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8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Marine Corps Will 'Soo... · 3 replies · +4 points

Some people with long memories will recall the era when Congress began to ask, with troops on the ground in the sandbox fighting an enemy who completely lacked any air component of their own beyond signal pigeons, why the F-22 was being funded.

"Do we need the world's best air superiority fighter right now?" was the line of questioning. "Or do we instead need improved attack aircraft to deal with what is overwhelmingly a ground threat?"

And how LockMart's executives panicked, and the LM public relations department frantically worked up a big push to rebrand the F-22 as the "F-A/22", claiming that it had amazing, unparalleled ground attack abilities to suppress jihadi insurgents in Iwreck and Trashcanistan. They put together a blizzard of costly ads in the trade and military press. Deluged Congress and the media with glossy new brochures.

Including the utterly unsubstantiated assertion that the electronics of the "F-A/22" would enable it to home in on insurgent jihadi cell phone communications!

I still have a couple of those old ads and brochures around here somewhere. I should scan them in.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Marine Corps Will 'Soo... · 0 replies · +8 points

The Marines have nailed their colors to the mast with the F-35. I hold no brief for Obama, but it doesn't matter who the President is at this point. A different President would not change Marine thinking one whit. The Corps will no more abandon their commitment to this failed program than Captain Ahab would leave off his quest for the white whale.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Navy Builds Second Ame... · 2 replies · 0 points

However, in the context of the purported Pacific pivot, where oceanic distances are huge, things like deployment speed are more important than elsewhere.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Navy Builds Second Ame... · 5 replies · +4 points

"The LHA 7 design will incorporate a high-tech Navy ship-based computing network called Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services, or CANES, Leonard said."

Given the demonstrated total incompetence of the federal government and the defense prime contractors when it comes to information security, CANES should instead stand for Chinese Aggressively Neutralizing Every System.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Lockheed Acquires Siko... · 1 reply · +5 points

Interesting that the S-97 Raider prototypes reflect Sikorski having gone down a design pathway similar to the one which Lockheed itself had previously trod decades before, with the AH-56 Cheyenne prototypes.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Forbes: U.S. Has No Ch... · 2 replies · +7 points

"While praising the current administrations’ rebalance to the Pacific ... Forbes said the U.S. does not seem to have a current strategy for addressing China"

Inside the D.C. Beltway, political insiders have a concept known as a "Kinsley gaffe".

That's when someone blurts out an unspeakable truth that is known to the political insiders of D.C., but meant to be kept away from the general voting public in the rest of America.

An assistant SECDEF committed a Kinsley gaffe last year when she said about the current administration's vaunted Pacific pivot that "candidly, it can't happen," because there simply is not enough money to do it.

The White House had her walking back her comment within hours, but the comment is nonetheless true. America's capacity to fight wars on the other side of the Pacific is steadily diminishing, not increasing.

Meanwhile, as America's ability to make good on security guarantees to Pacific allies shrinks, the administration hands out more and more of those security guarantees. Not too hard to see where this combination of factors is leading: to big trouble.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - U.S. Military Strategy... · 1 reply · +10 points

"U.S. Military Strategy Focuses on Russia, China, ISIS Threats"

While at the same time the Obama administration have just announced that another forty thousand uniformed soldiers and officers will be slashed from the Army over the next two years. Plus nearly another twenty thousand Department of the Army civilian employees.

Pssssst! "Focusing" on a threat is fine. Except you have to be able to do something to that threat other than merely focus.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - SpaceX Still Certified... · 0 replies · 0 points

"in the course of the booster flight test development, it is as deliberately as possible exposed to the critical design conditions to assure its capability to perform adequately in the real mission environment."

Sure. Except as a practical matter, by the middle Apollo years, booster flight test for Saturn got so dramatically telescoped with "all-up testing" that the boosters had been only minimally exposed to said critical design conditions.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Navy Launches New Affo... · 1 reply · +2 points

"It took collapse and bankruptcy to force the UAW and the Big Three to recognize that their practices were unacceptable, and to get costs back under control."

And in terms of reforming their Stateside manufacturing operations, the Big Three never did really get things back under control. They never even tried to do so. They just rudely shoved as much component-level factory work as possible outside of the USA.

8 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Navy Launches New Affo... · 3 replies · 0 points

Asian shipbuilders boldly forged ahead with innovative new cost-cutting and time-saving shipyard logistics and methods starting all the way back in the 1970s.

American shipbuilders said, "Pshaw, the old ways are the best ways, and besides, the unions would give us endless guff about working to rule." They hence stagnated on the productivity front.

Now the Navy is paying the price for having an industrial base who, guaranteed a flow of repeat business via political grease, are lazy and disorganized in assembly. High unit costs. Late deliveries. Low quality. Really the only hull community who are hitting their budget and calendar marks are the bubbleheads.

The next SECNAV after the current hapless crew depart would be well advised to brace for political heat, and competitively bid a _Ford_ class CVN to a South Korean yard. Dispatch a bunch of observers. And take copious notes.