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The Military Government

More Bad News For the F-35 401

Posted by Soulskill
from the flights-of-fancy dept.
schwit1 sends this news from Aviation Week: "A new U.S. Defense Department report warns that ongoing software, maintenance and reliability problems with Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighter could delay the Marine Corps' plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015. It said Lockheed had delivered F-35 jets with 50 percent or less of the software capabilities required by its production contracts with the Pentagon. The computer-based logistics system known as ALIS was fielded with 'serious deficiencies' and remained behind schedule, which affected servicing of existing jets needed for flight testing, the report said. It said the ALIS diagnostic system failed to meet even basic requirements. The F35 program, which began in 2001, is 70 percent over initial cost estimates, and years behind schedule, but top U.S. officials say it is now making progress. They have vowed to safeguard funding for the program to keep it on track. Earlier this week, the nonprofit Center for International Policy said Lockheed had greatly exaggerated its estimate (PDF) that the F-35 program sustained 125,000 U.S. jobs to shore up support for the program."
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More Bad News For the F-35

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  • by shortscruffydave (638529) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:37AM (#46055853)
    At least the UK's carrier building programme is running slow...it'd just be embarrassing if we had carriers but no planes to put on them....
    • Hah, it's not like they're even proper carriers anyway, what with them lacking CATOBAR setup etc.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Can't they just divide up the budget between those 125,000 'workers' and be done with it. I can't imagine any of them will complain.

      That would free everybody up to work on the drones. Which are the real future.

  • Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akratist (1080775) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:41AM (#46055889)
    Whatever one's political philosophy about them is, drones really are the future -- if one gets shot down, no expensive pilot lost and no embarrassing flag-draped coffins. Can hotseat pilots to allow for long loiter times. No need to have a cockpit for a pilot. Latency and jamming is an issue, but is steadily improving. It's the same way with aircraft carriers, which are steadily becoming welfare for defense contractors and an easy target for ballistic anti-ship missiles, super cavitating torpedos, etc. Defense needs to get out of the 20th century mindset, and out of the pockets of Congress, and into the business of actually building useful stuff.
    • by dcw3 (649211)

      Easy target? Tell us when one gets hit. In the mean time, where would you like to launch your drones from if there's not base nearby? Some drones are rather large.

      • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:57AM (#46056113)

        In the mean time, where would you like to launch your drones from if there's not base nearby? Some drones are rather large.

        Many large drones are capable of aerial refueling. They can circle the globe without landing. Or they can loiter indefinitely over a critical area. Drones are the future. The people that designed the F35 are like bad hockey players: they skate towards where the puck is, rather than where it is going.

        • They are also easily disabled by jamming and there is latency in controlling them.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            With all the electronics on a human-in-cockpit fighter plane, I wonder if it's not possible to jam those as well. You may not be able to completely disable the aircraft, but with the right technologies, you could certain hinder their effectiveness.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ShanghaiBill (739463)

            They are also easily disabled by jamming and there is latency in controlling them.

            If the drone has been assigned a target, then when jammed it will continue its mission.
            If the drone hasn't been assigned a target, then the jammer's radiation source becomes the target.

            • Re: Waste of money (Score:4, Informative)

              by Lumpy (12016) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:27AM (#46056487) Homepage

              A lot of people forget that there are AWACS way up there that will identify a jamming source and relay to another aircraft to smoke them. We utterly owned IRAQ's "best military in the world" because every time the lit up the radar on their anti aircraft installs, we send a nice big present to them automatically.

              and if someone thinks that a soldier on the ground is going to have a shoulder mounted jammer, well they are funny as hell. I dare them to just keep a laser pointer aimed at a dime on the top of a stick that is 300 yards away, because that is a lot easier than doing the same to a fighter jet in the sky.

          • Citation needed about the jamming. Specifically the "easily" part. Seems like there are a lot of dead terrorists who would have been very motivated to figure it out if it were "easy."

            Perhaps you mean "Easily for a real threat to national security," IE an actual country who can use technology beyond a pipe bomb or a 40 year old soviet rifle. That would actually be a good point as to why we'd need piloted planes. Potentially anyway, citation still needed.
        • The people that put out the RFPs (the government) are those bad hockey players. The people that designed and built the F-35 (contractors) are just doing what they're contracted to do. Government sets the requirements, industry meets them.

