Defense spending has been spiraling out of control at over $500 Billion annually….thanks to Lobbyists (Lockheed Martin) who spend over $100 million on Congress. That’s how the Government works.
Anyway let’s talk about the new 5th gen fighter…the F-35 Lightning II. Originally the request from the military was for a 5th gen fighter for $35 million a piece. Well… now that they are in production the cost comes out to around $135 million a piece. Gee what happened??? Oh and yes they are still going to go ahead and order 2,400 F-35 fighters too. This is ridiculous pork belly spending. The F-35 project went out of control and nobody did anything or even cared. The F-22 was supposedly canceled because it was $150 million per plane and that was too much. Really???
So why does the U.S. need a new 5th gen fighter? We are told to “rule our airspace”. If we don’t top other fighters then we will loose our air superiority. If this is true then why do we still use the AH-64 Apache helicopter? It’s design is over 30 years old. Yet it is still being manufactured today.
In today’s air combat, missiles are the main armament and are super sophisticated. Some air to air missiles can track and strike targets out at 100 miles. There is no visual at 100 miles. So with that being said, how maneuverable does the fighter aircraft need to be??? Air combat 2014 is… launch a missile first or deploy counter measures to avoid being hit. I don’t see any dogfights this day and age. Oh and Stealth technology is not what you are being told.
The F-22 and most likely the F-35 are maintenance dogs. For every hour in the air they require 20-30 hours of maintenance. The more sophistication, the less reliability. Systems fail frequently on these planes. So we’ll have less reliable planes in the air to protect us. Great!
The smart plan would have been to take one of our current fighters like the F-16 or F-18 and upgrade it with stealth and weapon systems. Pilots already have a lot of experience flying combat missions in these. Spend money on missiles so you can take out enemy planes before they see you. This is intelligent spending. But congress doesn’t do that. They do what the lobbyist want and print more money.
Bottom line….a $300,000 missile can take out a $100 million plane…get the picture?
UH-1D “Huey” gunship used in Vietnam in the infamous “Search and Destroy” missions. The armament includes 2 Miniguns,( one on each side) door mounted dual M60 machine guns and 2 rocket pods yielding 7 rockets per pod. The Huey gunship was very effective at suppressing the VC during troop transport missions. They would cruise at 150 feet and lay down some serious firepower.
The Minigun has a rate of fire of 4,000 rounds per minute. The door mounted M60 does 550 rounds per minute.
The Vietnam War lasted over 15 long years (1960-1975) with hundreds of thousands of casualties. It was one of the most difficult wars for the US. The terrain was thickly foliated, rocky, wet, swampy and just out right treacherous. The enemy or VC (Viet Cong) knew the terrain and knew how to fight. They were highly underestimated. Their numbers approached 300,000 strong. The north had a population of about 16 million and were ready to replenish fallen soldiers in minutes. The Viet Cong were heavily supported by Russia and China. The battles were numerous, bloody and very long.
The TET Offensive was hell. The VC attacked every where and at the same time. All of the U.S. outposts were under heavy fire from morters, artillery and small arms fire. There were heavy losses and thousands of wounded soldiers. It lasted forever…as it seemed.
Battle/combat stress causes well trained soldiers to turn into ticking time bombs just waiting to go off. Soldiers do anything to release stress like firing their weapons. The walk around looking for the enemy so they can shoot. The jungle silence drives them crazy. Some take off running, screaming and yelling and sometimes shooting at anything that moves. They play games with knives and their weapons. The stress of knowing the enemy is out there and at any time could attack is nerve racking. Night fall was the worst. This is when the VC would attack. It was pitch black. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. You couldn’t sleep at all.
Here is a taste of combat…Vietnam style.
I love when Somali pirates become former Somali pirates. They are nothing more than water born terrorists and should be dealt with as such. The Russian Navy knows exactly what to do…watch the video.
Russia does not mess around with politics like other countries. They just take out the undesirables. In this case a Somali raider boat and the mother ship.