US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Arun.prabhu
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Arun.prabhu » 21 Oct 2019 19:41

brar_w wrote:
Good luck boss!

Why? Though my plane will never see the light of day, It’s not me who is going into battle with crappy F35. It’s American soldiers. Wish them luck because their platform is shit.

brar_w wrote:
You know how many times I have provided context on the various cost metrics and the absurd "Trillion dollar" label? Most folks here who have been around for a few years know that. There is even a thread dedicated to it on this forum where I've done it probably a dozen or more times. It's tough to argue that if one wanted to actually educate oneself with the correct data, there isn't material available on this forum (forget the rest of the internet). Maybe even this thread. I'm not going to do your homework for you. If you chose to be ignorant, use data that are not comparable or think that 1 F-35 costs the equivalent of 10 Rafale's then you are on your own. Figure it out for yourself.


Oh it didn’t take me long to figure out you are full of it.BS quoth a thousand times still doesn’t smell like roses because it was, is and always will be shit.

brar_w wrote:
You do that. Meanwhile, those who actually know their stuff are hard at work developing and fielding VLO aircraft. But hey..who knows..perhaps the Cessna Skyhawk market is about to blow up.


Yes and when a real war fought between peers comes, we’ll see how badly stealth fares. Sort of like how the battleship mafia in pre-WW2 USN and CVs. Someday, someone will realise mass has a quality of its own and then we’ll see what we’ll see.

brar_w wrote:Sorry..I'll pass on the POGO-land..


Don’t be butt hurt. I haven’t seen you refute 1 sortie every three days except some crap about how missions weren’t there ignoring entirely that it wasn’t just the ME deployment but the whole f35 fleet. The first stage is denial. Perhaps you’ll get to the final stage and see your awesome plane is a cow someday. I’m not keeping my fingers crossed though. Wilful blindness of this nature indicates some serious defects in thought process.

brar_w wrote:
This is what happens when facts are presented that come from verified demonstrated performance that happen during routine SS operations.


It would help your fibs if you had researched them, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

brar_w wrote:Yes and that is a strategic choice the US can make in addition to economic sanctions on Russia.


LMAO okay. I’m convinced. LMAO

brar_w wrote:
No one is pretending that it works when it does not unless of course one lives deep inside the POGO gutter. The F-35, by all accounts performs great and this extends to other operators around the world who are not only using it in combat missions but area also increasing their purchase quantities via follow on orders. Commanders and pilots who fly it are its best judge and I think by now the cohort of F-35 pilots extends well beyond 500 globally. The MC rates are a concern but that is a transition phase and it will probably surpass the 75% mark by this time next year on its way to the 80% goal target. This too is not unprecedented. New types, especially when production is being expanded at a high rate as they are being inducted, something go through a curve as depot capacity catches up and spare part availability constraints fade away. The long term MCR will probably be in the 70-80% range during times when budgets are passed in a time bound fashion and dip to the 60-70% range when they are not (just like every other fighter in the USAF and USN)..

The USAF bought around 100 F-16's between the Mid 1990's and Mid 2000's. Those and some others will be retained because they have plenty of airframe hours left in them (especially in light of the recent work on F-16 airframe life extension) and because the F-35A does not need to replace all the fighters across the Active AF, Guard and Reserve. Certainly if a need is felt that even those need to be modernized future budgets can support that. Similarly, the F-15E' are 18,000 hour air-frames and that fleet is not going anywhere. In addition to that, the DOD wants the USAF to buy 80 F-15EX and collectively the Strike Eagle type will continue to serve as these aircraft have (at baseline) a significantly longer airframe life than other USAF fighters. The F-15C has largely been offloaded to the ANG with the exception of a couple of squadrons. Those too will be gone in the next decade or so. The ANG aircraft will be retired and swapped out for Strike Eagles and will continue the DCA mission from CONUS and the Strike and DCA mission from OCONUS.


more BS. You leave out why the life extension work was done on the F-16. Pretending does not make reality.
https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... 6-upgrades


The f16s were upgraded because F35s are delayed and not meeting requirements. The plans were made during Obama era and activated last year.

https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... ough-2048/

brar_w wrote:
Of course. I think in this case, your problem may not be getting the horse/men to drink. There may be something wrong with the water itself.


All right. :)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Oct 2019 20:00

Arun.prabhu wrote:Though my plane will never see the light of day...


I wonder why :roll:

Arun.prabhu wrote:Oh it didn’t take me long to figure out you are full of it.BS quoth a thousand times still doesn’t smell like roses because it was, is and always will be shit.


Meanwhile, you claim 1 F-35 = 10 Rafales on cost. I think it is best to let others here decide who is pushing BS claims here.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Yes and when a real war fought between peers comes, we’ll see how badly stealth fares.


You've already modeled that out have you? So the only way to prove your point wrong is to wait, perhaps indefinitely, for a near peer conflict to arrive and stealth to be proven wrong.

But meanwhile, folks around the world, who actually know their stuff..aren't waiting for that. They're fast at work developing, fielding, or refining stealthy combat fighters.... And it's not a linear growth. Besides the F-22/F-35, there are now a DOZEN VLO fighter aircraft projects in one stage or the other around the world. That's one dozen times those with actual grasp of the subject matter, those possessing actual technical information, and those having the most relevant data on stealth and counter stealth (compared to keyboard warriors), have looked at the the capability requirement and decided to invest in VLO technologies and capabilities across the entire gamut of tactical fighter missions. Including India and spanning the entire gamut of Science and Technology related SME's (AdA/HAL etc) and the operator community in the IAF.

But what do they all know.

Image


Look the argument that stealth is expensive...not worth it..and the same can be spent to acquire 2X of "my proposed aircraft" ignores the basic fact that those that have developed it, or those currently developing it, are capable of doing a thorough cost-benefit analysis informed with a ton of more data, information, and relevant facts than you ever will be. We can have a quick race to the bottom as anyone can draw up a fighter that is half or less the price of whatever Cesna variant you are proposing..and then someone else can advocate of even ditching that in favor of gliders and men armed with hand-grenades and parachutes.

Arun.prabhu wrote: I haven’t seen you refute 1 sortie every three days


I have provided you actual demonstrated SGR performance data. What else do you want me to do?

Arun.prabhu wrote:more BS. You leave out why the life extension work was done on the F-16. Pretending does not make reality.


No, but how is that relevant now? In the 2010-2012 time-frame the USAF had to hedge because the F-35 was not operational and it had not successfully come out of its re-baselining. The third lifetime structural tests on the F-16 had been delayed for well over a decade. The USAF had purchased about 100 F-16's over a decade or slightly more leading up to the F-22A IOC. Those aircraft are good for about 40 years...perhaps even longer.. In addition to that, plenty more can go on till 12K. Certainly there are roles within the ANG and Reserve where the F-16's are perfectly suitable or even preferred. The 1763 F-35A number is quite large but it is still a balance between other priorities including combat fighters that need to replace other types (like F-15's and F-22's in the future), bombers and Unmanned aircraft etc. Like I said earlier, that number can very easily be changed as the aircraft will be in production for decades. There is nothing stopping future USAF leadership to adjusting it either way..

The f16s were upgraded because F35s are delayed and not meeting requirements. The plans were made during Obama era and activated last year.


The F-16 structural program was re-started as a hedge yes. But they are being upgraded because it makes a lot of sense to do so and because as aircraft are pushed out of the AA through to the ANG and AFR there are good, sound economic and operational reasons to invest in a life-extension. Then there are also issues about right sizing the air-force. The USAF is committed to 1763 F-35A's. When they retire their F-16's or how and when they are pushed down to ANG and the Reserve component is entirely dependent on when they think they fail to deliver value to the AF. A SLEP on an F-16 along with a new mission computer and an AESA radar is still plenty of capability for those combat units especially considering their mission focus and how many training hours they get. Its a fairly affordable way of buying capability for them. I certainly do not advocate not going down that path. It makes sense because there are also other USAF priorities even in the combat fighter sphere, beyond just the F-35.

NGAD/PCA investments are trickling up and it will be transitioning from RDT&E to procurement in the late 2020's so yes that is a good balance to strike with majority of the F-16's in the Active AF being replaced by F-35A's and a mix of both F-35A's and SLEP'd and upgraded F-16's in the Reserve and Guard component. How the USAF wants to grow is also one consideration. If the USAF determines it needs more figther squadrons, then a great way to acheive that in the short term is through a combination of buying F-35's and SLEP'ing F-16's. As it is, there are limits to how many F-35A's the USAF can buy per year (for various reasons). The ceiling is closer to 80 but more realistically in the 70 range any plans to accelerate that beyond 70-80 will cause operational disruptions. Any short-medium or long term fighter squadron growth beyond that would have to come from elsewhere. One way to do that is by adding about 12-15 years of operational life on your existing fighters..especially if they are being re-tasked and being pushed down to the ANG and reserve where they both deploy less and fly less than the Active AF component.

This obviously does not mean that the Guard and the Reserve will become an exclusively fourth gen. or F-16 force. They will continue to maintain a mix of F-35's, F-15's and F-16's among other aircraft. The first F-35A for an ANG unit was handed over just last month and the USAF has already announced additional Air Force Reserve bases that will be getting the F-35A starting next summer. All in, the Active AF will be predominately F-35 heavy (compared to F-16) while the Guard and Reserve will see a mix and may even be legacy heavy through the 20's, 30's and even early 40's.This too is not atypical. The last operational sortie flown by a USAF F-4 was in 1995-96 just a year before the F-22A first flew (5-6 years after the YF22 and YF23 flew). The USAF was buying F-22's, F-15's and F-16's concurrently through a period of 1990's and early 2000's. You never wipe the slate clean and have a clearly demarcated transition. Usually it is a process that is spread over many decades.And there are sound operational reasons to do it this way besides just purely economic ones.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... n-vermont/
https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... th-fighter

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 00:17


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 22 Oct 2019 08:37

Besides the F-22/F-35, there are now a DOZEN VLO fighter aircraft projects in one stage or the other around the world. That's one dozen times those with actual grasp of the subject matter, those possessing actual technical information, and those having the most relevant data on stealth and counter stealth (compared to keyboard warriors), have looked at the the capability requirement and decided to invest in VLO technologies and capabilities across the entire gamut of tactical fighter missions. Including India and spanning the entire gamut of Science and Technology related SME's (AdA/HAL etc) and the operator community in the IAF.


There is a place for VLO and will be for the near future as surveillance systems are lagging behind (aside from the major US defense contractors). In 10-20 years, surveillance systems will mature to account for VLO aircraft, but it doesn't mean VLO goes away because detection and tracking are only one part of the problem. The other is the ability to get an A-to-A missle to lock on to a VLO aircraft. The other big issue are having the CAPEX for deploying modern surveillance systems. That said, after 10-20 years VLO will offer diminishing returns due to physics. It doesn't mean VLO design goes away as it will be part of better aerodynamic performance, but it will matter less. Regardless of the billions spent by Lockheed, Northrop and Boeing, don't expect an RCS reduction of 3-6 dBsm in the L, S, and C bands beyond the current 5th generation aircraft. Modern radar systems utilize various methods of signal processing to reduce clutter and implement various polarization techniques, then use sophisticated algorithms to distinguish targets. They can narrow receiver bandwidths to see 9-12 dB below the thermal noise floor.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 08:43

The next generation of military stealth aircraft are already under construction and in fact are probably actually flying and operational. What follows them, 10-15 years from now will be even more advanced. If one aspect of the technology fails to advance, some other will come into the picture. To think the cat and mouse game will ever stop is to think that one side is willing to give up and go home. There is no indication of this. In fact, the European NG stealth aircraft won't even be operational until 20+ years from now, and likewise the AMCA will take a decade to two as well for full operational capability. Of course it isn't just about being un-detected. I've been screaming that for the last many years, yet folks seem to always think that its a zero sum game (invisibility or total visibility). Ultimately, stealth is a tool in the tool bag that is used to break kill chains for long enough to achieve mission success. It's always been that from day-1 and some of the pioneers in the field have spoken and written about this being the driving force.
Last edited by brar_w on 22 Oct 2019 08:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 22 Oct 2019 08:50

brar_w wrote:The next generation of military stealth aircraft are already under construction and in fact are probably actually flying and operational. What follows them, 10-15 years from now will be even more advanced. If one aspect of the technology fails to advance, some other will come into the picture. To think the cat and mouse game will ever stop is to think that one side is willing to give up and go home. There is no indication of this. In fact, the European NG stealth aircraft won't even be operational until 15 years from now, and likewise the AMCA will take a decade to two as well for full operational capability.


There is a limitation due to physics. The next generation of aircraft are not Romulan Warbirds capable of cloaking. They rely on conventional jet engines and power systems which are not matter-antimatter generators. I think you've gone too far with the major defense contractor program management perspective. Sure there's a lot of money and talent involved in building these aircraft, but at the same time detection capabilities are also improving. VLO will hit its physical limitation where price vs. performance becomes an issue.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 08:54

Mort Walker wrote:
brar_w wrote:The next generation of military stealth aircraft are already under construction and in fact are probably actually flying and operational. What follows them, 10-15 years from now will be even more advanced. If one aspect of the technology fails to advance, some other will come into the picture. To think the cat and mouse game will ever stop is to think that one side is willing to give up and go home. There is no indication of this. In fact, the European NG stealth aircraft won't even be operational until 15 years from now, and likewise the AMCA will take a decade to two as well for full operational capability.


There is a limitation due to physics. The next generation of aircraft are not Romulan Warbirds capable of cloaking. They rely on conventional jet engines and power systems which are not matter-antimatter generators. I think you've gone too far with the major defense contractor program management perspective. Sure there's a lot of money and talent involved in building these aircraft, but at the same time detection capabilities are also improving. VLO will hit its physical limitation where price vs. performance becomes an issue.


You are stuck looking at the entire thing from a very narrow prism (RCS reduction vs radar detection abilities). No one who is actually going to be tasked with this is going to be that narrowly focused because that defies the entire point. The object is not to reduce RCS by a particular set metric either evolutionary or exponentially. What defines success isn't to magically come up with fairy dust solutions to RCS reduction. The idea is to defeat radars, seekers, jammers etc. and break kill chains. You do that..then mission accomplished. How exactly the Next Gen. systems intend to do this in a highly integrated manner is what those working on them are likely concerning themselves with. Not everything is about coming up with anti-matter generators and insane RCS measurements. This is a broader problem then that.

And when I mention NG systems, I don't refer only to US systems. This is now an area that is seeing global investment. From Russia, to China, across Europe and even India. Who knows where the next highly survivable designs will originate from but rest assured, the number of teams working on creating them has grown not diminished. In fact, by my last count there are now a dozen VLO fighter programs beyond the 2 US 5th gen. prorams. Add bombers, UAV's etc. and the number is nearly double that. That's a lot of teams tasked with developing a baseline and getting to higher system performances with experience. Over time, they'll deliver results or fail..We'll see it play out..
Last edited by brar_w on 22 Oct 2019 09:04, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 22 Oct 2019 09:01

brar_w wrote:
Mort Walker wrote:
There is a limitation due to physics. The next generation of aircraft are not Romulan Warbirds capable of cloaking. They rely on conventional jet engines and power systems which are not matter-antimatter generators. I think you've gone too far with the major defense contractor program management perspective. Sure there's a lot of money and talent involved in building these aircraft, but at the same time detection capabilities are also improving. VLO will hit its physical limitation where price vs. performance becomes an issue.


You are stuck looking at the entire thing from a very narrow prism (RCS reduction vs radar detection abilities). No one who is actually going to be tasked with this is going to be that narrowly focused because that defies the entire point. The object is not to reduce RCS by a particular set metric either evolutionary or exponentially. The idea is to defeat radars, and break kill chains. How exactly the NG systems intend to do this in a highly integrated manner is what those working on them are likely concerning themselves with. Not everything is about coming up with anti-matter generators and insane RCS measurements. This is a broader problem then that.


Active counter-measures have always been there and is a matter of weight and fiscal budgets. That is why I said it is not just a problem of detection, but can an adversary deliver an A-to-A missle to target? Reducing RCS at different wavelengths has always been a goal of aircraft designers. Look at it from the point of view of those who design surveillance systems implementing an array of sensors across the spectrum of detection.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 09:08

This is what I've been screaming as well. Sherman Mullin and those before him who pioneered VLO technology in its early days have been talking about kill-chains from day 1. They've even published their work that speaks to this mindset and focus. Mullin has a great talk that he gave at Johns Hopkins APL (must be on youtube/Vimeo etc) where he talks of this.. This is what RCS suppression, or "Passive EW" gets you. EMS manuever and the ability to deny huge swaths of the EMS to your adversary is highly coveted and imposes a huge cost on your opponent especially when the capability to do so proliferates from a silver bullet force to a more diverse force capable of delivering massive quantity. The Air-Defense headache is compounded when you go from just a few VLO bombers to hundreds, if not thousands of VLO aircraft, UAV's, even missiles and other enablers (like decoys, loyal wingmen etc). This has not gone unnoticed the world over..hence stealthy design principles and RF/IR supression technologies are highly coveted especially in combat aircraft that are currently in the works. And not just the exotic manned fighters. These principles are being applied to UAV's, and weapons as well. Just look at what Russia is flying right now and what China displayed in its circus. The next generation systems will just be better at doing this than the current crop..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 22 Oct 2019 09:38

...and the next generation of surveillance sensors will improve POD and be more accurate too. As time goes on, the money to bet is on the surveillance sensors.

P.S. Start looking at MIT Lincoln Labs on ISR development. There is some good stuff out there.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 17:07

Mort Walker wrote:...and the next generation of surveillance sensors will improve POD and be more accurate too. As time goes on, the money to bet is on the surveillance sensors.

P.S. Start looking at MIT Lincoln Labs on ISR development. There is some good stuff out there.


Those who actually have money to spend on this, aren't putting money on one side or the other. They are spending it on both, stealth and counterstealth. The former is obviously visible with the sprouting up of VLO and LO designs all over the place and in applications across the entire spectrum of combat aircraft. That is no surprise. The USAF just upped its inventory requirements for JASSM and LRASM to past 10,000 Missiles for example (it is a weapon that Ben Rich or one of his other team members described as the best RCS optimized work the Skunk works had done at the time). Others. around the world now have money, the technical means, and a need and clearly see the value (despite your claims of radars making it less usefull over time or completely irrelevant).

Look no further than the AMCA and AURA - both VLO designs or at least VLO requirements for now. And the IAF is expecting to encounter the same RF sensors vis-a-vis China that the US is and both countries have essentially come to the same conclusion (as have others that are pitted against the same threat such as South Korea, and Japan both countries with plenty of talent that is capable of a deep understanding of radar technology evolution) in terms of VLO optimized fighters and UAV's with the only difference being fielded time-lines and the technical capabilities..In fact, China, the country probably the most incentivised to invest in counter stealth (given their threats) is itself very heavily investing in Stealth across two figther projects (perhaps more), multiple UAV's, and ISR aircraft and at least one long range bomber project. Again, a nation that has lots of engineering and S&T talent to be able to safely leverage information and predict how a particular technology will fair over 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years before embarking on long term investments.

In India, the AMCA and AURA won't be in service in numbers for another 15-20 years so clearly the scientist community, and the operator community sees their VLO being value add then and decades beyond that - hence the requirements. Similarly in the US, the RQ-180 is likely already operational and the first B-21 under construction and a few years from Early Operational Capability. Granted that those aerodynamic shapes need not be constraint for a narrower band of the EMS and can be designed for much wider band VLO capability, but the underlying systems based view on VLO technology and its necessity is still valid.

Instead of arguing that..all these folks don't know what they are doing..or are clueless about how radar tech is going to evolve over the next decade or two..energy and efforts could be better spent at trying to figure out what capability the next crop will bring to the table and why all the subject matter experts, and military planners the world over think VLO technology still holds value and is worth investing billions into especially in those cases where it is not a progression or evolution of baseline capability, developed decades ago, but a completely new thing which requires the setting up of all the basic infrastructure to develop and produce the tech and then set it up for mass production (India fits in this bucket). In the pursuit of VLO technology across multiple applications, India is likely to spend a lot of wealth mastering this technology over the next 10-20 years. Obviously a cost-benefit analysis must have been done at multiple levels to compare that investment to alternate tracks. Why do you think these requirements and investments persisted?

I've posted a fair bit about MIT LL on this forum, including their involvement in the USAF Counter-stealth red teaming effort. They led the SE effort to design and model the effect of VHF sensors on Stealth and survivability, and continue to play a role there. A good read and going back years and decades. They along with similar teams from academia and the S&T community elsewhere continue to play an active role on both sides of the equation.

P.S - Could the moderators please move the last few posts (on stealth) to the Stealth thread?
Last edited by brar_w on 22 Oct 2019 17:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Arun.prabhu » 22 Oct 2019 17:40

brar_w wrote:
I wonder why :roll:


Because people don't think. Consider, the whole argument about greater engine thrust has to do with gaining the upper hand in a dog fight where greater power allows one to gain lost KE and thus gain an advantage over the adversary. But this isn't the philosophy behind LO and VLO warplanes. The philosophy here is to be as silent as a thief and to do unto your enemy before he would do unto you. This philosophy is built on the assumption that air to air missile tech have supposedly have grown dependable enough that it can be used from afar. This is why the F35 has the dogfighting characteristics of a cow. Follow me so far?

Now, if you don't need power to pull up or ahead of an enemy in a dogfight and regain KE faster than he can, do we still need to mandate the requirement for a powerful engine capable of reheat thrust and whatever? And consider this. The plane is built around that gas guzzling engine with and its fuel tanks occupying most of the space on the body and the wings, kind of like how the battleships were built around their humongous guns. Follow me thus far?

