posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 02:38 AM
The F-22's utility
This brings us back full circle. USAF General Ronald E Keys is concerned that the surveillance suite of the US$350 million F-22 may not be able to
operate around Baghdad. Although nominally a fighter aircraft, the F-22 also can act as a signals intelligence interceptor, which would be its role in
Iraq. Keys notes, however, that the electronic spectrum around Baghdad is polluted by the myriad jamming devices that coalition forces primarily
employed to thwart remote detonations of the improvised explosive devices that have inflicted 70% of all US fatalities in that war.
If it's illegal for a U.S. citizen to own an automatic rifle, it should be an instant death penalty offense for an Iraqi to do so. This is Dodge
Frickin' City here folks. The only way to put an end to this is to hold them ALL equally responsible for the violence by making it clear that NOBODY
has a right to bear arms but U.S.. Period.
If it's _legal_ for our Administration to use Son Of Carnivore and the Patriot Act to monitor U.S. citizen's telecomms, it should be legal to SHUT
DOWN the Iraqi cell networks and make possession of RF transmission devices also a bullet-in-ear death penalty condition. Even so, in terms of
Jammers, what they are talking about is the equivalent of Shortstop mortar fuze spoofers for cell and remote firing mechanisms and I _doubt seriously_
if they have enough ERPS or area of effect to do diddly bleeping squat to the F-22's 'sigint collection suite'. Because they aren't doing diddly
squat to the Iraqi's telecomms. And because, if it's all like previous generations, the ALR-94 is in fact operating in the 4-5 to 20GHZ FIRE
CONTROL bands /well beyond/ the radio and cell networks operating at 750MHz to 2GHz range. Certainly comparing these devices (later in the article)
to Carrier Deck environments filled with MEGAWATTS of ATC, INS alignment, ACLS, and radio test is ludicrous.
Thus the existence of the F-22 in comparison with the lockdown of the monkey cage that is Iraq is irrelevant. Take away their bleep and they will
stop flinging it at you. That's purely a ground force decision.
An alternative to the F-22 is the MQ-9 Predator. These carry both sensors and bombs and missiles, allowing the remote operator to "see" where the
unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is flying, avoid hazards, and deliver ordnance on "target". The differences - and the choices - are plain. One
super-fast, super-expensive ($350 million each) manned airplane cannot, at this point, do a better job of collecting information about and reacting to
insurgent movements than an $8.3 million UAV can.
The problem here being that we REALLY need to fly a mininum of 200 sorties per day. For a MINIMUM of 10-12 and preferrably 15 hours per sortie. Not
just in Iraq. But in AfG. Which means that if you have a 25% ramp reserve in case something goes TU, you are talking about 500 airframes in just the
active 'insurgency' theaters alone. You buy 500 MQ-9s at 10-15 million dollars each and now you have an 8th Air Force force structure (220-270
knots) so that the next time you need to fight a REAL war someplace that ACTUALLY SHOOTS BACK, you are totally screwed for doing so.
Here too, the F-22 means diddly bleep all because all's they ever asked for /even in the beginning/ was 750 airframes. Compared to the 2,000+
worthless pilot-ferrari F-16s that litter our airfields and the 1,763 F-35 that will replace them. If you buy 500 Raptors with which to blow down the
door, each one carrying 8 _independently targeted_ bombs compared to the TWO FOR ONE TARGET which originally justified the F-16 inventory purchase,
you're talking 90-110 billion dollars. You buy 2,000 F-35s 'of any and all flavors' and your talking 276 billion dollars.
Value flows from the munition-as-aimpoint count UP. Not from the pilot unions /down/.
OTOH, you put a JET ENGINE IN A DELTAWINGED ROBOTIC AIRFRAME and you get the same loiter capabilities as the MQ-9 with the same speed as the F-16, at
height. Which means that buying the Air Force required for winning in Iraq (and traditionally about 70% of all other, similar, wars) **Does Not**
cost you your FDOW capability. Indeed, if you assume that an updated X-45A with a mere 4 GBU-39 onboard were to run 15-20 million each, buying 1,500
of them would only cost about 30 billion bucks. Double that for R&D _and add the costs of a full fledged Raptor force_ and you are still below the
baseline acquisition costs (no total life cycle support) of the F-35A. While it is more than likely that every X-45 could be made to land on a
carrier and thus give you a TRUE 'swing force' whose ultimate utility lies in its _basing mode_ ability to launch from anywhere. Fly 1,100nm. And
hold on station for a couple hours.
Which is something neither the F-16, F-22, F-35 nor MQ-9 will ever do. And which the MQ-9 will never /survive/ doing. Over a hostile IADS.
And the future? Humans went from one-on-one fighting to massing armies of people. The next step was massing machines to kill people and then to kill
masses of people with indiscriminate weapons. What we could use now are weapons that self-destruct before they are used, like the F-22 if it is
effectively mothballed, followed by weapons that self-destruct in the computer design stage before they are built. That would save lives and money.
Eventually, the reverse process could take us all the way back to not even thinking about weapons.
Start by disarming the barbarians sir.
Then we can talk about the safety of the free world from the big bad U.S. bullies.
The sad fact being that folks outside the pablumized existence of America know full well that violence works. That conquest is a legitimate means of
taking what you want from your neighbor so that BOTH you and he don't suffer. Even as razed earth and anarchy is a useful way of denying it to him
when you are not strong enough to prevent him doing unto you first.
There are three basic laws of firepower-
1. Shoot Shoot Shoot.
This is a law more of presence than indiscriminate use of force. Because you can always CHOOSE not to shoot. But for any given SSPK round likelihood
of killing one bad guy or ten innocents, the more you /can/ shoot, at alternatives, the more rapidly you roll the enemy up on an 'Ainnh, I'll get
him tomorrow' basis. But only if you are there to see X mole pop it's ugly head up so that you can DECIDE to whack it.
2. Maneuver to Target NOT Engage.
Which is the standoff rule equivalent of saying don't put your ass in a sling, high value to low value, directly engaging your opponent. At one
time, this was a problem because we had a force structure ruled by idiots interested in fighting the Hap Arnold airwar of levelling cities. Now it is
not. Because we have cheap, small, long range, munitions. And the sensor acuity and bandwidth to target them using TTNT and other high-speed network
3. NEVER associate your fires with your targeting. Because the weight will drive value and value will drive cost and suddenly you can't saturate
the battlespace with APERTURES necessary to secure the peace. Even as the exposure of the recon assets must never equate with the loss of the
processing databases used to enable them.