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Romney proposes more Raptors

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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"Romney proposes more Raptors, Lockheed says it'll support the move if that's what the government wants"
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/09/romney-proposes-more-raptors-l.html
by
Dave Majumdar
on September 12, 2012 9:35 PM


Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is proposing to resurrect the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor production line. Lockheed says it will support the move if the US government makes that decision.

A source of mine, who has the resume to back-up what he says, once suggested that the US Air Force would have been better off buying the F-22 as its high-end fighter while filling the low-end of the fleet with new-build Block 60+ F-16s.

Simply, the USAF would be better off with a good number of highly capable Raptors that could take down an enemy's air and surface-based defenses while relatively low-cost (compared to the F-35) new-build F-16s could add some needed bulk to the fleet. The Navy, he had argued, has a modern fleet of Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with active electronically scanned array radars and other goodies... which offer excellent capability for the price. He had asked, would the USAF not be better off in 10 years with say 400-ish F-22s and 1000 new Block 60 F-16s?

Right now, the Lockheed F-35 is slated to fill out the bulk of the future USAF fleet. Ostensibly, the USAF will receive 1763 of the jets, but the production rate for the JSF has been slowed down and the aircraft is still far from becoming operational. In 10 years, it looks a lot like the USAF will only have six F-22 squadrons and about ~400 F-35s in terms of advanced stealth fighters, the rest of the fleet would be 1980s and early 1990s vintage airframes.

As the defense budget is unavoidably reduced, it's not out of the realm of possibility that F-35 production numbers will keep falling. So he might have a point...

I wonder if Congress could reverse itself and allow production of an F-22EX Raptor variant for Israel and Japan?
 

TaiidanTomcat

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http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09/romney-more-f-22s/

FTFA

In 2010 the think-tank RAND estimated it would cost an extra $90 million per plane, on top of the existing $137 million price tag per plane, to restart production and build 75 more Raptors following a two-year shut-down. But Romney’s F-22 v2.0 would begin assembly in 2013 at the earliest, meaning the restart would be at least a year later than RAND’s model and costs would surely be higher. The Air Force bought most of its Raptors in annual lots of around 20 jets. If a Romney administration bought a batch in each of its four years, the total cost for up to 80 new F-22s could top $20 billion.

If Japan and Israel pay the $227+ Million per plane after congress reverses itself. at that rate Canada could get around 35 LOL

I remember Cheney saying if elected they would bring B-2 production back.... ::)

So simply put, lets not get ahead of ourselves. A few big things have to happen (and this isn't even getting into the messy details!):

1. Romney has to be elected
2. He has to actually follow through on it, even after a lot of folks tell him that it may have looked smart from the campaign trail, but now we can give critical classified info that will change his min
2A. Congress has to forget this airplane up until recently was poisoning its pilots ("tough sell" as they say)
3. The USAF has to have the political pull to actually make it happen
4. Production restarting has to be smooth, on time and on budget.
5. The USAF has to get its Raptors first
6. Maybe then talk of export comes up.
7. even if export ban is relinquished the planes will be massively expensive, assuming there are no unexpected surprises
8. Many countries that may have been F-22 operators have already signed onto the F-35. In the case of nations like the UK, the F-22 still can't land on a ship so its a non-starter.

Right now even step 1 is in the air.
 

GeorgeA

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Plus which, the budget has to be expanded enough to afford this, or the USAF has to give up something else to get it.
 

TaiidanTomcat

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I forgot to add that many others from Romneys party need to be elected along with him. If congress ends up being a majority (or even equal) of the other party, its going to be nigh impossible to get 80 $227 million dollar fighter jets through.
 

Dragon029

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George Allegrezza said:
Plus which, the budget has to be expanded enough to afford this, or the USAF has to give up something else to get it.

I imagine part of the reasoning behind his claim is to do with F-35 controversy - he'd probably vouch for the USAF and possibly the other forces, to reduce their F-35 order to accommodate extra Raptors.
 

TaiidanTomcat

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Dragon029 said:
George Allegrezza said:
Plus which, the budget has to be expanded enough to afford this, or the USAF has to give up something else to get it.

