Home » Aviation » CNO Greenert: Navy’s Next Fighter Might Not Need Stealth, High Speed


CNO Greenert: Navy’s Next Fighter Might Not Need Stealth, High Speed

A Boeing artist's conception of a potential design for F/A-XX. Boeing Photo

A Boeing artist’s conception of a potential design for F/A-XX. Boeing Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy’s planned next generation fighter will likely rely less on the speed and stealth that has defined the current generation of U.S. tactical aircraft and could feature an unmanned option, the Chief of Naval Operations said on Wednesday.

CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert described options for the next Navy fighter – the F/A-XX – that would overwhelm or suppress enemy air defenses instead of outrunning or hiding from threats.

“You know that stealth maybe overrated,” Greenert said during a keynote at the Office of Naval Research Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.
“I don’t want to necessarily say that it’s over but let’s face it, if something moves fast through the air and disrupts molecules in the air and puts out heat – I don’t care how cool the engine can be – it’s going to be detectable.”

That also may mean developing new weapons for future threats.

“It has to have an ability to carry a payload such that it can deploy a spectrum of weapons. It has to be able to acquire access probably by suppressing enemy air defenses, Greenert said.
“Today it’s radar but it might be something more in the future.”

As for speed, he said the proliferation of high-speed anti-air weapons could lead the Navy to develop an aircraft that would not need to travel at a high speeds.

“I don’t think it’s going to be super-duper fast, because you can’t outrun missiles,” he said.

Greenert also said the aircraft should have an option to be optionally manned.

“The weight that we put on an aircraft due to the pilot is kind of extraordinary. You take that off and put sensors on there instead,” he said.
“That’s my signal for modularity.”

Greenert’s comments come as the Navy scheduled to start the analysis of alternatives (AoA) for F/A-XX the aircraft to replace the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet stating in the 2030s. Lockheed Martin and Boeing have both released early concepts for F/A-XX

The Navy’s newest fighter – the F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – does rely on stealth. USNI News understands its emerging role in the carrier air wing will be – in part – as a forward sensor node for the carrier strike group to relay targeting information via the Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control Counter Air (NIFC-CA) concept.

The Navy has said the F/A-XX will likely match or exceed the larger payload of the current Super Hornets.

“We’re looking to replace the F/A-18E/F with an understanding already of what the F-35C has brought to the air wing,” Rear Adm. Mike Manazir told USNI News in late 2013.

  • NavySubNuke

    Range and firepower are going to be much more important then the amount of “stealth” a craft is able to provide especially as data processing improvements continue to reduce the effectiveness of stealth. Speed matters to some extent – but as the CNO said you aren’t going to outrun a missile so it is really more range at speed that matters.

    • PolicyWonk

      Agreed.

      Stand-off offensive weapons are going to be far more effective than stealth – which had its day – but is rapidly losing its charm.

      Fortunately, the USN has demonstrated its paying attention because it kept up with EW – while the USAF went all-in with stealth – which is becoming less effective day.

      • Refguy

        If stand-off weapons have enough range, they can be launched from ships.

        • Secundius

          @ Refguy.

          Ship’s DO HAVE stand-off weapons. There called Guns, Missiles, Torpedoes and Airplanes/Helicopters…

    • Curtis Conway

      The new Counter Anti-Access/Area Denial warfare model will
      require USN combat aircraft capabilities similar to the F-14 Tomcat. Super-cruise and a large internal weapons
      capacity will be required. External
      stores may be required as well. We
      simply must have a long range capable tanker.

      • NavySubNuke

        I was with you right up until the tanker. I am just not sure it is worth the deck space to have dedicated tankers. Depending on how much capacity the new fighter has it might make more sense to outfit a few of them with extra tanks – internal and external – and enough air to air weapons to defend themselves and send them along with the actual strike when needed. That way when they aren’t needed you have that many more fighters available and you know that your “tankers” won’t have a problem keeping up with the attack force and they at least have a chance of defending themselves.

        • Lt

          The Marine Corps has been working to add tanker to the role of the V-22. They can be launched quickly, refuel jets and return to deck. They’re versatile role means that it isn’t lost deck space. The more you weigh down a jet with extra fuel tanks, the less efficiency you get out of your fuel. Although, if the USN gets an on-board fuel refinery for JP-5 from seawater on the next gen carriers then that won’t be an issue.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            100% on mark it really makes sense. Refueling option is critical, perhaps modular solution could be found i.e. to have a practical and low labor intensity to ex/change into dual purpose utility platform V-22 is a good example.

          • old guy

            read comment above

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            I had to limit my comment on V-22 and Viking they are important and integral players for both defense and offensive operations. In defensive role it would prolong the stay of the E-2D’s and necessary fighter protection of the carrier task force as well the better payload management on the take-offs. Your point well taken on the “refinery issues”.. not yet? But perhaps in a decade or two?

          • Secundius

            @ R’Yitzchak M.

            Instead of placing a small refinery onboard an Aircraft Carrier, which is just to make the Carrier Bigger. Just build a purpose built Refinery Ship which other ship’s can refuel from. Or build Refinery Installations on islands like Wake Island or Midway Island, the dozen’s of uninhabited US controlled Islands out their, in which to chose from. Or set-up sites on Inhabited “Allied” Islands, like Ascension Island, South Georgia Island, etc…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            Refinery ship would be the best mobile solution and it would be a game changer in logistic flexibility.

          • Secundius

            @ R’ Yitzchak M.

            Even a Refinery Ship is going to have to be Big, It’s not just the Refinery, but the Fuel Storage Containment Tanks as well…

          • old guy

            You should make Captain, EASY with that line of propaganda

          • Secundius

            @ Lt.

            Out of curiosity, where would you store the Zeolite catalyst to bread down the seawater…

          • Curtis Conway

            It is hard to fly along the side of the ship and refuel (tongue in cheek). F-18s don’t HIFR. Airborne gas is the issue, and TEXACO is the gift of life to any platform that can air refuel and is low on fuel. Much risk it mitigated with every gallon of gas that can be airborne during recovery. Of course there is a point of diminishing returns. A KC-3A Super Viking will fix that problem for the next twenty years and and solve several other problems that we will have soon, or are right around the corner.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            The new “C” variant of the V-22 Osprey, tanker bladder has been increased from 10,000-pounds to 12,000-pounds…

        • Curtis Conway

          There will rarely be a dedicated tanker because it will be a COD as well as other things. If additional power is available (strong electrical accessory packages on both engines) a console package can be strapped down to the floor of a KC-3A and it is a tanker(right seat will pump gas) and strike control center(in the back) just like an E-2. The net is the picture. Communications relay is a given, and FORCEnet will do the rest with most of the antennas on the roof.

