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Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

donnage99

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lantinian said:
There is quite a bit of new "official information" in this article. Releasing more specific data about it actual capabilities is one way to go making case for more F-22s.

It seams now from statements from the USAF, Lockheed-Martin, the Pentagon, the Congress and the Senate, only the Congress opposes more F-22s with the other players starting a lobbing effort to continue production. It would be interesting to see, what will the Obama administration decide before March first.

In the mid 90's BAe published exchange ration from simulated fighter battles between various western fighters and the latest MiG-29 and SU-27 variants. Back then it was all in support for the Eurofighter which came out with exchange ration of 4-1 and the F-22 with 10-1.
I suspect BAe used the the requirements for the F-22 as a base, since the later had not flown yet.

Now Lockheed Martin publishes a figure of 30-1 for a similar scenario presumably using more up to date performance figures.

These are of course the for and against the argument of buying more F-22s. Still the new figure shows the F-22 to be considerably more effective than originally planned underscoring its better than specified key performance parameters.

The F-22 will visit the this summer's Paris Air show for the first time in its career. It will be interesting to see if more information will be presented at this event.
Back then, stealth information and how effective were (aspecially considering the ATF) still fairly new and unavailable to the british to have an accurate simulation. And I think the same thing can be said for the russian aircrafts (the one flown in the simulation was su-35 I believe). The 30-1 is sited using the su-27 and mig-29, but it doesn't specifically say which variant of these families.
 

lantinian

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The 30-1 is sited using the su-27 and mig-29, but it doesn't specifically say which variant of these families.
I agree that typing says its not SU-35 or MiG-35 although I am quite sure Lockheed are implying the later for several reasons:
1. American way of designating aircrafts would treat SU-35 as a variant of SU-27 rather than a new aircraft. F-16 Block 60 can also be named F-26 by the Russians for much the same reason. It's easier for the American public to think of the new russian models as advanced derivatives, rather than new aircraft.

2. A recent comment from USAF about F-35 being 400% better than best Russia can sell today (SU-30MKI), is in parallel with the stated figure of 4-1 exchange ratio coming from Lockheed.
http://frontierindia.net/f-35-at-least-400-better-in-air-to-air-combat-against-russian-sukhois-says-lockheed-martin

3. F-22 was never meant to defeat SU-27s or MiG-29s. The whole purpose of the program was to produce an aircraft better than what the Soviets could design in the Future as well as advanced derivatives of their current designs. Therefore comparing it to old generation of aircraft is irrelevant.

4. The Article states that legacy fighters have less than 1-1 chance vs these Russian types. I highly doubt that latest models of F-15 or F-16 in service have less than 1-1 vs the basic Flanker or Fulcrums. They are obviously referring to the latest models available for export.

5. BAe was indeed referencing SU-35 but it is not the SU-35 we know today. It was the first SU-27 derivative with canards and some new avionics back in the mid 90s. The Russians then went to SU-37 in 97 with TVC. Its Just a PR campaign to make their government think they are buying new models. I remember reading about then head of Such, Simonov (I think) stating the SU-37 equal 10 SU-27s. And that was more than 12 years ago.

So I still stand by my belief that F-22 turn out to be a lot more combat effective that even its best opponents could foresee. I just don't think they got the maintenance part right ....... again.
 

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lantinian said:
This link
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-11567.html
seams to give some good numbers for the F119 engines.


0,664 pounds of fuel per pounds of trust per hour, at 2x21,500 lb of
trust from 14,400 lb of available fuel will allow the two Raptor
engines to run for roughly 30 minutes total.

Mach 1,5 at 40,000 ft translates in about 1,600 km/h. 30 min dash at
that speed will give us a range of 800 km. Add 100 more to get to Mach
1,5 from take of and 100 back needed to land and we have a max Mach
1,5 supercruise combat radius of 500km which is about 270nm.

May not sound like much but how good will the F-15C do in the same
circumstances? It has less internal fuel and twice the SCF to keep the same speed :)

I Know the YF-23 would have done a lot better but that's another story.

BTW, wasn't the original requirement for about 350nm supercruise radius?

P.S. Using the figure of 20,650 lb for internal fuel, I get a 44 min of supercruise for a combat radius of 687km or 370nm.
In the June 12, 2006 AW&ST issue there was an article on cruise missile defense and in the article it outlined how the F-22 was to play a major role in cruise missile defense. One reason is the F-22’s ability to sustain supersonic speeds to allow multiple reattacks on cruise missiles after they have passed by the CAP station. The article quotes a USAF official (IIRC a General or Col.) who noted that the F-22 could cruise at Mach 1.5 for 41 minutes compared to 7 minutes for an F-15 when on a CM defense mission. That’s approximately 600nm or a radius of 300nm if it’s all supersonic.

From the context of the article and the quote the 41 minutes is a mission representative figure so I assume that means that this number is the fuel available for ingress/egress and using the 2/3rd rule of thumb that translates to 12,300lbs or a specific range of roughly 0.048 nm/lb of fuel at Mach 1.5. The jet has a 595nm subsonic only radius of action so assuming the same available fuel as above that gives it a subsonic SR of 0.96 nm/lb of fuel or roughly double when subsonic.

