AvWeek: Explore other options beyond F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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wrightwing

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 19:13

megasun wrote:Well, I can see that F-35 does have a longer waiting time, as it is more expensive thus fewer...
Besides price, drones also have better endurance, and can patrol much longer.


How many A-10/Predators do you imagine are in the inventory?
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wrightwing

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 19:28

battleshipagincourt wrote:
I see that thinking isn't your strongest attribute.


Pot, this is Kettle. Come in.....over.


Supposing that money is no obstacle, yeah your perfect world scenario of always having hundreds of F-35's readily available whenever they're needed would work. Unfortunately the F-35 is extremely expensive both to procure and operate, especially compared to legacy aircraft, meaning there will be many fewer of them available for use.


Can you provide us with some statistics on the sortie rates we can expect, versus what it now available? I'd also like to see some figures where the operating costs are compared, and how that will affect the availability rates.



The idea here is to augment their limited numbers by building a series of specialized aircraft you won't be using for extreme environments. UAV's have many attributes that make them ideal for CAS operations, mainly in being unmanned and having great endurance... the F-35 fails in both.

Your petty little complaints about UAV's not being able to enter hostile airspace heavily defended by SAM's just reeks of hypocrisy. Obviously you're not going to send expensive drones into situations where you'd need F-35 survival features. Likewise you're not going to send expensive F-35's to deal with jobs that would otherwise be better suited to cheap, dedicated CAS aircraft.

Your solution here is to provide ever more expensive platforms in ever decreasing numbers to handle EVERY single air operation? I can assure you that soldiers on the ground would be infinitely more happy to get a UAV or CAS aircraft than nothing at all.


You're very good at creating false dichotomies. We're not faced with choosing whether to buy F-35s, or UAVs. We'll be acquiring both. The A-10 will be in service for 25-30 more years. We can address this issue again, once we have an idea of the threats, that we can expect in that time frame.
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redbird87

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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 04:35

sferrin wrote:
redbird87 wrote:I think we should remember, the last high intensity conflict any (non Israeli) US built fighter participated in, ended in 1945.


Guess you never heard of the Vietnam War or Desert Storm. :roll:



Buddy, you just whiffed bad. Viet Nam was a Low Intensity Conflict by definition: A low intensity conflict is the use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with the policies or objectives of the political body controlling the military force. The term can be used to describe conflicts where at least one or both of the opposing parties operate along such lines.

Did we carpet bomb and totally flatten every major urban population center in North Viet Nam aka Tokyo and Dressden? No, we restrained (unfortunately).

The same applies to Baghdad. This is on the strategic level. On the tactical level, Viet Nam was largely a insurgency / counter insurgency. You could view the 120 hours of Desert Storm as a high intensity conflict on the tactical level, but that is moot in this argument. You could have literally replaced every F-15/16/18/111, and Tornado with P-47s and it would not have altered the final outcome of the conflict. The few Iraqi jets were no threat to our log bases due to the Patriot/Aegis umbrella. The swarm of P-47s would have simply destroyed their small jet force on the ground. They had no counter for AH-64s at night, or A-10s during the day. Again, that hypothetical swarm of P-47s would have been very effective firing up Iraqi ground forces.

Furthermore, no air circumstance in Desert Storm was going to change the fact that Iraqi main gun tank rounds could not penetrate M-1 tank armor. Their BMPs were no match for our Bradleys. Our ground force vs theirs was like a fully armed and armored SEAL team in a firefight against a 3rd grade class armed with .22 pistols. It was THAT one-sided.
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velocityvector

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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 08:19

there have been incidents concerning UCAVs like the April 4th 2011 death of two marines and god knows how many other incidents where poor targeting resulted in collateral damage or the wrong target being hit altogether.


Manned aircraft have failed this way throughout their history. When a machine mucks up, you can teach every one of them in their category the same lesson and, consistently, they will not repeat the same mistake. This teaching and consistency are impossible to repeat with human pilots. You are re-arguing horse and buggy. I appreciate your nostalgia. I drink your milkshake.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 08:36

redbird87 wrote:
sferrin wrote:
redbird87 wrote:I think we should remember, the last high intensity conflict any (non Israeli) US built fighter participated in, ended in 1945.


Guess you never heard of the Vietnam War or Desert Storm. :roll:



Buddy, you just whiffed bad. Viet Nam was a Low Intensity Conflict by definition: A low intensity conflict is the use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with the policies or objectives of the political body controlling the military force. The term can be used to describe conflicts where at least one or both of the opposing parties operate along such lines.


That's not a low intensity operation, nor is that a definition I have ever seen. Ultimately, the conduct of all wars are determined by the policies and objectives of a political body. That's the basis of Clauswitz's most famous dictum (war is a policy by other means) and the fundamental core of Samuel Huntington's text the Soldier and the State.

