Marine Aviation Plan 2015

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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 Nov 2014, 00:47

MARINE AVIATION PLAN 2015 F-35B/C Excerpts only attached:

LtGen Jon “Dog” Davis - Deputy Commandant for Aviation
"...As leaders did before me, I will lean forward in the straps to get us the future systems we need to ensure that we’re ready. For example, I will look for ways to procure more F-35s faster. The jets we buy today will arrive in a combat-ready configuration, with a robust suite of precision air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons, 3F software and no need for post-production modifications. Currently the factory can produce more of our jets than we are scheduled to procure. They can produce 24 F-35Bs and 20 F-35Cs per year. Given our inventory shortfalls and our increasing OPTEMPO, I consider it a strategic imperative that we produce and procure as many fifth-generation F-35s as we possibly can.

As the nation’s force in readiness—for an unknown future fight that might be high end or low – we must prepare for the worst case. By investing and recapitalizing on platforms that can project USMC power from amphibious carriers or FARPs ashore, with leap-ahead technologies such as tiltrotor aircraft and fifth-generation STOVL strike fighters, we ensure that qualitative advantage for our MAGTFs.

We are on exactly the right track. My mission is to press the attack and get new gear in the hands of our Marines as quickly as we possibly can – while extracting every ounce of capability possible from our legacy gear. These efforts will collectively ensure that Marine Aviation and the United States Marine Corps is most ready when the nation is least ready."

Source: https://marinecorpsconceptsandprograms. ... 20Plan.pdf (16.5Mb)
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Unread post03 Nov 2014, 05:53

Thanks for the post.

Pg 7 - LM can produce 24B + 20C per year now (lot 9 order = 13B, 2 C)
Pg 32 (2.3.2) - MC - 353 F-35B & 67 F-35C - which means more B than Cs in total.
9 sqn x 16B, 7 sqn x 10B (2 reserve), 4 sqn x 10C, 2 sqn x 25B FRS
Q3/4 2015 - IOC
Q4 2017 - FOC
Pg 33 2.3.3 - very detailed definition of IOC
Pg 34 2.3.4 - basing plan
Pg 35 2.3.5 - list of all sqns. Confirms VMFA-121 as Japan sqn. Also indicates the delivery and sqn set up sequence. Interesting to note no basing in Okinawa (yet)
Pg 37 2.3.7 - possible basing on coalition carriers e.g. QE CV! <- first official acknowledgement of the possibility that I've read. Also reflected in pg 136. Concept of ops described for FARP ops.
Pg 42 2.4.4 - Timeline showing Sqn & a/c totals
Pg 134 2.13.2 - JSOW C-1 will IOC with F-35B in FY23. SDB II will IOC in FY21.
Pg 135 2.13.3 - Aviation road map includes Harpoon 1C & LJDAM-ER as future standoff weapons.
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Unread post03 Nov 2014, 07:29

USMC F-35 unit listing by future basing based on the doc.

Iwakuni, Japan (1 sqn 16 F-35B)
Unit / current a/c / F-35 / timeframe / current base
VMFA-121 / F/A-18D / 16 x F-35B / FY14 / Yuma (previously Miramar)

Yuma, West coast (5 sqn 70 F-35B)
Unit / current a/c / F-35 / timeframe / current base
VMX-22 / F-35B / 6 x F-35B / FY14 / Yuma
VMA-211 / AV-8B / 16 x F-35B / FY16 / Yuma
VMA-214 / AV-8B / 16 x F-35B / FY18 / Yuma
VMA-311 / AV-8B / 16 x F-35B / FY20 / Yuma
VMFA(AW)-533 / F/A-18D / 16 x F-35B / FY22 / Yuma

Miramar, West coast (6 sqn 60 F-35 - 4 x 10B, 2 x 10C)
Unit / current a/c / F-35 / timeframe / current base
VMFA(AW)-224 / F/A-18D / 10 x F-35C / FY23 / Beaufort
VMFA-323 / F/A-18C / 10 x F-35C / FY24 / Miramar
VMFA-251 / F/A-18C / 10 x F-35B / FY25 / Miramar
VMFA-232 / F/A-18C / 10 x F-35B / FY28 / Miramar
VMFA(AW)-225 / F/A-18D / 16 x F-35B / FY30 / Miramar
VMFA-134 (reserve cadre status) / F/A-18C / 10 x F-35B (reserve) / FY31 / Miramar

