posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 01:10 PM
Gooseuk, I said the raptor gives off virtually no heat signature, I never said it does not give off any heat signature at all.
And I read that out of some magazine articles in aviation magazines. However, just google it, and you should be able to find a link easily.
As for the Raptor, no one said it is the end-all, be-all of aircraft. They are most likely working on newer technologies and aircraft to replace it
But there isn't much else you can add to an aircraft to improve upon the Raptor at this moment. You can make the aircraft more maneuverable maybe, or
give supercruise (both of which the F/A-22 has), or give it stealth (which none of the other aircraft have), or give it far more improved avionics
(which most of the other aircraft do not have either).
I personally do not think the Raptor was designed to fight some old "Cold War threat" and thus now a cheaper aircraft is needed. Technology is
technology. Whether it was the Soviet Union or Iran or China or whomever, as long as the Soviets keep developing various anti-aircraft systems to sell
out, plenty of places will have these technologies.
And now France and Germany are planning to lift the arms embargo on China, and France makes some of the best electronics and avionics equipment out
I would say the Raptor is definitely needed. And its stealth is definitely a huge improvement. So is its supercruise, and its avionics. NO other
fighter out there has stealth, and virtually none have supercruise or thrust-vectoring, minus a few. And probably none at all out there have avionics
that can match the F/A-22. That plane is a HUGE improvement.
Plus, unlike with older aircraft, the Raptor is the first fighter out there in which most countries will probably never be able to make an equivalent
for a loooooooooong time. Russia can still keep making their Flankers and such, but they have never produced a stealth aircraft and they will probably
never be able to produce a stealth fighterm let alone one they can mass-produce. This gives the Raptor a huge lifetime.
Also, avionics-wise, the Russians again cannot produce aircraft with avionics to match the F/A-22; they get them from somewhere else or their
customers make them (like India makes its own avionics to some extent for its Flankers).
This also gives the Raptor a huge advantage.
As I've said before, the F-15 didn't look to be that nice an improvement to other aircraft either. Nowadays, people say the plane is still good
enough to match the current planes out there. Which, with avionics and a skilled pilot, it is, but YOU CANNOT UPGRADE THE AVIONICS TO AN AIRCRAFT
And finally, how do we know if in 30 years or so, we might not be in some big conflict or war even with say China or something. If France and Germany
lift that arms embargo, even though France and Germany will probably selll out second-rate stuff, to China it will still be first-rate and a huge
improvement over the things they have.
If the United States has to go up against China to help Taiwan or something, we need the ability to go in and crush them. We don't want the
equivalent of M60 battle tanks against Soviet tanks. We want the equivalent of Abrams tanks against the Soviet tanks, like in Iraq. Same goes for
aircraft. We want aircraft that can go in and crush the opposition.
Also, remember, 21st century warfare is becoming largely digital. The amount of information transmitted and bandwidth used by the U.S. military in
Iraq recently was a great deal larger than that used in the first Gulf War.
And that information amount will likely increase as time goes on. The F/A-22 is meant to be able to handle all of this information and display it to
the pilot, smething the F-15 cannot do as fluidly at the moment. Also, the Raptor will be able to watch the enemy as a small fighter that can run
quickly if discovered, rather than a large, slower stealth aircraft that, if discovered, could be a goner.
To me, the very fact that the F/A-22 is stealth and has such great electronics capabilities ALONE I think make it an enormous improvement over
anything out there.
But you never know who you will have to fight in the future. It is the mistake of all mistakes to ever think you will just need equipment sufficient
to "handle" the enemy. You make equipment to crush the enemy, so that handling them is thus easy.
Also, in any future conflicts with larger countries like China, the American people want their soldiers and pilots to come back safe. You don't want
to give them second-class equipment. If America needs decent public opinion to go fight a large conflict, such support will only come from the
American people being sure that they can go in an crush the opposition; otherwise, such support will only come in they view the opposition as a true
threat, and Taiwan being invaded, while probably a threat indirectly, will probably not seem like a threat to the average Joe.
What the Chinese will do after the 2008 Olympics, no one knows. They may wait another 20 years and build up their military further, or whatever, to
provide a great challenge to the U.S., or whatever, but no one can fully know. And the Chinese are just one example (though the main large one right
But the Raptor is an aircraft that is meant for the 21st century; the mere fact that the F-15 is even considered as still worthy enough to match
modern planes like the Eurofighter and new Flankers should show you that when American companies design new aircraft, they make them pretty
revolutionary to the current standard.
I am not trying to make the F/A-22 sound like the end of all aircraft, where nothing better can ever be made. But it is IS a huge leap forward above
other aircraft, is meant for the new century, and is going to be incredibly difficult for other nations to match.
[edit on 26-2-2005 by Broadsword20068]