'Hawk' Carlisle ?
Seriously ? They should've bought BAe ! Or Hawker. Well maybe the Navy can still get some Sea Hawks out of mothballs just to piss off the Air Force.
It's got dodgy radar, relies on an insecure database, boasts a buggy operating system, and a laser targeting system that can't be used for training in the UK, but the United States Air Force is satisfied that the F-35A fighter is ready for combat. So said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command, on August …
Yeah, the irony there is that people still believe that the Mossack Fonseca leak was independent, whereas the remarkable absence of US entities in the leaked list was a dead giveaway*.
* It was claimed that this was because of US based "havens" such as Delaware. Anyone who knows US federal laws knows that to be utter BS because they allow agencies access to anything on US soil or in US hands, so it's not hard to spot what is really going on.
It can't be used against Monoco or Luxemburg because the laser can't be used within 200km of freindlies.
Iceland have an awesomely effective anti-aircraft volcano
Easter island is out of range and the carrier version doesn't work
And strangely the weapons system crashes with an error message "target contains director's bank account" when pointed at Jersey
"The deterrent capability is that if launched against you it will probably hit the target, not with weapons but with F-35A itself, when the on-board systems fail."
back in the Vietnam war there was this radar system that this one guy I knew worked on. They liked it when he worked on the radar, because he'd tweek it so that it would last for an entire mission. The radar was built to fly, and as such, it was imperfect. It would drift out of spec during normal operation, lasting maybe an hour or so, and not long enough for the mission. So my friend would tweek it in such a way that it drifted from one end of the spec to the other because he understood the gear.
When I was in the Navy there was this OTHER piece of gear, an air compressor, that I hated operating because it was 'never in spec'. One day the supervisor watch suggested I do certain things during startup that weren't exactly in the procedure, because he was tired of FIXING the thing because it was "never in spec" (and ran too cold, improperly lubricated, etc.). So whenever I operated it, I used "his procedure" even though it wasn't really *THE* procedure. Result was it went into spec within a short time, and I adjusted the lubricator correctly so it had the right amount of oil, while it was operating. [hopefully the REST of the Navy adopted this idea, too]
And so I expect that when the techs and pilots start working together, we will see things "made to work anyway". Give it a year or two of normal operation, work out the bugs, etc.. Should be ok.
Perhaps it is meant as a deterrent, but surely it's supposed to still offer some kind of credible threat or capability.
Who in the world woke up this morning and thought 'Wow, the F-35 is strike ready now? Right chaps, the plans are off!'. Maybe they’d be busy figuring out the potential collateral damage caused by all of those white elephants falling out of the sky, but otherwise I see no new capability offered by these over existing hardware.
Actually if they wanted to get most bang for their buck as well as have numerical superiority with better ground attack they could have put eCATs and traps on the boats and got 4~6 squadrons of Gripen NG's and still saved money. And replaced all their tired Tornados with Gripens while they're at it.
"I know it's a form follwoing (sic) function thing, but why is it aircraft death tech is often so pretty?"
When something is built to do a job, and built well, beauty emerges.
For a classic example, see Shaker furniture.
(Yes, I'm comparing a weapon of death and destruction to the handicraft of the most peaceful religion America ever had. Enjoy the juxtaposition.)
Oh I totally agree, a friends dad is a mastercraftsman boat builder, (retired), who still builds little sailing dinghys and skiffs in his shed. You look at them and they are rather beautiful pieces of work for the craftmanship alone, and everyone of them you look at you know it will sail well because the lines that make it look sleek are going to translate to its hydrodynamics.
It's just with aircraft it's often the ones that go whoosh bang (in a flying sense rather than a crashing sense) that are the coolest looking,
That furniture is rather nice for the same reasons as you say.
"As a Saab driver...." As a Saab driver you've most probably been driving a GM car, likely a Vauxhall Vectra in drag. Saab actually went bust because they couldn't build and sell their GM clones as well as the other members of the GM group (even Cadillac!). If it's an older, pre-GM Saab then it actually has a Triumph engine. Oh, and in 1995 Saab had to bring BAe Systems onboard to get the Gripen actually marketable (from 1998 to 2005, BAe was the largest shareholder in Saab AB). Yup, gotta love that Swedish engineering, eh?
SAAB went bust because GM sucked the profit out of them to avoid Swedish taxes. They also sucked the inventions out of SAAB right into their behind their times stagnating US company. SAAB was great for GM. A SAAB was never a badge engineered GM. Only the Saabaru was such a thing -not a real SAAB at all. (And some other obscure US-only massive thing which I can barely recall..)
Having said that, GM did their best to lower quality to help suck more profit out. Americans know sh*t about quality in cars.
