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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 10:18 AM
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Aging fighter jet gets new lease on life
The ear-piercing machine-gun-like blasts of an air hammer are a welcome sound to workers on the Northrop Grumman Corp. assembly line in El Segundo.

It means they're busy churning out fuselage sections for the supersonic F/A-18 fighter jet, a fixture on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers since 1983 and still in demand worldwide.

Once slated for replacement, the jet now is in high demand from the Pentagon and foreign governments looking to upgrade their arsenals. The Northrop plant has a backlog that will take at least until 2014 to finish.

The boon for Northrop's 1,100 F/A-18 workers in El Segundo and the more than 700 parts suppliers in California is the byproduct of an embarrassment for the Pentagon. By now, the military had hoped to start phasing out the F/A-18 and begin flying the radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. But production on the next-generation jet is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fighter-jet-20110...
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 10:35 AM
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1. Sell them at gun shows, and expand the market!
:shrug:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 10:37 AM
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2. They should simply retrofit the older jets with newer stealth electronics, and save billions.
Stealth is not really about the shape and materials of the airframe -- although that helps to keep the body as non-reflective as possible -- it's the electronic countermeasures and electronic warfare equipment -- the ECM and EW boxes -- that send out false radar signatures that make stealth really effective. The outlets of the jet engines are also cleverly engineered to reduce heat and noise emissions.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 10:39 AM
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3. The last thing the defense business wants to do is save billions.
Far from it, the defense business's main job is to waste billions, trillions when times are good.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 10:44 AM
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4. Times are far from good. They need to adjust, along with the rest of us.
We could cut the Pentagon budget in half, and still spend three times as much as our nearest rival.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, and going to get worse too.
Edited on Fri Feb-04-11 11:02 AM by bemildred
I remember that bereft feeling back in the 90s when the USSR collapsed.

But we don't have to fire all those people, we can put them to work on something useful, there is plenty of stuff that needs doing.
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martin12 Donating Member (7 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 05:15 AM
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6. hej
i agree with him too 
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