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War is boring on the MUX

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GD

posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 05:28 PM
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War is boring published a short piece on an armed tilt rotor for the fleet, which is also a MUX contender. This would be a great bird for the Corps., As much as I love the Viper model Cobra, it is too slow to perform escort duties for the Corps. Osprey fleet. This thing (V-247 Vigilant) may prove to punch above it's UH-1 Venom sized weight, Sidewinders, hellfires and jamming pods. The Corps would be in a position to provide ground support and provide air cover against slower moving targets. Love to see how this thing could be used in conjunction with F-35's

USN/USMC unmanned platform
edit on 21-9-2019 by GD because: Typo




posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: GD

Its an interesting plan but here comes the but..........

Marine Corps aviation and the Corps itself is undergoing or hopefully will be undergoing a large trasnsition to something different than we have seen in the past.

Marine Boss's Audacious Plan To Transform The Corps By Giving Up Big Amphibious Ships

They also have some very pricey programs running from the

CH-53K: 135 million and counting which is insane for a chopper that is basically a upgrade (They want 200 of them)
F-35B: almost the same cost and more importantly it forced overall design compromises that effected the A and C models
MV-22: 72 million and note that the flyaway costs the actual costs is probably over 100 million
KC-130J: 71 million (don't get me wrong that HARVEST HAWK upgrade is bad ass) but still

They need to decide what they are and what the future holds before they take on yet another pricey aviation project IMHO.


GD

posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: FredT



I read that last week- I don't believe Marines will ever come off the big deck gator navy, though. The cost that the US has sunk into the ARG's is astronomical. Regardless, this would still fit in with the new distributed model. Marines will continue to use vertical envelopment tp engage the enemy- this thing would be a aerial pocket knife for those engagements.



posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: FredT

Harvest Hawk conversion is figurative pennies above the bare bones C-130J. Less than $5M difference if I remember right. If you need a Herk, you might as well get the sensorball even if you don't use any other capabilities.

The Super Stallion should have died in utero. I don't know what the answer is, but killing it probably leaves a big gap for decades. It's horrendous, but they painted themselves into a corner.

You're right about the F-35B model forcing compromises; it's horrifically true. But that's sunk cost. Only thing that matters now is capability for cost, and nothing else comes close even ignoring the V/STOL aspect. Maybe more C models and rely on the Navy, like the Corps Hornet fleet does.

MV-22, like the Stallion, is a must unless you drop the requirement to quickly establish and sustain beachheads. Since that's the raison d'etre for the Corps, you're probably not going to find any advocates for that in the halls of senior leadership.


GD

posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 08:48 PM
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a reply to: FredT


Did some poking around- the estimated flyaway for the King Stallion is 83 million per airframe- 135. Its not just a point upgrade over the 53 Echos- it has double the cargo capacity.

F-35- I'm a huge proponent of this system. Outside of the sensor fusion it offers cost savings. Yeah, it's expensive but it is replacing multiple airframes for the Corps. It will replace the very old and not nearly as effective Harriers and legacy F-18s. The Corps is also retiring it's EA-6B's.


The MV-22 is, indeed 72 million per airframe. It has replaced Viet Nam era CH-46 Sea Knights. This airframe will save Marines lives with it's speed and range.

KC-130J 115 million per.

Harvest Hawk- it's amazing and still being upgraded.

One thing you have to take into account is the Marines will fly some of these airframes , forever. That will amortize the costs over a longer period of time. The AV-8b will have a lifetime of almost 40 years when it is done (1985- 2025).
The Sea Knight flew from 1962 to 2002. The CH-53E has been flying since 1981.


