- Mar 19, 2019
- Reaction score
The way you put it the plane could not be even operated by now, but the fleet has been going repairs, low level structural modernizations, SW and coatings upgrades already, that I remember, so I don't think the situation is as catastrophic as you describe it. The Raptor was commissioned little ago, designed at a time where computers were already used and if the case is that all documentation was lost the way you describe it, then I would be rather seeing it as a problem of high treason more than a development issue. BTW something along those lines was needed to restore the production of the Tu-160, which was actually done with documentation on paper so long ago that most people were physically not among us any more. It was a big effort, but the platform was worth it. In a second post you rightly describe the F-22 as one of the most advanced planes to the point that US may still not clear it for export. I can tell you the money of the sale of the planes which are considered "non viable" for US by the end of this decade would be more than enough to make the modernization program profitable again, since such high end platforms are an absolute premium for any state and countries like Japan, KSA and several others would pay a fortune for them. Foreign countries would get a sanitized version with modern detuned avionics and updated F119 engines, while USAF would get the full package with adaptive engines and any other top of the line systems that would be ongoing testing for the NGAD. And with such a plane in the fleet, the following benefits would be achieved for the NGAD program:Good then here is a thought exercise.
> No vendor can hijack the program, because the USAF can simply ditch them and use their up to date, 100% fleet compatible F-22, at an acceptable cost in terms of capability
> The program is hedged against unexpected change in the level and nature of threats and unexpected technical difficulties, and can be extended in the future without seriously compromising the defence of the country or demanding massive money injections like happened with F-35.
> The systems, technologies and doctrines intended for the NGAD can be tested in the intermediate step of the modernized F-22
This is how you go about risk mitigation on a complex, strategically critical, high risk program, if you are doing things the way they should be done and without questionable interests interfering.
Just wanted to touch upon the issue because I cannot technically agree on the narratives been spread to justify ditching the F-22. But ok, point made, so that's it from my side.