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F-35 Lightning II : News & Discussions

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Picard, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    He he, the Chinese would like one and the US too :cheesy:
     
  2. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Battle For Army’s Soul Resumes: Lessons From Army After Next By Bob Scales on March 28, 2017 at 3:36 PM
    22 Comments
    218Shares


    [​IMG]

    History never repeats, but it often rhymes, and a wise man listens to the echoes. Today, the Army is exploring a new concept of future combat called Multi Domain Battle, which calls for small, agile units designed to overwhelm the enemy with coordinated actions not only on the land, but in the air, on the sea, and in space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum. For old defense hands (that’s us), many of these new ideas echo those explored two decades ago, during an innovative effort known as Army After Next (AAN). So we reached out to Bob Scales, the former head of AAN, retired two-star general, commandant of the Army War College, and recipient of the Silver Star for valor in Vietnam. In this essay, Scales lays out what the Army needs to learn from history, and what it should beware. Read on. The Editors.

    This year is the twenty-fifth that I’ve been practicing the dark art of future-gazing. I came to the mission very reluctantly in 1991, when the then-Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Gordon Sullivan, entrusted me with writing the Army’s official version of the Gulf War, Certain Victory. As expected, I touted the virtues of Norman Schwarzkopf’s “Great Wheel” maneuver across the sands of Iraq and Kuwait. But I left the project bothered by the fact that, perhaps, I might have inadvertently reinforced the past rather than fostering the future.

    The long shadow of my poorly stated thesis in Certain Victory, which professed the enduring primacy of armored warfare, is with us still. I see it in the writings of the powerful apostles of the Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), who continue to believe in the eternal goodness of great tank formations, even though history left the ACR-based Army in its own dusty tracks decades ago. (Editor’s note: Among the premier advocates of tank warfare are Doug MacGregor, an influential defense consultant and member of the Breaking D Board of Contributors, and Tom Donnelly at the American Enterprise Institute.)

    My epiphany came three years later, when in 1995 another Chief of Staff, Gen. Dennis Reimer, gave me the mission of looking into the deep future of warfare, beyond 2025. As head of the Army After Next (AAN) project, I had access to an enormously talented group of young officers, many of whom are still doing great work today. With the assistance of my deputy, Col. Bob Killebrew, we invented the Army’s first strategic game, which continues today in heavily modified form as Unified Quest.

    AAN was a magic time. To quote Bob Killebrew: “We never stopped slam-bang arguments over the direction of land warfare that rattled the windows at Fort Monroe. We were secure enough to tolerate and encourage a kind of no-holds-barred intellectual combat that raged inside TRADOC’s doctrine directorate from 1995-97, when rank bowed to ideas and bureaucracy to improvisation, risky experimentation and, very occasionally, success.”

    My team spent two unfettered years looking into the variables that cause armies to change. We wrote a “history of the future” that postulated a conflict environment outside the confines of Western Europe. Out of AAN came a new thesis, one that concluded that the age of massed mechanized warfare was over. In its place came a different force, one based on speed of strategic movement over great distances, with tactical combat centered on forces of all arms fighting in discrete formations. While the “base element of maneuver” might have been a division in World War II and a brigade in Desert Storm, perhaps by 2025 it might be a company of all arms, possessing the power to employ every dimension of ground combat from maneuver to fires, reconnaissance, logistics, and the control of all external amplifiers.

    We envisioned an army elevated into the third dimension, with many, if not most, of its primary combat functions performed using manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. We foresaw the power of information science in war. (We even came up with the idea of a “digital warehouse,” symbolically encased in a “cloud,” in which reposed all data essential for battle; too bad we didn’t patent it….). We envisioned an “unblinking eye” that would hover over a fighting force, protecting it from tactical surprise and delivering deadly fires within seconds.

    We concluded that the precision revolution was still immature in 1997. The so-called Revolution in Military Affairs never happened. Shock and Awe did not work at the tactical level. Big bombs were inefficient at killing little targets that numbered in the thousands. So we envisioned a revolution in “miniature precision” that put tank-killing power in the hands of every infantry soldier.

    Our studies reinforced the truism that Americans were increasingly sensitive to the sight of dead US soldiers. So we postulated that a layered mass of sensors and killing systems might kill the enemy outside the “red zone,” beyond the range of the enemy’s tactical weapons.

    Our vision of the battlefield morphed from Desert Storm style “objective-based” maneuver to one centered on area control. When we graphed out the dynamics of an area control maneuver force, it took on an amoebic shape, sort of like brigade-sized autonomous blobs that moved principally by air, disconnected from its logistical umbilical cord.

