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#51 2005-10-19 23:25:56

Austin Stanley
Member
From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

I'm not to big on military spending, but the F-22 is a program I can support.  The US is going to need a new Air-Superiority fighter as our F-16 and F-18 are getting pretty old, and no longer have the competitive edge they used to.  Improvements in foreign (ie. Russian) fighters, missles, and SAM demand an upgrade in our fighters.

And what an improvent the F-22 is.  I agree with GCN the F-22 will probably be the most capable manned fighter ever.  Supercruise, stealth, vectored thrust, ect... By the time a replacment is required we probably will be talking about unmanned drones instead manned fighters.  In comparision the Eurofighter is no where near as capable and cost about as much.

If you are looking at cutting US military spending, IMO the place to look is the Navy and Marines.  The US Navy currently has the ability to defeat the rest of the worlds Navy's compined with possibily as little as 1/2 to 1/3 of it's current strength.  I think the US Navy is an import part of the US's ability to project power, but it is currently massivily overbuilt for our needs.  I mean we field more carriers than the rest of the world does combined, and all of ours are far supperior.  Not to mention the large number of Amphibious assalt ships the Marines field, or our huge fleet of Nuclear Attack Submarines.  The US Navy needs to retire alot of our ships and slow down the procurment of new ones.  Maybe we could sell one of older Nimitz class sips to the EU, it will undoubtbly still be supperior to whatever they are trying to design, and we could probably finance the Mars Mission with the revenue from that alone.


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#52 2005-10-20 06:18:52

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

The Navy does need to get the idea through its head that we no longer have to scare Russia with the thought of ten supercarriers sitting off its coast and bombing everything in sight, the world has changed a bit since the Cold War.

First off, the USN needs to abandon the centrality of supercarriers with their asscociated astronomical operating cost, and cut their number in half.

Modern diesel-electric submarines (eg Russian Kilo class) or the advanced Swedish kind with the huge LOX tank that can operate underwater submurged for a month... these threats have grown more deadly in recent years as improvements have proliferated, and so the USN should field more attack submarines to compensate.

SS-N-22 missile

Russian missile advances have certainly not been limited anti-aircraft missiles either, the throughly frightening SS-N-22 is the most modern Russian antiship missile and easily the most deadly ever created by anyone. It flies in excess of Mach-2.0 at extremely low altitudes, and includes home-on-jam guidence systems... its basically an Aegis-killer, and especially considering its very short flight time (~30sec) is extremely hard to defend against... oh, and China definatly has and some of the former Soviet republics probobly have them too. Even better, there is an air-launch version too.

The French also sell the Exocet missile, which has the distinction of almost sinking a USN destroyer back in the first Gulf War, which is also sold to other countries and copied by China.

This is where the DDX and by extension the LCS come in, their stealth capabilities would make them extremely difficult to attack with such weapons, and the free electron laser DDX will eventually replace the Phalanx gun with would even the odds when Ageis fails. Both ships will be much quieter and cooler, making them harder to attack with submarines or infra-red guided missiles... Plus, the gun on DDX (and maybe LCS) will be a whole new animal, firing rocket-boosted GPS guided shells >100mi with meter-level accuracy, which will wholey replace air support in some cases.

Smaller, Ageis-defended escort carriers powerd by gas turbines ought to be (rapidly) developed after DDX/LCS are done too perhaps... they shouldn't be that expensive to develop and they would cost lots less to operate.

Less emphasis on carriers, less antique "please shoot me" non-stealth destroyers/cruisers, more attack submarines (perhaps fewer ballistic missile boats), and hurry up with DDX...

...If you want to cut money, look no further then the USAF's antiquated bombing wings. Since the US is switching to a mostly-guided bombing strategy, and since its politically prohibitive to carpet bomb very large targets anymore, get rid of the B-52 and just spiff up the B-1B wings.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#53 2005-10-20 10:36:11

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,275

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Status update:
A Watchdog Group known as Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) Slams Air Force Space Policy

"The structure slams the door on any possible competition," CAGW President
Tom Schatz said.  "The ULA locks up all contracts, ensuring high costs for
taxpayers and stifling innovation."

