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  • Government wants to stop F-22 for F-35

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    Doesn't make much sense seeing the F-22 is pretty much proven in battle with Red Flag dominance while the F-35 is still doing test flights and hasn't even gone into production....

    I wish they'd open production of the F-15 Eagle for the guard units. The Eagles we have now are aging too much and won't continue. Seeing the factory is making a newer Strike Eagle for a different country, it would be easy and cheaper to keep it going.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Top_Gun View Post
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    Doesn't make much sense seeing the F-22 is pretty much proven in battle........
    I suppose the question is whether the "battle" that was proven is likely to be the type of battle the US will be fighting in coming decades. It's all a trade-off - given the cost of the aircraft's production and the nation's financial position, you can't have everything, and priorities need to be set.

    I note, by the way, that the presidential helicopter program is also canceled.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Top_Gun View Post
      I wish they'd open production of the F-15 Eagle for the guard units. The Eagles we have now are aging too much and won't continue. Seeing the factory is making a newer Strike Eagle for a different country, it would be easy and cheaper to keep it going.
      Why purchase the past? Sure it is still being produced for some countries, but when you have the F-35 which will be churned out in huge quantities in only a couple of years time and the F-35 will prove itself to be a far superior proposition it doesn't make sense. Just standardise on the F-35 and buy in large enough numbers to equip the ANG as well.

      And before a whole stack of fanboys decide to point out that the F-15 is faster etc, remember - it's not all about pure performance of the airframe.

      Stopping production of the F-22 is a tad sad to see - I'd like to have seen at least 50 more, but these are interesting times financially - it's probably a wise decision - the F-22 despite its incredible VLO performance and flight performance is a tad hamstrung by electronics that are late 80's to mid 90's. Compared to the F-35 it's a model T ford - and upgrading the electronic fitout is very expensive and time consuming. Smarter to work on the next generation to replace the F-22.

      Comment


      • #4
        It makes sense to me...the people we are fighting don't have sophisticated fighters and radar that we need to be able to sneak around. Its good that we'll still have a good number of them for any future threats, but it sounds like they made a good decision. Its about time the government started doing that again.

        Comment


        • #5
          I honestly don't care for the Raptor. While the hyper maneuverability may be impressive at an air show it is useless in a dogfight as if you bleed off your energy you become an easy target. This and the fact that a lot of the flaws of the Raptor has not been made public, and there are many of them.

          The F-35 decision is puzzling as it is still in development and a lot of the problems show up when the A/C becomes operational.

          I myself am with Dave in producing a G/H version of the F-15 that will incorporate some advances made over the years in avionics, low observability, and thrust vectoring. All of these items will be low cost up grades to an airframe that is in production and would not be difficult to ramp up the production line.

          Another option is to purchase some F-16 E/F versions that the UAE are using. This is another airframe that is in production and while Lockheed Martin would rather spool down production in Texas for the F-35 they can use the Raptor line in Georgia for the Lightning II.

          This way the US can have fresh airframes that are proven and flexible at a lower cost to the F-22 and F-35 and still have newer technology A/C in the inventory that can be developed further.
          Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.

          http://www.Jet-Fighters.Net
          http://www.Jet-Liners.Net

          Comment


          • #6
            Sen Dodd caught in crossfire

            LINK

            He said ending F-22 production would threaten up to 3,000 jobs in Connecticut, and 25,000 nationwide, with many of those job losses affecting his union members. Though the jets are mainly produced in Texas and Georgia, the engines are produced at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, Conn.

            This puts Dodd, a powerful Democrat on Capitol Hill, in a tight spot. Though he is a President Obama ally in a position to be a key cheerleader for his budget proposals, Dodd's poll numbers are at historic lows with an election coming up next year.

            This week, Dodd sided with the workers and opposed the F-22 proposal.

