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F-16 designer calls the F-22 Raptor a 'turkey' among other design & cost criticisms

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posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 05:32 AM
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"This thing is a turkey," Pierre Sprey says of the Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter.

Sprey, one of the designers of the successful Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter, has been presenting a litany of F-22 criticisms alongside author James Stevenson at the Center for Defense Information in Washington D.C.

In a series of slides, Sprey and Stevenson accuse the F-22 of being slow, gas-guzzling, vulnerable and expensive. Their last point is indisputable. $65 billion buys the Air Force just 183 aircraft -- an average cost of around $350 million, versus around $50 million for a new F-16.

Sprey contends that the capabilities are unnecessary in conflicts such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, where there are no air defenses and no enemy aircraft.

Sprey insists that the Raptor isn't as "hot" as the Air Force claims. He cites the aircraft's weight and size as disadvantages in aerial combat.


However, all the issues he raised were promptly answered. For more check out this link > click

and it includes this : "At Northern Edge in Alaska recently, the 27th Fighter Squadron (F-22A's) simulated 108 kills against other fighters for no losses of its own.
And at a weapons test in Utah, the squadron dropped 22 bombs for 22 hits with better accuracy than any other aircraft."




posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 06:29 AM
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Originally posted by Stealth Spy
"At Northern Edge in Alaska recently, the 27th Fighter Squadron (F-22A's) simulated 108 kills against other fighters for no losses of its own.
And at a weapons test in Utah, the squadron dropped 22 bombs for 22 hits with better accuracy than any other aircraft."


how can an aircraft perform like this and still get insulted? yes its expensive but it killed 108 planes for 0 losses. if all the planes it shot down cost $50 million(aka f-16) then it cost the enemy $5,400,000,000 for the cost of 108 missiles. the way i see it. thats pretty good value for money, plus in a real war there would be no negative headlines about casulties.

when a squadron achieves 108-0 it obviously isnt vunerable. with stealth, and such a powerful radar whats it vunurable to. it shoots its prey down before they see it.

as to gas guzzeling i thought the point of super cruise is that it isnt gas guzzling.

i cant see why he made this statement if he worked for a different company then i could understand it, byut undermining ur own company. just doesnt make sense.

justin



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 07:57 AM
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Does he seriously think that the world will stay static forever and that in the next 30 years we will never face a heavily integrated air defense system combined with capable fighters? Someone also needs to tell him you can’t replace an F-22 with a bomb tuck, totally different roles, you can’t just have one type of aircraft for everything. Not to mention that an F-22 can fly circles around an F-16 in WVR.

Also, let me address the cost of the F-22, right now the F-22 coming out of the assembly line costs $ 137 Million, NOT the inflated 350 Mil that some put out which has R&D factored in. AND after the 183 are produced each subsequent Raptor should the AF buy more would only cost around 117 Million dollars, that is not expensive when you consider what the F-22 brings to the table. BTW for comparison the Typhoon which people consider cheap costs 62.9 million Euros (80.3 million USD).

Typhoon Cost

F-22A Cost

If anyone is a turkey it's this man for pathetically attempting to put down a fighter which is needed and which is the best in the world when it comes to air superiority.

And by the way in exercise Northern Edge the F-22, F-15C (AESA) and the F/A-18E/F (AESA) were tested in A2A combat against simulated Flanker opponents. In that exercise the F-22, as mentioned above, achieved a 108-0 victory while the F-15 and F/A-18 each achieved a 2:1 kill ratio over the flankers. Earlier this year at Nellis AFB the 27th FS with 8 F-22’s also killed 33 F-15C fighters with no loss in an A2A combat exercise. But of course it’s just a turkey. :shk:

[edit on 15-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 09:04 AM
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The Gas gussling statement caught me off guard. As its already been said isn't supercruises point to lower the amount of fuel used to cruise at high mach speeds?



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 09:44 AM
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I've been around a while (40 years) and I CANNOT think of single US weapons system that wasn't called a “turkey” a or “waste of money” at some point. These same arguments (too costly, overkill, etc..) were once used against the F-15 and the M1-A1.

The press never tires of this sort of stuff.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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This is an old story and has been posted here a couple of times before

P. Sprey, (fighter mafia) again speaks out against the failing F-22

Fans of the F-22 Raptor need to wake-up

Basically he argues what is need is superioirity of number, and that the Raptor is not the quality it is made out to be e.g. to shoot beyond visual range it needs to activate its radar thus disclosing itself, so it has no stealth in combat as the radar emission will be detected.

And so he argues that for 1 F-22 you can have 10 F-16 and that the F-16 flies three times as often due to the issues of stealth, complexity and maintenance affecting the Raptor.

[edit on 15-8-2006 by Popeye]



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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I'll agree and disagree on some points.

It's not worth the money. The technology incorporated on it are mostly after-thoughts and use lab tests from optimal conditions to imply their same usefulness in the manner they were used.

It's also being advertised as an aircraft it is not. It was designed as an air supremacy fighter - not a multi-role aircraft. Both it and the YF-23 were NEVER designed to carry anything but air-to-air missiles. That was intended for the 'bomb trucks' and our fleet of highly expensive stealth bombers.

However, that role has changed as the ATF is no longer seen as necessary over the 14 years the fighter has been developed (damned thing would have been built in two at the most, had a compitent engineer been in control) - pushing the design to become a multi-roll fighter. This it is not - nor ever will be. Just as the modified versions of the F-15 (I beleive the E model) will never truely be a air support aircraft like the F-16 and A-10. The victories claimed by the aircraft are, quite honestly, irrelivant. All of the simulated kills have put the raptor in favorable conditions and never up against a well orchestrated defense grid. The avionics in the aircraft are also responsible for any increase in bomb accuracy - which can be accomplished with a much cheaper upgrade of the existing aircraft - or a newer model (such as the F/A-18F and E).

It's stealth is also WAY overblown. The truth of it is that it is only 'stealthy' from about three angles. Beyond those - it is just as visible as any other aircraft is in the sky. That is why it is classified as a Semi-Stealth aircraft.

In short - Lockheed is trying to get their fighter to do more than what it was designed for - and compromising its LO traits to accomplish this. The payload the aircraft can carry, verses the fuel, verses the initial cost of the aircraft means that it is very inneficient.

In conclusion - I say that the F-23 should have been developed for the role of ATF as Northrop would have likely had the aircraft ready for production in, at most, four years. Northrop had absolutely no fighter work and was capable of devoting all of the pertaining resources to the project wheras lockheed was drowning in contracts due to political favors (I like the irony of that). The F-23 was also a better fighter design than the F-22. The development of a complementary attack or bomber aircraft would have been more cost-effective and resulted in a much more potent combat force.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
It's not worth the money. The technology incorporated on it are mostly after-thoughts and use lab tests from optimal conditions to imply their same usefulness in the manner they were used.


Yeah, uh huh, is that why there’s only one other aircraft that even comes close to matching its stealth capabilities? That includes all current known and near to medium range future projects. The F-22 has been tested in real world exercise and scenarios BTW, and it has performed better than it did in labs or on computer Sims.

BTW, sure other aircraft can launch more bombs, perhaps just as accurate but the F-22 can access heavily integrated air defense systems AND still drop those bombs, it can operate from within hostile airspace. Can the same be said the F/A-18E/F? F-16 (any model), F-15? Nope. They will all be waiting for the F-22 to "kick down the door" as the pilots like to say. The F-22’s A2G capability is nothing to hate, it’s an added on capability to make the fighter even more lethal and flexible.


Originally posted by Aim64C
It's stealth is also WAY overblown. The truth of it is that it is only 'stealthy' from about three angles. Beyond those - it is just as visible as any other aircraft is in the sky. That is why it is classified as a Semi-Stealth aircraft.


