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65th Aggressor Sq Reactivating With F-35s

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2 hours ago, isuguy1234 said:

Some relief from the now constant threat of eielson 😬. Copy some people love eielson. 

Yeah, tens of people love Eielson.

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Are these aircraft still on the 2B software?  

Hearing about this (good idea) reminded me of another wrinkle I remembered in the F-35 saga from a couple of years ago:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a28685/f-35s-unfit-for-combat/

The Pop Mech article said there were 108 A models with the 2B software  that would need upgrade to 3F software and hardware, the article was updated (no date on the update) that said the AF was going to upgrade all jets to 3F but that sounds a lot like the check is in the mail.  

Is this a happy coincidence?  Save money by not upgrading some and getting a unique aggressor training capability?

On this same idea (high end LO aggressor force) - would it be overkill to take some of the Raptor fleet not combat coded or potentially not combat capable following the Tyndall / Hurricane Michael disaster  and have a Raptor aggressor?

5a2695d9ca48a_F-22AGRS(3).JPG.ed889ac3f5

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It is cost prohibitive to upgrade 2B jets, so they’re stuck at that s/w. We badly need 5th gen aggressors. This is actually a great 2-birds-with-one-stone play. 

No raptors were made perma-NMC by Michael. We need every raptor we can get doing the combat or training mission. 

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Copy that. 

If money only grew on trees... on this subject of 5th Gen / LO aggressors, why not bring in LO UCAS aggressors now to this effort?

IDK if a system like that exists or not yet but seems like the next threat to be dealt with as the Russians/Chinese are in development on them.

LO UCAS aggressor system supersonic capable, decent agility, fused sensor suite, etc...

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Copy that. 
If money only grew on trees... on this subject of 5th Gen / LO aggressors, why not bring in LO UCAS aggressors now to this effort?
IDK if a system like that exists or not yet but seems like the next threat to be dealt with as the Russians/Chinese are in development on them.
LO UCAS aggressor system supersonic capable, decent agility, fused sensor suite, etc...


Why? What difference does it make if an aggressor is manned or unmanned?

How much do you think it would cost to design and build a supersonic, LO, agile, unmanned airplane with a modern fused air-to-air sensor suite and what would the possible benefit be?




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Why? What difference does it make if an aggressor is manned or unmanned?

How much do you think it would cost to design and build a supersonic, LO, agile, unmanned airplane with a modern fused air-to-air sensor suite and what would the possible benefit be?




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The benefit is that the Chinese could just steal it from us and not have to develop it on their own. Then we’ll know what they have?
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Why? What difference does it make if an aggressor is manned or unmanned?

How much do you think it would cost to design and build a supersonic, LO, agile, unmanned airplane with a modern fused air-to-air sensor suite and what would the possible benefit be?

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How much to develop?

Billions potentially or maybe less if we could leverage off the MQ-25 Stingray development

The why IMO is to develop TTPs and experience using manned platforms vs in manned, develop TTPs for manned & unmanned teaming and in general research this mission in controlled testing/training environment.

Is it possible to have a UCAS under direction in a contested (physically and electromagnetically) space?

Is the link to the UCAS a signature source we can mitigate or exploit?

How do the algorithms if the UAS is untethered do with sorting/targeting?

What type of tactics actually work best for and against a UCAS Force?

This just seems like an opportunity to add to an advanced adversary capability as it comes online


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Clark, have you ever dealt with acquisitions? None of that UCAS shit exists, and the F-35s they want to use we’ve already bought. A Stingray tech demo is a far cry from an 8-ship of F-35s. You’ll be retired by the time someone figures out how to get an 8-ship of supersonic stealth drones to take off and land from Nellis.

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4 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

Clark, have you ever dealt with acquisitions? None of that UCAS shit exists, and the F-35s they want to use we’ve already bought. A Stingray tech demo is a far cry from an 8-ship of F-35s. You’ll be retired by the time someone figures out how to get an 8-ship of supersonic stealth drones to take off and land from Nellis.

Not directly but I've heard it's a great process that's logical, direct and free from undue political influence.  Why do you ask? /s

distractions.jpg

Behold the insanity of the Puzzle Palace's Plinko Machine of buying stuff... so I know my proposed LO UCAS would not get all FUBAR with this simple process.