    Our greatest conundrum was firepower. We accepted three immutable facts. First, friendly casualties could be mitigated with additional doses of precision firepower. Second, the lighter the unit, the more firepower it needs to maneuver with fewest casualties. And third: artillery is very heavy. In Desert Storm, it comprised over 60 percent of a division’s weight.

    Our challenge was to increase the killing effects of firepower while decreasing its weight. We solved the problem conceptually by envisioning a wide assortment of small precision missiles contained in boxes that could be fired remotely by the thousands. We reinforced these “rockets in a box” with a constellation of orbiting armed drones capable of killing a mass of targets within seconds.

    Technology alone would not be enough. During AAN we coined the phrase “The Human Dimension” to anticipate the power of human intangibles in war. I was personally captured by the prospect that enormous advances in the human, cultural, behavioral and cognitive sciences might allow us to make a fighting man enormously more capable in the close fight — and psychologically hardened to the horrors of combat.

    Bob Killebrew was an old hand at joint warfare and believed the tenets that drove “jointness” during the Cold War were obsolete. He came up with a new level of fighting intimacy he termed “interdependence.” Interdependent forces would decrease organizational friction, while increasing layers of complexity in a fighting force to include all arms, all services and non-military entities all fighting the same fight. Today the Army calls it Multi Domain Warfare. What’s in a phrase?

    AAN never disappeared, it just went dormant — for three reasons. First, of course, was 911. It became very difficult for the Army to envision future conventional warfare as al Qaeda was killing 100 soldiers a week. Our vision of fast, information-laden fighting vehicles gave way to very heavy vehicles whose sole purpose was to protect soldiers from IEDs.

    [​IMG]
    The cancelled FCS artillery vehicle

    Second, the Army was too quick to operationalize our ideas. Simply put, technologies such as electronic miniaturization, the global network, robotics, drones, sensors, micro-precision, active protection, and virtual simulation were just too immature in the late nineties to allow the tenets of AAN to be properly materialized. Depending as it did on unrealized technological breakthroughs, the Future Combat System was a premature birth.

    Third, ACR gurus hated AAN. The successful march to Baghdad in 2003 gave them an infusion of doctrinal adrenalin that led them to oppose the creation of a lighter Army. Of course, by 2006 al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS had put paid to the ACR resurgence, but by then AAN, and its materiel spawn, the Future Combat System, was dead.

    But there’s good news today. During the past few years the tenets of AAN seem to be resurrecting themselves. Themes like Multi Domain Warfare (interdependence in other words…), the Human Domain of warfare, robotic warfare, among others, are warming the hearts of retired AAN warriors. Fear of radical change within the Army — prompted by the collapse of FCS — seems to be dissipating, as younger and intellectually gifted officers think deeply about war beyond the fading images of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Three fighting forces in particular are experimenting with some form of AAN today.

    First, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) clearly leads the world in implementing many of the tenets of AAN. Their special brand of airborne maneuver was dramatically demonstrated during the early days in Afghanistan, where a small elite Special Operations force hopscotched across hundreds of miles of alien terrain to collapse the Taliban. The sight of B-52 bombers cutting figure eights in the sky as they dropped tons of precision weapons in direct support of elite JSOC teams mirrored exactly how we thought fire support would evolve in the future. In subsequent years, JSOC’s remarkable use of surveillance and intelligence collection technology serves as an analog for how a conventional AAN force might operate some day.

    A second, unlikely, player is Russia. Putin’s Little Green Men mirror our ideas with remarkable fidelity. In the Crimea, Ukraine and Syria Russia put in the field interdependent, information-enabled, dismounted small units built around a fighting elite composed of GRU Spetsnaz, Naval Infantry, and other Special Forces. The Russians employ electronic warfare, information operations, drones and disinformation in a remarkably creative, capable and cost-effective manner. An AAN-like approach to tactical warfare allows Putin to match limited tactical actions to a similarly limited strategic end, with very little loss of Russian life.

    The third player is the Marine Corps. In 2003, I wrote Yellow Smoke. At the time it was a compendium of all my thoughts about AAN. It had an immediate impact within the Corps. A succession of senior Marine leaders, from Mike Hagee to James Mattis and now Robert Neller, have studied and successfully applied many of the lessons of the book in combat and in subsequent field experiments. The Marines continue their interest in an AAN-like force as evidenced by their recent adoption of several new ideas contained in my follow-on book, Scales on War. Their success applying tenets of AAN are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that the soul of AAN may have started out in the Post-Cold War Army, but it resides today in the Marine Corps.

