F-22 Raptor

A largely unedited discussion thread. There's some good stuff in here, but it gets pretty deep pretty quickly.

The Planes

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor Performance - F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

I've been asking about and reacting to the Raptor in several other threads and forums. I do NOT like the price of the beast, but I have been reading a lot of unsubstantiated opinions about so-called "shortcomings" of the aircraft. I don't buy it.

The Raptor has the power-to-weight ratio it claims to have, has the vectored nozzles it claims to have, and can go as fast as it claims to go.

My question is simple, exactly what performance shortfalls does the aircraft have, and how do you know that? I'm looking for some substantiated stuff here. I have played a bit with Mr. Max G, but he and his supporters have a point, it DOES cost too much. I admit that.

What I want to know is why they say it doesn't perform. I believe it DOES perform ... it just costs too much.

So, please let us all know how this new "wonder fighter" is coming up short against claimed performance. Please be specific, and state your source.

I am NOT trying to be funny here, just trying to find out the facts ... 292 980 1082 292.1127625472

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

Hi Greg.

Before you can have any meaningful debate with anyone, you have to first comprehend the opposite position. From what I gather from you response you don't seem to get it.

I gave a few links, and expected you to go to the next level, and to read and study for

It's not really my job to educate anybody out there about this or that.

I went through a phase in this interest with the feeling that the F-14, F-15 and F-22 et al, were the absolute greatest. Been there, done that.

Behind a certain point It's not easy to learn and grow in any endeavor of human interest, in fact, it can sometimes be painful, and takes hard work. You maybe at that point, but unwilling to go further.

So, If it makes you happy, the F-22 is the absolute greatest fighter aircraft ever built, (everything the USAF, Lockheed Martin & Boeing say it is, because !) savior to western civilization. The USAF will be stronger and much better with those, and it will deter any aggressor from China (note; Walmart Corp. US based, all by itself, in now China's 5th largest trading partner) and will make a huge contribution to our imminent victory in Iraq and the WOT.


Take care.
MC 292 982 1491 292.1127664068

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

Hi Max,

Logically, your answer above isn't very informative. Do you have a reason for your beliefs? If you come down against something, you SHOULD at least know why. I did not attack your political beliefs. I agreed with you about the price and asked what, specifically, was wrong with the Raptor. I have yet to see an answer that even addresses the question. :? Hhmmmm ... Kind of makes me wonder if any of you "anti-Raptor" crowd have any logical reasons for your choice or if you simply go off in a snit against something and assume the rest of the world should follow your lead regardless of their own opinions. Please note, I might even be willing to adopt your opinion, but before I do, I need to know its basis ... and you keep dodging that one with great agility.

Instead of trying bash me for asking why you feel the way you feel, why not take a few moments and answer the question? In a calm, logical manner.

I'll make a few points here.

The F-15 was designed in the late 1960s as a panic reaction to the MiG-25 Foxbat that appeared in the 1967 Moscow May Day parade. If fact, after claiming for years that the Soviets ripped off everything they ever designed, WE copied general layout of the MiG-25 and came up with the F-15 Eagle. So much for intellectual honesty, huh? By my count, that makes the F-15 Eagle pretty much 35 years or more old. If you have read much about tactical fighter aircraft in the last few years, you may have noticed that the Su-27 / 33 series of fighters outperforms the F-14, F-15, F-16, and F-18. Ditto the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen. Heck, even the Mig-21 2000 is a worthy contender, and the Israelis can cram in some impressive electronics.

Older aircraft that were designed as medium to high-altitude fighters suffer from low-altitude operation in the number of 1+g bumps per minute they experience at low altitudes and high speeds, eating up airframe life. Our planes are also regularly exercised at near the g limits. That means that many F-15 Eagles are simply not suited to a rebuild for another 20 years of operation. Most of the F-14 Tomcats are certainly not ready for another 20 years.

So I ask you straight out, if you were going to buy new fighters, what would you buy? Don't just bash the Raptor and me, come out and state your opinions about what you would buy if YOU were selecting the new fighters, and make a case for it.

