130401-D-NI589-149PENTAGON: In a grim presentation before the press corps, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined deep cuts to the Army, Air Force and Navy he may have to make to cope with the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Reaction was swift on Capitol HIll and the think tanks that inform so much of what senior Pentagon leaders think.

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services, Rep. Adam Smith, laid the blame squarely in the lap of his colleagues.

“The single biggest take away from Strategic Choices Management Review is that Congress, by allowing sequestration to exist, is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to responsibly fund the military and to provide for the common defense. Through sequestration, Congress is forcing the Department of Defense to make some extremely difficult decisions that will undermine military readiness and put more unneeded stress on our troops, civilian employees, and military retirees,” he said in statement.

Just in case anyone wasn’t clear on just what Smith meant by “Congress,” Smith added this line:

“The SCMR drives home the point that Republican budget policies of fiscal austerity and intentionally starving the Federal Government of revenue put our national security at risk.”

Some of his colleagues are trying to do something. And it’s a pretty exciting bipartisan duo. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Jim Cooper, ranking member of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, are expected to present a bill to provide DoD with flexibility in handling sequestration cuts.

A very different, less political line on Hagel’s comments was taken by one respected defense analyst, who called them “remarkable” because “they publicly seek to break — for the first time by a modern SecDef — the so called ‘golden ratio’ of budget shares between the military services,” Mackenzie Eaglen, defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors, told me in an email.

“Clearly, releasing these findings will achieve the intended effect of shocking politicians into a new level of awareness about how bad and painful this could really get,” she added, pointing to the risks Hagel took in publicly outlining his options. “On the flip side, once you put these reduced priorities and management efficiencies out there in the public domain at all, they risk becoming foregone conclusions or expectations of what’s to come (versus being perceived as possibilities, they become a blueprint for the next three years regardless of budgets).”

Here are the options Hagel outlined for the Army. The least painful option would bring the Army down to 420,000 and 450,000 in the active component and between 490,000 and 530,000 in the reserves. The Air Force could cut up to five tactical aircraft squadrons “and cut the size of the C-130 fleet with minimal risk.”

Hagel said these cuts would mean the country “could still execute the priority missions” determined by the latest defense strategy.

The second option would bring the Army lower, slice the nation’s carrier force by almost one-third, bring the Marines down to as small as 150,000 troops and cut “older” Air Force bombers.

“We would protect investments to counter anti-access and area-denial threats, such as the long range strike family of systems, submarine cruise-missile upgrades, and the Joint Strike Fighter,” Hagel said. “And we would continue to make cyber capabilities and special operations forces a high priority.”

For those who think the Defense Secretary may be playing the game his predecessor Leon Panetta did, crying wolf and being left to look a bit foolish when the world did not end when sequestration came into effect, Hagel said during the press conference that he told his people they must not exaggerate, adding he didn’t want anyone coming back and saying the Pentagon had oversold the impact of sequestration.

But William Hartung, head of the arms and security project at the Center for International Policy, didn’t buy that, saying Hagel’s actions “are too little, too late. Key questions like changes in military compensation — and even how to cut the $52 billion in FY 2014 — have yet again been kicked down the road.” Hartung accused Hagel of of understating DoD’s “ability to make sensible procurement cuts by protecting systems like the overpriced, under-performing F-35 combat aircraft.”

Hartung concluded that the SCMR and Hagel’s speech today “is that this is a more low key version of ‘the sky is falling’ rhetoric favored by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. A 10% cut over ten years will still leave us with over $5 trillion in spending over that time period, and a budget well above the Cold War average.”

Hagel made clear that no final decisions have been made yet. That will be the White House’s job.

Comments

  • TerryTee

    Hagel, will now do what Obama hired him to do in the first place, to “Drastically Cut the US Military”. Hagel, like Obama has always be in favor of a Much small US Military, if you have read anything about what both men have said in the past.

    In the US Constitution, it says the federal government is to provide for the common defense of the country, but with all the “Entitlements” that have been created since the 60′s, there is no $$$ for much else. it’s truly sad. It’s time for “Serious Entitlement Reform” before we become Greece. No where in the US Constitution does it state that it’s the Federal Governments duty to supply, Welfare,Healthcare, Obama phones or the 100′s of other programs that suck the US Taxpayer dry, but it does state that the “Federal Government is to provide for the Common Defense of the Country”. The selling out of America for “Free Stuff” will win out every time. Truly Sad.

  • M&S

    I think this is opportunity come a-knockin’ (albeit with the weight of a Police Baton at 0200):

     

    1. Just Get Out.

    To extract ourselves from Asia before the Pacific Pivot becomes a maelstrom sucking us into war or debt with out greatest _creditor_ as much as enemy. The key enabler here being the nuclearization of the The Three Tigers as Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Bang, there goes our consumer good entitlement as trade deficit excuse.

     

    But it also puts the PRC into a situation where she can no longer shake her own as North Korea’s saber and expect anyone to do more than “You and what army?!” laughter as they got a taste of what they have been doing to us for the last three decades. Because nuclear weapons both secure and hostage the maritime trade SLOCs throughout the West Pacific Basin.

     

    Do the same with NATO Europe which already has their own-key nukes and you can retire perhaps 150,000 frontline troops, reallocate their heavy armor mission to reserve forces that are desperately obsolescent. And provide for substantial future-force (pay and benefits) reductions, defacto, to current cuts. You cannot go back on your word to troops that have already served.

     

    2. Kill The Zombie.

    Cancel JSF and begin an immediate sixth gen replacement using the imbedded technologies as durable, ‘baked in’, composite LO, EODAS, EOTS, APG-81 and F135 (hopefully with more IHPTET inserts to raise to a true 50,000lb class engine). Obviously this is what the USN wants as a way to steal a march on the USAF with the abortive (sabotaged) F-22, putting them into top-dog position using hijacked technology.

     

    Except…

     

    3. Who Does What Matters.

    I would less chop the Golden Ratio than dictate it’s functional course. So that ALL airpower systems became USAF directed. And ALL naval systems (including missiles and lasers which will make tactical airpower a relic of it’s own maturity in 20 years) be assigned to the USN and ALL ground forces components be given to the Marines. Yes, I said the Marines. Because unlike the grossly over inflated Army, they have managed to remain good budgeters and a competent light force which uses combined arms rather than ton:mile weight of armor to get the job done. Repeat after me:

     

    _THIS NATION DOES NOT NEED FOUR AIR FORCES AND TWO ARMIES._

     

    Proper realization of that truth would, by itself, drive down budgets by at least 50%.

     

    4. Invest MASSIVELY in anthropomorphic robotics.

    Because where half our society doesn’t want to work at less than 30hrs a week with less than 11 dollars an hour average pay and we don’t like the look of open food riots and civil disorder from the 8 million on welfare, we still need to recreate a work product ratio that ‘changes the equation’ on GDP. Which is to say where a robot works for free and a free man owns five robots, he gets half their salary equivalent as his own take home and the rest goes to a corporate tax pool based on commercial profits which the government takes from.

     

    This way, even the dumbest, laziest, cuss on the face of the earth could receive the profits from ONE robot as his/her yearly dole. While those who worked to own more than that could get the benefits of **allocation** of their property to whatever ‘service’ system needed it. Be that a cashier at a 7-11. A burger flipper at a MacDonalds. Or a courtesy clerk as a department store. All these dehumanizing, menial, jobs could be shared out between a massive labor pool of simple skillset robotics. Rather than import wage slaves whose sole desire it to escape that condition themselves.

     

    The key to getting that large pool of robotics, quickly, is to cascade them from the military as rapid-generational platforms that performed logistics or combat tasks until obsolesced as surplus to the civilian market.

     

    Priming the pump as it were. You can’t do this with Abrams or Raptors or Virginia Class subs. You _can_ with automaton technology.

     

    5. Shift to regional Hypersonic Strike Systems.

    Specifically mid range hypersonics. We cannot afford to do without carriers in the Somalia or Libya or Timor conditions. But nor can we necessarily afford the latest in combined arms doctrine (subs pushing aeroballistic or cruise missiles which are targeted by VLO drones to kill ASBMs so that the CVSF can come past the 1,200nm boundary, inshore…).

     

    If the Carrier cannot win the big fight then it is too expensive to be kept solely for these secondary taskings.

     

    And the way you ‘reenvision the mission’ is to realize that China is some 2,500nm X 3,200nm and all it’s principle, high value, industry is deep-centered or in the Western periphery. If you want to reach that, short of IRBMs, you _must_ move to a theater hypersonics system which is leverageable from carriers.

