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mcantu
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Posted: 5/9/2009 7:19:11 AM EST
(Source: Center for Defense Information; published May 4, 2009)



by Pierre M. Sprey and Winslow T. Wheeler


On April 6, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced a number of decisions on major weapons programmes in the Pentagon’s next budget.

Hyperventilating, the New York Times termed the decisions a “sweeping overhaul” of the Pentagon. Indeed, Gates’ decision to cut off F-22 fighter production at 187 fighters is an essential step in any real reform plan.

However, his complementary decision to rely on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to modernise US Air Force (USAF) undoes everything constructive that he accomplished – more so than he might ever imagine.

Quite justifiably, Gates said the decision to stop F-22 production was not even a “close call”.

At more than USD65 billion to procure the puny number being built, none of them used or useful in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the F-22 contributes mightily to the problem of the air force’s shrinking and aging aircraft inventory – at greatly increased cost. The F-22 is also a huge disappointment as a fighter – a likely failure in any hypothesized future air war against an enemy with a competent air force – unlikely as such an enemy seems in today’s world.

The F-22 embodies a series of classic Pentagon procurement mistakes that should never be repeated.

First, discarding the highly successful reform introduced by the F-16 and A-10 programmes, there was no competitive “fly before you buy”. That is, there was no production-representative, combat-capable prototype, no competitive dog-fighting between the candidates, and certainly no realistic estimate of cost and its effect on force size before the decision to go into production.

Instead, we got pseudo-prototypes that wags in the Pentagon called “a paint job the shape of an F-22”. With these two non-prototypes, the Department of Defense (DoD) also failed to have a combat fly-off, failed to explore the F-22’s main features such as the engines and combat-critical avionics, and failed to test the vaunted “stealth” in-flight against actual enemy radars.

Instead, the DoD sidelined the two non-prototypes and then pursued an unbelievably long and costly development programme of what constituted a whole new, untested aircraft. Foolishly, though predictably, the DoD committed to production long before flight testing was anywhere near complete – ultimately in the face of major test problems explicitly pointed out by its own Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.

Solving all the problems added huge costs, delays, and performance compromises. A programme sold in 1991 on the basis of a fleet of 648 fighters for the extremely expensive price of USD149 million apiece ended up today as a token force of only 187 aircraft costing an appalling USD350 million each. The unit cost ballooned by 135 per cent; the inevitable result was that the DoD shrank the force by a factor of more than three.

Second, rejecting the combat effectiveness-based approach used on the F-16, the F-22 designers rested on the dream of radar-based, beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air combat. It was the same technological wishful thinking used in the1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s, when the USAF spent billions of dollars trying and failing to develop effective radars, friend or foe identification systems, and radar-guided missiles to realise the BVR dream of killing enemies in the air at very long distances.

From 1983 to today, the air force is trying yet again with the F-22, this time with the hugely expensive and performance-degrading addition of stealth. The fundamental technological problems remained, however.

As with all previous radar-dependent fighters, the F-22’s big radar and avionics (and stealth) added major weight, drag, and complexity – thereby severely degrading combat essential characteristics, such as maneuvering agility and sortie rate. Worse, stealth fails to eliminate the Achilles heel of the wishfully named "low probability of intercept" radar and, indeed, all active radar BVR combat: alerting the enemy way beyond effective radar range, solving his friend or foe identification problem with a unique signal, and giving him a perfect beacon to guide his radar-homing missiles (a technology the Russians have specialised in for decades).

It is near delusional to ignore that all our stealth aircraft since the SR-71 have been routinely detected by ordinary ground radars around the world – and it is completely delusional to think that potential enemies and even friends have not figured out how to detect the spread spectrum signature of the F-22’s very powerful radar signal.

Also, has everyone forgotten that we lost two stealth F-117s to the radar defenses of the technologically rudimentary Serbs in 1999? It is the worst form of foolishness that the USAF fails to routinely fly and train in scenarios where the ‘red’ force exploits the F-22's vulnerabilities.

Instead, the air force stages what amount to (self-deluding) publicity exercises based on ground rules that cripple the forces replicating the enemy, denying them the effective technology and countermeasures that a real enemy surely will have. To compound the error, the air force also assumes “probabilities of kill” for the F-22’s missiles that are demonstrably way beyond any actual combat experience.

