Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The U.S. Air Force Has Doubts About the F-35, 6 Dec
The billion-dollar question here is really whether or not developing another new fighter could result in an overall reduction in cost without creating a reduction in capability. It seems feasible that firms like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, who are both currently responsible for stealth aircraft in America's stable, are better suited now for the challenge of developing an economical stealth fighter than at any time in the past.
by Cat on Wed Dec 8th, 2021 at 10:52:52 PM EST
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The F-35 is obsolete.  Drones can do the mission on the Low End with greater accuracy and less cost.  On the Top End China's hypersonic aircraft can launch and then outrun US air-to-air missiles.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Dec 9th, 2021 at 04:06:23 PM EST
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You miss the salient points.

US arms manufacturers are still flogging next-gen F-35 tech to DoD  purchasing agents, funded by the odious.

by Cat on Thu Dec 9th, 2021 at 06:47:43 PM EST
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I've been lately sensing some kind of change in the thinking regarding both military aircraft and ships: more and more commentators seem to think that maybe having only "jacks of all trades but master of none" in the fleet is not so good idea after all.

So the tendency may be to turn back towards having specialized platforms for different tasks, since it seems in the end give more actual tactical clarity and flexibility than having lots of "multi-role" under-performers.

They look good on presentations, but eventually do not really deliver. And they always, always cost more than their single-role brethren, so you always get less of them.

by pelgus on Thu Dec 9th, 2021 at 07:25:46 PM EST
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One airplane to do everything. That was the idea behind the F-4 Phantom back in the 1960s: Supersonic all weather fighter bomber interceptor ground attack carrier launch sector defense photo reconnaissance air superiority.

Manned airplanes are for re-fighting the wars that the current colonels got their promotions in. Meanwhile, there is an all-out global firefight on the Internet that is almost completely un-noticed.

by asdf on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 01:50:21 AM EST
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US military has been buying pig's ears for decades.  The Abrams main battle tank spends most of its time in the motor pool being fixed.  When it does run it's useless in the field since, at 70+ tons, it is road bound.  That's why the Marine Corps dumped the things.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 03:52:14 PM EST
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Finland picks Lockheed Martin for fighter jet purchase, the best possible deal and selection
"The price-quality ratio is good," he said at an afternoon press conference, flanked by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and military top brass. Military officials said that the F-35 had received by far the highest score in an internal evaluation process.
She noted that the two Left Alliance ministers had sought a commitment that the projected price tag of €10 billion would not be exceeded. The planes themselves are to cost just under half of the overall package.... along with another 1,500 person-years of work indirectly [t]he deal will bring an estimated 100 manufacturing and assembly jobs for Finnish defence contractor Patria in the towns of Jämsä and Nokia.
By choosing Lockheed, Finland opted to remain with a US manufacturer, as it has for nearly three decades. In early 1992, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Finland decided to buy 57 F-18 Hornet fighter jets from US firm McDonnell Douglas.
Lockheed Martin Signs Contract for 64 F-35 Fighters With Finland
In October 2020, the US Congress was notified about a possible deal with Finland on F-35s and related weapons and equipment. Apart from the F-35s, the Finnish Defense Ministry also considered four other options, including the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Saab Gripen.
by Cat on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 10:49:24 PM EST
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Yeah, most people were afraid of this. Ever since F-35 was one of the options regardless of not being in any way suitable for Finnish needs, it kinda was obvious the people with hard-on for NATO wanted it.

Still no-one expected 64 with weapons package being available with that price. And there's still strong suspicion the 250 million per year allocated for actually flying them will cover the costs.

But if 10 billion worth of hangar queens is what the best and the brightest in this country want for a "credible defense", that's what they'll get.

by pelgus on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 12:30:19 AM EST
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10 billion (number with lots of zeros at the end) / 6000 worker-years = the workers will each get paid 1.6 million Euros per year. Not bad.
by asdf on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 01:46:16 AM EST
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by generic on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 10:36:50 AM EST
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UAE suspending F-35 discussions with US: ["Abraham Accords"], 14 Dec
50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, 18 MQ-9B: "The White House referred comment on the deal to the State Department."
[$23B:] Blinken says US ready to proceed with sale of F-35s to UAE, 15 Dec
A UAE official told Reuters on Tuesday that the nation would suspend talks over "technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis." The official added that the U.S. is still the UAE's "preferred provider" of the weapons and that discussions "may be reopened in the future."

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the sale could be impacted by the UAE's growing ties to China, which sparked concerns that Abu Dhai might allow China to access the technology.

by Cat on Wed Dec 15th, 2021 at 02:46:51 PM EST
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US Navy fires laser weapon in Mideast amid [Houthis'] drone boat threat
The test Tuesday [14 Dec]  saw the USS Portland test-fire its Laser Weapon System Demonstrator at the target in the Gulf of Aden, the body of water separating East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula. ...The Portland, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, has its home port in San Diego. The ship is deployed as part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group that's now in the Mideast.
by Cat on Thu Dec 16th, 2021 at 12:08:57 AM EST
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Senate sends $768B defense policy bill to Biden, 89-10
Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate joined forces to push the bill's budget topline by $25 billion. Many lawmakers argued Biden's $715 billion request for the Pentagon portion of the budget, though still an increase from the previous level locked in during the Trump administration, should be much higher to keep up with inflation and match military gains made by China and Russia.

The final deal authorizes $768 billion for national defense programs. That total includes $740 billion for the Pentagon and $27.8 billion for nuclear weapons programs that fall under the Department of Energy.

R2P: "an institution distinct from the UN"
by Cat on Wed Dec 15th, 2021 at 06:58:37 PM EST
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US Air Force Permanently Deploys First F-35s in Europe in Response to `Resurgent Russia'
Over 730 F-35s have been built to date, with the programme having an estimated lifetime cost of more than $1.7 trillion - making the jets the most expensive weapon ever built.
The first US Air Force F-35s to be permanently stationed abroad have arrived in the UK, with a party of four F-35As touching down at their new home base at RAF Lakenheath in southeastern England on Wednesday.
"Our coalition forces train and fight in the most dynamic theatre, requiring the most advanced platforms," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of Allied Air Command, was quoted as saying of the planes' delivery.
Lockheed Martin announced in September that it eventually hopes to deploy some 450 F-35 Lightning II aircraft across 13 permanent bases in Europe in the coming years, with the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Belgium, Poland and Denmark already fielding the aircraft or expected to field them in the near future.
by Cat on Sat Dec 18th, 2021 at 12:40:00 AM EST
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At least here they are safe from drops into the Pacific.

by generic on Sat Dec 18th, 2021 at 09:27:32 AM EST
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Also safe from being dependent from Russia for their killing machines. The US will absolutely not use this agreement as a lever to try to control, say, purchases of anti-aircraft missile systems.


by asdf on Mon Dec 27th, 2021 at 12:22:19 AM EST
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