Take out that engine and reduce the fuel requirements, and all else being equal, you reduce the size of that plane. This reduces the radar signature. Since you don't have to support a large weight of fuel, your wings can be built lighter, which again reduces weight. The stresses on the body and the wing surfaces will be less and so you don't have to use very high strength material. Your plane would become easier to manufacture and maintain. And since you're using a propeller engine, which is technologically easier to build, run and maintain without need for SCBs and whatnot that your high power jet engine needs, it becomes and cheaper faster to produce. Heat signature would be reduced. With careful application of composites embedded with convex cones that scatter radar energy incident on them - and you don't have to use cutting edge composites because the thermal and load stresses aren't going to be that high - you can reduce RCS. This reduction, along with size and shaping of the air craft would make the propeller plane LO or even VLO.

A plane built thus would be equipped with good enough or even cutting edge sensor packs. Ordnance - both air to air and air to ground - would be carried within the main body of the airplane, which space would now be massively increased. We can build dedicated sensor platforms, weapons platforms, recon platforms, EW platforms, et al and they would all be specially built for their specific roles which would give them a heads up on multirole jet engined warplanes that try to do too many things and aren't really good at anything.

My planes will most likely not have a 1:1 or better exchange ratio, but training to fly a prop plane is easier so the potential pilot pool increases, my pilots will get more time in the air as operational and maintenance expenses will be low, my planes will have high availability rates because being sufficiently low tech, they are easier to maintain, my planes will have very high sortie generation rates - a function of maintainability and availability among other things...

Do you understand now? I have put quite a bit of thought into my plane. Why don't you put your brain to use instead of blindly following the party line?

brar_w wrote:
Meanwhile, you claim 1 F-35 = 10 Rafales on cost. I think it is best to let others here decide who is pushing BS claims here.


Here's my original statement: Rafale development program was 45.3 billion Euros. F35 development was almost a magnitude larger. Were the technologies developed for F35 so advanced that 1 F35 packs the same fighting and bombing process as 10 Rafales? As for F35 and Rafale costs, you have it wrong. Flyaway cost of F35 is upwards of 100 mil USD for B and C variants, but less than 90 mil USD for Rafale B and C. USAF could have built how many more thousand Rafales for the price of the F35? Quantity does matter.

Now, tell me, where do I say that 1 F35 = 10 Rafales on cost. Please do point out. You can't because I did not. Either you failed to comprehend or you intentionally misunderstood.

brar_w wrote:You've already modeled that out have you? So the only way to prove your point wrong is to wait, perhaps indefnitely, for a near peer conflict to arrive and stealth to be proven wrong.


I don't have to model anything. History on my side. Simpler and easier to build and fight wins. Complex and harder to build and fight loses. Clearly, you haven't studied war.

brar_w wrote:But meanwhile, folks around the world, who actually know their stuff..aren't waiting for that. They're fast at work developing, fielding, or refining stealthy combat fighters.... And it's not a linear growth. Besides the F-22/F-35, there are now a DOZEN VLO fighter aircraft projects in one stage or the other around the world. That's one dozen times those with actual grasp of the subject matter, those possessing actual technical information, and those having the most relevant data on stealth and counter stealth (compared to keyboard warriors), have looked at the the capability requirement and decided to invest in VLO technologies and capabilities across the entire gamut of tactical fighter missions. Including India and spanning the entire gamut of Science and Technology related SME's (AdA/HAL etc) and the operator community in the IAF.


Are you trying to awe me with authority here? Please don't The same class of staff officers who envisioned, shepherded and saw the F35 through to its end with horrible cost escalations are the same ones that gave the US Armed Forces the Littoral Combat Ship - which idiot thinks that two separate metals in contact or near to each other in salt water was a good idea? - turned your infantry into donkeys laden with armor, tied their hands with horrible ROE, have been trying to create a infantry weapon for maybe forty years without success, thought that the F16 and then the F35 could do the job of the A10... This is the same set of officers, none of whom have been fired for cause in nearly twenty years of war. The same class of officers who ****** their subordinates, or their subordinate's wives...

brar_w wrote: But what do they all know.


Indeed. What can a bunch of morally bankrupt, micromanaging, fight war with lawyers asses know?

brar_w wrote:Look the argument that stealth is expensive...not worth it..and the same can be spent to acquire 2X of "my proposed aircraft" ignores the basic fact that those that have developed it, or those currently developing it, are capable of doing a thorough cost-benefit analysis informed with a ton of more data, information, and relevant facts than you ever will be. We can have a quick race to the bottom as anyone can draw up a fighter that is half or less the price of whatever Cesna variant you are proposing..and then someone else can advocate of even ditching that in favor of gliders and men armed with hand-grenades and parachutes.


Relevant information is in the public domain. LO and VLO aircraft are tracked by weather stations, for example. So what if those radars can't guide a missile on target? The enemy knows where you are and while you may be harder to shoot down, you can and will be shot down. End of story. Spending so much on LO tech with attendant maintenance headaches in aircraft is a high cost, low return strategy. The staff are apparently aware of it as they did not want Turkey to operate Russian AD with multiple wavelength radars that can see your precious VLO cow. Missiles with dual sensors will make the VLO cow easier to kill. Human ingenuity will find a way.

brar_w wrote:I have provided you actual demonstrated SGR performance data. What else do you want me to do?


The fleet wide availability numbers don't gel with yours. One is incorrect. Since smaller data sets are easier to falsify and armies go to extraordinary lengths to make bad ideas look good - women in SF with vastly relaxed fitness and other requirements, for example or the navy and its persistent problem with pregnant enlisted - I'll discount yours, which I assume was taken from an exercise. I will believe you if you can supply me what was the downtime of the sample F35s after said exercise as well as the average sortie generation rates for a few months before the exercise but this data is likely not available publicly. You see, Brar, context matters and the numbers you provided need the other data I ask for to provide context. If the SGR after the exercise is the same as before, then the numbers are right and I'll have to eat crow for calling F35 a 1 sortie every 3 days wonder, but if not, and I suspect are chances are high this is the case, the USAF or whichever branch of the armed forces went to extraordinary lengths to get a brief but unsustainable spike in sortie generation rates.

brar_w wrote:No, but how is that relevant now? In the 2010-2012 time-frame the USAF had to hedge because the F-35 was not operational and it had not successfully come out of its re-baselining. The third lifetime structural tests on the F-16 had been delayed for well over a decade. The USAF had purchased about 100 F-16's over a decade or slightly more leading up to the F-22A IOC. Those aircraft are good for about 40 years...perhaps even longer.. In addition to that, plenty more can go on till 12K. Certainly there are roles within the ANG and Reserve where the F-16's are perfectly suitable or even preferred. The 1763 F-35A number is quite large but it is still a balance between other priorities including combat fighters that need to replace other types (like F-15's and F-22's in the future), bombers and Unmanned aircraft etc. Like I said earlier, that number can very easily be changed as the aircraft will be in production for decades. There is nothing stopping future USAF leadership to adjusting it either way..


Context. The USAF, which could not wait to get rid of the A10, though they had been only recently upgraded, wants to keep a fifty year old design upgraded with modern sensors alive for another thirty years. Politics or lack of confidence in the F35? I'd say a bit of both.

brar_w wrote:The F-16 structural program was re-started as a hedge yes. But they are being upgraded because it makes a lot of sense to do so and because as aircraft are pushed out of the AA through to the ANG and AFR there are good, sound economic and operational reasons to invest in a life-extension. Then there are also issues about right sizing the air-force. The USAF is committed to 1763 F-35A's. When they retire their F-16's or how and when they are pushed down to ANG and the Reserve component is entirely dependent on when they think they fail to deliver value to the AF. A SLEP on an F-16 along with a new mission computer and an AESA radar is still plenty of capability for those combat units especially considering their mission focus and how many training hours they get. Its a fairly affordable way of buying capability for them. I certainly do not advocate not going down that path. It makes sense because there are also other USAF priorities even in the combat fighter sphere, beyond just the F-35.

NGAD/PCA investments are trickling up and it will be transitioning from RDT&E to procurement in the late 2020's so yes that is a good balance to strike with majority of the F-16's in the Active AF being replaced by F-35A's and a mix of both F-35A's and SLEP'd and upgraded F-16's in the Reserve and Guard component. How the USAF wants to grow is also one consideration. If the USAF determines it needs more figther squadrons, then a great way to acheive that in the short term is through a combination of buying F-35's and SLEP'ing F-16's. As it is, there are limits to how many F-35A's the USAF can buy per year (for various reasons). The ceiling is closer to 80 but more realistically in the 70 range any plans to accelerate that beyond 70-80 will cause operational disruptions. Any short-medium or long term fighter squadron growth beyond that would have to come from elsewhere. One way to do that is by adding about 12-15 years of operational life on your existing fighters..especially if they are being re-tasked and being pushed down to the ANG and reserve where they both deploy less and fly less than the Active AF component.

This obviously does not mean that the Guard and the Reserve will become an exclusively fourth gen. or F-16 force. They will continue to maintain a mix of F-35's, F-15's and F-16's among other aircraft. The first F-35A for an ANG unit was handed over just last month and the USAF has already announced additional Air Force Reserve bases that will be getting the F-35A starting next summer. All in, the Active AF will be predominately F-35 heavy (compared to F-16) while the Guard and Reserve will see a mix and may even be legacy heavy through the 20's, 30's and even early 40's.This too is not atypical. The last operational sortie flown by a USAF F-4 was in 1995-96 just a year before the F-22A first flew (5-6 years after the YF22 and YF23 flew). The USAF was buying F-22's, F-15's and F-16's concurrently through a period of 1990's and early 2000's. You never wipe the slate clean and have a clearly demarcated transition. Usually it is a process that is spread over many decades.And there are sound operational reasons to do it this way besides just purely economic ones.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... n-vermont/
https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... th-fighter


Entirely missing the point that the F16 was originally meant to be retired decades before 2048 and that the USAF has proven quite willing to retire old birds to cut down on operational costs so as to free up budget for new ones.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 18:18

Arun.prabhu wrote:Because people don't think.


Got it. Glad you do not suffer from that. I hope people read your arguments and we will see a proliferation of cessna's within major combat air forces around the world.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Here's my original statement: Rafale development program was 45.3 billion Euros. F35 development was almost a magnitude larger.


Wrong numbers and fuzzy math as usual..GIGO. Come back when you have something worth talking about that is fact based.

Arun.prabhu wrote:I don't have to model anything. History on my side. Simpler and easier to build and fight wins. Complex and harder to build and fight loses. Clearly, you haven't studied war.


Glad you've studied history and therefore assume that everyone else has either not studied it, or has completely ignored it because they do not share your opinion or in fact unanimously come to the opposite conclusion of what is needed compared to you. But please continue to claim that everyone doesn't listen, people don't think and people do not read history and that you however are in some sort of exclusive club that is immune to this.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Relevant information is in the public domain. LO and VLO aircraft are tracked by weather stations, for example.


Really? Tracked where and by who, what are the stealth forces doing to stay hidden from them..Were they even doing anything?

Arun.prabhu wrote:The fleet wide availability numbers don't gel with yours. One is incorrect.


