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Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 831 831

So adding an A-13 modernized Warthog, and F-36 new Lightweight Interceptor would be very useful.

Not at a $Trillion a program. It crowds our spending for stuff that actually works. I think the first-wave stuff should be top-of-the-line stuff that we dump R&D into to keep it 20+ years ahead of everybody else and I think the first-wave stuff should be capable of making it safe for everything else to fly pretty much unchallenged. After that, give me cheap stuff that works. We can have multiple types of aircraft in each role, but they need to be cheap to design, cheap to build, and cheap to fly.

The F-16D's unit cost is $27.4 Million. A fleet of 1000 of those costs you $2.74 Billion (which over 5 years is pocket change).
The F-35's unit cost (averaged between the three models, which range from $148 Million to $337 Million) is $245 Million each (no R&D costs included, just building one). A fleet of 1000 then costs $245 Billion. Over 5 years, that will consume 9% of the entire DOD budget. For one plane. One shitty plane that can't dogfight and whose cockpit is too tight to allow pilots to look behind them.

The F-35 doesn't even have a well-defined role. The F-22 rules the skies; bar none. The B-2 owns all ground targets regardless of ground defenses. What's left that we need a plane that costs up to $337 Million before we put gas, weapons, or a trained pilot in it?

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 831 831

In an ideal world they'd probably be building a new version of the A-10. Something has to have advanced in the field of aircraft design since my Mom's 21st birthday. The F-16, AC-130, were also all designed well before Mom hit the big-21.

What's the age got to do with anything? We have working airframes; working designs that are proven to be exceptional at their respective jobs. We could spend a whole bunch of time, money, and lives (test pilots mostly, and some regular ones too during initial roll-out) on new designs, but we'll get maybe slightly better (or possibly slightly worse) performance out of them and in the end we'll net out behind.

Fire up the plants and start rolling new A-10s and F-16s off the assembly line (alone with F-22s). Streamline the manufacturing so they're produced as inexpensively as possible. If we find how to do their jobs better in 20 years, we'll have wasted only some minor resources in manufacturing, so the risk is minimal. They're a fantastic investment. Own the skies with the F-22, the ground defenses with the B-2, and everything else with cheap, effective aircraft.

I know our government doesn't like that because it isn't porked up all to shit, but it's the right way to move forward militarily.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 831 831

So for $1 Trillion, we can maybe step up part of the now-more-limited capability (loss of A-10 capability, smaller number of aircraft requiring longer maintenance intervals between sorties) air campaign? Maybe? And we're doing this because our elected officials have constructed a system of perverse incentives that discourages efficiency and competence and encourages ludicrous waste?

(None of this being news to me, just confirming we're on the same page; in which case we're talking about two different things. I'm speaking of what ought to happen in a sane, sensible world and you're speaking of what will actually happen because unrestricted representative democracy has yielded idiocy, incompetence, and impotence at the top.)

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 2) 831 831

a) None of those are stealth.

The F-22 is (in fact it has better stealth than the JSF) and so is the B-2 (also has better stealth than the JSF, but you called it out in your other reply so we'll let that one slide).

The others don't need stealth to fulfill their respective roles.

b) None of those can fulfill the roles of any of the others.

Correct. The F-22 is extremely stealthy and will clear our whatever aircraft the enemy puts in the skies. It also has limited ground strike capability, but that's a real waste. The B-2 (also extremely stealthy, possibly more than the F-22) is then clear to come in and start really pounding ground defenses. You take out all the stationary radar, SAM sites, AAA, C&C, etc with that while the F-22 provides protection. You don't risk lucky shots against your B-2s by sending them after less heavily defended targets; you just use them to clear a path for your remaining forces so they don't face anti-air defenses.

Once all appreciable anti-air has been destroyed and the enemy can't put a plane in the sky without F-22s dropping it, you're free to send in your non-stealth aircraft. F-16s bomb the Hell out of stationary targets and can provide some target-of-opportunity strike capability. A-10s take out mobile infantry, supply convoys, etc. AC-130s and A-10s provide your close-in air support for whatever ground missions you need to complete your objectives. Each has its own distinct role to play; one thing it's great at doing. Used together, you get the best of all worlds.

c) They're all old designs that don't look good on a budget request.