BDF
 

BDF

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flateric said:
I presume reality somitemis is less exciting
Those slides come from a Dr. Grant ppt. presentation (Transformation and the Joint Air Component) from one of the AFA annual conventions, IIRC 2003 or so. Now there are no comments in the presentation that I have so we don’t know the parameters of those scenarios but those slides you show do not contradict what I wrote. The first slide shows that the F-22 can intercept the inbound threat from a distance of 330nm where the F-15 fails because it runs out of gas; it doesn’t indicate the maximum supersonic range. The second merely shows how long it takes to conduct an 150nm intercept. Note the F-15 is subsonic and the F-22 is not.

The last one, however, cuts off the range values but in later slides shows 443nm sub + 50nm supersonic. Using my numbers I get 480 + 50 so I was off by about 7% or so which is pretty good considering I’m guestimating fuel available calculations. I'm probably not exact (and I don't claim to be) but it's clear the F-22's supersonic persistance is pretty good even if it didn't meet initial ATF KPPs.

BDF
 

lantinian

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An official statement about the F-22 is that 6 Raptors can cover the same area as 10 F-35s. F-22 speed and range have to be quite impressive for that, since the F-35 range in quite impressive in itself
 

Abraham Gubler

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The official word on F-22 performance in relation to meeting KPIs is at:

http://www.f22-raptor.com/technology/data.html

Combat Radius (NM) Mission 1 (Sub+Super) 310+100nm
 

BDF

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lantinian said:
An official statement about the F-22 is that 6 Raptors can cover the same area as 10 F-35s. F-22 speed and range have to be quite impressive for that, since the F-35 range in quite impressive in itself
Yeah that was an interesting recent revelation as was -- yet again -- the fact that the USAF would “favor more F-22s” in our future fighter force structure. I’d be nice if there was a way of buying both the F-22 now and F-35s but reduce the F-35 buy somewhat at the end of the run but I don’t see that as a politically acceptable notion. Personally I’m in favor of a future fleet of ~250-300 F-22s, 1,200 F-35s and 100-150 B-3s (NG-LRS) as I think that’d be a more balanced force structure.

Abraham Gubler said:
The official word on F-22 performance in relation to meeting KPIs is at:

http://www.f22-raptor.com/technology/data.html

Combat Radius (NM) Mission 1 (Sub+Super) 310+100nm
It’d be nice if we knew what the parameters of “Mission 1” are. The USAF and LM have been fairly vague on the F-22’s supersonic endurance/range stating “half hour in a one hour mission” and “as long as you have fuel” to more precise figures such as the one I gave above or the AFA material such as the Grant slides above or from the magazine itself. So far none have appeared to contradict the others and for the most part the relationship of sub to supersonic fuel burn appears to be right about double. This relationship bears out even in the Stevenson/CDI presentation so I think my estimation is in the ballpark.

BDF
 

Demon Lord Razgriz

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Question(though it may be a bit off topic), how much would the F-22 cost if it was bought in the same numbers as the F-35?
 

Abraham Gubler

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That's an impossible question to answer. But the reality is cost of production aircraft after recuperating start up costs is very much associated with weight. The more titanium, the more parts to screw together, etc all drives up cost. The F-35 once it reaches its average unit cost will be much cheaper than the F-22. The F-22 has currently reached the 'sweet spot' on the production line. There would be no significant driving down of cost if production was to continue to 1,000. By significant I mean more than ~10%.
 

BDF

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Abraham Gubler said:
That's an impossible question to answer. But the reality is cost of production aircraft after recuperating start up costs is very much associated with weight. The more titanium, the more parts to screw together, etc all drives up cost. The F-35 once it reaches its average unit cost will be much cheaper than the F-22. The F-22 has currently reached the 'sweet spot' on the production line. There would be no significant driving down of cost if production was to continue to 1,000. By significant I mean more than ~10%.
I don’t know about that. The line was optimized for 48 jets a year but was drawn down to 36 after the ’97 QDR and a drop in overall buy to 336. It was further reduced and the rate was slowed further and in effect the program never had a real production ramp or a true high rate of production. A few years ago LM felt they could get the unit costs down to the mid 80s if they could get production rate up. In today’s dollars that would probably mean about 100-110 million a pop or about a 30% reduction. The F-22 will always be more expensive than the F-35 for sure.

BDF
 

KJ_Lesnick

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I know the F-16's sidestick controller has almost no movement (a fraction of an inch or so and for the most part is just a pressure-sensor) and allegedly this was to reduce the amount of effort for the pilot to move the stick under continuous 9-G loads.

Is the F-22's stick configured like that (i.e. it has almost no movement and is for most purposes just a pressure sensor) or does it have more movement on it (assuming it's not classified or anything)?


