Originally posted by Stealth Spy
Originally posted by waynos
Cheers AMM, some people think I'm anti-American you know
same case with me
The Flanker is capable of 3 dimensional TVC, where as the Raptor is only capable of 2D.
Originally posted by NWguy83
The Flanker is capable of 3 dimensional TVC, where as the Raptor is only capable of 2D.
Why would you even need 3D tvc? A bit overkill isn't it.
Originally posted by BillHicksRules
I find it laughable that everyone on here seems to be so focused on bay doors when the real issue is that the computers do not work.
No. It's a procurement system which is designed to build the most of whatever's out there to keep it's own hunger at bay and the 'majority of pilots' employed. Whether they need to be or not.
ALL modern aircraft work on a federate SEM-E architecture which uses liquid cooled VME cards packed in a particular type of line replaceable unit called a Standard Electronics Module. While you can get into trouble if your control language is dated/flawed (as Ada certaintly is) or if your backplane speeds can't handle the total throughput, the _basic functionality_ of the airframe is that of any 'plug'n'play' type computer card you are familiar with at home.
As such, you could completely redesign the 'nervous system' of the jet, and with a few switchouts on the production line, reinvent whatever element of dated architecture you thought needed improving. For _vastly_ less than the 257 BILLION WITH A B dollars it's going to take to get the particularly worthless (physically) JSF into squadron use.
Without them the plane is useless.
No it is not. People /vastly/ underestimate the technical and manufacturing challenges inherent to such simple things as getting a smooth composite skin which neither contracts nor expands so much as to compromise internal framework or crack under high thermal, Q and contact loads.
Just as they equally fail to understand how HUGE an investment is required to from a 2,300` stochio limit on an engine to a 2,700` equivalent.
All of which 'makes the Raptor what it is'. As much if not more than any onboard electronics.
FACE IT. If the Raptor's digital fly by wire and data modem works, /every other element/ of the aircraft could _fail_ and the jet would still be able to function just on the 'physical' properties of stealth + supercruise which carries a bomb or a missile to the point at which it can PHYSICALLY reach a target. Defined by offboard sensor systems.
And other nations cannot even manage to match that.
The truth then is that the Raptor is so good that we don't /need/ many of them (though certainly more than 181) and thus it puts jobs in the blue suited union at risk.
This is why they are willing to betray their own best (wartime) interests and indeed the safety of the nation and Constitution they are are SWORN to protect at such seditious risk.
As it currently stands the GAO is close to recommending a massive draw down in the number of Raptors to be built. The figures quoted so far are "less than half the 381 requested"
When you consider there are currently (according to the USAF's own website) 522 F-15 Eagles and 217 F-15E Strike Eagles in service this means one of two things. Either a big reduction in capabilties of the USAF or the continuation of usage of a large number of Eagles.
Now I do not know how long the current Eagle fleet can carry on in terms of airframe lifetimes but I guess it would be at least 10-15 years given the timeframes of other aircraft.
Although the F-22 is undoubtedly a step up from the F-15 I personally do not see the USAF getting more than 200 of them. They will not be the replacement envisaged at the start of the project.
The only reason the F/A-22 is being 'restricted' to fighter roles is because civillians have this MORONIC idea that 'only do one mission well'. When, in point of fact, in war you do whatever mission is most immediately a threat to your hide. Lest it does you.
In this, 'Air Dominance' is 70% SEAD/DEAD (Suppression/Destruction of Air Defensses) and /maybe/ 30% AAW (Air to Air Warfare). The very REASON for stealth being that the Surface to Air threat was _so damn high_ that we could no longer isolate it from the A2A one.
And yet AAW or 'Air Superiority' is itself a mission. which is perhaps 70% flown. 20% maneuvered. And 10% fought. In that if you don't /have/ a MASSIVE force available to ride herd on all the strikers, covering each and every one at various points in their mission:
TARCAP/Sweep = lead offensive patrol to encounter and break up threats before they can mass.
BARCAP = direct blocking or 'barrier' combat air patrols which cover specific threat lanes not associated with the given target but still capable of generating an air threat.
Shotgun/Close Escort = direct support of raid packages to prevent them from being attacked by threats which have got past or around the TARCAP or BARCAP.
HAVCAP = High Asset Value CAP. Escorts for specific missions or platforms which are considered particularly critical to the accomplishment of the overall raid objectives. Like jammers and sensors and tanking.
