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Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price
CBC News ^ | Feb 27, 2013 | Terry Milewski

Posted on 02/28/2013 12:59:19 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki

Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price

Super Hornet less stealthy, but has lower sticker price and operational costs

In a dogfight of defence contractors, the hunter can quickly become the hunted. It's happening now to the F-35.

The world's largest defence contractor, Lockheed Martin, is trying to convince wavering U.S. allies — including Canada — to stick with its high-tech, high-priced and unproven F-35 stealth fighter. But the F-35 is way behind schedule, way over budget and, now, it's grounded by a mysterious crack in a turbine fan.

After years of technical problems, it's a tempting target for Lockheed Martin's rivals.

It's no surprise, then, that the No. 2 defence contractor, Boeing, smells blood.

With Ottawa now reviewing its previous commitment to buy the F-35, Boeing is making an aggressive pitch to Canadian taxpayers, offering to save them billions of dollars if they buy Boeing's Super Hornets instead.

Boeing isn't pulling its punches. The Super Hornet, it says, is a proven fighter while the F-35 is just a concept — and an expensive one at that.

"We call it competing with a paper airplane," says Ricardo Traven, Boeing's chief test pilot for the Super Hornet. A Canadian who flew fighters for 15 years in the Canadian air force, Traven dismisses the F-35 as a "shiny brochure of promises," and contrasts it with "the real thing," which looms behind him in a top-secret hangar at Boeing's vast production line in St. Louis, Missouri.

All photographs and video are closely monitored by Boeing staff to ensure nothing classified leaks out. Many of the Super Hornet's best selling points, they say, are classified. The same goes for the F-35. The difference, says Traven, is that the Super Hornet is long since proven.

It has two engines to the F-35's one — and, unlike the F-35, it's ready now. Some 500 Super Hornets are already in service with the U.S. Navy. Dozens have already been sold to the Australian air force, which, like Canada, was once committed to the F-35 but gave up waiting for it to prove itself.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin both say their plane is superior in various ways. Lockheed Martin's headline feature is stealth. Boeing's is price. But with defence budgets shrinking everywhere, price is increasingly what governments want to hear about.

On that, Boeing thinks it has a compelling case — and not just because its plane is cheaper.

The Super Hornet currently sells for about $55 million US apiece; the Pentagon expects the F-35 to cost twice as much — about $110 million. But only 20 per cent of the cost of owning a fighter fleet is the actual sticker price of the planes. Eighty per cent is the operating cost — what it takes to keep them flying. That means everything from pilots and fuel to maintenance and spares.

Psst! Wanna save $23B? And that's where the difference between the F-35 and the Super Hornet rockets into the stratosphere.

"The current actual costs to operate a Super Hornet are less than half the cost that the F-35 is projected to be once it's in operation, just to operate," says Mike Gibbons, vice-president in charge of the Super Hornet program.

Less than half? But how can he know that, since the F-35s are not yet in service?

Gibbons is ready for the question. "No one knows actually how costly that jet will actually be, once it's in operation. We do know how affordable the Super Hornet is currently because we have actual costs." The Super Hornet costs about $16,000 an hour to fly, he says — and the F-35 will be double that.

Really? That sounded too good to be true — so CBC News dug into Boeing's figures to see how credible they are.

Related video: Watch Mike Gibbons' response on operation costs According to the GAO, the Super Hornet actually costs the U.S. Navy $15,346 an hour to fly. It sounds like a lot — until you see that the U.S. Air Force's official "target" for operating the F-35 is $31,900 an hour. The GAO says it's a little more — closer to $32,500.

CBC also asked Lockheed Martin to say if it had any quarrel with these numbers — and it did not.

In a written response, a Lockheed spokesman declined to offer any different figures, but insisted the F-35's operating costs would be "comparable to or lower than" the "legacy platforms" — meaning, older jets — that it will replace. Those do not include the Super Hornets, which Boeing says are 25 per cent cheaper to run than Canada's "legacy" CF-18s.

Related video: Watch Ricardo Traven's response on costs Lockheed also claimed the F-35 would "achieve cost advantages … by leveraging economies of scale" gained by selling one fighter, with one supply chain, to different countries. However, it remains to be seen whether those economies of scale are ever realized.

