Skip to comments.Say Goodbye To U.S. Air Dominance -- And Perhaps To Victory In The Next War
Posted on 04/27/2010 9:12:17 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Some militaries are defeated in battle; others lose the war before the firing even begins. For example, it is the general consensus among military historians that the French military lost in World War Two before the first German panzer had crossed the frontier. A combination of preparing to fight the last war, inadequate investment in modern air and ground power, the wrong organization and French politics basically ensured that Germany would defeat France.
The United States may be replicating the French experience. Rather than maintaining control of the high ground and with it control of the initiative in future conflicts, the U.S. Air Force is choosing to just get by. In a recent interview with Air Force Magazine, the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz made the following startling statement: To handle multiplying missions without more people, the Air Force wont be able to do all its assigned tasks as comprehensively as it once did, and will be aiming instead for simple sufficiency in areas where its been accustomed to dominance. This is akin to the head of the French Air Force saying in the late 1930s that he was willing to cede air superiority to the Luftwaffe.
(Excerpt) Read more at lexingtoninstitute.org ...
The sick part is that an awful lot of our *ground* systems are geared towards the assumption that we will already have air superiority.
But this is the objective of the current Poser-In-Chief, as well as his two demonRAT predecessors.
General Schwartz get up on Capital Hill and tell those @$$ clowns in government.
Natural Born Citizen...sole allegience...
Hey that stuff actually matters!!!
Ever feel like you are being set up.
I guess we best prepare best we can.....for....whatever....
If an airframe requires 17 hours of maintenance for each hour in flight, that's going to put it much farther down the list of desires than one which requires only two, or four. If an airframe requires a filtered, temperature controlled environment, it's much less desirable than one which is much more forgiving of a bit of dirt and sand.
Notwithstanding our incredible weapons systems, which do make one heck of a difference in any engagement, truthfully, it is our crews that make all the difference. The most experienced, trained, and able people on the planet, whom you can tell to take over the skies, and they will do so, with maximum effectiveness.
Until these other airframes aren't hanger queens which require 20 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight, then they're going to be nice dreams, but while they're sleeping, it's time to get up in the air and get the job done.
How many times now has the A-10 been declared a dead air frame, that the air force is no longer going to use it, in favor of some other ingredient, and then gosh, you look up and see another A-10 launching for a sortie.
I'm sure there's some argument to spend billions upon billions to upgrade all the airframes to the latest technology. Were I a pilot, I'd be looking to fly the most stable airframe that gives me not just the most likely chance of survivability, but also the most likely chance of completing the mission. The new airframes have yet to truly justify their costs, their required maintenance, nor their very pricey nature. Until they do, I'll sleep comfortable not because there's some wow-wee technology on the horizon, but because I know that the pilots that fly our planes, no matter if it's an A-10 Warthog, an F-15 Strike Eagle, or one of them fancy F-35 JSF’s, that they'll have twenty times the amount of flight hours, and infinitely more real combat experience than any opponent on the planet. I know our weapons systems far exceed the airframes they're put on, and the pilots who fly these weapon systems are ready and willing to protect each and every one of us.
His access to our nuclear arsenal is even more worrisome.
This country is very cavalier with its national security and survival.
Good post, thanks.
If that hour of flight can clear the air of all challengers without being touched, it is well worth it. Technology often brings overwhelming advantages easily covering the costs, in the field and in preparation. It is either on the battlefield, or in the scenarios of the war gamers, that determine the cost/benefit of your arms.
Nuclear weapons need 24 hours/day of expensive maintenance, but so far, have worked very well, and hopefully will never be "fielded".
I understand what you are saying, but my concern is that your statement is wholly dependent on the US continuing to fight the same type of opponent that the Us has been fighting for the last number of decades. That is, the Iraqs, the Afghanistans, the Grenadas, the (former) Yugoslavias, the Somalias of the world. Nations whereby systems like the A-10 Warthog, the Apache gunship, the modern variants of the Cobra, the F-16 C/D, the F-15C/E, bomb-trucks like the B-52, etc rule the roost. Well, for such countries, even F-4 Phantoms, Corsairs and Viet Nam era Cobras (as opposed to the modern variants) with a few modernized bells and whistles would have sufficed. An A-10, with its titanium bathtub, its missiles, and its huge GAU gattling monster, flying over the expanse of the Iraqi desert chewing up Soviet-era T-62s and a smattering of T-72s, or a B-52 loitering and dropping JDAMs at unwashed Jihadi who have unknowingly been targeted by some special forces who are calling in Gehenna in 500 pound measurements.
That sounds nice, and it is perfect against the Aghanistans and Grenadas of the world, but what if (and it will happen) the US has to fight against a foe that is either a near-peer (e.g. China), or that has the ability to develop and execute cogent responses?
In such a case, weapon systems like Warthogs would not only be woefully inefficient, they would not be survivable! 4th generation legacy airframes like the F-16 would also not be survivable.
Such situations and scenarios would require the next level of capability, one that can ensure not just competitive advantage (air superiority) but competitive assurance (air dominance).
