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F-22A vs F-117

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posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 08:11 PM
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Opinions please...

Which is stealthier? The F-22A or the F-117?

Does this question lead us to understand why the F-117 program was "shelved"?

Just wondering...

misunderestimated




posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 08:39 PM
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The F-117 was more of a "learning program". They incorporated all the things they learned from the Nighthawk into the F-22, and the B-2. They are still upgrading the F-117 to make it stealthier and give it more improved capabilities. Any "shelving" of the program was strictly by the Fighter Mafia to get more F-22s into inventory.

"If it ain't a Fighter, it ain't ****" is their mentality.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:16 PM
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"If it ain't a Fighter, it ain't ****" is their mentality.


Zap you seem like you have a problem with the “Fighter Mafia”, I mean come on I’ve seen some of those guys on TV and they seem alright, plus they gave us the F-15, that didn't turn out too bad



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:20 PM
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Sure, they've given us some great fighters. At the cost of tankers, bombers, transports......

I don't deny that they got us some great fighters, but come on, slashing almost half the BUFFs, and reengening 40 year old tankers to keep them flying to get more fighters is sheer idiocy at best, gross stupidity at worst.

[edit on 2/3/2006 by Zaphod58]



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:29 PM
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…and reengening 40 year old tankers to keep them flying to get more fighters is sheer idiocy at best, gross stupidity at worst.


Yes there has to be an acceptable and reasonable balance, but since we’re retiring the F-15 they feel the most immediate need is for the Raptor.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:34 PM
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Yeah, let's replace the F-15s by slashing our bomber fleet and cutting all the other programs they cut. Our bombers will have total safety because we'll have air superiority, oh wait, what bombers.

Did you know that by slashing 40 C-17s, the E-10 to 1, 40% of the BUFFs, and keeping the KC-135s another 40 years, they can get 4 more F-22s?

[edit on 2/3/2006 by Zaphod58]



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:40 PM
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That does sound irrational and dangerous to say the least; I’d rather have all those other assets then just four more Raptors. Heck we could keep one squadron of F-15’s operational to compensate of those 4 Raptors instead of cutting all those other systems.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:41 PM
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The Fighter Mafia doesn't think that way. With them in charge sooner or later someone is gonna give a war, and we can't get there because we won't have any tankers to get our fighters there.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Any "shelving" of the program was strictly by the Fighter Mafia to get more F-22s into inventory.

"If it ain't a Fighter, it ain't ****" is their mentality.


While the various "mafia's" in the pentagon yeild alot of power, The F-117's day had pretty much run its cource. Yes improvement were made and others were in the works, but most of them were more geared to making the maintenece of the stealth easier. The a/c requires alot of maintnence to maintain its signature. According to ben Rich, even a screw lose 1/4 f a turn will make it detectable.

The other factor is its age. The plane was designed in the early 70's and geared to SAM systems and AWACS of the time. Those systems like the F-117 have evolved. Perhaps its becoming "marginal" in its stealth and the USAF does not want to take any risks.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:19 PM
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There were three or four more block upgrades on the books relating to weapons updates, and targetting fixes. The original plan was that it wouldn't be retired until 2018 at the earliest, because it has a lot less wear and tear on the airframe than they expected it to have at this point in its life.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:41 PM
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Originally posted by misunderestimated
Which is stealthier? The F-22A or the F-117?

The F-22A is stealthier.


As for the other topic..... Do you have a link (Zaphod) to the 40 C-17 cut...I never heard that one.
As the for the others...the Nighthawk is prime to retire...since it has a small bomb bay, cant carry external weapons, and is sub-sonic...and the BUFF is just plain old, retiring 40% of the fleet is probably the only way to keep the others flying (by using the retired ones parts).



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:45 PM
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Technically it's not an actual CUT per se. They did an airlift study, and it was determined that they needed 220 C-17s for the most efficient airlift capability, but to save money, they only ordered 180. The original study showed 170-180, provided all 126 C-5s were modernized, but the C-5 fleet is only going to be 112-114 IIRC so they would need an additional 40 C-17s.



[edit on 2/4/2006 by Zaphod58]



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:57 PM
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Here's the info on the C-5 upgrade. Remember 170-180 C-17s was dependant on all 126 C-5s being upgraded. Instead they're retiring 14. It takes several C-17s to equal one C-5.


Two test aircraft already have been fitted with the AMP upgrade, and 47 more C-5Bs are funded, according to Maj. Gen. Mark A. Volcheff, AMC’s director of operations. In all, AMC expects to perform the avionics update on 112 airplanes: 60 of the older C-5As, all 50 C-5Bs, and both C-5Cs. Upgrading all 112 will take until 2010. The remaining 14 C-5s will be decommissioned.

“We plan to start retirement of 14 C-5As this fiscal year,” Volcheff said.
The aircraft in question happen to include the oldest 11 C-5As, plus three others that have posed particularly vexing maintenance problems over the years.
AMC found those “worst actors” by conducting a logistics study, said Maj. Christopher Leist, an AMC planner.

www.afa.org...



