The USN is dragging its feet on 5th gen fighters.

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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mixelflick

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 15:51

The Navy never was completely sold on stealth, that's why they're "dragging their feet" IMO. The Navy values a more "integrated" approach of tanking, jamming and then stealth.

So presumably, they'll have SH's refueling SH's then SH's jamming for striker SH's carry the day until the F-35 gets to the fleet. Hell of a bet but they and congress decided a near all SH fleet was warranted.

Until significant numbers of stealth tanker drones and F-35's reach the fleet, the SH will have to do. Whether or not it's "enough" given SU-35's and other advanced Flankers proliferating the globe - remains an open question. I tend to think the SH was a compromise, and certainly not the best solution for BVR combat. Sure, it has a great AESA and presumably the most advanced AMRAAM variants. But it lacks the kinematic capability to impart loft energy to those AMRAAM's and especially the legs to compete with other fighters...
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XanderCrews

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 16:39

nick11 wrote:
les_paul59 wrote:I'm not sure when the U.S. Navy became such an easy target for criticism, but how the h*ll is the largest navy in the world with 9 or 10 full on aircraft carriers, not a day 1 force.....am I missing something here?

If the US navy isn't a day 1 conflict force than no country has one.

F-35's flying off of carriers is pretty intimidating.


You are talking about the Navy that has botched

CGX, DDG21, Virginia Replacement, Ohio Replacement, LCS and on and on and on. Are you really surprised F-35 & UCAV aren't going anywhere!?


They just got rid of the RatE system, and are prioritizing identity politics over combat. The Navy has been without a real enemy for 25 years and it's showing. But they are nailing the politics. Congrats
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XanderCrews

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 16:45

jessmo111 wrote:[

Exactly, there is a difference between CAN DO HOORAH, and bone headed!

http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... 1/19/1804/

Grampaw Pettibone says:

Only two good things can come from this kind of knuckleheadery. The first one is we got that fine Marine out of the briny not too worse for the wear. The second is that you kids will hopefully learn something that may keep you from making the same mistake. Heck, that’s what we do here in Gramp’s house, right?

Back when Gramps was an instructor, we had an adage: “Live to fly, die for the ‘X.’” We said it jokingly—but only half jokingly—’cause after all, what kind of Naval Aviators would we be if we didn’t get the job done for the old man? But there’s a line kids, and these gents were so far beyond it they didn’t even know where it was! Gramps loves me some hard charging Marines (is there any other kind?) but gee-whiz, there weren’t bad guys coming over the horizon, this was C-darned-Q. It was nothing but a training mission and three smart, disciplined, and highly trained aviators all thought it was ok to launch that jump jet on a demanding night evolution, even though it wasn’t really airworthy—and that just don’t make sense.

So come here kids and let’s talk about what’s important here. We get paid to take risks, sometimes extreme risks, but a training sortie ain’t the time to do it. Training’s important, but it ain’t so important that you should unduly risk your air machine, much less your hide.

Now you kids run along, Gramps is gonna wander down to the barn and muck some stalls



Really easy to comment on the differ3nce between bold and dumb when the choice becomes increasingly muddled. Don't know if you guys realize how sickly the fleet is. All these jets are broken. Any one of those breaks can lead to catastrophic problems. But the choice is don't fly at all, or fly jets with problems. And there is a war on, has been for 15 years now. 20 if you include the NFZs and kosovo.

They deal with these problems everyday to the point where the danger Is basically accepted (as above) Only with hindsight can you judge and say "oh you should not have ignored that particular problem this time"

The only difference between can do hoorah and BOne headed is the result. It's the classic military joke "we either court martial him or give him a medal" it's all on how the coin lands. In this cage it didn't work out but everyday these aircraft fly with problems and it doesn't make headlines because they usually don't crash. When they do everyone comes out of th3 woodwork to wag their finger and then never fix the problem
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 19:23

XanderCrews wrote:Really easy to comment on the differ3nce between bold and dumb when the choice becomes increasingly muddled. Don't know if you guys realize how sickly the fleet is. All these jets are broken. Any one of those breaks can lead to catastrophic problems. But the choice is don't fly at all, or fly jets with problems. And there is a war on, has been for 15 years now. 20 if you include the NFZs and kosovo.


Believe you me, I realize. It was bad five or six years ago; I don't want to think about how broken the fleet is now. All the USMC 'classic' Hornets are beat to hell and back, and the money to fix them doesn't exist. What was that serviceability number bandied about a few months ago?
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XanderCrews

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 19:30

southernphantom wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:Really easy to comment on the differ3nce between bold and dumb when the choice becomes increasingly muddled. Don't know if you guys realize how sickly the fleet is. All these jets are broken. Any one of those breaks can lead to catastrophic problems. But the choice is don't fly at all, or fly jets with problems. And there is a war on, has been for 15 years now. 20 if you include the NFZs and kosovo.


Believe you me, I realize. It was bad five or six years ago; I don't want to think about how broken the fleet is now. All the USMC 'classic' Hornets are beat to hell and back, and the money to fix them doesn't exist. What was that serviceability number bandied about a few months ago?