Beaufort, East coast (4 sqn 70 F-35 - 2 x 25B, 2 x 10 C)
Unit / current a/c / F-35 / timeframe / current base
VMFAT-501 (former VMFA-451) / F-35B / 25 x F-35B / FY14 / Eglin
VMFA-115 / F/A-18A / 10 x F-35C / FY19 / Beaufort
VMFA-122 / F/A-18C / 10 x F-35C / FY21 / Beaufort
VMFAT-101 / F/A-18A/B / 25 x F-35B / FY?? / Eglin

Cherry Point, East coast (6 sqn 94 F-35 - 4 x 16B, 3 x 10B)
Unit / current a/c / F-35 / timeframe / current base
VMA-223 / AV-8B / 16 x F-35B / FY23 / Cherry Point
VMA-542 / AV-8B / 16 x F-35B / FY23 / Cherry Point
VMFA-312 / F/A-18C / 16 x F-35B / FY24 / Cherry Point
VMFA-242 (currently cadre status) / F/A-18D / 10 x F-35B / FY28 / Miramar
VMFA-314 / F/A-18C / 10 x F-35B / FY29 / Miramar
VMFA-112 (reserve cadre status) / F/A-18A / 10 x F-35B (reserve) / FY31 / Fort Worth
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Unread post03 Nov 2014, 08:01

One critical assessment and viewpoint with respect to LtGen Jon "Dog" Davis's comments, however, could be that leaders before him, e.g., from 2010, were indeed themselves warning and declaring publicly that USMC TACAIR inventory was in so many words becoming 'geriatric' and broken and in desperate need of being replaced ASAP!

Well, 5 yrs later, the vociferous commentary coming from top USMC leadership is seemingly only further emphasizing the issue of the ever increasing inventory/capability 'gap' in Marine tactical combat aviation and imploring the apparent need to close it, ASAP.

OK, all agreed on the given assessment that USMC tactical aviation is increasingly in need of a 'reliable' and cost-effective (sustainable) modern/advanced 'multi-mission' Tactical aviation acquisition Process...ASAP! (as in yesterday).

But some valid disagreements would of course be and remain in the actual prudent and 'Strategic' (alternative) track - including mix of advanced tactical assets - being acquired as the solution/process to filling gaps in the interim.

That is, these initial operational F-35B squadrons being activated and surely 'replacing' broken, geriatric tactical aviation inventory being noted, will apparently NOT be able to fulfill some of the current roles (Marine requirements) and capabilities being replaced; such as the legacy Harpoon and Maverick and HARM (SEAD)-equipped capability. The argument being too: that if so much USMC budget is being allocated towards acquisition of highly expensive platforms such as the F-35B (and C model)... will there be sufficient budgets to acquire credible asymmetrical inventory of the actual game-changing capability (and accelerated upgrades), etc, such as via actual weapons, self-protection and next-gen AEA system enhancement, etc?
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Unread post03 Nov 2014, 13:10

geogen wrote:One critical assessment and viewpoint with respect to LtGen Jon "Dog" Davis's comments, however, could be that leaders before him, e.g., from 2010, were indeed themselves warning and declaring publicly that USMC TACAIR inventory was in so many words becoming 'geriatric' and broken and in desperate need of being replaced ASAP!

Well, 5 yrs later, the vociferous commentary coming from top USMC leadership is seemingly only further emphasizing the issue of the ever increasing inventory/capability 'gap' in Marine tactical combat aviation and imploring the apparent need to close it, ASAP.

OK, all agreed on the given assessment that USMC tactical aviation is increasingly in need of a 'reliable' and cost-effective (sustainable) modern/advanced 'multi-mission' Tactical aviation acquisition Process...ASAP! (as in yesterday).

But some valid disagreements would of course be and remain in the actual prudent and 'Strategic' (alternative) track - including mix of advanced tactical assets - being acquired as the solution/process to filling gaps in the interim.

That is, these initial operational F-35B squadrons being activated and surely 'replacing' broken, geriatric tactical aviation inventory being noted, will apparently NOT be able to fulfill some of the current roles (Marine requirements) and capabilities being replaced; such as the legacy Harpoon and Maverick and HARM (SEAD)-equipped capability. The argument being too: that if so much USMC budget is being allocated towards acquisition of highly expensive platforms such as the F-35B (and C model)... will there be sufficient budgets to acquire credible asymmetrical inventory of the actual game-changing capability (and accelerated upgrades), etc, such as via actual weapons, self-protection and next-gen AEA system enhancement, etc?


