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Thread: F-16 Replacement

  1. #61
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    What are you basing this on? I would argue that surprise is MORE likely when there are a lot of planes around... you say that few fighters were able to surprise, but 80% of kills resulted from surprise... the F-22 can surprise someone because it is stealthy!
    The context was WVR combat, and the huge F-22 isn't stealthy WVR at all.

    No one has the aircraft or ability (these days) to put 300 aircraft in one airspace. Airfields are a big LIMFAC, as you can't exactly take an F-22 or T-50 off from a grass strip like a Mustang or Spit. Even if you could launch that many aircraft it would be almost unsafe - coordination would be difficult at best.
    You are mistaken here. Soviet designs can routinely operate from grass airfields. Grass strips were an integral part of their airbase layout and Cold War fighters were meant to disperse to grass airfields (in part sports airfields). The MiG-29 is elaborately prepared for such operation (see the extra intakes) and Su-27 can operate from grass airfields as well afaik. It's not known yet whether the PAK-FA will have that capability or not.
    There are enough roads in almost all countries anyway.

    Furthermore, the WP had almost unbelievable alert reaction times - including drills for very rapid launch of entire squadrons from bunkers into the air. They were taxiing at up to 60 km/h with little spacing. Eight minutes between alert with all fighters in protected positions till whole squadron in the air were a standard requirement, and many squadrons in central Europe were faster than that!

    300 combat aircraft at once is well out of reach for the U.S. forces on Okinawa and even for a four CVN fleet, but it's not at all unrealistic for Russians or Chinese. All it takes is the intent to to it, for it is clearly possible given their aircraft quantities, the availability of (provisional) airfields and the demonstrated performance of WP fighter squadrons in East Germany.

    Pulsing saturation attacks are a great counter-tactic to a 24/7 air supremacy attempt with CAPs, for it defeats the CAPs and other defences through saturation and creates local/temporary air superiority.

    That said, Red Flag (Alaska and Nellis), Northern Edge, and like exercises typically involve large numbers of aircraft. Northern Edge involved 60+ aircraft at a time, which is about as large a force as anyone is likely to be able to concentrate at a given location.
    I simply consider this to be excessively optimistic and unrealistic. IIRC even the Israelis had more aircraft over Lebanon in 1982 than that, at several times.

    I think you underestimate how good the USAF Aggressors are, Fuchs! Why do you think anyone would publicize how to defeat their own systems?
    I don't, you misread my reply. The USAF has no real motivation to defeat the F-22, while others have. It's just reasonable to expect that others are more prepared to defeat it (and the USAF is accordingly not aware about the actual relative strength of the F-22).

    How many Mirages do you lose a year due to (single) engine failure? What's that cost you?
    Not many. The probability of a total engine failure is almost exactly halved if you have only one instead of two engines.
    A smaller quantity of fighters means on the other hand a lesser distribution of risk of other accidents (which is relevant especially for small air forces which -surprise- tend to favour single engine fighters).

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    Default I feel like we're drifting off topic...

    But I'll admit I like a good discussion, so I'll bite once more!

    You are mistaken here. Soviet designs can routinely operate from grass airfields. Grass strips were an integral part of their airbase layout and Cold War fighters were meant to disperse to grass airfields (in part sports airfields). The MiG-29 is elaborately prepared for such operation (see the extra intakes) and Su-27 can operate from grass airfields as well afaik. It's not known yet whether the PAK-FA will have that capability or not.
    There are enough roads in almost all countries anyway.
    I am not mistaken. The J-10 doesn't have rough field capability, and the J-11 has some of the features from the Su-27 but not all. The MiG-29 does have grass-field capability. However, you need a fairly large grass field to operate, as well as special tires and a well-prepared grass strip. Roads need to be specially constructed, especially when you are flying a heavy fighter like the Flanker. Finally, are they training to do this?

    One big advantage the USSR had was that the ground is frozen for much of the year... makes it much easier since the ground is hard!

    Furthermore, the WP had almost unbelievable alert reaction times - including drills for very rapid launch of entire squadrons from bunkers into the air. They were taxiing at up to 60 km/h with little spacing. Eight minutes between alert with all fighters in protected positions till whole squadron in the air were a standard requirement, and many squadrons in central Europe were faster than that!
    Agreed, but my point is who can do this now? Who trains to it?

    300 combat aircraft at once is well out of reach for the U.S. forces on Okinawa and even for a four CVN fleet, but it's not at all unrealistic for Russians or Chinese. All it takes is the intent to to it, for it is clearly possible given their aircraft quantities, the availability of (provisional) airfields and the demonstrated performance of WP fighter squadrons in East Germany.
    My point is that you need to train to do something like this.

    Pulsing saturation attacks are a great counter-tactic to a 24/7 air supremacy attempt with CAPs, for it defeats the CAPs and other defences through saturation and creates local/temporary air superiority.
    I agree with this, see my last post- you can swarm anyone.

    I simply consider this to be excessively optimistic and unrealistic. IIRC even the Israelis had more aircraft over Lebanon in 1982 than that, at several times.
    Too many aircraft and you start getting in each other's way and start running jets together. My point is not that the Chinese cannot launch 300 aircraft, but that they can't get 300 aircraft in a 100x100 area.

    I don't, you misread my reply. The USAF has no real motivation to defeat the F-22, while others have. It's just reasonable to expect that others are more prepared to defeat it (and the USAF is accordingly not aware about the actual relative strength of the F-22).
    I refer you back to my comment about the Aggressors.

    Not many. The probability of a total engine failure is almost exactly halved if you have only one instead of two engines.
    A smaller quantity of fighters means on the other hand a lesser distribution of risk of other accidents (which is relevant especially for small air forces which -surprise- tend to favour single engine fighters).
    Huh? This makes no sense.

    Take the historical USAF engine related Class A (total loss or >$1M damage or death) mishap rates for single engine aircraft versus two engine aircraft.

    If we're talking Vietnam, look at how the F-4 rate is .16... the F-105 rate is 4.56.

    Still don't believe me? Let's look at F-15 PW-220 vs. F-16 PW-220 (basically same motor)... F-15 is .28, F-16 is 1.10...

    I would submit that you are MUCH more likely (28x for F-4 vs. F-105, 3.92x for F-15 vs. F-16) to have a mishap due to your engine failing in a single engine aircraft.

    Two engine aircraft are inherently safer than single engine jets... period.

    V/R,

    Cliff

  3. #63
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    "The probability of a total engine failure is almost exactly halved if you have only one instead of two engines."

    should have been

    "The probability of one total engine failure is almost exactly halved if you have only one instead of two engines."

    for clarity.

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    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    "The probability of one total engine failure is almost exactly halved if you have only one instead of two engines."

    for clarity.
    Interesting. Statistically, canít fault that.
    But surely, the issue is not the failing of an engine, it is the resultant failure of the aircraft. If a frame with one engine has an engine failure, then that will result in an aircraft failure (probability of 100 %?). If a multi-engine frame has a single engine failure, the probability of that aircraft getting home is pretty high. So the question should IMO be, what is the statistical probability of both (or all) engines on one aircraft failing at the same time.
    The tricky part here would be determining independence between the engines on the same aircraft. That might depend on the type/cause of failure.


    A smaller quantity of fighters means on the other hand a lesser distribution of risk of other accidents (which is relevant especially for small air forces which -surprise- tend to favour single engine fighters).
    Sure, but do they favour single engine fighters for that reason or has it got more to do with acquisition and maintenance costs? How many fairly good quality fighters can we get, given our tight budget, and still have a meaningful number, versus how few can we afford if each is more expensive? So may your argument of favourable risk distribution contributed to other factors serve the larger/richer forces better, relative to their size?
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    Default Situation in which engine failure ?

    Ok, single engine failure on single engine plane = aircraft failure.

    A single engine failure on twin engine plane, in a non-combat situation = good chance (whatever % is) of limping home. Hey Carl, remember our Blue Goose turboprops !

    What about a single engine failure on a twin engine plane, in a combat situation ? What are your chances of getting home there ?