    What about the Army? I’m optimistic. To be sure, future-gazers inside the Army’s training establishment are still wedded to wars on the plains of Europe, and Russian actions in Ukraine give them full reason to re-refocus there. But according to the Army’s latest concept, Multi Domain Battle, future war on land has come to embrace much more than Patton’s armored phalanxes. The Army is increasingly aware that wars will continue to consist of interdependent layers of complexity that demand new approaches.

    Many in the Army agree that land war will continue to move into the third dimension and that it will embrace many more interdependent components from a multitude of services and functions. The Army has accepted the fact that America’s demand for nearly bloodless wars will require land forces to win cheaply by finding and killing our enemies at a distance. The sad images of soldiers suffering from wartime trauma reinforce our notions that soldiers can be made better and more resilient through practical application of the human sciences.

    I believe the validity of an idea strengthens as it conveys over time. We must gain some confidence in the fact that many of today’s emerging ideas have clearly defined antecedents. Please look a bit closer at these ideas. Perhaps you will see that the art of war changes slowly. But as it changes, it leaves behind distinct markers that have already been discovered — discovered by a remarkable group of visionaries who, at a magical time in our history two decades ago, anticipated much of what we see today and surely much of what is to come.
     
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  3. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    You are bugging again ! an overhaul is highly recommanded (like your toy)
    100 million or less ..... so far 191.
    240 million .... reality is 90 € million
     
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  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Its clear by now that the price of the F35 is going to be less then 100 million a plane. That's no longer even up for debate. It was designed to be at least 4 times more effective then legacy fighters such as F15, F16 F18 so far in testing its estimated to be 20 times as effective. Dassault was on the verge of bankruptcy until they got some orders from India and Egypt for what is 4th generation obsolete strike fighter.
     
  5. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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  6. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    The Marine Corps wants small, agile 'Lightning carriers' with 20 F-35s to tackle China's 'carrier killers'

    By Alex Lockie 2 hours ago



    2017 Marine Aviation Plan acknowledges the burgeoning "missile gap" between the US and adversaries like China, who have a number of "carrier killers" — long-range precision weapons specifically designed to hit land bases and aircraft carriers before they can hit back.

    While the US Navy is working on the MQ-25A Stingray as an unmanned refueling system to extend the range of its carrier aircraft, the Marines seem ready to press ahead with a similar concept in "Lightning carriers."

    Basically, the Marines will already have enough F-35Bs to equip several of their smaller amphibious assault ships, sometimes known as helicopter carriers, while the Navy waits on their F-35Cs to sort out carrier-launch issues for its larger, Nimitz-class carriers.

    "While the amphibious assault ship will never replace the aircraft carrier, it can be complementary, if employed in imaginative ways," reads the plan. The Marines refer to one such creative use of the smaller carriers as a "Lightning carrier," or an amphibious assault ship with 20 F-35Bs and an "embarked, organic aerial refueling capability" to extend their range.

    The Marines plan to further reduce reliance on land and sea bases with “mobile forward arming and refueling points” that employ decoys and deception to confuse the enemy and keep US aircraft spread out and unpredictable.

    The F-35B with its stealth, unparalleled intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, plus extended range, can match the long range missiles fielded by Russia and China and help the Marines secure land and sea bases by allowing them to see first, and if need be, shoot first.


    new type of amphibious assault ship built specifically for the F-35, called the "Lightning carrier" concept "the most powerful concentration of combat power ever put to sea in the history of the world."

    Additionally, the F-35 won't just increase capabilities, but if acquired faster to replace the aging F-18s and Harriers in the Marines' fleet, it could save $1 billion, according to the US Naval Institute.

    But the Marines aren't just waiting on the F-35B to save them. The service has big plans to network every single platform into a "sensor, shooter, electronic warfare node and sharer – able to move information throughout the spectrum and across the battlefield at light speed."

    (From boots on the ground to satellites in the sky, this complicated graphic details how the Marine Corps plans to integrate every bit of data from any platform, anywhere.USMC Graphic)



    With upgraded data sharing and command and control abilities, every asset from boots on the ground to satellites in the sky will work together to provide decision-quality information to war fighters, whether they're on carriers, land bases, or taking a beach.

    While China cements its land and sea grab with militarized islands in the South China Sea, the Marines' aviation plan takes on a new urgency. The plan details how the first F-35B squadrons will deploy to Japan and the US's West Coast.
     
