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Will the Air Force of the Future Be Capable of Flying?
The Foundry ^ | 11 Jan 12 | Michaela Bendikova

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 Foundation’s “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 ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airforce; cuts; defense; sequestration
Several years ago, I was working in an Air Operations Center and Gen Deptula was in charge. I can tell you first hand that he is a gentleman, a patriot, and a warrior. The word "brilliant" is overused to describe people, but for this man it is appropriate.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL DAVID A. DEPTULA

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 nation’s 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."



1 posted on 01/12/2013 12:10:34 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

Will they all be flying Drones from remote locations in nondescript warehouses???


2 posted on 01/12/2013 12:16:02 PM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: SkyPilot

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.


3 posted on 01/12/2013 12:16:22 PM PST by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: SkyPilot

“Our military is being systematically destroyed, and ... that is his goal.”

Yes, it is.


4 posted on 01/12/2013 12:18:44 PM PST by carriage_hill (AR-15s are the 21st Century's Muskets. Self-defense is the First Human Right.)
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To: SkyPilot

here’s an idea... QUIT GIVING AWAY OUR TECHNOLOGY!!! then we wouldn’t constantly need to be upgrading our weapons to stay ahead.


5 posted on 01/12/2013 12:26:17 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Bryanw92

The Navy and Marine Corps are in the same “boat”.


6 posted on 01/12/2013 12:26:22 PM PST by Soul of the South
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To: SkyPilot

Which creates a higher percentage of commies: the USAF, or the Democrat Party?


7 posted on 01/12/2013 12:27:40 PM PST by meadsjn
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To: TexasFreeper2009

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!


8 posted on 01/12/2013 12:27:48 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Uncle Chip

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


9 posted on 01/12/2013 12:30:11 PM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: SkyPilot

Bump


10 posted on 01/12/2013 12:32:51 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: SkyPilot

Maybe we can pay the Russians to fly us to our targets — you know, like NASA.


11 posted on 01/12/2013 12:35:12 PM PST by Migraine (Diversity is great; until it happens to YOU.)
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To: Soul of the South

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.


12 posted on 01/12/2013 12:36:33 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: meadsjn

Not very many communists in the USAF...


13 posted on 01/12/2013 12:38:45 PM PST by Mr Rogers (America is becoming California, and California is becoming Detroit. Detroit is already hell.)
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To: SkyPilot
And while the government becomes increasingly bankrupt, a new generation of fighters would likely cost close to $1 billion per copy.

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?

14 posted on 01/12/2013 12:39:00 PM PST by PGR88
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To: Soul of the South

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...


15 posted on 01/12/2013 12:39:50 PM PST by sassy steel magnolia
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To: Mr Rogers

Thanks. Just wondering.


16 posted on 01/12/2013 12:41:43 PM PST by meadsjn
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To: Alas Babylon!

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.


17 posted on 01/12/2013 12:43:33 PM PST by Soul of the South
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To: TexasFreeper2009

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.


18 posted on 01/12/2013 12:44:53 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: PGR88

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.


19 posted on 01/12/2013 12:47:45 PM PST by yarddog (One shot one miss.)
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To: yarddog

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.


20 posted on 01/12/2013 1:09:44 PM PST by PGR88
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To: SkyPilot
Will the Air Force of the Future Be Capable of Flying?

Possibly . . . but its primary mission will be Islamic outreach.

21 posted on 01/12/2013 1:12:03 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: Migraine

Ouch.


22 posted on 01/12/2013 1:15:11 PM PST by Trod Upon (Civilian disarmament is the precursor to democide.)
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To: SkyPilot
I have seen B2’s at $2 Billion each. So you could say that aircraft manufacturers are pricing themselves out of the market. This is partly due to the fact that the government has a sole source policy since the ending of the cold war. Which has driven up the price of major weapon systems.

Everyone and their brother can make a drone. Which helps drive down the cost. Drones are the future. You can have remote controlled drones or autonomous drones.

You can even make drones if they are comprised by the enemy, will explode in their disassembly room.

23 posted on 01/12/2013 1:17:56 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: PGR88

“a new generation of fighters would likely cost close to $1 billion per copy.”

