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USAF realises F-35 is not what they set out to make

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Kubra
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Postby Kubra » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:19 am

Let's not beat around the bush: the A-10 is probably cheaper compared to procuring a whole new fleet of budget CAS aircraft for its roles (at least it was the case a few years back) and *clearly* cheaper than foisting its roles onto the F-35.
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Austria-Bohemia-Hungary
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:22 am

Kubra wrote:Let's not beat around the bush: the A-10 is probably cheaper compared to procuring a whole new fleet of budget CAS aircraft for its roles (at least it was the case a few years back) and *clearly* cheaper than foisting its roles onto the F-35.

It's also a glorified AGM-65 carrier. And these days a glorified SDB carrier.

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Postby The New California Republic » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:23 am

Vassenor wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:Context matters: the A-10s flew 8,100 sorties. 6 losses for 8,100 sorties. So the chance of an A-10 being lost on a sortie was 0.07%. I dunno about you, but I'd call that extremely low...


And the F-16C flew 13,500 sorties for 2 losses. 0.014% loss rate.

Because the roles they played were entirely different, that accounts for the discrepancy, as shown by the fact that 90% of the AGM-65s were fired by A-10s. The A-10's role of hunting enemy armour naturally put it at greater risk from IR SAM systems in comparison to the F-16, the latter in its role could fly at altitudes out of their reach.

But again it's still an extremely low loss rate.
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Postby Unstoppable Empire of Doom » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:24 am

I am one of those strange folk who obsess over military hardware/procurement etcetera. I have a -lot- to say on this topic. Unfortunately I am currently at work, so I will sum it up in the following.

The US desperately needs to reform its military. Pentagon spending in particular. I know this from first hand experience working as a contractor on government jobs. $$$
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Kubra
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Postby Kubra » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:24 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Kubra wrote:Let's not beat around the bush: the A-10 is probably cheaper compared to procuring a whole new fleet of budget CAS aircraft for its roles (at least it was the case a few years back) and *clearly* cheaper than foisting its roles onto the F-35.

It's also a glorified AGM-65 carrier. And these days a glorified SDB carrier.
And I mean let's be real if the question comes up of "what more does it need to be" the answer is simply "even cheaper".
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:25 am

Kubra wrote:
Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:It's also a glorified AGM-65 carrier. And these days a glorified SDB carrier.
And I mean let's be real if the question comes up of "what more does it need to be" the answer is simply "even cheaper".

Yes. You could replace the entire fleet with MQ-9's with 4x9 SDB II's and call it a day. The British have it in 3x9 Brimstone 2's already.
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Postby Philjia » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:28 am

The A-10 is probably at the end of it's operational life and the army could do with a more modern ground attack solution. The real question, as with every other application the F-35 is earmarked for, is whether it's an appropriate, cost effective replacement. A lot of the aircraft the F-35 is meant to replace are much cheaper than it. The A-10 Thunderbolt and F-16 Fighting Falcon are obvious examples, but it's also a costlier replacement for the F/A-18 Hornet, and the F-14 Tomcat. Even if it can outperform all those aircraft, there is a question of whether it can outperform as many of those aircraft you could buy for the same price.
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Postby Polish Prussian Commonwealth » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:34 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Qhevak wrote:The A-10 is worthless for actual combat situations. It's slow moving SAM bait in any serious combat environment and the GAU-8 is dead weight against modern MBTs.

In all the combat missions that it has been involved in over the course of the past 30 years the A-10 losses to SAM systems have been extremely low.

And the GAU-8 would still be effective at getting a kill on an MBT if it hits the tracks or engine deck, or damaging/destroying combat-necessary features such as vision blocks or sensors. And it'd still be highly effective against other AFVs and support vehicles. If it was up against an MBT it would usually rely on the AGM-65 anyway.

Yeah, against nations with basically no SAMs.
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Postby Risottia » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:35 am

-Ocelot- wrote:Can you elaborate on why you think this aircraft unit is bad? What should the DoD have done, instead?


Basically, it must be a jack-of-all-trades, but really can't.
I think its main problems are:
single engine which isn't optimised for supercruise
extremely complex vertical lift system (engine plus vertical lift) featuring FUEL as actuator fluid
external hardpoints for a craft whose key selling point is ultra-low signature
short combat range on internal fuel, extremely short if short take-off

I think the best option for the whole US-and-allies customers would have been putting THREE different planes in production:
-a dedicated twin-engine, supercruising low-observability fighterbomber (basically a successor to F-111 and Tornado IDS, and potentially to Mirage too) with internal hardpoints ONLY
-a rugged twin-engine subsonic or transonic fighterbomber with high loiter time for close-air support with secondary roles as tactical CAP
-a twin-engine STOVL multirole dedicated to carrier service, focusing on standoff air-air and air-ground weaponry

They could have shared some parts and characteristic but their design should have stayed different.

Anyway it's too late now, and the F-35 partners must use it anyway.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:35 am

Philjia wrote:very expensive variants.

