Why not an F-22 stimulus?

posted at 4:15 pm on February 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If the Obama administration wants government to provide a real economic stimulus while benefiting taxpayers, defense infrastructure would certainly help in both jobs and in actual defense.  The F-22A Raptor seems to qualify on both counts.  The program employs 95,000 people, has over a thousand suppliers, and its advocates estimate its impact on the economy at $12 billion.

So why is the Raptor under consideration for the chopping block?  From last November:

Gates’s transition staff, led by special assistant Robert Rangel, has also mapped out key events for the first 90 days of the new administration — such as NATO meetings and budget submissions, as well as decisions on deployments and the F-22A Raptor fighter jet.

Debate centers around whether the F-22A should get more development or whether the Pentagon should look to the next generation of fighters in the F-35 Lightning II.  However, the Lightning II won’t start delivering until 2011, while the military needs more capability now.  The F-22A has a fully operational production line and supply support and can continue producing aircraft now while the Pentagon waits for the F-35.

It seems to me that both fighter projects produce more stimulus than most of what we have in HR1.  It certainly creates more jobs than contraception subsidies, Hollywood pork, Medicare expansion, and much of what Democrats pass off as “stimulus” at the moment.  Not only does the F-22A production create and maintain jobs, they are well-compensated manufacturing jobs, which the US needs now more than ever to help sustain an economic revival.  Plus, the project actually delivers useful product for national defense and for export to our allies (if approved for export), rather than just digging ditches or resodding the National Mall.

Plus, also unlike most of the stimulus, production can continue immediately, rather than wait for 12-18 months for ramp-up time.

Extending the life of the F-22A seems like a no-brainer for a government looking for stimulus.


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OK,

Several things to respond to here:

I am definitely giving away my invisibility cloak with this.

1) I worked on F-22, even before it was F-22, back in the ATF days. F-22 is much better than F-23 would ever have been. Weapons capability is much better than F-23 had done (they had a major redesign planned). The YF-23 platypus aft deck nozzles were a fatigue nightmare (they had major cracks even after the short demonstrator flight test program). No good solutions there for the extreme high temps and stresses. The butterfly tails made that airplane sexy, yes, and a maneuverability disaster. YF-23 or a follow on F-23 would never be a dogfighter. That’s fine as long as Politics NEVER enters Rules of Engagement. So, I think it would work OK on Mars, but not the planet I live on.

F-22 can deploy overseas. They have done at least one to Pacific. That’s what aerial refueling is for. If the United States ever built enough (only 183 on contract so far), they could base over there permanently.

2) I was the Chief Engineer on X-35, the predecessor to F-35. Worked F-35 a bunch too. F-35 will be an awesome machine (only one better on earth (at air-to-air)is F-22). F-35 is on contract to US, UK, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Turkey (yes, Turkey).

The international nature of the program is huge. This will be the first (and probably only) opportunity for allies to get stealth manned aerial capability. US sees this as critical, if we are ever to get Allied assistance in future campaigns.

We will finally get our beloved Marine Corps their one airplane, that can be expeditionary based, to provide their own air defense and air to ground capability (won’t have to rely on big deck carriers to stay in the battle space).

When we started Joint Strike Fighter, we knew the potential to build one airplane that would retire so many others was frighteningly hard. We vowed to walk away from the program (and continue to sell F-16′s forever), if the resulting airplane wasn’t the best we could design for the USAF, USN, and USMC – even if we were designing only one airplane variant alone for that service. We know we did it, and feel very strongly that the F-35 will be the last US manned fighter probably in our lifetime (maybe ever).

The DoD has achieved the best, lowest cost efficiency (ONE airplane design program for ALL 3 Services) they will ever get. The cost benefit of only having one set of supplier chain all the way down through the thousands of components, and the logistic chain that goes with it), will save Billions (not that Billions are big amounts anymore).

3) UNMANNED Fighters. – Working several of those projects now. F-22 and F-35 can pull 9 G’s. Pilots can’t handle much more. But, an umanned airplane flies planned missions. It ‘sees’ other airplanes with sensors (radar, EO/IR someday, when recognition software comes along a bit better) that can detect many, many, miles away. Why do I need a 9 G turn, in an unmanned airplane? I don’t. Besides, there are other equipment in jets that also can’t handle more than 9 G’s, and it would require brand new developments for those hardware to do better. No volume in umnanned fighters yet, so I don’t see any 10+ G unmanned airplanes for the foreseeable future – plus, I’d argue against the requirement, if it did show up).

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 6:31 PM

of what use if the F22 and 35 to us? what enemies are we fighting with these? who has the planes to challenge these. certainly not old 70s russian crap.

that said, i do think it is pathetic how most of our air force and navy dates from the 60s and 70s.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

I never have liked the idea of like response. Don’t take a knife or a gun to a knife fight; take a cannon.

Johan Klaus on February 4, 2009 at 6:32 PM

I have an even better idea – build a 2-seat F-22 and while we’re at it, sell rides in them!!!!!! And sell them to Australia!!!!!

YEAH, BABY!!!

BUY, BUY AND BUY SOME MORE AND WHEN YOU CAN’T BUY MORE F-22S, GET YOUR CREDIT CARD OUT!!!

THE F-22 IS THE ULTIMATE JET, PERIOD.

HotAirJosef on February 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM

The F-16 seems like an excellent airplane for most tasks. I’m not sure why the far more expensive stealth aircraft are so much better–unless WW2, Korean War, and Vietnam era DOGFIGHTING is still expected to occur. Old WW2 era low frequency (HF) radars are much more effective in detecting stealth aircraft than are modern microwave radars–Aviation Week Magazine has photos of Chinese radars of this type in use.
***
The much more capable air-to-air missiles like AAMRAM fired from a lot of F-16′s at long range might be a far better and cheaper solution that just a few super expensive stealth planes. Missile technology keeps improving all the time. A rational mix of aircraft types probably provides the best capability for “hot” war scenarios.
***
The most likely attack scenario on the U.S.S.A. is probably some Jihadis sneaking over our Southern or Northern borders with some backpack nukes. They would be placed atop tall buildings in the target cities–New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, etc. Stealth airplanes don’t help much in this situation.
***
Rocketman
***

rocketman on February 4, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Why don’t we build more F22s? Two reasons.

First: the barking moonbats and the excess weight they pull.
Second: it would make too much sense.

We’re only going to build 175 or so of these planes; that’s about a quarter of the fleet we should have.