          Anyhow, what do you call the dedicated F-18 with buddy stores . . . a Tanker. Let’s use that airframe for what it was designed for and use something more suited to the tanker task as a tanker. And worried about deck space? The CAG (airwing) is half the size they used to be. There is plenty of deck space. With the Ford Class that equation gets even better. The KC-3A will be close to a ‘Jack of many trades’ as you can get and truly tactically versatile as well.

          Adm. Jerry O. Tuttle would be proud of this little KC-3A unit in a Strike Package.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I agree with you, I think the VIKING Airframe in the most versatile aircraft in the US, Navy at the present time. The Osprey is good, but it need to prove itself first…

          • Curtis Conway

            It’s doing it with the Marines and the USAF SOF, and will clinch the deal as a tanker when the USS America gets underway next year with the F-35B.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Yes I know that. But did you know the Osprey Squadron has been reduced to 6-aircrafts, instead of 12-aircrafts…

          • Curtis Conway

            Squadron sizes can be changed or augmented at the drop of a hat.

          • old guy

            instant force multiplier. WOWEE!

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I’m sort of curious about something. How do you get a the Marine Corps, Heavy Equipment and Tank’s off the ship. When there’s NO WELL DECK too operate from. Who was the Idiot, who designed a Gator-Freighter without a WELL DECK…

          • Curtis Conway

            They are intended to be light carriers with a flock of F-35Bs if need be. The heavy helos can carry most anything underslung. The CH-53K has nearly 4X the lifting power of the CH-53E.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            The Lift Capacity of the CH-53K is only 35,000-pounds, An M1A3 Main Battle Tank weighs 144,000-pounds, a bit of a delima…

          • Curtis Conway

            M1A1s (Marines drive A1s) going to be on the USS America or the other amphibs in company?

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Ok, 126,000-pounds. 3.6x heavier than the lifting-capacity of the CH-53K’s. Also, in the USS. America a bit on the HEAVY side to be called a Light Aircraft Carrier…

          • old guy

            S, You shoulda seen the”Sergeant York” system. Two pieces, 70 tons each. I’m sure you could look it up if you need a laugh. It took two C-5as to move one unit.

          • CharleyA

            Only the first two America class LHAs are sans well deck. The Navy realized the mistake, and subsequent vessels will have the well deck.

          • Secundius

            @ CharleyA.

            Was any reason given on why no “Well Deck” were designed out of the original shipbuilders plans…

          • old guy

            Shucks, I knew we forgot something. Oh well, they were still a good SWP (Sipyard Welfare Program).

          • CharleyA

            Very good question, other than the USMC pressing for it, it doesn’t make too much sense.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I see Russia is mounting Bomb Racks on their Ilyushin Il-76 Transport Planes, and turning them into “Q” Bombers…

          • Curtis Conway

            I think it’s a ruse to develop the stores station. It will probably carry something else.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            No, actually I think that Putin is going to try some “mischief”. Create a Diplomatic Incident of his own making, and blame the other side for starting the conflict. A New Meaning, for Stealth Bomber…

    • Kirkpatrick

      Well the ‘experts’ said the F-4 didn’t need a gun too… missiles would rule the day – and what happened? Range is always important witness the challenges with the early F/A18s. Speed is not for out running missiles but other fighters who may want to swoop in and force air combat…where guns could be useful as well. The Russian and Chinese 5th generation fighters are not going to go away with a wish and strong opinion. The enemy always has a vote on how we are going to fight.

    • Refguy

      More range without more speed means more time to target and longer exposure to defenses. Speed plus stealth may not be affordable (see F-22 and F-35), but slow and plus large signatures is fatal. Some comments have touted long-range weapons as making speed and stealth unnecessary; if the weapons are that good, they don’t have to be launched from aircraft.

      • Secundius

        @ Refguy.

        Original F/A-35 design, called for possible A-10 Warthog replacement. But with original Mauser 1.063-inch 27/145mm Revolver Auto Cannon. Now that gun system has been changed to 4xbarrel GAU-22/A 0.984-inch 25x137mm Equalizer Rotatry Cannon. Changed mission profile, won’t know util it actually see’s combat, if it can do the job or not…

      • NavySubNuke

        Agreed – I’m not trying to say it should be slow but there is speed and then there is “speed” —- don’t break the bank trying to squeeze out an extra .3 mach and be the fastest fighter ever. Focus instead on getting an engine that can make you fast enough to do the job but still provides long range and a good amount of payload.

        • Secundius

          @ NavySubNuke.

          The Vmo speed was set by a F/A-35A @ Mach 1.67…

          • NavySubNuke

            what is VMO speed?

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Maximum recorded speed for the F/A-35 series. Just got bore of talking to, nobody…

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Sorry, Aviation speak: Vmo, Velocity Maximum Operating limit speed…

          • Refguy

            Maximum operating is not the same as limit speed. Limit is a do not exceed because bad things will happen speed. Maximum operating is lower than limit to provide a safety margin. Could be set by any number of issues. In S-3, it’s an engine limit, in early Lears, it was a max q issue at low altitude and a Mach tuck issue at high altitude; it can be expressed as an EAS or a Mach number depending upon what causes the problem.

          • Refguy

            Slower than a Hornet. if I recall corredtly

          • Secundius

            @ Refguy.

            Yeah, but the Hornet/Super Hornet/Growler’s all have Two Engines to the Lighnting’s One…

          • Refguy

            So? Total thrust of two F404’s is less than one F135. F-104 was faster than most twin-engine contemporary fighters.

          • CharleyA

            Which is a good thing for naval tactical aircraft…

        • Secundius

          If you guy don’t want to post my comments anymore just say so…

          • NavySubNuke

            ? Not sure what this is about, I like your comments.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            It wasn’t directed at you, sorry. I’m been Reddited so many times, just in this one forum. That it came to a head, how your name got attached is a mystery to me too. I apologize to you. Meant for the Fo-Police at USNI News…

        • Refguy

          Agreed. There is a trade space for speed, signature, range and cost. F-35 was mandated to use a derivative of the F-22 engine, which is optimized for super-cruise. AFAIK F-35 can’t super-cruise and the engine isn’t a good match for the things the F-35 needs, such as range and endurance.

