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The Mess - Military Forum Off Topic Thread!

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    13442391_643955795752965_259483965078302616_n.jpg?oh=999d456865a11e933934244ee3f5e904&oe=57C999FF


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    $100m a unit flyaway cost as of next year's USAF budget...

    Still $20m more than a super hornett or a new Viper, but getting there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    $100m a unit flyaway cost as of next year's USAF budget...

    Still $20m more than a super hornett or a new Viper, but getting there.

    Of course, it's not going to be operational next year, or the one after that....:pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Of course, it's not going to be operational next year

    Do you think the above video was suspended by string or something?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Do you think the above video was suspended by string or something?

    You know as well as I do that there is a lot more to the F-35 being operationally functional beyond flying about.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    You know as well as I do that there is a lot more to the F-35 being operationally functional beyond flying about.

    And what isn't functional?

    They are 6 months away from standing up the 1st 'A' squadron.... which means all planes, pilots & support staff for that squadron fully trained & operational.
    In 8 months the first 'B' squadron is deployed overseas.
    Block 3i is on every production unit.
    Block 3F is on every test unit and will be on the productions units by year end.... by which time the full speed & flight envelop will be available.... (which makes the above video impressive in that it is still restricted, but already showing a far greater instantaneous rate of turn & rate of climb than the Viper).
    AIM-120 / AIM-9X / JDAMs & GBUs are all working & JSOW/SDB certification started a few months ago.
    And most importantly, the new version of ALIS is supposed to be rolled out in August & ready for the 'A' IOC & 'B' deployment by year end.

    So, when you affirm that:
    it's not going to be operational next year, or the one after that
    No harm in asking for you to elaborate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    And what isn't functional?

    They are 6 months away from standing up the 1st 'A' squadron.... which means all planes, pilots & support staff for that squadron fully trained & operational.
    In 8 months the first 'B' squadron is deployed overseas.
    Block 3i is on every production unit.
    Block 3F is on every test unit and will be on the productions units by year end.... by which time the full speed & flight envelop will be available.... (which makes the above video impressive in that it is still restricted, but already showing a far greater instantaneous rate of turn & rate of climb than the Viper).
    AIM-120 / AIM-9X / JDAMs & GBUs are all working & JSOW/SDB certification started a few months ago.
    And most importantly, the new version of ALIS is supposed to be rolled out in August & ready for the 'A' IOC & 'B' deployment by year end.

    So, when you affirm that:

    No harm in asking for you to elaborate.

    Certainly a fair question. I was under the understanding that integration with weapons systems such as the SDB and the cannon have yet to occur. Has the plane under gone the full gamut of combat tests? ( the proper name escapes me presently). The last articles I had read, a few months back, stated they were still dealing with various issues, from the over heating mentioned before, to the helmet redesign and sensor integration.

    Where have you read about the program development Bojack? I followed it mostly on foxtrot alpha (which seems to down?) and warisboring, with the occasional Janes or other outlet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    I was under the understanding that integration with weapons systems such as the SDB and the cannon have yet to occur

    GBU-39 (the SDB-1) has been tested but not yet operational.
    GBU-53/B (The (better) SDB-2) won't be starting integration until 2018
    The internal cannon is supposed to be good to go when 3F is approved later in the year, however it is the external podded cannon for the B/C variant that is also years away.
    Has the plane under gone the full gamut of combat tests?
    That's the plan for the autumn.
    The plane has to hit 3 mission capabilities in order to allow to be declared IOC:
    - CAS (coordinating PGMs with ground operatives)
    - Air interdiction: (successfully engaging airborne targets)
    - SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences)

    The last one is the interesting one for me as a lot is counted on in it's ability to detect, classify & maneuver around radiation sources..... tbh, that will be it's main role in a peer-to-peer conflict.
    The last articles I had read, a few months back, stated they were still dealing with various issues, from the over heating mentioned before, to the helmet redesign and sensor integration
    There will be problems for years to come... that's what testing is for.
    The heating is precautionary, it has never actually caused a problem... is apparently fixable.
    The Gen3 helmet apparently is leaps & bounds ahead of the predecessor.
    There were issues with the Gen2 and it blurring with quick movements when the plane shudders and latency, but apparently that is sorted.

