Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Is Ready For Combat

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
12,073
So while we're bombing goat herders now, that may not be the case in the next 5, 10, maybe 20 years.

Agreed. The rest of the world is actively developing advanced aircraft. They may be a generation or two behind us, but why let them catch up? Now, debating if we should maintain a modern military or not is an entirely different debate. Currently the general consensus is to have a world class military.

A single multi-role plane will never fill every niche. You get one plane that's supposed to do everything but can't do any one thing especially well. It will never be as effective as the A-10 for tank busting, never be as effective as the F-22 for air superiority... you get these eggheads in the Pentagon that want everything to be ultra-precise, yet when it proves to not work you go back to the old strategies. That's how it went in Afghanistan. Expensive precision munitions didn't cut it, so they took to high-altitude carpet bombing with B-52's. Ground tactics had the same problem. In Fallujah in Iraq, the Marines were using 2 M-249 gunners per squad instead of the typical one, and were using M-16A4's on full auto for close-in fighting. There's documented cases of Army soldiers toting captured AK-47's around in both sandboxes because the sand was causing havoc with the M-4 and they were overheating. Snipers? They took care of those by blowing up the building the sniper was on with an Abrams. Scorched earth worked yet again. Precision munitions have their place, and technology can give the upper hand, don't get me wrong, but when it comes down to it the older, cheaper, simpler stuff is sometimes better for certain jobs. Personally I'd rather not spend half a million to drop a laser-guided munition on a squad of jihadis in a pickup truck armed with nothing but AK-47's and RPG's when a 20mm cannon burst could do the job.

Honestly I hope all the critics and my own criticisms are wrong about this plane since it's going to be responsible for defending the country, but I'll not be convinced until its battle-tested.

Plenty of multi roles that perform well. The F-16 & F-15E is excellent proof of that. The Eurofighter preforms well, yet look at the advanced munitions it carries for air to ground. It can carry more ammunition to kill a larger number of tanks than the A-10 can, while still being able to defend itself.

And the A-10 is dated. Just about every plane carries the AGM-65 now, and it is dated compared to the Brimestone. I'd rather take 12 of these + HARMs if I had to go up against a semi modern military:

RAF-Tornado-GR4-Brimstone-and-ALARM.jpg


It had its day, but it really isn't a great tank killer anymore. Poor survivability, poor night performance (no radar) and is essentially a sitting duck against modern short range air defenses.

BTW, the M16A4 isn't full auto and neither is the M4. The Army only recently swapped to the M4A1 for standard issue. It won't really over heat any quicker than your typical rifle. Compared to most of the other rifles out there it is essentially the best, which is why most of the modern special forces choose it (UK, Canada, Australia, France, ect.).

And when it comes to unguided VS guided it seems that guided is favored. Have you seen the newest AC-130s? They are using guided munitions in place of the many cannons.

The USAF's version:
ywi1pin5syukxy6zynq1.jpg


The USMC's:
maxresdefault.jpg

ORD_Gunslinger_on_KC-130J_Harvest_Hawk_lg.jpg


The "old is better" argument seems to be out of nostalgia more than anything. After having read how AKs perform over long periods (they fall apart far quicker than the M4/16) you come to realize that there is a reason people move on to newer technology.
 

iamwhoiamtoday

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
493
I don't know about the M16A4's, but with the M16A2's, you could *very* easily modify the fire control mechanism to change it from 3-round burst to full auto.

Range days with extra ammo were fun :3


Uh, otherwise, I don't have much to add to the discussion. I have an undying love for the A10's, but... I was Field Artillery in the Army. If we had to call in an A10 strike, we gone and screwed up.

Looking forward to hearing how the F-35 project keeps going.
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
Nobody in the general public knows what this aircraft's capabilities are.
I've linked the DOTE report a couple of times so far in this thread and the DOTE knows exactly how the F35 performs currently and they have nothing but bad things to say about declaring IOC right now.

The F35 needs, at a minimum, 2 more rounds of prototyping and testing to be done before going into full mass production and use. The problem is that would likely take until 2020 at the earliest to be completed and the USMC doesn't want to wait that long.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
12,073
I've linked the DOTE report a couple of times so far in this thread and the DOTE knows exactly how the F35 performs currently and they have nothing but bad things to say about declaring IOC right now.