          • Secundius

            @ Refguy.

            The F/A-35 CAN supercruise at Mach 1.2, but is limited to 150sm. “sprinting” range.

  • Tomcat or Vigilante size optionallly manned aircraft w/ unrefueled combat radius of at least 1500nm. This basically turns the defensive cost matrix that’s plagueing the CBG on it’s head. Imagine a group of such an aircraft, each capable of carry 6-8 LRASM/Tomahawk or 12-16 NRM/JAASM size weapons. No need to “go downtown” when you can reach out and touch someone from well outside their defensive umbrella, then let them fire off their whole battery of expensive SAMs while you fly home and return for another delivery 12 hours later.

    • Secundius

      @uss_fallujah.

      Not in the case of the North American A-5 Vigilante. The Vigilante was not an Attack Aircraft in the conventional sense, it was a Nuclear Payload Bomber. The Vigilante, had an internal weapons bay, true. But Ordnance Package was ejected out of the rear of the plane between the two engines. Weapons Package was mounted to a “trolley” system and pneumatically (using Nitrogen-Charged Pistons) ejected out trolley/weapon system together. Then relied on it’s Mach 2.2 speed to get out-of the last area. Speed was it defense, it carried NO defensive armament…

  • CharleyA

    Following the second net reduction in F-35C orders in two years (33 in FY15, 6 in FY16) the Navy is positioning itself to procure fewer aircraft in the short term. It will have trouble acquiring two squadrons per CVW at this rate – but this might be the plan. If the F-35C is to used primarily as a forward sensor node, you certainly do not need 22-24 of them aboard. This points to the possibility of truncating F-35C procurement in favor of acquiring the F/A-XX after 2025. The SH is planned to be in service beyond 2040, so it can be done without too much hurt. We can only hope that the F/A-XX will have a substantially increased un-refuelled range over both the SH and the F-35C, and bays big enough to carry 4 long ranged ASMs / ASuMs.

    • I’m always shocked to compare the current CVW with what was carried in the 80s, 2×12 F-14s, 2×12 A-4/F-18A 1×10 A-6, plus reconn birds, 6-10 helos, 4 E-2s, 6-8 S-3s and tankers, easily 85 plus. Now they have ~40-42 strike aircraft and no dedicated tankers or ASW.

      • Secundius

        @ uss_fallujah.

        Currently it’s 10-planes/squadron and 6-in a “Composite” squadron. V-22 squadron was 12-aircrafts, now it’s 6-aircrafts…

        • old guy

          V-22s?

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Yup, “An Old Fashion Razzle-Dazzle” or Ryan’s Mathematical Equation/Planck’s Constant of E=hv… That’s Rep’s. Paul Ryan of MI…

          • old guy

            Remember in the mid-70s when the F-18 was touted as the new “LOW COST” A/C that would allow more squadrons than the F-16, more pilots, variations, off-line time, cheap replacements, etc. There is no limit to some idle Admiral’s imagination.

          • CharleyA

            The legacy Hornets (F/A-18A-D) were low cost when compared to F-14s… And the current Super Hornet (a much larger aircraft than the legacy Hornets) is “low cost” when compared to a full rate production F-35C….

      • Dave_TX

        Something to consider when you are looking at those relative numbers is the relative capabilities of the weapon systems carried by those aircraft. Can the reduced number of aircraft do the job better today than the larger number could do 30 years ago?

        • CharleyA

          Not in the case of the F-35C, at least until later next decade when more capabilities / weps are enabled on the F-35 with Block 4/5. The Navy is now focusing on longer ranged weapons (and curiously canceling the AIM-9X III which was specifically for the F-35C.)

          • Secundius

            @ CharleyA.

            Are you sure? According to Defense Update, the AIM-9X Block III is scheduled for production in 2016, testing in 2018 and deployment in 2020. And a new designation AIM-9BVR (Beyond Visual Range) is given, but not yet etched in stone…

          • CharleyA

            I am sure. Funding was deleted this year.

          • Secundius

            @ CharleyA.

            AIM-9X Block I & II are in 2016 Navy Budget. Block III aren’t…

      • redgriffin

        Much like the air wings at the end of World War II and Korea. They didn’t do so bad a job.

      • Secundius

        @uss_fallujah.

        A typical Aircraft Carrier Air Group has changed somewhat. Now is about 100-aircrafts, “peacetime” and 130-aircrafts, “wartime). But, typically now it consists of:
        (10) F/A-18F Super Hornet’s
        (30) F/A-18E Super Hornet’s
        (30) F/A-35C Lightning II’s
        (5) EA-18G Growler’s
        (4) E-2D Advanced Hawkeye’s
        (10) MH-60R’s
        (11) MH-60S’s
        (2) either C-2B’s or MH-22C’s

        1. Texico & Reconnaissance Duties to be performed by F/A-18F’s.
        2. At least one Squadron in each 18E’s & 35C’s are Marine Corps.
        3. There talk about possibly adding an F/AV-35B’s Squadron in the mix. In case of “Cat” breakdown times. Sound Idea…

        • CharleyA

          The Navy doesn’t even own 30 F-35Cs…. there are no deployed F-35C squadrons, and won’t be until early 2020’s.

          • Secundius

            @ CharleyA.

            America Navy, Story Number NN50210405-07
            May 2011, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-101)

          • CharleyA

            2011 was a long time ago in procurement terms. Since then, the Navy has cut 39 F-35Cs out of their procurement plans between now and 2020, just as they cx’d the Block III AIM-9X that was being developed specifically for the F-35C.

          • Secundius

            @ CharleyA.

