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Are VSTOL fighterbombers a solution looking for a problem?

uk 75

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As the latest attempt to get a VSTOL aircraft (The F35) to do what a conventional fighter/bomber does but less effectively and for more money. I ask the controversial question was VSTOL ( a bit like hovercraft and monorails) a 60s fad that should have been allowed to die quietly.

I realise that immediately I will be faced with the role of the Sea Harrier in the 1982 Falklands War. But this was a uniquely British scenario and has not been repeated.

The RAF operated a force of Harriers for years from fixed bases in Germany and UK that were just as vulnerable as their Jaguar and Buccaneer counterparts.

The US Marines have in practice only flown Harrier missions from land bases in Italy or the Gulf rather than the expensive LHAs and LHDs.

Is the reality that there are always enough fixed bases to operate land based aircraft and that if you need anything more mobile only a real carrier aircraft (F14, F18 or A6) will do?

As this is the bar, I am being deliberately provocative but the Harrier has become a bit of a British Concorde Spitfire totem and the F35 costs a bucket load of scarce pounds
 

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mmmm, I sense a trap, but hey we are in the Bar, and I'm new in town.....its very well known that RAF Harriers regularly deployed into the field in Germany, this was intended to improve their survivability, and I would say probably would have, versus the Jaguars etc based at fixed locations.
Equally and perhaps arguing for one of your other points, there were in the 60's to 80's a lot of airfields in Europe. Most with the major taxiways earmarked as emergency runways. I would suggest the Harrier and general VTOL theme, for Nato, was a case of spreading the risk/loss rate, not a sole, standalone strategy. It was a part of the solution.
 

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I can't help but lean in the direction of your argument! Aside from the Falklands 'small carrier' application (no catapult/arrestor system) it would seem quite hard to support.

I'm no F-35 basher but the design compromises on the A and C versions by the B are undeniable, not to mention the programme cost and delay implications.

Now I think of it, doesn't it seem a bit crazy that 100% of the RAF's stealthy attack fleet are STOVL aircraft?!
 

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The US Marines have in practice only flown Harrier missions from land bases in Italy or the Gulf rather than the expensive LHAs and LHDs.
I agree with some of what you're saying but the above is incorrect.

During Desert Storm, Harriers did fly from one amphib (Nassau). It wasn't a major focus, but they did fly and provide more timely CAS than aircraft from land bases might have done.

In Afghanistan in 2001-2, Marines flew some strikes from their amphibs and many more from austere forward bases like Bagram before it became a fully developed airfield.

For OIF in 2003, they even configured a pair of ships (Bataan and Bonne Homme Richard) as dedicated Harrier carriers.
 

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As has been said, Harriers in the field were a common sight, as a tanker of the time I saw them operating from fields a lot. There was also the practice of operating Jaguars from autobahns which as far as I know only happened once or twice but there was an expectation of heightened tension prior to any incursion by warpact forces. I think you need to be aware that nothing is exactly as it seems from outside.
I really do not get where you came from with this as the off airfield operation of Harrier in particular has been known for a long time and the limitation of strikes during op Granby to prepared site/airbases etc was due to the lack of NEED, as the opposition was hardly peer or even near peer.
The Luftwaffe flew Phantoms from closed autobahn sections on more than a few occasions too.
 

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The USMC paid a terrific price to the Harrier (Pulitzer winning, sobering article)


it horrified me in the sense i believed the Harrier success meant it was less dangerous than all those 60's VSTOL types. How wrong was I !!
in turn the Harrier joined the Shuttle and Concorde as a niche vehicle - truly unique capabilities, but at WHAT cost ?
- Crossing the atlantic in 3 h but Gonesse crash.
- Repairing Hubble but STS-107 and Challenger.
- Flying air cover from amphibious ships and remote forward bases... but - 45 Marines have died in 143 noncombat accidents si
 
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uk 75

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Thanks for entering into the spirit of this.
Sorry for over-egging my remarks but the answers have put that right.
 

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Yes, V/STOL fighters fill a small niche. They are probably most valuable in offering some strike capability to multi-purpose amphibious ships like the Spanish Juan Carlos class, which are fitted with a ski-jump for that purpose.

If you are going to adopt 60,000+ ton strike carriers, than CTOL probably makes more sense. Adding facilities to operate V/STOL to 20-30,000 ton ships (too small to usefully operate CTOL) is an economical way of getting some limited strike capability to sea - the Aussies seem to be heading in that direction.
 

