Skip to comments.Will the Air Force of the Future Be Capable of Flying?
Posted on 01/12/2013 12:10:30 PM PST by SkyPilot
Among the most difficult challenges facing the Air Force is the need to modernize, writes Michael Donley, the Secretary of the Air Force.
Despite major engagements in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Libya since the end of the Cold War, the Air Force currently operates the oldest fleet it has ever had. Sadly, sequestration threatens the future of modernization plans, drives up operations and maintenance costs, and prevents the United States from building the Air Force that the country needs in the future.
The Air Force fleet is often described as geriatric or decrepit. It is becoming inadequate to support U.S. national security interests, too. Since 2001, the number of Air Force fighters has fallen by about 25 percent. The Air Force has 372 fewer F-16s, 263 fewer F-15s, and 52 fewer F-117s than were in the inventory in 2001, and no modern strategic bombers. The bulk of the bomber fleet comprises B-52s, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary since it was first commissioned.
In The Heritage Foundations America at Risk video, General Dave Deptula mentions that the average age of the F-15 C & D models is approaching 30 years. In 2007, an F-15 broke in half during a training mission in St. Louis, Missouri. As a result of this incident, the whole F-15 program was grounded for months. One can hardly imagine what the consequences would be of such an incident during war.
The Air Force, however, does not operate only planes. It oversees and is responsible for modernizing U.S. satellite constellations (including the launch infrastructure), providing everything from early missile warning to navigation and intelligence. Just like other military services, the Air Force needs to maintain secure and resilient command and control infrastructure. The nation depends on these critical capabilities and on preserving their viability...
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.heritage.org ...
Watch the video at the link. He lays out, in 3 minutes and 21 seconds, the foundation of how bad things are.
Our military is being systematically destroyed, and our President either does not care or that is his goal. It is either one or the other.
I have it on good authority that this week, the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff flat out told the Deputy Secretary of Defense that Sequestration will cut so fast and so deeply that the Air Force will have to shut down almost all maintenance and will not even be able to keep the aged fleet it still does possess in the air.
According to Secretary Donley, the Air Force will have to shed $54 billion from its budget over the next five years under the Budget Control Act. Sequestration would likely increase this amount further. The Heritage Foundation identified $150 billion in annualized savings that would replace the sequestration cuts. Stopping sequestration should now be the first priority of Congress in order to preserve the nations capacity to keep the peace and sustain its commitment to allies around the world.
I consider it a national tragedy that we are spending hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars on Food Stamps, Section 8 housing, and Social Security Disability (which is loaded with fraud), and this nation's military is teetering on disaster.
The latest "Fiscal Cliff" deal spooned out $200 billion alone to extend unemployment benefits (yet again). This nation has spent over $750 billion (that is 3/4 of a trillion dollars) since 2008 - paying people not to work.
Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, but this is obscene.
Shame on this nation, and her "leaders."
Will they all be flying Drones from remote locations in nondescript warehouses???
First NASA and now the USAF?
Believe me...this isn’t because the pResident doesn’t care. He cares. This is his mission in life. He is the enemy of the people of the United States.
“Our military is being systematically destroyed, and ... that is his goal.”
Yes, it is.
here’s an idea... QUIT GIVING AWAY OUR TECHNOLOGY!!! then we wouldn’t constantly need to be upgrading our weapons to stay ahead.
The Navy and Marine Corps are in the same “boat”.
Which creates a higher percentage of commies: the USAF, or the Democrat Party?
one single advance in technology can keep a civilization ahead of the rest of the world for centuries, IF we DONT GIVE THE TECHNOLOGY AWAY!
you mean the drones which can have their command structure overriden and be commandeered at will by our enemy? those drones?
yea... we have a few ... lucky us
Maybe we can pay the Russians to fly us to our targets — you know, like NASA.
Good point. As a retired flyboy I agree we’re all in this together and it doesn’t look good.
Still the USAF and Navy have been back burnered as opposed to the ground forces as the focus for the past 12 years has been fighting guerrillas. God forbid we have to face China in a full up war. We could wind up repeating Pearl Harbor, Hickam and Clark Fields all at once.
Not very many communists in the USAF...
As a side note, the USA produced about 14,000 P-51's during WWII. The 1945 cost was $50,985 per copy, which is equal to about $640,000 in 2012 dollars. Do you think they US Government and Defense establishment could even come close to duplicating such a feat today, even with all the advanced technology we supposedly now possess?
sad and dangerous for ALL the services AND this country.
weak and weaker, dumb and dumber. Every drawdown has led to inability to meet the need for a country to adequately defend itself when aggressors attack. Guess this must be part of obummer’s radical transformation...
Thanks. Just wondering.
Plus Obama is reducing the nuclear weapons arsenal. His goal is to reduce the total number of US nuclear weapons to 150 on the way to zero. Don’t be surprised if there is soon an executive order (perhaps secret one) eliminating the US nuclear weapons capability.
Nonetheless, you cannot take an airframe designed for 4,000 hourz of flight time and stress and then extend it to 8,000 to 12,000 hours of flight time without serious consequences. Using these aircraft for 30 to 60 yearrs is nothing short of astonishing, but you are not going to win air battles with them for much longer. The consequences will catch up sooner than later.
There really was something about that WWII generation. They were building ships in just a few days.
I saw a program on restoring a Sherman tank on one of the educational channels. They had the original manuals and even some of the old parts which were still new in their containers. After taking the engine out, rebuilding it and putting it back in they were amazed that during the war they could replace an engine in two hours, out in the field.
I have the history of my Father’s outfit, which was a combat engineers battalion. Reading of the jobs they did, I was truly in awe of what they were able to do in such short times. Jobs which now would take months or even more were done in just a couple of days, then they were on the next job immediately.
The P-51 I mentioned, had its first working model a mere 102 days after the contract was issued!
Look at the Hoover Dam project of the 1930’s. In today’s money, the whole project would have cost about $600 million, and was finished in about 4 years. Could we repeat that today?? Even with our increases in private productivity, computers, design? No way!
We have a massive, bloated Government - the most expensive and complicated probably ever seen on the face of the Earth. The complexity and inefficiency has been baked into the pie over the last 50 years. It didn’t start in 2008, although it really has accelerated since then.
Patriots like Gen. Deptula worry about how we are going to fight a war with and replace 30 year old airplanes - when new ones will cost exponentially higher. I tell you - it won’t happen, at least not on our present course.
The foundation was already weak - Obama is nonetheless happy to give it a good kick so that you will really see it start to crumble.
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.