The F35 needs, at a minimum, 2 more rounds of prototyping and testing to be done before going into full mass production and use. The problem is that would likely take until 2020 at the earliest to be completed and the USMC doesn't want to wait that long.

There is no doubt that as of today, the F-35 isn't fully ready for combat. The project is going slow. IMO, in part because it isn't exactly needed right this moment. If we were in a WWII like scenario I'd bet these problems would get solved much quicker.

I don't know about the M16A4's, but with the M16A2's, you could *very* easily modify the fire control mechanism to change it from 3-round burst to full auto.

Is it the same as a semi auto? If so, you just need a punch... and some steady fingers to line up the holes right. Not sure if the military versions have extra stuff in there. I suppose they do.
 

TekRok

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
2,237
This is all just pure marketing. The entire program wont be operational until at least 2020. Having a plane is one thing, but having the required Block schedule completed is a whole other thing.

In order to make the F22/F35 program worthy it has to communicate with pretty much everything there is out there today like land based radar, sea, etc, and allow to have a bubble so to speak with all the hardware around it.
As far as I know there is still a TON of software that has to be written. Numerous hardware tests (including the install of an onboard cannon and its software)

Its a clusterfuck program no matter which way you look at it. You have to be a real fanboy to oversee all the flaws in it.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
A single multi-role plane will never fill every niche. You get one plane that's supposed to do everything but can't do any one thing especially well. It will never be as effective as the A-10 for tank busting, never be as effective as the F-22 for air superiority... you get these eggheads in the Pentagon that want everything to be ultra-precise, yet when it proves to not work you go back to the old strategies.
That's the whole point. The days of a single role fighter is effectively gone. As Flogger23M pointed out, the F-16, the F/A-18E, F-15E, the Rafale, and Gripen are all examples of multi-role fighters that are more than capable of handling most niches. Nowadays, it's cheaper and more combat flexible to have multi-role fighters than it is have mostly single role planes.

As for the A-10, the A-10 tank buster capability is over-rated and not even all capable in a modern peer level combat environment.

Ground tactics had the same problem. In Fallujah in Iraq, the Marines were using 2 M-249 gunners per squad instead of the typical one, and were using M-16A4's on full auto for close-in fighting.
....A standard USMC Rifleman squad has THREE M249 by default. Each of the three fireteams in a USMC Rifle squad carries one M249. The M16A4 also lacks full-auto capability.
There's documented cases of Army soldiers toting captured AK-47's around in both sandboxes because the sand was causing havoc with the M-4 and they were overheating.
Then either A) those Army troops weren't doing proper maintenance on their rifles or B) they were using the M4 in ways it wasn't suppose to or C) bureaucratic mixup.
Personally I'd rather not spend half a million to drop a laser-guided munition on a squad of jihadis in a pickup truck armed with nothing but AK-47's and RPG's when a 20mm cannon burst could do the job.
For the modern combat infantryman, they don't care how much it costs to neutralize the threat as long as the threat to your personnel are neutralized.
half a trillion dollars. F/16e about 80 million each. Double that for improvements. Works out to about 3,200 improved F/16e's. 100 percent operational ready. No training required. large volumes of low tech usually will almost always prevail against low volumes of high tech. Russia vs. Afghanistan. U.S.A. vs North Vietnam. Enough army ants vs. anything alive on the ground.
A few issues with that:
1) Numerous countries are depending on the F-35 for their naval programs. The F-16 is not navy ready.
2) Against some of the latest fighters as well as surface to air missiles from Russia and China, the F-16 are no longer the tough targets they were once were
3) The West don't drown their enemies with their bodies
4) Nor does that many countries want an improved F-16. Stealth and/or room to add more capable/deadlier avionics and weapons are now key.
I'll just say that the FUD and bullshit we see in the tech industry/press pales in comparison to what goes on in the aerospace industry. People need to be a bit more incredulous about what they read on the internet and not assume that things like supposedly leaked memos are authoritative sources of information.
I would expand that to the entire military industrial complex altogether.
There is no doubt that as of today, the F-35 isn't fully ready for combat. The project is going slow. IMO, in part because it isn't exactly needed right this moment. If we were in a WWII like scenario I'd bet these problems would get solved much quicker.