The Russians also discovered this with the Armata programme. Making different variants of your basic version to suit different operational needs is bloody expensive and you end up with a thing pretending to have parts commonality. So expensive in fact it would've been better designing a whole new BMP (Kurganets-25).
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Postby Kubra » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:39 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Kubra wrote: And I mean let's be real if the question comes up of "what more does it need to be" the answer is simply "even cheaper".

Yes. You could replace the entire fleet with MQ-9's with 4x9 SDB II's and call it a day. The British have it in 3x9 Brimstone 2's already.
The problem, again, a matter of the balance sheet. The A-10's are already paid up, it's just a matter of operating costs. You don't have to pay for entirely new ones and, even more importantly, data infrastructure in places that really lack it, which is of course where they end up having to be deployed. Meanwhile, paper wars with China and Russia have made the DOD a bit shy on pursuing this line of thinking in favour of, well, the F-35.
Certainly drones (not necessarily the MQ-9) will eventually phase out budget-conscious manned aircraft for air forces in developed nations (most certainly the A-10), but you can see why the process has not been an immediate one, to say the least.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:41 am

Kubra wrote:
Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:Yes. You could replace the entire fleet with MQ-9's with 4x9 SDB II's and call it a day. The British have it in 3x9 Brimstone 2's already.
The problem, again, a matter of the balance sheet. The A-10's are already paid up, it's just a matter of operating costs. You don't have to pay for entirely new ones and, even more importantly, data infrastructure in places that really lack it, which is of course where they end up having to be deployed.

In the role of a glorified SDB carrier with a 2 ton deadweight yes.
Meanwhile coming out of the Syrian war long loiter time drones have been surprisingly effective vs the sort of SHORADS things A-10's are deathly afraid of.
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Postby Cerata » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:42 am

Risottia wrote:
Philjia wrote:The USAF's chief of staff has floated the idea of developing a new lightweight low-cost fighter to replace the air force's aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons, and complement their higher end F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs.

This is all well and good, but there was a project years ago that was supposed to deliver this kind of aircraft. It was called the Joint Strike Fighter program, and was intended to deliver an affordable plane that could cover the needs of not just the air force, but the army and navy too. Twenty years and about $1.5 trillion later, what they've actually produced is the F-35 Lightning II, which is actually three different and very expensive variants. The F-35 is not a failure as far as the performance of the aircraft itself is concerned; each variant does serve some need for the branch that will use it. What it is a failure of is management, as the project has run over time, over budget, and well outside the original brief. The question is, now the air force has to start from scratch, will they learn their lesson?


The F-35 is a botched aircraft because it was meant to be a compromise solution to way too many requirements. It is an over-engineered craft which cannot really excel at any of its intended tasks, it is merely good at most of them. It was completed because of the lack of alternative solutions and because too many nations had already spent way too much money on it. Really, you cannot expect a single aircraft, albeit in three different variants, to cover the whole range of operational tasks of F-16, F/A-18, Harrier, Tornado, A-10, A-6, F-14, EF-4, EA-18, F-111, F-117, AMX.

Now I expect the geniuses at the DoD to do exactly the same thing with the next fighter, because that's how they love to waste taxpayer's money for the benefit of Lockheed and Boeing.

TBH, during the Cold War, the Russians did it better. Cheap, no more than a few million per airframe, fast, like the MIG-25, manueverable and feared, like the MIG-21, everything is better.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:43 am

Cerata wrote:
Risottia wrote:
The F-35 is a botched aircraft because it was meant to be a compromise solution to way too many requirements. It is an over-engineered craft which cannot really excel at any of its intended tasks, it is merely good at most of them. It was completed because of the lack of alternative solutions and because too many nations had already spent way too much money on it. Really, you cannot expect a single aircraft, albeit in three different variants, to cover the whole range of operational tasks of F-16, F/A-18, Harrier, Tornado, A-10, A-6, F-14, EF-4, EA-18, F-111, F-117, AMX.

Now I expect the geniuses at the DoD to do exactly the same thing with the next fighter, because that's how they love to waste taxpayer's money for the benefit of Lockheed and Boeing.

TBH, during the Cold War, the Russians did it better. Cheap, no more than a few million per airframe, fast, like the MIG-25, manueverable and feared, like the MIG-21, everything is better.

MiG-25 has a turning circle measured in Texas's at mach 2.5, its operational max speed.

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Postby Kubra » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:44 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Kubra wrote: The problem, again, a matter of the balance sheet. The A-10's are already paid up, it's just a matter of operating costs. You don't have to pay for entirely new ones and, even more importantly, data infrastructure in places that really lack it, which is of course where they end up having to be deployed.

In the role of a glorified SDB carrier with a 2 ton deadweight yes.
Yes, exactly. And? Is there a problem here?
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Postby Vassenor » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:44 am

Kubra wrote:Let's not beat around the bush: the A-10 is probably cheaper compared to procuring a whole new fleet of budget CAS aircraft for its roles (at least it was the case a few years back) and *clearly* cheaper than foisting its roles onto the F-35.


