Wednesday, February 27, 2013

If Sequester kills the F-35, the rebirth of the Raptor? You're smoking crack!

via Flight Global.  Please go there to read the whole thing!
"I would have to refurbish the [F-15] and [F-16 fleets] and the legacy hardware I have today. I also have a very small fleet of tremendously capable airplanes in the F-22s. I would push to buy more of those," Hostage told the AFA.  If the F-35 were to be culled off in the wake of the sequester, the USAF would need 225 more Raptors, Hostage says.
I don't think that many in the Pentagon (as indicated by this comment by General Hostage) realize the situation that they're faced with.

The current administration is in FAVOR of huge, what were once undreamed of cuts in defense.

Exhibit number one for that fact?  Sending Hagel to head the Pentagon!  I often blame McCain for being a senile angry old man but he's spot on when he questions whether Hagel is worthy of the position.

Hagel is a dove at best.  Anti-military at worst.  It would be like putting an old fashioned oil baron in charge of the EPA.  The baron would be effective in the job but not in the manner intended.

But what is troubling to me is the fact that this has even been war gamed.

I believe that the option of killing the F-35 has actually been floated before the Joint Chiefs. 

If true then that indicates that the depth of cuts will be much deeper than even I feared they could be.  We could see several programs killed and money diverted to support other "needs" (make that social programs...especially Obamacare which I truly believe will be in serious trouble when finally rolled out).

The Pentagon is about to get dragged into an alley and beaten like a rag doll.  What's worse is no one sees it coming.


  1. How would it be any cheaper at this point to buy more F-22s?

    Much to your dismay I'm a huge F-22 fan, but even I think at this point it would be cheaper to just keep buying F-35s instead of trying to get the tooling back and restarting F-22 production. Wouldn't it?

    1. i'm not anti F-22 just pro F-35. but the issue isn't either of those planes now. the issue is funding itself.

      a bad wind is blowing and imagine a world where the F-35 is canceled, the F-22 line ISN"T restarted and money to upgrade the 4th gen fighters is hard to impossible to get.

      that's where we might be headed.

  2. Next year we will be discussing the re-activation and refurbishment of the old F4F Phantom Jets.
    If not then expect the United States to be flying Euro Fighters.

    1. we'll happy too sell you our useless, ah-men, upgrade able tranche 1's for the knock down price of $60 mill each. Sweet, get ride of the crap, to the dumb yanks.

      buy 2 we'll, throw in, the first service free!!!!!

  3. No one is cancelling the f-35. This is gamesmanship -- they're shooting at the stars in hopes of ending up on the moon. Refer back to some of the opportunity cost analyses that demonstrate how keeping the current fleet is more expensive than procuring a new f-35 fleet. Then there's the Texas lobby, and their love of Ft. Worth. Not going to happen.

    1. the Texas lobby produced Ron Paul. everyone forgets that the True Tea Party is all about fiscal issues. democrats and republicans have attempted to co-op the party and either denigrate it or to use it for their own purposes by linking the Tea Party into social issues but from its birth to its purist parts its all about getting the budget under control.

      with that as a backdrop the idea that the entire defense budget to include the F-35 isn't in trouble is to ignore some truths.

      a coalition of Fiscal Republican Hawks along with Social Spending Democrats could well see the defense budget slashed.

      social programs are going to get slashed one way or another anyway due to the strain that they're placing on things anyway. even if we devote 100 percent of the budget on social programs we won't have the workers to support it soon. additionally, if you believe that a financial crisis is on the way then that just means it'll happen sooner rather than later.

      so yeah. the idea of the F-35 and other defense programs getting slashed isn't so far fetched.

  4. Brandon has it right: Hostage is doing what the USAF always does where the F-35 is concerned, he's lying.

    He knows that re-starting the F-22 line is not an option; he knows that continuing to SLEP current planes is not an option. He's framing the question as "You can build the F-35 or you can do these other, ridiculously stupid, things" to keep on the fiction that there is no alternative to the F-35. The F-35 can't manage a fighter development program but boy can they stay on message.

    1. so the possibility that we could see the F-35 or other defense projects canceled isn't even a possibility to you?

    2. At this point the F-35 is too far in development, so why cancel now? We'll just get less F-35s like the F-22.

    3. the issue isn't whether the F-35 WILL be or SHOULD be canceled. that isn't being debated. what i am saying is that the political winds in Washington are pointing to the possibility that it MIGHT be canceled.

      like General Hostage says it would provide few savings. but the F-22 was just getting its issues ironed out when it was killed and the financial situation of the US was in much better shape when that happened.

      if we could kill the F-22 and the EFV when our budgets were bad (not horrible like they are now...just bad) then what happens when people look around and see that the F-35 costs X, we spend Y and we are Z above budget?

      the possibility is there gents. don't hate me, i'm just the messenger.

  5. The projected production volumes for the F-35 haven't made any sense for a long time: the money wasn't there even before sequestration. The F-35 has been past cancellation for a long time: too many people would have to admit how wrong they were for it to ever happen, including Panetta, so the Obama administration is on board. The only question is how far down the death spiral it will go.

    Also, a little perspective is in order: we're talking about a 10% cut from a budget level that has gone up from $287 billion to $530 billion since 2001 (all in 2013 dollars), NOT including Iraq/A-stan funding. The Pentagon budget has almost doubled in a decade while the number of combat ships and combat aircraft has steadily declined. The pentagon has a management problem and a procurement problem, not a budget problem.

    1. "The pentagon has a management problem and a procurement problem, not a budget problem."


  6. A handful of 5th gen, a larger amount of falling apart 4th gen, and a bunch of drones. That's what we got for the foreseeable future.


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