You are grossly exagerrating. The F-35 is in some reports costing about $112 million per aircraft. Some reports have the F-22 costing upwards of $412 millon per aircraft. These numbers are alarming, and they should be. However, readers should understand WHY the costs are so unbelieveably high.

First, the cost of an individual aircraft is mostly determined by the initial research and development costs for the first prototype aircraft, their engines and avionics, and their weapons systems. The production costs for each airframe is only a small fraction of the individual aircraft’s cost. If the development cost for the first X model o r experimental model and the first Y development models were to be something like $50 billion, then you have to take that $50 billion and divide it by the total number of the aircraft produced to find the R&D cost portion of each aircraft’s cost. If you produce 100 aircraft in the production run, each airdraft’s R&D cost alone before production and other sosts are added would be $500 million per aircraft. Increase you production run to 1,000 aircraft, the R&D cost per aircraft drops to $50 million. Increase production to 2,000 aircraft, the R&D cost per aircraft drops to $25 million.

The principal reason why the F-22 Raptor is so incredibly expensive is because the Democrats reduced the production run of the aircraft to a couple of hundred, instead of the original design and plans for many hundreds to replace the aging F-15 Eagles. If the original production run for the F-22 Raptor had been maintained, an individual F-22 would have cost less than half of the current high price tag.

Readers may ask why the R&D costs are so astronomically high? The answer is very simple. Besides the fact that the systems are vastly more complex and therefore inherently more eexpensive, there is also the lack of other R&D programs available to share the costs. During World War II and the post-war years preceding the 1970s, there were many competing aircraft manufacturers sharing the costs across many aircraft R&D programs with new generations of combat aircraft emerging every few years to te about ten years. Then the number of aircraft under R&D dramatically shrank and the number of competing aircraft manufacturers dramtically sharnk to only a few. Consequently, any new aircraft design must bear the full cost of the development of new technologies, whereas the past R&D costs had been sahred across multiple aircraft designs. In other words, the efforts to reduce costs by reducing the number of combat aircraft types has resulted in greatly increasing the share of R&D costs for the few remaining aircraft designs remaining. The buyer has to pay far more per aircraft for a few aircraft types and small production runs than when theere were many combat aircraft types with many hundreds or thousands of the aircraft produced. The fewer the aircraft you design and build, the more expensive they will cost and the fewer of them you can afford to produce. In this respect, it works a lot like the Democrats increasing taxes and thereby constantly reducing the business activity and tax revvenues received.


24 posted on 01/12/2013 1:21:20 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: PGR88

Same thing with the Empire State Building.

They built it in a very short time which I can’t recall off hand. Also under budget.

Also saw a program about it’s construction. They said it was actually built better than modern buildings. They used a type of hot bolts which would shrink and form an extremely strong bond when they cooled.


25 posted on 01/12/2013 1:23:32 PM PST by yarddog (One shot one miss.)
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To: PGR88
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?

True, an F-22 costs like 200+ mill a copy. I favor the F-15SE for half that, let's face it, we do need to keep up our defenses but we need to see what we need the most and prioritize. I'm not so worried about the tankers and B-52's even they don't see as much stress as a fighter jet does, I see 1957 vintage KC-135's fly over me everyday.

OK, I know I'll get into trouble here but here goes:

I guess if I was Air Force guru, I's go with the F-15SE, some F-16's, I'd kill the F-35. F-22's, I'd put on hold for now. The B-2, I'd retire, it is a White Elephant and maintenance hog. I'd keep the B-52's and B-1's now with the idea of bringing back the B-1A to cover the gaps, the original 1974 program specs of a higher speed bomber. I'd focus on cheaper and more mass "produceable" planes like the F-5 or F-20, the basic model, maybe toss in an AM/FM radio and A/C. B-) The F-22 and Sukhoi 30 and others out there are good planes, but if you "Zerg Rush" them even with 3, 4 or more planes like say the MiG-17 even, then you're in trouble.

At the other end, I like the idea of having a plane like the Embraer Toucan, it does resemble a World War II plane but it will be used for counter insurgencies and tank strikes, something that even a bonafide WWII plane is capable of doing, we should have kept the A-1 or even P-47 for this.

