Saturday, April 19, 2014

Turn RAN dockside into cruiseship venue

The problem with this idea is that once an organization starts getting money like this, it will do whatever it takes to keep that new money stream coming in.

This is a really bad idea.

KC-10 retirement is opportunity--for some

The USAF's plan to get rid of all of the KC-10s in the near future is a bad idea.

Depending who you are.

The aircraft has brought the USAF wonderful capability. The way KC-10s were used in Operation:ELDORADO CANYON--the 1986 punitive strike on Libya--was the true definition of "game-changer". And, KC-10s could be refueled by other tankers. The KC-10 helped make that operation possible.

The KC-10 has contributed greatly to U.S. air power campaigns since.

So why get rid of it?

The USAF has money problems with hair on them. I suspect also that there are other factors at play.

The KC-10 going away allows USAF to turn around and draw up a requirement for more of the new KC-46 tankers. Having a replacement for the KC-10 is OK as long as the aircraft are retired as new KC-46s replace them. This will not happen and the U.S. will have a tanker gap. U.S. air wars do not happen without enough tanker support.

A unified tanker fleet would be good. So, I have no problem with an all KC-46 fleet. But, they are not cheap. Current program unit cost is $250M each. Unit cost is $189M each.

There is another opportunity out their for retiring the KC-10. It is either sinister or OK depending on how you see things.

Bidding on surplus aircraft.

KC-10s have a lot of life left in them. Someone with insider knowledge could have already put the wheels in motion to grow an existing company or start a new company that does civilian owned and operated air-refueling for the U.S. military. This could help a lot of friends with post retirement or post-reduction-in-force (RIF) plans.

Civilian tanking on a larger scale could help for anything that doesn't require regional contact with an enemy. Tanking at home; tanker-drags across the ocean and additional cargo carry.

This could be much cheaper than the over-grown KC-10 wings and their "associate" Air Force Reserve cousins.

Cheaper in peacetime at least.

I would wager that one could put out bets on which USAF airframes will be retired in the next coming years.

All to save the F-35, the overage of flag-ranks and their comfort-castles.

Canada's CF-18 replacement--still a rigged game?

People that practice fraud by trick or device like easy marks.

The U.S. has found one with Canada in trying to push an aircraft to replace their CF-18 that isn't lethal, survivable, affordable, sustainable or supportable: the F-35.

In the long term, however, the F-35 is seen as the safest choice. The feeling inside the government is that of the main contenders, the F-35 offers the greatest options over the coming decades to remain technologically up to date, with a number of other countries committed to investing in future upgrades.

None of that is credible. The F-35 can't be the safest choice. Its technology isn't "up to date". How is a non-working helmet-cueing system (the aircraft has no heads-up display) or a failed total solution maintenance method (ALIS) "up to date"? Other Joint Strike Fighter Partner Nation countries like Denmark are starting to understand the high risk with the F-35.

Which comes back to the point: who in the Canadian government is this gullible or worse, paid off? If your job (or future job) requires the F-35, what decision are you going to make on behalf of the Canadian people?

It is interesting in the Globe and the Mail article that someone mentioned a small handful of CF-18s deploying to Poland and that this is another reason the F-35 is needed.

My first question would be, are Canadians really interested in taking on Russia?

In Russia's own back yard, over events that the U.S. stirred up in the first place, for no true national interest of American citizens.

But back to the F-35.

If Canada is going to make the bad decision to buy the F-35, they should at least buy the right one: The F-35B.

Not for its vertical landing requirement (note: the F-35B requirement is for short take-off and vertical landing, not vertical take-off). The short take-off and short landing ability of the F-35B will at least get them into and out of some of its deployable home defense runways that are around 6000 feet with less worry.

Want a comparison with the conventional runway F-35A and short airfields? The F-105. I would hope that the extra wing area lets an F-35A land slower but it won't be by much. And it isn't always Canada Dry.

The F-35B would require more tanker support because of its lower fuel capacity however if we are to believe its specifications, it will have better range performance than the current, legacy CF-18.

The F-35B can't carry as much internal weapon weight. Losing internal carry of 2000lb munitions vs 1000lb munitions isn't a big deal. Most target sets are dead if hit by a precision 500lb munition.