I believe that the victories that the US has had has made some perceive that it is almost a given that the US will win any altercation. The truth is that those victories have been due to superior training, superior morale, superior support, superior awareness, and superior weaponry.
Strike out just one and you will lose more lives than needed to be lost.
Strike out enough of those legs and you will lose the war.
If China invades Taiwan 7 years from now, you will be facing D-E subs with AIP that are very hard to detect that are armed with Klub missiles. You will be facing an integrated air defense network that is advanced, with redudant system, and armed with a mix of S-300s and HQ9s (oh, and to those who bring up Iraq's IADS ...that was a mix-mash of old Soviet, British and French system ...called KARI ...that was supposed to be sufficient for fending off an Iranian or Israeli attack. This was after Iran had attacked Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1980, and a year later Israel had done the same. It was not meant to stand against anything than a limited one-directional attack, and definitely not against the assembled airforces of the US, NATO and allies. YET ...it still managed to bring down a number of planes! An advanced IADS with S-300s will deny the airspace to any legacy fighter ...and by this I mean F-15s and F-16s. I'll not even honor the A-10 with a mention, since reports from the Cold War did not expect it to survive the Fulda gap.
The legacy systems are important, since most of the wars (actually all) and other conflagrations the US is currently involved in currently require them. Nothing more ...a Raptor over Iraq is as useless as tits on a hog.
However, to remain competitive in the future it is imperative that the US have the ability to wage unfair fights ....anything less than an unfair fight means that families back in the US receive mail saying their son or daughter was KIA. Future weapons, that currently are 'useless' in Afghanistan, would be immense force multipliers against a near-peer adversary (and this would be the case even if they don't go to war ...the fact that Raptors may be in the air FORCES the enemy to take measures or change strategy simply because of that. For instance, had Hitler waited a couple of years until the LuftWaffe had the jet fighters and other machines that were at the moment in the conceptual and/or prototype stages, there would have been no way the allies would have bombed Berlin. Or, the mere existence of the Bismarck forced the Royal Navy to commit a lot of manpower and ships to simply tracking the ship. Its existence tied up a significant portion of the British fleet. Imagine if Nazi Germany had more than it and the sister ship ...imagine if Hitler had waited 7 more years and there were 10 of them?). Problem is the US is pursuing the same strategy that German (and Japan) did ...2 mega battleships rather than more. 187 Raptors is the same ...now, having 350, or more, would have been more along the lines needed.
Anyways, the A-10s and the like are perfect ...for the types of countries we face (read: Kalashnikov totting folk who like to have a nice evening tryst with the family camel ...maybe a donkey or three if they are not in the kicking mood. A strong kick to the gonads can knock out the will of Allah!) However, against a near-peer ....well, even if we win it will cost far more lives than it need have.
Now we see the threat increasing around us as we demilitarize again. Nothing new.
The concept of superiority espoused may itself be fighting the last war, for a very simple reason: quality vs. quantity.
Simply put, fighter aircraft used to be bragged up because they could engage and destroy six enemy aircraft at once. But the simple question was never answered: “What if the enemy has eight aircraft at once?”
The answer to that is that the high tech fighter would be out of weapons, and have to run home, defenseless against the two remaining fighters, even if they are just barely able to engage it.
The bottom line is that just one F-35 costs close to $200M. An F-22 costs 3/4ths of that, or $150M each.
So what happens if an enemy can make a simple drone aircraft whose cost is about the same as a new economy car, $50,000 each?
For the cost of a single F-35, they could manufacture 3,389 aircraft. Or 2,542 aircraft, for the cost of one F-22. At that price, they don’t even need a weapon, hundreds of them can just fly into, ram our aircraft. No pilot would challenge a swarm like that.
Expendable aircraft. And short of using nuclear weapons, the only way we could fight such an air armada, would be to create our own air armada, a multitude of cheap and inexpensive drones to fight their drones.
So the future may lie, not in having an air force with three or for ultra high tech, amazing aircraft and maybe eight pilots, but in remembering that the race between quality and quantity has applied to military matters from the very start, and “Deus ex Machina” does not exist.
It is all part of our devolution from being the greatest to just another country under the UN...
Definitely. The Spitfire was a better fighter plane than anything we had. And had Hitler not been obsessed with obliterating England, Germany would have maintained the jet engines on the fighter planes. Instead, Hitler insisted the jet engines be used on bombers to continue bombing England. Fortunately the war's end was not far off at that point.
But had Germany maximized their use of fighter jets, the war would have been way different. As it was, we had air superiority, which meant everything.
Wasn’t that the intent of the UN charter in the first place?
Bring low the mighty and make the world a mediocre place. Direct a one way migration by allowing migrants to leave their sh*tholes behind and create other sh*tholes in the more advanced nations.
It is sad...being a long time Rotarian I join many Rotarians that are furious with what has happened with the UN...hijacked by Progressives and Communists.
It is too bad an ideology has to hide in the shadows and can’t be evaluated in the open it just causes bloodshed.
“....it just causes bloodshed.”
So? Blood of many good people was shed in order to create this nation. Does that mean that we have to give in to every threat and be held hostage by them?
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