The Marines will continue to do what they have done, historically since the second half of the 20th century. They will be the nations 911 force. The mission will lead any transformation. Marines are already moving back on the ships, and deploying to places like Australia. For what it's worth, the nation gets a tremendous amount of bang for it's buck with the Corps.



posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 08:56 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Aggggg. I lost a whole post

In summary LOL:

The HARVEST HAWK upgrade is a super cost effective upgrade and ANY variant in any service that has more than a cargo role should get it IMHO. At the vary least the sensor ball gives you SA

The MV-22 is the bed that the USMC made for itself. They pitched it as needed for rapid stand off deployment and the numbers supports that. Combat radius for the K model is 110 nm vs over 300 for the Osprey. In the day of modern ASM's you cannot troll the Gator navy 50 miles off the coast anymore. Plus you are looking at a limited amphibious assault NOT a D Day kind of thing at best. You can figure out a better option to haul cargo thats not 135 million

They are really onto something with the Lighting Carrier concept. You pair that with 3-4 flight III Burkes and an SSN, and you have a light carrier strike group that outclasses almost everybody but the Brits and the French at this time (Jury is still out on the Chicoms) that will take the load off the super carriers etc. Heck you could revive the EV-22 and give it an small E-2 as well
edit on 9/21/19 by FredT because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 09:05 PM
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a reply to: GD

Do not get me wrong Pound for pound the USMC are the baddest regular force on the planet but we as a country can no longer financially support a mission that is at best iffy with some of these purchases

I love the Harvest Hawk and we need more thinking like that (If you dig into some of the aviation threads I caught an unloaded one doing touch and goes at Palmdale. I think it should be a standard for any C-130 that has a direct support / spec ops role

I have no issue with the KC-130J's and the cost.

The King Stallion is a bad ass heavy chopper but do you need that much capacity to hual cargo? Its not really useful for amphibious assault as I posted above

In regards to fly away costs vs total. You have to look at the total when you are figuring out system costs etc. Otherwise those B-2's are only 400 million each not the 2.1 billion they actually cost etc.

The F-35B as I said in the other thread, its a revolutionary new system and its going to have issues (has and will). My issue is the level of outright lies and obfuscation the various services put forth during the development.

The compromises on B model forced on the A and C
The USMC's fluff and stuff test with boatloads of spares and contractor support they used to declare IOC on the B model even though IT clearly was not ready
The USAF trying to kill the A-10, etc etc etc

The USMC is not alone if you follow all of the issues with the Ford class etc


GD

posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: FredT


Yes- they do need that kind of cargo on the 53. Remember the Corps try's to be as self sufficient as possible. An MV-22 cant can't move a lot of the gear that the Corps will need to move ashore. quickly.

Lies and obfuscation? Thats just another way to say federal goverment.



posted on Sep, 21 2019 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: FredT




In regards to fly away costs vs total. You have to look at the total when you are figuring out system costs etc. Otherwise those B-2's are only 400 million each not the 2.1 billion they actually cost etc.


Development costs are sunk costs. They aren't coming back. It makes no sense to factor program costs into unit costs for future decisions.

For example: the F-35 probably should have been cancelled around 2008. It wasn't. The money spent getting to today is gone. The decision to buy more (or not) should not be impacted by the costs to date, only future and present costs. Canceling the program now based on prior program development costs or trying to amortize those costs into the fleet on paper would be shear lunacy.
It was foolish to dump that money into the program in the first place. It'd even more foolish to start from scratch now on a new program and walk away from the very low purchase costs we can now (finally) take advantage of.
Same with the design compromises forced by the B-model. It was dumb then, but the only thing that matters now is "is it possible that I get X,Y,Z capability available with an F-35B for cheaper future costs than I can get for an F-35B?" And the answer is no. Going a different direction now that unit costs are cheaper than many/most legacy platforms would be doubling down on stupid.

The same thing with the B-2. Deciding not to buy more B-2's because you spent billions in development earlier, only makes your decision foolish in both directions, not just one. Far better to have bought more which would have dropped both unit- and total-costs.

Where program costs amortized over fleet numbers does make sense is in future decisions. IE Can I afford to develop a program in five years, buy only 80 of them if the total cost is $X? Ironically, this seems to be the new USAF plan for NGAD. And the answer will almost certainly be "no".



