Thursday, July 23, 2020

Conservative grassroots activist takes aim at the CH-53K

via PJMedia
This “preparing to fight the last war” is not just inefficient, it is prohibitively expensive. “Each CH-53K will now cost $138.5 million, up from $131.2 million one year ago,” Popular Mechanics writes. That is roughly $30 billion for 200 helicopters.

The trend line on cost is supposed to come down as weapons systems come into place; the tenth platform should cost less than the first, and the twentieth less than the tenth, and so on. With the King Stallion, that trend line is going in the wrong direction. From 2016 to 2017, the total cost of the system increased by 6.9 percent. That is a huge chunk of money in one year.

We simply cannot afford to sit around and hope that things get better. Lawmakers should say enough is enough and call for an end to spending on this expensive program.

Doing so would not harm the military. After all, experts in the Pentagon are already exploring options to use existing helicopters instead of going exclusively with the new model. The Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation says it will provide “an assessment of alternatives for other platforms that might meet the mission.”

This is sensible because the Marines already know there are “multiple design deficiencies discovered during early testing,” according to a Pentagon report on the King Stallion. “These include: airspeed indication anomalies, low reliability of main rotor gearbox, hot gas impingement on aircraft structures, tail boom and tail rotor structural problems, overheating of main rotor dampers, fuel system anomalies, high temperatures in the #2 engine bay, and hot gas ingestion by the #2 engine, which could reduce available power.”

Lawmakers need to make sure the military has the tools to fight the next war. As the budget deficit soars because of Covid-19 that will require thriftiness. The King Stallion is a throwback we can simply no longer afford.

The Commandant opened the door and the activist, think tanks and others will happily walk thru it.

Of course this fits with my thinking on the subject.  The USMC's air wing is about to be eviscerated along with the Ground Combat Element. 

Has anyone considered the ramifications of this new concept?  If you shed tanks and state that they are no longer viable then what of the LAV?  You simply can't justify its existence.  Same with the AAV/ACV.  Marines will move by air or sea.  Protected transport will solely lie with the JLTV.

It just makes sense if we take this concept to its logical conclusion.

Additionally the idea of forward basing F-35s at FARPS is a non-starter.  The fuel consumption alone will cause such a large footprint that it just can't be done within the framework of what I've read.

The reality is that the Missile Marine Corps will have only JLTVs as ground combat vehicles.  It will need FAR FEWER CH-53Ks.  Same with F-35s.

But that won't be enough to get enough missiles to be a credible threat.  That means that in addition to cutting LAV, AAV/ACV, most of our cannons, the CH53K, retiring AH-1Zs (to be replaced by some fanciful tilt rotor UAV) and probably a bunch of MTVRs we're gonna be looking at troop reductions too.

I keep saying it but no one is listening.  Amos told us we could go down to 150K and I'm believing that Berger is willing to take it down to 125K.

The CH-53K is a relic of the past?  No problem.  Apparently a war winning Marine Corps is too.

Before Berger's tenure is over there will be so much chaos and confusion in Marine-Land that it will make the halls of Congress look like a place of calm reason and polite discussion.

Amos once held the title of being the worst Commandant in the modern era. Berger will replace him and what he leaves behind will take a couple of decades to rebuild....assuming the Marine Corps survives.

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