     

    We have taken the X-43 and the X-51 to points where it is clear that stable scramjet propulsion is possible. We have seen what the X-37 can do as a cheap shuttle to rapidly loft oblique satellites into coverage over no-photopass, IMINT protected, Chinese territorial regions. We have even seen what basic ‘plastic airplanes’ can do to win the Ansari-X Prize.

     

    What we haven’t seen is how American Ingenuity can bring it all together in a carrier compatable airframe.

     

    And I think it’s easily doable so long as you split each performance profile logically, with turbines+swing wing for the carrier launch, climbout and recovery (full body retract on the VG). Basic plug’n'launch SPR motors for the acceleration to and thru SR-71 height as reaching Mach 5 and 200,000ft where thermal acoustics are not as big a problem. And a scramjet with 120 minutes of function to get a Mach 10 airframe out to 5,500-7,500nm of _leg not radius_ performance. ECS to SCS or SCS to Al Udeid. For kinetic effectors, we have MIRV/MARV technology to fall back on.

     

    And the point is that it’s _single system cheap_. Because there is no threat out there at this time which can engage a platform that ejects it’s KEMs as much as 800nm from target. And the basics of carrier approach and landing are not really compromised by a hypersonic cruise because there is no sustained maneuver as combat requirement.

     

    Such is the next step forward in aerospace and it has been a long time delayed by Big Military visions of ‘missions’ as protected turf. With a budgetary crisis looming of epic proportions, I would be willing to see the retirement of ALL the strategic bombardment forces except for the showboat force of B-2s and one squadron of lowest-hours B-52 cruise shooters to ensure that this capability is moved up the line of funding enablement.

     

    6. Return to an Alternative Service Options.

    I have already spoken about keeping the logistics as CS/CSS capabilities of a demobilizing armed forces in place to provide both useful infrastructure refurbishment and cheap job skills to a volunteer force that wanted the college credits (or whatever) without the killing obligation.

     

    IMO, this could be done with a Late Period Romanized approach to a ‘Limitanei’ equivalent who received basic training in TWO job skills: infantry and X where X could be anything from feeding a lot of people in a short period to raising houses or doing electrical and plumbing.

     

    In trade for which 18 month obligatory service period, _where you would be graded for performance_ as a function of earning your certificate and employment guarantees, you would enter a secondary regional settlement planned service period of 2-3 years, ‘just like the Peace Corps, but without the travel or rape’.

     

    In this deployed location you would be working with GSA supplied robots and fellow vets to provide a cadre` spread of basic community essential services.

     

    All done inside the U.S. (think Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans) and with the prospect of applying a basic housing stipend towards purchase at the end of term.

     

    These troops would function as no-pay shift duty or emergency adjunct forces (night time or weekends etc.) to police and perhaps fire in rural areas, while performing daily construction/repair/services (paid but at Army not civilian wage levels) jobs that the local governments could not afford to contract out.

     

    All as a turnkey system of simple life advancement for young people with continuing contract extensions or new-location re-commitment bonuses but paid in real property loans, surplus vehicles, added skillset training or other accommodations rather than necessarily wages.

     

    In some ways you are creating colonists to regentrify bad areas. In others, you are putting a constant-service National Guard at the disposal of States in day to day administration of what will likely be multiple municipalities that are functionally in receivership and for which the Federal Government cannot supply direct bailout funds to continue police/fire/water/electrical/postal so that -good- areas don’t degenerate.

     

    The one thing that bothers me is the reality of what happens when we demobilize existing forces without real street skills and with a massive hole in their employment records that reads: “Killing for American In Southwest Asia”. I do not want to see a group of proud young men and women turned criminal through a lack of opportunities. They deserve better than that. Particularly as there is no guarantee we may not need to call upon their services again.

  • squidgod_the_unbannable_2.0

    Can’t wait to get into the office this morning and see all the blind panic…

  • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

    Just face it as the rest of the World the money is going to screw all. So we got to figure out who to take it from and what Armed Services will be best to do that. I would think Air Power would be the key. But you do have to have some ground forces to mop-up. Enough Navy to get them on the shores. Maybe it would be cheaper to build B-17′s these days and fighter jets to support them. Instead of building a lot of expensive bombers filed with expensive Tech. Strategic bombing back and selective bombing out the door with the cost and the Tech. The 8th USAAF rides again?

    • M&S

      Forgive me if I was not the intended recipient of this response. While airpower will always have a place, simply because, like a Knight on a chess board it has the potential to reach deep and strike into marshaling as rear area logistics, the fact of the matter is that conventional, tactical and certainly _manned_ systems may soon be on their way out.

      2007, Raytheon fires a 20KW laser that destroys mortar rounds 500m away.
      https://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/7-1934.aspx#startofcomments

      2010, Rheinmetall fires a 50KW laser at rocket targets 1.5km away.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20944726

      2012, Northrop Grumman Skyguard kills MANPADS at 10-20km.
      http://defense-update.com/products/s/skyguard-laser.htm

      2006, Boeing’s ARMS Relay Mirror System Bends Laser 2X2 miles.
      http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2006/q3/060807a_nr.html
      WIth systems like these plus hunting weapons that combine the features (jet turbine motors and missile sizes with deployable wings) of SAMs and Aircraft, the days when we can assume that we can pull stunts like Libya may be coming quickly to an end.
      Not least because the per-round costs are down around a few hundred (digital) to a thousand or so dollars (chemical) thus the high initial acquisition costs can be somewhat offset by the very cheap ammunition resupplies.
      There is no miss-ile effect here. Even the most fleeting of targets, if it’s in-WEZ long enough for the point optics to stabilize (say 2-3 seconds), will be hit as time of flight is zero.
      While it is not likely that that nations like Korea or Iran will lead in these technologies, at least at first. The fact that many of them are based on commercial vs. milspec grade components (fiber bundle lasers for instance) says much about how readily available they will eventually become.
      We cannot push for a world order as resource access that is based on our own martial supremacy. For instance, having given up their own colonies it is unlikely that Europe would agree and being in the process of ravaging Africa for her own ends, I doubt if China /cares/ (all signed on the dotted line as contractual exchanges with the resident strong men).

      • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

        And you think someone is going to be able to afford that tech? I agree with you on Africa or anyplace that doesn’t have a few nukes. The elite of the world suffer a little and they are going after it. Doesn’t a mirror make a laser obsolete?

  • Chernenko

    I am all for scrapping the F-35 A and C models. The Air Force needs to work out the kinks in the F22′s first. It’s my understanding that the C model can only launch from carriers equipped with emals, which would be the Ford class. Seems to be alittle pointless since the class isn’t in service yet. As for the B model it is a vital for the Marine corp mission. The harrier is getting long in the tooth and, recent combat loses in Afghanistan show the importance of StVol aircraft. Even with the procurement of the Uk,s harriers we need a replacement airframe. As for our glorious partners in the Jsf program it seems more are interested in the B model. The navy in its infinite wisdom built the America class LHA’s, without the F35b these are nothing more than a waste of a flight deck.
    As for cutting the carrier force go ahead. No other nation fields as many carriers as we do. Any potential adversary’s have no more than one light carrier. Mothball several carriers, think how we used the Iowa class battleships after World War 2 and apply that to the Nimitz class. A combination of submarine launched cruise missiles and Air Force B2 and B1 bombers would half to respond to operations like New dawn.
    I would caution cutting ground forces. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq showed us how ill prepared we were in fighting non Soviet style opponents. We need large amount troops to rotate through the theaters and the was fighting smaller sized opponents. If we were to find ourselves in a conflict with the PRC or North Korea who has huge standing armies then there would be a real problems.

    • M&S

      Chernenko,

      The F-35C will not serve as a fighter. It may, with the aid of the T3 or JDRADM, be a functionally self-escorting bomber. But only if it is carriageable in numbers of 8-10 per airframe which will require the use of EWP encapsulation in underwing pods.

      The F-22 can serve as an FNOW fighter but then will need to be relieved for day to day strike. If not by the F-35A then by a UCAV.

      Indeed, it is the UCAV which shows the most potential for achieving what the JSF program failed to do as a _common_, not ‘Joint’ platform. Commonality is code speak for _cheap_ and here is where you will see real savings. First because there is no need to denavalize a platform which is already a pig in terms of achieved performance. This is not an F-4 Phantom, it’s a turbine driven Reaper. With a common fleet comes the ability to have shared inventory because -all- UCAV should retain the ability to land on a carrier via JPALS or similar (differential GPS + video) systems. If you have a common force, you don’t have to have excess capability for theaters where a carrier is either too far away from the target (central Asia or Africa) or the only platform available (South or East China Sea).