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 04:42 AM
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originally posted by: FredT

They are really onto something with the Lighting Carrier concept. You pair that with 3-4 flight III Burkes and an SSN, and you have a light carrier strike group that outclasses almost everybody but the Brits and the French at this time (Jury is still out on the Chicoms) that will take the load off the super carriers etc. Heck you could revive the EV-22 and give it an small E-2 as well


They don’t have 3-4 III Burkes to pair up with and SSN and an America. In fact, that’s the biggest issue with the concept. You end up with a full blown CSG screen protecting a smaller, less capable carrier. Which has additional logistical requirements, since there is no fleet carrier to support them.

If you go for smaller carriers, the only solution in a high threat environment is to pair them up with fleet carriers. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but considering the fleet carriers are nowhere near maximum wartime capacity, it’s simply unnecessary.

And if you’re looking at low end conflicts, any carrier is the wrong tool for the job. The far better solution is always to deploy from an airstrip in the theater and leave the ships at home. It has always been the embodiment of stupidity to use an entire Carrier Strike Group to bomb crazy people in the desert somewhere.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 11:34 AM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert
a reply to: FredT




In regards to fly away costs vs total. You have to look at the total when you are figuring out system costs etc. Otherwise those B-2's are only 400 million each not the 2.1 billion they actually cost etc.


Development costs are sunk costs. They aren't coming back. It makes no sense to factor program costs into unit costs for future decisions.
.


LOL you sound like Defense Contractor. Sunk COST are important as they impact an entire budget as are lifetime costs of systems etc. Its really the only way you can look at the actual cost and performance of a given system. Everything we buy from cars to drugs factor in the TOTAL development costs of the system in question. Yes for a longer production run, that cost will get spread out but it still should be taken into account.

In the case of the USMC, they for lets say 2020 want almost 50 billion which is almost 25% of the ENTIRE US navy. Expensive planes for a limited (and overlaping mission) mission is a budget breaker



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 11:43 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

Right you are correct, but they do have plenty of Burke's of the flight IIa etc (plus a proposed 4th incarnation) and they will have flight III's in numbers soon.

This concept would never be okay in a high threat environment. The B's limit what they can do with no F-18's etc. But as I said it would take the pressure off the supercarriers and leave them for those areas if needed.

We just had a CSG sail without its carrier. The USN cannot meets its existing obligations with its crumbling shipyards and its ever increasing operational requirements.

These light carrier groups could again take off some of the operational load so that they need not be deployed out to the breaking point etc.

From a logistical standpoint, they are already in the fleet and an Marine expeditionary strike group has an LDH or LHA, LPD, and an LHA. It seldom sails without some cruiser support. These formations already exist with composite airwings so the logistical train is also already in place.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: FredT


Of course total cost matters. I already gave an example: the F-35 should have been canceled when it initially went off the rails and way, way over budget about a decade ago. That was the time to cancel it. Before the giant cash infusion. You could project forward the total costs and make a relevant decision. But they did not cancel it. They all made a bad decision then (actually a series of bad decisions, some of which you note). You cancel the program when you project the future costs of the program outweigh the utility. That was true (and arguably obvious) 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 years ago. That has not really been true since.

The money spent already is never coming back. If you cancel F-35 production, you don't get a refund. And from 2019-2025, there is no way to develop a new V/STOL (or CTOL) tactical fighter for less dollars than buying F-35's. I can look forward and project future costs, and the future total cost of a new program doesn't come close to future F-35 procurement/unit costs.


Money spent is under the bridge. Only future costs factor into decision-making: So today, the only relevant question is: how can I fill this requirement at the least cost going forward? And the answer is more F-35's.



edit on 22-9-2019 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 01:02 PM
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They have alot of Burkes and they are building more, sure. But a third of those are tasked with theater missile defense or some such, another third will sail with the fleet carriers and the rest will be down for maintnance or hang around on the other side of the world. The point is, escorts will be in short supply if the USN deploys against China.