I imagine part of the reasoning behind his claim is to do with F-35 controversy - he'd probably vouch for the USAF and possibly the other forces, to reduce their F-35 order to accommodate extra Raptors.

That will go over well.
 

Triton

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Would the decision to end Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor production at 187 operation aircraft have been made had the Sukhoi T-50, Chengdu J-20, or the Shenyang J-31 prototype had flown in 2009?

With the Sukhoi T-50, Chengdu J-20, and Shenyang J-31 flying and the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA coming, might the decision be made to re-start the F-22 production line? Not to forget allies pursuing the K-FX/I-FX and the ATD-X. The RAND Corporation report assumed a production run of 75 additional aircraft. The United States Air Force originally intended to order 750 ATFs with the number of planned aircraft reduced over the years.
 

chuck4

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DonaldM said:
Would the decision to end Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor production at 187 operation aircraft have been made had the Sukhoi T-50, Chengdu J-20, or the Shenyang J-31 prototype had flown in 2009?

With the Sukhoi T-50, Chengdu J-20, and Shenyang J-31 flying and the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA coming, might the decision be made to re-start the F-22 production line? Not to forget allies pursuing the K-FX/I-FX and the ATD-X. The RAND Corporation report assumed a production run of 75 additional aircraft. The United States Air Force originally intended to order 750 ATFs with the number of planned aircraft reduced over the years.

All of those projects were well known in 2005. As I recall, J-20 and J-31 might be reasonably said to have flown a year or two ahead of where the US publically said it expected them to fly at that time. But T-50 seems to have flown pretty much when DoD thought it would first fly. In any case, all three programs were known and their timelines reasonably well predicted.

I think one of the reasons why F-22 was cancelled was it didn't have the range to confront Chinese G5 fighters from likely American basis.
 

sferrin

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chuck4 said:
I think one of the reasons why F-22 was cancelled was it didn't have the range to confront Chinese G5 fighters from likely American basis.

Never thought I'd agree with you. I've felt for some time that that's the primary reason for the truncated buy. The Pacific is too big for the F-22 without lots of tankers. We need something like a modernized F-108 in concept. Lots of range and speed, stealth, etc. Manueverability could be sacrificed (to a degree).
 

SpudmanWP

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How about a FB-23 with an LPI AESA that has 4-8x the modules of the APG-81, 100kw DIRCM, and carries 20+ internal AIMs (AMRAAM, NGM, Meteor, etc)

The module count would have the benefit of having some serious HPM capability vs any incoming AIMs/Fighters in addition to jamming.

fb-23_507h_zps43e825de.jpg


Yes, I am having Dale Brown flashbacks :)
 

chuck4

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SpudmanWP said:
How about a FB-23 with an LPI AESA that has 4-8x the modules of the APG-81, 100kw DIRCM, and carries 20+ internal AIMs (AMRAAM, NGM, Meteor, etc)

The module count would have the benefit of having some serious HPM capability vs any incoming AIMs/Fighters in addition to jamming.

fb-23_507h_zps43e825de.jpg


Yes, I am having Dale Brown flashbacks :)


Starship Enterprise can shoot all of them down and beam the pilot responsible for their launch into the brig.
 

sferrin

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SpudmanWP said:
How about a FB-23 with an LPI AESA that has 4-8x the modules of the APG-81, 100kw DIRCM, and carries 20+ internal AIMs (AMRAAM, NGM, Meteor, etc)

The module count would have the benefit of having some serious HPM capability vs any incoming AIMs/Fighters in addition to jamming.

Yes, I am having Dale Brown flashbacks :)

Funny thing is that one crossed my mind as I was typing my post. Given the large distances I'm thinking you'd want more speed but as soon as you get too hot for composites that opens a whole 'nother can of EXPENSIVE worms.
 

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sferrin said:
Never thought I'd agree with you. I've felt for some time that that's the primary reason for the truncated buy. The Pacific is too big for the F-22 without lots of tankers. We need something like a modernized F-108 in concept. Lots of range and speed, stealth, etc. Manueverability could be sacrificed (to a degree).