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#54 2005-10-20 12:06:44

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Eh, the fact of the matter is that the USAF only has enough launch needs for a pretty small number of rockets, but it only makes military sense if both Atlas and Delta rocket lines are available if one of them becomes disabled. So, the USAF will be paying a great deal of money to keep both rocket lines open and not using their excess capacity anyway, so it makes some sense to try and save clerical and staff costs for the smaller number of launches for one company to manage both rocket lines.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#55 2005-10-20 14:49:39

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Not so much reducing the number of supercarriers, but deploying more and larger amphipious assualt carriers. The current ones carry 2200 marines and a squadron of Harriers.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#56 2005-10-20 15:44:01

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

No, the supercarrier today is excessively expensive to operate and difficult to defend against modern long-range/high-speed torpedos (Russian Type-65 and Shkval-II), high-speed cruise missiles (SS-N-22, future ramjet Exocet), and perhaps even theater ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads (Iran, North Korea). We ought to keep a few of them around, their capacity as a base of operations is very nice, but against the best weapons of today they are an awfully big bullseye.

Amphibious assault carriers can't carry fighter jets in sufficent number nor type for anything but fairly short range and small scale assaults, nor can they carry weapons or hardware needed for sustained operations. The F-35B version of the JSF, which will replace Harrier, has the shortest range and least payload: with a true aircraft carrier, the better armed and ranged F-35C model can be carried as well as the F-18E Super Hornet. The latter will come in handy since it can serve as a tanker for exteneded range strikes, as a jammer platform to supress enemy radars and radios, and to deliver heavy strikes to lightly defended targets. Oh, and the F-18E can carry Harpoon anti-ship and SLAM-ER air/surface cruise missiles that might wind up being incompatible with the ground attack oriented F-35.

And the Harrier, I would like to add, is a death trap that needs to be replaced very soon, if for no other reason that the dwindling remaining planes will all crash.

The USN probobly ought to develop a "pocket" escort carrier to replace the role of the supercarrier if it can, a far smaller ship equipped with gas turbines rather then a nuclear power plant and a straight runway on the top deck with no tower. Take lessons learned from DDX to minimize its sensor signature and reduce its operating costs. Equip it with two dozen planes or so and optimize it for minimum crew compliment, and supporting the most powerful anti-aircraft system practical.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#57 2005-10-20 23:30:42

Austin Stanley
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From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

I tend to agree.  Here is how I would cut back the US Armed Forces.

USN

Currently fields 12 Carriers, I would cut this back to 6.  The following carriers would be decomissioned and/or sold off to other friendly countries, like Europe, Australia, and maybe India.  While the Nimitz class is very good, it is no longer so cutting edge that we should fear selling one of them to one of our close allies.  But even the oil fired Kitty Hawk and JFK are vastly superior to any other carrier out there, including that French POS.

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)
USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

The remaining 6 more modern Nimitz class (or Theodore Roosevelt subclass) carriers would be retained.  Although further production would be halted after the George W Bush enters service.  Instead the one of these (or one of the retired ones) will be refited when modernizing is necessary.  This will allow the US to deploy 2-3 carriers at any one time easily, and up 5 in an emergency.

I'm not as up to date on the numbers and deployment of the rest of the USN but I figure most of the rest of our forces could be cut in half as well, with the the potential to sell at least some of our ships to our close Allies.

As for the Airforce, as GCNR says, there is room to be cut in our strategic bomber fleet.  The US currently deploys 85 B-52s, 67 B-1s, and 21 B-2s.  I still think all of these bombers have a roll to play in our armed forces.  The B-52 as a cheap bomb/cruise missle truck.  The B-1 as a low-altitude penetrating bomber/bomb truck.  The B-2 as a long-range penetration bomber and strategic deterent.  The introduction of JDAM and other cheap precision GPS guided bombs have made these bombers even more leathal than before, and the remain one of the cheapest ways to put bombs on a target.  However, again we are overbuilt for our current situation.  I would reduce the number of B-52s and B-1s to about 24, with another 24 left in active reserve.  I would keep the number of B-2's the same since we spent so much to by the darn things we might as well use them.  I would keep our current inventories of fighter air-craft as is.

The Marines and Army I would leave alone as they are pretty much fully deployed currently.  I would halt development of the new ambipous APC for the marines, although it may be to late as it is close to deployment I think.


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#58 2005-10-21 09:41:46

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

I don't think that any of our allies would want a supercarrier, since they wouldn't have planes of sufficent type or capability to make them worthwhile and would be even more vunerable to attack without Ageis-armed cruisers to escort. The F-18C is getting fairly old too, and selling them with the carrier as a package deal would only be marginally more attractive, particularly given the operating costs.