          • Government sets the requirements, industry meets them.

            They are all part of the same organization [wikipedia.org].

            • That is not correct, at all. DoD and government requires different organizations to be involved at all stages, regardless of what you think about a 'military-industrial complex'.

              • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

                by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:41AM (#46057335)

                That is not correct, at all. DoD and government requires different organizations to be involved at all stages, regardless of what you think about a 'military-industrial complex'.

                They are the SAME PEOPLE. They just rotate jobs periodically. Government employees and politicians responsible for managing the procurement process routinely work for a while to build their connections and then leave and go work for the contractors. So when working on the government side of the MIC, they have no incentive to go against the interests of their future employers on the industry side.

              • I question how separate those organizations are when lots of retired military officers go to work for defense contractors. It's no secret in the defense industry that you want to hire them to sell your stuff, and that they rely on their insider knowledge and good buddy network. Larger outfits like to get a few generals, but the smaller outfit I contracted for settled for a colonel or two.

                Congress isn't much different. The draft of Ike's speech used the term military-industrial-congressional complex, which I

          • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

            by LordNimon (85072) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:39AM (#46056685)

            Government sets the requirements, industry meets them.

            ...

            delivered F-35 jets with 50 percent or less of the software capabilities

            Apparently, industry cannot meet the requirements.

            • Industry can't meet requirements when the requirements are not nailed down until well in the development process. This is simple systems engineering. The government has decided that, despite throwing full support behind the SDLC, that they are exempt, and can change priorities and requirements, as they choose.

              • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

                by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:49AM (#46057453)

                Industry can't meet requirements when the requirements are not nailed down until well in the development process.

                This is so that the contract can be low-balled (wink, wink) and pushed through congress (more wink, wink) and then the "real" requirements can be tacked on later and the price jacked up, which is exactly what everyone (especially the winkers) expected.

                There is a solution to this phony system: prediction markets [wikipedia.org]. Big government contracts should not be able to be funded unless informed investors, wagering their own money, believe that there is at least a 50% probability of it being finished on time and under budget.

        • I'm not an expert on drone tech. However, the drones you speak of sound more like your standard surveillance variety. For predator drones and ones that carry heavy munitions, I don't think they can circle the globe. In fact, those might still require an aircraft carrier to launch from. BTW, aircraft carriers if anything is a method of projecting both military and political power. They're not obsolete yet. If those get sunk, I'd wager the ante has been bumped up to using tactical nukes. By then, it be a real

        • The people that designed the F35 are like bad hockey players: they skate towards where the puck is, rather than where it is going.

          To be fair, when the people initially designed the F-35 - back in 1996 - the idea of semi-autonomous drones being an effective combat platform was an idea still in the realms of science fiction. Furthermore, having just come out of the Cold War, the expected threat against which the F-35 would face was high-end manned fighters, which drones fare poorly against.

          The technical and p

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ebno-10db (1459097)

        Tell us when one gets hit.

        Tell us when one gets attacked by a force with more than rudimentary abilities.

        There are two kinds of naval vessels: submarines ... and targets.

        • by alen (225700)

          in WW2, the last time we had mass deployment of submarines, almost 90% of them were lost at sea. for the US and the Germans

          submarines are the targets

      • Easy target? Tell us when one gets hit. In the mean time, where would you like to launch your drones from if there's not base nearby? Some drones are rather large.

        Has anybody actually had a vaguely serious go at an aircraft carrier since WWII? I couldn't think of any; but I could definitely be forgetting something.

    • Whatever one's political philosophy about them is, drones really are the future

      The opposing army casts "Anti-Drone defense technologies".

      It's Super-Effective.

    • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Major Blud (789630) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:08AM (#46056247) Homepage

      Quite a few people on here lately have been talking about how vulnerable aircraft carriers are to anti-ship missiles, and I think that threat is somewhat overstated. Sure anti-ship missiles such as the Exocet racked up an impressive tally in the Falklands War, but they didn't sink the carriers. Why? Because naval commanders realize the risk posed by anti-ship missiles and are willing to risk the destroyer screen to protect the valuable carriers (same techniques were applied against kamikaze). If the Argentinians were able to sink both of the British carriers (or maybe just one), the chances of the British being able to retake the Falklands would have pretty much ended.