The fleet wide availability numbers and SGR are not one and the same things. The problem is not with the numbers but with your understanding of them. The fleet is fragmented between the operational fleet, the forward deployed fleet, the test fleet, and the training fleet. A good segmentation is between the combat coded fleet and the non combat coded fleet as the test and even to a large extent the training fleet is only incentivised to meet a MCR that it needs at any given time (anything more than that is a misuse of O&S resources and better spent elsewhere). There, the combat coded fleet has MC rates somewhere in the 60% range perhaps a little better than that though FY19 numbers are still not out. The goal was to get them to 80% by FY20 (October 1, 2019) but it appears that it will take about another year or so to get there. But eventually they'll get there because with this current administration, O&S is well supported and not being raided for modernization needs as was being done during sequestration by the last administration. The forward deployed fleet is actually a lot closer to that. Even the F-16 fleet didn't get to its 80% MCR target overnight..It took them, with an established and mature cohort and supply chain / depot infrastructure, a full year to climb from the high 60's/70% to 80%. The US Navy with its SH fleet took nearly 2 years to get its readiness up to the 80% mark.

SGR on the other hand is a set of metrics that are specified as part of Key Performance Parameters as in an average sortie duration is defined, and an aircraft is expected to meet a set of numbers across the sortie generation rate domain (it is also not one flat number, but one that looks into the ability to generate high rates for short and long duration and to sustain a different number over a defined wartime scenario) i..e. generate a specified number of sorties per day with a fixed, and often a service defined ASD. All three F-35 variants fit in the middle of their Objective and Threshold SGR requirements and I have provided you the demonstrated and verified performance data in prior posts. All three services, periodically hold some sort of Sortie Surge exercises (known by different names) to practice and train for those scenarios and the USAF has been leading that with a number of such exercises that both demonstrate the SS capability, and train crews for it. In addition to that, they also do quick deployments that hop and skip between countries to simulate rapid deployments and to train crews for the same. The first operational F-35A unit has now done 2 such exercises in Europe and the Middle East.

https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001593150/

Arun.prabhu wrote:but if not, and I suspect are chances are high this is the case, the USAF or whichever branch of the armed forces went to extraordinary lengths to get a brief but unsustainable spike in sortie generation rates.


This is not how sortie generation rates work. Air Forces aren't expected to maintain their type's SGR during peacetime operations. If an aircraft can sustain 2 sorties a day in a WS, that doesn't mean that in peacetime the AF units have to fly them twice a day year round to hold that as some sort of record. If an F-16 pilot flies his aircraft twice a week this doesn't mean that the F-16 has a SGR of 1 sortie every 3 days. Same thing with an F-35. If it flies 2-3 times a week for training or whatever that has no impact on its SGR. This is as far as I can go to try to make this point. Perhaps others here can chip in and try to explain it better. But you are essentially using a metric and trying to draw inferences that cannot be drawn from it. This is beyond POGO-land level of logic.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Context. The USAF, which could not wait to get rid of the A10, though they had been only recently upgraded, wants to keep a fifty year old design upgraded with modern sensors alive for another thirty years. Politics or lack of confidence in the F35? I'd say a bit of both.


Of course they do because it makes sense. They've put a ceiling to their F-35A POR which is in the 1700-1800 range. If it is determined that they need a larger Air-Force, or they need to supply the Guard and the Reserve with more modern capability they have to make a decision to either increase the F-35 POR or upgrade existing aircraft. Increasing the POR for the F-35 won't immediately solve the problem because those aircraft won't come into the equation till well into the 2030's. The USAF cannot absorb much more than 70--80 F-35A's into its fleet a year. So the best options available are in fact to push the F-16s out of the AAF and into ANG and Reserve and upgrade them so that they can do their job properly. The USAF also wants more squadrons. Those too cannot come from the F-35 unless they are willing to take operational risk and buy it at a higher rate (which is unlikely to happen) or if they wait till well into the 2030's to grow. Close to a 100 of the F-16's can probably last till 2040 without any structural work if passed down. This is a win-win strategy for them as it allows them to address both modernization priorities and provide a capable platform to the ANG and Reserve units grow and modernize the AF at the same time.

Entirely missing the point that the F16 was originally meant to be retired decades before 2048 and that the USAF has proven quite willing to retire old birds to cut down on operational costs so as to free up budget for new ones.


Originally meant to be retired is a meaningless terminology. There is no such thing. Long term planning is not fixed in stone and anything much beyond a FYDP is always subject to change. The size of the USAF is periodically looked at, and the decisions to retire, upgrade, or overhaul a type is often based on this. Budget outlook also changes things. With a budget boom that came in with this administration, the USAF has felt a need to seek a larger air-force and that can be done in short order by upgrading types and having them serve for a decade or more longer. Then, at the tail end of the F-35 production, you can replace those upgraded aircraft just like the USAF did when it purchased 100-120 or so F-16's in the mid 90's through mid 2000's timeframe to top up squadrons and retire prior generation aircraft.

Moving from buying 60 or so (current levels once appropriators are done with it) F-35As to 80-100 a year in short order is a very expensive and risky proposition. This means that the burden on the trianing units increases, which means you need to increase the training footprint which means either more aircraft for them or more lead time for squadrons to transition and even longer lead time for transitioned squadrons to get back online and be in a shape to forward deploy. In short, transitioning a squadron into a new type is a lengthy and expensive process that cannot be dialed up significantly over a short period of time. Pilots need to be trained, bases need to be upgraded, simulators need to be set up and the crews (both pilots and ground) need to be reasonably proficient which means a number of work up exercises, at least one combat hammer with active missile rounds and perhaps even a Red Flag before they are deemed capable of forward deploying. Just look at the work-up the first F-35 squadron out of Utah had to go through before it was sent to the Middle-East - multiple large force deployment exercises, integration exercises, and one on one training exercises against highly capable 4+ generation Air to Air adversaries (F-15E's with AN/APG-82 radars). This is not a process you can (or want to) cut corners on or accelerate in haste. You set the number, and build a fleet around it with only minor tweaks possible without significant disruptions.
Last edited by brar_w on 22 Oct 2019 18:49, edited 3 times in total.

Arun.prabhu
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Arun.prabhu » 22 Oct 2019 18:36

Lmao. All right. I give up. LMAO

brar_w wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:Because people don't think.


Got it. Glad you do not suffer from that. I hope people read your arguments and we will see a proliferation of cessna's within major combat air forces around the world.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Here's my original statement: Rafale development program was 45.3 billion Euros. F35 development was almost a magnitude larger.


Wrong numbers and fuzzy math as usual..GIGO. Come back when you have something worth talking about that is fact based.

Arun.prabhu wrote:I don't have to model anything. History on my side. Simpler and easier to build and fight wins. Complex and harder to build and fight loses. Clearly, you haven't studied war.


Glad you've studied history and therefore assume that everyone else has either not studied it, or has completely ignored it because they do not share your opinion or in fact unanimously come to the opposite conclusion of what is needed compared to you. But please continue to claim that everyone doesn't listen, people don't think and people do not read history and that you however are in some sort of exclusive club that is immune to this.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Relevant information is in the public domain. LO and VLO aircraft are tracked by weather stations, for example.


Really? Tracked where and by who, what are the stealth forces doing to stay hidden from them..Were they even doing anything?

Arun.prabhu wrote:The fleet wide availability numbers don't gel with yours. One is incorrect.


The fleet wide availability numbers and SGR are not one and the same things. The problem is not with the numbers but with your understanding of them. The fleet is fragmented between the operational fleet, the forward deployed fleet, the test fleet, and the training fleet. A good segmentation is between the combat coded fleet and the non combat coded fleet as the test and even to a large extent the training fleet is only incentivised to meet a MCR that it needs at any given time (anything more than that is a misuse of O&S resources and better spent elsewhere). There, the combat coded fleet has MC rates somewhere in the 60% range perhaps a little better than that though FY19 numbers are still not out. The goal was to get them to 80% by FY20 (October 1, 2019) but it appears that it will take about another year or so to get there. But eventually they'll get there because with this current administration, O&S is well supported and not being raided for modernization needs as was being done during sequestration by the last administration. The forward deployed fleet is actually a lot closer to that. Even the F-16 fleet didn't get to its 80% MCR target overnight..It took them, with an established and mature cohort and supply chain / depot infrastructure, a full year to climb from the high 60's/70% to 80%. The US Navy with its SH fleet took nearly 2 years to get its readiness up to the 80% mark.

SGR on the other hand is a set of metrics that are specified as part of Key Performance Parameters as in an average sortie duration is defined, and an aircraft is expected to meet a set of numbers across the sortie generation rate domain (it is also not one flat number, but one that looks into the ability to generate high rates for short and long duration and to sustain a different number over a defined wartime scenario) i..e. generate a specified number of sorties per day with a fixed, and often a service defined ASD. All three F-35 variants fit in the middle of their Objective and Threshold SGR requirements and I have provided you the demonstrated and verified performance data in prior posts. All three services, periodically hold some sort of Sortie Surge exercises (known by different names) to practice and train for those scenarios and the USAF has been leading that with a number of such exercises that both demonstrate the SS capability, and train crews for it. In addition to that, they also do quick deployments that hop and skip between countries to simulate rapid deployments and to train crews for the same. The first operational F-35A unit has now done 2 such exercises in Europe and the Middle East.

https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001593150/

Arun.prabhu wrote:but if not, and I suspect are chances are high this is the case, the USAF or whichever branch of the armed forces went to extraordinary lengths to get a brief but unsustainable spike in sortie generation rates.


This is not how sortie generation rates work. Air Forces aren't expected to maintain their type's SGR during peacetime operations. If an aircraft can sustain 2 sorties a day in a WS, that doesn't mean that in peacetime the AF units have to fly them twice a day year round to hold that as some sort of record. If an F-16 pilot flies his aircraft twice a week this doesn't mean that the F-16 has a SGR of 1 sortie every 3 days. Same thing with an F-35. If it flies 2-3 times a week for training or whatever that has no impact on its SGR. This is as far as I can go to try to make this point. Perhaps others here can chip in and try to explain it better. But you are essentially using a metric and trying to draw inferences that cannot be drawn from it. This is beyond POGO-land level of logic.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Context. The USAF, which could not wait to get rid of the A10, though they had been only recently upgraded, wants to keep a fifty year old design upgraded with modern sensors alive for another thirty years. Politics or lack of confidence in the F35? I'd say a bit of both.


Of course they do because it makes sense. They've put a ceiling to their F-35A POR which is in the 1700-1800 range. If it is determined that they need a larger Air-Force, or they need to supply the Guard and the Reserve with more modern capability they have to make a decision to either increase the F-35 POR or upgrade existing aircraft. Increasing the POR for the F-35 won't immediately solve the problem because those aircraft won't come into the equation till well into the 2030's. The USAF cannot absorb much more than 70--80 F-35A's into its fleet a year. So the best options available are in fact to push the F-16s out of the AAF and into ANG and Reserve and upgrade them so that they can do their job properly. The USAF also wants more squadrons. Those too cannot come from the F-35 unless they are willing to take operational risk and buy it at a higher rate (which is unlikely to happen) or if they wait till well into the 2030's to grow. Close to a 100 of the F-16's can probably last till 2040 without any structural work if passed down. This is a win-win strategy for them as it allows them to address both modernization priorities and provide a capable platform to the ANG and Reserve units grow and modernize the AF at the same time.

