The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by jkgoblue, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. jkgoblue

    jkgoblue Pre-takeoff checklist

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  2. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    So why not just develop a 35 that is less capable, has more robust systems and buy enough of them to get the unit costs down. Why does it have to be clean sheet? My redneck BS detector is going off.
     
  3. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Why did they halt production of the F-22? It was disallowed from foreign ownership and many thought it a more capable aircraft.

    The switch to the F-35 never seemed to square, other than it’s a platform allies could co-manufacturer for global sales.
     
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  4. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Reminds me of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Start off with a good idea, then pack too much crap into it so that it performs multiple missions. The result, you get something that can perform most missions good but does nothing great.

    What’s not clear is the statement of “affordable lightweight fighter.” Well, is going to be a single mission or another multi role fighter? If multi role then stick with the F-16 or buy some Gripens. If fighter only, then yeah you’ll need a clean sheet design. Air Force made the mistake of putting all their eggs in one basket. Shouldn’t have canceled the light attack / surveillance program either but that’s a whole other issue.
     
  5. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    I live near Luke AFB and F-35s and F-16s fly low overhead every day.

    My car's license plate has an F-35 on it.

    Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 7.16.21 PM.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
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  6. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I don't get too upset over these things.. it's our tax dollars, and Lockheed Martin has 110,000 employees.. I'm fine with the gov keeping them employed and even if the jet is not a "commercial" success surely we've learned and developed some impressive tech. Beyond the 110K people there are many systems and other components of the F35 that are jobs to others

    Boeing had a similar rule I believe when designing jets. The 707, 727, 747 all looked awesome, and at least in the case of the 727 was an alleged hoot to fly
     
  7. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    That's a great example The Bradley's were very far along when some clueless committee said: "Hey, we like this fast amphibious assault vehicle, now let's slap a heavy armored turret with a gun on top of it! This after the propulsion and hull volume had been finalized, so all the committee accomplished was to have a bunch of slower fast amphibious assault vehicles that could just barely float, in calm water.
     
  8. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I've been wondering how much longer there's going to be any need to have a manned fighter. Wouldn't swarms of cheap drones be a better weapon? No concerns about attrition or loss of human life. Build, and release them in mass quantities in the combat zone?

    I have no military background, so curious as to what the studies into this sort of tactic and weapon determined?
     
  9. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    My brother says the same about the 787 (that's after doing time in the A330).
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Have two long running part numbers that supply into the F-35, have some new stuff that may not pan out if the program is cut, and have some past things that are in that bird as well.
     
  11. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Or the F-111. Much work went into redesigning it so the Navy could use it, then the Navy refused to procure it.

    The problem is, system developers have to get so much buy-in from other communities. The attack community will fight development unless the aircraft can drop iron bombs, the stealth community demands that the bombs be carried internally, the intelligence community wants the ability to hang weird antennas on the outside, Senator Grubstake won't approve it unless at least 25% of manufacturing is performed in his state, etc.

    That's the beautiful thing about black programs. If these other communities don't KNOW about it, they can't raise objections to it.

    As for drones...well, yes, that'll be the way to go. But the Air Force has a very powerful union: The pilots. There are few officers above the rank of Colonel who AREN'T pilots. It is a pilot-centric organization, and opposition to anything that minimizes their involvement will be fierce.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
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  12. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Be cheaper just to give those 110,000 people their paychecks to sit at home.
     
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  13. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Boeing jets always looked better to me. This isn't just a US fanboy thing to say, the Airbus products look too "CAD drawn" while the Boeing ones seem like an artist sat down at a drafting paper and at least did some initial sketchwork of "yeah, this looks pretty cool"

    Although the same can't be said for Boeing's proposed "Hunchback of Mukilteo"
    upload_2021-2-25_13-38-46.png
     
  14. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No such thing as a cheap drone. There’s nothing even in development that can compare to what manned fighter aircraft can do. Even a lousy MQ-9 is as expensive as manned attack aircraft and it doesn’t even come close to F-16 capabilities.
    https://nation.time.com/2012/02/28/2-the-mq-9s-cost-and-performance/
     
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  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    haha!
     
  16. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ah, yes a federal jobs program.
     
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  17. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Sure, but there hasn't been a purpose-built/designed drone replacement for an F/A aircraft has there? I mean, I can't imagine it would be too hard to make something with similar operational capability, but I doubt it would end up being any cheaper or smaller. You'd just be replacing the cockpit/pilot support systems with a bunch of cameras and hardware to try and replicate a human field of vision and provide some semblance of response time (and redundancy). In the end, I would imagine it would come down to how much value the armed forces place on the life of a pilot.
     
  18. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    What’s new?

    Simplest thing is to design and no s*** produce Tactical aircraft for specific missions. My aircraft Deveolpment career has spanned from the F-111 to the F-35. The f****** bean counters in DC ALWAYS “PROVE” that multi mission common airplanes save money which is utter and total BS.

    Because a service sees there’s only one airplane in their future, they load it up with anything anybody can think of to do what needs to be done. Cost grow, development stretches and the whole damn charade starts all over again with a “new common airplane” that will “save money”. What a load of cr**.