If you dont use them in high threat environments you can deploy them like they already deploy the Ambhibious Groups - with inadeqaute or no screening elements. But as said, it's still a bad concept in principle to sail ships halfway around the world to bomb some people in Nowherestan.

The USN cant meet its obligations, you're entirely correct on that. But the solution is not to swap a fleet carrier with a light carrier but do without carriers period.
It would be one thing if there were just a shortage in fleet carriers or something. But the state surface fleet is just as bad.
The solution is to cut back on unnecessary operational deployments. There is no need for Truman or its screen to deploy within 2nd Fleet AO.
Hell, there is no need for a CSG on the entire East Coast, Atlantic or the Med if you think about it. Every concievable contigency in the Western hemisphere can be covered by land based aircraft and allied assets.
The same is true for the entire Middle East #show if we're being honest.
I get that the Navy kinda needed to pretend something else after the Cold War ended, but these days there is actually near peer opponent to confront. Just on the other side of the world this time.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: FredT



From here on out, you have to take a risk and build and develop a new program or buy something existing. There is zero chance of developing something new for less future cost than buying a F-35 off the line at under $80M. Or you can buy an existing legacy aircraft that will have similar cost and drastically less capability. Those are the TacAir options for the USMC. And the least expensive and most effective way going forward is to buy more F-35's.


Only budget factors relevant to decision-making toda are the future costs in budget years 2020, 2021, 20- ... You can't unspend money. You can only limit cost going forward.

If I plan to drill a well on my property, and one contractor, Larry Mills says, "we expect to hit water at 160 feet at this location and it will cost $10k. Afterwards it'll be $27 a month amortized in maintenance to keep the well maintained." Another contractor, Ned Grubberman, says, " I can drill one for there for $12k, $25 amortized monthly cost for maintenance ". A third, Bob Dunder, says, "I'll do it for $13k, $25" . Your brother in law who has never drilled in his life says, "Hell, we can do it ourselves for $5k".

You pick the cheapest option from someone that you think is qualified to give an accurate estimate: you take the $10k bid. Now let's say two months later whether because of unforeseen problems (bedrock, water table is lower than expected subcontractors, gross mismanagement, some combination of the above), you've spent 7k so far, and the well isn't producing water. They want another eight grand to keep digging.

Your choice then is to give that company more money and hope they can get back on track without spending a lot over budget, or say, "I'm going with someone else". So an estimated $8k in future cost for sticking with the first contractor, or $12k to hire the second guy. Maybe you decide to stick it out, or maybe you have no confidence in contractor Larry Mills, any longer and hand it to Ned Grubberman or Bob Dunder. Depending on the circumstances, either of the three might be a good choice going forward.
Projected future development cost would be $8K Larry, $12K Ned, $13K Bob. Depends on your confidence level in Larry. Maybe another week goes by, and Larry now wants another $5K. You reluctantly agree. Maybe you shouldn't. Again depends on your confidence in Larry. Then he wants another $2k.

If you do stay with Larry and six months late, and $12k over budget, his well is finally done, and you've got water for $27 a month here on out -- you spent $22K on the project total so far. You can artificially inflate your monthly cost on paper by amoritising that total cost along with maintenance cost per gallon over the next forty years of the well's lifespan. And you'd see that (if all went well) Ned or Bob would have been a much better choice and gotten you cheaper water at per gallon prices over the lifetime of the well. You made a bad choice to stick with Larry. Earlier.

But deciding now to hire someone else to dig a different well because Larry Mills is a #-up and you spent too much past money, is the absolute most foolhardy way to spend future money.

Because your future budget cost for water is only $27 a month for 40 yrs. Your future cost by digging a new well would be at least $12k upfront and then at least $25 a month the next 40 years...