They're basically siphoning all the parts to the deploying squadrons to the detriment of the work up squadron's training.
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quicksilver

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 22:13

Lost track of this one...

"...the problems I mention/have experienced first hand, are cultural..." -- "35"

So, post-first tour FRS job? Unit culture not necessarily institutional culture, particularly in Naval Aviation where unit (sqdn) culture varies (sometimes dramatically) from CO to CO etc.

Other observation is that money or lack of money buys lotsa culture, particularly when ones jets are 20 yrs old instead of 5-10.
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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 14:33

There are only five F/A-18C squadrons left in USN service, all East Coast based at Oceana. One more is going away this fiscal year, meaning the Navy's transition to a predominately Super Hornet fleet is already here, and will remain this way into the 2030s.
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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 21:18

quicksilver wrote:Lost track of this one...

"...the problems I mention/have experienced first hand, are cultural..." -- "35"

So, post-first tour FRS job? Unit culture not necessarily institutional culture, particularly in Naval Aviation where unit (sqdn) culture varies (sometimes dramatically) from CO to CO etc.

Other observation is that money or lack of money buys lotsa culture, particularly when ones jets are 20 yrs old instead of 5-10.

If a squadron CO has a poor safety culture, there is a significant possibility they'll be canned. A pilot I know (who is not under the normal airwing command) had a minor mishap, and part of the investigation was to determine if the safety culture was appropriate. If it was command climate related, probably a very different outcome.

One major factor as I recall, mishaps under $1m (or $2m now) come out of the squadron/airwing budget, as does most maintenance. Buying new jets is from a separate budget line. This leads to some ridiculous situations where 10 year old jets sit at depot due to parts availability, while brand new jets come from St. Louis.
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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 21:30

Military Flight Safety Culture is a funny beastie. IMHO it requires honesty and commitment. In my experience in the RAN FAA changing from RN FAA culture (which was good but different) to the USN style APPROACH/NAN NATOPS safety culture the result was excellent; but difficult for some of the much older more experienced pilots (who also had to contend with LSO deck landing safety critiques for example! There were NONE in the Sea Venom/Gannet era aboard HMAS Melbourne).

As people note today I'm astonished by the number of USN COs canned because of one thing or another. As noted I do not believe personnel can lie about flying safety to remain in charge for long. Sure - for real world operations some aircraft defects are acceptable BUT NOT perhaps for training evolutions. 'NATOPS is written in blood' is the saying - being ignored at one's peril - the standard for good decisions for the aircraft/pilot safety/operation. GRAMPAW Pettibone is deliberately over the top in most of his comments to allow readers to adjust to the black humour of it all - usually.
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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 22:46

neurotech wrote:
quicksilver wrote:Lost track of this one...

"...the problems I mention/have experienced first hand, are cultural..." -- "35"

So, post-first tour FRS job? Unit culture not necessarily institutional culture, particularly in Naval Aviation where unit (sqdn) culture varies (sometimes dramatically) from CO to CO etc.

Other observation is that money or lack of money buys lotsa culture, particularly when ones jets are 20 yrs old instead of 5-10.

If a squadron CO has a poor safety culture, there is a significant possibility they'll be canned. A pilot I know (who is not under the normal airwing command) had a minor mishap, and part of the investigation was to determine if the safety culture was appropriate. If it was command climate related, probably a very different outcome.

One major factor as I recall, mishaps under $1m (or $2m now) come out of the squadron/airwing budget, as does most maintenance. Buying new jets is from a separate budget line. This leads to some ridiculous situations where 10 year old jets sit at depot due to parts availability, while brand new jets come from St. Louis.


Command not nearly as fun as it once was, but still a pinnacle achievement. It also comes with enormous responsibilities that some will fail to adequately appreciate. Hence, some change of command ceremonies still happen 'without the band.'

As I mentioned before, if one is unlucky enough to fly an aircraft that is no longer the primary strike aircraft of the USN, you can expect back of the line privileges for sustainment.

"...10 year old jets sit at depot due to parts availability, while brand new jets come from St. Louis." So much for that "Strike Fighter Shortfall" that's been going on for...how many years now? Take your car to the dealer for a tune up; they're short of parts and can't get the car back to you on time, so you just buy a new one. What a concept.
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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 23:17

quicksilver wrote:"...10 year old jets sit at depot due to parts availability, while brand new jets come from St. Louis." So much for that "Strike Fighter Shortfall" that's been going on for...how many years now? Take your car to the dealer for a tune up; they're short of parts and can't get the car back to you on time, so you just buy a new one. What a concept.

The other major cause of jets sitting at depot is that the depot can only process so many jets. This is due to budget constraints, shop space and finding enough skilled labor, in addition to the parts shortage.

The situation is changing, slowly, and the Navy is getting more depot and maintenance funding, but not quite soon enough. IMO the Navy should buy more Super Hornets, in addition to the EA-18G and F-35C purchase.