As it stands, the official estimate for a fleet of 65 F-35s is that they will cost $9 billion to buy and almost $37 billion to operate over the next 42 years. So, a total of just under $46 billion. If Boeing's figures hold up, the Super Hornets would cost about half that.

The math is easy, but the result is eye-popping nonetheless. It's a saving of up to $23 billion.

Numbers like that have a way of getting attention.

Sure, but what about stealth? The next question is, though — is it a second-rate plane? Instead of the "Fifth Generation" stealth fighter that Lockheed Martin advertises, does Canada want to settle for a not-so-stealthy Generation 4.5?

Boeing is ready for that question, too. Mike Gibbons, the VP, phrases his answer carefully.

"We know that the Super Hornet has effective stealth, and that's really the key. In fact, we believe we have a more affordable stealth than many other platforms that are being designed specifically and touted as stealthy platforms."

Of course, he means the F-35 — and he's not claiming to have better stealth, just more affordable stealth. But his test pilot, Ricardo Traven, says that doesn't mean the Super Hornet is less likely to survive in combat.

As a pilot with experience in the North, says Traven, he'd rather fly with a little less stealth and little more agility. Lockheed Martin gave up agility, he argues, to gain the former.

On the Super Hornet, "sacrifices were not made for the purpose of stealth," he explains. After numerous winter landings on frozen Canadian runways, he says, "You want an airplane with large control surfaces, large flaps … these things give the airplane a lot of manoeuverability."

Proponents of stealth, though, want everything smaller so as to reduce the plane's visibility on radar.

"The stealth engineers don't want large flaps, they don't want large ailerons, they don`t want large wings, so everything is shrunk down on an airplane like that to be stealthy. And so the cost of stealth is not just the money. The cost is in capability and in performance …. Those capabilities and performance I do not believe are worth the sacrifice for stealth," says Traven.

'The goose that didn't get the memo' These factors, Traven insists, make the Super Hornet more "survivable," even if it's less stealthy. Similarly, he touts the virtues of having twin engines. Sure, the F-35's single engine may be very reliable, he says — but what if a bird gets sucked in?

"It's the goose that didn't get the memo," he says, which could destroy a single-engined aircraft. With two engines, the pilot can still fly. Equally, Traven says, the Super Hornet's landing gear is more rugged and more suited to snowy or slushy northern runways. "Twin engines, dual redundant hydraulics … I mean, I can go on and on," Traven enthuses. "Those are the things I don't want to give up in flying to remote places or even in combat, because those are the things that'll bring you home."

Don't say Boeing doesn't know how to do a sales job. And Lockheed Martin's no slouch, either. In fact, Lockheed has a Canadian chief test pilot, too — Billie Flynn, who's doubly Canadian, if it comes to that, because he's married to Canadian astronaut Julie Payette.

Top that, Boeing!

Actually, Traven has some high-orbit Canadian connections, too. He's an old air force buddy of another well-known pilot: Gen. Tom Lawson, no less — who's now Canada's chief of defence staff.

Lawson has long been a fan of the F-35, but has recently begun to downplay the importance of stealth. He told CBC News that government decision-makers might do well to listen to his former comrade.

"Every aircraft brings a level of stealth," said Lawson — not just the F-35. The new secretariat that is looking at alternatives, he said, will have to see just how much stealth each plane offers.

Does the Super Hornet have what it takes? "I don't know," Lawson replied.

"We're going to leave that to the team to look at. We don't have Super Hornets. We have not, until recently, even considered purchasing them. So I think that Ricardo Traven, my good friend that you mentioned, might have something to say about that, that would interest the teams, the whole-of-government teams, that are together to consider it."

Start your engines So, the contest is on — and, if it was once wired to make sure the F-35 won, it isn't now. The government insists it really is "hitting the reset button" and is serious about looking for alternatives.

CBC News contacted the European manufacturers of the Typhoon — also known as the Eurofighter — as well as Dassault, the French maker of the Rafale, and Sweden's Saab, which makes the Gripen. All said they've been contacted by the Canadian government and were ready to make their pitches.