            Also depends on what you consider “Operational”, VX-23 “Salty Dogs” have them as well. Is it a Full Squadron, probably not. More likely a Composite Squadron. As for your second question, Maybe 2017 Naval Budget. Or, maybe a “Legerdemain” on the 2016 Appropriations (e.i. Take From Peter, Too Save Paul), like they done in the past…

        • Curtis Conway

          Growler presence will have to grow given the EOB of future threat, and that includes having F-35 present with E-2Ds.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Personally, I think the Navy should remove the Hornet and Super Hornet. And replace them with Growlers, instead. Growler can do everything the Super Hornet can, and then some. Also, replacing SH with Growlers, gives each Attack/Fighter Squadron on a Carrier. Electronic Warfare capabilities and you can Increase a Carrier’s Air Wing with an additional either/or Attack/Fighter Squadron. So from 40 to 50 aircraft’s…

          • Curtis Conway

            Check out the wing tips. A Growler cannot do everything an F/A-18 can do. Example: carry ordinance on the wingtip. The Australian Model is the key and the US Navy is already doing that with this next order. The Australians have F/A-18Fs that have EA-18G wiring so they can be converted. The EA-18G can carry fuselage mounted air-to-air without degrading stores station availability for ALQ-99 or tanks.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Well they could try mounting above the wing, like on the SEPECAT Jaguar does…

      • Curtis Conway

        Today there is not such thing as a long range supersonic fighter. The F-14 Tomcat had long legs and a lot of capability required by our mission against the Soviet Threat. The Russians never made it to the moon with a manned craft.

        There is another country that is going to the moon, that will not stop till they have a base there. These folks already have ships in their navy the Soviet Union could only dream about. The US Navy needs a long range interceptor/fighter again. Like the F-35 it will be an extension of the sensors and force picture, and will need capable passive sensors, and weapons in numbers.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          Technically Not True! The Fastest Long-Range Interceptor, was the Lockheed F-12B (UnNamed). It was capable of Mach 3.35 (2,275mph) @ 80,000-feet for 3,000smi. It was armed with (3) Hughes AIM-147’s. Which had a Maximum Speed of Mach 6, but was reduced to Mach 4 with a range of ~100smi. Only ONE was produced, it later morphed into the SR-71A Blackbird program.

          With the exception of the JSF, which can Supercruise @ Mach 1.2 or ~155smi. Neither the Hornet or the Super Hornet are Supercruise capable.

          The only other exception, was the North American A-5 Vigilante. Which was somewhat Supercruise capable @ 900mph. Though it was NOT Supercruise capable.

          The first Supercruise Fighter was the English Electric P.1A. That could supercruise at Mach 1.5 @ 50,000-feet. And later model F.3 could Supercruise at Mach 1.7 @ 36,000-feet. The P.1A first flew in 1954, the F.3 after 1957…

          • Curtis Conway

            Took off from aircraft carriers did it?

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            NO! Your question DIDN’T SPECIFICALLY SAY, Aircraft Carrier capable DID IT. It just Navy Interceptor/Fighter with Long-Range. And if I recall the VIGILANTE, meets both CAPABILITIES…

          • Curtis Conway

            Point taken. I’ll stop now. I’m out of iced tea.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Me too. Need to take Med’s…

  • fog643

    Could the Super Hornet be modified to satisfy this requirement? It’s neither super-fast nor stealthy now. I know the Super Hornet+ that Boeing has proposed has added range & lower SFC. Could it be further modified &/or stretched to fulfill this role?

    • Advanced Super Hornet would make a nice bridge to F/A-XX, especially if they cancelled or curtailed the F-35C order, but trying to advance the same airframe brings on it’s own limitations. Just like the DDG-51 has evolved to a combat level far beyond it’s original model, it still has inherant limitations that a new design wouldn’t.

    • Secundius

      @ fog643.

      Standard practice is to design something to 125% of normal operational parameters, any high and you going to have structural integrity problems…

  • James B.

    Future aircraft need to be stealthy, but the viability of zero-RCS stealth is dropping, while the ability to increase EMI and clutter will make low-RCS near-stealth more viable and more cost effective.

    • J_kies

      James; speaking as a sensors and architecture guy; the only motivation for stealth will be to degrade some antique air defenses. Modern stuff doesn’t care about your funny shape but it might care about your clever application of EW. If stealth shaping does not degrade flight characteristics and stealth coatings do not add to the O&S and basic costs then it can be considered.

    • Curtis Conway

      James understands situational awareness. Can’t sneak up on an F-35 (any flavor). I had A-7s and S-3s sneaking up on Turkeys from behind all the time. That will be impossible with an F-35. The Navy’s Gen-6 needs Super-Cruise and lots of long range weapons. With the CUDA coming along, the EA-18Gs around, and plenty of gas . . . we have options.

      • Refguy

        F-35 can see what’s behind itself? Eyes in the back of its head? Did you know that F-35 and F-22 data links are incompatible?

        • Curtis Conway

          Another Troll? Yes the F-35 has eyes in the back of its head, under its head and coming out of its . . well anyway, one cannot sneak up on an F-35 (any flavor). the pilot (as long as he is wearing his helmet) can see through anything, and . . . the F-22 data link, as well as communications with the 4th Gen fighters, is being fixed. May take a while though.

          • Cocidius

            The Gen 2 helmet for the F-35 has been pretty much a failure and due to the design of seat and canopy rearward vision is poor compared to legacy fighters. This is what the DOT&E had to say about the helmet display problems: ” These included “misalignment of the virtual horizon display with the actual horizon, inoperative or flickering displays, and focal problems – where the pilot would have either blurry or ‘double vision’ in the display. The pilots also mentioned problems with stability, jitter, latency, and brightness of the presentation in the helmet display…” Two of the complaints were basically that elements of the helmet made it harder, not easier, to see outside the aircraft.To summarize in different words, the helmet-mounted display and the F-35 system does not present an enhanced, clearer view of the outside world, targets and threats to the pilot; instead, they present a distorted and/or obstructed view.

            The Gen 3 helmet is supposed to solve these issues – we’ll see!

          • Curtis Conway

            Every new system has growing pains in the beginning. The F-35 has a lot of those all going on at once. The 6th Gen Fighter will fare better. We only have to design, install and tweak, not develop from scratch.