    Regards

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    Default Heh that's why they have ejection seats ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Ok, single engine failure on single engine plane = aircraft failure.
    Believe Cliff would tell us that pilots memorize an engine restart procedure in the event of an engine failure. Had a long-ago neighbor who had one as a USAF instructor pilot in a T-38 and he got it restarted.

    A single engine failure on twin engine plane, in a non-combat situation = good chance (whatever % is) of limping home.
    Cliff probably would admit that if you have one of two engines fail, there is a good possibility the second engine also will fail.

    The ones who should be worrying the most about engine failures are those flying aircraft with Russian engines.

    Aviation Week said that F-35A engine costs are down to about $19 million. A current General was quoted saying he could buy 100 UAS for the price of an F-35 engine. He may have been talking about the F-35B engine which I believe costs twice what an F-35A engine costs. The F-22A has two $19 million engines and don't believe they are included in the typical $143 million F-22A cost that you often heard the USAF was paying at the end.

    Plus if you buy 100 F-35As and lose just one to an engine failure, you lose a$100 million dollar aircraft and whatever it costs to rescue the pilot who bailed out. To buy two engines for a hypothetical 100 twin engine F-35A would cost an extra $1.9 billion.

    The F-22A line is mostly closed anyway. RAND's 2010 study titled "Ending F-22A Production," paid for by the USAF, estimates that Shutdown and Restart costs for 75 more F-22s would result in average unit costs of $227 million. The total cost in then year dollars to produce 75 more would be $19.2 billion ($17 billion in FY 2008 constant dollars).

    In any event, you can't fly an F-22A off a carrier. Guam will be a pretty crowded place. Japan would be a dangerous place to park an F-22A or F-35A given the missile and massed air attack threat. But those massed aircraft also need to land if they survive. The decision to move forward on a new bomber seems to make sense with its longer legs and ability to bomb airfields so that threat quantity and quality are largely irrelevant. Just can't picture a 75,000 lb J-20 or J-10/11 taking off on three points of contact on wet grass thousands of meters long and probably not all that smooth. Don't think loading heavy jet munitions or using large fuel trucks on wet grass would work too well either.

    Just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    Aviation Week said that F-35A engine costs are down to about $19 million. A current General was quoted saying he could buy 100 UAS for the price of an F-35 engine.
    That is $190,000 each. It would buy you something that is completely useless against an enemy who can match your numbers and technology. Preds cost a lot more than that and Reapers cost rather more than Preds. And both of those are completely useless against an enemy who can match your technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    The F-22A line is mostly closed anyway. RAND's 2010 study titled "Ending F-22A Production," paid for by the USAF, estimates that Shutdown and Restart costs for 75 more F-22s would result in average unit costs of $227 million. The total cost in then year dollars to produce 75 more would be $19.2 billion ($17 billion in FY 2008 constant dollars).

    In any event, you can't fly an F-22A off a carrier. Guam will be a pretty crowded place. Japan would be a dangerous place to park an F-22A or F-35A given the missile and massed air attack threat.
    Acquiring more F-22s may be costly, as may be hardening the bases to put them on, but if the only thing that will be able to stop the J-20 from killing any old thing it wants to is an F-22. Once those 187 or so are used up, so are we.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    But those massed aircraft also need to land if they survive. The decision to move forward on a new bomber seems to make sense with its longer legs and ability to bomb airfields so that threat quantity and quality are largely irrelevant. Just can't picture a 75,000 lb J-20 or J-10/11 taking off on three points of contact on wet grass thousands of meters long and probably not all that smooth. Don't think loading heavy jet munitions or using large fuel trucks on wet grass would work too well either.
    I am guessing an airbase can be hardened. Underground aircraft hangers, underground facilities, runways spread wide apart, copious amounts of engineers and repair materials; all these things might make it hard to knock out a base. You could also do what the Swedes do, use specially hardened road sections and spread your airplanes around the countryside. All these things would make it hard for a handful of new bombers to take out enough bases for long enough to make any difference. We won't have anything more than a handful of new bombers and I doubt we would get this handful prior to...oh say, 2030.