  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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  8. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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  9. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    That's it, the Americans invented hot water!
     
  10. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    "It was designed to...." see the result.
    Dassault near bankrupt ? Do you know hom many money they have in bank (now and at those time) my dear ?

    You are blind and very misinformed.
     
  11. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    A FEAT !
    The sole 4 F35 in order to fly simultaneously on the same Pic !!! too good.
     
  12. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    some news about your plane designed to be at least 4 times more efficient ....
    http://www.pogo.org/straus/issues/w...-defense.net/forum/topic/29-le-f-35/?page=702

    I like : "price tag is the only thing stealthy about F35".
     
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  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    [​IMG]
    F-35’s UK Arrival Moves Closer with £80m Contract Award
    March 31, 2017
    Readiness for the arrival of the UK’s first F-35 Lightning II jets took another step forward with the awarding of a contract by the US Department of Defense F-35 Joint Program Office worth more than £80m (US$102.2m) to Lockheed Martin to deliver the initial training, engineering, maintenance and logistics support for the UK
    • [​IMG]
      63rd Fighter Squadron Receives its First F-35
      Luke AFB, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs // March 20, 2017
      Since the first arrival of the F-35 in 2014, the program at Luke has rapidly matured and is approaching its halfway point with the 63rd FS’s first jet.
    • [​IMG]
      FMS Pilots Reach 100th F35 Sortie Milestone
      Luke AFB, 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs // March 17, 2017
      Student and instructor pilots working under the Foreign Military Sales program reached a historic milestone today when they flew their 100th sortie here at Luke Air Force Base.
    • [​IMG]
      F-35 Stealth Fighter Touted as the Tie that Binds Pacific Alliance
      Stars and Stripes // March 16, 2017
      The two-day symposium on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter served as the first loop in a knot “to more quickly mature the airplane” among Pacific allies, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Craig Wills, director of strategy, plans and programs for U.S. Pacific Command, on Tuesday.
    • [​IMG]
     
  14. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Lockeed Martin has forgoten how to design and study planes (cracks, planes on fire, overrating initial specs...) , but they are always very capable in marketing... for sure.
     
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  15. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    F-35 Continues to Stumble
    (Source: Project On Government Oversight; issued March 30, 2017)
    By Dan Grazier

    The F-35 still has a long way to go before it will be ready for combat. That was the parting message of Dr. Michael Gilmore, the now-retired Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, in his last annual report.

    The Joint Strike Fighter Program has already consumed more than $100 billion and nearly 25 years. Just to finish the basic development phase will require at least an extra $1 billion and two more years. Even with this massive investment of time and money, Dr. Gilmore told Congress, the Pentagon, and the public, “the operational suitability of all variants continues to be less than desired by the Services."

    Dr. Gilmore detailed a range of remaining and sometimes worsening problems with the program, including hundreds of critical performance deficiencies and maintenance problems. He also raised serious questions about whether the Air Force’s F-35A can succeed in either air-to-air or air-to-ground missions, whether the Marine Corps’ F-35B can conduct even rudimentary close air support, and whether the Navy’s F-35C is suitable to operate from aircraft carriers.

    He found, in fact, that “if used in combat, the F-35 aircraft will need support to locate and avoid modern threat ground radars, acquire targets, and engage formations of enemy fighter aircraft due to unresolved performance deficiencies and limited weapons carriage availability.”

    JPO’s acknowledgement of the numerous issues are fine as far as it goes, but there’s no indication that the Office has any plan—including cost and schedule re-estimates—to fix those currently known problems without cutting corners.

    In a public statement, the F-35 Joint Program Office attempted to dismiss the Gilmore report by asserting, “All of the issues are well-known to the JPO, the U.S. services, our international partners, and our industry.”

    JPO’s acknowledgement of the numerous issues are fine as far as it goes, but there’s no indication that the Office has any plan—including cost and schedule re-estimates—to fix those currently known problems without cutting corners. Nor, apparently, do they have a plan to cope with and fund the fixes for the myriad unknown problems that will be uncovered during the upcoming, much more rigorous, developmental and operational tests of the next four years. Such a plan is essential, and should be driven by the pace at which problems are actually solved rather than by unrealistic pre-existing schedules.

    What will it take to fix the numerous problems identified by Dr. Gilmore, and how do we best move forward with the most expensive weapon program in history, a program that has been unable to live up to its own very modest promises?

    Source
     

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