I think the remaining USN units are probobly about the right number, they just need to be traded for new ships in relativly short order, particularly ships less well defended against missile attack as Arleigh Burke class ships. We need a fairly signifigant number of warships to support invasions, anti-submarine, and blockade actions... particularly with the advent of the ballistic missile interceptor missile entering service.

Where the US military could probobly spare the most is in the strateigic attack department, and for somebody to shake the USAF Space Command by the lapels and get their finances under control. Since we aren't going to be carpet-bombing large areas as much anymore, the B-52 numbers could be cut in half or eliminated in favor of B-1 and the USN probobly ought to reduce the ballistic missile submarine force... annnd somebody get Space Command under control.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#59 2005-10-21 09:47:54

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,275

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Well on the news front of the Beoing Lockheed side while we are waiting for the enevitable to occur there are those that do not see this as they do. So when in doubt the Rocket Maker Sues Boeing, Lockheed

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, says SpaceX "has suffered significant injury from Boeing and Lockheed Martin's coordinated efforts to exclude competition from SpaceX and others…."

SpaceX alleges that Boeing and Lockheed have employed "strong-arm tactics to demand that the Air Force grant them exclusive long-term contracts." The Air Force is the largest buyer of rockets to launch military satellites.

Here is why they think they should merge:

Even with the Air Force orders, expected to total more than $30 billion over the next 15 years, there was insufficient demand to justify two distinct U.S. rocket makers, Boeing and Lockheed said.

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#60 2005-10-21 19:12:32

evilcitizen
Member
Registered: 2005-09-18
Posts: 21

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

I admit, as a development platform, the F-22 has gotten some results, although it is questionable how much of the billions of dollars spent were well used.

However, the F-22 was built for the Cold War. The JSF has the same technologies for a fraction of the cost. The Pentagon should cancel F-22 and pour the money into JSF to keep prices per unit down.

Here is a great page if anyone wants up to date news and background on the F-22 project, it's brief and easy to read:

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/cat … watch.html

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#61 2005-10-21 21:24:41

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

I admit, as a development platform, the F-22 has gotten some results, although it is questionable how much of the billions of dollars spent were well used.

However, the F-22 was built for the Cold War. The JSF has the same technologies for a fraction of the cost. The Pentagon should cancel F-22 and pour the money into JSF to keep prices per unit down.

Nonsense, not that much money would be saved by eliminating the F-22 nor is the F-35 JSF by any measure interchangeable with it.

Again, there is  the "F-22 project" to produce an actual aircraft and the development of the technology behind the F-22, which is also what makes the F-35 possible. The F-35 is relativly cheap because the "F-22 project" did most of the hard development work for it. The engines, the aerodynamics, the stealth coatings, advanced antennas and so on that are readily available for F-35 all came from the F-22 project. If you were to discount the cost of the technology development, which is a huge leap beyond what we had previously with F-15/16/etc, then each copy of the F-22 isn't all that expensive.

The F-22 has come too far to be cut now, and unless it is fielded in appreciable numbers then it isn't much good as a dependable weapon, a small number of silver-bullet F-22's can't do what they were intended to do, completly dominate any air force in the world. Sure a small number would be an even match, but we aren't out to just match, and this plane will be with us for a very long time. Plus, the first squadron or two worth of jets has already rolled off the assembly lines, and is undergoing final tweaks and modifications now.

Lastly, those under the mistaken notion that the F-35 is simply a baby F-22 should know better. The F-22 can fly higher, faster, and further then the F-35 can; nearly double the speed at 60,000ft for longer and further then either varient of F-35 is able to. It probobly also carries superior radar given it isn't designed on a budget, and would fare much better in a dogfight against even last-generation Russian fighters if it came down to it. Plus, the higher altitude and cruise speed, which is almost as high as the F-35's maximum speed, gives the F-22 an edge: guided bombs would have a much longer and missiles a slightly longer range.

The F-35 is a good plane, its stealth and sensors will make it big step up from the F-16/18C and Harrier it will replace, but its just not the F-22. Its a good jet, but its not a crushingly dominant jet. Its ability obliterate anything any foe could possibly fly or shoot at it for the next twenty or thirty years, not just be good against, is worth the expense. America should not sacrifice conventional superiority for "good enough."

Neither the F-22 nor F-35's stealth is effective enough to completly escape detection either, only ensure that the fighting happens on favorable terms... in which case, which plane would you rather be in?


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#62 2005-10-27 07:09:34

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,275

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Here is also another reason for why we can not allow this merger.

