Senate Proposing Major Changes to US Defense

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talkitron

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Unread post13 Jun 2018, 22:26

The Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain and friends, is exploring big changes to the US armed forces. They include making the Marines all about counterinsurgency and orienting the other three services to fight China and Russia. A lot of weapon systems, including the F-35, are seen as less effective than robots/drones. Whether Trump, with his admiration of the presidents of China and Russia, is on board with any of these major changes is not mentioned.

SASC asks skeptically whether stealth aircraft — specifically calling out the new F-35 fighter, the in-development B-21 bomber, and the proposed Penetrating Counter-Air platform — will be able to survive against increasingly advanced air defenses. It suggests that, at least in some cases, non-stealthy aircraft with upgraded weapons and sensors could do the job as well. It repeatedly lauds the increasing potential of cheap robotics for missions from reconnaissance to combat to supply — not only in the air but “on and under the sea, on land, and in space.”


https://breakingdefense.com/2018/06/sas ... e-marines/
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wrightwing

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Unread post13 Jun 2018, 23:55

The good idea fairies are alive and well.
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talkitron

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 00:30

Why was this moved to off topic? This is an article about actual legislation proposed by the US senate. These senators partially control the budget to buy aircraft like the F-35 and the F-35 is specifically mentioned in the article.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 00:40

You have to love their logic.. Stealth might not be survivable but non-stealth (with better weapons and sensors) could be????

This is absurd since the stealthy platforms should also have access to the same weapons and sensors (often better ones).
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 01:14

SpudmanWP wrote:You have to love their logic.. Stealth might not be survivable but non-stealth (with better weapons and sensors) could be????

This is absurd since the stealthy platforms should also have access to the same weapons and sensors (often better ones).


They're lawyers and community organizers, not engineers. Look at Congress as a few hundred C-average students with family connections and the actions of most of its members will begin to make more sense.
I'm a mining engineer. How the hell did I wind up here?
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talkitron

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 01:25

I don't think John McCain lacks intelligence. He certainly had family connections in the Navy and I am not sure about his undergrad grades at Annapolis. His focus on drones is not totally wrong; in an ideal world we would procure both manned stealth aircraft and combat drones as the drones can give combat mass.
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madrat

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 03:17

I want to see drones in urban warfare before going full Skynet level aerial dominance. Computer controlled guns shoot quicker, more accurately, and don't fatigue.
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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 09:50

SpudmanWP wrote:You have to love their logic.. Stealth might not be survivable but non-stealth (with better weapons and sensors) could be????

This is absurd since the stealthy platforms should also have access to the same weapons and sensors (often better ones).


Exactly. It's basic physics that stealth aircraft will be much more difficult to detect, track and engage using currently known long distance sensor technology (radar, ESM, infra-red). It's also basic physics that countermeasures are easier to implement with lower signature (radar or infra-red for example). So stealth aircraft will be far more survivable against threat sensors and weapons (which rely on sensors) no matter how they evolve in the future. That's not an opinion, but a fact coming from laws of physics. Sure future sensors and weapons might be much more successful against current stealth aircraft, but then they will absolutely murder any non-stealthy aircraft.

I don't get why stealth on aircraft is doubted for some reason. Nobody is designing noisy, magnetic and submarines because they would die no matter how good their own sensors and weapons are. No soldier is putting on scarlet coat and blow horns when they go to combat, no matter how good their eyesight and weapons are. That would just be stupid as they would not last long in modern battlefield.

It's not even cost issue. Making aircraft stealthy is not that much expensive to manufacture and operate as F-35 proves.
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ricnunes

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 17:17

First of all, I would like to say that I fully agree with Spudman and hornetfinn.

Secondly I would like to add the following to what Spudman and hornetfinn already posted:

I honestly think that Senator McCain is both becoming senile and has a serious grudge against the F-35 (probably a "by-product" of his mental senility). The two "major points" of the above (by McCain&friends commission) have so many flaws that I really wonder how McCain managed to get as high as a Captain in the US Navy (which could confirm my senility thesis).
The first of these points is even considering the possibility of changing the US Marines current and very efficient (IMO) role of a multi-role expeditionary role to a dedicated counter-insurgency role. I can see a major flaw in this: One of the main reasons when and why conventional armies/military have lost counter-insurgency wars was because the lack of numbers, this is because in some details counter-insurgency wars have some resemblance with police operations and "police type of operations" only work when the "police forces" are present more or less evenly around the entire territory and doing this in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and similarly sized countries requires lots and lots of manpower/boots on the ground. If you leave entire areas without "policing" than you'll grant safe heaven to the insurgency forces where they can build on, successfully launch attacks from and which they can successfully recover from)
Senator McCain being a Vietnam War veteran and being the Vietnam War for the most part a counter-insurgency war (not only but again for the most part) should know this!
And doing a quick search over the web, namely on wikipedia we can look at the following numbers from 2017 in terms of size/manpower:
- US Marines: 182,000 active plus 38,500 reserve --> total: 220,500
- US Army: 476,000 Regular Army plus 343,000 Army National Guard and plus 199,000 Army Reserve --> total: 1,018,000

So who's technically better fitted at counter-insurgency operations in terms of numbers which again is a very important factor for these kind of operations? The answer IMO seems clear.