It's like the old joke, the Air Force of 2030 will be headed by something like the F-222 at 10 billion a copy, both jets are state of the art. I keep thinking back to the old Kurt Vonnegut science fiction story from 1958, "The Manned Missiles," where both sides have weapons that are so smart, they counter each other. The idea was to make more minimalist weapons systems, in the story, it was more like a kamikaze space fighter/missile controlled by a human to confuse computer controlled systems. We should never go as far as that, but perhaps there will be a day when a simpler approach will work, double that if you employ the zerg rush. The Germans had good tanks like the King Tiger but made so few that a zerg rush of Sherman and/or T-34 tanks took care of them.

Still, I think I'd put a lot of research and money into missile and other defense of our country using ABM's, lasers and particle beams.

I think it is nice having all this "gee whiz, Flash Gordon stuff" of today (as Mom would say) but there will come a time that it will be too cost prohibitive on all sides and there will be a time when we will have to settle for less. I think when it comes to performance, aircraft basically plateaued about 1960 or so with the exception of electronics but I covered the latter with the cost of buying, maintaining them and so on that there will be a brick wall at some point and soon.
26 posted on 01/12/2013 1:23:32 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Whitey, I miss you so much. Take care, pretty girl. (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012))
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To: SkyPilot

I’ve been in military contracting for 35 years. Every vehicle I’ve worked on could have been purchased for half the eventual cost. The contracts are laden with pork; detailing what technology you’ll use or who you’ll buy it from because that company is in some congressman’s district. The contracts contain expensive requirements for small business and minority set-asides; another gimme for the politically connected. The Green requirements can double procurement cost and actually hurt the product in the field; can’t use lead solder or cadmium plating, or use processes that are deemed harmful by (fill-in-the-blank.) Also, the military never settles in on a specific set of criteria, they change monthly due to military politics. (This is a fighter jet, but somebody else wants a bomber. It’s designed to fly at Mach 2, but somebody else wants it to go slow so it can also (fill-in-the-blank.)) Lastly, Congress gives you a contract for 500 units over 5 years, but gives you only one year of funding at a time. Therefore you can’t set up an automated production line. Each item is hand crafted because you can’t amortize the cost of tooling over one year. These are just some of the cost drivers. We haven’t even gotten to absurd testing or outrageous Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) requirements.

One product started with a 400 pound block of aluminum and got machined down to just 11 pounds. The obvious answer was to build the thing in smaller sections. I asked the chief engineer why it wasn’t done that way. He said, “Because it’s in the contract that the Navy will approve every drawing. That process takes months. So, we produced the minimum number of drawings. (The assembly cost thousands when it should have cost hundreds.) But the engineer was right. There was no other way to stay on schedule.

These are the reasons we pay so much for everything the military buys.


27 posted on 01/12/2013 1:32:01 PM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: Nowhere Man

Your proposal is exactly what causes the cost per aircraft to increase and the number of affordable airframes to decrease. China, Russia, and others are gaining invaluable time to catch-up with the U.S. air capabilities. This is time which could prove to be far more expensive to remedy than all of the costs to date.


28 posted on 01/12/2013 1:41:50 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: Gen.Blather

I have to wonder if the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and others are copying these same production design limitations like the Russians did with the Tu-4 Bull?


29 posted on 01/12/2013 1:50:03 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: PGR88
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!

True. Come to think of it, the Empire State Building took 14 months to build. Months! The Chrysler Building took 20 months. That's with 1920's/1930's tech.

I think overall, whether we agree or disagree on any of the plans we come up with, we all face one huge obstacle, Bronco Bama and his minions from Hell. They will not let anything like the Nowhere Man Plan or the PGR88 Plan go by or any plan.
30 posted on 01/12/2013 2:07:04 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Whitey, I miss you so much. Take care, pretty girl. (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012))
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To: WhiskeyX

“I have to wonder if the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and others are copying these same production design limitations like the Russians did with the Tu-4 Bull?”