And what is the cost for replacing the A-10 with a fleet of turboprop missile trucks like the A-29 vs the cost of keeping the A-10s flying as their airframes reach life expiry?
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:44 am

Kubra wrote:
Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:In the role of a glorified SDB carrier with a 2 ton deadweight yes.
Yes, exactly. And? Is there a problem here?

The 2 ton deadweight and the pilot on the plane, and the obsolete ECM systems.

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Postby The New California Republic » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:48 am

Polish Prussian Commonwealth wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:In all the combat missions that it has been involved in over the course of the past 30 years the A-10 losses to SAM systems have been extremely low.

And the GAU-8 would still be effective at getting a kill on an MBT if it hits the tracks or engine deck, or damaging/destroying combat-necessary features such as vision blocks or sensors. And it'd still be highly effective against other AFVs and support vehicles. If it was up against an MBT it would usually rely on the AGM-65 anyway.

Yeah, against nations with basically no SAMs.

No not really.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:48 am

Vassenor wrote:turboprop missile trucks like the A-29

That's nonsense. A fleet of drones:
A: Takes the manned portion out of the equation.
B: Carries far more potent PGM's.
C: Has a modern ECM system.
D: Flies at 30,000 feet.
None of which a Brazilian turboprop could do.
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Postby Polish Prussian Commonwealth » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:50 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Polish Prussian Commonwealth wrote:Yeah, against nations with basically no SAMs.

No not really.

i really don't think iraq or yugoslavia are shining examples of peak air-defense networks as seen in peer to peer conflicts.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:52 am

Polish Prussian Commonwealth wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:No not really.

i really don't think iraq or yugoslavia are shining examples of peak air-defense networks as seen in peer to peer conflicts.

A-10's problem is rlly the manned thing and the ECM dating from 1980's thing. And the no defence vs MANPADS thing.
Basically you're putting a man in the plane flying at stupidly low altitudes where he can be shot at by everybody, yet not providing him with the means to defend himself.
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Postby Kubra » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:57 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Kubra wrote: Yes, exactly. And? Is there a problem here?

The 2 ton deadweight and the pilot on the plane, and the obsolete ECM systems.
Yes. And? Is that a problem? I mean, it's cheaper, isn't it?
I suppose what this question really comes down to is: what war are you fighting in your head?
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Postby The Federal Government of Iowa » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:57 am

Yeah, the F-35 is trying to be too many things at once. The USAF should really just focus on its 6th Gen fighter which they've been playing with for a while. The F-22 is sufficient for air superiority roles right now, and the F16/18 and the A-10 are all still great for ground pounding. But seriously, next-gen or new A-10 equivalent when?? We need a new one! omg how about a stealth A-10? I would cry tears of joy XD
All things aside, I think we should give the Pentagon a little bit of a break. This is their first attempt at a VTOL aircraft of this sort, and there's a learning curve for sure.
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Postby Polish Prussian Commonwealth » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:58 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Polish Prussian Commonwealth wrote:i really don't think iraq or yugoslavia are shining examples of peak air-defense networks as seen in peer to peer conflicts.

A-10's problem is rlly the manned thing and the ECM dating from 1980's thing. And the no defence vs MANPADS thing.
Basically you're putting a man in the plane flying at stupidly low altitudes where he can be shot at by everybody, yet not providing him with the means to defend himself.

imho worst of all is the fact that it looks ugly.


Kubra wrote:
Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:The 2 ton deadweight and the pilot on the plane, and the obsolete ECM systems.
Yes. And? Is that a problem? I mean, it's cheaper, isn't it?

The pilot ain't.
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My canon is currently in a state of constant flux. Please do not take anything that I say as set in stone.
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A traumatized MT-PMT constitutional monarchy consisting of a personal union of Prussia and Poland. A land of rampant gun ownership, Cold-war equipment, rabid hatred of Germans, militias with enough artillery to turn an armored division into a badly-shaken battalion of light infantry, and terrified American troops counting down the days until they rotate back home.

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Postby Polish Prussian Commonwealth » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:58 am

The Federal Government of Iowa wrote:Yeah, the F-35 is trying to be too many things at once. The USAF should really just focus on its 6th Gen fighter which they've been playing with for a while. The F-22 is sufficient for air superiority roles right now, and the F16/18 and the A-10 are all still great for ground pounding. But seriously, next-gen or new A-10 equivalent when?? We need a new one! omg how about a stealth A-10? I would cry tears of joy XD
All things aside, I think we should give the Pentagon a little bit of a break. This is their first attempt at a VTOL aircraft of this sort, and there's a learning curve for sure.

new technology is expensive. in other news, water is wet.
"Furthermore, I submit that Carthage NSG must be destroyed."
-Marcus Porcius Cato
My canon is currently in a state of constant flux. Please do not take anything that I say as set in stone.
A 13 civilization, according to this index.
A traumatized MT-PMT constitutional monarchy consisting of a personal union of Prussia and Poland. A land of rampant gun ownership, Cold-war equipment, rabid hatred of Germans, militias with enough artillery to turn an armored division into a badly-shaken battalion of light infantry, and terrified American troops counting down the days until they rotate back home.

Artsahk is Armenian.



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