As to the unit cost: that number is contaminated by the development cost: the cost to design and build the first one and to build the assembly line. It’s also tainted by the low production rate. We’d save maybe 10% per plane by building them at an economical rate.

Also, if you consider inflation, the F22 is only about 15% more expensive than the F15. We could recover most of that cost by building them at an economical rate.

Finally, the F22 should require far fewer hours of maintenance per flight hour. Over the life of the plane, that should save a few tens of millions per aircraft.

njcommuter on February 4, 2009 at 6:38 PM

The DOD thinks those damn Joooooos will reverse engineer the thing and make it better. Couldn’t have that.

Andy in Agoura Hills on February 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

No.

The Pentagon is afraid they woill take the technology and sell it to the Chinese.

Just like they did with the technology we transfered to them for the Lavi project…or haven’t you seen China’s new J-10 fighter?

pseudonominus on February 4, 2009 at 6:46 PM

F-35 will be an awesome machine (only one better on earth (at air-to-air)is F-22).

With only four missiles, no ability to turn with even an F-16, limited rear-quarter visibility, middling dash speed, and no supercruise, you’re banking a lot on stealth and situational telemetry. And I agree–when those work out, and the enemy’s left to blindly dodge AMRAAMs from nowhere, the F-35 is one strike plane that might do well at air-to-air. But let one Su-37 bristling with it’s 8-odd AAM’s get into visual or IR detection range of one F-35 four-ship, and things could get pretty ugly pretty fast. I doubt many F-22 pilots live with such fears.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:49 PM

F-22 and F-35 can pull 9 G’s…
Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 6:31 PM

7 is the figure I keep hearing come up with regards to the F-35. It’s about as nimble as a Superhornet, though I have to believe with better acceleration.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Well, this is very interesting discussion (and I’m learning quite a bit)…but then I just remembered, we aren’t getting any more F-22s (or anything else for national defense) for a while.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Remember when some company in FRANCE won a government contract to build planes for our armed forces and some in the government protested and got that contract to go to Boeing??…
TheMightyQuinn on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

You’re thinking KC-X, and that’s not what happened. Airbus won the contract with an (objectively) superior plane. Boeing appealed the decision on the basis that the specifications for the competition didn’t spell out that performance above-and-beyond that spelled out in the requirements would be taken into account, and won. The USAF was ordered to restructure the competition and effectively start over from scratch, but, as the election was looming, it instead cancelled the program completely, with hopes that the “tanker crisis” could be addressed anew under the new administration.

As it stands, there appears to be growing attraction to the idea of not going with a single-source solution; some new tankers would come from Boeing, others from Airbus. But as the entire program remains officially in limbo, what precisely is to become of it remains unknown. (That our current fleet of tankers is old going on ancient and deteriorating rapidly, however, is not.)

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:59 PM

With only four missiles, no ability to turn with even an F-16, limited rear-quarter visibility, middling dash speed, and no supercruise, you’re banking a lot on stealth and situational telemetry. And I agree–when those work out, and the enemy’s left to blindly dodge AMRAAMs from nowhere, the F-35 is one strike plane that might do well at air-to-air. But let one Su-37 bristling with it’s 8-odd AAM’s get into visual or IR detection range of one F-35 four-ship, and things could get pretty ugly pretty fast. I doubt many F-22 pilots live with such fears.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:49 PM

How many missiles do I need to kill an Su-37? That’s also why the USAF STILL says – must have gun. We won’t fly alone. Multi ship formations are the rule.

USAF variant can pull 9 g’s. USN and USMC requirement is 7.33g’s. The key is accel, known as Ps (Specific excess power). When you compare that to other fighters, and also, take into account the external drag from weapons, F-35 does just fine, and will outperform even F-16′s. F-35 is carrying the volume and equipment for it’s internal weapons 100% of the time, so marketing guys like to say it is outperformed by our ‘airshow configured – i.e., clean’ F-XX, but not true, when the fighting starts.

Visibility – F-35 will have a helmet mounted Distributed Aperture System, that lets the pilot see anywhere he looks, even through airframe metal structure. Visibility won’t be a problem – though I still think there will be visual lag, and vertigo in the early testing.

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 7:02 PM

JimmyDoolittle-

Living in the same neck of the Lockheed woods as you, there’s absolutely a definable need for the -22, and the -35. The only quibble I have with what you laid out is the survivability of the -35 in a close air support mission (yes, I’m biased towards the A-10, but hear me out).

There’s nothing in the air that will compete with the -22 or -35, but the thinking that went into these airplanes seems to overlook one key element of the aircraft as it applies after we’ve won the air war, much like Iraq.

It’s all well and good that the aircraft are potentially invincible air-to-air, but if I were a Marine jock, I’d be a little concerned about doing a Harrier-type mission with the -35. The other thing is, and I’m purely thinking Navy flight here, I have my misgivings about a single-screw aircraft… for both overland and over-water flight.

To my way of thinking, we’re addressing two key needs while leaving a third out, and the third would actually be the cheap one… a next-generation, slow, inexpensive, and heavily-armed close air support weapon to replace the A-10, particularly in counterinsurgency. I have many friends from the now-disbanded 923rd TFS in New Orleans who transitioned out of A-10s to F-16s, then bitched and moaned until they got their Warthogs back.

If we see another war like Iraq or Afghanistan, our air-to-air capabilities will be superfluous, and I don’t want to see good airmen killed by an underarmored fighter that does everything but keep the pilot safe from heavy ground fire.

Comments?

tmi3rd

tmi3rd on February 4, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Just like they did with the technology we transfered to them for the Lavi project…or haven’t you seen China’s new J-10 fighter?

pseudonominus on February 4, 2009 at 6:46 PM

You can’t base that kind of accusation on the superficial appearance of a plane. The J-10 resembles Eurofighter as much as Lavi. It’s also not as advanced or as dangerous as it’s “Eurocanard” layout might suggest, though it is a big step forward for the Chinese.

We do have reason to believe the Israelis transfered Patriot tech to the Chinese, though, so there is some legitimate cause for concern on that front.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 7:06 PM

So why is the Raptor under consideration for the chopping block?