But it's Boeing's entry that will grab most attention. It's the only American competitor for the F-35, and being "interoperable" with the U.S. is a big deal for Canada. Boeing is also offering to meet or beat the amount of contracts — known as "industrial benefits" — that Lockheed Martin would steer to Canadian companies.

With billions at stake, this battle of the giants will be worth watching.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Missouri
KEYWORDS: aerospace; boeing; f35; superhornet
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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The Boeing Prologue Room in St. Louis, Missouri showcases models of the number-two U.S aircraft maker's signature planes, including the new F/A-18E or Super Hornet. Canada's current fighter jets are an earlier model of the F-18. (Sara Brunetti/CBC News)

1 posted on 02/28/2013 12:59:47 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

As it stands, the official estimate for a fleet of 65 F-35s is that they will cost $9 billion to buy and almost $37 billion to operate over the next 42 years. So, a total of just under $46 billion. If Boeing’s figures hold up, the Super Hornets would cost about half that.
***F-35s are designed to shoot down 10 planes for every one lost. That means that it would cost 5X times as much to use Boeing compared to the F-35 to achieve the same kill ratio.


2 posted on 02/28/2013 1:24:38 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Kevmo
42 years?

We will have full blown 'battle bots' operating long before then, and without the equipment on board for human environmental needs they should be even cheaper.

3 posted on 02/28/2013 1:33:34 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

We already have full blown ‘battle bots’ operating. Perhaps one of the next gen aircraft fighters will be battlefield command & control center for drones.


4 posted on 02/28/2013 1:57:50 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Kevmo

Probably already is ~


5 posted on 02/28/2013 1:59:32 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: sukhoi-30mki

As long as they have arabs and obamoids in the production lines, *anywhere*, things will be falling apart.

Very simple.


6 posted on 02/28/2013 2:28:21 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Kevmo

***F-35s are designed to shoot down 10 planes for every one lost. That means that it would cost 5X times as much to use Boeing compared to the F-35 to achieve the same kill ratio.

I’d find this hard to believe and in reality if this was true then you’d have to look at a war where we’re shooting down hundreds of enemy aircraft which hasn’t even come close since Vietnam so the cost factor per aircraft and maintenance cost to make up for numerous years you’re not involved in a massive war would be far greater.

An aircraft is an asset with losses expected in war. Quantity of a proven asset at a cheaper cost is better and the $110m listed for the F-35 will grow significantly and it’s currently close to three times that if you include test.


7 posted on 02/28/2013 2:36:18 AM PST by maddog55 (America Rising.... Civil War II)
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To: maddog55

I’d find this hard to believe
***What part do you find it hard to believe? That they are designed to shoot down 10:1? F-15s were designed to shoot down 6:1 and they have a 300:0 kill ratio AFAIK. Of course, they were never presented with the scenario of overwhelming numbers coming over the borders at 7:1 or 5:1 or whatever the soviets had at the time. So these guys proceeded with the numbers they had.


8 posted on 02/28/2013 2:50:55 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

And Block 60 F-16 would be even cheaper.


9 posted on 02/28/2013 2:53:55 AM PST by Yo-Yo
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To: Kevmo

10:1 against what? I depends on what you go up against and like any statistic you choose the one you want.

From an USAF story on he F-22: (I’m ex-Navy.. I’m using this as an example http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123022371)

During Exercise Northern Edge 2006 in Alaska in early June, the F-22 proved its mettle against as many as 40 “enemy aircraft” during simulated battles. The Raptor achieved a 108-to-zero kill ratio at that exercise. But the capabilities of the F-22 go beyond what it can do. It is also able to help other aircraft do better.


10 posted on 02/28/2013 3:11:05 AM PST by maddog55 (America Rising.... Civil War II)
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To: Yo-Yo

And, unfortunately, both don’t actually have any real tactical stealth - they’re pretty easy meat for IR homing missiles.

Strategic stealth is overrated - it can be defeated by a very large multilocation array. But tactical stealth is still an enormous multiplier as well as a massive morale killer for the other side. It’s tons of fun to watch the reaction (in online sims) when you fly in with an aircraft that can be seen with the eye but none of your opponents have any missiles that can get and hold lock. They have to close to gun range and as long as you’ve got missiles that’s just not going to be happening.


