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Thread: So you think you have the best army in the world, America?

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    Default So you think you have the best army in the world, America?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...-f35-jets.html


    There is a stark lesson in the escalating cost nightmare of the F-35 fighter jets that holds more ominous implications for Washington than even for Canada's Harper government.

    Quite simply, it is that allied Western nations are finding the once-vaunted high-tech American weaponry no longer politically affordable. Not in large numbers.

    Canada's grief over its share of the F-35 price tag — now estimated to be almost $46 billion over 42 years — has been shared by a half-dozen countries, including Britain, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands, which have been forced to either cut back on their orders or contemplate outright cancellation.

    This political fallout is upending the whole global arms bazaar. Around the world, America's big-ticket defence items are being increasingly challenged by cheaper products from Europe and now Asia as well.

    More developing countries are shunning extravagant U.S. weaponry for the cheaper but quite-good-enough products of Russia, China, India, and South Korea.

    India itself recently rejected a large F-35 purchase in favour of a much modernized Russian Su-35 multi-role fighter.

    This trend could have strategic consequences — and not only for U.S. military influence abroad and its important high-tech manufacturing base.

    But if America's allies are forced to swallow hard and, in the process, take on fewer of the super-costly F-35 joint strike fighters, they could well end up with smaller air capabilities over the next 20-30 years than they had been planning on.

    The whole F-35 experience has produced a classic negative cycle in which unanticipated glitches cause delays that drive up prices, which, in turn, causes still more wavering by potential buyers, leading to more delays, still higher costs, and so on, with no end in sight.
    End of the gravy train

    For America's military-industrial complex, as it is sometimes called, it now seems that the age of illusion is coming to an end.

    "We have been on a gravy train of military capability over the past 60 years. And we are seeing signs of its death," Gen. Steven Kwast, the director of the U.S. Air Force Defence Review warned recently.

    "We all grew up in a Cold War paradigm of outspending, out-producing an adversary," Kwast said, adding that, because of all this overspending, "if we aren't careful we can find ourselves where we can't afford the basics."

    He is just one of many critical voices in the U.S. currently denouncing a military and political mindset that encouraged near-perfection in high-tech weapons, which consistently lead to ruinous cost overruns.

    It is a problem that goes well beyond the F-35s.

    American insistence on super-smart combat designs has pushed the price tag of one destroyer to $1.2 billion and a new submarine to twice that. Even Congress has started to gag at such numbers.

    Ironically, it was Washington's concern over rising foreign competition that led to the F-35 woes.

    The Pentagon recklessly raced the Lockheed Martin F-35 into early production in 2007, even before it was flight tested, in an attempt to corner the market for the company's new stealth technology.

    As aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia told the New York Times, "there was this big desire to kill the competition."
    'Acquisition malpractice'

    Bypassing flight tests before production was extraordinarily risky and some officials inside the Pentagon warned it would end badly. But apparently higher-ups insisted that any kinks would be worked out in computer simulation.

    The F-35 was originally to have been a relatively affordable mix of three different plane types. But it turned out to be a far more complex hybrid than imagined.

    Start-up costs have already consumed $65 billion, and the whole mess was denounced as "acquisition malpractice" by the Pentagon's new procurement chief, Frank Kendall, earlier this year.

    The F-35s are now the most expensive weapons program in history, so over the top, in fact, that the Pentagon's original hope to produce some 2,400 of these fighters, spread across nine nations, is fading fast.

    The estimated unit price per plane has doubled from $69 million to $167 million today and some industry experts warn that only half that projected production run may be achievable — which will mean even higher unit prices for foreign buyers like Canada (if we go ahead with the purchase).
    Strategic consequences

    Cutting back on production is where the self-inflicted pricing woes of U.S. military manufacturers have true strategic consequences.

    On paper, the U.S. still racks up the most foreign "purchase agreements" every year, but what really matters are actual "deliveries." And here the U.S. has slid from a near monopoly in the 1990s to just a little over 30 per cent of the total today.

    That additional competition may not be a bad thing, you say. But, traditionally, big arms sales served U.S. strategic interest as they helped extend American influence all over the globe through these arms pacts.

    Today, such clout may be exerted by the new competitors waving cheaper long-term deals.

    America's problems here put Ottawa in a most uncomfortable position as it finds itself wrestling with a fighter option it can't afford with an aerospace giant in decline and likely unable to extend as many economic side benefits as were initially promised.

    A further wrinkle is that a number of countries are concluding that the F-35 is not only too expensive, but far more sophisticated than is required in today's global environment.

    In Canada's case, cabinet has yet to make a convincing argument that buying 65 hybrid stealth fighter-bombers makes more strategic sense than, say, buying a mixed fleet, or even a smaller fleet with cheaper alternatives.

    It now says it will "reset" the whole decision. But given the enormous stakes involved, we can expect immense pressure from the U.S., our closest ally, to not reject this plane before the eyes of the world.

