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B-21 Raider Officially Heading To Edwards Air Force Base For Testing

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posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 04:13 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger

Or, and this is just crazy enough to work, make it fixed price. Oh wait....

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 05:55 PM

originally posted by: JIMC5499

originally posted by: Zaphod58
Not everything that gives a plane that wow factor is in its looks.

One of the reasons that I was a big fan of the A-6.

IDK, the Intruder looked pretty menacing carrying a maximum loadout of snake and nape. I heard they were pretty nimble as well at low altitude compared with some of the fighters at the time. I sort of want to watch Flight of the Intruder now.

posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 03:10 AM
a reply to: intrptr
Speaking (writing) as a person whose father was a GS-17 for GAO and having grown up hearing about defense contractor overruns over and over and over.... I wonder how many people here can list weapons programs that came in on budget or below? Kinda like a unicorn really. One? Two? Anyone? In the meantime, China steals our secrets, fairly easily it seems, makes worse copies, but gets them out very quickly, relatively speaking. The old quality vs quantity equation. They can count our launchers, know how many missiles we could have, and make twice that many to overcome our THAD and Patriot batteries or our ships missile stores.... The A-6 was mentioned, and I agree. A great plane. I really miss the F-14 and a sweet 100 mile Phoenix missile! F-18? Eh.

posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 04:43 AM

originally posted by: jaxnmarko
a reply to: intrptr
I really miss the F-14 and a sweet 100 mile Phoenix missile! F-18? Eh.

And this right there is the core of the problem. Bleeding edge defense tech costs unholy amount of money. Always has, always will. You either can accept that or settle for more affordable solutions that work, but arent pushing the envelope.
Dont like the F-18? Sure no problem. The F-14 was the better plane in its capability niche. It was also a maintenance nightmare, requiring more than 5 times the maintenance hours for every flight hour compared to the Hornets.
It was the right call to get rid of them, the naval air arm barely survived two decades of warfare without them.

The F-18 still sucks and the F-35 cant here fast enough? The F-18 in it various iterations got the job done and will always be more affordable and less maintenance intensive than the F-35. There is a reason why the Navy invest heavily in the Block 3 Hornet and drags its feet on F-35B/C procurement.
Anyone think that will change? The Air Force is already moaning about unaffordable sustainment costs of the F-35. Who could have known. Defense spending wont remain as high as it is today. Administrations and priorities change, but even if Republicans will hold the White House forever, the debt cant be increased indefinitely and current budgets unsustainable.
These days there is no alternative of course. The F-35 will go forward and if it kills the various US Air Forces and effective fighting forces so be it.

But what is maddening about the situation – there actually was an alternative on the table back in the day. But they made the wrong call in 2009 when Gates decided to cancel the F-22 production.
What they should have done is cancelling the F-35 instead. Not because it’s a bad airplane (it isn’t) but simply because procuring and sustaining thousands of them on top of dozens other, equally critical defense programs is a pipedream.
1700 F-35As alone on top of B-21, PCA, PEA, PGS and god knows what? rofl
This was the case ten years ago and will be the case ten years from now. The budgets aren’t there. And they never will be again, not with the exploding entitlement programs the left has been pushing. Like it or not, it’s reality and the military needs to change approach to remain combat capable going forward.
A cancellation of the entire F-35 program would have entailed a restructuration of the US Air Fleets and saved untold billions in the process.
Cancel F-35 production but continue F-22 production for the Air Force and allies. Procurement cost of the F-22 was already coming down rapidly, a production run of more than 500 F-22 would result in the F-22 costing much, much less than all those LRIP F-35s being procured these days. The F-22s would have replaced the entire F-15C/D fleet, while the Legacy F-16 fleet would have gradually upgraded with newly purchased, cost effective, risk free F-16 Block 60. Sustaining them is not an issue, the F-16 is a proven, well understood airframe and the relevant support infrastructure is already in place.
Long term you'd switch to an Hi/Lo UCAV mix - something like MQ-9 / Avenger C on the low end and an 'MQ-180' at the high end of the threat spectrum.

Further down the road there would have been a longer ranged strike aircraft, not unlike what is PCA today. An enlarged F-22 /X-44 would have been an ideal candidate for that. It also could eventually replace the F-15Es. This takes care of the Air Force. An affordable number of Stealth Jets backed up by a smaller number of long range strike aircraft and the B-21 of course, while the backbone is composed of dirt cheap Legacy Jets. The simply truth is: You do not need 5th Gen to bomb some Middle Eastern country. And you cant use more thana couple of dozen short legged fighter jets against China anyway, you simply don’t have the tanker and airfield capacity for it.

The Navy should have switched to an entirely -18 based fleet, accelerate purchase of Block 3 and commit to UCLASS as an actual UCAV. One fighter jet airframe on the carriers, this is how you build an affordable fleet capable of prolonged wartime service. You think the Navy will be able to afford F-35 squadrons on continuous wartime service for better part of two decades like the Hornet has seen since 2001? Good luck with that.

As for the Marines, do two things A) give them the phone number of the Navy and Air Force to call in the event of them needing CAS and B) introduce them to the concept of navalized attack helicopters. They don’t need freaking fighter jets too.

This is how you create affordable solutions. Build on what you have, utilize existing systems to the maximum, never put your eggs in one basket by pursuing defense programs too big to fail.
But i'm sure if the US only procures enough F-35s, at some point magic will happen, the budget will be balanced and they will fight China with a thousand fighter jets backed up by hundreds upon hundreds of stealth tankers the Chinese will never touch at all. Because MAGA. Or something.

posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 08:42 AM
Nazi Germany under Hilser were told miracle weapons (Wundewaffe) would save them, too.

In the end they needed to appease the peoples fears by developing ever bigger, more expensive armaments , promising these would turn the tide of the 'war'.

posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 08:49 AM
a reply to: anzha

The problem with the above is...THEY ARE BUILDING THE SAME THINGS WE ARE.

They are building long range bombers (H-20, PAK-DA, building more Tu-160). They are building carriers (1 rebuilt Varyag, an improved Varyag, a new class and soon nuclear powered carriers for the Chinese. The Russians talk about it, but...)

US and certain members of NATO are the only ones projecting this much military force so far from home. Especially the US. Anything these yet to be subjugated nations are doing is truly defensive in nature.

One of these tactics is making the enemy spend more money countering perceived threats that ether don't exist yet or exist in small numbers.

If I build a rubber tank army to fool the germans to draw off enemy concentration prior to D Day, that is a ruse.

It worked.

posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 12:37 PM
a reply to: intrptr

If the Chinese were building just the carriers, then, yeah, I'd say this is nothing to think or worry about. The cruisers, the destroyers, the frigates, the oilers and other support ships plus the naval bases: Djibouti[1], Myanmar and looking like Sri Lanka, too. All of these things point to China planning on doing what the US is doing. They even have at least one more base in Sudan (land locked to be sure) and probable they will be putting others in Africa, too.

You seem to think China is unique and will not follow the path that EVERY SINGLE GREAT POWER has done. China even says they will. They are acting like they will. They are building the military force that they can use that way.

If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

Oh! Russia counts as a western power now, huh? I'll remember that.

edit on 7-3-2018 by anzha because: djibouti link.

posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 03:53 PM
Design look different and more complicated than B-2

posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 01:37 PM
a reply to: jaxnmarko

and by stealing our tech, they don't have little things like development costs.

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