Save the F22 Raptor fighter plane

Discussion in 'Military' started by Munin, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Munin
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    Munin VIP Member

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    " Aerial Combat
    The Air Force tries to save a fighter plane that's never seen battle.
    [​IMG]

    In the next few weeks, on into the spring and beyond, the U.S. Air Force is likely to wage one of the most ferocious battles it has seen in decades, a fight that many of its generals regard as a life-or-death struggle—a war to save the F-22 Raptor fighter plane.


    The skirmishes began a little more than a year ago, when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that he was halting the plane's production. The nation had already bought 187 of them, at a total cost of $65 billion (nearly $350 million apiece), and that was more than enough.

    Exhibit A was the plane's own combat record—or, rather, its lack of one. Not a single Air Force commander has sent a single F-22 into harm's way in any of the wars the United States has fought these past few years. Designed during the Cold War for air-to-air combat against the Soviet air force over the battlefield of Europe, the plane seems ill-suited—either overdesigned or simply useless—for any wars we're likely to fight in the coming decade or so.
    But the Air Force brass is dominated by fighter pilots who still see air-to-air combat as the service's main mission; they took Gates' declaration as fighting words, and they fought back. They wanted 381 F-22s, and a couple of high-ranking officers told industry journals that they would continue to demand 381. The secretary's decision, they said, was "wrong."


    Gen. Norton Schwartz, recently named the Air Force chief of staff, has reportedly scaled back the request, saying he would settle for an additional 60 planes—bringing the total to 247—to be purchased over the next three years. Schwartz may be sincere; he is the first chief in the Air Force's 62-year history who has never been a fighter pilot. Since the plane has long been produced at a rate of 20 per year, however, many skeptics—and several Air Force officers—see the chief's offer not as a compromise but as a foot in the door.

    Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin, the plane's main contractor, has threatened to start shutting down production—and laying off workers—on March 1 unless the Obama administration commits to buying more planes. (One senior Pentagon official says this deadline is a bluff. In any case, though President Obama will issue the fiscal year 2010 budget on Feb. 26, the document will state only the "top-line" numbers for each department; the details—not just for the F-22, but for all programs, defense and otherwise—won't be released, or in many cases decided, until April.)

    The economic argument stands as the F-22's last best hope. When the plane went into development in the 1980s, the Air Force was careful to spread around the contracts and subcontracts to as many congressional districts, to build as much political support for the plane, as possible. As a result, 1,150 firms in 46 states are involved in building or maintaining the F-22.


    This has been a time-honored practice in big-ticket weapons procurement as far back as the late 1950s, when the Army's Nike-Zeus missile-defense system came under attack—from Congress, White House scientists, and senior officials in the Pentagon—and the Army fought back by spreading out the program's subcontracts to 37 states. (When John Kennedy was elected president, his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, killed the program anyway—at least for a while.)


    "Saving jobs" has long been the most effective—often it's the only honest—argument for keeping a weapons program alive. Given the massive federal spending in President Obama's economic stimulus package, it might work for the F-22 in Congress, if not in the executive branch.
    But the president has urged the nation's mayors and governors not to waste the bag of money that they'll soon be handed, and Congress should heed the same message.


    For strictly on the merits, there is only a raggedy case to keep buying more F-22s.


    The F-22 was developed in the 1980s as one of several aircraft—the B-2 bomber and F-117 attack plane were others—to incorporate "stealth" technology: flat, rounded surfaces and special materials that together made the plane all but invisible to radar.

    The F-117 saw action in the 1991 Gulf War and in Bosnia, but its stealthiness played only a limited, if important, role. On the first night of the Gulf War, two F-117s flew into Iraq undetected and destroyed key air-defense radar sites, allowing dozens of other allied planes to follow their flight paths with little danger. In Bosnia, Serbian air-defense crews shot down one F-117. (The plane was flying in daylight, when it could be spotted by the human eye.) " The Air Force tries to save a fighter plane that's never seen combat. - By Fred Kaplan - Slate Magazine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22_Raptor

    This is probably one of the best fighter planes of the US air force.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  2. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    The most advanced fighter in the world bar none---funding should no tgo away...not with a russia who is trying to rebuild and china...As well as India who is trying to dominate the skies.

    To have complete air dominance we always have to be 2 generations above the next, which is what the F-22 is
     
  3. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    http://www.f-16.net/news_article1916.html

    In recent exercises over Alaska, the F-22 has been put to the test. The results have been staggering. F-22s notched an impressive 108 to 0 "kill ratio" - often when outnumbered by as much as 8 to 1 by simulated Su-27/30 aircraft.

