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Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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steve2267

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Unread post07 Aug 2018, 23:01

Pres. Trump seems intent on getting the Europeans to pull their own weight, defense-spending-wise, and doesn't seem inclined to continue "subsidizing" Euro defense. How this plays out is anybodies guess. But if the US were to pull back from Europe, and indeed "force" the Europeans to step up their defense spending... I don't know if that would tend to force something like Tempest to work (because they have little choice)... or to cause it to collapse in inter-nation bickering.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post13 Aug 2018, 19:27

https://www.reddit.com/r/LessCredibleDe ... iguration/

Reddit brings the squealing

IAlso, F-35s stealth is apt to be short-lived given the emerging ability to track by IFF, RFID and Laser.


Emphasis mine.

https://imgur.com/a/BT6Nh3A Imgur album in case he gets some self consciousness and nukes all of his comments
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Unread post14 Aug 2018, 23:15

When I first considered how F-16.net would react to the F-35, I expected to see a lot of F-16 vs F-35 maneuverability and dog-fighting arguments, how the F-35 was a massive failure, and similar statements we've seen in the open presstitute brothels.

Since I knew the forum was populated with a lot of active and retired professionals associated with military aviation, to include engineers, maintainers, and pilots, I was interested in those opinions and perspectives, void of bias towards any particular airframe.

It was a breath of fresh air to find reasonable, informed analyses from people with military aerospace professional backgrounds and all the positive aspects of how game-changing the JSF is, from deep reference points and experience with previous generation aircraft and systems.

I think in the public discourse, so many people are conditioned one way how to take in new information, then regurgitate that information without any kind of ability to study it and form their own opinions.

It's like watching kids taking tests and looking over at the kid who wears glasses....what's on his paper?

He might be a total idiot, failing the class, and just wears corrective lenses.

I see the vast majority of open press as that guy.
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 04:18

Irrp, it isn’t so much that the press is “that guy” as they are the kids trying to cheat off of the kid with glasses. In this case, the kid with glasses is pierre sprey. Myopic would be putting it mildly.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 06:09

krieger22 wrote:https://www.reddit.com/r/LessCredibleDefence/comments/95xd0y/watch_a_dutch_f35a_in_cas_beast_mode_configuration/

Reddit brings the squealing

IAlso, F-35s stealth is apt to be short-lived given the emerging ability to track by IFF, RFID and Laser.


Emphasis mine.

https://imgur.com/a/BT6Nh3A Imgur album in case he gets some self consciousness and nukes all of his comments



oh man. wow.

he parrots away there.

Wing loading is funny because it traps so many people who make it the be all end all. like that person who pointed out F-35C has better wing loading than Su-35. I love it when people have that blow up on them. LOL
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 06:30

lrrpf52 wrote:When I first considered how F-16.net would react to the F-35, I expected to see a lot of F-16 vs F-35 maneuverability and dog-fighting arguments, how the F-35 was a massive failure, and similar statements we've seen in the open presstitute brothels.

Since I knew the forum was populated with a lot of active and retired professionals associated with military aviation, to include engineers, maintainers, and pilots, I was interested in those opinions and perspectives, void of bias towards any particular airframe.

It was a breath of fresh air to find reasonable, informed analyses from people with military aerospace professional backgrounds and all the positive aspects of how game-changing the JSF is, from deep reference points and experience with previous generation aircraft and systems.

I think in the public discourse, so many people are conditioned one way how to take in new information, then regurgitate that information without any kind of ability to study it and form their own opinions.

It's like watching kids taking tests and looking over at the kid who wears glasses....what's on his paper?

He might be a total idiot, failing the class, and just wears corrective lenses.

I see the vast majority of open press as that guy.



Anti defense spending "journalism" and reporting has a template that goes back to the 1980s and hasn't changed since. Its pretty remarkable actually:


I am a fighter pilot. I love fighter aircraft. But even though my service --I am a Marine-- doesn't have a dog in the fight, it is difficult to watch the grotesquerie that is the procurement of the Navy's new strike-fighter, the F/A-18 E/F Su per Hornet.