    Not sure about sensors... I know that the AESA and EOTS are working fine and display perfectly in the visor & screen.
    I'm totally ignorant of any other stuff though.

    I followed it mostly on foxtrot alpha (which seems to down?)
    Tyler Rogoway has moved here, it's a subsite of the times.
    It's ok.
    You can see in the comments that he is having a 'Damascene conversion' wrt the f35....
    He doesn't like people pointing out previous articles of him slating it.
    warisboring
    poor WiB... this was my favourite article of theirs, literally everything about it was false.
    However if you are a podcaster do check out theirs, it's very interesting.

    I'm also a fan of one of the Kinja bloggers, Jerry
    You probably noticed him in the comments section in FoxtrotAlpha.
    His articles on the test history of previous planes is fascinating & a useful context... these two I recommend:
    http://jerryofgarcia.kinja.com/ioc-f-14-the-troubled-tomcat-1764702742
    http://jerryofgarcia.kinja.com/f35-1768169893

    F-16.net is a good site for resources... some of the techy-ness is beyond me and large in size, but its pretty good nonetheless.

    Remember, it's easy to poo-poo things, but even the Eurofighter Typhoon is still in testing!


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Cheers for the links Bojack.

    I would probably be less skeptical towards the F-35 if the USAF et al weren't so insistent on killing the A-10 in its attempts to justify it. I have little doubt that it will eventually prove to be a capable bomber, however I don't think it will ever prove to be effective at the CAS role or as a fighter type similar to the F-16/ 18 that it's meant to replace.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    the USAF et al weren't so insistent on killing the A-10 in its attempts to justify it.

    I think that is a little inaccurate.
    The USAF have always said that there will be a separate A-10 replacement programme.

    Because the fleet as is is sustainable for another 12 years at least, it is not yet a priority.... however the AF will be proceeding in due course

    The question is, what will it be replaced with.
    The purpose of the plane is to smash Soviet armour, so if that mission is no longer on the cards, what replaces it?
    And it has to be replaced, the spare part supply line shut down over 20 years ago, the fleet survives by cannibalising itself.

    IMO, better drones & probably a propeller driven plane will replace it... but we will know in a decade.

    And (again IMO) the F-35 isn't replacing the A-10, its largely already been replaced.... the F-35 is replacing it's replacement.

    I've bigged up Jerry before, but do read this one about the A-10 , it's past present & future and the glorious pictures thereof
    http://jerryofgarcia.kinja.com/fairchild-a-10c-the-wicked-warthog-1771117956

    I don't think it will ever prove to be effective at the CAS role or as a fighter type similar to the F-16/ 18 that it's meant to replace.
    Why not?

    The Lightning can/is:
    - Faster than the viper under combat load....as fast as the hornet
    - More maneuverable than the Viper and similarly so to the Hornet
    - Carries far more ordnance than either.
    - Has better range than either.... much more than the viper.
    - Can see the viper further away than the Viper can it, by an order of magnitude.... (the hornet is stealthier but can still be seen first).
    - Has a better & more accurate gun, (if that will ever matter)
    - And is on a different planet compared to the Harrier which it replaces in the USMC

    Where will the Viper/Hornet be superior?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    I think that is a little inaccurate.
    The USAF have always said that there will be a separate A-10 replacement programme.

    Because the fleet as is is sustainable for another 12 years at least, it is not yet a priority.... however the AF will be proceeding in due course

    The question is, what will it be replaced with.
    The purpose of the plane is to smash Soviet armour, so if that mission is no longer on the cards, what replaces it?
    And it has to be replaced, the spare part supply line shut down over 20 years ago, the fleet survives by cannibalising itself.

    IMO, better drones & probably a propeller driven plane will replace it... but we will know in a decade.

    And (again IMO) the F-35 isn't replacing the A-10, its largely already been replaced.... the F-35 is replacing it's replacement.

    I've bigged up Jerry before, but do read this one about the A-10 , it's past present & future and the glorious pictures thereof
    http://jerryofgarcia.kinja.com/fairchild-a-10c-the-wicked-warthog-1771117956



    Why not?

