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Mission Capable A2G Raptors?

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posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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I have been wondering this question for awhile after hearing it rasied by a member here. When will the Raptor be mission capable in the A2G role. I interpet this as givin the ok to start operationally dropping bombs if diployed to say Iraq etc.
Well I found this on the raptor site today claiming its been givin the ok already even though people here think its not for another year at least. I'm wondering if im missing something. Oh its also links the cuts aswell that people have been talking about.

aimpoints.hq.af.mil...




posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 12:53 PM
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Well there was a thread about the air-force removing the "A" from the name, would would mean that they skipped the whole attack role. They actually managed to drop a couple of bombs, but they cancelled the project if I remember correctly...



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Well there was a thread about the air-force removing the "A" from the name, would would mean that they skipped the whole attack role. They actually managed to drop a couple of bombs, but they cancelled the project if I remember correctly...


The F-22 had the "A" dropped from the name because the "F/A" was considered a Navy prefix. The F-22 will still be used for A2G same as the "F"-15 Strike Eagle, except it will probably use the SDB extensively for such missions.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 03:29 PM
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Lockheedmartin.com



General Ronald E. Keys, Commander of Air Combat Command, made the historic announcement at Langley Air Force Base, Va., from a Raptor hangar near his headquarters. “The F-22A fulfills a long quest to bring 5th generation capabilities of stealth, supercruise, and precision to the warfighter today and for decades to come,” said General Keys in an Air Force news release. “If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us.”



“If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us.”

If they wanted it too, it would be dropping bombs right now. Right out of the horses mouth.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Well there was a thread about the air-force removing the "A" from the name, would would mean that they skipped the whole attack role. They actually managed to drop a couple of bombs, but they cancelled the project if I remember correctly...


As intelgurl posted the A was dropped or moved for other reasons. On the digital news letter they say that the A was moved to the end of hte name ie F-22A but I have to say I've never heard of the reason intelgurl gave, though it does make sence.
As for the bomb dropping they claim its capable and mission ready to drop them to in the event of deployment. i dont see much reason no to believe them but some people have questioned its capablity and Im supplying an answer that they can be pointed too. Or they can argue there point on. I do have to point out to Skippytjc that the quote he used was from the IOC parade and has nothing to do with point of the slower developement of A2G capablity. I dont doubt though that in the case of deployment that the process would or could be wrapped up quickly.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 05:29 PM
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I don't know if I was the only one but I certainly mentioned this before, it was in thee thread about the F-117 being retired.

Here is the quote I posted in that thread;




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.



That seems pretty clear cut to me. Interestingly the quotes on that link and quoted by skippy read like a press release whilst the one above seems to have come from a genuine conversation.


[edit on 23-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 07:07 PM
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Ok here is the quote and maybe someone can help me sift through the smoke screen.

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The Air Force has said the F-22 fighter plane has been rated "mission capable" in the air-to-ground strike role by service operational testers."

Its "mission capable" does this mean that the plane is able to but has not give the ok to yet? To me as soon as mission is mentioned i start thinking that the pilots have the option of dropping bombs on their missions. But I could be wrong. i spent 5 years of my lift following orders and i still can figure out all there loingo sometimes
. So what do you think guys?



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 07:43 PM
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looks like an example of management speak to me. 'mission capable' seems to be a newly invented made up term, the question I ask myself is why? Surely if the F-22 was fully operational in the air to air and air to ground roles they would just say 'fully operational'. Do they mean that they can hang bombs on it and release them? If so that would qualify as 'mission capable' but then it could also, equally, apply to ANY aeroplane in service. On the other hand does the Raptor have a fully functioning A2G precision guidance capability yet? A senior USAF general seems to believe not.

I'm as in the dark as you are but wht would a general tell Flight that it will not be capable of supplaqnting the F-16 and F-15E until the end of this decade at the earliest?



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 08:27 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
As intelgurl posted the A was dropped or moved for other reasons. On the digital news letter they say that the A was moved to the end of hte name ie F-22A but I have to say I've never heard of the reason intelgurl gave, though it does make sence.

I first read about this either in a company (Raytheon) email or AW&ST - I actually forget which.