Please prey tell where you’re getting this information from because its definitely wrong, the F-22 has all aspect stealth, that includes IR, EM emissions, and RCS, sure its overall RCS may be a bit higher than head on but even from different angles it definitely is not "just as visible as any other aircraft in the sky", even with a few external add ons its RCS is still probably lower than any other fighter out there. And no it’s not classified as semi-stealth, semi-stealth are fighters like the F/A-18E/F and Typhoon, not aircraft like the F-22, F-35, B-2 or even F-117 for that matter.

So let me just sum it all up by saying that the F-22 is definitely woth it's price, it's ability to fight and bomb from very hostile airspace is unmatched by current fighters. Its BVR, WVR, and situational awareness capabilities are leaps ahead of what the latest F-15's can offer. It is the best air superiority fighter in the world, period, anyone who says otherwise quite frankly doesn’t know what they're talking about.

[edit on 15-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 05:40 PM
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I think that the F-22, even after all my Raptor-bashing is a good plane. But I think that the Us gov't needs to wake up to this one fact- the Cold War is over. We don't need to have the capability to blow an entire nation off the map. I'm okay with making new aircraft and using them as demonstrative platforms as Russia has done with the Su-37, and the Su-47. I don't understand why the US has to polish its gun collection while the rest of the world puts their money into projects worth going after. Space programs, anyone?



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 05:57 PM
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I think that the F-22, even after all my Raptor-bashing is a good plane. But I think that the Us gov't needs to wake up to this one fact- the Cold War is over. We don't need to have the capability to blow an entire nation off the map. I'm okay with making new aircraft and using them as demonstrative platforms as Russia has done with the Su-37, and the Su-47. I don't understand why the US has to polish its gun collection while the rest of the world puts their money into projects worth going after. Space programs, anyone?


Its called better safe than sorry. Its better to bring that extra bottle of water when you go camping,even though may have plenty as is. It's better to bring extra money when goin out somewhere,so that if something were to come up you would be ready for it. True right now we dont need this plane,but who knows where the worlds major powers will be 10 years from now. Many ppl see russia teaming up with china. Now if we were to get on their bad side,im sure we'll be much happier we have the f-22, than if we just upgraded all our older planes.

This goes not just for planes but all technology. When buying a new pc,upgrade for the future so you arent continuously buying new parts for you pc. Same goes for tv's, etc. Besides the future will be a more hostile world than it is right now.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 05:58 PM
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I have never seen any combat scenarios of the F-22 run up against an air defense grid. I've seen individual encounters - mergers, and BVR encounters - all done individually and isolated from any defense grid - but none that mimic a true real-world encounter.

The F-22 project should have been scrapped 6 years into its development. A multirole fighter would have been a better investment than the F-22.

I get my information from the same place you get your information and from people who work in such areas.

The IR 'stealth' of the F-22 is negligable. An Aim-9 will have no problem locking onto it in a 'dogfight'. Long range IR is a little different - but the aircraft has to rely on its maneuverability, there.

EM shielding is nothing new, unique, or improved upon.

And the RCS of the airplane couldn't be worse for its role. The geometry of the fighter generates a very unnecessary number of return envelopes. Also, the overall RCS of the aircraft is aproximately half that of the F-15. Although RCS arguements are rather futile as modern filters allow for radars to filter not by strength - but by velocity, altitude, and other return aspects. This ensures that any aircraft, stealth or non, can be tracked and routed.

Most of the advantages the F-15 sports are also sported by the F/A-18 E and F - which are avionics and situational awareness enhancements.

The project should have stuck with its initial goals - an advanced tactical fighter to accompany strike aircraft that would sport the same LO charactaristics - only optimized for eliminating ground threats, relying on the ATFs for support.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by spanishcaravan

Now if we were to get on their bad side,im sure we'll be much happier we have the f-22, than if we just upgraded all our older planes.



