posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 03:01 AM
This threat has made for some enjoyable reading. Thanks to you all. A few have uncommon insights, either from superior knowledge or just good
assessment. Others, well....not quite so close – but your convictions and spirit keep things lively and fun.
It would be wise to pay close attention to Intelgurl and those similar. FredT, have our paths crossed? Does PMA-239D have any meaning?
My information is no longer current, apologies, but it was valid during the F22/23 formative stages. Some points that might serve as "lances in the
sand" to dance around:
The ATF, now F22, was designed to defeat the NEXT generation air threat. The nature of that projection was not trivial to develop. Dealing with
current generation fighters isn’t really a matter of "if" but "how fast" you can get 'em w/ a Raptor.
F22 is a balanced design. So was the F23, for you advocates. No one attribute can be said to predominate over others. Some of the features in the
requirements baseline may never be released. That’s a bummer too, they’re really cool! All of the fighter’s attributes play together to give it
a VERY broadband capability. As part of that balanced design process, ops analysis played an enormous part. Some was simple, part-task simulation to
focus PVI (cockpit) design up to major multi-plane digital runs to very high fidelity, man-in-the-loop, full mission, developmental and systems eval
The Raptor didn’t just happen and it didn’t just happen to be so capable. It was designed and built to be that way by some of the most impressive
minds you could have the pleasure to meet – and a few more practical types that helped keep things in perspective.
A common and politically risky costing method takes total program costs and divides by the number of units purchased. Doesn’t take long to figure
out that requirements creep (add-ons), program delays (you still have to pay for high-powered people and facilities while you wait) and cuts in the
buy plan make the per-airplane cost climb outa sight! Keep in mind, tho, F22 cost numbers contain some things prior programs didn’t. The training
system is a biggie, maintenance support another – in the package deal (or were in the FSD contract anyway). Those things had their own budget lines
in prev programs.
Both F22 and 23 can whip the snot out of Fulcrum/Flanker/Eagle/Hornet/Super Turkey class jets. Not close. Certainly not fair. And that means guns-only
if you like.
Both 22and 23 were dimensioned to fit in then existing hard shelters in Europe. They’re about as close to the same size as they can be.
The most challenging place on the airplanes for the design teams was right above the intakes where propulsion, aero, observables and structures guys
had to agree. Zillions of ‘puter runs to iterate an answer that made everyone grumble equally.
One of the biggest surprise to early drivers? Tanker rendezvous! The miserable airfames are so slick and early baselines didn’t have speedbrakes (rf
observables reasons, fewer cracks to hide) that routine closure rates were too hard to get rid of. More underruns on the tanker than in the training
One thing that hasn’t had enuff mention on this thread, the Raptor is a VERY smart airplane. (now go back and underline that VERY a few times.)
Fighting airplanes can get kinda busy and the real advantage of sensor fusion - set aside all that "situational awareness" PR for a sec – is that
it presents to the driver useable information rather than buckets of data to be correlated in the brain. The pilot has excellent "thinking space"
for tactical decisions.
About one comment on the Raptor’s "radar dish".....sorry, doesn’t have one of those. The radar works all together different than how we know and
love – altho it can do it if you ask it nicely. (That was facetious, tho it does have some conventional modes available.)
It’s important to keep in mind while you assess capabilities from open source literature, that VLO (stealth) is not some mystical thing that might
or might not work, or can be circumvented easily. It is a fundamental attribute of reduced detectability. Some of the things that give the F22 that
attribute have been posted on here earlier. Look carefully enuff and you can figure out some of the others. Hey, I have to do the same sort of thing
now days my-own-self to TRY to determine which technologies came in by build-it time and some of the "trades" made during FSD. All part of what
makes the discussion fun.
BTW, anybuddy want a .jpg of the Navy A-12 cockpits? Where would that thread be?