact that something will need to come after F-22 for air dominance (and not F-35) yet the delays and cost overruns of F-35 push this program out to the point that IOC will be 2030 or later.

Hopefully our adversaries will tone down their aggresiveness and let us slide by the 2020s playing nice and letting us recoup our technical advantage. Yeh, fat chance.

We don’t suffer from a lack of DOD money — rather we suffer from a lack of quality leadership from Obama right thru to the top of the military chain of command.

Navy needs to build a new class of SSBNs to replace the Ohios, needs more Virginia SSNs for ASW, needs the new Virginia block V to carry a large load of TLAMs to replace the four Ohios that were converted from SSBN to SSGN, needs to continue building CVNs at a rate that makes them economically feasable, needs a new class of large fast air and missile defense CGN to put big radar and a large load of missiles in the CSGs to keep the CSGs and their CVNs viable against peer level adversaries, needs a new large fast stealthy long range CATOBAR fighter bomber for much larger combat radius, needs a lot more DDGs better configured for ASW, needs a very much improved CAPTOR to replace the MK60, needs better BMD, etc., etc., etc.

Current funding levels will provide only a fraction of that. And to avoid confusing the funding they are asking for, Navy isn’t even asking for the CGN, the fighter bombers, the improved CAPTOR, and much else.

The other services have similarly large needs.

Congress needs to decide whether or not they are going to push to provide funding for the US to remain the global superpower, or face up to the repurcussions of not doing so.

The F-35 (or F-22) is not going to get close enough to China to make a difference, without massive tanker support. Guam will be out of action after a Chinese first strike. That means Australia is the closest air basing option, and it’s a long way to Taiwan. Short range tactical fighters are fine for Europe or the desert, not so good for the vast Pacific Ocean. Luckily, the US has subs.. Anyway, the LRS-B is the aircraft program that is needed, yesterday.

You are missing the point — it does not matter what we gave F22/F35 or Subs. The point is we have a incompetent political leadership and a senior chain of command who are more interested in Obama coctail parties that being leaders. We are so fucked while thus is how it is

I agree with Gdadl. May I add these words we have a corrupted congress.

The blame lies square on the feet of Obama and his anti military stooges!

It’s the year 2019, the Chinese are making a massive move on Japan and Taiwan, President Bidden orders the fleet to attack, so we sorted our “feet” of 50 LCS to repeal the invading Chinese fleet of 215 warships.…..

He then orders the air force to attack with our fleet of F-35s, er wait, they are still in production.….but what about the F-22 fleet, oops, down for maintenance again

He then orders the Navy carriers to attack, oops, there’s is only one left and it’s in dry dock.…..

He then orders the Marines to attack, oops, he forgot that he disbanded them 3 years prior.….

He then orders the air force to attack with ballistic missiles, oops all the launch officers were fired for cheating, there’s no one left, but their golf courses are still great.…

He then orders the Army to attack, but the remaining division is stuck in their last base in Texas, they can’t move, no money to buy fuel and no way to get there.…

It’s time to put this tired dog out of his misery. The US isn’t what it was and will never be again. Thank Reaganomics, and the disgusting culture he ‘re’introduced. After FDR and countless other presidents nearly whiped out that plutocratic way of life, their ilk still regained the upper hand. About 7 out of 8 most recent blog entries have been about how incredibly INcompetent US contractors are, and how pos quality their product is, and the 8th blog reminds us how well they get PAID for sticking it up without vaseline. It’s truly disgusting. Thankfully Americans are at their core a good people, however half is brainwashed, and the economy will always be resilient. You just need to put this tired, raped dog of a military industrial complex to bed, and steer that give or take 1 trillion a year into education, infrastructure and r&d. I can’t even imagine how INefficient those defense dollars are. Talk about a LOUSY return on investment. Meanwhile, the rest of the world can actually design and manufacture RELIABLE and sensible equiptment for far LESS money.

This is the conclusion of what happens when top defense contractors have sex with elected officials, they get more money and develop less and less. A 15 billion aircraft carrier? Really? We can’t all see the waste in that one? And UNreliable at that. Funny how that goes. The US should embrace the multi polar world, and be more like what Brazil will be: a giant economy with a tiny military. It didn’t do you any BAD before ww2 did it? Huge economy, by far the biggest, and a SMALLER military than hungary. Everybody left you alone (give or take some intra– American skirmishied) and you guys did very well for yourselves. Let others fight it out.

And for all the pseudo-intellectual hate I will recieve: the US is protecte by 2 oceans and 2 friendly (weak) neighbors. Don’t let Tom Clancy F with your head. If anything, we Euro’s made a perfect bed for you a couple hundred years ago, and colonized the single most naturally protected piece of geography in the world, AND full of resources. Just gtfo, go home and take your ball with you. This is painful to see.

The blame rests with the founding fathers when they made a system that allows a dysfunctional government.

Both WW1 & WW2 were *fabricated* & *manufactured* by the Global Ruling Elites, and Global Banksters.
The MIC — the “military-industrial-complex” which DDE warned us about, is only ONE of the MANY TOOLS of the G.R.E. & G.B.‘sters.…
But, my Euro friend, the SPIRIT of America is Unalienable, and indominable.…(…even if I CAN’T spell it correctly!.…
So-called “Sequestration” is a media-hyped JOKE, and CHARADE.
There’s so much WASTE, FRAUD, and ABUSE in the Pentagon budget, that we have little to fear.
Except fear, itself.….*grin*.…bon jour, mon ami!.…

The US Navy tried to leave the F-35 program recently and apparently was told straight to their face: “No way.”

It’s now an open secret that the Navy wants the Super Hornet over the F-35C:
http://​www​.politico​.com/​m​o​r​n​i​n​g​d​e​f​e​n​s​e​/​0​2​1​4​/​m​o​rni

When you have an HoR who’s leadership is partly responsible for causing the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression (according to the Congressional Budget Office report on the topic), yet refuses to remedy the financial situation they created in favor of maintaining the status quo, you’re going to have problems.

When greed comes before national security: all bets are off.

The sad thing is that they are being forced to buy $200M “production” F-35C’s with no combat cabability as a subsidy to make the rest of the program “look” more affordable. How many hundred hanger queen LRIP mistake jets are needed. At the same time Kendall called this “acquisition malpractice” but instead of stopping it we just continue on.

While Europe is now colonized by Muslim infiltraters. It will be no more than five years before Sharia law takes over all Europe at this rate and I for one do not beleive we should be the ones who save their Fecal Tracks again from their own socialistic ideologies. Belgium is already an Islamic state, just not named so as yet, and France has been going that way since thier colonization continued after WWII. Far too many Nazi agents made it to the UK and now their ideological offspring have exponentially grown

Plus the rampant graft and sloth in use of funds in the very Complex Ike warned us of since he saw it first hand during his tenure as CIC of the European theatre WWII and as aide to Mac in the phillipines prior to that.

Aside from the fact that your ignorant ars e can’t spell, don’t believe the right wing idiot HYPE over ‘muslims taking over Europe’. Europe of 500 million with what, 15 million muslims? Yeah let’s just roll over and die. Idi ot. That’s less than 4%. Anyway, ISLAM has always been a part of Europe. Regardless of the recent arrivals, there have always been muslims in the balkans and Turkey etc. So what? Now that I’ve read your second sentence, I truly am in my right to call you a dumb ignorant redneck, who probably watches glenn beck. 5 years, okay good. Allah akbar in 5 years then:D

Aside from Islam, where is your retort of my factual disseration of your nation’s ‘defense’ contractors being a cynical farce of plutocratic reign? That can’t even produce a good rifle and has to buy EUROPEAN derivatives of their own rifle?