"SAAB went bust because GM sucked the profit out of them....." Really? Ever stop to wonder how they ended up in GM's grip in the first place if they were so good and profitable?
"....A SAAB was never a badge engineered GM. Only the Saabaru was such a thing -not a real SAAB at all...." The last real Saab was the 900, and even that had a Triumph-sourced engine. The 1984 Saab 9000 was built on the Type Four platform developed by Fiat. Whilst the Saab 9000 wasn't bad, being at least better assembled than the near-identical Fiat Croma/Thema (you can swap body parts such as the doors and windscreen between the 9000 and the Fiats), it was ugly and clumsy compared to the much more developed Alfa 164 on the same chassis. The 164 rebuilt Alfa's reputation in the UK, whereas the 9000 did nothing for Saab's. The reason Saab had to go with the Type Four platform was because they didn't have the money to go it alone successfully. Saab''s next efforts were the first generation 9-3 and 9-5, again using Fiat parts. This struggled so badly that GM took charge and released the second generation 9-3 and 9-5 using the Global Epsilon platforms as used in the Vauxhall Vectra, Opel Omega, Chevrolet Malibu/Impala and Cadillac BLS/XTS.
Platform sharing is not the same as badge engineering. Far from it.
The 9000 was easily SAAB's best car ever. Its quality far surpassed the Italian sister cars.
And the Alfa is just fugly, compared to the 9000 CSE. The platform was co-developed.
GM didn't "take charge". They owned SAAB. They succeeded in taking no useful steps forward with the brand -which is typical for US car companies.
"Platform sharing is not the same as badge engineering...." It is when you can swap major bits of the bodywork between different manufacturers' vehicles. Hint - doors are not simple bodypanels, neither are windscreens. Try swapping a door from a BMW to a Mercedes or Audi from the same period, it won't fit.
".....The 9000 was easily SAAB's best car ever. Its quality far surpassed the Italian sister cars....." The 9000 was so boring a friend who previously had a 900 Turbo test drove it and swore he'd never buy a Saab again because "it wasn't a Saab anymore". You can pretend all you like but it was definitely not a Saab in the vein of the classic and all-Saab 96. The 99 and 900 (especially the Turbos) appealed to sporty drivers in the UK because they were sporty and different, they abandoned Saab because the cardboard-cutout 9000 simply didn't enthrall them like the older models.
The problem with the 9000 was that Saab abandoned their existing customers in a futile attempt to compete with Audi, Mercedes and BMW in the luxury saloon segment. Top Gear pointed out the futility of the Saab plan right at the start of their review of the later 9-5 as like "turning down Cindy Crawford for a date with a Labrador"! Please note the 9-5's folding cupholder in the video - Saab got trashed in the 9000 because you could have the top-of-the-line stereo package or the cupholder, cigarette lighter and ashtray, which didn't go down well with the exec customers that the car was supposedly aimed at. Not surprisingly, most customers chose an Audi, Mercedes or BMW instead.
"....which is typical for US car companies." Strange then that British manufacturer Vauxhall has survived under GM's control whilst Saab didn't. Indeed, German manufacturer Opel's relationship with GM goes back to 1929 (they were a majority shareholder and took full control in 1931). And it also dodges the question I posed earlier - if Saab were so good, why did they end up having to use a Fiat platform for the 9000, and why did they end up being bought by GM? During the same time, a US car company has risen to be the maker of the best-selling car in the World, the Ford Focus. So your whinge about US companies seems to be just anti-Yank prejudice - the problems that killed Saab as a car manufacturer were Swedish Saab's alone.
"we could have much more cheaply developed a carrier version of the Eurofighter"
Got much experience of converting land-based aircraft to fly from carriers, have you? So you know how to shave every ounce possible to get the absolute lightest airframe you possibly can whilst allowing for the much greater landing forces that carrier-based aircraft have to allow for (decks tend to move, and the deck moving up as your WhizzJet moves down can result in an "impact" many times greater than the same airframe landing on a runway). And how you need to protect the entire airframe from saltwater corrosion? And how to make sure the rear of the aircraft stays attached to the front when hitting the arrestor wire? And all the other little problems that make it so damn hard to take your WhizzJet and allow it to fly and fight from a carrier?
I would have suggested you applied for a job with BAe Systems since you seem to know how they can screw the British taxpayer out of even more money, but I have this strange suspicion that (somehow) you know even less about aviation than their current board of directors...
@MrXavia - "If only we had installed cats and traps on our carriers"
Those would be the new American cats and traps that have been even later and more over budget than the F-35 and still don't work?
The UK switched plans to use cats and traps for the new carriers, but then bailed out and switched plans back to ski-jumps and STOVL aircraft when they saw what a fiasco the new American cat and trap system was turning into. The F-35B is the lower risk option in this case.