    The Chinese will perfect the J-20 and if they build them in large numbers we will be faced with an extremely serious problem. There will be no inexpensive way around that problem and once the F-22s run out there may be no way around it at all.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Once those 187 or so are used up, so are we.



    carl, did the Air Force tell us a story? I remember them guarantying the F-22would be superior for like 50 years. Now it is just barely in service and China is already beating us something is kinda stinky about the whole deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    carl, did the Air Force tell us a story? I remember them guarantying the F-22would be superior for like 50 years. Now it is just barely in service and China is already beating us something is kinda stinky about the whole deal.
    Just my opinion, but if the Air Force told us that they were lying or so arrogant about our capabilities and so dismissive of others as to be wonderously stupid. I don't know if the J-20 is superior to the F-22 but it is most definitely superior to everything but the F-22. The big problem with the F-22 is there won't be enough of them. 187 or so is not a lot of airplanes.
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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I don't know if the J-20 is superior to the F-22 but it is most definitely superior to everything but the F-22.
    Really? Where is the evidence? One photograph of the plane?

    It is entirely possible that the J-20 may have abysmal manoeuvring characteristics, may not be that stealthy and have a wealth of serious systems issues. ....and it may not. One good airplane type, does not a serious threat make.
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    I've gotta agree with Wilf here. I don't understand the hyperventilating over the J-20. No one knows what it's capabilities are. And there is, of course, a long history of impressive looking aircraft that turned out to be crap.

    Regarding two vs. one engined aircraft, all else being equal, two engines is much safer. The statistics on that score are incontrovertable.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Really? Where is the evidence? One photograph of the plane?

    It is entirely possible that the J-20 may have abysmal manoeuvring characteristics, may not be that stealthy and have a wealth of serious systems issues. ....and it may not. One good airplane type, does not a serious threat make.
    The engineers and the fellows in the trade press are pretty good at determining general performance from the configuration and size of the airplanes, not perfect but pretty good. The air molecules are only going to act one way and gravity is a constant. Besides, they have a lot of photos to work with so I tend to believe them when they say this thing looks like a high altitude, long range, missile toting supercruiser.

    It is true that the J-20 may be a flop. It is probably not prudent to base your planning on that assumption. It is more prudent to assume they will get it right and assume that the airplane will do what it appears capable of. In that case we have big problem, and depending upon what we have to fight with, maybe one that can't be solved.

    One good airplane type does a serious problem make. The MiG-15 was very serious problem for the west. The only thing that helped with that problem was the F-86. If for some reason or other the F-86 hadn't been there, we would had exactly zero airplanes that could have kept the MiGs from killing everything.

    Conversely, the F-15 couldn't be matched by the MiG-21 and 27. Big problem for the Russians until they made the SU-27 and MiG-29. But there was a span of years there they were quite vulnerable.

    The point of the above two paragraphs is the threat airplanes were matched and the problem reduced. By our refusal to make more than that mighty 187 or so F-22s, we have consciously chosen not to match the threat. When those 187 are used up we will have big trouble.
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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The J-20 may be(come) a failure, but let's not overshoot the target.

    I've read more than enough remarks about it that resembled very much the "Japanese aircraft are made of bamboo and paper" mentality of the U.S. before the Pearl Harbour raid and the following half year of getting beaten up by A6M fighters.


    The competence of a nation or industry in a certain area can advance spectacularly in a few years; much faster than distant observers tend to take notice.

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    Default The J-20 is a big target for the F-35 Distributed Aperture System if it gets close

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    That is $190,000 each. It would buy you something that is completely useless against an enemy who can match your numbers and technology. Preds cost a lot more than that and Reapers cost rather more than Preds. And both of those are completely useless against an enemy who can match your technology.
    Carl, it was this month's NationalDefenseMagazine and General Cartwright. He was probably referring to the F-35B STOVL engine which is $38 million according to Aviation Week. A Shadow 200, used by the Marines and Army costs around $300,000 for the air vehicle itself. The Marines are arming there's. Admittedly it's not as potent as an F-35.

    http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...17;Drones.aspx

    Acquiring more F-22s may be costly, as may be hardening the bases to put them on, but if the only thing that will be able to stop the J-20 from killing any old thing it wants to is an F-22. Once those 187 or so are used up, so are we.
    China has over a thousand tactical ballistic missiles. TBM have become the new cost-effective alternative to an effective air force. According to Wikipedia, an F-35A in 1965 dollars was $1.9 million. Adjusted for inflation that is only a bit over $13 miilion today. That tells you that the cost of a competitive fighter has risen much, much faster than the 640% inflation rate from Jan 1960 until today.