          • Refguy

            The sensor array won’t let a fourth gen fighter close

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  • R’ Yitzchak M

    F-35C is the worst package of all “almost” things it can provide.. Almost stealthy? Almost delivery platform? Almost fighter? Almost Growler (EW platform)? Almost airplane US Navy NEEDS. The new generation concept – platform HAS to grow from the THEATRE NAVY IS and WILL face. Air superiority against whom? China? Russia? ANYONE ELSE? Both “clients” could e served from the local theatre by the Air Force tools.. Navy is critical component in the area of global attrition i.e. South China Sea, Africa, Middle East etc. Perhaps “even” Atlantic and North Pacific theatre but on specifically driven “events” i.e. access denial or perhaps even more critical ABMS Anti Ballistic Missiles

    • Curtis Conway

      It might actually become one of those things in the future. Don’t know how much that will cost. We should just re-open the F-22 line and build 200 more. the Navy can buy some of the new stealhier F-18s until Gen-6 is out.

      • Secundius

        @ Curtis Conway.

        Both the F/A-18E Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, have ordnance capacity of 17,750-pounds. While the F/A-35C Lightning II, has ordnance capacity of 18,000-pounds. Considering the Growler can do everything the Super Hornet can, and more. It’s more logical to eliminate the Super Hornet airframe in favor of the Growler airframe…

        • R’ Yitzchak M

          Secundius F-18 Growler is EW platform and not the “work horse” F-35C has some “advantages” as a fighter plane i.e. 9G as opposed 7G to the F-18, also internal storage as to the radar “signature” BUT! In a case of “close and personal..” single engine operation is border line ASKING FOR IT.. Birds, elements, sand etc.. Engine failure you have no longer “just” military “issues” to deal with but POLITICAL, DIPLOMATIC as well it is in the case of the pilot capture. As a interceptor over the friendly territory perhaps.. but factoring the cost ratio of 1:2? 3? 4? is hard act to swallow. F-22 was quite SAFER option in the interception and interdiction over the hostile areas?

          • Secundius

            @ R’Yitzchak M.

            First of all, I never called it the F-18G. I called it the EA-18G Growler, if you look at the specifications between the EA-18G and F/A-18E/F their nearly identical, with a slight edge given to the Growler. Personally, I’d rather have the Growler be the ‘Backbone” of the Aircraft Carrier Air Group then the Super Hornet. What the point of having two nearly identical models serving side-by-side. When the Growler can outperform the Super Hornet…

  • Secundius

    How many $$$-Billions, this time? As useful as the UCLASS is?? Does it have a Gun and Go Supersonic like the F-117A did???

    • Curtis Conway

      The F-117A was subsonic.

      • Secundius

        @ Curtis Conway.

        Yes I Know! It was meant to be a PUN…

        • old guy

          C’mon fellas don’t lose our sensayuma!

  • Dave_TX

    It’s interesting that the Naval Aviation people seem to have figured out that “super-duper” speed is not worth the cost because missiles are faster. The surface guys figured that out in WWII when they realised that fast ships could not outrun aircraft. What happened when they designed the LCS and decided to devote so much of the budget to making it really fast?

    • Secundius

      @ Dave_TX.

      In the case of the LCS Program. My impression is that wanted to “knock-down” reaction times of 72-hours to 40-hour. That’s why they built the LCS classes, “A Jack-Of-All-Trade’s” ship (Johnny-On-the-Spot). Give the classes the “Minimum” it need’s to do the job, but get there FAST…

      • Dave_TX

        That sounds reasonable regarding reduced transit times. I do wonder how short their legs are when they are moving that fast.

        • Secundius

          @ Dave_TX.

          For the Freedom class LCS/FF, normal cruising range is ~3,500nm @ 18-knots. Maximum speed achieved 47.5-knots. but normal maximum ~46-knots @ ~1,200nm.

          For Independence class LCS/FF, normal cruising range is ~4,300nm @ 18-knots. Maximum speed ~44-knots @ ~1,600nm.

          • Dave_TX

            Sounds like they will need some logistical support following along at a more efficient speed.

          • Secundius

            @ Dave_TX.

            Either that or “Garrison or Preposition” them near Known Hot Spots. Like what there trying with the Marine Corps., Now…

          • Secundius

            @ Dave_TX.

            Also the LCS/FF classes wouldn’t be operating along, there “Charges” is to protect the JHSV (Joint High-Speed Vessel) in company with them. The JHSV carry a Battalion of 312 Marines and their equipment for a 3 to 5-day independent operation. Also, the JHSV are also capable of ~43-knots. And there’s talk about arming them with an Oto Melara 3-inch (76.2mm/62-caliber) auto cannon. Cyclic rate of fire between 85rpm to 120rpm…

          • Dave_TX

            That’s all pretty interesting. Thanks, I had fallen behind on those plans.
            At those cyclic rates they could go through a pretty good sized magazine in no time at all.

          • old guy

            Pardon me for doubting ALL the high speed figures

      • old guy

        If they “wanted to knock down” reaction time why not use Bill Ellsworth’s 75 knot Supercavitating hydrofoils or Pitkin’s 110 kt SES?

        • Secundius

          @ old guy.

          Why are you asking me? Ask SecDef. Donald Rumsfeld that question…

          • old guy

            He don’t talk to me.

    • old guy

      IDIOCY.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        Yup, “A Universal/Fundamental Constant” or Planck’s Constant E=hv (6.6260695×10 neg. 34 pwr. m sq. kg./s.) or just plain STUPID! LMAO…

      • Dave_TX

        What should they trade off for speed, e.g. weapons load, maneuverability, operating radius, semi-stealthiness? Are you looking for a fighter or an interceptor?

  • Rob C.

    It’s actually refreshing they finally admitted that stealth isn’t all what it’s suppose to be.
    Speed is good thing to have as long the pilot doesn’t black out.

    I hope they succeed in getting a viable F/A-XX on board and ready to go. These competitions haven’t been yielding good results when you have new people come in and change the plans as soon they show up.

    The only problem I think is really going be a problem is the lack of interceptor ability. F/A-18E/F models aren’t as good as the Tomcats were. They don’t have or carry a long range missile like the Phoenix. Neither do they a have the range either.
    Designing this new bird is good step forward, but they need also design the weapons to really bring it up to capacities we don’t have in the fleet anymore.

    • Curtis Conway

      With the exception of the size of the warhead the Mach-4 AIM-120 is every bit as capable as the Mach-5 AIM-54 Phoenix missile. The AIM-120D is perhaps one of the most capable A-to-A weapons in the inventory today. If there was an IR & ARM version it would be an even more deadly killer. Let it cruise to target at high altitude and then pursue the target in dual mode (Active & IR, or ARM & IR).

