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1 Rightwingconspirator  Jun 24, 2014 10:12:28am

Trying to resolve his early criticisms with the service and combat record of the F-15, which enjoys a nearly unsurpassed combat record. Then about stealth being a scam-How do we explain the Russian, Chinese and Japanese stealth designs?

When he talks about “mindless” focus on vertical lift by the Marines he does them a great disservice. Vertical lift transformed modern warfare and taking helicopter performance to the next level is anything but mindless.

The F-35 certainly has it’s big issues, but I sense some significant overstatements here.

I recall similar criticisms of other designs that wound up serving well.

2 Rocky-in-Connecticut  Jun 24, 2014 12:50:14pm

I’m old enough to remember the outcries about the first Abrams tank. Many of the same arguments about this F35 expenditure are reminiscent of the turbine engine, the heaviness, the armor not being tested in combat, the electronics, and just about every system in the Abrams vehicle. Well, just 10 years later after all that during the 1st Gulf War many were singing the praises of the Abrams and its virtues.

The F35 undoubtedly has its problems, but many of its problems are inherent in stealth designs universally… you can be sure Chinese and Russian stealth aircraft share these problems and they may not be able to rectify their problems as effectively. Every new weapon evolution involves arguments that earlier platforms were better, single role, more robust, etc etc etc. But the fact remains you must stay on top of the newest technology or else you’ll find yourself attacking with horses and sabres against the first tanks in WW1. Those first tanks were were heavy, big targets, and unreliable. But boy did they revolutionize warfare.

3 Jack Burton  Jun 24, 2014 2:16:47pm

re: #1 Rightwingconspirator

I have the same problems with this. The F-15 is arguably the greatest combat aircraft ever built since the P-51 Mustang so his criticisms of it at the beginning causes the rest of the interview to be suspect. The F-16 also has it’s “over-engineered” issues. My friends in the Air Force called it the “Lawn Dart” because if the electronics failed on it, since it was fly-by-wire… that’s exactly what it would become.

The idea that stealth is a complete scam also does not pass my smell test. We know exactly what type of radar systems the Russians and Soviets before them use. All manner of foreign radar systems are setup all over the Nevada Test Range between Tonopah and Area 51, where the F-117 was tested. If 1930s technology could spot them that easily, and we knew that’s what the Soviets/Chinese/Iran/whoever were using, the F-117 would have never gotten past Have Blue and would have been just another X plane that came and went.

That being said, I do agree with him that mega-multi-role craft that try to do everything end up doing none of it well. The F-35 and F-22 should have been 4 or 5 different, smaller, cheaper, and more specialized aircraft. The F-35 has become the Bradley Fighting Vehicle of the sky.

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