A proven, working F-35B would allow for joint assignments with the United States Marine Corps on their dedicated ships.

I would still recommend, fly-before-you-buy. A full competition among other aircraft that by the way are more survivable in combat. For example the Gripen. It will get in and out of some short airfields and won't cost an arm and a leg. There won't be a real, fully working F-35B out to about 2020 or so.

Canada can keep their CF-18s flying out to 2023-2025. Australia is in a similar state with their legacy F-18s. This is done by more overhaul and a combination of flight-restriction by tail number, depending how much money is to be spent.

And like Canada, Australia made the bad decision to go with the F-35 in the first place without a competition.

Based on "analysis" driven by over-optimism and spin.

Until we see otherwise, indications are that the CF-18 replacement program is still a rigged game.

A working CF-35B or any variant?

I doubt it.

That is why a fly-before-you-by competition is needed.


H/T-Mark


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-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Aviation Week (ARES blog) F-35 posts (2007 to present)
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today



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Friday, April 18, 2014

An Officer Corps That Can’t Score

An Officer Corps That Can’t Score, How military careerism breeds habits of defeat

The most curious thing about our four defeats in Fourth Generation War—Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan—is the utter silence in the American officer corps. Defeat in Vietnam bred a generation of military reformers, men such as Col. John Boyd USAF, Col. Mike Wyly USMC, and Col. Huba Wass de Czege USA, each of whom led a major effort to reorient his service. Today, the landscape is barren. Not a military voice is heard calling for thoughtful, substantive change. Just more money, please.

A good read and I think accurate. Think about that when you consider we have around 900 flag-ranks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Australia didn't look at Gripen

No kidding. The entrenched defence bureaucracy didn't look at the Gripen

Journalist can't even get the story right.

The Saab Gripen is a single engine, two-crew, multi-role fighter made in Sweden and according to the builder it costs about $US7000 an hour to run compared to $US11,000 for the Boeing Super Hornet operated by the Royal Australian Air Force and $21,000 an hour for the next generation JSF.

First, there is no known reality where an F-35 will cost $21,000 per hour. Disclosure: the "journalist" is a known ADF copy-paster.

Super Hornet cost per flying hour for Australia is $23,130 (Source 2012-13 PBS (ADF budget))

Own...and..operate costs (everything) of the a Gripen for Australia would be about $12,000~$14,000 per hour.

With near 100 percent offsets.

LM PR - program must reduce costs or F-35 is unaffordable

Taken literally, this comment is powerful:

"We must reduce costs or else this airplane will be unaffordable," said Joe DellaVedova, a Joint Program Office spokesman.

Then there is this:

Rein (a Lockheed spokesman) defended the cost effectiveness of concurrency and the performance of the jet.

"If we didn't do concurrency, we would basically build about 15 aircraft, flight test them four to six years, then try to start up the production line and suppliers again," a costly expense, he said.

Yes, because that has failed terribly for so many program over the years.

The company also says the stealthy F-35 is six times more effective in air-to-air combat and surveillance and eight times more effective in the air-to-ground role than legacy fighters.

"The F-35 is a flying computer and with its sensors and radars it's able to fire, shoot and take down it enemy before it even knows it there," Rein said.

Muppet. Unlikely and, unlikely.


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-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Aviation Week (ARES blog) F-35 posts (2007 to present)
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DOD misleads the public on F-35 procurement

Chart created below from the document mentioned in the previous post. There is no $148M F-35A in the USAF 2015 procurement budget (PDF). Weapons system unit cost is what counts.


(Unit cost for DOD F-35s by fiscal year-click image to make larger)

Just another day of the DOD being dishonest. And since the jet is way behind and doesn't actually work, the right side of the chart is even more difficult to believe.

DOD estimated impacts of sequestration

This April DOD document which covers the estimated impacts of sequestration (PDF) has this about the F-35 5-year plan.







(click images to make larger)

All that are gigantic cuts. These years were suppose to show 200+ F-35s being built per year. That is a lot of lost money for the rent-seekers. Something many in the model-airplane-glue sniffing brigade fail to understand.

The overall document is fear-mongering. Interesting is that when you look at the budget dollars, most of the DOD budget is not being cut.

