Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

PAK-FA, F-35, F-22 and “Capability Surprise
Air Power Australia ^ | 2/23/2010 | Wing Commander Chris Mills AM, RAAF

Posted on 02/22/2010 6:32:13 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

The first flight of Russia's stealthy PAK-FA is the best recent example of the problems examined in the United States Defense Science Board report on “Capability Surprise”, released in September last year. This study is an important step forward in identifying the causes of many past, current and developing strategic failures. A capability surprise arises whenever an opponent makes use of a new capability, or uses an existing capability in a different way, catching the target or victim off guard1.

Al Qaeda's use in September, 2001, of passenger laden hijacked aircraft as cruise missiles was a good example of a capability surprise.

The PAK-FA is, but at many more levels, another case of capability surprise for Western military leaders.

The DSB study divides capability surprises into two broad categories, and makes some important observations:

Capability surprise can spring from many sources: scientific breakthrough in the laboratory, rapid fielding of a known technology, or new operational use of an existing capability or technology. A review of many surprises that occurred over the past century suggests that surprises tend to fall into two major categories:

(Excerpt) Read more at ausairpower.net ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: aeospace; aerospace; f22; f35; navair; opinion; pakfa; sukhoi
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

1 posted on 02/22/2010 6:32:13 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; Bean Counter; investigateworld; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Click on pic for past Navair pings.

Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
The only requirement for inclusion in the Navair Pinglist is an interest in Naval Aviation.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

2 posted on 02/22/2010 6:38:42 PM PST by magslinger (Cry MALAISE! and let slip the dogs of incompetence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Good read. I say we will not fund any more F-22s and fall way behind.


3 posted on 02/22/2010 6:42:21 PM PST by Kent1957
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Just as russia has bribed(stolen) the plans for stealth technology from american democrats.. American technology is moving to UNmanned stealth fighters.. Thats gotta hurt..


4 posted on 02/22/2010 6:53:40 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kent1957

IMHO Putting us behind in capability is treasonous as one of the few responsibilities of the federal government is to protect its citizens. Dabbling in all this other crap at the cost of our safety is a major and deliberate cause...


5 posted on 02/22/2010 6:59:44 PM PST by mcshot (Little leagues, 4H and scouts require more ID then the Dems.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Read this all you non-believers that wanted the F-22 killed because it had no “rival”. Given a 7 year lead time from design to build for the next generation of fighter, what’s next.


6 posted on 02/22/2010 7:03:28 PM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kent1957
The assumption being made is the Russian plane is stealty to our systems. Since stealth aircraft are not "invisible" - but only have a smaller radar signature, it's possible to upgrade the radar on older aircraft like the F-15, -16, and -18.

Besides, their aircraft is not slated for service until 2015. We'll have the F-35 entering service around the same time with over 2000 on order.

7 posted on 02/22/2010 7:10:46 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

The F-22 wasn’t killed because it had no rival. It was discontinued because it’s a single role aircraft.


8 posted on 02/22/2010 7:15:24 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: edpc

Bullcrap.

The F-22 was killed because Obama is a communist.


9 posted on 02/22/2010 7:18:03 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (2012: Repeal it all... All of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe

From pictures that I’ve seen of PAK-FA I have to question it’s stealth. The engine intakes are very prominent & it down’t look like they made any effort to ‘hide’ the front face of the engine compressor. That is not stealth by any stretch.


10 posted on 02/22/2010 7:19:37 PM PST by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Air superiority is a single role.

We haven't been contested in that arena for so long, we have become arrogant that we can beat anything and that a few F-22s can whop the whole russky air force.

You want multi-role? Get another F-111.

11 posted on 02/22/2010 7:28:00 PM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Go ahead, tell us why the F-35 will be superior to an F-22.

While you do that I'll start writing the letters of condolence to the F-35 pilots' families, you can sign them.

12 posted on 02/22/2010 7:31:00 PM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network

Whatever. I suppose Sec Def Robert Gates and JCS General James Cartwright are commies, too, since they recommended the program wind down for legitimate reasons.


13 posted on 02/22/2010 7:31:19 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

Never mind Russia.