Gilmour… You claim that “Belgium is already an Islamic state”. What source of factual population demographic statistics do you have to back your jingoistic diatribe?

A circa 2011 report (at the link below) from the PEW Foundation stated that the Muslim population in Belgium was 6% in 2010 and was projected to rise to 10.2% in 2030, a significant minority, but a very long way from being the current majority that you are claiming. If you have a better source with more accurate numbers, then post the link.
http://​www​.pewforum​.org/​2​0​1​1​/​0​1​/​2​7​/​f​u​t​u​r​e​-​o​f​-​the–

The founding fathers were smart men, I’ve read about them. Visionary even. But no oracles. They couldn’t forsee this disgusting thing that has become. There needs to be big time political AND governmental reform in the US. Like Senators being supplied by population, and not tiny INsignificant states getting 2, as do the biggest states etc. Then you get a bit more of a normal government. And take the money out of politics. Government should give the money for campaigns, SHORT small campaigns. Based on substance, not how one talks or looks like.

I agree Americans in spirit are great people. Even if they look a bit sad right now (I mean right wingers anti-tax idio ts and such). Why are Americans normally great? Because you attracted the world’s go-getters and entrepeneurs, be them white, asian or latin or even African. He who leaves all his assets (maybe he has little), leaves his entire culture, his language, his castle and travels thousands of miles with nothing in his pockets to try and make something for himself is a valuable person. And one you should be thankful for. And THAT’s why your people are great. It wasn’t the lazy ones who left for the US, they stayed here and there. The go-getters left.

And that includes the ‘darker skinned’ latinos many Americans love to hate. You try walking a few hundred or thousand miles and then slave away to try for a better future. It’s the MENTALITY they have that enriches you. Countless of millions over here love to SUCK on the government BOOB, and are too lazy to even breathe. So you’re lucky still. But that’s starting to change. Because it’s becoming apparant that even the poorest of the poor don’t really feel attracted to the US anymore, and more are coming to our shores. I for one welcome them. Whoever said skin color or culture matter. Give it 2 generations, and only the last name makes their foreign roots apparent.

wow, your really sensitive to that CEuro, so what d.h. says must be true-Europe is already overran and your too proud to admit it. “Islam has always been a part of Europe” oh really?. That sentence alone reflects poor thinking on your part

hey CE, while we might all agree that money ruins campaigns and corrupts politicians, saying that no every state get 2 senators go directly against the thinking of the founding fathers you so admire. If we followed your suggestion, large states like CA would dictate to the whole country and we certainly don’t want the Left coast ruling the whole country without any opposition.

It appears that the Navy airdales are getting smart, I certainly hope that they get more aggressive on this.

While I love the Corp, they made a poor choice, now they have to learn to take the Navy’s lead here.

But the air force can go play with their F-35 “toys” as far as I’m concerned-they made this program what it is today-a total pig. By the time this program is done the air force will not have a force, and they will be broke with nothing but a bunch of old F-15,16, hanger queen F-22s, and a whole lot of worthless F-35s, so they deserve to live in the pig slop they created

Evolution v. Revolution
Not enough of the former and far too much of the latter.

Reinventing the wheel every cycle is much better for the bottom line of the defense firms and the promotions of the “stars” but puts us in a tenuous position. GCV, LCS, F-35, B-X, M-8, NLOS missile…take your pick, all seek to gain the technically advantage over the “next enemy” but end up taking SO LONG to develop that by the time they could possibly be fielded they aren’t that revolutionary or decisive.

The Chinese are just building a navy to protect THEIR ships carrying THEIR stuff to THEIR American customers. If we want a stronger America, we need to rebuilt the electronics, steel, appliances, textiles, furniture, and other industries in the U.S. and pay the higher costs (which will also provide decent wages to support American familities). Japan and all those other small but very wealthy Asian tigers want to protect themselves from the Chinese, who they trade with every day, let THEM build bigger navies or pay us to do it. The U.S. is broke!

Our military superiority was broken when we gave our economic power away through globilization. We can’t afford a military because our consumers want their cheap WalMart goods, which are now coming from foreign countries. Lost 58,000 military in Vietnam, who is now a preferred trading partner. We need t rebuild America, not everyone else.

This is what I keep trying to tell people. We must get out of the congressional rut we’ve placed ourselves in and develop technology and research for future war. Perhaps some SecDef haven’t emphasized that point to well with our “representatives.”

It’s probably too late now but we need to get out of the WTO and rebuild US infrastructure like you said. But a few Americans have grown wealthy in collusion with the “threat”…

The point of the Senate was to give a state government a modicum of power in the federal government. Senators used to be voted on by the state, not the state’s general population via the 17th amendment. One state should not have more voting power over another in the Senate.

I do agree we need reforms… like a society built on integrity, personal responsibility, and honor.

@Enoch: The government is meant to be dysfunctional when there’s disagreement in the wider population. A dysfunctional government shows whatever is happening at the federal level shouldn’t even be there. It then falls upon the population of the states to decide how they wish to govern on that matter. If there’s still a split, it then falls to the local populations to govern. The point is to not ram wide sweeping federal laws down the throats of the population.

here here Taxpayer, your 100% correct. But the politicians in DC don’t want us to “re-build.” If fact, they would prefer that we’d be a 3rd world country. It’s easier to rule that way.

This is one of the most un-smart postings I’ve seen in ages. If you have no clue of how this nation’s government works, don’t bother posting here.

FYI — it is CONGRESS that creates the budget — NOT the POTUS.

Every bill that caused this was passed by the Senate and signed by the President. Nice try at flinging blame.

Greed might be part of the problem but even more so the desire to find political advantage and place blame of which you are a poster child. Thanks for no solutions.

Hey, “d. h. gilmour” — please talk to your psychiatrist. You’re WAY OVER-medicated, and you appear to be experiencing a psychotic, delusional reaction.…

SECDEF is out selling American weapons to any country that will buy. Poland is the latest. We’ll probably sign a deal and finance it through our foreign military sales programs. Which really means, we’ll borrow the money from China.

You should call yourself Haughty European. So quick to criticize from the moral low ground. Europe once ruled the world. Yet now you — all 500 million of you — can’t even take on Libya without our sensors, tankers and weapons. And Libya is a few hundred miles from you. It is a few THOUSAND miles from us.

We are far from perfect — but we are still Americans, and you are still NOT.

BTW — we’ve relegated most of the very few Americans who hate on the basis of skin color to a few compounds in Idaho. Not by force, mind you (notwithstanding the example your forebears set through their recent history of relegating “undesirables” to ghettos). So please don’t generalize about us in order to make yourself feel better about the blood not yet two generations removed from your hands.

We’ve been doing the former for the past 20 years, look at all of our fighters and bombers with the exception of the F-22 and F-35. With the exception of MRAPs (which are pretty much just fancy armored trucks) and the Stryker (variant of the LAV III which is an evolution of past LAV designs) we’re still using variants of the Abrams and Bradley. Upgrades are all well in good but we’ve reached the point where we can’t do much more with the basic design or the F-15, F-16, and so on.

Yet when we try for any mostly new aircraft, ship, or vehicle we manage to screw it up for all sorts of different reasons.