Not only does this bother me, but I’m afraid the Big Zero will start withholding funding for our Missile Defense program.

cjs1943 on February 4, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Agreed with your points. Thanks for speaking up. As for me, I worked in Procurement on RAH-66 Comanche briefly (2001 – 2002) and was in the middle of JSF wrangling on software that Comanche needed. I will admit that X-35 was far better than “Monica” (X-32) because of the game-changing PTO/fan assembly. I hope you guys are working your little hearts away right now in LM’s Black Hole on fitting a 1MW generator in that fan housing at some point, so you can give a future Block upgrade 1MW solid state laser capability.

Anyone who claims we don’t need F-22 and F-35 is being short-sighted in my mind. Nate Hale at Formerspook has written a series of convincing articles on the need to keep the procurement cycle primed for the long-term, in anticipation of threats coming over the horizon in the next 20 – 30 years. Nate is a former USAF officer who did time as a spook there, so he knows his stuff, as it were.

Carter’s and Clinton’s collective “procurement holidays” at the Pentagon did incalculable damage to US force projection capabilities. If Obambi wants to keep other governments from thinking he is a pushover, all he has to do is build more fighter planes. It’s that simple.

But let one Su-37 bristling with it’s 8-odd AAM’s get into visual or IR detection range of one F-35 four-ship, and things could get pretty ugly pretty fast. I doubt many F-22 pilots live with such fears.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Read Nate’s comments on F-16 drivers complaining that they were all killed in Red Flag exercises before any of them even knew an F-22 was around. It’s not enough to carry a bunch of weapons. F-22 carries less because it can do so much more with them; same as on the ground where today’s infantry soldier conserves ammo almost to a level where snipers operated back in WWII. “One shot, one kill” makes a lot of sense.

I have an even better idea – build a 2-seat F-22 and while we’re at it, sell rides in them!!!!!! And sell them to Australia!!!!!

HotAirJosef on February 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Never gonna happen. F-22 is the crown jewel of fighter aircraft capability (aside from anything operating out of Groom Lake, perhaps) and is so far ahead of what the Chinese or Russians can field today that DoD will not want to sell it abroad for many, many years. Period. That is why so much emphasis has been given to exporting F-35.

I am as much pro-Israel as most people on this blog. However, Israel’s decision to sell the Lavi to China was not their most shining moment, in regards to Israel-US relations. I am still shocked we even allowed them to do it. Then again, a certain US President sold the Chinese dual-use equipment obstensibly to pay them back for political contributions to his 1996 campaign…

Anyway, if we don’t build enough of advanced aircraft, we run a serious risk of falling into the trap the Luftwaffe found itself in during the latter part of WWII: having advanced aircraft but at such low numbers as to not make a difference. The fact that we have to rotate F-22 deployments from one coast to the other is telling in itself.

Wanderlust on February 4, 2009 at 7:11 PM

If you want STIMULUS… NOW… the F-16 and F/A-18 is the answer…

Still in production, with enough tooling to dramatically ramp up production,

we’ve beaten the hell out of fleet in Iraq and Afganistan so we need the airframes for AF/Navy reserve squadrons,

much higher capacity to complete the ground attack mission, which compromise the high percentage of sorties…

you need numbers to maintain multiple theatres of operation

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 7:16 PM

The Pentagon is afraid they woill take the technology and sell it to the Chinese.

Just like they did with the technology we transfered to them for the Lavi project…or haven’t you seen China’s new J-10 fighter?

pseudonominus on February 4, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Liar. The Lavi was developed in-house with no cooperation from the U.S.

The IAI Lavi (Hebrew: לביא, “Young Lion”) was a combat aircraft, whose story is similar to Avro Canada’s Cf-105 Arrow, developed in Israel in the 1980s. It was a multi-billion dollar fighter aircraft project that was disbanded when the Israeli government concluded it could not finance production on its own, could not achieve a consensus on the Lavi’s cost-effectiveness and received political pressure from the US government to cancel a fighter that would compete with American exports.

Any other Jew-hating remarks to offer?

Andy in Agoura Hills on February 4, 2009 at 7:21 PM

The LAVI was canceled because US aid dollars would have dried up if the IAF built its own aircraft instead of buying F-15′s and F-16′s

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 7:26 PM

Any other Jew-hating remarks to offer?

Andy in Agoura Hills on February 4, 2009 at 7:21 PM

You are pathetic

pseudonominus on February 4, 2009 at 7:28 PM

The Su-35 is still in demonstration phase. You’re probably thinking Su-37, and no, with equivalent pilots it will not best an Su-37 in a dogfight. But it would do better than a F-35, and until F-22 gets a helmet cueing system and AIM-9X, it might have trouble with the same situation. Ideally, USAF doctrine is to get the enemy killed before a dogfight can unfold (wishful thinking or not).

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Surely you jest. Even Block 52 F-16s have JHMCS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Also, AIM-9X was a design requirement for the Raptor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-9_Sidewinder

knob on February 4, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Once the democrats figure out a way to get a kickback on the f22 stimulus, it will be a go.

fryclint on February 4, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Once the democrats figure out a way to get a kickback on the f22 stimulus, it will be a go.

fryclint on February 4, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Wanderlust on February 4, 2009 at 7:11 PM

USAF and some of the UnderSECDEFs salivated over the idea of the laser cannon in the Lift Fan bay cavity for USAF F-35 variants. We can pump tens of thousands (damn, can’t remember the number anymore) of horsepower through the front driveshaft on the engine, so that will be the power source for a laser cannon.

I’m sure they are working on it.

Haven’t heard ‘Monica’ in a while. Made me laugh.

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Ah…Raptors over head…makes me all warm and fuzzy inside ;)
kudos to whoever posted that link on IADS…says it all.

jerrytbg on February 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Haven’t heard ‘Monica’ in a while. Made me laugh.

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Oh, don’t worry, back in the day it was all I could do to not laugh every time I saw a photo of X-32 once I heard the “Monica” reference. I had to be careful, given where I was working, to keep a straight face, you know.

And IIRC, USAF *hated* the way X-32 looked.

My little issue at that time was this: one of my contracts was for the TASS (target acquisition software system) for RAH-66. NG’s “ES3″ division was the supplier. A particular subset of TASS was being developed separately by another group in a different division of NG, and the contract was direct to the Army customer, rather than a subcontract hanging off the main TASS subcontract – but the work was entirely a subset of TASS. Anyway, the contract between NG and USA for that little subcomponent required only one report – but to two entities. The report went to USA; we then had to beg and cajole NG to give us a copy of the report where they were not contractually required to do so – Govt work at its best – because the work was very similar to stuff being done on X-35. Resolving that one took months.

