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Author Topic: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon  (Read 11362 times)

Offline iluveagles

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USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« on: April 17, 2008, 01:52:33 AM »
I have been hearing more and more about this type of stuff. Congress and the Pentagon seem to think the USAF don't need any more F-22s for the sole reason that the F-35 is a better buy. They continue to think financially instead of strategically. The F-22 and the F-35 are supposed to overlap in their roles instead of just having a multi-role fighter. The F-22 is nessecary to remove all air threats and sweap the area of all enemy aircraft. The F-35 is supposed to be mainly used to knock out ground targets.

This type of stuff is really getting on my nerves. Especially, because we need a strong air force to continue to avert wars through the fact that smart people understand that they can't stand against the might of the USAF. That is not going to be possible if we continue down this road.

If you are an AFA subscriber, I am refering to the article, "Fighting for Air Dominance" in the April 2008 issue of Air Force Magazine.

Offline Webmaster

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2008, 02:40:57 AM »
I agree so some extent, however making the JSF program a success is also of huge strategical importance, and indeed maybe more important than having 200 more Raptors. I agree that the USAF would need more F-22s without any doubt, but I am concerned if this should cut into JSF funding. I am sure though that resources can be found elsewhere, maybe at the expense of the nuclear arsenal and a few US airbases. But any such plans would probably also receive opposition from Congress.

AFM (Air Forces Monthly, UK) has also published some critical articles with regards to the US fighter force lately.

I'm also concerned by the (increasing?) power the big defence contractors have on Congress members. Judging from my observations, but maybe I should not make any judgement on this, because I am not too well informed about it.
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Offline iluveagles

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2008, 11:42:34 PM »
See the thing about the JSF program is that congress doesn't want to give them the amount of F-35s nessecary either. It is some where upward of 3,000 that they want for the JSF. In my opinion cutting them 500 short of the JSF or even 1,000 short to give us a full F-22 force (500) would be a much better idea. Due to the fact that not only is air superiority key, but also because the Raptor has the capability to carry out precision air-to-surface strikes, hence the F/A. So getting more Raptors would work out either way. Besides that, the Raptor is a better aircraft than the F-35, at least from my point of view it is.

The other thing about it is, we need to not worry about cutting either program's funding and instead just give the USAF all the aircraft it needs. At this point Raptor's aren't even used in combat(at least last time I checked) because they are such a small force that it better to use them for air defense of the US.

The defense contractors are less of a problem than the democrats. They are what is causing the major funding issues because they want to cut down on the military so they can force us out of Iraq, which needless to say is a bad idea.


Offline Gripen

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 05:17:41 AM »
Hang on, Raptor's cutting into F-35 funds, did i read the right?

If i remember rightly, and i'm pretty sure i do, isnt the F-35 program have hundreds of millions of dollars put into it by other countries, so if they use F-35 funds for the Raptor, wouldn't countries be paying for planes that they have no hope of actually getting?

 ???

Offline iluveagles

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 05:28:05 AM »
Not quite, though everything kinda cuts this or that, what we were saying is that I do not care if we cut down on F-35s(ie taking some funding away for more aircraft)and instead getting the proper amount of F-22s versus the Webmaster had, more or less, the opposite opinion on it.

Yes other countries are putting money into it, but cutting funding to buy less jets for the U.S. would have no effect on other countries purchasing it. Regardless, each country pays and gets what they pay for.

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 03:25:19 AM »
Yes other countries are putting money into it, but cutting funding to buy less jets for the U.S. would have no effect on other countries purchasing it. Regardless, each country pays and gets what they pay for.

