Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 364

Project to add attack functionality to F-22 fleet existed, and would have been (and likely still is) far cheaper and more productive than creating a new fighter. That will now apparently cost almost as much as F-22 on top of it. Rafale, Eurofighter and Gripen are viable options as well.

As for "you will never get funding", that is a US POLITICAL choice. The fact remains that CHOICE exists. It's that politicians choose not to exercise that choice for political reasons in one NATO country. Considering that F-35 program has a lot of donors from the countries that are not US, and that without those the project would likely be scrapped as costs would jump further, this is pretty much purely a political problem. Not even a choice, but an actual problem, because many countries paid for F-35 without tenders.

And eventually, it seems that people who made those decisions will be called to answer why, at which point it's fairly likely that we'll have massive corruption trials and jail time for politicians, as well as collapse of the project.

Comment Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 364

Marines and UK need replacement for Harrier. That means STOVL or full VTOL. At the moment, the only aircraft that meets the requirements is the Harrier and the barely flying version of F-35B as well as Soviet Yak-38 which is no longer in service and cancelled Yak-141 which is the aircraft from which Lockheed Martin licensed the STOVL system from.

Comment Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 364

In a fight with "real adversary" by your definition, F-35 is the single worst choice of all aircraft, barring downgrade to F-4 or similar, due to its extreme cost. Ignoring the MAD aspect of the issue, if you're facing a massed assault of decent air superiority aircraft in a shitty fighter that has barely any missiles and only frontal stealth, you're dead.

Current fleet at least has a chance because there's enough of air superiority aircraft that have decent to good performance.

And again, you appear to be ignoring the fact that F-35 is a terrible attack aircraft even if we pretend for a moment that Lockheed Martin isn't advertising it as a fighter. Attack aircraft's primary role requires it to have decent operational range and payload. F-35 has neither without external hard points.

And no offence, but in modern world, enemy will know you're coming. Political conflicts that result in massive conflagration between two major states are affairs that take months to appear. And once that happens, spy satellites AWACS aircraft and strategic search radars kick in. Stealth provides little protection from those, you will be spotted. It will only provide protection from fire control radars which cannot get a proper lock due to sensory deprivation, and considering the questionable stealth that F-35 has in the first place and the fact that Russians operate MiG-31s which will be locking on it from above rather than below, F-35 is still pretty much the worst choice.

Comment Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 364

Why not? US is currently Russia, largely due to complete halt of develpment and massive brain drain after the fall of Soviet Union. That suggests that US has at least ten to fifteen years of head start. If you go into details, Russians probably still lead on aerodynamics and engines or are about even due to two decades of lost development. US has a massive lead in its traditional advantages of logistics, production and avionics.

US most definitely has the time to develop something else. That argument is quite ridiculous.

The main argument here is cancellation of F-35 program because of structural failures of the program mentioned above, and usage of F-35 development to create three separate aircraft for each branch (carrier based fighter/bomber, airforce strike focused fighter bomber and marines STOVL strike focused fighter/bomber).

This would also solve the problem with Lockheed Martin becoming an effective monopoly for future fighter production in US as tenders could be given to separate companies.

Comment Re:Come now. (Score 1) 104

Entering? Yes. Reading and managing with numbers? No. You seem to think that the only costs with data management are entering. That's just ridiculous.

I'm not going to even bother with the rest of your argument, which amounts to "spreadsheet bad for everything, world is wrong in choosing it, I stand alone as a warrior for just cause". Good luck with that.

Comment Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 364

I think your other part where you are grossly misinformed is where you think that stealth is end goal. It's not. It's merely a means to an end, and end goal of stealth is immunity to radar guided missile's targeting system.

Electronic warfare aircraft are means to that very same goal, that are proven to be about as efficient as stealth but take the exact opposite path to tackle the problem - instead of sensory deprivation of stealth, they use sensory overload instead. This approach has significant benefit over stealth in that this approach allows EW aircraft to provide same benefits to entire fleet of allied aircraft. That's how downright ancient Panavia Tornadoes and older, traditionally vulnerable to SAM aircraft like F-15Es and F-16 were able to operate in Libya in spite of heavy SAM presence across the region.

EW aircraft are basically a cheaper, more efficient means to solve the problem that stealth attempts to solve. They are more efficient because they don't just cover stealth aircraft, but they cover all aircraft in the fleet. This solves the massive problem that US discovered it had in Iraq war - few stealth aircraft and too many targets to hit them with, while a lot of older, functional aircraft that couldn't penetrate air defenses and couldn't be used.
This is what was solved in Libya.

Comment Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 3, Interesting) 364

Unfortunately much of that is outright lie. Lockheed Martin specifically sold F-35 to other countries under the umbrella of "you can replace all your fighter, attack and close combat support aircraft with this one machine". This is why they got so many countries on board with financing in spite of having no aircraft to show for it.

This has since been proven to be false, to the point where several countries like Australia have opted to buy other aircraft like F/A-18E/F models to replacing their aging fleets instead of F-35 after failures of F-35 became evident.

As for "design goals" as it comes to F-35, is there really anyone still having that discussion, other than Lockheed Martin shills? We already know they failed at meeting essentially all of them, and design requirements had to be continuously reduced so that aircraft would have at least some chance of meeting them. Knowledge of this is widely available in mass media.

Comment Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 4, Interesting) 364

Point one: I'm looking at it from the point of view of other countries. I readily concede the fact that US will never buy a French jet, even if it's far better suited for the role. It took immense amount of wrangling just to get Harrier in, even though it literally had no alternatives.

Your second point is moot. F-35's commonality is reported at around thirty percent today, and it's likely to go down rather than up as development continues. This is actually one of the biggest failures in the program, and was widely reported.

Your third point is extremely debatable. F-35's stealth is already been reported to be exceptionally lacking in all but frontal hemispheres, and in addition to that it has very little in terms of payload when it's stealthy. It needs to have external hardpoints (read: no stealth from any direction) for any meaningful strike package for example, or to have a meaningful range which it woefully lacks.

So we go back to point one, which as I admitted, I readily concede. But in that regard, there is one point that is being argued in US today: that F-35 program should be scrapped and in its place US should develop three separate fighters (because of point #2 being proven largely failed today). This would get all users an aircraft that is actually at least decent for the designed purpose, instead of an abortion of an aircraft in all usage scenarios that F-35 is increasingly proven to be.

Comment Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 364

You forget that capabilities of S-300 are well known, because several of the newer NATO countries have the system's naval version on their ships.

S-400 is arguable, and S-300 would definitely pose a significant threat to older planes like F-16 and F-18 without electronic warfare support.

However the rocket at the edge of its operational range is at a massive disadvantage in terms of power of its guidance system vs power of nearby powerful jammer.

Comment Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 364

You are grossly misinformed. "Wild weasel" is a US program to attack SAM targets with HARM missiles. It was just that, nothing less, nothing more.

Modern NATO aviation, when striking sites defended by SAM installments use dedicated electronic warfare aircraft. These aircraft are designed for extremely specialized role that has nothing to do with destroying SAM targets. Their goal is to track, locate and jam incoming radar-guided missiles. They render stealth moot because they go for exact opposite approach (overloading tracking system with false information instead of depriving it of information) that gets you the exact same end goal as stealth - near immunity to radar guided missiles.

Slashdot Top Deals

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.