F15 grounding is an issue of maintanence not defense

Tim Blagg’s editorial about the risk to defense because of grounding of the F15 fleet misses a key lesson of history. The editorial starts with an interesting review of the history of the air defense net build around the US during the cold war. There is significant evidence that that net did not secure the US BUT actually the construction of it was a key part of what drove the Soviet Union under, by causing them to spend so much on the military. I don’t have all the facts and figures of that debate but I know someone who does, my dad, he was a key engineer involved in creating that system, an expert in IFF radar (Identification Friend or Foe) and helped build the famous Omaha war room big board (remember Dr Strangelove ?).

In fact, the state of those planes is just like the state of the radar system of the FAA or of our bridges for that matter. A law of physics is “if you build it, it will fall down – eventually, and surely will if you don’t maintain it”.

A fact of life those in Washington, and many of the state governments have ignored for far too long to our detriment.

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One Response to F15 grounding is an issue of maintanence not defense

  1. scott says:

    There are two interesting things about the F-15 grounding. One is that many are still talking about grounding the entire fleet permanently when we know there are 9 aircraft with actual cracks, and that the testing for this has been completed, at least in the short term (a recurring check may be required). The second is that the longerons involved do not match the specification prints for the parts involved. This would, therefore, appear to fall back onto Boeing (purchaser of McD-D-MAC)to rectify. The parts involved are not difficult to construct, and while it is a royal pain to replace them, it is not impossible, merely time consuming. With this fix in place it should be possible to extend the life of the F-15 into the 2030’s. At 500,000 per fix, and 427 aircraft in the MSIP program, you are looking at under the cost of 10 F-22’s (or 20 at incremental cost) for the cost of 427 F-15’s in service.


    Of course, the third interesting thing is that the F-22 has similar problems…


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