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Sequester may force USAF to retire entire fleets of aircraft
Flight International ^ | 09/18/2013 | DAVE MAJUMDAR

Posted on 09/18/2013 3:04:39 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Sequester may force USAF to retire entire fleets of aircraft

The US Air Force will likely have to cut entire fleets of aircraft to comply with the Congressional sequestration law, says a top service official. In order to retain a force capable of operating across the spectrum of operations, the USAF will have to sacrifice single-mission aircraft in order to preserve multirole machines.

“The only way you really save money is to make entire weapons systems go away,” says Gen Mike Hostage, commander of the USAF’s Air Combat Command. That is “so that the whole logistics train, the whole support infrastructure that goes with it goes away.”

Though eliminating single-mission aircraft is the most efficient way to save money while preserving military capability, the problem is politics, Hostage says.

For example, the L-3 MC-12 Project Liberty aircraft has excellent capability, if funding was not an issue, Hostage says. Other single-mission aircraft that might be sacrificed include the Fairchild Republic A-10.

US Air Force

However, the Boeing F-15C fleet is likely to be preserved to some degree, even if total fleet numbers drop. The USAF is short on air superiority capability with its small fleet of 184 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors, Hostage says. The Lockheed F-35 will be able to fill that role when used in conjunction with the Raptor, he adds, although the F-22 will remain the preeminent air superiority machine for the foreseeable future.

The USAF has to prioritise recapitalisation over modernisation, otherwise the service faces the unsavoury prospect of facing-off against enemy forces with 45-year old fourth-generation fighters in the future. “No matter how you [modernise the capability], it is not tactically viable once you get to the middle of the decade,” Hostage says. The USAF is “screwed” if it does not modernise with the F-35, he adds. But if the worst came to the worst and the F-35 were to be cancelled, the USAF would need 350 new-build Raptors to get to 2030, Hostage says.

The F-35 is expected to be able to operate across a wide spectrum of missions. “In a perfect world, I’d like to have 1,000 A-10s I could do close air support [CAS] with,” Hostage says. “I can’t afford it. I can’t afford the fleet I have now.”

While it will be more expensive to do the CAS mission with the F-35 and perhaps not quite as “impressive” as the A-10 in that role, the stealthy fifth-generation fighter can perform the task, Hostage says.

Even the Boeing B-1 bomber or even the future Long-Range Strike Bomber will be able to perform the CAS role, he says. “I will not lose what we have gained in understanding how to support the army in the tactical battlefield,” Hostage says. “That was the mistake we made coming out of Southeast Asia.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: a10; aerospace; sequestration; usaf
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1 posted on 09/18/2013 3:04:39 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Since we can’t have both guns and butter, may as well switch to a smaller Canadian/European/Japanese style defensive military. Our military has just become makework for many people who whine as soon as they’re deployed anyway; just shut it down. We shouldn’t be sending our people to die in such God-forsaken places anyway, and Vladimir Putin will now protect Western Civilization.


2 posted on 09/18/2013 3:09:58 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

General Hostage???


3 posted on 09/18/2013 3:12:14 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama: the bearded lady of the Muslim Brotherhood))
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Close Air Support performed by a stealthy aircraft? I bet the enemy troops on the ground will know that it’s there, so the “stealth” factor may not really register.


4 posted on 09/18/2013 3:14:55 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (21st century. I'm not a fan.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I don’t suppose they’d consider defunding Al Qaeda instead?


5 posted on 09/18/2013 3:14:59 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

....meanwhile, this year, 300 million to PUCkistan, who hid UBL for at least a couple of years.........and now he arms the terrorist...


6 posted on 09/18/2013 3:20:00 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“to comply with the Congressional sequestration law”

Yeah, Congress did it.


7 posted on 09/18/2013 3:23:23 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Start by retiring the entire fleet of VC-25s.


8 posted on 09/18/2013 3:24:31 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: sukhoi-30mki
We were once the lone superpower in the world. Putin is laughing at us.

Thank you Baraq H. 0bama, mmm mmm mmm.

5.56mm

9 posted on 09/18/2013 3:25:42 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: kearnyirish2

Sure, whatever. Let us give up our custodies and sovereignty and call that “victory”. I am sure abandoning consciousness to the whims of materialists inMoscow will work great.