What about when 1.2 billion newly-industrial and incredibly rich Chinese turn what used to be America’s industrial base, into the biggest jet factory in the history of earth.

Wake up America. We don’t have much time left at this rate.

Wake up. Soon.


14 posted on 02/22/2010 7:33:00 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (2012: Repeal it all... All of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: edpc

They take orders from a communist.


15 posted on 02/22/2010 7:33:35 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (2012: Repeal it all... All of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

Give me an example of an F-111 used in a role of anything other than an interdiction/strike aircraft. Its F designation carries as much weight as the F-117s.


16 posted on 02/22/2010 7:34:32 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: edpc
From it's inception it was designed as a joint Air Force Navy "Tactical fighter", McNamara's TFX. It was to be an air superiority fighter.

It never served that role because it was too heavy for the navy and not nimble enough for the USAF.

The USAF bought the FB-111 as a penetrating bomber to replace the B-58.

The navy scrapped the idea altogether but then developed the F-14 from the concept. Late in it's career the F-14 was given a bombing mission.

17 posted on 02/22/2010 7:41:17 PM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
Go ahead, tell us why the F-35 will be superior to an F-22.

OK, for one, it will be made in superior numbers. If that's irrelevant to you, the number of Russian stealth fighters produced is irrelevant, as well.

Second, it will have multi-role capability.

Third, it will be in service with the other branches of the armed forces, operating from forward bases with STOVL and CV (carrier variant) models.

All you who short stroke it over the F-22 should remember the F-35 is produced by the same firm, Lockheed/Martin. I think they know what they're doing.

18 posted on 02/22/2010 7:43:09 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: edpc

I think that the 1.2 trillion “stimulus” money could have bought SIX THOUSAND F-22’s - at full price.

Do the math.

And would have saved or created, a whole bunch more (outstanding) American high tech jobs than those “shovel ready” bank bailouts accomplished.


19 posted on 02/22/2010 7:52:39 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (2012: Repeal it all... All of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Multi-role is not air superiority.

Large numbers of multi- role fighters are called a target rich environment by the fighter jocks. Producing F-22s in larger numbers will have an exponentially better effect on our pilots kill ratios not to mention their survivability.

Multi basing modes and multi-service use make the F-35 user friendly for spare parts. That doesn't give the F-35 superior airworthiness or survivability.

FYI I built F-16s for General Dynamics before they became Lockheed Martin. Yes they know what they are doing. Building an aircraft that their customer specifies.

20 posted on 02/22/2010 7:58:17 PM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network

We have a winning post!!!


21 posted on 02/22/2010 8:00:12 PM PST by piytar (Ammo is hard to find! Bought some lately? Please share where at www.ammo-finder.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: edpc
All you who short stroke it over the F-22 should remember the F-35 is produced by the same firm, Lockheed/Martin. I think they know what they're doing.

I think they make what the government buys.

The F-22 is clearly superior to the F-35.

But, I believe that there is an unmanned aircraft waiting in the wings. Which can take down any manned aircraft.

22 posted on 02/22/2010 8:01:55 PM PST by CurlyDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network

Regardless of what you did with the stimulus money, it’s money we don’t have to spend and leads to the same place.


23 posted on 02/22/2010 8:02:49 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: edpc

Sure we do.

Same place we’re getting all the rest.

Now is the time.


24 posted on 02/22/2010 8:03:28 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (2012: Repeal it all... All of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: edpc
All you who short stroke it over the F-22 should remember the F-35 is produced by the same firm, Lockheed/Martin

Actually, that is precisely the problem! Rather than championing the F-22, they can kowtow to Gates and eliminate the Raptor and get the money back in spades with the F-35 crap sandwich.

25 posted on 02/22/2010 8:04:42 PM PST by Fractal Trader
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: edpc
We'll have the F-35 entering service around the same time with over 2000 on order.

I wouldn't bet my life on that being the the number of planes bought by the DOD. The Navy is seriously thinking about backing out of the program in favor of the X-47B UCAV which is slated to start carrier trials sometime this year. And it might be a wise decision on their part.