All of this, and almost certainly worse, is true for the F-35.

Sold as "affordable" by its advocates, the Joint Strike Fighter was actually designed as anything but. Its price has been climbing ever since.

In 2001, the Pentagon planned a total of 2,866 aircraft for USD226.5 billion. That meant a pricey USD79 million per copy – one of America’s most expensive fighters ever, except, of course, for the F-22. Subsequently, the Pentagon plan was altered to reduce the buy to 2,456 (14 per cent less) for a 32 per cent increase in cost, to USD298.8 billion.

At USD122 million each, it is hardly “affordable”. Moreover, that not particularly affordable number is sure to increase. In fact, it already has. Late last year, the Pentagon accepted a new cost estimate for the 30 aircraft to be bought in 2010. Originally projected to cost USD10.4 billion, Secretary Gates told us on 6 April they will cost USD11.2 billion, or on average an appalling USD373 million each.

That unit cost will decline somewhat as the buy increases, but it is entirely possible that it will end up at about USD200 million. Current in-house DoD cost re-estimates already predict USD7 billion more in cost growth between 2011 and 2015 for problems already identified, and there is surely more to come.

So much more cost growth is easily predictable because the F-35 programme managers failed to learn any of the lessons of the botched F-22 programme.

Instead of embracing “fly before you buy”, they are rushing headlong into their plan to produce up to 513 aircraft with only two per cent of flight testing complete now. In that handful of test hours, the programme has already discovered significant problems in the avionics and engine that now must be fixed.

Even more astounding, the programme plans to verify only 17 per cent of the aircraft’s characteristics with flight testing, according to the Government Accountability Office and Pentagon insiders. The rest will be verified by computer simulations, test beds, and desk studies. Desk studies?

It gets even worse. For survival against enemies in the air, the F-35 will depend on the same technological dream of BVR combat. It has to – as a close-in dogfighter, it is a disaster.

If one accepts all the design and performance promises currently made, the F-35 will be overweight and underpowered. At 49,500 pounds air-to-air take-off weight and 42,000 pounds of engine thrust, it will be a significant step backward in thrust-to-weight ratio for a new fighter. With only 460 square feet of wing area, wing loading will be a whopping 108 pounds per square foot. That makes the F-35 even less maneuverable than the appalling F-105 “Lead Sled” that got wiped out over North Vietnam.

With a payload of only two 2,000 pound bombs in its bomb bay – much less than the F-105 could carry – the F-35 is hardly a first-class bomber either.

As a close air fighter to support US troops engaged in combat on the ground, the F-35 is hopeless. Too fast to find targets and to separate out friendlies from the enemy on its own, too delicate to withstand ground fire, and too fuel-thirsty to loiter over US forces for sustained periods, it is a giant step backward from the current A-10.

Pentagon statements confirm awareness of some F-35 problems, but the proposed actions are only cosmetic – putting lipstick on the pig, as it were.

For example, Marine Corps General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the press on 7 April that the programme is accelerating the test plans and increasing the number of test assets. This statement is a complete mystery to Pentagon insiders who report there has been no change to the woefully inadequate test plan, as written in the 2010 budget. As a matter of fact, sources report to us the consideration in Lockheed Martin of reducing the already inadequate number of test aircraft even further in order to save money.

More to the point, there is no change in the current plan – inane as it is – to procure more than 500 aircraft before completion of the flight test programme, the one that tests only 17 per cent of the F-35’s performance characteristics.

The final irony is how the Pentagon thinks it can perform those “desk studies” that will pretend to verify F-35 performance, in lieu of flight testing.

Just before Secretary Gates announced his recent decisions, the Senate Armed Services Committee considered and “marked up” S. 454, the “Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009” introduced by Senators Carl Levin, D-MI, and John McCain, R-AZ.

Riddled with loopholes, the draft bill did, however, have one uncompromised provision; it barred contractors from participating in DoD assessments of their own weapon programmes. Sadly, the Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment to the bill, supported by the Pentagon, which permits contractors to do precisely what the original provision prohibited: letting contractors write their own report card. We can now expect to be informed by the Pentagon in the future that the F-35 has passed all its tests – on Lockheed Martin stationery.