    But unless a solution is found to these runaway F-35 costs, this particular dank swamp will only grow more terrifying for ministers to contemplate with each passing month.
    Maybe good at draining taxpayer's money. Every Canadian who knows anything about this planes is hoping we cancel the order and go with something better suited to Canada, like the SAAB Gripen. Several other countries are thinking of doing the same, and many have scaled back orders.

    That just leads to the remainder sharing larger portions of the costs, and if they bail due to the cost, the US gets to pay for the entire thing. Which, we all know, it can't afford.

    That $1.2bil destroyer though, that's insane. For comparison, a Nimitz-class super-carrier cost about $4.5bil.

    So, is this the start of the end of America's military superiority?

  2. #2

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    So people stop buying the best, and that means the U.S. will stop having the best. I don't see how that makes sense, but okay.

    Sure, no one else will be footing the bill, but that just means we'd have to make it for ourselves, and not with mass production in mind. Might be more costly, but I can't see 'Murica giving up its military might just yet. It's like the nuclear bomb... We didn't have to sell it to make it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shesho View Post
    So people stop buying the best, and that means the U.S. will stop having the best. I don't see how that makes sense, but okay.
    The "best" is becoming so expensive that the US needs other countries to help offset the costs of it.

    Costing "more" is not an option the US can viably entertain for much longer. It's already running on fake money; it's about to go off a fiscal cliff if it's politicians can't agree on what to do with the budget, one which is estimated could take off 4% from the GDP if it doesn't get solved by the end of 2013, sending the US back into recession.

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    Why does any country need it though? I mean really- millions of Americans working to pay taxes and the government turns around and spends those taxes on big toys so they can bully other countries around. Total bull****.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    I have to agree with Ms.Evil there.
    no point buying a $7000 colt, when a $350 glock works just as fine.
    If there is a God, He must really love stupid people. Look how many He made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erknen View Post
    I have to agree with Ms.Evil there.
    no point buying a $7000 colt, when a $350 glock works just as fine.
    Or you could just like, idk, give peace a chance and ****.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    The US could get the Lockheed Martin lobbyists out, cancel the F-35 program entirely, and still have the best air and navy power in the world. the Su-35 can't beat the existing F-22. Nothing in the skies can. It can outrun any gun or missile designed by man, and I'm not even sure the Su-35 can get a target lock around the raptor's stealth systems.

    The F-35 was a costly disaster, and everyone knows it. But America's one remaining luxury is that we were a generation ahead of the pack before we ever started that program. Those who think this debacle threatens our military superiority ought learn the specifics on the jets in question, then think over that opinion a bit better.

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    More developing countries are shunning extravagant U.S. weaponry for the cheaper but quite-good-enough products of Russia, China, India, and South Korea.

    Forget developing countries, we're doing it to ourselves.


    Always low prices. Always.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    Or you could just like, idk, give peace a chance and ****.
    Peace through superior firepower?
    If there is a God, He must really love stupid people. Look how many He made.

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    Is this part of that Canadia world power thingy I posted about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    Is this part of that Canadia world power thingy I posted about?
    No, it's the project about the Death Star masked as something else that I posted about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    Or you could just like, idk, give peace a chance and ****.
    "Aaaaaall we are saaaaaaaaying, is....let's ****!"

    I like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurand View Post
    "Aaaaaall we are saaaaaaaaying, is....let's ****!"

    I like it.
    LMAO. My starry word started with an S not an F.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Canada's military, but what is the point of it? Is there a need for that kind of sophistication? Most of its conflicts will probably be in USA-led NATO conflicts.

    It'd be basically be paying the US to fly their own planes in their own wars. I don't get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daft Punk View Post
    I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Canada's military, but what is the point of it? Is there a need for that kind of sophistication? Most of its conflicts will probably be in USA-led NATO conflicts.

    It'd be basically be paying the US to fly their own planes in their own wars. I don't get it.
    Have governments ever made sense? *cue John Lennon's Imagine
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daft Punk View Post
    I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Canada's military, but what is the point of it? Is there a need for that kind of sophistication? Most of its conflicts will probably be in USA-led NATO conflicts.

    It'd be basically be paying the US to fly their own planes in their own wars. I don't get it.
    We're actually shooting ourselves in the foot by going so sophisticated.

