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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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jessmo111

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 10:46

A really good article here, Ill post some quotes.

"If the United States Navy is either unwilling or unable to conceptualize a carrier air wing that can fight on the first day of a high-end conflict, then the question becomes: Why should the American taxpayer shell out $13 billion for a Ford-class carrier?

That’s the potent question being raised by naval analysts in Washington—noting that there are many options that the Navy could pursue including a stealthy new long-range, carrier-based unmanned combat aircraft or a much heavier investment in submarines. However, the current short-range Boeing F/A-18 Hornet-based air wing is not likely to be sufficient in the 2030s even with the addition of the longer ranged Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter."

and more

While many within senior Navy leadership know and understand the problem—the protracted and expensive development of the Lockheed Martin F-35 has left the Navy gun-shy. “The plain truth is that the F-35 acquisition has negatively reinforced learned behavior in naval aviation acquisition


http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... raft-17240

Excellent points here. If the Navy will accept that it cant be a 1st day of the war force, then why even spend money on these ships? Why are they not ramping up F-35C buys, or fast tracking an unmanned platform?
The Navies procurement strategy is a muddled mess, that cant be all blamed on congress.
And why are we building expensive Fords in the 1st place, when a much cheaper Nimitz will do the trick?
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citanon

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 11:40

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Johnson_(engineer)#Kelly_Johnson.27s_14_Rules_of_Management

Kelly had a 15th rule that he passed on by word of mouth. According to the book "Skunk Works" the 15th rule is: "Starve before doing business with the damned Navy. They don't know what the hell they want and will drive you up a wall before they break either your heart or a more exposed part of your anatomy."


Apparently still true now.

The Marines are quite willing to take up the slack:

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... d-dominate

With the United States Marine Corps purchasing the bulk of the Department of the Navy’s (DON) planned fleet of 680 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the service will likely form the dominant component of naval tactical aviation in the coming decades. The implication is that by the 2030s, it will be the Marine Corps’ aviation assets that will be projecting power deep into heavily defended airspace from the sea instead of the Navy’s full-sized flattops. Meanwhile, the Navy’s vaunted carrier air wings will still be dominated by fourth-generation Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with a small number of F-35Cs supplementing them—leaving the $13 billion warships with limited ability to fight against high-end threats.
As Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, pointed out during an event at the American Enterprise Institute on July 29, the service is willing to fight to the death to buy all 420 Joint Strike Fighters—353 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing models and 67 F-35C carrier variants—it has on the books. Effectively, that would give the Marine Corps the lion’s share of the DON tactical air assets that could effectively fight in a threat environment that is dominated by advanced Russian and Chinese-built integrated air defense systems (IADS) like the S-300 and S-400.
Last edited by citanon on 04 Aug 2016, 11:48, edited 2 times in total.
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jessmo111

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 11:44

Another issue is that we have carriers, with a 90 aircraft capacity only filling less than 1/2 of those slots.
That IMo is a Congress and Obama issue. Naval aviation needs a bail out.
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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 12:21

jessmo111 wrote:Another issue is that we have carriers, with a 90 aircraft capacity only filling less than 1/2 of those slots.
That IMo is a Congress and Obama issue. Naval aviation needs a bail out.


Everyone over simplifies this crap to a degree. Yes the navy drags its feet as they don't fully "get" stealth as the Air Force does yet. But the other aspect of this is people getting all worked up about the number and types of aircraft in a deployed air wing in peacetime. These aren't static things in a war. Given MX schedules there are goingn to be several idle air wings even after a surge of carriers that could go to sea. Those squadrons can be reassigned. Everyone seems to forget this fact.

Also I suspect the navy will grab onto the F-35c like it has the F-18e. The number now on order will continue to rise in chunks for a very long time.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 12:44

I don't think fast tracking of unmanned platforms is an answer at all. All current and even proposed UCAVs are very expensive and pretty limited in what they can do. Ramping up F-35C buys is the only way to really improve air wing capabilities but I don't think Super Hornets will be obsolete even in 2030s especially when used along with F-35Cs and Growlers. Then there are all the new capabilities brought with systems like SM-3, SM-6, E-2D etc. Of course they might not be nearly as good as F-35s or F-22s but still capable of doing many things. Hell, even USAF seems to be going to use F-15s and maybe even F-16s to 2030s.