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As the latest attempt to get a VSTOL aircraft (The F35) to do what a conventional fighter/bomber does but less effectively and for more money. I ask the controversial question was VSTOL ( a bit like hovercraft and monorails) a 60s fad that should have been allowed to die quietly.

I realise that immediately I will be faced with the role of the Sea Harrier in the 1982 Falklands War. But this was a uniquely British scenario and has not been repeated.

The RAF operated a force of Harriers for years from fixed bases in Germany and UK that were just as vulnerable as their Jaguar and Buccaneer counterparts.

The US Marines have in practice only flown Harrier missions from land bases in Italy or the Gulf rather than the expensive LHAs and LHDs.

Is the reality that there are always enough fixed bases to operate land based aircraft and that if you need anything more mobile only a real carrier aircraft (F14, F18 or A6) will do?

As this is the bar, I am being deliberately provocative but the Harrier has become a bit of a British Concorde Spitfire totem and the F35 costs a bucket load of scarce pounds

Because of STOVL the USN has. . .11 small fixed wing ships, in addition to the CVNs, from which to operate fighters from. I say, "small" but they'd be called aircraft carriers in anybody else's navy. And yes, fighters have flown from them. They're not just cargo ships for fighters.


As for whether or not they're worth the money, obviously they are or nobody would buy them. (Six countries and counting for the F-35B.)
 
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Forest Green

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As the latest attempt to get a VSTOL aircraft (The F35) to do what a conventional fighter/bomber does but less effectively and for more money. I ask the controversial question was VSTOL ( a bit like hovercraft and monorails) a 60s fad that should have been allowed to die quietly.

I realise that immediately I will be faced with the role of the Sea Harrier in the 1982 Falklands War. But this was a uniquely British scenario and has not been repeated.

The RAF operated a force of Harriers for years from fixed bases in Germany and UK that were just as vulnerable as their Jaguar and Buccaneer counterparts.

The US Marines have in practice only flown Harrier missions from land bases in Italy or the Gulf rather than the expensive LHAs and LHDs.

Is the reality that there are always enough fixed bases to operate land based aircraft and that if you need anything more mobile only a real carrier aircraft (F14, F18 or A6) will do?

As this is the bar, I am being deliberately provocative but the Harrier has become a bit of a British Concorde Spitfire totem and the F35 costs a bucket load of scarce pounds
The need stemmed from the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. The Hungarians were actually beating the Soviets in the air but all their airfields got destroyed. It was a serious consideration in the Cold War, Yugoslavia even built an airfield inside a mountain.

Aside from that, VSTOL aircraft have higher sortie rates and can land on carriers more easily in very bad sea conditions, in addition to the flexibility of not requiring a runway.
 

Archibald

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Yes, V/STOL fighters fill a small niche. They are probably most valuable in offering some strike capability to multi-purpose amphibious ships like the Spanish Juan Carlos class, which are fitted with a ski-jump for that purpose.

If you are going to adopt 60,000+ ton strike carriers, than CTOL probably makes more sense. Adding facilities to operate V/STOL to 20-30,000 ton ships (too small to usefully operate CTOL) is an economical way of getting some limited strike capability to sea - the Aussies seem to be heading in that direction.
I agree with that. After many twists and turn (and thanks to the Harrier having pioneering that, all the way since the AV-8A on USS Guam in the early 70's) it has finally settled into " naval aviation linked to big amphibious ships ". A pretty good bargain when you think about it, kind of Mistral and Charles de Gaulle blended into one ship, why not ?
Plus your naval aviation, once an expensive toy for the rich (aircraft carriers aren't cheap) is now tied with amphibious ops, which are more "affordable" for more countries - Japan, South Korea, Australia, among them.
The idea make sense.
What bother me are the aircraft involved.
The Harrier - it is an antiquated thing, and unsafe (read the link)
The F-35 - it managed to add supersonic capability, cool, but really ? stealth + CATOBAR aircraft + ground-based fighter = too much for the same airframe.
Basically the P.1216 fell right between the two. AMRAAM like the late Harriers but supersonic. Yet it did not gave a shit about stealth, or CATOBAR, or land-based derivatives. Could have been the F-16 of VSTOL combat aircraft. And most countries I mentionned earlier (amphibious + carrier) would have been happy enough to get F-16 capability.
 