11 posted on 02/28/2013 3:25:34 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: maddog55

10:1 against what? I depends on what you go up against and like any statistic you choose the one you want.
***To hear what the designers say about it, it’s 10:1 against the board, basically against what the enemy claims to be capable of in 5 years or so.

During Exercise Northern Edge 2006 in Alaska in early June, the F-22 proved its mettle against as many as 40 “enemy aircraft” during simulated battles.
***Simulated battles. I’ve already been through this on the harrier vs. F-14, F-15, and F-16 simulated battles. The F-15 achieved a 102:0 kill ratio in battle, and the harrier achieved a 28:0 ratio in battle at the time of this thread. The F-15 managed to move forward with even better air-to-air kill ratios, all the way to 300:0. That’s because it was designed to be a fighter, while the harrier was designed to be a close-air support bomber. That’s like comparing racing results of a van versus a Ferrari.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1342535/posts?page=49#49


12 posted on 02/28/2013 3:40:18 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Kevmo

Hard to shoot a plane down when you’re grounded.


13 posted on 02/28/2013 3:53:30 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks sukhoi-30mki.


14 posted on 02/28/2013 4:06:31 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

You would think that a country with the land mass Canada and Australia have they would Select a larger fighter Air Craft like an F-15C or F-15E.

Both of those Aircraft have much greater range than the Super Hornet.Though at the same time neither of those Aircraft are Stealthy in their present configurations.

Though Boeing had planned on developing a stealth eagle a while back.


15 posted on 02/28/2013 4:06:54 AM PST by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: Spktyr

“It’s tons of fun to watch the reaction (in online sims) when you fly in with an aircraft that can be seen with the eye but none of your opponents have any missiles that can get and hold lock. “

I sat on top of the HQ building at Kunsan AB, ROK watching 32 f-16s take off in groups of 4. Then they spent the 45 minutes doing a mock airbase attack dropping flares instead of bombs. The absolute best show I have ever seen. Seeing two F-16s go vertical and corkscrew side by side was incredible.

In real life you can’t see the planes from the ground until they are overhead. In an air to air action visibility is even worse.


16 posted on 02/28/2013 4:06:56 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

Yup - but fighter-mounted radar and IR can see the 15/16/18 series fighters with pretty decent clarity. The pilots don’t have to put eyes on the planes to lock them up and launch on them.

With the various stealth designs, fighter-borne radars and IR can’t see them well enough to get a consistent track let alone a lock. So the enemy fighters have to close to visual range to do any damage.


17 posted on 02/28/2013 4:10:34 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

They have to close to gun range and as long as you’ve got missiles that’s just not going to be happening.

ya might wanna talk to some F-4 drivers about that there comment...

F-4 Phantom, physical proof that if you put big enough engines in a brick it will fly...


18 posted on 02/28/2013 4:30:44 AM PST by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: Squawk 8888

Canada ping


19 posted on 02/28/2013 4:34:35 AM PST by Don W (There is no gun problem, there is a lack of humanity problem!)
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To: joe fonebone

If the stealthy fighter has modern missiles that can lock on to you and nothing you have can lock on to him, you’re in for a very bad day - and he’s not.

I’d also point out that our missiles actually work regularly now, unlike the RandomMissiles hung on the old F-4 back when.


20 posted on 02/28/2013 4:34:49 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

valid point....

If we have F-22’s who’s job it is to clear the skies, why then do we need F-35’s????

F-22 clears the skies and grabs air superiority, and the F-16, F-18 keep them that way... allowing the F-15 to do it’s job...

sounds like our betters in the government are presenting a complicated solution to a simple problem..


21 posted on 02/28/2013 4:40:36 AM PST by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: maddog55

If a plane can’t be picked up on radar, then you might get these ratios. However, I really don’t blame Lockheed Martin that much. More so, I blame the requirements given to them by the Government.


22 posted on 02/28/2013 4:52:26 AM PST by rbg81
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To: joe fonebone

If we have F-22’s who’s job it is to clear the skies, why then do we need F-35’s????
***There’s a difference between clearing the skies above your own territory and clearing them above enemy territory. Those 2 missions are quite different, and clearing skies above enemy territory requires a lot more expense. I gather the 2 terms are air superiority versus air interception.

sounds like our betters in the government are presenting a complicated solution to a simple problem..
***Typical. A camel is a horse... designed by committee.


