Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Thompson's "Five USAF Money Pits" are actually just threats to the F-35...

via Forbes.
The U.S. Air Force is currently flying the oldest, smallest fleet of combat aircraft in its history. It has fewer than 200 heavy bombers to cover the entire world, and many are not available for flight on a typical day. Most of the aerial refueling tankers that are supposed to support those bombers on long-range missions are over 50 years old. Hundreds of Air Force fighters suffer from age-related maladies such as corrosion, metal fatigue and parts obsolescence.

These problems are all traceable to low levels of investment in new technology for two decades after the Cold War ended. The service now has to play catchup, buying new bombers, tankers, fighters and trainers all at the same time. Meanwhile, the Air Force needs to re-architect the satellite constellations it operates for the joint force, to make them more resilient against growing threats from China and Russia. Precision-guided “smart bombs” often won’t work unless they have access to a GPS signal.

With so many investment needs burdening their budget, you’d think Air Force planners would grasp the urgency of staying focused on what really matters. Well, guess again. There are voices within the service constantly second-guessing technology initiatives that have taken many years to bring to fruition, and must be kept on track if the force is to be modernized. As a result, the current moment of abundant funding for new weapons might slip away with little to show for decades of planning.

History demonstrates that surges in weapons spending typically last for only a few years before economic slowdowns and/or competing priorities bring them to a close. It is crucial to keep the Air Force’s modernization efforts focused on replacing old hardware while the money is available. With that in mind, here are five costly projects that the Air Force does not need to pursue, projects that are distractions from the hard work of keeping America the world’s dominant aerospace power.
Story here. 

Read the entire article. 

Ok.  You're back.

Do you get the force of connection here?  Do you get what he's trying to sell?


The USAF is finally taking a hard look at the F-35.  It's history.  It's projected cost.  It's performance up to this point and they've reached one inescapable conclusion.

Even if it delivers as advertised it's just gonna be too expensive to maintain. Additionally some parts of the system just won't work.  ALIS instead of being a money saver, is instead costing MORE money in terms of doing work arounds...they pushed for more platforms instead of building up supply depots...they tried to game the procurement system and now its biting them.


If the F-35 had been delivered on the ORIGINAL schedule we would probably be on F-35G or even F-36 by now.

But it didn't meet the ORIGINAL schedule so now we've lost a decade of development because of it and the USAF is attempting to play catch by pushing the initiatives Thompson spoke about.


Some of these initiatives won't survive.  One most definitely will.  The next generation fighter will go forward for both the Air Force and the Navy.

The F-35 has about 5 more years before attention goes toward the future, not the misplaced past (if that time hasn't already come...Sweden is joining the Brits in the Tempest, and the 6th gen Eurofighter project is steaming ahead).

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