Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

Granted, I am not qualified to the n'th degree on financial management but, using the most up to date hardware should not be beyond the grasp of manafacturers. It should even be the Norm, sorry Mr Wisdom. Tripple pun, sorry folks.
 
Granted, I am not qualified to the n'th degree on financial management but, using the most up to date hardware should not be beyond the grasp of manafacturers. It should even be the Norm, sorry Mr Wisdom. Tripple pun, sorry folks.
Problem is the time it takes to get a weapon system from paper to service. About the only way you could enter service with the latest and greatest would be to have a bunch of "TBD"s in your design until it's ready for production. And then you still couldn't because there are lead times, bug squashing, design changes, etc. etc. etc. As anybody who's built their own PC for decades knows, standards change, software changes, etc. A 1993 CPU and graphics card (486 with ISA slots, Windows 3.1) wouldn't even be compatible with a top of the line 2007 motherboard (PCI Express slots, different CPU socket, different RAM, SATA instead of IDE drives, 32 bit OS).
 
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Any details available on it? I'm because someone mentioned in another thread (I can't recall which one it was) that the F-22's FCS use 80386 CPUs.
One small correction - the F119 has two FADECs (Full Authority Digital Engine Control), instead of a DEEC used on the F100-220 and -229.

One of the major issues with electronic components used in military aerospace programs is obsolescence. You design your system with the best available technology for a system that takes 10 years to reach series production, and Moore’s Law (double the speed & capacity at half the cost every 18 months) has made your components obsolete by 3-4 generations. Just finding someone to manufacture some of the chips is often an huge challenge, and redesigning your system to use newer chips is not a trivial matter - sometimes your software won’t run correctly with newer / faster processors, you have to make sure they are EMP resistant and meet other Mil Spec requirements, have to test and qualify the system with the new components, etc. Sometimes the solution is to make a “lifetime buy” of the obsolete chips to be able to produce and support your system for the lifetime of the weapons system.
 
It is hard to determine the volume of the two supersonic tanks, but it does look like they trade capacity for lowered RCS. They have a very flattened look - I suspect they have a chine that runs all around the tank.

I wonder if the two pods that widely spaced out would allow for some kind of IR ranging to occur? It would be not be enough for triangulation, but maybe some other trick using phase or time delay of single pixel change or something? Are there any previous pictures that clearly indicate optical windows or radomes on either pod? I'm not sure what external EW system would be useful to pod in addition to an IRST (assuming one pod is IRST and the other has some other function). Maybe some kind of LINK 16 transmitter? Perhaps a second pod is just needed for counterweight?
 
It is hard to determine the volume of the two supersonic tanks, but it does look like they trade capacity for lowered RCS. They have a very flattened look - I suspect they have a chine that runs all around the tank.

I wonder if the two pods that widely spaced out would allow for some kind of IR ranging to occur? It would be not be enough for triangulation, but maybe some other trick using phase or time delay of single pixel change or something? Are there any previous pictures that clearly indicate optical windows or radomes on either pod? I'm not sure what external EW system would be useful to pod in addition to an IRST (assuming one pod is IRST and the other has some other function). Maybe some kind of LINK 16 transmitter? Perhaps a second pod is just needed for counterweight?
Towed decoy? I wonder if that's something they have a need for.
 
Towed decoy? I wonder if that's something they have a need for.

Possibly. It would be hard to incorporate such internally after the fact. Though I wonder if its flight regime is conducive to towed decoys? I've neve seen what the flight envelope limitations are; I assume eventually you run into issues with the wires snapping at some point.
 
One of the major issues with electronic components used in military aerospace programs is obsolescence. You design your system with the best available technology for a system that takes 10 years to reach series production, and Moore’s Law (double the speed & capacity at half the cost every 18 months) has made your components obsolete by 3-4 generations. Just finding someone to manufacture some of the chips is often an huge challenge, and redesigning your system to use newer chips is not a trivial matter - sometimes your software won’t run correctly with newer / faster processors, you have to make sure they are EMP resistant and meet other Mil Spec requirements, have to test and qualify the system with the new components, etc. Sometimes the solution is to make a “lifetime buy” of the obsolete chips to be able to produce and support your system for the lifetime of the weapons system.

Carlo Kopp had published an article about airborne computing in Air Power Australia with an update in 2005 about military computers - Computing - Military Style.

COTS mitigates it to some degree, but definitely not entirely.
Indeed, in some ways COTS has made it worse.

Here's an interesting article about COTS - COTS – revolution, evolution or devolution?
 
Seeing as ICs aren't really terribly expensive and you're not building tens of thousands of F22s then a lifetime buy is going to be the cheapest solution by far!
 
Seeing as ICs aren't really terribly expensive

MilSpec ICs are generally speaking significantly more expensive than their commercial equivalents due to them being designed to operate in hostile environments that commercial equipment usually isn't exposed to.
 
MilSpec ICs are generally speaking significantly more expensive than their commercial equivalents due to them being designed to operate in hostile environments that commercial equipment usually isn't exposed to.
Yes, I know. An 80386EX is around $100 so I expect a MIL spec to be maybe $500-$1000. If you need 10 per F22 and want 5 spares for each one, that's ballpark $50,000 per F22. I'm sure I'm off by a fair margin, but I'd still be buying a lifetime's worth.
 
While you do have a good point about a lifetime's supply of ICs is that in the long run it impedes the ability to upgrade the avionics. For example the latest Block 4 iteration of the F-35 can't proceed until the TR3 hardware upgrade has been implemented.
 
Well any time you upgrade a product then you are going to devalue your existing production stock. If it's cheap then so much the better.
 
From about a week ago....

(Again) with regard to the LDTPs:
"The low-drag tank and pylons “are advanced technological designs” which will “minimally increase drag” while permitting longer range, even at supersonic speed, for the F-22.
“The pylons are equipped with smart rack pneumatic technology to accurately control ejection performance and maintain minimum drag without stores,” the documents said.
The program calls for 286 each of the tanks and pylons—enough to fully equip 143 jets, at two for each jet. They have to work at a speed of at least Mach 1.2. Wind tunnel and ground tests were completed in fiscal 2023, and flight testing is targeted to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2024, shortly after which a critical design review is scheduled."
 
The article makes a mistake with regards to IRDS; it stands for Infrared Defensive System and it's an update for the F-22's AN/AAR-56 MLD, currently under Viability so it's still pretty early in the development pipeline. The advanced IRST is a separate item under Sensor Systems.
 
The ending of the F-22 production has much more to do with bad timing rather than qualities of the aircraft itself.

Not bad timing, poor judgment.

At "the end of the cold war" there were those convinced that great power conflicts were in the past. These were men that did not respect history. If they had kept a production line active then it could have been increased as we've seen with the F-18.
 
I wonder if the two pods that widely spaced out would allow for some kind of IR ranging to occur

It would be fair to say that the enemy won't feel it, see it, or hear it and if they do it won't matter anyway.
 
I wonder if the two pods that widely spaced out would allow for some kind of IR ranging to occur?
In theory. I'd use split-image techniques (or rather, image overlay), and then use that to determine angle difference between the two pods. But you'd also need to calibrate the pods every time you flew with them, which is a pain in the butt.
 
In theory. I'd use split-image techniques (or rather, image overlay), and then use that to determine angle difference between the two pods. But you'd also need to calibrate the pods every time you flew with them, which is a pain in the butt.

On the F-22 there is no way to mount a sensor pod in the centerline. Mounting just one on a wing would limit the field of view, but one on each wing expands it, so things worked out better than they had planned instead of everything ruined
 
F-22 Photos. On ground and flying at Quonset Point, RI. Air Show. Nikon DSLR with 300 mm zoom lens.
 

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Not bad timing, poor judgment.

At "the end of the cold war" there were those convinced that great power conflicts were in the past. These were men that did not respect history. If they had kept a production line active then it could have been increased as we've seen with the F-18.
Even if the F-22 production line had been kept open to reach the post-Soviet breakup plan of 442 (1993) the line would have closed some time ago (when the USAF settled on 381 in ~1995 production was expected to end in 2013, so 442 might have gotten to 2015-16 - 61 at 24 per year makes 2.5 years).

Now that last 195 (381 - 186) could well have been a F-22B model to incorporate newer avionics... but that added cost would have definitely stopped the program at 381, not 442.
 
Even if the F-22 production line had been kept open to reach the post-Soviet breakup plan of 442 (1993) the line would have closed some time ago (when the USAF settled on 381 in ~1995 production was expected to end in 2013, so 442 might have gotten to 2015-16 - 61 at 24 per year makes 2.5 years).

Now that last 195 (381 - 186) could well have been a F-22B model to incorporate newer avionics... but that added cost would have definitely stopped the program at 381, not 442.
Wasn’t the number 339 as per the 1997 QDR?
 
Even if the F-22 production line had been kept open to reach the post-Soviet breakup plan of 442 (1993) the line would have closed some time ago (when the USAF settled on 381 in ~1995 production was expected to end in 2013, so 442 might have gotten to 2015-16 - 61 at 24 per year makes 2.5 years).

Now that last 195 (381 - 186) could well have been a F-22B model to incorporate newer avionics... but that added cost would have definitely stopped the program at 381, not 442.
It might have stayed open longer by pulling a Lima and recycling the As to upgrade to Bs...


Then we might gottens C then Ds and etc.
 
Now that last 195 (381 - 186) could well have been a F-22B model to incorporate newer avionics...

I suspect that if the F-22B had been produced it would've used the same avionics as the F-22A so it would've only been marginally more expensive in that case (It would be like comparing the F-15A with the F-15B, the only difference being an extra ejection-seat, associated cockpit instrumentation and a new canopy).
 
I believe the F-22B was formally type certified so any potential new variate would have been the F-22C.

The big problem with the F-22 program is that it never got to a formal production ramp and the line (and supply chain) was designed for 36 or 48 jets a year (can't remember now). That means that unit costs remained high and the price per jet could've come way down had they program had better funding stability.
 
That means that unit costs remained high and the price per jet could've come way down had they program had better funding stability.

Yeah, this can clearly be laid at the feet of the US Congress.
 
To be fair, it made perfectly good sense at the time. Even now I question whether the U.S. has a drastic need for more F-22 fighters, given the short range, the vulnerability of airfields in the WestPac, and the need to widely disperse given those two realities. And F-22 is unnecessary anywhere else; the U.S. has a massive advantage against anyone else.
 
I suspect that if the F-22B had been produced it would've used the same avionics as the F-22A so it would've only been marginally more expensive in that case (It would be like comparing the F-15A with the F-15B, the only difference being an extra ejection-seat, associated cockpit instrumentation and a new canopy).
This would be more like the F15A/B to C/D update than the A to B changes.
 
This would be more like the F15A/B to C/D update than the A to B changes.

My understanding is that the F-22B was just a two-seat version of the F-22A (No extra avionics) just like how the F-15B* was a two-seat F-15A and the F-15D a two-seat F-15C.

*The F-15B was originally called the TF-15A but was changed to F-15B as it had the same combat capabilities of the F-15A..
 
My understanding is that the F-22B was just a two-seat version of the F-22A (No extra avionics) just like how the F-15B* was a two-seat F-15A and the F-15D a two-seat F-15C.

*The F-15B was originally called the TF-15A but was changed to F-15B as it had the same combat capabilities of the F-15A..
Exactly.

The idea we're talking about here is something more akin to the C model upgrades on the Eagle.
 
The idea we are talking about is a pipe dream. If more F-22s were produced, they would just be in the bone yard providing spare parts. Pilots are not cheap and neither is that aircraft; the idea that anyone would have continuously supported an active an up to date F-22 fleet larger than current is bull shit.

The USAF has repeatedly made the case that it doesn’t matter how many planes are on the books; it matters how many are capable against their opponents, and how many are available. And the U.S. Congress ignores that reasoning. It does so with the USN as well.

People misinterpret numbers for capability.
 
The idea we are talking about is a pipe dream. If more F-22s were produced, they would just be in the bone yard providing spare parts. Pilots are not cheap and neither is that aircraft; the idea that anyone would have continuously supported an active an up to date F-22 fleet larger than current is bull shit.

The USAF has repeatedly made the case that it doesn’t matter how many planes are on the books; it matters how many are capable against their opponents, and how many are available. And the U.S. Congress ignores that reasoning. It does so with the USN as well.

People misinterpret numbers for capability.
Having totally replaced the F15 with F22s would be a very different thing than this fustercluck of mixed fleets we have now.
 
The idea we are talking about is a pipe dream. If more F-22s were produced, they would just be in the bone yard providing spare parts. Pilots are not cheap and neither is that aircraft; the idea that anyone would have continuously supported an active an up to date F-22 fleet larger than current is bull shit.

Are, no, while as you say pilots aren't cheap, Scott, correctly pointed out that a bigger fleet would've meant more F-15s being retired and some of the F-15s are getting on in years.
 
Having totally replaced the F15 with F22s would be a very different thing than this fustercluck of mixed fleets we have now.

The pilot shortage would not be alleviated, which is the point being made: the USAF's main issues are in manpower not in materiel.
 
The USAF still has some 2000 fighter pilots...

Well yeah, it's not just pilots though. It's also maintenance crews. E-6s through E-8s are becoming unicorns in AF maintenance groups because of poor retention and weak promotion. Limited job prospects, bad pay, etc. pushes people out. This is going to impact Raptor the hardest of all the airframes, besides maybe B-1, because Raptor has the most limited supply chain of spares and the hardest mission tasking.

B-2 skirts by with nuclear tasking and operation from a single base. Raptor has to be everywhere, though, so it doesn't have that luxury.

The ballsy move is putting a Raptor TFW each forward, one in Europe and one in Guam, but that's too cool. UTCs could be parceled out to theater bases in Okinawa or Poland as needed, to bolster local air sovereignty missions and ensure at least portions of the Raptor force survive a Pearl Harbor-type missile raid, in either case.

FWIW, ADM Aquilino wants any 5th gens he can get his mitts on, but ATF is meaningfully more capable than JSF in a Pacific fight, provided it's close enough to get there in time.
 

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