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To scrap or mothball the F-117

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posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:51 PM
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The vote was scrap:






Any further doubts that we have an LO or VLO operational strike aircraft?



Edit: Pictures found at link



[edit on 19-9-2008 by _Del_]

Mod Edit: Fixed Link.

Mod Edit: Image Hotlinking – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 19/9/2008 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:53 PM
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Del,

What edition was this story in? I must have missed it. Im surprised they would do it right on the tarmac as well.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:15 PM
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They could have just sold it to Mexico, like we do with all our older hardware.


What a waste.

I'm surprised they destroyed it on the tarmac as well



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by _Del_
The vote was scrap:


Any further doubts that we have an LO or VLO operational strike aircraft?


Uhm, you do - the F-22, and in a few years the F-35. Both can replace the F-117 on a 1:1 capability basis, while also bringing multirole capability to the game as well, and all at a much lower maintenance cost (the F-117s were hanger queens, from what I hear).

Oh, and about 20 of the F-117 fleet will be mothballed, not scrapped. Theres no reason to mothball all of the fleet, as some airframes have more hours than others, as well as technical defects.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by RichardPrice
 


I can imagine some fo the higer hour one perhaps, but I caught a rumor about basically retooling the aviaonics for automation, adding some fuel capacity made up from the lack of a pilot and life support gear, and turning it into a SEAD type airframe.

Or at the very least use it for drone testing against SAMS etc. May be cost prohibative thought.

The coating is supposed to have all kinds of toxins in it so im surpised to see one being cut up on a tarmac and nothing being done to contain the dust etc of the procedure



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
The coating is supposed to have all kinds of toxins in it so im surpised to see one being cut up on a tarmac and nothing being done to contain the dust etc of the procedure


If you take a close look, especially at the second photo, it looks like the coating has largely been removed - theres a lot of scouring on the skin that suggests its been stripped.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice

Uhm, you do - the F-22, and in a few years the F-35. Both can replace the F-117 on a 1:1 capability basis, while also bringing multirole capability to the game as well, and all at a much lower maintenance cost (the F-117s were hanger queens, from what I hear).


I suppose if you account most of the current f-22 inventory toward replacing them "on a 1:1 capability basis" you could. My understanding was that we have less than a hundred f-22's. I don't consider the F-35 anything near "operational".
I think they figured to save a billion dollars or so on retiring the relatively small fleet three years ahead of schedule. You can do the math on the hangar queen comment




Oh, and about 20 of the F-117 fleet will be mothballed, not scrapped. Theres no reason to mothball all of the fleet, as some airframes have more hours than others, as well as technical defects.


Norris (from whom I linked) states that the hangars at Tonopah devoted to their storage are not weather proof and that tooling and many spare parts have been largely destroyed already; his conclusion is that the idea of mothballing part of the fleet has been discarded.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
The coating is supposed to have all kinds of toxins in it so im surpised to see one being cut up on a tarmac and nothing being done to contain the dust etc of the procedure


The RAM was removed prior to destruction.

I suspect the drone idea would be cost-prohibitive.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 06:33 AM
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I agree with Del. The aircraft was nearly cost prohibitive while it was flying... there would be no plans to continue it in any capacity now. The technology that made it possible has been vastly improved (as have the radar sytems that it was made to evade).



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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Crazy pics OP

I always thought old aircraft were just parked up somewhere and left to corrode away, hence the pics of fields of old planes in various states of decay.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by _Del_

I suppose if you account most of the current f-22 inventory toward replacing them "on a 1:1 capability basis" you could. My understanding was that we have less than a hundred f-22's. I don't consider the F-35 anything near "operational".


The USAF has so far had 122 F-22s delivered, out of a total of 183. The F-35 procurement number for the USAF is 1,765 although that is subject to change.

Both aircraft will be able to carry out the role that the F-117 carried out, which would be the initial strike capability, but also in a manner of swing role so they would be able to carry out the interdiction role during the same mission.

Whenever you hear about an F-117 deployment, its rarely more than a third of the aircraft being deployed at any one time. A typical F-22 detatchment could cover this sort of deployment easily.

Also bear in mind that the USAF have yet to start retiring the other aircraft the F-22 is supposed to replace in its interdiction role, so the 'need' isn't spread as thin as you think.

Basically, there is no reason to keep the F-117 flying, as the F-22 can carry out the same role much more effectively (it has a larger weapons carrying capability for a start).



Norris (from whom I linked) states that the hangars at Tonopah devoted to their storage are not weather proof and that tooling and many spare parts have been largely destroyed already; his conclusion is that the idea of mothballing part of the fleet has been discarded.


When an aircraft is mothballed, its not simply parked somewhere - the airframes are prepared and individually protected. The idea is that bringing an airframe out of any state of mothballing is cost prohiobitive in anything less than absolute war footings when the military will essentially get a blank cheque on spending.

The F-14s are held in the same way in the desert - technically most of the retired aircraft sitting out in the desert could be returned to active duty but its not even considered likely enough to make it a cheap process.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by maintainright
Crazy pics OP

I always thought old aircraft were just parked up somewhere and left to corrode away, hence the pics of fields of old planes in various states of decay.


The desert parks you see are a result of agreements with the USSR/Russia on fleet disposal - they are left out in the open in order for satellites to capture them for counting and confirmation.

The F-117s were not part of any agreement.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
The USAF has so far had 122 F-22s delivered, out of a total of 183. The F-35 procurement number for the USAF is 1,765 although that is subject to change.


For some reason I thought deliveries were still just under a hundred at this point. I wasn't addressing the F-35 as, again, I do not consider it an operational aircraft which was what I was speculating about.



Basically, there is no reason to keep the F-117 flying, as the F-22 can carry out the same role much more effectively (it has a larger weapons carrying capability for a start).


I completely agree on this, though I have reason to suspect we have an unmanned VLO platform for the F-117's limited role -- my comment to such, was what started this exchange. I'm neither in disagreement nor surprised that the a/c are not being retained.



When an aircraft is mothballed, its not simply parked somewhere - the airframes are prepared and individually protected. The idea is that bringing an airframe out of any state of mothballing is cost prohiobitive in anything less than absolute war footings when the military will essentially get a blank cheque on spending.


Once upon a time (in the age of the dinosaurs, as my children would say), I actually had reason to visit inside the yard at AMARG (AMARC at the time); I'm familiar with the process. Actually, even aircraft that are only slated to be "donors" are hit with spraylat to protect components inside.




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