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End of the line for the F-117 in 2008? Plus other Kills

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posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 07:43 PM
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The Christmas Eve release of program budget decision (PBD) 720 by the Pentagon has confimed the purchase of at least 183 F-22 Raptors, but it also kills a few programs.

The F-117 will be retired in 2008. Im not surprised as perhaps its decades old technology and difficult to mainatain stealth had made its radar evading ability marginal as new systems come online

The proposed standoff jammer for the B-52 is also killed. It perhaps was a casulty of the AESA radars comming into play with the F-18E/F-22/F-15/F-35's

And lastly the Dragon lady will get her curtain call in 2007-2011 serving her nation for well over 1/2 a century



Information taken from:



Pentagon Budgeters Confirm: 183 F-22s
Aviation Week & Space Technology
01/02/2006, page 21




posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 09:54 PM
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sad to hear but the 117 has seen its day. i do think that it has been around longer than origanaly said but who knows. soon the 22's strike program will kick in and we will see some amazing things out of it....to bad iraq didnt give it a chalenge some day it will be used as much as the 18 if i had a guess



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 10:37 PM
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I think we'll see several of these programs go past what was released, or get revived. They've always done this, and a lot of the time will ressurect projects. Some General will kill it because it's not sexy enough, then he'll retire and whoever takes over will realize we need it and bring it back.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:49 AM
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The rumour was that stealth technology had been compromised anyway, thanks to Clinton's enabling of Islamic conquest in Bosnia. The Serbs figured out how to find them, with some Russian help. Remember they shot one down.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 01:07 AM
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Actually, everything I have heard about that says exactly the opposite. It apparently would be very hard for anyone to copy it, or use the wreckage in any way, and even if they COULD, the F-117s recently underwent an upgrade to the outer skin/RAM coating that would render it different from the one that was shot down ANYWAY, and make it more stealthy.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 01:58 AM
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From the pieces of the F-117 alone, Jumper said, it would be "very, very hard to duplicate" a stealth aircraft by reverse engineering it.

He went on, "There are intricacies to stealth that come with our many years of experience." Pieces alone-without the means to duplicate the way they were manufactured or their overall shape on the aircraft-could only give small hints about what makes the F-117 stealthy.

One program official speculated that US adversaries have probably already formed some ideas about how the F-117 works after watching it for 13 years. Being able to "put a micrometer on [some of the pieces] isn't going to tell them a whole lot extra that they didn't already know." He added that Air Force "Red Team" specialists-whose job it is to look for and identify vulnerabilities in stealth-still find the F-117 "a challenge, and they have all the data" on it.

www.afa.org...


The Air Force is even thinking of ideas for a Block 4 upgrade. One possibility is integration of the "Link-16" datalink to allow the F-117 to receive tactical data from other aircraft. The implementation would be on a "receive-only" basis, since giving the F-117 a capability to transmit would make it easier to detect, defeating its utility. Another possibility is fitting an all-weather targeting system, probably based on a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor.

The Block 4 upgrades are purely speculative at this time. One issue is the expected lifetime of the F-117. Current USAF plans envision the aircraft being retired in 2018, but this is just an assumption for planning purposes. The F-117 fleet currently has much more airframe life than originally expected, simply because they haven't been flown as much or as hard as anticipated, and the Block 3 upgrade should keep the aircraft combat-effective well after 2018.

Possible replacements for the F-117 include an attack version of the F-22 Raptor, the new Joint Strike Fighter, or a robot uninhabited combat air vehicle (UCAV). For the time being, however, the F-117 is soldiering on just fine, remaining a unique asset decades after its first flight.

www.faqs.org...

Just two of the many links that talk about the F-117 shot down, and about the upgrades done, and upcoming. Only 51 of 59 have had the new RAM coating upgrade completed as of 2005. I can't see the USAF going through such a big upgrade on the entire fleet, and finishing it two years before retiring the plane. Especially with more upgrades in the works to make it a better airplane and strike platform.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 04:43 AM
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Originally posted by SevenThunders
The rumour was that stealth technology had been compromised anyway, thanks to Clinton's enabling of Islamic conquest in Bosnia. The Serbs figured out how to find them, with some Russian help. Remember they shot one down.


I guess thats why Russia, China, and Europe are all SCRAMBLING to make their own stealth aircraft nearly 30 years later.


Yeah, they are all throwing BILLIONS of dollars at "compromised" technology that they have already defeated themselves...



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 05:26 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
The F-117 will be retired in 2008. Im not surprised as perhaps its decades old technology and difficult to mainatain stealth had made its radar evading ability marginal as new systems come online


You all do realize that the F-117 is going to be 27 years old by then?! It will have served about as long as the legenday SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plne. The first F-117 flew in June 1981! That is quite a record for a combat aircraft. Also, the F-117 are all origional airframes. Unlike most combat aircraft, there are no B or C models of the F-117.



And lastly the Dragon lady will get her curtain call in 2007-2011 serving her nation for well over 1/2 a century



The U-2 is a legend of areospace. It's a shame to see her go, but I guess nothing can last forever! Still, she will be missed.