Billed as the Navy's strike-fighter of the future, the F/A-18 E/F is instead an expensive failure - a travesty of subterfuge and poor leadership. Intended to over come any potential adversaries during the next 20 years, the air craft is instead outperformed by a number of already operational air craft - including the fighter it is scheduled to replace, the original F/A-18 Hornet.

The Super Hornet concept was spawned in 1992, in part, as a re placement for the 30 year-old A-6 Intruder medium bomber. Though it had provided yeoman service since the early 1960s, the A-6 was aging and on its way to retirement by the end of the Gulf War in 1991. The Navy earlier tried to develop a replacement during the 1980s - the A-12 - but bungled the project so badly that the whole mess was scrapped in 1991. The A-12 fiasco cost the taxpayers $5 billion and cost the Navy what little reputation it had as a service that could wisely spend taxpayer dollars.

Nevertheless, the requirement for an A-6 replacement remains. Without an aircraft with a longer range and greater payload than the current F/A-18, the Navy lost much of its offensive punch. Consequently it turned to the original F/A-18 - a combat-proven per former, but a short-ranged light bomber when compared to the A-6. Still stinging from the A-12 debacle, the Navy tried to "put one over" on Congress by passing off a completely redesigned aircraft - the Super Hornet - as simply a modification of the original Hornet.

The obfuscation worked. Many in Congress were fooled into believing that the new aircraft was just what the Navy told them it was - a modified Hornet. In fact, the new airplane is much larger - built that way to carry more fuel and bombs - is much different aerodynamically, has new engines and engine intakes and a completely reworked internal structure. In short, the Super Hornet and the original Hornet are two completely different aircraft despite their similar appearance.

Though the deception worked, the new aircraft - the Super Hornet - does not. Because it was never prototyped - at the Navy's insistence - its faults were not evident until production aircraft rolled out of the factory. Among the problems the aircraft experienced was the publicized phenomenon of "wing drop" - a spurious, uncommanded roll, which occurred in the heart of the air craft's performance envelope. After a great deal of negative press, the Super Hornet team devised a "band-aid" fix that mitigated the problem at the expense of performance tradeoffs in other regimes of flight. Regardless, the redesigned wing is a mish-mash of aerodynamic compromises which does nothing well. And the Super Hornet's wing drop problem is minor compared to other shortfalls. First, the air craft is slow -- slower than most fighters fielded since the early 1960s. In that one of the most oft- uttered maxims of the fighter pilot fraternity is that "Speed is Life", this deficiency is alarming.

But the Super Hornet's wheezing performance against the speed clock isn't its only flaw. If speed is indeed life, than maneuverability is the reason that life is worth living for the fighter pilot. In a dog fight, superior maneuverability al lows a pilot to bring his weapons to bear against the enemy. With its heavy, aerodynamically compromised airframe, and inadequate engines, the Super Hornet won't win many dogfights. Indeed, it can be outmaneuvered by nearly every front-line fighter fielded today.

"But the Super Hornet isn't just a fighter", its proponents will counter, "it is a bomber as well". True, the new aircraft carries more bombs than the current F/A-18 - but not dramatically more, or dramatically further. The engineering can be studied, but the laws of physics don't change for anyone - certainly not the Navy. From the beginning, the aircraft was incapable of doing what the Navy wanted. And they knew it.

The Navy doesn't appear to be worried about the performance shortfalls of the Super Hornet. The aircraft is supposed to be so full of technological wizardry that the enemy will be overwhelmed by its superior weapons. That is the same argument that was used prior to the Vietnam War. This logic fell flat when our large, ex pensive fighters - the most sophisticated in the world - started falling to peasants flying simple aircraft designed during the Korean conflict.