Before 7 December 1941, the US Navy oozed confidence that its battleships were secure in Pearl Harbor, arguing that the Japanese were too backward technically to develop a torpedo that could operate in the shallows of the harbor.

Accordingly, the navy deployed no torpedo nets. The rest is history. With our fatally flawed F-35 (and F-22), we are setting ourselves up for a Pearl Harbor in the air against any enemy that cares to exploit our obvious and real, but ignored, vulnerabilities.

With his announcements on April 6, Secretary Gates stated his intent to “profoundly reform how this department [the Pentagon] does business”. He clearly understands the need to change. Unfortunately, it appears he is also ill-served by advisers assuring him that the F-35 is not a road to still more ruin.



Pierre M. Sprey, together with Cols. John Boyd and Everest Riccioni, brought to fruition the F-16; he also led the design team for the A-10 and helped implement the programme. Winslow T. Wheeler is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington.



Lockheed Martin responds:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This response was obtained and published by Jane’s Defence Weekly, which also ran the Sprey-Wheeler article.)

“The world’s best air forces choose the world’s best aircraft”

It is unfortunate that there are so many misrepresentations and distortions of fact presented in the opinion piece offered by Mr Wheeler and Mr Sprey.

The simple facts are as follows:
–– The F-35 will be the most lethal and survivable multirole fighter in history;
–– The F-35 is meeting or exceeding every single one of the Key Performance Parameters that the services have mandated;
–– The F-35’s capabilities are being validated in our laboratories, and in our ground- and flight-test programme today;
–– The F-35’s procurement costs to date are meeting programme cost objectives, and are on track to meet our customers’ unit flyaway cost targets; and
–– The F-35 programme is on schedule to deliver the first production-model aircraft next year.

We are also very pleased to see that many of the world’s most elite air forces – including the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps, and the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy – do not agree with the opinions of Mr Wheeler and Mr Sprey, and that recent endorsements of the F-35 programme both in the US and abroad underscore those convictions.

We are most proud of the fact that the F-35 is the system of choice for all participating nations to protect the freedoms that enable those with differing opinions to speak out.

(signed)
Stephen F O’Bryan,
Vice President of Business Development and Customer Engagement,
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Program
Rogue-Sasquatch
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Posted: 5/9/2009 7:32:48 AM EST
This guy is right about the procurement idiocy, and dead wrong about those aircraft's capabilities.

Calling the F-22 a performance disaster is about as close to the truth as calling Gunny Hathcock a lousy shot.


Personally, I would de-fund a portion of our land-based ICBM force (starting with the largest warheads) to expand the F-22 fleet, but that's just me.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 7:35:35 AM EST
Maybe my memory is weak, but I can't remember any weapon system that CDI endorsed. Growing up I remember hearing the debate over Reagan's massive defense buildup rage on, and I think it was "the Washington-based Center For Defense Information" that was quoted constantly by opponents of a strong defense on the news. If CDI is who I think it is, their opinions don't mean jack shit except to those who promote unilateral disarmament (conventional or nuclear).

They can piss off.
SWIRE
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Posted: 5/9/2009 7:39:31 AM EST
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.
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mcantu
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Posted: 5/9/2009 7:45:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.


i think what they're saying is that during the F-16 and A-10 competitions they had combat ready prototypes to fly against each other (YF-16 vs YF-17 and YA-9 vs YA-10) and that this led to better results than what is being done with the F-22/F-35
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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:14:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2009 8:15:45 AM EST by chrism101]
I think the reform should be in the Bidding process, If we ask for 1500 aircraft at $100 million each then it should be set in stone on BOTH SIDES.

There should be money allocated and paid for up front and the Companies producing should meet production goals or face penalties.

Both sides are stupid at this point and deserve what they get. The unfortunate end result is that we will be lacking a huge portion of our defense in the end.