KJ Lesnick
 

TomS

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A number of sites repeat the language used by Global Security, which is that the F-22 sidestick controller is like the F-16, with about a quarter-inch of throw. I have no idea of the original source for this statement, but GS usually steals copies from official documents, so it's likely to be correct.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-22-cockpit.htm
 

sferrin

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I thought it was par for the course. For that site that is. ;)
 

F-14D

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sferrin said:
I thought it was par for the course. For that site that is. ;)
But is any of it wrong (although I have heard that it was found early on that there was a problem mapping the F-22 cockpit for HMCS and it is true that early in the F-22 program USAF said they weren't worried about lack of HMCS or HOBS since in their opinion the F-22 wouldn't need them anyway)?
 

sferrin

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F-14D said:
sferrin said:
I thought it was par for the course. For that site that is. ;)
But is any of it wrong (although I have heard that it was found early on that there was a problem mapping the F-22 cockpit for HMCS and it is true that early in the F-22 program USAF said they weren't worried about lack of HMCS or HOBS since in their opinion the F-22 wouldn't need them anyway)?
Depends what you mean. If they want to throw the money at it of course the upgrades can be done. If they mean that upgrades on the early versions won't be as easy as on the later ones well, that's what happens when a programs gets stretched out so long.
 

F-14D

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sferrin said:
F-14D said:
sferrin said:
I thought it was par for the course. For that site that is. ;)
But is any of it wrong (although I have heard that it was found early on that there was a problem mapping the F-22 cockpit for HMCS and it is true that early in the F-22 program USAF said they weren't worried about lack of HMCS or HOBS since in their opinion the F-22 wouldn't need them anyway)?
Depends what you mean. If they want to throw the money at it of course the upgrades can be done. If they mean that upgrades on the early versions won't be as easy as on the later ones well, that's what happens when a programs gets stretched out so long.
Mostly agree, especially on your last sentence. My understanding on one of the issues, though, is that it was found early on that there would be big problems mapping the F-22 cockpit for JHMCS. AF wasn't that concerned because in their view no one would ever get close enough to an F-22 where a Raptor pilot would need that capability. In fact, as they were going into EMD, AF even floated a trial balloon about doing away with AIM-9 capability entirely as the F-22 would be so invincible that they wouldn't need such a thing anyway.

One thing I'd be interested in finding out is what ever happened to the side looking arrays. AESAs have many advantages, but among their drawback is that they require a lot of power, generate a bunch of heat that has to be dissipated and have a narrower field of view than a mechanically scanned array of similar size. Raptor was to address this looking to the side by having smaller side looking arrays whose data would be fused with the larger forward looking array. They were "postponed" early on for cost reasons; I wonder if they ever go put back.
 

r16

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logic says F-22 can't dominate the air . Take this with a pinch of salt as it comes from someone who has been pro-22 in the last two years . Which went against what ı used to be .
 

Lampshade111

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r16 said:
logic says F-22 can't dominate the air .
What logic? It can certainly dominate the air and fill the role of the F-15. Probably the only reason these upgrades are an issue is because they would cost more money than on later production aircraft.

Billions spent over plenty of years to get the aircraft to production state, but we once there the politicians only want to build a handful. And naturally most of the media jumps on the cut production bandwagon. ::)
 

F-14D

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Lampshade111 said:
r16 said:
logic says F-22 can't dominate the air .
What logic? It can certainly dominate the air and fill the role of the F-15. Probably the only reason these upgrades are an issue is because they would cost more money than on later production aircraft.

Billions spent over plenty of years to get the aircraft to production state, but we once there the politicians only want to build a handful. And naturally most of the media jumps on the cut production bandwagon. ::)
Actually, the 1st 97 Raptors are not "hardware enabled (USAF's words)" to receive increment 3.2, which among other things gets you the ability to use AIM-9X, AIM-120D and the ability to securely share data with B-2s and F-35s. In fact, except for those two aircraft, even the later Raptors will only be able to share data with other F-22s.

Possibly r16 is alluding to the truism that quantity is a quality all its own. If you have a flight of four F-22s, and if every one of their missiles functions perfectly, you will kill 32 enemy fighters (of course the eight AIM-9 shots will be a lot riskier than the AIM-120 shots). Will you still be dominant if you're facing 40 J-10s?

BTW, I support continued F-22 production and wish Congress would lift its blanket ban on export sales.
 

sferrin

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F-14D said:
sferrin said:
F-14D said:
sferrin said:
I thought it was par for the course. For that site that is. ;)
But is any of it wrong (although I have heard that it was found early on that there was a problem mapping the F-22 cockpit for HMCS and it is true that early in the F-22 program USAF said they weren't worried about lack of HMCS or HOBS since in their opinion the F-22 wouldn't need them anyway)?
Depends what you mean. If they want to throw the money at it of course the upgrades can be done. If they mean that upgrades on the early versions won't be as easy as on the later ones well, that's what happens when a programs gets stretched out so long.
Mostly agree, especially on your last sentence. My understanding on one of the issues, though, is that it was found early on that there would be big problems mapping the F-22 cockpit for JHMCS. AF wasn't that concerned because in their view no one would ever get close enough to an F-22 where a Raptor pilot would need that capability. In fact, as they were going into EMD, AF even floated a trial balloon about doing away with AIM-9 capability entirely as the F-22 would be so invincible that they wouldn't need such a thing anyway.

One thing I'd be interested in finding out is what ever happened to the side looking arrays. AESAs have many advantages, but among their drawback is that they require a lot of power, generate a bunch of heat that has to be dissipated and have a narrower field of view than a mechanically scanned array of similar size. Raptor was to address this looking to the side by having smaller side looking arrays whose data would be fused with the larger forward looking array. They were "postponed" early on for cost reasons; I wonder if they ever go put back.
The space is there, the money isn't. If you know where to look on a bare aircraft you can see where they go. Whether or not any occupy that space is anybody's guess but published info suggests it's empty at the moment.
 