This is technically all in line with USMC thinking and practices. The USMC has an odd pre-emptive strike mindset (with good reason mind you) to do things that don't quite make sense in order to justify a new or current weapons. Sometimes thats good, sometimes not quite. For example:
1) Rushing AV-8B Harriers to Afghanistan and making a big deal of their VTOl capability when in actually, the Afghan environment can't really support a Harrier vertically taking off. This was to justify continued funding for the Harriers
2) Rushing M1 Tanks to Afghanistan despite the huge logistics trail required
3) The introduction of the M27 IAR
4) The MV-22 program
Its a clusterfuck program no matter which way you look at it. You have to be a real fanboy to oversee all the flaws in it.
The F-35 program is definitely a horribly run program. But at the end of the day, it's only our real choice for a new fighter as well as to maintain some of our prestige and technical expertise. If we were to cancel the F-35 program right now, we'd be screwing over a lot of our allied governments who fought in their country to get in on the F-35. That would make future political endeavours hard. Not to mention that other countries are relying on the F-35 to provide their sea capable combat aircraft. Finally, that would also mean that the U.S military will have to wait at least one decade before a new fighter gets first flight. Add another 5o to 10 for said fighter to reach IOC or even full capability. So that basically means that the our enemy could have a potential leg up over our forces.
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
22,823
And the A-10 is dated. Just about every plane carries the AGM-65 now, and it is dated compared to the Brimestone. I'd rather take 12 of these + HARMs if I had to go up against a semi modern military:

It had its day, but it really isn't a great tank killer anymore. Poor survivability, poor night performance (no radar) and is essentially a sitting duck against modern short range air defenses.
Lol. Did you just say the A-10 has "poor survivability"?
Maybe against a fighter in a dogfight...

Operation Iraq Freedom, 2003. Direct hit by Iraqi SAM. This plane flew home, pilot uninjured.
5894132855_8b3d76bcc3_z.jpg


Another one from Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003. Plane flew home and landed safely. Pilot uninjured.
01.jpg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BecNTYPYbU

For what it does, it is one of the most survivable planes ever built. The A-10 has a host of issues, but survivability IS NOT its problem.

The plane in the youtube video above was hit with a 4 round burst from a towed 57mm AA gun, a hard hitting and ancient piece of shit that is all over the middle east. Show me any other plane in the world that could do that and fly home. If that were an F35, it would have been turned into the most expensive firecracker on the planet. AA guns like that aren't exactly going to show up on a radar or thermal scan for someone to drop a smart bomb or fire a missile at it. To attack threats like this you need a jet that can fly over allowing the pilot to actually see the threat.
 

TekRok

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
2,237
If you really wanted to compare modern capability the best conflict to look at is the Vietnam War. Bloodiest for the American army/Air force since WW2 because practically all equipment was Russian, including the SAM sites, Mig planes, and trainers.

Every war that followed after is primarily aimed at fighting cave men mostly equipped with MANPADS that have a limited engagement distance.

F22/F35 is not a game changer in any sense against a modern military force, its simply improved tech and stealth.

Perfect example being the 1999 F-117A. I dont care about your excuses people, dont care about the distance it was flying. Point is it got shot down back in 99 with a sub par AA system. Take into consideration the improvements they poured into the F22/F35 and then weigh the improvements put into the S400 and a later version of an S500 AA system, you do the math.

Point I am trying to make is these planes will be glorified bombers used in Middle East against Ahmed and Co. who cant do anything against them without a sophisticated AA platform.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Lol. Did you just say the A-10 has "poor survivability"?
Maybe against a fighter in a dogfight...
.....
For what it does, it is one of the most survivable planes ever built. The A-10 has a host of issues, but survivability IS NOT its problem.
Actually it still is a problem. While there is little doubt that the A-10 can handle low calibre/low damage AA guns, there are newer higher caliber/deadlier AA gun/missile platforms that can defeat the A-10 easier than believed. Not to mention that even back in Desert Storm, we still sustained at least 4-6 A-10 losses to surface to air missiles. We also lost another A-10 via SAM during OIF.