Given the Army’s constant futzing around with the project schedule, I wasn’t surprised to see RAH-66 go the way of the Dodo in 2004. I hope a more worthy successor to it is built eventually…but I’m not holding my breath.

Wanderlust on February 4, 2009 at 9:37 PM

There are two immediate needs in the military area that would maintain or create jobs now:
-issue the contract for the USAF refueling tankers that has been held up for years with at least half going to an American company
-contract with automobile companies to rehab,update or replace military vehicles, tanks, trucks, and other vehicles in automotive plants that have been or will be closed.
This is quick fix that will increase employment unlike the massive pork and social engineering projects in the Obama/Pelosi bill.

Patrick49 on February 4, 2009 at 10:02 PM

The F-16 seems like an excellent airplane for most tasks. I’m not sure why the far more expensive stealth aircraft are so much better–

In short, the F-22 can, and has, taken on five (5) F-16 fighters in dogfight situations, real life type training situations, and has beaten the F-16′s every time. The F-16′ pilots were definitely trying to ‘kill’ the F-22.
.
ONE F-22 can beat at least Five (yes,5) F-16′s in any sky at any time anywhere.
They’re worth it, and they’re all ours.

shooter on February 4, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Comments?

tmi3rd

tmi3rd on February 4, 2009 at 7:04 PM

The A-10 is possibly the best airplane ever built for its role. Didn’t Dick Routan (sp) and his company build a possible replacement back in the 90′s? I will have to check on whatever came of that. If they don’t come up with a replacement, they should just build some new ones. The survivability of those things from ground fire is amazing.

Corsair on February 4, 2009 at 10:19 PM

In short, the F-22 can, and has, taken on five (5) F-16 fighters in dogfight situations, real life type training situations, and has beaten the F-16’s every time. The F-16′ pilots were definitely trying to ‘kill’ the F-22
.
ONE F-22 can beat at least Five (yes,5) F-16’s in any sky at any time anywhere.

They’re worth it, and they’re all ours.

shooter on February 4, 2009 at 10:10 PM

I don’t normally get into internet pissing contests, but I think your statement deserves some clarification. I am an F-16 pilot who has been involved in the F-22 program since it’s test stage. These days, I fly with and against them several times a month.

Beyond visual range, the F-22 will definitely have no problem dealing with five F-16s. Within visual range (ie. dogfighting), two F-16s can (and have) dealt with an F-22 and I’ve fought one solo to a “draw” (slow at the floor and across the circle from each other). Tipping my hat to the Raptor, the likelihood of any aircraft getting close enough to see the F-22 outside of peacetime training is very slim. It’s definitely the best in the world at what it does, hands down.

Just wanted to throw that out, not because I want to downplay the F-22 and it’s impressive capabilities, but to highlight that the F-16 isn’t exactly chopped liver.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Given the Army’s constant futzing around with the project schedule, I wasn’t surprised to see RAH-66 go the way of the Dodo in 2004. I hope a more worthy successor to it is built eventually…but I’m not holding my breath.

Wanderlust on February 4, 2009 at 9:37 PM

The constant screwing around with annual funding destroys most projects. Governmnet funding profiles never reflect the true needs of the concurrent engineering and subcontracting that has to happen in parallel to get anything new designed, let alone built.

I was never able to get my head around why an Army helicopter that would spend its life below 2000 ft agl, needed to be stealthy. RPG’s don’t use any sensors, they are line of sight killers. Similar optical guided weapons will kill any stealthy helicopter.

Good on you guys for the discussion.

One last comment about Burt. I’ve worked with him. We put the funny horizontal tail hingeline on F-35, as one of his ideas, to make General Muellner happy, that we were ‘listening to what Burt had to offer’. Burt’s design philosophy is low cost, due to massive parts count reduction, through many composite parts fabrication techniques. He doesn’t hold the maintenance requirements of production airplanes in high regard, so he basically says, if you need to get to some internal piece of equipment, cut a hole through the skin, then patch it. Not practical for the production support and operational support that the warfighter needs.

Gotta run, go get food. now.

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 10:32 PM

am Pro F-22. Awesome piece of technology to carry us a good while. Look long term, not short. This thing eats F-16′s for lunch.

johnnyU on February 4, 2009 at 10:35 PM

I don’t know who wrote that, but you aren’t up on current events. Not only can F-22 carry a pair of 1000 lb JDAM’s (which it can sling at supersonic speeds, providing some unique new capabilities), and is even having an entire line of bombs–the Small Diameter series–produced primarily because they can fit nicely into its internal bay (though other aircraft will employ them as well), it’s implicitly the “replacement” for the F-117, the last examples of which were retired in 2008.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:14 PM

If you bothered to quote me, you should know that I wrote it.

I am up on current events. I am a current/qualified F-16 pilot who has been involved with the F-22 program for a long time.

The F”A”-22 can drop JDAMs and SDBs, but with so few Raptors on the planet, just how specifically do you expect this modern miracle to handle the myraid of taskings that have over 100 F-16s overseas flying combat sorties every day? How do you task an F-22 to do close air support, and potentially deal with moving targets that a GPS guided bomb is ineffective against? How about strafing, where you put this expensive toy in the weeds and make it susceptible to ground fire? Make a couple of repairs to the LO skin on the F-22 from small arms fire, and you’ve blown the entire budget of flying an entire squadron of F-16s for a month.

The answer is that while the F”A”-22 CAN drop bombs, it is a joke to call it a bomber. And with so few of them in the inventory, they cannot possibly fill the shoes of the “bread and butter” F-16 that has been the USAF’s fighter workhorse of the GWOT.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 10:42 PM

am Pro F-22. Awesome piece of technology to carry us a good while. Look long term, not short. This thing eats F-16’s for lunch.

johnnyU on February 4, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Apples and oranges. The F-15 would be a better comparison. The F-22 is not a replacement for the F-16, because it does not perform the air-to-ground mission that the F-16 has. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is meant to replace the F-16, but it won’t be out for another decade and a good chunk of the F-16 fleet will be retired by then.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 10:46 PM

but to highlight that the F-16 isn’t exactly chopped liver.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Against an F-22, I really do think it is.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 10:46 PM

he F-15 would be a better comparison. The F-22 is not a replacement for the F-16, because it does not perform the air-to-ground mission that the F-16 has.

