Author Topic: On weapons decadence  (Read 362 times)

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Offline Hardman

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On weapons decadence
« on: May 05, 2015, 06:51:06 PM »
Hmm,

Richo posted up a "War is Boring" link about the Meteor missile a few days ago.

It was interesting, but I hadn't been on the site for a while so after reading it had a look at some more of it via links at the bottom of the article.

The main person behind the site is a bit of a thorn in the side of the Pentagon, and rightly so, the Pentagon is like a casino sometimes, you just expect it to take all your money and toss you out on the street if you are a US taxpayer. Actually not just US taxpayers if you look at the crap they underwrite then export sometimes.

It seems the site has, much like Carlo Kopp here a few preoccupations of late, the shortfalls of the F-35, the strange way the AC-130 gunships are evolving and the USAF's determination to get rid of the A-10.

The -35 we all know about, I think we also know about the very strange way the US airfarce has always looked upon the A-10, something that I have never understood, the zoomies just seem to think that an aircraft that has been kicking ass in the CAS role for 25 years was never any good and they want it replaced by an aircraft that was never designed for the role and if one is lost you just made a crater that cost the annual GDP of a number of nations.

I do have a lot of good friends in the USAF, I've flown in the force, long time ago, I've worked at the Pentagon, I still remain utterly at a loss to understand what the fuckwits are on about. It gets even more comical when you consider that just about every pilot that has come off other hotter ships, initially -105s but of later years -4s and -16s to be assigned to the A-10 has nothing but good things to say of it. The same goes in spades for any troops that have needed real close CAS and had it served up in spades by the 'Hog.

It really can only be explained by decadent thinking, according to the upper echelons of the Pentagon it is not enough that a weapon be very good at what it was designed to do, it is inexcusable if it is not also pretty and dashing.

Fucking morons.

The -130 gunship story seems to have not dissimilar thinking. Whilst the Herc is hardly pin-up material it's an icon and the gunship versions are one hell of a CAS weapon but the latest version apparently has less armor, not exactly a good move, and vibrates a little too much for accurate shooting.

The Air Farce says it's just a case of refining the weapon and btw we will have a death-ray (high energy laser) on there soon.

I'm sure the grunts find all of that highly encouraging - not.

Raises a question that I don't have an ear to whisper in so might as well post it here:

Why doesn't the US Army, that does have an air arm but it's almost all rotary, just take over the CAS role for itself and protect its own people ?

I'm sure they would do a great job and leave the zoomies to their stratospheric games :)

Probably a rather odd rant by a retired fighter pilot but I've been in the analyst role longer, until you have boots on it you don't own it and to get the troops there they need two things, air superiority, zoomie job, and competent not to say overwhelming CAS. Not sure the latter role really is in the right hands....

Cheers



« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 06:53:03 PM by Hardman »
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Offline Smokey

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Re: On weapons decadence
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 12:21:10 AM »
Senitors,,, And pressure to introduce new stuff.  Always some new cock head wanting to stab the beast.
A10? the grunts love them but it's time to waste billions on another development.
There is a pattern here  through history.  hence the question that you, the actual fighter has, WHY THE FUCK?
Id say the so called "Developments"  of new warfare is pre engineered to take its time. selling the promise so to speak.

Offline Hardman

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Re: On weapons decadence
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 07:17:24 AM »
Yeah, pretty much, the so-called military industrial complex is alive and well, the major signature of which being that the senators from any state that has people employed manufacturing weapons will do most anything to keep that happening.

As a result you see craziness like they are still producing Abrams tanks, that go straight to storage and projects that should have been killed off much sooner running on and wasting money.

It never adds up though - California ought to be literally awash in cash, it has multiple high return industries calling it home, IT, movies and television and military aircraft to name just three, but that state is usually pretty much skirting bankruptcy.

It always seems that really effective change only happens by accident, like the P-51 Mustang, classic of the classics, from concept to production in half a year, and the A-10. It took longer than that but it addresses its role completely and does so without breaking the bank, keeps its pilot very well protected and can ruin the bad guys day in a big, big hurry and keep on doing it.

I was reminded of that last point just yesterday after an IM chat with a mate who used to fly F-4s back when I did. He mentioned something about the A-10 that I had forgotten - endurance. Designed into that aircraft is the ability to, just hang around, which if you have a big load of bad news, ordnance, along for the ride, is a game changer over a battlefield and not liked by the bad guys.

The F-35 can't even get in the ring on that scorecard, pitiful load-out and pitiful loiter time but the zoomies say it is a better CAS platform than the -10 - dickheads.

I really, really thought Whitehall had the franchise on military stupidity once, but I think Washington must have made a take-over, and maybe took Canberra along for the ride :)

Cheers
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Offline Rybags

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Re: On weapons decadence
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 07:59:50 PM »
Inter-force rivalry.

Possibly a good reason the yanks did so well in WW2 was that the Air Force was a branch of the Army.  Once it split, then you get the politics and bullshit.   Throw in the Navy as well, and Marines and you get a confusing mess.  Not to mention that in domestic situations you have the Air National Guard.

What we were doing here for a while (NFI if it still takes place) seemed a good idea.  Have the Air Force look after all craft on initial aquisition and evalulation stages.  Once it goes into service, transfer ownership, command and responsibility to where it belongs (which is usually the AF anyway but usually Army or Navy for 'copters).

Offline Hardman

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Re: On weapons decadence
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2015, 07:15:07 AM »
Had a longer think about this, and what Ry put in, it made great sense and I had not known that was the way ADF did things.

Maybe the Brits are onto something, or were, with how they merged air power on the carriers in the Harrier era and plan to if they get both their new carriers and F-35s in the same place at the same time.

The rivalry between the forces, and the lobbying that Smokey alludes to are one of the more bizarre aspects of Washington life that are a direct consequence of how the US was born and how it is today.

It is ridiculous that a super powers' forces should compete with each other but in the US they most decidedly do, over the holy mantra of money. God alone knows how much is wasted as a result but there is a long, long list of pet projects that never saw service. Some of the blame for that goes back to what Smokey high-lighted - Senators - pork barreling is the art form of life on the hill.

I really do think the US might be way overdue for a Man From Mars review - that's when you step back and say WTF!!!!!! :)

Cheers
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