It is being increased.

Much of that wasted on dud weapon systems, dud programs and 900-some flag-ranks.

Monday, April 14, 2014

When will the F-22 be next on the USAF hit list?



The F-22 does some fantastic things. It can also be variable on its sustainment experience.

For dry environments they have been able to get 100 percent mission capable "MC"-rates on "Squadron" (really a package) deployments (guess where?) for up to about 30 days. That is about as far as they can push it without going to the L.O. barn. Wet environments (um...you know... Pacific pivot?) Not so good. There are also some fatigue issues where we will be lucky to see F-22s out to 2030.

2030, in aircraft development time-lines, especially a moribund DOD/USAF management experience like today, is not that far off.

F-22 production was stopped in part, because it competed for F-35 funding.

After USAF gets rid of the A-10, the KC-10, more F-15s and F-16s and anything else they can grab, to keep F-35 funding propped up, they will look at the F-22.

My nomination for this is the year 2020.

I have been wrong before.

It could be sooner.

The USAF is getting eaten alive by bad management decisions and personnel issues that cost billions.

USAF and its Sith Lord allies, will continue to insist that buying a few dozen F-35s per year is needed.

No matter what.

Above all else.

Consider most existing airframe communities in the USAF as a threat to the F-35s future.

USAF will do anything to eliminate that threat.

Canadian Defence omitted key F-35 flaws in report

The Canadian Department of National Defence, in a 2012 report that was supposed to be "open" and "transparent", omitted key flaws about the troubled F-35 program such as fuel efficiency, software development problems and a non-working helmet cueing system, reports The Vancouver Sun.

These issues were present in earlier drafts of the report but "senior officials" who reviewed it are the likely suspects.

Today, it is understood that the aircraft program is still in trouble with many more years before a complete, go-to-war example is ready.

By all reasonable measures, the F-35 is a failed program. It is unlikely to be lethal, affordable or sustainable.

It was sold to the U.S. Congress in the 1990's first as "JAST" (joint advanced  strike technology") and later as "JSF" (joint strike fighter) with the goal of being a "model acquisition program".

Congress believed it, and handed over the money.

Years later and tens-of-billions spent, there is no proof that the F-35 will ever reach any of its design goals, as measured through credible, operational testing.

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-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Aviation Week (ARES blog) F-35 posts (2007 to present)
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today




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JSF Partner Nations trumped by FMS

The "best value" prisoner's dilemma Joint Strike Fighter Partner Nation industrial plan sucks.

Everyone has to take the table-scraps from the prime contractor's decision.

In Foreign Military Sales (FMS) there are off-sets and haggling. Israel, Japan and S. Korea will drive a hard bargain. They will also get what they want for production and sustainment of the F-35.

In Israel's case, their "domestic" weapons and software will be different. I suspect, it won't over-reach either. For example, SPICE and Rafael air-to-air missiles would be good enough for most of their work. I suspect also that the IDF won't over-reach on what the aircraft can and cannot do.  I bet their helmet cueing system will work.

With no dumb excuses.

And, for Israel, it helps to get $3B each year from the U.S. taxpayer in "credits".

Total, legal, money-laundering of U.S.tax dollars.

Here, Israel will make some wing components (and other things). If they can make this pig work, it will be to some very limited needs.

IAI closer to producing F-35 wings

Israel Aerospace Industries has established a new production line to manufacture wings for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.


LOD, Israel, April 14 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin and Israel Aerospace Industries say preparations to produce F-35 fighter wings in Israel are well underway.

IAI, which signed a contract with Lockheed in April of last year to manufacture the wings, has invested in advanced systems and technology for the work and established an automated production line.

“This is another significant milestone in the industrial cooperation that Lockheed Martin has with the Israeli defense industry,” said Marillyn (CQ) Hewson, chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin. “IAI has been manufacturing several components for our products for many years and the production of F-35 wings will be a continuation of this process.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Demark sets timeline and candidates for replacing its F-16 fleet

Denmark has requested submissions for replacing its F-16 fighter aircraft. Candidates will have their submissions in by July of this year. The Danish Ministry of Defense is expected to make a decision by the end of 2015, reports JSF News.