Or an operational LORAINE.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The parts of the Pacific that are big are the parts no one will fight over. To fight China there is a string of bases enclosing them all well within range of conventional strike fighters against their targets. For example Okinawa is only 400 NM from Shanghai. Since the Chinese have a snowballs chance in hell of taking Truk and launching the second battle of Midway this fetish for range is misplaced.
 

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The Lockheed-Boeing A/F-X certainly isn't a bad looking aircraft, but the radome looks too small, it just seems wrong.

The engine nozzles have quite an unusual configuration.
 

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Do you mean LORAN; Long Range Aide to Navigation?


Edit: Nevermind... That's what I get for not realizing there was a second page before posting. How do I delete the post?!
 

chuck4

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Abraham Gubler said:
The parts of the Pacific that are big are the parts no one will fight over. To fight China there is a string of bases enclosing them all well within range of conventional strike fighters against their targets. For example Okinawa is only 400 NM from Shanghai. Since the Chinese have a snowballs chance in hell of taking Truk and launching the second battle of Midway this fetish for range is misplaced.

The concern is no base within range of China's medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles would be safe. DF-21 can reach at least 1500 NM. China's published strategic papers stipulate a 2 layered defense zone to the seaward. The inner layer includes continental shelf, Taiwan, Korea, parts of Japan, etc. The outer layer reaches out to Guam. China's stated goal is to have sea and air control over the inner layer, and to deny to anyone else the free use of the outer layer. So they are probably developing fighters, ships, and shore based anti-ship missiles and SAMs that can dominate the inner layer, and the capabilities to geather intelligence, attack any bases, ships, tankers, AWACS in the outer layer. They probably can't achieve this now, but that's what their aim is. Pentagon probably has some estimate of how much of this they can accomplish by, say 2020. This probably conditioned procurement policies.
 

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chuck4 said:
Abraham Gubler said:
The parts of the Pacific that are big are the parts no one will fight over. To fight China there is a string of bases enclosing them all well within range of conventional strike fighters against their targets. For example Okinawa is only 400 NM from Shanghai. Since the Chinese have a snowballs chance in hell of taking Truk and launching the second battle of Midway this fetish for range is misplaced.

The concern is no base within range of China's medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles would be safe. DF-21 can reach at least 1500 NM.

Don't know if the bases in the region have them but if we had hardened aircraft shelters (the really tough ones like Iraq had) it'd require a DF-21 for each shelter. Between that and things like PAC-3 MSE, THAAD, and Aegis I'd think the aircraft would be okay. Of course there are still things like runways, fuel dumps, ammunition storage. . . that aren't hardened.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
The Lockheed-Boeing A/F-X certainly isn't a bad looking aircraft, but the radome looks too small, it just seems wrong.


I think it was supposed to use leading edge apertures similar to those on the A-12.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
The Lockheed-Boeing A/F-X certainly isn't a bad looking aircraft, but the radome looks too small, it just seems wrong.

The engine nozzles have quite an unusual configuration.

With AESA, you don't need to have an antenna pointed towards the front at all for a good front view. So you really don't need any radome in the nose. All you need are two cheek arrays on the side of fuselage, angled slightly to the front so that each can steer its beam to the front. I blieve the GD ATF contender used this solution.
 

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Has anyone ever examined a minimum change carrier conversion of the F-22 along the lines of F-35C, basically adding a wing folding hinge, maybe adding fowler flaps and extending the span to improve approach characteristics, but not going with swing wing or other really major structural NATF complexity?
 

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The F-35C has a lot of beefed up structure compared to the A.
 

Abraham Gubler

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chuck4 said:
The concern is no base within range of China's medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles would be safe

Ahh yes anti access mumbo jumbo. Of course operational history has shown that airfield suppression/destruction against a prepared force is extremely difficult. Ballistic missiles may make surprise attacks easier but on the other hand the lack of terminal targeting makes them extremely vulnerable to the most basic of countermeasures by a prepared target.

The F-22 was cancelled for one single reason: money. Chinese franken-missiles had nothing to do with it.
 

TaiidanTomcat

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fightingirish said:
Last orders for this topic, dear folks! ;)

You are a little late actually, Romney Campaign reversed themselves and fully endorsed F-35s about a month after they made the F-22 statement.
 

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