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The F-35 - it managed to add supersonic capability, cool, but really ? stealth + CATOBAR aircraft + ground-based fighter = too much for the same airframe.
It was that or nothing. Sure, a Convair 200 would be perfect, but it wasn't available nor likely to get funded.
 

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Yes, V/STOL fighters fill a small niche. They are probably most valuable in offering some strike capability to multi-purpose amphibious ships like the Spanish Juan Carlos class, which are fitted with a ski-jump for that purpose.

If you are going to adopt 60,000+ ton strike carriers, than CTOL probably makes more sense. Adding facilities to operate V/STOL to 20-30,000 ton ships (too small to usefully operate CTOL) is an economical way of getting some limited strike capability to sea - the Aussies seem to be heading in that direction.
I agree with that. After many twists and turn (and thanks to the Harrier having pioneering that, all the way since the AV-8A on USS Guam in the early 70's) it has finally settled into " naval aviation linked to big amphibious ships ". A pretty good bargain when you think about it, kind of Mistral and Charles de Gaulle blended into one ship, why not ?
Plus your naval aviation, once an expensive toy for the rich (aircraft carriers aren't cheap) is now tied with amphibious ops, which are more "affordable" for more countries - Japan, South Korea, Australia, among them.
The idea make sense.
What bother me are the aircraft involved.
The Harrier - it is an antiquated thing, and unsafe (read the link)
The F-35 - it managed to add supersonic capability, cool, but really ? stealth + CATOBAR aircraft + ground-based fighter = too much for the same airframe.
Basically the P.1216 fell right between the two. AMRAAM like the late Harriers but supersonic. Yet it did not gave a shit about stealth, or CATOBAR, or land-based derivatives. Could have been the F-16 of VSTOL combat aircraft. And most countries I mentionned earlier (amphibious + carrier) would have been happy enough to get F-16 capability.
Whatever the historic “over-ambition” back in the 60’s & 70’s re: supersonic V/STOVL fighters I think it’s important to note by the time of the F-35B the countries/users (US with UK as junior partner) were step-by-step making the decisions and paying the bills were very much not happy with what you proposed above because they made all the decisions that lead to the actual F-35B.
They’re were 80’s studies (quite a lot of time, work and money) put into what were essentially STOVL F-16s; the US decided not to go with them and instead went with what eventually became the F-35B.
If you want your STOVL fighter to survive in a modern threat environment you invariably end up with something a lot more like the F-35 than an F-16.
 

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"Are VSTOL fighterbombers a solution looking for a problem?"

I think it's still an open question.

Undoubtedly there was (and is) a threat to airfields in even a skirmish with a near-peer. And at the time, it seemed quite a bit more likely we'd be catching that threat.
Even today, aside from conventional weapons targeting fixed structures and the ramp, I doubt we can truly rule out nonlethal chemical agents and irritants being used against airfield personnel if it comes to a real shooting war. While it would not shut down an airfield, it would handcuff operations while everyone runs around in MOPS gear and worries exactly what sort of agent is being dispersed. Aside from historical threats to the contrary, I don't believe anyone in the West would respond to a CS strike with special weapons.

On the otherhand, to be effective one would need to disperse VTOL aircraft for operations, which has historically been considered both a giant pain in the ass logistically and extremely expensive even preparation-wise in peacetime. The daring plans of forward-based operations always seem more daring than practical or judicious to me.
Moreover, VTOL operations and the aircraft themselves have a price paid in design efficiencies which make them less attractive than their more conventional counterparts. Seaborne airpower faces its own limitations.

I'm not really an advocate. In fact, I'm probably closer to a detractor, but I don't think there is a firm answer. Its certainly not a clear "no" to the professionals in the several air forces and air arms who continue to use and even expand the capability at great expense. Like most niche capabilities, it's probably unnecessary and cost-prohibtive-- until the occasion arises and you really need it, and then it's too late.
 
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sferrin

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"Are VSTOL fighterbombers a solution looking for a problem?"

I think it's still an open question.
The air forces of at least six countries disagree.
 

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All the world's major navies were building battleships right through the early 40's. Doesn't mean their continuing viability was not an open question at the time.

Not terribly dissimilar actually, now that I'm on it. Heavy sustainable firepower for shore bombardment is still a capability that has never been truly replaced. Whether that niche capability was worth the money, was an open question for decades. The Iowas coming in and out of service and reserve status for decades shows the answer wasn't cut and dried.
 

