posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 10:39 PM
I've said this before...
F-22A Raptor was at one time listed at Mach 2.2
One of the test pilots says Mach 2.42
It's not really the aerospikes of an SR-71 that would make it go faster, that's the wrong type engine and inlet. It would be a variable inlet
compression ramp. These were used on lots of fast jets. The obvious example is that big ramp on the inlet of an F-4 Phantom.
I've seen an F-15 do a "Cobra" maneuver in slow motion, at only about 30-50 feet off the ground. He finished with a vertical take off, obviously
not with a standard flop over cobra, not enough altitude.
That Harrier maneuver is called "Whiffing", hit the vertical thrust briefly, which kills the forward speed, and pops up. It's so quick and
unexpected, the other guy shoots right by.
A word about Naval aircraft design. The requirements are extremely different. Basically the landing gear (and the airframe) has to take a sudden drop
onto a flight deck at sea. This breaks an ordinary aircraft into two or more pieces.
Naval aircraft operations require special handling of EMI (electro-magnetic interference). Everything on a flight deck is extremely shielded from
stray electronic emissions, in or out. A regular aircraft would not cut it. Nor would any of the ground handling equipment meant to be used with
The F-22A has gone from dual use, to fighter, and back to ground attack. The second squadron is being vetted from F-16 ground attack pilots, not F-15
pilots. Things change. The rapid advancement of certain systems of the F-22, has changed the name of the game. The proposed capabilities are something
new, untried as of yet, and still changing, as new advancements and techniques are discovered. (For fun, count the number of aircraft manufactured so
far, and tell me where they are now.)
The tigershark is a short range air defense aircraft. Not meant for fleet defense, nor for landing on a flight deck.
The over-riding factor in replacing or upgrading naval aircraft, is the fact that the wiring harnesses are rotting away in the sea environment. It
costs near as much to build a new one, as it does to dismantle and re-wire one. A mistake in using PFE plastics for insulation of electrical wiring
back in the latter part of the previous century.
The F-14's job was Bear and cruise missile intercept at long range. That requirement is pretty much gone. Replaced with a requirement of intercepting
of sea-skimming ultra-high speed cruise missiles. Those are generally launched a lot closer, and aren't going to be stopped by an aircraft. It's
sort of back to the old patrol and defend, from aircraft that would like to launch one.
The AIM-120 that will be upgraded, will lack the range, but if it has improved velocities, that might just be a good trade off.
Never under estimate an enemy aircraft in the hands of a skilled pilot. That includes the Flanker at the top of the list. I would mention other
aircraft, but first they have to be sold and deployed.
A weapon with improved or superior capabilities is of little use, if it cannot hit it's target. Think about it. Half of a dog fight is
counter-measures. Probably the more important half.
Vertical take-off aircraft don't lack from lifting ordnance capabilities, they lack from fuel to do so. They can lift it, but then they can't go
anywhere, having used up all the fuel. This is where "ski-jump" ramps on runways and carrier decks become useful.
When talking about stealth, please remember that even a typical C-130 or B-52 cannot be seen on a commercial civilian radar at a typical airport. They
have transponders for that, to identify themselves. The only part of stealth that counts on an attack aircraft, is it's frontal aspect. And it order
to find it, you have to know where to look in the first place. Most aircraft are spotted only after a weapons launch. (Note: that 3D verbal and visual
cueing and warning of attack in the F-35's "face-up" display, might just be a good item.)