I don’t think many here (well, some folks are getting very muddled in the technicals, but that’s more being in trying to be a wonk than anything else) are saying that the F-22 will replace the F-16 in it’s current role (but it might, eventually). But as an AIR SUPERIORITY FIGHTER, if you are trying to convince anybody that the F-16 has the chops to take the USAF forward in that role, as opposed to the F-22, then you lost that argument a long time ago.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 10:50 PM

but to highlight that the F-16 isn’t exactly chopped liver.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Against an F-22, I really do think it is.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Anything is chopped liver against the F-22 in an air-to-air role BVR. Come talk to me when the F-22 can put an LGB in the cab of a Taliban pickup truck going down the road at 30 mph.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 10:55 PM

Come talk to me when the F-22 can put an LGB in the cab of a Taliban pickup truck going down the road at 30 mph.

I’m pretty sure we are talking about AIR SUPERIORITY here…not that that matters or anything…

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:01 PM

And, just to clarify, by AIR SUPERIORITY, I mean Air-to-Air.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:04 PM

I don’t think many here (well, some folks are getting very muddled in the technicals, but that’s more being in trying to be a wonk than anything else) are saying that the F-22 will replace the F-16 in it’s current role (but it might, eventually). But as an AIR SUPERIORITY FIGHTER, if you are trying to convince anybody that the F-16 has the chops to take the USAF forward in that role, as opposed to the F-22, then you lost that argument a long time ago.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 10:50 PM

WTF is your deal? Are you a troll? I’m not even attempting to make the argument you’re insinuating I’m trying to make. It’s apples and oranges. No way would I even try to say that the F-16 is better at air superiority than the F-22. Conversely, I’d say (and have said here) that the F-16 is much better than the F-22 at air-to-ground, but I don’t see you quoting me on that.

Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m saying that the USAF needs something to replace the aging F-16 fleet, and there’s nothing on the horizon that will do that before the majority of them are in the boneyard. The F-35 is going to come too late to serve the USAF’s needs in the next decade, and the F-22 doesn’t perform the same missions that the F-16 does. Build more F-22s? Sure, build a ton of them! But you’ll get better bang for your buck by buying new F-16s to replace the old ones, because the F-22 isn’t going to cut it in an air-to-ground role. If we just bought more F-22s, we’d have a fleet of jets that can kick any other jet’s butt in the sky. We’d also have too few of them to serve as the backbone of our fleet and we’d be without several air-to-ground capabilities that the F-22 just wasn’t designed to do.

Capiche?

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 11:07 PM

Come talk to me when the F-22 can put an LGB in the cab of a Taliban pickup truck going down the road at 30 mph.

I’m pretty sure we are talking about AIR SUPERIORITY here…not that that matters or anything…

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:01 PM

You are, but the majority of us are talking about what’s best for our country right now.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Yeah, I capiche! You’ve been arguing the entire time that we don’t need the F-22…F-16s will take us into the future…WTF? And yes, now that you’ve admitted it, we all know that as an F-16 driver, that is your hobby horse…what is your point???

+1 for the F-16. You could buy several updated and highly capable F-16s for each F-22.

Sounds like a zero-sum argument to me. If I had my choice, yes, I would take the F-22 over the F-16 any day…and I don’t care if that hurts your feelings.

The F-16 isn’t meant to lead the charge in an air-to-air environment….the F-22 is made for that.

And my entire argument has been all along that we need an Air-Superiority fighter…so why do you keep quoting me as saying that the F-16 isn’t necessary…I’m not even making that point. Every time I bring up the F-22, you jump in and start telling me how fantastic the F-16 is at dropping bombs…I don’t care…that’s not my point…

Capiche?

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:17 PM

You are, but the majority of us are talking about what’s best for our country right now.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Good god…yes, only you care about the country…

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Yeah, I capiche! You’ve been arguing the entire time that we don’t need the F-22…F-16s will take us into the future…WTF? And yes, now that you’ve admitted it, we all know that as an F-16 driver, that is your hobby horse…what is your point???

+1 for the F-16. You could buy several updated and highly capable F-16s for each F-22.

Sounds like a zero-sum argument to me. If I had my choice, yes, I would take the F-22 over the F-16 any day…and I don’t care if that hurts your feelings.

The F-16 isn’t meant to lead the charge in an air-to-air environment….the F-22 is made for that.

And my entire argument has been all along that we need an Air-Superiority fighter…so why do you keep quoting me as saying that the F-16 isn’t necessary…I’m not even making that point. Every time I bring up the F-22, you jump in and start telling me how fantastic the F-16 is at dropping bombs…I don’t care…that’s not my point…

Capiche?

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:17 PM

I could care less what your point is. You know what? I agree with you, we could use more air superiority fighters. We could also use more tankers, more transports, more helicopters, and (gasp) more affordable air-to-ground fighters. The debate is where the priority should be RIGHT NOW.

Since you could care less what my point is (or simply choose to ignore it, your choice), I’ll tell the rest of the peanut gallery that the USAF is about to lose a ton of it’s primary go-to fighters for the Global War on Terror, and the Homeland Security mission. F-16s are already heading to the boneyard, Squadrons across the country are shutting down, and airmen are losing their jobs. Quite simply put, there is nothing out there to fill the void between now and 10 years from now when the F-35 finally begins to arrive at the few remaining Squadrons left still flying. What are we going to do about this? Something will be done, trust me, and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that we’re going to buy more F-16s. We have to, because no amount of dollars thrown at the F-35 is going to hurry it up enough and the F-22 is not a suitable replacement. I’d expect to hear some major announcements in D.C. on this in the next couple of months, actually. You heard it here first.

The F-22′s replacement, the F-15, is still going to be around for a while. It’s still a proven performer, and is an effective force multiplier in combat when coupled with a flight of F-22s. Should we build more F-22s? Yep. Should we buy F-16s instead of more F-22s? Yep. Should we buy F-16s AND more F-22s? Hell yes.

I’m glad AUINSC isn’t in charge at the Pentagon, because the bright-and-shiny new F-22s he buys aren’t going to protect the troops on the ground in Afghanistan when the F-16s go away.

Good god…yes, only you care about the country…

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Yep, only I love the country. /rolleyes

What is this, the twilight zone? Read what I write, not what I don’t.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 11:57 PM

Oops, I meant the F-15 is being replaced by the F-22, not vice-versa.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 11:58 PM

I’m glad AUINSC isn’t in charge at the Pentagon, because the bright-and-shiny new F-22s he buys aren’t going to protect the troops on the ground in Afghanistan when the F-16s go away.