Copy that it doesn't exist and inventing it would be a climb up Mt. Frustration but I think the military requirement is there and a first mission in operational development as an LO sparing partner for the 4/5 gen force is valid.  Ditto for AWACS, ADA and other detection/defense systems, our enemies and competitors will develop this or something like it as it could give them an asymmetrical advantage and then entire Joint Team will have to defend against it, not just fighters.

Just my two cents, but this seems akin to just doing basic research in any of the fields of science.  You do it because you don't know what you don't know.  Without that experimental, risk taking approach where we don't know the outcome but we will invest/risk an appropriate amount of resources to learn something new, we will keep getting better at fighting yesterday's battles.  

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Just my two cents, but this seems akin to just doing basic research in any of the fields of science.  You do it because you don't know what you don't know.  Without that experimental, risk taking approach where we don't know the outcome but we will invest/risk an appropriate amount of resources to learn something new, we will keep getting better at fighting yesterday's battles.  

Are we still talking about adversaries?

We don’t build multi-billion dollar red air fleets to experiment with potential new technologies and we certainly don’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t to develop potential new blue capes. We do that with s&t, prototypes and demos.


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Isn't the assumption that 5th Gen stealth capes and whatever challenges an F-35 Aggressor offers Flag Blue-air is going to be an accurate representation of potential Chinese/Russian threats a rather big leap?  It seems like this opportunity presented itself, not because of a well developed training plan, but more out of a need to do something with not quite ready for WW-next assets that aren't plentiful enough to equip a complete front line squadron.

If there's nothing better to do with these assets, then I guess this is one solution.  Going against an adversary that truly has these capes and is going to bring something very close to the game that a bunch of AD bubbas in F-35s can replicate is valid.  But if front line squadrons develop tactics to deal with this perceived threat and reality is something considerably different, we could be building a mousetrap to combat a mouse that will never exist.

I realize we did that for much of the cold-war but the variables and assumptions there were not anywhere close to the same magnitude of what is being dealt with today.  Assuming an adversary can shoot a bit further out than his doctrine supports or that he has a bit more SA than a purely GCI dependent pilot does is quite a bit different than developing tactics to combat what a "not quite ready for prime time" F-35 and a US pilot brings to the party.  Yeah, I'm out of the loop on much of this, so I'm just throwing some distant observer opinions out.  I don't think it's a mistake to be able to replicate this threat, but I'd have a hard time accepting it as a routine expectation on a majority of RF type missions.

Edited by JeremiahWeed

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On 5/10/2019 at 12:19 AM, MC5Wes said:

Great example of how draft NDAA language (pre-markup, void of concurrence of the services) can get leaked and grow a narrative of its own.

WTF does that mean? It means they’re drafting the next budget and someone slipped this in. That’s it.

While not discounting the need, this isn’t a done deal. In fact, the official AF position as sent back to Congress surprisingly differs in many ways from the fanboy cherry-picking of information in the article. 

This one has to bake some more...

Chuck

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4 hours ago, JeremiahWeed said:

I'd have a hard time accepting it as a routine expectation on a majority of RF type missions.

Why? These are the current day threats (let alone near future capes).  Just because they present a far more difficult problem doesn't justify us not doing it.  Pretending SU-30s with C/D/Archer is a realistic baseline is laughable.  That's like the Chinese training to an F-16 A-model in relative comparison.  Time to solve the hard problem, not run away from it and solve the easy problem, then beat our chests about how great we are.

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Are we still talking about adversaries?

We don’t build multi-billion dollar red air fleets to experiment with potential new technologies and we certainly don’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t to develop potential new blue capes. We do that with s&t, prototypes and demos.


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Not saying this LO UCAS would be only for Red Air but using this mission to develop & learn how to build a combat capable LO UCAS seems like a feasible building block approach to fielding the first autonomous/remotely directed UCAS.

If king for a day, I’d approach it with risk management in mind and develop an air vehicle first to give a kinematically challenging target. Develop robust links for active control via ground and air stations in this first spiral.

Once that’s proven, I’d work on integrating a self-defense capability this would be the spiral to begin testing autonomous and semi autonomous operations.

Next active / passive sensor integration and try to further develop autonomous capabilities.

Just one dude’s idea.



