AvWeek: Explore other options beyond F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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battleshipagincourt

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 04:17

hb_pencil wrote:Wow... just wow.

Actually its pretty clear that "front end" soldiers on the ground that I've spoken to (in a professional capacity) that they DO NOT want UCAVs undertaking Type 1 or Type 2 CAS under anything but the most exceptional of circumstances. That's a sentiment that runs right up the command chain. The risks surrounding limited situational awareness are viewed as high enough that they fear a major increase in blue on blue casualties. There are already several examples where this has occurred, such as the April 6th 2011 death of two Marine troopers from a Predator strike.

So no, you're just dead wrong about this.


I see that thinking isn't your strongest attribute.

Obviously any soldier on the ground would want nothing short of a top-tier aircraft supporting them whenever they get in a jam. Unfortunately in reality (somewhere you obviously don't live in) ground forces don't get everything they want when they want it because they're working with limited resources.

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. 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.
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delvo

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 04:42

This stuff about low-intensity environments calling for low-intensity aircraft is so far from anything like making sense that it would be bewildering that anybody takes it seriously, if I were convinced that anyone actually does and isn't just being dishonest when bringing it up.

For that idea not to be completely insane would require all potential enemies to simply never become better armed than they are now, even though they already are now better armed than they were before and they're still trying to continue that trend.
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pushoksti

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 04:42

battleshipagincourt wrote: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.


You really are drinking some strong koolaid. :lol: :lol:
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popcorn

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 04:52

Even a third-world AF flying piston-engined fighters would,use a Reaper for target practice.
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battleshipagincourt

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 05:00

delvo wrote:This stuff about low-intensity environments calling for low-intensity aircraft is so far from anything like making sense that it would be bewildering that anybody takes it seriously, if I were convinced that anyone actually does and isn't just being dishonest when bringing it up.

For that idea not to be completely insane would require all potential enemies to simply never become better armed than they are now, even though they already are now better armed than they were before and they're still trying to continue that trend.


And likewise we're every bit as capable of building more effective drones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_Avenger

Try something that has most of the survival features of the F-35 at only one fifth its cost. This isn't insanity. Thinking you can build a super-expensive fighter to perform every task in the USAF because they've got an unlimited budget... THAT is insanity.
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velocityvector

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 05:13

Try something that has most of the survival features of the F-35 at only one fifth its cost. This isn't insanity. Thinking you can build a super-expensive fighter to perform every task in the USAF because they've got an unlimited budget... THAT is insanity.


Wisdom.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 05:51

sferrin wrote:
Prinz_Eugn wrote:Thanks Bill, glad they didn't bother to credit you.


No doubt he didn't want his name on it. He's getting pounded regarding his bias over on Secret Projects. :lol:


Regarding the ideas in this article for increasing competition, someone over there compared it to "trying to make your girlfriend jealous by making-out with the dog."
The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 05:59

velocityvector wrote:
Try something that has most of the survival features of the F-35 at only one fifth its cost. This isn't insanity. Thinking you can build a super-expensive fighter to perform every task in the USAF because they've got an unlimited budget... THAT is insanity.


Wisdom.


Obfuscation.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 06:31

battleshipagincourt wrote:
hb_pencil wrote:Wow... just wow.

Actually its pretty clear that "front end" soldiers on the ground that I've spoken to (in a professional capacity) that they DO NOT want UCAVs undertaking Type 1 or Type 2 CAS under anything but the most exceptional of circumstances. That's a sentiment that runs right up the command chain. The risks surrounding limited situational awareness are viewed as high enough that they fear a major increase in blue on blue casualties. There are already several examples where this has occurred, such as the April 6th 2011 death of two Marine troopers from a Predator strike.

So no, you're just dead wrong about this.


I see that thinking isn't your strongest attribute.

Obviously any soldier on the ground would want nothing short of a top-tier aircraft supporting them whenever they get in a jam. Unfortunately in reality (somewhere you obviously don't live in) ground forces don't get everything they want when they want it because they're working with limited resources.

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. 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.


I see reading comprehension is not yours.

Its not even a question of what is "better." Its a question of safety. UCAV CAS is viewed as being dangerous to the troops on the ground, particularly during close contact. Limited situational awareness during troops in contact is a recipe for disaster. You can say whatever you want, it doesn't change the reality. I've spoken to the warfighter in this case at various levels and while there is some room in Type 2 CAS for UAVs there is deep resistance for it to be undertaken by UCAVs.