You really have no clue what you are talking about, as always good for a laugh though :D Thanks!

which you mind clarifying any of this so it makes some sense? do you think you could simply ask some questions for clarification and spare us the broad, winding paragraphs complete with rhetorical soul searching?
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Unread post05 Dec 2014, 02:00

billybobboysweetiepie has discovered what has been explicated here on this forum by the GYRENES for years now. WOW.
Marines Shift F-35 Deployment Plans
04 Dec 2014 Bill Sweetman

"The US Marine Corps is changing the way it plans to use its Lockheed Martin F-35B short take-off, vertical landing fighters. Briefly, the new concept of operations envisages the use of mobile forward arming and refueling points (M-Farps) to support groups of F-35Bs, which would return to U.S. Navy amphbious warfare ships, allied carriers (special mention to the British Queen Elizabeth class) or even regional land bases for routine maintenance.

The new Conops addresses problems with earlier plans, which envisaged conducting sustained combat operations from both LHA/LHD-class ships and forward operating bases (FOBs) on land. Any naval force operating within 150 nm of a hostile coast would be within range of an increasing number of lethal and elusive ground-mobile guided missile systems, and would be hard put to avoid tracking by small unmanned air vehicles. That would make it very vulnerable, absent support from a carrier with its long-range airborne early warning coverage - and one of the major arguments for the F-35B is that it provides air power independent of the big carrier. The new Conops allows the ships to stand off outside coastal missile range because they support operations rather than launching airstrikes.

Meanwhile, large FOBs on land were considered by some (including deputy defense secretary Bob Work, in his days as deputy Navy secretary) as being vulnerable to guided missiles and rockets. The idea of the new Conops is to blunt this threat by making M-Farps much smaller and more nimble than FOBs (because most aircraft maintenance happens elsewhere). They will relocate every 24-48 hours, which is estimated to be inside an enemy's targeting cycle.

However, the new Conops looks remarkably like the way that the Royal Air Force planned to operate Harriers in the last few years of the Cold War. After experiencing great difficulty in operating Harriers in the often-soggy North German countryside, the RAF dispatched survey teams in civilian clothes, who covertly looked for sites that would provide parking, cover and storage for equipment and people, and a length of road long enough for STOVL operations. The actual war locations or Warlocs were highly secret and never used for training. (More details in this fascinating history, document 35A.) [Satellites will make this 'effort' irrelevant these days]

Lt Gen John Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, unveiled the new Conops at a conference in London. That meeting was followed by reports that Marine F-35Bs could be filling deck spots on the carrier Queen Elizabeth while the UK builds up its own force, suggesting that the Marines are already working to get the U.K. onboard with its plans. Davis also addressed some of the detail concerns: although some M-Farps could be resupplied with weapons by vertical lift, either surface transport or KC-130Js would be needed to deliver fuel.

The M-Farp concept would also be stressed in any kind of hybrid war scenario where the adversary has insurgent forces or sympathizers in the area where the forward bases are located. That could make the targeting cycle much shorter or expose the F-35s to direct threat from manportable air defense systems - particularly on landing, any Stovl jet is a hot and non-maneuverable target. It would also complicate resupply by land. Whether the new Marine Conops will work better than the RAF's old Warlocs remains to be seen."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/blog/marines-sh ... ment-plans
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Unread post14 Dec 2014, 22:07

A telling turn of phrase: [BEST to READ all the PHRASES at the URL below - only somesuch posted here]

PDF of entire artickle here: http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... -the-F.pdf (0.465Kb) BEST to READ the ENTIRE artickle at the URL below BECUZ not all the text (the many end paragraphs) is in the PDF (for some odd reason?). Dunno.
"...And there is a clear sense of excitement seen by the F-35 launch cadre, which is missed by those not part of the process...."

Lieutenant General Davis on the USMC and the F-35: Preparing for 2015
14 Dec 2014 Robbin Laird

"The F-35 is entering service at a critical juncture when air and ground dynamics are being linked in new ways.

A 360 degree sensing aircraft which can do close air support and other air superiority missions in new ways, the F-35 will become a staple of the next round of ground-to-air and air-to-ground revolution which is ongoing.

The F-35 is entering service at an interesting time—a time when digital warfare is simultaneously seeing significant evolution.

The US and Allied fleet of F-35s will also add an “electronic warfare” component to the fight, an “E” for electronic.