The four candidates are the EF2000 Typhoon, Boeing F-18 Super Hornet, Saab Gripen and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter maded by Lockheed Martin.

The requirement is for 30 aircraft. A variety of performance and cost issues will be considered.

Of the four candidates, the F-35 is at the most risk for cost, performance, lethality, survivability and supportablility, given its many development problems.

More from JSF News.

Grading professors on Defence

Alan Dupont, professor of international security at the University of NSW misses several things in this defence opinion piece and then recovers (somewhat) at the end.

He states many things that are not logical. He brings up the Defence-must-be-2pc-of-GDP without mentioning that it is a bad idea. It will never happen in an entitlement society deep in federal debt.

He states that so many things in Defence will go unfunded; that there isn't enough money for Defence projects.

Good.

Many Defence projects are based on bad requirements; are poorly executed; defective; and contribute no value to our national defence posture.

For example, Australia doesn't need "Air Warfare Destroyers". Especially ones with obsolete radar systems.

Australia does not need Canberra-class LHDs--including the wet-dream-fantasy of the unmentioned option of STOVL F-35Bs (that is why the ski-jump is on the front of the ship). Navy's strategy is to just not mention it and hope for glory later (along with a pre-2007 view on available federal funds).

Australia does not need defective F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. For any number of reasons including the fact that the Australian people were lied to about this project.

And what about the submarine replacement program? What can be said that has not been already?

Professor Dupont should consider taking a closer look at the festering sore that is the DMO.

What should the next Defence white paper contain?

Rebuilding and reformation only. That is, lay out a plan for professional military education that sticks. Punish those that break the law. Regain a true military ethos that concentrates on war-fighting and service-before-self.

Not the current method of self-before-service by many in leadership positions.

The next defence white paper should mention little about hardware and a majority in regard to the professional military person. Without this, any shopping list of hardware is useless.

The professor then states this:

"Logic and history suggest that Australia must be capable of deploying and sustaining a credible force anywhere in the world, not just in our immediate neighbourhood."

I suspect that depends on your definition of "logic" and "history". At least Korea and Vietnam were in the Pacific Rim.

But let us look at Afghanistan. The initial U.S. response to 9/11 was this:

“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

“I want justice…There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive,’”
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

No mention of nonsense nation building in a tribal culture with no practical use. But that is what happened.

The original reason for U.S. involvement in that region was to get Osama. Not nation building. Once Bush and Congress helped out all of their war-profiteer friends (that also contribute big dollars to election campaigns), this is what happened:

“I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

“I am truly not that concerned about him.”
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts,
3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

Yup. That is where Australia gets its inspiration to go off and fight Operation: USELESS DIRT.

I would suggest that Australia has no business doing defence work outside of the Pacific Rim or close Indian Ocean region.

The ADF will never be big enough to support allies that run off on dumb wars with no real objective. The ADF however should always be, the go-to nation for its allies when needs of regional defence security and humanitarian response required in the ADF's backyard.

Australia can have that capability and have a cap on annual military spending of $20B per year.

With good leadership, maybe even a few billion less.

Australia does not need rent-seekers and foreign-owned companies urging the public to fund gold plated weapons programs that have nothing to do with a sensible national security posture.

Especially with such deskilled ADF senior leadership.


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-New Defence White Paper fails to address Australia's core security needs
-2009 Defence White Paper Fantasy
-Analysing "The ADF Air Combat Capability- On the Record"
-Find out who is responsible for the Air Warfare Destroyer mess
-Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed
-New DMO Boss warns the staff that business as usual is over
-How dangerous is the Defence Material Organisation to our Defence Industry?
-Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology
-More on the dud-jamming gear Defence wants to buy
-ADF cost per flying hour
-I will wipe out bullying vows new Defence chief (Houston 2005)
-Vacancy
-Put Vol 2 Report of DLA Piper Review into the light of day
-Rory and Jim
-Parasitism as an Abstraction for Organizational Dysfunctions
-Hobart-class "Air Warfare Destroyer" to be fielded with obsolete radar guidance technology
-The Decay Of Critical Military Thinking And Writing-With Particular Reference To The RAAF
-Newspaper guy gets it right about sub project.... big time
-The great M-1 tank myth



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