Boeing's rocket schedule hit by looming union strike

Boeing aerospace workers across the country are preparing to strike next week, a move that would halt the company's Delta rocket launch schedule at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

But what about all the other rocket work this company does?

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted to reject Boeing's latest contract offering. Union leaders cited the lack of retiree medical benefits for new employees, vacation and insurance costs as unacceptable parts of the proposed contract.

The union includes 365 workers at Boeing's Huntington Beach facility, 288 at Cape Canaveral and 100 at Vandenberg.

The workers are critical to launch activities, meaning their strike would prevent any liftoffs from occurring, Boeing said.

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#63 2005-10-28 16:38:20

publiusr
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Musk is sueing them as well.

If you can produce, sue.

I just wish the Air Force would remember we're not in MiG alley anymore.
With DDX, the Navy still thinks we're in Jutland.

I'd rather have older fighters closer to targets than a relative handull of F-35s a state or two over. You don't need stealth to shoot down airliners.

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#64 2005-10-28 22:47:13

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

The air force and navy are stuck with jets that are coming up on thirty years old (except the F-18E) and are at best (I.E. with some serious upgrades) only a match for the top-end Russian fighters with their missiles with superior reach and agility. Late-model Russian fighters and some of the technology behind them are being openly sold to China too, and if they are willing to sell even Iran a nuclear reactor, why not fighter jets and missiles too? China is also developing their own counterpart to the F-35 JSF, the J-10, which won't be as good but it could match the F-16 most likly... and will probobly be available for export.

Plus, Russian surface-to-air missiles are probobly good enough to wipe out current jets, or at least be a major strategy-hampering threat. If we need to quickly destroy air defenses of a hostile state, we should have fighters with enough stealth to attack missile sites without coming under fire themselves. As nice as cruise missiles are, they are not impractical to shoot down, but a shower of cheap SDB/JSOW bombs dropped by F-22/F-35 can't be counterd without exhausting missile magazines.

If the USAF and USN air forces are going to remain the preeminant air power, then we need the F-22 and F-35... Sooner rather then later.

As far as DDX (and its little brother, LCS) goes, thats an easy one... the reason we need it is two fold, the first is that really deadly antiship missiles are now openly sold, which our current ships would have serious trouble defending against. The French Exocet missile, basically their version of Harpoon, was sucessfully used by Iraqi fighter jets in Gulf War-I and managed to all but sink a USN destroyer. They never even saw the missile coming... and future versions of Exocet and the current Russian missiles employ ramjet engines for supersonic attack. Its questionable if even the Ageis system could protect USN ships from them.

The second reason is, the USMC has been hounding the Navy for decades to improve rapid-response fire support, and they still don't really have it. The DDX will mount a bigger, badder long-range gun with GPS guided shells able to reach a hundred miles, which really would make a world of difference versus the piddily 5in unguided guns of today.

Eventually, modern Russian, Chinese, and probobly French weapons will - to an extent - become the global standard with countries that we might have conflicts with. Given the amount of time it takes to develop new weapons, and the clear current vunerability of today's weapons, building new weapons now makes sense.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#65 2005-10-29 03:27:46

VTTFSH_T
Member
From: Hawaii
Registered: 2005-09-13
Posts: 19

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Have you ever heard of the F-117 and the B-2?  Those could take out enemy SAM sites without them even knowing it.  Plus, the pilots piloting those purchased aircraft aren't trained as good as USAF and USN pilots.  The American Military has the best training programs in the world.  Plus, Navy SEALS can take out the SAM sites.  They could parachute out of a C-5 Galaxy during the night.  The C-5 Galaxy wouldn't be reachable by the SAM sites because it flies at 34,000 ft, out of range of most SAM sites.  Russian, Chinese, and French weapons will never become the global standards.  The American made weapons are much better quality and the users are trained better on how to use them.  You could give a J-10 to Osama bin Laden and it would be useless because he nor any other person in his terrorist orginization wouldn't know how to use it.  Plus, if the Chinese taught them how to use it, that would probably start a war because the Chinese would be directly helping the terrorist.  The Russians probably wouldn't help them because Al'Queda and the Taliban revolted against them for control of Afghanistan.  You claim that the American weapons are out of date.  They may be, but we have no idea what the US Army, USMC, USN, or the USAF are designing behind closed doors (top secret projects).

P.S. Nobody else in the WORLD has the stealth technology we do.


ggkthnx big_smile

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#66 2005-10-29 06:33:54

Dook
Banned
From: USA
Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

One problem in designing a stealth aircraft is the fact the the wings must be relatively flat on the bottom and this provides a perfect radar return for a radar positioned below the incoming aircraft.  This is how the F-117 was shot down in Bosnia.  We not only need stealth bombers but fighters as well and in enough numbers to completely dominate the air space of an enemy. 