            Dodd co-signed a letter to Obama with other members of the state delegation Tuesday objecting to Gates' proposal and calling for Congress to "fully fund" the F-22s.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
              I honestly don't care for the Raptor. While the hyper maneuverability may be impressive at an air show it is useless in a dogfight as if you bleed off your energy you become an easy target. This and the fact that a lot of the flaws of the Raptor has not been made public, and there are many of them.
              Agreed - great fighter but optimised for air defence against a soviet threat that no longer exists. If the USSR was still a world power developing 5th gen airframes, then ending F-22 production at present levels wold be stupid. As things stand at the moment, no other country is within 10 years of fielding operationally developed 5th gen machines in any numbers, so save money and cut the F-22's at present numbers.

              Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
              The F-35 decision is puzzling as it is still in development and a lot of the problems show up when the A/C becomes operational.
              Why puzzling? If you are going to end production of the 'king', then you should be looking to advance development of its successor which is what's happening.

              Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
              I myself am with Dave in producing a G/H version of the F-15 that will incorporate some advances made over the years in avionics, low observability, and thrust vectoring.

              Boeing has just unveiled a proposal for a 'Stealth Eagle' - as this is an upgrade of the existing airframe in reality despite the internal carriage of missiles and vertical control surfaces that have been canted 15 degrees off vertical it should probably be considered a LO airframe (4 -4.5gen) rather than a true 5th gen VLO aircraft. There are some significant tradeoffs though as there are no external stores or tanks, the range is reduced compared with the C/D model as is the missile loadout.

              Not sure why you want to see thrust vectoring though - as you pointed out all TVC does is bleed off airspeed excessively and leave you a sitting duck in a low energy state. With todays off boresight missiles and helmet mounted cueing - if you can see the enemy he can be killed, as evidenced in a recent Aussie test where a hornet pilot cued a target behind his aircraft fired a missile and got a kill. There is no need to point the whole airframe at the enemy unless you intend engaging with guns. If you are that close why bother with a LO or VLO airframe? The big advantage of 'stealth' as it's mistermed is to stay outside the enemy's engagement envelope, fire missiles without him knowing you are there and make a kill without having to get close enough to need TVC or guns.

              Personally, why buy more last gen airframes? If you really need a dumb bomb truck for existing conflicts, introduce more helfire armed UAV's that should help plug the gap between until the F-35's are being churned out at a rate of 200 plus per year.

              Incidentally, there will still be a net increase in jobs closing the F-22 line and ramping up the F-35 production line of around 60 or 80,000 jobs. Sure, some senators willl lose a production facility in their little patch, but overall there will be an increase in the numbers employed even with the F-22 line closing down.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SYDCBRWOD View Post
                Why puzzling? If you are going to end production of the 'king', then you should be looking to advance development of its successor which is what's happening.
                The F-35 with all of it different variations can hardly be called the successor to the Raptor. The problem I see with the Lightning II is while it had LO properties, it does not offer the flexibility of an F-16, F-15 or F/A-18 in terms of weapons load out and various configurations that those Airframes offer. Hang bombs or tanks off of the wings of a F-22 or F-35 and you lose your LO advantage so it will take 2 times the A/C to do the job that you can do with older non stealthy airframes.




                Boeing has just unveiled a proposal for a 'Stealth Eagle' - as this is an upgrade of the existing airframe in reality despite the internal carriage of missiles and vertical control surfaces that have been canted 15 degrees off vertical it should probably be considered a LO airframe (4 -4.5gen) rather than a true 5th gen VLO aircraft. There are some significant tradeoffs though as there are no external stores or tanks, the range is reduced compared with the C/D model as is the missile loadout.