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VSTOL fighter-bombers were created to deal with the issue of airfields being taken out of service; however, they come with a very high logistical cost.

In our modern environment, where neither side has the amount of armament they had in the Cold War era, neither side has the capability to deny all of the other sides airfields (military and civilian) anymore. Maybe it is time to change solutions to this problem. How about developing fighter-bombers that can operate from the multitude of small civilian airfields and use civilian infrastructure? Such an aircraft would be significantly cheaper than a VSTOL one, with only a slightly higher increase in vulnerability and a potentially much smaller logistical footprint. Scaled Composites Ares anyone? Saab Gripen also comes to mind.
 

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You have to have some A2G capability, sure you can buy some cheap ares, or PC9 - but theres no votes in that, 'better' to spend large amounts on something 'special' for A2G, and then you have a deployable alternative to your 2 seat supersonic long range strike aircraft. The added options of shipborne or even FOB basing are a bit of icing.

But, while no-one has recently won a war with ship borne VTOL is doesn't mean we wont. Remember the hurricanes launched from freighters to protect convoys, if it came to it, we can do that with an F35. or even go to skyhook, So for a modest few BN£ we have some future options, for the unknown unknowns.- where is Donald now?
 

kaiserd

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You have to have some A2G capability, sure you can buy some cheap ares, or PC9 - but theres no votes in that, 'better' to spend large amounts on something 'special' for A2G, and then you have a deployable alternative to your 2 seat supersonic long range strike aircraft. The added options of shipborne or even FOB basing are a bit of icing.

But, while no-one has recently won a war with ship borne VTOL is doesn't mean we wont. Remember the hurricanes launched from freighters to protect convoys, if it came to it, we can do that with an F35. or even go to skyhook, So for a modest few BN£ we have some future options, for the unknown unknowns.- where is Donald now?
Do some people not consider the early 80’s “recently”? Now I feel old....
 

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VSTOL fighter-bombers were created to deal with the issue of airfields being taken out of service; however, they come with a very high logistical cost.

In our modern environment, where neither side has the amount of armament they had in the Cold War era, neither side has the capability to deny all of the other sides airfields (military and civilian) anymore.
In the Cold War, the US didn't have thousands of conventional air launched cruise missiles that could threaten hardened aircraft shelters.

It does now.

And that's well within any competent adversary's ability to amass. Same with ballistic missiles accurate enough to deliver
runway penetrators or enough sensor fuzed munitions to ruin your day.

A non-stealthy fighter playing the dispersion game runs the risk of just being tracked back to its dispersal
point by the enemy's surviving assets and then visited by some cluster munitions at the end of a ballistic missile.
 

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- Flying air cover from amphibious ships and remote forward bases... but - 45 Marines have died in 143 noncombat accidents si
Ah, well, that was 'cause the USMC was initially too proud to admit that they needed a two seat trainer version of the AV-8A. They crashed them 'cause they thought they instinctively knew how to fly them. With the AV-8B, they had learnt their lesson and bought a two seater as well as the single seater. The RAF learnt those lessons very early on and bought two seater Harriers basically from the start.

I've often wondered why there is no two-seater F-35. I wonder how long before they relearn this lesson?
 

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The problem is, that land airbases are too... predictable. They are giant, immobile targets, which position are always known to the opposing side. And so they could be quickly disabled (at least temporarely). Sure, they could be well-defended, but any defense could be saturated eventually, and airbases are the targets of hugh value, which would definitely worth saturtion. And while it is not easy to completely destroy the airbase - unless you are using nukes to make hevy cratering - the repeating barrage of missiles, armed with anti-runway penetrating submunitions could hold the airbase in a state of constant repairs.

In modern warfare, it is pretty easy to imagine a situation, where both sides disabled each other near-frontline airfield during the first strikes exchange. While it would not completely stop the air operation, it would make them much more problematic, forcing planes to fly from rearward bases. And the STOVL planes in such situation represent a game-changer, since they would be able to operate at full capacity.

P.S. Must also point out, that the existence of STOVL planes would discourage from massive attacks directed on airfield - simply because those attacks would have much less resulting effect. In short:

* No STOVL planes - massive attacks against airbases would have decisive effect - such attacks cost-effective

* Have STOVL planes - massive attacks against airbases would not have decisive effect - such attacks not cost-effective
 

Dilandu

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I've often wondered why there is no two-seater F-35. I wonder how long before they relearn this lesson?
Generally because F-35 AI elements make it REALLY hard to crash. Computer is smart enough to actualy correct pilot's mistakes. Not panacea, of course, but allow for much safer trainings.
 