    In a very real sense, this is a preview of what is to come for forces facing the F-22. The F-15 and F-18 scored a 2:1 kill ratio against the simulated Flankers. This is not the only time that F-22s have shown their capabilities. Eight F-22s faced off against 33 F-15Cs earlier this year, and "shot down" all of the F-15Cs with no loss to itself.

    Why does the F-22 dominate? The answer lies in the two biggest rules of air combat. The first rule is, "Speed is life." The F-22 has speed – reaching nearly 2,600 kilometers per hour, and having the ability go faster (up to 1,830 kilometers per hour) than the speed of sound without using its afterburners. It is faster than a Eurofighter, Flanker, or Rafale. It can catch its target, or get out of a situation, should that rare occasion arise.

    The second rule is, "Lose the sight, lose the fight." The F-22 is very capable of making an opponent "lose sight" of it – often through its stealth features that cause enemy radars to perform poorly when looking for an F-22. This means the F-22 will "see" its opponent far sooner than it will be seen itself. In aerial combat, 80 percent of those planes killed in air-to-air combat never knew the opponent that killed them was there.

    In a very real sense, the F-22 is the superfighter of the 21st Century. The F-22 is emerging as a long-range fighter (with a range of over 3200 kilometers), capable of fighting when outnumbered 4 to 1 (or more), and it also has significant edges in the areas of speed and stealth. The F-22 is proving to be a very reliable plane (with less than 7 percent of sorties being aborted). Some problems have emerged as the F-22 joins the operational force, most notably with a titanium boom on the first 80 planes, but these problems are being fixed. The F-22's high speed and performance also gives weapons like the AMRAAM and JDAM much more range than from the F-15E or F-16.

    The F-22's biggest weakness seems to be its price tag ($361 million per plane*). But it is quickly proving it is capable of clearing the skies against as many as eight opponents per F-22. When you consider that the Eurofighter costs $58 million per plane, and the Rafale pushes $66 million, while the F-35C pushes $61 million, the F-22 isn't that bad, particularly when two F-22s at $274 million** can easily wipe out eight Eurofighters at $464 million.

    While the U.S. Air Force may be engaging in some puffery when it comes to describing the F-22, the track record of new American combat aircraft over the last few decades, indicates that the F-22 is, indeed, an impressive combat aircraft. But, as with any warplane, it won't be until the aircraft actually experiences combat, that it's reputation can be established as more than just potential. – Harold C. Hutchiso
     
  4. Munin
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    Munin VIP Member

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    I think the number of F22 planes is not the most important issue, the most important thing is that it keeps existing and keeps being produced (and still being active for combat operations). The psychologic effects of super-weapons are devastating for enemy morale, if you have a fighter plane that is nearly invisible then your enemy will thinks twice before sending any fighter in the air. It may even lead to the decision to keep the whole air force of an enemy grounded just because of the existence of this 1 superfighter. War is all about psychology, if you can use that in your advantage then that is a major advantage that can even decide the whole war. Every weapon you can put up is one that your enemy will have counter, the better weapons you can put up the more lives you will save.

    Also it would be idiotic to just throw away all the research $ put into develop this plane.

    If there is one thing we have learned from WWII and other big wars, then it is that the air superiority has played an essential psychological and military role in those wars.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  5. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The F-15 was designed during the Vietnam war.

    Saying the Raptor was designed 'during the cold war' is a stupid comment.

    Modern combat aircraft typically have 10 years or more lead time in design.

    Our F-15s are litterally falling to pieces, they must be replaced.
     
  6. DiveCon
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    DiveCon gone

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    just wait till they can develope a ground attack variation
    then they will change their minds, just like they did for the F-15E
     
  7. Munin
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    Munin VIP Member

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    [​IMG]

    Isn't the F35 the new F16? ( the ground attack variation of the F15 )

    Just like the F22 is the new F15?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  8. DiveCon
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    yes, the F22 is supposed to replace the F15
    and the F35 is supposed to replace the F16, F18, A10, AV8B(USMC Harrier)

    but i think they made too many compromises on the F35 so it wont be the best in ANY of the roles its slated to fill
     
  9. Article 15
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    Article 15 Dr. House slayer

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    I found how many are assigned and operational so far:

    Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Reaches Milestone In Maturity | Lockheed Martin
     
  10. Article 15
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    Article 15 Dr. House slayer

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    At this point they should keep going.

    Continue production!
     

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