    One of our air force's biggest roles is escorting Russian bombers/fighters out of our air space. They like to fly in on a regular basis, remind us that they're still there. The F-35 has huge problems flying in the northern latitudes that these engagements happen in - it's navigation system requires either GPS or land-based signals (I forget which,) which are lacking up north, meaning that the plane easily goes off-course. It also needs a paved runway to land, and there's none up there. A plane like the Gripen is able to do both of these things without a problem (that is, fly in northern latitudes, and land on unpaved runways... virtually anywhere, actually.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daft Punk View Post
    I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Canada's military, but what is the point of it?
    It's to make Canada feel less small in the showers with America.
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    I am sure they (the Canuckistan AF) would not use the most sophisticated fighters ever made to run simple boarder patrol against what are likely Cold War era jets with hack pilots. Now, if one of those hacks turns out to be a wise guy with a boner and a mission, you better believe those super jets could come in very handy. (Lols at the entendre)
    Roses are red; violets are blue. I shagged your girl; maybe tomorrow you can to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    LMAO. My starry word started with an S not an F.
    I think peace has a much better chance of success with my interpretation of your quad *'s, don't you? Less shooting with one gun and more shooting with the other, ya know what I mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurand View Post
    I think peace has a much better chance of success with my interpretation of your quad *'s, don't you? Less shooting with one gun and more shooting with the other, ya know what I mean?
    I know not of which you speak. Everyone knows hippies don't like sex.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    Everyone knows hippies don't like sex.
    ::Now:: they tell me.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    ::Now:: they tell me.
    Ya man, hippies like make love. They don't have sex. Free the whales and stop shooting bombs through guns. Give peace a chance. The money the US spends on weapons could like, be used to like, design an engine that runs on water. The ******* government, though man, just like doesn't want people to have clean air to drink. Those ******* ******** killed Jerry Garcia with one of those planes they are building for Canada and ****.

    But yeah, hippies don't have sex.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    Ya man, hippies like make love.
    That's what the guy hippies tell the girl hippies so that they can have sex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurand View Post
    That's what the guy hippies tell the girl hippies so that they can have sex.
    ****! I'll be right back. I have some *** to kick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    Ya man, hippies like make love. They don't have sex. Free the whales and stop shooting bombs through guns. Give peace a chance. The money the US spends on weapons could like, be used to like, design an engine that runs on water. The ******* government, though man, just like doesn't want people to have clean air to drink. Those ******* ******** killed Jerry Garcia with one of those planes they are building for Canada and ****.

    But yeah, hippies don't have sex.
    Ooo! A gun that shoots bombs instead of bullets?! I must have one for home defense!
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    Ooo! A gun that shoots bombs instead of bullets?! I must have one for home defense!
    You don't need guns. All the world needs is hugs and drugs. All the problems will fade away into the sunset. Be like the Jedis, you know. We are against the dark side. Use the force. Jerry did. See how awesome he was?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
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    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    You don't need guns. All the world needs is hugs and drugs. All the problems will fade away into the sunset. Be like the Jedis, you know. We are against the dark side. Use the force. Jerry did. See how awesome he was?
    The Jedis turned out to be jerks who were anti-love & anti-caring. Sith all the way!
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    The Jedis turned out to be jerks who were anti-love & anti-caring. Sith all the way!
    I don't think we can hang out anymore.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nichts View Post
    needs a paved runway to land
    L2F-35B

    a

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    You don't need guns. All the world needs is hugs and drugs.
    I think the video for Badly Drawn Boy's "Year of the Rat" supports the hugs portion of your statement.

    Well, that and hippie sex.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurand View Post
    I think the video for Badly Drawn Boy's "Year of the Rat" supports the hugs portion of your statement.

    Well, that and hippie sex.
    I will have to google that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nichts View Post
    We're actually shooting ourselves in the foot by going so sophisticated.

    One of our air force's biggest roles is escorting Russian bombers/fighters out of our air space. They like to fly in on a regular basis, remind us that they're still there. The F-35 has huge problems flying in the northern latitudes that these engagements happen in - it's navigation system requires either GPS or land-based signals (I forget which,) which are lacking up north, meaning that the plane easily goes off-course. It also needs a paved runway to land, and there's none up there. A plane like the Gripen is able to do both of these things without a problem (that is, fly in northern latitudes, and land on unpaved runways... virtually anywhere, actually.)
    From what I've watched a few years ago on the Military Channel, those planes are so advanced, that humans cannot fly them to their fullest capabilities. I agree with you, I don't think Canada needs those kinds of airplanes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse-Keyboard View Post
    L2F-35B

    a
    Oh, you mean the upgrade package we'll need to buy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nichts View Post
    Oh, you mean the upgrade package we'll need to buy?
    It's the Marine variant with VTOL capacity. I don't belief they've gotten past the prototype stage yet and thus these things aren't actually in production.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshyyy View Post
    There is some serious misquoting potential above.
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    Our Canadian is just jealous of our Air Force since his consists of this:

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    It is interesting that the smallest things can beat the most sophisticated systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    I don't think we can hang out anymore.
    Oh come on...

    Jedi are constantly told they can't care about their friends... they can't have a family...

    Heck... they get suspicious if you care too much about your student's emotional well-being!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    It is interesting that the smallest things can beat the most sophisticated systems.
    Is that how Norway fended off the Germans during WWII?

    Wait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    Is that how Norway fended off the Germans during WWII?

    Wait.
    It is cute how you try time and time again to troll me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    Is that how Norway fended off the Germans during WWII?

    Wait.
    You are familiar with the activities of the Norwegian Free Forces that escaped to the U.K., as well as those of the Norwegian underground resistance?
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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