But Who is to say at this point if we keep placing asshole socialists in our leadership, losing our country to a USSR or CHICOM threat in the future is a Bad thing.
We are already well on our way to becoming just like those people on our own.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:18:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By mcantu:
Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.


i think what they're saying is that during the F-16 and A-10 competitions they had combat ready prototypes to fly against each other (YF-16 vs YF-17 and YA-9 vs YA-10) and that this led to better results than what is being done with the F-22/F-35


I thing just about everyone who doesn't stand to get rich from the current system agrees that those were model procurement programs.

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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:20:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By chrism101:
I think the reform should be in the Bidding process, If we ask for 1500 aircraft at $100 million each then it should be set in stone on BOTH SIDES.

There should be money allocated and paid for up front and the Companies producing should meet production goals or face penalties.

Both sides are stupid at this point and deserve what they get. The unfortunate end result is that we will be lacking a huge portion of our defense in the end.

But Who is to say at this point if we keep placing asshole socialists in our leadership, losing our country to a USSR or CHICOM threat in the future is a Bad thing.
We are already well on our way to becoming just like those people on our own.


I would worry that when production costs escalate, which could happen for reasons completely unpredictable to either party, the company would have to start choosing where to cut corners to meet cost targets.

It could be the worst possible case of "lowest bidder syndrome".
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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:28:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:
Originally Posted By chrism101:
I think the reform should be in the Bidding process, If we ask for 1500 aircraft at $100 million each then it should be set in stone on BOTH SIDES.

There should be money allocated and paid for up front and the Companies producing should meet production goals or face penalties.

Both sides are stupid at this point and deserve what they get. The unfortunate end result is that we will be lacking a huge portion of our defense in the end.

But Who is to say at this point if we keep placing asshole socialists in our leadership, losing our country to a USSR or CHICOM threat in the future is a Bad thing.
We are already well on our way to becoming just like those people on our own.


I would worry that when production costs escalate, which could happen for reasons completely unpredictable to either party, the company would have to start choosing where to cut corners to meet cost targets.

It could be the worst possible case of "lowest bidder syndrome".


That would also require the author of the RFP to be disciplined about maintaining stability of requirements.

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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:32:34 AM EST
It would be impossible to have a "fly before you buy" process for something as complex as the F-22. Imagine what it would cost a company to develop it on their own. It could easily cost a billion, or close to it. Then they lose the competition.and they are out the money. They can't even recoup it by selling to other countries, we would never allow them to sell that advanced of an aircraft to a potential enemy. How many companies can afford the risk today? None.

So I'm guessing they think we should just rebuild what we have and wait for the rest of the world to pull ahead of us in military technology. Idiots.

I do agree we could make the bid process better. Cost overruns have become normal business instead of the exception they should be.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:37:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By mcantu:
Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.


i think what they're saying is that during the F-16 and A-10 competitions they had combat ready prototypes to fly against each other (YF-16 vs YF-17 and YA-9 vs YA-10) and that this led to better results than what is being done with the F-22/F-35


Both were involved in a fly-off.

The F-22 was pitted against the YF-23, and the F-35 (as the X-35) against the X-32. I wasn't involved int he F-22 program (since it was an Air Force-only program), but I was involved in the X-32/X-35 flight tests.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 8:53:57 AM EST
"F-22 is also a huge disappointment as a fighter – a likely failure in any hypothesized future air war against an enemy with a competent air force – unlikely as such an enemy seems in today’s world"



That's all you have to read before you can disregard the rest....

They also use bullshit accounting where they use the development costs and attach it to each airframe to make the per-unit prices skyrocket. If you want lower costs per-unit; produce more units....New F22's are not 350 million a piece and that's why stopping the program early when all the development costs are already spent is stupid.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:07:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By mcantu:



It is near delusional to ignore that all our stealth aircraft since the SR-71 have been routinely detected by ordinary ground radars around the world – and it is completely delusional to think that potential enemies and even friends have not figured out how to detect the spread spectrum signature of the F-22’s very powerful radar signal.





True dat… Naval radars in particular seem to have no great problem tracking stealthy aircraft. LPI radar detectors are not clever physics, there are public domain papers about going back a number of years setting out the design principles of detection systems.
Isn't it odd that so many armchair warriors, safe in their ignorance, cheerlead for war that won't cost them a drop of blood ?