    The result is that most potential adversaries cannot afford competitive fighters in great numbers. Heck, we can't afford them if they are F-22As. The F-35 is a more cost-effective compromise just as the F-16 was. The Russian and Chinese aircraft are cheaper, but not so cheap to sell many to any one rogue nation (with a sub $10 billion defense budget), and they remain unproven in actual combat. We know our pilot's are experienced. We know their's are not. We know nothing about J-20 capabilities other than that nations seldom advance decades in military know-how overnight.

    I am guessing an airbase can be hardened. Underground aircraft hangers, underground facilities, runways spread wide apart, copious amounts of engineers and repair materials; all these things might make it hard to knock out a base. You could also do what the Swedes do, use specially hardened road sections and spread your airplanes around the countryside. All these things would make it hard for a handful of new bombers to take out enough bases for long enough to make any difference. We won't have anything more than a handful of new bombers and I doubt we would get this handful prior to...oh say, 2030.
    We will have many hundreds of cruise missiles and JASSM-ER, and we still have penetrating capability with B-2, F-22, F-35, and future UCAV/MC-X. At night the primary threat to these aircraft would be SAMs that we can jam or avoid. Agree that we could harden some bases further away from China, but Japan and Korea are too close. Let them pay to harden their own bases for their own aircraft.

    The Chinese will perfect the J-20 and if they build them in large numbers we will be faced with an extremely serious problem. There will be no inexpensive way around that problem and once the F-22s run out there may be no way around it at all.
    Why would we go to war with China. Why would they bomb our Walmarts? We both have nukes and MAD deterrence. Taiwan is getting friendlier with the mainland everyday. The ones who should have any inkling of worry are Japan, Korea, and Australia. They can all buy F-35s (not F-22) and Patriot missiles to assume more of their own aerial defense with our back-up.

    A recent Australian study claimed a lowly 6:1 loss-exchange ratio between Chinese aircraft and our own. IMHO, that is ridiculously inaccurate considering how old most Chinese aircraft still are. Did that consider F-35s? Navy and shore-based SAMs also attrite threat aircraft. It is unlikely Pak FA or J-20s will be anywhere near as stealthy as our aircraft or that S-300/400/Chinese SAMs would withstand EA-18G and next generation jammers.

    The sky is not falling versus China or Russia. We still have MAD keeping both sides happy. The sky could fall on some American, European, or Israeli city if attacked by a state-supported terrorist nuke. Irrational individuals don't consider that their nation will be destroyed if they are insane, think they can hide any connection, believe they have nothing to lose, or have some religious belief creating a martyrdom complex. Focus on those more likely threats by deterring rogue states and developing TBM defenses, befriending/helping states that reject terrorism, and by killing potential terrorists where we actively find them. Rapidly deployable and forward-deployed ground and naval forces, nukes, 186 F-22s, 2000+ F-35s, new bombers, and UAS are more than adequate to preclude miscalculation by major powers.
    Last edited by Cole; 01-15-2011 at 04:37 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    According to Wikipedia, an F-35A in 1965 dollars was $1.9 million. Adjusted for inflation that is only a bit over $13 miilion today. That tells you that the cost of a competitive fighter has risen much, much faster than the 640% inflation rate from Jan 1960 until today.

    ...

    The sky is not falling versus China or Russia. We still have MAD keeping both sides happy.
    a) I bet you meant something different than F-35A.

    b) The Chinese are reputed with a minimal deterrence; just a few hundred nuclear warheads. That's not true MAD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    It is probably not prudent to base your planning on that assumption.