      The Iraqis also fired two Silkworm missiles at the USS Missouri during the first Gulf War and one was intercepted by a British Sea Dart missile (the other one missed). For all of the talk about the dangers posed against carriers from anti-ship missiles, not a single carrier has been sunk or damages from one, despite numerous opportunities. Naval commanders understand the risk, and have developed the necessary tactics and defenses to protect the carriers from this threat.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        For all of the talk about the dangers posed against carriers from anti-ship missiles, not a single carrier has been sunk or damages from one, despite numerous opportunities. Naval commanders understand the risk, and have developed the necessary tactics and defenses to protect the carriers from this threat.

        Number of carriers hit by anti-ship missiles: 0
        Number of anti-ship missiles fired at carriers: 0
        Number of serious adversaries fought by America since Vietnam: 0

        In a relatively evenly-matched fight like the Falklands, ships were regularly damaged and sunk on both sides despite what were state of the art defences at the time. If China and America get into a war, you can be pretty sure there'll be rather less carriers on both sides by the end of the first week.

        • First, China has one carrier, and it is not operational, just a testing hulk used to develop the plans, procedures, and capabilities that the US developed in the 1920s. Second, the US has a dozen aircraft carriers, and they're protected in a battle group by many picket ships, including attack submarines, frigates, destroyers, cruisers, as well as an entire air wing. Force projection means that each of those picket ships stays well away from the carrier, but keep her within their protection envelope. The

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      It's not an either/or situation: drones are probably at least 10-15 years away from being able to replace fighters, possibly longer (given there are still many technical issues to work out). Even then, drones might not completely replace manned aircraft: there are simply too many easy ways to take out drones.

      Drones will take on most of the roles of aircraft (and already are), but they're not an adequate replacement right now, not by a long shot.

    • While that's better from a "protecting human life" perspective (well, at least on our side...and that's all that matters, right?), it's a terrible idea from a "preventing future wars" viewpoint. If we take the battlefield casualties out of the picture, a lot of the humanitarian reasons not to go to war disappear. And I'm sure the military-industrial guys are more than willing to sell all the drones they can crank out to the armed forces.

      I'd also consider it an ethical issue, using unmanned drones to kill hu

  • I was (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:43AM (#46055913) Journal
    I'm going to wait for the F-35 with service pack 1, at least.
  • Rube Goldberg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:44AM (#46055943) Journal

    DoD has learned nothing from conflicts we've fought, have they? Why has the B-52 seen more action than the B-1 or B-2? How about the A-10? Or drones for that matter. These successful platforms have a few things in common: They're (relatively) cheap, easy to maintain, and they have a high mission capable rate contrasted with their expensive big brothers.

    There's a place for the B-2, the F-22, and even the F-35, but what does DoD have in the works to replace the reliable workhorses of the air fleet? Nothing. Not a damned thing. They've placed all their eggs in the F-35 basket, even as costs have ballooned and promised milestones/deadlines have come and gone. Maybe the naysayers (yours truly included) will be proven wrong and the F-35 will go on to be as successful as the F-16. Here's hoping. Even in that optimistic scenario they've still got a huge hole to plug with the pending retirement of platforms like the A-10 and the continued attrition of the B-52 fleet.

    • The workhorse of many of the USAF is probably the C-17 or the C-130, considering how cargo transport and logistics is the lifeblood of any military. Plans were attempted to replace both, and nothing came of them, either.

      As far as strike craft go, the USAF still wants to convert solely to precision bombing. Sending fighter aircraft like the F-35 in with a single bomb, instead of a B-52 with dozens of them, or the constant blacksheep of the airforce, the A-10 with its old-school up and close gun or a drone th

      • by bkmoore (1910118)

        ....As far as strike craft go, the USAF still wants to convert solely to precision bombing. Sending fighter aircraft like the F-35 in with a single bomb, instead of a B-52 with dozens of them, or the constant blacksheep of the airforce, the A-10 with its old-school up and close gun or a drone that costs a tenth as much....p>

        Both the B-52 and the A-10 can carry modern GPS-guided precision bombs. As long as you have air superiority, a B-52 maxed out with JDAM and full tanks of gas, is really all you need to go on a bombing safari and is probably one of the best CAS platforms out there.