A very large "if" indeed. And if the F-22 is never used and we move on to the next-gen airplane, then what? $65 billion down the drain. $65 billion that could have been better spent.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by Number23
I've been around a while (40 years) and I CANNOT think of single US weapons system that wasn't called a “turkey” a or “waste of money” at some point. These same arguments (too costly, overkill, etc..) were once used against the F-15 and the M1-A1.

The press never tires of this sort of stuff.


I agree and most of it is said by liberal democrats like John Kerry (who served in Vietnam). To them almost every U.S. weapons system is a waste of money...a fact evident by researching their voting records.

As for the F-22 being a "Turkey", I don't think so. While I love the F-16 it will never come close to the phenominal capabilities of the Raptor.

[edit on 15-8-2006 by War_Monger]



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 06:15 PM
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We,the american ppl,have no say in it at all whatsoever anyway.The gov't will spend what it wants to spend,on whatever it chooses. We should consider it luck that we know how much is actually being spent. Besides,our income tax goes toward paying the interest on the national debt anyway.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by spanishcaravan



I think that the F-22, even after all my Raptor-bashing is a good plane. But I think that the Us gov't needs to wake up to this one fact- the Cold War is over. We don't need to have the capability to blow an entire nation off the map. I'm okay with making new aircraft and using them as demonstrative platforms as Russia has done with the Su-37, and the Su-47. I don't understand why the US has to polish its gun collection while the rest of the world puts their money into projects worth going after. Space programs, anyone?


Its called better safe than sorry. Its better to bring that extra bottle of water when you go camping,even though may have plenty as is. It's better to bring extra money when goin out somewhere,so that if something were to come up you would be ready for it. True right now we dont need this plane,but who knows where the worlds major powers will be 10 years from now. Many ppl see russia teaming up with china. Now if we were to get on their bad side,im sure we'll be much happier we have the f-22, than if we just upgraded all our older planes.

This goes not just for planes but all technology. When buying a new pc,upgrade for the future so you arent continuously buying new parts for you pc. Same goes for tv's, etc. Besides the future will be a more hostile world than it is right now.


Still doesn't excuse the incompitence Lockheed has shown. That airplane should have been built in under 5 years - at the longest. I, personally, given the resources of the company and given it as my job - could have built the plane in two - including improving the prototype design.

The problem with the F-22 is that the Interum Bomber project aims to develop what the ATF was supposed to support. The YF-23 was better in every aspect except for low-speed maneuvering and more worth the money spent to develop the fighter.

But Lockheed tried to kill two birds with one stone and ended up smacking themselves in the forhead. Sad to see how they've only gone downhill.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 07:13 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
I have never seen any combat scenarios of the F-22 run up against an air defense grid. I've seen individual encounters - mergers, and BVR encounters - all done individually and isolated from any defense grid - but none that mimic a true real-world encounter.


The F-22 is flying with 6,000 hours worth of test flight, it was tested against air defense systems (among other things), both real world and simulated. You wont find this on the net nor will you find out how it performed but it was tested against such a scenario, all major aircraft are. And the F-22 has flown both BVR and WVR mock A2A engagements, usually with multiple fighters at once.


Originally posted by Aim64C
The IR 'stealth' of the F-22 is negligable. An Aim-9 will have no problem locking onto it in a 'dogfight'. Long range IR is a little different - but the aircraft has to rely on its maneuverability, there.


An Aim-9X with have no problem locking onto anything that's lit in WVR, but this is a moot point anyway. HOBS with HMS will make dog fighting pointless which is why F-22 pilots know better then to let themselves end up in a WVR mess. Where IR reduction matters is against SAM’s and IRST/FLIR systems.


Originally posted by Aim64C
EM shielding is nothing new, unique, or improved upon.


I was referring to the AN/APG and its LPI technology combined with its passive capabilities, the level of LPI technology the F-22 uses is indeed something new.


Originally posted by Aim64C
Also, the overall RCS of the aircraft is aproximately half that of the F-15. Although RCS arguements are rather futile as modern filters allow for radars to filter not by strength - but by velocity, altitude, and other return aspects. This ensures that any aircraft, stealth or non, can be tracked and routed.


