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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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F-22A Raptor kept alive

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http://www.defensenews.com/story.php...86&c=AME&s=AIR

F-22 Funds Approved in Wee-Hours Vote
By william matthews
Published: 17 Jun 2009 17:04 Print | Email

It hasn't flown in combat yet, but the F-22 stealth fighter prevailed in a life-or-death battle in an early-morning vote June 17 by the House Armed Services Committee.



A vote early June 17 by the U.S. House Armed Services Committee means that the Pentagon will pay for work to begin in 12 more F-22 jets, even though Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants the program to end. (SENIOR AIRMAN ZACHARY WOLF / U.S. AIR FORCE) After more than 16 hours of squabbling over the 2010 defense budget, weary committee members voted 31-30 at 2:30 a.m. to keep the F-22 program alive by making a $369 million down payment on 12 more planes.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates had intended to end F-22 production at 187 fighters, but House lawmakers overruled him.

The $369 million would buy advance procurement parts to begin production on a dozen new fighters. Ultimately, the planes would cost about $2.8 billion.

The advance procurement money would be taken from funds budgeted for Energy Department cleanups at nuclear weapons sites, a House aide said.

Although it is the Air Force's most advanced and most expensive fighter, the F-22 has never been flown in combat, a point Gates has stressed repeatedly in appearances before Congress.

When he announced April 6 that he wanted to end F-22 production, Gates said, "For me, it was not a close call. … The military advice that I got was that there is no military requirement for numbers of F-22s beyond the 187."

In the past, the Air Force has said it needed 381 F-22s. More recently it lowered the number to 243 until Gates put a 187-plane cap on the program.

But the fighter is popular in Congress, where it is praised as providing the Air Force with a high-tech advantage over potential foes, and is prized for creating jobs. Plane maker Lockheed has emphasized that the F-22 program employees 25,000 workers directly and another 90,000 in companies that produce F-22 parts in 44 states.

The amendment to save the F-22 was introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

"We would liked to have funded a full buy of 12 aircraft," an aide to Bishop said. But Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton prohibited amendments that would add to the overall cost of the defense budget.

Bishop was able to shift $369 million for the F-22s from defense environmental cleanups at sites that are projected to be ahead of schedule or are at risk of not being able to spend money allocated for 2010, the aide said.

It's enough to keep the F-22 production line from shutting down, but Bishop and others on the committee believe the Air Force needs more than 12 additional F-22s, he said.

While the Armed Services Committee was saving future F-22s, the full House approved spending $600 million to buy the final four planes that Gates wants. Money for those planes is included in a $106 billion "emergency supplemental" bill used to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Language in that bill prohibits using the F-22 money to shut down the F-22 production line, and it permits the Defense Department to consider building a less capable version of the F-22 for sale overseas.

The war-funding bill thwarts Gates' efforts to end another aircraft program, the C-17 cargo plane.

Gates said the 205 C-17s that are already in the fleet or under construction are enough, and he included no money in the 2010 defense budget for additional C-17s. But the House and Senate added $2.7 billion to war-funding bill to buy eight C-17s and seven smaller C-130J cargo planes.

The additional C-17s are "pure pork," said Christopher Hellman, a defense budget analyst for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Buying more C-17s "can only be characterized as a jobs program."

And C-17 maker Boeing has done just that. In February the company boasted that C-17 production sustained 30,000 jobs in 43 states, with concentrations in California, Texas, Missouri and Connecticut.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 05:58 PM
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 05:58 PM
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:04 PM
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by 1 single vote.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:05 PM
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Although it is the Air Force's most advanced and most expensive fighter, the F-22 has never been flown in combat, a point Gates has stressed repeatedly in appearances before Congress.
Are you serious?? WTH, Gates? Should we put a plane in combat first to see how it does then decide to build it??? What a moron. Can't wait to see how he handles any real threats. (not really).

Thank god this passed....maybe when plane #11 is being built, they can pass for another 12.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:20 PM
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Are you serious?? WTH, Gates? Should we put a plane in combat first to see how it does then decide to build it??? What a moron. Can't wait to see how he handles any real threats. (not really).

Thank god this passed....maybe when plane #11 is being built, they can pass for another 12.
That wasn't his point.

