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Marines not dumb

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 07:21
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/15/harriers_saved/

...and it may even be a case of saving taxpayers money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 10:00
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Hard to believe the Brits scrapped the Harrier, especially after the whoopin they put on the Argentine AF with their super sonic fighters, and the Argentine ground forces too. It was a cost effective and very capable weapons system for them. Sorta like the USAF trying to dump the A-10 because it wasn't super sonic and high tech or fit into the AF's new high tech mold. It was the A-10s capabilities and the demand for that perfomance when no other system could deliver that saved it from the scrap yard.
Of course the Marines are used to getting used equipment. I believe I once heard a Marine General say they wouldn't accept equipment unless it was leaking oil and hydrolic fluid.
Two things I like about the Russian philosophy of weapon systems is, it must be capable of operating in unimproved environments (muddy field), and when something new comes along they don't scrap the current system, they give it to the next level down (home guard) or a satelite state. I'm sure theres some T-34/85s and Mig-15s being used in Russia somewhere.
More than once in our history we have scrapped a weapon system only to have a need for it right after the last unit is torched.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 14:12
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I just wouldn't want to fly a Russian-built airliner! They seem designed to making unplanned landings in muddy fields.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 15:11
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Another case ( I'm bored and need something to do), after WWII the new USAF scrapped all their P-38s and P-47s because the P-51 out performed both fighters in almost every catagory that a fighter was expected to perform. Then the Korean war started, and the biggest weakness of the P-51 was brought to the forefront. Since the P-51 couldn't compete with the jet powered Mig 15, it was relegated to the ground attack role. A role it was not intended for. Since the P-51 has a liqued cooled engine with the radiator in mid-ship it was suseptable to ground fire, which the North Koreans and Chinese were eager to provide, and many P-51s were lost to ground fire. Now had the USAF kept the P-38s which had 2 liqued cooled engines and/or the P-47 which is air cooled and had a reputation for surviving great punishment; the Air Force would have had the tactical ground attack fighters that it needed to prosecute the war. In fact the Air Force was using the P-47 as a ground attack fighter during WWII and it was one of the best in that role. Yet the Air Force didn't consider that role when they scrapped it, and 3 years later when they needed them they were gone with no real replacement.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 17:18
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OORAH!! Take what Everybody else thinks is used up, Fix it up and Do More with it than they ever did!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 17:37
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I thought Marines were known more for...uh... "breaking things".  Wink

Lock a Marine up in a rubber room with a bowling ball for 2 hours and the ball will be lost, broken, or pregnant. 
(Heard this from a former Marine) Wink

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 18:00
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The Harrier has some unique operational utilities.  Used properly, it is one of the most effective aircraft ever invented.  However, it cannot go "head to head" with a fighter force...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2011 at 08:45
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

The Harrier has some unique operational utilities.  Used properly, it is one of the most effective aircraft ever invented.  However, it cannot go "head to head" with a fighter force...
I don't think the Argentines would agree with you.
Not saying the Harrier is the greatest thing since the Fokker tri-plane, but it demonstrated the value of thrust vectoring in a dogfight.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2011 at 10:01
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1) training
2) "head to head" encounters have proven, over and over, to be much less than "idyllic" for the Harrier.  Used in its proper role, it is an awesome weapons system... has registered an 8-1 kill ratio against US fighter aircraft (vs like 25 to one or so in the Falklands).  But, trying to "face off" against a trained fighter force, has shown a 12-1 deficit.  Its advantage is in denial of situational awareness to the enemy and therefore an ability to attrit the enemy force...  Certainly kill ratio is a valuable and valid measure of performance, but denial of access to the air is as nearly a determinant.  The Falkland War Harriers did a great job against a comparatively primative air force, but they never attained "air superiority"... perhaps the greatest performance measure in air combat.  Once again, the Harrier utilized in its proper mission is a formidable "foe".  However, Harrier pilots do not want to engage modern fighter aircraft with highly trained pilots in a "head to head" war... they cannot win.  And that is not what their mission is, is not what they do best.


Edited by Kickboxer - November/16/2011 at 10:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2011 at 11:11
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registered an 8-1 kill ratio against US fighter aircraft

A little confused here and asking clarification on the ratio. Are you saying that Harriers' scored 8 kills for every one of their losses, vise versa?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2011 at 11:59
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

I don't think the Argentines would agree with you.     ...but it demonstrated the value of thrust vectoring in a dogfight.
 

In the ATF program it was conclusively proven that thrust vectoring is of no real value.  Use wings to make lift and engines to provide thrust.  The only advantage in thrust vectoring is in the lower left of the performance envelope ie low energy and potential energy or in non-engineering terms setting duck and dead duck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2011 at 12:19
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

registered an 8-1 kill ratio against US fighter aircraft

A little confused here and asking clarification on the ratio. Are you saying that Harriers' scored 8 kills for every one of their losses, vise versa?
 
In operational testing, using laser target kill/designation... roger that.  However, they were used as intended...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2011 at 13:39
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Mind you, I am not implieing that the Harrier could be an air superiority fighter, it doesn't have the radar, but it is obviosley capable of defending itself in a classic (visual) dogfight. The Brit. pilots used it's thrust vectoring to out turn the super sonic French built Super Etenards that the Argentines used. Most dogfights take place at subsonic speeds, which is where the Harrier operates.
There is a difference between a multi role fighter and an air superiority fighter. Mainly radar and weapons, but performance can be affected. Case in point; an old friend of mine was a F-16 driver at Nellis AFB and part of the Aggressor Squadron. He said that when the F-15s were allowed to use their radars as designed the F-16s didn't stand a chance, but when the F-16s were allowed to get in close in a eyeball to eyeball dogfight, they humbled the F-15 drivers. In a classic dogfight the ability to out turn, accellerate, climb, dive, and use a gun trumps long range radar, speed, and missles. In the air superiority campaign everything is reversed; shoot them down before they know your there. 
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