The F-35C almost creates more problems than it solves. It's a big jet, which means it takes up more deck space and causes a reduction in the number of deployable jets. I read somewhere that the max number of C's a carrier could sail with is 44. The UCAV is smaller than an F-18C which means more available strike aircraft.

But the real drawback of the C is combat radius. It just doesn't have the legs the Navy is needing. I think it maxes out at 600km. The X-47B is estimated at 2000km depending on warload. And with it being a tailless design it has much better LO characteristics which makes it a better first-day deep strike weapon.

A better use of the Navy's money might be to max out the capabilities of the Super Hornet and team it with the UCAV.

26 posted on 02/22/2010 8:15:51 PM PST by Tonytitan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
Your assumption is the Russian stealth is going to perform as well as the F-22.

The F-22 and F-35 won't be facing each other in combat. Comparing what they do an how that perform in that respect....it doesn't make much sense. I look at it this way: Our previous air superiority fighter, the F-15 whipped its comtemporaries. While the F-16 and -18 (originally the -17) were developed as LWFs, they transistioned well into the multi-role niche and could still take their adversaries in the air to air arena.

Considering we took aircraft originally designed for air combat and made them successful in other areas, I am confident we've learned a thing or two and will make a fine true multi-role fifth generation model. If Lockheed/Martin brings us another multi-role aircraft as "poor" as either the -16 or -18, I think we'll be just fine.

27 posted on 02/22/2010 8:27:24 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Tonytitan
But the real drawback of the C is combat radius. It just doesn't have the legs the Navy is needing. I think it maxes out at 600km.

Actually, it's 600 n mi, not km. Maybe that's what you meant, I am not sure. I agree the UCAV would be a good investment and may provide the future technological edge to offset potential enemy development of stealth aircraft.

28 posted on 02/22/2010 8:38:33 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: edpc

You’re right. I also made the same mistake in ranging the UCAV in km instead of NM. And I jumped the gun on sea trials, which aren’t until 2012. This year they start ground testing.


29 posted on 02/22/2010 8:43:06 PM PST by Tonytitan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave
True, you need to tailor to your customer's needs, but that does not always mean you get a substandard product. The F-22 is superior to the F-33 in the same way the F-15 is superior to the F-18 Super Hornet.

Both are designed for a different role. However, depending on who's flying, the aircraft could become irrelevant with any of the previously mentioned models.

You are correct, though, concerning the UCAV. Its development will have an impact on many roles like defense suppression, strike, and interception. If developed properly, it would likely outperform any manned aircraft, given it would be capable of maneuvers not possible by a human pilot.

30 posted on 02/22/2010 8:49:21 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network
They take orders from a communist.

Again, whatever.

You'd be surprised what happens sometimes. When I was young, I remember hearing a lot of complaining about how Carter cancelled the B-1 program. Much to my surprise, I found out years later the Have Blue project was funded during 1976-79 and the decision to build the F-117 was made in 1978.....under Carter, of all people.

We survived the reign of FDR. We survived the inept Carter. We'll survive Zero, as well and may even be shocked one day to see what made it through.

31 posted on 02/22/2010 9:05:13 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Tallguy

I keep on saying this. What we have seen is a single prototype make two flights. The rest is public relations.

We do not know how this aircraft is going to stack up against the F-22, F-35 or even current birds like the F-15 or the F-18. We only know what the Russians said it was going to do once it is all fixed up and out the factory door.

Pardon me for being skeptical of the Ruskis, but they have been known to bluff before.


32 posted on 02/22/2010 9:49:44 PM PST by Ronin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Kent1957

Obozo is firmly committed to the ruination of the US military and won’t fund anything!


33 posted on 02/22/2010 10:34:42 PM PST by STD (Islam's the Trojan Horse of Satan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Capability surprise : Anti Shipping Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Chinese DF-21


34 posted on 02/22/2010 10:51:04 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Something is seriously wrong when the .gov plans to treat citizens worse than they treat terrorists)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Centurion2000

I believe that was China’s first solid fuel rocket


35 posted on 02/22/2010 10:53:15 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Centurion2000

They have a ASAT version of that missile.