      Finally, a UCAV can train 10% of the force on a daily basis (say 50 jets) so that targeters in either MCS/GCS ground sites or combat controllers on jets can review imagery data passed back in huge bursts of radar driven data modeming. Without having to exercise the other 450 jets at all, all year round.

      We will never ‘mothball’ nuclear ships. The perceived risks to terrorist strikes or attempted fuel high jackings would be extreme and to defuel and refuel a carrier in time of crisis is a six-months-after-the-surrender kind of a deal.

      That said, the big problem with LHA-6 is that it’s not an advance over existing platforms, lacking as it does the ‘dual tramway’; it cannot peform dual mode (ongoing helo and STOVL) air operations or separate landing and takeoff (of CVTOL) to take place using centerline elevators at either end to speed the deck cycling while minimizing vulnerability to AShM.

      I myself see no reason for the USMC to be an Air Force unto themselves and in particular find the F-35B to be an obscenity of waste which has ruined the JSF program overall.

      Even so, the advantage to smaller decks (with more automated ships services and lower crewing ratios) has to be a function of total costs not just per-hull trades. We currently operate forty aircraft off of 100,000 ton nuclear carriers intended to carry 80+. That has got to change or it just isn’t worth keeping them around. Part of the answer lies with go to war reserves of Air Force UCAVs. The rest with much greater levels of automation so that Navy air wings can manage at least a third again as many aircraft based on the long sortie evolution as cyclic intervals of operating jets off of carriers.

      At the same time, the Marine force of F-35Bs will never amount to more than 6-8 jets per deck as ‘detachments’ so long as the majority of the force is V-22/CH-53 SPOD siezure biased towards very large deck as hangar spot allocations for rotary wing platforms.

      Even if you switch to a total Fixed Wing air component, the JFK will not come up to more than about 25-30 jets because it is that much smaller than the nuclear ships.

      Again, I do not like the F-35B because it is short legged and so weight compromised by the STOVL module that it’s wingloading is actually worse than the larger F-35C.

      Where the DF-21D or DH-10 cruise systems (along with Sizzler, Brahmos, CM-400AKG and others if you include India and Iran) _do not care_ if the ship is a 60,000 ton light carrier or a 100K ton CVN, the notion that you are going to take an inferior performing fighter some 1,100nm closer to shore (the F-35B mission radius is only about 400nm) is insane. They will shoot the ship out from under you.

      I suppose the jet might have some utility if we were fighting for our lives on the Korean Peninsula or Taiwan, where the ability to put down in a tennis court or fly from under an overpass -might- protect us from random satellite/drone passes and ballistic targeting; the fact is that you can get the same effect by simply staging from well back and either using supercruise or tankers or both to quickly eat up a 1,000nm radius, hit your target and disappear again.

      Better not to be shot at because you are out of range than to play Harrier Hide games and hope not to be seen.

      As skosh as the F-35B is on gas, it still needs 14,000lbs per flight, along with perhaps another 4,000lbs in internal munitions alone. Feeding that kind of habit without a fleet train or constant fly-in of C-17 airlift is not going to be practical.

      I truly hope we don’t end up back in AfG or Iraq anytime soon but if we do, the truth is that the best (and most popular) CAS method is not a Harrier on a PSP alert pad, fifteen or even five minutes away. It’s the drone overhead spotting for the NLOS (Netfires or Jumper) missile system out back of the building.

      “When seconds count, response time cannot be measured in minutes.”

      I would rather have a 120mm breachloading smart mortar firing Silent Eye and GPS guided rounds immediately to hand than a whole fleet of F-35B when the neighbors become unpleasant.

      Which brings me to the basics of what went wrong in Iraq and AfG.

      Principally, we pretended we were the French in the 1950s Vietnam. Always retiring at night to our little FOB festungs and locking the doors _real tight_ as sectarian violence basically declared open season throughout the night.

      Hand me the reins and the first thing I am going to do is institute a national photo ID system which trades residence and biometric photo for 15-25 dollars a week in EBT equivalent food credits. Then I am going to put up a network of gunfire sensor cued high def video cameras on telephone poles. Then I am going to put out field outposts with Crusher/Mule type UGCVs. A pole sensor on every street corner and in every back alley with roving Predators to gapfill.

      Damage the pole sensor and you’re dead, no questions asked.

      Hurt each other, and I will come find the survivor/s. On scene with UGCV or via a long dwell Predator tracking you back to your cave. And I -will- have proof that you pulled the trigger because there will be video of it.

      Give me a false address and I will burn your families hooch down and take away their EBT card to send them to ‘reeducation camp’ until daddy comes home to get what’s comin’ to him (see: Boer Wars, this _does_ work).

      There will be no immediate handover of military governance to a bunch of murdering assassins as jumped up Parliamentarianists. And there will certainly be no civilian courts handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards to fellow Iraqis whom they send the national police to slaughter the next night in what amounts to sectarian genocide.

      The wars in Iraq and AfG were prolonged because we didn’t make it impossible for the enemy to effect their own kill chain without being chased down and held accountable, not as a game of coup driven sport combat but as a function of law enforcement with lethal consequences.

      As for China and Korea, the ROKs would clean the DPRKs clocks if they got uppity enough to come South again. Only the nuke equalized things and the obvious answer here is to give the ROKs their own nuclear turn key capability and let China understand the consequences to making North Korea their puppet nuclear saber state.

      That is the only reason why China agitates this region (along with Taiwan) is to use her cats paw clients to bleed the U.S. a little paler in terms of defending the undefensible. We cannot keep China from exercising her own Monroe doctrine over the region. We -can- make sure the deals equitably with the Three Tigers in a fashion that gives us an agreeable exit strategy.

      Because of this, while I don’t believe in bleeding down the ground forces entirely and certainly would not abandon our regional Allies to their fates without fair warning as five years of lead, nor do I believe that the present system we have for fighting ground wars is adequate.

      The XM-8 Buford and Thunderbolt are altogether pathetic light tanks on the same scale as the M551 Sheridan. But if I equip those tanks with modern munitions like the XM1111 and decent defensive packages like the AMAP-ADS I have a system which, with the help of UAV targeting, can fire up any ‘real’ tank (Leo2A7, M1A2 Tusk-II, T-99 etc.) from beyond their Line Of Sight ability to shoot back. We’re talking 8-10km shots. At the same time as the TACOM cleared ADS (think Arena on steroids) -can- intercept those tanks which get through to fire APFSDS rounds. Because the ADS is rated to 2,000m/sec projectile defeat.

      And now these light Armored Gun Systems are able to exercise the one advantage they have which MBTs do not: You can put three on a C-17 and five on a C-5M.

      Which means that now, when you send your RDF CentCom force to rattle around the Middle or Far East, they don’t instantly become BOG speedbumps as soon as they tuck and roll from under their parachutes.

      Rather they can be fully mechanized, mounted, forces which use UGCVs with CKEM + Mk.44 30mm as the cavalry screen, long range main tubes as both obstacle reduction (cities) and antiarmor support. And VLS equipped M113s to fire NetFires or SLAMRAAM in a combined air defense and precision rocket artillery mode.

      NONE OF WHICH WILL HAPPEN.

      So long as the USAr continues to do business the same old way.

      I am a serious believer in the notion that you fight as you train and you train as you believe you are going to fight. Not as a reaction to technology improvements but by _leading them_.

      Which means that you cannot be conservative in ‘waiting for the technology to mature’ (as secure, LPI, datalinks for instance). Because the technology is only one element of the story.

      It’s the doctrine that makes you killer and not a victim and right now our doctrine still looks too much like ’60-90 days later’ relics of the Cold War as Desert Storm.

      • Chernenko

        Df-21d requires a lot of coordination and additional units, like satellites for tracking, and command and control centers. Satellites can be brought down, and command and control centers can be neutralized by cruise missiles. The Df-21d currently is not a mature enough weapons platform to pose a significant risk to US or JMSDF naval assets.
        Mothballing nuclear ships has been done before. The Army’s nuclear power generating barge from the Panama Canal Zone was mothballed for some time. Marine Corps security forces which currently guard the navy’s trident missile facilities have sufficient enough experience to secure an area from attack. Mothballing a Nimitz would be the same as decommissioned nuclear power plant. The waste from nuclear plants still sits on site after its decommissioned since there currently isn’t a repository for spent nuclear fuel yet. It would save an enmorous amount of money.
        The f35b is short legged, but most combat aircraft are. I’m quite confident that the f35 could handle any Sukhoi aircraft currently built and its Chinese copies. LHA’s can be used as a light carrier, with up to 20 F35b like we did in the gulf war with the harrier.
        Once Ucavs mature they well be great for both naval applications and traditional runway service. I agree with you here.
        I disagree with you about the US being like the French in Indochina. I was in on the border in 2003 and went across all the way to Baghdad. We the went across that border, with a plan and executed it. What we did not have was a plan for after we toppled the regime. Paul Bremer and the CPA were our downfall. We went from being seen as liberators to occupiers. If anything we were more like the Vichy French we would do anything to appease the Shia’s. Ahmad chalbili that guy was as crooked as they come, and we were going to make him am MP. Allawi was another snake oils salesmen. We alienated the Sunni, causing more harm than good. We were pussyfooting around with Iran when we should have striked hard at them.