    That is real problem. Link to Long Range Planning By Colonel Warden

    http://www.ndu.edu/inss/symposia/joi...Warden-PPT.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    The J-20 is a big target for the F-35 Distributed Aperture System if it gets close.
    That may be true but why would it need to get close? If, if it is designed to stay high, fast and shoot missiles from far away it doesn't have to get close.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    The result is that most potential adversaries cannot afford competitive fighters in great numbers. Heck, we can't afford them if they are F-22As.
    The ability to afford something is a decision as to where you want to put your resources. We have enough resources to build lots of F-22s but we choose to put those resources elsewhere. If the Chinese make the decision to build lots of J-20s, they can. They will just have to give up something else. That is easier to do in a totalitarian society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    The F-35 is a more cost-effective compromise just as the F-16 was. The Russian and Chinese aircraft are cheaper, but not so cheap to sell many to any one rogue nation (with a sub $10 billion defense budget), and they remain unproven in actual combat. We know our pilot's are experienced. We know their's are not. We know nothing about J-20 capabilities other than that nations seldom advance decades in military know-how overnight.
    The F-35 will be no compromise at all if all it can do is look at a J-20 and use that vaunted computing power to calculate exactly when the missile will hit. Our pilots are experienced, but that doesn't mean the other fellow can't think up something nasty for us. The Indians and the Chileans have both done us the favor of showing us up in the past. They weren't experienced. The J-10 first flew in 1998. The Chinese have been working on this stuff for decades. Besides, they may have every bit of data from our decades of work via their internet espionage work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    We will have many hundreds of cruise missiles and JASSM-ER, and we still have penetrating capability with B-2, F-22, F-35, and future UCAV/MC-X. At night the primary threat to these aircraft would be SAMs that we can jam or avoid.
    Would there be enough of those things to shut down hardened bases, if the opponent chose to harden bases, for a long time? Would they have bases close enough that survive long enough to do any good? I don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    Agree that we could harden some bases further away from China, but Japan and Korea are too close. Let them pay to harden their own bases for their own aircraft.

    ...The ones who should have any inkling of worry are Japan, Korea, and Australia. They can all buy F-35s (not F-22) and Patriot missiles to assume more of their own aerial defense with our back-up.
    I am not so sure we can be so easily dismissive of Japan, Korea and Australia. We could not afford not to have them in it with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    A recent Australian study claimed a lowly 6:1 loss-exchange ratio between Chinese aircraft and our own. IMHO, that is ridiculously inaccurate considering how old most Chinese aircraft still are. Did that consider F-35s? Navy and shore-based SAMs also attrite threat aircraft. It is unlikely Pak FA or J-20s will be anywhere near as stealthy as our aircraft or that S-300/400/Chinese SAMs would withstand EA-18G and next generation jammers.
    Shore based SAMS are only good near the shore or a little beyond. Way out to sea, not so much. Ship based SAMS are only good if there is a ship there and you can run them out of missiles. (I know there is a version of the Mk. 41 VLS that can be reloaded at sea but is that version on any of our ships?) I read too there is a shortage of naval missiles. Let's say you made each one of those old Chinese airplanes a drone and pointed them toward an American ship. They wouldn't have any warhead or terminal guidance. They wouldn't need it. Each would have to be engaged because they might be able to hurt you. Pretty soon, poof! No more missiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    The sky is not falling versus China or Russia.
    Maybe not. My point is there is a very serious problem on the horizon and we can't wish it away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post
    2000+ F-35s
    I am skeptical we will buy anywhere near that many.
    Last edited by carl; 01-15-2011 at 06:00 PM. Reason: typo
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    Default My bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    a) I bet you meant something different than F-35A.

    b) The Chinese are reputed with a minimal deterrence; just a few hundred nuclear warheads. That's not true MAD.
    a) Oops, you're right, it was the F-4A Phantom that I looked up on Wikipedia.

    b) Maybe not true MAD, but close enough!! Can't imagine any country wanting to endure 10 nukes let alone one hundred.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    That may be true but why would it need to get close? If, if it is designed to stay high, fast and shoot missiles from far away it doesn't have to get close.
    We don't even know if its intent is more of a fighter or a bomber. Is it directed at us or a solution to the Indian PakFA? Even if it's high heading toward an F-35, it does not mean it can see the F-35 or successfully lock on to it, especially if it is being jammed and there are other decoys out and about. It's more likely focused on some distant larger radar target AWACS or an F-15 Golden Eagle or F-18E/F with upgraded AESA when it gets an AMRAAM from an unseen F-35 or F-22.