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sferrin said:
F-14D said:
sferrin said:
F-14D said:
sferrin said:
I thought it was par for the course. For that site that is. ;)
But is any of it wrong (although I have heard that it was found early on that there was a problem mapping the F-22 cockpit for HMCS and it is true that early in the F-22 program USAF said they weren't worried about lack of HMCS or HOBS since in their opinion the F-22 wouldn't need them anyway)?
Depends what you mean. If they want to throw the money at it of course the upgrades can be done. If they mean that upgrades on the early versions won't be as easy as on the later ones well, that's what happens when a programs gets stretched out so long.
Mostly agree, especially on your last sentence. My understanding on one of the issues, though, is that it was found early on that there would be big problems mapping the F-22 cockpit for JHMCS. AF wasn't that concerned because in their view no one would ever get close enough to an F-22 where a Raptor pilot would need that capability. In fact, as they were going into EMD, AF even floated a trial balloon about doing away with AIM-9 capability entirely as the F-22 would be so invincible that they wouldn't need such a thing anyway.

One thing I'd be interested in finding out is what ever happened to the side looking arrays. AESAs have many advantages, but among their drawback is that they require a lot of power, generate a bunch of heat that has to be dissipated and have a narrower field of view than a mechanically scanned array of similar size. Raptor was to address this looking to the side by having smaller side looking arrays whose data would be fused with the larger forward looking array. They were "postponed" early on for cost reasons; I wonder if they ever go put back.
The space is there, the money isn't. If you know where to look on a bare aircraft you can see where they go. Whether or not any occupy that space is anybody's guess but published info suggests it's empty at the moment.
I suspect the limitation involves more than just physical space. There's probably power, infrastructure, computing capability, cable and fluid routing, etc. To draw a parallel, the earlier Hornet E/Fs have the same internal space as the later, AESA-equipped units, but they can not be retrofitted with AESA, the supporting assets aren't there. Block 20 F-22s would require so much change that they will only be getting minor upgrades. Block 30s can go to increment 3.1 and might be given some limited upgrades beyond that, to the extent that they can support it. They should be able to get much of the software upgrade, but when you have to change hardware, that starts getting complicated. Only the Block 35s will be able to come out of the box doing everything Some, but not all, of what they do might get into the Block 30s, where extensive hardware changes aren't necessary.
 

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Next thing you know, we'll be hearing the can't transform into robots named Starscream either. ;D
 

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Next thing you know, we'll be hearing the can't transform into robots named Starscream either. ;D
They can, but only in disguise. ;)
 

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It may be kinda obvious but I am a big fan of continued F-22A production. In fact if we do stop at 187 or such a number below the USAF's requirements, I hope somebody in our next non-Democrat administration resurrects the program with an improved F-22B down the road.

It seems like those demanding the F-22 be canceled, cut, and so forth forget the histories of our previous air superiority aircraft. The F-14A had engine problems throughout it's entire life until the F-14A+ (F-14B), and the F-15's engines were also unreliable at first for example. Most advanced aircraft have countless "minor" problems in their first couple of years of service.
 

sferrin

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F-14D said:
I suspect the limitation involves more than just physical space. There's probably power, infrastructure, computing capability, cable and fluid routing, etc. To draw a parallel, the earlier Hornet E/Fs have the same internal space as the later, AESA-equipped units, but they can not be retrofitted with AESA, the supporting assets aren't there. Block 20 F-22s would require so much change that they will only be getting minor upgrades. Block 30s can go to increment 3.1 and might be given some limited upgrades beyond that, to the extent that they can support it. They should be able to get much of the software upgrade, but when you have to change hardware, that starts getting complicated. Only the Block 35s will be able to come out of the box doing everything Some, but not all, of what they do might get into the Block 30s, where extensive hardware changes aren't necessary.
The space is specifically set aside for the side arrays. It's a hollow space on either side of the fuse right now. Pull that piece of the skin off on either side and there is a big hollow space for the arrays. The avionics test bed even flew with them.
 

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KJ_Lesnick said:
I thought the F-22A had a helmet cuing system?
Doesn't. Never has. AF didn't require or even ask for the capability. No plans to add one now. Some sources say that there are technical reasons why it can't be added.
 

F-14D

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sferrin said:
F-14D said:
I suspect the limitation involves more than just physical space. There's probably power, infrastructure, computing capability, cable and fluid routing, etc. To draw a parallel, the earlier Hornet E/Fs have the same internal space as the later, AESA-equipped units, but they can not be retrofitted with AESA, the supporting assets aren't there. Block 20 F-22s would require so much change that they will only be getting minor upgrades. Block 30s can go to increment 3.1 and might be given some limited upgrades beyond that, to the extent that they can support it. They should be able to get much of the software upgrade, but when you have to change hardware, that starts getting complicated. Only the Block 35s will be able to come out of the box doing everything Some, but not all, of what they do might get into the Block 30s, where extensive hardware changes aren't necessary.
The space is specifically set aside for the side arrays. It's a hollow space on either side of the fuse right now. Pull that piece of the skin off on either side and there is a big hollow space for the arrays. The avionics test bed even flew with them.
Sorry, I misunderstood you. I thought you were talking about space being available for hardware changes needed to get Block 20 and 30 F-22s up to the full capability Block 35s, when you were actually addressing my question about the side arrays. Good to know they've reserved the space. Thanks
 