        • M&S

          Chernenko,

          >>

          Df-21d requires a lot of coordination and additional units, like satellites for tracking, and command and control centers.

          >>

          DF-21D requires a football field sized ROTH-R array-

          http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/airdef/rothr-untitled.jpg
          http://www.thelivingmoon.com/45jack_files/04images/Bases/Laverton_001.png

          In which ‘fixing battle damage’ is akin to going out with a posthole digger, setting in a new monopole, tuning it up and pouring a little concrete.

          The important element of which is is that RANGE on these units is incredible, 2,500 miles or more with roughly half-degree angular bearing accuracy and range resolution sufficent (in the JORN) to track Cessna 172s coming into East Timor.

          Combine this with a little creative point to point microwave linkage through discrete surface links or UAV as broadcast rebro and you can put an OTH-B array in Chongqing that will see out to well past Manilla-

          http://www.mapcrow.info/Distance_between_Manila_RP_and_Chongqing_CH.html
          http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/china_administrative_map2.htm

          No problems. Which may mean that reaching the targeter with enough boom to make a difference is not practical, certainly if the Chinese preempt.

          >>
          Satellites can be brought down, and command and control centers can be neutralized by cruise missiles. The Df-21d currently is not a mature enough weapons platform to pose a significant risk to US or JMSDF naval assets.
          >>

          Strategic rocket forces tend to be elite units with hardened, mobile, communications capabilities well beyond what you would expect of normal assets, simply /because/ of their mission roles. Short of blowing up a W53 at 400K over central China, I’m not sure you can guarantee loss of these comms, simply because their greatest security lies in their restricted network use.

          I am sure you understand this… :-)

          >>
          Mothballing nuclear ships has been done before. The Army’s nuclear power generating barge from the Panama Canal Zone was mothballed for some time. Marine Corps security forces which currently guard the navy’s trident missile facilities have sufficient enough experience to secure an area from attack. Mothballing a Nimitz would be the same as decommissioned nuclear power plant. The waste from nuclear plants still sits on site after its decommissioned since there currently isn’t a repository for spent nuclear fuel yet. It would save an enmorous amount of money.
          >>

          Okay, then let me give the your flip side of the argument. If we can only afford to operate 8 carriers in the SCMR world, can we afford to dump 300nm of combat radius to let the Marines play-pretend they are real airpower with 11 LHD and 30 jumpjets? In OEF we converted the Battle Cat to an offshore base simply because the use of conventional LHD was impractical.

          What I think a lot of people flat out _don’t get_ is that STOVL doesn’t matter except as an exercise in cheap-is-as-cheap-costs purchase economics. The deck still has to have X number of days of underway operations before replenishment and the sacrifices in airwing size as sortie rate and radius capability make no sense against a first world threat with 1,500nm ASBM.

          Bluntly (where LPD are equally capable as gator freighters) a CVN makes for a better STOM ship than an LHD makes for a CV.

          >>
          The f35b is short legged, but most combat aircraft are. I’m quite confident that the f35 could handle any Sukhoi aircraft currently built and its Chinese copies. LHA’s can be used as a light carrier, with up to 20 F35b like we did in the gulf war with the harrier.
          >>

          I’m not. I’m to the point where I don’t believe in ‘Crown Jewel’ secret capabilities that I can’t see, there is simply too much corruption in Lockheed as the F-35 program, starting with the 60 million dollar contract overage in Concept Demonstration back in the 90s (which should have flatly disqualified them, right then and there, from further participation), to conclude that there is more here than meets the eye.

          Until they show us, there is no secret DEW capability that is going to beat the Sukhoi or the Chengdu or even the Eurofighter, definitively. Aerodynamically, the F-35 is simply outclassed and always has been.

          More importantly, I don’t believe that the big threats come from A2A but rather from S2A.

          The difference for me is that with only two shots on the door and all mission ordnance concentrated in the well, I have also reached the conclusion that the only way for a JSF to survive -either- threat is to go with such longranging ordnance that the RCS penalty of external (podded) carriage is not a signature problem.

          >>
          Once Ucavs mature they well be great for both naval applications and traditional runway service. I agree with you here.
          >>

          An MQ-1 Predator is a viable UCAV sir. It has a crew overwatching it’s sensor feeds in real time but it is performing all flight control and weapon release tasks on it’s own. Simiarly, a Cruise Missile is a UCAV, it is capable of retargeting, loiter and different attack profile options, enroute but it is also capable of flying with total datalink lockout as threat jamming to a discrete target and engaging it all on it’s own.

          Somewhere inbetween those capabilities lies the X-47. If the EA/Cyber threat is ‘that bad’, you fly it like a cruise missile, shooting HARM at radio jammers and dropping SDB on runways or HAS farms to role back what you cannot face directly and make the operational bubble happen.

          If the threat is middling, you fly the drone via a high power microwave modem on a combat controller accompanying Fighter aircraft (see: APG-77 transmits 280 megabyte radar map in 4 seconds).

          If it’s a permissive environment then you control the aircraft just like you would a Predator or a Reaper. Indeed, the MQ-9C can use all of the existing MCS/GCS capabilities that the existing A-UAVs do.

          People -pretend- that the day of the UCAV is ‘almost here, just not quite ready yet’. When the truth is that the UCAV is with us _right now_. And it is merely the stunning efficiency with which it works that leads both pilots and enemies to hate it for how good it is.

          We don’t need to wait for things like Coherent Change Detection and onboard gated threshold decision making before we declare airborne Terminators as being a functional reality. Because that’s never how UCAVs were intended to operate.

          >>
          I disagree with you about the US being like the French in Indochina. I was in on the border in 2003 and went across all the way to Baghdad. We the went across that border, with a plan and executed it. What we did not have was a plan for after we toppled the regime. Paul Bremer and the CPA were our downfall. We went from being seen as liberators to occupiers. If anything we were more like the Vichy French we would do anything to appease the Shia’s. Ahmad chalbili that guy was as crooked as they come, and we were going to make him am MP. Allawi was another snake oils salesmen. We alienated the Sunni, causing more harm than good. We were pussyfooting around with Iran when we should have striked hard at them.
          >>

          If you don’t have a plan to do with your conquest what you need to to make the military action pay for itself, you don’t have a plan. I see Iraq in two ways:

          1. Oil.

          120 billion barrels of known reserves, horded for 10 years.

          Plus another 40+ billion in the unexploited reserves of the Majnoon complex on the Iranian border. If OPEC wants to play pricing games as ‘futures’ on sweet vs. cold crude, you need to have a control rod which says: “Be my guest. Make the rest of the world poor and unhappy. We will buy from our exclusive new exporter for pennies on the dollar.”

          2. Nose Push.
          These nations live as non-entities locked in a warrior religion whose sole purpose is to breed killers for conquest in the next territory over. Whose high priest was a bandit highwayman, a pedophile and by all accounts, a epileptic psychopath. Saudi Arabia should have lost all status with us for what she did to directly encourage as sponsor UBL turning his eyes away from the ‘near threat’ to the far one. Saudi charities funded that man. Saudi intelligence _told him_ that if he stayed in the Kingdom they would kill him but if he left, ‘as the scion of a great family’ he would be allowed to do as he wished. And the Saudis killed three of their top interior ministers, in ‘highway accidents’ within six weeks of 9/11. One whom was a woman.

          Not to clean house or exact vengeance. But as a coverup for how deep Saudi bag-manning had gone, right through their upper classes.

          With friends like these…

          Had we not given the submissive Iraqis a belief that they could push us around because we were ‘such nice guys’, embarrassed by a little thing like a lack of WMD, they never would have risen up. We could have instigated mandatory Constitutional changes in how their society was run, removed all hope of a Sharia Law system which is to say corruption from top to bottom. And then we could have started rebuilding that country from the bottom up on the basis of having the Oil Moneys to make a living example of what a first world Arab State should look like.