    The Lightning can/is:
    - Faster than the viper under combat load....as fast as the hornet
    - More maneuverable than the Viper and similarly so to the Hornet
    - Carries far more ordnance than either.
    - Has better range than either.... much more than the viper.
    - Can see the viper further away than the Viper can it, by an order of magnitude.... (the hornet is stealthier but can still be seen first).
    - Has a better & more accurate gun, (if that will ever matter)
    - And is on a different planet compared to the Harrier which it replaces in the USMC

    Where will the Viper/Hornet be superior?

    I don't agree that the A-10 is incapable of performing any of the roles it was designed for. While its cannon may not be capable of defeating the most modern of MBT designs, it is still perfectly able to shred any other class of vehicle on the battlefield. It is already equipped with Hellfires and GBUs, the exact armaments that any other platform is apt to use tackling such threats.

    What the A-10 needs is refreshed airframes, to include new engines, and improved sensors. If the decision is that the plane will no longer serve in an anti-armor role, then dedicate it purely to CAS. You're not going to improve upon its capabilities with a A-29 or similar aircraft. This line of argument that it is too old and should be scrapped falls on its face when you consider the decades of service enjoyed by the B-52. The A-10 is orders of magnitude more capable at the CAS mission than any other platform out there. Stand off bombing from 10,00ft is not CAS, which the mission that the F-25 will do, probably quite well.


    As to the F-35, where do draw support to say that it has superior performance to the Viper/ Hornet in terms of its flight profile. Everything I have read re: the F-35 points to a plane with degraded flight characteristics. Overweight, slow to turn, underpowered due to the single engine design and terrible cockpit visibility.

    It could carry more ordinance, if it utilises external hard points, which means that it is no longer stealthy. Its internal stores only allow it 4x A2A missiles, hardly ideal in a scenario involving contested airspace. The cannon is joke, 150rds is good for maybe 1 sec burst on a strafing run. Might as well not have one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    I've bigged up Jerry before, but do read this one about the A-10 , it's past present & future and the glorious pictures thereof
    http://jerryofgarcia.kinja.com/fairchild-a-10c-the-wicked-warthog-1771117956

    He makes some interesting points, the idea of having a turret mounted cannon is certainly intriguing. I've no idea what sort of impact that would have on its flight characteristics. An improved A-XX, building on the A-10's base, and improving upon it could be pretty amazing. I don't think that they should pursue a lesser platform like the A-29 or similar, though complimenting the A-10 with an upgraded OV-10 could be an excellent course of action.

    I'd take issue with his assertions about the A-10 vulnerability in the modern battlefield. For one, it has already shown itself to be an incredibly tough aircraft, much more so than any other plane. The US Army plans on flying their helos in the exact same environment that the USAF says the A-10 couldn't survive in. The US hasn't encountered such a scenario yet, and the claims for all the F-35 etc being more survivable are purely theoretical at this point and are based on not being detected.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Everything I have read re: the F-35 points to a plane with degraded flight characteristics. Overweight, slow to turn, underpowered due to the single engine design and terrible cockpit visibility

    Where & how recently was it published?
    I ask because the testing feedback from NorAF & RAF pilots has been very positive.

    While it is heavy, it also has the most powerful engine ever put in a fighter plane anywhere on the planet.
    Accordingly, it's thrust/weight & acceleration numbers tally quite well for a multi-role plane.

    You seen the turn rate in the video I posted.... 180 degrees in under 8 seconds... around 20 degrees per second.
    if you look up instantaneous turn rates for planes you'll see that is very good.

    Also you have to remember that the paper performance is 'clean'.
    ie: no external ordnance or stores.

    But this moves a helluva lot slower.... it's something like mach 1.4 at high altitude.
    Obviously the Lightning does not have any drag penalty.

    As for cockpit visibility, nothing matches being able to see through the plane!
    But planes with lower RCS have a bulkhead behind the seat impeding view the old fashioned way... look up any picture of Russian efforts.
    The cockpits are lower slightly rather than the 'bubble' enjoyed by F-16 pilots.

    But apparently it isn't a huge deal anyway...
    But Hanche was able to improve his visibility by moving forward in his seat and leaning slightly sideways, before turning his head and looking backwards. This enabled him to see around the sides of the seat.

