Thursday, July 04, 2013

Pierre Sprey: Expert?

Pffft! More Like POGO's 'Circus Barker'

(File Under "Know Your Reformer")
Hat tip 'munny' at

Pierre Sprey: Old Whine in a Cracked Bottle

There's a new You Tube Video (link here) up with Pierre Sprey blathering his usual nonsense about 'complex' vs 'simple', 'heavy' vs. 'lightweight' fighter performance... blah... blah... blah. As if he ever knew d*ck about the topic at hand. Virtually everything he says is just as wrong or worse than the first time he spouted it off.  Remember, this is all part of the POGO P.A.C.E. propaganda strategy.

I left a few comments that were smaller than I would've liked because the format doesn't allow me to put together a larger coherent one such as:

Pierre Sprey has never ‘designed’ anything with wings, and he still doesn’t know diddley-squat about aircraft design OR air warfare . He played a bit role in developing top level requirements at OSD for a couple of years, basically parroting whatever John Boyd or Everest Riccione were hawking that day. His ‘expertise’, as well as much that which is claimed about the rest of the so-called ‘Reformers’ was pure fabrication by James Fallows. Those fabrications have been echoing in the halls of the anti-defense lairs for consumption by the useful idiots ever since.
Best summary* of Sprey I’ve read:
While working on the F-X, Boyd met Pierre Sprey, a weapons system analyst on the OASD/SA staff, whose background was similar to [Alain] Enthoven’s but much less distinguished. By his own account, Sprey was a dilettante with an engineering degree but no military experience. After graduation from Yale, Sprey became a research analyst at the Grumman Aircraft Corporation for space and commercial transportation projects. He came to OSD/SA in 1966, where he declared himself an expert on military fighter aircraft, despite his lack of experience. Sprey admitted being a gadfly, a nuisance, and an automatic opponent of any program he was not a part of.   

*Source: Pierre Sprey, Oral History Interview by Jacob Neufeld, 12 June 1971, K.239.0152-969, AFHRA, 9, passim. , as cited in THE REVOLT OF THE MAJORS: HOW THE AIR FORCE CHANGED AFTER VIETNAM, Marshall L. Michel III, 2006 (PDF).

Michel gets a little too 'Fighter Pilot Uber Alles' in his thesis, and I found myself having to force my eyes to read past those parts, but it still is a good read. If you want to read a really cold-blooded delivery of a takedown concerning the so-called ‘reformers’--including Sprey-- buy and read “Military Reform: the high-tech debate in tactical air forces” by Walter Kross.

Clearly POGO is focused on Canada as a 'weak link' in the JSF coalition at this time.


Nuno Gomes said...

Whem well piloted the F-4 did become superior to the oposing force...the F-14 allways come out on top in Iran and USN service and the F-111 was and would still be(if in service)the best attack aircratf in the world...the F-35 is not the best aircraft for the PacRim action and cannot replace some of todays platforms,BUT IN IS MISSION once in service it will make people like you very will perform...
I dont like its price and the fact that it is late...i dont like many things in it,BUT it will perform as SMSgt Mac daid it will...Jesus the man whent to trouble to write this and you(with out facts to suport you)just start barking...

SMSgt Mac said...

Heh. Struck a fanboy nerve hard eh?

RE: " "BVR & BVR-alone" was the fantasy behind aircraft like early F4, F14 & F111."

'BVR and BVR alone' is a strawman argument. No rational advocate for BVR capability ever assumed it would prevent WVR. In fact it was (and is) seen as being the dominating factor in setting up a successful WVR engagement if the BVR one doesn't settle the matter.

RE: "Without Boyd, Sprey Christie etc, F16 would have never come into being."

No, the F-16, especially as it was execut ed, was a program that came about IN SPITE of Boyd, Riccione, Christie and Sprey.

RE: "F15A would have become another overly complex turkey (that would have killed F15E at birth)."

Been reading Coram's cr*p fiction about Boyd or something similar eh?
I'd place the F-15 requirements success on the shoulders of Lt Gen Glenn A Kent, Lt Col (Later General and AF Chief of Staff) Larry Welch and his TAC Avenger simulations, and then AFSC Commander General James Ferguson. But then, I know the history doesn't support the Boyd mythos in this case.

RE: Fast forward 30 years, deja vu F35, except for minor details like it will ultimately cost you $1 trillion...

I'd like to point out here, just to prove yet another point you don't know d*ck about, that the mythical $1Trillion value is already being pared back quite a bit and it includes all lifecycle costs for 55 years of operation in any case. Got any other weapon system data of similar scope for perspective?

RE: and another disastrous air war for arrogant armchair generals (who twist arms, discredit critics & bend history) like yourself to be proven wrong.

You can't really discredit critics unless they don't deserve the credit in the first place. Unbending of false history, and exposing the 'narrative' planted by the Coram's, Fallows, et al just tends to hurt little fanboy brains as they try to wrap themselves around the idea they've been spoon-fed cr*p as actual history.

I can back up every one of my factual assertions with sources- usually multiple ones. I MIGHT take the time to do it and expand this comment into a separate post if you can take the time to research the correct answer to the following questions about that 'disastrous air war' you allude to.
1. What was the Navy's Air to Air exchange ratio before and after the break in the war over North Vietnam?
2. What was the root cause of the difference in exchange ratios, if any, considering the Navy was using the same aircraft and weapons before and after?
3. What was different about the AF and Navy experience in exchange ratios and why was there a difference?
(corrected for clarity in question 1)

SMSgt Mac said...

HNS: I had to give you a chance per stated policy to prove otherwise.
Since you're hot and online there Twinkles, be specific about what you think I get wrong about the LWF and Boyd or get erased, also per stated policy.
I'm on vacation and got plenty of time to slap you around and still do what I want to do for the next week or so, so I got no heartache either way.
You got thirty minutes as

SMSgt Mac said...

Buh-Bye "HMS"...Who curiously showed up at my place about the time my comments disappeared at the YouTube link above.

picard578 said...

SMSgt Mac said...

Wow 'picard'. The 'low information' types really sucked up Sprey's B.S. didn't they? I didn't hear him utter one materially accurate sentence. I don't know which is sadder, Sprey's ramblings or that poor woman(?) off camera who clucked as if he/she had received a revelation from heaven whenever Sprey went off the deep end with one of his standard tropes.