This concept is based on a WW2 weapon that used a very powerful spotlight and series of triangular mirrors that span in concentric circles creating hundreds of rays of light that dazzled and disoriented pilots, causing they to either call off their attack runs or crash. They were used to protect the Suez Canal and were so effective that the technology is still 100% classified top secret EVEN TODAY. If the details of the tech ever leaked it would cripple air travel world wide as terrorists could place them anywhere within 10 miles of an airport and bring down planes ad lib. Planes worlwide would have to have curtains fitted in the cockpit and approach and land every flight on instruments.
"so effective that the technology is still 100% classified top secret EVEN TODAY."
That, with the obligatory CAPS, reads like something from The Express. And like most of the stories in The Express, there is a grain of truth buried under a mountain of bullshit. http://greg.org/archive/2010/05/29/the_greatest_camo_story_ever_told.html
On the topic of the great big light - there is a photo of a potential prototype on the above link, which indicates why terrorists have never considered using it to bring down a 747 on Heathrow approach. It is quite one thing having a big complicated searchlight with mirrors arrangement in a military installation, but it is something entirely different roping on to the top of a Clio, never mind figuring out what you're supposed to power it from, never mind more the typical British weather would likely make a beam of light fairly obvious in the sky as to the origin of the beam. And what? Call out the cops to chase the Clio that looks like it has a bit of Skylab stuck to it? Yeah, they won't be passing that off as the Googlemobile.
Strictly speaking they've declared Initial Operating Capability, not Full Operating Capability. This means a limited subset of weapons, e.g. air-to-air missiles which were proved this week against drones, and certain types of smart bomb, with constraints on operational tempo, radar modes etc. It means you can start using it to develop the front line capability, tactics etc. without waiting for all the bells and whistles to work.
Before you mock it as a failed programme it's worth remembering the UK regularly introduced fighters, and other aircraft, into service with concrete blocks instead of radars, limitations on flying at night, laser systems that can't be used for training (not the F-35, something produced closer to home) etc. etc. If you waited for the perfect version of the aircraft you'd be there at the end of its service life once it's received all the upgrades based on a few decades of experience.
'So limited combat then? The General said 'ready for combat'.'
You always state from an initial state and build on it, by limited combat I'd imagine happy dropping JDAM on ISIS not ready for a full spectrum confrontation with China. Or at least not bringing the full range of capabilities on day 1.
I've heard several different versions of what he supposedly said. It was in response to a test against F-16's and F-18's. Those planes never saw the F-35 coming in on their radar (supposedly). Only when the F-35 turned on it's transponder did they know where the F-35 was.
So... maybe it's ready for something or almost ready for something or maybe there's a deadline tic box on a PowerPoint that needed ticking?
Not for the defense contractors, for whom the "better use of money" is more taxpayers dollars sent their way.
The politicians go along with it because, well, you just need to go to Wikipedia and read the bios for former congressmen and see where many of them are working now to understand the why.
That's impossible to use if you apply the US DoD safety trace to our ranges, to avoid theoretically blinding someone. They may or may not be the same as any UK MoD safety trace (LASER ones are pretty epic die to the nature of err... LASERs) but that's not the same as not being able to use it in actual combat. I don't know if there's a training mode on the LASER but it may be frequency related rather than power in which case you're kind of stuck as the weapon will be looking for that frequency.
It would seem to be more than range safety though, as there's a ban "on any optic devices being within 33km of the aircraft when the designator is switched on...".
Which could either mean the laser targeting system is so powerful it'll kill any sensors within 33km of the aircraft or, alternatively, any powerful laser/light source within 33km of the aircraft will bugger-up the targeting system.
I've seen safety traces for people using binoculars (i.e. they should be more than this distance away to avoid ocular damage) of over 200KM for some similar systems, so I suspect they're worried about damage to the other platform's sensors. It's a bit of a nonsense as you'll be deliberately targeting the LASER before you turn it on so the chances of actually hitting someone with binoculars accidentally must be negligible, although they do also include distances for scatter so non-direct illumination is also a factor, more so over the sea.
"It's a bit of a nonsense as you'll be deliberately targeting the LASER before you turn it on so the chances of actually hitting someone with binoculars accidentally must be negligible"
Perhaps the enemy is looking at you with binoculars?
You wouldn't want to risk hurting the eyes of him/her.
Surely it's not meant to fight? It's meant to channel govt subsidy to high tech manufacturing companies so that we can all buy laser guided microwave home butlers.
In any serious conflict the winner will be the one who denies the opposition anti aircraft guns/missiles. Once you have done that, as Syria sadly demonstrates, a cheap helicopter and some barrels does the job.
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