Recovery Escort/Delouse = 'A full tank of gas' to run aggressive (afterburner) intercepts on jets coming back over the fence with broken avionics. Or a trailing threat aircraft trying to share an IFF squawk. The purpose being to investigate and if need be terminate threats BEFORE they get 'in amongst' your tired returning raiders.
ALL of these missions have to be flown Yet 70% of the time they are not _used_. The irony being that if you can't fill out all the slots, you **increase** the likelihood of an enemy 'trying something'.
I think they will be used in the same manner as the B-2 and the F-117. As specialist strike aircraft, perhaps escorting the first waves of an air attack until the radar net of the opponent is disabled. At which point the F-15 will take over the Air Superiority role again.
Which is stupid beyond words 'but let me try anway'.
1. The B-2 is worth 2.2 billion dollars on the hoof. The F-117 about 60. NEITHER airframe is in production.
2. NEITHER airframe can maneuver against a SAM shot at it. Their sole hope is to avoid being detected and shot at to begin with. The F/A-22 cannot protect these assets once they are fired at. While it can attack the radars which could detect them, the question rapidly becomes: "Why support a support mission when you could be attacking the command bunker or hardened GCI/sector center yourself?"
3. The F/A-22 _is a bomber_. The F-15C, for reasons of aging airframe decrepitude, will never be so. It needs every pylon it can muster for external tanks. And it has an incredibly weak nose gear. Which more or less proscribes the airframe from even a token JDAM carriage option.
4. WHO SAYS that the 'radar threat' is going to go away? We spend the better part of 60 days trying to destroy a second rate hump nations IADS during Operation Allied Force and _failed miserably_. Because we couldn't find them all. And we were prohibited from attacking critical (networked into the air defense) civillian ATC radars. Again, face the facts bucko. A 'radar threat' is a MISSILE with it's own active seeker, flying up on a strapdown navigator (blind) to a given point in space where it can activate and acquire the target, irrespective of stealth. WHAT tells it to shoot at that point in space need not be associated with the essentially dumb launch box. Nor even based on RF. ONLY the Raptor can use BOTH stealth -and- supercruise to complicate the enemy's flyup into the thin air of 40,000+ ft. While tracking a 6-8G target that is moving away at upwards of 1,700fps.
5. The B-2 and F-117 (and indeed _every other_ jet out there) is based on a subsonic transit to target. This means it may take upwards of 7-10 HOURS to fly a single mission. The F/A-22 is like a gerbil on amphetamines. It can run equivalent (700-800nm radius missions) in HALF THAT TIME. Which means that, if you stick it with 'escort' missions for the slowest-marcher, you not only squander the 2-3 more sorties it could fly that day. But you also TRIPLE the fuel use of an airframe:engine combination _specifically designed_ to go fast.
6. By 2015, we will be up to our necks in a gator pit of Directed Energy Weapons. At that time, ONLY the Raptor will be able to sling bomb targets with small glide munitions from the 60-80nm required to be beyond the (likely) prepositioned range of tactical lasers. Everybody else will be _rueing the day_ we decided to go cheap with direct delivered IAMs instead of smart standoff missiles. Because they will not dare to fly into the heart of enemy air defenses for fear of a nearly random attrition from these 'eyeblink and you're gone!' weapons.
7. For the 90% of missions where there IS NO threat, because you are bombing what amounts to armed civillians, the 'alternative' platform (F-35 JSF) is no more useful than the Raptor. Because these kinds of idiot-threat targets can be overflown (literally above the floor of trashfire's ability to ballistically reach up and touch you) by a small business jet. And so the only thing 'required' is that they be cheap enough to be _available_ in the numbers required to keep the bad guys from starting sumthin' up on the notion that if they are not seen they won't get caught. Such is not the role of a manned airframe. It is the role of an autopilot with a bomb release code for small diameter weapons that can take out single targets within about 34" of miss distance.
The F/A-22's sole flaw is that it is so good we cannot export it. And so costly that we cannot build it 'for home use only'. Between them, the racketeering charge vulnerable Armed Forces and Congress are instead determined to drive up the technology escalation spiral yet another notch by selling 'cheapy VLO' to the world at large. All so that we can have half the capability and twice the threat level. While they get to keep their jobs and their constituency votes respectively. Such is not honorable. It is not patriotic. It's certainly not necessary. It is, instead, _an insane waste_.