Thursday, November 20, 2014

Best to start some QF-35 conversion contracts

The F-35 is not a solution. For...anything.

Facing this new challenge, the official suggested those who question the need for the F-35 to rethink their logic. "They may be complex, expensive and still immature, but they are a quantum leap over every other fighter in our arsenal," said he. Believing that China will eventually make the J-20 and J-31 into perfect stealth fighters, the official suggested the United States to learn from China's commitment to upgrading its military technology.

Rethink F-35? Well, not from my point of view. J-20/J31 perfect? Cut down on your model airplane glue intake. And, go back and try and understand the definition of "quantum leap". The unnamed "official" is an idiot.

NGJ update.

Mid-band? Cool. Sling it under some of those early F-22s that will never be combat-coded as we think of that term today...

Raytheon successfully tests US Navy's next-gen radar jammer



.

USAF blamed for scrubbed BAE KF-16 contract

That deal that went real bad.

BAE could have done the work without those extra costs, the former employee argued, but the Air Force insisted — and in doing so, greatly upset Korean acquisition officials who felt they were being taken advantage of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Off the deep end

Here is another sample from one of the local Defence scribblers.

Few people in Australia—and I suspect the same is true in the United States—realise just how annoying this sort of behaviour is to a proud and sovereign country such as Indonesia. As a former Defence Minister put it to me, speaking figuratively, several years ago: ‘imagine the reaction if we had an aircraft carrier and used the right of free passage to sail through the Great Lakes and anchor off Chicago?’ But who knows—maybe someday an emerging naval power will do just that.

The reasons why the Chinese Navy, the PLA(N), might wish to have greater visibility in and around Australia are varied. Firstly, China has a great interest in the Antarctic, of which Australia administers a disproportionately large amount. Secondly, China has small ethnic communities amongst many South Pacific nations and also tries to curry political favor with these same countries—it’s always handy to have extra votes in the UN for little cost. Thirdly, the PLA(N) might wish to deploy down here using the same logic sometimes applied by the USN: because it can.

Hey, why not? They are only harmless communists.

NASDAQ F-35 fail

Here it is...




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-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems
-Compare
-JSF hopes and dreams...early days of the Ponzi Scheme
-The Prognostics
-2002--Australia joins the F-35 program

Under-estimating the PLA is a mistake

You can have a report with a fancy name and alleged cache, but to say that Chinese weapons are 20 years behind and not up to the challenge just doesn't appear true.

This is a good read from Kokota (PDF) but I wouldn't under-estimate an adversary that can produce reasonably good weapons...

...in large numbers.

Consider these:

Chinese Military Cargo Aircraft via Chinese Military Review Blog.

So how good is the Chinese VT-4 Main Battle Tank?

Chinese IFVs & Mobile Guns...

Chinese Fire Support Frigate (Rocket).

Chinese Air Force trains in Russia.

J-31 arrives at big Chinese Air Show.

Norinco AH-4 155mm Light-weight Howitzer, AKA Chinese M777 via Chinese Defense Blog.

Z-10 Fierce Thunderbolt via China Military Review...

PLA NLOS "Sino-Spike" ATGM Vehicle...

United Arab Emirates ordered 150 VP11 4x4 MRAP vehicles to Chinese Defense Company NORINCO.

Chicom arms video shows parity and in some cases, superiority

PLA-AF Airborne Early Warning & Control Programs

PLA Air Defence Radars

PLA Mechanised Infantry Division Air Defence Systems-PLA Point Defence Systems

PLA Area Defence Missile Systems

PLA Air to Air Missiles

Russian / PLA Low Band Surveillance Radars (Counter Low Observable Technology Radars)

PLA Cruise Missiles--PLA Air - Surface Missiles

PLA Guided Bombs

Reader comments 19 Nov 14

From reader Johnno in regard to the blog post "Free what?"


Johnno

I suspect it will be more a case of China telling us NOT to play in certain games. They can buy what ever they want within Australia.
One interesting stat that came out of the TFA press coverage is that now over a third of Australian exports go to China directly and over 60% to north Asia generally..........US who?




.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Free what?

So Australia and China have agreed to a free trade-deal.