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On 5/16/2019 at 5:48 AM, brabus said:

Why? These are the current day threats (let alone near future capes).  Just because they present a far more difficult problem doesn't justify us not doing it.  Pretending SU-30s with C/D/Archer is a realistic baseline is laughable.  That's like the Chinese training to an F-16 A-model in relative comparison.  Time to solve the hard problem, not run away from it and solve the easy problem, then beat our chests about how great we are.

Okay - as I said, I don't have the expertise to discuss this in depth.  If it's a valid replication of the actual threat, then it sounds like it's needed.  I'm certainly not advocating running away from a tough problem.  On the other hand, I don't think expecting to face 5th Gen stealth adversaries as a baseline on every RF sortie is a realistic example of that "tough problem".  Facing a metric shit-ton of 3rd Gen North Korean fighters is probably at least as likely if not more so than tangling with whatever latest and greatest the Chinese or Russians have.  Those two scenarios are vastly different and, in my opinion, require tailored training scenarios.  Practicing for one doesn't make your ready for the other.  We still have plenty of AORs that don't require us to face the top line threat but would still pose a significant challenge.

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Okay - as I said, I don't have the expertise to discuss this in depth.  If it's a valid replication of the actual threat, then it sounds like it's needed.  I'm certainly not advocating running away from a tough problem.  On the other hand, I don't think expecting to face 5th Gen stealth adversaries as a baseline on every RF sortie is a realistic example of that "tough problem".  Facing a metric shit-ton of 3rd Gen North Korean fighters is probably at least as likely if not more so than tangling with whatever latest and greatest the Chinese or Russians have.  Those two scenarios are vastly different and, in my opinion, require tailored training scenarios.  Practicing for one doesn't make your ready for the other.  We still have plenty of AORs that don't require us to face the top line threat but would still pose a significant challenge.


Other way to look at this is developing the brain trust of experience now to solve a problem that very well may be 10 years away.

We got out Butts kicked in previous conflicts specifically because we didn’t look at emerging threats and continued to fight the last fight or ignore a real gap. Happened in the Air with MIGs over Vietnam, happened at Sea with minesweeping, and happened on land as we pursued the worlds best battle tanks and APCs for a standup fight while ignoring the IED.

find the deadliest system we could encounter and match our best people against it until we figure out how to kill it. Otherwise F it let’s play the same exercises our dads played at NTC and Red Flag in the 80s and hope nobody buys or builds anything newer than SA-8/Mig29/T72.


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2 cents from a non fighter, former drone, current AFSOC guy, so take it for what it’s worth. The drone technology just isn’t there yet. For what we would invest  we (aviators as a whole) would get much better and relevant training allocating that money towards more flight hours, glass cockpits, simulators, red air, exercises, new aircraft, aircraft upgrades, etc. Our current fleet of drones can’t even defend itself, and have a hard enough time staying at the right spot/altitude in the stack.

I think 5th Gen drone advisories are something our grandchildren might face/fly, but in today’s world and current budget we have higher priorities.  

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12 hours ago, Lawman said:

Other way to look at this is developing the brain trust of experience now to solve a problem that very well may be 10 years away.

We got out Butts kicked in previous conflicts specifically because we didn’t look at emerging threats and continued to fight the last fight or ignore a real gap. Happened in the Air with MIGs over Vietnam, happened at Sea with minesweeping, and happened on land as we pursued the worlds best battle tanks and APCs for a standup fight while ignoring the IED.

find the deadliest system we could encounter and match our best people against it until we figure out how to kill it. Otherwise F it let’s play the same exercises our dads played at NTC and Red Flag in the 80s and hope nobody buys or builds anything newer than SA-8/Mig29/T72.

 

I think you’re starting to cut a pretty wide swath bringing in land and sea assets. Since we started discussing air threat replication, I’ll stick with that. Reaching all the way back to the Vietnam air war for examples of poor threat training and its ramifications conveniently ignores all the things we’ve done well to correct those mistakes in the decades since then.

Again, if those in the know say we should use F-35s for threat replication then who am I to argue. We definitely need to crack that nut before our regular line fighter pilot bros are asked to face it for real. But isn’t development of tactics for use potentially 10 years into the future (the brain trust you mention) usually the job of the 422, not line bubbas possibly on their first trip to RF?

Edited by JeremiahWeed

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