36 posted on 02/22/2010 10:54:37 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: edpc
OK, for one, it will be made in superior numbers. If that's irrelevant to you, the number of Russian stealth fighters produced is irrelevant, as well.

The F-22 was also meant to be produced in large numbers - almost 800 airframes. However that was cut to around 300, then further cut to 187. At the original numbers, the F-22 would cost less per unit than the F-35.

Second, it will have multi-role capability.

The F-22 is also capable of multi-role capability. In fact, it can be argued that it is BETTER than the F-35 for strike against a foe with an advanced IADS since the Raptor was meant to be a very capable IADS penetrator with its all aspect stealth as well as its high kinematic performance (unlike the F-35 whose stealthiness is most geared towards X-band and its kinematic envelop). With small-diameter bombs (which it can carry 8 internally) launched at s'cruise from high altitude, the Raptor can defeat any current IADS (including double digit SAMs) without problems.

Third, it will be in service with the other branches of the armed forces, operating from forward bases with STOVL and CV (carrier variant) models.

The F-35 is definitely needed for the Marines (due to the STOVL aspect), however one of the reasons the YF-22 was chosen over the YF-23 BlackWidow was because of the NATF function (that was thereafter cancelled) that asked for a navalised ATF. The F-22 can be navalised. Anyways, against a REAL foe (not Operation Desert Storm against the Iraqi airforce, or Operation Urgent Fury where F-15s were providing air superiority cover over Grenada, or Operation Nobel Anvil where we faced the decrepit MiG-29s of the Yuglosav airforce .....I am talking about a real foe that employs modern tactics, has modern weapons including BVR and standoff weapons, employs the use of jammers, and has battlespace awareness) like say China, it will be interesting how well the F-18s and F-35s would do. Against the 'usual' threat ...even modernized F-4 Phantoms will warmed over avionics and better weapons could MORE than suffice ...however someday the US may have to fight an opponent who comes close on a qualitative basis (a near peer).

All you who short stroke it over the F-22 should remember the F-35 is produced by the same firm, Lockheed/Martin. I think they know what they're doing.

Yes, LockMart definitely knows what it is doing. A professional firm that has delivered good equipment. However, it also knows (as does the Pentagon and Congress) that the F-35 is not as good as the F-22 due to the roles they were meant to play. The F-22 was the big dog that was supposed to be BOTH an air-dominance fighter as well as an advanced IADS penetrator, while the F-35 was supposed to come in and mop up. In that regard both are flawless. The problem happened when the Raptor when from almost 800 to only 187, and as recently as a month ago talk started coming up of how the F-35 will also replace F-15s (when originally it was supposed to replace F-16s, 18s, Harriers and A-10s). LockMart knows what it is doing ...it is a great firm ....however, Volkswaggen is also a great firm, and it owns Lamborghini and Audi. While it knows what it is doing, it would be ludicrous for it to start offering Audi A-8 (a very good luxury car) as replacement for a Lamborghini Murcielago ....when the competition will be half-way between a Ferrari F-430 and an Audi R8.

Our previous air superiority fighter, the F-15 whipped its comtemporaries.

Yes it did. It beat the Iraqi and Yugoslav airforces...in much the same way that the LA Lakers would trounce the Iraqi and Yugoslav basketball teams. To use my favorite analogy ...if Indian SU-30MKIs flew against Pakistani F-16s, the bloodbath would be just as skewed ...only this time it would be the F-16s dropping. The Indian Sukhois, backed by their Israeli sourced Phalcon AESA radar, and against the F-16As without real BVR capability (though Pakistan will soon be changing that), would be similar to a USAF F-15 backed by AESA coming up against an Iraqi Mirage without a chance in hell.

Considering we took aircraft originally designed for air combat and made them successful in other areas, I am confident we've learned a thing or two and will make a fine true multi-role fifth generation model.

There are several air-superiority fighters that have been turned into great multi-role/attack fighters ....however the opposite direction does not work.