                Not sure why you want to see thrust vectoring though - as you pointed out all TVC does is bleed off airspeed excessively and leave you a sitting duck in a low energy state. With todays off boresight missiles and helmet mounted cueing - if you can see the enemy he can be killed, as evidenced in a recent Aussie test where a hornet pilot cued a target behind his aircraft fired a missile and got a kill. There is no need to point the whole airframe at the enemy unless you intend engaging with guns. If you are that close why bother with a LO or VLO airframe? The big advantage of 'stealth' as it's mistermed is to stay outside the enemy's engagement envelope, fire missiles without him knowing you are there and make a kill without having to get close enough to need TVC or guns.
                When i was talking about a G/H version of the Eagle I was thinking of offering the E airframe with newer generation avionics, radar, and sensors. This will give you the greater range that the Strike Eagle offers as well as load out of that airframe. The thrust vectoring will allow you the availability to take off with heavy weapons and fuel loads from shorter fields. The advantage of keeping F-15 and F-16 in production is the flexibility that these proven airframes offer in terms of Air to Air and Air to Ground. Upgraded avionics can allow the ability of perform both tasks at the same time like the F/A-18 can. With the Raptor or Lightning II if you carry bombs inside you take out missiles or vice versa. If you hang bombs on the wing of them with missiles inside now you have a $100 million version of the Eagle or Falcon. By having newer Eagle and Falcons along with Raptors and Lightning II now you can have the VLO flying CAP missions keeping the enemy away from the 15 and 16 to get deep into the enemy territory and striking hard while being able to fight there own way out.
                Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.

                http://www.Jet-Fighters.Net
                http://www.Jet-Liners.Net

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                  The F-35 with all of it different variations can hardly be called the successor to the Raptor. The problem I see with the Lightning II is while it had LO properties, it does not offer the flexibility of an F-16, F-15 or F/A-18 in terms of weapons load out and various configurations that those Airframes offer. Hang bombs or tanks off of the wings of a F-22 or F-35 and you lose your LO advantage so it will take 2 times the A/C to do the job that you can do with older non stealthy airframes.
                  When the F16 in particular had just enered service it had a few dumb bombs and two types of AA missiles cleared for carriage. The F-35 as the experience builds will have more and more weaponry cleared for use so won't be a problem. As to being useful as a bomb truck, the F-35 has a useful load around 3000kg higher than an F16. There will be a much reduced need to hang drop tanks from the F-35 as it has a much larger internal fuel load than any F-16 and comparable to the F15C. So same fuel load but only one engine and a smaller airframe - the F35 will have superior range on internal fuel. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-35_Lightning_II

                  The F-35A is expected to match the F-16 in maneuverability, instantaneous and sustained high-g performance, and outperform it in stealth, payload, range on internal fuel, avionics, operational effectiveness, supportability and survivability.[123] It also has an internal laser designator and infrared sensors.

                  The concept of operations is to use the airframes in a
                  stealthy configuration at the beginning of a conflict to destroy the air defence systems and comms network of an enemy. When this has occurred or the defences have been significantly weakened install the non stealthy harpoints on the underside of the wings and load the airframe up

                  F15 particularly in its E configuration is in a different weight load class - a case could be made perhaps for a few more airframes but every dollar spent on what are essentially yesterday's designs is a dollar not spent on providing and keeping the qualitative edge over the competition. Besides, these days with weaponry like the SDB etc, you need far fewer and smaller weapons to kill targets because they are far more accurate and reliable, as such you may not need to fit the external hardpoints at all.