It will be interesting to see if this is free trade or fair trade.

True, free trade means that the nation that pays its workers more does not really mind competing with slave wages. Will this be an Australian version of NAFTA and that “giant sucking sound”?

In today’s The Australilan: "Xi Jinping came bearing gifts, Barack Obama just gave us grief".

Obama, gave us nutty platitude and scare-mongering re: The Great Global Warming Swindle.

So what does this mean for Defence? Well, if we don’t bother China too much, maybe we can give the Defence budget (and its 170-some flag ranks) a haircut of billions.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt buying Chinese weapon systems across the whole spectrum of capability.

Many claim the communists are a threat (and something that should be watched) but the direct mostly U.S.- led take over of our Defence industry is just as serious a threat.

And at least the Chinese weapons will cost less and in many cases...be more reliable.

A lot to think about how this will affect Australia.

But I can tell you, off-shoring huge amounts of billions to U.S-foreign interests, does not improve our Defence posture.


5th-generation failure

It does one no good when you use the term "fifth-generation fighter" often in a puff piece.

What they will find is that the F-35 can't keep up. Doesn't work very well, (when it shows up); isn't good against emerging threats, is too expensive for what little it brings and if the F-22 is going to provide escort of any kind, it might as well be providing it for Tomahawk Block IVs.

Matt needs to report to the base hospital to see if he has a brain tumour.

Thus far at around $83B for the F-22 and close to $60B and counting for the F-35, the "fifth-generation" experiment has given America 120-some, combat-coded F-22s.

And it must have been some practice with the F-35s incomplete systems and significant flight restrictions.

Great work USAF.


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-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems
-Compare
-JSF hopes and dreams...early days of the Ponzi Scheme
-The Prognostics
-2002--Australia joins the F-35 program

F-35C carrier details

This AV Week piece on the carrier trials for the F-35C is interesting. It gives good detail about how the auto-throttles and stick work for approach.

Also this cruise was to be day-only but things went well enough to test a few night things.

The landings marked the start of a two-week Developmental Testing 1 (DT-1) phase for the F-35C; there are three such phases planned. The primary objectives are launch-and-recovery handling as well as aircraft support operations on the ship, including chocking and chaining the aircraft, tractor tow movement and placement of the aircraft on deck. Landings are limited to crosswinds below 7 kt. and day arrestments only. Basic navigation, radar and other mission systems are also being tested, says Thomas Halley, Lockheed Martin F-35 business development director.

Two follow-on DT periods will gradually expand the crosswind conditions to 15 kt., Halley says. DT-2 will incorporate internal weapon stores, and DT-3 will add external stores to the mix. Both follow-on periods will include testing of the F-35’s distributed aperture system and Link 16 communications. DT-2 is slated for September 2015, with DT-3 to follow by April of 2016. Testing during DT-1, however, has been smooth, prompting officials to consider starting night operations before departing the ship Nov. 16.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tax-payer funded think-tank Defence advice... still bad

Taxpayer funded ASPI does it again: a shocking lack of appreciation (PDF file) for the problems with the extreme-risk F-35 program...and other things.

In addition, all F-35 variants are able to carry weapons and external fuel under their wings, although this adds drag and reduces stealth. Nevertheless, the F-35B couldn’t carry the modern Norwegian Joint Strike Missile—which could become the standard missile for the F-35A and F-35C variants—because of size and mass considerations.

ASPI and friends don't know what they don't know about the problems with the F-35 program.

Where to start?

There are NO drop tanks for the F-35. That was erased in a 2006 US DOD contract because of too much risk. The original goal for a finished system design and development F-35 (SDD), the current phase of the program we are in since...2001, is that all variants would have the ability to carry drop tanks. The original assumption was that they would use legacy F-18 drop tanks. Not long after LM won the JSF contract, stores separation studies showed this tank design to have risks bouncing into other munition configurations when being punched off the jet. Then the program people decided to come up with a different drop tank idea: three new, elongated candidates. Studies with that when punched off the jet showed center-of-gravity issues. You know...longer object, more of a lever. At punch off they predicted the new tank design would pitch up and clear the leading edge of the wing by an unsafe margin. That 2006 DOD contract eliminated the clearance of the wind-corrected-munitions-dispenser, drop tanks, and added the small-diameter bomb (SDB) as a USAF requirement by the end of the SDD phase.