37 posted on 02/23/2010 1:54:44 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Again, whatever. You'd be surprised what happens sometimes. When I was young, I remember hearing a lot of complaining about how Carter cancelled the B-1 program. Much to my surprise, I found out years later the Have Blue project was funded during 1976-79 and the decision to build the F-117 was made in 1978.....under Carter, of all people. We survived the reign of FDR. We survived the inept Carter. We'll survive Zero, as well and may even be shocked one day to see what made it through.

Totally agree. It is never as black and white as things sometimes appear. For instance, Obama recently agreed to a several billion dollar arms package to Taiwan (even as China blew itself hoarse). Obozo is a bozo, just as Carter was what he was, but that doesn't mean the utter and total destruction of the military. The inverse also applies ...most blame the 187 Raptors on Obama when it was under Rumsfeld that the Raptor numbers were cut to 187. Others complain that the navy was left with only F-18s and the F-14 should never have been cancelled but instead updated, when the TomCat was axed by direct orders by Cheney way before he became VP. Rather than black and white it is darker and lighter shades of gray.

38 posted on 02/23/2010 2:39:26 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave
But, I believe that there is an unmanned aircraft waiting in the wings. Which can take down any manned aircraft.

I certainly hope so, but the 'wings' could be 20 to 50 years before the thing is sufficiently autonomous that it can fight without an active datalink. That is roughly the lifespan of a fighter aircraft type.

39 posted on 02/23/2010 3:19:45 AM PST by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Your assumption is the Russian stealth is going to perform as well as the F-22.

History is full of dead aircrew because some congresscritter said:

"The Japanese couldn't make a quality fighter. They only used our scrap steel and beercans."

"The Germans couldn't shoot down a B-17...It's a flying fortress with 13 .50 calibre machine guns."

"What's a MiG-15?"

"We don't need guns on the F-4 those missiles will never let the enemy get close enough."

"Russian SAMs can never shoot down a high flying plane."

We won the cold war, we are in danger of losing the peace that follows. Whenever we are not prepared to fight the next war, we pay the price in blood.

40 posted on 02/23/2010 7:17:53 AM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz
You make some good points, but some things need to be clarified. While it's true we did not face our Cold War foes directly, we (and Israel) have by proxy. Each conflict in which we and the Israelis have engaged in have been against Soviet/Russian equipment, doctorine, and tactics. Many have excused the outcomes as being due to the inferior performance of the opposition and that somehow, the Russians and Chinese would have been better. Well, it's still their training, trainers, and equipment. You'd have to make the leap of faith somehow their conscript forces are more trainable and superior. Hard to say, given the problems the Soviets had in Afghanistan. Also difficult to say what would have transpired if MacArthur had been unrestrained in Korea, though I have my theories.

It's true a pilot and his training can make all the difference. Our training and equipment has been superior in my lifetime. While the technology gap may close somewhat, I don't believe the training and capabilities ever will as long as we have an all volunteer armed forces. The biggest hurdle in US defense policy will always the the political will of the CiC.

Had we faced Russian forces in the Middle Eastern or European theater during the first Gulf War era, I'd say the outcome would have likely been the same, although our casualties would have been higher.

The old Soviet Union and China could only accomplish goals by numbers and engaging in brute force and attrition tactics, as evident in WWII and Korea. I have not seen much in a shift away from that doctorine, especially from the Chinese. The only thing that would change, in my opinion, would be the scale of equipment/personnel and escalation threat of unconventional weapons vs Russia or China.

Interesting you would use the Lamborghini/Audi comparison. How many of each are owned and why? Obviously, there is a cost factor, but if you polled the owners, it's more probable the reasons are due to other practical factors. If you took the cost factor away, I doubt it would change either owner's mind much for the same reasons.

You are correct in saying an F-16 or -18 had a different purpose in its initial design and folded well into the other roles. Conversely, it's unlikely an A-10 or old A-6 or A-4 would ever be a viable dogfighter.

However, the difference here is the F-35 has been, from the outset, developed as a multi-role aircraft. I think that's important to recognize.

To go back to your car analogy, I'd compare the 35 to a good SUV. No, it won't accelerate or corner like a sports car, but it'll still get you where your going plenty fast and even do so over rough terrain in bad weather. No, it can't carry a semi's load, but it'll carry more than a suitcase. It's probably most like an SUV because it's developed a bad reputation without validity. Some people just choose to hate it.