Entirely missing the point that the F16 was originally meant to be retired decades before 2048 and that the USAF has proven quite willing to retire old birds to cut down on operational costs so as to free up budget for new ones.


Originally meant to be retired is a meaningless terminology. There is no such thing. Long term planning is not fixed in stone and anything much beyond a FYDP is always subject to change. The size of the USAF is periodically looked at, and the decisions to retire, upgrade, or overhaul a type is often based on this. Budget outlook also changes things. With a budget boom that came in with this administration, the USAF has felt a need to seek a larger air-force and that can be done in short order by upgrading types and having them serve for a decade or more longer. Then, at the tail end of the F-35 production, you can replace those upgraded aircraft just like the USAF did when it purchased 100-120 or so F-16's in the mid 90's through mid 2000's timeframe to top up squadrons and retire prior generation aircraft.

Arun.prabhu
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Arun.prabhu » 22 Oct 2019 18:51

Aw! What the hell?! I'm too petty to let go arguments with morons without a Parthian shot.

https://archives.nmu.edu/govdocs/local/ ... uality.pdf

A few salient quotes from the document:

"If a secondary objective was to enhance sortie-generation capability through the efficient use of fewer maintenance
personnel resources, the results of this research indicate that the secondary objective has also been attained. If, on the other hand, policy makers established as a tertiary objective, the achievement of greater sortie-generation capability, with fewer maintenance personnel and no degre- dation of maintenance quality, the results of this research suggest that this objective was not met. In retrospect, it appears that the changes in structure, organization, and maintenance philosophy designed to enhance sortie-generation capability may have led to a lower quality of aircraft maintenance."

"Is there a trade-off
between enhanced sortie-generation capability and air- craft maintenance quality? The results of this research
suggest that changes in maintenance brought about through POMO have increased sortie-generation capability. Decreased turn times and decreased NMCM rates suggest that maintenance is performed more efficiently. This increased efficiency is partly due to the cross-utilization of spe- cialists working together in repairing and launching aircraft for flight. Further efficiency is promoted through the use of supervisory specialists as flight chiefs and/or expeditors. These duties, in turn, reduce the supervisory involvement in the work of their par- ticular AFSC. Thus, the efficient use of maintenance per- sonnel in increasing sortie-generation capability, may be at the expense of the higher degree of quality experienced when specialists worked under the "specialist concept." The results of this research suggest that a trade-off does exist. This leads to the next question: Is a trade-off between increased sortie-generation capability and

decreased maintenance quality acceptable? Aircraft main- tenance managers will typically respond with a firm no. This response, however, should be tempered with a con- sideration of just how much sortie-generation capability has been increased and to what extent maintenance quality has been lowered. Perhaps, under POO, a limited trade- offisinevitable. Ifatrade-offisunavoidable, challenges exist for the maintenance managers as well as maintenance policy makers. For maintenance managers, the challenge is to maintain the efficiency levels generated under POO while striving for higher quality of mainte- nance. For maintenance policy makers, the challenge is threefold: first,todeterminewhatlevelofsortie- generation capability is needed to meet current and
future needs; second, to determine what the trade-off relationship is between sortie-generation capability and aircraft maintenance quality; and finally, based on the trade-off relationship, establish standards of quality which are both acceptable and achievable. Failure to recognize the trade-off relationship and failure to establish parameters and goals for sortie-generation capa- bility and maintenance quality may produce long-range negative affects on the ability to successfully maintain defense readiness posture."

So much for your argument that availability and maintainability have nothing to do with SGR. LMAO

brar_w wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:Because people don't think.


Got it. Glad you do not suffer from that. I hope people read your arguments and we will see a proliferation of cessna's within major combat air forces around the world.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Here's my original statement: Rafale development program was 45.3 billion Euros. F35 development was almost a magnitude larger.


Wrong numbers and fuzzy math as usual..GIGO. Come back when you have something worth talking about that is fact based.

Arun.prabhu wrote:I don't have to model anything. History on my side. Simpler and easier to build and fight wins. Complex and harder to build and fight loses. Clearly, you haven't studied war.


Glad you've studied history and therefore assume that everyone else has either not studied it, or has completely ignored it because they do not share your opinion or in fact unanimously come to the opposite conclusion of what is needed compared to you. But please continue to claim that everyone doesn't listen, people don't think and people do not read history and that you however are in some sort of exclusive club that is immune to this.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Relevant information is in the public domain. LO and VLO aircraft are tracked by weather stations, for example.


Really? Tracked where and by who, what are the stealth forces doing to stay hidden from them..Were they even doing anything?

Arun.prabhu wrote:The fleet wide availability numbers don't gel with yours. One is incorrect.


The fleet wide availability numbers and SGR are not one and the same things. The problem is not with the numbers but with your understanding of them. The fleet is fragmented between the operational fleet, the forward deployed fleet, the test fleet, and the training fleet. A good segmentation is between the combat coded fleet and the non combat coded fleet as the test and even to a large extent the training fleet is only incentivised to meet a MCR that it needs at any given time (anything more than that is a misuse of O&S resources and better spent elsewhere). There, the combat coded fleet has MC rates somewhere in the 60% range perhaps a little better than that though FY19 numbers are still not out. The goal was to get them to 80% by FY20 (October 1, 2019) but it appears that it will take about another year or so to get there. But eventually they'll get there because with this current administration, O&S is well supported and not being raided for modernization needs as was being done during sequestration by the last administration. The forward deployed fleet is actually a lot closer to that. Even the F-16 fleet didn't get to its 80% MCR target overnight..It took them, with an established and mature cohort and supply chain / depot infrastructure, a full year to climb from the high 60's/70% to 80%. The US Navy with its SH fleet took nearly 2 years to get its readiness up to the 80% mark.

SGR on the other hand is a set of metrics that are specified as part of Key Performance Parameters as in an average sortie duration is defined, and an aircraft is expected to meet a set of numbers across the sortie generation rate domain (it is also not one flat number, but one that looks into the ability to generate high rates for short and long duration and to sustain a different number over a defined wartime scenario) i..e. generate a specified number of sorties per day with a fixed, and often a service defined ASD. All three F-35 variants fit in the middle of their Objective and Threshold SGR requirements and I have provided you the demonstrated and verified performance data in prior posts. All three services, periodically hold some sort of Sortie Surge exercises (known by different names) to practice and train for those scenarios and the USAF has been leading that with a number of such exercises that both demonstrate the SS capability, and train crews for it. In addition to that, they also do quick deployments that hop and skip between countries to simulate rapid deployments and to train crews for the same. The first operational F-35A unit has now done 2 such exercises in Europe and the Middle East.

https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001593150/

Arun.prabhu wrote:but if not, and I suspect are chances are high this is the case, the USAF or whichever branch of the armed forces went to extraordinary lengths to get a brief but unsustainable spike in sortie generation rates.


This is not how sortie generation rates work. Air Forces aren't expected to maintain their type's SGR during peacetime operations. If an aircraft can sustain 2 sorties a day in a WS, that doesn't mean that in peacetime the AF units have to fly them twice a day year round to hold that as some sort of record. If an F-16 pilot flies his aircraft twice a week this doesn't mean that the F-16 has a SGR of 1 sortie every 3 days. Same thing with an F-35. If it flies 2-3 times a week for training or whatever that has no impact on its SGR. This is as far as I can go to try to make this point. Perhaps others here can chip in and try to explain it better. But you are essentially using a metric and trying to draw inferences that cannot be drawn from it. This is beyond POGO-land level of logic.

Arun.prabhu wrote:Context. The USAF, which could not wait to get rid of the A10, though they had been only recently upgraded, wants to keep a fifty year old design upgraded with modern sensors alive for another thirty years. Politics or lack of confidence in the F35? I'd say a bit of both.


Of course they do because it makes sense. They've put a ceiling to their F-35A POR which is in the 1700-1800 range. If it is determined that they need a larger Air-Force, or they need to supply the Guard and the Reserve with more modern capability they have to make a decision to either increase the F-35 POR or upgrade existing aircraft. Increasing the POR for the F-35 won't immediately solve the problem because those aircraft won't come into the equation till well into the 2030's. The USAF cannot absorb much more than 70--80 F-35A's into its fleet a year. So the best options available are in fact to push the F-16s out of the AAF and into ANG and Reserve and upgrade them so that they can do their job properly. The USAF also wants more squadrons. Those too cannot come from the F-35 unless they are willing to take operational risk and buy it at a higher rate (which is unlikely to happen) or if they wait till well into the 2030's to grow. Close to a 100 of the F-16's can probably last till 2040 without any structural work if passed down. This is a win-win strategy for them as it allows them to address both modernization priorities and provide a capable platform to the ANG and Reserve units grow and modernize the AF at the same time.

Entirely missing the point that the F16 was originally meant to be retired decades before 2048 and that the USAF has proven quite willing to retire old birds to cut down on operational costs so as to free up budget for new ones.


Originally meant to be retired is a meaningless terminology. There is no such thing. Long term planning is not fixed in stone and anything much beyond a FYDP is always subject to change. The size of the USAF is periodically looked at, and the decisions to retire, upgrade, or overhaul a type is often based on this. Budget outlook also changes things. With a budget boom that came in with this administration, the USAF has felt a need to seek a larger air-force and that can be done in short order by upgrading types and having them serve for a decade or more longer. Then, at the tail end of the F-35 production, you can replace those upgraded aircraft just like the USAF did when it purchased 100-120 or so F-16's in the mid 90's through mid 2000's timeframe to top up squadrons and retire prior generation aircraft. Moving from buying 60 or so (current levels once appropriators are done with it) F-35As to 80-100 a year in short order is a very expensive and risky proposition. This means that the burden on the trianing units increases, which means you need to increase the training footprint which means either more aircraft for them or more lead time for squadrons to transition and even longer lead time for transitioned squadrons to get back online and be in a shape to forward deploy. In short, transitioning a squadron into a new type is a lengthy and expensive process that cannot be dialed up significantly over a short period of time. You set the number, and build a fleet around it with only minor tweaks possible without significant disruptions.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 18:58

Arun.prabhu wrote:So much for your argument that availability and maintainability have nothing to do with SGR. LMAO


Missing the forest for the trees yet again. SGR is a different metric to MCR. The former is the specified capability/requirement for an aircraft to be capable of demonstrating a set objective per day based on multiple scenarios and considerations (surge, ASD and wartime scenarios required). The latter is a dynamic reflection on the O&S state at any given time. A SGR for a given type is fixed and there is very little you can do, via O&S to improve it beyond what it is designed to meet (specifications). MCR can be improved by a combination of factors. Case in point - Two years ago, the US Navy's Super Hornet fleet had abysmal MCR because of a deliberate lack of focus on organic depot capacity in anticipation of future demand. There were tails literally lining up at depots waiting for their turned to be worked upon. That though, had no impact on the Sortie Generation Rate capability of the Super Hornet that was deployed on a carrier and on a cruise.