10 posted on 09/18/2013 3:29:41 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: sukhoi-30mki
For example, the L-3 MC-12 Project Liberty aircraft has excellent capability, if funding was not an issue, Hostage says

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

11 posted on 09/18/2013 3:33:26 AM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: kearnyirish2

The article doesn’t mention the forcing function. You can’t just park the aircraft and wait for funding later. If you don’t fly an aircraft something like every 90 days you lose its airworthiness certificate. Once that happens you have to box the aircraft up, send it to the desert, it’s then rebuilt, flown, recertified and returned to service. When Clinton was in office, he spent the spares money on non-military missions. Therefore they had insufficient engines, radios, radars, etc. So a plane would fly, get cannibalized for parts, so other planes could fly, then they’d try to rebuild it in time to fly again in (90 days?) By the time Clinton left office 50% of the air force and navy planes could not fly on any given day.

Another problem is the manufacturer of spares most likely will go out of the business. So, although the military may own the design, the guy with the secret sauce is now retired and living on a beach in Panama.

Congress could, in theory, supply just money for the military and hold up other funding. They’d say, “Okay, Obama, we’re going to hold your feet to the fire over immigration ‘reform’ and Obamacare, but here’s a couple of billion to keep the military running.” What Clinton did was repurpose the military to spend money on social projects. He had troops in full combat gear diapering AIDS babies in sub-Saharan Africa. So, Obama could say, “Fine. I’ll just man the Obamacare offices with the military.” It would become the War On Healthcare, just as Clinton had the War On Aids.

If we are going to seriously wound the military, now would probably be better than later. Russia and China will be much bigger in the coming years than they are now. Hopefully, America will learn its lesson for the next 20 years or so and not have future intercourse with socialism.


12 posted on 09/18/2013 3:40:04 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I call BS. The Air Force has been trying to make the A-10 go away for years but the Army objects. The Air Force signed up for the close air support role but don’t want it. I suspect they are using the sequester as an excuse.


13 posted on 09/18/2013 3:42:26 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The gutting & hollowing-out of the US Military, continues.


14 posted on 09/18/2013 3:43:50 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: saganite

I’ll take a pair of A-10’s ,, maybe more ... and lease them to a local AIR attraction in Lakeland “Fantasy of Flight” ,, or just take rich tourists here in Orlando for a nice vomiting ride... either way they’ll stay fresh and functional ...


15 posted on 09/18/2013 3:52:05 AM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: Gen.Blather
Demographically we are doomed. The takers will always out number the makers now, and until the last dime of revenue or borrowed money is spent it will go to them. Then we may have a shot at getting the country back as the inner city drug wars and the food riots thin the herd of leeches out. The problem will be keeping the international vultures out. They smell the decaying carcase that is America...
16 posted on 09/18/2013 3:53:11 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: lavaroise

“Sure, whatever. Let us give up our custodies and sovereignty and call that “victory”. I am sure abandoning consciousness to the whims of materialists inMoscow will work great.”

We’ve lost the moral high ground to do much internationally anyway. In addition, we’ve lost a war in Iraq and are losing the war in Afghanistan (Obama has already signaled the date on which that one will be lost). Until we go to war with our ideological enemies (like Red China), then it is all a hoax anyway; could we make it a cheaper hoax?


17 posted on 09/18/2013 3:53:47 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
We’ll still be able to maintain air superiority over Liechtenstein

and the EBT cards will still work to buy crab legs

18 posted on 09/18/2013 3:54:12 AM PDT by silverleaf (Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.)
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To: Gen.Blather

I understand the issue with stagnation for military equipment. I don’t think Americans will have an appetite for war for some time; we’ve lost in Iraq, we’re losing in Afghanistan, and we give preferred trading status to our real enemies like Red China.

I’d think Obama intends to use the military for social rather than military purposes; why else would he push the gay thing (where they can serve but still can’t donate blood)?


19 posted on 09/18/2013 3:59:07 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Let’s face it: this is all part of THE PLAN tacitly being pushed by both parties. The US Military will slowly be eroded to pay for social benefits and interest on the debt (non-discretionary spending). Indeed, this is happening to the entire Government, but the Military is most at risk because (unlike most other agencies) you can’t reconstitute it’s capabilities on a dime. Once they are lost, they will remain lost without massive investment (which just isn’t anywhere on the horizon). And I say BOTH parties, because the Republicans have helped this along almost as much as the Dems—and I’m going all the way back to Bush I.


20 posted on 09/18/2013 4:00:34 AM PDT by rbg81
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