Point I am trying to make is these planes will be glorified bombers used in Middle East against Ahmed and Co. who cant do anything against them without a sophisticated AA platform.
And? That's one possible outcome. Quoting myself:
As Admiral Michael Mullen, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, USMC General James Mattis, and US Army Major General H.R McMaster have all stated, it's virtually impossible to predict where the next war will be. Our own history supports that. Did anyone predict that in 15 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 2 years that we would be fighting in Korea, Vietnam, Honduras, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, or Iraq twice?

So while we're bombing goat herders now, that may not be the case in the next 5, 10, maybe 20 years.

Not to mention that it takes a lot longer to develop advance weapons for fighting a peer level enemy than it does to develop weapons to kill goat herders. Unless you've now come up with the ability to accurately predict future conflicts within the next 20 years, it's not a bad idea at all to develop an advanced fighter on the chance of a near-peer level of conflict.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
12,073
1) Rushing AV-8B Harriers to Afghanistan and making a big deal of their VTOl capability when in actually, the Afghan environment can't really support a Harrier vertically taking off. This was to justify continued funding for the Harriers
2) Rushing M1 Tanks to Afghanistan despite the huge logistics trail required
3) The introduction of the M27 IAR
4) The MV-22 program

Good point. The USMC have run a lot of odd programs as of late. Lets not forget the AH-1Z and UH-1Y. Cheaper, sure, but the extra costs of procuring an entirely different line probably made it cost more. And now UH-1Ys and the Navy's Seahawks share the same carrier... would have been much easier if the USMC just went with the other branches helis. But I realize they were supposed to be upgrades, but that wasn't feasible, so they had to get the "cheaper" AH-1/UH-1.

Lol. Did you just say the A-10 has "poor survivability"?
Maybe against a fighter in a dogfight...

Or against any semi modern nation's air defenses. Just about anything can survive a 70's era manpad hit, including airliners (and have landed safely). The problem the A-10 will face is going to be S-400s, SA-11s, SA-19s and SA-15s. The armor won't matter much because it will be blown to pieces and the A-10 has essentially zero wiggle room with these systems.

Fact is you can't take out all SAMs, especially mobile ones. The Russians (any anyone who use their doctrine) integrate these advanced systems in with armor. The A-10 has to operate in an essentially sanitized theater, much like Afghanistan. Otherwise it just runs a larger risk of getting killed with less ability to defense itself (terrible speed/energy, I'm not talking about dog fighting). All planes can get taken down, but the A-10 is especially easy.

If I recall, in Desert Storm the A-10s were eventually pulled from attacking the primary targets and F-16s largely took their place while A-10s went after less important objectives. Survivability and lack of speed were the downfalls. Someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
A lot of the reasons if the A10 got pulled was due to wear and tear. The f16 provided better coverage and was easier to get back into the air. Plus it integrated much better into newer communications.
 

TekRok

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
2,237
Actually it still is a problem. While there is little doubt that the A-10 can handle low calibre/low damage AA guns, there are newer higher caliber/deadlier AA gun/missile platforms that can defeat the A-10 easier than believed. Not to mention that even back in Desert Storm, we still sustained at least 4-6 A-10 losses to surface to air missiles. We also lost another A-10 via SAM during OIF.



And? That's one possible outcome. Quoting myself:


Not to mention that it takes a lot longer to develop advance weapons for fighting a peer level enemy than it does to develop weapons to kill goat herders. Unless you've now come up with the ability to accurately predict future conflicts within the next 20 years, it's not a bad idea at all to develop an advanced fighter on the chance of a near-peer level of conflict.

And? Meaning all current platforms can do that. You dont see a problem with a high tech plane doing bombing runs other cheaper planes can accomplish?
Besides, the F35s undoing is its high prices maintenance. For every hour of flight time it needs 100 hours or maintenance...Starting to smell like Germany during WW2 when the Tigers were put into the field.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
And? Meaning all current platforms can do that. You dont see a problem with a high tech plane doing bombing runs other cheaper planes can accomplish?
I don't see a problem since those cheaper planes you speak of are actually older planes that are wearing out and down due to the constant operational tempo the U.S has been in the last 14 years. They will need replacement. Even countries that haven't used their F-16s or F/A-18s nearly as hard as us are already looking at replacements. In addition, our possible future opponents are already on their way to developing fighters that may actually prove a threat to those current generation U.S planes. Finally and again, if we need just a COIN plane should we face another COIN campaign in the future, those are far faster to develop than a multi-role fighter jet. A dedicated COIN planes can be designed, built, and have its first launch in under two years. A multi-role fighter jet takes a decade+.
 