          The best way to achieve revolution-in-attitude is by envy. Because as soon as someone envies what you have, you have a lean on their attention as to how to get it. You rely on idiotic (CIA sponsored) ‘revolutions in place’ and all’s you do is trade ordered despotism for anarchy.

          We _did not plan_ for the aftermath of OIF and so it didn’t really matter how well things went ‘according to plan’ in kicking in the door of a third world hole whose military hadn’t had access to regular spares support in over a decade.

          • Chernenko

            In regards to drones, yes the predator and global hawk are mature. There is however a significant difference in the ability to fire an anti-tank missile from that of an anti-ship missile. I was referring to operating drones off of carriers. The navy still does not have all the kinks worked out, let alone a platform selected for carrier operations. Not all drones are mature the fire scout is still having problems. A cruise missile is hardly a disposable drone, the price of our classic TLAM is somewhere around 10 million dollars.
            Back to the DF-21d. You put a lot of faith in Chinese military technology. Keep in mind that most of there successful weapons platforms are copies of Soviet technology. There home grown efforts haven’t been a strong deterrent. There loud sun, and ssbn’s. They also had problems with there missiles on those ssbn’s. Yes the Df-21d hit a patch of land in the middle of nowhere, can the hit a carrier underway? It’s possible but I do not believe this is the game changer that every one thinks it is. Electronic warfare will also degrade the effectiveness of the system. Is it possible that the threat is real yes, but I do not think it is currently.
            The Falklands war proved the capabilities of StVol aircraft both in the ground strike role, and as cap. That was modern conflict with modern air assets on both sides. If you mean to tell me that that the F-35B could not handle an Su27 or Su-30 (which are common exports) in aerial combat I say you have unique opinion. I didn’t not mention the euro fighter because its an unlikely that US would fight a foe armed with such aircraft. The marines “don’t play pretend” at anything they provide some of the best close air support in the world. You act like all strike aircraft never utilize inflight refueling.
            Advocating for a foreign airframe to replace the JSF program will never happen. Do you remember the KCX program. Boeing lobbied hard and fast, and got that contract overturned do to alleged misconduct.

          • M&S

            Chernenko,

            >>
            In regards to drones, yes the predator and global hawk are mature. There is however a significant difference in the ability to fire an anti-tank missile from that of an anti-ship missile.
            >>

            Airframes are airframes. The mechanics of releasing a 1,300lb Harpoon from a UCLASS internal weapons bay are no different from those inherent to releasing a 2,500lb GBU-27 were from an F-117. You apply a little CFD and a little Finite Elements and hey presto whaddya know…

            We have already released much more difficult (less mass going through the boundary flow, smaller jet for static margin balance issues) GBU-39 test shapes from the weapons bays of the much smaller X-45A.

            We have yet to release an NSM/JSM from inside an F-35 so the two airframe concepts are, at best, evenly unproven.

            >>
            I was referring to operating drones off of carriers. The navy still does not have all the kinks worked out, let alone a platform selected for carrier operations. Not all drones are mature the fire scout is still having problems. A cruise missile is hardly a disposable drone, the price of our classic TLAM is somewhere around 10 million dollars.
            >>

            Then the Navy needs to get on with it. They have been dorking around with the Automatic Aerial Refueling (differential GPS off the tanker plus video) to _successfully_ put hands-off F/A-18s as UCAV simulant probe-into-drogue through as much as a 9ft swing of the basket.

            Better than -any- human could manage.

            And that program concluded back in what, 2005?

            They had JPALS down to a 4 inch scatter margin on F/A-18s as far back as the late 90s. Being able to literally choose which wire to go for.

            The _system_ capabilities are fully proven. Integration has yet to be done, solely because every manned air services have done literally everything they can to trip up UCAVs.

            And the reason is the the military labor unions populated by college educated middle managers who know how to push ‘team-team-team’ in preserving their job security that is killing our defense by making us choose budget over capability.

            Certainly the JSF represents the best of neither.

            UCAV autopilots don’t get sore butts from sitting on a metal seat pan with 2inches of sheepskin seat covers for 6hrs. Which means that if you launch from 1,500nm and it takes 4.5 hours to get to the target area at best-cruise throttle setting plus a single tanking and then you fly for 10-15hrs once there and spend another 4.5 hours coming home, you are not going to have a pilot either dead on his feet or strung out on uppers mistaking the long axis for the angle deck and plowing through half an airwing when he _misses the pendant entirely_.

            Indeed, if you want to talk about massive waste as useless sortie generation for it’s own sake, you talk about what happens when each jet is carrying X8 GBU-53/B and despite the best efforts of whatever SCAR is present, they simply cannot find targets for all the bombers coming through the tanker bottleneck before fatigue and/or Bingo fuel tells them they have to turn back home.

            A UCAV, like any great hunter, finds its best ‘skill’ in the simple act of patience in the long stalk.

            So long as it has a minimal (Flying Wings = much narrower bow tie) presence and acceptable attrition mechanic in the face of random encounters with enemy air or S2A fires, it is the superior choice over manned jets which are in-and-out because they are visible from much further out and because they are flying with one eye of the gas tank.

            If we are forced to generate sortie numbers in conditions where either the enemy is on donkey back coming over ‘any of twenty’ mountain passes, the UCAV wins.

            If we are forced to generate sortie numbers in conditions where the carrier is half a timezone away from the combat area because the threat has working ASBM and there are hostile fighter sweeps flying over Taiwan every half hour, then the small bowtie signature, low IR signature and absolute freedom from fatigue that a UCAV represents _also wins_.

            >>
            Back to the DF-21d. You put a lot of faith in Chinese military technology. Keep in mind that most of there successful weapons platforms are copies of Soviet technology. There home grown efforts haven’t been a strong deterrent. There loud sun, and ssbn’s. They also had problems with there missiles on those ssbn’s. Yes the Df-21d hit a patch of land in the middle of nowhere, can the hit a carrier underway? It’s possible but I do not believe this is the game changer that every one thinks it is. Electronic warfare will also degrade the effectiveness of the system. Is it possible that the threat is real yes, but I do not think it is currently.
            >>

            Great Britain had largely canvas and steel tube airpower, right up to the beginning of WWII. See: Gloster Gladiator and the Wellington and even the Hurricane. Along comes an elliptical wing which distributes lift as compression shocks evenly and has a leaf spring spar that doesn’t break off the fuselage in an 11G pullout from 550mph dives. Now add it to a Merlin engine which was at least in the same HP class as the DB601 (though it had no fuel injection) and you suddenly change the ADGB game from one of steady losses to an ability to break up the topcover and create sufficient chaos to let the Hurricanes achieve continuing attrition on the Heinkels and Junkers as a workable gameplan (yes, even though the GCI controllers routinely understated the raid column heights and even though the 11Grp idiots could seldom mass their strengths in time…).

            More on-point, the V-2 rocket had miss errors on the order of 200yds with the Leitstrahl guidance system to control ballistic impacts. It was so damn scary that only the fact that the missile was burying itself before it blew up and the British were busy shooting down every Luftwaffe recce asset they could, allowed them to push a disinformation plan as newspaper accounts of ‘missing by miles’ overshoots which conned the Germans into recalibrating their guidance systems until they -did- miss by miles.

            The only thing missing from the V-2 to make it a game changer was the will to use nuclear waste as radiologics on allied rear area logistics at the risk of catching Anthrax back, on German soil.

            Point Being: Little changes in a couple key areas can shift the balance of power, tremendously. And an ASBM has the wonderful option of firing and then firing again and again and again maximizing the probability spread per ‘best engagement’ condition, rather than having to wait hours as days to recover and regenerate a mission force of AS-4/6 carriers flying at 500 knots.

            This is not the 1980s. This is not the Cold War. We should not apply the same metrics, simply because the targeting window can be continuous and the engagement delay short. Solving for trajectory mechanics in ballistics is simply easier than solving for things like Stealth in this regard because the physics are more straightforward when you blow up the basing mode as opposed to the fighter launching from it.

            And if you just /insist/ that the Chinese are too backwards to put guidance on a maneuvering RV on their own, then fine.

            Say they stole the Pershing II design database. Would you then give credit for an _American_ ‘update’ of the RADAC sensor to put a 3,500mph warhead into the top of a 50X50ft bunker as now-it’s-an-MTI?

            Again, it’s about how far and how fast you can get the kill effector overtop a search grid of X-by-Y miles before the target has a chance to slip out from under. And ASBMs have the potential to completely change the model from Lanchestrian (shot by shot, find the target in a dark room) to Salvo Model (saturate the defense until it can’t kill every inbound) attrition where -something- is going to get hit, because you can’t intercept everything and the shot:target cost trade is 10 million vs. 5 billion.