    Hanche stressed that he was still able to maintain visual contact with his opponent during aggressive maneuvering, and the cockpit’s visual limitation is not “a genuine problem with the F-35.”


    It could carry more ordinance, if it utilises external hard points, which means that it is no longer stealthy
    If the plane is WVR, why on earth does that matter?
    The mk 1 human eye ball on the ground can see it anyway.
    And even if it was carrying external stores, it's RCS would still be much lower than any 4th Gen, including the super hornet, which is the stealthiest 4th Gen.
    Its internal stores only allow it 4x A2A missiles, hardly ideal in a scenario involving contested airspace
    Luckily that's what air-superiority fighters are for
    But it's loadout will be the same as the f-16.

    In full A2A loadout it will have 4 x AIM-120s internally & 2 x AIM-9 on the wing tips (these will never be integrated internally because of how they launch).

    The F-16 has to carry at least 2 external fuel tanks and at least 2 external pods, sometimes 3... so it's combat loadout is drastically reduced.

    There is apparently early efforts to see if an extra AIM-120 can be carried on the weapons bay door itself.






    The cannon is joke, 150rds is good for maybe 1 sec burst on a strafing run. Might as well not have one.
    Same ammo capacity as the SU-30 & its many derivatives as well as the MIG-29 & it's family tree.
    Seems to work for them.

    The other US competitors are also exhausted in 3-4 seconds of fire...


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    If the plane is WVR, why on earth does that matter?
    The mk 1 human eye ball on the ground can see it anyway.
    And even if it was carrying external stores, it's RCS would still be much lower than any 4th Gen, including the super hornet, which is the stealthiest 4th Gen.

    Perhaps, but its whole deal is based around its stealth. If it is getting detected by S400 systems hundreds of miles out, it's not going to be a good day. Which ties into the 2nd point.
    Luckily that's what air-superiority fighters are for
    But it's loadout will be the same as the f-16.

    In full A2A loadout it will have 4 x AIM-120s internally & 2 x AIM-9 on the wing tips (these will never be integrated internally because of how they launch).

    There are limited F-22s available. When they run out of missiles, the F-35 is going to have to fight, likely against fighters with superior flight characteristics. Tactics can of course be developed to work around the abilities and deficiencies of a platform. BVR engagements can't be guaranteed, due to ROE restrictions if nothing else, especially in congested airspace in areas such as the South China Sea. Having 4 or maybe 6 missiles is not going to be ideal. If the F-35 has to sacrifice stealth to accommodate SRAAMs, then it's giving up the biggest advantage it would have. Russian and Chinese platforms are forging ahead with IRST sensors and have shown an ability to utilise radar to reduce the efficacy of stealth aircraft.

    At the end of the day, we're not likely to learn how effective the F-35 is in a peer to peer environment until the US is caught up in a serious conflict, at which point it would likely be too late to do anything if the plane is found wanting.

    I'm not wishing for the plane to fail, however I'm not in favor of program that is so fiscally detrimental to the rest of the military's budget, which despite the positive reports generated by those invested in its development, still has serious questions to answer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Interesting podcast here, talking about the merits of eliminating the USAF. His arguments would hold water for me, I think there would significant benefits, both fiscally and doctrinely to the idea.

    https://soundcloud.com/war_college/is-it-time-to-get-rid-of-the


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Russian and Chinese platforms are forging ahead with IRST sensors and have shown an ability to utilise radar to reduce the efficacy of stealth aircraft.

    'forging ahead'.... they've been around for 30-odd years.
    On 4th gen planes, they are mounted on the front & enjoy a 140 degree range at best.
    The F-35's version is frankly peerless in range & resolution & is the only system on earth that provides 360 degree coverage.

    And what radar are Russia's planes using that can now suddenly see what they could not see before?

    Some are using the Zhuk... and you can see those numbers are very poor (3m2 @ 130kms).
    Some of the other newer ones use the Ibris-E & you can see that it's detection range on something half as stealthy than the lightning (assuming 0.005m2 for the lightning, but some say it's less)
    The latest version is the Byelka for the PAK-FA/T50, which will be the Ibris-E in the nose, complemented by 2 more smaller X-band radars on the sides and 2 small L-band radars in the wings.
    Performance will be as good as mentioned above form the front and less from the sides, but it will at least be closest thing Russia will have to a 360 degree solution....
    The bad news is, there may never be more than 50 ever built... merely 12 are on order.