Yet pretend to be followers of the man of peace, Jesus.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:12:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By destaccado:
"F-22 is also a huge disappointment as a fighter – a likely failure in any hypothesized future air war against an enemy with a competent air force – unlikely as such an enemy seems in today’s world"



That's all you have to read before you can disregard the rest....

They also use bullshit accounting where they use the development costs and attach it to each airframe to make the per-unit prices skyrocket. If you want lower costs per-unit; produce more units....New F22's are not 350 million a piece and that's why stopping the program early when all the development costs are already spent is stupid.


+1

If Pierre M. Sprey had his way, the USAF would have nothing but F-16s with sidewinders. The sad thing is that he honestly seems to believe that's the best way to fight an air war.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:25:47 AM EST
These are the same people who decried the unworthy AH-64 and M1A.
The aforementioned post is to be used expressely for conversational purposes and should in no way be construed as professional opinion. كافر
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:30:24 AM EST
The guy who wrote that is an idiot. I'm not saying all of his ideas are wrong, but yeesh, he doesn't understand how capable modern fighters are.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:35:31 AM EST
He wouldn't endorse anything other then a Honda Civic...

And watch what you say about LMT...I'm a shareholder!
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:38:49 AM EST
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.
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I will not call you any name but, tomcats engage in tomcattery and you seem to be engaged in asshattery, do the math.
SWIRE
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Posted: 5/9/2009 9:57:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By mcantu:
Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.


i think what they're saying is that during the F-16 and A-10 competitions they had combat ready prototypes to fly against each other (YF-16 vs YF-17 and YA-9 vs YA-10) and that this led to better results than what is being done with the F-22/F-35


I know there was some type of design contest to pick the next model of fighter. I didn't pay that much attention to what went into it.

I'm just looking at the situation from my technology background. Everything new is expensive and unproven. I keep hearing arguments to dump new technology because of those two reasons. It is constantly used with the missle defense. If there is no existing technology there is no way to build a cheap proven system.

Compare the jets to the latest DVD format war. Each format had benefits and problems. They were both super expensive and unproven. Does that mean we should just dump them both and stick with standard DVDs since both were expensive, unproven, and didn't have a majority of the market?


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Posted: 5/9/2009 10:20:02 AM EST
Quite a lot of "fail" in that article...on the authors part.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 10:21:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By dport:
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.


Now I remember who Sprey is. He's a real piece of work.

No Fly off? I thought they did play with both planes?


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Posted: 5/9/2009 10:22:25 AM EST
Wow, that was a really good article!

There are probably a few valid points in there, but you have to blast through several layers of rock hard bullshit to get to them.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 11:33:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Originally Posted By dport:
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.


Now I remember who Sprey is. He's a real piece of work.

No Fly off? I thought they did play with both planes?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll193/zug556/060810-F-1234S-010.jpg



Clearly photoshop

The competition never existed! It's a conspiracy!
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Posted: 5/9/2009 11:35:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Originally Posted By dport:
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.


Now I remember who Sprey is. He's a real piece of work.

No Fly off? I thought they did play with both planes?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll193/zug556/060810-F-1234S-010.jpg



I always did like the looks of the YF-23 more.

Wow, that article was full of horseshit.
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Posted: 5/9/2009 11:43:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Originally Posted By dport:
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.


Now I remember who Sprey is. He's a real piece of work.

No Fly off? I thought they did play with both planes?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll193/zug556/060810-F-1234S-010.jpg



he didn't say that there wasnt a competing design. he said this...

That is, there was no production-representative, combat-capable prototype, no competitive dog-fighting between the candidates, and certainly no realistic estimate of cost and its effect on force size before the decision to go into production.

Instead, we got pseudo-prototypes that wags in the Pentagon called “a paint job the shape of an F-22”. With these two non-prototypes, the Department of Defense (DoD) also failed to have a combat fly-off, failed to explore the F-22’s main features such as the engines and combat-critical avionics, and failed to test the vaunted “stealth” in-flight against actual enemy radars.

Instead, the DoD sidelined the two non-prototypes and then pursued an unbelievably long and costly development programme of what constituted a whole new, untested aircraft. Foolishly, though predictably, the DoD committed to production long before flight testing was anywhere near complete – ultimately in the face of major test problems explicitly pointed out by its own Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:20:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Originally Posted By dport:
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.