34,000 is not out of range for most SAM's.  The russians shot down a high flying U-2 with 1960's technology.  Their exported missiles can easily reach that altitude and a giant lumbering C-5 would be about the easiest target of all.

You can't expect SEAL's to take out every SAM site.  SAM's are mobile and many would be positioned deep inland to protect airfields, cities, powerplants, critical roads and bridges. 

Whatever they are designing behind closed doors (hypersonic pulse detonation engines??) it's likely that it would not be available in enough numbers to affect the outcome of a real war with China.

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#67 2005-10-29 06:34:10

Austin Stanley
Member
From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

As I said previously, I am in favor of some dramatic cut backs in the US military, but the F-22 is the wrong program to cut.  I mean, we have already spent the billions to develop it, it would be foolish to back out of the deal now after spending all that money.  As discussed previously the proliforation of good 3rd and 4th generation Russian fighters along with deadly beyond visual range missles put our opponents on a more even footing than ever before.  This threat is combined with the fact the increased avalability of some truly deadly russian SAM, such as the SA-10/SA-20 which can even intercept balistic missles, demand a new 5th generation of fighters.  The US is not alone in this line of thinking, the EU has also put down some serious cash developing the Eurofighter, their 5th generation fighter design.

Our stealth weapons like the B-2 and the F-117 are still very good, but they are both bombers, and as such can not deliver air-superority.  A B-2 cannot stop a fighter from delivering a bomb or anti-ship missle.  It cannot defeate a fighter in the air, that task must be performed by a fighter, which are going to be increasingly vunerable.  Also, the F-117 (and probably the B-2 as well) are not invicible due to their stealth.  An F-117 was shot down over Yugoslavia by a Russian SA-3.  Which makes me worried because the much more advanced SA-20 series is being put on the export market.  We only have 55 of the F-117 and 21 of the B-2's anyway.

As for SEAL's jumping out of C-5's at 35,000 feet as an anti-missle battery measure, you must be out of your mind.  I don't know if HALO jumps are actualy possible at that altitude, but it is certianly WAY above the normal alttitude for jumps.  Jumping at this alttitude is very risky by itself, but its small in comparison to what those poor guys will face on the ground.  Despite what your video games may have taught you, even a high trained group of men like the SEALs, Green Berets, or Rangers will be hard pressed to deal with the defences at a minor SAM site.  It's just common sense, a dozen or so guys (at best) are no match for the platoon or so that would be guarding and operating the SAM site.  Besides many modern SAM weapons are mobile, so the SEALS would have to go traipsing about behind enemy lines for an extend period trying to track it down.  Making their already difficult to impossible job even harder.  Even if the site was stationary, it could be tough for them carry enough ordince to get the job done anyhow.

--------

I disagree on the DDX/CGX/LCS though.  Not that their necessarily a bad ideas, but just that it would take to long and cost to much to replace the US destroyer/cruiser fleet.  And it doesn't eliminate (or realy even greatly reduce) our vunerability to anti-ship missles.  A destroyer or worse yet a cruise or a carrier is a big, slow moving radar blip, no matter how you dress it up.  If you can get a fighter close enough and/or determine the position of a carrier group well enough to launch an anti-ship missle at it, the missle isn't going to have any trouble finding it's target, stealth features or not.

--------

Like I said before, the EU is currently working on developing a new carrier program.  In fact both the French and British are currently working on new carrier designs.  We should just sell them a couple of our older Nimitz class vessles instead.  Throw in a couple older Ticonderoga class cruisers and destroyers to sweeten the deal and we could kill two birds with one stone.  Freeing up US money and generating enough revenue from the sale to fund our mission to Mars to boot!


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#68 2005-10-29 08:03:35

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Have you ever heard of the F-117 and the B-2?  Those could take out enemy SAM sites without them even knowing it.  Plus, the pilots piloting those purchased aircraft aren't trained as good as USAF and USN pilots.  The American Military has the best training programs in the world.  Plus, Navy SEALS can take out the SAM sites.  They could parachute out of a C-5 Galaxy during the night.  The C-5 Galaxy wouldn't be reachable by the SAM sites because it flies at 34,000 ft, out of range of most SAM sites.  Russian, Chinese, and French weapons will never become the global standards.  The American made weapons are much better quality and the users are trained better on how to use them.  You could give a J-10 to Osama bin Laden and it would be useless because he nor any other person in his terrorist orginization wouldn't know how to use it.  Plus, if the Chinese taught them how to use it, that would probably start a war because the Chinese would be directly helping the terrorist.  The Russians probably wouldn't help them because Al'Queda and the Taliban revolted against them for control of Afghanistan.  You claim that the American weapons are out of date.  They may be, but we have no idea what the US Army, USMC, USN, or the USAF are designing behind closed doors (top secret projects).