Not long after this you saw two interesting things in Lockheed Martin marketing. Briefings to Norway showing range with drop tanks. A briefing not long after showing that the F-35 was so advanced compared to "legacy" that it didn't need drop tanks.

There are several survivability problems around not only the LHD (which will be unable to field an F-35B properly) but also all variants of the F-35 (also a huge RAAF problem).

The LHD will in part depend on the RAAF and the troubled Air Warfare Destroyer (a bad designation if ever there was one) for protection. The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) will be fielded with obsolete air-defense solutions. Also the threats out there include sea-skimming super-sonic anti-ship missiles: BrahMos and Yachonet (export version of Oniks), the later already fielded in this region. This means the time to defend against such missiles when they appear over the horizon will be short.

And maybe we will even see these appear in the region some day?

The F-35? All variants-even if they work to design specification--are likely to get shot down if they face emerging threats in the Pacific-Rim.

The F-35 is a poor candidate for close air support (CAS). It in no way, has proven that it is superior to the latest USMC Harrier configuration. The Harrier has a much lower cost-per-flying hour; better visibility from the cockpit; a working gun; better electro-optical pod field of view (for lasing, laser-spotting and imaging than the on-board F-35 EOTS) and may even be able to kick out more missions per day. The current F-35 situation is troubled in its development and to-date, 13 years after LM winning the JSF contract, is nowhere near showing a working product.

There is your research.

There is your analysis.

For free.

You're welcome.

How do we improve this problem of faulty, tax-payer funded Defence analysis?

Hire real, subject-matter experts.

For years, APA has supplied sage, well thought-out, private and public advice to our elected officials and other government offices in regard to Defence issues.

They have supplied numerous, public papers on Defence issues.

Many of their predictions have come to pass as being true.

That is not an "I-told-you-so".

It is a warning that this Australian-made organisation is available to provide proper advice to government, if allowed to do so.

It would be easy, cheap, money, well-spent, to have the Audit Office or similar to hire them on a permanent basis.

Or, let us continue to get bad, tax-payer funded advice and continue on path that will leave our defence-posture to ever worsen.


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F-35 reading list:

-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems
-Compare
-JSF hopes and dreams...early days of the Ponzi Scheme
-The Prognostics
-2002--Australia joins the F-35 program


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Australian Defence Reading List:

-New Defence White Paper fails to address Australia's core security needs
-2009 Defence White Paper Fantasy
-Analysing "The ADF Air Combat Capability- On the Record"
-Find out who is responsible for the Air Warfare Destroyer mess
-Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed
-New DMO Boss warns the staff that business as usual is over
-How dangerous is the Defence Material Organisation to our Defence Industry?
-Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology
-More on the dud-jamming gear Defence wants to buy
-ADF cost per flying hour
-I will wipe out bullying vows new Defence chief (Houston 2005)
-Vacancy
-Put Vol 2 Report of DLA Piper Review into the light of day
-Rory and Jim
-Parasitism as an Abstraction for Organizational Dysfunctions
-Hobart-class "Air Warfare Destroyer" to be fielded with obsolete radar guidance technology
-The Decay Of Critical Military Thinking And Writing-With Particular Reference To The RAAF
-Newspaper guy gets it right about sub project.... big time
-The great M-1 tank myth
-*UPDATE* Fear and loathing in Canberra - Audit released on MRH-90 helicopter project 
-RAN bullies contractor over Collins sub replacement
-2014-15 ADF budget shocker - Star-ranks
-Air Warfare Destroyer -- Billions, not millions over budget
-Australia's M-1 tanks are... a downgrade compared to what it had
-Weak links put on rubber-stamp Defence panel
-Stop the nonsense (Collins-class submarine replacement)
-Insert Joke Here
-Tyranny of distance--Long, drawn out helicopter projects are unsustainable
-2014-15 ADF budget shocker - cost per flying hour over the last budget year
-Tiger savaged by Navy League of Australia
-Tiger helicopter update
-Overview of corruption in Australia