T_A

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
488
Even countries that haven't used their F-16s or F/A-18s nearly as hard as us are already looking at replacements.

Its true since there is alot of pressure from the U.S on its allies to procure new tech, and also the military likes to have new toys and will put pressure on own government to get it.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,455
How much multi-billion dollar sophistication do you need to take on guys with worn out AK's and Toyota trucks?

The F-35 etc. are all obsolete already.

Drones are the future. I can see the F-35 and most of their ilk being mothballed within the next five to eight years.
 

DejaWiz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
21,396
biggest waste of money ever.

It's called the Lightning, not the Fury. :p

Seriously, though. If you think this is the biggest waste of money considering all the other big government social nanny programs out there, I fear for the future of the US.
 

DeathFromBelow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
7,316
The F-35 etc. are all obsolete already.

Drones are the future. I can see the F-35 and most of their ilk being mothballed within the next five to eight years.

They'll almost certainly be in service for a few decades.

Lockheed actually wanted to go completely unmanned at the beginning of the JSF program, but the defense department refused. Even with drones they still need forward air control.

F22/F35 is not a game changer in any sense against a modern military force, its simply improved tech and stealth.

Perfect example being the 1999 F-117A. I dont care about your excuses people, dont care about the distance it was flying. Point is it got shot down back in 99 with a sub par AA system.

The Serbs knew when it was coming, what route it was flying, and they knew when the aircraft had it's bomb bay doors open. If the enemy already knows where the plane is going to be nothing is going to save it. I think the evidence suggests it was clearly a mission planning and intelligence failure.

The F-117 did just fine during the first Gulf War against well defended targets.
 

Hulahoops

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
355
Well the military contractors will go to any length, I love watching this BBC Horizon documentary regarding laser weapons -http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kHT6qwGpoLE
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
How much multi-billion dollar sophistication do you need to take on guys with worn out AK's and Toyota trucks? Drones are the future. I can see the F-35 and most of their ilk being mothballed within the next five to eight years.
So the current fleet of US aircraft is getting old and needs to be replaced so some sort of new aircraft would be needed no matter what.

The big issue driving the costs through the roof with the F35 is that the project was designed from the get go by Lockheed-Martin and Congress to funnel as much money as possible to the states as a sort of half assed jobs program. That was why Lockheed-Martin pushed for concurrency. Its used as justification for the cost over runs but its all BS.

Drones will see more use in the future but they're not going to replace a human flown aircraft for decades, if ever, as the main air combat fighter/recon/bomb truck. Why not? Because there are almost no cost savings for the aircraft itself but now you have to deal with the added complexity of using some sort of secure wireless network in a combat zone to fly them.

That is hard to do. Really really hard. Why? Because its easy to "pollute" the EM spectrum and jam up any communications. Once communications are jammed the drones are useless and the best you can hope for is they make it back to base before they get their GPS spoofed and the enemy goes and steals your drones.
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
The project is going slow. IMO, in part because it isn't exactly needed right this moment.
Uh the USMC and USAF have aircraft falling apart on the tarmac and in the air right now because the current aircraft they're using are old as hell and have been used hard throughout their operational life. New aircraft really are needed ASAP. But the aircraft have to be actually, you know, good.

Otherwise its just a horrendous waste of time and money.

The project isn't going slow at all, they're actually rushing things through, like declaring early IOC for instance. Which is dumb as hell since in its current state the F35 isn't a good plane at all.
 

Kueller

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Messages
5,982
How much multi-billion dollar sophistication do you need to take on guys with worn out AK's and Toyota trucks?

The F-35 etc. are all obsolete already.

Drones are the future. I can see the F-35 and most of their ilk being mothballed within the next five to eight years.

Tend to agree with this.
Even if the F22/F35 remain in service, UAVs will see the majority of sorties because they're smaller, lighter, harder to detect (no canopy to hide from radar), cheaper to operate, cheaper to build, cheaper to repair, and don't risk a pilot.

Wish we'd put half a trillion into carbon-free energy research instead, fusion or LFTR, I'm flexible.
 