41 posted on 02/23/2010 7:40:43 AM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
History is full of dead aircrew because people die in wars. That won't change whatever system is in place. Most of the examples you cited can be attributed to the poor command decisions of people like FDR, Truman, LBJ, and McNamara.

Surely, someone with your background and experience can discern between the ability of the CiC to recognize, prepare, and execute over the perceived deficiencies of the weapons system.

The Zero was only good because our aircraft were substandard when comparing the Zero to the P-39 and -40. Our pilots were inexperienced at the outset of WWII. It's many weaknesses were quickly exposed once we were fully engaged in combat and our war production came online. The Corsair and Hellcat were hardly the pinnacle of our piston engine designs and they chewed up the Zero.

Thirteen .50 cal guns don't mean much when you're flying a predictable course at a predictable altitude and speed through heavy flak.

The MiG-15's existence was no secret or surprise. The fact the Soviets exported it to NK, China, and even flew it in combat against us was, but should not have been.

The F-4 only failed in its BVR capability during Vietnam because it was not allowed to be used. Visual ID was required. Dumb command decisions can't be blamed on the aircraft.

We never lost an SR-71 and probably wouldn't have lost a Valkyrie, had it been continued. That said, I am glad that drove us in the direction of stealth. It would probably be wise to have a combination of high and fast with low and slow. Future UCAVs may give us that.

Hell, we may even have something, for all I know. I remember distincly how off base people were about the F-117 when they thought it was going to be something like the rendering of the F-19.

42 posted on 02/23/2010 8:33:08 AM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Most of the examples you cited can be attributed to the poor command decisions of people like FDR, Truman, LBJ, and McNamara.

Precisely my point, now we can add Obama & Gates to that list.

Regarding your summary:

The F-6F was designed specifically to beat the zero. The Hellcat was an air superiority fighter by birth, by design and in application.

Most B-17 and B-24 combat losses were to fighters, not antiaircraft fire. The daylight strategic bombing campaign in the ETO was almost stopped because of losses. It did not shift to the USAAF's favor until the P-51 arrived. The P-51 was designed as an air superiority fighter and long range escort.

In Korea. the F-86 was outclassed in performance by the MiG-15. What earned the spectacular kill ratio was the pilot skill in the USAF and the absolute incompetence of the NKAF.

The 1:1 parity in early air-to- air combat in Vietnam was because the F-105 and F-4 could not engage the enemy on clearly superior terms. The F-14 and F-15 were designed with one mission. Air superiority based on what was learned with the F-4 in combat.

The legacy of the SR-71 was that it could outrun SAMs and intercepters, not that it could defend itself or outfly them in ACM.

43 posted on 02/23/2010 9:08:39 AM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
I disagree with your opinion that the P-51 was the pivotal aircraft in the ETO. The P-47 thunderbolt outnumbered the P-51 by 2-1, had a much higher kill ratio and after they installed 2800 HP, the new 4 blade props, supercharged ammonia/water injection and long range fuel tanks and drop tanks, the P-47 was THE most formidable fighter of the war from the standpoint of sheer fire power, dive/climb performance and versatility.

The P-51 came along in force long after the P-47 and the B-17’s had already broken the backs of the Axis. This explains the later absence of enemy opposition to our bomber missions and gave the P-51 the appearance of having won the war. The real heroes, the P-47’s, then turned their fury and massive fire power on the ground where it did the most damage to the Luftwaffe before they could get into the air to fight the P-51’s.

44 posted on 02/23/2010 9:26:00 AM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP ( Give me Liberty, or give me an M-24A2!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: PSYCHO-FREEP
It is not my opinion. It is part of the official history of the USAF. The USAAF considered terminiation of daylight bombing in 1943 because of heavy losses from fighters. The P-51 was the only fighter that could escort deep penetration bomber missions to the target and back.

That being said, the P-47 is one of my personal favorites. It did all the dirty work through 1943 then became a premier tactical fighter bomber, as you pointed out. It was overshadowed by the more glamorous looking P-51.