This isn't about the F-35. I think in low threat environments aircraft like the Super Tucano and Hawker II are completely acceptable substitutes, as is A-10. However in any environment, UCAVs are seen as being too risky to be an acceptable substitute. Maybe in 20 years that might change. However its not the case now nor will it be in the immediate future.
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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 06:53

However in any environment, UCAVs are seen as being too risky to be an acceptable substitute.


Assuming this to be true, UCAVs may be perceived thusly because warfighters have zero direct operational experience with modern ones. Troops have never knowingly had contact with them. What is publicly fielded now is primative by comparison and the technology in use predates the war in Kosovo. When the moment is ripe, and it won't be anywhere near 20 years from today, the warfighter is going to kiss his sweet **** and thank God somebody was planning beyond his vision and the stars aligned. F-35 has a role but its purchase numbers need to be radically reduced for U.S. buys in favor of new UCAVs.

See you and raise you one Paul Ryan.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 07:28

velocityvector wrote:
However in any environment, UCAVs are seen as being too risky to be an acceptable substitute.


Assuming this to be true, UCAVs may be perceived thusly because warfighters have zero direct operational experience with modern ones. Troops have never knowingly had contact with them. What is publicly fielded now is primative by comparison and the technology in use predates the war in Kosovo. When the moment is ripe, and it won't be anywhere near 20 years from today, the warfighter is going to kiss his sweet **** and thank God somebody was planning beyond his vision and the stars aligned. F-35 has a role but its purchase numbers need to be radically reduced for U.S. buys in favor of new UCAVs.

See you and raise you one Paul Ryan.


That isn't the case however. As I noted in the first response, 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.

And this is not just the "man on the ground" that has expressed this views. Its a common view, that you can even see in congressional committees. That's not at all diminishing the role that UAVs and UCAVs will play. I've stated that it will be a mix of systems including UAVs, but with the F-35 or another manned platform retaining a central role. That won't change for a very long time.
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sferrin

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 14:52

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:
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rkap

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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 16:45

sferrin
Guess you never heard of the Vietnam War or Desert Storm


And what would have been the purpose of the F35 in Vietnam. Apart from the 100 or so Mig17's and Mig21's they had I would hardly call it a high intensity War from an aircraft point of view. They would be OK to get on top of an enemies Airforce at the beginning and then as far as I can see there role would be finished.

You would you use them to bomb Hanoi with there small bomb load? Too risky with 1-1.5 million rifles pointing at the sky. They would be more vulnerable than the B52's and F4's of the time to that sort of intense small arms fire.

They may have a limited role in ground support but most of the time would be useless there also. Most times the enemy would be gone by the time they took off [because they can't loiter] and got to the target and fired an expensive stand off weapon at an almost invisible enemy. {Stealthy enemy]. Even if IR signatures were picked up in the jungle there would be no way of knowing who were enemy and who were not. They would have to rely on co-ordinates fed to them by the troops in the middle of the fight. For every 10 missiles launched they might be lucky to get one enemy if the troops were desperate enough to call them in. Accidents happened often in Vietnam even with visual targeting - bombs ended up on the friendly forces instead of the enemy since they were often very close together. In Vietnam with visual sighting troops were reluctant to call for air support as the chances of getting a bomb on top of yourself was too great. It would not be better with an F35 standing off or flying high. Most of the time in Vietnam troops simply patrolled within artillery range if possible as it was more accurate and immediately available if ambushed etc.

Nothing would be any different today in a similar situation. Worse if the troops had to rely on the F35. I am certain most would say - give us an A10 - good in a desert and also reasonably good in jungle type conditions. At least they are tough enough for the pilot to fly slow and low and get a good look where exactly the missile or bombs are required. The F35 can't do that.
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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 17:10

rkap wrote:And what would have been the purpose of the F35 in Vietnam...


Gave up after that. :roll:
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Unread post05 Oct 2012, 18:08

1st503rdsgt wrote:
rkap wrote:And what would have been the purpose of the F35 in Vietnam...


Gave up after that. :roll:


Yeah, pretty hilarious. "Aside from hundreds of fighters and thousands of SAMs. . ." :lmao:
"There I was. . ."
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