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Archive for January 25th, 2014

Dangers of complex weapons

Posted by picard578 on January 25, 2014

Increasingly complex aircraft are rendering air forces across the globe increasingly impotent; same problem also haunts armies and navies.

Complex weapons are both more expensive and more prone to the cost growth than simpler weapons, as demonstrated by F-22, F-35, DDG-1000, LCS, FCS, VH-71 etc. This is a problem, since it was growing US superiority in numbers that crushed Japanese and German air forces in the World War II, and significantly more numerous Soviet troops tied up and destroyed three quarters of German ground forces. Small numbers of superior Me-262s were overwhelmed by large numbers of prop fighters.

F-35 costs around 200 million USD. F-16C costs 70 million USD, and A-10 costs 16 million USD. So instead of 1 F-35, 2 F-16Cs and 3 A-10s can be procured. And while single F-35 can fly 1 sortie every 3 days, two F-16Cs can fly 7 sorties in the same time, and 3 A-10s can fly 27 sorties. This is far from new problem for USAF, as new aircraft always tended to be more expensive than older ones – exceptions being A-10 and the F-16. F-22 is no better than F-35 – while being capable of flying 1 sortie every two days, it is even more expensive at 273 million USD, allowing 3 F-16Cs and 4 A-10s to be procured, giving 7 F-16 and 24 A-10 sorties in two days, compared to 1 F-22 sortie. For comparision of F-22 and F-35 with other Western fighters, see here. Read the rest of this entry »

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