USAF Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, declared in early December 2005, that the F/A is not Air Force nomenclature. It seemed the "A" in the F/A-22 was just a bit too Navy for him.
Moseley reasoned that the Raptor is also capable of contributing to EW and SIGINT missions but you don't see it labeled with an FAEWRC-22 designation.

The Raptor was designated an F/"A"-22 a few years ago by then-Secretary James Roche, (retired Navy) who slipped in the letter to highlight to Congress the aircraft's A2G capabilities amid mounting criticism of its primary role, air superiority, in a post-cold war world.

Natalie~



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 09:33 PM
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Mission capable F-22's?


The first 12 combat-ready F-22s will deploy in June 2006 to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, for their first peacetime exercise.
By that time they will have received the Block 20 upgrade which includes the ability to drop a Joint Direct Attack Munition during supersonic flight and some networking capabilities. (It is said that this is a mission in support of Homeland Security - many if not most insiders read this as additional deterence to North Korea)

While we're on the subject, the next upgrade after that is the Block 30 which includes an upgraded radar capable of capturing synthetic aperture radar images and tracking moving targets, dropping the 250-lb. Small-Diameter Bomb and a two-way Link 16 capability.

After that, the Block 40 upgrade which includes net-centric warfare elements, satellite communications, new precision weapons and electronic attack capabilities.

Source: "USAF Declares F-22 Operational"; Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12/19/2005, page 22
(although AW&ST is a subscription service, I found a South Korean forum that has the article at this link )



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
looks like an example of management speak to me. 'mission capable' seems to be a newly invented made up term, the question I ask myself is why? Surely if the F-22 was fully operational in the air to air and air to ground roles they would just say 'fully operational'. Do they mean that they can hang bombs on it and release them? If so that would qualify as 'mission capable' but then it could also, equally, apply to ANY aeroplane in service. On the other hand does the Raptor have a fully functioning A2G precision guidance capability yet? A senior USAF general seems to believe not.

I'm as in the dark as you are but wht would a general tell Flight that it will not be capable of supplaqnting the F-16 and F-15E until the end of this decade at the earliest?


"Mission capable?"
Maybe it reflects the latest trend to bring fighters up to mission specs gradually: like Rafale/Eurofighter, and to some extent Super Hornet.

Or to keep the point that it is nothing more than a JDAM truck at the moment, without the ability to self-designate precision targets.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 09:51 PM
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Thanks for the help guys and gurl. I think we can safely say that the bombs can be hung and that they can be dropped from the 22 as of this time. Though the 22 may not be able select the targets its self which means that its not really missions capable at all. Another office type persons word to confuse a poor soul liek myself.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 05:26 AM
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IG,

>>
The F-22 had the "A" dropped from the name because the "F/A" was considered a Navy prefix. The F-22 will still be used for A2G same as the "F"-15 Strike Eagle, except it will probably use the SDB extensively for such missions.
>>

The F/A is not (willingly) a Navy usage terminology either. In fact, the 'operative DOD Instruction'* 4120.15-L 'Model Designation Of Military Aerospace Vehicles', states effectively that while F/A is _not a legal usage at all_.

Though FA would be _if_ it indicated that the F-ighter mission is a 'secondary modification' of the primary A-ttack one.

The Navy having to follow DOD rules just like everyone else, someone sealawyered his way into a posting at Diego by reminding the Pooh Bah of his Faux Pax.

The utter /stupidity/ of the classification actually being that the DOD designation of 'Fighter' is as follows-

(An) Aircraft designed to intercept and destroy other aircraft or missiles. Includes multi-purpose aircraft /also designed/ for ground support missions such as interdiction and close air support.

While Attack aircraft are _specifically_-

Aircraft designed to find, attack, and destroy enemy land or sea targets using conventional or special weapons. This symbol also applies to aircraft used for interdiction and close air support missions.

So that you don't need to have a secondary label at all if the mission is explicitly attached to the original designation.

When Admiral Turner (then DCNO) wrote back to the uppity little squirt at NavAir who had the gall to call him on his nomenclatural NCM, the ol' man basically laughed it off as a justification based on service economic constraints in the budget beggary process then ongoing on the Hill.

His reasoning being that the period F-18 was essentially equal in cost to the period F-14 (around 36 million apop) and so had to be made to seem to be doing more roles _simultaneously_ as it replaced the F-4 and A-7.

