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Cargoman

Spaceman
A week after the article you quote , by changing the way student loans work ,
congress was able to increase grants by 12-60 billion over the same period .
I like the concept of having a well educated and safe , free country .
If the programs don't work kill them . However don't cut the funding before
we have preformed the needed test to find out if they are viable .
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
As for that "4 billion for 2 bombers" (which is a load of shit, by the way),
The B-2 is about 2 billion per plane, and until recently we had only two. We now have 21:
A dramatic leap forward in technology, the bomber represented a major milestone in the U.S. bomber modernization program. The B-2 is the most expensive plane built to date, costing approximately $2.2 billion USD per plane.
Source: http://www.fas.org/main/home.jsp (Home)
http://www.fas.org/man/gao/gao94217.htm (B-2 Source)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-2_Spirit
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Linking to Wikipedia to make a point is akin to coming out and saying "I'm stupid" to everyone.
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Hey Cargoman- I'm interested, where is the source of your info? I have a lot of close friends (and myself as well) who would like to know about how loan grants have increased despite the cuts- because they haven't seen any improvements in student loan rates or availability.

Oh, and I'm not against research itself, provided it can be justified, (not duplicative and not defeated by the brainstorming of a bunch of 12 year olds). The B-2 and ABM shields are/were built despite tactical or strategic considerations, or (in the ABM's case), even proving that the technology works.

Imagine justifying to your boss spending a sizeable portion of your company's operating budget (and your company is already in the red) on buying and installing a security system based on technology that doesn't even work right in testing conditions, and even if it did work, can be easily bypassed without much thought by intruders.

Or if you're an aeronautical company, building developing a domestic supersonic airliner. You sink millions (if not a billion or two) into developing a supersonic plane that will never fly because of noise restrictions (sonic booms). Yet, despite that you KNOW of this restriction, you build the plane anyway. Your company loses millions as a result.

In either of these situations, you would wind up out on your ass in the street, looking for a new job. Yet we deal with this **** every day over silly military projects that couldn't possibly stand up to reasoned debate... because it's an easy handout to sneak past the public. When military protection is involved, you just scare the bejeezes out of people so they don't ask too many questions and accuse any politicians who challenges the spending as soft on foreign policy.
 

Romale

Spaceman
just so you know the b2 isn't a waste, no other plane in the world can drop the ordinance it can drop and not be shot down in the process, thats what makes it worth the 1.2billion a plane. and just an fyi the b2 has a computer from the 80's in it, they never updated it because it works
 

Halman

PSY-YI-YI
I wonder if you people understand how the government alots things money.

Congress doesn't choose a magic number to tax the population for and then decide how to split all that up. They get requests from each government organization and then tax to meet those requests.

So if we weren't building B-2s and so forth, the money wouldn't be stuck into the financial programs. It just wouldn't be taxed.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
Linking to Wikipedia to make a point is akin to coming out and saying "I'm stupid" to everyone.
Note that it was not my only source. Not only do I have the Wikipedia article, but these sources as well:
"This plane has a lot of serious maintenance issues that need to be resolved before it justifies its $2.4 billion price tag," said Tony Capaccio, editor of Defense Week.
http://www.cnn.com/US/9709/12/b2.bum.bomber/
In 1993, Congress authorized the Pentagon to buy 20 B-2s at around $2 billion a piece.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/stealth-bomber4.htm
The bat-wing B-2 stealth bomber has never seen combat and has been much criticized for its high price tag -- $2.2 billion a plane -- and outdated mission.
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/1998/iraq/9802/military.moves/new.weapons/planes/b2.html
just so you know the b2 isn't a waste, no other plane in the world can drop the ordinance it can drop and not be shot down in the process, thats what makes it worth the 1.2billion a plane.
2.2 Billion per plane. The B-52 can also fly faster and drop more bombs, and is a lot cheaper. The B-2's stealth is a neat feature though.
 

wolfboy

Captain
uh, check your sources, i do believe a B2 can literally fly circles around a B52.
fatcat: First, no it would not be cheaper to upgrade an F-15 like that, both in the amount of retraining of maintanence staff and the complete physical reworking of the aircraft you would more than likely equal or exceed the cost of the new fighter. The reason being is that first you would have to spend the man hours ripping the old parts out, then retro-fit the new ones in. it wouldnt be a strait trade. Also, i know old does not necessarily mean unusable, heck, one of my passions is to build and test a modified P-38 design with modern equipment. The dificulty being that you have to put the modern componants in from the ground up, effectively building a whole new fighter. Another thing, we do still fly the F-14, we are just cycling them out of service now and will do so untill they are replaced probably by the F-35. Finally, when was the last Vietnam Era jet taken out of service, it hasnt, we are still using the EW variant of the intruder, the EA-6B prowler, the only real difference between it and the Intruder, is the second seat electronics and payload.