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/miss … /aa-12.htm

Let me re-introduce the R-77, the Russian answer to the AMRAAM: it is a bigger missile than the chronically small AMRAAM, and has a range somewhere between 150-200% that of our missile. It has similar speed and a radar at least as good, and probobly better with the larger electronics bay. The Russians boast that its accurate enough to hit cruise missiles or slow-moving guided munitions (JDAM, JSOW), plus has a passive seeker mode for attacking Patriot missile radars (probobly a setting for Ageis too). Oh, and it comes in a version with a ramjet that gives it a range of ~150km, which is beyond the reach of even the patriot missile.

And Russia has sold some 200 rounds to China...

We don't have a good way to counter it, if you send up AMRAAM-armed fighters against R-77 armed ones, they don't have the reach to attack them before getting shot down themselves. To make matters even better, late model Su-27 and beyond fighters have a rear-mounted radar, so they can turn and run while still sending tracking updates to R-77, while US fighters can't with AMRAAM. If they are armed with the ramjet-powerd version, defending AWACs assets, patriot radars, or Ageis ships becomes immensely harder since AMRAAM, Patriot, and Standard-II missiles wouldn't have the reach to effectively counter before being attacked themselves.

You don't need the hyper-fine level of training to employ the R-77 effectively, since the launching aircraft enjoys such a large range advantage, even a novice pilot who knows how to use his radar could use them with impunity. The upgraded "super" version of AMRAAM equipped with a ramjet would only match the basic no-ramjet version of R-77, and being "only as good" is not good enough. The rear-mounted radar on the Su-27 and later would still permit them to run while guiding the R-77 too. Patriot and Standard-II aren't going to get much better any time soon, since the missiles just wouldn't fit in the launchers if they were any bigger.

And as Austin mentioned, there is the late model Russian SAMs, which would probobly wipe out formations of F-15/16/18 just as they were intended to do. They have more range then any current fighter-borne standoff weapon, and can supposedly hit cruise missiles or even the F-117 at close range. The F-117, being a bomber with a limited selection of bombs, would have to fly in close to deliver its bombs. Too close.

The common denominator to all these problems are that modern radar systems permit the enemy to detect and attack our anti-aircraft/missile assets from ranges that exceed our ability to counter them, even the F-117 and cruise missiles to an unacceptable extent probobly, and the solution is clearly embodied in the F-22 and F-35. Their stealth turns the tables and gives AMRAAM and JDAM/JSOW the edge again. They will be able to detect and attack anything that flies before they even know its there, fly to attack range against SAM radars that would be death to anything we have now (and shower them with small PGMs), and generally give us undesputed control of the skies again... instead of just being "a match."

As far as DDX/LCS goes, I think that we should build it and gradually try and replace current destroyers/cruisers with them; we are building more Ageis missile ships now, then discounting the development cost, building a DDX/LCS ship shouldn't be outrageously more expensive. Having a small number of "silver bullet" ships with these capabilities makes sense to me, because they will have near-total stealth. There just won't be anything external to the ship that can reflect much radar back to a threat source, but at the very least will be hard to detect enough that enemies will have to close within its range before they can attack it.

Given the proliferation, and there really is no other word for it, the proliferation of good antiship missiles then having one or two DDX ships to clear a path for a carrier group or Marine assault force would be really handy against any surface, air, and to an extent subsurface threat. Its gun would support assault forces like no other weapon has before, able to deliver hundreds of Mach-6 GPS-guided shells to within meters of a target up to 100mi away seconds after request rewrites the book on naval support fire that no air support can even aproach matching. It will also be armed with an FEL laser to replace the outmoded Phalanx gun, which will give DDX the ability to defend friendly ships to a degree thats impractical now.

Having even a dozen of these ships will radically improve the navy's abilities against today's challenges.

