back to article Uncle Sam tells F-35B allies they'll have to fly the things a lot more if they want to help out around South China Sea

British F-35Bs deploying to the South China Sea next year may not meet key reliability metrics set by an American government watchdog, its annual report has revealed. The US Department of Defense's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE) warned that the multinational F-35B fighter jet fleet is lagging behind a key …

  1. }{amis}{
    Black Helicopters

    !!!

    So far the B fleet is unable to meet its target of flying for 12 hours or more between critical failures.

    The target (That it cant meet) is the equivalent to ~10 sorties please tell me this is not normal for a combat jet!

    1. Imhotep

      Re: !!!

      It turns out that the gun fitted to the Air Force version can't hit what it's aimed at.

      Perhaps our new strategy should be to sell this to anyone but our allies, and restart the F16 line - or the proposed modification to the F22 that seems to ouperform both the F35 and F22.

      1. tony72

        Re: !!!

        It turns out that the gun fitted to the Air Force version can't hit what it's aimed at.

        Instead of Lightning, the MOD is considering renaming it the F-35 Stormtrooper.

        1. Sanguma Bronze badge

          the F-35 Stormtrooper?

          Don't you mean, the F-35 Colonel Mustard?

        2. Wzrd1

          Re: !!!

          Instead of Lightning, the MOD is considering renaming it the F-35 Stormtrooper.

          Nah, the upgraded name will be "Hangar Queen".

          Aka: Designated Parts List.

      2. RuffianXion

        Re: !!!

        What the actual what the actual fck? (I didn't mis-type that). I'm speechless. Zillions of dollars spent and it can't do what the F-86 could do?

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: !!!

          Sopwith Camel could do this as well...

          Here in Finland the Ministry of Defence is pondering replacements for the ageing F/A-18 Hornets. They're testing Rafale, EF, Super Hornet, Saab Gripen and of course, F-35A. I'm pretty sure the powers that be have already selected F-35 but they're just putting on this charade to explaing why we bought the most expensive craft available.

          The fighter just needs to be good enough to deter Russia anyone from attacking, nothing more.

          1. Lars
            Pint

            Re: !!!

            @Sandtitz

            Mikä tahansa muu kelpaisi.

          2. macjules Silver badge

            Re: !!!

            Not sure if you have to worry about Russia. I think they are still licking their wounds from the last time they tried to attack Finland.

          3. EnviableOne Silver badge

            Re: !!!

            Super Rafael FTW, either that or the Indian Tejas or their AMCA

            The UK should have stuck with the project that came out with the Super Rafale

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: !!!

              Well, assuming you mean the Dassault Rafale, it could reasonably be argued that we did.

              The original Eurofighter program include France as well as the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.

              France wasn't happy with aspects of the program (not least of which being that they were not program leads, if most reports are to be believed), so left and developed the Rafale.

              So the project that came out with the Rafale started off as the same project as that which came up with Typhoon (Eurofighter), and the UK stuck with it (and now operates Typhoon).

              And Typhoon is really rather good.

              1. Lars
                Happy

                Re: !!!

                "France wasn't happy with aspects of the program (not least of which being that they were not program leads, if most reports "in English" are to be believed).

                Or the French got fed up with the British insisting of being the program leads.

                eeny meeny miny moe

              2. ciaran

                Re: !!!

                Dassaut were producing "delta wing" fighter jets since a long time. The company building Typhoon was created from scratch. Typhoon and Rafale have a similar "delta canard" design. Which final design is probably the best?

                Have you noticed any design faults on the Typhoon?

                First the canards are so far forward that the pilot's view of the ground is blocked. OK for air-to-air, which was the Typhoon's original target.

                Then the wheels fold up laterally into the wings, making it more difficult to put extra tanks and heavy weapons close to the centerline - on the Typhoon they're all mounted wayyy forward. The wheels on the Rafale fold up longitudinally.

                The great one is how the Typhoon sales people have always criticized the Rafale for being designed to do everything from the beginning, whereas the Typhoon was specialized for air-to-air. But now they've stopped saying that because they're trying to compete as a multirole fighter

                1. EvilDrSmith

                  Re: !!!

                  Nope, I've not noticed any design faults on Typhoon.

                  There are design compromises, but they are not the same thing. One you missed by the way is that the Tornado RAPTOR reconnaissance pod apparently doesn't fit, so Typhoon could not seamlessly take over the recce role from Tornado.

                  Typhoon was designed to be exceptionally agile, and particularly effective in the air to air role (both within visual range and beyond visual range), but was always intended to have a full air to ground capability: In the RAFs case, the priority was to get a replacement for the Phantoms and Tornado F3s in the air to air role, both of which were considered to be inadequate in the 1980s. However, Typhoon was also designed to replace the Jaguar (finally retired from the RAF in 2007, and that was due to budget cuts, not because it was considered to be obsolete and no longer fit for service).

                  With Rafale, the French has specific requirements including that it should be carrier capable. That design requirement meant that it too had design compromises. The UK, Germany, Italy and Spain were not interested in carrier capability (perhaps with hindsight an error on the UK's part, although the FAA seem very convinced that they want VSTOL on the carriers, not Cat-launcher aircraft). The French also had requirements for the weapons fit on the Rafale (including that it could deploy their air-launcher nuclear weapons -more design compromises.

                  The Rafale is a very good aeroplane. I would certainly rate it as far better than the F/A 18. Had the UK chosen to go with conventional take off carrier aircraft, Rafale would have been a good choice.

                  But for what the RAF wanted and are using the Typhoon for, the Typhoon is better - for the really quite straightforward reason that the Typhoon was designed to do what the RAF wanted, and Rafale was designed to do what the French navy and airforce wanted.

                  1. ciaran

                    Re: !!!

                    Yea, I do agree, that's my upvote. Lets say "unfortunate" design choices and split the difference. I do think the Rafale is more polished, benefiting from the deep experience and single-mindedness of Dassault (at least at the time).

