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Author Topic: Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet  (Read 4959 times)

Offline tigershark

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Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
« on: June 14, 2009, 03:54:06 PM »
Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
By Sam LaGrone - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jun 13, 2009 12:31:40 EDT

The Air Force has no interest in buying more F-15s or F-16s — including the so-called 4.5-generation upgrades — to help with the coming fighter gap, Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said.

The answer to the gap — 800 aircraft will be sent to the boneyard by 2024 — is the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Schwartz said after a June 11 speech at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.

“To answer your question on 4.5: The answer is no — N-O. Can’t make that any clearer,” Schwartz said. “F-35? You bet.”

Schwartz said it is imperative to direct as much money as possible toward development of the F-35, the plane designated to replace the F-15, F-16 and A-10 and to become the Air Force’s tactical aviation workhorse. He said any delay in procurement could increase the cost and further delay the F-35 for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

“We have to make the link to the F-35,” Schwartz said. “We have to get high enough production rates to manage our aging issues on one hand and on the other hand keep the average price of the F-35 competitive.”

The gap will hit the Air National Guard the hardest. Since 2001 the Air Guard has flown the Air Force’s oldest planes in support of Operation Noble Eagle, the name given to military operations related to homeland security. Those domestic units will be among the first to lose fighters and among the last to get F-35s.

Schwartz said some Air Guard units should expect to lose fighters to emerging missions.

“We’re going to be a smaller force and a less-manned aviation force over time,” he said. “This is a reality we will all have to accommodate to.”

The reliance on the F-35 as the sole source to fill the fighter deficit has caused consternation with members of Congress, friendly to the Air Guard, who consider the fighter unproven.

“We’ve heard repeatedly, ‘Everything will be fine, we just need some more time,’ ” Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., said at a May hearing of the House Armed Services Committee. “Well, I’m not feeling so good about that answer, don’t feel as good today as I did last week, and each day that goes by, I think we have a problem.”

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in March that said, “procuring large numbers of production jets while still working to deliver test jets and mature manufacturing processes does not seem prudent, and looming plans to accelerate procurement will be difficult.”

A May GAO report said the F-35 could face cost overruns of $2.4 billion to $7.4 billion and additional testing could cause delays of up to three years.

Still, Schwartz emphasized his support for the F-35 as the next “core” Air Force fighter.

“The F-35 is the machine that will allow us to perform our mission for the next 20 to 30 years,” he said.

Source
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/06/SATURDAY_airforce_schwartz_061309/

Offline AVIATOR

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Re: Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 01:01:27 AM »
Interesting line............“We’re going to be a smaller force and a less-manned aviation force over time,” he said. “This is a reality we will all have to accommodate to.”

Offline tigershark

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Re: Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 02:11:10 AM »
Still don't see the A-10s being replaced by the F-35 not just because of the operational speeds of the F-35 but also because of the noise. Can't see the F-35 sneaking up on ground forces with a 42,000 lbs thrust engine? 

Offline AVIATOR

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Re: Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 03:38:34 AM »
You are right. That job will be for drones like the Grim Reaper.

Offline Eldorado82

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Re: Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 04:09:56 PM »
hey. i still believe in the future without many unmanned flights
i velieve there will be continuation for people flying in the aircrafts. if it will be done from a comfortable room then we would become something other than we are now.

have anybody seen Disney's cartoon movie WALL-E? i think it a pretty accurate prediction of what might become with human beings
Remembering Steven "TigerShark" Zeluff

Offline shawn a

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Re: Schwartz: F-35 is future of fighter fleet
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2009, 08:13:21 AM »
Eldorado-- Good point about becoming something other than we are now--BUT IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!! I don't especially like it ,either.
I'm also very dubious about a "One Plane Air Force"
And , as you may have heard-- I think the F-35 is a dog. (quivering chihuahua)
I just hope there is much more to it than has been projected.
Payload on a display at Nellis listed as 18,000 lbs for the-35, 18,000 lbs. for the -35C, 15,000 lbs. for the -35B, but the display did not mention if that was internal or external or both. Both, I bet. So there goes stealth.
Internal fuel listed as 18,500 lbs for the -35, 20,000 lbs. for the -35C, and 14,000 lbs. for the -35B. It seems like it'll need a lot of "booms over the battlefield" (tankers) (I guess we can rent 'em from china, or iran).
I'm not impressed, and I hope I'm wrong.

 



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