As far as the argument that "Osama or tin-pot dictator X won't have these weapons or use them right" is naieve, it doesn't take sharply honed training to launch missiles, and they will have them. Russia has actually sold the ultra-deadly SS-N-22 supersonic antiship missile and late-model SAMs to IRAN of all people, and they still have their Chinese Harpoon-equivilent missiles too. But that asside, it doesn't matter who has these weapons, if they aren't solid and eternal allies (Canada, Europe, Austrailia, Japan) then it would be stupid not to keep our technological edge. That includes countering weapons held by China, I think we ought to stop being coy about it and (without fanfare of any sort) arm ourselves against China, who may not be on friendly terms with us forever... and what happens when China sells copies of Russian or their own hardware?


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#69 2005-10-29 10:29:39

Grypd
Member
From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,863

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Sic Vis Pacis, Para Bellum

The advance and spread of technology has changed what was considered the standards of war. Aircraft now if seen are dead and nothing including the F117 and B2 bombers are invisible. The priority now is to hit hard and from range that is why cruise missiles are increasing as air defences are getting stronger and the cost of fighters and Bombers too expensive and there risks too high.

Do you think the Chinese dont know what makes the B2 Bomber work or that the claim that advanced French radars can lock up both the F117 and B2.

Engineer charged with selling B2 secrets

If they did not know they do now and the man above probably made sure of it considering he invented the system.

So the Navy is looking at what is the best way to ensure that targets bombarded and not be stopped and the DDX is the best way at the moment but it cannot stop. In the future as war conditions get harder it will be better for a naval warship to be able to bombard at even further distances. Mass drivers are being considered as a replacement to "conventional" guns.

(ps Sic Vis Pacis, Para Bellum = Who wants peace, prepares for War)


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#70 2005-10-29 11:32:03

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Knowing what makes the B-2 stealthy and being able to stop it are two different things. Everybody knows exactly how the F-117 stealth works, there just isn't anything you can do about it unless it flies right over you. The story that the French radars managed to find the B-2 are nonsense, because the B-2 was intentionally transmitting so it could be tracked. After all, its not nice to fly a strateigic bomber over your neighbors if their air traffic radar can't see it.

However, the B-2 is not completly invisible, and its stealth is only really useful when trying to penitrate air defenses to reach a target, but if the target itself has modern air defenses or is patrolled by fighters, then the B-2 is going to have a bad day. The F-117 has better odds, and could well evade any fighter screen, but flying right over a SAM site or warship might be a bad idea.

A B-2 bomber guarded by F-22s would be an unstoppable combination... the F-22s would slaughter patrolling fighters and shower air defense sites with the new mini-JDAM to let the B-2 in over the target to deliver the heavy payload.

The DDX's main reason for being is that it can get within range to attack aircraft or surface ships before they can get close enough to hit DDX with antiship missiles. And it does have the long-range (conventional, not mass-driver... yet) that will change the way that amphibious assaults or shoreline patrols are run. And, so it can defend other non-stealth ships, will have that laser turret on top of the Ageis missile system. The navy also intends to at least try to make it quieter then normal ships, so it would be harder to hit with torpedos.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#71 2005-10-30 09:44:53

Grypd
Member
From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,863

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

The radar cross section of an F117 is probably about 1sqm (1 square meter) and this with all the radar absorbing techniques and its shape ensure that it looks like the background it flies through. This is not the case though with the wake of disturbed air that follows behind the aircraft, the contrail which can be seen.

Then again any active radar itself can be targeted and as such removed. That is why the theft and selling of the properties of the B2 bombers heat radiation is a problem as unlike Radar, heat recognition is a passive system and theoretically systems can be designed to look just for that signature.

Still for all this the uncertainty it is that the likes of the F117, B2 and F22 that are on the way out. All manned fighters and bombers will eventually be replaced by UAVs. The weakest element in modern fighters and bombers is the human pilot and all the techniques used to improve the Human have reached the point where an UAVs ability to take ever increasing G in turns and to have smaller and smaller cross sections not to mention their expendability are giving them the edge.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#72 2005-10-31 10:57:44

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

No, the RCS of the F-117, at least from the front, is on the order of a few square inches.

Advanced IR detection systems have drawbacks, that fighters and bombers flying at high altitude would be hard to spot, and with the advent of GPS guided bombs our planes can attack from an altitude with reasonable accuracy.