Good god…yes, only you care about the country…

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Yep, only I love the country. /rolleyes

What is this, the twilight zone? Read what I write, not what I don’t.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 11:57 PM

Awww…somebody is a little cranky now…

I’ll tell the rest of the peanut gallery that the USAF

..and somebody sounds like he thinks he is the USAF…I’m starting to doubt your bone-fides dude (not that you care, you ninja fighter jock you), but I spent 5 years in the USAF back in the Regan years and I never met anybody that lacked the humility, or mouthed off about his jockey-ness you do…

AUINSC on February 5, 2009 at 12:01 AM

I don’t normally get into internet pissing contests, but I think your statement deserves some clarification. I am an F-16 pilot who has been involved in the F-22 program since it’s test stage. These days, I fly with and against them several times a month.

Yeah, I’m calling bullshit on you right now….I’ve never known a USAF pilot to talk like this…even the crappiest ones I’ve known.

AUINSC on February 5, 2009 at 12:10 AM

I spent 5 years in the USAF back in the Regan years and I never met anybody that lacked the humility, or mouthed off about his jockey-ness you do…

AUINSC on February 5, 2009 at 12:01 AM

You didn’t hear him say that he was a pilot?

James on February 5, 2009 at 12:16 AM

To clarify, I hear USAF pilots talk like that all the time…and to be polite with my phrasing, even further than that.

James on February 5, 2009 at 12:17 AM

You didn’t hear him say that he was a pilot?

James on February 5, 2009 at 12:16 AM

Yeah, but I lied…there was this one mouthy loser, who was a KC-135 co-pilot, who talked this kind of smack at a CGOC meeting I was attended at Minot…after letting everybody know what a shit hot pilot he was, somebody asked him “…if you’re such a hot-shot pilot, why aren’t you flying F-15s”…this doof answered with a straight face “…yeah, I graduated top in my class, and they begged me to take F-15s, but I told them to to stick it…I wanted tankers!”. Dude never made Captain for some reason…but that’s the only one I met on active duty that sounded like that idiot…until today.

AUINSC on February 5, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Yeah, I’m calling bullshit on you right now….I’ve never known a USAF pilot to talk like this…even the crappiest ones I’ve known.

AUINSC on February 5, 2009 at 12:10 AM

You don’t believe who I am, but I am pretty sure I’ve got you nailed as an asshole. I’ll let the “arrogant fighter jock” in me come out now, and say that you’re not worth my time. But, since I love to talk about myself, I’ll offer a meager paragraph or two to answer your challenge.

I’m leading a 4-ship SAT mission tomorrow. Heading to the range with a dry config, no bullets, wing tanks, and TGPs on the chin. I’ll probably brief my flight to work on GBU-38 employment since we’ve got an ORI coming up and right now our recordables aren’t so good. Of course, since we’re in the bucket to go back to the desert this summer, I’ll also work on dry HAS on some movers on a highway out in the MOA we’re going to, since we can’t do LAS on anything except the bombing range and they don’t have movers for us to practice on. My wingman is out of ACBT currency, though, so I might also have us do some 2v2 TI/ACT to a visual engagement so he can log that square off. Of course, we’re CAT III configured with the TGPs and limited to 7.33 gs, so there won’t exactly be a lot of turning going on. On the way home, we’ll probably set up for an SFO at our home field before pulling closed for landing.

When I say the F-16 is getting old, I’m speaking from experience. Two weeks ago, I had to declare an IFE because my quad-redundant flight control computer essentially failed and the flight controls reverted to a backup mode (called Standby Gains). I’ve flown three times since then, and each time I’ve had to write up the jet I was flying in for something different. Last Wednesday, my jet was spewing fuel out of the right wing after takeoff and it took the entire sortie for the wing tanks to feed (normally, they feed out first). Last Friday, my radar was constantly resetting and it was an air-to-air sortie…doh! Yesterday, my targeting pod video wasn’t working. Just a few years ago, I’d have maybe one writeup in every five flights or so. Nowadays, I’m writing up jets all of the time and they’re breaking left and right. It’s not the same old stuff, either. Each time it’s something different. Nobody in my Squadron has ever seen the flight control problem I had two weeks ago. These jets are getting tired.

Blah, blah, blah…..there’s no way I’m legit. You can find anything by Googling these days, right? /rolleyes Go over to the F-16.net message boards. I’m Chuckie over there, too. I don’t post very often, though.

By the way, the first production F-22s were first-rate POSs (they’ve since improved the quality control a lot). I used to spend weeks at Marietta when one would come off of the assembly line, and it would sit there broke for days before either the LM test pilot or the USAF one would be able to fly it. I was one of the primary chase pilots back then, after I had done extensive work with the F-22 Flying Test Bed out of Boeing Field in Seattle. Later on, I would do work out at Edwards on some F-22 OT&E projects. Now, I’m stationed at a base within flying distance of an F-22 base, and we’re their primary Red Air. Yeah, but all of that’s fake, too, right?

Yawn……Good night. I’ll check back in after my debrief tomorrow afternoon.

Chuckie on February 5, 2009 at 12:53 AM

Burt’s design philosophy is low cost, due to massive parts count reduction, through many composite parts fabrication techniques. He doesn’t hold the maintenance requirements of production airplanes in high regard, so he basically says, if you need to get to some internal piece of equipment, cut a hole through the skin, then patch it. Not practical for the production support and operational support that the warfighter needs.

Jimmy Doolittle on February 4, 2009 at 10:32 PM

This comment made me smile. I remember the continual pissing contests between SC and Boeing over whose philosophy was “better” with regards to manufacturing and operating techniques. While I hail Burt as an innovator of the highest order, SC has never had to build operational aircraft, and live with all the constraints that long-term operation, maintenance, and liability bring with it. Boeing engineers used to get themselves twisted in knots trying to make this point to the guys at Scaled Composites, and SC never quite “got” the argument, in my opinion.

Try liability issues alone. I had to source a small item from a second-tier supplier that had no moving parts, which was to be contained within a composite “box” that was to be bolted to the airframe internally on RAH-66. The little supplier had typically sold to companies like L3 and Raytheon which then onsell to the Big Three – and had virtually no experience selling directly to any of the Big Three. So when I came along and informed them that they had to accept *full* and complete liability in the event of an accident, should it ever be determined that their little “box” had any contribution to the accident whatsoever, their counsel practically shat himself. I let him and the company’s division counsel duke it out. We won, and the cost of the item bore the gigantic liability footprint that came with the installation.