The argument is that the F22 was built for a Cold War mission against the Soviet Union. It has never flown that mission because the Soviet Union no longer exists. Gates is looking at current military needs such as anti-terrorism operations. Those types of missions are best done by unmanned drones because they currently operate in areas that have no air superiority requirement.

But Gates isn't looking down the road at other potential threats from traditional military engagements. China and Argentina come to mind, as well as a more assertive Russia. The F22 is an effective deterrent to the air forces of those and other countries. Another thing Gates seems to leave out is that the F22 CAN be used in a strike role. It can carry four 5000lb JDAMs internally and more externally when stealth isn't a mission requirement. I was reading on Wikipedia that the F22 actually makes those weapons more effective because of its high operating ceiling (where is won't be detected) and super cruise capability. In testing, an F22 traveling at mach 1.6, dropped a 1000lb JDAM and it went 24 miles before hitting a moving target.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:36 PM
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 11:23 PM
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That's friggin awesome...

Between this and maybe some sales to Japan and might I hope the Aussies, we can keep the production lines going... saving this needed aircraft and some good jobs along with it...

Get a JHMCS (Helmet Mounted Cueing System) on these things and you will have the perfect Air to air weapons system...

Too bad the Navy didn't get the F-22N.... Stuck with the bugs (Hornets) and some F-35s...


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:19 AM
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This is great news. We need to keep our leading-edge aviation industry healthy enough to produce aircraft when/if it becomes necessary. We can't have skilled engineers and technicians looking for jobs. We needed this, even if it is only a dozen aircraft.

By the way - this is the first Obama administration spending package that I support 100%.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 10:04 AM
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This is great news. We need to keep our leading-edge aviation industry healthy enough to produce aircraft when/if it becomes necessary. We can't have skilled engineers and technicians looking for jobs. We needed this, even if it is only a dozen aircraft.

By the way - this is the first Obama administration spending package that I support 100%.
You haven't been paying attention. The Obama administration wants to KILL the F-22. It is being kept alive because Congress has dictated it.

Lockheed was very smart when they put the F-22's manufacturing backbone together. The assembly plant in Georgia is just one part of the entire system. Parts for the F-22 are built all over the country and in some key political districts. For instance, some major components of the F-22 are built at Lockheed's plant in Ft Worth.

IMO, this is ultimately a short term reprieve unless foreign export is permitted. I think there is a very good chance that Japan will be offered a stripped down version of the F-22. Something like that would have an added bonus of putting more pressure on North Korea and China. The US could also agree to supply the full F-22 avionics package if war ever broke out.

However, keeping the F-22 production line alive DOES have its drawbacks. Funding for those F-22s will likely come from plans to speed up acquisition of the F-35 and weaponized UAVs. There is NOT an immediate need for the F-22 because our current conflicts do not fit into its mission profile nearly as well as they do with the F-35 and UAVs. I too want to see the F-22 production line kept alive but I have to acknowledge that Gates wasn't making an insanely stupid decision by redirecting funding to those other programs. In other words, both sides are right, and both sides are wrong.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 10:16 AM
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However, keeping the F-22 production line alive DOES have its drawbacks. Funding for those F-22s will likely come from plans to speed up acquisition of the F-35 and weaponized UAVs. There is NOT an immediate need for the F-22 because our current conflicts do not fit into its mission profile nearly as well as they do with the F-35 and UAVs. I too want to see the F-22 production line kept alive but I have to acknowledge that Gates wasn't making an insanely stupid decision by redirecting funding to those other programs. In other words, both sides are right, and both sides are wrong.
I somewhat disagree...

The whole point of the F-22\F-35 package was to keep alive the high\low mix of the F-15\F-16. That whole concept is blown out of the water at this point. And let's be honest, the F-35 will be a great aircraft, but it was never meant for air superiority, much less air dominance...

The lowered funding not changing, I would rather cut some F-35s from the first orders and have a few more F-22s.... history has proven that once you have control of the air EVERYTHING becomes easier... If war could ever be "easy" I guess....

I think there is going to be a very quick change in the next few (1 to 5) years between "current" and "future" needs....

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 10:29 AM
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I somewhat disagree...

The whole point of the F-22\F-35 package was to keep alive the high\low mix of the F-15\F-16. That whole concept is blown out of the water at this point. And let's be honest, the F-35 will be a great aircraft, but it was never meant for air superiority, much less air dominance...