To be fair, Japan and South Korea are building very formidable navies, and have strong air forces as well. South Korea has a powerful army too. Whether they obtained these capabilities on our dime, I honestly can’t say…

Complete bull–it. What ever the deficiencies in the US military, they began long before Obama became President and will last long after him — regardless of who is elected the next President. F-22 was canceled by Bush’s former Secretary of Defense (who tried to do the same thing under Bush) and the F-35 was designed and purchased when Obama was still in the Illinois State Senate. The shopping list outlined in some of the comments above are far, far more than this country can afford. The Chinese are not 10 feet tall and we do not need to bankrupt this nation to counter their dreams of expansion. If the Chinese use nuclear weapons against US formations or installations, the war will be over in a day — and China will not have won the war. Let’s all calm down, take a chill pill, and come back to planet Earth for the moment.

What the hell are you going on about? How can you possibly blame Reaganomics for the mess we’re in? The military-industrial-congressional complex (funny how everybody leaves out the congressional part) isn’t some mythical beast that appeared out of nowhere. It is merely the sum of the entire system, both the good and the bad.

Presume you’ve somehow erased the DoD and all of that. Then what? Then we still need stuff fixed or replaced even if we gut our military to a large degree. Presume there are still many defense-related companies and factories capable of building the required components in the US. So the government needs to deal with them to get stuff. What’s the government going to do? It’s going to create organizations dedicated to handling those matters and organizations dedicated to overseeing the entire process. As always, both opponents and proponents of any particular program are going to be lobbying the politicians who make the decisions. And of course all of the different branches of the military will have different opinions on what they need. In the end you still get a military-industrial-congressional complex because of the required intertwined relationship between those institutions. The only thing you can do is keep control of the situation.

If Western Europe and the Russian are able to maintain a high-tech defense industrial sector, why shouldn’t we as well. But lets presume an alternative scenario where the defense sector of our economy is vastly reduced and our industrial capability takes a large hit. The end result is that anytime our military needs something complicated we’d have to turn elsewhere in the world to get it. That probably means Europe, so perhaps this is one of your motives? If the product is anything like the Eurofighter Typhoon we’d still be paying very large sums per unit. And if we don’t design anything here we’d lose a lot of engineers and the ability to design and manufacture high tech weaponry, aircraft, armored fighting vehicles and sensor systems without a large degree of foreign partnership. The industrial base is something that needs to be maintained.

R&D? So what about organizations like DARPA that do a lot of R&D? Find out what needs to be fixed about education as opposed to throwing money at it and hoping it works. Defense a lousy return on investment? Not when the system does work as it should, and there are indeed programs that have done that in the past, despite all of the critics.

The Ford class is largely based off the later Nimitz class CVNs which proceeded it. The basic design isn’t anything all that radical. There is simply no excuse if we are unable to field some new systems like EMALS on it.

You’d have us decline from being a military superpower to, what exactly? Gutting our ability to defend ourselves and our interests won’t get rid of the politicians selling us down the drain. Do all Europeans forget the lessons of the 1930s so easily? Yeah, nobody bothered us, besides for Japan who ONLY wanted to take control of the Pacific and most of Southeast Asia. So should we given them what they wanted? I’ll guess I’ll also presume that you would have no problem with Europe living under Nazi or Soviet rule, right? And BTW two oceans are only protection if we have a strong Navy, which you don’t seem to advocate anywhere.

How do you possibly blame the USAF for the F-35’s problems? The A variant is the most straightforward out of all of them.

The USMC needs to take the Navy’s lead? And do what? There is no alternative if they wish to maintain a STOVL fighter capability into the long-term future. The STOVL requirement determined the F-35’s basic layout so if anything the USAF made sacrifices for the sake of the USMC.

The Navy inherited the JSF from when the A/F-X program was cancelled and some of that requirement was rolled into JSF. So they’ve never been overly fond of it since it’s not “their” aircraft in the sense A/F-X would have been. In terms of capability we’d have been better off with a separate program for the Navy but it is a bit late for that now. Unless somebody in the near future orders several hundred additional A or B variants they’re getting those planned F-35Cs. At least they’re getting a VLO strike fighter with excellent sensors out of the deal.

Doesn’t excuse it getting worse under the Obama Administration, especially in regards to all of the politically correct BS and politics driven promotions and discharges.

Oh look, the self-righteous European complaining about the big-bad “right-wingers” and calling Americans racist. You go on keep denying the legacy of European colonialism and telling yourself that.

And the only one you can seem to agree with is the conspiracy freak who thinks both World Wars were started by the Illuminati or the banks or something. How very telling.

The NAVY is not only our first line of defense, but also shares in space and air defense with the Air Force. But who is defending our information-based internet vulnerability? We take it upon ourselves to make it a free world while other nations steal, copy, and spy on our businesses and government. Who is guarding the door after the horses are stolen? I’ve a beautiful Chinese painting showing the destruction of a US fleet as Chinese missiles rain down on it. What sort of mind-set is that?

I know. But if we think about it objectively for a second; who should be dictating it otherwise? In the WORLD, BIG nations dictate. In countries, bit cities/provinces dictate. In unions like the EU, big countries dictate. Why shouldn’t big states dictate it in the US? Honestly, everybody know that all states aren’t equal right? Texas has what, 90% of your refining capability? NY 90% of banking? CA 90% of software and a big part of agriculture. Their interests’ and by extension that of the nation are just very different than some small states. As here, Germany’s industria might is, sad at is may sound, a LOT more important than Greece’s nothing. So yes, they get to dictate more. Why artificially pump up insignificant states/countries? Thefounders probably never foresaw such a BIG discrepancy between population and economic heft between states. And who can blame them? Who would have even known about how huge the US would become, california and texas weren’t even on the map etc. They were visionaries, but not oracles. And any strong country should be versatile and change it’s own statutes as the country changes itself. It’s called adaptation. React to change. This isn’t 1776 anymore right?

And that’s good pretty much, let the states go at it. But however, you know states aren’t at ALL sovereign in the US. Many things like taxation, military, currency etc have been taken away from them. And those things are also bogged down by gridlock. There needs to be a pen prick to get things moving again. See, when the US was founded and the current governing system established, who the hell knew what kind of world the 21st century would be? With powerhouses like China, a united Europe, India etc. They invest heavily in certain areas of the economy. US states can’t compete with that at all, the 50 of them individually, not even CA. So you NEED it to be done by the US. Thinking otherwise is just a lie.

No I don’t think ww2 was a conspieracy, but it was indeed facilitated perhaps by countries who had some degree of interest (why open a normandy front only in 1944?That’s right, let the Soviets bear the brunt of the meat grinder). Anyway, yes, US military power is much greater, but in the end, what has it GOTTEN you? Honestly. Sure nobody else could invade Iraq and occupy it, but you DID and what the HELL do you now have to show for it? Little to none oil contracts, a government that’s cozy with IRAN of all people, and the CHINESE who do all the investing there. So you’ve spent 2 trillion and got nothing. We Euro’s didn’t spend much, and perhaps still got more clout out of it. So it’s like being hung like a horse and not using it wisely. And yes you helped in Libya and Europe couldn’t do it alone, but it wasn’t an existential threat to us. We are like 50 seperate states with our own national guards, there is no coordination. One day perhaps there will be.

Always as in ever since the ottomans came to austria and were beaten back. They have ever since remained, albeit in small numbers. His talk about europe being ‘overrun’ is like saying Black people rule America (if they had 15 million people, they actually have 50 million). So it’s quite nonsensical.