To reiterate, SGR measures the ability of a type to turn around and meet specified ASD requirements in either a surge or sustained manner on a daily basis (as a measurement). MCR is a fleet wide metric that measures how much of the fleet is mission capable on a running average basis (usually a 10 day period on a rolling basis) based on a given O&S profile, and other spend. The SH MCR went from high 50's to 80% over the course of the last 2 years. The type's demonstrated and verified SGR remained unchanged. It is still only able to deliver the SGR that it is designed to deliver. You can't throw O&S resources on it and improve that number. You can have 100% MCR fleetwide or during deployments for a shorter duration but that does not magically alter the type's ability to deliver on its required SGR..it is either capable of meeting it or it isn't. Same thing with the logistical footprint (something you brought up for comparison but provided ZERO data that can be used for comparison with other types). That footprint does not magically change with a dynamic MCR. It either complies within its requirements or it doesn't. Unless you invest to improve that (automation, new deployment models etc. etc.), the logistical footprint is also fixed and is built into the requirements during program inception. MCR is not built in because as I said, it is a dynamic metric that is a reflection of the O&S state. We can talk more details as in how MCR can be improved, and how they will get to that required 80% number in the next 6-12 months or so but that is a topic in and of itself.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Arun.prabhu » 22 Oct 2019 19:25

Well, there you said it. Sustained manner. That is what I was questioning. Your data did not provide context to confirm whether the SGR your shared could be maintained in a sustained manner.

I should have phrased my argument better: The fleet wide availability numbers do not correlate with your presented SGR numbers being as availability is low because maintenance required by the aircraft is high. And as my cite showed, maintainability does have a direct relationship with sortie generation: less maintenance required, more sorties

brar_w wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:So much for your argument that availability and maintainability have nothing to do with SGR. LMAO


Missing the forest for the trees yet again. SGR is a different metric to MCR. The former is the specified capability/requirement for an aircraft to be capable of demonstrating a set objective per day based on multiple scenarios and considerations (surge, ASD and wartime scenarios required). The latter is a dynamic reflection on the O&S state at any given time. A SGR for a given type is fixed and there is very little you can do, via O&S to improve it beyond what it is designed to meet (specifications). MCR can be improved by a combination of factors. Case in point - Two years ago, the US Navy's Super Hornet fleet had abysmal MCR because of a deliberate lack of focus on organic depot capacity in anticipation of future demand. That though, had no impact on the Sortie Generation Rate capability of the Super Hornet that was deployed on a carrier and on a cruise. To reiterate, SGR measures the ability of a type to turn around and meet ASD requirements in either a surge or sustained manner on a daily basis (as a measurement). MCR is a fleet wide metric that measures how much of the fleet is mission capable on a running average basis (usually a 10 day period on a rolling basis) based on a given O&S profile, and other spend. The SH MCR went from high 50's to 80% over the course of the last 2 years. The type's demonstrated and verified SGR remained unchanged.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 19:37

Arun.prabhu wrote:Well, there you said it. Sustained manner. That is what I was questioning. Your data did not provide context to confirm whether the SGR your shared could be maintained in a sustained manner.


Look at the demonstrated and verified data I provided for all three F-35 types. It covers all three scenarios that a good and well thought out SGR requirement should cover - Initial capability to surge sorties, Sustained capability to surge sorties, and the capability to sustain in a long term fashion during wartime scenario [specified in the classified requirements]. The USAF is an expeditionary force. It values these things and bakes it into the KPP's. The USMC had the toughest SGR requirements of all the three operators and their variant fits right in the middle of the objective and threshold performance for this metric. As do the other two variants in relation to the requirements specified by the respective services who are the primary operators of those variants.

Again, SGR is a metric used to make fundamental design decisions. An aircraft is expected to be able to generate a set number of sorties per day. It needs to be designed to be able to support that ops tempo level. It is a design and capability metric and not a readiness metric. MCR, is a dynamic O&S number as in what %age of the fleet is MC at any given time (on a 10 day rolling basis) given a particular O&S profile. It is a readiness metric, used to adjust O&S spend as in how much readiness a particular operator wants to buy and maintain which itself is a reflection of what national security threats it needs to prepare for. Sometimes maintaining very high levels of MCR is a good allocation of resources. In other times, that money may be better spent elsewhere. Hence it is a fluctuating and dynamic number based on what the powers at be consider the O&S levels to be to get to a desired readiness state.

I should have phrased my argument better: The fleet wide availability numbers do not correlate with your presented SGR numbers being as availability is low because maintenance required by the aircraft is high. And as my cite showed, maintainability does have a direct relationship with sortie generation: less maintenance required, more sorties


The fleet wide MCR rate does not need to correlate with the SGR requirements because they are measuring different things. In fact, the fleet wide MCR itself is the wrong metric to look at. The right metric to look at is the combat-coded fleet wide MCR because as I wrote earlier, the training and particularly the test fleets would not fund O&S beyond the level needed at any given time while the combat coded fleet needs to sustain a fairly high MCR for readiness purposes. Normally, this wouldn't matter as the ratio of CC to NCM for an established and mature program would make this irrelevant. But this is not yet the case for the F-35. All three US services are buying the aircraft at a fairly rapid rate and as such have had to front load the training, and transition/conversion squadrons (plus they are leading partner training as well out of Luke) with aircraft in anticipation of that need (close to 100 aircraft joining the fleet every year) and therefore the CC to NCC ratio is still relevant as it skews the data quite a bit. The F-35 does not yet meet the 80% combat coded MCR. But no US fighter did over the last 5 years of sequestered budgets and CR's and it wasn't till the current administration emphasized readiness did these numbers began improving and two aircraft acheived that threshold requirement (F-16 and F-18). The F-35 will likely get there, for the combat coded fleet by the end of this fiscal year after proper attention is paid to O&S just like it was for the F-16, F-15 and F-18 E fleets. New types go through this because the enterprise is concurrently supporting a growing fleet and a production program that was (until last year) increasing its production rate, at breakneck speed, every other year. These are early days for the sustainment enterprise..they are playing catch up in many things but now that political and budgetary attention is upon them..they will get to the levels they need to be just like the other fixed wing fighter communities have done through a sustained effort over the last couple of years.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 24 Oct 2019 07:28

brar_w wrote:The next generation of military stealth aircraft are already under construction and in fact are probably actually flying and operational.....



And here it is - An AWIN exclusive scoop just as they broke the story of its existence as it entered LRIP. Now that the aircraft is flying from bases in the US and outside that have a lot of civilian traffic there are plenty of opportunities for them to get people to talk..

Image

USAF Unit Moves Reveal Clues To RQ-180 Ops Debut

Almost six years after Aviation Week first disclosed the existence of a large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman, there is a growing body of evidence that the stealthy vehicle is now fully operational with the U.S. Air Force in a penetrating intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) role.

Thought to be dubbed the RQ-180, the advanced design is believed to have been flying since 2010 and under operational test and evaluation since late 2014. According to new information provided to Aviation Week, the aircraft became operational with the recently reformed 427th Reconnaissance Sqdn. at Beale AFB, California, this year. The Air Force declined to comment on the status of the program.

RQ-180 First flight believed to have occurred in 2010

At least seven vehicles have been developed and are in operation

Although images of the aircraft remain elusive, an assessment of new evidence enables a clearer picture to be drawn of the secret aircraft’s progress through early flight testing, development and initial deployment.

New information from open sources backs up the first reports of its existence published in 2013 and fills in gaps in the program’s earlier history as well as subsequent test and operational evaluation at sites mostly in and around California and Nevada.

Developed to conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed since the retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1999, the RQ-180 ultimately emerged from what was originally a large unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) design proposed by Northrop Grumman to the Air Force in 2005. At the time, Northrop was competing against Boeing with a smaller tailless design for the Air Force/U.S. Navy Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) program.

However, when J-UCAS was canceled in 2006 after the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review opted to restructure the joint-service program into a Navy-only UCAV carrier suitability demonstration, funding was removed from the fiscal 2007 defense budget request. A total of $239 million was requested in lieu of the Pentagon funding to begin a U.S. Navy carrier-based, long-endurance UCAV demonstration program.

At the same time, Air Force funds were transferred into a classified high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) program which, it is believed, led to a competition between Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Northrop also publicly discussed a range of longer-winged X-47C configurations around this time. The largest of these was a 172-ft.-span design with two engines derived from General Electric’s CF34 and capable of carrying a 10,000-lb. weapon load.

Although Aviation Week commissioned an artists’ impression of the aircraft incorporating a cranked-kite wing configuration when it broke the RQ-180 story (AW&ST Dec. 9, 2013, p. 20), industry sources have since said the aircraft differs in detail from the published concept. Additional evidence now suggests the final configuration may be closer to the company’s more familiar flying-wing designs, with a simpler trailing edge similar to that seen in the Air Force’s official rendering of the B-21 Raider. Northrop Grumman originally crafted the same basic trailing edge configuration for the B-2 under the Advanced Tactical Bomber program but changed it to the stronger load-carrying sawtooth design when the Air Force added the low-level penetration role.

The RQ-180 design also was likely strongly influenced by Northrop Grumman’s work for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) SensorCraft project, aimed at developing technologies for future stealthy, high-altitude unmanned surveillance platforms. In 2002, AFRL unveiled several SensorCraft vehicle studies, including a Northrop Grumman flying wing with a highly loaded airfoil capable of handling large aeroelastic deflections. Two years later, the company revealed it was partnering with AFRL to mature advanced conformal antenna integration technology for SensorCraft under a five-year, $12 million effort called the Low-Band Structural Array (Lobstar) program. At the time, the company said Lobstar would “enhance the surveillance capabilities of aerial vehicles by embedding antennas in the primary load-bearing structures of composite aircraft wings.”

In 2007, following a yearlong Air Force HALE contest, Northrop signaled it had been successful when the corporation’s leaders reported they expected to win a major restricted program. By June of that year, observers of the Air Force’s top-secret Area 51 test complex at Nellis AFB, Nevada, noted that construction was underway for a new large hangar at the “Southend” zone of the Groom Lake facility. The size and dimensions of the building suggested it was being made ready for an aircraft with a relatively large span wing.

As the new Groom Lake hangar neared completion in early 2008, Northrop Grumman’s financial reports revealed the company had been awarded a large classified aircraft development contract valued at $2 billion for an operational ISR UAV with an unprecedented combination of extreme low-observable (LO) features and aerodynamic efficiency. The development effort was undertaken by Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Technology Development Center, the equivalent of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works or Boeing’s Phantom Works.

In 2009, with Northrop well underway on low-rate initial production of the RQ-180, the Air Force began preparations to evaluate the new vehicle and established a flight-test organization at Groom Lake dubbed the “Mad Hatters.” That same year, the Air Force published an “unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flight plan” which outlined a near-term priority requirement for an LO penetrating ISR “special category” UAS. In February 2009, a paper by Col. Eric Mathewson, director of the Air Force’s UAS Task Force, referred to an unidentified project as MQ-L/O. (AW&ST Aug. 29, 2011, p. 46).

New information given to Aviation Week now points to 2010 as the key year for the program. First flight of the prototype air vehicle at Groom Lake, known as V1, was believed to have taken place on Aug. 3, 2010. Circumstantial evidence that supported the buildup of pre-first-flight test activity included frequent flights to the site by Northrop Grumman-owned Beech 1900D logistics aircraft, one of which was seen parked by the large Southend hangar in a May 2010 satellite image.

