Does JSF has serious consequences for capabilities of all Defense branches?

Taken over from the website with approval. JSF NIEUWS is a Dutch Website with independent information about the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Opinion: All countries who are opting for the JSF are using the same arguments. Lets see the following examples.

Lets start with the Dutch MoD statement:

“The replacement will be carried out entirely within the previously reserved investment budget of €4.5 billion [$6 billion] and the current operating budget for the F-16, which amounts to €270 million per year,” the government says. “Based on the current insights, the available financial room is sufficient for the purchase of 37 aircraft.

They previously called it “displacement effect”(verdringingseffect in Dutch) – with this they mean the effects of choosing the JSF with no financial and operational harm to other capabilities of the Armed Forces as a whole. Eventually they say it won’t have an effect on the BUDGET, but what’s more important is the effect on the capability. 

The Dutch Ministers of Defense have al said: there are no problems, choosing the JSF has no effect on other capabilities because it has its own Operational & Sustainment (O&S) budget. How then, could it be possible that in all countries the numbers of frigate’s, helicopters, Maritime Patrol Aircraft infantry units, tanks, artillery and other relevant capabilities are shrinking? While they always use the same argument: we will fix that with Airpower. OK then, which airpower? At what cost? And with what kind of guarantee for 24/7 availability at the right place and time?

I would also like to quote the Dutch Government Accountability Office on her Validation of the policy document ‘In the Interests of the Netherlands’ This Dutch GAO isn’t always sharpe on defense matters, It seems sometimes they are used by some sort of political powers, but, I must say, sometimes they do:

  • If fewer than 37 aircraft can be procured, the minister writes, the entire project will be reconsidered. In our opinion, favorable cost developments should also lead to a reconsideration of the project, and not automatically to the procurement of more aircraft.
  • To make the armed forces financially and operationally sustainable, the Minister of Defence has lowered the deployment objectives and taken measures for each branch of the armed forces so that they can achieve their deployment objectives.
  • At the beginning of the JSF project, the ministry assumed that the squadrons it deployed would count more than 50 aircraft. In the policy document, it assumes that the procurement of 37 JSFs – there are currently 68 F-16s in service – will enable it to deploy four aircraft permanently on international missions. Its deployment calculations, however, are not complete. Not all training hours have been taken into account and the calculations are optimistic in other areas. It is therefore doubtful whether four fighter aircraft could be deployed without compromising training or other tasks. (Editorial note: In the beginning the RNLAF until very recently stated the intend to eventually acquire 114 JSF (see chapter 5.3 “The Netherlands’ ambitions and needs”)  to perform all the necessary tasks. The number of 85 was only a “moderate” number because of the economic Business Case for our defense related industry.)
  • The choices made in the policy document also restrict the deployability of other branches of the armed forces:
    • a reduction in the training of Chinook helicopter crews will reduce deployment of the army’s Air Manoeuvre Brigade,
    • the minister’s decision not to take the Joint Support Ship into service lowers the ambitions for the navy and cuts operational costs,

Before these new issues, the Dutch Armed Forces have lost a lot of capabilities

    • frigate’s,
    • helicopters,
    • Maritime Patrol Aircraft
    • infantry units,
    • tanks,
    • artillery
    • Long Range guided weapons against land based targets (TOW like)

With no replacement: except the promise of increased Airpower!


An example: from SNAFU! A US Marine Corps centric blog, with a view on all things military…

You bastards better be right or we’re screwed for a generation

We’re about to see the full ramifications of the SUPER EXPENSIVE F-35 on the defense budget soon.

It occurs to me that one airplane will determine the success of our armed forces and our place in the world for the foreseeable future.

Consider this: *  The US Army is having to cut Brigades, reorganize its aviation and shed personnel to a rate that their Chief is now stating publicly that its dangerous. *  The USMC is cutting Battalions, shedding squadrons and having to make adhoc units just to justify this airplane while at the same time delaying the production of a much needed replacement for the AAV. *  The US Navy is considering cutting aircraft carriers, is definitely cutting squadrons and is in ship building pain because this plane is being forced on them. *  The USAF is cutting squadrons, canceling upgrades to legacy fighters, tossing away its premier air support airplane and essentially betting its future on an airplane that is not a good fighter, is a mediocre (at best) close air support platform, is insanely expensive all in the belief that its poor stealth and information dominance will carry the day against airplanes that are faster, fly higher, have bigger AESA arrays, fly farther and essentially get the same information just through different means.….

Or the British UK NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION Which stated the following:

Diminished capabilities and increased responsibilities: Time for an objective defense review!

Since the Strategic defense and Security Review (SDSR) 2010 this has been done:

  • Army numbers were cut from 102,000 to 82,000,
  • The RAF are now left with nine squadrons of operational fast jets
  • the RAF lost its entire capability for maritime patrol
  • The Joint Harrier Force, which comprised the upgraded Harrier GR9s
  • the Joint Strike Fighter order was reduced from 138 to 48.
  • both the new aircraft carriers are to be completed
    • allowing one carrier to be operational at all times provided adequate trained manpower is available
    • the reduction in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) purchase will allow only one air group, half the size originally planned.
  • The surface combat fleet has been reduced to 19 frigates and destroyers, two thirds of them ageing ships,
  • Instead of the thirty two that the 1998 Strategic defense Review considered the minimum for meeting the Navy’s commitments.
  • Even the new Astute class of nuclear-powered hunter killer submarines has been reduced from ten to seven.

Lets finish with an interesting statement of the U.S> Air Force Air Command chief, General Michael Hostage:

“If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22,” says Hostage to Air Force Times.

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