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Thread: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

  1. #11
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    The JSF makes sense, since it is a multi role a/c that will replace several different models in the AF/Navy/Marine Corps. Unfortunantley, the F-22 program was a completely un-needed program at the time as it is only available to one service and had a singular purpose(air superiority, of which we already had at the time). If that money had been spent on ground transport aircraft or updating other various aspects of the fleet, it would have been a better return on the investment. Obviously they aren't showing good fiscal restraint for the JSF program itself, which is the directors fault. But the theory of having the same multi-role aircraft across several different branches and streamlining the replaceable parts system to have nearly 85-90% similar parts across the services(3 different models of JSF, with carrier landing equipped landing gear for navy and VSTOL for Marines) is a good idea in the long run.
    I have to strongly disagree with the assessment about an air-superiority fighter. The reason for having such a specialized aircraft is so that you have a machine and a group of people thoroughly dedicated to the effort of owning the skies over a battlefield. Historically, controlling the skies has proven to be extremely important. A multi-mission/multi-role team is valuable, yes, but having someone that is dedicated solely to controlling the skies above you is absolutely essential.

    I'll have to agree with the sentiment expressed by OP that the acquisition system is broken and that the military has a poor grip on this mess. I'd suggest buying hardware from our allies in order to scare contractors about potential lost business if they don't shape up on the costs side of the equation.
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    Although I think the role of unmanned aircraft certainley has room for growth and expansion in certain roles, part of me is uncomfortable in assigning these aircraft to CAS missions on a regular basis. Some amount of flexibility to immediately make changes/decisions needs to rest in the hands and controls of a human at the point of attack, rather than in a AWACs hundreds of miles away or in some computer room back in Florida(or wherever they have them). And for XCAS missions, unmanneds need not even be considered. I'm uncomfortable assigning direct support to our ground troops to a robot.

    Unmanneds have great advantages as you point out. But I don't know that they are appropriate for all mission types.
    Well, the way things are currently run, you have the soldiers on the ground and the controllers in some air-conditioned room in Utah (for example.) The soldiers on the ground ultimately tell them what to shoot and where.
    * Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. --Thomas Mann
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier | Danger Room | Wired.com



    As if anybody is surprised at this point.

    We are bleeding so much money in our utterly broken defense acquisitions setup. It seems especially prevalent in the military aircraft industry. Every single new aircraft we try to put out runs way over time allotted and way over cost. The taxpayers are being milked to the bone by these defense contractors, who really have no major incentive to run within the ludicrous "budget" they propose at the start of the program.

    I sometimes wonder if we should just buy planes from Russia like everyone else does.
    A lot of this is because of software problems. The B-2 was over-budget and behind schedule due to this.
    * Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. --Thomas Mann
    * "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. ... The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."... Calvin Coolidge 30th President of the USA.

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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Penguin View Post
    Well, the way things are currently run, you have the soldiers on the ground and the controllers in some air-conditioned room in Utah (for example.) The soldiers on the ground ultimately tell them what to shoot and where.
    Not in all cases. I was an avionics tech in the Marines on F/A-18 aircraft, jointly stationed with harriers, F-15s and A-10s during the opening part of the OIF conflict. We dropped a lot of lead at the request of ground troops. I would wager much more than unmanned accounted for.
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Both the F-35 and the F-22 Raptor have a role... the technology and use as well as the fit of these next generation planes are clear. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, the F-35 is a multi-role plane able to fit multiple roles. Each plane has it's place and could fit into the U.S. or other world military's easily. The issue is not the planes... the issue is COST.

    The ONLY problem here is the relationship between the Defense Dept. and the Defense Contractors. What is needed is a hard line that says, if you quote a dollar amount per plane, it will not deviate by more than + 5% with a maximum of +7%. If it does, the contractor will eat that cost - period. In that way, the Congress and Pentagon as well as the various military branches can more accurately budget and when choosing a new plane - can be assured they are getting what they pay for instead of costly over-runs. This can easily be done by changing the protocol and procedures with these contractors. It's time we played less softball and more hardball as a country. Yes problems arise, issues occur, timelines are blown - which is why 5%-7% buffer is planned. More than that - and the skin comes from the manufacturer(s), not the taxpayer.

    I want both the F-35 and the F-22, just not at the massive costs, delays and over runs being accepted. Change the process, keep the planes. Simple.
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Penguin View Post
    I have to strongly disagree with the assessment about an air-superiority fighter. The reason for having such a specialized aircraft is so that you have a machine and a group of people thoroughly dedicated to the effort of owning the skies over a battlefield. Historically, controlling the skies has proven to be extremely important. A multi-mission/multi-role team is valuable, yes, but having someone that is dedicated solely to controlling the skies above you is absolutely essential.
    I understand the importance of owning the skies, but the multi-role aircraft we create are capable of providing air superiority. IIRC, didn't the F-22 need to later be expanded avionics wise to become a ground attack platform due to its limited role?