I don't know where you get that from but its just pure fantasy, the overall RCS of the F-15 ranges anywhere from 10-5 M2, you’re telling me the F-22 has an RCS of 5-2.5 M2?
Please get real. Also name me how many aircraft are currently equipped with this fantasy filter of yours. And while you're at it name me the SAM systems also equipped with this filter and its effective tracking ranges.


Originally posted by Aim64C
Most of the advantages the F-15 sports are also sported by the F/A-18 E and F - which are avionics and situational awareness enhancements.


Sorry but when it comes to situational awareness and ease of infromation display the F-15 and Super Bug have nothing on the F-22, let alone when they’re actually facing an F-22. Don't make me start quoting Raptor and Eagle drivers.

[edit on 15-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 07:47 PM
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If we were starting from a clean slate, it probably isn't worth the money - IMHO as it stands for the expected buy, it's an absurd price. Too bad so much of the money is already spent that whether it's "worth it" is a moot point now.

On the other hand, do I think it's a bad plane? No.

I think it's likely to be the best fighter on the planet for at least the next decade, if not the next few. For the amount of time and money it has taken to get it into service, it had better be.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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Well, the AF originally had plans to buy 750 ATF aircraft, now because of the politicians it has dropped to 183, the price is indeed going to go up when that happens. If we were to order 750 F-22 the price for a lot of those fighters would be below 100 million mark. As for the R&D, well that is inevitable, progression of technology has to go on, it had to be done sooner or later, we are already seeing the benefits in the F-35.


[edit on 15-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 03:44 PM
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>>
"This thing is a turkey," Pierre Sprey says of the Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter.
Sprey, one of the designers of the successful Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter, has been presenting a litany of F-22 criticisms alongside author James Stevenson at the Center for Defense Information in Washington D.C.
>>

Pierre Sprey is one of the three original 'fighter mafioso' (Boyd and Riccioni were the other idiots) whose statistical views lead to the design of an aircraft capable of fulfilling the role of dogfighting with a MiG-21 based on the after action stuff coming out of Vietnam. Since Vietnam itself was a flawed casepoint to use for the subsequent NATO mission. And since NATO was /never/ as likely to cook off _before_ the Middle East (ruffled political feathers may be soothed or ignored as Leck Walesa was in Poland but oil access is a 'Spice MUST Flow' guarantee of going to war) the Viper ended up being designed for a 150nm war. Produced for fighting a 300nm war. And utterly unable to effectively prosecute a 750nm war.
Before he dares to have an opinion about the F-22 and all _20,000lbs_ of fuel it carries, he'd bloody well better apologize for wasting BILLIONS of dollars on a 'Texas Barbecue' (pork politics in action).
Because absolutely NONE of the conditional modifiers which supposedly justified the design features of the LGPOS are point applicable in the modern world and indeed, the F-4 stayed around as our primary all weather and precision strike airframe for another 15 years after the Lawn Darts service entry only goes to prove how you design a fighter correctly was better known in 1958 than in 1975.

>>
In a series of slides, Sprey and Stevenson accuse the F-22 of being slow, gas-guzzling, vulnerable and expensive.
>>

Slow? No. Because it's not just drag. It's thrust MINUS drag. And the F-22 has the _wings_ to go up to 50-60K (i.e. Foxbat country) and lope along, fully loaded, at speeds which the F-16 simply cannot attain while similarly loaded.
Gas-guzzling. Why yes, I imagine it is. I mean, you have an airframe which is designed to consume the equivalent of 30-40,000lbs of gas /every mission/. That's 5,882 gallons. Or 294 refuelings of a 20 gallon car tank. Or 8 YEARS of typical, thrice-per-month refueled driving. OTOH, the benefits of supercruise accrue in the 'inbetween' phase where the jet is flying almost a 1,000nm to stay outside the range of threat ballistic missiles. Or simply because nobody closer will allow basein. All military aircraft being useless for 90+% of their travelled TIME in the air. When they are not either turning (reloading with a new target-configured weapons load and fuel) or actually attacking a given threat. An F-22 can make radius and back in 3hrs what an F-16 would take 10 or more to achieve, refueling multiple times enroute to maintain a safety margin.
Cost? Compared to the 276 BILLION dollar F-35 production program? Or the 347 BILLION dollar F-35 total life cycle costs? Puh-leaze.

