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. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Would you happen to know if the "40 second Boyd" term described in the biography was justified? The author states that nobody ever beat Boyd air-to-air.

    Thanks,
    Martin
     
  2. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And they probably downloaded the software that makes up 1/2 of the the F35 through a backdoor engineered in by their assets in the F35 supply chain.
     
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  3. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Naw, they wouldn’t do that....
     
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  4. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    So much I could say about the schism between the 4th gen and 5th gen fighter pilot production paradigm, but I'll keep my rant succinct.

    BL, this is a question of: Have [proverbial] F-16 guys morted hulls ad nauseam? Yes.... They just haven't done so by airlinesque speed-hold, fly-by-voice-command, automation-atrophied-crosscheck, children-of-the-magenta like the F-35/F-22 has.

    A distinction without difference? That's what this whole thing is about for those close to the fire/paying attention. To the proponents of the 5th gen paradigm the answer to that is: "Yes". To people like me the answer is: "No. There are larger, underestimated costs embedded in the latter's failure mode". You can teach the 5th gen doo dads to a 4th gen guy, but you can't teach mental SA building and relation-to-the-bandit hand-dexterity to the guy who doesn't even fly in visual relation to his own flight lead by doctrinal default.

    Jury is still out as to is right on that assessment. What is moot is that regardless of the answer, big Blue will continue on the current path. And I mean that very pointedly, as we today send 6 of our birds to honor one of my fallen students of just six months ago, at Columbus AFB. So WTFDIK.... Digressing.


    Boyd's combat service is unremarkable for his time, he never saw action of consequence. His accolade is a term of endearment for his ability to translate these energy concepts into the early formulations of BFM analysis, but his personal dexterity in the air was never extraordinary by his peer's standard. No doubt was a smart and intuitive high-achiever in weapons school, which is permanently cemented in the academic legacy we were fortunate to inherit from him. But he was no ace, the compliment/accolade was proverbial, never literal.
     
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  5. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Yeah, but they made it from Chinesium. I've seen how that works for Harbor Freight Tools.
     
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  6. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    'Cause that's what Boyd told people. Do you know any fighter pilots who say "Yeah, I got my ass kicked routinely."
     
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  7. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Yes. He was a decorated combat veteran. One of the best pilots I’ve ever shared a cockpit with to date. Humble beyond measure when it wasn’t all that necessary. I learned a lot from him.
     
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  8. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    No idea. As I said, brilliant thinker but limited combat experience.

    Cheers
     
  9. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    These issues begin as soon as the letter “J” is affixed to a development program.

    The needs of each service are too different for joint programs to be affordable. It’s like trying to design an amphibious, off-road 4wd formula 1 car that can haul freight.
     
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  10. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Nauga or someone like that would know, but what makes an AESA updated F-16 with plug and play avionics uncompetitive in a numbers fight? Do they need to rework the airframe to reduce RCS? I know they did that with the Super Hornet. Other than that, I don't see what you gain by a clean sheet design over the F-16.

    Our challenge is that neither the USAF or USN want to send "American boys and girls" into combat in equipment that isn't the best. Nobody wants to be on the hot seat in front of congress when they ask "So if you'd asked for the spiffy fighter, not the bargain bin one, how many more pilots would be alive today?"

    Which is why we get scope and mission creep that turns a supposedly inexpensive, stealthy aircraft into a packed to the gills with the latest technology high cost type that's bordering on unaffordable.

    Me? If we don't do "upgraded F-16", I'd build a stealthy shape that has optional low observable features like magic coatings and the like. Let the shape reduce the signature and only apply the magic stuff when the situation warrants. Make it a long range missile/bomb platform designed for speed and range, rather than dogfighting. Big fuel fraction and internal weapons storage. Fast in, fast out, shoot and scoot.

    But what do I know?
     
  11. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    One motor. Same problem the F-35 has.
     
  12. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    I haven’t read Boyd’s bio, but wonder what your take is on him compared to Kenney?
     
  13. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Because it’s the government and the defense industrial complex.
     
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  14. kep5niner

    kep5niner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Surprised nobody’s mentioned Pentagon Wars...

