Military Aviation => Defence in General => Topic started by: shawn a on May 18, 2010, 09:29:03 AM

Title: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on May 18, 2010, 09:29:03 AM
I vote - Irrational fool.
He accused the military of being obsessed with "Next War-itis" as he cancelled further F-22 production.
One of his latest statements, according to AW&ST, was that the US has a "tendancy to disarm in the wake of major wars", as he warned that fiscal realities will blunt the military's "tooth" if the pentagon cannot trim its "tail".
Hell, he's the "dentist" that's pulling the teeth!!
I want some of what he's on, because I like being irrational and oblivious.
Shawn A.
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on June 28, 2010, 05:01:51 AM
which of his UAV babies got cancelled?
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on June 30, 2010, 09:46:52 PM
Hi Neils,
I've been on a computer-free vacation.
I didn't pick up the fact that one of his darling babies got cancelled. Which one?
He should be happy, he's a businessman, and should look at any cancellation as a cost saving measure.
But who cancelled it?
Shawn A
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on July 01, 2010, 02:35:06 AM
Shawn, I have no idea, I just thought something like that could have been a reason for him saying that. If not, then uhm, I guess he's just afraid that his salary gets cut back as well?
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on July 01, 2010, 06:42:28 AM
I'm eagerly waiting for my next issue of AW&ST to get the latest scoop on the aviation world.
For the first time, I saw an interview with gates, and I was not impressed with his responses to questions.
There has to be someone better to fill his post.
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on July 02, 2010, 01:29:15 PM
Sometimes I agree and think he's more realistic than the generals or congress, sometimes I think he's got it wrong and he doesn't even want to listen to people who actually know what they're talking about. So fool or genius, both maybe a little strong, but indeed that's the question.

Someone better... there's always someone better...  I'm too far from your world to make suggestions though, I can make a big lists of who's NOT though... ;)

How's AW&ST? I tried Flight International digital edition for a while, and found it troublesome to use, and not much interesting (military av) articles. I see AW&ST also has digital subscription, I'm wondering if it's good. Have you tried your digital access to AW&ST, Shawn?
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on July 02, 2010, 07:05:36 PM
On dial-up, I'd probably find it even more troublesome!
I got a bad case of staph in Hawaii--thank god for modern antibiotics!!
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on October 15, 2010, 08:12:31 PM
Here's a summary, according to Robert Dorr, a columnist for Combat Aircraft.
Gates cancelled CSAR-X (144 combat search and rescue helicopters), stopped funding for thr NGB (next generation bomber), Stopped Raptor production at a measly 187 planes, wants to kill rhe F-136 (alternate engine for the F-35), wants to stop production of the C-17 at 223 USAF airframes, wants to retire the ENTIRE FLEET of F-15C/Ds, and wants to retire the B1B Lancer when there is absolutely nothing in the pipeline to replace it!
The guy seems to be an eerie combination of a beserk cost-control accountant and a "Manchurian Candidate"
I'm sure the chinese are wishing him the best.
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on October 16, 2010, 05:38:21 PM
Hi Shawn,

So what did Dorr say? His suggestions are what? I mean it's real easy to dislike the man making the cuts whenever they are popular aircraft/programs.
Cuts are always sad news when the world is not becoming any safer and you still need a strong military. But realistically, not believing in Red Dawn scenarios and ignoring my feelings for the aircraft... those cuts aren't too bad. I haven't digged into it, but just judging from things I read about all of them over the years and thinking about capabilities / how they work out, I think they make sense and I admire Gates for having the guts to make these unpopular cuts that are needed if the US ever wants to get its military budget under control and have a meaner, leaner military.

Just my 2 cents...
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on October 17, 2010, 07:56:39 AM
 Actually, Dorr was quite neutral in his opinions in the article, and really didn't seem to make any suggestions on anything.
I guess what bothers me is that cuts are being made to whole programs, I mean whole programs are being cut!! With no alternatives in sight.
I might try to set aside my feelings for the aircraft involved if I had a higher opinion of the -35, assumed we can make the -135s last forever, had a NGB in the pipeline, and felt that 187 Raptors would compensate for, instead of supplement the -15C/D fleet.
About the -35, I heard an insightful comment on stealth to the effect that stealth relies on materials technology, which is slow to develop and expensive to produce, while counter-stealth relies on electronics and computing technology, which we all know is advancing ever more rapidly and is orders of magnitude cheaper.
I admit Gates has guts to make the cuts, and will produce a leaner and GREENER miltary.. but meaner? How? The smoke and mirrors of stealth?
I hope I'm wrong about what I think his effect will be.
Shawn A
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on October 20, 2010, 02:05:08 AM
CSAR-X, bare with me, but last thing I heard was that competition dropped out and they were about to select the Chinook, and were criticized from within the community for going into that direction. IMHO, CSAR-X got too "fat" in budget and aircraft-size, and needs to be cut. But yes, a new program is needed.