No, why do you think that? First of all, if US would have to cut down funding of the program right now, development time and production run up will take longer because of lack of funding, which means every other country depending on the JSF to replace an ageing fleet will suffer, or need to put more money into it themselves. Secondly, the return on investment of participating nations depends for probably at least for 50% on the US buying 2400 jets. So it has a big impact on the successfulness of the program as a business case, especially since some 20% depends on prospected sales which are probably unlikely or slow to materialize. That will probably mean they can't sustify more funding. Anyway that's the business side for the partner countries.
If we look at the countries governments/airforces, then we have the unit price. If the US cuts its requirement, then the burden carried by each aircraft of the huge development cost will increase (LM and co. still have to make money), making the unit cost much higher than anticipated by many countries. The result is that they will cut their orders, probably making it even more expensive for others. This is not the Eurofighter program where everyone is locked into buying a certain amount. Finally, if the US cuts down (heavily) on the JSF, then much more uncertainty about its capabilities and further sustainability will arise.

Still, having said that, there's probably some room to cut down the final number of JSF for the US. But not on orders for the next 10 years, and especially not on investment in development/testing/production run-up, as that will hurt the USAF as well as the allies.

Again, I'm not against more F-22s, I can see why they want them.
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Offline iluveagles

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 12:29:26 AM »
What I am suggesting is not to cut the funding for the development stage of the program, but to cut the funding for the amount of jets that we buy. Which would have no effect on other countries buying it. The development continues as planned and then we just buy less. Thats all I mean.

The in the Eurofighter program everyone, but Britain backed out; how do you figure they were all locked in?

Offline Gripen

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008, 03:02:52 AM »
Didnt all the countries that backed out get massive fines?


Offline iluveagles

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2008, 06:55:59 AM »
They may have, but some how I doubt it............they had already put a ton of money into the development and since they backed out before the aircraft had been produced it wouldn't be a huge issue.

But it is possible...........

Offline tigershark

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2008, 05:24:33 AM »
Eurofighter - Sadly I feel this aircraft that just came out too late will have a short life span overall compared to other fighters of it's day mainly because of the F-35.  Time will tell but I think the F-35 and the later upgrades/updates to the aircraft and systems with over shadow anything flying at least in the 4th generation line of fighters.

F-22 - Reading all the positive things about it seems unbeatable as a fighter but future enemy fighter numbers or threats are down.  The F-22 will have to go the F-15E route on some levels because there just isn't that many high end Flankers in the world today as major threats.  The Chinese J-10s are still a Block or two behind still without a modern radar and proven Chinese made engines.  China may have numbers on there side at one point but modern fighter usually beat up on older tech/fighters in general, if some war broke out.  The F-22 will have to take on a duel role I think in the next five years or less or sadly or more might never be built.   Russia only up to building hop up Flankers so the need for 300 F-22 just isn't there don't get me wrong the aircraft is great and truly the best.  Building more for US mainland defense not needed really so they can take pictures of old Bear bombers?   F-15/16/18 come out very nicely in the pictures too taken by the Russian crews.  I think the air force needs to get a Block-II duel role F-22 out there fast.

F-35 - Can't see this being cut not with so many countries involved plus waiting for our own forces to get there's.  The F-35 may not be the fancy fighter type we all want to see hey I'm a huge F-15C fan but lets face F-16s get more work.  No reason the F-35 wouldn't take over this slot so it makes sense to build more and do it faster.  We all read articels about how the F-16 are getting old I think we just live in the duel purpose world of aircraft and the days of the mighty F-15C are over.  Not because we lack the abilities to build such aircraft we could build the best fighters in the world and I think the US proved that with the F-22 hands down.  It's the lack of threats in large volumes and modern air warfare just changed. 

I think in the future weapons will change and not far from now newer stealth weapons will be operational.  Bombs/missiles will be more powerful like a 1,000 bombs converts to a 200lbs weapon.   Sounds crazy but I think that's the path for the F-22/F-35 and other new weapons platforms.

Offline iluveagles

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2008, 07:07:53 AM »
The Eurofighter, as you say, came out to late to actually be used extensively. Everyone wants US fighters not European built fighters, why? Because we have the best..............