            OTOH, what the JSF represents is a 40 year commitment to a strike warfare doctrine whose shear cost is one of ENSURING that the F-35 is obsolesced before a replacement for the mistake can be generated.

            How do I know? Because the only thing which will assuredly stop a saturation attack by ASBMs using mini-MARV tech is a high energy laser. And high energy lasers spell the eyeblink end for tactical airpower /anyway/.

            >>
            The Falklands war proved the capabilities of StVol aircraft both in the ground strike role, and as cap.
            >>

            No it did not. The only time the RN SHAR faced the Mirage on equal terms was when the latter were late making their escort rendezvous, early in the war, when the Argentines were still doing high angle attacks. As the TARCAP rocketed foward on burner to play catchup with the four A-4s out front, to the RN Blue Fox they looked like a solid Wall Of Eagles style approach.

            At which point the section lead said something akin to: “Oh dear…”, and promptly _turned tail and left the area_.

            Because they only had 20 minutes on station under the best of circumstances and they lacked the weapons to engage what appeared to them to be a maximum effort to eradicate their defensive BARCAP over the Falklands Sound.

            And ‘never mind’ that the ships in the anchorage down below had a 1,000+ sailors and 2,000 soldiers on them.

            On another occasion, the Mirages fired an R530 missile and ALSO chased the engaged SHAR from the 20K startpoint down through 5,000ft before the missile fuzed out at RMax.

            Both times, the SHAR was short of thrust to fight the good fight with because, in the Pegasus engine, you have this rinky dink gerbil-on-treadmill core powering a massive fan as what provides all the front post thrust in the STOVL system. Big Bypass equivalent slow massflow = no thrust trust at altitude.

            Both times the SHAR fled the scene rather than fight a superior force because, with only 20 jets on deck, even losing a couple in the sortie rotation is a major stress on a _single_ CAP orbit sustainment.

            This is _exactly_ what I would expect to happen with a similar restricted deckload of F-35Bs hit by a much larger force of J-10/11/20s except that now the enemy has BVR shot capabilities and the F-35s rear quarter stealth is ZERO so it can’t just run back to the SM-2 umbrella.

            Back in 1982… Despite there being only a single route through the mountain passes to the Sound (because the A-4s and Daggers were also critically short of gas and couldn’t afford complex surround sound setup tactics) the SHAR never once prevented a lolo attack on the amphib anchorage.

            Nor was it present when Tristram and Galahad were hit in Fitzroy Sound, putting at risk a major secondary landing effort by Welsh Guards.

            Having next to zero lookdown radar performance, SHAR could only find threats reliably by flying over the targets they were going to hit and then ramping down to overtake them on the way out. Unfortunately, when the RN could spare _working_ (not Seacat) SAM ships to the fray, this only served to clutter up the IABZ as the Harriers tailchased A-4s low across the water.

            Of course the SHAR themselves showed up perfectly well to radar at 15,000ft which is why Coventry ordered them to stop waving the red kerchief in front of the bull’s face when they were topcovering the Missile Trap off Elephant’s Head.

            When Coventry’s Sea Darts then went down as she steered across Broadsword’s Sea Wolf engagement lane, they both got bombed.

            Point Being: The OABZ is an arena defined by distance, point defense interceptors with junk sensors, minimalist weapons systems and _no gas_ have no business pretending to be players in it.

            Even in 1982, we were well beyond the CAM ship days of ‘killing the Condors as they come in’ and today, if you’re not at least 300nm out in front, you won’t even reliably see the shooter in time to work the intercept on him and his escorts before AShM are in the air and everyone turns for home.

            Could the SHAR do this? No. Can the F-35B do it better? No. Not vs. the ‘Near Peer’ capabilities we face today.

            Both are radius compromised by absent gas as payload and so both have to put their respective carriers at greater risk just to be in the game.

            Not once did SHARs get staged forwards to attack the TWO Chancha tankers or the Escuadron Phoenix Learjet ‘pathfinders’ that used their Omega/VOR to help limp the broke down A-4B/C into the combat theater. All this _despite the fact_ that the SAS were on the ground outside every major CANA/FAA base giving raid warning from gear in well onwards.

            And yet, when the landbased SUE attacked the fleet, they _never once_ failed to find them because the Carriers had to come in within 200nm of The Sound to support the ultra short legged STOVL wonders and by configuring for STOVL the carriers had no provision for tanking. Even buddy tanking.

            Which is why the Atlantic Conveyor sucked up an Exocet intended for Hermes.

            As strike assets, the GR.3s could not shutdown the single main airport for the entire war (they were putting C-130s, Tucanos and MB.326 into throughout, as well as recovering the odd Skyhawk too hurt to go home). The SHAR stopped trying after the Skyguard and Roland made it clear that they were out of their league in a defended IADS, again because the RN could not afford to lose a single jet. Which is funny because, had the RN taken to heart the lessons of The Battle Of Britain (go for the radars, any way you can) the Argentines would have been defeated morally and logistically long before they finally were.

            And we’re not even going to talk about how the CANA managed to put a carrier within 15 minutes of strike launch on the entire Corporate task force without the RN even knowing they were there.

            Do not try to teach granny how to suck eggs on the Falklands War sir, I was likely studying the screwups of that campaign before you were born.

            It was a conflict won as a function of perserverant stupidity in the face of utterly absent tactical finesse. Victory being defined by who could screw up the most and still have something left standing at the end of the day is NOT how I want Americans to be fighting.

            We are better than that.

            At one time, I used to think we were the best warriors in the world.

            >>
            That was modern conflict with modern air assets on both sides.
            >>

            Not even close. No ARH, no AEW&C, no LDSD, no Stealth, no PGM worth mentioning, limited S2A fires overall.

            Two blindfolded clowns swinging at each other with fire axes on a tight rope stretched over an abyss would be more sophisticated.

            >>
            If you mean to tell me that that the F-35B could not handle an Su27 or Su-30 (which are common exports) in aerial combat I say you have unique opinion. I didn’t not mention the euro fighter because its an unlikely that US would fight a foe armed with such aircraft. The marines “don’t play pretend” at anything they provide some of the best close air support in the world. You act like all strike aircraft never utilize inflight refueling.
            >>

            CAS is not OCA. A CAS jet can swing as much ordnance as it needs to off of external pylons and so long as the targeting pod and the ROVER are working to sort the sheep from the goats, it’s going to win, eventually, because the threat cannot put MANPADS on a long enough slant to defeat the 10-20nm targeting FLIR. Heck, they likely can’t even -see- the jet unless it’s drawing cons.

            With modern systems, any aviator can achieve Marine equivalent CAS effects.

            Air to Air, the Su-30MK2 has the IRBIS radar which will pick up the F-35 outside of the latter’s AIM-120 pole. It has about four times as many BVR shots and it can rely upon the IRST to track the target _front or back_ from about 25nm.

            TKS-2 means the enemy can do the kinds of wide-out offensive skirmish line plays just as easily as the F-35s do and because they have twice the thrust pushing the same gas, they actually have decent IRT performance.

            The F-35 has a T/Wr around .5 pushing all of two MRAAM with _zero_ burner margin because whether you are an F-35B at 400nm or an F-35C at 700nm, it’s the _distance back_ that matters.

            The further out on the treelimb one sits, the less they can afford to jump up and down.

            Using inflight refueling only works when you have adequate carrier based tanking. With the internal fuel load of the F-35 doubling and an average of only four configured buddy tankers in a CVW, the number of jets you can push forward vs. the reality of what they can do when they get there with a ‘look out, I got both bombs today I tell’ya!’ weapons load is questionable.

            Of course, for a Harrier Carrier there is no practical buddy mode refueling at all because you are weight limited on the STO roll and weight limited in bring back on an airframe which is already 5,000lbs shy of gas and for which (in the LO F-35) the conversion process (pylon mount, putty, seal test) to tanker essentially destealths it for any other use.

            >>
            Advocating for a foreign airframe to replace the JSF program will never happen. Do you remember the KCX program. Boeing lobbied hard and fast, and got that contract overturned do to alleged misconduct.
            >>

            Errrrm. Foreign airframe?

          • Chernenko

            Foreign airframe = euro fighter. I may have you confused with someone else advocating for the euro fighter.