Further drawing into question the Navy's position that flight performance is secondary to the technological sophistication of the air craft, are the Air Forces' specifications for its new - albeit expensive - fighter, the F-22. The Air Force has ensured that the F-22 has top-notch flight performance, as well as a weapons suite second to none. It truly has no ri vals in the foreseeable future.

The Super Hornet's shortcomings have been borne out anecdotally. There are numerous stories, but one episode sums it up nicely. Said one crew member who flew a standard Hornet alongside new Super Hornets: "We outran them, we out-flew them, and we ran them out of gas. I was embarrassed for those pilots". These shortcomings are tacitly acknowledged around the fleet where the aircraft is referred to as the "Super-Slow Hornet".

What about the rank-and-file Navy fliers? What are they told when they question the Super Hornet's shortcomings? The standard reply is, "Climb aboard, sit down, and shut up. This is our fighter, and you're going to make it work". Can there be any wondering at the widespread disgust with the Navy's leadership and the hemorrhaging exodus of its fliers?

Unfortunately, much of the damage has been done. Billions of dollars have been spent on the Super Hornet that could have been spent on maintaining or upgrading the Navy's current fleet of aircraft. Instead, unacceptable numbers or aircraft are sidelined for want of money to buy spare parts. Paradoxically, much of what the Navy wanted in the Super Hornet could have been obtained, at a fraction of the cost, by upgrading the cur rent aircraft - what the Navy said it was going to do at the beginning of this mess.

Our military's aircraft acquisition program cannot afford all the proposed acquisitions. Some hard decisions will have to be made. The Super Hornet decision, at a savings of billions of dollars, should be an easy one".


Do a quick search and replace there and switch out "Super Hornet" with "F-35" notice a pattern? its a nearly exact copy of the same Blueprint we are seeing today.



The Navy argues that the Super Hornet is a cost-cutter because it's two planes in one -- a strike fighter, capable of performing the fighter's role in air-to-air combat and the strike mission of delivering bombs and missiles to enemy positions on the ground.

It is, in other words, a compromise plane, lacking the speed of a pure fighter and the payload of a pure attack plane. "People will criticize, and they're right," says Rear Adm. Joe Dyer, a folksy North Carolinian who oversees testing at Pax. "Because it's not the best fighter it could be, or it's not the best attack aircraft it could be. But like a moderate politician, it's a way to cover a broad spectrum."

But sometimes compromises and moderate politicians don't satisfy anyone. There's a school of thought that argues that for the billions the Navy is spending on a new aircraft, it should be getting a quantum leap in improvement over what it's flying now. Military scholar Williamson Murray calls the Super Hornet a "platform of last resort" and notes that it doesn't give the Navy the one thing it has needed for more than a decade: stealth.

The GAO has been critical of the Super Hornet for years, contending that it will give marginal improvement at high cost and that it is inferior to the Hornet C/D model in some crucial combat maneuvers. The Navy could save at least $17 billion by modernizing its fleet with new Hornets rather than Super Hornets, according to the GAO. And within a decade, the Joint Strike Fighter -- a jet with stealth -- would be at least theoretically available to replace the Hornet.

Chuck Spinney, a Pentagon systems analyst and noted skeptic on the subject of fighters, says the Super Hornet "flies like a pig" and can't dogfight as well as the Hornet. Many Navy pilots, particularly younger ones, call it the Super Slow Hornet and wonder why the service is not pursuing a stealthier jet. In December, a Marine fighter pilot, Lt. Col. Jay Stout, a Gulf War veteran, caused an uproar in aviation circles by writing an op-ed piece for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot that called the Super Hornet "an expensive failure -- a travesty of subterfuge and poor leadership. Intended to overcome any potential adversaries during the next 20 years, the aircraft is instead outperformed by a number of already operational aircraft -- including the fighter it is scheduled to replace."

