Defense Issues

Military and general security

Archive for March, 2014

CDI: F-35: Out of Altitude, Airspeed, and Ideas — But Never Money

Posted by picard578 on March 29, 2014

By CHUCK SPINNEY | January 30, 2012

No program better illustrates the pathologies of the weapons acquisition process as it is currently practiced by the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) than the entirely predictable, and in this case, predicted, problems dragging the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into a dead man’s spiral.

The F-35 in on track to be the most expensive program in the history of the Defense Department, and it has repeated just about every mistake we invented since Robert McNamara concocted the multimission, multi-service TFX — a program conceived with the same kind of fanciful one-shoe fits all imaginings as the F-35. Read the rest of this entry »

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CDI: F-22 analysis: the good, the bad and the surly

Posted by picard578 on March 23, 2014

Today, America spends more on defense than at any time since the end of World War II, based on the Pentagon’s own official budget data. The previous high point in post-World War II defense spending was 1952 – during the Korean War – at $589 billion in today’s dollars. The Pentagon’s budget request for the current fiscal year totals $670 billion, or a substantial 14 percent above the previous high water mark.

U.S. defense spending is now also larger than the rest of the world – combined. The CIA’s 2007 Word Fact Book estimates all other nations to spend about $400 billion on defense. That amount is for not just our potential opponents, whoever they might be; that’s the entire rest of the world.

We are told we must worry about China and Russia and prepare against them; something we should really lose sleep over is how they can be such a major concern – to those who point them out as looming threats – with defense budgets of just $81 billion and $21 billion, respectively, according to the CIA. Read the rest of this entry »

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CDI: The F-22: not what we were hoping for

Posted by picard578 on March 15, 2014

by James Stevenson and Pierre Sprey

The F-22 fighter aircraft’s focus on stealth brings big disadvantages in cost, weight and manoeuvrability, argue Pierre Sprey and James Stevenson

For decades, the US Air Force has pushed the F-22 as its fighter for the 21st century. Advocates tout its technical features: fuel-efficient, high-speed ‘super-cruise’; advanced electronics; and reduced profile against enemy sensors, known as ‘stealth’.

However, on measures that determine winning or losing in air combat, the F-22 fails to improve the US fighter force. In fact, it degrades our combat capability. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aircraft signature reduction measures

Posted by picard578 on March 9, 2014

Rafale

rafale1 Read the rest of this entry »

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CDI: F-22 – arguments for stopping the production

Posted by picard578 on March 1, 2014

The F-22 Controversy, Part I: Arguments for Stopping Production.

http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=4527&from_page=../index.cfm

The F-22 Controversy, Part I: Arguments for Stopping Production

There is a burgeoning debate in the Senate over the 13-11 vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee to buy seven more F-22s for $1.75 billion (an apparently new and improved unit “flyaway” cost of $250 million each, not the Lockheed/U.S. Air Force advertised $143 million each).

The Levin-McCain amendment to undo the new F-22 acquisition is refreshingly upright and clear cut. It restores $1.250 billion in readiness-related spending that Lockheed, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and 12 other SASC senators thought should be raided from the Military Personnel and Operation and Maintenance accounts to pay for the seven F-22s. It also undoes a “management savings” of $500 million to pay for the rest of the F-22 cost – a savings that both Levin and McCain properly found unjustified; “bogus” would be a better word. Read the rest of this entry »

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