Not Reaganomics alone, it’s the disgusting MINDSET that’s come back to a large degree under him. Remember, the government should be ABOVE the companies and contractors, not horizontal. Because of his ilk, contractors actually OWN the government, aka they pay themselves, and decide themselves how much effort and quality they want to put into something. And it all got fixed because ‘we’ll throw some money on the problem’. A REAL capitalist would say: F off and DIE contractor, I’ll find somebody who;ll fix it, and even if needed establish a STATE OWNED company who has the COMPETENCE to do it. Because it’s all about RETURN ON INVESTMENT. I’m not saying the private sector can NOT do it, I’m saying your government let the MANAGEMENT of the contractors run amok, and fire all their engineers etc, so now you have lockheed who has 120.000 beancounters and 500 engineers. So how the F can they design a next gen fighter that actually works? Where was the government, why did they ALLOW their PREMIER contractors to make such outrageous decisions? Boeing now can’t even make a Fing tanker and needs billions and years in overruns. From a THIRTY year old civilian platform. See where I’m going at?

Europe and Russia have GOOD contractors. I don’t believe we’re smarter than America’s finest, we’re the same. But our governments have OVERSIGHT. That means our smarters are actually still WORKING with our contractors, designing things. Not being laid off and sitting at home, so that the beancounters can engineer. How do YOU explain why the US spends a lot more and gets a lot LESS in return. I want to know that. Because the lack of government OVERSIGHT is why you’re in this MESS. The very problem is my friend, that your ‘industrial base’ has been RAPED and outsourced many lightyears ago. That’s the Fing problem. And not even just the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL base, that’s a FARCE. You need a huge COMMERCIAL industrial base to build good MILITARY things. You’ve given away your shipbuilding in DAYS after ww2, which is why your naval shipbuilding capabilities SUCK. Boeing is now giving away commercial aerospace like it was handing over cancer to somebody else, and that is why your air dominance is starting to SUCK. Get the picture? You need the foundation to be able to build specialized things. It doesn’t come out of thin air. Defense in the US right now IS a lousy return on investment. I’m not fully informend, but I would say around the late 70’s is when you still could do things. After that, its to cry for. Tell me friend, when was the last time US contractors delivered ON TIME on budget? A few decades ago indeed. That’s pathetic and we should all hang our heads in shame for that. Ford is indeed almost the same as nimitz, yet YEARS late and BILLIONS over budget, and now it seems UNreliable. WTF is up with those ignorant dock workers? Can’t make number 14 after the first 13? I can’t GRASP it. Germans can build ships like nobody else, yet their ARS ES don’t have a COASTLINE almost. How the hell does that happen? That’s good governing!

Sure the US should have military capability, I’m just saying, you spend what 35% of your budget in a big black HOLE, that’s laughing at you more and more. You get less and less for your dollars, and G damn it, there comes a day when people have HAD it and want that money spent wiser. Honestly, we Euro’s aren’t and won’t be attacked by anybody, why can we afford to spend 1% of our GDP on the military? You should do the same and tell us to F off and defend ourselves. We’ve been using you like tits, and that’s partially why your cities in the rust belt look WORSE than stalingrad and allepo, and you haven’t ever had a war in them.

Isn’t it so that, even with the sequester, the US outspends all other nations combined? If they still cannot guarantee superiority with such a budged, I personally doubt the size of the budget is the problem…

Which means that government will probably be stuck with the high risk research while company gets cost-plus “reward”. Tasty.

Part and partial, this is what we get when we put marketting and business “leaders” in charge of programs instead of leaders with engineering degrees and manufacturing backgrounds.
We end up with bureaucrats-in-uniforms who are “people people” but know little to nothing of when they are being bullsh*tted with pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams of fanciful promises that just are no where near technologically feasible within our current means.

Now look where it’s gotten us.

“Let others fight it out.”

We will leave the door open for European refugees fleeing the Great Collapse. However, I would suggest Canada first. Of course, if we collapse first…

One major factor in new research in decline is the corporate quarterly profit practice. Investors want their money NOW so corporations are cutting back on research to meet these more immediate demands. This has been a trend in US financial capital.

“Navy has announced order of 5,000 JSF, dropping the per unit cost to very affordable levels”

/snark

We’ve learned that pie in the sky things like FCS and Land Warrior were too far ahead for their time when born in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Even now, they might still be in reach, but the economy isn’t what it used to be.

We like to assume we can over-reach in technology, but who pays that bill?

There are bureaucrats in and out of uniform, and all of them are full of it.

Don’t forget, we’ll send our goodwill representative Ariana Huffington to Beijing to plead for mercy for the Taiwanese. Or Dennis Rodman.

If Virginias with VPMs are cheaper than a fleet of fat SSBNs, then that’s the way we should go.

On a tangent, what would be cool is if we switched to SSBN variants of the Virginia. Less tubes per sub (4? 6?), but more submarines, and in common hull-form with the SSN fleet. An adversary wouldn’t be able to tell if the sub they were tailing was a boomer or not; and would be forced to spread themselves thin looking for every last SSN as if it were an SSBN. It would also simplify production considerably if they were all based on very similar parts: though we keep getting screwed on common-hull-form projects like JSF, TFX…

That said, the Virginia is probably not big enough to fire Tridents, but one can dream…

It would be great if that were the case, but in reality the defense contractors want those R&D funds because they come with a 10% profit attached. They milk R&D programs just like any other form of development, always saying, “we’re really close now,” but they’re never close to anything but sustaining the R&D to keep the money flowing.

If the US wants to fix the problem with investors demanding large dividend checks, then instead of condemning them for their obvious and hardly unique greed, we need to put back the capital gains taxes on short term profits from stock. It was a combination of tariffs and capital gains taxes on short term profits that built this country, but today all we get is revisionist history. Tariffs are all bad. Capital gains taxes are all bad. It makes a great sound bite, but real history has proven it to be otherwise.

Pavlov’s dogs drool for food and dividend checks.

Why do we need industry? We have Obamaphones. We have Obamacare. We have food stamps. We have permanent unemployment “insurance”. We have plenty of welfare. We have IRS wealth redistribution centers. And if you want to hit it big, we have professional sports teams, the lottery, and law suits. Why work when you can have it all sitting on your ass all day in front of your “made in China” big screen TV?

The Navy inherited the Superduper Hornet from the cancellation of the NATF program. Of course, that was after they had Grumman build a prototype of their forward swept wing airplane they proposed for the Air Force’s ATF program. Apparently the jack knife wing didn’t work, and the Sucker Hornet was the consolation prize. And what a fine “prize” it was…

It wouldn’t matter if they were engineers, all proposals are is a pack of lies you get paid to put together. It is a system that encourages and rewards lying. Then you wonder why you get crappy weapons? The whole f’ed up system encourages only the very worst aspects of human nature. How could you ever expect to get something good out of a system like that? It rewards stupidity over intelligence, sloth over vigor, convention over ingenuity. The question isn’t how a system like that could fail, the real question is how could it ever possibly succeed.

None of this has anything to do with the Obama administration. If anything, we had worse problems under Republican Presidents. What few here want to acknowledge is that the problem stems from the uniformed heads of the services who refuse to take action against brother officers who have gamed the system for their own personal ends. Too many folks in the services look at private sector sinecures at the ends of their careers as their due and they purchase them with shoddy work overseeing the programs they are charged with implementing. The Obama administration, if anything, has less influence with the people causing the problems than other far more conservative administrations.