                  Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                  When i was talking about a G/H version of the Eagle I was thinking of offering the E airframe with newer generation avionics, radar, and sensors. This will give you the greater range that the Strike Eagle offers as well as load out of that airframe. The thrust vectoring will allow you the availability to take off with heavy weapons and fuel loads from shorter fields. The advantage of keeping F-15 and F-16 in production is the flexibility that these proven airframes offer in terms of Air to Air and Air to Ground. Upgraded avionics can allow the ability of perform both tasks at the same time like the F/A-18 can. With the Raptor or Lightning II if you carry bombs inside you take out missiles or vice versa. If you hang bombs on the wing of them with missiles inside now you have a $100 million version of the Eagle or Falcon. By having newer Eagle and Falcons along with Raptors and Lightning II now you can have the VLO flying CAP missions keeping the enemy away from the 15 and 16 to get deep into the enemy territory and striking hard while being able to fight there own way out.
                  Thrust vectoring to shorten take off distances? Massive cost and complexity why bother when you guys own so many tankers (mind you IF the Air Force is allowed to get on with replacing the 135's it'd help!) If runway lengths are a massive problem, deploy the Marine Corps F35B's - vertical takeoff with a reduced weapons load, a short rolling takeoff will allow a larger load. It would take years and billions of dollars to develop your proposed G/H version of the F-15

                  The F35's are designed as dual purpose aircraft from the start - you do not need to hang laser designators or Lantirn pods off them to accomplish all weather strike, or perform expensive modifications to old airframes. I agree that it is possible to do the equivalent of putting a gas turbine engine in a model T ford car but at the end of the day you have an impressive engine and the rest of it is, well, old and out dated. It would take years and billions of dollars to develop your proposed G/H version of the F-15 - in a few years time the F-35 will be in full production and the billions of dollars could and should be used elsewhere.

                  I have no doubt that the current idea is to use the F-22's as a CAP, F35's will be capable of self escorting.

                  I am a great fan of the teen series fighters - half the photos I have from the Avalon Air Show a month ago were of precisely these aircraft. They are (with the exception of the F/A 18A-D which looks a little woosy), absolute fighter porn. They have the shape, the noise, the speed, the performance and the kill ratio to prove that they are the pre-eminent fighters of their day. But that day is drawing to a close - Red flag in a few years time will show that F-35's will make mincemeat out of F15's and other 4th gen fighters - this is not just my opinion, it is obviously shared by some of the great airforces of the world . At the end of the day I put this question to you, if it were your butt on the Martin Baker, would you rather you had a F16 or an F35 around you?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A thrust Vectored Eagle is not just a paper project. NASA has already proven this technology on a F-15 at the Dryden Research Facility at Edwards AFB.

                    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/a...837/index.html

                    With the advances in avionics and weapon control systems the life of F-15 and F-16 can be extended at a much lower cost that it will to develop the F-35.

                    One other fact to consider Lockheed has not produced a truly great fighter jet... The F-80 was to slow to go one on one with the Mig-15. The F-104 while it had a great power to weight ratio it was range limited. The F-16 cannot be called a L-M product as it was originally designed and developed by General Dynamics. To this day it still chaps my butt that L-M had there hand in the YF-23 chief test pilots pocketbook. And i know of L-M engineers that will admit that the F-22 was not nearly as good of a fighter compaired to the F-23.

                    The F-22 project is already way over budget hense the reason for its numbers to have been cut back since the original planed force levels. The F-35 project has had massive delays and is over budget as well and is not even in production yet.

                    If you look at what the Soviets are doing is improving the Su-27 and Mig-29. they are taking exsisting technology and improving them into still capable equipment. There is no need to spend the billions of dollars to develop the F-35 and F-22 when more than likely they will not be in service as long as the F-15 or F-16 has been.
                    Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.

                    http://www.Jet-Fighters.Net
                    http://www.Jet-Liners.Net

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                      A thrust Vectored Eagle is not just a paper project. NASA has already proven this technology on a F-15 at the Dryden Research Facility at Edwards AFB.

                      http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/a...837/index.html

                      With the advances in avionics and weapon control systems the life of F-15 and F-16 can be extended at a much lower cost that it will to develop the F-35.
                      You sure about that? Sure it's been demonstrated that TVC can be fitted but to modify production tooling etc... As I pointed out - no need for it anyway. The latest F-15s for Singapore and Korea were around the $60-80 million dollars worth per airframe, the F-35 will initially be $100 million dollars per airframe, dropping to around $65 million when production truly gets going. Things like modern jet engines aren't cheap, 2 per F15, 1 per F-35 etc. You also mentioned upgrading avionics etc to create a G/H model, in this article on the F-16: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16_Fighting_Falcon

                      UAE funded the entire $3 billion Block 60 development costs, and in exchange will receive royalties if any of the Block 60 aircraft are sold to other nations.