It is not necessary to designate the F-35 as the F/A/E-35—although that might be more accurate.

In other words, the IOC of the F-35 is not simply about the introduction of a replacement aircraft but the next phase in the revolution of airpower as inextricably intertwined with doing air combat differently....

...The USMC is the lead service launching the F-35 global fleet and as such has become a key global player as the partners and other services watch the USMC roll out the F-35B.

In this interview, Lieutenant General Davis, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, discusses the approach the Marine Corps is taking to fielding the aircraft....

...As a part of getting ready to declare IOC, we will conduct operational test with fleet aircraft aboard our amphibious carriers this spring.

The event will be a joint effort between VMFA-121 and VMX-22 to do the testing aboard USS Wasp
....


...Question: Recently, I talked with the RAF officer responsible for IOC for their F-35s and he commented that there is a significant gap between those who are commenting on the aircraft and the warriors figuring out how to use the aircraft. How do you explain this gap?... [b/s from BS (out of the loop - we know) would be one way] :mrgreen: :devil:

...The F-35B will mirror the MV-22’s assault support revolution across three key functions of Marine Aviation: anti-air warfare, offensive air support and electronic warfare.

A 5th Generation aircraft will enable our MAGTFs (MEUs, MEBs and MEFs) to fight any adversary, anywhere, from small deck amphibious carriers or expeditionary forward operating bases ashore.

Question: What will be the role of VMX-22 in rolling out the F-35?

Lieutenant General Davis: VMX-22 will play an important role in F-35 development.

The F-35 detachment is standing up out at Edwards Air Force Base with handpicked, top notch pilots and maintainers. VMX-22 is not only looking at new equipment, but also exploring and experimenting with new ways to fight and share information more effectively, continuously seeking new answers to the question:

“How do we best employ the F-35 to meet the current and emerging requirements of the MAGTF?”...

...In 2018, they’ll move to Yuma with 6 aircraft, adding much needed mass to the equation which will allow us to integrate and experiment while conducting operational testing, alongside our weapons school....

...How do you view the F-35 in relationship with the strategic direction of the USMC overall?

Lieutenant General Davis The Marine Corps is the Nation’s expeditionary force in readiness—a force that is most ready when our nation is least ready–and we need to operate against any and all comers for initial operations.

The F-35 provides that essential capability bundle for the period ahead: low observable, high end and multi-mission–all in one package.

We intend to transition to an all F-35 fleet as rapidly as possible to ensure that we can bring a very high capability to the first day of any fight.

The Marine Corps requires—and the Nation demands—operational flexibility from the beginning of any contingency throughout the world....

...The beauty of the F-35 is once the full capability needed in an anti-access area denial scenario is no longer required, we can very quickly transition the airplane appropriate to the mission.

If close air support (CAS) becomes the primary mission, and it’s a low threat environment like we have been dealing with in Iraq and Afghanistan we can load significant external ordnance and deliver precision all-weather fires. If electronic warfare is required, we can function as an EW truck or whatever we need that airplane to be.

Concurrently, this aircraft is always going to be an information and command enabler for any operation....

...Lieutenant General Davis: We must be prepared to go aboard a ship, forward deploy with that ship and then flow those sea base-able assets ashore to operate in an expeditionary location against a powerful first rate adversary.

We will need to move – back and forth from our sea base to expeditionary bases ashore.

We will do this to maximize our combat power and ability to support Marine forces ashore – and support them in a fight against and foe in any threat condition....

...We must protect our seabase, we must protect our Marines.

That’s what the Marine Corps is going to do with our aviation assets—not just F-35, but with everything we own...."

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/lieutenant-gener ... -for-2015/
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Unread post15 Dec 2014, 00:26

http://intercepts.defensenews.com/2014/ ... 53k-party/

Setting up, operating and then relocating a M-FARP within a 24-48 hour window as dictated by the new CONOPs will be a neat trick to pull off. CH-53K will be complement F-35 and MV-22 nicely.
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Unread post15 Dec 2014, 00:54

YOWSER! from above URL:
"...The CH-53K is touted as the largest, most powerful helicopter ever designed and built by Sikorsky, and perpetuates the line of H-53s in production since the 1960s. The huge helo is designed to meet a US Marine Corps requirement for a vertical lift aircraft able to deliver an externally-slung load of 13 1/2 tons a distance of 110 nautical miles, hover for 30 minutes, then return to base – at sea or on land.