The point of having the minimum of 300 is to be able to adequately protect the US while fighting two major wars. The fact of the matter is that we must replace the F-15 fleet and the F-16 fleet. It is one thing to have a bomber, such as the B-52 in service for over 30 years, but a fighter has to stand up to more g's for longer periods of time, and more often. The airframes are beginning to show this. Plus in war we don't want to lose anyone, or even chance losing anyone(it happens, but we want to reduce the amount as much as possible). Along with that, Russia is planning to build a newer fighter. Called the Sukhoi T-50 or PAK FA. Whether the aircraft will come out to compete with the F-22 as it was designed to do or not, we must be prepared simple as that. In reality that is why we should have AT LEAST 300 F-22s. To be prepared for everything and anything that comes our way.

Why should the F-22 take over the F-15E role if those aircraft are still viable and will be for another 20 years.

The F-35 is not my favorite aircraft. I've never been a fan of single engined aircraft of the modern era. They end up ugly and are MRF's which really annoy me. Specialty aircraft get the job done much better, but its all about money.................

You're just talking about having a smaller amount of explosives that pack a bigger punch. In other words, HE or fuel-to-air bombs..................but smaller and newer..............

I really, at this point, don't see any need to improve the weapons we use to the extent that you are talking about, we need to focus on the delivery systems first.............




Offline tigershark

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Re: USAF Problems with Congress and the Pentagon
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2008, 07:56:58 PM »
Quote
The Eurofighter, as you say, came out to late to actually be used extensively. Everyone wants US fighters not European built fighters, why? Because we have the best..
I'm proud of what my country produces too but the Eurofighter is a solid platform.

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The point of having the minimum of 300 is to be able to adequately protect the US while fighting two major wars.
Some valid points I didn't want to quote the whole section but think about it for a second.  If 1 F-22 can can take on 8-15C and beat them soundly why would 300 be needed to replace 450 mixed F-15?   The Sukhoi T-50 or PAK FA is vapor ware not a single piece of proof can be shown except for some test done on some sub-systems planed to be on the Russian 5th generation aircraft.  Russian aircraft industry is full of if's, maybe, planned too, can easily be done, coming out in three months, and so on.  The only facts I see is there making hop up heavy Flanker type aircraft while the F-35 will be going into Block-II and the US is basically going into third generation stealth.  It's not that I don't want them to produce the F-22 it's just I want it to do more then cutting through the sky nicely.  The days of the great F-15C are sadly over any war the skies are cleared then the fighting takes place.  I don't think the US Air Force can afford to have hundreds of aircraft just designed to clear those skies, it's only one part of modern air warfare.

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Why should the F-22 take over the F-15E role if those aircraft are still viable and will be for another 20 years.
The F-15E is one of my favorite but I'll explain.  The purpose of using the F-22 in a strike or F-15E role would be taking out one of those S-300 batteries on the other thread.  The F-15E is a target because it can be seen and tracked the F-22 might get to within ten miles of it and drop a little something nasty on it.  The battery might have minutes or seconds to react compared to tracking the F-15E for twenty minutes.   Now go a little further and imagine a stealth weapons coming out of a stealth aircraft from even a greater distance.   

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The F-35 is not my favorite aircraft. I've never been a fan of single engined aircraft of the modern era.
The F-35 isn't even in full production yet so it's not my favorite aircraft either, to early.   Single engine aircraft have perform very well over years people knock the Viper but forget about how many thousands of sorties it flew and is a very safe aircraft overall.   The two most produced fighters 80s/90s at least from a western makers are both single engine F-16 and Mirage 2000 series.   Both have done very well and flying in large numbers.  Its hard trying to even buy a second hand Mirage 2000 nobody wants to part with them.  I know the Mig-21 is a basic 2nd maybe early 3rd generation design but still a very successful aircraft overall and it's proven in battle.  The F-35 engine is going to have 40,000 lbs of thrust and for a single engine that's not bad.  I think in numbers made over the next ten years most likely the F-35 and J-10 might be the most produced fighter overall and both are single engines.  I think that says a lot for single engine platforms and remember a F-15s has more then double the manpower needed to keep them flying.   Spread that out between 20,30, or 40 squadrons and you'll see why the USAF has a high/low setup F-15/16.   

Can you list the specialty aircraft you like?  Sounds like a good post.

 



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