Now I remember who Sprey is. He's a real piece of work.
No Fly off? I thought they did play with both planes?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll193/zug556/060810-F-1234S-010.jpg


The F-22A is nothing like the YF-22 in almost every way except its basic shape and the "-22" part.

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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:37:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By mcantu:
Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.


i think what they're saying is that during the F-16 and A-10 competitions they had combat ready prototypes to fly against each other (YF-16 vs YF-17 and YA-9 vs YA-10) and that this led to better results than what is being done with the F-22/F-35


The YF-16 was "combat capable" if combat capable includes "not having a radar".
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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:38:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/10/2009 9:41:16 AM EST by AeroE]
That's the worst piece of trash written about the F-22 I've ever read. Virtually every sentence is just plain wrong and doesn't reflect ignorance, it demonstrates willful negligence and bias founded in personal agendas.


It's true, Obama is the Leader of Fools deluded to believe, "Everything is going to change now".
As for me, I will embrace what is Right more tightly than ever.


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Posted: 5/10/2009 9:55:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By Spade:
Originally Posted By mcantu:
Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So what is their plan for developing and deploying the next generation of air craft? All I see is a lot of complaining about too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. All developing technology is too expensive, not tested, and doesn't do enough. It sounds like these guys just want to buy more F-16s and call it good.


i think what they're saying is that during the F-16 and A-10 competitions they had combat ready prototypes to fly against each other (YF-16 vs YF-17 and YA-9 vs YA-10) and that this led to better results than what is being done with the F-22/F-35


The YF-16 was "combat capable" if combat capable includes "not having a radar".


Some say the F-16 was never quite the same after development progressed from the prototype to full-scale development.

The pilots who flew the prototype agree that it had unique handling characteristics, owing to the absence of weapons and radar.

The airplane was thus lighter than later versions.

It also had a trimmer nose, which provided some advantages in maneuverability.

In fact, the whole airplane was smaller than subsequent F-16s.

While attesting that the YF-16 was great fun to fly, however, the pilots point out that it would have been absolutely useless in combat.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1992/articles/jul_92/jul2a_92.html

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Posted: 5/10/2009 2:14:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Originally Posted By dport:
In Sprey's world if it's not an F-16 or an A-10 then it's a turkey. He's about as unbiased as that idiot in Australia Kopp.


Now I remember who Sprey is. He's a real piece of work.

No Fly off? I thought they did play with both planes?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll193/zug556/060810-F-1234S-010.jpg



Those two demonstrator airplanes are as representative as the YF-16 or YF-17. The F-23 was closer to a production configuration.

The average person outside the industry doesn't know about the background work, or the ancillary work conducted at the same time as the more glamorous aeroplane. In the case of the F-22, the avionics was being flown in a Boeing 757. I worked on at least two or three projects in the 80's that were expressly for developing the avionics for the eventual ATF.

It's true, Obama is the Leader of Fools deluded to believe, "Everything is going to change now".
As for me, I will embrace what is Right more tightly than ever.


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Posted: 5/10/2009 3:13:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By KA3B:

The pilots who flew the prototype agree that it had unique handling characteristics, owing to the absence of weapons and radar.

The airplane was thus lighter than later versions.

It also had a trimmer nose, which provided some advantages in maneuverability.

In fact, the whole airplane was smaller than subsequent F-16s.

While attesting that the YF-16 was great fun to fly, however, the pilots point out that it would have been absolutely useless in combat.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1992/articles/jul_92/jul2a_92.html[/span]


You think they would have identified a ballast of a certain weight and diameter to place in the nose to represent the Radar.

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Posted: 5/10/2009 3:31:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
Originally Posted By KA3B:

The pilots who flew the prototype agree that it had unique handling characteristics, owing to the absence of weapons and radar.

The airplane was thus lighter than later versions.

It also had a trimmer nose, which provided some advantages in maneuverability.

In fact, the whole airplane was smaller than subsequent F-16s.

While attesting that the YF-16 was great fun to fly, however, the pilots point out that it would have been absolutely useless in combat.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1992/articles/jul_92/jul2a_92.html[/span]


You think they would have identified a ballast of a certain weight and diameter to place in the nose to represent the Radar.