      3. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: !!!

        I may be wrong, but I don't think the F-35 was ever meant to be higher performance than the F-22, just cheaper and possibly more versatile, with the option to export.

        1. Imhotep

          Re: !!!

          After reading the history of this project, I was taken aback to find out it WAS supposed to be a cheaper, lower tier fighter. I find comfort in their getting the lower tier part right.

          1. EvilDrSmith

            Re: !!!

            The F22 / F35 pairing is often compared to the F15/F16 pairing, though I think both the F15 and F16 started off as dedicated interceptors, with the air to ground capability added, whereas, while the F22 was also supposed to be air-to-air only, the F35 was always intended to be dual role (air-to-air and air-to-ground). As such, I believe it was supposed to be less capable in air-to-air than the F22, but also to be cheaper, since it was anticipated to be the new F16 'NATO-standard' fighter.

            Plus, the Americans refused to export the F22 to anyone.

            Of course, the F22 super fighter that was designed to be solely an interceptor has since been modified to drop bombs, because clearly, erm, something.

            After all, the USAF doesn't have enough F15s and F16s to drop bombs on AK-toting insurgents riding around in Toyotas.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: !!!

      "The target (That it cant meet) is the equivalent to ~10 sorties please tell me this is not normal for a combat jet!"

      Wasn't the ME 262 also limited to about 12 hours flying time before critical failure, ie it needed new engines. We've come so far since then.

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: !!!

      That is almost entirely normal for modern combat aircraft. You've got lots of cutting edge systems that are essentially artisan due to the quantities produced. If you think that's bad jets in the 50s/60s such as the Supermarine Scimitar allegedly* needed 1000 man hours of maintenance per flying hour.

      *I've read this a lot but I have yet to find a definitive reference. Even so they needed a lot of work to keep them flying.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: !!!

        I've seen numbers of the English Electric Lightning putting it at over 100hrs of maintenance for one hour of flight (for example, the tires had to be replaced after ten landings, often less).

        Aircraft have got more complex over the years, because they are more capable*. More complexity means more hours of maintenance.

        *(eg, the F-35B can carry about three times the bomb load of a B-17, and drop it about 100 times more accurately).

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: !!!

          Yes, the Lightning's wheels were very narrow to fit in the wings, consequently the tyres were run at quite high pressure. Hence they only last ten landings or so, which considering the shocking endurance of English Electric's finest can't have taken long.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: !!!

            To be fair the Lightning (me262) wasn't intended to last that long

            One last ditch mission to try and take out a few of the Russian (Allied) bombers before they dropped their bombs on Blighty(Fatherland)

            The F35 is never going to go into combat against any modern airforce, it's far to expensive to risk, its job is to fly around for 20-30 years generating support contracts

            1. Robert Grant Silver badge

              Re: !!!

              The F35 is never going to go into combat against any modern airforce

              That sounds like the best outcome.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: !!!

                >That sounds like the best outcome.

                For the people selling the plane perhaps.

                For the poor squaddies getting killed because they have no helicopters, transport or close air support because fighters are waycooler and the budget has been spent

              2. 's water music Silver badge

                Re: !!!

                >>The F35 is never going to go into combat against any modern airforce

                That sounds like the best outcome.

                It might be if it were not also available for weddings and (not) bar mitsvahs

            2. EVP Bronze badge

              Re: !!!

              “expensive to risk, its job is to fly around for 20-30 years generating support contracts“

              I’m afraid you’re right. Buy hey, if everybody had them, it would end all wars. “F-35 - Good for peace, good for GNP!” (from L-M marketing slides).

              Bad jokes aside, superior* weapons are always bad for peace. ~Zero risk to take out inferior enemy troops, guess what does to the threshold to initiate a war?

              *When latest Service Pack has been installed and license keys have been paid for.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: !!!

                >superior* weapons are always bad for peace

                Not necessarily, eventually you get weapons that are too valuable to risk.

                In WWI that was the Royal Navy, now it is a carrier battle group or anything in the air force built after 1970

                1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: !!!

                  get weapons that are too valuable to risk

                  Which is exactly what happened in the Dreadnaught era - which is why there was only one (inconclusive) naval battle during WW1 since the ships were simply too expensive to risk.

                  And people wonder why repeat our mistakes - because those in power refuse to learn from history.

            3. Legionary13

              Re: !!!

              The F-35 was designed to transfer money from the US (and foreign) governments to Lockheed Martin and it is doing that very well.

              The secondary task - being a viable military aircraft - is rather harder especially as it is crippled by stealth technology which several Russian radar systems can circumvent. That's not going to stop the really important payment of bonuses to the LM execs. Tough on the aircrew and those they support.

              1. Arthur Daily

                Re: !!!

                The stealth technology is BS. 1/4 wavelength means any UHF radar will see it easy. So the only stealth is angled panels that reflect radar, as long as the frequency is not too low. The Russians do have sets that operate over a wide range, as do the Chinese. Think SS400. Plus if their 5G gets in, there will be an app to detect aircraft - if its not raining.

                The Americans assume a saturation cruise missile strike will defang such nasty missile sites so it is safe for the F35 to fly in. Oh wait, the Israelis had some faster jets shot down or shredded, so old assumptions are very suspect. After 2-10 minutes on afterburners, mission survival for the F35 with bays open to vent heat, will be hot targets indeed.

            4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "its job is to fly around for 20-30 years generating support contracts"

              Never read about flying boondoggle without hearing the voice of actor Ronny Cox

              Jones: I had guaranteed orders. Upgrade programmes. Who cared if it didn't work?

          2. Booty003

            Re: !!!

            I've just built the 1/48 kit of this. Lovely it is too....!!!

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: !!!