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a little dissertation on the logic angle .

the pin the keeps the world rotating on its present course is the notion that the USA is the town sheriff who will shoot any mischiefmaker .Other notables in town might openly chafe about it , but the system works . Uncle Sam is probably spending more in defence dollars than 10 runner ups combined but he is also allowed to get the first glass of any beer keg . The presence of the Sheriff save the said notables of risky confrontations . ı am sure Americans tend to think they dominate the world on their efforts alone instead of being "allowed" and encouraged to .

whatever...

something to remember is that there are also Americans who really , really and for the third time really want to do something for the world instead of merely making it safe for capitalism . Their ears redden when they hear the good way to pay for costs of liberating Iraq is to make Iraqis pay through oil sales ; for they believe in the American ideal . Since such patriotism needs an insane amount of presence to survive the relentless onslaught of real life , many of these people are in US military services where it is only natural that the training involves lots of "nationalistic pomping" . And the guys and increasingly the gals think and deal in brutal application of force in case of need , which means they cyclically try to make the American superiority a reality through unmatchable military capability that can be used against a major competitor .

the 20th century has been one of the air . The use of air as a combat medium allows many options for a dominating military presence and the first of the super weapons/attempts was the Phantom . Anyone who knows something better overall please raise your hand . The Double Ugly's misfortune was it was the Sixties , which has been called the period of the Napalm Democracy , though not by me . Capitalistic needs of the years forced a showdown in Vietnam and the Commies could not budge . The optimal use of a weapon is a peaceful coercion of the opposition . The Vietnamese were ready to die if need be and those that did took 362 Phantoms with them in one way or another . ( The number includes the operational losses )

f-14 was the second ; the fighter that could fight anywhere on this planet . Notables of the planet did anything possible that it wasn't that unmatchable . There are patriots everywhere .

the third is confusing . It is either the ATF or the ADI , the Air Defence Iniative but the guys were sidetracked by the excitement of a US president to really dominate the planet through SDI . The intention of the attempts is to let the American Dream work its magic without let or hinderance ; not to fight for banana companies , there is something called a free market . Anyhow ı understand that smug satisfaction is still derived from the event .

the final or the enduring one is the F-22 . And while ı would prefer it over the unmentionable the equation of numbers multiplied by quality added to psychological conditions imply that the Raptor doesn't and actually didn't ever coerce anyone intending to challenge USA . Forget about the likes of Chavez , how many days he has stopped selling oil to America ?

750 by 1997 , now that might have done good for the cause . As a full scale ATF effort might very well result in the first produced examples retired to Davis Monthan this year . Nonetheless all is not lost ...

if in combat the very tomorrow , the Raptors would get all the attention they truly deserve . They are number one targets in the air or on the ground as they are , without opposition, the best fighters in squadron service today .

the next cycle will probably see a dusting off plans of Copper Canyon or whatever transatmospheric vehicle the guys were working on in those years .

for your information ı live in dreams , don't take everything ı say seriously . The lineup would include a battlestar flying X-wings and as the joke goes beware which way the sticks point ...

la la world , is this a correct way to call it ?

anyhow Americans nowadays are seemingly on a charm offensive , remembering that America's loveability is its prime asset but they don't intend to be getting out of scarecrow business as they might be looking at the number of countries that look like they will defy the world order . Without hiding the political aspect of it , the last two decades has not done well for America's credibility as the sheriff .

the view is probably that the wannabees will rock the boat but they will stay in the game boundaries ; the risk is they might encourage someone , maybe a figurative caveman coming out of the underground hole he has been hibernating since stone age and he will be itching to spear someone . Sinking the boat perhaps ?

as it is , say , the Chinese are not very impressed by the Raptor Force or the American capability it implies . ı personally believe thay are qoute lying unqoute in bloating the number of casualties in the current disturbances to politely decline the American wishes to do something about the wannabees transmitted in the military talks they had recently . See , have internal troubles , sorry can't do anything there or over there . Uncle Sam might discover that he might have to face it alone in the high noon.


logic ? Not much , ı am afraid .


by the way , during the Kennedy Administration an American reconnaissance aircraft in Africa photographed a spear thrown at it . Has it ever been published ?
 

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On the HMD: at one point, the JHMCS was intended for the F-22 (although integration was never funded). By spring 2005, that was abandoned in favor of the JSF helmet or a version thereof (why that was so I cannot recall, but it does not make a lot of sense, since the F-22 doesn't have infra-red and has a HUD). In 2007 a LockMart guy at Paris said that the plans to integrate an HMD had been indefinitely delayed for technical reasons.
 

F-14D

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LowObservable said:
On the HMD: at one point, the JHMCS was intended for the F-22 (although integration was never funded). By spring 2005, that was abandoned in favor of the JSF helmet or a version thereof (why that was so I cannot recall, but it does not make a lot of sense, since the F-22 doesn't have infra-red and has a HUD). In 2007 a LockMart guy at Paris said that the plans to integrate an HMD had been indefinitely delayed for technical reasons.
The capabilities of the F-35 HMDS are way beyond that of JHMCS, but it is a integral part of the F-35 navigation, flight control and weapons systems and as such is not really adaptable to other aircraft. To put something like that into F-22 would be extremely expensive and would essentially be a new, custom application. As you state, parts of it would be duplicative of some of the displays used by Raptor.

Regarding JHMCS, F-22 was started before Helmet Mounted Sights were a big deal in the West (outside of Israel). It wasn't until the MiG-29 and SU-27 systems were examined that it was realized how significant they were and what else you could do with them. USAF in the '90s said Raptor didn't need them anyway because no one would ever get close to an F-22. My understanding of the technical issue had to do with mapping of the F-22 cockpit being the problem. Possibly the simpler DASH system could be fitted, assuming the money is there, but I haven't heard anything about that.
 

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I imagine a good reason for the "indefinitely delay" factor is because of limited money to upgrade F-22As. Considering how much trouble the USAF has getting more F-22s, and the fact that upgrade for existing birds gets a ton of idiots shouting about the "worthless" F-22.
 

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Lampshade111 said:
I imagine a good reason for the "indefinitely delay" factor is because of limited money to upgrade F-22As. Considering how much trouble the USAF has getting more F-22s, and the fact that upgrade for existing birds gets a ton of idiots shouting about the "worthless" F-22.
I suspect it's deeper than that. Since JHMCS is a new system that didn't exist when F-22 was first started, lack of it wouldn't be held against the original design. After all, the F-15, 16 and 18 didn't have it either and no one screamed when it was added to them. It was considered a new, additional capability that was added to take the planes beyond where they already were. With over 2,800 delivered already, clearly funding seems to be there to add it if desired. In fact, given how few F-22s we're going to get, the problem that remains seems to be twofold. First, AF's original position when HMS first started being developed that the F-22 didn't need anything like that as it was so far beyond anything else (of course then they also thought they were going to get the side arrays). To now ask for this capability now would be an admission that they were wrong before. That simply doesn't happen, even if they can legitimately claim (sorta) that the threat has developed further than was originally envisioned. Second, there remain the reports of technical issues in integrating the JHMCS on the F-22. AF originally didn't care because of its stated position. Now, if they came out and said they wanted it but it couldn't be done without much more rework compared to other aircraft because of Raptor design (not just the APG-77), that would open up criticism (some legitimate and some unjustified). So, better not to ask
 

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I don't see how it would be any more difficult than integrating it into the F-15C Eagle, but I didn't design the thing.

If we lived in better times, and we were producing a large amount of Raptors, I am sure the USAF could eventually integrate JHMCS and make it sound like they were never wrong. ;)

Or if down the road the F-22A is resurrected as the F-22B. (Or would a new variant be F-22C because of the two seat version planned at one time?)
 

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Lampshade111 said:
I don't see how it would be any more difficult than integrating it into the F-15C Eagle, but I didn't design the thing.

If we lived in better times, and we were producing a large amount of Raptors, I am sure the USAF could eventually integrate JHMCS and make it sound like they were never wrong. ;)

Or if down the road the F-22A is resurrected as the F-22B. (Or would a new variant be F-22C because of the two seat version planned at one time?)
Because of its high level of computerization and the level of technology at the time it was designed, it's sometimes more difficult to add some things to the Raptor than it is to earlier (or later) aircraft). For example, adding AIM-9X to the Marines' AH-1Z is apparently straightforward (although at present they don't have the funding to do so), yet it takes much more work to do it to Block 30 F-22s, and apparently can't be done to Block 20s at all. What I've been able to pull up, regarding JHMCS, though, is that the big issue is mapping the Raptor's cockpit. I haven't been able to dig up more detail than that so far.
 

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I've read different about the AIM-9X integration, mainly that it is a cost issue, I will try to dig up the source.

There may certainly be difficulties but I think a good part of the upgrade issue is due to politics and budget reasons.
 

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/09/AR2009070903020.html

Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings

F-22's Maintenance Demands Growing

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 10, 2009

The United States' top fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-22, has recently required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000, a far higher figure than for the warplane it replaces, confidential Pentagon test results show.

The aircraft's radar-absorbing metallic skin is the principal cause of its maintenance troubles, with unexpected shortcomings -- such as vulnerability to rain and other abrasion -- challenging Air Force and contractor technicians since the mid-1990s, according to Pentagon officials, internal documents and a former engineer.

While most aircraft fleets become easier and less costly to repair as they mature, key maintenance trends for the F-22 have been negative in recent years, and on average from October last year to this May, just 55 percent of the deployed F-22 fleet has been available to fulfill missions guarding U.S. airspace, the Defense Department acknowledged this week. The F-22 has never been flown over Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sensitive information about troubles with the nation's foremost air-defense fighter is emerging in the midst of a fight between the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress over whether the program should be halted next year at 187 planes, far short of what the Air Force and the F-22's contractors around the country had anticipated.