Sikorsky claims no other helicopter in service today can match that feat, pointing out that current CH-53E Super Stallions carry 4 tons under similar conditions.

The King Stallion features new General Electric Aviation T408 engines, providing 57 percent more power than CH-53E engines with about 20 percent lower specific fuel consumption. New all-composite main rotor blades, new transmission design, and a powerful tail rotor assembly that provides more thrust than a S-76 helicopter’s main blades are also features of the King Stallion...."
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Unread post15 Dec 2014, 01:09

The CH-53K actually has as much HP as an Mi-26 Halo.
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Unread post16 Dec 2014, 02:16

spazsinbad wrote:YOWSER! from above URL:
"...The CH-53K is touted as the largest, most powerful helicopter ever designed and built by Sikorsky, and perpetuates the line of H-53s in production since the 1960s. The huge helo is designed to meet a US Marine Corps requirement for a vertical lift aircraft able to deliver an externally-slung load of 13 1/2 tons a distance of 110 nautical miles, hover for 30 minutes, then return to base – at sea or on land.

Sikorsky claims no other helicopter in service today can match that feat, pointing out that current CH-53E Super Stallions carry 4 tons under similar conditions.

The King Stallion features new General Electric Aviation T408 engines, providing 57 percent more power than CH-53E engines with about 20 percent lower specific fuel consumption. New all-composite main rotor blades, new transmission design, and a powerful tail rotor assembly that provides more thrust than a S-76 helicopter’s main blades are also features of the King Stallion...."


Currently held up by gearbox issues. Ah the gearbox.... Always the Achilles Heel of helicopters since their birth.
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Unread post16 Dec 2014, 02:57

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post16 Dec 2014, 05:14

From above URL this quote looks familiar:
"...“All issues discovered to this point have a technical solution and are typical of developmental programs - this is why we do this testing,” she says. “These tests, their data, and their schedule all drive the timeframe for first flight and discoveries are typical during this phase of testing.”...

...The USMC originally had plans for the King Stallion to enter service in 2015, but developmental delays have caused initial operational capability to slide at least until 2018."
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Unread post16 Dec 2014, 05:34

I'm worried that it's going to bankrupt and ruin USMC fixed wing aviation

A Poorly Considered Jackass of a Bad Idea
Thursday, 11 December 2014 13:23
By Jay A. Stout, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"A man who has committed a mistake and does not correct it is committing another mistake." -Confucius

Half a trillion dollars. With that kind of money we could buy Facebook, Scandinavia, General Motors (again), the Chinese Politburo and all the good bits of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. And, with luck, Taylor Swift. Instead, we’re getting a trouble-plagued new fighter jet that is running $163 billion over budget and close to a decade behind schedule. Worse, by the time it is finally put into service, it is quite possible that it will not be able to perform the missions for which it was intended. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the King-of-All-Jackass-Defense-Programs, the F-35 Lightning II.

What happened? Quite simply, about twenty years ago the idiot leadership of my beloved Marine Corps convinced the idiot leaderships of the Air Force and the Navy to design their next fighter jets around the corrupt concept of Short Takeoff Vertical Landing—or STOVL. It was a horrible idea for about half-a-trillion reasons, but chief among them was agreeing to an essentially common airframe that could accommodate a STOVL concept. It was a basic design that was heavier and more complex than what the Air Force and Navy needed. In the aerospace world, heavier and more complex are very bad words.

In so doing they inflicted upon the nation—and our allies—a grotesquerie the likes of which our adversaries could only dream of matching.

And the salt in the wound is the fact that the Marine Corps does not need, nor has it ever needed, a Short Takeoff Vertical Landing capability. STOVL disciples (remember my idiot Marine Corps leadership?) mistakenly embrace the notion of high performance jets climbing skyward from small jungle clearings or other similarly unprepared locations. Once airborne, these aircraft dash to the battlefield, visit high-tech destruction on the enemy, and then return to their ad hoc lairs where they are readied for more action.

The concept is a fantasy that has been operationally demonstrated as little more than a stunt. Firstly, modern combat aircraft must be serviced by comprehensively trained maintenance men. These men must work out of the weather with specialized tools and equipment. Too, they must be regularly supplied with repair parts and materials as well as fuel which the aircraft consume at the rate of a thousand or more gallons per sortie. And of course, the aircraft are of little value whatsoever unless they are loaded with bombs and other weapons that are not only heavy and balky but also very sensitive to rough handling and harsh environments. All of this—the men, the shelters, the tools and material, the fuel, the bombs and more—must be supported by a transportation infrastructure of the type not normally found in austere locations.