Put another way, there’s a big reason why so few concept cars ever see the light of production, and if they do, their final mass-produced form is often vastly different from the concept version. Operational, mass produced versions of *anything* cannot be assembled, operated, or maintained with an experimental mindset – which, despite the reams of science that go with experimental aircraft development these days, is still a small distance removed from “seat of the pants” maintenance compared to the rigor which is required to please the maintaniners and lawyers behind operational aircraft purchases.

My brief stint in that world has completely ruined me when I watch sci-fi these days, because anytime I look at something operated in such movies, the first things I think about now are, “is it maintainable?”, “is the design efficient to the task?”, and “is it reasonably safe if something goes wrong with it?”. For example, watch the movie, “The Island”, and answer those questions in your head as you watch maglev railcars depicted floating over high tension wires, with no means of keeping the cars from falling to the ground the moment power is lost should a line fail.

SIGH…

Meanwhile, can you guys on the F-16 vs. F-22 comment dogfight chill a bit? F-35 will eventually replace F-16, as has been stated, and within the element that F-16 has morphed into, F-22 will never replace it. However, F-16 will not properly replace the A-10 in its role either, despite so many in USAF general staff who attempted to make the butt-ugly but operationally beautiful A-10 go away over the years.

Now make nice and ask yourselves, “how many bull$hit items in Spendulus would need to be axed to accelerate the F-35 program and increase the present F-22 inventory to reasonable levels?” and have fun :)

Wanderlust on February 5, 2009 at 12:59 AM

. I’ll let the “arrogant fighter jock” in me come out now, and say that you’re not worth my time.

You did that a long time ago..so it’s pretty redundant and boring. Yeah, ok, maybe you are what you say you are…you’re also a huge, arrogant blowhard…James was right, but I never met very many like you in my time…boy was I lucky.

I guess I’ll let my ‘maintainer’ out now and say I knew a lot more ‘Sullenbergers’ than ‘Chuckies’ who were pilots in my day…maybe I just didn’t get around enough…

AUINSC on February 5, 2009 at 1:02 AM

I feel like the special needs kid who accidentally stumbled in to the calculus room.

:|

/carry on

Ugly on February 5, 2009 at 1:11 AM

Yeah, ok, maybe you are what you say you are…you’re also a huge, arrogant blowhard…

So? It’s better than being a complete douche to someone you’ve never met.

I guess I’ll let my ‘maintainer’ out now and say I knew a lot more ‘Sullenbergers’ than ‘Chuckies’ who were pilots in my day…maybe I just didn’t get around enough…

Robin Olds was my hero. Sullenberger is one, too.

I get my share of people like you who have chips on their shoulder because some pilot pissed in their Wheaties one day. Fine, I can deal with whatever pathetic insults you’d like to throw my way. Keep typing….whatever you’d like to do to make you feel better. I get to fly tomorrow. Not much you can do about that.

By the way, I wear a MX badge too.

Goodnight for reals this time.

Chuckie on February 5, 2009 at 1:20 AM

The ready to fight the last one complacency of many is deadlier than any bullet to the head IMO.

In WWII, Korea and Vietnam we had to reestablish air supremacy. We’ve had it for so long now too many liberals just expect it as if no investment were needed to maintain it.

God help us.

Yakko77 on February 5, 2009 at 2:14 AM

You think the pissing contests are bad here, imagine what it must be in the Pentagon … or, using veiled words, in the committees and subcommittees of Congress.

njcommuter on February 5, 2009 at 4:32 AM

This seems like a bad boy plane to me! If this is what our men and women need to be far superior to our enemies, build the damn things! It should never be argued that we can’t afford them when we are pissing away trillions of dollars on welfare programs! There are bad guys out there and they are developing weapons systems too! 20 years from now we will need this platform! We do not need to be playing catch up with the Soviets or other enemies during a conflict. I want our airmen to be able to go and kick someone’s ass so violently that they think twice about engaging us again!

sabbott on February 5, 2009 at 9:05 AM

My brother-in-law was a General in the Air Force. When he was promoted I went to his ceremony where he received his one star. I talked with several 3 and 4 star generals who attended that were pilots. I asked them about the F-22 and they all said “I wouldn’t want to fly against it”!

sabbott on February 5, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Both Australia and Japan would like to buy F-22s. Why not let them?

The more they buy, the cheaper is for the rest.

El Coqui on February 5, 2009 at 9:26 AM

“Its advocates” are hiding behind a “domains by proxy” service offered by godaddy.com. Their name service (democracydata.com) is also hidden behind a proxy service offered by Network Solutions.

Some trails lead back to an attorney named Nathan Zeliff, located in the aptly-named “Shingletown, CA”. It stops dead there, since nobody owns up to being a client of Zeliff’s.

They want us to write letters to Congress and the President, but I don’t willingly do the bidding of anyone who wears a mask.

unclesmrgol on February 5, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Chuckie…which would you rather fly operationally, F-22 or F-35A?

pseudonominus on February 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Both Australia and Japan would like to buy F-22s. Why not let them?

The more they buy, the cheaper is for the rest.

El Coqui on February 5, 2009 at 9:26 AM

+1

Even if the technology somehow fell into the hands of the Chinese, by the time they reverse-engineered a combat jet and got it operational…manned aircraft will have been superceeded by UAVs.

pseudonominus on February 5, 2009 at 10:22 AM

We’re talking stimulus here… the F-16 is a highly capable weapons platform. It is still IN PRODUCTION. Due to the large number of sorties over the past 7 years, our fleet will NOT be able to maintain operational status at high enough levels to safely transition into the F-35. And even then the F-35 will never truly have the numbers to maintain the multiple theatres of operation required by the only country with the balls to stand up to the thugs of the world.