        The reason both platforms have endured is that they are relatively easy to adapt and upgrade to carry newer weapons systems. Less-adaptable aircraft of the era, such as the F-111, aren't around anymore. Even if they were more technologically advanc

      • I would love for us to reach a point where a single 500lb precision bomb can do the job of mass cluster bombing

        That, we already have.

        What we really need is a 500lb precision bomb that can take out an anti-aircraft gun and NOT damage the school or the mosque that it's sitting on.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why would anyone want waste time designing and manufacturing a reliable workhorse that will last forever? Cheap to manufacture, expensive to buy, and prone to needing near-constant replacement is the key to success in this game. Getting the government to pay you for it means that you can raise the price from obscene to insane.

      If we based our national defense purchasing on logic, that would make a lot of men in very nice suits not at all happy. And since those men own all our politicians, their happiness is

    • Re:Rube Goldberg (Score:5, Informative)

      by alen (225700) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:36AM (#46057293)

      B1, B2, B52 rely on air superiority

      the F22 and F35 is what kills off the opposing pilots in enemy fighters to give the bombers unopposed air space
      go read up on the B17 and other bombing missions in WW2. pilots were almost guaranteed to die since the loss rates were close to 30% per mission in the early days. only after long range fighters were developed did the loss rates go down.

  • Every Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcw3 (649211) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:46AM (#46055957) Journal

    Just to be fair, can anyone name a U.S. aircraft that was delivered ontime and at or below budget since the U2 or SR71? This is SOP, not that it's right.

    • Re:Every Time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:50AM (#46056015)
      I was talking to someone about the troubles we had developing and fielding an aircraft. He assumed I was talking about the F-35. I was telling him my tales of the F/A-18. People forget so fast that the old planes they like had similar problems. You really want a tale of waste and over-expenditure, look at the history of the F-111.
    • Just to be fair, can anyone name a U.S. aircraft that was delivered ontime and at or below budget since the U2 or SR71? This is SOP, not that it's right.

      There is a solution to this: Public prediction markets [wikipedia.org]. No large public spending project should go forward unless informed investors, wagering their own money, believe it has at least a 50% chance of meeting the budget/schedule.

    • can anyone name a U.S. aircraft that was delivered ontime and at or below budget since the U2 or SR71?

      What do those two planes have in common? They were both designed when Kelly Johnson ran the Skunk Works. Our biggest problem is that he retired.

      • Re:Every Time (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jacknifetoaswan (2618987) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:48AM (#46056777)

        I used to work with his nephew. The real reason those two aircraft were so successful was that the government stayed out of Johnson's way, and just let his team do their damn jobs. The bureaucratic red tape, with dozens of 'project managers' doing the same thing, today, is absolutely ridiculous.

    • To be even fairer, look back at the B-52 - it took a long time to get it to the level it is today. They spent quite of bit of extra money and time [wikipedia.org]upgrading the aircraft, fixing problems / upgrading systems. Of course, compared to modern aircraft, the 1960's era B-52 was just a couple of engines, a wing and some weird controls attached by steel cables. The DOD has never purchased a plane more complex than a Piper Cub on time and under budget.

    • from here:
      http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-h... [anft.net]

      As an incentive for the contractor to fullfill the requirements, the Navy put some penalties on the project if Grumman would fail on some of the contract guarantees:
      Empty Weight: $440,000 for each 100 lbs overweight
      Acceleration: $440,000 for each second slow
      Escort Radius: $1 million for each 10 nautical miles short
      Approach Speed: $1.056 million for each knot fast
      Maintainability: $450,000 for each extra maintenance man-hour per flight hour
      Delivery to Navy Board of I