Of course the aircraft are flown by pilots who must be connected to various operations centers so that they know which missions to fly, when to fly them, and how they are to be flown. The pilots, just like the maintenance men, must be fed, sheltered, rested and otherwise kept healthy. All of this—the aircraft, the men, the infrastructure and the various supplies—must be protected by more men.

So, it quickly becomes apparent that a site that can handle such an operation looks a great deal like…get ready for it…an airbase! It is implicit that airbases are ideal for conducting combat operations—we’ve proved it during several wars over nearly a century. And we have lots of them. In the event that we don’t have them where we need them, we can build, borrow or take them. We’ve done it before.

There are those who might argue that a STOVL aircraft is needed to operate from the Navy’s amphibious ships such as the new America -class LHAs which cannot handle conventionally launched and recovered aircraft. They are wrong. Success in any campaign has never hinged on STOVL-type aircraft based on Navy amphibious combatants. If our forces are ever going to engage a serious adversary against whom tactical jets are a requirement, they are going to come to the fight with more than what the Navy’s amphibious ships can embark. Indeed, for most amphibious missions the AH-1Z attack helicopter and the UH-1Y utility helicopter can provide adequate firepower.

But it’s not just that the Marine Corps does not need a STOVL capability. The Marine Corps also cannot afford a STOVL capability. The STOVL version of the F-35, the F-35B, is not only approximately thirty percent more pricey than the Air Force and Navy variants (the F-35A and F-35C respectively); it also does not perform as well This is because all the fancy STOVL bits add weight and take up space. The F-35B is also much more complex than the other two variants. And complexity translates to mechanical failures and mechanical failures cost money and operational capability.

For the technically-minded, the F-35B’s STOVL capability is provided by a high-risk, shaft-driven, two-stage, counter-rotating lift fan, in combination with a large swiveling duct and unique doors on the top and bottom of the fuselage. In layman’s terms, this means that there’s a lot of expensive stuff that will break. Indeed, components will fail in the coming decades in ways that aren’t even being considered. This is a lesson that the Marine Corps failed to learn with its current STOVL aircraft, the AV-8B Harrier. The Harrier has been a maintenance and operational nightmare that has killed too many of its own pilots and delivered too little utility. Anyone who says differently is ignorant or a liar. And in terms of complexity, the Harrier is a latch bolt compared to the F-35B as a Swiss watch.

So, what should be done? The Marine Corps should ditch the STOVL F-35B and follow the Navy’s lead. The Navy might continue with the more traditional, non-STOVL, F-35C, or it might get out of the F-35 business entirely and continue with its F/A-18 Super Hornets until something better is built. This approach—a common Marine Corps and Navy aircraft—will yield economies of scale as well as the sorts of operational efficiencies that come from using the same aircraft. There is no arguing the fact that many billions of dollars in STOVL development, testing and procurement costs will be lost. But those losses will pale compared to the losses—fiscal and operational—that will be incurred if the Marine Corps follows its present course.

The Air Force and Navy should subsequently identify all the penalties with which their designs are burdened by an airframe intended to accommodate STOVL. To the maximum extent possible, those penalties should be eliminated or mitigated on the production line to ensure better and more affordable operational aircraft.

Ultimately, the Marine Corps, for all it touts itself as a pioneer in warfighting concepts and technologies, cannot afford to procure the F-35B. As much as the service's leadership might hope or believe otherwise, the risks attendant to the aircraft's STOVL characteristics stand a very good chance of bankrupting its tactical aviation arm. Admitting its mistake and leaving the F-35B behind will take guts, but guts are perhaps the only resource the Marine Corps has never lacked.

"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied." -Pearl Buck
Lieutenant Colonel Stout (retired) is a fighter pilot who flew 37 missions during Operation Desert Storm. His writing has been read on the floor of the US Senate, and he has been widely hosted as an aviation and military expert on various television and radio news shows including Fox, NPR, and Al Jazeera. He is the author of several award-winning books. Penguin Random House is publishing his next book, Hell’s Angels: The True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War II.
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Unread post16 Dec 2014, 06:20

Heheh. Substitute 'Air Base' with SEABASE and you have it. The USMC have been saying this for a long time - and not from their jungle clearings - jungle drums say.... They are MARINES and NOT a second land army - leave that to ARMY (to get beaten by NAVY - again!).
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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