    One of my Majors on this last tour suggested it to me. I was sure to thank him after I watched it!
     
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  15. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Jet engines are extremely reliable. I don't see the problem with one engine for a fighter with a single crewman/woman. The old Russkie saying - "Better is the enemy of good enough" comes to mind. If we add everything we want, we're right back to something unaffordable.
     
  16. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, no. I'm retired Army. Most of the 2 and 3 stars making decisions were classmates of mine at West Point. This is not the ground forces mindset at all.

    We care about loiter time, payload, accuracy, all weather capability, and resilience to ground fire. We don't give a damn how the truck driver delivering the bomb thinks. In fact, we would prefer that he not think. We would prefer that he puts the bomb, or the gun rounds, exactly where we tell him. If we can take the pilot's brain out of the loop and take direct control of the process by uploading POI coordinates to a JDAM or painting the target, we'll take that.

    Grunts do love the hawg, but the AC-130 is the greatest CAS platform ever, hands down. That thing is literally like having God on your side. Lightning bolts from the sky smiting thine enemies.
     
  17. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For the same reason that a horse designed by committee looks like a camel.
     
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  18. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    I love that movie! One of the all time greatest.

    "You want me to put a sign on the side in 47 languages "I am a troop carrier, not a tank. Please don't shoot at me?""
    "You don't have to buy the d*** thing. Just draw it."
     
  19. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    Condolences and Godspeed to your student pilot. I've launched out F-15s more than once to take part in Missing Man Formations. It's truly a somber occasion.
     
  20. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    5 F18’s were hit with surface to air missiles in the first gulf war. All 5 made it back safely and the airframes were fixed and back flying in days. Every F16 and AV8 hit by missiles were lost and several pilots killed. The F16 motto after the war, “It takes a licking and it takes a licking” as well as my personal favorite “These boots are made for walking”! The Marines essentially pulled the Harriers out of the high threat zones with altitude and other restrictions. Imagine how ugly things could have been with a enemy that had better training and weapons.
     
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  21. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    The tried and true approach is to build a fighter, then figure out how to hang bombs off of it. Don't design every feature in from day 1.
    No doubt. But adding a second engine adds how much capability to the aircraft at what cost? Again (at least IMO), it takes you back towards something unaffordable.
     
  22. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Yes, and we will win the war with strategic bombing.
     
  23. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Pattern Altitude

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    This one is pretty good in that respect too. I've maybe told the story before, but I had an F-35C on my wing one time coming back to the boat that had sucked the better part (or parts) of a refueling basket down the intake(s). Nobody realized this at the time, motor didn't even cough, and I guess the pilot thought the parts went over the wings/fuselage or whatever. It was a wingman of opportunity that joined up with us in the case 1 stack so nobody in my flight/formation had been present for the incident, nor was I aware it had happened. Long story short, their maintenance noticed that in fact a whole lot of damage had occurred when they inspected the intake ducts during a routine post-flight turnaround inspection. You can google how much a new F135 costs. But at the end of the day, it made it back without so much as a burp or indication that anything was wrong.
     
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  24. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Sounds like management material.
     
  25. Domenick

    Domenick Line Up and Wait

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    Too late. We're doing that NOW on a grander scale--1.9 trillion to be exact, following on the heels of last year's trillions.
     
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  26. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I disagree. We send missiles from well outside the combat zone and hit enemies with firepower few, if any, other countries can obtain. War is not about making it a fair fight, or having as much at stake as the other side. I'm not for sending autonomous robots/drones in to make the killing decisions. However, unmanned drones flown by US personnel (if effective)? Absolutely. I'm fine with eradicating the enemy without having a single soldier in harms way if it were possible. Now, I will also add the caveat that I abhor war and the military industrial complex. I dislike the US getting into any engagement that doesn't directly impact our soil/citizens safety. I don't like the US maintaining military bases in dozens of foreign countries and sending ships/subs all over the world 24/7. So, if we weren't intervening in other countries' affairs, we wouldn't be likely to use unmanned drones to do the dirty work.
     