        In the mid-90s, I used to play a combat flight sim called "US Navy Fighters". You had a selection of the US Navy's contemporary carrier-capable combat aircraft available for each mission. After every mission, you had an allocation of man-hours that you could use to repair or maintain your fleet. Obviously, taking damage during combat quickly put you behind the eight ball maintenance-wise, which is how the game placed an emphasis on Not Getting Hit!

        Fortunately, there was also an unlimited number of A-7s available to you as a fallback, for when your F-14s, F/A-18s etc. were all too worn out or damaged to fly. They were the equivalent of the forfeit car in a Top Gear challenge, but at least you could "expend" them with impunity.

        So what the RN needs is an unlimited supply of A-7s.

      3. Wzrd1

        Re: !!!

        If you think that's bad jets in the 50s/60s such as...

        Please do note, that was 5x - 70 years ago.

        As in, I was born in 1961, I don't need maintenance after 12 hours of work. Oddly, neither did the B-52 or F-105, both of which are 1950's aircraft. Nor did the F-16, FA-18, F-15 and oddly, the F-22.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: !!!

          All of those aircraft (indeed, all aircraft) require maintenance after flight, even if it's just a quick checkup.

          Numbers on military aircraft are hard to find, but for the B-52 I found a source from 1957 saying that after 25 flight hours (or three flights), it requires a post-flight check, which takes 12-15 man-hours, not including the pre-flight checkup. I suspect BUFFs take a bit more looking after these days now that they're all fifty years old or more.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: !!!

            Of course they need maintenance. But there's a difference between a check-up, new tyres and spark plugs, and a wipe-down with an oily rag, and a 'critical failure' in less than 12 hours.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: !!!

              critical failure

              Out of interst, what do they define as 'critical failure'? Wings falling off? Computers not powering up? Cockpit drinks holder not extending?

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: !!!

          I was born in 1961, I don't need maintenance after 12 hours of work

          Speak for yourself.. I'm 4 years younger and I certainly do!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: !!!

      Now we know what the B stands for in F-35B

      Beta release.

      1. Legionary13

        Re: !!!

        It's in homage to the Golgafrinchan B Ark.

    5. Beachrider

      Re: !!!

      I don't think that ANY of the other VTOLs (which F-35B is) have high MTTF. F-35B maintenance procedures ARE evolving to improve MTTF, though.

    6. Arthur Daily

      British Leyland is in charge of F-35B production line

      British Leyland (USA) said to work for 10 hours is a miracle, beating the expecting one sortie and one full overhaul target by spades. Like our cars, each plane is a precision master crafted pride of the factory.

  2. DufferAlert

    Cargo cult Agile

    Multiple MVPs? 6 months release cycle?

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: Cargo cult Agile

      Agile release trains, with wings

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: Cargo cult Agile

        One wing at a time would be more agile.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Harrier

    “The F-35B continues to be the only modern fighter jet capable of operating from Britain's two new aircraft carriers”

    What about the Harrier?

    Oh, sold those!

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Harrier

      Maybe the Chinese can sell you folks an aircraft carrier. If they can conjure up a hospital in ten days, slapping together a warship in six months or so should be no big problem. Or maybe HMAS Melbourne is still around stashed in some obscure inlet disguised as a shrimp farm. It had an excellent record for sinking destroyers. True, they were friendly destroyers, but that's more sinkings than most modern aircraft carriers can claim.

      1. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Re: Harrier

        ---

        Chinese can sell you folks an aircraft carrier.

        ---

        Just make sure you strip out all the Huawei comms gear, or U.S. won't let you have (well, _buy_) those F35s.

        Hmmmm, might be just the strategy.

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: Harrier

          The Chinese might throw in a few J-15s which the Russians claim are illegal knockoffs of their Su-33 carrier based fighter. Your pilots and maintenance folk can read the Chinese manuals, right?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Harrier

            Your pilots and maintenance folk can read the Chinese manuals, right?

            Not an issue, all listed service items are numbered...

            <coughs>

        2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      2. seven of five

        Re: Harrier

        > HMAS Melbourne[...] had an excellent record for sinking destroyers.

        Indeed, that thing was *lethal*

        > True, they were friendly destroyers, but that's more sinkings than most modern aircraft carriers can claim.

        Bah, kill first and claim everything you hit "the target". How can they have been friends if we sank them? Eh?!.

        See.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Harrier

          "The survivors we rescued didn't seem very friendly when we brought them on board."

        2. Imhotep

          Re: Harrier

          Just read up on this, and it sounds more like suicide on the parts of the destroyers. Perhaps they weren't adequately trained on who they were supposed to destroy?

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Harrier

      Another former Harrier operator, the Indian Navy is planning it's next carrier... with EMALS

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INS_Vishal

      Whilst they may well go for Russian aircraft, may be the US will give them a good deal on the F-35C?

      1. Aussie Doc
        Boffin

        Re: Harrier

        Damn my eyes - I read that as 'EMAILS' and thought just how easy it is to pick up a plane using PayPal.

        Need new ones ------>

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Harrier

        "a good deal on the F-35C"

        On the basis of the story so far a good deal would be to refuse to sell them.

      3. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: Harrier

        Nope they are building their own.

        HAL their state owned defence contractor is comming up with new planes.

    3. EvilDrSmith
      Headmaster

      Re: Harrier

      >“The F-35B continues to be the only modern fighter jet capable of operating from Britain's two new aircraft carriers”

      >What about the Harrier?

      Harriers entered service with the RAF in 1969.

      I and I suspect many others on this site would be very happy with the idea that something >50 years old constitutes 'modern'.

      Alas, I fear language is not on our side.

      The Harrier, while a truly superb aeroplane, was apparently really rather difficult to fly, and is rather too old to constitute 'modern'.

  4. Sebastian Brosig
    Devil

    F35

    Vulture central,

    if your coverage of the F35 goes on to be so negative, you will be blacklisted by Lockheed-Martin just like Apple, and you'll never be invited to the swish conferences, or be sent gratis review samples of the latest jets!