USN needs new carriers to replace older Nimitz class ships and Fords promise a lot of improvement in capabilities and lower operating costs. So while it's more expensive than Nimitz class ships, the total lifetime costs might well be lower. These ships are also definitely more future proof with a lot more headroom for upgrades and improvements.
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jessmo111

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 12:55

If F35Cs came on fast enough. Id keep some F-18Cs all refurbished, just on a reserve. They have short legs can can fill mundane tasks
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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 13:14

bigjku wrote:Everyone over simplifies this crap to a degree. Yes the navy drags its feet as they don't fully "get" stealth as the Air Force does yet. But the other aspect of this is people getting all worked up about the number and types of aircraft in a deployed air wing in peacetime.


You fight like you train, and it's not like there are ramps full of ASW Vikings and long range Intruders waiting to get deployed to carriers.


bigjku wrote:These aren't static things in a war. Given MX schedules there are goingn to be several idle air wings even after a surge of carriers that could go to sea. Those squadrons can be reassigned. Everyone seems to forget this fact.


Because it isn't a "fact". There are actually fewer wings than there are carriers. Also, much as all carriers can't be at sea at once, neither can all aircraft. There are FAR fewer aircraft available to go to sea than when they regularly went to sea with 90 aircraft. That's WHY we have smaller air wings today.

bigjku wrote:Also I suspect the navy will grab onto the F-35c like it has the F-18e. The number now on order will continue to rise in chunks for a very long time.
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jessmo111

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 14:33

Excuse my ignorance, but why cant the F-35B get
worked into flight operations? Its cheaper than a C model and has more range and bring back than a F-18c.
Would a squadron (wink I got it right this time Spaz) of F-35Bs per carrier cause the world to end?
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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 15:18

The situation today is vastly different from 1980 Seffrin. You needed a big air wing deployed at all times because when WWIII blew off it was expected you were going to fight as you were. I am well aware there is one less wing than carriers. Of that there is no doubt. But the other carriers not in ROCH aren't ever all available either. If a surge went very well you might get 6 carriers into a combat theater. You should be able to scrape and additional squadron of fighters for those of it is truly a high threat environment and calls for it. It isn't pretty or elegant but by far the most important thing is the overall capacity of the ship as that is the hardest thing to change.

It isn't an overwhelming task to buy more fighters so long as a production line is active and has reasonable scale. That's a matter of national priorities
I agree with you on the auxiliary aircraft. Some sort of replacement for the S-3 and a dedicated tanker is needed. Sounds like they are working on at least the tanker support side with a UCAV for that role.

Overall though I am not too fussed if the aircraft carriers aren't full today. There isn't a threat that justifies it and for a brief spell in a max effort scenario you could supplement a force of 4 or 5 carriers for high intensity operation. You won't get more than that into a single combat zone in all probability anyway.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 15:36

jessmo111 wrote:Excuse my ignorance, but why cant the F-35B get
worked into flight operations? Its cheaper than a C model and has more range and bring back than a F-18c.
Would a squadron (wink I got it right this time Spaz) of F-35Bs per carrier cause the world to end?



Carrier operations are like a well oiled machine of launch and recovery STOVL aircraft interrupt that machinery. Which is why the navy asked the USMC to buy some F-35Cs to operate from USN carriers
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XanderCrews

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 15:50

bigjku wrote:
It isn't an overwhelming task to buy more fighters so long as a production line is active and has reasonable scale.



Hopefully you can scale the production of pilots at the same rate. USN pilots take a lot longer to bake up than the land lubbers.

The navy is always telling his much harder it is to land on a ship, how important it is to keep those skills up, how much more training and practice is required etc etc.
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cosmicdwarf

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 16:35

XanderCrews wrote:
bigjku wrote:
It isn't an overwhelming task to buy more fighters so long as a production line is active and has reasonable scale.



Hopefully you can scale the production of pilots at the same rate. USN pilots take a lot longer to bake up than the land lubbers.

The navy is always telling his much harder it is to land on a ship, how important it is to keep those skills up, how much more training and practice is required etc etc.