Something that MacDac thought they could make happen without the original line-separation of variant F and A models.

What the old fart didn't know was the MILLIONS of dollars that would be wasted trying to bring early computerized databases on tech-orders and the like into compliance with his 'wisdom' because, at the time, they could not accept entries with a / inbetween (it may be similar to today's file labelling restrictions or alternately the width of the data field in the actual entry, I'm just repeating the story here).

>>
While we're on the subject, the next upgrade after that is the Block 30 which includes an upgraded radar capable of capturing synthetic aperture radar images and tracking moving targets, dropping the 250-lb. Small-Diameter Bomb and a two-way Link 16 capability.
>>

And we both know that the F-22 is doomed to be the F-15A/C of this generation. i.e. To /never/ receive any 'multirole' upgrades beyond the most basic of A2G carriage modes (the Albino actually has better DToss accuracies than the A-7D, did you know?).

In the case of IAMs, I assume this means prebriefed target coordinates in the IMU memory or perhaps those handed via offboard folders.

That indeed this derating of the Interdiction mission to little more than smart-pylon status was (read between the lines) inherent to the nature of the program compromise budget language by which the AF was brought to it's knees with 183 jets and a hot line in 2010 by Congress.

Rather than suffer immediate and irreversible shutdown after completion of the first two principle production lots sometime in early '08 (which might have meant as few as 90-110 jets, depending on preproduction lead item economics of scale and sourcing schedules).

Indeed, once the JSF is in production, there will be no going back anyway as Lunchmeat Georgia's production facilities will HAVE TO be tooled over to meet monthly service variant demands as well as to keep the damn Texans in line as to 'who actually owns the company'.

Not least of the reasoning behind this being that the original AvLeak article covering integration of the SDB and 'advanced modes' for the APG-77 (back in 2001) was quite specific in the need for technology inserts from the then MIRFS, now APG-81's 'button AESA' improved DTRM technology modules.

To which the APG-77 has roughly a similar multiphase coherency array mapping and advanced on-module preprocessing evolutionary status as that of the AWG-9's all-Kalman 'analogue' to the digital RSP APG-65.

i.e. All power, no brains= no InSAR, = junk for anything but easy-to-see airborne threats.

>>
After that, the Block 40 upgrade which includes net-centric warfare elements, satellite communications, new precision weapons and electronic attack capabilities.
>>

All the EA and Infowarfare vaporcape was always just that. Smoke and mirrors to make the F-22 look mythological. It will be dropped faster than roadkill skunk now that there is no reason to endorse the capability as 'latent' (pay me enough money...).


CONCLUSION:
An A-whatever _looks for_ targets on the ground. And prosecutes them with as much and as diverse an payload as is required for the given loiter capability (no trades required).

A fighter, forever the thoroughbred in a plow-horse world, drops bombs on it's way back to the tanker. If someone else knows where to point it, it's one heckuva "Look out, I got bombs on both pylons today!" mud mover.

If not, it's worthless.

In Iraq, we 'find' the enemy by sending out smaller and smaller patrols for days at a time until someone decides to fire them up. Just like in Vietnam except for the faster ambulances.

Such is not the realm of a fighter. Even one which has not had any and all further spiral development preemptively gelded for fear of making the JSF look like the steaming turd that it is.

'Too early to tell, too late to stop...'


KPl.


*_Pentagon Paradox_ accreditation for the assumed public use governmental DOD rules.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
The F-22 had the "A" dropped from the name because the "F/A" was considered a Navy prefix.


Navy prefix???
It has been my understanding that the military uses the Tri-service designation system, and has done so since 1962! The whole Idea behind the Tri-service system, is the ALL branches of the US military use the Exact Same designation for the same type of aircraft.

Here the 1985 regulation on standard for designating aircraft:

Aircraft Designation Standards

If this is the standard they use, how can there be a Navy Specific Designation?


Tim



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 10:34 AM
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Ghost,
No need to go off on a tangent here, what General Moseley implied about the "F/A" designation being a Navy nomenclature was in jest, not an official policy statement.

Actually, the F/A designation was a political ploy by Roche to add value to the Raptor for a skeptical Congress, the dropping of the "A" was also political in nature, as it released the Raptor from A2G requirements thus allowing it to be declared combat ready without first having mature A2G capabilities.

