1badmf wrote on Sep 19, 2023, 02:46:
cmon bop, it's not all that bad. can't shoot something you can't see right? in tens of thousands of sorties only one stealth jet has ever been lost. as far as i know it's the only one that's ever even been hit, and the f35 is two generations of stealth beyond the night hawk.
for sure it's not as survivable if it does get hit, but it's a worthy trade off if it doesn't ever get hit. and i think the military has sort of matured in its understanding of air warfare in the last 20 years. they know now they don't need an all stealth flying force; that would just be a monumental waste of money. stealth for the first 3 days to take down enemy air defenses and high value targets, then bomb trucks the rest of the war. i don't know for sure but i doubt they're gonna replace all the f/a18s with f35Cs. the bomb trucks still have significant value in uncontested air space. that's why the air force is buying new f-15EX strike eagles.
You're somewhat pushing the trap I mentioned previously. Stealth has an advantage in some applications but it shouldn't be the core concept you build an airframe around if you need multirole capability. There are significant compromises when that occurs. Those compromises cost lives, increase costs and maintenance, and reduce capability. There is no perfect airframe, to be sure, but you want to minimize the former two and increase the latter. The F-35 fails in that regard.
Both the US and China are changing doctrines because both sides realize that total air dominance is likely a thing of the past. Aviation Week
does a podcast and there was a whole episode dedicated to this subject not too long ago. Both sides realize that, at best, you'll get temporary air dominance to achieve specific mission goals. How we fight wars has significantly changed and how we source information has significantly changed. I don't need to see your aircraft to shoot them down if I can compromise your information network and have you show me where they are going to be. When that happens, stealth is not a functional aspect.
But let's look at this critically. Is the F-35 a good fleet interceptor? No. Is it a bomb truck? No. Is it a good CAS platform (something the Navy does as well, even if the Chair Force grinds their teeth about sharing that role while they themselves no longer wish to do it)? No. Is it a good air superiority fighter when compared to the F-22 or J-20? Ehhhhh...sorta. But we already have the F-22 in that role. So what does the F-35 do really well that other platforms don't? Not the tech, but its actual job. From everything I have read...not much. It's a pork barrel project solution in search of a problem and that's why I call it a shitbox.
The closest analog on the Navy side of things we have is, believe it or not, submarines. By their nature, subs have always been about stealth since the American Civil War. But beyond that, they have to be good at their jobs, too. Notice the Navy didn't decide to try and combine the capabilities of the the Virginia
classes in to one class? That's because they have two inherently different jobs and asking one platform to do both of them means that it does neither of them well. So we have a dedicated sea denial platform and a dedicated ballistic platform.
Then there's the Army's OICW project. It too proclaimed that technology was going to do ALL THE THINGS. We decided at that time to hang on to the M-16 for a while longer, just recently deciding to replace it with yet another AR platform in a different caliber. The wrong caliber, in my opinion, but that's a different conversation.
It's important to remember, too, that no one has been in a shooting war in the sky with a near-peer adversary since the Korean War and that was between the MiG-15 and F-86. The Vietnam War saw the US' F-4As and F-105s get chewed up by MiGs until the F-4Bs showed up and even then that was at the painful lesson that technology was not, in fact, going to make the US unstoppable. Since then, the US has never been at war with an adversary that was close to its own capabilities. The Cold War was all about sabre rattling with no direct conflict.
I am not wowed or amazed by technology for the sake of the technology itself. I only care about what something can actually do, and do better, as a whole package than what preceded it. The F-35 isn't it. It just isn't in any meaningfully measurable way.
"Just take a look around you, what do you see? Pain, suffering, and misery." -Black Sabbath, Killing Yourself to Live.
“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” -Jean-Jacques Rousseau