How much does the radar weigh?
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Posted: 5/10/2009 4:12:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:
Originally Posted By chrism101:
I think the reform should be in the Bidding process, If we ask for 1500 aircraft at $100 million each then it should be set in stone on BOTH SIDES.

There should be money allocated and paid for up front and the Companies producing should meet production goals or face penalties.

Both sides are stupid at this point and deserve what they get. The unfortunate end result is that we will be lacking a huge portion of our defense in the end.

But Who is to say at this point if we keep placing asshole socialists in our leadership, losing our country to a USSR or CHICOM threat in the future is a Bad thing.
We are already well on our way to becoming just like those people on our own.


I would worry that when production costs escalate, which could happen for reasons completely unpredictable to either party, the company would have to start choosing where to cut corners to meet cost targets.

It could be the worst possible case of "lowest bidder syndrome".



Not necessarily, but when the agreements are decided upon they must be concrete... We will end up paying more for 187 F-22s than if we had left it at the Original Order Numbers.

Buy something put people to work and produce it on massive scale, the costs will go down. costs always unexpectedly rise when .GOV cuts the order by 20% then in return the Cost rises by atleast 30% each to make it up, thus the .GOV cuts production again and guess what the Price rises again.

Its a broken Process. Just like big OIL, Less Oil ends up being More money and less work, Just like the less aircraft purchased equals a greater cost and development cost per aircraft.



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Posted: 5/10/2009 4:26:02 PM EST
Comparison of F-22 to F-16 = EPIC FAIL. The F-22's older-gen analog is the F-15; the F-16 is the F-35's analog.

And if the F-16 is still oh-so-great as some keep saying (mainly those still campaigning against the JSF), then why the hell aren't they hounding after the latest-greatest -16 variants for use by the USAF?
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Posted: 5/10/2009 4:29:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mr-T:
If Pierre M. Sprey had his way, the USAF would have nothing but F-16s with sidewinders. The sad thing is that he honestly seems to believe that's the best way to fight an air war.


How do you feel about John Boyd?
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Posted: 5/10/2009 4:54:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By AeroE:
In the case of the F-22, the avionics was being flown in a Boeing 757.




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Posted: 5/10/2009 4:59:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
Originally Posted By KA3B:

The pilots who flew the prototype agree that it had unique handling characteristics, owing to the absence of weapons and radar.

The airplane was thus lighter than later versions.

It also had a trimmer nose, which provided some advantages in maneuverability.

In fact, the whole airplane was smaller than subsequent F-16s.

While attesting that the YF-16 was great fun to fly, however, the pilots point out that it would have been absolutely useless in combat.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1992/articles/jul_92/jul2a_92.html[/span]


You think they would have identified a ballast of a certain weight and diameter to place in the nose to represent the Radar.



How much does the radar weigh?


So because they don't know the exact weight of the production unit, they disregard it entirely? If both samples assume the same size/weight of the ballast, at least it's a fair comparison.

It just seems like they would want to get the demonstrator as close to production intent as possible with the current information.

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Posted: 5/10/2009 5:07:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By XterraJohn:
Originally Posted By Mr-T:
If Pierre M. Sprey had his way, the USAF would have nothing but F-16s with sidewinders. The sad thing is that he honestly seems to believe that's the best way to fight an air war.


How do you feel about John Boyd?


Col Boyd would never have thought that.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 5:10:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
Originally Posted By KA3B:

The pilots who flew the prototype agree that it had unique handling characteristics, owing to the absence of weapons and radar.

The airplane was thus lighter than later versions.

It also had a trimmer nose, which provided some advantages in maneuverability.

In fact, the whole airplane was smaller than subsequent F-16s.

While attesting that the YF-16 was great fun to fly, however, the pilots point out that it would have been absolutely useless in combat.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1992/articles/jul_92/jul2a_92.html[/span]


You think they would have identified a ballast of a certain weight and diameter to place in the nose to represent the Radar.



How much does the radar weigh?


So because they don't know the exact weight of the production unit, they disregard it entirely? If both samples assume the same size/weight of the ballast, at least it's a fair comparison.

