posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 01:17 PM
Whether the USAF buys another manned fighter or not is totally irrelevant at this point. Even UCAVs take time to develop, and we're approaching, for
lack of a better term, critical mass on a fighter shortage. The F-15 is rapidly approaching the end of its projected service life, and their answer
is to extend the service life.
The Air National Guard, with the exception of Hawaii which is a pretty unique situation, hasn't received a new aircraft in probably decades. They
get the hand me downs from the active duty force, that the active force doesn't want anymore because they're old, or maintenance intensive. But
more and more the ANG is being tasked with more missions that previously had been the purview of the active force. If nothing is done, such as
getting F-22s for the ANG, or giving brand new F-35s (which are still years away from being close to ready) to them there are going to be units of the
ANG that are going to have an air defense mission, and very few, if any planes to fly the mission with because they've become too old.
There is no excuse for the lies that have been told to justify the F-22, to the detriment of every other aircraft in the inventory. Just as there is
no excuse for development having taken 20+ years, and still being years away from having their full capabilities. With the money that has been spent
on this program, it should be much closer to full capabilities than it truly is.
What really disgusts me though is the fact that after all that has happened with the F-22 procurement, the F-35 is following the exact same
path. The first F-35 squadron was supposed to have been stood up this year. We're three years minimum from seeing them at either IOC or IOT&E
from everything I've read about the program. The first weapons separation test just occurred within the last month or two.
As for the UCAV idea, the X-47 is starting to follow the same path of decades to operational. The first X-47 pictures were released years ago, and
they're looking at another year or two before they even fly an approach to an aircraft carrier, let alone are flying off the deck of one.
I love the Air Force. I grew up on a flightline, and I spent many years of my life out there. But this is really disgusting to watch, the way they
are screwing themselves into the ground. It started to become really apparent around the time of the first attempt at a new tanker buy, and it's
just been getting more and more clear that the current management is a pitiful joke that can be bought by any contractor with big enough pockets
(Boeing and Lockheed).