These days the planes can kind of land themselves on carriers. Pilots just don't always used it. Of course they should train obviously in case there's a problem with the automated system.
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les_paul59

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 18:26

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.
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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 19:30

jessmo111 wrote:Excuse my ignorance, but why cant the F-35B get
worked into flight operations? Its cheaper than a C model and has more range and bring back than a F-18c.
Would a squadron (wink I got it right this time Spaz) of F-35Bs per carrier cause the world to end?

For me this idea of 'F-35Bs on CVNs' has been discussed earlier ad nauseam. IF the USN don't want Bs on CVNs then that is that. Their ideas might change however. One interesting aspect of getting used to new way of doing things on deck with a new aircraft is the current trials for Osprey V-22 future CODs on CVNs - go here for the beer: [Long article best read there]

And another thing - I have read that some CVNs have two special helo landing spots now that won't interrupt normal fixed wing operations. Perhaps all vertical landing aircraft can use these spots but I'm not in the USN to know more than that.
Navy, Marines put V-22 to the Test in Carrier Experiment
03 Aug 2016 Gidget Fuentes

"...initial “proof of concept” will begin to show how to employ the Osprey, which blends rotary and fixed-wing flight, and see how it affects cycles of launch and recovery operations and overall deck handling on a carrier, officials said. “This is an opportunity to go out and see how this is going to do,” said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Naval Air Forces commander, speaking with a group of reporters Tuesday before boarding an HMX-1 Osprey for the flight to the Carl Vinson conducting training in the offshore ranges.

So far, it seems, initial tests don’t reveal any glaring problems that time and experience couldn’t smooth out. “I think it’s going very well,” Shoemaker said. Some worries about downwash from the Osprey’s beefy rotors haven’t materialized, perhaps in part from more handling and simple adjustments with pilots moving the nacelles to ease the heat and deflect the exhaust on the flight deck surface. He said the downwash is “comparable” to that of the MH-53 helicopter.

One good thing: Landing and launching an Osprey, which can land and take off vertically like a helicopter, lightens the deck crew load since it requires no wire trap and isn’t catapulted off the deck. Plus, it isn’t limited to just flying during fixed-wing operations. Only five personnel are needed on deck, several Carl Vinson officers told a group of reporters Tuesday, far fewer than the 30 to 50 hands usually on position when the Greyhound is operating on deck....

...“What we’re trying to do is help inform the future,” Shoemaker added. That includes determining “how will we employ this airplane, maybe differently or similar to the C-2.”...

...Another difference is that unlike the C-2A, the Navy would use the Osprey to carry cargo at night.... [IF correct then the C-2A does not 'fly at night'?]

...Shoemaker said the Navy expects to reach initial operational capability (IOC) in fiscal 2021, with the first detachment deployed during 2022. “We’ll do it very similar to how we are set up now with the C-2 community,” he said, with east and west coast-based squadrons providing V-22 dets to carriers. He said he thinks the Navy might, at some point, stand up its own V-22 training squadron.

The Navy’s version of the Marine Corps’ newest rotary-wing aircraft would be designated CMV-22. It would mirror the aircraft that the Marines fly but will include extended range fuel tanks, high frequency radio and a public-address system. Unlike the COD it’s replacing, the Navy’s Osprey variant potentially could operate off other gray hulls."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2016/08/03/navy-m ... experiment
Last edited by spazsinbad on 04 Aug 2016, 19:41, edited 3 times in total.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 19:37

cosmicdwarf wrote:These days the planes can kind of land themselves on carriers. Pilots just don't always used it. Of course they should train obviously in case there's a problem with the automated system.


They aren't there yet. The US Navy is still going to need to train "hookers" even if things like MAGIC CARPET help.

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.


Because Navy. Theyve been busy with their blueberry camo and such.

https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2 ... OQ%3D%3D.2

Maybe Maus92 can come in here and tell us how the "Excellent" Super Hornet is not going to be anything more than a cruise missile plunker here in the future, while blaming the F-35 for the USN's short-sightedness and inability to field new aircraft in the 1990s and 2000s that aren't Hornet re-dos.
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