Then the plutocrats had better step up to the plate and volunteer to increase taxes on themselves, because getting people who receive relatively little payoff from the expenditures you advocate to pay more is just insane. That global reach benefits the almost exclusively the rich and corporations, leaving mostly crumbs for the vast, vast majority of Americans. The defense establishment had better wake up to how badly the sad policies of the last fhirty years have hollowed out the American polity.

I think they made the right decision to design and build an Ohio replacement that will be well optimized for the strategic mission.

Those are different subs with very different missions, and the subs have very different paylods which imposes different requirements in hull geometry and propulsion. SLBMs are very much larger than any of the tactical weapons carried by the Virginia SSN.

The SSBN’s mission is strategic deterrence, to take a large load of SLBMs and hide where it won’t be found, to ensure an ability to retaliate in that worst case situation. If an SSBN shows its arse with a tactical shot, then the strategic mission is compromised. So the SSBNs need just enough tactical attack capability for self defense, but none for tactical attack missions. To put the sub at risk in a tactical mission would likely require offloading the strategic weapons, to avoid the risk of losing control of those weapons in a location where recovery would be difficult to near impossible if the sub is lost in the tactical mission. They are not going to build a surplus of the replacements, so putting any at risk with a tactical mission would risk compromising the more important strategic mission.

Don’t even joke like that. You almost gave me a heart attack.

Building small numbers of expensive and over budget platforms secures our military superiority?

Now what brilliant mind came to that conclusion? Nothing in life is guaranteed except dying. The best that anyone can hope for is that when the time comes (Pray that it don’t) we are ready to face who or whatever that challenge may be.

Virginia is a good SSN, but isn’t big enough and isn’t powerful enough to be a good SSBN.

Ohio’s bigger hull has a double rows of large vertical tubes, where the smaller Virginia block 5 will have only a single row of payload tubes that are shorter in height, as they do not need to accomodate the height of the tall SLBM payload.

A Virginia SSBN would need a taller and longer plug than the plug planned for block V, but it would not add many more tubes because hull volume is needed for the rest of the strategic weapon system and the crew associated with that system. The increased cross section increases profile drag and power requirement at all speeds. Any resulting increase in turbulence generates more SPL propagating to greater distance.

Building triple the number of Virginia based SSBNs would nearly triple the number of crew with expensive specialized training, costing more than building fewer larger submarines with designs optimized for the strategic mission.

Bottom line is that they made a good decision to design and build a new class of SSBNs optimized for their strategic mission.

Of course we also outspend EVERYONE on education—per capita and how are we doing there—our biggest issue is the greed of EVERYONE.…Read MGEN Smedley Butler’s ‘War is a Racket”

Ever heard of the Moors in Spain and Portugal?

“If you want peace then prepare for war,” so said the Roman soldier Vegetius approx. 2000 years ago (paraphrased).

I’m always amazed at the ignorance of my fellow citizens in the USA when they have never even stepped foot in a European country much less lived there. I spent 11 years in Germany (off and on over a 21 year period) and know there are only really one thing we are truly “exceptional” for — and that is it is still much easier to move up the economic scales here than anywhere else. But we pay a cost for that ease.

Snark, my foot, “blight_”.…
If we order 50,000, we can probly get ‘em 4 FREE.….

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer told [Congressional] lawmakers that the U.S. is investing in advanced weapons for potential use in the Asia-Pacific region, but that American military technological superiority isn’t guaranteed amid budget cuts.

Not when the owner/operators (the CEO, “major shareholders”, and Wall Street) of the (mostly) American corporations that in turn own those “lawmakers” have been giving the PRC the technology required for the building of advanced weaponry and its means of mass — and rapid — manufacturer ever since Reagan/Bush/Clinton/BushV2.0 and Congress enabled the sell-out of America.

Or betrayed America, to be more precise.

Er…Does anyone remember the WTC and Pentagon attacks? We have enemies that will do anything to injure us. If we don’t police the planet who will?

Wars will not solve all the problems in the world. The United Nations are a big failure. The so call super powers will end up destroying each other and the world. Many atomic weapons are on standby waiting for the command to destroy mankind. We the United Sates are divided by the special interests who have corrupted our system of government. We have have allot fine people in this country who should run for political office and give this country the leadership it needs. Veterans of America it’s time to clean house. What will our children and grand children have for a future. A country divided by people full of greed. GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS AND GOD BLESS AMERICA

Hmmmm, seems like China learned from us. Wait until they’re in bad financial straits, then start a financially crippling arms race. Good way to take down a country, just like we did with the now defunct Soviet Union.

Their motivations are clear, and for the most part their actions are right out in the open. I guess that’s why the defense contractor CEO’s make so much money. It can’t be easy to hide what you are doing when it is being done in plain sight.

Remember when our advantage over the Soviet Union was that we could develop new weapons more cheaply and efficiently than they could?

Oops, I forgot American Idol. How aptly named. And Marx thought religion was the “opiate of the masses,” hell, he didn’t even know what the term meant. The world hasn’t seen such “bread and circuses” placating of the masses since the fall of the Roman empire.

It wasn’t ‘bread and circuses’ that brought Rome down, it was effeminacy among the ruling class, court intrigue, and a dependency on foreign mercenaries. Rome fell because of its leadership, whom the people emulated in its corruption of traditional Roman values.

A nation is only as good as it’s people and we have a major problem in America today— drugs. Our country is the best in the world because we have that spirit of the individual who loves freedom. We as a nation must protect our youth from becoming addicted to the drugs that will kill our nation and that spirit of individual freedom.
Instead, drugs are being sold as a way of life with no consequences– well, there is a consequence when a nation becomes polluted with poison. All the weapons in the world are not the answer— the answer is the natural resources a nation has, and that is our youth.

The most troubling aspect of this article and the responses thereto is that hardly anyone addresses the question “why does America need to be the supreme military force in the world?”.

We put more of our nation’s wealth into the military than anyone else. It does not serve us well. True, at the moment we have the most capable force in the world. To defend us against what? Canada? Mexico? The movie “Red Dawn”? Seeing as all it takes is a few greedy people to sell the products of all our billions of R&D for a few $100k, it hardly seems worth it.

Afghanistan was initially a righteous action, but it could have been done at a fraction of the cost with the same results. Iraq is a bloody fiasco we Americans allowed ourselves to be led into. Yes Gulf Wars 1 and 2 were devastating displays of our military prowess. Canada and Mexico backed right off, and Cuba cancelled their airborne invasion plans.

America was relatively weak militarily and strong economically before WW 1 and 2 (rare examples of righteous US military involvement). Such large scale conflicts become increasingly unlikely in the world today, despite growing populations and dwindling resources. We still have enough nuclear weaponry to destroy all life on earth even if we detonated it all on American soil. When China becomes too polluted to live in, their elite will simply buy nice places to live without resorting to risky and messy conflicts. They will leave their peons to work the factories in their ugly, polluted cities. Does this scenario remind you of anything back here in the USA?

The wars of the future will take place more in cyberspace, commodity markets and board rooms of multinational corporations. The casualties will consist of tricking (or paying) half of the poor to kill the other half. Very little of the messy business will be seen from luxury yachts 50 miles offshore.

America will not be the lone military superpower in the world? Good! We don’t do such a hot job of being the world’s policeman anyway. Are we richer for having invaded Iraq? Are we safer? Hey we should go get involved in Syria and Iran while we’re at it, at least while we still have the best military. So what if a few thousand of our comrades are killed or maimed? We can re-up overseas, draw that juicy combat pay. If we scrimp and save, only drink the cheap stuff to dull the memories, maybe we can afford to live in the same area codes as the laughing rich folk.