"It is a disgrace that you can fly a plane [an average of] only 1.7 hours before it gets a critical failure" that jeopardizes success of the aircraft's mission, said a Defense Department critic of the plane who is not authorized to speak on the record. Other skeptics inside the Pentagon note that the planes, designed 30 years ago to combat a Cold War adversary, have cost an average of $350 million apiece and say they are not a priority in the age of small wars and terrorist threats.

But other defense officials -- reflecting sharp divisions inside the Pentagon about the wisdom of ending one of the largest arms programs in U.S. history -- emphasize the plane's unsurpassed flying abilities, express renewed optimism that the troubles will abate and say the plane is worth the unexpected costs.

Votes by the House and Senate armed services committees last month to spend $369 million to $1.75 billion more to keep the F-22 production line open were propelled by mixed messages from the Air Force -- including a quiet campaign for the plane that includes snazzy new Lockheed videos for key lawmakers -- and intense political support from states where the F-22's components are made. The full House ratified the vote on June 25, and the Senate is scheduled to begin consideration of F-22 spending Monday.

After deciding to cancel the program, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called the $65 billion fleet a "niche silver-bullet solution" to a major aerial war threat that remains distant. He described the House's decision as "a big problem" and has promised to urge President Obama to veto the military spending bill if the full Senate retains F-22 funding.

The administration's position is supported by military reform groups that have long criticized what they consider to be poor procurement practices surrounding the F-22, and by former senior Pentagon officials such as Thomas Christie, the top weapons testing expert from 2001 to 2005. Christie says that because of the plane's huge costs, the Air Force lacks money to modernize its other forces adequately and has "embarked on what we used to call unilateral disarmament."

David G. Ahern, a senior Pentagon procurement official who helps oversee the F-22 program, said in an interview that "I think we've executed very well," and attributed its troubles mostly to the challenge of meeting ambitious goals with unstable funding.

A spokeswoman for Lockheed added that the F-22 has "unmatched capabilities, sustainability and affordability" and that any problems are being resolved in close coordination with the Air Force.

'Cancellation-Proof'

Designed during the early 1980s to ensure long-term American military dominance of the skies, the F-22 was conceived to win dogfights with advanced Soviet fighters that Russia is still trying to develop.

Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director of the Air National Guard, said in a letter this week to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) that he likes the F-22 because its speed and electronics enable it to handle "a full spectrum of threats" that current defensive aircraft "are not capable of addressing."

"There is really no comparison to the F-22," said Air Force Maj. David Skalicky, a 32-year-old former F-15 pilot who now shows off the F-22's impressive maneuverability at air shows. Citing the critical help provided by its computers in flying radical angles of attack and tight turns, he said "it is one of the easiest planes to fly, from the pilot's perspective."

Its troubles have been detailed in dozens of Government Accountability Office reports and Pentagon audits. But Pierre Sprey, a key designer in the 1970s and 1980s of the F-16 and A-10 warplanes, said that from the beginning, the Air Force designed it to be "too big to fail, that is, to be cancellation-proof."

Lockheed farmed out more than 1,000 subcontracts to vendors in more than 40 states, and Sprey -- now a prominent critic of the plane -- said that by the time skeptics "could point out the failed tests, the combat flaws, and the exploding costs, most congressmen were already defending their subcontractors' " revenues.

John Hamre, the Pentagon's comptroller from 1993 to 1997, says the department approved the plane with a budget it knew was too low because projecting the real costs would have been politically unpalatable on Capitol Hill.

"We knew that the F-22 was going to cost more than the Air Force thought it was going to cost and we budgeted the lower number, and I was there," Hamre told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April. "I'm not proud of it," Hamre added in a recent interview.

When limited production began in 2001, the plane was "substantially behind its plan to achieve reliability goals," the GAO said in a report the following year. Structural problems that turned up in subsequent testing forced retrofits to the frame and changes in the fuel flow. Computer flaws, combined with defective software diagnostics, forced the frequent retesting of millions of lines of code, said two Defense officials with access to internal reports.

Skin problems -- often requiring re-gluing small surfaces that can take more than a day to dry -- helped force more frequent and time-consuming repairs, according to the confidential data drawn from tests conducted by the Pentagon's independent Office of Operational Test and Evaluation between 2004 and 2008.

Over the four-year period, the F-22's average maintenance time per hour of flight grew from 20 hours to 34, with skin repairs accounting for more than half of that time -- and more than half the hourly flying costs -- last year, according to the test and evaluation office.

The Air Force says the F-22 cost $44,259 per flying hour in 2008; the Office of the Secretary of Defense said the figure was $49,808. The F-15, the F-22's predecessor, has a fleet average cost of $30,818.

'Compromises'

Darrol Olsen, a specialist in stealth coatings who worked at Lockheed's testing laboratory in Marietta, Ga., from 1995 to 1999, said the current troubles are unsurprising. In a lawsuit filed under seal in 2007, he charged the company with violating the False Claims Act for ordering and using coatings that it knew were defective while hiding the failings from the Air Force.

He has cited a July 1998 report that said test results "yield the same problems as documented previously" in the skin's quality and durability, and another in December that year saying, "Baseline coatings failed." A Lockheed briefing that September assured the Air Force that the effort was "meeting requirements with optimized products."