  • by oldhack (1037484) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:53AM (#46056051)
    This is a structural problem, and seems a tough nut to crack. Ike pointed out the problem more than half a century ago, but there is no apparent solution/alternative.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Yes, there is an alternative for the US, but one that at least one major political party can't stomach:
      1. Acknowledge that trying to take over the world militarily is a stupid goal. (And that's the only logical reason for a military budget basically matching the entire rest of the world combined)

      2. Stop pissing off the rest of the world so much. That will involve ending US support for really nasty dictators, using diplomacy and trade negotiations rather than military threats to move foreign countries in the

    • The problem is how government contracts work.
      If I, as a private citizen, hire a plumber to replace my bathtub, that plumber provides an estimate, tells me the hourly rate and the value of the parts, and I does the work. If the plumber doesn't replace the bathtub and instead installs a sink, I can sue to recover the money (and damages.) If the plumber provides a wildly inaccurate estimate I can also sue.
      If a government contractor provides a wildly inaccurate estimate for a new fighter, and delivers a sack of
  • by tekrat (242117) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:00AM (#46056141) Homepage Journal

    The F-35 is expected to cost over a trillion dollars over ten years and that's not including the billions in cost over-runs. And then the GOP has the gall to talk about shutting down PBS and the Post Office as a waste of government money.

    This plane's engine is being built in Speaker John Bohener's state of Ohio. No wonder funding for it will never, ever be cut. The plane could cost 20 trillion, bankrupt the entire United States, and they'd still continue to fund it, by cutting all healthcare, schools, welfare, social security, and foreclose on every American whether they can or not.

    This is the GOP mantra. Build more planes and ships we don't need so that defense contractors can be wealthy beyond their wildest dreams... Remember the kid that ran over 4 people in his pickup truck and got off with the defense of "affluenza"? his parents are government contractors. Follow the money. We're being fleeced by the military and then told that the USA is broke if we dare ask for any social service.

    The pentagon's photocopier paper budget is bigger than PBS. But what did Mitt Romney promise to cut during his (failed) campaign?

    We're headed for a third-world nation banana-republic where the military has everything and the citizens live in mud huts.

    • by isorox (205688)

      We're headed for a third-world nation banana-republic where the military has everything and the citizens live in mud huts.

      Score -1: uncomfortable truth

      However as is always the case in america, 45% of the country will blame the republicans and their supporters, 45% will blame the democrats and their supporters.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This plane's engine is being built in Speaker John Bohener's state of Ohio. .

      The F135 engine for the F-35 aircraft is a Pratt & Whitney product, from Connecticut, not a GE engine from Ohio.

    • by alen (225700)

      relax, the f22 and the f35 are designed to replace fighters that are now 40 years old
      the original F16 and f18 designs are from the 1970's. we haven't had a new fighter in the air force for almost 40 years now and this is a huge leap in current capabilities

      the cost is a trillion $$$$, but the old fighters also need a lot of money for maintenance and their airframes will soon need to be completely rebuilt. its not like this money will never be spent. its either new toys, or keep on fixing the old toys

  • by Sand_Man (81150) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:19AM (#46056371)

    When has this misguided notion that we can have 1 base A/C be all things to all branches EVER worked out?

    F-111 anyone?

    The F-14 was a great A/C. For the Navy. The F-15 is one of the best ever, but would be useless as a carrier based A/C.
    Anyone around fro all the fun and games that was involved in the F/A-18A rollout, and what was required for that to become a useful platform?

    This flawed paradigm is why the A-6 was around for so long, they couldn't field a suitable replacement.

    I expect that by the time the F-35 is out and working for everyone, it will cost the same as 3 well run, more narrowly scoped projects.

    • by jacknifetoaswan (2618987) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:53AM (#46056837)

      I agree with your assessment, 100%. For instance, the US Navy tried to replace their SLQ-32 electronic warfare suite, which has been around since the 1970s, in the 1990s. Because the system that was currently utilized worked, and worked well, they couldn't build a better system. Despite the ship sets not being built for decades, they're still in use, and when a ship that has a console is decommissioned, they pull the console from that ship and put it on a new, to-be-commissioned ship. All because they can't build a better replacement.

  • by leandrod (17766) <l.dutras@org> on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:22AM (#46056413) Homepage Journal

    So many failures by trying to be all things to all people as long as the taxpayer foots it all.