Between the Wall Street elite, their paid-for Washington politicians, and their military-industrial complex protectors, we’ve reverted to an old European style aristocracy. Which means the rich take from the poor, just as it always has. The 200-year old Founding Fathers’ dream of a republic and equality is coming to an end.

People attacked us because, as the sole military power in the world, we were becoming bullies. Interfering in everyone else’s business. The way you handle a bully is to break their nose. That’s what’s 9/11 was all about. Not an outright war. Just a warning. Now we’re chasing down every “insurgent” who doesn’t like their government or sad state in life and if they’re out to destroy America. They’re not. They just want to be left alone.

Parasites don’t kill their host: they just want to live and reproduce.

So the future is probably going to be less total-war than it is today, since the only businesses that profit from war are military/aerospace, and they are already owned by a civilian hedge fund that would rather sell /instability/ instead of conflict.

And that the Soviet economy wasn’t particularly diverse: just building tanks and missiles like sausages.
Our economy is just one built around selling sausages and asking if you’d like to open a credit card at the store.

So says the champion of the status quo.

That’s BS! The entire problem is within the scope of the executive branch of government. The president could fix all that’s wrong with our current system of procurement today with a single executive order. The president controls all of the bureaucrats that write the procurement rules. He controls all of the military. The Clinton administration got us into this mess. The Obama administration could get us out of it if they cared enough to do it.

The congress creates the budget but they, at least up to now, don’t tell the executive branch how to spend the money. It is the executive branch that writes the procurement rules. The procurement bureaucrats all work for the executive branch. The military is also part of the executive branch of government. Everyone wants to yap about congress, but this has nothing to do with the legislative branch of government.

That’s not to mention the fact that everyone seems to conveniently forget that both the military and the procurement bureaucracy all work for the president, not congress.

Your contractors are not smarter than our contractors. Look at how much money our contractors make compared to yours. Look at how much political power our contractors have compared to yours. Look at how much money our contractors have access to compared to yours (we spend more on defense than the rest of the free world combined and possibly even doubled). Come on, you’ve got to admit that the American defense contractor CEO’s clearly earn their money. They just don’t earn it doing anything that the American taxpayer wants them to do, and even then they are so successful at manipulating the US taxpayer that often the taxpayers end up thanking the US defense contractor for screwing them. How’s that for good?

Nope, I’m not for the status quo.

I’m for honest analysis/criticism with a goal of finding a solution not placing blame.

Pretty simple concept, you should try it sometime.

Doc, in reply to “why does America need to be the supreme military force in the world?”, the answer is:
To satisfy poster Bradford’s previously mentioned elites and bankers and their unquenchable thirst for power and control. If you want to influence other countries behaviour to the exent that they act in ways that increase your wealth or power, or at a minimum don’t hinder your quest wealth and power, you’ve got to have some muscle to back it up. Hence the worlds largest conventional military force, all facilitated by crooked politicians for sale.

“Why does America have to be supreme military power on the planet?”

Self interest or preservation. You want to be Chinese?

They’re not even the supreme military power and they can pretty much get most of what they want.

Do they want to project power anywhere on the globe? Not really. Thus they can get away with a military that is orders of magnitude less capable (and cheaper); though their present moves make it hard to say if they want to keep people farther from the mainland, or to go on the offense.

Amen to or comment about Quality Leadership from the self appointed DICTATOR down through the inferior Command levels.….….….…

So right. So why aren’t those contractors and their children being taken to the guillotines? Why is the ‘home of the brave’ so incredibly passive? Why isn’t anything being done to UNdo all the decades of plutocratic legislation and cozyness between the companies and the government? At least he nazi’s did it WELL. They sold it as being ‘socialist’, but it was sheer fascism of course. Guess what, they were doing it RIGHT and you’re doing it wrong. Just as plutocratic/fascist, but INcompetent. Their engineers delivered the goods, yours don’t. (ceo’s are too powerful). And yes, US engineers DID deliver during and after ww2, I’m talking about today.

Blight, I assume you’re white, where the HELL do you come from then? Really, who gives you a right to ‘open or shut’ America’s doors, as it’s always been a destination. I suppose many in your nation and congress would welcome ‘those Europeans’ if we ever came again. It’d just be one of the many waves that went there. So why be angry?

Blight—-Did you catch this link earlier on Communist China’s ICBM and IRBM capabilities?

http://​www​.ausairpower​.net/​A​P​A​-​P​L​A​-​B​a​l​l​i​s​t​i​c​-​M​i​s​s​i​l​e​s​.​h​tml

B.A.Dilger, with all due respect I think you are looking at this with blinders on.

Why would China risk us defaulting on our loans, or mutually assured destruction, or finding out firsthand about all the nasty bugs at Ft. Dietrich (among others), or trying to fight a conventional war with over-stretched and vulnerable logistics, when they can just come here and buy stuff fair and square? Land in Wyoming is cheap, it might not look like much to us but they would love to have some clean mountain air instead of smog. All the money we borrow from them to sustain our bloated, poor-value-for-money military helps make this scenario far more likely than old-school military conquest.

If I have to learn Chinese, it won’t be because they are our occupiers, but to build my job resume because they’ll be the ones who are hiring.

“Dfens February 4th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Remember when our advantage over the Soviet Union was that we could develop new weapons more cheaply and efficiently than they could?”

Thats actually not true. The combined US and Western European economies were about 4x the size of the Soviet economy. The Soviets had to be very efficient and innovative to make up for that; and they were. They also had to minimise production and maintenance costs, which they did. They actually had an excellent model.

Outstanding Scenerio Big-Dean!! LMBO– Gy T USMC Ret.

IF Biden is president then we are in trouble already.

PW & Majr0d: Try reading Article I of the Constitution, you know that “document” you swore an oath to uphold & defend. BOTH HoR & Senate have to vote to pass a “bill” to become law.

Doc Whiskey—-A couple of decades ago I learned how to read a Pinyin Chinese to English dictionary and a Wades-Gile Reader to translate Chinese poetry and Lao Tzu. I don’t want to learn to speak it, too complex.

From a historical viewpoint one culture or another has tried or succeeded in dominating others. I defend the Western Civilization of the Greeks and Romans, and I defend the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. I used the Chinese as an example but it could just as easily been Islam or Swahili. Empires rise and fall by force of arms and internal treachery. Once I took an oath to defend These United States, as chief defender of our Western values, and little has occurred to change my mind. Actually, the Chinese should welcome US intervention in the South China Sea and Japan Sea conflicts. The Muslim insurgencies on their southern and western borders are being defended by NATO blood. Maybe this is payback for all the debt that we owe them. But “leaders” of the free world have caused us great harm by ‘selling the rope that hangs them’ (after Lenin). Let’s hope we can peacefully resolve issues with our competitors. Otherwise we should prepare for war. And be ever vigilant.

Define “senior chain of command.” Are you referring to the military (i.e., Air Force) senior chain of command? With that I would agree with you. “Incompetent” is a mighty strong term to be throwing about.

Good reply. Amazing how many think that the POTUS has the power of God. The three branches of our government are co-equal and as the last year or so have indicated the power of the President is fairly weak compared to the power of congress.