Sometimes it seemed the only people who respected the Super Hornet were the people who had actually flown it. "Feels like a Suburban, drives like a Camaro," was a common observation among the test pilots at Pax River, who scoffed at the idea that the plane is inferior to the Hornet. Floyd would get downright defensive. "Performance-wise, is it an Su-27?" he asked on the day of the catapult testing, inviting a comparison with one of Russia's most advanced fighters. "Probably not. We're talking about a normal jet fighter engine. We don't have vectored thrust. We don't have an engine for supersonic cruising." Then he leaned forward in his seat, eyes lit. "But I'll tell you what: I'd take on any bad guy with it and not even worry about it."



https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/ ... 2d5ea04a95

Hey look it too slow and can't dog fight with trying to do too much, and with even more cost that it could possibly be worth and only the pilots who have flown it get it... where have we heard that before?


Last one for the night from Air Force Magazine:

Who could possibly have been against the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System? And why?





The E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System would surely make any short list of the most valuable military aircraft of all time. When it entered service in 1977, AWACS instantly changed the whole regime of air combat. The pulse Doppler radar in its rotating dome could reach out for hundreds of miles in all directions to find and track every airplane moving within the airspace.

AWACS could direct the battle so adeptly that it multiplied the effectiveness of the forces it controlled. The commander of Tactical Air Command pronounced it “the most significant single tactical improvement since the advent of radar.” The program was also well-managed. The first production airplane was delivered within four months of target date and within four percent of target cost.

Since then, AWACS has seen action in every conflict from Grenada and the Gulf War to Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the first aircraft ever acquired by NATO to be operated as an alliance asset and flown by international crews. After the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, the US relied not only on its own AWACS fleet but also on reinforcement by NATO E-3s to maintain a patrol against further attacks.

Today, after almost 40 years of service, AWACS is still going strong and is universally well-regarded—but it was not always so. In its early days, AWACS was confronted constantly by those who wanted to curtail it or kill it outright.

One of the first critics was Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.), who had gained fame for exposing waste and fraud in government. Proxmire accused the Pentagon of waste in the AWACS program in 1971 and later called it “a plane in search of a mission.”

Sen.Thomas F. Eagleton (D-Mo.)—described by The New York Times as “waging a one-man war against the AWACS program”— said AWACS was an “apparently irresistible gadget which has no real combat utility,” a “sham” and a “disastrous failure” that “contributes nothing and has a zero chance of surviving attack.”

The news media and the General Accounting Office chimed in, apparently unimpressed by test exercises where some 300 aggressor aircraft could not defeat AWACS. In 1976, Rep. Patricia S. Schroeder (D-Colo.) nominated AWACS as the “Turkey of the Year” and attempted to delete all funding for it.

Opposition surged when the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations proposed foreign military sales of AWACS to allies. In 1980, critics objected to offering AWACS to Saudi Arabia, arguing concurrently the E-3A was a flop operationally and that it would be a mortal threat to Israel.

Condemnation of the program in general continued. Pundit Alexander C. Cockburn, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 1981, said that AWACS was an “airborne disaster” and “an ocean of gravy” for the contractors. The real secret of AWACS, he said, was that “it does not work.”

AWACS was an unlikely candidate for such invective, and there was no indication of the trouble to come when the program requirement was laid down in the 1960s.



People, there are folks out there that would have us bombing the taliban with Korean Era F4Us if they got what they wanted...
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 14:27

count_to_10 wrote:Irrp, it isn’t so much that the press is “that guy” as they are the kids trying to cheat off of the kid with glasses. In this case, the kid with glasses is pierre sprey. Myopic would be putting it mildly.

In reality, they are useful idiots for the enemy, co-opted through Mockingbird.

This is why we haven't seen pro-US propaganda since Walter Cronkite.

The layers of internal criticism in the US are unprecedented when compared with most other countries. I've never seen a presstitute corps so hell-bent on hating their own Nation, and I've lived all over the world, to include nations in Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Central America, and Eurasia.
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 14:52

I've railed against the SH for years, for many of the same reasons this Marine aviator cites. It's hard to accept especially coming from such a capable platform as the F-14, of which even more capable versions were proposed and handle the "strike fighter) niche with ease. As it stands, the "Bombcat" was a superior strike platform, taking heavier loads deeper into enemy territory and getting there and back a LOT faster.