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  27. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Its kind of a self fulfilling prophecy. The more we meddle in others affairs, the more animosity against us grows, which triggers the need to meddle even more. I think every nation that has attempted to be a global empire has learned that lesson at some point.
     
  28. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What some call "meddling" others might call support.

    oh how nice it would be if countries didn't invade/attack other countries. Until then...
     
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  29. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I know nothing about modern military tactics and dog fighting. My uneducated opinion though is not seeing much value in thrust vectoring. Sure for VTOL capabilities I get it but with today’s technology will we ever get into a turning fight again? The airshow performance is fun to watch but I can only imagine in combat they would become a Mach 2 sitting duck. I realize the cost of complacency is falling behind the curve of military weapons but I also think an F15 with modern avionics and targeting would be just as effective as the F35.
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I fully agree except for your statement on foreign bases/ ships. We keep bases in foreign countries not to just protect our interests in the area. If war to break out that threatens the US, we would have the strategic advantage by having assets near the threat. The bases that have been used for staging grounds into Iraq or Afghanistan, could easily be used to counter an offensive threat to the US. Also, we have to have personnel, planes, ships, etc operating around the globe for training with allies. That partnership just can’t exist on paper and be effective. You have multinational training events so when the balloon does go up, they’ll integrate seamlessly.

    But yeah, the MIC has made a mess of the DoD. I never felt guilty about my role in the military but there’s no denying that the MIC has tarnished the reputation of the DoD. The Pentagon Wars movie reference is valid, but I’d also encourage all to read the book and see what real fraud waste and abuse is in the DoD.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  31. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    The problem lies in choosing sides and trying to pick the winners and losers in a fight that doesn't affect us.
     
  32. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    wrt dog fighting, look at the history of the F-4 Phantom II and loses in vietnam.
     
  33. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    We didn't learn our lesson after 9/11. Maybe we will after the next one, but probably not.
     
  34. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    The F-4 didn't have guns until later versions after realizing their mistake. Pretty sure the F-15 and F-18 have guns still.
     
  35. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    My main problem is with the foreign bases in places in Germany, Japan, etc. where those locations already have their own military/air force contingent. It doesn't mean the US can't utilize military bases in allied countries, but we shouldn't be funding/occupying them 24/7. If war breaks out, those countries can sustain any initial battles until we able to send support in accordance with whatever treaty/alliance we have in place. Sure, having a base near areas where expected conflicts can arise is great for response time, but it's a huge outlay of financial/capital resources that the American taxpayer has to bear. Same goes with endlessly patrolling the world's oceans. I am all for joint training exercises and such, but we don't run them full-time yet we are in the South China Sea acting like the Coast Guard. I don't believe the US (and it's military) are responsible for being the World Police. If we can't depend on our strategic allies to prevent/respond to a threat against the US until we mount a response, what is the purpose of the alliance?

    We also seem to be very choosy about which enemy invasions we decide to react to. Syria or Iran? Light 'em up and send troops. Genocide in Sudan/Mali/Nigeria? Eh, let the UN sort it out if they want. We (the US) aren't exactly altruistic in our intentions.
     
  36. Tarheelpilot

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    Autonomous is where I was drawing the line. There needs to be a human beings finger on the trigger.
    I reread my post and I realize that wasn’t clear in what I wrote.
     
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  37. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    The new F-15EX is an updated version of the F-15. It’s also more expensive than the F-35. And we are buying them.

    They are completely different tools though, and should not be compared to one another. They are not comparable.

    https://www.military.com/equipment/...ou-need-know-about-air-forces-new-f-15ex.html
     
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  38. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    [​IMG]

    Ok, in all seriousness, I appreciate your service. So, this is only intended to be light hearted joke, and not an insult. So, I hope it comes off that way.
     
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  39. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think the U.S. was the last of the original partner countries to accept that it failed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II_Canadian_procurement

    From what I've read, the problem was trying to design a plane that would satisfy every branch of the military, where the requirements were contradictory, so they ended up with something like the car Homer Simpson designed for Detroit.

    [​IMG]
     
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  40. Hangontight

    Hangontight Filing Flight Plan

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    Beware the military-industrial complex.
     
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