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 06:52 AM
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They ran an article in the base paper here in Germany that said they were going to cut half the B52 fleet, the whole F117 and U2 fleet in order to divert funds to purchase four more F22s.

I have many friends who are maintainers. They do not stop complaining on how much the C-5s break down. It is kind of a running joke in the AF if you ever fly on a C-5, expect to stay awhile wherever you land while they fix the plane. They break ALL the time. I prefer the C-17. I have ridden in both of them many times, and the 17 in my eyes is a way better aircraft.

www.military.com...



[edit on 4-2-2006 by Chicken on a Stick]



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by Chicken on a Stick
They ran an article in the base paper here in Germany that said they were going to cut half the B52 fleet, the whole F117 and U2 fleet in order to divert funds to purchase four more F22s.

I have many friends who are maintainers. They do not stop complaining on how much the C-5s break down. It is kind of a running joke in the AF if you ever fly on a C-5, expect to stay awhile wherever you land while they fix the plane. They break ALL the time. I prefer the C-17. I have ridden in both of them many times, and the 17 in my eyes is a way better aircraft.

www.military.com...
[edit on 4-2-2006 by Chicken on a Stick]


Do you think they have chosen the B.747 as the C5. I think you could say how reliable it is

Anyway I think the F-117 has completed its cycle. I think is main purpose was to test if stealth would work on combat and not just as a theoretical study. And I think it proved its worthiness. However that plane is getting older and it has a lot of compromises in its design that now can be solved.



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by Chicken on a Stick
They ran an article in the base paper here in Germany that said they were going to cut half the B52 fleet, the whole F117 and U2 fleet in order to divert funds to purchase four more F22s.

www.military.com...

[edit on 4-2-2006 by Chicken on a Stick]


Im sorry but this is crazy. If you read the article and how much money they are going to be saving by cutting these planes and then the fact that they only get 4 more planes out of it. Its plain crazy. sure i know that there our cost to run the 22 fleet etc but they are saying that they are only getting 2.6 billion from cuttting the programes. Then they say that 1 billion is going into the raptor. where'd the other 1.6 billion go?

[edit on 4-2-2006 by Canada_EH]



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 12:51 PM
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All the money of the Raptor program isn't just for the planes. They have to pay for parts, testing materials, training for the maint techs, etc. That's a pretty big chunk o change right there.



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 08:11 PM
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MUI,

>>
Opinions please...

Which is stealthier? The F-22A or the F-117?
>>

The F-117A is shown in all of the 'for public dissemination' graphs as being at least half again as small a radar target in the front quarter. I can't hardly imagine how the F-22 could be better in any other aspect because of it's six point lobestructure and vastly more complex (huge) tail surfaces in particular.

That said, the F-22 can play 9G games all the way up to 40-45K. The F-117 is 5G's 'and a prayer going downhill' at 12-15K.

Here's one listing of relative RCS values-

www.aerospaceweb.org...

(though it must be understood that where you are not talking dbsm as a generalized absorption fraction, you must also take into account bandwidth and specific illumination angles).

Also, in general, because of radars 4th power variance for detection range, a halving of target RCS does no realy good. You need order of magnitude improvements to get noticeable increments of detection range decrease.

>>
Does this question lead us to understand why the F-117 program was "shelved"?
>>

The F-117 is a very poor strike aircraft. With GBU-39 or indeed any of the JDAM series with longshot/diamondback etc. glide kits, an F-15E or F-16E (decent SAR patch map resolution and 40nm targeting FLIRs) can probably remain equally 'safe' as a function of standoff from terminal and medium range (SA-8/9/13/15 and 3/6/11/17) systems. While the notion that you are going to go playing with an S-300/400 (or PAC-3 or Aster) with manned anything is pretty juvenile if you have cruise options and decent targeting (Lacrosse, despite being nominally a radar sea search system has a HUGE swath coverage and can make high order patch maps which can be auto-processed for specific, 'high value' target types, under on hour).

>>
Just wondering...
>>

The fact of the matter is that the F-22 is the superior _physical_ interdictor because it can slingbomb from roughly double the standoff of any other platform. However; without more than a modem to do offboard targeting, it is a blind Sampson.

That said, 'the fighter mafia'* is not represented by the 183 F-22 pilots. It's represented by the some 4,600 F-16/18/A-10 crews. THESE are the idiots looking for a paycheck. THESE are the flyboys that will be given 1,250 + 240 + 170 F-35 JSFs.

The F-22 is a fork-done platform that nobody is defending anymore because, at 183 airframes, it's production numbers are so low that there isn't any point, no matter how much 'potentially' superior it is. Because the 35 billion spent in R&D is sunk and the 45 billion needed for a full production run is NOTHING compared to the 257 billion that the JSF will make for Lunchmeat Inc.

Thus it's a kicking dog.