No, it's not stealth. But neither is the SH. Reduced signature? OK, maybe. But that's useless once you start carrying bombs and rockets needed for the mission. A Super Tomcat 21 new build would have been just what the Navy needed, replete with the AIM-120D vs. the AIM-54, retaining all of the fleet air defense capability it was known for.

It pains me to think we gave our boys 2nd best, and they now have to fly the thing for God knows how many more years. I'm 48, and the SH will likely still be in service long after I'm gone. Sucks.

When SH's come up against Flankers at some point, I suppose we'll have our answer. Personally, I wouldn't take the SH in that fight, the Flanker just has too many advantages. And whatever radar/BVR tricks the SH has up its sleeve, that edge is eroding as each day passes. I really hope I'm wrong about all this, but I don't think so. The F-35C can't get to the fleet soon enough, but it seems like the USN is slow walking it.

Any and all pilots, please weigh in. I'd love to hear the perspectives of its pilots, or any pilot that's fought it in the air to air realm...
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 15:32

mixelflick wrote:I've railed against the SH for years, for many of the same reasons this Marine aviator cites. It's hard to accept especially coming from such a capable platform as the F-14, of which even more capable versions were proposed and handle the "strike fighter) niche with ease. As it stands, the "Bombcat" was a superior strike platform, taking heavier loads deeper into enemy territory and getting there and back a LOT faster.

No, it's not stealth. But neither is the SH. Reduced signature? OK, maybe. But that's useless once you start carrying bombs and rockets needed for the mission. A Super Tomcat 21 new build would have been just what the Navy needed, replete with the AIM-120D vs. the AIM-54, retaining all of the fleet air defense capability it was known for.

It pains me to think we gave our boys 2nd best, and they now have to fly the thing for God knows how many more years. I'm 48, and the SH will likely still be in service long after I'm gone. Sucks.

When SH's come up against Flankers at some point, I suppose we'll have our answer. Personally, I wouldn't take the SH in that fight, the Flanker just has too many advantages. And whatever radar/BVR tricks the SH has up its sleeve, that edge is eroding as each day passes. I really hope I'm wrong about all this, but I don't think so. The F-35C can't get to the fleet soon enough, but it seems like the USN is slow walking it.

Any and all pilots, please weigh in. I'd love to hear the perspectives of its pilots, or any pilot that's fought it in the air to air realm...

Ever look at availability rates between the 2?

F-14 was a hangar queen, and guys that maintained it hated it with a passion still felt strongly today. Wing sweep gear box seals broken and leaking fluid, AWG-9 systems racks coming loose on the cat shot, no AWG-9 for the mission, then the connections would re-assert on trapping, where maintenance says, "Looks good to us."

F-14A+(F-14B), and F-14D were much better for engines and avionics upgrades, but still had the wing box and numerous complicated hydro-mechanical systems to be repaired.

The Hornet has enjoyed a much higher availability rate.

F-15C drivers that flew against the F-14A, F-14A+, and F-14D said the Eagle was still dominant in BVR and WVR, much more user-friendly pilot-machine interface.
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 16:00

mixelflick wrote:
When SH's come up against Flankers at some point, I suppose we'll have our answer. Personally, I wouldn't take the SH in that fight, the Flanker just has too many advantages. And whatever radar/BVR tricks the SH has up its sleeve, that edge is eroding as each day passes. I really hope I'm wrong about all this, but I don't think so.


I wouldn't go there
https://theaviationist.com/2012/11/21/tomcat-vs-hornet/

while the F-14 was an older aircraft in which some newer technologies were integrated, the F/A-18 Super Hornet is a more modern airplane with newer equipment, easier to maintain: a great advantage in times of budget constraints.