The lowered funding not changing, I would rather cut some F-35s from the first orders and have a few more F-22s.... history has proven that once you have control of the air EVERYTHING becomes easier... If war could ever be "easy" I guess....

I think there is going to be a very quick change in the next few (1 to 5) years between "current" and "future" needs....

Some counterpoints (I'm mainly playing devils advocate here, just to spur debate).

That high \ low mix is hardly blown out of the water. There are only TWO nations out there that have any capacity to challenge our air dominance, China and Russia. Of those, only China is capable of being a real threat in the conventional sense. The current load of F-22s is quite capable of handling their projected threat. The F-15 is also still quite capable against the bulk of China's air forces. Also, in a major engagement with China, taking out their communications is a higher priority than even their air force. China's military operates on a central control doctrine. If you cut off communications to the head, everything else falls apart. China would also target our communications but it's effect is heavily mitigated because our field commanders are trained to operate on their own without a central authority. The F-35's deep strike ability is going to be a huge asset in that regards.

Funding changes to the F-35 isn't meant to cut their production numbers. It is meant to accelerate the scheduled so we can get them into production a lot sooner than is currently planned.

There are a lot of arguments to be made that air dominance with the current allocation of F-22s and F-15s is possible with any currently existing adversary.

I totally agree with your last point though. I do see our needs dramatically changing in the next few years. That is why I'm hoping to see Japan and Australia become buyers of the F-22. It seems to me that Congress is prepared to remove one of the last roadblocks to making that happen. IMO the number of F-22s is currently sufficient IF we can keep the production line open. Exporting the F-22 solves that problem.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 05:35 PM
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Some counterpoints (I'm mainly playing devils advocate here, just to spur debate).

That high \ low mix is hardly blown out of the water. There are only TWO nations out there that have any capacity to challenge our air dominance, China and Russia. Of those, only China is capable of being a real threat in the conventional sense. The current load of F-22s is quite capable of handling their projected threat. The F-15 is also still quite capable against the bulk of China's air forces.

There are a lot of arguments to be made that air dominance with the current allocation of F-22s and F-15s is possible with any currently existing adversary.
Well, the key here is "projected threat".... How many years ahead are we looking?

Anything 4 years and sooner, I may agree with you... after that, its anyone's ball game. Look at the Cope India exercise where the Indian's export SU-30s (available to anyone with the cash, and not even top of the line) handled our F-15s handily... (although the ROE was heavily in their favor)

The SU-30\35 is no joke.... and in sufficient numbers could be quite a task for F-15s and a small number of F-22s....

China is spending a good chunk of their GDP on their Navy and Air Force... a large percentage of those ancient MIG-19s\21s will be replaced in the next few years.

The problem we have here is that we are currently prepared and funded for the next 4 years, when history has shown us that in order to keep up, you need to be designing and building for the next decade.

Let's even take mainland China or Taiwan out of the picture.

Vietnam has shown that when dealing with proxy states, you will inevitably run into the "backer" at some point. Remember the Russian Migs and pilots during vietnam?

Our ground forces thrive when we have control of the skies... I don't want there to be even a doubt in anyone's mind who will have control of it when push comes to shove... and the F-22 owns it...

On the whole I agree with you other than the current split of the F-22\F-35 procurement count....

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 06:14 PM
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While I believe the F-22 should continue in production, we also should be pushing for something more technologically advanced. I'm thinking...X wing
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 06:26 PM
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Well, the key here is "projected threat".... How many years ahead are we looking?

Anything 4 years and sooner, I may agree with you... after that, its anyone's ball game. Look at the Cope India exercise where the Indian's export SU-30s (available to anyone with the cash, and not even top of the line) handled our F-15s handily... (although the ROE was heavily in their favor)

The SU-30\35 is no joke.... and in sufficient numbers could be quite a task for F-15s and a small number of F-22s....

China is spending a good chunk of their GDP on their Navy and Air Force... a large percentage of those ancient MIG-19s\21s will be replaced in the next few years.

The problem we have here is that we are currently prepared and funded for the next 4 years, when history has shown us that in order to keep up, you need to be designing and building for the next decade.

Let's even take mainland China or Taiwan out of the picture.