The time to fire Larry Mills was weeks ago when he asked for more money. Firing him after he spent $7k and was behind would have saved you total money, even if you had to pay Ned or Bob 12-13k and they went over budget by $1k. They might have even gotten you water sooner. But the closer you got to the water, the less sense it made to switch. And now it makes no sense, because you're done and your only future cost is monthly with this well. Digging a new well does include project future dig total costs. Maintaining the dug well does not.

edit on 22-9-2019 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: mightmight


There's nothing better for sea control than a CVBG. That's pretty indisputable. I don't think you can replace the persistence of the fleet in being with land-based air. But the cost-effectiveness is dubious, imo. The cost-effectiveness was always based on force projection, and I'm not sure it can do that anymore.


If you bought and operated two less super carriers, you could buy two America's, 4 Burke's and a SSN. I imagine, that's a better use of money, giving you a bigger swath of sea to control, and supporting amphibious landings and greater air, theater defense, in exchange for less striking power (which might not even be a feasible mission any longer against anything other than third-world countries) -- but the Navy will never willingly go that route.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Would you rather have two Fords or two Americas and four more Burkes on top of the 70+ you already have to confront China?

If i have to have carriers, i'd pick more capable carriers over more escorts any day. I wouldnt even try to come up with a workable solution for distributed firepower for more Sea Control or whatever. It would just invite defeat in detail against a near peer opponent.
The USN wont be able to operate small task forces in a confrontation against China. They'll be forced to group up two or even three carriers and their screens to even hope to persist inside the Chinese A2AD umbrella.

What i'm trying to say is, this debate cannot be held in a theoretical vacuum. We need to look at the emerging threat and the environment ten to twenty years from now. I don't see a use for light Carriers in a confrontation with China. And everything else is secondary.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

I don't see much utility for either vs a near-peer, but you could arguably expand in the littorals by putting the America-classes at risk, and/or control almost the same amount of area that a Ford could. Noone is going to risk a Ford with prolonged ops close to mainland China. And since I thus don't see a CVBG as a real force projector vs a near-peer, I'd rather concentrate the force with more subs, CG-X, DDG's than expend that money on a new super carrier. I'd rather add the mobile batteries and theatre defense on a CG-X type or DDG's at that point.

The navy vs China is limited to area denial. Not likely to see a pitched sea battle between surface groups because I don't see the Chinese committing to blue water ops where they'd be vulnerable. They'll secure the brownwater and along with the IRBM threat keep carriers too far away to project force on mainland China. If you can't do it with subs and strategic air assets, it probably isn't getting done in a full on clash.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 02:59 PM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert
The navy vs China is limited to area denial. Not likely to see a pitched sea battle between surface groups because I don't see the Chinese committing to blue water ops where they'd be vulnerable. They'll secure the brownwater and along with the IRBM threat keep carriers too far away to project force on mainland China. If you can't do it with subs and strategic air assets, it probably isn't getting done in a full on clash.


I agree with this, the Chinese want to keep American carriers as far away from them as possible and I believe they are too cautious to want to make themselves vulnerable and suffer any sort of defeat.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

If it were up to me, the USN would have never build the Fords. But that's irrelevant.

If you dont want to try to penetrate the Chinese A2AD umbrella, it hardly matters what fleet composition you end up not using.

And i also don't agree completley with your premise. Yes, the Chinese obviously wont come out to play. And USN CSG wont operate 'close' to mainland china. But close is a relative term. I do see CSGs penetrating the outer layers of the Chinese A2AD zone to launch limited long range strikes. You wouldn't park them at the east coast of Taiwan, but somewhere 500nm out in the Philippine Sea - why not. Especially post day one, after the US degraded the Chinese ability to mount ballistic or hypersonic attacks.
Limited long range strikes are better than nothing and with the fleet carriers there is at least a chance you can generate some sorties between F-35Cs and Hornet/Stingray tanker support. Americas with F-35Bs and V-22s would do much worse.




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