Taken from that perspective, the 40 C-17, 50 B-52 and 'no KC-767' make a little more sense because the USAF knows that, once we lose-by-forfeit in Iraq, there will likely be a major purse-string yanking by Congress in reactionary swing to the last 8 years of Republican 'conservatism with everything but defense'.

If they have these programs up on the altar, heads back, ready for sacrifice, they can honestly say that they are 'ready' to keep whatever core mission elements are needed for the 'war after next' ready to go. As R&D (which, historically, is but a tiny fraction of total acquisition and cost of ownership 'lifecycle' bill).

The Falcon or B-3 may only be possible for instance, if there is a gaping hole in the apparent capabilities of the U.S. armed forces. And looky-looky! They don't require grunts getting their guts eviscerated by 500 dollar IEDs.

This exposes another element of USAF dominant militarism-as-career-ethics. They keep themselves 'in good' with the relevant companies by following a strict 'up or out' BUSINESS PLAN. By which the only real way to advance in rank is to leave the warfighter 'operational' end of things and do a couple staff/college tours before 'sponsoring' (writing a paper on capability-X) a program.

If you don't go that route, the upper ranks (beyond about major) are never going to happen for you and you will be shunted to increasingly desolate duty stations until they find some reason to dump you so they don't have to pay for your existing benefits/salary.

And everyone who IS someone (has career drive) knows it.

The difference being that nobody in the AF or indeed any of the armed forces really cares about this nation's defenses anymore. Nor do the companies which nominally renew and support them. So long as they study contracts and R&D keep coming, they can make a business out of not making new wartoyz. Or at least not making as many of them as would actually be useful to accomplishing the mission at hand. For by doing that, you generate an artificially spiked 'need' for the next generation. Both 'by the numbers' (inventory short, defense industry base new program start funded) and as a function of running existing platforms twice as hard (utilization rates vs. inadequately funded critical spares pipe and new-mission training requirements) as you would otherwise. One of the favorite methods being to 'declare' that platform-X is suddenly incapable of handling the threat (Cope India, AIM-9X but no AMRAAM) and then throw in the fact that 'by the way, it's hard to maintain or has fatigue cracks in a critical wingspar!' (A-7F killed by F-16).

There is no honesty or honor in our nation's warrior elite. I doubt seriously if there ever was. It is just too endemic to the 'best of the best' class-unto-themselves psychology to eventually start believing their own propoganda as an excuse to set themselves up as a martial aristocracy (THE LARGEST 'discretionary' budget element, year after year, has always been that portion of the $teak cut to the military services).


KPl.


*To be historically correct, the original 'lightweight fighter mafia' were Pierre Sprey, John Boyd and Everest Riccioni who, as a function of statistical studies into airframe cost:weight and EM or Energy Maneuverability (drag vs. power, more or less) determined to make themselves 'famous' by sponsoring the LWF/ACF program studies which led to the YF-16/17. They were critically wrong in all their assumptions about 'sophistication in small numbers vs. sortie weight by huge numbers' but it took another generation for Stealth and cheap Standoff Munitions to prove how badly. Not least because, at least as related to strike, the ultimate 'fighter' is a cruise missile.

Nevertheless, it is appropriate to consider them in the same light as the 'whiz kids' of McNamara's time, only with the benefit of at least /some/ 'uniform experience' (insider acceptance within the five wall asylum) to seem to be real 'experts in their respective service fields'.

Today's 'fighter mafia' are specifically the _core force_ of tacair fighter pilots whose 'my other car is a...' luxury lifestyle is represented in the platforms they demand to be able to fly as much as any physical ownership of goods. This despite all that we now know to be true about air warfare (presence is different from reach among others) 'really works'. Don't get the two confused because a 1.25:1 manning ratio on the the F-22 only amounts to about 229 pilots. And that leaves almost 5,000 others _just in the USAF_ to suck up all your tax dollars and then say 'it's not enough'.

If you are going to damn them, damn them all. Not just the Raptor drivers.



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 10:08 PM
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It's 2006 and we still have the Chinook. The biggest POS in military history.

F-22 is much stealthier

Train



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 04:11 AM
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much as I hate the iea of posting in a X vs Y thread, you've raised some more interesting questions that just a "who would win". Frankly, it's still apples and oranges, because the aircraft do not share the same mission.

All that said, I'd have to go with the F-22 being stealthier. It is entirely concieveable that it's airframe is just as stealthy as that on the F-117, but the F-22 does not rely on more maintenance intensive things like excessive RAM, or a dramaticly un-aerodynamic shape to accomplish the same goal. Maintenance intensive may as well mean "likely to have been screwed up recently", ergo, the Raptor's stealth is more reliable.

No question the sun is setting on the F-117 though. It was intended as a shock weapon. Had we gone to war with the Soviet Union, the responce from so many Soviet commanders should have been "WHAT! How'd they bomb THAT?". Frankly, even if the program had stayed secret, it's time would still be just about up.



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