    A bit more positive coverage surely wouldn't harm, no?

    1. ivan5

      Re: F35

      No !

    2. Neal L

      Re: F35

      I imagine if there was any positive news they'd post it. Good luck finding some though.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Positive News

        It beat the McLaren in the Top Gear race.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Positive News

          Do we really need armed forces to project power abroad? - Just send Clarkson & Co over to infuriate the locals

          1. seven of five

            Re: Positive News

            Certainly worked well enough in southern Alabama.

            That Lady in the fuel station, when she read what was written on the cars ... "Hillary for President"? - and then called "the boys". rotfl

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Positive News

              "That Lady in the fuel station, when she read what was written on the cars ... and then called "the boys""

              Insert obligatory comment about "free speech" not being quite so free, here.

    3. EVP Bronze badge

      Re: F35

      No way, Lockheed-Martin is so desperate to have orders on the F-35, that any publicity is good publicity.

      The Vultures might be required to return all review samples* they receive, though, unless they change their tone a bit.

      *The actual jets, I believe missiles and bombs are considered consumables.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Agile Astute is not a Good Enemy to Shoot at. IT Fires Back in Spades ....

    .... and Chooses Never Ever to Miss or Dismiss Prime Mainline Targets.

    Plus: Move to Agile is 'high risk'

    No shit, Sherlock? But if you aint in, you cannot win and win win.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah.

    "Agile development" and "Minimum Viable Product" are basically just a fancy name for releasing software without testing it properly and then possibly fixing it up later if the users complain hard enough. It's rapid because the last 5% of the development, (ie. getting it right) takes up 95% of the time. So we just don't do that bit. Project managers and accountants love it. Time and Cost wins out over Quality every time.

    But engineers that take pride in their work despise it because it is the very opposite of developing a quality product. It is the reason why almost everything we buy these days doesn't work properly or fails to live up to expectations.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Do you get the impression that the F-35 is basically a way for the US pork barrel to continue rolling, and they have no intention of fighting a war against anyone who can shoot back?

      1. dnicholas Bronze badge

        Most adversaries would be in ruin before any air combat ensues

        1. Benson's Cycle

          True perhaps, but the US is certainly worried about both Turkey and India buying the S-400. They won't let Turkey have the F-35 now. That is not exactly a vote of confidence.

          1. Bowlers

            Did not know that. But wasn't Turkey destined to be the engine repair centre for this part of the world?

            1. Benson's Cycle

              It was. Now it isn't.

              I did slightly wonder about this scenario: Britain is under attack, Germany is planning an invasion, Dowding notices number of fighters dropping dramatically, asks what is the problem. "Well, Sir, we're having a little trouble getting the Merlins to Turkey to be fixed."

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              In short no.

              The Turks were getting a P & W engine overhaul facility, which they had to pay for. Cue everyone saying all of the Europes F-35's were going to Turkey. But no-one was happy with that. There are also engine overhaul facilities in Norway and the Netherlands. It's likely the UK ones will go to Norway for theirs.

          2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            From what I understood at the time the reason given was that the US didn't want the S-400 crews to have unlimited training time on spotting f-35's.

            However, considering how little they are actually in the air the s-400 is probably redundant and they need ground-ground missiles.

            1. Benson's Cycle

              "What do you think that blip is, Vladimir?"

              "It's an invisible radar-proof F-35, Abdullah."

              "How many points do I get for that?"

              "Five. Not because it is hard to detect but due to rarity."

              "Can we shoot it down?"

              "Better not. Save missiles. Just wait till it crashes."

      2. Sanguma Bronze badge

        re: US pork barrel

        Roll out your troubles in your old pork barrel

        And smile, smile, smile!

        Don't let your joy and laughter hear the snag

        Smile boys, that's the style

        What's the use of worrying

        It never was worth while

        So, roll out your troubles in your old pork barrel

        And smile, smile, smile.

      3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >F-35 is basically a way for the US pork barrel to continue rolling

        No it's much more than that. It's also a way for Britain to keep the BAe pork-scratching packet rolling

        1. Benson's Cycle

          BAe is at this point basically a US company, hence why the acronym doesn't get expanded any more.

          1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge

            BAE

            The company hasn't been BAe since 1999 when it merged (bought out in reality) Marconi, after which it was re-branded BAE Systems (yes, I used to work there).

            The two overarching setups are BAE Systems PLC (UK) and BAE Systems Inc (USA); one of the UK sites is part of Inc which makes for an interesting time from a security standpoint.

            Within those, there are numerous business groups, some better than others.

            1. Lars
              Coat

              Re: BAE

              To add to that history.

              "Marconi Electronic Systems, merged with British Aerospace to form BAE Systems. In 2006, extreme financial difficulties led to the collapse of the remaining company, with the bulk of the business acquired by the Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson."

              1. EnviableOne Silver badge

                Re: BAE

                what actually killed Marconi was UK.gov and the scope creep on the Nimrod AWACS project

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ""Agile development" and "Minimum Viable Product" are basically just a fancy name for releasing software without testing it properly and then possibly fixing it up later if the users complain hard enough."

      Seeing so many upvotes, I'm relieved, since that was my understanding as well, being an ex dev (late 90s) !

      But I was too scared to be given the "you don't get it" treatment.

      I'm glad I've made my coming out on this :)

  7. Dinanziame
    WTF?

    MVP? So when did this little project start, again?

  8. jonathan keith Silver badge

    Lockheed Martin

    So did the Lockheed Martin people see what was going on at Boeing and decide to do the whole "hold my pint" thing?

  9. IGotOut

    UK planes can't patrol Chinese seas...

    Seems like a win-win situation to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK planes can't patrol Chinese seas...

      They are not Chinese seas, they are just called the 'South China Sea' but are actually international waters accordng to International Law. China claims otherwise but so do many nations.

      1. MJB7 Silver badge

        Re: UK planes can't patrol Chinese seas...

        See also "Indian Ocean", "Gulf of Mexico",etc, etc. (*Part* of these are the territorial waters of the named country - as is the South China sea).

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: UK planes can't patrol Chinese seas...

          See also "Indian Ocean"

          A handy bolt-hole for Chinese Naval vessels in the time of any conflict in the Indian Ocean. There is also an airport nearby built with [cough] Chinese funding...

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-china-ports/chinese-firm-pays-584-million-in-sri-lanka-port-debt-to-equity-deal-idUSKBN1JG2Z6

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magampura_Mahinda_Rajapaksa_Port

          "Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchant Port Holdings signed an agreement on the Hambantota Port to lease the port to China Merchant Port Holdings for 99 years"

          "The large Chinese loans, inability of the Sri Lankan government to service the loans, and subsequent 99-year Chinese lease on the port have led to accusations that China was practicing Debt trap diplomacy."

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: UK planes can't patrol Chinese seas...

          See also "Indian Ocean"

          Also "English Channel". For some reason, our Gallc neighbours don't call it that :-)

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: UK planes can't patrol Chinese seas...

        The North Sea is also defined as international - but imagine the uproar over here if China sent a carrier to patrol it.

  10. DWRandolph

    Coding "minimum viable product" for "critical flight and weapons software" is asking for catastrophic failures! And to "release capabilities via smaller, more frequent service pack updates", in other words not giving you everything needed to do the job, is digging the hole even deeper.

    This level of adherence to Agile religions can work for non-critical accounting applications, or games. But for stuff that can kill you? For stuff that is actually DESIGNED to kill you?

    Yes, Waterfall has its own problems. But swinging the pendulum all the way over just exposes other issues.

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      MVP has a very different meaning around systems with critical failures than when barfing out the latest get-rich-quick webapp. That "V" stands for viable, and that means passing ALL critical failure tests.

      Likewise on the devops side. If you look at larger projects, CICD takes on a very different feel when the test time becomes longer than the mean time between commits. When it is measured in weeks or months, the discipline again is going to look very different.

      And I use the word "discipline" deliberately. Proper agile is a disciplined search for the best process to address the development goals of an organization. Likewise, proper devops is about ensuring that the engineering principles of software development and of operations are being applied throughout the organization.

      Waterfall was a straw man process. The very next words in the paper were, "Such efforts are doomed to fail" Unfortunately, they were on the next page. Waterfall's weakness is in the presumption that any step in the process can be completed before feedback from later steps has been received. That can work for houses. Software--no.

      1. Arthur Daily

        Amazing how so many people who never saw 'Waterfall' are so expert at bagging it, by implication British SDM which was not so bad. American skunkworks planes were also waterfall - with requirements first.

        I'd say waterfall projects fail as the cash burn rate is too high early on. Agile more successful as nobody on the team has seen quality, so sort-of-works is a winner.

  11. Chris G Silver badge

    Let me get this right

    The UK is buying history's most expensive military aircraft ever and the UK has to spend the time and money to prove it's operational reliability?

    Or am I reading it wrong?

    Not only that but the damned things have to use WX to operate the maintenance software, I hope they can kill the telemetry and avoid an in-flight BSOD inducing incoming patch.

    F35 the gift that keeps on costing, perhaps they should done a fleet lease scheme.

    1. Sanguma Bronze badge

      Re: Let me get this right

      F35 the gift that keeps on costing, perhaps they should done a fleet lease scheme.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how the US operates with defense and allies these days. The US Federal Govt "buys" the aircraft and then "onsells" it to the ally as a form of lease. It means that things get hairy when said ally attempts to sell said military assets after making use of them. It's how they've been managing allies and friends since Lend-Lease got set up.

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Let me get this right

      You are in good company. Certainly Denmark, and I suspect a whole row of other NATO countries are there with you.

      Should have bought f-16. Plenty to impress in Afghanistan and Libya, you get twice as many and they actually fly.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Let me get this right

        'Should have bought f-16.' Very poor carrier performance though, you'd get through loads trying to land.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Let me get this right

          Should have cloned Eric Brown when we had the chance.

      2. EvilDrSmith

        Re: Let me get this right

        >Should have bought f-16.

        As already said by someone else, F16 no good for carrier operations.

        And for non-carrier use, UK has Typhoon: much newer, much better (and quite a lot more expensive) than F16.

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Let me get this right

      Ahhh but the UK isn't just buying it, they're a (the only) Level 1 partner which means they were allowed to define key requirements*, and get to build large chunks of it**. Presumably that also gets you a vested interest in proving it meets the operational reliability metrics.

      *Something the MoD were quite reticent to do in case they over-complicated the programme, I think the bird strike resistance of the windscreen was one thing they insisted on hence the internal support that marks the end of the double thickness section.

      **The rear fuselage of all of them and the lift fans of the Bs for starters.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Let me get this right

        And replacing the dozen cup holders sized for 64oz megagulp McSuperslurpies with a small table suitable for a cup and saucer with a ginger biscuit

        1. dvd

          Re: Let me get this right

          McVities Digestive, you barbarian!

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Let me get this right

            Perhaps for the other ranks but you can't expect an officer to eat common digestives.

            However because of a little side-deal BAe did, the F35 is only compatible with Dutchy Original shortbread and since the MOD budget obviously isn't going to stretch to that - the fleet is grounded

            1. Steve K Silver badge

              Re: Let me get this right

              <with Dutchy Original shortbread >

              Quite, and it must be passed to the pilot on the left-hand side

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let me get this right

          The table will also need space for a teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl

          1. Sanguma Bronze badge

            Re: Let me get this right

            For operation in EU airspace it will need to be replaceable by an espresso machine.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let me get this right

      British companies get a significant percentage of the cost of each F35 - such that the total income for all F35s sold is much greater than the cost of our F35Bs.

      Not such a bad outcome really.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Let me get this right

        Yes but the British Company is Bae (America) Inc, headquarters in in Bermuda and registered in the dungeon dimension for tax purposes

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Working software is the primary measure of progress. "

    A quote from the Agile Manifesto.

    *

    So......the F35 software goes down as a fail!!

  13. JimBob01

    MVP?

    Too many posts where people are (deliberately?) mis-representing what MVP is SUPPOSED to be…

    “Viable” is supposed to mean that it works.

    “Minimum” is supposed to relate to the richness or paucity of features.

    Obvioulsy, some teams/management don’t get that either but it seems, if there is “adherence to Agile religions” then, they must be using it properly.

    1. spold Silver badge

      Re: MVP?

      Hmmm? I thought it was iterative in this example. Oh well.

      Minimum - it stays in the air

      Viable - it stays in the air and can shoot something down

      Product - it stays in the air, can shoot something down, and mostly doesn't get shot down?

      1. EVP Bronze badge

        Re: MVP?

        Product - Polished marketing videos (with nice music) to trick fools to depart with their money.

        There you go. Your first two items are spot on, which is quite unfortunate.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: MVP?

      “Minimum” is supposed to relate to the richness or paucity of features.

      In terms of a trade off between what the user needs and what the developers are able.prepared to provide.

      Likely to mean "only just works" as opposed to "just works".

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: MVP?

      if there is “adherence to Agile religions” then, they must be using it properly.
      And like any religion, it fragmented immediately into thousands of cults and sects whose ultimate aim is to deliver power (frequently in the form of obscene amounts of cash) unto the leaders, and fuck the 'worshippers'.

  14. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    Which well known air force is buying new versions of an old eagle....?

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Maybe

    the F-35 program manglement saw the word "agile" and thought "Hey thats just what the F-35 needs to be"

    We need a cynical bastard icon

  16. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Agile should

    Refer to flying not computers crashing!

  17. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Missed it's target

    Both the project and the main gun.

  18. CheesyTheClown

    As a tax payer...

    I disapprove of these planes being flown. There are far too many possible chances for accidents or them being shot down. With how much these planes cost, the best option is to keep them stored in hangars where they are only a limited risk.

    If anyone in the F-35 governments are reading this, please invest instead in F-16 and F-22 jets which are substantially less expensive and only consider the use of F-35 jets when the F-16 and F-22 planes can’t possibly do the job.

    Think of it as using the 1997 Toyota Canary to drive to and from work in urban rush hour rather than the Bentley since scratching the Canary doesn’t matter but the Bentley will cost you and your insurance company a small fortune. The F-35 series planes should never be put in the air where they can be damaged... it’s simply fiscally irresponsible.

    1. quxinot Silver badge

      Re: As a tax payer...

      I wholly agree!

      I think we should can all our other flying machines and have a fleet exclusively comprised of F35's of various sorts, none of which should be allowed to be put in the air.

      Maybe then we could stop sticking our noses in the world's business! It'd be a massive cost reduction and very likely would improve the way other countries look at us.

      And frankly, it seems that most places we stick our nose, we either get stomped or make almost precisely zero difference. At least in the past 70ish years.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: As a tax payer...

        To be fair, we did try to help rebuild Iraq while Halliburton was spending the US "reconstruction" money on hookers, blow and political bribery.

        But you don't need fighter aircraft for that.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: As a tax payer...

      Bit difficult to buy F-22s as they stopped building them in 2011. Also if you think the F-35 is expensive I've got some bad news about the F-22... A Block 70* F-16 isn't that much cheaper either by the looks of things.

      *The most recent production standard which looks to be about $57 million a go vs $79 for an F-35A.

      1. ciaran

        Re: F16 vs F-35

        The F-35 prices are still a bit fictive, I won't put my money on the F-35A actually being useably produced for less than $100M. The F-16 "total cost of ownership" prices can be reliably forecast (although not by me).

        However for a carrier aircraft, India is looking at either the F-18 or the Rafale, so best choose one of them.

        1. Daniel 18

          Re: F16 vs F-35

          Remember, no catapults... definitely no F-18, probably no Rafale.

          1. Sanguma Bronze badge
            Happy

            Re: F16 vs F-35

            no catapults - since 1914 most combat aircraft have used firearms for aerial combat. Not a single aircraft that I know of, has used, to attempted to use catapults.

            No one uses catapults for air defense either.

          2. ciaran

            Re: F16 vs F-35

            Both Boeing and Dassault say their planes are compatible with ski-jump aircraft carriers. In other words both want to sell to India and will do what it takes to make that happen.

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: As a tax payer...

      please invest instead in F-16 and F-22 jets which are substantially less expensive and only consider the use of F-35 jets when the F-16 and F-22 planes can’t possibly do the job.
      A couple points:

      1) The F-22 is the superior air superiority fighter. Think of the F-22 as the F-15 replacement, with the F-35 being the F-16/18(A-F)/A-10 (jack of all trades) replacement. Therefore if the F-22 can't do the job (assuming it's an air superiority job) then the F-35 won't be able to do it.

      2) Australia originally wanted to buy the F-22, but the US refused point-blank to even consider a sale to anyone, at all, ever. They didn't want what they see as the most capable and advanced air-to-air figher in the world in anyone else's hands at all, not even their strongest bum-chums allies.

      1. ciaran

        Re: As a tax payer...

        Or they're embarrassed about how much they cost to produce and maintain. They have great aerodynamics and best-of-class stealth, but terrible avionics.

        The Eurofighter is easily a better airplane than the F22, but it like a lighthouse on radar unfortunately.

        Either way, neither a F22 nor a Eurofighter will ever take off from an aircraft carrier, way too big.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As a tax payer...

          Too big, you say?

          Typhoon empty weight: 11,000 kg

          F-35B empty weight: 14,729 kg

          It's not size that is an issue - the Typhoon was never designed to be operated from a carrier.

          1. ciaran

            Re: Sea Typhoon

            You're right, and there's even an abomination of a project called the "Sea Typhoon". They actually drew a diagram with an arrestor hook. And thrust vectoring engines, always good to add something they can drop later on... If anyone can bear it, I found it here..

            https://www.eurofighter.com/multimedia/download/naval-typhoon-cutaway-1015

            1. EnviableOne Silver badge

              Re: Sea Typhoon

              yeah but the arrestor gear and hardend landing to handle ship operations put the base weight up considerably.

              the best option was the BAe P.125 that was a more modern faster harrier, but a certain TBlair et all decided to throw in with the americans and dump BAe on the scrap heap

        2. EvilDrSmith
          Happy

          Re: As a tax payer...

          >The Eurofighter is easily a better airplane than the F22, but it like a lighthouse on radar unfortunately.

          Not strictly true. Both Typhoon and Rafale use non-metallic composites extensively, which are (apparently) translucent to radar energy, and thus reflect much less of it.

          In the case of Typhoon (possibly also Rafale), it also has 'proper' stealth design on bits of the airframe where (I) it makes a difference and (ii) it doesn't compromise the aerodynamic design (the air intake, for instance; also, the back plate to the radar is angled, rather than vertical).

          So while most certainty not 'stealth' designs, they could reasonably be called 'reduced radar cross section' designs, being significantly harder to detect than anything other than a true stealth design.

          But I upvoted you anyway.

          1. ciaran

            Re: As a tax payer...

            Thanks for the upvote!

            I am consistently amazed at what fighter aircraft manufacturers will say! I have never seen one admit to a restriction or a liability. Sometimes they do leave in a kicker to stay honest, like "... when we get the budget".

            Anyway, the Typhoon engine air intakes look "difficult" to make stealthy. They're rectangular. And I don't remember anyone saying that they have an "S-bend" to hide the turbine blades from direct radar illumination. On the other hand, in the Rafale backstory there is a phase when Saudi Arabia asked for "low radar cross section". That happened just as they were going from prototype to final design. The story goes that the final aircraft looks just like the prototype, but that "nothing is the same". Dassault markets the Rafale as a "Discrete Omnirole supersonic fighter". Discrete as opposed to being "Oh my Holy God" obvious.

            Typhoon gets the message out about using RAM (radar absorbing materials) but doesn't really directly say anything about their cross section. Rhere's no official published radar cross section info from any the respective manufacturers.

            The F-35 says its "really good" form in front - not so much from the back and sides. The Rafale has a huge flat tail that's probably easy to pick up from the side. Your milage may vary...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: As a tax payer...

              There have been rumours about RCS of both Typhoon and Rafale. Neither is obviously 'stealthy'

              As ever the devil is in the detail, but the general consensus is that Typhoon has a significantly smaller RCS than Rafale, and has the smallest RCS of any 'non-stealthy' modern combat aircraft. The teams designing Typhoon did actually apply RCS reduction measures to key parts of the Typhoon airframe, and certainly LO technologies were far better understood by the UK and German designers than the French did in the timeframe.

              To my knowledge Saudi Arabia never were involved in Rafale in any serious manner. From Al-Yamamah onwards, and the shut out of the Mirage 4000, they were firmly in the US/UK camp for new combat aircraft. The French put a lot of stock in their EW measures (both in aircraft and ships), sometimes with some justification (but a lot of Rafale fans seriously over-estimate how good Spectra is...) but also as a marketing strategy to allay any fears over limited LO. It's something Typhoon tried recently with 'Digital Stealth'. It relies on believing that French EW is significantly better than anything else. And given how good we know Israeli and Swedish EW is it doesn't really stack up. The best EW kit though is from the US. I've seen people actually believe that Rafales EW is better than the F-35's 10 year newer system....they also ignore just how good Typhoons is.

    4. Imhotep

      Re: As a tax payer...

      Since FedEx guarantees overnight delivery anywhere at predetermined rates, all weapons delivery systems are pretty much redundant anyhow.

      Sign here please.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: As a tax payer...

        Getting the signature is difficult though.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: As a tax payer...

          "One box of green grass, sign here please."

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: As a tax payer...

      it’s simply fiscally irresponsible

      That didn't stop various Governments from building the QE2-class carriers - despite the fact that their lifespan in a hot war would be measured in minutes..

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Careful, El Reg

    I made the mistake of posting a tweet (I don't have many followers) of an article on Ars Technica about the poor state of the F35 programme, the spiralling costs and the litany of problems, only some of which are included in this article. Well, my goodness, the gungasm Colonel Blimps didn't half climb out of the woodwork, having somehow picked up on the tweet. None critiqued the article, but all ripped the messenger to shreds. Some "responses" were from serving naval types. I wondered at one point whether the navy is running a twitter campaign to ensure no criticism of their "floating conference centres".

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Careful, El Reg

      Are these "serving naval types" like the poster I recently responded to on another site who claimed to have "multiple degrees" in the sciences but didn't know what "exponential" meant?

      On the Internet nobody knows you're a fantasist - they just suspect it.

  20. Binraider666

    Perhaps the YF23 project should be dusted off. It lost out to the f22 on cost, but by all accounts performance was out the other side of obscene.

  21. Lars
    Happy

    I hope

    Britain remembered to order the invisible model from Marillyn Lockheed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMADTs5x-LU

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: I hope

      Didn't you notice - the decks on our carriers are covered with them. But you can't see them.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freedom! Soverignty!

    Bend over!

  23. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    They definetly had a time machine

    The manufacturers know that too. That's why that torpedo landed on Sandwich golf course.

    Sandwich golf course? I didn't read that in the papers.

    Of course not. There was a cover-up. The members just found a new bunker on the 7th fairway the next morning.

    So the torpedoes don't work either?

    - No, only the new ones. The others are fine.

    The ones designed during the Second World War.

    - Over 40 years ago?

    - They had lots of testing.

    - You can't afford that with the modern ones.

    - Why not?

    Well, if there's a nuclear war, it won't last long enough for the weapons to be tested.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In an article more or less devoted to the F-35, why in the hell would you accompany it with a pic of the F-22 Raptor ? I know it's just a stock photo, but couldn't you have found an F-35 one ?

    1. Chris Clawson

      That is an F-35. Check out https://www.airforce-technology.com/features/featuref-35-lightning-up-and-away-5851856/ and scroll down a bit.

  25. Chris Clawson

    Whatever happened to EMALS? I seem to recall reading here that space for an electric catapult system was intentionally left in the carrier hulls.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      It's welded solid.

      Or something like that. The quote for "installation" came to about 90% of a new ship.

      Which really makes me wonder what you'd have to do to be in breach of contract with the MoD. Was it even contractually required that the carriers float?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's welded solid.

        what you'd have to do to be in breach of contract with the MoD.

        Get a few weeks behind on your annual donation to the Tory Party?

        1. EnviableOne Silver badge

          Re: It's welded solid.

          The whole QE Class and F-35 idea was a joke. Alll we needed was a shiny new set of ASW Carriers and a few of the supersonic variant of the Harrier BAe Proposed.

          But some idiot in the blairite Defence Procurment Agency decided they wanted big boats with catapults, but then wouldnt pay for them, or decide which planes they were going to put on them.

          So they retired the Invincible class, and bumbled around for a few years, ordering a cheap stopgap of Ocean on the way.... and decided the US JSF program with no fixed costs, built wherever a senator needed the jobs, on unproven technology, that had to be serviced where the US decided....

          </rant>

          1. Benson's Cycle

            Re: It's welded solid.

            Despite being left of centre myself I have to point out that the carriers and Trident are as much about keeping unions onside and keeping seats Labour as anything. Labour know that the Conservatives will never be seen to oppose flashy defence spending.

            Decent kit for the boys in Afghanistan or Iraq isn't glamorous.

      2. ciaran

        Re: It's welded solid.

        I seem to recall The Register doing an article on that. The UK govt was "just asking for a friend" if they could share desk space with other fighters, like F18 or Rafale... The question coincided with a love-in between the UK and French militaries. BAE panicked, thinking the F35 contract was at risk, and used the UDP party line - Ulster says "NO" !

  26. sitta_europea Bronze badge

    [quote]

    The F-35B continues to be the only modern fighter jet capable of operating from Britain's two new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.[/quote]

    Is there a white elephant in the room?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Yes, it's hiding behind the pink Rhinocerous

    2. Augie
      Joke

      Yes, we designed the buggers around a single airframe.. not the other way around!

    3. Kned

      Why oh why didn't we stick with the Harriers and upgrade them, like the Yanks did with the AV-8B?

  27. Andytug Silver badge

    There was a TV programme a few monthsw ago showing one of the first RAF guys to fly the F-35B...

    Rather embarrassingly his first attempt to fly it was delayed when the plane wouldn't let him log in...they had to pull the cameras out while a maintenance chap sorted out the login bit, then he could fly.

    I hope they're not expecting to use these things on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert).....

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: There was a TV programme a few monthsw ago showing one of the first RAF guys to fly the F-35B...

      A whole new series of books

      Biggles forgets his password

      Biggles and the reset link

      Biggles solves the captcha

  28. Aodhhan

    This stuff is old news

    Why is this story being released now?

    Most of the information in this report is close to, if not more than a year old.

    This actual document was released 5 months ago. It's not something which was released in the past week.

  29. HammerOn1024

    Chicken Little Head of DOTE Spews Again

    The "head" of DOTE is on his bullhorn again screaming doom. This guy does get old. And as to Agile being 'high risk', he needs to get out of his crack parlor and go see how it's actually done. There are plenty of DoD programs running this model and it works great; lower cost development and more functionality sooner than giant bloat releases.

    He needs to go.

    Quite frankly, Agile makes HIS people work for their pay... they whine a lot.

  30. Mo'Fo B'dass

    RAF

    Saw a documentary series recently about how the RAF train its pilots. One eye-opener was how the RAF (or was it RN?) are training their F35 pilots (in the states)

    Guy strapped in ready for take-off and a pretend bombing sortie..ready for action...the planes systems wouldn't accept the pilots PASSWORD! A guy in a SUV had to reset it remotely (cameras not allowed)

    Imagine that in a carrier defence situation....scramble, scramble, scramble....."er....was it a capital at the start? Dammit I changed it recently...erm...was it the one I use for gmail or my paypal one?".

    Sometimes it's bad enough when your sitting at a desk in an office but what about when you've got deadly incoming? No pressure...

    I think sticky-note v1.0 may save your bacon (and the carriers). Christ on a bike.

  31. Claptrap314 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Superiority

    http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clarke_Superiority.html

    It's a shame that I found that story after the F-22 & F-35 were announced, because it nicely sums up my concerns. As far as I'm concerned, AF procurement has been at best a hot mess since the F-117 (useful only in theaters with no sunlight & limited cell coverage).

    Meanwhile, China steadily improves its missile technology.

    With all of the #$@$ going on, I seriously doubt that we could do the SR-71 right now.

    1. ciaran

      Re: Superiority

      The US pours all its money into offensive weapons like aircraft and carriers, meanwhile Russia pours lots of money into missiles. Turkey bought the S-400 because its way more effective and way cheaper than anything the US has.

      Missiles are defensive. Aircraft can be defensive or offensive. Therefore the US is scarier than Russia, amirite ?

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Superiority

        Missiles are defensive? In what world?

        Certainly, short-range missiles are defensive relative to long-range ones, but even then, short & log are relative to the size of the country in question at least.

      2. Lars
        Coat

        Re: Superiority

        "Therefore the US is scarier than Russia, amirite ?".

        The problem with Russia is that they could just walk across the border again to a number of countries not too keen to see that happen.

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