NGB, where was it going again? Stealth/unmanned? It was too ambitious for these times. It needs to be re-formulated, other the AF will end up with another white elephant and just order more predators/reapers to make up for it. I really hope there will be NGB some time, but the way this was progressing and planned (2018!! LOL) I didn't have much hopes for it.

Sad thing is indeed to see the B-1B earmarked for early retirement (again), with nothing but upped B-52s and overworked F-15Es to replace it. I thought the B-52's were being sent to the scrapyard again, in favor of the Bone. But well, if you need to cut spending, and you don't want to sacrifice your great deterrents/strategic power projection (B-2, Minuteman, subs, carrier groups (you've got 10, combined air power more than... everything except China?), overseas bases) then YES, the B-1B force is perhaps the most obvious candidate. Anyway, wind-down will probably happen slow. So I'm still hopeful for the Bone.

The B-52 will soldier on till 2045, so there's still time for a new bomber.

C-17, well what we've been hearing, its strengths and weaknesses, 233 should be enough, and is still plus 53 from its previous stop at 180. And IIRC, that wasn't under Gates. First production C-5M is being readied for delivery, I hope it will live up to its promises. Still, I think the US needs a 'light-military' strategic troop carrier, more versatile and cheaper to run than either of those. I'm just afraid the new tankers will be tied up doing lots of that... But more C-17s, I don't see why.

F-15C/D, the money that needs to be put into the few earmarked airframes to make them "Golden" hardly justifies it. I'd think some new F-16s for the air defense task, and procure some brand new F-15E (but more like F-15SE/F-15K) for the real fighting, wouldn't be much more expensive. So if that's the idea... or is it because the Raptors have this superb availability rate, we've yet to see proof of?

Leaner, more versatile aircraft. That's why all of the above aren't good enough, and probably never will be. Meaner, yup, stealth, and UAV drone attacks, preferably when the enemy is chilling out in his garden of his villa paid for by the CIA :p No idea. Seriously, I was thinking leaner and meaner in terms of the entire military, not necessarily the air force. I think you'll agree that the Army especially and perhaps also the Marines have been kinda left behind in the last, uhm 10 years, and much more leaner and meaner things need to happen there for this 21st century warfighting vision the pentagon is telling us about. But yeah for the air force that means more investments towards flexibility, intelligence, communications, networking, etc, rather than 80-bomb carrying and anti-flanker fighting forces.

Greener? You mean Army, or like environmental? LOL, argh, green makes me sick nowadays, but then he should cut those Abrams and the endless kerosine convoys they need to advance.

Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on October 20, 2010, 02:11:52 AM
Come on guys, nobody else joining in? I've got this feeling, myself and Shawn are getting far too lighthearted about what's going on!
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: shawn a on October 23, 2010, 11:27:05 PM
It is with a heavy heart that I report on an article in AW&ST's Oct 18th issue titled "Grim Future for Defense". Although the name Robet Gates does not appear anywhere in the article, the opening paragraph reads "Black predictions about the defense budget and U.S. Airforce spending are coming from the service's chief of staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz."
He sees a coming crisis in ability and directional resolve. He mentions a faster emergence of new threats as well as the need to plan for "higher-end, large-scale conflict". He mentions advanced radars "chipping away at the invisibility of stealth designs", and the need to invest in long-range electronic attack and network invasion to maintain the penetration ability of stealthy aircraft. Also mentioned is developing a set of rules of engagement for electronic attack, directed energy weapons, and cyberinvasion. (Let's take that damn fan out of the "rhino beetle", and use the shaft to generate power for directed energy weapons, and cyberjammers!)
I'd like Mr. Gates to know, that although all of this costs money, I'm willing to pay my share!
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Raptor on December 03, 2010, 11:19:33 AM
And I was starting to wonder where they were getting the money for the new Obama-medical-plan... (which is supposedly still much less cost-efficient than Singapore's healthcare system)

Doesn't anyone else here think that the Korea conflict may be a bad time to cut military costs?
Title: Re: Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?
Post by: Webmaster on December 03, 2010, 10:18:54 PM
Not because of the Korea thing. But just in general... jobs will be lost, more unemployment, that's bad when the recovery of the economy is still pretty fragile. More unemployment means higher demand on welfare. I don't know exactly, but imho these cuts everywhere are coming too soon. On the other hand, I've never been a big fan of governments having huge deficits... it's all a balance, and when cuts need to be made, defence is the easiest target after foreign (humanitarian) aid.