We actually need several billion dollars worth of F-16 production to make it to an F-22 / F-35 Air Force. And guess what, we can actually start producing the RIGHT NOW. and frankly, given the amount of maintenance required on the heavily stressed fleet, there is probably an economic case to swap out the current airframes with new airframes…

phreshone on February 5, 2009 at 10:51 AM

***
There are a lot of very good posts above on the aircraft and mission choices that should be made. Thank you skilled managers and pilots for the comments–and for your service to our country.
***
I worked with various ground to air missile systems in my 41 year engineering career. We had a number of ex-pilots that were very good missile engineers also. I went to the funeral of a co-worker last year who was a P-51 Mustang pilot during WW2–a photo of him as a young man sitting in his plane was quite moving. He had the look in his eyes that I always see in the real pilots–they are a special breed.
***
I think it is a bad waste of capability to use an air superiority fighter for ground attack against “talibans in pickup trucks”. A lot of A-10′s are in the Tucson “boneyard”–a much better choice for the ground attack jobs.
***
I was impressed with the Vietnam era use of WW2 prop job fighter planes for ground attack. They had 6 or 8 .50 caliber machine guns and could carry a ton or so of bombs or rockets. Easy to maintain and fly–paid for–and usable from dirt strips and roads. I think they were Corsairs or
F6F’s.
***
I saw Bert Rutan’s el cheapo ground attack plane in Aviation Week magazine–it looked pretty good to me–although probably weak in pilot protection boxes.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on February 5, 2009 at 11:42 AM

If we need these jets, then we should definitely build them. If it’s saving jobs for the sake of saving jobs, i.e., without an productive benefit, then it’s not a good idea. It may be akin to the make-work jobs that we’re going to be seeing from the Obama administration.

I fear that all of this so-called stimulus is preventing the market from moving away from non-productive endeavors and onto productive ones. It’s clogging market efficiency, therefore preventing the market from correcting itself.

threeCents on February 5, 2009 at 12:00 PM

We don’t need new types of fighter aircraft.

What we need, are those two infantry divisions Clinton cut during his reign back. We already own the air, we need more boots on the ground.

Rebar on February 5, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Chuckie…which would you rather fly operationally, F-22 or F-35A?

pseudonominus on February 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Hmm…

The F-22 exists, the F-35 is “vaporware” until it’s done with OT&E and starts to flow out to the Squadrons. I’d hate to give up the air-to-ground role (and close air support, nearest and dearest to my heart), but my choice today would be the F-22. In a couple of years, that opinion may change. If both of them were available today and I were lucky enough to have a choice, the F-35 would probably win my vote.

phreshone on February 5, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Someone else who sees the writing on the wall! I wish you were in Congress right now.

Chuckie on February 5, 2009 at 12:05 PM

This isn’t about F-22 versus MiG-29 or Su-27. It’s about F-15E v. S-400 OR F-22 v. S-400. That’s a no-brainer in favor of the F-22 unless you’ve got a pilot cloning operation.

S-400 Iran has the S-300 as of a month ago.

Beagle on February 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Just a “heads ups” for all those doom and gloom-ists lamenting about the wear and tear on the viper. Here’s a little write up on a recently retired Green Mountain Boys electric jet with over 7000 hrs on the airframe!

dmann on February 5, 2009 at 12:17 PM

We actually need several billion dollars worth of F-16 production to make it to an F-22 / F-35 Air Force. And guess what, we can actually start producing the RIGHT NOW. and frankly, given the amount of maintenance required on the heavily stressed fleet, there is probably an economic case to swap out the current airframes with new airframes…

phreshone on February 5, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Surely the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet would be a better bet. Better avionics, RCS, range etc.

They are are already in mass production for the Navy, and now Australia…if the Air Force was made to buy lots of them to replace the F-16, and to have a large enough fleet, the unit cost would be even lower.

Plus, it has two engines.

pseudonominus on February 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Beagle on February 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Concern is prudent, worry is a waste.

dmann on February 5, 2009 at 12:24 PM

pseudonominus on February 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM

In an indirect way the Air Force will be utilizing a F/A-18 platform with the introduction of the EA-18G “Growler” which is slated to replace the venereble EA-6B “Prowler”. The Air Force back-seated the 6B after the (dumb as dirt Obama) decision to retire the EF-111A “Ravens”. I’m pretty sure there will be zoomies in the back seat of the Growler.

dmann on February 5, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I repeat my sentiment from earlier in this thread:

Obama has proven that government spending is of no concern to us anymore. Deficit, what deficit?

So instead of this OR that, let’s do this, this AND that, AND that too!

Super Hornet, Raptor, Lightening II, Osprey, KCX tanker, Airborne Laser, + whatever is required for our groundpounders in the dirt. ALL AT ONCE. Don’t tell me because of one program we can’t afford another one. Obama has changed the paradigm. WE CAN AFFORD EVERYTHING! If the Treasury will fund a $2 trillion liberal election payoff, we can damn well get Raptors and Lightening II’s and whatever else our military tells us it needs. That means ships for the Navy and Coast Guard as well.

SAVE JOBS AND PROTECT AMERICA!
DO IT ALL!!

Brian1972 on February 5, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Brian1972 on February 5, 2009 at 1:07 PM

You forgot about DDG-1000!

pseudonominus on February 5, 2009 at 1:15 PM

What is going to win the war for us in Afghanistan? I love warplanes………….but we need something that will work in the terrain of a country like Afghanistan.

Long live the B52!

SC.Charlie on February 5, 2009 at 1:50 PM

F22 is a waste of money for something the military does not really need in large numbers. They are right to scale back and concentrate on other more useful items.

lexhamfox on February 5, 2009 at 1:57 PM

lexhamfox on February 5, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Hey asshat, you are a waste of carbon. The fanatasy world you preceive exists only in your damaged brain. Maybe after years of therapy and use of miracle drugs you will understand the nature of the tangable world and the very real adversaries we face.

dmann on February 5, 2009 at 2:18 PM

lexhamfox on February 5, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Lets retry without the ss!
Hey a$$hat, you are a waste of carbon. The fantasy world you perceive exists only in your damaged brain. Maybe after years of therapy and use of miracle drugs you will understand the nature of the tangible world and the very real adversaries

dmann on February 5, 2009 at 2:22 PM

So why is the Raptor under consideration for the chopping block?

Because it’s really expensive and it isn’t clear who we’d shoot with it. We already have air-superiority with F15 and F16. F22 and particularly F35 are staggeringly expensive which will force us to buy fewer of them. Given that we haven’t ever lost an F15 engagement to anybody, why should we be putting the others into production?

IMO, buying defense technology you don’t need is equally as egregious as buying STD education you don’t need. If we’re going to “stimulate” anything, let’s make sure we really need what we’re buying anyway. If that’s the case, I have no problem, but I don’t know that the F22 is it. Whack the project and then buy lots of F16s, IMO.

PersonalLiberty on February 5, 2009 at 4:16 PM

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