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our modern environment, where neither side has the amount of armament they had in the Cold War era, neither side has the capability to deny all of the other sides airfields (military and civilian) anymore

Er... China have. Russia have. And North Korea, Iran, India and Pakistan have at least theatre - scaleairbase denial capabilities.
 

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I think the extra crew person would be to handle additional sensors for situational awareness and handling threats to keep the pilot workload down. Possibly handling ucav assets too.
 

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Let's look back way back into end 1950s begin 1960s
During Cold War some Strategist and analyst predicted that in Conflict with East Block
NATO Air Bases were vulnerably to enemy air strike by bomber and missile
But concept of massive nuclear retaliation need a Strike Force that instantaneous attack

There Solutions to problem: a Aircraft that take off and Landing Vertical and Zero length Launch with emergency airstrip

ZELL went into prototype phase and is abandon in end of 1960s as NATO change there Strategy

Other Ideas was use true Cold War was use of German Autobahn as landing strip

Back To VTOL
NATO issue NBMR-3, what demanded a supersonic V/STOL strike fighter with a combat radius of 460 kilometres (250 nmi), a cruise speed of Mach 0.92, and a dash speed of Mach 1.5.
it had to carry a small nuclear weapon for retaliation. do combat or reconnaissance.
This let to several Prototypes like Hawker Siddeley P.1127 & P.1154, the Dassault Mirage IIIV & Balzac V, EWR VJ 101, VFW VAK 191B, the SNECMA Coléoptère, Bell D-188A etc.

Most of these project ended because Technical problems or Political Issue or in combination.
But as NATO change there concept of massive nuclear retaliation in end of 1960s was also end of all VTOL projects.
Ironic is that only survivor of NBMR-3 was the proof of concept Hawker Siddeley P.1127 that modified enter service as Harrier
 

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But as NATO change there concept of massive nuclear retaliation in end of 1960s was also end of all VTOL projects.
Actually, there was another factor in play. In 60s, the European highway network was significntly expanded, and it became possible to use roads as improvised runways for planes.
 

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All the world's major navies were building battleships right through the early 40's. Doesn't mean their continuing viability was not an open question at the time.
Except that in the case of battleships, airpower had yet to come into it's own. The questions you're asking about STOVL have been asked for 50 years. Bit of a difference.
 

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Generally because F-35 AI elements make it REALLY hard to crash. Computer is smart enough to actualy correct pilot's mistakes.
Or not. Boeing 737 MAX....
That's like saying all cars explode on impact because Pintos did.
Not at all - I haven't claimed that all flight control computers cause accidents - just that it can happen. And I would expect the care taken to ensure the integrity of the flight control system would be considerably greater with passenger planes than with military ones.
 

sferrin

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Generally because F-35 AI elements make it REALLY hard to crash. Computer is smart enough to actualy correct pilot's mistakes.
Or not. Boeing 737 MAX....
That's like saying all cars explode on impact because Pintos did.
Not at all - I haven't claimed that all flight control computers cause accidents - just that it can happen. And I would expect the care taken to ensure the integrity of the flight control system would be considerably greater with passenger planes than with military ones.
Dialndu didn't claim that computers couldn't cause accidents. He just said they made it difficult.
 

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Except that in the case of battleships, airpower had yet to come into it's own. The questions you're asking about STOVL have been asked for 50 years. Bit of a difference.
To be exact, there were three main factors that combined lead to the demise of battleship (and eventually all armored warships):

* Airpower - as the means to hit beyond the range of battleship's guns.

* Missiles - as the means for even the small boats to have striking range & power superior to battleships.

* Nuclear weapons - which essentially made any idea of naval armor pointless, because direct nuclear hit was impossible to "absorb".
 

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Lots of good points above.

F35 being single seat only- the pilot learns to fly in a Turboprop, then a Hawk, then its the simulator, then its simple tasks in the jet, then more complex(and that's a very long list, takes years), had a pilot in tears once, as I had to tell him we only had 3 serviceable jets - he needed to lead a 4 ship - no points for a 3 ship.

F35 WSO - I think if AI cant do it, then you would offboard it, to someone sitting in an ISO somewhere.