That would be a relief especially considering that the US spends more than the next 25-or-so nations on the military. If we make bad choices in how we spend our defense dollar once can spread the blame fairly evenly between congress that wants their state or their district’s defense industries to get lucrative and perhaps unnecessary military contracts and cold war thinking in one or more of our military services.

Naval aviation history starting in the late 1980s is both interesting and rather discouraging. Initially you had the NATF and the A-12 Avenger II. The Navy was far more interested in the A-12 however and they ended their involvement with the ATF program, freeing up more funds for the A-12. Upgraded variants of the F-14 Tomcat, starting with the F-14D would meet the Navy’s fighter requirement for foreseeable future (up until 2015). Once the A-12 was operational the Navy could then turn their attention to an F-14 replacement.

Very shortly after this the A-12 was cancelled and the A-X program started to fulfill that same general requirement. Later that program became A/F-X to represent an increased fighter capability planned for the aircraft. At the same time the Navy’s F-14 plans were under assault (Cheney was a strong opponent for some reason) and they only got the funding for a small number of F-14Ds. Shortly after F-14 production would be terminated completely. At the same time McDonnell Douglas pitched the Super Hornet as a relatively inexpensive development of the F/A-18, to bridge the gap to the A/F-X and serve as an alternative to the F-14. The Super Hornet ended up with very strong support and moved forward. Later the A/F-X would be cancelled along with the USAF’s MRF program as part of a consolidation of fighter programs into JAST, which would later become the JSF.

That Grumman prototype you speak of was the X-29 but that was largely just a FSW test aircraft. One of the concepts Grumman submitted for the ATF program was a forward-swept wing fighter but the the others were more conventional. The aerodynamics of their designs were excellent but the stealth wasn’t there. Grumman had a minimal amount of experience in that field and it showed.

A significantly higher proportion of the Soviet economy was based around the defense sector however. They also always benefited greatly from scale of production. Just look at the sheer number of tanks and MiGs they produced.

Sometimes the power of these design bureaus caused their share of inefficiency. Look at all of the occasions where there were two or three different systems filling the same role. That might also explain some oddities like how their Kuznetsov class carrier carries a battery of huge anti-ship missiles under the flight deck.

Nothing new about the MRAPs except for the CREWS anti-IED jammers installed in them (as well as in countless other vehicles).

Just look at South African protected designs from the 1980s and you’ll see where most of the MRAP ideas came from, in cases like the Buffalo and Giraffe anti-mine “trucks” almost a direct port-over from in-service vehicles used a decade or better before the US even considered them for Iraqi Freedom.
Funny how the fruits of apartheid arms embargoes have come roundabout in such fashion that the US and others, who embargoed arms and forced SA to develop their indigenous vehicles, end up buying the very vehicle designs the South African experience learned a quarter century ago.

If that’s your take on what I have to say, then I’m sure you’re getting just what you deserve.

I bet you read that on the internet.

Did I say that “bread and circuses” brought Rome down? No, I didn’t. What I said is that the “bread and circuses” kept the masses occupied while their leadership f’ed their empire away. Sound familiar?

Yeah, they built tanks and missiles and let their people starve. It’s starting to sound oh so familiar. We prefer to starve our children while we grow fat, though.

Well stated. In those days our Navy designed their own ships, just as the Soviet navy did. I think the main difference is the higher expectations we used to have due to the influence of the free market portion of our economy.

My ancestors mostly came here because they were French Protestants who fled Louis XIV’s persecution of the Huguenots, or English looking for a way up the socio-economic ladder. There is a hint of relationship with the House of Orange in our family tree. So, while we are ever so distantly related to our European cousins, I’ll thank you all not to trash our house or order us around, as if you were running things around here. I don’t treat family like that, and neither should you.

We could have FCS in testing today if we just held to the plan. Frank Kendall knows that, having worked on the program. And excuse me, if you are a pump-priming Keynesian economic, what is so wrong with priming the pump with military programs that create jobs and keep our technology leading edge ? Detroit is a mess — so why do we keep deferring production of army vehicle programs ? Just because they don’t fit the ideological goals of this administration ? Which is more important — your ideology or the economy ?

And so, the “benefits” of the v-shaped hull on the MRAP were a myth, a convenient excuse to kill the FCS MGV design, with no real facts to support it. Duly noted. I like seeing all these chickens come home to roost.

In point of fact, the weapons vendors look down on such profit margins. The whole point, as I have been informed, is to get out of system design and development and in to production as quickly as possible — where the real money is to be made. Or so I am told.

“The combined US and Western European economies were about 4x the size of the Soviet economy. The Soviets had to be very efficient and innovative to make up for that”

…or, they devoted more of their economic output to the military.

When you’re special, doors are opened so that you can go to whatever country you wish.

In the case of the United States, look at E-2 and EB-5 visas. If you’re talented, there’s the E11, E12, E13…

I wouldn’t be surprised if other countries had similar programs; which would grant a certain class of people incredible mobility, and little obligation to whatever country they are in at the moment.

“Cheney was a strong opponent for some reason”

He also opposed the Osprey before he was for it?

Lockheed Martin trade-in deal:

If you slice your old Skyhawks in half and post the picture on the internet, we’ll give you a JSF-A at 25% off. Priced to sell!

If you don’t think fascism is socialism, then you don’t understand what socialism is. Socialism is an economy controlled by the government. Fascism is where the government picks the winners and losers among private companies. Communism is where the government owns all the companies. They are two flavors of socialism, but with fascism you get all the overhead of individuals having to work to prop up the exorbitant wealth of the aristocracy (company owners). Also within fascism is the seeds of its own destruction. It is furthest from a meritocracy, and thus disenfranchises many of the best and brightest who historically revolt and tend to opt for either a capitalist or communists economy. That is, unless it’s a Muslim country then the revolt merely puts new nut jobs in place of the old ruling class.

Uh, let’s see, who gives a country the right to control its own borders? I guess that would be the definition of a country, wouldn’t it? I mean, it’s not exactly the same as Elks lodge, is it?

He was such a disappointment. Too bad the same guy who cancelled the P-7 and A-12 didn’t survive to be VP. I think there was more to that pacemaker than anyone knew.

Yeah, that was true in the 1970s and ‘80s. Ever since the procurement bureaucracy changed the rules so that contractors make a profit off development in the early ‘90s the game has changed 180 degrees. Now development is the cash cow and production is avoided, if possible.

Yep,

“This is Pot calling Kettle over…”

And when he gets up to address the nation, he starts the speech with “Because of the problems that we inherited from the Bush Admistration… ”

You all do realize that the problem is not entirely President Obama’s. The fact that military cuts started under President Bush is somehow missed by one and all. And anyway, the fact is that your LEADERSHIP–the ones in uniform–and the members of Congress, both RED AND BLUE, are the main problem. Congress is obssessed with polling, not what is best for the ones in uniform. And your leadership makes poor decisions on systems. Waste.

Books too, the occasional old news article as well, and yes internet sources that I try to determine are somewhat reliable. What did I state that was wrong? I’ve never seen an image of Grumman’s final 1986 submission for the ATF program but based off their earlier concepts it was probably a very sleek design with canards and rear swept wings. It would have had excellent performance and supercruise capability for sure. It could have instead been their forward swept wing design and in that case it would have been outstandingly maneuverable in a knife fight. Grumman was the only company to have recent experience with forward swept wings thanks to their X-29, but there were still a lot of concerns about such a configuration.