>>
But the men and women who operate the F-22 from Langley Air Force Base in southern Virginia say their new mount is worth every penny.
"We'll use the F-22 to clear a path for other aircraft," says Captain Phil Colomy, a Raptor pilot with the 27th Fighter Squadron. He describes how Raptors would come in high and fast, sneaking up on enemy air defenses with its radar-absorbing and -reflecting airframe and its hard-to-detect radar, then drop satellite-guided bombs to take out radars and surface-to-air missiles. On the same mission, Colomy adds, a flight of F-22s could shoot down enemy fighters.
>>

Which is what happens when you frontload a COE (Contempt Of Engagement) platform with NAPFAG (Not a pound for air to ground) drivers whose only mission in life has been practicing air to air.
The F-22 is NOT 'a bodyguard'.
Because like all bodyguards, 90% of the escort/sweep mission is dawdling around looking tough and providing a firewall between your client and the 'paparrazi'.
The F-22 should be looked at as a D1/R1 (Day 1/Raid 1) mission system that is less intended to engage threats than to force them to shut down and accept the obliteration of their command structure.
Once you have lobotomized the IADS, you are better off going in _slow and patient_ with a HUGE (i.e. _cheap_) and ENDURANT (i.e. no 'fighter features' including a baby onboard) force that can track down and annihilate individual threats as TCTs (Time Critical Targets). Because, truth be told, there is nothing on the ground which can survive being attacked by the air. But at the same time, finding ONLY what you want to kill on the ground is more akin to popping a single cell in a target field of bubblewrap than it is to 'beheading the snake' or any other such nonsense.

>>
Recent exercises corroborate Colomy's enthusiasm. At Northern Edge in Alaska recently, the 27th Fighter Squadron simulated 108 kills against other fighters for no losses of its own. And at a weapons test in Utah, the squadron dropped 22 bombs for 22 hits with better accuracy than any other aircraft.
>>

This is dangerously stupid. Because it equates killing a massive standing force of enemy air with bombing enemy ground targes. And you cannot do both 'in the same sentence' or otherwise. You AVOID those threats which are dangerous. And you _Come Back Tomorrow_ to destroy what has been demoralized today.

>>
Sprey contends that these awesome capabilities are unnecessary in conflicts such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, where there are no air defenses and no enemy aircraft.
>>

Well whadd'ya know, an educated man (multiple doctorals in statistical analysis as I recall) spoke an obvious truth. The sad part being that he fails to mention the correlary to that truth which is that the F-16 is _equally_ worthless for that kind of mission.
Nor does he have the decency to state the inverse of those factoid blurbles: The F-22 can prosecute an airwar without a single F-16 'helping'. The F-16 however never was capable of winning an airwar on it's own. Nor is the F-35.

>>
But the commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron's parent wing says that the future is uncertain. "One thing we've done really well in the United States is not predict the next war," says Brigadier General Burton Field of the 1st Fighter Wing. "We look at all the capabilities that exist in the world and imagine how we fight against them."
A Wing presentation on the F-22 lists potential threat systems including European Typhoon, French Rafale and Russian Sukhoi fighters and Iran's dense surface-to-air missile network.
Sprey insists that the Raptor isn't as "hot" as the Air Force claims. He cites the aircraft's weight and size as disadvantages in aerial combat. Colomy counters by pointing out that the aircraft's massive control surfaces and sophisticated flight control computer afford unprecedented maneuverability. The Raptor's single-piece fin is as large as an F-16's entire wing and its elevators dwarf those of the similarly-sized Boeing F-15 Eagle.
"I don't know what people have been reading, but this thing is a monster," Field says in praise of the advanced fighter. He says he's concerned only that budget cuts have reduced the Raptor force to just seven operational squadrons. The Air Force says it needs 381 F-22s in at least 10 squadrons to outfit all of its rotating Air Expeditionary Forces.
In light of the reduced number of F-22s, Field says the force has to do some creative thinking. "We're going to have to figure out how to use this thing in the right way.”
>>