It just seems like they would want to get the demonstrator as close to production intent as possible with the current information.


You guys need to learn to read and comprehend.
The original article said "production-representative, combat-capable prototype", however, when you look at the YF-16 is was nowhere near being a "production-representative, combat-capable prototype".
Who gives a flying fuck if they included ballast to represent the weight of the radar or the fly-by-wire system was backed up by a hydro-mechanical flight control system or any of the other major and minor differences between the YF-16 and the F-16A, the bottom line is that the YF-16 was not a "production-representative, combat-capable prototype".
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Posted: 5/10/2009 5:40:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/10/2009 5:45:24 PM EST by AeroE]
Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
Originally Posted By KA3B:

The pilots who flew the prototype agree that it had unique handling characteristics, owing to the absence of weapons and radar.

The airplane was thus lighter than later versions.

It also had a trimmer nose, which provided some advantages in maneuverability.

In fact, the whole airplane was smaller than subsequent F-16s.

While attesting that the YF-16 was great fun to fly, however, the pilots point out that it would have been absolutely useless in combat.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1992/articles/jul_92/jul2a_92.html[/span]


You think they would have identified a ballast of a certain weight and diameter to place in the nose to represent the Radar.



How much does the radar weigh?


So because they don't know the exact weight of the production unit, they disregard it entirely? If both samples assume the same size/weight of the ballast, at least it's a fair comparison.

It just seems like they would want to get the demonstrator as close to production intent as possible with the current information.



Demonstrators have just enough fidelity toward the production version to make them recognizable as being related. Lots of refinement has to be left out. Flight testing will reveal changes that must be incorporated into the production airplanes.

Boat loads of testing in the lab is going on at the same time the airplanes are in flight test. The ground testing covers far more conditions and possibilities than can possibly be covered in a flight test, anomalies discovered during the flying portion can be checked in the lab, and sometimes a discovery in the lab has to be flown for complete understanding. These are complex machines with lots of parts that must play together with a high degree of reliability, and some of the subsystems are pushing to edge of the possibilities making reliability tougher to obtain.

Whether a radar set was installed is irrelevent. The demonstrator airplanes had representative mass properties, and part of that was undoubtedly obtained via ballast. It's possible that ballast was required on both ends of the airplane in order to get the mass moments of inertia right.

One thing is certain. We'll be in a damn hurt if we have only F-16's to fill an air superiority role. Which brings up another problem with the public and politicians that don't understand or care to learn that different airplanes are required for flying different missions; to them, a jet is a jet, they all look about the same, and they go sooper fast.

It's true, Obama is the Leader of Fools deluded to believe, "Everything is going to change now".
As for me, I will embrace what is Right more tightly than ever.


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Posted: 5/10/2009 6:00:46 PM EST
The YF-16 was a prototype for a fighter that the air force didn't want, so it not too surprising that the F-16 wound up different. Col. Boyd was all about a maneuverable agile air plane that allowed the fighter pilot to respond more quickly than his adversary. What the air force Generals really want is a fighter with enough electronic awareness that the air combat can be setup up on favorable terms before the battle is committed to. The F-22 is simply the most extreme example of that philosophy.

I personally feel that although the Generals have a pretty good handle fighting air battles they need to improve the handling of the procurement battle. It seems to me that the F-22 procurement should of been handled by splitting up development in to smaller more modular parts. I would have evolved the Eagle in to the Lighting by creating the engine, radar system, and airframe as separate and ultimately interchangeable parts so that each section could progress as needed to control costs. Which is the battle that the Generals do not do a good job of controlling.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 6:26:02 PM EST
IIRC the F-16 originally was set to be a daytime knife-fighter with either minimal or no radar.
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Posted: 5/10/2009 6:39:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Comparison of F-22 to F-16 = EPIC FAIL. The F-22's older-gen analog is the F-15; the F-16 is the F-35's analog.

And if the F-16 is still oh-so-great as some keep saying (mainly those still campaigning against the JSF), then why the hell aren't they hounding after the latest-greatest -16 variants for use by the USAF?


the comparison's have only been regarding the procurement processes of the two. and the USAF doesnt have the most advanced F-16 anymore. that honor goes to the UAE which has the F-16 Block 60