You make a comment that I strongly disagree with "The P-51 came along in force long after the P-47 and the B-17’s had already broken the backs of the Axis." The P-51 came onboard in 1943 long before the air war in Europe was decided.

45 posted on 02/23/2010 9:41:23 AM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
In Korea. the F-86 was outclassed in performance by the MiG-15. What earned the spectacular kill ratio was the pilot skill in the USAF and the absolute incompetence of the NKAF.

The 1:1 parity in early air-to- air combat in Vietnam was because the F-105 and F-4 could not engage the enemy on clearly superior terms. The F-14 and F-15 were designed with one mission. Air superiority based on what was learned with the F-4 in combat.

Yes and no on both.

While the MiG-15 had a better rate of climb, it was inferior to the F-86 in many ways. The heavy armament served well against bombers, but the slow chugging cannon required more skill on the pilot's part to make the shots hit their mark. It's airframe was very unstable and prone to stalling. The MiG, despite it's rate of climb, could not turn or dive with the Sabre.

The best attributes of the F-86, other than the pilot, were the Sperry gunsight and high rate of fire machine guns. Made a huge difference in the dogfight.

The F-15 was designed in response to the overblown perceptions of the MiG-25's capabilities. It wasn't until Lt. Belenko's defection we learned what a dog it was as a fighter.

The F-14 was designed to protect the fleet and homeland by intercepting Soviet bombers with the long range Phoenix missiles.

46 posted on 02/23/2010 9:56:26 AM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: edpc
The F-15 was designed in response to the overblown perceptions of the MiG-25's capabilities...

From Global Security.org:

"Experience in the Vietnam conflict showed the F-4 Phantom II to have maneuvering performance inferior to that of the Soviet-built MiG-21. In response to this finding, the USAF developed a set of requirements for a dedicated air-superiority fighter with a maneuvering capability greater than any existing or foreseeable-future fighter "

"Using lessons learned in Vietnam, the USAF sought to develop and procure a new, dedicated air superiority fighter. Such an aircraft was desperately needed, as no USAF aircraft design solely conceived as an air superiority fighter had become reality since the F-86 Sabre."

My own experience was that MacDac also went to the USAF pilots and extensively interveiwed them as to what they wanted. The answer was power, performance, manuverability, visibility and a gun. They got it all in the F-15.

The F-14 was designed to protect the fleet and homeland by intercepting Soviet bombers with the long range Phoenix missiles.

Again from Global security.org

" The design of the F-14B allows for incredible pitch authority as well as good roll control to produce an extremely agile fighter."

From everything2:

"Specifically, the Vietnam war had taught the U.S. Navy that interceptors could not just be extremely fast missile trucks with low maneuverablility. In fact, although speed was critical, the ability to engage in a 'turn and burn knife fight in a phone booth' with enemy aircraft was also needed."

The F-15 and F-14 were desgned for a single mission, from inception, to be clearly dominant air superiority fghters.

47 posted on 02/23/2010 11:49:28 AM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
There's a problem with your source. Here's a line from one of their articles:

To answer the threat of the MIG-25 Foxbat, U.S. developers designed and fielded the F-4 Phantom.

That's a big fat negative. The Phantom first flew in 1958 and entered service in 1960. The Foxbat didn't even have its first flight until 1964 and entered service in 1970. It's like Hillary saying she was named after the famous Everest climber, even though she was born before the feat.

To their credit, however, they do say this:

The Navy planned to defend the carriers, using the strategy of defense in depth. The attacking Soviet aircraft will be met at long ranges by counterair aircraft based on the carriers. This requirement was initially met by the "Missileer," the name given to an aircraft of proposed in the 1950s. The F6D-1 Missileer was not a fighter at all, as a "fighter" is currently defined. It is merely a platform that launched air-to-air missiles. The theory behind the missileer is that high performance can be put into the weapon instead of the aircraft. On 21 July 1960 the Navy announced that a contract for the development of the Missileer aircraft for launching the Eagle long-range air-to-air guided missile, was being issued to the Douglas Aircraft Corporation. Eventually, the Navy development organizations became convinced that the F6D was too slow, too narrow in application, and too expensive [both the Phoenix missiles and the AN/AWG-9 radar used on its replacement, the F-14 Tomcat, evolved from the abortive Douglas F6D Missileer program].