    If we maintain a fleet that can maintain air superiority or provide ground support, then we are maintaining a higher degree of flexibility in mission planning and execution which is ultimately the most important thing you need.
    "Loyalty only matters when there's a hundred reasons not to be-" Gen. Mattis

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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Both the F-35 and the F-22 Raptor have a role... the technology and use as well as the fit of these next generation planes are clear. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, the F-35 is a multi-role plane able to fit multiple roles. Each plane has it's place and could fit into the U.S. or other world military's easily. The issue is not the planes... the issue is COST.

    The ONLY problem here is the relationship between the Defense Dept. and the Defense Contractors. What is needed is a hard line that says, if you quote a dollar amount per plane, it will not deviate by more than + 5% with a maximum of +7%. If it does, the contractor will eat that cost - period. In that way, the Congress and Pentagon as well as the various military branches can more accurately budget and when choosing a new plane - can be assured they are getting what they pay for instead of costly over-runs. This can easily be done by changing the protocol and procedures with these contractors. It's time we played less softball and more hardball as a country. Yes problems arise, issues occur, timelines are blown - which is why 5%-7% buffer is planned. More than that - and the skin comes from the manufacturer(s), not the taxpayer.

    I want both the F-35 and the F-22, just not at the massive costs, delays and over runs being accepted. Change the process, keep the planes. Simple.
    We have 187 F-22's, which should be more than sufficient as our "ace in the hole" fighter. The F-35, while primarily a strike aircraft, is more than capable as an air superiority fighter. Stealth is a tremendous force multiplier.

    The F-35 is going to get built no matter what the cost, because we've got an aging fleet to replace. We're starting to see more airframe issues in the older F-15's and F-16s, to the point where they're having to be permanently grounded. We've even had a few structural failures in flight.

    My biggest problem is with the way we go about the spending. We give these contractors dumptrucks full of cash and don't have any rules to go with it.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    We have 187 F-22's, which should be more than sufficient as our "ace in the hole" fighter. The F-35, while primarily a strike aircraft, is more than capable as an air superiority fighter. Stealth is a tremendous force multiplier.

    The F-35 is going to get built no matter what the cost, because we've got an aging fleet to replace. We're starting to see more airframe issues in the older F-15's and F-16s, to the point where they're having to be permanently grounded. We've even had a few structural failures in flight.

    My biggest problem is with the way we go about the spending. We give these contractors dumptrucks full of cash and don't have any rules to go with it.
    I think we said the same thing.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    I understand the importance of owning the skies, but the multi-role aircraft we create are capable of providing air superiority. IIRC, didn't the F-22 need to later be expanded avionics wise to become a ground attack platform due to its limited role?

    If we maintain a fleet that can maintain air superiority or provide ground support, then we are maintaining a higher degree of flexibility in mission planning and execution which is ultimately the most important thing you need.
    Hmm... I think I should have explained better what I wanted to say.

    I'm saying that we should have both. The specialized planes in areas such as Europe and Japan for threats against specific foes where we're certain that we'll need air dominance. In other parts of the world we can use F-35s. Other nations are either not threatening to us or they're not high-tech enough to challenge the F-35.

    The cost factor of the F-22 could have been offset by making an export version of the plane available to Australia, Canada, Japan, UK and Israel. I believe that the Aussies expressed interest in procuring some of the planes.
    * Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. --Thomas Mann
    * "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. ... The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."... Calvin Coolidge 30th President of the USA.

  10. #20
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    Re: Super Stealth Plane Breaks Through Cost Barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Penguin View Post
    Hmm... I think I should have explained better what I wanted to say.

    I'm saying that we should have both. The specialized planes in areas such as Europe and Japan for threats against specific foes where we're certain that we'll need air dominance. In other parts of the world we can use F-35s. Other nations are either not threatening to us or they're not high-tech enough to challenge the F-35.

    The cost factor of the F-22 could have been offset by making an export version of the plane available to Australia, Canada, Japan, UK and Israel. I believe that the Aussies expressed interest in procuring some of the planes.
    Only 2 of those countries would have bought them Japan, and Australia (Australia not in any real number)

    Israel would have had the US pay for them in any case of Israel getting them

    Canada's military budget would not haver allowed buying the F22 neither the UK
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