By your logic, I could argue that Korea was a low intensity operation because the United States didn't utilize nuclear weapons or apply its full military might. The United States deployed more troops and military capabilities to Vietnam than they ever did during the Korean conflict.

Certainly the war in South Vietnam was a counterinsurgency. However the US military did not really understand that. It largely fought it using operational and tactical concepts derived from conventional operations (See Krepinevich) And that was only one part of the war. No state deploys 600,000 troops or flies 5,000 strike sorties a month and describes that a "low intensity." They were running one to three major strikes into Vietnam from 1966 to 1968, and dropping more ordinance than in WWII. There operations were over denied territory, and were constantly under threat from SAMs and North Vietnamese Air Defenses. The vietnamese deployed hundreds of SA-2s, ten of thousands of AAA batteries and hundreds of fighters to oppose american raids.

redbird87 wrote:Did we carpet bomb and totally flatten every major urban population center in North Viet Nam aka Tokyo and Dressden? No, we restrained (unfortunately).


Uh, with the exception of Hanoi, the United States basically did. They literally demolished the Vietnamese economic infrastructure to an similar extent to germany, targeting power plants, factories and transportation networks.

redbird87 wrote:The same applies to Baghdad. This is on the strategic level. On the tactical level, Viet Nam was largely a insurgency / counter insurgency. You could view the 120 hours of Desert Storm as a high intensity conflict on the tactical level, but that is moot in this argument. You could have literally replaced every F-15/16/18/111, and Tornado with P-47s and it would not have altered the final outcome of the conflict. The few Iraqi jets were no threat to our log bases due to the Patriot/Aegis umbrella. The swarm of P-47s would have simply destroyed their small jet force on the ground. They had no counter for AH-64s at night, or A-10s during the day. Again, that hypothetical swarm of P-47s would have been very effective firing up Iraqi ground forces.


I'm sorry, that does not even come close to the reality of Vietnam. The United States Air Force lost over 1700 aircraft due to combat during Vietnam (Thompson: to Hanoi and back, 310), the Navy, 520. If losing 2200 aircraft isn't considered "high intensity" then I don't know what will.

The lethality of North Vietnamese Air defences forced the Navy to withdraw the Skyraider from service in 1967, because it was getting chewed up too hard. So no, vietnam was an extremely intense war for the air services, which were the key instrument to forcing the north Vietnamese leadership to capitulate.




redbird87 wrote:Furthermore, no air circumstance in Desert Storm was going to change the fact that Iraqi main gun tank rounds could not penetrate M-1 tank armor. Their BMPs were no match for our Bradleys. Our ground force vs theirs was like a fully armed and armored SEAL team in a firefight against a 3rd grade class armed with .22 pistols. It was THAT one-sided.


It was that one sided because Air power had basically eliminated the Iraqi Army's ability to fight. Without fuel, communications or ammunition, the Iraqi army could not put up a fight. With those goods, they would have been more able to resist US forces and inflict serious casualties.
Last edited by hb_pencil on 06 Oct 2012, 09:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 08:55

velocityvector wrote:
there have been incidents concerning UCAVs like the April 4th 2011 death of two marines and god knows how many other incidents where poor targeting resulted in collateral damage or the wrong target being hit altogether.


Manned aircraft have failed this way throughout their history. When a machine mucks up, you can teach every one of them in their category the same lesson and, consistently, they will not repeat the same mistake.


The evidence from Afghanistan and Pakistan overwhelmingly suggests otherwise, with the hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan alone over a decade of combat. At the end of the day UCAVs are piloted and controlled humans, not machines. The situational awareness on UCAVs remains quite limited (and will for some time), which is a significant limitation for CAS work.

velocityvector wrote:This teaching and consistency are impossible to repeat with human pilots. You are re-arguing horse and buggy. I appreciate your nostalgia. I drink your milkshake.


How old are you with that insult, 12?

Actually, don't answer... because frankly I'm done with this argument. I'm sure you know better than pilots, troops, JTACS and the military which actually deals with this on a day to day basis.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 18:21

redbird87 wrote:Furthermore, no air circumstance in Desert Storm was going to change the fact that Iraqi main gun tank rounds could not penetrate M-1 tank armor. Their BMPs were no match for our Bradleys. Our ground force vs theirs was like a fully armed and armored SEAL team in a firefight against a 3rd grade class armed with .22 pistols. It was THAT one-sided.


HB -
It was that one sided because Air power had basically eliminated the Iraqi Army's ability to fight. Without fuel, communications or ammunition, the Iraqi army could not put up a fight. With those goods, they would have been more able to resist US forces and inflict serious casualties.


I won't argue Viet Nam further, but it is not considered a high intensity conflict by the military and those who write doctrine. You do make good points on the number of aircraft lost.