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 03:45 PM
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Blather.
Like some adolescent high school punk reciting the specs for the Ferrari F430 by heart. And daddy laying down the law because it's 'just a toy and not practical'.
Sure, it may do and/or be all those things. And sure, it may have significant weight and mass penalties deriving from that which continue to restrict it's overall utility in ONE, highly unlikely to EVER be encountered, engagement condition. Because nobody dogfights at 40+K.
Yet the overiding operative reality is that stealth + standoff rules all in a world where the third and fourth firepower laws (maneuver to target, not to engage and always keep your fires and targeting _separate_) hold sway.
You wanna dogfight? Fine! You go find the dozens of aperture-only drones sent in to one-mission-map the force OOB. Blow them away until you run out of missiles and guns. THAT is the 'exposed' (low altitude, slow speed, repetitive and predictable) air combat force. And the trade on air vehicle vs. AAM costs, in mass production is gonna be about 3:1. _Assuming we do nothing to stop them_; most podunk air forces will run out of weapons stocks before we run out of UAVs
OTOH, the F-22 should be flown like an airliner for 99.9999% of it's missions. Straight and level, no fancy pilot # just optimize the aspect lines for the radar threats that are visibile and get to your 80+nm GBU-39 standoff point as clean and simple as you can. Drop on what those targeting assets FIND for you. Turn around and go home.
As such, neither the Pom Pom cheerleading CMIC wing weenie. Nor the pocket protector geekazoid have a foot to stand on let alone argue from. These 'experts' having gotten lost in their own reams of detail data and thus forgetting the bigger (synthesis not statistical) picture.
CONCLUSION:
Fly out. Drop your load. Come Home. Turn. Do it again. As an extended version of Tolkienesque 'there and back again' logistics, it doesn't get any simpler. The problem being that everyone has an agenda.
Herr General Numb Nuts wants to keep his job commanding a prestigious fighter wing and playing golf on the weekends.
Pierre Sprey is a has been analyst looking to relive the glory days by 'once again' proving that the military gold plates everything and ends up with a Pentagon Paradox (the actualization of capability is inversely proportional to it's expectation). Unfortunately, the closest thing out there to a 'lightweight fighter' for him is actually more complex and nearly as big as the Raptor is.
Myself: UCAV freak. Because I know that most wars are about assassination and murder and to make sure you butcher another killer rather than the civillian infrastructure that he (along with half the civillian population) have to drive across or get electricity from, you have to replace 'boots on the ground' with _eyes in the sky_. Eyes which are so incredibly dense that they effectively form a mosaic of individual cells of data like a spider-eye. So that you ALWAYS have /some/ useful target to hit.
The difference being that, because my platform is no less stealthy and _not a fighter at all_, it can also afford to be a weapons cabinet. While it's chief operating characteristics: radius and endurance plus cheap acquisition and ownership costs, means that instead of say a 10 or 20:1 transit:target ratio, you are in -a- (one of many) target search areas up to 5:1 ratio with the time you spend getting there or RTB'ing. On half the gas.
Thus, 'if you are always there' in some element of force presence. How fast you move back and forth with individual airframes as a function of efficient sortie evolutions, means less than it does when both 'fighter' platforms have only 10-20 minutes in the target area at most.
Until the blue suited sky knights see the world the same way the infantry do, as endless numbers of microtargets, spread all over everywhere, each of individual low-value, they will never understand how 'their vision' of airpower is not only anachronistically dated and obsolescent. But will never improve simply by designing a 'new fighter'.


KPl.




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