My choice: I'd buy an updated version of the F-20 Tigersharks for the following reasons:

1) Very cost-effective.
2) Long history of proven reliability by the parent aircraft. This equates to low maintenance hours per flight hour, saving further operational costs in service.
3) Previous aircraft in this series were delivered on-time and on-budget, so the premise is not only believable, but also demonstrated, over a long period.
4) The performance is there, in spades. There was never any question as to whether or not the Tigershark met the performance goals; it does.
5) The Tigershark can meet the anticipated threat, especially if deployed in large numbers ... which would be possible given the low price. The government wasn't ever interested in an actual, airborne fly-off between the F-16 and the Tigershark because they KNEW which one would win. Northrop even offered to let an old man, Chuck Yeager, fly the Tigershark against whomever the Air Force wanted to use, and they backed off like lambs. Yeager was over 65 years old at the time.
6) Updated electronics would make it even MORE effective. The Tigershark, as designed and demonstrated, could be airborne, supersonic, and climbing through 10,000 feet toward the threat while the F-16 was still aligning the INS.

My own opinion, probably worth exactly what you are paying for it, is that if you can't suggest something better, then stop criticizing the decisions of others.

So, MAKE YOUR CASE for YOUR choice and state it logically. C'mon Max G, do you just like bashing the Raptor, or do you actually have a purportedly better choice than the Raptor? 292 988 4186 292.1127686957

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

Hi Max G,

After finding a reference to another Col. Riccioni paper, I believe I can sum up his arguments. While I disagree with some, they are:

1) We no longer need an air-superiority fighter (I strongly disagree).
2) The F-22 is overweight (I agree ... but it is fixable, at a price that is already too high before any "fix" costs are added).
3) It is better than the F-15, but not enough better to justify the enormous cost (I agree ...to a point ... I think we DO need some new fighter aircraft, but am not sure the Raptor is the correct or even the best selection for the task). By the way, Col. Ricconi's report was the first time I saw the 63,000-pound weight. I am making a sweeping assumption that he is correct. If not, then all bets on this score are off.
4) It is stealthy, but only from certain aspects (I agree ... the same can be said for ALL stealth aircraft).
5) The avionics suite is outdated and is thus in need of an update (I agree, and figured this would need to be upgraded all along ... I have been following the program for awhile).
6) It cannot be saved (I strongly disagree ... but I also think there are better, lower-cost alternatives).

So, we basically agree, but for different reasons.

However, agreement is agreement, even if it IS for different reasons. :-) 292 992 1375 292.1127697591

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham


Be reminded that the Isreali's operate, train, and maintain the same basic
equipment, and vintage, as the current USAF.

"They" have a reputation of being absolutely second to none, and spare no expense what-so-ever in the interests of the defense of their country.

Ask yourself, why they arn't "onboard" with the F-22 program, and if it's so great, clamoring to get their own F-22s ?

MC 292 995 535 292.1127823607

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P


The Israelis rely completely on US aid for money. They can't afford to buy what we don't fund for them.

If we're hedging about buying F-22s, they KNOW we won't fund F-22s for THEM.

It's not that they don't WANT Raptors; they can't afford them. If I am following your arguments, neither can WE. I already agreed on that score.

The Australians are interested, and they have money. So, the Raptor may well get into squadron service yet, despite you, me, and a lot of other people saying to Washington, "We can't afford this!" I feel we need an air superiority fighter as badly now as we ever did ... but I am unwilling to pay $180M per copy for it. $30M - $40M each, yeah ... maybe, but we don't need $180M-per-copy fighters.

4th Gen warfare is a myth. We will be fighting either nuclear war or conventional war. If the war sticks to the conventional (and we all hope so) then we only have to worry if the war is a declared war with "sides" or a guerilla war. UAVs and other high-tech weapons are simply new and better conventional weapons. New weapons have been coming around since the stick was first used as a weapon.

Unfortunately, the US Government seems to feel that we need to fight a war in which we kill the other side in minimal numbers while losing NONE of our own. Nobody who ever fought in a real war thinks that is possible. Plans don't survive first contact with another armed force. So, we have generals that over analyze everything.

As a 2-servce former member, I say, "Use the best intelligence you have, make a plan, and try to find its weaknesses. If it survives the analysis, GO GET IT DONE! If it doesn't survive the analysis, make another plan taking into account your findings from the last one. Continue until you have a workable plan and GO GET IT DONE."Sorry if

I got wordy there ... 292 998 1987 292.1127866454

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

by author=Greg_P link=topic=292.msg998#msg998 date=1127866454]

"The Australians are interested, and they have money."
Interesting, Greg.

Australia ranks well below the State of California, not to mention, Canada, in terms of GDP, and population, and isn't even included in the G-8.