As for UAV's: They are nice, so nice in fact that i wanted to get in on the program. However, they are not wonder weapons. Frag, if we want to just send in a drone attack of some kind why waste the money on the drones when a cruise missle that we already have is able to do the job. You wanna complain about wasted money, go scream about that.

furthermore back on the B2: The B2 has now seen combat in 3 wars now. In that time it has dropped more ordinance with greater accuracy in any single sortie than any of its predecessors. your "How stuff works" quote is dated.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Ijuin said:
Do you really WANT a UAV selecting its own targets without human intervention? Who will be held liable if it makes an error and blows up an elementary school instead of the intended warehouse three blocks away?
Who's liable when it happens now? Do you trust a pilot looking down 20,000 feet at a tiny white square to be more accurate than a UAV plotting stuff out with advance global positioning equipment? Of course bombers today don't actually sight stuff like that, but that's just the point: the human pilot isn't picking out targets at all. It all comes down from a tactical network. The pilot just bombs the spot on his targeting computer that he's assigned to. Alternately, he bombs anything that shoots at him. These are all things UAVs can do even more accurately than human pilots.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
The reason being is that first you would have to spend the man hours ripping the old parts out, then retro-fit the new ones in.
I said to make an upgraded version of the F-15, not upgrade them:
It would be far cheaper to make an upgraded version of the F-15, such as adding full electronic controls and newer computer systems. The F-15 is a tried and true design.
Upgrading existing planes would be nearly impossible.
your "How stuff works" quote is dated.
I refered to it to point out that Death is wrong and that the B-2 Spirit does indeed cost 2.2 billion dollars.
Do you trust a pilot looking down 20,000 feet at a tiny white square to be more accurate than a UAV plotting stuff out with advance global positioning equipment?
Not at the moment. Right now, the AI isn't good enough to be used in combat. There is no significant advantage to having a completely computer-controlled aircraft when humans can fly quite well right now. The fully computer-controlled UAV isn't that far off, though.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Fatcat said:
Not at the moment. Right now, the AI isn't good enough to be used in combat. There is no significant advantage to having a completely computer-controlled aircraft when humans can fly quite well right now. The fully computer-controlled UAV isn't that far off, though.
I didn't think they were so much computer-controlled as Remote-controlled?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Correct - there is no AI, and therefore no chance that the AI will choose the wrong target. Just like in regular planes, human operators are responsible for every action.
 

PeteyG

I can have an avatar now
LeHah said:
Linking to Wikipedia to make a point is akin to coming out and saying "I'm stupid" to everyone.
Fatcat linked to the Federation of American scientists, which is an excellent source for this kind of thing. The FAS link was to primary source material... a GAO report titled "B-2 Bomber: Cost to Complete 20 Aircraft Is Uncertain".

A moron, OBVIOUSLY.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
Until this decision is made, B-2 support costs
remain uncertain.
In Letter #2, they state that 20 planes will cost 44 billion:
Through fiscal year 1994, the
Congress has appropriated $39,639.7 million, about 89 percent of the
$44,656.0 million cost limitation established.
That's about 44.7 billion for 20 B-2s. I've even been to the Dayton Air Museum where they had a mock-up of the B-2. The display clearly stated that the B-2 would be in the 2 billion cost range. This is also of course disregarding the three other links I provided.
Edit: Here's another source:
Yes, these B2's cost around TWO BILLION...
http://www.supervideo.com/b2.htm
This site also lavishly praises the B-2 as a great plane, but admits it's huge price tag.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Quarto said:
Correct - there is no AI, and therefore no chance that the AI will choose the wrong target. Just like in regular planes, human operators are responsible for every action.
Which is as it should be. However, the very fact that the drone is controlled via radio signal makes it vulnerable to being jammed--thus the enemy can use jamming to deny attackers the ability to effectively use UAV's within the jammed area, since the UAV is not reasonably capable of combat without human instructions.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Ijuin said:
Which is as it should be. However, the very fact that the drone is controlled via radio signal makes it vulnerable to being jammed--thus the enemy can use jamming to deny attackers the ability to effectively use UAV's within the jammed area, since the UAV is not reasonably capable of combat without human instructions.
Obviously, none of us are experts in high tech signal jamming, but people who are are moving forward with advanced concepts in unmanned drones, fighters and helicopters. What was only briefly mentioned in the thread is that we've already been using thousands of unmanned drones for combat operations for decades. Whether they're launched from a sub, ship or base (or bomber or aircraft), all the cruise missiles and tactical ordinance that we drop today is guided by a very preliminary version of the stuff that will be guiding unmanned craft. There's not a lot of difference between launching a precision guided missile from a thousand miles away and launching a fighter from 999 miles away and letting it deploy its bombs at the last mile. And then it becomes a lot cheaper because you're returning and reusing the major flight platform. This isn't some stupid sci fi concept that's doomed to failure. It's a very simple, yet powerful, extension of what we've already been doing for years.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Ijuin said:
Which is as it should be. However, the very fact that the drone is controlled via radio signal makes it vulnerable to being jammed--thus the enemy can use jamming to deny attackers the ability to effectively use UAV's within the jammed area, since the UAV is not reasonably capable of combat without human instructions.
In 1940, the Germans used a radio guidance system to get their night bombers to reach their targets. The British eventually figured out how to jam the system. The Germans then introduced a new system, which the British couldn't jam. Eventually, of course, the British would've learned how to jam that one too, but then the Germans would've invented a new system again. Get my point? You can't stop developing a particular line of weapons because the enemy can potentially figure out how to counter them - you develop a weapon, you use it as long as possible, and when the enemy learns how to counter it you develop a new version that takes into account what the enemy has done.

I mean, hey, why did cavemen start using rocks as weapons in the first place? It's obviously pointless, since rocks are vulnerable to shields :).
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
On a tangential note, I find myself amused at how often artificial intelligences, whether for UAVs or some other purpose, are usually pictured as something malevolent, or potentially malevolent. How many SF stories are there out there about an artificially intelligent being/object either being or going "evil", compared to ones where AIs were beneficial to humanity?
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Death said:
On a tangential note, I find myself amused at how often artificial intelligences, whether for UAVs or some other purpose, are usually pictured as something malevolent, or potentially malevolent. How many SF stories are there out there about an artificially intelligent being/object either being or going "evil", compared to ones where AIs were beneficial to humanity?
Maybe the cybrids were running Windows ME.:p
 
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