      • Secundius

        @ Curtis Conway.

        Considering the Air Force reversed-engineered the SM-1 in Vietnam in the “Wild Weasel Program”. It stand to reason the same can be done with RIM-174 SM-6ERAM. Even though is only capable of Mach 3.5 it does have a 130nm. (~150sm.) range…

  • James Bowen

    I agree that stealth is overrated, but speed is not. I don’t know why the Navy has de-emphasized speed w.r.t. fighters. Speed was an important factor in the tactics that F-14’s used for fleet air defense.

    • jrc

      As we used to say in the fighter community, “speed is life.”

      • Secundius

        @ jrc.

        Just ask any Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, crew…

      • James Bowen

        That was my understanding. I have no experience in aerial warfare, being a submariner. Nonetheless, that is what I have heard aviators say before. I also know that speed in very important in undersea warfare, and I presumed the situation was analogous.

        • Secundius

          @ James Bowen.

          Until they develop Inertial Dampers for Submarines, trying to Supercavitate a submarine is a Real Bad Idea. The Russian Va-111 Shkval (Squall) Torpedo, is capable of 200-knots plus underwater. That’s ~SuMach 0.020157, considering sound travels through water 15-times faster than in air. Mach 1.0 in water is equivalent to 5,104.35m/s. compare to 340.29m/s. on the surface…

          • James Bowen

            I am well aware of all of this, and when I said speed was important I was not thinking of supercavitating whole submarines (though that is a cool idea). I was merely thinking about how the performance characteristics of some of our newer submarines are not as good as some others.

          • Secundius

            @ James Bowen.

            Currently the Fastest Submarine class in the World, is the Russian K-162/222 class @ 44.7-knots underwater…

          • old guy

            Do you know if we have actual data on this? I can see lots of vulnerabilities, chiefly its inability to maneuver without breaking the bubble.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Check wikipedia, Soviet Submarine K-222. References at bottom of page, some in Russian…

          • old guy

            Prairie Masker was a good speed augmenter (and sonar shield) and the Anti-torpedo, torpedo is VERy effective against high speed torpedoes. We had a counter to supercavitating torpedoes that was simply a big air tank you blew up in the torpedo’s path, distorting the cavity and destroying the torpedo. I don’t know what ever happened to it.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Just thinking, would Vortex Gun work underwater against Torpedoes…

          • old guy

            Remember, that torpedo has a very small target ellipse to reach. Any type of deflection mechanism would work as well as a killer.

        • old guy

          I agree, BUT, it must be only one aspect of the design. The others are maneuverability, climb rate, and self protection as well as tactics. In WW2, the Japanese ZERO was faster than anything we had in the Pacific, but we had better tactics (e.g. “the Thatch Weave” and pilot armor. Two 50 caliber rounds could bring down a Zero.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            The Zero had “advantages” and “disadvantages” in it’s design. The Advantage it had is the Japanese had 7075-651 Aluminium for the airframe, developed in 1934. One of Imperial Japans best kept secrets.

            The Disadvantages were, NO self-sealing fuel tanks and NO wing root. Unlike American planes at the time, which the fuselage was attached to the wing root. The Imperial Japanese bolted the wings directly to the planes fuselage. So, in High-G turns wings had a tendency to shear-off the plane.

            The United States used 6061 series Aluminium in their airframes, heavier than 7075 series Aluminium…

          • old guy

            Man, you’re better than Google.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Thanks! Read a lot. Phrase for it: Confirmation Reader. ~30 unabridged books per week…

          • old guy

            WOW.Keep it up.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            In the Gene Pool. Mother read ~50/week and Sister ~40/week, Father goofed-off..

          • old guy

            Every group needs a philosopher. He fit the bill.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            In this case, is that A Bad Thing or A Good Thing???

          • old guy

            GOOD, as long as the philosopher is not a solipsist, like our Prez.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            God, I hope I don’t get that cynical…

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Just to let you know ChiCom’s have starter Deep Water Dredging on Assimilated Philippine Islands (Get started on Deep Water Ports) for the Larger Combatants…

          • James Bowen

            I agree that speed is only one of several important performance characteristics.

            At first, the Japanese had better tactics than we did. As the war went on, their experienced pilots were lost due to steady attrition, aggravated by their interpretation of Bushido doctrine that pilots in damaged or down planes should make a suicide dive instead of bailing out and being rescued. Meanwhile, our pilots, who were rescued after being shot down whenever possible, learned from their mistakes and accumulated experience such that as the war progressed our tactics became superior.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            I don’t remember the exact date, but 1967 or so. Two US. Navy Douglass A-1D Skyraiders using the “Thatch Weave” Maneuer shot down a North Vietnamese Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (NATO code name: Fresco). Two WW2-era Attack Aircrafts took-out a Second-Generation Soviet Jet Fighter. Something to be proud of….

  • omegatalon

    The US Navy appears to be talking themselves into bringing back the F-14 Tomcat as it’s not stealthy, extremely maneuverable and capable of carrying a very heavy payload.

    • Secundius

      @ omegatalon.

      Really, the only operational F-14 flying are the one’s of VX-23 “Salty Dogs”. an Experimental Aircraft Testing Squadron at the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Patuxent, Maryland. The one’s NASA operates, and the F-14A’s the Iranian Air Force still have left in flying condition, and the one’s a Various Museums, Naval Air Stations Display Mountings and possible Restaurant Establishments around the country. All other’s have been scrapped…

      • Curtis Conway

        The F-14 Tomcat tooling at Grumman Iron Works was destroyed as a stipulation to a Democrat who would not vote to approve the Defense Budget once upon a time. The tooling is gone. The mission remains. Our new potential adversary in the Pacific will require a naval aircraft with F-14 LIKE qualities. Super-Cruise was a bit tough back then. Not so today. This is going to be a heavy bird anyway. Its got to fly 1,000 mile mission or more. Topping that tank off before ingress provides a lot of options for the aircraft just before it goes into harms way. The USAF is not going to fly this mission. There will most likely not be enough time to plan and coordinate. The US Navy will have to take organic tanking capability.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          The first Super-Cruise fighter was the English Electric P.1A Lightning, Mach 2 Fighter. First flown in 4 April 1957, and could Super-Cruise at Mach 1.5 @ 50,000-feet…

      • old guy

        Yeah, but I have 2Ryan Fireballs and a few great McDonnel F-4s, not to mention my readily available Hellcats, Corsairs and even an early F-8 (without a dorsal fin), which I can provide at really affordable figure.