Or perhaps Senator McCain has also a serious grudge against the US Marines? Perhaps because the US Marines are the biggest F-35 endorser (together with the USAF)??


Second point, UAVs:
So Senator McCain&friends think that Stealth aircraft will be less effective (I read "more vulnerable") against upcoming enemy advanced air defence systems but for some reason UAVs will not?? LoL, that's for laughs :doh:
Lets see, UAVs are already much less effective against forces equipped with advanced air defense systems - Just ask the Iranians everytime they tried to send UAVs into Israel! Jezz, UAVs are even vulnerable to gunship helicopters such as the Apache!
Of course one can always say, put countermeasures on UAVs and make them Stealth but then again:
- This (Stealth) shows how Senator McCain&friends are soo wrong about it (Stealth).
- If you start putting all these features in a UAV (Stealth, countermeasures, all around detection systems, defensive weapons, etc...) than you'll get an aircraft which is just as expensive but likely more expensive (lets not forget the UAV control centers) than manned aircraft and this will the major UAV disadvantages still present (latency between what the UAV actually "sees" and what the human UAV operators see, lack of situational awareness, etc...).
One can argue that the points above can be countered with advanced AIs but then again I ask the following:

- Do you really want to have fully autonomous UAVs targeting dynamic and/or moving targets which the UAV can easily confuse with any "by-standard" or innocent "target"?
- Do you really believe that AI is that advanced to the point that it doesn't require humans to successfully accomplish the vast majority of objectives? If you think so than try the following: type/text a message with a few lines and words of text (SMS message for example) in your Android or iPhone and tell me if the AI that advises you on words and even automatically changes your words depending on your phone settings works that well?? :roll:
And if the current AI can't even "text" or change text properly (without human intervention) than imagine something way more complex than UAVs and warfare!

Well, my 2 cents anyway...
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wrightwing

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 17:31

It's silly talk like this, that leads to death spirals. We end up spending more, and getting less capability than if we'd just stuck with the plan. There's nothing that can be done to conventional aircraft to make them relevant in the high end fight. UAVs are nowhere near capable enough to replace manned aircraft. We need to stick with 5th generation manned aircraft, while continuing to develop NGJ, and systems like MALD/MALD-J, and their successors. The idea of UCAVs under the control of F-35s has merit, but not at the expense of F-35, B-21, KC-46, PCA, hypersonic weapons, etc
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hythelday

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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 18:58

Didn't McCain also want to turn Gators into smaller, cheaper, and obviously better CVs? I mean if Marines were to be relegated to COIN, why would they need all those big, expensive L-letter ships? Just bus them right into the AOR with pistols and culture-sensitive treats to win over hearts&minds.
Did McCain miss Hue City events due to his Hanoi Hilton "vacation", or is it just his deteriorating health that lets him come up with such stupid ideas?
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Unread post14 Jun 2018, 19:08

Mao loved utilizing stooges as long as possible, using any tricks in the book to disrupt. Sal Alinsky used Maoism as his blueprint. If anything, McCain has undermined congealing in the Senate on everything he's been associated with. When you examine his record you see a pattern unfold. If anything McCain will use everything within his influence to get his way, which is why I don't trust one bit his health is in a downwards spiral.
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kostas29

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Unread post16 Jun 2018, 00:20

anyone who has no conflict of interest with the MIC understands that unmanned platforms are the future of air warfare

the notion that the F35s will be operationally and relevant by 2070 is ridiculous

ad hominem attacks against Senator McCain show lack of convincing arguments or attempts to subliminally influence other people. In any case these personal attacks against McCain show discrimination against people on the basis of their age or possible health status. Shame on you.
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ricnunes

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Unread post16 Jun 2018, 00:37

kostas29 wrote:anyone who has no conflict of interest with the MIC understands that unmanned platforms are the future of air warfare

the notion that the F35s will be operationally and relevant by 2070 is ridiculous


And the certainty that people like yourself have in guessing the future and claiming without a margin of a doubt that unmanned platforms are the future of air warfare and will replace manned fighter in the future is IMO what's indeed ridiculous!

During the 1970's many "experts" such as yourself claimed that missiles were the future of warfare and would completely replace manned combat aircraft. More than 40 years later and while missiles are very important in today's and future warfare they did not replace manned combat aircraft by any means - they (missiles) only made manned combat aircraft more capable and the same I bet will also happen regarding UAVs - They (UAVs) won't replace manned fighter aircraft, they'll improve manned fighter aircraft capabilities!


kostas29 wrote:ad hominem attacks against Senator McCain show lack of convincing arguments or attempts to subliminally influence other people. In any case these personal attacks against McCain show discrimination against people on the basis of their age or possible health status. Shame on you.


In case you missed I mentioned in my last post which was quite long, several reasons why I feel that Senator McCain is being ridiculous!
And in case the "lack of convincing arguments" are regarding to what I posted (and you haven't miss my post), perhaps you should counter with arguments explaining why do you feel that my and others arguments are "lacking" instead of posting that rambling of your above, no?? :roll:
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Unread post16 Jun 2018, 02:32

I think he was referencing my post. I have no love for McCain or any other confederate doing the bidding that our opponents wouldn't dare try directly. His track record speaks volumes about his loyalty. The people of Arizona could have done way better.
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