    The ability to afford something is a decision as to where you want to put your resources. We have enough resources to build lots of F-22s but we choose to put those resources elsewhere. If the Chinese make the decision to build lots of J-20s, they can. They will just have to give up something else. That is easier to do in a totalitarian society.
    But for the same money, we can build a lot more nearly as good F-35s and sell others to allies to keep the price even lower. Plus the F-35 splits up our fighter eggs, and gets them closer to the threat so we don't overcongest Guam.

    The F-35 will be no compromise at all if all it can do is look at a J-20 and use that vaunted computing power to calculate exactly when the missile will hit. Our pilots are experienced, but that doesn't mean the other fellow can't think up something nasty for us. The Indians and the Chileans have both done us the favor of showing us up in the past. They weren't experienced. The J-10 first flew in 1998. The Chinese have been working on this stuff for decades. Besides, they may have every bit of data from our decades of work via their internet espionage work.
    Indians and Chileans? Wargames where we couldn't use all our capabilities of newest assets?

    Backward engineering is (I suspect) hard enough when you have the actual item let alone when you have drawings of something small and complex and no means of duplicating that item in quality mass production, and no current sample of the material helping making it low observable.

    Would there be enough of those things to shut down hardened bases, if the opponent chose to harden bases, for a long time? Would they have bases close enough that survive long enough to do any good? I don't know.
    And meanwhile their oil is getting blockaded in the Straits of Mallaca and railways leading to air bases are getting bombed. Commuter rails are hit so millions of Chinese are stranded and a few good bomb hits on highways creates month long trafffic jams for both military and civil traffic.

    I am not so sure we can be so easily dismissive of Japan, Korea and Australia. We could not afford not to have them in it with us.
    Of course we want them on our side but it is their war and threat to their homeland...not ours, and if the Chinese attack them as well as Taiwan, then they get more allies involved. I'm sure we are more than willing to sell them F-35s just as they sell us their goods.

    Shore based SAMS are only good near the shore or a little beyond. Way out to sea, not so much. Ship based SAMS are only good if there is a ship there and you can run them out of missiles. (I know there is a version of the Mk. 41 VLS that can be reloaded at sea but is that version on any of our ships?) I read too there is a shortage of naval missiles. Let's say you made each one of those old Chinese airplanes a drone and pointed them toward an American ship. They wouldn't have any warhead or terminal guidance. They wouldn't need it. Each would have to be engaged because they might be able to hurt you. Pretty soon, poof! No more missiles.
    We have decoys (MALD) and means of jamming their data links too, I suspect. Folks forget that as we are running out of naval and shore SAMs, they are running out of aircraft. 100 quality aircraft with a 10:1 (and submit it would be more like 40:1 against most) air-to-air loss-exchange means we may lose 100 aircraft, but they will lose 1000 lesser quality and far fewer quality aircraft, plus whatever number are killed by the Navy and Patriots. Meanwhile, we still have lots of F-35s and more SAMs on the way.

    Somebody will come back and say we should not lose any aircraft and our pilots need every asymmetric and numbers advantage. But recall that $13 miilion (in TODAY'S dollars) F-4A in the early 1960s. Can we afford to pay for excessive numbers of today's stealthy fighters that cost ten times as much? That is not a realistic outlook when 100 lost planes means nowhere near 100 lost pilots...a number surpassed by ground troops every few months in conflicts with a 100% probability (Afghanistan/iraq), not a .1% probability against China or Russia. Iran and North Korea are probably 5% probability conflicts and we have more than sufficient stealth jets for those adversaries.

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    Part f the problem with decoys is that VLO aircraft lose LO characteristics if they carry external loads. A MALD would need to be carried externally, for the weapons bays do not have spare volume.

    MALD is -just as IRST- one of the technologies that favour non-stealth aircraft like Typhoon and Rafale (which don't use such decoys, though).

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