        • Secundius

          @ old guy.

          What the P-51D Mustang was to in mph, the F8F-2 Bearcat was in knots. The Bearcat was the first single-radial pistol engined Carrier Fighter to break the 500mph mark in level flight. The fastest Bearcat called “the Rare Bear”, achieved a world record speed at the Reno Airshow in 21 August 1989 @ a top speed of 528.31mph for a piston engine aircraft…

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  • Secundius

    Yup, Just like I figured. Reddited me again…

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  • yerbullshit

    Finally! Time to build the F-14 “Super Tomcat” model. Not stealthy, but it had the payload, range, speed, and the ability to protect our carriers above and beyond any of the F-18s currently in production, far surpasses the F-35 in all areas except stealth. With modern production techniques, it could require less maintenance hours as well.

    • Secundius

      @ yerbulshit.

      And what exactly are you going build then with, All tooling, framing and anything else were destroyed after original fighters were sent to the “boneyard” in the Southwestern United States…

  • R’ Yitzchak M

    One litmus test as of SANITY of person or even institution could be based on EXPECTATIONS. If US Navy? Air Force expects of the new airplane to do EVERYTHING.. is as you ask a person what he needs now or in the near future? EVERYTHING? Weeeell there is an nice guy there in the next room with the white coat and nice rubber hammer to work on that “ISSUE” big time. A-10 is good example it DOES a JOB for which is intended.. some Napoleon wan ‘a bee’s.. so again the guy with rubber hammer should hammer their issues as well? My concern with F-35 in general is that it is a single engine platform, it has its positives BUT given cost of by some estimations to be overlapping even 150 million figure (according to the “Aviation International”) today figure stands on 146 million each. Navy should not even entertain a single engine option for its applications. A single engine platform is no issue if combat area its own domestic terrain.. desert? Forest? you name it.. BUT!!! For example in the Canadian, Alaskan or even over the any other ocean theatre loss of the engine IS loss of the pilot as well? Close and “personal” support operations over the hostile areas should have some NECCESSARY redundancy to provide ADDED safety to the biggest asset Navy or Air Force MUST protect are those guys who put their lives on the line so FORESIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY has to take the critical consideration safety of the pilots which are on the frontline providing the safety for the REST OF US.

    • Secundius

      @ R’ Yitzchak M.

      Admittedly redundancy is a good thing. But since the First Powered Flight of A US. Naval Ship, the USS. Birmingham by Lieutenant Eugene Ely in 1910. Almost all Carrier Aircraft’s were Single-Engine. The Most reliable engine was the Wasp Radial Piston Engine. With the exception of the Tigercat, Pancake, Tracer, Trader, Tracker, Phantom, Savage, Cutless, Phantom II, Vigilante, Skywarrior, Greyhound, Hawkeye, Tomcat, Bobcat, Hornet, Super Hornet, Growler, Viking and Osprey. All other aircraft’s were single-engine. Why does single engine designs bother you…

    • Secundius

      @ R’ Yitzchak M.

      I understand your concern, over the issue of Safty and having Two-Engines. But let’s be Realistic about this. Multi-Engine Configuration is NO guarantee for Flying Safety. Just Look at US Airways Flight 1549 in 15 January 2009. An Airbus 320-200 Airliner, Two-Turbofan Engines, very reliable engines. STILL went into the Hudson River after Turbofan Engines Ingesting Flock of Geese. Weapons Fire, Bad Fuel, Bird Strike, Insect Ingestion, Lightning, Disorientation, etc. Can bring down a Plane, even a Mult-Engined Plane. Any time you climb into the cockpit of a plane there’s NO guarantee that your going to come back. Most of the Pilots and Aircrews at the Battle of Midway and the Coral Sea, NEVER came back. For most of them it was a One-Way Mission, and they went anyway and they knew it. Before ever leaving the flight deck. That’s the risk you take…

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        Secundius I had flown single or multi engine planes, general rule uf thumb is do not over weight at take-off. Maximum weight at the take-off is logically heavier than single engine climb weight.. as well maximum weight for the safe landing etc. You know that when airliners or a heavier jets have to return back after the take – off they have to jettison fuel before attempting to land. All that is given, but on the 99% of the issues pilot faces with vis a vis power second engine IS A LIFE SAVER. There is a matter of training, experience and “pilots attitude”.. and of course “some” luck. Eh you will love this remember tragedy of A-320 at On 26 June 1988, it was flying over Mulhouse–Habsheim Airport nearby forest auto – pilot’s “stubborn” engagement without a RESET BUTTON? All those things are to be factored in. But I firmly believe to the core of my soul that EVERY officer must keep in mind that oath he is making is not to some imaginary “flag”, “code”, “cool gang” but to the MOTHERS and FATHERS who brought to you that SOLDIER to make him to DO the best JOB that his country will ask from him every officer must know the parents of those soldiers and to promise that he will do everything possible to treat those kids as his OWN.. If officer is mindful how valuable asset he has in its command he will do everything under his power to inflict maximum losses on enemy with the minimum losses on his boys. So on account of sacrifice I know that the whole history of freedoms and liberty is made on account of those who were there for us.. But it would be totally immoral that we should not to reciprocate and give to those boys the best tools not to loose their lives on account of IDIOCITY? Politics? Corruption? Give them the best tools they DESERVE and we owe them.

        • Secundius

          @ R’ Yitzchak M.

          Even the Best Tools can FAIL. They did in Vietnam on a Regular Basic and during the Worst Times of Combat…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            Granted BUT! WE KNOW our boys are doing the best and we MUST to provide them with the BEST. The most critical purposes of EVERY CIVILIZED society is to protect its CITIZENS (everything else is JUST a “matter of liberal art” there are different languages to describe THAT, but out of respect for this forum let it stay like that.. “the stuff the liberal art is made of..”) So the tools needed for the job are reflection of society’s RESPONSIBILITY to address issues that will DIRECTLY affect the security of the whole society.

          • Secundius

            @ R’ Yitzchak M.