23 posted on 02/28/2013 4:58:43 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: joe fonebone

You didn’t need to see the F-4, just follow the exhaust plume.


24 posted on 02/28/2013 5:46:00 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

I remember being on the FID, and we were conducting war games with the air farce... we bombed the hell out of the east coast for 3 days until they found us...

I was on the flight deck, and off in the distance saw 4 great big puffs of smoke, and 4 smoky trails..

our f-4’s did a low level fly by, being persued by 4 f-111’s..

they blew us up for a full day after that...

you ain’t lived until you witness low level fly by’s breaking the sound barrier... whole damn ship shook..


25 posted on 02/28/2013 5:55:11 AM PST by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: joe fonebone

(8^D)


26 posted on 02/28/2013 6:13:30 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Don W; Clive; exg; Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; ...
Thanks Don W.

To all- please ping me to Canadian topics.

Canada Ping!

27 posted on 02/28/2013 6:35:07 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: joe fonebone

The issue with current warfare is misslie load out. You will not get a one hit one kill ratio with manuevering targets and counter measures. So say we get a 50% kill ration for each F22 that is four kills per sortie. After missile expenditure you will have to close for gun action and then it becomes and almost even match.

A lot of our real air to air kills were on targets that were flying straight and level.


28 posted on 02/28/2013 7:23:44 AM PST by USAF80
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To: muawiyah

Sorry, but no... What we have are machines that fly by way-points and remote piloting in straight lines in benigh combat environments.

I work in unmand systems. They are incredibly expensive (No people on board to kick or power cycle a balky radio.), prone to RF jamming, clumsy, and not responsive to operator input due to communications lag.

Do you realize that the communications lag on a satellite flown vehicle is measured in minutes?

Ground station to satellite up-link, up-link to satellite, satellite to vehicle, and back?

Know what that communications lag is? Think about it. You are bouncing signals off an object that is 22,500 miles away... TWICE! One has ZERO agility with these systems.

If a manned combat aircraft shows up and he has an RF jamming pod (< 5 - 10 Watts folks!), your bird is scrap on the ground... With or without a missile up it’s tailpipe.

Physics people... You are leaving out PHYSICS! Stop paying attention to the junk you see on YouTube & comming out of Hollywood...

At best it’s all short range line-of-site theatrics in artifically perfect conditions, or total BS.


29 posted on 02/28/2013 7:57:23 AM PST by Freeport (The proper application of high explosives will remove all obstacles.)
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To: Freeport
... and he has an RF jamming pod (< 5 - 10 Watts folks!),...

I NEED one of those!

30 posted on 02/28/2013 8:01:12 AM PST by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: Freeport

This is why forward observers will continue to be necessary ~ let’s hear it for the 11F40 MOS ~ and some related ones. As everybody knows engineering makes stride after stride and if we can put automatic automobiles on the roads we can certainly put a combo StalinOrgan T34 out there too! http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/T-34-rocket-launcher-France.jpg


31 posted on 02/28/2013 8:03:39 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: Freeport

THANK you!
So many people think ‘unmanned’ means we have some kinda science fiction AIs in those things instead of a glorified autopilot. Manned craft are not going away any time soon. The Back in the 50’s they also thought that fighters were about to go all unmanned... yeah right. The people that actually know how these things work don’t agree. The people that both know how to fly fighters, and know anything about real world so called Artificial Intelligence also laugh.


32 posted on 02/28/2013 9:07:43 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: TalonDJ

I heard it takes over 200 personnel to support UAVs.


33 posted on 02/28/2013 9:52:09 AM PST by USAF80
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To: USAF80
I heard it takes over 200 personnel to support UAVs.

Not surprising. In addition to it being a full blow aircraft with all the maintenance needs of one, you also need the infrastructure for the data link.