Vietnam has shown that when dealing with proxy states, you will inevitably run into the "backer" at some point. Remember the Russian Migs and pilots during vietnam?

Our ground forces thrive when we have control of the skies... I don't want there to be even a doubt in anyone's mind who will have control of it when push comes to shove... and the F-22 owns it...

On the whole I agree with you other than the current split of the F-22\F-35 procurement count....
That was a point i tried making awhile back, china is developing their own technology and has access to top of the line russian equipment. They arent just sitting back and doing nothing. Meanwhile i see ameirica going futher and futher into debt, we cant pay for shit anymore. All china has to do is cut our funds and then what happens to our military and research? My belief is that china is preparing to at some point have to confront our military over americas debt it wont be able to repay. Even if they only have the lastest Mig fulcrums and su-30s, in numbers that put them in 10-1 odds we well have no chance. All of germanys tech in ww2 was worthless when they had no manfacturing despite their technology to overcome the US and its insane production numbers.

This also goes beyond the equipment, american today is discouraging people to pursue craftsman trades. They are pushing "white collar" jobs and college degrees. We will need things like welding, machining and the like if/when a war with china breaks out if we hope to have any chance of matching their capability.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 08:44 PM
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Well, the key here is "projected threat".... How many years ahead are we looking?

Anything 4 years and sooner, I may agree with you... after that, its anyone's ball game. Look at the Cope India exercise where the Indian's export SU-30s (available to anyone with the cash, and not even top of the line) handled our F-15s handily... (although the ROE was heavily in their favor)

The SU-30\35 is no joke.... and in sufficient numbers could be quite a task for F-15s and a small number of F-22s....

..
I was waiting for you to bring up Cope India 2004.

There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about that exercise. I think the USAF did a pretty good job of explaining things in this article:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1237790/posts

A few key points:

1 - by the USAF's own admission, they took the Indian AirForce lightly. They didn't expect the very advanced tactics that the Indians used. Despite all the handicaps they had, they still ran a simple wall of F-15Cs and didn't try to hide their presence at all. The Indian AF took full advantage of that and simply did a damn good job.

2 - the USAF agreed to a handicap of 4 Indian fighters to 1 F-15C. The sorties generally consisted of 12 Indian Migs and 4 F-15Cs.

3 - The USAF agreed to limit the range of the AIM-120 AMRAAM to 20 miles. The missile is capable of a far greater range.

4 - None of the F-15Cs were equipped with the latest active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars which greatly increase situational awareness.

While the F-15 isn't the TOTAL DOMINATION of air space that the F-22 is capable of it isn't a slouch by any means. The recent scare of airframe failure ended up being a non issue. Also Boeing recently demonstrated that there is a lot of upgrade room left in the F-15 with the Silent Eagle variant. That model is intended for the export market but Boeing claims it has stealth characteristics similar to the F-35. It even has internal weapon bays. It is possible to upgrade existing F-15E airframes to the Silent Eagle variant.

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 08:48 PM
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While I believe the F-22 should continue in production, we also should be pushing for something more technologically advanced. I'm thinking...X wing
haha...

I think the F-22 is the last manned fighter that the US will ever produce. UAVs are definitely the future of air to air combat or that is what the USAF thinks. UAVs can be faster, VASTLY more maneuverable, can be cheaper to build, and you can have a snot nosed kid that is really good at video games out-flying the best fighter jocks in the world. If he loses an aircraft, he just takes control of another one and goes back into the fight. Autonomous systems may be introduced as well.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 08:58 PM
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True. However we should never take the human cost out of war. It makes it easier to declare war if you can just load up another remote controlled plane.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:06 PM
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True. However we should never take the human cost out of war. It makes it easier to declare war if you can just load up another remote controlled plane.
I agree, but that is a warriors view of war. Politicians almost never understand that.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:24 PM
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It is. Even in Iraq, you have respect for someone going head to head with you, willing to shed their blood, it's interesting. Politicians should never be able to declare war
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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I was waiting for you to bring up Cope India 2004.

There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about that exercise. I think the USAF did a pretty good job of explaining things in this article:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1237790/posts

A few key points:

1 - by the USAF's own admission, they took the Indian AirForce lightly. They didn't expect the very advanced tactics that the Indians used. Despite all the handicaps they had, they still ran a simple wall of F-15Cs and didn't try to hide their presence at all. The Indian AF took full advantage of that and simply did a damn good job.