            There’s NO way to build something that is going to Fail On You. It’s ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE, The German’s during WW2, Over Designed their equipment against failure, and yet they still failed. You can’t take the Gremlin out of the Machinery, simply because you don’t know when the Gremlin is going to appear. Ten-Thousand Years from now (if were still around) their still going to have Failure Problems. It’s just the way it is…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            100 % I agree that is GIVEN.. that is the reason we SHOULD have “reset button” on the EVERY device we made? One engine.. well where is the “reset…” silence…? still silence.. (a really ) quick prayer.. and no other option but “sweet” gravity. We are on the same page I hope there is really just one thing if you have the viable option you should factor any common sense in order to protect the most valuable the society can offer and that is their boys who will fly those tools

          • Secundius

            @ R’ Yitzchak M.

            Gravity and a Good Glide Ratio, too…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            F-35? LIKE the BRICK on “speed” with the teenage attitude

          • Secundius

            R’ Yitzchak M.

            I don’t remember the NASA engineer’s name, but described the Space Shuttle as a Brick with Wings, and if you apply enough thrust your could even get a Brick to Fly…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            …and what a “brick” it was, I was there on the first Columbia launch just few miles from the launch pad in a VIP section reserved for the employees (friend of my was working there and got me a pass) you could not believe such a power if you were beside a 150mm cannon shutting WITHOUT STOPPING all windows of our cars were shuddering and earth was shaking to lift that “bird” up. The cancellation of that program was the single biggest mistake US ever did.

          • Secundius

            @ R’ Yitzchak M.

            If I remember right there were suppose to 7 “Operational Shuttles” and 1 “Demonstrator Shuttle” (e,i, Enterprise). I agree it’s was a stupid decision on somebodies part. They should have never cancelled either the Program or the other 2 Shuttles…

          • Secundius

            @ R’ Yitzchak M.

            There’s NO way to build something that is going to Fail On You. It’s ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE, The German’s during WW2, Over Designed their equipment against failure, and yet they still failed. You can’t take the Gremlin out of the Machinery, simply because you don’t know when the Gremlin is going to appear. Ten-Thousand Years from now (if were still around) their still going to have Failure Problems. It’s just the way it is…

      • CharleyA

        Spoken like a non-aviator. There are times when dynamics of a situation dictates the outcome, no matter what redundancy is built into the system – in this case a jet. But when one engine is out for whatever reason in a single, you will almost certainly need to depart the aircraft. OTOH, there a plenty of cases where one engine on a twin is either shot up or otherwise INOP (maybe even a precautionary shutdown which is not possible on a single), and the aircraft and pilot were able to RTB – saving both.

        • Secundius

          @ CharleyA.

          During WW2, pilots came back of missions with 2 or 3 Cylinders shot out of their Wasp Radial Engines. The P-47 Thunderbolt and B-17 Flying Fortress were famous examples of that happening…

        • Secundius

          @ CharleyA.

          Really, back in 1983 an Israeli Air Force Pilot flying over Nahal Tzin, in the Negev Desert. Returned home safely, after having Port Side Wing Shot Complete Off to the Wing Root. And landed his plane at 260-knots. Came within 30-feet of the “crash barriers” in the process…

        • Secundius

          @ CharleyA.

          That’s because I’m NOT an aviator, I never professed to being one. I was an Attack Helicopter and Ordnance Specialist/Technician in the Army, NOT a pilot.

          Apollo 13, had Redundancies up the “Ying/Yang”, but the Service Module blew. It sure didn’t do them (i.e. Astronauts) much good, DID IT…

    • Secundius

      @ R’ Yitzchak M.

      SANITY in the Military, that’s an OXYMORON. Sanity equals NO PROMOTION’S. That’s like Military Intelligence, Polar Opposites of one another…

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        To me it is a huge enigma.. French were buried by their generals I red Charles Da Gaulle memoirs if you want to learn the history of the WWII please check his work it is one of the most lucid end revealing works I had red on the subject. Hitler found the way to eradicate that problem by wiping quite few generals on the Leonberg hill near the Stuttgart thus allowing the “humility” to don on rest of them.. It is amazing of how much inertia can be created by the malignant ego’s. When you think of it is a sort of a “bureaucrats disease”, when one reaches the top of his career he can only look how to make it “safe” by doing nothing and making the “science” out of it. US Armed Forces were quite different, I really do not know why but the quality of the command is quite different than European theatre. “Discipline” of the hierarchical order and the whole approach of command does not have much of the bottom-up review and all seem to come from the top so disastrous decisions were a matter of “command” trial and errors. US Armed Forces seem to have established much better feedback from the all involved. That part I found quite interesting and revelling throughout quite few historical events in both European and Pacific theatres. US Armed Forces are quite different.

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  • Secundius

    Military Times, say’s USMC F/AV-35B engines to be Maintenance’d by BAE owned company TAZ (Typhoon Availability Service) in Tasmania, Australia in 2018…

  • Secundius

    Just thought you guy’s would like to know, that the ChiCom’s are NOT ALL PLEASED with the USA for “reactivating” the THAAD Missile Defense System. This is according too DID or Defense Industry Daily, 10 February 2015 edition…

  • TeaBagObamaChin

    Problem is they take too long to build new systems. The F-35 will be compromised by the time it’s in use. I’m sure China has the plans.. I don’t know but I’d bet the SR-71 was built and in service faster.

    • Secundius

      @ TeaBagObamaChin.

      The SR-71 was built using “slide-ruler” technology and “leaked like a sieve” while sitting on the group, just after being fueled…

    • Secundius

      @ TeaBagObamaChin.

      Of course it was. SR-71, was a Black Project (Ultra Security) replacement for the U-2. I don’t think the entire build, from concept to operational took more then 3-years…

  • Secundius

    IDF.Air Force getting Lockheed-Martin AESA (Active Electronic Scanned Radar) systems retro-fitted to some of their Helicopters. Same system can be Retro-fitted to MV-22C Osprey, giving it AEW capabilities…

  • Secundius

    Your going the Reddit me anyway, so just do it…

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  • Secundius

    FYI: According to February 16/March 1, 2015, issue of AW&ST. General Atomics Avenger (Predator “C”) are going to start testing the Pod Mounted 150-kW. 3rd Generation HELLADS (High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System). Ten-firing Shot, between 3-minute recharges using a Turbine-Generator…

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