The U.S. Air Force Is Headed for a Crash: Too Many Old Planes, Not Enough Cash
Barring some radical shift in the cost of new technology, future administrations could face a difficult choice: Either boost Air Force budgets to Cold War levels or higher, or shrink the flying branch to an affordable size.
âGrowing the force is going to compete directly with modernizing the force,â Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., told Breaking Defense, a trade publication.
Today the Air Force possesses around 5,600 aircraft in 312 squadrons, making it by far the biggest air force in the world.
The average plane is old, however. Thanks to the governmentâs military spending spree in the 1980s and a subsequent decline in spending in the mid-â90s, no fewer than 1,900 of the Air Forceâs most important warplanesâincluding most of its A-10, F-16 and F-15 fightersâare between 26 and 40 years old, according to a December...
Wayfarer Pilgrim wrote: The last 2 crashes of a c-130 transport aircraft is because the plane is 60 years old. The B-52 is over 60 years old.
Age isn't the issue; fatigue life is. Douglas DC-3s, despite having been out of production since WW2, are still in revenue service because of their rugged, overbuilt construction, or else fatigued parts can be replaced cheaply.
The B-52 may be old, but it still has superior availability to its modern successors. Just so long as it doesn't fly in air space contested by modern fighters; that's what F-22s are for.
Generally though, I don't think we have the fiscal resources to keep up with the Russkies or Chinese. America's "Best Before" date has expired.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: The article incorrectly attributed a large deficit to the Trump tax cuts. The government is taking in record revenue! The deficit this is due to overspending, something the new incoming Congress wants to do more of.
There are likely more inaccuracies than just that one, Brother!
This is a piece that was likely written by a major aircraft manufacturer which is trying to lobby for add'l funding from Congress and the Administration on the behalf of Air Force acquisitions. The top radio station in Washington, DC, WTOP, often carries these kinds of commercials. While there may be a seed of truth in the article, the issue is that the US maintains a capability gap over our adversaries. The last three Administrations were focused more on technological advancement which resulted in the F-22 and F-35. My sense is that this is about buying more F-22s, F-35s, and more R&D funding for new bombers.
From the non-political standpoint, the issue here is a concept called "spin." A "spin" isn't exactly a lie but a presentation of the truth meant to persuade a decision maker to take a particular action or inaction. What we, as receivers of these kinds of spin need to do, is delve into the full facts. Otherwise, we run with a half
The article incorrectly attributed a large deficit to the Trump tax cuts. The government is taking in record revenue! The deficit this is due to overspending, something the new incoming Congress wants to do more of.
The last 2 crashes of a c-130 transport aircraft is because the plane is 60 years old. The B-52 is over 60 years old. The tankers , and even the F16 is over 45 years old. You wonât be fighting against a mig 17 or 21 unless youâre fighting the DRNK . Why even now the Venezuelan government is leasing out an island airfield to the Russians to fly out their Blackjack bombers, ( that way they can launch a nuke tipped cruise missile into Houston, Tampa bay, New Orleans and Chicago without the trouble of refueling. )
Yes, I know, we had that unfortunate decline in military spending during the mid-90's. But what about the fact that since the war on terror began, our military budget is more than the next seven nations combined? This spending spree hasn't been enough to make up for that unfortunate decline in spending? And speaking of spending spree ( tax payer spending spree ), why dosen't this article mention the 326k that the pentagon spent on replacing its coffee mugs. Yea, I know, the Chinese and Russian military majors and generals probably still have to use coffee mugs that have been around since the days of Stalin and Chiang Kai Shek. So what's a splurge of 326k on good reliable coffee mugs?