Tim

[edit on 5-1-2006 by ghost]



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 05:40 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man

Originally posted by SevenThunders
The rumour was that stealth technology had been compromised anyway, thanks to Clinton's enabling of Islamic conquest in Bosnia. The Serbs figured out how to find them, with some Russian help. Remember they shot one down.


I guess thats why Russia, China, and Europe are all SCRAMBLING to make their own stealth aircraft nearly 30 years later.


Yeah, they are all throwing BILLIONS of dollars at "compromised" technology that they have already defeated themselves...


I think he means That stealth technology = stealth technology of that age/era - it has been compromised. Something I would well believe.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 05:47 AM
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That would be one reason the USAF altered the RAM coatings on the entire fleet to make them stealthier. That, and to ease maintenance and care of the coating. The fleet is currently 24 years old, but the entire fleet of 59 aircraft has only flown about 150,000 hours. The airframes themselves have a LOT of life left in them. I just really can't see them killing it as early as 2008 when they're just completing a major upgrade of the fleet, with more upgrades planned in the near future.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 06:06 AM
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2008 seems to be a bit too early, a bit like the UK decision to scrap the Sea Harrier with the F-35 still years away, only not quite as bad.

The F-22 currently has no operational A2G capability and the USAF wont be getting any such capability before the end of the decade;




Flight International - 20 Dec 2005

The US Air Force is celebrating the F-22 Raptors service entry, but US troops on the ground in Iraq are unlikely to feel as joyous

Theres something discomfiting about spending tens of billions of dollars more on a weapon that virtually everyone realises is useless in the ongoing war against faceless insurgents and terrorists. [snip]

USAF Chief of Staff Gen Michael Mosely agrees "In the role that we're in now with F-15E's carrying 2,000 pounders and F-16's carrying 500 and 2000 pounders, does the F-22 bring us something significantly different to this fight this afternoon? The answer is no."

[snip]

Calling it the F/A-22 for three years might have been a shrewd marketing gimmick by the air force brass but it cannot overcome the reality that the Raptors being delivered today are not optimised for ground attack missions............the first multi role capability will not arrive until at least the end of this decade.


So for a time the USAF it seems will have no tactical stealth attack capability if this proposal is not amended, very odd.



[edit on 5-1-2006 by waynos]

[edit on 5-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by waynos

So for a time the USAF it seems will have no tactical stealth attack capability if this proposal is not amended, very odd.

[edit on 5-1-2006 by waynos]

[edit on 5-1-2006 by waynos]


Well, I'm not sure the change will be as dramatic as it sounds. If you look at the types of targets that the F-117 was hitting in 1991 during Desert Storm, you will see that the B-2 can easily take over this mission. As for a tactical attack aircraft, I agree that we need one. However, the F-117 isn't All Weather, because it's FLIR doesn't work in Rain, Fog, or thick clouds. These problems have nothing to do with the age of the equipment. The problem is in the basic laws of physics:

FLIR uses Heat to find a target. Clouds, Fog, and Rain are all made of water. Water, as we all know absorbs and disipates heat (which is why water is often used to cool things). If you dissipate the heat before it reaches the sensor, there is nothing to pick up and target.

It's the same Reason that an inferred missile can't track a stealth plane: there is no usable heat signature. Without a modern Radar like the B-2 and F-22, the F-117 is useless in bad weather. The F-117 is becoming too limited for today's air combat environment!

Tim



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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Hmm. I wonder who will recieve the old Nighthawks. Or are they just going to the reserve? This would be a good time for some ally who needs stalth bomber to aquire some (although old) cheaply.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:28 PM
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IIRC the Block 3 upgrade the USAF was making to the F-117 would give it an all weather attack capability.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by longbow
Hmm. I wonder who will recieve the old Nighthawks. Or are they just going to the reserve? This would be a good time for some ally who needs stalth bomber to aquire some (although old) cheaply.


Maybe they will be sent out to Arizona for secure storage once they are withdrawn from service. We located a secret and highly secure weapons Depot just outside of Flagstaff.

Secret Base in Arizona

This would seem the most logical place to store old Stealth Fighters.

Tim



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by longbow
Hmm. I wonder who will recieve the old Nighthawks. Or are they just going to the reserve? This would be a good time for some ally who needs stalth bomber to aquire some (although old) cheaply.


Interesting idea longbow. I doubt that Canada would want them or get them though. Does anyone have any ideas for what would be done with the 117's. espesially if there still a fair amoutn of time left on the airframes?



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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I agree with that the F117 has had its time. I will miss the U2 tho. Beautifull design.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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have they a secret replacement for the f117 or is only because of the buget cuts. have they something to be declasefied so they can phase out the f117



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 07:30 PM
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makes you wonder what the F-117 will be replaced with.

IIRC the original F-117 was operational for two years before it went public, the phasing out of the Nighthawk makes me think that they are getting ready to declassify the successor to it.

[edit on 5/1/2006 by SonOfDaedalus]



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 09:57 PM
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In my opinion the most likely successor, if any, for the F-117 will be a UAV. A stealthy long range UAV designed to carry out deep bombing missions. The F-117 can only carry two large bombs, modern UAV’s can carry more than that internally.



[edit on 5-1-2006 by WestPoint23]




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