737 Max, not the right thread, but a very unfair comparison, the F35 is a cleansheet production, the 737 Max fiasco is the perfect explanation to why tacking on upgrades has to stop at some point, and while I'm not uptodate, I have some avionics experience and the descriptions of how it worked/didnt work left me shaking my head.

Airbase survival, well all our exercises ended on day one, with us getting nuked, usually at about 1700.......
 

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VSTOL fighter-bombers were created to deal with the issue of airfields being taken out of service; however, they come with a very high logistical cost.

In our modern environment, where neither side has the amount of armament they had in the Cold War era, neither side has the capability to deny all of the other sides airfields (military and civilian) anymore.
In the Cold War, the US didn't have thousands of conventional air launched cruise missiles that could threaten hardened aircraft shelters.

It does now.

And that's well within any competent adversary's ability to amass. Same with ballistic missiles accurate enough to deliver
runway penetrators or enough sensor fuzed munitions to ruin your day.

A non-stealthy fighter playing the dispersion game runs the risk of just being tracked back to its dispersal
point by the enemy's surviving assets and then visited by some cluster munitions at the end of a ballistic missile.
Yes Russia and China do have the capability to take out US and allied airbases. But both cruise missiles and especially ballistic missiles are finite resources and have more targets than just airbases.

My argument is that while they do have the capability of taking out military airbases and probably the major civilian airfields, they do not have the numbers to take out every single airfield in range, especially once you get to the small general aviation ones. So if your aircraft (say its a Saab Gripen) can operate from those airfields, no need to invest in the more expensive, per plane, and logistically VTOL fighter-bomber, since its gains in survivability will be small compared to its overall cost. STOL is basically the 80% solution at 20% cost while VTOL is the 100% solution but at a 100% cost, back in the Cold War era the money was available, but today maybe you settle for 80% and use the money savings for something else.

I will agree the problem is more acute in the Pacific as there is just a lot less land available. But against Russia, there really should be no lack of minor airfields to use. And now your enemy does not have the option on concentrating on a few major bases while keeping plenty of reserve weapons for other targets. Now if they want to take out your air force they have to use their entire stock and decide between a few massed strikes or a bunch of diffused (easier to defend) strikes. And you are also stressing the enemy's ISR assets since they have more targets to consider.
 

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All the world's major navies were building battleships right through the early 40's. Doesn't mean their continuing viability was not an open question at the time.
Except that in the case of battleships, airpower had yet to come into it's own. The questions you're asking about STOVL have been asked for 50 years. Bit of a difference.
I think Taranto and Pearl would indicate otherwise. That a position of obsolescence hadn't yet gained dominance really just underscores my point. We endured 60+ years of back-and-forth decision-making even after Pearl on whether it was worth the investment to keep the Iowas in service. Ask the Marine Corps today, and I bet they'd like them back if it were still possible (it isn't). 60 years is a long time without a consensus.

Today we have several air arms who are using them and several more who are interested to varying degrees. At one point the USAF had even floated the idea of purchasing small numbers of the B-models of the F-35. Today, I don't think that's in the cards, particularly post-sequestration. The debate about VSTOL is still ebbing and flowing.
 

sferrin

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All the world's major navies were building battleships right through the early 40's. Doesn't mean their continuing viability was not an open question at the time.
Except that in the case of battleships, airpower had yet to come into it's own. The questions you're asking about STOVL have been asked for 50 years. Bit of a difference.
I think Taranto and Pearl would indicate otherwise. That a position of obsolescence hadn't yet gained dominance really just underscores my point. We endured 60+ years of back-and-forth decision-making even after Pearl on whether it was worth the investment to keep the Iowas in service. Ask the Marine Corps today, and I bet they'd like them back if it were still possible (it isn't). 60 years is a long time without a consensus.
That's not really an honest comparison. NOBODY was proposing to use Iowas to fight ships after WW2. From the end of WW2 on the interest was shore bombardment with cruise missile strike being added later. That those 16" guns happened to reside on BBs was incedental. They could have been on barges.
 

TomS

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That's not really an honest comparison. NOBODY was proposing to use Iowas to fight ships after WW2. From the end of WW2 on the interest was shore bombardment with cruise missile strike being added later. That those 16" guns happened to reside on BBs was incedental. They could have been on barges.
Which reminds me that somewhere (probably in Proceedings), I once was a proposal to take the turrets that were to be removed from the Iowas in their Phase III refits and install them on new build 20-knot monitors to accompany ARGs. I wonder if we have that design anywhere here.
 
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