Plus until these things have been PROVEN in a serious war, one where the other side uses anti satellite weapons then it will be national suicide to sell all the manned systems and replace them. It would be a pretty nasty shock to have a Chinese carrier off the coast and all our drones are at the bottom of the ocean because they shot a few satellites down.
34 posted on 02/28/2013 10:10:28 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: TalonDJ

They don’t even need ASATS. Just take out the link. With a man in the cockpit you can still do your mission.


35 posted on 02/28/2013 10:27:48 AM PST by USAF80
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To: joe fonebone

Because the guys on the ground who would prefer not to be bombed happen to have surface to air missile systems that are just as good at locking up our older fighters, especially on IR.

Further, there will be no more F-22s. The Obama administration has cancelled the program after 187 were built, saying the F-35 should be able to fill in the gaps. Which they will probably also now be cancelling.


36 posted on 02/28/2013 11:07:07 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: joe fonebone

Just FYI: We lost 43 aircraft to SAMs and AAA (but mostly SAMs) in Gulf War I - and there’s been no improvement in IR signature suppression on any of the aircraft that were used then.


37 posted on 02/28/2013 11:09:41 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Freeport

“Minutes”

I’m pretty sure total round trip is not in minutes.


38 posted on 02/28/2013 12:28:37 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: Spktyr

187 F22s should be enough with their high kill ratio. The F35s would be used off carriers or whenever the F22s are busy doing other patrols.


39 posted on 02/28/2013 12:30:06 PM PST by USAF80
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To: puppypusher

Stealth Eagles with supercruise would be pretty awesome


40 posted on 02/28/2013 12:37:26 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I’d love it if Boeing won this one!


41 posted on 02/28/2013 12:42:29 PM PST by Mr Rogers (America is becoming California, and California is becoming Detroit. Detroit is already hell.)
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To: Freeport

Thank you for an intelligent post. They are rare in the hyped up world of drones uber alles.


42 posted on 02/28/2013 12:47:16 PM PST by Mr Rogers (America is becoming California, and California is becoming Detroit. Detroit is already hell.)
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To: CodeToad

At 300+ knots a few seconds can feel like minutes. Imagine closing your eyes for two seconds while driving down the highway at 70 MPH (don’t try this, disclaimer. A lot can happen in those two seconds.

Those seconds can mean a lot to a drone if a missile is headed its way. A pilot sees in real time.


43 posted on 02/28/2013 12:57:41 PM PST by USAF80
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To: USAF80

One problem - they are high maintenance jets and about a third of them are going to be deadlines for repairs or maintenance at any time.

Further, there is currently an unresolved issue with the oxygen systems on board the craft, so pilots are at risk and many won’t fly until that is fixed.

Next, many will have to be kept in reserve as replacements for ones that crash or are damaged - as no more will be made.

And the way the government is leaning, there won’t *be* any 35s to fill in.


44 posted on 02/28/2013 2:08:10 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

Some of our allies wanted to buy F22s but we did not want the technology in their hands. The Japanese wanted them but when we said no they just developed their own.

It would have kept the manufacturing lines open for a lil bit and driven down the costs.

The F35 may end up like the 787. Too long to deliver and then plagued with serious design flaws.


45 posted on 02/28/2013 5:42:57 PM PST by USAF80
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To: Freeport
Do you realize that the communications lag on a satellite flown vehicle is measured in minutes?... Physics people... You are leaving out PHYSICS!

Don't know where you're getting minutes unless you're including some kind of intensive modeling or other heavy-duty calculation in the communication lag. Heck, the signal could go to the moon and back in a few seconds.

46 posted on 02/28/2013 6:12:56 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: muawiyah

T34 Calliope http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T34_Calliope was not a Stalin anything.


47 posted on 02/28/2013 8:04:33 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: joe fonebone

F35 was always an international COOP thing rather than a valid asset.

It’s a scam.


48 posted on 03/01/2013 12:08:47 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Freeport

Yep. Remote has to mean autonomous, or it’s meaningless. But when that becomes reality, look out...


49 posted on 03/01/2013 12:13:41 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: rmlew
The T34 used as a base for the rocket launcher is always discussed in any piece on the Stalin Organ.

I hope you are familiar with that term ~ in the last week I've discovered several young people who had no idea what the term referred to ~

50 posted on 03/01/2013 3:34:02 AM PST by muawiyah
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