Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Did You Hear the One About the F-35?

There's enough stuff in the F-35 to get a comedian through a HBO special.  The latest guffaw - its gun doesn't shoot.  It's there and everything - gun, ammunition, the lot.  Pilots just won't be able to fire it for a while, 2019 at the earliest.

At this point, it's not even funny how much the Pentagon has screwed up the development of its new stealth fighter jet, the F-35. But the latest report that the jet's 25mm cannon won't be operational until 2019 at the earliest is just laughable. Even more laughable is that it probably doesn't even need the gun to begin with.
Unnamed Air Force officials revealed the bad news in a Daily Beast story about the F-35. Apparently the software that will power the four-barreled rotary cannon on the Air Force version of the jet, the F-35A, won't be ready for at least four more years. The Navy and Marine Corps version use a different cannon, but it'll also be years before the software's ready for those guns.
The real kicker here is that the gun is probably just dead weight (read: a waste of taxpayer dollars) anyways. The F-35A's cannon can fire 3,300 rounds per minute but can only hold 180 rounds. "I would be lying if I said there exists any plausible tactical air-to-air scenario where the F-35 will need to employ the gun," one senior Air Force official told the Daily Beast. "Personally, I just don't see it ever happening and think they should have saved the weight [by getting rid of the gun altogether]."
But wait, you need a gun for the close support role, the ground-pounding stuff in support of friendly infantry.  Oh, I get it.  Of course the F-35 with its astronomical price tag and single-engine vulnerability is just too costly and too easily damaged to be exposed to close support missions.  And of course it's too slow and short-range to be much use as an interceptor.  And it's too slow in speed, turn and climb rate to survive as a dogfighter.  And, of course, having just 180 rounds of cannon ammunition is something of an admission that it's not intended for close support or interception or dogfighting.  What does that leave? Oh yeah, that's right, it's a bomber.


Ray Blessin said...

This is really good news for the "folks" that we were planning to slaughter with these 'cannons'!

Anonymous said...

Because you can’t demand cash bribes in exchange for work (contracts) from your own public employees eh?

Contract KickBacks:
Lessons on How Harper’s Reform Party is Run:

A “Fat Cat Businessman” gains the trust of a government official. Soon “Fat-Cat Businessman” gives government / politician guy wads of cash in exchange for unfettered access to all the good juicy untendered / no-bid contracts.

If politician man can not find willing and corrupt businessman, in a pinch, the politician will use one of his family, friends or mistresses to start up a company or a fake charity. Then politician man gives them the contract, and then those two start issuing inflated invoices, bam, split the difference, done.

Everyone else in society is left scratching their heads trying to figure out why politician guy makes such weird and crazy policy decisions that make nO SeNsE.


I will propose turning it over to a third party, perhaps a private corporation. This will offer you no protection, but it should provide a good government contract to one of my major campaign donors.

Don Bacon said...

" Oh yeah, that's right, it's a bomber."
--But it can only carry two small bombs, so that's out too.

That leaves only one role for the F-35 -- hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate welfare for Lockheed and its subcontractors in 45 states and nine foreign countries.

Unknown said...

Kinda like Steve Harper's penis Eh? Excuse me I am in a laughing mood I think we can rid ourselves of helicopter MacKay and F-35 Harper this year!

Ya Ya Ya Happy New Years folks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Trudeau enlists ex-military officers, ambassadors to advise on foreign policy

I'm a Lifelong Conservative But I'm Running for the Liberals
Posted: 12/10/2014 12:31 pm EST

Unknown said...

Anon 2:28 Jan 1st 2015 I think you meant to say you were a lifelong Progressive Conservative not the Harper/MacKay brand of right wing con/revenge/party/radicals cons um I meant reform retards actually um did I mention radicals working only for the 1%? Lockheed Martin is about to become the richest corporation on a jet that does not work as Ray said above what a fucking blessing those that were going to be targeted with that useless piece of shit eh?

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Anon 2:28. Congratulations, Stephen, on your decision to switch teams. I have a number of lifelong Ottawa Tory friends and I expect you shared their anguish with the current prime minister before you departed.

I can see how J. Trudeau's team would appeal to disaffected, former PCs. It's a reflection of how far and quickly politics has shifted to the right throughout the West over the past 30-years.

In my old age I've become rather fond of the Left, just not the NDP version. I was on side with JT's dad but he's no PET.

I take it from your age that you were an 18-driver. I don't suppose you were around in time to score any seat time in the 101 or 104.

Anyway, best wishes and even better luck with your campaign.

The Mound of Sound said...

By the way, everyone. I read an item in an online journal today by a quite credible military correspondent that US Air Force brass are acknowledging that the gun fiasco will postpone the in-service date from mid-2015 to at least 2019 or later. The reporter inferred there are other Achilles' Heels surfacing in the F-35 that could turn it into a complete disaster.

Lockheed is obviously sticking with the inoperable gun because it needs to maintain the pretense that the F-35 is a fighter. The American forces are set to buy 2,400 of them under that pretense. Foreign buyers are also playing along with the rather blatant deception. This may be the first military decision even remotely approaching this magnitude to be reached on the basis of industrial benefits and trade. That is the driving factor and it's inevitable that it will leave our militaries and our countries in a very bad way if and when we ever really need them to defend us.

The Mound of Sound said...

"This may be the first military decision even remotely approaching this magnitude to be reached on the basis of industrial benefits and trade."

My bad. I momentarily forgot all about the AVRO Arrow.

Edstock said...

What a cluster-f. Gun-sight software is the plug in the toilet as I recall.

180 rounds? Sure hope it works for the USAF, as the F-22 carries 480 rounds of 20mm gatling. As well, the ol' F-4E carried a 20mm gatling with 640 rounds, the F-15 totes 940 rounds, with the F-16 carrying 511.

The Brewster Buffalo of our time.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hey, Ed. Brewster Buffalo indeed. Maybe that explains Australia's fondness for the thing.

This thing already has a serious weight problem which led the Pentagon to fudge the take off and landing roll requirements and, for a time, led to the removal of the fire suppression system. If the gun is phony window dressing why not ditch it?

Anonymous said...

c17 canada buys on friday just before christmas at double market price while other countries shutting down c17 airwings. add 4 35jets and you get 1 billion dollar boondoggle prictag while vetrans suffer?

Steve said...

I just looked it up. The A10 holds 1350 rounds of 30mm. The US military is working overtime trying to kill the A10 and have the paper tiger F35 with no fire suppression system replace it.

Military Intelligence remains an oxy moron. Or are an army of people beign paid to not know obvious things.

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