The Cobra

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
2,924
WASTE.OF.MONEY.IMHO.

An airplane designed for the cold war....(In the words of Stan Lee) 'Nuff Said...
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
12,073
And? Meaning all current platforms can do that.

That is true, but the costs for modern versions of legacy aircraft are not much lower than the F-35. Have you seen the price on newer F-16/15s? They're hovering around $80-90 million each. Which is roughly the price range of the F-35.

There is some concern with the Eurofigher & Rafale (both good planes) because their costs are high, especially with Dassault's product. While they are good planes they do lack some of the technology the F-22/F-35 has, while costing close to the F-35's price.

Luckily for Dassault, three countries finally bought the Rafale. Egypt just got some shipments.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
There is some concern with the Eurofigher & Rafale (both good planes) because their costs are high, especially with Dassault's product. While they are good planes they do lack some of the technology the F-22/F-35 has, while costing close to the F-35's price.
Actually, I would rate the Rafale as the better plane of the two euro canards . At least the Rafale is already close to, if not already, deploying with AESA radars. Compare that to the Eurofighter whose latest model doesn't come with AESA radar despite having one developed for it. In addition, the Rafale is capable of performing SEAD missions due to its to SPECTRA system. The Eurofighter can't really perform SEAD missions yet.

If anything I would argue that the Eurofighter Typhoon is way too expensive for what you're getting.
 

bloodhawke83

I Strike Fear into the Hearts of the Masses
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
8,382
dang, no edits.

to add, i bet they are wondering where to put the missiles inside. :D
 

dkev

Gawd
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
1,013
Just because this thing went operational, doesn't mean it's ready for combat. It will probably take another 10 years to iron out all the bugs.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,455
So the current fleet of US aircraft is getting old and needs to be replaced so some sort of new aircraft would be needed no matter what.

Drones will see more use in the future but they're not going to replace a human flown aircraft for decades, if ever, as the main air combat fighter/recon/bomb truck. Why not? Because there are almost no cost savings for the aircraft itself but now you have to deal with the added complexity of using some sort of secure wireless network in a combat zone to fly them.

That is hard to do. Really really hard. Why? Because its easy to "pollute" the EM spectrum and jam up any communications. Once communications are jammed the drones are useless and the best you can hope for is they make it back to base before they get their GPS spoofed and the enemy goes and steals your drones.

Nah...too old school. Unmanned is the big money ticket.

As any new manned fighter generation appears to take 10-15 years longer to reach operational service it just won't work going forward. In another 20 years we'll have aircraft taking 40+ years to go operational.
 

Phoenix333

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
3,510
BTW, the M16A4 isn't full auto and neither is the M4.
Never said the M4 was full auto, but The A4 used by Marines in Iraq had a full-auto setting, or else I was lied to by a Gunnery Sergeant.

After having read how AKs perform over long periods (they fall apart far quicker than the M4/16) you come to realize that there is a reason people move on to newer technology.
The AR pattern dates back to the 1960's. I'd hardly call that "new" tech. AK's... fall apart faster? I'm not sure where you read that, but it sounds like troll bait for an AR vs AK argument that I'm not going to bite on. Frankly I don't care which weapon is superior for whatever reason here. I know how both work, I know how to maintain them both, and I know the strengths and weaknesses of both. None of this changes the fact that some soldiers did favor discarded or captured AK's over their M4's. If you want to know why you'd have to ask them, not me. Besides, if new tech is always better then you'll have to explain why the M2 is still in use.

As for the A-10, the A-10 tank buster capability is over-rated and not even all capable in a modern peer level combat environment.
So you're saying that every war fought by the US in the last 20 years has been against someone of equal capability? Where does the US have any peers as far as technology is concerned right now? Unless you're talking about all the tech that's been left to ISIS. If US strategy is going to continue to be one of arming its enemies with its own equipment then I'll give you a point for that. The A-10 might not be as good at shredding an Abrams than Soviet-model tanks, but I'd wager the same people pushing to retire the plane are the same kind of idiots that let ISIS run roughshod over Iraq. I suppose it's the fact that I'm a relic from a bygone age that I don't understand this newfangled strategy of giving up captured territory to your enemies, handing over weapons to those enemies, and ditching systems that work before being sure their replacements can do the job. But what do I know? New is always better, right?