I wonder from what direction that island continent perceives an advanced air to air, threat ?

Maybe their thinking of Indonesia ?

Australia currently has robust and rapidly growing economic ties, to the emerging superpower economy of mainland China.

I wonder if they are seriously anticipating and planning a war with one of their best customers ?

BTW: *Israel is rated 7th worldwide in terms of military expenditures, as a proportion of total GDP.
Their bracketed by several of their Arab neighbors, in that class of positions, 1-10.

*Australia is rated 49th.

And the moral is; The Israelis take their defense seriously, and are willing to bare practically any cost.

So I'm still left wondering why they're arn't virtually beating the doors down in Washington to be the first to acquire F-22s ?

It seems also that their current fleets of F-15s and F-16s are still relatively serviceable.

(Source CIA world Fact Book 2004)

Just when I had thought that I had heard it all,,,.


F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

Hi Max,

My statement about the Australians comes for Air Forces Monthly magazine, July 2005. The claims is that the Australians want 50 Raptors and would retain and upgrade 36 F-111s. The combination would be an effective deterrent to any threat in the area.

My statement about Israel stands. They won't get Raptors unless WE buy them. If I don't want to spend that much for the U.S.A., I surely don't want to spend the same per airframe amount for another country! So, we are probably in agreement there, too.

Once again, what NEW planes do YOU support? I'll put in a plug for Tigersharks again. :-)

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

Once again, what NEW planes do YOU support? I'll put in a plug for Tigersharks again.

My choice for a replacement front line USAF air superiority or dominance aircraft is irrelevant, for you see, it's not MY JOB. And I never claimed it was.

One could argue that if not for the billions squandered on the F-22 that the current fleet could have been better maintained, with more opportunities for pilots, and training, and that current aircraft could have been further developed in their capability, and even re-introduced in advanced versions.

As you noted, still others suggest that if the USAF & USN could put aside vested interests and nationalistic pride, that several foreign made fighters currently offer outstanding value and aerodynamic capability, particularly if fitted with contemporary American made engines, avionics, radar, targeting, and weapon systems.

To debate all that is at this stage to be entirely academic and moot.

What I do expect is for the incumbent USAF brass, DOD, and Industrial Mil. Complex, who's job it is , (defend the interests of the US, and industrialized western civilization) to finally to come clean, admit, take responsibility, and tell us the truth about the F-22.

That the F-22, that it's basically a multi - billion dollar pork barrel, dead end, just like the B2, at best it's only marginally more capable than the F-15C, and at a price that threatens to reduce USAF inventories to irrelevance, being also that it's entirely, and utterly useless, in the style of warfare that has evolved since 9-11.

If they could at least tell the truth, just for once, stop all the lies and charades, and admit all that, whether the F-22 is then a legitimate "make-work" project, or subsidy to the Mil. Industrial Complex (that you admit that you are a part of, and obviously by your "attitude" have a vested interest in) then, maybe then, at least the American public can have an honest above board discussion on that justification.

If you followed those links I provided, then You also know darn well that I admire and subscribe to the original LWF doctrine as promoted by Boyd and his associates, as defined by the original YF-16 Prototype, (not to be confused with the Current 36,000lbs ++ F-16C), and later re-emerging in the F-20.


F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

C'mon Max. If your opinions are irrelevant, who are you stating them so forcefully while staying carefully away from your choice?

This is a FORUM for crying out loud.

You and I will NEVER agree on the Raptor because you can't find ANYTHING you like about it, despite its superiority to any other aircraft in the inventory or in competition with it. I happen to LIKE it, but not the price.

And I gotta' tell you, it ain't utterly awful as you claim. What it is ... is overweight and overpriced. That's wildly different from "no good."

Why don't we agree to disagree on this and move on to other subjects?

You seem to have stirred up Twitch, so fight HIM for awhile.

I am comfortable with my opinions, and it looks like the DOD will procure Raptors anyway despite our musing in here, so we might as well call a truce and talk about what we realistically CAN do with the force we are going to wind up with. Politics will win out in the end since THEY are the people making it happen.

How about we reopen the English Electric Lightning production line and update THAT sterling performer? Never happen, but it would be fun of it did, and SOMEONE has to waste the taxpayers money. Why not US?

What's say, Max?