As for desert storm, if we had not launched A SINGLE SORTIE prior to crossing the berm, it would not have altered that fact that the Iraqi regulars and Republican Guard had absolutely no answer for the M-1s, AH-64s, A-10s and even those hypothetical P-47s I mentioned. It may have lasted 300 or 400 hundred hours instead of 100, but the end result still would have been a total route. No pre-invasion air campaign (or lack there of) was going to change the fact that the Iraqi tanks could not penetrate an M-1's armor, could not see and engage at night or in dust storms, and were out ranged by 2000 meters. Their ground forces were defenseless against AH-64s/Cobras, A-10s and would also have been defenseless vs those scores of hypothetical P-47s. If you argue these facts are false, you only prove to us that you know very little about maneuver warfare and the equipment and training level of both sides in this conflict.

Yes there would have been more casualties. I am not saying the air campaign was not very helpful. I am saying this level of opponent (the 4th largest military in the world at that time by some sources) can be defeated, rather easily in this case, without the level of investment the F-35 is consuming.

As for true high intensity conflicts, greater investment in F-22 and Virgina class subs would be more cost effective options to ensure victory. Even the most dominant naval aviator of all time, Admiral Halsey, ranked the submarine higher that carrier air power as the most valuable asset in defeating the Japanese. That is relevant since the Pacific is the most likely theater for such a conflict in the near future.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 18:38

redbird87 wrote:...would also have been defenseless vs those scores of hypothetical P-47s.


Looks like bronc is back. :roll:

I bet they could put one hell of an AESA into the nose of a *hypothetical* B-29; and just think of all the AMRAAMs one could get into the internal bays! :lmao:
Last edited by 1st503rdsgt on 06 Oct 2012, 18:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 18:47

Revisionist fantasy.

Ever ponder how all those P-47s or those maneuver forces might have defended themselves against attack from the air, or how that penetration of the berm might have gone in the face of massed indirect fires? Ever wonder how those P-47s would have taken out Iragi command and control, airfields, and the supply network that supported forces in Kuwait?
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 19:07

Important note: tank armor isn't perfect. Just because and enemy "can't penetrate" your tank's main forward armor doesn't mean they cant kill your tank, it just means that you might survive a few hits.
Also, my understanding is that the Iraqis had a number of AA guns that would have shredded P-47s.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 19:27

quicksilver wrote:Revisionist fantasy.

Ever ponder how all those P-47s or those maneuver forces might have defended themselves against attack from the air, or how that penetration of the berm might have gone in the face of massed indirect fires? Ever wonder how those P-47s would have taken out Iragi command and control, airfields, and the supply network that supported forces in Kuwait?


Of course. The hypothetical, if you go back and read it, is what would happen if we had replaced every single teen series fighter and Tornado with P-47s.

1. It did not include doing away with B-1s, B-2s, B-52s (with cruise missiles), submarine and ship launched cruise missiles. Those assets themselves could have destroyed or severely degraded the meager Iraqi air force on the ground. Patriot, Aegis, and Avenger/Stinger based systems would still have been in place as well.

2. To further complete the destruction of the Iraqi air force, scores of night vision capable P-47s (the ones replacing the teen series fighters) would have ravaged the Iraqi air force on the ground. Yes possibly with significant losses.

3. As for artillery, you seem to forget the massive advantage we had in artillery range, accuracy, and counter battery ability. Furthermore, we owned the night. The AH-64s, and night vision capable A-10 and P-47 would again have ravaged the DAGs and AAGs.

I am not saying replacing all the F-15, F-16, F-18, and Tornados with modernized P-47s would have been near as good as keeping the jets. I am saying, emphatically, it would not have changed who won the conflict. Period. The biggest advantage at the operational level would not have changed. That was our ability to synchronize all the combat power assets available (whatever they were) at critical points like artillery masses or airfields. The Iraqis sucked at this art of war. We excelled at it.

At the tactical level, once ground forces made contact, the technological, training, and will to fight advantages our forces had would still have been the decisive factor. The Iraqi air force just wasn't large enough or lethal enough to dictate another outcome, even with the disadvantage imposed in this hypothetical.
Last edited by redbird87 on 06 Oct 2012, 19:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 19:43

Substitute "Skyraider" for "P-47" and it's deja vu all over again. :roll:
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 19:47

1st503rdsgt wrote:Substitute "Skyraider" for "P-47" and it's deja vu all over again. :roll:


I thought about that, and F-86s as well, but to prove the point, I took it back as far as possible.
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 20:03

redbird87 wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:Substitute "Skyraider" for "P-47" and it's deja vu all over again. :roll:


I thought about that, and F-86s as well, but to prove the point, I took it back as far as possible.


Of course you did. :wink:
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Unread post06 Oct 2012, 21:55

redbird87 wrote:
sferrin wrote:
redbird87 wrote:I think we should remember, the last high intensity conflict any (non Israeli) US built fighter participated in, ended in 1945.


Guess you never heard of the Vietnam War or Desert Storm. :roll:



Buddy, you just whiffed bad. .


Given that the US lost several THOUSAND aircraft in Vietnam might I suggest you might want to look up the meaning of "whiffed".
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