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Marines need replacement copters according to officials

The U.S. military is facing budget cuts everywhere in part because of the money crisis in Washington and in part to help pay for the massive cost overruns in the F-35 program. The USMC is one target that Washington my look at to save some money reports Defense News
There are two successful programs in the helicopter arm of the Marines that are doing well and might be potential targets to cut funding. According to officials, those programs are the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter programs.
Defense News quotes one defense official saying, "The UH-1Y and AH-1Z programs are exceedingly successful. The [Department of the Navy] is looking to make them bill payers once again to help pay for [F-35B Joint Strike Fighter] overrun costs."

Lockheed F-35 Lightning II with its weapons bay doors open [Source: Air Attack]
The current helicopter fleet the Marines operate are reportedly worn out from nearly two decades of constant fighting and desperately need replaced. Lt. Gen. George Trautman said, "They [existing Marine helicopters] absolutely need to be replaced. The Marine Corps is not getting out of the attack helicopter business."
The Marines indicate that require 420 F-35 aircraft and there is absolutely no give in the 420 aircraft requisition. The only thing that can be changed according to the leaders is how quickly the Marine Corps get the 420 aircraft.
Trautman said, "There is not a lot of flexibility in the Marine Corps aviation portfolio because a lot of money is tied up in platforms. They are 100 percent committed to these platforms."

Source: DefenseNews

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It's starting to catch up...
By Samus on 11/16/2011 2:05:11 PM , Rating: 5
Lack of properly allocated Military investment since the late-80's is really starting to show.

We really exhausted our infrastructure in Iraq. It makes the initial 90's invasion (91 days long...) look like a suttle sneeze. Most costly war since the 40's, and it isn't even a real war.

And that fact is going to have unfortunate consequences on how the American people decide to fund the military, seeing them being completely misused and for the most part 'wasted' over the last 10 years, for nothing. The only effective effort they've had is taking out Osama and the NATO air strikes over Libya, both very small, coordinated, specialized missions.

It's pretty obvious what we've sacrificed was far from worth it. In lives, and equipment.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Smartless on 11/16/2011 2:17:54 PM , Rating: 2
Is the USMC still using Cobra attack helicopters? Because that's way older than 20 years even with updates.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By AssBall on 11/16/2011 2:57:00 PM , Rating: 3
f-15, f-16, and f-18 are 35 years old... just because a platform is old doesn't mean its a poor platform. Those are still good airplanes. The USMC helicopters are all old but are still some of the best in the world.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Martin Blank on 11/16/2011 3:12:44 PM , Rating: 3
They're not all old. Base platforms may have been designed a while back, but newer models sometimes make for almost completely new aircraft. The F-15E Strike Eagle and the F/A-18E/F are effectively new planes for the capabilities that they deliver over previous models.

The AH-1Z and UH-1Y fall into that category with completely new rotors, engines, tails, avionics, and helmets, and the production orders include new-build helos, though about 2/3 will be factory upgrades. I've seen a few of them in a USMC hangar, side-by-side, still with that new-helo smell. They look beautiful, and these new revisions really do show the commonality between the airframes. I still smile when I think about that experience.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By AssBall on 11/16/2011 4:13:13 PM , Rating: 3
There is a difference between old base design, and old helicopter. :)

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By GulWestfale on 11/16/2011 5:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
"trautman" :)

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Cypherdude1 on 11/20/2011 3:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
The F-15E Strike Eagle came out in 11 December 1986 . It's a 25 year old design .

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Cypherdude1 on 11/20/2011 3:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
The F-15E Strike Eagle came out in 11 December 1986 . It's a 25 year old design .

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By gamerk2 on 11/17/2011 10:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
The problem isn't age, its how much they have been used.

As someone who works in Defense, this is a known issue: as a result of hte past decade, most every plane, helicopter, and tank in the US aresenal is going to have to be replaced, because they were NOT designed with continuous long-term use in mind.

Thats part of the reason the JSF is being pushed so hard; if you haev to replace most every plane anyways, why not upgrade to the latest and greatest?

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By rbuszka on 11/17/2011 12:11:45 PM , Rating: 3
This deserves some explanation. It's not that existing aircraft have been designed to be wastefully 'used up and thrown away'.

Modern aircraft are built from very thin pieces of sheet (.020-.070) Aluminum which are pressed out riveted together to form a very 'skeletal' structure, for reduced weight (essential to maneuverability, speed, and efficiency of flight). Aluminum is still the most cost-effective material for airframes, in spite of recent developments in compositive airframes by Boeing (and Sikorsky for helicopters).

However, unlike steel and composites, aluminum has a limited fatigue life, which means that under takeoff, flight, and landing cycles, the load-bearing parts of the airframe will begin to develop cracks. Usually, cracked airframe components are repaired or replaced, but this cannot be done for all parts of an airframe, and eventually it needs to be scrapped. This becomes an issue after about 30,000 takeoff and landing cycles (sometimes more, based on how robust the airframe is, which is a tradeoff with weight), but it does mean that every aircraft with an aluminum airframe (or aluminum structural components of any type) has a finite service life.

Other parts of the aircraft are replaced after a smaller number of takeoff and landing cycles, as prescribed by the component manufacturer or aircraft builder, such as the engines and hydraulic system components, so the aircraft's moving parts are being 'renewed' over the life of the aircraft. Still, the airframe itself can be the limiting factor in whether an aircraft can continue to fly, and the more quickly you burn through its service life, the more frequently the entire aircraft will need to be replaced.

Helicopters are significantly more expensive than fixed-wing aircraft to fly, but they have the unique property of being able to takeoff and land where there is no runway, and hover (in or out of ground effect) when there is no solid ground underneath, which makes them just as crucial to a military's effectiveness as fixed-wing combat aircraft. Flight is not an inexpensive luxury, and is only made possible for the general public through economies of scale.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Amiga500 on 11/17/2011 2:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
Just a slight addition to the above, the 30,000 flight cycles are related to civilian aircraft.

For military aircraft, where significant g-loading is a factor, the airframe "age" is much more complex.

For example, take two F-16s, if one spends its life doing nothing more than civilian flight patterns, then it will last for thousands, if not tens of thousands of flight cycles, if the other is raked around doing 9 g turns all the time, it could be lucky to last 100 flight cycles.

Typically the USAF do impose peacetime artificial limits to try and prolong airframe life, but, over the likes of Afghanistan/Iraq - these obviously go out the window.

I would also like to point out that steel does have a fatigue life, as does titanium and composites. There are different S-N curves, and different safety factors used for each, with each having different impacts on component life. Currently, the mechanical design of composite structures is so poor that fatigue is almost never an issue. That may change in the future when it is used less as a black metal and more as it should be; a very anisotropic material for a very anisotropic loading condition.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By JonnyDough on 11/19/2011 9:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
You two sound like you work in NDI (non-destructive inspections, aka checking for cracks in aluminum using sophisticated equipment similar to ultrasounds) in the Air Force. I should give my TSgt buddy a call and have him verify what you two are saying. He used to work on Navy jets so he knows a lot about corrosion too. I'm just a green aerospace maintenance crew chief, so I could chime in but could not be sure about everything you two have written.

Each component is on a time schedule, rated by either linear time, or flying hours. Of course, maintenance is done (ie airframe inspections, wiping struts, etc.) on a mission basis as well. That's why I brought up the Navy, because sea air contains salt which is corrosive. The sand eats away at metal, much like water eats at rock over time. The desert has been hell on all of our equipment. I think what the marines ought to do is look into an investment in armored camels.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Ringold on 11/16/2011 4:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Lack of properly allocated Military investment since the late-80's is really starting to show.

A different flavor of the argument might be that, given the end of the cold war and the rise of a "multipolar" world, the dollar amount was fine (even extravagant), but misplaced. Fewer shiny, extremely expensive toys for fighting super-powers, more of the sorts of things we're likely to deal with in the future; 2nd-rate forces, insurgencies, peace-keeping. More focus on defending our own assets, interests, and closest allies (no longer Europe), and going with George Kennan's idea I believe it was that a great nation such as ours should not lower itself to sowing internal changes in foreign states. I've started to wonder, with a nuclear arsenal and benign world at the moment, why we couldn't get by with, say, half the carriers we do.

That said, you said "wasted," but it wasn't an entire waste. Iraq no longer has a ruthless mass-murderer strongman running it, and Al Qaeda was launching global attacks from their secure bases in Afghanistan so I'm not exactly sure what the alternative there was -- asides from better execution.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By seraphim1982 on 11/16/2011 5:38:39 PM , Rating: 1
A ruthless murder in Iraq and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan...
These operations have costed far more than most investment into these Fighter programs. What did it solve? Nothing but increase debt and force the America economy into a sh|thole.

If you like George Keenan, than you should read this quote
"There is, let me assure you, nothing in nature more egocentrical than the embattled democracy. It soon becomes the victim of its own war propoganda. It then tends to attach to its own cause an absolute value which distorts its own vision on everything else. Its enemy becomes the embodiment of all evil. Its own side, on the other hand, is the center of all virtue. The contest comes to be viewed as having a final, apocalyptic quality. If we lose, all is lost; life will be no longer worth living; there will be nothing to be salvaged. If we win, then everything will be possible; all problems will be soluble; the one great source of evil - our enemy- will have been crushed; the forces of good will then sweep forward unimpeded; all worthy aspirations will be satisfied"

Bush has created a Neo-Con political atmosphere in the US, one revolving around terrorism and the US war-machine. This led to the acceptance of widespread spending across the states. If you watch/read any reports regard internal spending on goods supposedly for helping to catch terrorists. 50% of the money spent was entirely worthless. For example the city of Chicago spent over 100 million on retro fitting police vehicles with cameras that was "somehow supposed to help catch terrorist". The entire project was deemed a waste and that's 100 mil of tax payers money down the drain. These are just some small examples of how the Bush war machine, did MORE BAD than good. This money, should have been helping the flood victim in New Orleans, but went to spent catching how many terrorists? How many innocents were killed and how many saved? Stats say very very very few. Actually, more innocents/civilians have been killed since the US entered Afghanistan and Iraq, but all non-US citizens, but that typically doesn't matter to Imperialists.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/16/2011 6:49:34 PM , Rating: 1
Man you're just a big tin foil hat wearing moron. You really believe New Orleans wasn't "helped" because all the "money" was in Iraq? Wtf...that's so retarded I cannot even fathom where you get this stuff.

George Keenan was a radical and guess what? So are you. Spew this garbage somewhere else. America is NOT 1930's Germany.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By derricker on 11/16/2011 11:24:58 PM , Rating: 1
America is NOT 1930's Germany.

The similarities have been noted by so many for so many years now, I guess from the safety of your couch you can't see you have been living in a fascist state for a while now.

By Skywalker123 on 11/17/2011 12:48:29 AM , Rating: 1
Reclaimer is right, America is not similar to 1930's Germany, more like 1940's Germany, on the brink of being defeated, all these shiny new military toys and no way to use them.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By JonnyDough on 11/19/2011 9:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
I saw the report as well. It was on Dateline or something. He's actually right. There are prisons set up all over the world for those we detain from the middle east, and they are classified. There are numerous gov agencies set up on U.S. soil have corporate names and high security that are bleeding us dry.

By Skywalker123 on 11/16/2011 6:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
Iraq will wind up in Iran's camp as they are both Shiite,the 9/11 attackers used Germany as a base

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Shining Arcanine on 11/17/2011 4:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
The US Navy is already at half carriers. The used to have 12. Now they have 6. Are you proposing that we ask 3 carriers to do what 12 used to do?

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By thecd88 on 11/18/2011 7:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
You should try counting.

There's currently 10 Nimitz class carriers in service and I think the USS Enterprise is still in service (though won't be for long).

By Skywalker123 on 11/18/2011 8:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
We need at least 24.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/16/2011 7:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're doing a great disservice to our armed forces by categorizing the conflict and it's successes in such blanketed, minimalist terms. With all due respect, we've done far more than just "taking out" Osama. You didn't have to belittle our military and nation to make your point.

The "wars" have nothing to do with this. The elephant in the room IS the freaking F-35. A "Joint Strike Fighter" was a terrible concept from the start, and it's gotten worst and worst and more costly as time has gone on. If we were the most economically stable country ever, sitting on bazillions of dollars, it would STILL be a colossal clusterfuck!

And that fact is going to have unfortunate consequences on how the American people decide to fund the military

The American people don't "decide" to fund the military though. The most we can do is vote for our Commander in Chief. Except that's not even a sure bet. How many people voting for Obama thought he would not only extend every wartime policy laid down by the previous administration, but also start ANOTHER war (illegally) without even the consent of Congress?

It's pretty obvious what we've sacrificed was far from worth it. In lives, and equipment.

You're not qualified to make that estimation, and in any case, it will be 20+ years before we can sit back and see the results and make that judgement. It's far from "pretty clear" at this point. Democracy is in places it never existed. Oppressed people are free. Dictators and genocidal maniacs brought to justice. Terrorists and leaders killed/captured. These are quantifiable success indicators of any military operation. You're not even TRYING to be fair or impartial about this. You say it's not a "real war"? America is part of a Coalition of many nations working on the same goal, it's most certainly a war. One that MANY world leaders feel is justified, obviously.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By derricker on 11/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/16/2011 11:58:20 PM , Rating: 1
We haven't taken by force a single drop of oil from the nations we've fought in. If we wanted to, we could easily secure entire supplies. So please, enough with this absurd extreme Leftist crap about going to war to "control" resources.

And "murdered countless children"? Do you serious expect a rational debate when you spew such hate-filled silliness? You're not even pretending to be a sane person.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Skywalker123 on 11/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/17/2011 1:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
500,000 children in Iraq.

You are one confused idiot. The supposed "500,000" dead Iraqi children are claimed to be from U.S/UN SANCTIONS, not military action. Secondly that's one of the biggest Iraqi war myths out there. That number is complete and utter BULLCRAP.

The Americans cant force a dictator to provide for the welfare of his people, although they can topple him from power rather than praise or condone his behavior, as the humanitarians were doing. It is extremely curious that the very people claiming to be most concerned about the plight of children under sanctions should be most horrified over the effort to remove the man responsible for the suffering.

And the Iraqi's hate us? Are these the same Iraqi's that tried and executed Saddam and praised us for helping make it possible? Typical for radicals like you, you only use one side of the story. We LIBERATED their people from a dictator convinced of crimes against humanity, you fucking moron.

There were Germans who "hated us" for defeating the Nazi party and bombing their country as well. Does that mean we gotta stop what we're doing and call a time out?

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Skywalker123 on 11/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Mudhen6 on 11/17/2011 2:37:53 AM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer, why are you even trying to have a rational debate with this guy? He hasn't contributed anything except for hyperbolic rhetoric and now, ad hominems.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/17/2011 7:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
You're right and I'm done now with him, the whole "Neo Nazi such as yourself" was just WAY over the top lol.

By Skywalker123 on 11/17/2011 11:19:22 AM , Rating: 1
Of course you are, you have no argument. The Neo nazi statement was, of course over the top but no more than your "confused idiot" and moron attacks. People that think like you believe that we should impose our will on the whole world and spend trillions on "defense", why do we have hundreds of military bases around the world when NO other nation does? To help people? ROFLMAO! Anyone who believes that is truly a "confused idiot".

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Skywalker123 on 11/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Mudhen6 on 11/17/2011 12:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I apologize for missing Reclaimer calling you a confused idiot. Missed that.

However, the Iraqi sanctions were imposed by the UN Security Council. No, it doesn't make it better, but it's hardly fair to blame the United States solely. Furthermore, the death of these children, while tragic, has NOTHING to do with the F-35 program. Therefore, it shouldn't have been brought up in the first place, except to invoke an emotional, knee-jerk response.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Skywalker123 on 11/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: It's starting to catch up...
By Jeffk464 on 11/17/2011 1:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
hmm, the war on terror is being fought by guys on the ground with rifles that are delivered by helicopter. Brilliant, since this is our primary system, lets cut it for a program that is not being used at all.

RE: It's starting to catch up...
By JonnyDough on 11/19/2011 9:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention, he disses the F-35 but they looked at several designs and chose it, and are now ordering STOHLS.

Reap what they sow.
By Amiga500 on 11/16/2011 2:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
See how their irrelevant needless fancy toy is crippling them now.


Even at this late stage, they'd still be better off dumping the F-35B. It'll never happen though; they'll never admit to that mistake.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By ekv on 11/16/2011 3:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
they'll never admit to that mistake.
They've got too much invested (thus far). Ego's and reputations are on the line. Maybe with the budget crunch -- Marines always suffer first, damnit, in war, economy, etc. -- perhaps wisdom will prevail and they at least cut the order from 420 to 210 or 105.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By Martin Blank on 11/16/2011 3:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
If you ask my girlfriend, a former Marine, she wouldn't say that they suffer first in war. They make do with what they have and get the job done anyway instead of whining that their toys are no longer shiny. :)

RE: Reap what they sow.
By ekv on 11/16/2011 6:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
"Suffer" does depend on which side of the shovel you are. [For those others who don't know, there's a giving side and a receiving side -- and like the Bible says, it's better to give (i.e. dig) than receive 8] My mind-set was still on Veterans's Day, though you are correct ... and it sounds like, lucky 8)

RE: Reap what they sow.
By dsx724 on 11/16/2011 4:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
The X-32 should have won JSF. STOVL, supersonic, large payload, and low RCS is just too much. I think they should just pick two and optimize those.

RCS is useless since signal processing has become infinitely better and MRS systems are easy to implement with the compute resources we have today.

This fighter will be outdated other technology by the time it comes out.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By e36Jeff on 11/16/2011 9:41:43 PM , Rating: 3
So we should use the lower performing STOVL, supersonic, large payload and low RCS plane instead of the higher performance one? The X-32 did almost everything th X-35 did, just not as well. It was more vunerable to Vortex Ring state, never displayed the ability to take off and land vertically in a 'clean' configuration(they had to physically remove body panels to do it), and if I remember correctly, never did it from a solid runway, always over a hover pit, and the test plane they built was using a completely different wing then what they intended to use in the production model.

I'm not saying the X-35 inst a CF, or that they tried to strech too far, because they did. They should have learned thier lesson with the F-111 fiasco. But I am saying that, as hard as it is to imagine, the X-32 would have been a bigger CF. There were far more unknowns to that airframe than to the X-35. Also, and I know that form should follow function, but it was butt-ugly.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By dsx724 on 11/18/2011 12:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying that the X-32 was superior to the X-35 by any means but it could be stamped out much faster and cheaper in different configurations to support different roles. If all of the wars in history has taught us anything, it should be strength in numbers.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By Amiga500 on 11/17/2011 7:38:46 AM , Rating: 2
RCS is useless since signal processing has become infinitely better and MRS systems are easy to implement with the compute resources we have today.

Ho ho ho!

From prior experience, many of the little "patriots" don't like to hear that on here. I'm surprised you haven't been completely down rated!

But, of course, your right. By 2025 the F-35 will be an absolute lame duck when it comes to ingress into an IAD. The F-22 has superb kinematic performance to fall back on, the F-35 has nothing but powerpoint bluster.

The little "patriots" will quote 'situational awareness', 'force multipler', 'net-centric' and other power point buzz-words to try and throw you... doesn't change the fundamental problem. If your aircraft cannot out-maneuver or out-run the inbound missile, then it doesn't matter a crap if you see it or not (all little "patriots" please note, all 4+ gen aircaft have more than adequate MAWS - the F-35 is not unique in being able to detect incoming missiles).

RE: Reap what they sow.
By Shining Arcanine on 11/17/2011 5:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
Signal processing is not infinitely better. If it were, we could detect objects orbiting alpha centauri.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By Shining Arcanine on 11/17/2011 5:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to mention that the last advance made in signal processing is known as the Fast Fourier Transform. It was discovered by Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1805, long before the Wright brothers were born.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By dsx724 on 11/18/2011 12:35:34 AM , Rating: 2
Wavelet? Chirplet? Signal processing is not restricted to T/F analysis. Denoising algorithms for radar signals has improved drastically the last decade and it is much easier to increase resolution, refresh rates, and processing complexity by 100 folds from current radar systems given the memory and computing capacity that can be put into a single box these days. If you throw a bunch of electrical engineers, computer engineers and telecom engineers to develop the next generation radar, you will be able to detect a duck flying at low altitudes from miles away.

RE: Reap what they sow.
By Reclaimer77 on 11/16/11, Rating: 0
By MrBlastman on 11/16/2011 2:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
Only two slammers and two 2000 lb JDAMs in the internal bays, total, at one time. Not a lot of space. :(

So much for CAS missions without loading stuff on wing hardpoints. The RCS will still be reduced (as well as drag) but not by a lot.

RE: Nuts...
By Iaiken on 11/16/2011 2:41:57 PM , Rating: 1
The Australian defense department is actually furious about that, RCS tests showed that a fully loaded F-35 was negligibly less detectable than a fully loaded F/A-18 from the front and effectively the same from below or behind. At last check, they were re-evaluating their purchase order and may switch to buying the F/A-18 instead.

Now if only Canada would do the same...

RE: Nuts...
By nafhan on 11/16/2011 3:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
I can't find the study you are referencing (didn't look very hard either), but a couple things to keep in mind here:

1) The comparison is probably with the F/A-18 E/F's, which have an "order of magnitude" better RCS than previous generation fighters (i.e. original F/A-18's, etc.).

2) A fully loaded F-35 is going to be significantly less stealthy than an F-35 carrying only internal weapons, but an F-18E does not have the option to carry weapons internally at all.

RE: Nuts...
By MrBlastman on 11/16/2011 4:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, an F-35 with its bay doors closed has an RCS equivalent to a metal golf ball. That's quite a bit bette than an F-18. Otherwise, in a fullscale war where masses of mechanized units are moving on each other, tonnage that you can drop matters more than being secretive about it (and dropping very little).

In a cold-war scenario though, the F-35 could do neat things such as hit highly defended targets with minimal risk--and much faster than an F-117 ever could. The payload is really anemic though.

RE: Nuts...
By Mudhen6 on 11/17/2011 2:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
Iaiken was probably referencing some biased, magical AusAirpower paper written by Carlos Kopp.

BTW, the two AIM-120 and two JDAM payload is an example of a day-one loadout - e.g. it's the type of payload an F-35 would fly with when enemy air defenses are intact.

Once the defenses are taken out, the F-35 would carry ordinance externally, if the mission calls for it.

RE: Nuts...
By Amiga500 on 11/17/2011 7:45:06 AM , Rating: 2
So... how do you drop a JDAM on a tracked (i.e. movable) SAM launcher again?

Of course... an SDB is a much better option.

RE: Nuts...
By Mudhen6 on 11/17/2011 12:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
...Are you being for real right now? Both JDAM and SDB are guided by GPS, which can be updated mid-flight to hit moving targets.

RE: Nuts...
By Amiga500 on 11/17/2011 2:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, my bad.

The originals couldn't hit a moving target.

I see now the latest (LJDAM) with dual (laser and GPS) sensors can.

RE: Nuts...
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2011 2:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
The only bad thing about LJDAMs are their range. I'd rather stay far back and launch SDB-II's with their combined EO/IR/Radar/GPS sensors. In a cluttered battlefield though, even a Sniper-II pod can have a hard time picking targets from 30+ miles away.

Price over runs
By HrilL on 11/16/2011 4:59:20 PM , Rating: 3
With all these price over runs we should have just got more F-22 since it seems like the price is on par now and the F-22 is better in most cases.

Also lockheed martin should be held accountible for over spending. Why is it that small contractors that bid wrong are held accountable and forced to finish the job on their dime when big ones are not? They should be forced to cover any cost overages themselves and if they have ot go out of business then those assets will be purchased by someone else that will manage their business better.

RE: Price over runs
By Skywalker123 on 11/16/2011 6:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why not scrap the American Empire and save trillions?

RE: Price over runs
By ekv on 11/16/2011 6:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely not Obama's plan is it, since he's scrapping the "American Empire" while spending trillions.

RE: Price over runs
By Skywalker123 on 11/17/2011 12:45:37 AM , Rating: 2
He's not closing the hundreds of military bases worldwide, he's sending 2500 marines to Oz. LOL

RE: Price over runs
By nuarbnellaffej on 11/18/2011 9:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe to counter the Chinese empire.? Of course we will be superseded eventually, 1.5b people and ton of money/resorces will have it's impact.

I'm confused by this article.
By 91TTZ on 11/16/2011 4:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
What does the helicopter program have to do with the F-35 program?

This part is very confusing:

"The UH-1Y and AH-1Z programs are exceedingly successful. The [Department of the Navy] is looking to make them bill payers once again to help pay for [F-35B Joint Strike Fighter] overrun costs.""

Why would the Department of the Navy make the UH-1Y and AH-1Z programs pay for a completely unrelated program? Don't they have their own cost department? Why drag down one program just because another can't seem to succeed?

It sounds like if you run a successful program, you're just going to get stuck with the bill for an unsuccessful program.

RE: I'm confused by this article.
By SPOOFE on 11/16/2011 5:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Both programs get funds from the same place. If one program needs more funds, they take from the other program to make up the difference.

By tomc3 on 11/29/2011 9:05:41 AM , Rating: 2
New Marines slogan on their t-shirts they pass out to high school students:

Semper Fi
"420 Friendly"

So, they reeeellllly can't budge from 420 planes???

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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