The Raptor already has
4 external hard points and weapon mounts can be added to these hard points with little effort, look at a Raptor’s wing
closely and you will see two dark markings, they are the hard points. Each hard point on the Raptor has the capability to carry 5000LB.
This is true and the capacity will likely never be used for more than fuel because 'Spiral 1' (equal roughly to Tranche 2 in Flubber speak) which
brought all the A2G radar improvements and other 'multirole' changes was cancelled in trade for the guarantee of 183 airframes and 'live line'
production capacity retention (they don't have to close down and destroy the tooling) sufficient for Lunchmeat to whore the aircraft to the Japanese.
If they want it, as is. Since the nominal replacement standard is actually for the F-4EJKai and _not_ the Eagle, I don't see why they would.
Either way, if we ever buy another F-22 after 2010, I will be vastly surprised. Military Power For Profit= JSF.
The Raptor can be loaded with 4 fuel tanks and 8 missiles externally combined with 8 missiles internally.
No. Only the inboard tank configuration has been cleared and authorized. If the Raptor were to carry 8 missiles externally with tanks, it would have
to be on stub 'ferry mounts' that are folded directly over the tank without a launch rail. To carry fireable weapons is an either-or choice on 600
gallon tanks in a situation not unlike that of AAM carriage on the F/A-18 pylons (a LAU-115 sub adaptor under the pylon and two LAU-128/9 or similar
rails attached to the sides for the F-22).
Should help illustrate what is being considered. At one time I believe the pod was called 'LODIS'.
Similar experiments in conformal carriage have been carried out under the Have Dash/Have Slick efforts while encapsulation has been applied to weapons
like the Harpoon. Another trick is a Spray On RAM which is compatible with most optical seekers such that /not all/ LO is lost to external carriage,
even of relatively clunky (rack and rail) systems.
In terms of Flubber to The Kingdom, it would seem to me that any effort to replace the existing Tornado F.3 (solely an air defense asset) would not
necessarily be all that hard to justify and indeed it may well be the 'Jewish Lobby' in the U.S. (and the U.S. in Iraq) which makes the Flubber such
an easy-out secondary option.
As far as targeting pods my guess would be something more akin to this-
Whereby, if you /need to/ the older TIALD could still be made to work (especially with crap weapons like the GBU-16 and CPU-123B). My understanding
was always that the German Flubbers which will get LITENING anyway as a function of one of their companies being 'designated Euro distributor' for
the Israeli system, much like NorGrumman is here.
Again, being richer than God, as a Saudi, I would take one look at my precious 80 million dollar ant farm and ask how much for a 500 Storm Shadows and
integration with the Tornado to go with. But hey, that's just me. There isn't a single grain of ugly in the entire Middle Eastern Sandbox worth
dying for, IMO.
I _do_ question the notion of the use of T1 and T2 airframes with 'interim' A2G loads if these aircraft are not in fact intended for that mission
(and structurally hardened appropriately). We did this business with the F-16A vs. C and C.40/.50 and it wasn't pretty.
Lastly, I believe those are the 'skinny tanks' of some 1,000l capacity and supersonic capable. Flubber is also cleared (subsonic) for the 1700l
tanks from the Tornado (wings only). And at one time, along with the wingroot CFT, they were looking at 'new' (non Hindenburger), 2000l versions.
That's roughly 264 (not worth the drag, IMO), 448 (ainh). And 528 (pretty good but I bet drag is a stone beach) gallons respectively on our side of
Given that the original Flubber internal fuel figures were in the high 9's and they 'now say' that the jet has some 11-12,000lbs of internal gas, I
would say that external fuel is going to be a veritable fixture of Flubberizing in the Great Wide Nothin' of Saudi Empty Quarter AFBs. Again, UK
Paveway (/any/ Paveway really) is trash in the current IAM era and especially if you want to have an ARMIGER or ALARM for 'keeping their heads
down'; I would instead go with AASM on a triple mount as this gives you a 60km standoff (rocket version) and enough aimpoints to be worth the
penetration risk in a conventional airframe. Whethe the large TER (and French origined if EADS marketed) wing clearances/total weight is compatible
or available for non-Euro sales competition with their Rafale is another question. Tunnel Drag is a real bummer if you start stacking additively
outboard, munition after munition necessary to save Flubbers hide from all things wicked it's way comething.