    My native Brazil has decided on ðe Saab JAS 39E Gripen NG, as did Switzerland where I lived. Two very different countries, very different needs, and sure enough the Gripen even in its NG version cannot do all the F-35 should be able to do — but it does not need to. It is more of a versatile aircraft, doing passably well in its intended deployments at a reasonable cost, than a do-it-all.

    It is not to say the US should just ditch ðe F-35 and localise ðe Gripen just as ðey did with ðe Harrier. But it could be an strategy: to have a flexible (‘swing role’ is what Saab calls it) main aircraft, perhaps the evolution of ðe F-18, perhaps a pared down F-35 just as ðe Chinese did, and dedicated planes to do things ðe main platform cannot do, such as ðe A and B planes: ðe A-10, ðe Harrier &, yes, ðe B-52, or evolutions or replacements ðereof. Theoretically a single plane should be cheaper to keep ðan several ones, but not when its costs spiral out of control.

    • by guacamole (24270)

      Ahaha. USA Buying SAABs is like Microsoft ordering all of its employees to switch to Mac OS X, since Windows 8 is currently broken. Besides, Gripen can't land on aircraft carries. Perhaps it came make up for it with its ability to land, take off from, and be serviced at an ordinary highway.

      • Wrong on all counts.

        First, if you reread my post, I said it was just an option, besides revamping current models and creating a more focused aircraft.

        Second, ðe US already did something like ðat with ðe Harrier II.

        Third, ðe Sea Gripen is already in development and will probably be built as a result of Brazil’s need of new aircraft for its current and future carriers. 24 or such units is not a bad first order for a modification of an existing, & already cheap, model.

  • by jacknifetoaswan (2618987) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:24AM (#46056445)

    I had a job offer to do systems engineering work on ALIS in Orlando. Glad I passed!

  • by guacamole (24270) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:46AM (#46056753)

    This is what we really needed to fight terrorists in Afghanistan.

  • by Patent Lover (779809) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:06AM (#46056971)
    .. to just keep paying those 125,000 people their salary to do nothing and dump this turd of a program.
  • Funding Crisis (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnalre (323830) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:27AM (#46057195)

    Cost of 1 F-35 $300 million
    Cost to keep Mars Rover operating 1 year $14 million

    I know where my money would go...

  • by v1 (525388) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:31AM (#46057231) Homepage Journal

    They have vowed to safeguard funding for the program to keep it on track.

    "Don't worry, even if you don't deliver what we asked for, get way behind schedule, and run way over budget, we'll still pay you." That pretty much sums up the issue right there. That's why we have debacles like the F-35. These clowns making the hardware simply can't fail. We're guaranteeing to buy whatever crap they happen to offer us. Military Contracts have been known to be "gravy" for decades now, and that needs to change. The classic "$250 toilet seat" jab is unfortunately a reality, and a persistent one at that.

    It's not jut the government that can't run like a business, it's the businesses working with the government that are having the same issue, and it's again a problem from within the government, it's a behavior that their system both allows and seems to encourage. A select few are getting rich on our tax dollars, and we're not getting what we should in exchange, be it materials or government itself. Pisses me off that there's nothing effective I can do about it. (and no, voting hasn't helped so farâ¦)

  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:51AM (#46057479)

    I bought an f-35 once... At least I thought until I had a look at it in the daylight. Turned out to be a MIG with a paint job!

  • by recharged95 (782975) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:34PM (#46058833) Journal

    Only thing about drones is the autonomy part:

    a. drones are typically remotely piloted (RPV), which means loss of satellite signal or in-air network (E3/awacs/C4I, etc..)means you're done for the day.
    b. drones remotely piloted have latency issues (just basic physics, though the tech is fast enough today for their current missions).
    c. you need ahuge sensor network to match the sensing capabilities of a manned vehicle (i.e. a pilot can see & decide on stuff more quickly than the sensor processing packages).

    Manned fighters do not have these issues and have more intelligence to respond to changing conditions. Cause everything is on-board.

    From that, the only solution to drones is to go fully autonomous. And that creates a whole new set of problems (and a possible Skynet incidence).

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