Defense Issues

Defense news and analysis

Air superiority fighter proposal 6

Posted by picard578 on August 2, 2014

Requirements

Introduction

Modern air forces are getting loaded with highly complex, expensive “mutirole” aircraft. Result is decreasing force size for same or increasing cost, while at the same time combat effectiveness of these air forces decreases. Main reasons are lack of understanding of components of fighter aircraft effectiveness, inability to enforce design discipline upon service and industry, and infatuation with new (and old) technologies without understanding wether, and why, certain technologies work or do not work.

 

Nature of air to air combat

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

—G. Santayana

Fighter aircraft exist to destroy other aircraft, and allow other aircraft to carry out their missions without interference from enemy fighter aircraft. That being said, there exists a colloqial – and incorrect – use of term “fighter aircraft” as being applicable to any tactical aircraft, even those that are primarly or exclusively designed for ground attack, such as the A-10 and the F-35. Task of the aircraft is to enable pilot to bring weapons systems in position for a successful kill.

 

You never make a big truck and tomorrow make it a race car. And you never can make a big bomber and the next day a . . . fighter. The physical law means that you need another airplane. . . . You should do one job and should do this job good.

—Colonel Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, GAP

Most important factor in aerial warfare is pilots’ skill. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in proposals | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Aircraft costs 2013-2015

Posted by picard578 on July 26, 2014

http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2015/fy2015_p1.pdf

 

NOTE: Since spending does not include R&D or any associated equipment, it is a good indication of actual aircraft cost.

 

Pg.40:

 

FY2013

EA-18G: 967.725.000 USD for 12 aircraft – 80.643.750 USD Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Saab Gripen vortices

Posted by picard578 on July 19, 2014

saab39_vortices_representation

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

CDI: Still more F-35 growth to come

Posted by picard578 on July 12, 2014

This week some Pentagon officials morphed into street cleaners as the Defense Department’s F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter” left yet another load of unpleasantness on the street for all to see. It came in the form of major new revelations from Jason Sherman at InsideDefense.com with an article titled “DOD Warns Congress JSF Costs Could Skyrocket To $388 Billion.” The new, higher cost estimate intensified the sticker shock for the already unaffordable F-35. The word went out from the “E” ring of the Pentagon; reporters and others—including myself—were told it was all “shaky math,” “garbage,” “totally wrong.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »

Supercruise

Posted by picard578 on July 5, 2014

Definition and history

Beth Hagenauer from Dryden has defined supercruise as an ability to fly supersonically without using afterburner; USAF Flight Test Center at Edward Air Force Base defines supersonic speeds as being above Mach 1, without regard for transonic region (which is different for all aircraft – F-16s transonic region is from Mach 0,9 to Mach 1,1, and Gripen’s is even narrower). According to this definition, list of supercruisers is quite long. English Electric Lightning prototype exceeded Mach 1 on dry thrust on August 11, 1954, and could achieve Mach 1,22 without reheat. Term “supercruise” was actually first applied to the Lightning. Mirage IIIO with Avon engine was able to reach Mach 1,3 in 1962. F-104 Starflighter was capable of maintaining Mach 1,1 in level flight in military power, and in fact could maintain it for 15 minutes. A clean F-16 (that is, no external stores except two missiles at wingtip stations) can cruise at Mach 1,1. With 6 missiles, Gripen C can cruise at Mach 1,1, Gripen E at Mach 1,3, Rafale C at Mach 1,4, Typhoon at Mach 1,5. F-22 with 8 missiles can cruise at Mach 1,7. Tornado F3 is also capable of supercruise. As it can be seen, supercruise is nothing new or special. That being said, many of these aircraft are not entirely supersonic in that regime – F-16s transonic region ends at Mach 1,15.

But just the ability to fly at supersonic speed without afterburner is not enough if it does not give an operational advantage. Two to one advantage in cruise (or maximum) speed is of no use if it only lasts for half a minute. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 26 Comments »

CDI: Rebels Within The US Federal System

Posted by picard578 on June 28, 2014

Emanuel Pastreich

January 10, 2006

http://www.cdi.org/program/issue/document.cfm?DocumentID=3254&IssueID=81&StartRow=31&ListRows=10&appendURL=&Orderby=DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=37&issueID=81

Casually observing the mainstream media in the United States gives one the impression that conservatives support the administration of George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the most strident and damning attacks on the “neo-conservatives” come not from “liberals,” but rather from conservatives themselves. Moreover, although many Americans foolishly buy into the argument that they should be afraid of “government,” in reality, those in government have provided the strongest resistance to corruption and corporate manipulation.

An excellent example of the rebellion against the present rule of money and privilege in America is Winslow Wheeler. Like the Democratic senator John Murtha, who recently called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq unconditionally, Wheeler is an insider with strong ties to the military and the institutional culture that has dominated the U.S. for the last 40 years who decided things have gone too far and has taken a stand. He has written at length about the corruption in the military procurement system, which is so deep that it poses a serious security threat. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

CDI: Putting Lipstick on the F-35

Posted by picard578 on June 14, 2014

(Source: Center for Defense Information; published May 4, 2009)

by Pierre M. Sprey and Winslow T. Wheeler

On April 6, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced a number of decisions on major weapons programmes in the Pentagon’s next budget.

Hyperventilating, the New York Times termed the decisions a “sweeping overhaul” of the Pentagon. Indeed, Gates’ decision to cut off F-22 fighter production at 187 fighters is an essential step in any real reform plan.

However, his complementary decision to rely on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to modernise US Air Force (USAF) undoes everything constructive that he accomplished – more so than he might ever imagine.

Quite justifiably, Gates said the decision to stop F-22 production was not even a “close call”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Light CAS fighter proposal revised

Posted by picard578 on May 31, 2014

Background

While I have proposed a CAS fighter aircraft and ideal composition of NATO air forces, neither of these proposals is very realistic. Western air forces, especially US ones (USAF, US Navy and USMC), tend to hate any simple, effective designs – especially if said designs are meant to support the ground troops. To this end, USAF and US Army have signed a Key West agreement, preventing the US Army from having fixed-wing aircraft heavier than 10.000 lbs.

While USAF says that precision munitions allow fast jets to carry out CAS, that is utterly in contradiction to battlefield realities. Infantry combat typically happens at ranges of less then 100 meters, and never at ranges above 500 meters; “danger close” limits (minimum distance one can employ a weapon at) are 500 meters for 500 lb bomb, 350 meters for 250 lb bomb and 50 meters for gun. But fast jets are too fast to use gun effectively, and even precision munitions loose precision with increasing speed and altitude. Helicopters meanwhile are at danger from small-arms fire – during the Gulf War, after 30 Apache helicopters were shot up (out of 33), they never flew in front of the ground troops again. Soviets lost hundreds of heavily-armed and heavily-armored Mi-24 helicopters during the Afghan war. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 36 Comments »

NATO navies proposal

Posted by picard578 on May 24, 2014

Current state

 

Ship costs

 

CARRIERS / AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIPS

Nimitz: 6,93 billion USD

Ford: 9 billion USD

Wasp: 750 million USD Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 23 Comments »

Aircraft carrier proposal revised

Posted by picard578 on May 17, 2014

Introduction

Large carriers are a foolhardy venture. US Admiral Hyman Rickover, when asked about how long the US carriers would survive in a confrontation with the Soviet Union, replied “About two days”. Carriers, in naval warfare, are little more than targets for submariners’ target practice. Instead, main use of aircraft carriers is to support the amphibious landings with their aircraft, and defend the surface assets from airborne attack by enemy land-based aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 52 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers