• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
148
The worlds biggest economy can't build 2 fighters at the same time?
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines. On the F-22, the question is, does the USAF want to invest RDT&E dollars towards creating a 2030's relevant F-22 variant, or do they want to go all in on the PCA. I think they never really considered the first option very seriously once they knew how the requirements for the PCA were shaping up hence the focus towards investing in it in a big way as the recently released projections show.
 

sublight is back

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
768
Reaction score
52
bring_it_on said:
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines.
I dont think the PCA is going to be a "hot fighter". It's probably going to be a very low observable and lethal UCAS. They have been saying all along that B-21 is a "system of systems", and at the same time nobody really wants to say what RQ-180 really is or what it relates to. It's likely not just ISR, but PCA related work.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,253
Reaction score
1,281
sublight is back said:
bring_it_on said:
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines.
I dont think the PCA is going to be a "hot fighter". It's probably going to be a very low observable and lethal UCAS. They have been saying all along that B-21 is a "system of systems", and at the same time nobody really wants to say what RQ-180 really is or what it relates to. It's likely not just ISR, but PCA related work.
You really think an aircraft powered by a pair of 45k-50k thrust engines is going to be a drone? I don't think so. And your "very low observable" requirement would suggest you also believe it will be subsonic? ???
 

sublight is back

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
768
Reaction score
52
sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
bring_it_on said:
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines.
I dont think the PCA is going to be a "hot fighter". It's probably going to be a very low observable and lethal UCAS. They have been saying all along that B-21 is a "system of systems", and at the same time nobody really wants to say what RQ-180 really is or what it relates to. It's likely not just ISR, but PCA related work.
You really think an aircraft powered by a pair of 45k-50k thrust engines is going to be a drone? I don't think so. And your "very low observable" requirement would suggest you also believe it will be subsonic? ???
It's a ruse. Today it is PCA, tomorrow it will be called Next Generation Air Dominance again, and the penetration expectation will belong to the B-21 complementary UCAS systems.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,253
Reaction score
1,281
sublight is back said:
sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
bring_it_on said:
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines.
I dont think the PCA is going to be a "hot fighter". It's probably going to be a very low observable and lethal UCAS. They have been saying all along that B-21 is a "system of systems", and at the same time nobody really wants to say what RQ-180 really is or what it relates to. It's likely not just ISR, but PCA related work.
You really think an aircraft powered by a pair of 45k-50k thrust engines is going to be a drone? I don't think so. And your "very low observable" requirement would suggest you also believe it will be subsonic? ???
It's a ruse. Today it is PCA, tomorrow it will be called Next Generation Air Dominance again, and the penetration expectation will belong to the B-21 complementary UCAS systems.
So GE and Pratt are spending a billion plus on next generation engines for an imaginary program?
 

sublight is back

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
768
Reaction score
52
sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
bring_it_on said:
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines.
I dont think the PCA is going to be a "hot fighter". It's probably going to be a very low observable and lethal UCAS. They have been saying all along that B-21 is a "system of systems", and at the same time nobody really wants to say what RQ-180 really is or what it relates to. It's likely not just ISR, but PCA related work.
You really think an aircraft powered by a pair of 45k-50k thrust engines is going to be a drone? I don't think so. And your "very low observable" requirement would suggest you also believe it will be subsonic? ???
It's a ruse. Today it is PCA, tomorrow it will be called Next Generation Air Dominance again, and the penetration expectation will belong to the B-21 complementary UCAS systems.
So GE and Pratt are spending a billion plus on next generation engines for an imaginary program?
Let me re-iterate. Today it, the platform the billion dollar engines are being developed for, is called PCA, tomorrow it, the platform the billion dollar engines are being developed for, will be called Air Dominance again. The penetration expectation will still belong to the B-21 complementary systems. Their pretending NGAD will do penetrations. It wont.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,253
Reaction score
1,281
sublight is back said:
sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
bring_it_on said:
I don't know what this means, but the PCA is likely to enter production while the F-35's are still being delivered, so the US will likely have at least 2 hot fighter production lines.
I dont think the PCA is going to be a "hot fighter". It's probably going to be a very low observable and lethal UCAS. They have been saying all along that B-21 is a "system of systems", and at the same time nobody really wants to say what RQ-180 really is or what it relates to. It's likely not just ISR, but PCA related work.
You really think an aircraft powered by a pair of 45k-50k thrust engines is going to be a drone? I don't think so. And your "very low observable" requirement would suggest you also believe it will be subsonic? ???
It's a ruse. Today it is PCA, tomorrow it will be called Next Generation Air Dominance again, and the penetration expectation will belong to the B-21 complementary UCAS systems.
So GE and Pratt are spending a billion plus on next generation engines for an imaginary program?
Let me re-iterate. Today it, the platform the billion dollar engines are being developed for, is called PCA, tomorrow it, the platform the billion dollar engines are being developed for, will be called Air Dominance again. The penetration expectation will still belong to the B-21 complementary systems. Their pretending NGAD will do penetrations. It wont.
Got it. I always interpreted the "penetration" aspect as being able to do air dominance behind the front line and/or doing small precision strikes like the F-22 might do.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,057
Reaction score
1,107
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/21/the-f22-fighter-jet-restart-dead-study.html?ESRC=todayinmil.sm

In a classified report submitted to Congress this month, the Air Force estimated it would cost approximately "$50 billion to procure 194 additional F-22s, at an estimated cost of $206 million to $216 million per aircraft," officials told Military.com on Wednesday.
Wasn't the last batch about $120 million/copy? What a waste, well on to PCA ASAP :D
 

phrenzy

as long as all they ask me about is the air war...
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
278
Reaction score
0
The bigger F-22 fleet could end up being in a f-22b (not FB) configuration. The engines, like the J-79 and f-100 they could end up in any number of platforms. Get the propulsion right early and then you can incorporate it into any number of platforms. As far as I'm aware they haven't even finished the alternatives study for PCA/NGAD/F/A-XX and I don't think getting decent work on a flexible propulsion system that could end up on half a dozen platforms, even retrofitted to legacy ones depending on what the sixth Gen fleet specs are protected to be isn't so stupid. By then there will be so much intelligence packed into the munitions that platform agnosticism won't be as much of an issue as it is today. A lot of the stuff I wrote in a few places (when I was young and a lot less rigorous on another website) about restarting the F-22, export f-22, b versions, FB versions and navalised versions I think still holds true years later. 4 billion on engines makes sense when they are potentially open ended and much of the research and development can be deployed to update and increase the capabilities of what you have. You never know what sort of new high temperature, pressure, bypass, material etc. will end up supplimenting the legacy fleet or creating new variants.

What ever happened to ADVENT?
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,253
Reaction score
1,281
phrenzy said:
What ever happened to ADVENT?
It got a new acronym (a couple times) and now both GE and P&W are building demonstrators.
 

Dragon029

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
747
Reaction score
87
Analysis of alternatives for NGAD will be completed this year

As for ADVENT, it became AETD which demonstrated 3-stream technologies. GE and P&W were then selected to participate in the AETP program which is running now and is in the process of creating the XA100 and XA101 demonstrator engines.
 

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
148
ADVENT saw GE complete the program before the propulsion portfolio went to wards developing full up engine technologies and then through to a transition to prototype engines. This was where P&W were brought in, having been left out on ADVENT. This as Dragon points out is the AETD --> AETP phase which is about half complete. Plans beyond AETP have also been drawn up and are well documented.
 

Colonial-Marine

Fighting the UAV mafia.
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
678
Reaction score
35
bobbymike said:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/21/the-f22-fighter-jet-restart-dead-study.html?ESRC=todayinmil.sm

In a classified report submitted to Congress this month, the Air Force estimated it would cost approximately "$50 billion to procure 194 additional F-22s, at an estimated cost of $206 million to $216 million per aircraft," officials told Military.com on Wednesday.
Wasn't the last batch about $120 million/copy? What a waste, well on to PCA ASAP :D
Can't say I'm very surprised by this decision but I'm still not pleased by it. Yes it would be expensive but in my opinion it would be worth the cost, especially considering the fighter gap and how much we're spending elsewhere for things other than new airframes.
 

Airplane

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
432
Reaction score
3
Colonial-Marine said:
bobbymike said:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/21/the-f22-fighter-jet-restart-dead-study.html?ESRC=todayinmil.sm

In a classified report submitted to Congress this month, the Air Force estimated it would cost approximately "$50 billion to procure 194 additional F-22s, at an estimated cost of $206 million to $216 million per aircraft," officials told Military.com on Wednesday.
Wasn't the last batch about $120 million/copy? What a waste, well on to PCA ASAP :D
Can't say I'm very surprised by this decision but I'm still not pleased by it. Yes it would be expensive but in my opinion it would be worth the cost, especially considering the fighter gap and how much we're spending elsewhere for things other than new airframes.
Agreed. Also its not as if it is a one lump sum payment of 50 billion as it would be spear out over 5 or 6 years of production. Considering that the 35 carries 4 aams and the raptor carries 8, 2 of which the 35 can only carry by throwing LO out of the window, the 22 would be money well spent. Plus the raptor carries more SDBs. It would better spent than the Navy buying anymore LCS. 8 or 9 billion a year is a bargain for what it would do to recapitalize US airpower. It of course will not happen. The US throws away every year the money it would cost to bring the raptor back. Hell we threw away our space program and Nasa. What bleeding heart social programs is that money going to?
 

Sundog

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,800
Reaction score
245
The USAF doesn't want a thirty year old fighter design, they want something built with new technology that is optimized for the Pacific theater of operations.
 

phrenzy

as long as all they ask me about is the air war...
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
278
Reaction score
0
If they knew what they wanted none of us would be having this discussion. Without budgetary certainty the legacy fleet will likely still go on, I don't think a super raptor is out of the question, so much of the tooling and rigging as well as all the LM info and workers DVDs on production still exist in high rediness in the desert. I assume for spares in case of crash attrition (or worst case attrition).

I worry they will try and plug the gap with so many stop gaps, UAVs, sensor upgrades, weapons upgrades, all the F-35s we never thought they'd make in full numbers and end up costing just as much as moving forward with such Gen... Sixth Gen will fall way behind into eternal development.

At least propulsion is a real physical program and place to start.

Retrofitted ADVENT would be great, but so would a bigger raptor fleet... There are plenty of quotes about the 3 to 5 usefulness of raptor to lightning in most of it's mission parameters. But, we all know it's not going to happen without a serious change in the way the air force spends it's money, which at this point they can't do politically.

Policy paralysis is everywhere, a misstep here will have big implications for the single program that seems to be actually fielding a new useful air platform, the B-21.

I think they will move forward with anything they can actually field even if it's just a new engine, that gets their got in the for come appropriations time and they might get the next piece of real hardware into production.
 

Dragon029

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
747
Reaction score
87
Airplane said:
Considering that the 35 carries 4 aams and the raptor carries 8, 2 of which the 35 can only carry by throwing LO out of the window, the 22 would be money well spent. Plus the raptor carries more SDBs.
You have to keep in mind however that for the price of 1 Raptor carrying 8 missiles, you can instead have 2 F-35s also carrying 8 missiles, but also being in 2 places at once. Don't get me wrong, the Raptor's speed gives it air-to-air flexibility that F-35s don't have individually, but the numeric advantage shouldn't be ignored either.

Also, Raptors don't carry more SDBs; both jets carry 8x SDBs internally.
 

Airplane

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
432
Reaction score
3
Dragon029 said:
Airplane said:
Considering that the 35 carries 4 aams and the raptor carries 8, 2 of which the 35 can only carry by throwing LO out of the window, the 22 would be money well spent. Plus the raptor carries more SDBs.
You have to keep in mind however that for the price of 1 Raptor carrying 8 missiles, you can instead have 2 F-35s also carrying 8 missiles, but also being in 2 places at once. Don't get me wrong, the Raptor's speed gives it air-to-air flexibility that F-35s don't have individually, but the numeric advantage shouldn't be ignored either.

Also, Raptors don't carry more SDBs; both jets carry 8x SDBs internally.
A 2 ship flight of Raptors is 16 aams. For the 35 its 8 aams, and they are all one type: 120s. Hmmm... 2 places at once? Does the 35 have a teleporter to magically appear someplace else when its in 2, or 4 or more package? So to keep it simple when there are 2 F35s on patrol off the coast or Iran and they send up 4 whatever, that one of the F35s can just break formation and appear someplace else? Don't tell me your dog pissing on my grass is actually rain... You're talking hypotheticals and fantasy scenarios.

How much does it cost to fly 2 Raptors per hour and how much for 4 35s? How much is maintenance on 2 Raptors versus 4 35s? How many tankers are needed for twice as many 35s as Raptors? Probably about twice as many. How much do those tankers cost per hour? How much fuel is being burned by twice as many 35s as Raptors? Ect ect ect ...

So the 35 can carry 2 bombs that are twice the size of the Raptors? Whoopity doo. Most targets are not hardened bunkers that need 2k lb bombs.
 

SpudmanWP

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
42
Per the recent report on restarting the F-22 line, the final cost puts it at $260mil per f-22 which is 3 F-35s, not 2.
 

kaiserd

I really should change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
351
SpudmanWP said:
Per the recent report on restarting the F-22 line, the final cost puts it at $260mil per f-22 which is 3 F-35s, not 2.
And that's before you factor in the higher operational and maintenance/ support costs.
I am a big fan of the F-22 and wish the US airforce had some more but at the cost of having the guts ripped out of the F-35 or out of the eventual project for replacing the F-22 would not be a cost worth paying.
There is also the underlying concern that as a product of its time the F-22 could potentially end up as bit of a hanger queen, needing far more man hours of maintenance per flight hour for what came before (the F-15 & F-16) and what came after (F-35); here's hopping it's a lot closer to the F-35 than to the F-117 & the B-2.
 

phrenzy

as long as all they ask me about is the air war...
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
278
Reaction score
0
Except that we don't actually know the final production figures and full rate production prices on the f-35a, just cost reduction projections.

I know everyone loved the Paris air Show, it was impressive, but over Syria right now where everything if a target and you might be facing off in a kinetic fight against a sucker Russian aircraft within visual range there's one aircraft in the inventory you want. The f-22. gives you everything you want with reduced risk of larger flights and more ability to get the single threating aircraft you have to shoot down with escelating things further. Sending in and supporting twice as many lightnings there is going to be a much bigger problem.

Having said that I'm sure the data fusion and command and control the f-35 would bring stuff be advantageous, but so much of that goodness should be baked into any new F-22 restart. The data links, infra red sensors, improved targeting and maybe New engines.

But it's all academic, they'll take more B-21s and keep all the f-35s they can and just hope they can wait for PAC/NGAD. If things spiral out of control in the region it would be too late today to do much about it with a restarted raptor line, unless they are replacing lost Eagles (strike out otherwise) and F-16s, but that will probably be made up for with f-35 like it or not.
 

SpudmanWP

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
42
I was actually basing my F-35A costs per the latest budget, not "projections", with some common sense thrown in.
 

Dragon029

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
747
Reaction score
87
Airplane said:
A 2 ship flight of Raptors is 16 aams. For the 35 its 8 aams, and they are all one type: 120s. Hmmm... 2 places at once? Does the 35 have a teleporter to magically appear someplace else when its in 2, or 4 or more package? So to keep it simple when there are 2 F35s on patrol off the coast or Iran and they send up 4 whatever, that one of the F35s can just break formation and appear someplace else?
Why are you comparing 2 Raptors vs 2 F-35As when you later acknowledge that you can get 2 (or 3) times as many F-35As for the same amount?

2 places at once refers to the fact that if you have 2 or 3 times as many F-35As, you can position them in many more locations. Instead of having a 2 ship of F-22s patrolling along the border of Iran, you can have a 2 ship of F-35s doing that, plus another 2 ship flying in Syria and depending on the final costs, possibly another 1 or 2 F-35As flying in Iraq or wherever else you want them to be.

Airplane said:
How much does it cost to fly 2 Raptors per hour and how much for 4 35s? How much is maintenance on 2 Raptors versus 4 35s?
Based on the F-35 Selected Acquisition Report data, an F-35A is about half cost per flight hour ($29,806 in 2012 dollars at maturity) and even less annually due to the more simulator-based training.

Airplane said:
How many tankers are needed for twice as many 35s as Raptors? Probably about twice as many. How much do those tankers cost per hour? How much fuel is being burned by twice as many 35s as Raptors? Ect ect ect ...
Valid point, although fuel is a minority of an aircraft's sustainment cost.

Airplane said:
So the 35 can carry 2 bombs that are twice the size of the Raptors? Whoopity doo. Most targets are not hardened bunkers that need 2k lb bombs.
I was only correcting you where you claimed that the F-22 carried more SDBs. If you want to talk about the F-35A's heavier weapon carriage capability though, then I'd like to point out that having that additional volume also allows the F-35 to carry weapons like the AARGM-ER, JSM and JSOW-ER internally, whereas none of those weapons are scheduled for integration on the F-22 and I think it's unlikely that any of them would actually fit the Raptor's bays. It's not just about taking out hardened bunkers, it's also about having stand-off capabilities should enemies be able to field a serious IADS that renders standard gravity or glide weapons too ineffective or too dangerous to employ.
 

Airplane

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
432
Reaction score
3
phrenzy said:
.....and how many are going to still be around by then?

This is why we need more F-22s: " ...the F-35C, is designed to operate with some effectiveness within high threat environments populated with advanced surface to air missile systems." The F-22 was designed to survive in high threat environments (battlefield Europe) and kill bandits inside their own turf. What good is 360 degree SA when the other guy sees you too? I don't know why there are so many haters of the -22 and buying more. The ability to haul around 2x2klb bombs isn't the end-all-and-be-all of maintaining air superiority. Nor is 360 SA if you run out of missiles as soon as the battle begins. It's peculiar how if someone says that we should buy more Eagles as an interim, people clap and applaud. But the mention of more Raptors get's boos as being old tech.
 

Dragon029

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
747
Reaction score
87
Airplane said:
.....and how many are going to still be around by then?
...It's peculiar how if someone says that we should buy more Eagles as an interim, people clap and applaud. But the mention of more Raptors get's boos as being old tech.
I do love the Raptor; kinematically (certainly in speed) it's unparalleled today; the fact of the matter is though, unless the USAF budget expands considerably, it's more F-22s or it's NGAD on schedule. It's really not that much different a choice as buying more F-15s vs buying F-22s, except in this case the decision is being made 10-15 years in advance - I'm not one of those guys in favour of buying more F-15s.

This is why we need more F-22s: " ...the F-35C, is designed to operate with some effectiveness within high threat environments populated with advanced surface to air missile systems." The F-22 was designed to survive in high threat environments (battlefield Europe) and kill bandits inside their own turf...What good is 360 degree SA when the other guy sees you too? I don't know why there are so many haters of the -22 and buying more. The ability to haul around 2x2klb bombs isn't the end-all-and-be-all of maintaining air superiority. Nor is 360 SA if you run out of missiles as soon as the battle begins.
It's worth noting that that quote comes from a journalist talking about the US Navy and it's diminished long range strike capability, something the F-22 wouldn't fix, but NGAD intends to (at least for the USAF and launching missions from tankers outside the range of PL-15s, etc).

What good is 360 degree SA? It means that if you individually run out of missiles, the rest of your wingmen already have that target locked and can engage with their missiles, regardless of if you're on the offensive or defence - again, it's not 4x AMRAAMs on an individual F-35A vs 6x AMRAAMs and 2x Sidewinders on an F-22; it's 8x or 12x AMRAAMs on 2 or 3 F-35As vs 6x AMRAAMs and 2x Sidewinders. Plus once the missiles do run out, you have a jet that (like the F-22) is capable of acting as part of a distributed AWACS operating behind enemy lines.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,057
Reaction score
1,107
P&W pitching F135, AETD improvements for F-22 engine

As Pratt & Whitney works with the Air Force and Navy to improve the efficiency of the Joint Strike Fighter's F135 engine, the company is discussing options to field some of those upgrades on the F-22 Raptor's F119 engine.
 

NeilChapman

Interested 3rd party
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
954
Reaction score
43
Perhaps part of the equation was how quickly can PCA be fielded vs retooling for additional F-22's. If B-21 was, budget slowdowns aside, originally expected to be 10 yrs from contract to IOC using existing tech, is that feasible for PCA? That's a major departure from the F-35 programs 20+ years.

And, with AOA (especially range), new engine designs, stealth improvements, NGJ tech, etc etc etc, DoD thinks it makes sense to go with a new airframe. That's a compelling story.

I love the F-22. I'd prefer PCA to NOT be transformative and get it in less than 10 years - and - not take 12 years to get out of LRIP. I understand the politics of "worldwide" production but...

Another question is how much electronic attack will be available in B-21? Will it need an escort capable of providing destruction of enemy air defenses as well as air dominance? If NGJ tech is not included in B-21 would it make sense to create a B-21 variant with NGJ tech integrated?

Whatever the answers to many questions precluded additional F-22's. It's big, but perhaps not big enough.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,057
Reaction score
1,107
From Air Force Association:

Stealth Is Still the Critical Secret Sauce for Combat Aircraft

​An F-22 Raptor, assigned to the 433rd Weapons Squadron, at Nellis AFB, Nev., banks and flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range July 10, 2017. Air Force photo by SSgt. Daryn Murphy.

​—John A. Tirpak

“Stealth” technology hasn’t been rendered obsolete by new radars and detection methods, and has, if anything, become even more of a critical design consideration for future combat aircraft, according to stealth veterans and experts at an AFA Mitchell Institute program at the US Capitol Wednesday.

Presenting a new report, “Survivability in the Digital Age: The Imperative for Stealth,” authors retired Maj. Gen. Mark Barrett (AFA’s former executive vice president) and retired Col. Mace Carpenter (a senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute) said stealth designs continue to be a relatively low-cost factor in new aircraft design, and are crucial not only to the survival of individual aircraft but in making a smaller force possible.

Without stealth, Barrett said, armadas of support and escort aircraft would be a required part of a strike package against targets protected by modern air defenses. But with modern stealth—as embodied in the F-22, F-35, B-2, and new B-21 bomber—those same missions can be flown with far fewer aircraft.

In air-to-air engagements, said Barrett—a career fighter pilot who commanded one of the first F-22 wings—Russian-made Su-27s and F-16s can see each other at about the same time, meaning “the one with the bigger stick,” or the faster and longer-ranged weapon, will win.

But the US “doesn’t have the biggest stick,” Barrett asserted. By contrast, a stealth aircraft can see and shoot at an Su-27 long before his opponent even knows the stealth jet is in the vicinity, and every engagement is a win for the stealth aircraft, despite its shorter-ranged missiles.

Carpenter, who flew F-117s in combat, said new radars that can detect stealth aircraft at longer ranges still have to track their targets, hand them off to missile batteries, and shoot, and the missile itself has to be able to track the target closely enough to destroy it. Stealth reduces the likelihood of success “at every phase” in that process, he said.

Barrett said that as radars get better, support aircraft in the form of electronic warfare jets can help stealth aircraft by blinding search and track radars with jamming, making it easier to get through to the target. Without stealth, a conventional aircraft, or even a putatively “stealthy” jet with weapons on external stations, would be much easier to spot, track, and target.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) noted that “many of the same larger technological advancements that have evolved stealth have also advanced the threat environment that stealth was initially designed to mitigate.” Technologies such as “wide-band multi-static radar and passive detection systems can be networked with high-powered computers to form a robust network that seeks to deny large swaths of airspace.”

To combat this, there must be a “fusion of technologies” including networks and new sensors on stealth aircraft, “presenting the enemy with a wildly-diverse set of radar returns from conventional and stealth aircraft,” or perhaps “something more active.” He offered that in addition to support platforms like the EA-18G Growler or F-35, “smaller frequency-tailored systems might be suitable for a future unmanned system.”

Barrett said that while foreign powers are starting to field aircraft “that look stealthy,” the US has the advantage of 40 years of working with stealth, figuring out how best to employ it, and foreign powers won’t be able to match that experience for quite some time.

When the F-22 was new, he said, its pilots used the F-15 “playbook,” but soon began to realize that employing the F-22 required “a whole new way of thinking.” Pilots don’t—and shouldn’t—fly close to each other, and could employ new tactics and derive greater value from the jet’s capabilities, he said. The F-22, beside being able to “pick off” enemy fighters at will, is also a stellar “battle manager” by virtue of seeing all the elements of the fight at a glance. The F-35 has similar capabilities, he said.

Countries that are buying the F-35 are, for the most part “not buying the simulator,” and that’s a mistake, Barrett said. Working out the secret, unexpected capabilities of the F-22 required long hours trying things out in the simulator, and that experimental capability was fundamental to deriving the full power from the F-22, he said. Countries “that buy an F-35 to replace the F-4” but don’t invest in the corresponding development of exploiting its capabilities “have a very expensive F-4 on the ramp,” he said.

The key question to be answered by force planners, given the the “comparable” cost of stealth aircraft to non-stealth aircraft, “isn’t ‘why,’ but ‘why not,’” Barrett observed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mitchell Institute Study

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/a2dd91_cd5494417b644d1fa7d7aacb9295324d.pdf
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,057
Reaction score
1,107
AeroFranz said:
Good reference - Thanks! :)
No problem, I don't have the technical knowledge of many members here so when 'surfing' the web always try and bring links of interest to contribute to this amazing community as best I can.
 

kcran567

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
664
Reaction score
12
Instead of sinking close to a Trillion $$$ for the F-35, why didn't more effort be put in updating the F-22 with the F-35s fancy avionics and updated baked on stealth coatings, and just have a simplified and scaled back (X-32) "F-32" serving the Marines and whoever needs it with a smaller vstol capable fighter/attack aircraft.

Would have and saved a sh*t load of $$ while having affordable and viable numbers of Hi/Lo mix which was the STATED goal of the JSF program in the first place.

Even if inferior to the F-35 (which it really wasn't, it actually was capable and affordable to manufacture) it had a simplified direct lift system that would have been less brute force than the F-35's but much more in line with affordability if avionics could be kept within reason, which was not the case with the F-35.

The F-35 defeated its own stated goal of affordability that money should have been put toward further development of the excellent F-22 (and put in new tech to help make it more affordable/maintenance friendly if possible) while using something like the x-32 in numbers.

The money spent on the F-35 could be going to the F-22, an affordable aircraft like the X-32, and a future replacement for the F-22, PCA or whatever.
 

Dragon029

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
747
Reaction score
87
Don't forget that it's $1.5T for everything including sustainment and inflation through to 2070; the production cost of 2470 F-35s, including inflation, through to 2044 is about $400B at the moment.
Raptors are still / would still be more expensive than F-35s (I don't see how you get the same avionics as the F-35 + ~20,000lb of additional aluminium, composite, titanium, etc for less). You'd also want to build something like an F/B-22 or some other variant that can carry serious stand-off weapons internally (maybe double the B-21 quantity). I also doubt the Marines would be able to afford an X-32 - depending on what you choose to cut you're either going to get a stealthy plane that can carry or recover almost nothing, or something that doesn't provide any more than a Harrier SLEP + avionics upgrade would have, or you're just going to have a more expensive aircraft due to the significantly reduced economy of scale. Your plan also leaves the Navy empty handed unless you believe you can somehow slip in a Navy F/A-XX or just want them to operate X-32 STOVLs.
 

Airplane

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
432
Reaction score
3
More Raptors, many more, would have totally negated the USAF need for a JSF. It would have also allowed for a smaller fighter fleet for the USAF and would have saved money. The Raptors would have gotten incremental upgrades throughout production to eventually rival the JSF passive sensors. So the JSF can carry 2 heavier bombs. Big deal, since most targets aren't hardened bunkers. Its just another example of politicians f*cking up the military. For crying out load, the JSF cannot even carry 9x internally.
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,925
Reaction score
394
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Airplane said:
For crying out load, the JSF cannot even carry 9x internally.
And yet it carries the larger AIM-120 internally...your point being?
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,925
Reaction score
394
Website
beyondthesprues.com
kcran567 said:
Instead of sinking close to a Trillion $$$ for the F-35, why didn't more effort be put in updating the F-22 with the F-35s fancy avionics and updated baked on stealth coatings, and just have a simplified and scaled back (X-32) "F-32" serving the Marines and whoever needs it with a smaller vstol capable fighter/attack aircraft.

Would have and saved a sh*t load of $$ while having affordable and viable numbers of Hi/Lo mix which was the STATED goal of the JSF program in the first place.

Even if inferior to the F-35 (which it really wasn't, it actually was capable and affordable to manufacture) it had a simplified direct lift system that would have been less brute force than the F-35's but much more in line with affordability if avionics could be kept within reason, which was not the case with the F-35.

The F-35 defeated its own stated goal of affordability that money should have been put toward further development of the excellent F-22 (and put in new tech to help make it more affordable/maintenance friendly if possible) while using something like the x-32 in numbers.

The money spent on the F-35 could be going to the F-22, an affordable aircraft like the X-32, and a future replacement for the F-22, PCA or whatever.
Oh, so much "grass is always greener" mentality here I don't know where to start...
 

SpudmanWP

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
42
Airplane said:
More Raptors, many more, would have totally negated the USAF need for a JSF. It would have also allowed for a smaller fighter fleet for the USAF and would have saved money. The Raptors would have gotten incremental upgrades throughout production to eventually rival the JSF passive sensors. So the JSF can carry 2 heavier bombs. Big deal, since most targets aren't hardened bunkers. Its just another example of politicians f*cking up the military. For crying out load, the JSF cannot even carry 9x internally.
1. The F-22 cannot do STOVL or CV ops.

2. The F-22 costs 2-3 times as much as an F-35A, in procurement, CPFH, and lifetime costs.

3. Our Allies cannot use the F-35.

4. It's not just a bigger bomb than the F-35 can carry, it's internal cruise missiles, AShMs, glide bombs, MALD-Js, AARGM-ER, bunker busters, etc

5. On the 9x issue, would you rather have an internal BVR weapon that you can also use WVR, or carry a WVR weapon where you will be forced to wait till the WVR weapon is in range to engage?
 

Airplane

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
432
Reaction score
3
SpudmanWP said:
Airplane said:
More Raptors, many more, would have totally negated the USAF need for a JSF. It would have also allowed for a smaller fighter fleet for the USAF and would have saved money. The Raptors would have gotten incremental upgrades throughout production to eventually rival the JSF passive sensors. So the JSF can carry 2 heavier bombs. Big deal, since most targets aren't hardened bunkers. Its just another example of politicians f*cking up the military. For crying out load, the JSF cannot even carry 9x internally.
1. The F-22 cannot do STOVL or CV ops.

2. The F-22 costs 2-3 times as much as an F-35A, in procurement, CPFH, and lifetime costs.

3. Our Allies cannot use the F-35.

4. It's not just a bigger bomb than the F-35 can carry, it's internal cruise missiles, AShMs, glide bombs, MALD-Js, AARGM-ER, bunker busters, etc

5. On the 9x issue, would you rather have an internal BVR weapon that you can also use WVR, or carry a WVR weapon where you will be forced to wait till the WVR weapon is in range to engage?
Spud - I am speaking SPECIFICALLY for the USAF. An all F-22 fleet instead of a limited numbers of -22s and greater number of -35s would have been far cheaper for the USAF and would have allowed for a smaller fleet and would have saved money. It's economy of scale. -22 would have been cheaper if more had been built. It +1000 were built I can't postulate what procurement costs would have been, but it would be "cheap" and billions would not have been spend on the -35.

On the 9x issue, I would rather not have the -35 being a one trick pony with 120. At this point in time we don't know where the Pak Fa and Chinese planes RCS are going to wind up being (likely there are some people spread throughout the DoD who do know) but if the 120 isn't effective against them or their countermeasures against it and you've got to merge to within visual, there is obviously not much to little to no IR suppression, and 9x will be the way to go. It out to be a crime that the JSF can't carry 9x internally. 9x is effective even in frontal firings where the Pak Fa and Chinese have the smaller RCS. What a shame JSF cannot carry 9x.

As far as glide bombs and cruise missiles and the etc. we had a ready made platform but the politicians limited it a build of 21 copies.

And for don't forget, after the -22s destroyed the opposing airforce or kept it occupied, and conducted SEAD, we have Strike Eagles.
 

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
148
Aim-9X is not the weapon for the F-35, the AMRAAM is. If they want to provide multi-spectral coverage and have a better short range weapon for the internal bay then those requirements will be rolled into the new missile with which they are now getting started.

As things stand, short of developing a purely LOAL mode Aim-9x there was no way to add the missile internally without impacting platform design and weight. Such a move (as was planned initially for the ASRAAM) would have then led to loss of flexibility in terms of optimally swapping out the IR missile and replacing with an MRAAM. Long term, they are probably better off going for a new missile that is better. There have been significant advances made in capabilities from when the Aim-9X was designed. They need to move on and the F-35 has decades of service life ahead of it.

On the numbers, the USAF wanted 400+ F-22As as part of their fleet mix. They wanted more but were unable to get even 200 let alone the 400 they wanted or the 1000 being proposed here. The USAF wasn't quit about its displeasure with the small F-22 fleet. They tried as hard as they could but they couldn't get more.

It out to be a crime that the JSF can't carry 9x internally. 9x is effective even in frontal firings where the Pak Fa and Chinese have the smaller RCS. What a shame JSF cannot carry 9x.
On the contrary, It ought to be a crime to expect a platform designed for the 2020-2060 environment to be constrained by a weapon that goes back decades. Modern technology, capability and concepts in guidance, propulsion and agility need to be explored to give the F-22, F-35 and the future crop of fighters better performing missiles. If the problem is future proofing the F-35 against low RCS and better RF ECM techniques then the answer is to look into your S&T and R&D and develop something that provides that and not slap on a solution that actually limits the flexibility of how the weapon system is employed.

In the interim, you have the external carriage option.
 

Attachments

SpudmanWP

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
42
Airplane said:
Spud - I am speaking SPECIFICALLY for the USAF.
Ok... the primary purpose of USAF fighter aircraft is a multirole, strike fighter.

If you don't build the F-35 and depend solely on the F-15E, then you will be spending even more money on using the F-22 in the escort role, EW aircraft, decosys, etc.

As far as more B2s for bombing, I thought you were trying to save money?

Using 4th gen as your primary fighter leaves you with this.

 
Top