The Russians copied an F4 (I believe) but a model designed for carrier use. They copied the landing hook even though they had no use for it. I’ve seen and read about other copied technology and they copy everything because they have no idea why the engineering strangeness is there. The thing they don’t have is the political problems. (At least not the same political problems.) Therefore if they decide they’re going to build 500 duplicate F4’s over a five year period they can tool a production line and invest in the special design jigs and tools that will make it efficient as opposed to hand building everything. They aren’t worried about getting funding next year. Also, their air force isn’t fighting with the Marines to redesign the copy to a different mission than it was intended for.


31 posted on 01/12/2013 2:07:17 PM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: WhiskeyX
Your proposal is exactly what causes the cost per aircraft to increase and the number of affordable airframes to decrease. China, Russia, and others are gaining invaluable time to catch-up with the U.S. air capabilities. This is time which could prove to be far more expensive to remedy than all of the costs to date.

I think we are going to have to accept that fact where the world is catching up to us. We had the luxury of being the world leader because after World War II, the rest of the worlds powerful nations were damaged by the war with the exception of the United States. Russia took a large hit, the British did too, the French were in shambles, the Germans and Japanese obliterated, Italy and China in chaos and so forth. They left us as King of the Hill and we were for the longest time but as the rest of the world catches up, we will have to deal somehow. Still, there will be a time when the rest of the world will have to face economic realities too. We will have to concentrate on less being a world cop and more on defense of our homeland. I think we are approaching a technical plateau here and because of that, most of the world will be at parity.
32 posted on 01/12/2013 2:14:58 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Whitey, I miss you so much. Take care, pretty girl. (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012))
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To: Nowhere Man

There’s an international aspect to cancelling the F-35. Many of our military allies have contributed to the program, and put off acquiring current generation fighters and strike craft in the hopes of leapfrogging to the next-generation F-35. Cancelling that would not only be a slap in the face diplomatically, but would also leave them without any potential replacements.


33 posted on 01/12/2013 2:30:59 PM PST by JerseyanExile
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To: Nowhere Man

You are badly mistaken. It is just that kind of thinking which cost the United States a lot of American lives in the early months of the Second World Wa. The U.S. Government compromised and rejected the B-17 in favor of the already obsolescent B-18 Bolo. As a consequence of this foolish decision, Boeing nearly went bankrupt trying to keep the B-17 program alive with the com[any’s own investment monies, and the Army air Corps was woefully too short of B-17 bombers until 1943. If Boeing had gone bankrupt in its patriotic effort to keep the B-17 program alive, the U.S. Army air forces would have been deprived of the B-17 and B-29 bomber forces in the Second World War. There would have then been no B-36, B-47, B-52, B-57, or later bombers and missiles.

Now you want to counsel being a a day late and a dollor short and repeat the same mistake made by Roosevelt’s Administration. For less than the price of the current F-22 Raptor, you could have had two to four times the number of aircraft by contracting for more aircraft and using less wasteful contracting methods. Then you complain about the high costs you caused to occur in the first place. having crippled and downsizeed the industry, you then declare contrary to all evidence that the technology is too expensive and not getting any better. Nothing could be further from the truth. You simply won’t agree to pay for what is sitting right in front of your nose. The technological impreovements available to us in the next two decades are so extraordinary, everything produced between 1935 and now pales to insignificance. But those revolutionary technologies will not be incorporated into aircraft without the foresight and wisdom to imp0lement them wisely and with cost effectiveness. There is no reason why an advanced fighter aircraft cannot be produced in a production run of 1,000 aircraft at a cost $5 million to $12 million per aircraft using proper contracting methods comparable to WWII.

Likewise today, the efforts to save money is having the exact opposite effect. What is lacking here is comptenece and will, not technology.


34 posted on 01/12/2013 2:58:28 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: Gen.Blather
These are the reasons we pay so much for everything the military buys.

You bring up much truth; however, there is much more that barely gets discussed and that is the 'minority' set asides and preferred contracts which in and of itself is nothing more than an affirmative action reparations scam.

I believe that small businesses should get a shot with competing large contractors; however, what we have now is more like a government race based charity system than it is a competitive bid market place.