A standard USMC Rifleman squad has THREE M249 by default. Each of the three fireteams in a USMC Rifle squad carries one M249. The M16A4 also lacks full-auto capability.
Sorry, it was two per fireteam, not two per squad. I used the wrong terminology in my previous post.

As for the full-auto capability, as I said, the information was given to me by a USMC Gunnery Sergeant that the A4's in question did have full-auto capability in addition to single shot and burst, along with the fireteams having two M249 gunners instead of just one.

Then either A) those Army troops weren't doing proper maintenance on their rifles or B) they were using the M4 in ways it wasn't suppose to or C) bureaucratic mixup.
All I can tell you is what the people that were there have said. You can believe it or reject it, but when I've read documented reports and interviews where the soldiers in question said that's what they did, then that's what they said they did. Ask the grunts that did it.

For the modern combat infantryman, they don't care how much it costs to neutralize the threat as long as the threat to your personnel are neutralized.
The grunt on the ground doesn't care, but the taxpayers do. This argument was brought up when they didn't mount guns on the F-4, and they were getting shot down because MIGs were flying down near tree level where the missiles couldn't lock when they realized the F4 didn't have a gun and the MIGs did. Once someone got it through their head to mount gun pods on the F4's they stopped losing so many planes, and it cost a lot less to make a kill with the cannon than with a missile. The point is, that "new" thinking cost lives, just like the M-16 cost lives when it was deployed in Vietnam with a change in powder type that wasn't discussed with Stoner, and they were telling Marines it was a self-cleaning rifle, which resulted in a lot of good men being found dead with a cleaning rod stuck in their newfangled self-cleaning gun that had a casing stuck in the very much fouled up chamber. In both cases the problems were created by idiots making decisions at the top level that knew nothing about what happens in the field. It took dead bodies to get those problems fixed. When I see this push for the F-35 to be some kind of freaking miracle plane I'm seeing the same old mistakes being made all over again. I have good reason to be cynical about all of this because I've seen it before and I know what the outcome is when things like this fail.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Besides, if new tech is always better then you'll have to explain why the M2 is still in use.
....
But what do I know? New is always better, right?
Look dude, not a single person in this thread has actually explicitly said "New is always better". So get off that straw man and debate the actual points. But to clarify my stance: I don't care if the weapon/item is old or new as long as it's still useful enough over a competing item. In other words, old and new can be good or bad respectively and vice versa.

Never said the M4 was full auto, but The A4 used by Marines in Iraq had a full-auto setting, or else I was lied to by a Gunnery Sergeant.
....
As for the full-auto capability, as I said, the information was given to me by a USMC Gunnery Sergeant that the A4's in question did have full-auto capability in addition to single shot and burst, along with the fireteams having two M249 gunners instead of just one.
You probably misheard the Gunnery Sergeant (considering that you confused squad with fire-team) or that Gunnery Sergeant could have been a tad confused or my google-fu has failed. I haven't found any documentation showing that either A) the M16A4 has a full-auto capability or B) could be modified to fire full-auto. The only official full auto AR type weapons in the U.S military during both Battles of Fulljah was the M4A1 or the M16A2. Unlucky units in both the U.S Army and USMC were issued the older and more than likely not very well maintained M16A2.

Sorry, it was two per fireteam, not two per squad. I used the wrong terminology in my previous post.
See that's more plausible. However, again, I haven't seen any proof of that.

So you're saying that every war fought by the US in the last 20 years has been against someone of equal capability? Where does the US have any peers as far as technology is concerned right now?
No that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that we may potentially face someone with near peer capability and/or capabilities that can still harm our forces in the future. Again, quoting myself:
As Admiral Michael Mullen, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, USMC General James Mattis, and US Army Major General H.R McMaster have all stated, it's virtually impossible to predict where the next war will be. Our own history supports that. Did anyone predict that in 15 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 2 years that we would be fighting in Korea, Vietnam, Honduras, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, or Iraq twice?
We are absolutely lousy at predicting where we'll be fighting next. So with that poor prediction in mind, it's better to tailor your parts of your force to fight near-peer enemy than it is to tailor your force entirely on COIN because of the long lead times for newer/higher-tech weapons.

