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Showing posts from March, 2015

Coming up...

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Once again, I must apologized for the lack of content lately.

There has not been much to report, but that is not the main reason.  The main reason is that "real life" has been punching me repeatedly in the guts now for months.  Crappy weather and a particular chaotic "day job" (usually thanks to the weather) has left me simply exhausted, with little to no time to devote to this blog.

I am working on new stuff, though.

Over the next few weeks (months?), I will be revisiting each fighter and how it stands a candidate for Canada's CF-18 replacement.  I will also continue to make snarky comments as I see fit.

Thanks to all those who keep coming back, and keeping the discussion lively.


Can the endangered Rhino be saved?

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On the surface, it would appear as though the United States Navy is continuing to give lukewarm support to the F-35.  By lukewarm, I mean do everything but leave the program outright.  Cutting orders, placing more emphasis on electronic attack and standoff weapons, and even outright stating that "stealth maybe overrated".

Not only that, but the USN needs to make up for F-35C development delays by extending the life of its legacy F/A-18C/D Hornets, much like Canada has done.   In the meantime, the slack has to be picked up by the newer Super Hornets.  The trouble is, these Rhinos have already been quite the workhorse thanks to increased operations (War on Terror, ISIS, etc, etc...).  This extra pressure on the Super Hornet fleet could lead to the need for their own life extension program being needed sooner than later, leading to a similar problem.

Simply put, in order for the USN to maintain its current level of fighter power into the foreseeable future, it need more fight…

Another damning POGO report for the F-35...

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It should not surprise anyone who has been following recent JSF news that the most recent Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) report on the F-35 does not exactly paint a rosy picture of the program.

Weapons that do not fit the F-35's engine bay, continued software glitches, an engine fire, and the usual escalation in costs continue to raise questions about the JSF.

Here are some highlights:

In spite of the focused effort, the program was not able to accomplish its goal of completing Block 2B flight testing by the end of October. As a result of the engine failure that occurred in an F-35A in late June, the program imposed aircraft operating limitations (AOL) on all variants of F-35.Due to the AOL, numerous test points needed for the Block 2B fleet release and Marine Corps IOC were blocked and cannot be attempted until the restrictions are lifted. Progress in weapons integration, in particular the completion of planned Block 2B weapon delivery accuracy (WDA) ev…

Saab's Annual Gripen Seminar

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Saab presented its annual Gripen seminar today.  There is nothing really groundbreaking, just minor updates on the deal with Brazil and the continued development of the E/NG models alongside the Gripen C/D.

For those of you who are interested, check it out here:  http://saab-seminar.creo.se/150312/saabs_annual_gripen_seminar_2015

Don't worry...  It's presented in english.

The Space Shuttle was a "Failed Success".

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Few things in this world match NASA's space shuttle as an example of mankind's engineering prowess.  This technological marvel defined the majority of America's space program for well over 30 years.  Without it, one doubts if we would have seen those fantastic images from the Hubble space telescope.  Were it not for the space shuttle, the International Space Station (ISS) would have turned out a whole lot different.

The shuttle itself is awe-inspiring to behold.  Roughly the size of a Boeing 737, the orbiter dwarfs every other manned spacecraft that preceded it.  Stacked with its external fuel tank and solid-rocket boosters, the entire Space Transportation System (STS) is over 15 stories high and weighs 4.5 million pounds.  It is substantially taller than any building in PEI.

The space shuttle's size is not its most impressive feat, however.  Prior to the Columbia's first spaceflight, all spacecraft were basically disposable.  Only the crew capsule survived touc…

Facepalm of the Week: Some of the F-35B's SDBs will be MIA.

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"Measure twice.  Cut once."

Carpenters know the phrase well.  In the literal sense, it means to take extra care in measuring the desired dimensions before cutting.  If the measurement is off, you will need to redo it, with a good chance you just wasted a perfectly good piece of lumber.

In the figurative sense, it simply means to be methodical and careful before putting a plan into action.

One wonders if the folks in the JSF program office measured twice.

In the latest bit of JSF news, it turns out that the F-35B will not be able to fit the required load of Small Diameter Bombs (SDB-II) inside its weapons bays.  Instead of eight, the STOVL version of the JSF will have to make due with four (two per bay).  This would not be such a big deal, except for the fact that the SDB's purpose is to allow fighters to strike more targets.

I have ranted on about the F-35's weapon bays in the past.  While they do improve stealth, they offer less flexibility than external pylons.  …