• tags: F-22, airpower, air_force, procurement

    • “At a time when we’re fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, this would have been an inexcusable waste of money. Every dollar of waste in our defense budget is a dollar we can’t spend to support our troops, or prepare for future threats, or protect the American people. Our budget is a zero-sum game, and if more money goes to F-22s, it is our troops and citizens who lose,” Obama said.
      • 1) So, buying military aircraft during a time of war is a wate of money, but trillions of dollars for “stimulus,” health care, and on and on, is not? 2) Future threats. Assumption: Future threats won’t require air superiority of the kind provided by the F-22. 3) Zero-sum budget. So then trillions on stimulus and health care will be “dollar[s] we can’t spend to support our troops, prepare for future threats, or protect the American people,” right? – post by TransTracker
  • tags: airpower, air_force, UAVs, military theory, procurement

    • Already, though, some are envisioning the end of the Air Force as we know it.

      Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, one of Washington’s oldest and most respected think tanks, predicts a vast array of missions for unmanned craft, from stealth bombing to electronic warfare — even dogfights.

      “It’s not just intelligence and bomber pilots who will be replaced with machines,” said a recent article by Singer, a campaign adviser on defense policy to President Obama.

      “Planning is proceeding on UCAVs, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, which will replace fighter jocks, too.”

    • Already, though, some are envisioning the end of the Air Force as we know it.

      Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, one of Washington’s oldest and most respected think tanks, predicts a vast array of missions for unmanned craft, from stealth bombing to electronic warfare — even dogfights.

      “It’s not just intelligence and bomber pilots who will be replaced with machines,” said a recent article by Singer, a campaign adviser on defense policy to President Obama.

      “Planning is proceeding on UCAVs, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, which will replace fighter jocks, too.” Last manned fighter?

      Defense Secretary Robert Gates is among those gazing into the future.

      • Well there you have it. I’ve said again and again that Gates intends to gut the Air Force. Several people have thought I’m crazy. But this is the second major influence leading him in that direction: the promise of UAVs. The first is faith in the theory of fourth-generation warfare, or at least the assumption that nation-state-level warfare is obsolete. These are two very big and, at least where the latter is concerned, dubious assumptions. Are we certain enough in our ability to predict both the future of global conflict and technological development to consciously choose to give up our greatest military advantage, advantages no one else has but many desperately seek? Are we certain enough to give up one of, if not the biggest enabler of U.S. military superiority–i.e. the proven ability to dominate the air domain–in favor of gambling on a very new, largely unproven technology? – post by TransTracker
    • Col. Eric Mathewson, head of the Air Force’s unmanned aircraft task force at the Pentagon, said the service plans to examine all its missions to see which can be adapted for unmanned flight.

      He doesn’t picture pilots going away completely — at least, not anytime soon. But he can’t predict what’s ahead, he said, because UAV technology is still in its infancy.

      “You can’t judge UAVs by what you see today. That would be like judging all aircraft by looking at the Wright Flyer,” Mathewson said, referring to the first powered plane, built by the Wright brothers in 1903.

      • True. UAVs will likely become more capable. But in 1903, you also would not have wanted to sh*t can proven, still very effective technologies (like, say, artillery) based on the theory/promise that aircraft would eventually make those technologies obsolete. But that’s what we’re doing today: Betting that an infant technology will grow up rapidly, we’re consciously giving up our advantage in current systems that we’ve already spent billions of dollars to develop. – post by TransTracker

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