Not to mention that even against enemies where we absolutely dominated them, they still had weapons and tactics that caused the loss of American lives and hardware. Again, as I noted earlier, we still lost A-10s to Iraqi SAMs. We also lost AV-8Bs during the Camp Bastion attack. We lost numerous SEALs via quite a few RPG shoot-downs. So against an enemy with better training and weapons, we may face far heavier losses.

In other words, it's better to plan for the worst than hope for the best.

As for our peers, China and Russia may not be able to compete globally with us but they do have plenty of weapons that targets our weaknesses. As the North Vietnamese have shown, you can indeed force the U.S lose despite a mismatch in capabilities.

I suppose it's the fact that I'm a relic from a bygone age that I don't understand this newfangled strategy of giving up captured territory to your enemies, handing over weapons to those enemies, and ditching systems that work before being sure their replacements can do the job.
Dude, you're seriously mis-informed there: Unless you wanted U.S troops to not only A) violate again the sovereignty of another nation and B) risk getting tried in Iraqi courts, the U.S hands were tied. We had to leave Iraq with their shitty leader.

The grunt on the ground doesn't care, but the taxpayers do. This argument was brought up when they didn't mount guns on the F-4, and they were getting shot down because MIGs were flying down near tree level where the missiles couldn't lock when they realized the F4 didn't have a gun and the MIGs did. Once someone got it through their head to mount gun pods on the F4's they stopped losing so many planes, and it cost a lot less to make a kill with the cannon than with a missile. The point is, that "new" thinking cost lives, just like the M-16 cost lives when it was deployed in Vietnam with a change in powder type that wasn't discussed with Stoner, and they were telling Marines it was a self-cleaning rifle, which resulted in a lot of good men being found dead with a cleaning rod stuck in their newfangled self-cleaning gun that had a casing stuck in the very much fouled up chamber. In both cases the problems were created by idiots making decisions at the top level that knew nothing about what happens in the field. It took dead bodies to get those problems fixed. When I see this push for the F-35 to be some kind of freaking miracle plane I'm seeing the same old mistakes being made all over again.
There is no doubt that new ideas has caused lives to be lost. However, there have been plenty of situations where either A) old ideas has costed lives and/or B) new ideas have saved lives. A short example of that being the introduction of the machine gun, the first American fighters, etc. SO new isn't always bad nor is old always good as you're trying to paint things.

I have good reason to be cynical about all of this because I've seen it before and I know what the outcome is when things like this fail.
There's a difference between cynical and being mis-informed and taking things out of context.
 

Parmenides

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
6,578
why the lumping the F22 with the F35? Sure the F22 is expensive, but other than that, it's a lot more of a success, right?
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
Nah...too old school. Unmanned is the big money ticket.

As any new manned fighter generation appears to take 10-15 years longer to reach operational service it just won't work going forward. In another 20 years we'll have aircraft taking 40+ years to go operational.
LOL no. The DOTE does reports on some of the drones and they're publicly available. They're all here if you don't feel like googleing the term "DOTE". The tl&dr on it this: current US drone programs are every bit as big of a shit show as the F35 program but for different reasons.

Its not making the news or blogs because all those programs are still chump change both in terms of operational goals and budgets compared to the F35.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
12,073
The A4 used by Marines in Iraq had a full-auto setting, or else I was lied to by a Gunnery Sergeant.

When I see this push for the F-35 to be some kind of freaking miracle plane I'm seeing the same old mistakes being made all over again.

Unless they popped out the trigger group (should be easy) or swapped for a full auto lower then it was burst. I've ready of Marines using old A1 triggers in their A4s. They weren't supposed to, but I don't blame them for doing it. Even saw a picture of an A4 with a collapsible stock.

As for the F-35, it is mainly ground attack but with air attack capabilities. Nothing wrong with that. As mentioned, the Eurofighter/Rafale/F-16/Flanker are all multi roles now and preform well. The concept isn't a failure.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,455
why the lumping the F22 with the F35? Sure the F22 is expensive, but other than that, it's a lot more of a success, right?

How do you quantify success?

It flies? How many enemy aircraft has it taken down? Some have reached operational squadrons?

Seems we have pretty low criteria nowadays.
 
Top