"When I got into this thing . . . I could not believe the compromises" made by Lockheed to meet the Air Force's request for quick results, said Olsen, who had a top-secret clearance. "I suggested we go to the Air Force and tell them we had some difficulties . . . and they would not do that. I was squashed. I knew from the get-go that this material was bad, that this correcting it in the field was never going to work."

Olsen, who said Lockheed fired him over a medical leave, heard from colleagues as recently as 2005 that problems persisted with coatings and radar absorbing materials in the plane's skin, including what one described as vulnerability to rain. Invited to join his lawsuit, the Justice Department filed a court notice last month saying it was not doing so "at this time" -- a term that means it is still investigating the matter, according to a department spokesman.

Ahern said the Pentagon could not comment on the allegations. Lockheed spokeswoman Mary Jo Polidore said that "the issues raised in the complaint are at least 10 years old," and that the plane meets or exceeds requirements established by the Air Force. "We deny Mr. Olsen's allegations and will vigorously defend this matter."

There have been other legal complications. In late 2005, Boeing learned of defects in titanium booms connecting the wings to the plane, which the company, in a subsequent lawsuit against its supplier, said posed the risk of "catastrophic loss of the aircraft." But rather than shut down the production line -- an act that would have incurred large Air Force penalties -- Boeing reached an accord with the Air Force to resolve the problem through increased inspections over the life of the fleet, with expenses to be mostly paid by the Air Force.

Sprey said engineers who worked on it told him that because of Lockheed's use of hundreds of subcontractors, quality control was so poor that workers had to create a "shim line" at the Georgia plant where they retooled badly designed or poorly manufactured components. "Each plane wound up with all these hand-fitted parts that caused huge fits in maintenance," he said. "They were not interchangeable."

Polidore confirmed that some early parts required modifications but denied that such a shim line existed and said "our supplier base is the best in the industry."

The plane's million-dollar radar-absorbing canopy has also caused problems, with a stuck hatch imprisoning a pilot for hours in 2006 and engineers unable to extend the canopy's lifespan beyond about 18 months of flying time. It delaminates, "loses its strength and finish," said an official privy to Air Force data.

In the interview, Ahern and Air Force Gen. C.D. Moore confirmed that canopy visibility has been declining more rapidly than expected, with brown spots and peeling forcing $120,000 refurbishments at 331 hours of flying time, on average, instead of the stipulated 800 hours.

There has been some gradual progress. At the plane's first operational flight test in September 2004, it fully met two of 22 key requirements and had a total of 351 deficiencies; in 2006, it fully met five; in 2008, when squadrons were deployed at six U.S. bases, it fully met seven.

"It flunked on suitability measures -- availability, reliability, and maintenance," said Christie about the first of those tests. "There was no consequence. It did not faze anybody who was in the decision loop" for approving the plane's full production. This outcome was hardly unique, Christie adds. During his tenure in the job from 2001 to 2005, "16 or 17 major weapons systems flunked" during initial operational tests, and "not one was stopped as a result."

"I don't accept that this is still early in the program," Christie said, explaining that he does not recall a plane with such a low capability to fulfill its mission due to maintenance problems at this point in its tenure as the F-22. The Pentagon said 64 percent of the fleet is currently "mission capable." After four years of rigorous testing and operations, "the trends are not good," he added.

Pentagon officials respond that measuring hourly flying costs for aircraft fleets that have not reached 100,000 flying hours is problematic, because sorties become more frequent after that point; Ahern also said some improvements have been made since the 2008 testing, and added: "We're going to get better." He said the F-22s are on track to meet all of what the Air Force calls its KPP -- key performance parameters -- by next year.

But last Nov. 20, John J. Young Jr., who was then undersecretary of defense and Ahern's boss, said that officials continue to struggle with the F-22's skin. "There's clearly work that needs to be done there to make that airplane both capable and affordable to operate," he said.

When Gates decided this spring to spend $785 million on four more planes and then end production of the F-22, he also kept alive an $8 billion improvement effort. It will, among other things, give F-22 pilots the ability to communicate with other types of warplanes; it currently is the only such warplane to lack that capability.

The cancellation decision got public support from the Air Force's top two civilian and military leaders, who said the F-22 was not a top priority in a constrained budget. But the leaders' message was muddied in a June 9 letter from Air Combat Cmdr. John D.W. Corley to Chambliss that said halting production would put "execution of our current national military strategy at high risk in the near to mid-term." The right size for the fleet, he said, is 381.

Fatal Test Flight

One of the last four planes Gates supported buying is meant to replace an F-22 that crashed during a test flight north of Los Angeles on March 25, during his review of the program. The Air Force has declined to discuss the cause, but a classified internal accident report completed the following month states that the plane flew into the ground after poorly executing a high-speed run with its weapons-bay doors open, according to three government officials familiar with its contents. The Lockheed test pilot died.

Several sources said the flight was part of a bid to make the F-22 relevant to current conflicts by giving it a capability to conduct precision bombing raids, not just aerial dogfights. The Air Force is still probing who should be held accountable for the accident.

With this, I think the US should just ask Europe if we can get the Eurofighter, perhaps fund that upgraded version with TVC.
 

sferrin

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Demon Lord Razgriz said:
With this, I think the US should just ask Europe if we can get the Eurofighter, perhaps fund that upgraded version with TVC.
Why on earth would we do that? ???
 
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