    Cheers
     
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  19. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    concepts for drones depends on communication (assuming comm available is a *bad* assumption) or really smart drones.
     
  20. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    huh? one size doesn't fit all?

    (sarcasm...)
     
  21. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    The biggest problem of the F-35 is that most of the ones that wants to get on TV or in print and talk about honestly thinks they are an expert, but yet has zero idea of that which they speak.
     
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  22. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    CQ Brown has posed this value question of 5G fighters inside the AF as far back as 2009-10 when he commanded the 31st Fighter Wing. It’s the same conundrum the F-15 community dealt with around the F-22, where I think as far back as 2004, Air Combat Command was debating more F-22s or Golden Eagle SLEP or new production F-15Es and today we end up with F-15X.

    I think the real fight big blue is having is the deciding whether or not a single seat fighter (that’s not a Hawg) has to be in the inventory or not.
     
  23. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Ah yes, the Golden Corral va KFC theory. If you want chicken done right...
     
  24. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    If there is no manned fighter aircraft, there is no need for fighter pilots, therefore no need for an Air Force.

    If the Air Force doesn’t need a manned fighter, then neither does the Navy (and, subsequently, the Marines).

    All those former fighter/attack cockpits get to be there own, new Drone Force.

    Except nobody really trusts a drone operator to be able to *think* like a fighter or attack pilot thinks, because they have no real skin in the game. Get shot down? Time to push back from the console and grab a cup of joe until it’s time to log in again. Frat a bunch of friendlies...must have been a glitch in the system somewhere.

    The Army (and Marines) won’t trust the CAS mission to he accomplished as effectively by a drone. They’re mostly likely to be the ones raising the almighty ‘Oh Hell Naw’ to that concept.
     
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  25. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Not what I was trying to describe.

    Building a "robotic" version of a fighter will be just as expensive, if not more so. And, at least at this time, no argument it will be a compromise compared to a manned fighter.

    However, what I was describing is 'cheap and plentiful'...overwhelming in numbers, not capability. How many targets can a modern jet fighter track and eliminate simultaneously? What if it is attacked by 200 small drone swarm, any one of which can disable or destroy it?

    Once again, I have no military background and don't in any way suggest I know anything about effective defensive and offensive warfare or weapons. But I am wondering whether some 3rd world tactics like the above are going to one day demonstrate a vulnerability in our concentrated military technology.
     
  26. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The F35 is not a failure and the article does not state that. The airframe is unmatched by anything in the world. It’s intelligence gathering abilities and how quickly it can disseminate that info are simply incredible. The entire Middle East is scared to death of its capabilities in the hands of Israel. Pilot situational awareness is a quantum leap from current 4th generation fighters and even the F22. If we have a conflict where we don’t have absolute air superiority from the start it will be the airframe fighting over the battlefield and in enemy territory. It can do that without needing massive and very expensive support from other assets. It’s a game changer period.
     
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  27. FlyingTiger

    FlyingTiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I seem to recall an article a few years back about how the F35 was losing to F16s in dogfighting. I thought that was a pretty obvious red flag at the time but the military brass just blew it off for some reason.
     
  28. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How much air combat will be dogfighting? The F35 will see and launch against the F16 long before the F16 sees the F35.
     
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    That's what they all said before the 'Nam.
     
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  30. FlyingTiger

    FlyingTiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That may have been the reasoning although considering the costs, I think I'd take 5 F-16s over 1 F-35.
     
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  31. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I feel like I've heard this story before. Didn't work out then either.

    "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
     
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  32. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Forget turn and burn. It’s about synergy. Plus, it can do over the air software updates like Tesla does.

     
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  33. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    Agreed. It's not a fighter jet; it's a battlespace manager with warfighting capabilities. Comparing it to F-14, 15, 16, 18, etc etc etc etc is like comparing a hammer to a screwdriver.
     
  34. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    Why not use both tools for their designed purpose? They are not the same tools.
     
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  35. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I hope we don’t do that in reality. There needs to be a moral cost to war. Having unmanned systems killing for us is not good.
     
  36. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    One of the best books I have read in a long time, describing the life of one of the greatest fighter pilots ever: John Boyd. His ground-breaking work on the energy–maneuverability theory along with his persistence in fighting the status quo probably make Boyd single-handedly responsible for the fact that the F16 came into existence, against the strong opposition of most military leaders at the time. If you want to understand how screwed up military procurement is, look no further than this book.

    upload_2021-2-25_16-57-18.png
     
  37. jkgoblue

    jkgoblue Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It is a great book! Highly recommend it!
     
  38. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    I talked to Boyd back in the day when I was the Chief Engineer for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (YF-22 / YF-23) to get a better understanding of Energy Maneuverability which was his biggest contribution. Interesting guy. I would argue that he was not “one of the greatest fighter pilots ever”. My vote is Robin Olds along with Jabby Jabara, Richard Bong, Don Gentile, Gunther Rall and others. Brilliant thinker yes, Fervent Advocate, absolutely.

    Cheers
     
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  39. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We'll know whether the F35 is any good after the 2023 war with China is over.
     
  40. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    They copied the F22, so...