In the end Lockheed and Northrop were chosen primarily because they had the best understanding of stealth and their designs reflected it. The rest of the aerospace industry didn’t have the same knowledge and neither Lockheed or Northrop were giving out the details.

The A-12 and P-7 were probably good calls. I don’t know if I agree with his opposition to the F-14 however.

“If you don’t think fascism is socialism, then you don’t understand what socialism is. Socialism is an economy controlled by the government. Fascism is where the government picks the winners and losers among private companies. Communism is where the government owns all the companies. They are two flavors of socialism, but with fascism you get all the overhead of individuals having to work to prop up the exorbitant wealth of the aristocracy (company owners). Also within fascism is the seeds of its own destruction. It is furthest from a meritocracy, and thus disenfranchises many of the best and brightest who historically revolt and tend to opt for either a capitalist or communists economy. That is, unless it’s a Muslim country then the revolt merely puts new nut jobs in place of the old ruling class.”

This just about wins the internetz.

(And going back to the early point yes the Soviets did spend a higher proportion of their GDP on the military; their efficiencies could only go so far — as well as making use of stolen tech, which is very cheap. William C was quite right about a degree of inefficiency in bureau system but a role was found for everything produced, and nothing got approval for production unless it actually did the job it was designed to do. No system is 100% efficient 100% of the time.)

What foolishness and duplicity! The problem isn’t with the procurement rules. The problem lies in the specifications included in the RFPs and the allowed revisions. All the bureaucrats do is adjudicate the specifications which start with the services themselves. The bureaucrats don’t just make up the specifications out of thin air to include in the requests for proposal and subsequent contracts. It wasn’t the Clinton administration which got us into this “mess” any more than Obama, and your exclusion of St. Ronny Ray-gun, Bush Pere and Dubya just reveals your rigid bias regarding party. Go take a look at a biography on John Boyd and his colleagues in the Pentagon and their struggles with the service chiefs through St. Ronny Ray-gun’s regime to stop buying crap and defective products, all approved by officers within the services. Believe what you want, but the military is as corrupt as any other segment of society, so don’t hold it up as some sort of ethical paragon because you will be disappointed. There’s too much money floating around for people to just pocket and too many people can’t resist the temptation.

The USAF had the same problem with the old TFX program, vis-a-vis the Navy. The Navy insisted on the side-by-side seating in the TFX because of their experience with the F3D and the Navy’s TFX was just gonna be a bigger, faster, newer version of the F3D packing more potent missiles. Given the plane’s mission, it was always going to have weight problems. So, the Navy terminates its participation in the TFX project because of weight issues and the cockpit arrangment and signs a new contract with its preferred fighter builder, Grumman, who with the F-14 promptly produces a plane which weighs as much as the TFX and underwent the same drawn out acceptance problems as the TFX, even with the change in cockpit design.

The F-35’s problems all stem from the USMC’s need for the STOVL requirement. That’s where most of the thermal challenges the plane has experienced over the last three years — it burns up the Navy’s flightdecks. Strip away that peculiar requirement and the plane is just scaled down F-22 and would likely have been flyign in quantity several years back. It’s stll a bad deal because armed uncrewed air vehicles will be taking over most of its function in the decades ahead anyway. But, it’s the Navy’s fault the program is out fo control cost-wise and behind schedule and they should not be allowed to just walk away from the problems they’ve caused without some penalty, especially in their budgets, which is all that matters to the service chiefs in the fnal roll of the dice.

Oh, right, the great government conspiracy to generate profits for the defense contractors by continually changing, wait, no, increasing the requirements. Well, dumbass, who do you think writes the requirements? Congress? The people who write the requirements are typically the contractors themselves, they write by far most of them, and military bureaucrats that WORK FOR THE PRESIDENT! Damn, did you flunk social studies in grade school?

Now that was funny.

Well, there you go.

Its best to address the real threat now.
Give low cost fighters to the Philippines armed with ship killing missiles. The Philippines have plenty of good young men willing to fight and die for their country.
Like-wise transfer a full AC Carrier TF with full f-18 E/F to Japan. Japan can afford the burden of the defend of their nation. This will be a win-win for both Japan and the USA, while we are rebuilding of our economy.
NOW — we mus all boycott all Chinese made products. A dollar for the Chinese economy is 2.5 dollars for weapon systems that kill us later…

Well, the guy told me this in the first place was a senior systems engineer who had had three army programs shot out from under him in the 90s and last decade. I assume that he wasn’t lying to me.

I guess that you don’t realize that the NAVY version and USMC versions (B and C) are different airplanes than the Air Force version. They are roughly the same shape and carry mostly the same avionics but the actual airstructures are different. Thus, if the Air Force version was just a scaled down F-22 then it would already be flying in large numbers.

Oh really? I am far from a big Bush fan but please give us the specific defense cuts made under President Bush. Remember that Obama came into office before the defense budget for FY-2009 was submitted.

Are you going to attempt to make some sort of sense here or what?

The 90’s was a time of transition between the older approach were contractors were only reimbursed for their development costs, usually under “cost plus” contracts that became so infamous. Under that type of contract we were always going flat out to get done with development so the company could start making a profit on production aircraft. The biggest downside to that system was the old problem of the “A” and sometimes “B” model of any airplane being something of a death trap due to inadequate testing and lots of covered up flaws.

Under the current “cost plus award fee” type of contract the contractor makes the same 10 — 15% profit on every dollar they spend on development as they do on produced vehicles, and the difference is quite noticeable. Instead of doing development flat out like we used to, things have slowed down to an almost glacial pace. Of course, even that varies with the program. Smaller programs with less political clout can’t drag out development nearly as much as a large, well connected program can. I tend to prefer to work on the smaller programs.

Don’t you understand that it’s not the bureaucrats, the civilians in the DoD who write the specs but the uniforms? All the bureaucrats do is codify the specs coming down from the uniforms into the paper documents. The uniformed program heads are the crowd which is responsible for much of the waste, in large part because we as a nation have done a hideously bad job at telling our “warrior” class that budgets do matter, that decisions must be made, and that you can’t have everything your heart desires. Perhaps you should concern yourself less with what somebody might have done in grade school and more with what gets learned in managing bureaucracies. You can rant all you want about the bureaucrats being literally responsible for the contracts, but it’s the uniformed services who write the specs which get handed to the bureaucrats to be included in the contracts. If you had ever worked with the procurement side of the services you would know that.

I do realize their differences, but it’s the Navy’s and USMC’s specs which are deep-sixing the program. If the STOVL requirement were to be dropped the differences between the services’ airframes would decrease substantially.

Enoch as your name suggests a biblical end of humanity , what our founding fathers laid out for us is not the government we talorate today. I don’t see states governing them selves and the people deciding our fait . Yet a lie shoved before an ignorant population who would rather sit on their butts and collect well fair.

It doesn’t matter if it’s bureaucrats or uniformed military personnel who write the requirements, they both work for the president. Holy crap, why is that so damn hard to understand? They f’ing don’t work for Congress.

If you want to believe there’s some great conspiracy among military to jack up the cost of weapons and drag out their development, then fine, but if it were me, I’d be following the money, and the big winners in this game are the defense contractors. You don’t have to be Woodward or Bernstein to figure that one out. Well, maybe you do.

STOVL being one of the first requirements for this airplane. Oh, wait, no, I’m sure it was all part of a vast Naval conspiracy to raise the cost of this program. You know, because the Navy is like that. It’s because they work for Congress, that’s why you can’t trust them.

Can you spell “Trickle Down”??????????????????

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