The first prototype, V1, had been in flight testing for more than 14 months when a second vehicle, V2, is thought to have joined the test campaign in November 2011. Three more test and development aircraft are also suspected of following the first vehicles into flight trials over the next 15 months, with first flights believed to have occurred in November 2012 (V3), July 2013 (V4) and February 2014 (V5).

Following the first flight of the fifth aircraft, RQ-180 testing transitioned to Edwards AFB, California, where Detachment 1 of the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group was officially stood up at the secretive South Base area in March 2014. Tasked with operational test and evaluation, Detachment 1 appears to be a logical choice for the role as the group’s Detachment 2, based at Beale AFB, California, performed evaluations of the Lockheed Martin U-2R/S and RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Activity in the program stepped up through the remainder of the year, with the first flight of V6 believed to have taken place in September 2014. In late 2014 and early 2015, a unit described as Detachment 2 of the 15th Test Flight was stood up at Edwards AFB, likely marking another key phase for acceleration of the new UAS capability toward front-line operational service.

The 15th Test Flight, part of the 53rd Wing headquartered at Eglin AFB, Florida, has responsibility for test management oversight of the Air Force’s high-priority, rapid acquisition programs. According to 53rd Wing instruction documents published in 2014 and updated in 2018, the 15th Test Flight “provides operational test management services for a specific subset of developmental systems that require expedited delivery to the warfighter.” Detachment 2’s sister unit, Detachment 1, was assigned at the time to provide test management of Lockheed’s RQ-170 Sentinel at Creech AFB, Nevada.

In November 2015, the program marked another significant event—believed to be the first flight of the seventh air vehicle. Eight months later, the system took another step toward its operational debut when Detachment 2 of the 9th Operations Group was established at Edwards South Base. The 9th Operations Group is the operational flying component of the Beale-based 9th Reconnaissance Wing and is usually tasked with training and equipping U-2R, RQ-4 and Beechcraft MC-12W Liberty combat elements.

Following the establishment of Detachment 2 in 2016, preparations for initial operations entered the final phases and are believed to have culminated in a secret long-range graduation test mission from Edwards sometime in early 2017. No details of the flight, thought to have been code-named Project Magellan, have been acknowledged, but the mission is thought to have focused on validating the performance of the autonomous navigation system at extremely high latitudes—possibly as high as the Geographic North Pole. It should be noted the secret code name was shared with Northrop Grumman’s public search to find an engineering base for the B-21 program around that time.

With this mission accomplished, the RQ-180 was seemingly fit for initial deployment in 2017. And in quick succession during August that year, the 9th Operations Group stood up two new supporting units. Detachment 3 was established at Beale, while Detachment 4 was set up at Andersen AFB, Guam, representing a significant ramp-up in preparations for operational readiness. Detachment 3 had previously operated the RQ-4 out of Guam, while Detachment 4 had also formerly operated the Global Hawk out of Sigonella AB, Italy.

The following year, 2018, another unit was established at Beale to further test and evaluate the readiness of the aircraft. The activation of Detachment 3 of the 605th Test and Evaluation Sqdn., the command-and-control and ISR test manager for the Air Force’s Warfare Center and Air Combat Command, was accompanied by the deactivation of Detachment 1 of the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group at Edwards AFB.

The assets and test personnel of the unit were believed to be immediately transferred to the newly activated 417th Test and Evaluation Sqdn., a unit which previously tested the C-17 and YAL-1 airborne laser. Until recently, the true test focus of the squadron—which was stood up in April 2018—was linked with preparations for B-21 testing. However, at this year’s Air Force Association meeting in September, it was announced that the new bomber test role has been assigned to the 420th Test and Evaluation Sqdn.

Further signs of RQ-180 regular operations support activity are believed to have been indicated by the activation during 2018 and early 2019 of Detachment 5 of the 9th Operations Group at Beale to serve as the schoolhouse unit for the aircraft. Given the 9th Operations Group’s role in training, planning and execution of U-2 ISR missions as well as training for RQ-4 flight crewmembers, this unit would be considered as a logical candidate to support and train RQ-180 operations.

In a final phase of changes this year, all of which have been focused on Beale, Detachment 3 of the 9th Operations Group was deactivated in April and its personnel and assets transferred and immediately activated again as the 427th Reconnaissance Sqdn.—a shadowy unit that previously operated the MC-12W and was inactivated in November 2015 when these aircraft were transferred to the U.S. Army. However, evidence from open sources indicates the current commander of the 427th Reconnaissance Sqdn. has held this role since 2015, even though the unit officially did not exist for most of that period.

Although the Air Force has made no reference to operations by the unit involving any particular aircraft type, the 427th Reconnaissance Sqdn., together with Detachment 5 of the 9th Operations Group and Detachment 3 of the 605th Test and Evaluation Group, hosted the opening of a new Common Mission Control Center at the base on April 23. The the new center will “provide combatant commanders scalable, tailorable products and services for use in contested environments,” the Air Force says. “Using software, hardware and human machines, the center will be able to manage C2 productivity, shorten the task execution chain, and reduce human-intensive communication.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 24 Oct 2019 22:19

Air Force Leader Shares Details on B-21 Bomber

The Air Force’s secretive B-21 Raider bomber effort is making progress as prime contractor Northrop Grumman builds the program’s first test jet at its Palmdale, California, facility, said one official Oct. 24.

“Today we do have an airplane in there that would be our test jet number one,” said Randall Walden, director and program executive officer for the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, which is spearheading the program. “I won't go into a lot of detail [on] how far along we are, but suffice it to say, ... we're working the production line literally today.”

Walden noted that “big parts” are currently being manufactured at the facility, but did not disclose which specific components are being built.

The date for the aircraft’s projected first flight is still up in the air, Walden said during a breakfast hosted by the Air Force Association in Washington, D.C. The earliest flight date could take place in December 2021. However, he said he would not bet on it.

“Things like large components coming together, integration, ground tests — all the things that lead up to a first flight — have to be accomplished,” he said. “There's a lot of things that have to happen between now and a couple of years, … but in general terms, that's what we're shooting for.”

The B-21 is a complex airplane, so it will take time to get all the parts and subsystems into place, he added.

The Air Force plans to hold a public event next year to roll out the B-21 prior to its first flight, Walden said.

In hopes of keeping the bomber on its current schedule trajectory, the service is focused on maintaining the aircraft's major design plans, Walden said.

“Requirements is probably the number one thing — if you don't have stable requirements, that's going to drive a lot of” delays, he said. “In fact, the chief of staff of the Air Force is the only guy who changes the requirements on the model.”

The Air Force plans to purchase at least 100 new stealth bombers, which will be capable of carrying nuclear or conventional weapons.

Earlier this year, Gen. Stephen “Seve” Wilson, the Air Force’s vice chief of staff, said a critical design review for the program was conducted earlier this year and the service was working on software integration.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 24 Oct 2019 22:25

Joint working group on jet engine cooperation within the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative “has been suspended,” said Ellen M Lord, Undersecretary of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment

:rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby kit » 24 Oct 2019 22:34

Prasad wrote:
Joint working group on jet engine cooperation within the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative “has been suspended,” said Ellen M Lord, Undersecretary of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment

:rotfl: :rotfl:


guess it moved from comatose to suspension !

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 24 Oct 2019 23:17

Prasad wrote:
Joint working group on jet engine cooperation within the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative “has been suspended,” said Ellen M Lord, Undersecretary of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment

:rotfl: :rotfl:

Source?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 24 Oct 2019 23:31


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 24 Oct 2019 23:40

Thank You Prasad. Greatly appreciated. This one needs to be bookmarked! :)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 26 Oct 2019 01:05

AGM-183A Hypersonic Weapon illustration..

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Oct 2019 04:36

USAF Collecting Data for Potential X-37 Space Plane Replacement


The secretive X-37 space plane’s time in orbit is informing whether the Air Force will need a new vehicle to replace it, the head of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office said Oct. 24.

The unmanned spacecraft, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, has spent more than two years above Earth. It is performing experiments to lower the risk for potentially very expensive space technologies, helping the Air Force prepare for possibly costly next steps or how it should operate in space in the future, RCO Director Randall Walden said.

While he would not provide details of those experiments, Air Force officials have said they relate to spacecraft materials, power generation techniques, and sensors. Walden declined to say when the space plane would come home, but noted that it will happen “when it’s ready.”

As for whether USAF needs more X-37s to replace its two aircraft as they age, or whether the service is planning a follow-on program, Walden said “the data are still out.”

The two vehicles in hand are “workhorses” that are faring well with their experimentation and prototyping missions, he said. He hinted that the X-37 is also helping answer the question of how the US could venture into reusable space assets, as it is exploring in the National Security Space Launch program for reusable rockets that can take military and civilian space systems into orbit.

In July, then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson revealed more details about the OTV, saying it "can do an orbit that looks like an egg and, when it's close to the Earth, it's close enough to the atmosphere to turn where it is." Military.com first reported on her remarks.

"Our adversaries don't know—and that happens on the far side of the Earth from our adversaries—where it's going to come up next. And we know that that drives them nuts. And I'm really glad about that," Wilson said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Oct 2019 05:34

ISO container based launch system for the XQ-58A Valkyrie

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 27 Oct 2019 17:53

For civilian applications, but perhaps P&W can apply this for military applications as well?

This Genius Invention Could Transform Jet Engines

Mike McCune is an engineer with Pratt & Whitney, the airplane manufacturer. After 30 years of development, he's created a gearbox for a jet engine that makes them 75% quieter and 15% more fuel efficient. That's a savings of about $1.5 million per airplane each year.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Oct 2019 19:03

The X-37B landed earlier this morning, after completing 780 days in space -

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rony » 27 Oct 2019 20:28

I wonder what are those "many technologies" they were testing other than the ones mentioned here. I am sure most of them are dual use.

Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit

“With a successful landing today, the X-37B completed its longest flight to date and successfully completed all mission objectives,” said Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. “This mission successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, among others, as well as providing a ride for small satellites.”

One of the experiments on OTV-5 is the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s second Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader (ASETS-II). This experiment will measure the long term performance of an oscillating heat pipe on orbit. Oscillating heat pipes are capable of transporting more than 45 times more heat than copper and are one of many technologies that the Air Force is testing to help advance space vehicle designs, AFRL said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Oct 2019 20:37

Rony wrote: I am sure most of them are dual use....


This is a USAF project/program not a NASA or another another civilian agency led program. The only reason it exists as a program is because it has a military application across the domains and mission areas the USAF operates in. That was settled when the reigns of the program were taken over by the Pentagon. The only significantly new insight into the program, and its possible missions, came from recent comments made by the last USAF Secretary and can be seen the post above (and the article linked below). But that too, even when combined with some of the other stuff that has been officially released, isn't likely painting a complete picture.