                      The cost without anything expensive like TVC was $3 billion dollars. Any upgrade to the F-15 would cost at least that much maybe 4 billion because of the structural work required fitting TVC. Even if you purchase 200 additional airframes that development cost is going to add $20 million dollars to the price of each airframe. And again we are back to having a very expensive Model T Ford.

                      Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                      One other fact to consider Lockheed has not produced a truly great fighter jet... The F-80 was to slow to go one on one with the Mig-15. The F-104 while it had a great power to weight ratio it was range limited. The F-16 cannot be called a L-M product as it was originally designed and developed by General Dynamics. To this day it still chaps my butt that L-M had there hand in the YF-23 chief test pilots pocketbook. And i know of L-M engineers that will admit that the F-22 was not nearly as good of a fighter compaired to the F-23.
                      The F-80 was a different generation to the Mig 15. Not comparable. Lockheed hmmm... SR-71, C-130 Herc, C-5 Galaxy, U-2, F-22, Constellation, Super Connie, Starlifter, F117 Nighthawk and the list goes on. I'd say they were pretty well qualified to design anything with wings. Lockheed can claim to have 'invented' stealth so they are very well qualified to employ it on an airframe.

                      Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                      The F-22 project is already way over budget hense the reason for its numbers to have been cut back since the original planed force levels. The F-35 project has had massive delays and is over budget as well and is not even in production yet.
                      The DOD is requesting funding for 30 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) F-35's in the next FY budget, so the F-35 is very close to production.

                      Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                      If you look at what the Soviets are doing is improving the Su-27 and Mig-29. they are taking exsisting technology and improving them into still capable equipment. There is no need to spend the billions of dollars to develop the F-35 and F-22 when more than likely they will not be in service as long as the F-15 or F-16 has been.
                      How very sporting of you to recommend that US pilots go into the knife fight with a slightly bigger knife. Me? I'd rather go in with a gun. The Soviets are rolling out improvements to their existing airframes because they haven't got the money or direction to compete with the US lead in VLO technology. The rumoured PAK-FA, supposedly an F-22 killer is basically dead in the water. The soviets probably have the money now to plunge into defence research, but for most of the 90's they were broke, and the research scientists (their brains) basically dispersed. Ironically, it was actually a Soviet scientist or mathmetician that had shown that stealth was possible - Lockheed picked up the ball in the 70's with the Have Blue concept that was shown to the Pentagon. The rest and the F117 is now history. The US has a technology that is a gamechanger (LO/VLO)- why not use it to ensure superiority over your adversaries?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jet-fighters.Net View Post
                        This and the fact that a lot of the flaws of the Raptor has not been made public, and there are many of them.

                        ya, and you know all about them right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Showtime100 View Post
                          ya, and you know all about them right?

                          I have my sources both inside the USAF and LM
                          Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.

                          http://www.Jet-Fighters.Net
                          http://www.Jet-Liners.Net

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                          • #14
                            Hey guys I'm not sure if this has been posted yet, my apologies if it has but it looks like Boeing has reopened the F-15 plant to create the F-15SE. Personally I like it looks nice and it is a great replacement aircraft for both the older F-15s and the F-16s.
                            http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/...90317a_nr.html



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by n777co View Post
                              but it looks like Boeing has reopened the F-15 plant to create the F-15SE.
                              Boeing has never shut down the F-15 line as they are still building F-15K models for S. Korea. They are being built at the same plant in STL that is building F/A-18 E - G models.
                              Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.

                              http://www.Jet-Fighters.Net
                              http://www.Jet-Liners.Net

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