35 posted on 01/12/2013 3:17:45 PM PST by DBeers (†)
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To: SkyPilot

And the U.S. taxpayers are giving Egypt 20 F-16s free!!


36 posted on 01/12/2013 3:40:20 PM PST by jacob allen
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To: zot

and the reductions begin


37 posted on 01/12/2013 4:14:58 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: jacob allen

That should never happen. The U.S. officials for doing it should be sanctioned. In fact, the provision of this weaponry to be used to commit genocide could be good reason to bring war crimes charges against the U.S. officials responsible for the weeapons transfer as was done at the Nuremberg Tribunal.


38 posted on 01/12/2013 4:36:28 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: WhiskeyX
Hmmm, I don't know, that's the theory of the road not taken if there was no B-17. Either some other company would have to take it up if Boeing went out of business (Consolidated, Northrop, Douglas, etc) or alternately, the B-24 would have to step up to the plate and the B-29 analog might have been the B-30, B-31 or B-32. Onward, it gets kind of hazy with all the butterflies you would release. I'm an "alternate history" junky.

I'm just saying that like any country or even household, we might have to make hard decisions and yes, even the military would have to be a part of it and I'd rather keep using proven and off the shelf equipment and improve it via "baby steps" sort of like how the F-20 was an improvement of the F-5 or the F-18 Super Hornet over the original plane. I'd focus a lot more on CONUS/North American missile defense.

Basically a military plane, depending on its role and mission is either a bomb truck or a missile truck. It has to have a decent range for what it has to do, speed to get out of trouble and be maneuverable enough to dodge enemy fire and so on (with help from countermeasures), and a simple computer to lock on, guide the missiles/machine guns, run the radar and tracking and monitor aircraft performance. I used to work in IT and I knew a guy who worked on Fairchild computers for fighter aircraft, the F-101 and F-102. He told me the computer was worn on the leg of the pilot and plugged into the plane and had like 8K of RAM. He told me that it really doesn't take much computing power to guide your plane and weapons to the target. The F-14 computer was basic, yet remarkable. We went to the Moon using a computer that had 32K of RAM if that. You could run your plane on the power anywhere from an Atari to a Commodore 64/Apple ][. The basic Sidewinder missile's guidance system is less complex than an old transistor radio.

I think in some ways, we are slowing down in technological pace, our best and fastest advancement was the 20th Century, from 1901 to 2000, I don't think we will see that again.

I dunno, economy reality is catching up to us and will to the rest of the world but no matter what, even if we may disagree on some things, with the Bamster in the White Hut, I think we are flapping in the breeze which is really bad for all of us.
39 posted on 01/12/2013 5:42:50 PM PST by Nowhere Man (Whitey, I miss you so much. Take care, pretty girl. (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012))
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To: Soul of the South

Don’t worry, we will still have TSA


40 posted on 01/12/2013 5:59:11 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll eventually get what you deserve)
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To: GreyFriar
and the reductions begin

... and continue, ever since the Reagan Administration.

41 posted on 01/12/2013 6:09:00 PM PST by zot
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To: SkyPilot

Which Air Force won’t fly?

The Air Force, Air Force, the Navy Air Force, the Marine Air Force or the Army Air Force.

The future?

Air Air Corps all over again and a Navy Air branch, which supports the Marines.

All very much smaller.


42 posted on 01/12/2013 6:15:46 PM PST by ASOC (What are you doing now that Mexico has become OUR Chechnya?)
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To: SkyPilot

Lots of good points and good discussion. Where’s our next John Boyd? Our enemy in Afghanistan just took out a huge chunk of our super-sophisticated Harrier fleet with twenty guys with wire cutters. I don’t care if an airplane costs a billion dollars a copy if it can stay in the air for a month and shoot down every flying object within 5,000 miles and never be shot down. I haven’t looked at the mathematical geography concerned with this, but I’m pretty sure we could rule the air around the planet with fewer than a hundred of them. Until then, it’s always a matter of trade offs.


43 posted on 01/12/2013 6:33:54 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Alas Babylon!

At least back then we had manufacturing ability. China would smoke us now.


44 posted on 01/12/2013 8:17:11 PM PST by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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