Depends on what you mean by "doesn't look good on a budget request". As a taxpayer, they sure as Hell look good to me. They're much cheaper than JSFs and each is much more capable at the specific job it's intended to do. Those "old designs" have all the bugs worked out of them and are reliable as can be. And when one does break down, it costs peanuts to repair or replace it. If the folks in charge of the budget don't think that looks good, we need to fire them immediately.

d) Particularly a $1 Trillion request.

We could buy so many of those things for $1 Trillion that we wouldn't have pilots to fly them all. So we'd buy a few less than that and train enough pilots to fly them. The result would be a force so large that we could run dozens of simultaneous sorties 24/7/365 and overwhelm anyone anywhere with omnipresent force.

So we'll have a very expensive plane that does nothing particularly well, but we'll have a lot of them, and against almost any opponent we're likely to face it will be literally invincible because getting through stealth (even the Gen 1 Stealth of the F-117) is a lot harder then it looks in a Navy white paper.

Actually, getting through stealth isn't that bad when using low-frequency ground based radar. Getting through it in the air is a challenge. That's why the advanced stealth of the F-22 and the B-2 are a much better fit for early combat: they'll have vastly better survivability than the JSF. For later in the campaign - when the enemy no longer has effective anti-air defenses - there's no reason to fly significant amounts of costly aircraft sorties. At that point, you want to fly legions of cheap, effective aircraft in and pin down the enemy so they can't so much as glance out from under the rocks they're hiding under without JDAMs raining down on them from all directions.

Comment: Speed is indeed important (Score 1) 6 6

Not everyone has a brand-new computer; The manuscript of the book I'm about to publish is in Open Office Word, about 400 pages and full of large images, and autosave is a real pain because it takes minutes to save the file.

Like another commenter said, I wouldn't make it the most important thing, overall efficiency is. But software speed is important to anyone with an older computer, especially a Windows computer, because the computer slows as the registry grows, and the registry never gets smaller, only bigger.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 831 831

Sorry, what debacle with the F-22? Near as anyone can tell, it's the best air superiority fighter ever built and will be for the next 15 - 20+ years. Do they cost a lot? Yes. But don't compare the cost of opposing military aircraft to the cost of the F-22. Compare the cost of opposing military aircraft to the cost of the AIM-120 AMRAAM fitted to the F-22 because the first indication the opposing pilots are going to have that F-22s are in the area is a missile warning.

The Iranians experienced this already when they decided to send up planes to harass some US drone aircraft. The US sent an F-22 up and after the F-22 pilot got bored waiting for the Iranians to notice he was there, he radioed them to get out of his airspace.

"He flew under their aircraft to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home.'" http://www.military.com/daily-...

"I can't see the [expletive deleted] thing," said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, exchange F-15 pilot in the 65th Aggressor Squadron. "It won't let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. [Flying against the F-22] annoys the hell out of me." http://www.acc.af.mil/news/sto...

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 831 831

The F-22 isn't supposed to be dogfighting. The F-22 is supposed to blow the enemy out of the sky from BVR long before the enemy knows F-22s are in the air. That's why it was always so stupid to compare the fly-away cost of a new F-22 to the fly-away cost of other nations' aircraft. The real comparison is the fly-away cost of other nations' aircraft against the cost of the AIM-120 AMRAAM fitted to the F-22 that's going to blow their aircraft away.

If you have F-22s dogfighting with anyone, something has gone horribly wrong.

And the JSF is a flying pile of horse shit. We'd have been much better off building new F-16s, A-10s, and AC-130s. Let the F-22s own the skies, let the B-2s take out the nastiest air defenses, and then let all the cheap stuff fly in and mop up whatever's left on the ground. I don't know what the Hell problem the JSF is supposed to solve. If the problem were just that the US military has way too much money laying around, we'd simply build more F-22s, B-2s, and carriers. Obviously that's not the problem, so what the Hell is the JSF?

Comment: Re:The founding documents present a path... (Score 1) 161 161

I am also unarmed.

Whose fault is that? Pick up something used and cheap. Start interacting with local firearms communities and someone will probably give you something if you're that bad off and then take you to the range to show you how to use it. "I am unarmed" is the battle cry of those who've long laughed at the Second Amendment. If that's you, fine; stop laughing and get involved in some communities.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 310 310

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: It's called Rocket Science for a reason ... (Score 4, Insightful) 316 316

Bummer to see this happen - was really hoping they could "stick the landing" on the 3rd try ... but obviously never got the chance.

SpaceX has been very forthcoming with their telemetry data and analysis, so hopefully we'll hear what happened soon.

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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