Second, they wouldn't have that great of a detection range, if for no other reason then they are line-of-sight and can't see over the horizon. The F-22, flying at altitude, can probobly lob its bombs some twenty or thirty miles. Hiding an IR telescope and SAM missile batteries is difficult enough that they could not respond effectively and be well hidden. I bet an IR telescope might have trouble in warmer climates too, or against objects at low altitude (like cruise missiles) given the heat radiating from the ground.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#73 2005-10-31 12:27:23

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

Still for all this the uncertainty it is that the likes of the F117, B2 and F22 that are on the way out. All manned fighters and bombers will eventually be replaced by UAVs. The weakest element in modern fighters and bombers is the human pilot and all the techniques used to improve the Human have reached the point where an UAVs ability to take ever increasing G in turns and to have smaller and smaller cross sections not to mention their expendability are giving them the edge.

As far as I know the problem with high G turns is people blacking out. Isn’t that caused by not enough blood to the head. This can be counted by a suit that provides more pressure to the legs then the head. There are other issues like the structural strength of the body. For instance how many Gs would it take to squish the eyes or brain. As for supporting bones, I am sure some mechanical suit could be developed which would help people move there body against heavy gravity. I heard some place that the human body can survive 90 bars of pressure. Pressurizing the body with 90 bars of pressure would go a long way to help the body biomechanical support the G load in a fighter plane. In short I am not sure 10 G’s is the limit of the human body.

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#74 2005-10-31 15:55:45

Austin Stanley
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From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

As far as I know the problem with high G turns is people blacking out. Isn’t that caused by not enough blood to the head. This can be counted by a suit that provides more pressure to the legs then the head. There are other issues like the structural strength of the body. For instance how many Gs would it take to squish the eyes or brain. As for supporting bones, I am sure some mechanical suit could be developed which would help people move there body against heavy gravity. I heard some place that the human body can survive 90 bars of pressure. Pressurizing the body with 90 bars of pressure would go a long way to help the body biomechanical support the G load in a fighter plane. In short I am not sure 10 G’s is the limit of the human body.

Your exactly right that one of the main limitations on how many G's an aircraft can pull is it's human bodies ability to withstand those forces.  G-Suits can help alive this problem, but not eliminate it.  Right now the general limit for sustained G's is around 9-10G with G-Suit assistance.  And that amount of force cannot be sustained for very long, G-LOC (Gravity induced Loss of Conciousness) will still occur if these forces are maintained for to long.  The heart simply is not strong enough to pump blood up to the head against these forces, and it is impossible to provide to much assistance without injuring the body in some other way.

That said, this is the limit on sustained G forces.  Physicaly the human body is pretty tough and take much more punishment.  For example sitting down or jumping produces decelerations MUCH greater than 9G, but this is a momentary and not sustained force.  It takes quite alot of force to burst and eye/squish the brain/break a bone.  G Forces are no diffrent than anyother force in this respect, it takes the same number of G's to break a bone as it would any other kind of Newton.

----------

But G-LOC is not the only reason replacing manned fighters is a good idea.  Indeed in most cases an aircraft's airframe cannot withstand much more Gs than it's pilot.  Or at least it cannot sustain them without leaving control flight.  Missles will all ways be able to pull more Gs than aircraft.  They are smaller, and there thrust to weight ratio is DRASTICLY higher.  UAV may be able to lessen this gap, but they will not be able to eliminate it.  So I think the possibililty of UAV being able to outmanuver missles is overated.

The biggest advantage IMO is the elimination of the pilot and all the heavy systems that go with him.  Taking out the pilot, LSS, ejection seat, controls and all could potentialy save tons in aircraft mass.  Without a pilot (and a canopy for him to see out of) a planes profile could be much lower leading to a small radar cross section.  There are other benifits as well such as not risking a human life, machine reaction speeds, and so on.  But the space and weight savings from eliminating a pilot are the biggest, IMO.


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#75 2005-10-31 16:21:11

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Rocket Monopoly - United Launch Alliance

The heart simply is not strong enough to pump blood up to the head against these forces, and it is impossible to provide to much assistance without injuring the body in some other way.

What if the body is tilted so the G-Forces are oriented so the person flying feels like they are laying down. That way the heart isn’t fighting gravity. Or even a mechanical secondary hart could be used. Perhaps external to the body. As for assistance I think I disagree. If the suite provides more pressure for assistance then pressurize the body to provide counter pressure. Consider the pressure deep sea divers can go down to. As for reflexes if the vehicle is unmanned there will be a larger delay in the control. Also there is no reason machine reactions can’t be mixed with human intelligence. Putting the human in the plane puts the human intelligence closer to the action. An interesting idea would be having one human manned plane control of fleet of unmanned planes.

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