2 - the USAF agreed to a handicap of 4 Indian fighters to 1 F-15C. The sorties generally consisted of 12 Indian Migs and 4 F-15Cs.

3 - The USAF agreed to limit the range of the AIM-120 AMRAAM to 20 miles. The missile is capable of a far greater range.

4 - None of the F-15Cs were equipped with the latest active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars which greatly increase situational awareness.

While the F-15 isn't the TOTAL DOMINATION of air space that the F-22 is capable of it isn't a slouch by any means. The recent scare of airframe failure ended up being a non issue. Also Boeing recently demonstrated that there is a lot of upgrade room left in the F-15 with the Silent Eagle variant. That model is intended for the export market but Boeing claims it has stealth characteristics similar to the F-35. It even has internal weapon bays. It is possible to upgrade existing F-15E airframes to the Silent Eagle variant.

I work with a guy that was a mech on C models at Tyndall and the airframe issue is real.

Oh and cope India thing was a joke.
A few months ago the IndianSu-30MkII got their asses handed to them by F-16s and 15s at Red Flag.

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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 07:57 AM
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There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about that exercise. I think the USAF did a pretty good job of explaining things in this article:
As I stated before, the USAF agreed to a pretty crappy ROE at that exercise.... the point I'm trying to make is that the F-15C, while a great aircraft, is now at rough parity, and sometimes a small deficit to brand new export versions of new 4th/4.5 gen fighters available on the market. Several respected publications in the industry report this fact....

I for one do not feel comfortable with the prospect of "Slugging it out" for airspace because the politicians in charge of procurement couldn't take the same money and make better decisions with it....

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UAVs can be faster, VASTLY more maneuverable, can be cheaper to build, and you can have a snot nosed kid that is really good at video games out-flying the best fighter jocks in the world.
All until someone jams your control signal... and then it is up to the UAV on AI... on an aircraft built by the lowest bidder. An aircraft running on AI with live weapons....
UAVs are the future for sure.... but I don't think we are there... YET.

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A few months ago the IndianSu-30MkII got their asses handed to them by F-16s and 15s at Red Flag.
Yea, I read about that.... some say it was just like Cope India 04 in reverse, where the ROE didn't allow the SUs to do what they do best.... who knows.

Somewhere at some point, I'm sure the USAF has put up some F-15s\F-16s mano y mano against some SUs for some straight up BVR and WVR ACM.... most likely, we'll never hear of the outcome.....

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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 12:28 PM
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If we'd have taken all that stimulus money and put it into defense, we'd have a Death Star by now....Just a thought.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 01:26 PM
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If we'd have taken all that stimulus money and put it into defense, we'd have a Death Star by now....Just a thought.
Actually, along that line...

I kind of like where Laser Induced Plasma Channel weapons may be heading... (LIPC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser-I...Plasma_Channel

I mean really... to be able to direct lightning from afar....

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As a weapon, to make a thunderhead deliver a precise and plausibly deniable lightning strike onto a target from an aircraft; in this case, the aircraft and laser can be compared to a transistor, in that the relatively minor amount of initial input from the laser (base) allows a large amount of energy to flow between the cloud (collector) and the ground (emitter).

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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, along that line...

I kind of like where Laser Induced Plasma Channel weapons may be heading... (LIPC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser-I...Plasma_Channel

I mean really... to be able to direct lightning from afar....


Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range?

Hey, just what you see pal.

ALLAN is offline  
post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 10:32 AM
Lifer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,089
how we going to pay for it? where is the money going to come from?
they are not printing money this time, instead they are diverting money away from cleaning up nuclear weapon sites, something that may be more important. but what really pisses me off about this, the military said they did not need these planes, there was no use for them. so if we do not need them why did this congressional committee vote to authorize the spending? because Lockheed Martin bought their votes

cannonball996 is offline  
post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 05:35 PM
Time Served
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Watauga Tx
Posts: 659
Thats a good point, if the military says they dont need something then congress should listen. Likewise if they say they NEED something it should be provided ASAP. Another wasteful spending of money? Kinda on the fence about it, maybe a shitload of F35s would be better.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
Slammy is offline  
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