Originally posted by WestPoint23
Note, the 94th FS will be the one flying the Raptors, they are the second operational fighter squadron to fly F-22's. Also, given the published
parameters in which the F-22 will be used it will only fly against US aggressor squadrons. It will escort AUS F-111'and British Tornados. Come
on, you didn't think the USAF would give it all away, did you?
Perhaps. It remains to be asked however whether this is useful ops training or if the Raptor would be better off not tied to the 'escort role' of
subsonic, high signature, platforms. Most particularly when there is no news that the F-22 now has a useful SEAD mission role relative to protecting
them against the _predominant_ S2A threat.
Indeed, as soon as you bomb up the Raptor it becomes flat out _dangerous_ to use it as an escort, simply because you are coming into the fight with
all of 2 longrange shots and a commitment to staying in the fight against potentialy overwhelming numbers 'to save the settlers'.
Inspite of what you said about giving things away, I also frankly wonder if this doesn't reflect the USAF desire to niche-publicize the airframe in a
way that has ZERO relevance to todays mission set because CAS is not the F-22 mission role, nor is guarding elements engaged in such a frontal
i.e. This could backfire on them as a function of showing off, not the Raptor but rather their boys club mentality: in love with jousting for its own
sake but not comprehending that a real budgetary climate requires real proof that the platform does something which _no other airframe can_.
Rather than 'cooperatively joint force' continuing a system of systems approach in which none of the key mission drags (EA, DEAD etc.) are removed
because all the other strikers are still firmly 1980's driven by 3-5m2 signatures.
With regard to the Apaches, it's frankly laughable to assume that those aircraft are joint-op integrateable, simply because they work on such vastly
different time and target value/threat schedules. You can deconflict them but you cannot employ them cooperatively to any degree.
The whirlywingers will not be at depth to exploit their unique targeting advantages (not that you could hear them without a bentpipe if they did) and
the fixed wingers will not be able to protect them from trashfire threats when exposing themselves to frontal threats.
Until and unless they employ the F-22 as a FDOW platform, highlighting the REDUCED number of types and depths of coordination _with support missions
for it's mission_ (Predators, EA-6B, ROBE Tanking, E-8/EC-135 etc.) as a high value striker; nothing the USAF does to glad hand or bragging rights
beg their way into having both the cake (F-22) and the eating-too (F-35) solutions of a hi-lo mixed force will be anything but a farce.
And they dare not commit to such an aggressive demonstration, with or without 'Joint Force' Allied witnesses, because if they do, the difference in
sortie rates and commited asset effectiveness between a supercruise + SAR capable, 700-800nm, Small-Bomb slinging, WAR WINNER.
And all else.
Will put the worthless F-35's production effort in a sling.