While it may be true that the craft may be serving as a test bed for some experimentation, you do not put a "Randy Walden" in charge of a program that is predominantly an experimentation platform. Most of what his shop is concerned with revolves around a vital national security and defense capability that is too important to be left at the doorstep of the run of the mill defense acquisition system, yet needs an insight into acquisition that is informed by very close understanding of engineering and science and technology capabilities (including deep insight into test and evaluation). Many classified, or semi-classified programs are managed by his shop, like the RQ-180 and the B-21 bomber and including all activities that happened prior to those programs being placed on contract. Classified R&D, and Classified procurement (see breakdown below courtesy Guy Anderson and his team at IHS) represents some of the highest spending categories within the USAF CAPEX budget. Many of them are managed by the USAF RCO and this or its follow on could (and probably is) be one of them beyond just the unclassified funding profile and line items.

Former SecAF Explains How Secret X-37 Space Plane Throws Off Enemies


Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Vayutuvan » 29 Oct 2019 22:59

Influence of Leading-Edge Oscillatory Blowing on Time-Accurate Dynamic Store Separation

Increasing the operational efficiency of weapons employed in hostile environments is a high priority of the United States Air Force (USAF). In recent history, the USAF has made a move to smaller and internally stored weapons, especially for fighter aircraft. Maintaining a low radar cross section signature, and thus a low observable air vehicle, is desirable so the aircraft is less detectable by the enemy.


Influence of Leading-Edge Oscillatory Blowing on Time-Accurate Dynamic Store Separation (reference AFRL-0277) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

Please Login at the top of the page to download.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Vayutuvan » 29 Oct 2019 23:04

NASA’s Supersonic X-59 QueSST Being Built at Famed Factory Monday, 28 October 2019

NASA’s X-59 QueSST (short for Quiet SuperSonic Technology), an experimental piloted aircraft designed to fly faster than sound without producing sonic booms.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Oct 2019 21:04

F-35 Mission Capability Rate across the US services has now reached 73% for the operational CC fleet. This up from the 50's last year. Still shy of the 80% MCR but the canopy laminate and some other spare issues are the current impediments to achieving that in the short term. I suspect that by FY21 (October 2020) they should reach or exceed the fleet wide 80% target for the F-35 as well.

F-35 Readiness Rates Soar, From 55% To 73%; Price Drops 12.8%

After years of struggling to get planes into the air, the Joint Strike Fighter program has substantially boosted its mission capable readiness rates from 55 percent last October to 73 percent, Ellen Lord, the head of Pentagon acquisition, told reporters today.

While that new readiness rate does not match the 80 percent minimum set by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, it certainly indicates Lockheed Martin has substantially improved its management of the supply chain. A shortage of parts, particularly the canopy adhesive Breaking D readers know about, had effectively crippled the program with the miserable 55 percent rate. If you can barely get half your 440 planes into the air you don’t really have a useful fleet of 440 planes at any one time.

The readiness rates were revealed this morning during a press briefing at the Pentagon to announce the final agreement on the largest procurement in American history, the $34 billion purchase of 478 F-35s in Lots 12-14 of Low Rate Initial Production.....

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Oct 2019 22:01

darshhan wrote:
Aditya_V wrote:Additionally, I dont think AMCA needs to Super cruise with all its external weapons and full payload, it needs to supercruise with max internal fuel, 4 AAMs and 2 strike weapons, say 2.5 tonne payload, if anyone thinks AMCA is going to supercruise carrying external CM's or in MAX strike package role, I dont think that will happen.

I am sure even the F-35 with external Tanks and weapons will struggle to supercruise. F-22 is aimed as a Air dominance fighter does not have too much A2G weaponry, it started carrying external fuel tanks and pylons only after entering service.

If the Russian FGFA is going to be dead, I think it is better we design a heavy fighter as well with 15-17 year time frame in limited numbers around a heavy engine like Al-41 and 117s, with Su-30MKI infrastructure and the overall weapons purchases we make from the Russians, I think they will supply these engines.


As far as I have heard or read, F-35 doesn't supercruise in any configuration. In other words even without external weapons or fuel tanks, it is unable to supercruise.


Correct. The ATF definition of supercruise as defined in the original requirement documents for it is Mach 1.5 or better without Afterburner (The F-22A acheives 1.76 against that goal). The F-35A can sustain low supersonic speeds without AB but that does not constitute "Supercruise" as the US requirements framers defined it back in the day. A number of years ago, I was able to chat up with Lt. Col. Mau who was one one of the first female pilots to fly the F-35A at the time. She also basically agreed with what I've written above with her characterization of the F-35A demonstrated performance resulting in " a far greater supersonic radius" than the aircraft it is replacing (F-16, F-18, A-10 and Harrier) and not the ATF Supercruise definition.

This was a deliberate design choice. In order to buy and build at closer to 180 aircraft (or around 200 even) per year and affordably build up inventory they had to trade something for affordability. Many things were looked at with price/cost as an independent variable. Stuff like, RCS, Speed, Supercruise, Combat Radius, Payload etc. In the end, they decided to keep payload stable (2000 lb internal carriage was not traded away for 1000 lb only for example), and keep combat radius at higher levels and traded away Supercruise and the extreme right hand side of that envelope (speed and altitude). This was done because the speed requirement, in addition to be costly by itself was also quite taxing on the requirements for size (aircraft size and weight still correlates nicely with cost) and more importantly RCS. Your choice of RCS coatings and FIBER MAT like appliques is heavily influenced by that. Designing something that needs will be supercruising at Mach 1.7 with a close to Mach 2 top speed is very difficult when you are also trying to come up with a wideband stealth applique.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby JayS » 31 Oct 2019 00:15

brar_w wrote:Image


Wow. Those numbers for Classified categories is easily 2x the publically known expenditures of next 10 categories. Thats 228B in classified projects in five years...!!

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 31 Oct 2019 08:46

brar_w wrote:The X-37B landed earlier this morning, after completing 780 days in space -

Image



Why are those technicians wearing NBC type suits? What cargo or fuel does the X-37B carry which is so hazardous? After a very high temperature re-entry there should be nothing on the surface which would be a concern. Maybe a highly radioactive power source? The techs to the right appear to be carrying some sort of emissions or geiger counter device and the other one is pushing a measuring wheel to determine some sort of safe distance. Note that the other ground crew are much further back.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Oct 2019 16:48

Indranil wrote:May, I ask the questions:

1. If the decision is made to make F-22 multirole today, can the airframe take it? Is it a matter of avionics upgrades, testing and qualification? If the decision is taken and the F-22 is made multirole today, will it be at par to the 4th gen multirole aircrafts? I know the answer to the last question for sure. No. the F-22 will be a far superior in A2A than any 4th gen aircraft in A2A. And it can do the strike roles pretty well too.


The F-22A has limitations in the Air to Ground sphere, with many owing to the requirements guiding its design. Firstly, it is the inability to carry the GBU-31 or similarly sized munitions. That is/was a must for a US strike fighter platform and survived two separate requirements scrub on the JSF for example. The same IWB A2G optimization (or lack thereof) extends to things like the cruise missile carriage (won't be able to carry the JSM for example) and the supersonic to supersonic-hypersonic Stand In Attack Weapons (Like USAF's SiAW for example). So while it does fine as a strike platform, its strike role is limited primarily to deploying the SDB, and the GBU-32 weapons which are only a subset of the strike munitions employed by US strike fighters. Design trades made during its inception influence that and there is nothing that they can do now to turn it into a more flexible strike fighter. Another limitation is subsonic range and loiter. It is inferior to the F-35 in those metrics. This is designed to be a supercruiser and around Air combat requirements while deploying 8 missiles. It is not as good as a strike fighter would be required to be when it comes to carrying munitions, and conducting your standard strike missions which involve subsonic range and loiter over target. The F-35 is superior to it in both those metrics when optimized for those missions.

Indranil wrote:2. 2035 onwards, Most top air forces will operate 5th generation aircraft. What will an air-to-air fight look like between two 5th gen aircrafts in 1v1, or 2v2, or 4v4? Will it be BVR and done? Will aerodynamics matter?


Fifth generation tactics currently involve extending the 4th generation weapons and networks with unique 5GAF capabilities. Many if not all are still using the AWACS --> FEBA model to conduct large force deployments. That model will gradually change as would the weapons technology. The change is unlikely to be linear and the combination of technical capability, tactics, doctrine, and proliferation of tech. unlikely to be universal amongst the entire user cohort. Some will be better than others etc. etc. just like its always been. I think we will have to wait to see what the next generation of weapons, networks, and integrated solutions have to offer to really determine what 5th on 5th generation warfare at scale will look like. Simialrly, post 2030 will also see arrival of the "beyond 5th" generation capability. Whatever that is.

Indranil wrote:If LM engineers were given a singular mandate. Design a shore-based conventional TO/landing multirole aircraft, would the result be a F-35A?


No one is ever given an unconstrained mandate to go and design something. If the US ever pursued a USAF only NG Fighter, post FSU collapse and as an ATF compliment (initiated at a time when there was tremendous pressure to terminate or curtail the ATF), it would have had much stricter affordability and programmatic constraints given the USAF budgets at the time and may actually have ended up looking something like this -

Image

Similarly, if money was not an issue, it may actually have ended up looking something like -

Image

The F-35 is a product of demand and resource aggregation allowing each individual user group to get a more "capable" product that it could have afforded individually given its projected budget profiles in the 2000-2015 time-frame (when the project was launched and went through EMD). The Marines got a 5 gen. Stealth airframe, the Navy got a LO airframe when the only other realistic option would have been yet another F-18 derivative, and the USAF got what essentially amounts to a VLO F-16 Block 50 with the type of range and range/payload that they need for future missions and with a leap over the F-22 when it came to avionics, fusion and mission systems. Everything has constraints build around it. Not even the F-22/ATF as a program was constraint free as one can see what the original set of requirements that were placed on it which were shortly thereafter curtailed because of how expensive the aircraft would have been. Even the upcoming B-21 is constrained since Bob Gates sent them back to the drawing table in 2010 to develop something that was more affordable compared to the NG Bomber designs that were floated in 2010.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Oct 2019 17:54

nam wrote:
At this time, USAF is the only airforce, which has experience operating a fighter with super cruise. Based on it's experience, USAF did not think, missing such a feature will effect operational capability of F35, which will form majority of it's force structure.


This is akin to saying, that because the USAF opted for a single engine aircraft instead of a twin engined F-22A then based on its experience a twin engine aircraft is not required. F-35 lacks supercruise because it was part of the trade space and was traded away quite early on in the requirements process for the sake of affordability and commonality. One of the major design drivers was cost..in fact during the requirements process it was used as an independent variable as Unit Recurring Flyaway cost would determine the maximum annual buy rate and the ultimate fleet size. The JSF had to be affordable enough to buy in bulk and replace large portions of the F-16, F-18 and Harrier fleets. Trading away supercruise and the upper right hand side of the speed envelope was seen as a way to stay within the affordability parameters both directly (speed costs money) and also indirectly due to the knock on effects of that requirement on things like stealth, coatings, payload and overall size etc. etc. Simply put, for a strike fighter things like affordability, range, payload, loiter, and single engine (USAF hard reqiurement given its logistical setup and infrastructure to sustain expeditionary deployments was all built around a single engine F-16) were considered more important.


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