posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 07:16 AM
Engine reliability has gone up significantly from the single engined Dassault series of aircraft - for example, look at the 1960's Mirage III in RAAF
service. We had about 100 of them, and lost >16 aircraft due to engine failures. With the 1990's F-16 however, a very small number of block 50 / 52
aircraft have crashed as a result of engine problems, despite the hundreds built. Even if it had two engines, it wouldn't of always made much
of a difference - if one engine exploded, for example, the plane is toast - for example, most RCAF F/A-18's have crashed when a single engine failure
occurred. It's not that newer engine technology completely precludes failures, but it significantly lowers the rate at which they occur, especially
because the F135 is a over 10 years newer than the best F-16 engines.
As much as I would like more F-22's, it is not exactly needed; furthermore we already have dominance with impunity almost anywhere we so choose, nor
is the F-22 designed for the JSF requirements. The F-35C is a multi-role strike fighter, and the F-35B is a STOVL multi-role strike fighter, the F-22
doesn't come close in these regards, neither in range, avionics, price, maintenance, sensors, interoperability, or payload. Nor can F-22 destroy
ships efficiently - half the fleet has one avionics architecture, the other half has another. Who is going to pay for the inverse SAR mapping for
practically TWO aircraft? The bays cannot carry anti-ship missiles, nor are they integrated with the either avionics - that leaves what? SDB, JSOW &
JDAM? Far from ideal. How does that compare to 2 - 3 F-35's carrying 2 JSM each, launching at over twice the range?
The airframe would have to be substantially modified - tail-hook, and strengthening of the airframe for example. Even the F-35C which was designed
from the outset for carrier service, is 6000lb heavier than the conventional variant, with no gun, of course. If the same fraction increase (very
conservative) occurs on the F-22, then the F-22N would be a 52,000lb+ aircraft. Add fuel and bring back capability, and then that equals a massive
amount of weight and thus kinetic energy - can the arresting wires take 60,000lb at 145knots? The F-22 in USAF service has corrosion problems which
would be exemplified by a salty environment.
Lastly, the aircraft is too expensive for the USAF, let alone the USN. You pay by the pound, so they say, the heavier F-22N would be drastically more
expensive and that doesn't include other one off costs associated with navalising the F-22. Only way this could of worked out is if the USN followed
through with the NATF program at the cancellation of the F-35B/C & Super Hornet. Then we have very few fighters and no Forward Operating Bases, and a
waste of time plane that can only do one thing - Air Dominance which we already have.
[edit on 12/8/2009 by C0bzz]