            You obviously no more about aerial combat and tactics than I do, so I concede. I assure you I was alive during the Falklands conflict, and it should have been a wake up call to not only the British but America aswell. Argentina handled herself well, and it was a major blunder for the British. America should have learned the power of the Exocet missile , perhaps the Stark wouldn’t have been hit. You referenced the SM-2 it’s my understanding that they have been fazed out and mostly sold to Australia.
            China is a real threat, and in the coming years I believe the Df-21 will keep us at arms length. It will be interesting to see how the laser ciws does on its upcoming deployment on the Ponce. Hopefully they will be able to adapte it for defeating ballistic missiles. The drawback is it requires massive amounts of energy, thus limiting the types of ships it can be mounted on. In a carrier strike group the only ship would be the carrier, unless the Zummwalts have enough power generation and assuming there not assigned to an MEU. Without a cruiser replacement program overall air defense is going to degrade. So a combination of future Chinese naval air assets and Df-21 will pose potential problems in and around Taiwan, and a stones throw away Senkaku.
            I would prefer the Navy get on the ball with UCAVs that’s why I’m not a fan of the F35c.

          • M&S

            Chernenko,

            >>

            Foreign airframe = euro fighter. I may have you confused with someone else advocating for the euro fighter.

            >>

            Ahhh. Well, there are things I admire about that jet.

            The Meteor and the Crosseye Jammer and the Brimstone and the IRST. It’s also a decent aerodynamic configuration which makes the best of the installed thrust plus RSS canard system, giving it essentially an F-18 agility in an F-15A class supersonic performance package.

            That said, it’s short of gas and a proper radar and when you kit it out like it needs to be in indian country (Armiger or Alarm plus 3X 300 gallon tanks), it tends to lose a lot of it’s gumption as the T/Wr is not all there.

            The real problem with the Typhoon as the rest of the canard clones is that they represent an off the shelf, grab bag, of solutioning. Meteor = PL-21 or R-77PD. Bam, now both sides are slinging LRAAM at each other from the far side of 50nm.

            Except. Blink and the J-20 and T-50 are off the scope while the Typhoon is still fully visible. Which means now the Eurofighter has to -cross- 50nm before it’s radar weapons system, perhaps helped by the PIRATE, can discriminate reduced frontals enemy targets. All the while taking shots in the face. Oops.

            Which is why single point advantages beg immitation and become very vulnerable to what the other guy chooses to develop on his own, after he has stolen your idea.

            That said, there are a lot of things about ramjets that do not ‘scale well’ between high and low altitude inlet recovery and throat diameter settings in the combustion chamber. Which means that you can be all over the chart performance wise, based on control over the combustion process.

            It’s equally true that ramjets _do not_ like large AOA or negative G excursions as assymetric flow starvation and this can limit intercept geometries (they in fact tested for this over the Scottish ranges a couple summers back and found the Meteor to be a little shy of optimum).

            Such performance issues kept us from doing the kinds of things we would have liked to with the Have Dash and the H&R version of AAAM (though the USAF fear that the latter would give Congress an excuse to slash the F-22 in trade for a better missile on the F-15 likely had something to do with it). HFDR and VFDR with either a conical body or chin inlet do pretty good but suffer from minimum duct as frontals area size and some RCS issues.

            If BAe got the concept to work, it’s to be hoped that they can sit on the technology in such a way that it doesn’t end up on a Chinese engineers desk six months after the IOC. Given that Meteor is all that really sells the Eurofighter/Rafale/Gripen as BVR platforms, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

            I will never understand why we took the EOSS/AIRST out of the wingroots of the Raptor, I know that the F-14D AAS-42 was getting ‘Phoenix Envelope’ tracking parameters on the F-117 from certain aspects so it cannot be a tech base shortcoming but may have had to do with RCS or other performance issues.

            Given the F-22 has the engine cycle, lift area and thermals capabilities to simply refuse WVR combat at slant angles (up into the 50-60K range), it’s not a case of using the system as a transmerge dogfight enabler as so many other nations do.

             

            >>

            You obviously no more about aerial combat and tactics than I do, so I concede. I assure you I was alive during the Falklands conflict, and it should have been a wake up call to not only the British but America as well. Argentina handled herself well, and it was a major blunder for the British.

            >>

            I’m not going to say that the British didn’t act with fortitude and determination when the call came to do the right thing and not knuckle under as would have been so easy to do.

            They had moments of brilliance at Pebbles and Goose Green, to balance the tragedy of missed opportunities like putting ATGW shooters ashore to take out the garbage truck Exocet, the Roland unit and the two radars at Stanley.

            As I hinted, I would have never allowed the Argentinians free use of tanking to push up their strikers either. There are accounts of FAA A-4P coming home /streaming/ gas from the number of machine gun holes in the wings, fuel coming out almost as fast as the KC-130s could put it back in.

            Had those men died because they couldn’t make it back using just buddy packs, sortie rates would have collapsed much sooner than they did, no matter how ‘brave’ they were in pressing home their attacks.

            With the SUE only having just the one wing tank to go with the assymetric Exocet and the electronics pack on the centerline, tanking was also particularly critical for the ASUW strikes on the RN carriers. If the Argentinians had been able to get access to and modify some of the helo-launch AM.39s that their neighbors had, it would have been _very bad news_ because it was the Chancha that gave the SUE the range to hit the the Task Force and when they moved inshore to support the early parts of the landing, more AShM runs would have been a disaster indeed.

            Rather than ‘threaten’ to bomb with a B the capital (which did successfully pull back the Mirages) as Prime Minister Thatcher did, I would have used the Vulcans to put single-pass flaming holes in the ramp where the KC-130s sat. No warning. Preemptive. Long before Corporate pulled up into the COEA.

            This is no different than Conqueror sinking the Belgrano and in many ways, vastly more important.

            IMO, that act alone would have shortened the war by at least 20 days and maybe a 250 casualties.

            Which is why I look at Kadena and Misawa and Andersen and a bunch of LHDs pretending to be CVNs and I seriously wonder what these people are smoking. If you haven’t got adequate tanking as _surety of range extension_ in the presence of long range ballistic fire, you cannot afford to be playing STOVL games with a 400nm radius airframe.

            Because to a DF-21D, the Wasp looks just as juicy as a Ford.

             

            >>

            America should have learned the power of the Exocet missile , perhaps the Stark wouldn’t have been hit. You referenced the SM-2 it’s my understanding that they have been fazed out and mostly sold to Australia.

            >>

             

            I’ve often wondered about that engagement.

            They had been watching Iraqi Mirage and SUE flights headed across the Gulf towards Kharg (IIRR, it’s been awhile) all day and so they knew they were in a hotspot because of monitored radio traffic and warnings issued to both sides.

            We knew the later F-1EQ6 could carry both paired Exocet and EW pods because they had a working buddy system and could afford the drag coming down the Gulf.

            And they saw this guy do the typical pop up and notch out maneuver that signaled the Agave giving the Exocet it’s lock-and-link before launch at about 25nm.

            Yet the captain, Brenner I think his name was, by all accounts experienced with ops in the region, did not run ship out to bring the STIR into action, pop the SRBOC and unmask the CIWS and 76mm.

            Another radar hit was picked up around 10-12nm and there are those who say that this was actually the missiles inbound (there was certainly no reason to lag out the shots that much, AM.39 is a 27nm ranged weapon at low and about 43nm using a loft-stepdown).

            And of course by that point, the chances of manual engagement SM1 getting enough shots off the Mk.13 rail to get a decent hit are about zero. Standard doesn’t do well, sub-horizoned on sub-1m2 targets.

            At a minimum, the chaff rockets should have been bloomed immediately as soon as the pilot did not acknowledge the first radio warnoff and both the 76mm and the STIR unmasked. It’s still nocks neeks whether they would have got a missile shot off (though the CIWS would have engaged at least one of the inbounds) but this at least shows you are a military unit prepared to defend yourself with an oar in the water as doing /something/ proactive.

            If I was a cynical person, I might suggest that the French were playing alternate band games with the seeker or even using a passive homer as we supposedly got no SLQ-17 ESM hits on the weapon and yet we should have. Just as there were people who swore up and down that we had the Exocet’s number headed to the Falklands.

            Whatever happened, it does serve to illustrate that the notion of little ships doing their own thing, inshore, where you can get your head handed to you by a coastal battery so fast, is essentially unworkable. If the ship isn’t run out with automatic permissiveness given to the weapons system (as a friendly fire incident waiting to happen), you have no overlap between the mid and inner zone to soak up leakers with a dual shot as standard defensive penetration salvo.

            This even with RAM and ESSM which are about twice as accurate on maneuvering missiles and actually stacked sufficient in the launcher or VLS to be ripple fired in a single salvo.

            The key is always going to be having a jet overhead which can either go out and determine intent well before the threat can get a shot in. Or, in a GTW condition, provide lofting for over the horizon weapons like Aster or SM6 with ARH onboard and ‘no questions asked’.