    This article, part of a fantastic briefing blog is long... but really worth a read.
    It goes into extensive (but manageable) detail into the world of electronic & infa-red stealth and it's application wrt electronic warfare.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Interesting podcast here, talking about the merits of eliminating the USAF. His arguments would hold water for me, I think there would significant benefits, both fiscally and doctrinely to the idea.

    https://soundcloud.com/war_college/is-it-time-to-get-rid-of-the

    Listened to that today while gardening.

    I'd sooner scrap the marines than the AF (the navy having their own army with it's own air force seems bizarre).

    They would also need a seperate agency to manage the GPS system & nuclear weapons... so in that sense, I'd keep the AF


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Listened to that today while gardening.

    I'd sooner scrap the marines than the AF (the navy having their own army with it's own air force seems bizarre).

    They would also need a seperate agency to manage the GPS system & nuclear weapons... so in that sense, I'd keep the AF

    I would agree with you as regards the USMC, both services could be rolled up imo. The satellite management etc could be folded into the USN and various government agencies. The duplication of resources is the US military is so wasteful, it's really a disgrace.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Lockheed & the Israeli Air Force are having a 'rolling out' ceremony for their 1st F35-I right now....

    Currently being regaled by hebrew country music.... slightly odd!



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Rather poor quality unfortunately, but a chilling docudrama on the after effects of a nuclear war, in the vein of Threads and When the Wind Blows.

    https://archive.org/details/AV_179-THE_WAR_GAME-_THE_REALITY_OF_NUCLEAR_WAR


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Rather poor quality unfortunately, but a chilling docudrama on the after effects of a nuclear war, in the vein of Threads and When the Wind Blows.

    https://archive.org/details/AV_179-THE_WAR_GAME-_THE_REALITY_OF_NUCLEAR_WAR

    Just finished reading this......

    51zd%2BQ4Lc%2BL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Kind of puts a lot of stuff around ISIS into perspective!! If you lived through the early 80s, those boys are just small potatoes!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    From a training deployment to an AFB

    160621_F_EA289_002_small.jpg

    interesting if we get more information on this assessment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    From a training deployment to an AFB

    160621_F_EA289_002_small.jpg

    interesting if we get more information on this assessment.

    That would be a promising development, need to see the details involved.

    Rogoway has some fairly damning articles concerning the USAF's impending issues relating to both pilot shortages and budgetary shortfalls. There really does seem to putting itself in a precarious position.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    he586bY.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Some great shots from a full-to-the-brim Pearl Harbour for RIMPAC..

    Click into the tweet for expanded images.

    https://twitter.com/CavasShips/status/750054724125069312


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets




  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-problem-with-personnel-reform-who-are-the-army%E2%80%99s-best-and-brightest

    Article examining the US Army's philosophy on Officer promotion and retention. From my personal experience, there is certainly an issue of talented members, on both sides of the house, being forced out in the last few years. It seems that the Army is more focused on slashing its bottom line than ensuring that they maintain the hard won institutional knowledge and thus lessening its ability to fight and win the nation's wars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    F-35A declares Initial Operational Capability

    The 34th Fighter squadron becomes the first USAF squadron to declare readiness.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,189 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    F-35A declares Initial Operational Capability

    The 34th Fighter squadron becomes the first USAF squadron to declare readiness.

    Saw that, it's really a bit of joke. The amount of goal post shifting by the Pentagon would embarrass the average After Hours poster.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    A PR video from the Russian MODs site.
    Some TU-22s make the long trip from Russia to dumb-bomb some predesignated positions in Syria.

    It may look snazzy, but I wonder as to the effectiveness. (if they care).

    Look at the weapons release at 1m10s....
    Ignore the subsequent infa-red camera explosions edited in.... they could be from anything.
    If these free-fallers hit ISIS it is entirely by accident.

    https://twitter.com/mod_russia/status/762685814853672962


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