# The Defender

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#### choppergirl

##### Banned
I did some math once, and if you slashed the entire US military budget to zero as well as the black ops budget (CIA, etc)... you'd have enough money to give every American... and I mean every American... something like $2,500 a year, every year, for the rest of their lives. This would be in addition to any other already existing social programs like Food Stamps, Social Security, and Medicaid. Baby, Kids, Elderly, Retired, Street Person, Poor, Middle Class, Rich, Teenager, Student, Prisoner in Prison, overseas traveler, whatever. All of them. If you didn't want the check (like you were filthy rich like Bill Gates, simply don't cash it). Seems fantastic, like the magic money is coming from nowhere, but the math is true. The money would still be coming from the same place, just going to you, not the black hole of paranoid waste. What would you do with your$2,500 a year, every year, year after year for the rest of your life?

#### Kyle Boatright

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
There will never be empty fighter pilot cockpits for lack of people willing to fly them. I'll put that on my tombstone.

Maybe a better way to arrive at the correct ratio would be to compare the cost of F-5s to their contemporaries. Globalsecurity.org says a Tiger cost about a third of the Phantom. I bet the cost of a new Tiger (that is, the same design, but manufactured today en masse--none of the Tigershark upgrades) might be built for what, $10-15M? Then, what is the operational readiness penalty to be paid for the older engine design? The cost of operating less efficient turbojets vs turbofans? My guess (pure SWAG) is that the proper ratio is closer to 5:1 or 10:1 at the outside best. A big radar set in the nose? You can hang the same missiles on either... If you hung the same missiles on the F-5 they'd be ballast. What would it cost to put in the fire control systems to make it capable of using them? The ratio just dropped again. Keep in mind the F-5 has no radar to begin with. So sure, I'd take a 5:1 deficit when you have BVR capability against a slower, less-capable aircraft. My final thought is, if this is a viable defense strategy, why isn't anyone doing it? Why not send overwhelming numbers of soldiers onto a battlefield armed with swords against a much smaller modern army, for instance? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the F-5 precisely because of its simplicity. But I would rather trade complexity (and yes, cost) for overwhelming capability versus overwhelming numbers. #### Himat ##### Well-Known Member ... My final thought is, if this is a viable defense strategy, why isn't anyone doing it? Why not send overwhelming numbers of soldiers onto a battlefield armed with swords against a much smaller modern army, for instance? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the F-5 precisely because of its simplicity. But I would rather trade complexity (and yes, cost) for overwhelming capability versus overwhelming numbers. Well, actually we see it today. Insurgents armed with rifles, improvised explosives and so on quite often holding ground against armies supported with high tech satellites, airplanes and helicopters. In some battles these insurgents have worked out to be more of an army, fielding signal intelligence, communication and radar jammers, and artillery. To the grief of the opponent that is fought to a standstill or beaten. Back to airplanes, if not the homebuilt type. The one that can fight on preferred terms usually win. Take the F-35, an expensive strike fighter, but well suited against someone with little air defence capabilities. The downside, it is overkill against someone without an air defence and vulnerable if up against a competent foe. Now, if that competent foe can field enough airplanes to outnumber the F-35 3 to 1, approximately by the cost difference? #### Kyle Boatright ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Well, in today's money for yesterday's airplane, maybe 25:1 is the right ratio. If you're suggesting fielding an air force of 50-year old aircraft then yes perhaps you could have that ratio. But that would be akin to fielding Eindeckers in overwhelming numbers to oppose Mustangs. (Just in terms of age and perhaps "used" cost--I know the capability gap is different). The question you need to ask is, what would it cost to build a fleet of F-5s today. I don't know how to arrive at that answer but I doubt the unit cost would be$4M. So the 25:1 ratio is dropping.

Maybe a better way to arrive at the correct ratio would be to compare the cost of F-5s to their contemporaries. Globalsecurity.org says a Tiger cost about a third of the Phantom. I bet the cost of a new Tiger (that is, the same design, but manufactured today en masse--none of the Tigershark upgrades) might be built for what, \$10-15M? Then, what is the operational readiness penalty to be paid for the older engine design? The cost of operating less efficient turbojets vs turbofans? My guess (pure SWAG) is that the proper ratio is closer to 5:1 or 10:1 at the outside best.
The other thing to remember is that with a 25:1 ratio (or a 5:1 ratio) is that you're gonna need 25x as many pilots, you're gonna burn many times more fuel, replace 25x more tires, etc. It isn't all about up-front costs...