            The fact that that jet has to come from the small deck itself dooms it in the face of the giant egos that run bluewater tacair as ‘A Carrier Navy’.

            Last I heard we were still sticking with SM2 and 3 as our primary AAW and TMD assets with the SM1 out of service and the SM6 still about a year out from entry but my data is dated so don’t take that as truth.

             

            >>

            China is a real threat, and in the coming years I believe the Df-21 will keep us at arms length. It will be interesting to see how the laser ciws does on its upcoming deployment on the Ponce.

            >>

             

            The Australians put an awful lot of effort into ionosonde mapping out the refractory atmospheric patterns which make OTH-B possible. Supposedly they have their sky so well modeled that they are getting ‘new weather’ roughly every 225 seconds with which to adjust the beams.

            If the Chinese go this route, they are not going to get free entry but will have to do the same tweaking of the system as you are essentially using the air as a giant parabolic reflector where some of the signal goes farther up into the fluid dish on any given day as hour.

            The question for the ballistic round is how smart it has to be. If you can’t find the carrier because your VLA isn’t ready or you haven’t mapped out your ionspheric lens well enough to get outer boundary range returns, you can still go after the tanking and the ISR on Guam or Okinawa with little more than a high quality cellphone video and a mole. Or a sub launched UAV ala Sea Ferret. Or an oblique satellite pass in ‘the hours before’. Which brings us back to the Falklands and preemption.

            KC-135s are not small jets, nor are RQ-4s or P-8s.

            Pull the USAF out of the picture and the USN has, through the foolish abandonment of the S-3 without a CSA replacement, blinded eyes and broken legs for want of organic targeting and non-fighter tanking. The Marines having nothing at all.

            A Very Bad Idea.

             

            >>

            Hopefully they will be able to adapte it for defeating ballistic missiles. The drawback is it requires massive amounts of energy, thus limiting the types of ships it can be mounted on. In a carrier strike group the only ship would be the carrier, unless the Zummwalts have enough power generation and assuming there not assigned to an MEU. Without a cruiser replacement program overall air defense is going to degrade.

            >>

             

            I agree, at present the LAWS etc. are basically designed to prevent any more embarrassing moments as Iranian UAV snapshots on Facebook. They will eventually be coboresighted on most 25mm Mk.38 mounts, simply because they have much less ballistic+stabilization requirements in the anti-fastboat role where the LCS has shown the 30mm Mk.44 to be laughably inept.

            But if we want to _Project Power Overland_ where we are the ones dictating who is on the defensive, we need to get beyond the notion of bringing tactical airpower into the littoral boundary and start going back towards strategic strike with platforms that are sized to handle the job from waaaaay out there in the deep blue.

            If hypersonics from a carrier deck are really beyond the SOA, then the next thing to consider is a container class hull in the 600-800ft category with an active suspension system mounted EML that runs the full length (to minimize hull warpage in the rails) to a skijump type barrel (think Gerald Bull Supergun here) which can be partially evacuated by muzzle suction or a precursor charge to save on ionization damage as thermal spiking in the launcher while firing series shots of shipping crate sized warheads out to a thousand nm or more.

            You would proably have to go with a RAP round to get the full range but the per-round cost would still be a tenth that of a manned mission force or a ballistic rocket to similar distances and if they wanted to engage such a Mach 5 @ 100K capability, they would need something like an S-300 to do it. Which I am all for their revealing the battery engagement radars on as often as possible since I will swarm the place with fuel-cell driven MAVs from subs anyway.

            We are in the midst of a major technical as tactical transformation and you’re quite correct in that we need to think about how much electrical we can bring aboard to power DEWS. But the one thing light doesn’t do real well is bend over even theater strategic ranges. There is just too much atmospheric loss.

            And so a ballistic round that can go the distance from a mission specific (single role) hull while minimizing per-round costs and all the supporting specialties as fuel and maintenance that a carrier naturally has to bring into harms way is another means to let the Chinese know that if they were willing to take it to the next level with guided ballistics, we will do the same, cheaper.

             

            >>

            So a combination of future Chinese naval air assets and Df-21 will pose potential problems in and around Taiwan, and a stones throw away Senkaku.

            >>

             

            I thought that the Japanese were now firm owners of the Senkakus after the Chinese threw a hissy and got told off last year? Perhaps I misread.

            In any case, my read on the situation is that the Chinese know they cannot defend their maritime approaches as a function of material imports and exports from our sub fleet. If push comes to shove, we are better off hostaging their ports and their ships, at least until the Silk Road II comes online and they can get all their resources from inland transport.

            At that point, it’s basically time to give the ROC their own turnkey nuclear capability and let the Chinese figure out that the best way to get out of the finger trap is to stop pulling so hard. IMO, this is a lesson the U.S. also needs to learn because so long as we keep pushing money at a phantom threat, the Chinese will happily keep rattling their sabers to give us more excuses to bleed green.

             

            >>

            I would prefer the Navy get on the ball with UCAVs that’s why I’m not a fan of the F35c.

            >>

             

            On this we have certain agreement.

            I feel that we need to get the thermal coefficients down another 10-15% and we will see something like this-

             

            Laser on HEMTT

            http://www.boeing.com/assets/images/defense-space/ic/des/images/hel_td_cleared.jpg

             

            Scaled to 2m FO aperture

            http://www.popularmechanics.com/cm/popularmechanics/images/7y/boeing-laser-mirror-470-100.jpg

             

            Powered to 1MW by gas turbines

            http://www.armyrecognition.com/images/stories/europe/france/missile_vehicle/eurosam_samp-t_power_generation_module/pictures/Eurosam_SAMP-T_power_generation_module_module_Renault_truck_MBDA_France_French_army_003.jpg

            http://www.khi.co.jp/english/gasturbine/product/upload_images/MGP%20serise%20generator%20set.bmp

             

            Using VLS sounding rocket, rapid-fire Aerostats

            http://imageshack.us/a/img543/5885/51788206.jpg

            http://www.carnetdevol.org/actualite-ballon/aerostat/opballonus08.jpg

             

            To loft Input/Redirect Mirrors

            http://www.spacewar.com/images/laser-boeing-aerospace-relay-mirror-system-bg.jpg

             

            And the combination of this package, on all of three trucks, will provide anything up to 100km instantaneous S2A kill capabilities using the hypotenuse rule to break the laser out of the low obscurrant clag on a shortest-path basis of up-then-over clouds and pollutants.

            When the above sequence gets engineered right, the days of tactical airpower as a manned system will be over as surely as the dinosaurs were, the morning of Chicxulub.

            The initial models may cost as much as an SA-10 battery and not be truly ‘offroad mobile’ as an Army in the field would need but but the per-round costs will be next to nothing and the potential to network dozens of these things to shoot at the most fleeting of optical, acoustic or radar tracks would be terrifying.

            Because they won’t miss.

            This is tomorrow (2020) or at most the next day (2030). We cannot afford to be thinking about last year’s (1965-72) airpower solutions.

            We must not.

            The question is how far we can press our luck with a cyber-savvy threat like China or if we have to use redundant tactics like I described to essentially blow a hole in the threat EA before switching to some kind of leashed targeting system for more discrete tactical work.

  • William Rixon

    “Hartung concluded that the SCMR and Hagel’s speech today “is that this
    is a more low key version of ‘the sky is falling’ rhetoric favored by
    former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. A 10% cut over ten years will
    still leave us with over $5 trillion in spending over that time period,
    and a budget well above the Cold War average.””

    Blatant lies by an extremist, strident liberal. This is no “the sky is falling” rhetoric (nor were Panetta’s warnings). These are the FACTS – the REAL consequences of sequestration. This is what WILL happen, what the DOD WILL have to do, starting in FY2014, if sequestration persists. And this comes from Chuck Hagel, a guy who said in Sep. 2011 that the DOD budget is “bloated”.

    If even Hagel thinks these cuts are idiotic, they must be.

    Hartung’s claims about numbers are totally false as well. Under sequestration, defense spending will be below $4.8 bn during the next decade ($469 bn this FY, $472 bn in FY2014, $475 bn in FY2015, $493 bn in FY2022), and the annual base defense budget will be BELOW the Cold War average. In fact, just this year, sequestration has set defense spending back by an entire decade – to the lowest level since FY2003.

    Hartung is a lying, extremely leftist propagandist. Quoting him utterly discredits those who do so. Shame on BD for quoting that lying sack of shit.

  • gongdark

    I think hagel is performing an oral evacuation of obamas dangling appendage and his orbicularis oris muscle on his sphincter

  • furloughed

    More democrap and repubocon BS

  • Al Sharpton

    Be shore you don’t layoff any brothers!