Monday, July 27, 2015

F-35B IOC is Imminent

Prepare for all the Handwringing

Word on the street is that F-35 IOC is all done except for the signatures (which always leaves the political angle, but ya gotta have faith).

I remember all the angst when the B-2 IOC occurred. How did that work out?
Like this:
IOC is the beginning, not the end. People who think you can field a perfect airplane out the door don't know airplanes, people, or how weapon systems become operational.
Note the critics were still acting in accordance to their SOPs even after B-2 IOC. Although the GAO pretty much threw in the towel after they published the report they had already written before Allied Force in 1999 (with only a cursory nod to the reality that just smacked around their paper pushing exercise.  

By the time F-35 FOC occurs, the critics will have lost all their teeth and will be gumming it to death. 


Joseph Kusko said...

What do IOC and FOC mean? My internal acronym dictionary is blank on these.

SMSgt Mac said...

LOL my bad. They are Initial Operational Capability and Full Operational Capability. Some uses swap out the 'Operational' for 'Operating', but the Defense Acquisition University definitions use 'Operational'

Joseph Kusko said...

Thanks for the explanation. Also, do you reckon that modifying the GAU-12 into the GAU-22 was a better choice than simply using the BK-27 in the F-35?

I personally think so, but its a minor matter of contention with some people I talk with. The GAU-22 uses standardized 25x137 ammo and is a rotary [better gun life + higher max ROF], which makes it more suitable for ground attack.

SMSgt Mac said...

There are lots of factors that are traded off in determining which cannon would be better, but in the case of the BK-27 vs GAU-22, I think the determinant came down to rounds per sq meter per pass at X slant range. The installed accuracy spec for the F-35 is extremely high compared to past cannon installations and I don't think the BK-27 would have come as close to the 'lethality' spec as the GAU-22 will. I'll be impressed if the GAU-22 will meet it, but I doubt if the BK-27 would come near as close. While he BK-27 has a 'instant' fire rate and the Gatling GAU needs to spin up, the initial edge of the BK-27 seems trivial when you average the number of rounds, at the relative accuracies, for a single pass.
Big gun preferences are also just as contentious a topic as small gun preferences as you've seem to have found out.[;-) In looking at the history of US philosophy on the subject, it seems that the US has always gone for slinging as much lead at one time as possible. I think that matter of taste determines how the US weighs pros and cons and decides HOW it gets the lethality it wants.