And you laugh, a friend used to drive BMWs. Their cars were "not mission capable" half the time in the shop, while less than 2 years old. It seemed like they swapped to the spare car, more than the spare SuperBug.
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Unread post17 Oct 2016, 02:09

neurotech wrote:
quicksilver wrote:"...10 year old jets sit at depot due to parts availability, while brand new jets come from St. Louis." So much for that "Strike Fighter Shortfall" that's been going on for...how many years now? Take your car to the dealer for a tune up; they're short of parts and can't get the car back to you on time, so you just buy a new one. What a concept.

The other major cause of jets sitting at depot is that the depot can only process so many jets. This is due to budget constraints, shop space and finding enough skilled labor, in addition to the parts shortage.

The situation is changing, slowly, and the Navy is getting more depot and maintenance funding, but not quite soon enough. IMO the Navy should buy more Super Hornets, in addition to the EA-18G and F-35C purchase.

And you laugh, a friend used to drive BMWs. Their cars were "not mission capable" half the time in the shop, while less than 2 years old. It seemed like they swapped to the spare car, more than the spare SuperBug.


So, let's be clear, they mismanaged inventory and so they should keep buying new ones to get themselves out of the hole? Did I get that right?

What happens to the inventory (already in excess of force structure requirements?) when the problem is fixed...park em against the fence?? Ah...here's an idea -- sell em to Canada. :roll:
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Unread post17 Oct 2016, 04:44

quicksilver wrote:
neurotech wrote:The situation is changing, slowly, and the Navy is getting more depot and maintenance funding, but not quite soon enough. IMO the Navy should buy more Super Hornets, in addition to the EA-18G and F-35C purchase.

And you laugh, a friend used to drive BMWs. Their cars were "not mission capable" half the time in the shop, while less than 2 years old. It seemed like they swapped to the spare car, more than the spare SuperBug.


So, let's be clear, they mismanaged inventory and so they should keep buying new ones to get themselves out of the hole? Did I get that right?

What happens to the inventory (already in excess of force structure requirements?) when the problem is fixed...park em against the fence?? Ah...here's an idea -- sell em to Canada. :roll:

They mismanaged inventory of parts, to an extent, but budget constraints were the cause of most of the parts supply issues.

Some of the early SuperBugs, and most of the legacy jets will be good for the boneyard, by the time sufficient F-35B/C jets are available.

If Canada wants to buy the early lot SuperBugs, and the Navy gets new ones, is that a bad thing for the Navy?
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Unread post17 Oct 2016, 05:53

@ quick, no I was not an FRS guy for my JO shore tour, but I flew for ~ 2 years as a student at the Marine Hornet RAG. Yeah, you read that right, almost two years. That was, back then, about average time to complete based on aircraft availability, and I'm sure many years later, is still about the case if not worse now. They have been dealt a sh*t hand, and they have always been the service who does more with less when others are getting by just fine. Right now, I think that can be said about all services, but I think the cultural issue I mentioned is mostly related to that. At the end of the day, in combat, getting Marine Air overhead to support the rifleman on the ground is all the really matters, so I don't fault them for that at all. However, our (USN) mx culture is noticeably different than theirs. Could that be my limited, and single point of reference perspective? Of course. However I've also kept in touch with my friends in green over the years, and I don't feel like that perception is really off point even now. If you have some personal experience flying Marine Hornets that differs from my experience doing the same, I'd be all ears of course.

As for USN management of assets, we bungled it. Plain and simple. From the depot, to buying new jets, to everything in between. What we need to do in my personal opinion, is buy another 4-5 lots of SH, get rid of legacy jets and LRIP (and lot 25 and below) SH, and re-baseline the fleet at say, maybe, lot 28+. That is a lot of money, and ALSO not managing jets, but it is a recovery plan for a current plan that is not working given the flight hours and deployment requirements we have faced since 2001. Long story short, the SH has flown about 3 billion times more hours than anticipated due to OIF/OEF/OIR.
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Unread post17 Oct 2016, 08:13

mixelflick wrote:The Navy never was completely sold on stealth, that's why they're "dragging their feet" IMO. The Navy values a more "integrated" approach of tanking, jamming and then stealth.

So presumably, they'll have SH's refueling SH's then SH's jamming for striker SH's carry the day until the F-35 gets to the fleet. Hell of a bet but they and congress decided a near all SH fleet was warranted.

Until significant numbers of stealth tanker drones and F-35's reach the fleet, the SH will have to do. Whether or not it's "enough" given SU-35's and other advanced Flankers proliferating the globe - remains an open question. I tend to think the SH was a compromise, and certainly not the best solution for BVR combat. Sure, it has a great AESA and presumably the most advanced AMRAAM variants. But it lacks the kinematic capability to impart loft energy to those AMRAAM's and especially the legs to compete with other fighters...



Laughable the USN is hardly dragging their feet in respect to Stealth. They only have "X" amount of resources available with countless projects that require a large portion of their budget. (Ford Class Aircraft Carriers, Zumwalt and Burke (Flight III) Class Destroyers, Virginia Class (VMP) SSN's, Future SSBN, F-35B/C's, P-8A's, etc. etc. etc.

Nonetheless, the Super Hornets are more than adequate for the task in the short-term. (i.e. 5-10 years)

Oh, BTW the "vast majority" of Flankers flying today are older models not Su-30SM's or Su-35's.
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