It's interesting to note that the F-15 strike Eagle, an very capable A2G aircraft is not an F/A nor is the F-16, another very capable bomb truck. The designation "F/A" if not erroneous is certainly the exception, not the rule.

In fact, if you look at all the jet fighter aircraft the US has had, the F/A-18 is the only "F/A" designated aircraft I can find. Not even the F-117 which is nothing but an A2G aircraft. Interesting, huh?


F-2 Banshee
F-3 Demon
F-4 Phantom II
F-5 Freedom Fighter
F-6 Skyray
F-8 Crusader
F-9 Panther
F-10 Skyknight
F-11 Tiger
F-14 Tomcat
F-15 Eagle
F-16 Falcon
F/A-18 Hornet
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
F-20 Tigershark
F-22 Raptor
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
F-80 Shooting Star
F-84 Thunderjet
F-86 Sabre
F-89 Scorpion
F-94 Starfire
F-100 Super Sabre
F-101 Voodoo
F-102 Delta Dagger
F-104 Starfighter
F-105 Thunderchief
F-106 Delta Dart
F-107 Ultra Sabre
F-111 Aardvark
F-117 Nighthawk

[edit on 1-24-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
In fact, if you look at all the jet fighter aircraft the US has had, the F/A-18 is the only "F/A" designated aircraft I can find. Not even the F-117 which is nothing but an A2G aircraft. Interesting, huh?

[edit on 1-24-2006 by intelgurl]


F-5 Freedom Fighter
F-8 Crusader
F-15 Eagle
F-16 Falcon
F/A-18 Hornet
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
F-84 Thunderjet
F-100 Super Sabre
F-105 Thunderchief
F-111 Aardvark
F-117 Nighthawk

To further the point in my knowledge these planes taken from the orginal list have been very public in their ablity in the A2G role and as intelgurl said no A mentioned in the names at all or ever as far as i know.
Also Ghost the whole prefix thing is turning into more and more of a joke and new project come out and use false prefixes to confuse spies etc. Also the whole order in which the numbers have gone lately has no real order it seems. But thats a whole different topic.

[edit on 24-1-2006 by Canada_EH]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
Ghost,
No need to go off on a tangent here, what General Moseley implied about the "F/A" designation being a Navy nomenclature was in jest, not an official policy statement.


I never meant to go off on a tangent! I was clarifying something that wasn't clear to me. Can you just confirm that I'm understanding this right?

So the Hornet's correct designation is just F-18 and the F/A is unofficial?


Tim



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by ghost
So the Hornet's correct designation is just F-18 and the F/A is unofficial?


Tim

From what I can tell, the "FA" is an official designation, although atypical.
However, the "F/A" designation is contrary to the articles of the Tri-Service System which forbids the use of slashes or other special characters. As a sidenote, most people I encounter in industry, not military, refer to the Hornet as the "F-18" when talking about it and the "F/A-18" when writing documentation.

[edit on 1-24-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 02:14 PM
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I'm old enough to remember avidly reading about the development of the F/A-18 in the pages of Flight through the late 70's and early 80's. Here's what I remember of the designation story.

When its development was launched as a heavier, scaled up, carrier based development of the YF-17 it was simply referred to as the F-18, that was the case, as far as I remember right up to sometime not long after the first flight, I remember a land based version quite definitely called the F-18L being promoted vigorously to the RAF and Luftwaffe in an attempt to head the Eurofighter off at the pass.

I also seem to remember it was decided that the primary function of the US Navy's new F-18's was to be as an attack platform to replace the A-7 and there was a movement at the time to redesignate it the A-18 (even though the number was completely out of sequence in the A range).

This movement didn't last very long because McDonnell Douglas felt it would harm their efforts to market the type on the export market as an agile fighter (which it basically was) as customers might feel they were being offered a converted bomber so 'F/A-18' was quickly concocted as a compromise. As I say, this is purely from memory so I may have got some of the timescale confused but I am certain of tha facts how F/A came into existance.

[edit on 24-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 12:44 PM
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Well, how come it's F-35 and not F/A-35...?? it's a carrier plane, and defenetly an attack plane... And why didn't they think of this before putting the F/A there... Why not go directly to F-22A...??

[edit on 25-1-2006 by Figher Master FIN]



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