In close air combat, the Super Hornet is much maneuverable (with a good authority at slow speed and high AOA – angle of attack) and, even if it lacks the AIM-54 Phoenix for the long distances in BVR (Beyond Visual Range) engagements, it has got the JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System) and the AIM-9X Sidewinder for the dogfights which the F-14 didn’t integrate.


Besides having better performance than the F-14, the SuperHornet had AESA which gives a whole new world of advantages.
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 17:50

The Super Hornet is like the F-35 in that it bleeds speed fast and points very well after that speed has been bled off. To beat it you have to make sure it's well off your six before you start turning with it and hope to out rate it in time once its speed has bled off. It's a potent aircraft like most of the modern 4th gens when used to its strengths. I think the Block 3 with CFTs will be a good multi purpose workhorse to back up the F-35C as a long range fighter/bomber/refueler and in clean LO mode with just AAMs I back it against virtually all its Russian/Chinese opposition in a BVR duel. It's not a super fast and rangey Tomcat but it's a lot cheaper to buy and maintain and is not supplying spare parts for the Iranians. We really do have to let the Tomcat RIP unless it's Iranian ones then they can rest in pieces instead.
Last edited by marsavian on 15 Aug 2018, 17:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 17:53

I'm aware the F-14 of old had big time maintenance issues. I was referring to new build F-14's, specifically the Super Tomcat 21. From a Super Tomcat 21 website..

The ST was to feature GE-F110-129 motors that would allow the Tomcat to super-cruise (achieve mach 1+ without using afterburner) continuously at mach 1.3. Additionally, the jet would have an upgraded APG-71 radar, modified and enlarged control surfaces, and enlarged leading edge root extensions (LERX) that would house more fuel and enhance the jet's low speed handling capabilities. Thrust vectoring nozzles tied directly to a new digital flight control system were also an option. These modifications would give the "Turkey Bird" true super-maneuverability and eye-watering acceleration and sustained speed. Additionally, super-cruise combined with its additional internal fuel carriage capacity would have given the Super Tomcat much greater range than it already had. The jet would also be able to carry targeting and navigation pods, giving it true multi-role capability. Finally, a new single-piece windscreen would be added to provide much better forward visibility.

Maybe its just me, but that sounds like it would mop the floor with a Super Hornet..
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 18:00

Sounds like a US Su-57. What would the stealth had been like ? The price ? Super Hornet most probably won because of costs and the political support for Boeing especially under Cheney but which is still going strong today. This Super Tomcat/Hornet battle had been lost though for all time, learn to appreciate what the Super Hornet can do within the limitations of its design and look forward to its replacement.
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 18:32

marsavian wrote:Sounds like a US Su-57. What would the stealth had been like ? The price ? Super Hornet most probably won because of costs and the political support for Boeing especially under Cheney but which is still going strong today. This Super Tomcat/Hornet battle had been lost though for all time, learn to appreciate what the Super Hornet can do within the limitations of its design and look forward to its replacement.


The stealth would have been marginal, yes. The price? No idea, but I'm betting it wouldn't have been cheap. Hi tech/new build usually is. Cheney hated the F-14, once referring to it as "1960's technology". I wonder if he thinks that about the B-52 as well...

I can accept the SH, but its only b/c the Navy left us no other choice. The Tomcat will always elicit a sense of pride in American airpower. I bet even 50 years from now, they'll be Tomcat fans reminiscing as to its glory days. But I can appreciate the SH (grudgingly). And I for damn sure am looking forward to its replacement!

End of rant :mrgreen:
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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 18:56

The TF30 stunt with the original -A and Cheney cost the Super Tomcat political capital it couldn't afford to lose.

And let's be totally honest here, "affordable" modernization is an oxymoron. Sooner or later you discover all the technological growth you've implemented results in a "modernized" airframe that only happens to look like the previous model from a distance.

And, well, there's always reminiscing about how the AWG-9 put the fear of God in Iraqi pilots. Nowadays with LPI they won't even get the cue to run...
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