I am not even sure I totally buy that, since, IIRC, the Phoenix system was made for the F-111's (which we discussed earlier) multi-role platform.

In any event, my origninal sourcing comes from the many volumes of Jane's All The World's Aircraft and other books from their writers I've collected over the years. I'd consider them much more authoritative in the field over GS. That's probably where GS got their F-14 info. How they came up with the other bit is beyond me.

48 posted on 02/23/2010 1:07:15 PM PST by edpc (Those Lefties just ain't right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: edpc
My memory is that the Mig-25 was the response to the B-70 threat. I'll agree with you that the F-4 was already in the field long before the 1973 Arab Israeli war where we first saw the MiG-25 operationally, although we did know of it's existence from a Mayday appearance prior to that. We did know that the IAF tried to intercept a -25 with F-4s.

My recollection of talking with MacDac design engineers about what features the F-15 needed was in 1972-1973. Not once was Mach-3 ever discussed. We knew by then, that most turn and burn fighting was done subsonically and most of that within gun range. We wanted low wing loading and high turn and slew rates.

Sparrows were useless in that quarter (useless overall as a matter of fact) and sidewinders and guns were the weapons of choice. Neither would have been a threat to the Mig-25. There were some discussions of an intercepter version of the F-15 with either the Falcon or the Phoenix systems but they died at birth.

49 posted on 02/23/2010 1:39:20 PM PST by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: edpc
Great points.

On the performance of the Soviet/Chinese model ...I agree with what you said: had we faced the Soviets in a limited air-war prior to GW1, we would still have won ...just had more casualties than against the Iraqis. No argument there. To be quite straight I believe that the First Gulf War was an immense educational lesson for the Russians, the Chinese, and other upper-tier nations (like India) that had adhered to the central-command Soviet model. Those lessons can easily be seen in the way those forces have oriented their current military. Actually even in the Yugoslavia NATO action, one could notice some of those lessons starting to form ....for instance how the Yugoslavs were quite innovative in using decoys, microwaves and other cheap but effective tactics (the report of over a hundred APCs and Tanks destroyed, as well as several bridges, turned out to be far less in reality). The Indian, Russian and Chinese militaries have been taking measures to ensure that the routing of Iraq does not apply to them.

As for the F-35 ...I am sure it will be a great plane. It is just that it has experienced significant role creep. It has gone from being a 'lo' aircraft to the Raptor's 'hi,' to being the mainstay of the USAF, USN, and Marines. That might be a problem should a conflagration rise against a near-peer adversary. Does that mean we would lose the war? No, however the adversary doesn't need to win the war. Simply by hitting a hard enough blow, and letting 50% of the US population (the 'other side' of whatever political party is currently in the WH ...if it's a Dem then the 50% will be Republican, if it is a Republican then the 50% will be DUmmies) plus the media, and suddenly words like 'debacle' and 'quagmire' start coming up. The F-35 with F-22s is a great team ...however 187 Raptors is quite less than what was originally planned (and unlike the SeaWolf-to-Virginia 'cost cutting' measures, which is quite similar to the Raptor in that the SWolf was supposed to have 29 hulls, that were cut to 12, then to 3 ...raising the costs so much that the Virginia was incepted to be a 'cheaper' alternative, which ended up costing the same ...unlike that, the F-35 is not as capable as the Raptor).

Anyways, as for the SUV analogy you came up with ...I think it is perfect. Far better than my Audi vs Murcielago analogy. The 35 is the perfect truck, able to do everything (and do it quite well for that matter). The issue comes when it is track day, and the competition is showing up with Dodge Vipers. Suddenly that Lamborghini starts to look mighty attractive. Sure, in most days all one needs is the truck ...and track days will be few and far between (hence the need for far more F-35s than F-22s).

However 187 is a tad too few.

50 posted on 02/23/2010 1:56:19 PM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson