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The government and Lockheed Martin are scrambling to get back on schedule while fixing the overbudget project

The Pentagon confirmed a one-year delay of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, with Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn facing increased pressure to get spending under control on the project.

"The development was originally projected to last an additional 30 months; we think with the additional test aircraft it will be closer to a delay of about 12 or 13 months, but I can't give you the cost numbers," according to Lynn's statement to the media.

Pentagon officials didn't say if this one-year delay will push back final release dates, but it likely will, military experts have noted. 

The Marine Corps is expected to receive the first batch of F-35s in two years, while the Air Force and Navy are expected to receive the next-generation fighter aircraft in 2013 and 2014.  Prior to Lynn's recent announcement, Lockheed Martin officials noted they were about six months behind schedule, but still expect to be able to meet the USMC release date.

Last November, a report said the program is drastically overbudget and behind schedule, which led the government to rethink its strategy moving forward.  Actual demand for the aircraft remains unknown, but there have been at least 2,500 orders placed for the U.S. military branches, with several other nations also expected to receive the aircraft in years to come.

Due to costly delays and budget miscues, the DOD will also withhold $614 million that will eventually be paid to Lockheed Martin.

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RE: A Lost Cause
By MrPoletski on 2/19/2010 9:33:47 AM , Rating: 3
The Russians know how to build good fighters and missiles, and that's the truth.

RE: A Lost Cause
By MrBlastman on 2/19/2010 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
The AA-11 Archer is one SCARY AAM. It makes even the AIM-9X Sidewinder look wimpy. The off-boresight targeting capability via HMS makes it quite the deadly weapon. Imagine a Mig on your tail and you're pulling a 9G turn with them while their AoA isn't sufficient to pull into your tail or better yet close to your vector and they STILL can get a shot off without the seeker head even seeing your heat signature.

That is nuts. That is the AA-11 Archer. It is death incarnate to our aircraft. I suppose though the F-18 provides somewhat of a counter to this given its incredible ability to pull high AoA at very low airspeeds giving it an increased kill zone to targets it is following. This doesn't help though... if the plane is behind you.

RE: A Lost Cause
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: A Lost Cause
By Amiga500 on 2/19/2010 3:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
Like Kosovo?

A Pk of under 10%? (In fact, I think it was under 5%!!!) And that was against sitting ducks with no radar or RWR!!!

Long range AAMs are too big and cumbersome (due to their rocket motor size) to be able to out-maneuvre a modern fighter. Dismissal of the dogfight is absolutely crazy.

[Until the DEW becomes operational]

RE: A Lost Cause
By MrBlastman on 2/19/2010 3:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't read a Tom Clancy book since 1990. :( While in a cold-war environment most engagements occur at 20-25+ nautical miles, in an active wartime environment (if it should even happen versus an opponent of sufficient forces to retaliate against us), I guarantee you that the 20-25+ nm engagement envelope will be breached.

I dare say it would be entirely possible for engagements to encroach upon 10-12 nm or closer depending on the mission, threat mix and distance beyond FLOT. The AA-11 can stretch out ot 18 nautical miles and it is heat seeking. Your RWR does not light up and signal a launch of a heat-seaking AAM, only a radar-guided one. Sure, you might see the plane tracking you--that is, if they even target you.

With a heat seeking missile such as the AIM-9X or the AA-11, you need not even have your radar active nor have a target lock. Uncaged seeker heads are beautiful things. Of course, in order to deploy the AA-11 off-boresight you would need to be in high angle override scan mode with a narrow azimuth but a high vertical scan in theory. We don't have these missiles to be sure but it would make sense as you have to supply to the missles flight computer the vector after launch it must turn to to bring the target within its boresight radius.

Oh, and don't think the Russians do not have superior medium range missiles either. They are not shabby in the least. Our missile technology is far from the best in the world in everything. Our Air to Air radar technology though for years has been superior in several ways.

RE: A Lost Cause
By Iaiken on 2/19/2010 3:55:22 PM , Rating: 3
Dogfights like that don't take place anymore. In the real world your Mig is shot down by over-the-horizon radar/weapon systems that the Americans have and you don't. You die without even seeing your opponent.

The Russians sell several BVR missiles:

AA-10 Alamo
AA-12 Adder

What's more, BVR weapons are only useful against planes that you (or the missile) can get a radar lock on from BVR. So let's say a PAK FA and an F22 want to mix it up, the first problem they have is finding each other. This is why many nations are working on multi-seeking capabilities and inertial guidance. The defender will have the advantage of being guided by powerful ground-based wide-band radars that can detect current stealth aircraft designs. He can fire a missile from BVR that will be guided towards the target by ground radar and it's own dead reckoning until it is close enough to get it's own radar/IR lock.

In the absence of such missiles, the guided interceptor will have the element of surprise when it comes to the engagement which will likely devolve into a dogfight once both parties see each other and engage. At which time weapons like the AA-11 become game changers.

RE: A Lost Cause
By bigdawg1988 on 2/21/2010 8:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
What happens to that ground radar when it gets hit by a HARM? And if you think the F22's will be flying anywhere near Russia (if we did engage them directly) without AWACS coverage, you're crazy. I don't think there are any other enemies with the radar coverage that the Russians have.

And in a dogfight if you somehow get surprosed why bother with the 9G turns when all you have to do is let go an AMRAAM and watch it make a 180 degree turn and blow your enemy away?

I think after what happened to Iraq there isn't anybody who wants to take the US on in a conventional fight. And the only countries stupid enough to want to (Korea, Iran, Libya?) don't have the money or the means.

RE: A Lost Cause
By MrBlastman on 2/22/2010 5:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
AMRAAMs can't make a 180 degree turn. In order to fire one, you have to:

a. Lock your target with active radar
b. Make sure the warhead is within two pk windows (group 1 or group 2), if it is group 2, the smaller group, you can potentially launch the AMRAAM maddog and have a much higher pk versus being in group 1 and having to maintain active radar lock until the post-launch A counter (indicator on HUD0 turns from A to T signifying the seeker-head of the missile has gone active with its own radar and acquired the target.
c. Launch the missile and, as described above, maintain radar lock until the missile's warhead goes into active seeking mode (anywhere from 0-15 seconds on average).

Your 180 degree turn just isn't going to happen.

You also aren't going to typically use an AMRAAM in a dogfight. You will prudently use an AIM-9M or AIM-9X sidewinder typically as they are heat seeking and have a much higher PK in close range, turning combat.

We are NOT invincible. We do have first rate equipment and trained men and women but do not assume for a moment that all of our equipment is the best there is.

RE: A Lost Cause
By MrPoletski on 2/22/2010 6:18:56 AM , Rating: 2
You think Americans are the only poeple in this world to have weapons systems that use LF radar that can look over the horizon?

Do you think non-american soldiers throw rocks at their enemies too?

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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