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Twitch

If we look at choices in the past we'll find pretty much the same thing debated- performance vs. cost. Sometimes contracts got awarded to companies that had a plane with less specific performance but was better able to bring the project in on time and on budget. Should we have screamed that we're giving our pilots a handicap by not providing the best fighter possible? Other times the reverse was true obtaining planes and cost be damned.

I remember when the F-4 was new at 1.4 million bucks. What! It seemed so much at the time. I mean F-5s were SO economical at $800,000 per copy. Then the F-111 came along at 7 million per plane!! People were having these same conversations thinking that Congress and the Air Force were crazy and there was the undercurrent of how the F-111's performance was not as good as initially projected. And it was so heavy!

The F-4 first flew when gas was 12¢ a gallon in St. Louis where the McDonnell plant was. The price of the F-4 and that gas is long gone. Performance- the F-22 and or anything else currently in inventory or available soon will be quite ample to deter anything that any of the bad guys have. And there are no other countries in the world save for Russia's broken down ass, that have an infrastructure and industry base capable of producing a world class fighter. China has never shown any ability or initiative in leading fighter development.

The expense is all in making fighters capable of keeping the pilot alive. Take that factor out and you'd cut a plane's cost in half. Quintuple redundancy systems to insure that Fighter Joe gets back alive are enormously expensive and escalate with each design as time unfolds. The fixation of wincing about casualties in combat is ruining us as a nation. Since it is obvious that we can no longer accept deaths from combat we need to lessen our personnel's exposure to potentially lethal events. UCAVs are the only way to go.

The NEXT front line fighter needs to be unmanned. And yeah it will cost like crazy since in 20 years while technology evolves somebody is going to have to pay for it. Research and product development ain't free in ANY category of economic enterprise. Everything will be more expensive in 20 years.

In relative terms tomorrows UCAVs will be cheaper due to the fact that they will not be encumbered with a multitude of back up systems and other redundancies needed to keep a human alive. They will be able to maneuver in G force ranges that no human could withstand and be relatively simple without life support being a primary mission goal.

The theory that only a human brain and eye over the battlefield can do the job adequately will go the way of the Dodo as we rationalize how we don't our guys in harm's way anymore. Advances in artificial intelligence will one day soon be quite ample enough to send Robby the robot in place of Fighter Joe. Most NATO countries are flying 1st generation robots NOW. They're going to get better at a very fast rate.

The forthcoming beam weapons may sound Star Trek but they are in the works NOW. They will change the definition of airborne weapons platforms entirely. Comparing Eurofighters, JSFs and F-22s now is like 1944 when it was pointless to talk pro and con about P-51s, P-47s and P-38s with P-80s F-84s and F-86s around the corner.
292 1008 3599 292.1128095778

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

Hey Twitch,

Welcome to the arguments! Good points. I remember when the F-4 and F-14 were "totally unneeded," "too expensive," "unproven" designs, too.

Good thing the Pentagon ignored the cries then, and its probably good we're getting Raptors now ... despite the price. All the "nay sayer" about the Raptor still haven't convinced me yet that it is "marginally better" than an F-15C.

All I have seen is one post saying it weighs 63,000 pounds. That's overweight, but not if that's a ferry weight. It's WAY wrong if that is air-combat weight, but I haven't seen that figure anywhere but in a post in this forum ... we'll eventually know, but it may take awhile.

Meanwhile, keep posting and arguing! :-D 292 1010 836 292.1128126826

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Lucky

Nice post, Twitch. I wouldn't say there is nobody out there that can't produce a world-class fighter, certainly (besides Russia) Sweden, France, Germany and Japan are capable of it. I just don't see any of them being countries we might have to fight *again* in the foreseeable future. Decades ago, Eisenhower warned of a self-sustaining military industrial complex...that billions are still being spent developing weapons when there is no adversary remotely capable of matching them just proves his point. As for china...well they're still manufacturing and exporting to third world countries their variants of the MiG 21; last time I looked they still had squadrons of MiG 19's in service. 292 1011 739 292.1128162271

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

Among several of The questions every thinking and concerned mil aviation buff needs to consider in relation to the F22 debacle is,

Is a meager force of 100 - 200 or so of those aircraft, at an individual cost of well over $100 million USD per-copy really in the longer term interests of the defense of the free world ?

Is it in our front line combat pilots interests, to send them into harms way, even further out numbered, on that basis ?

Since Korea, being out numbered is not unusual for the USAF, but with the cost associated with both the Raptor, and the new JSF, and as we've seen with the B-2, this maybe increasing that pressure, by yet another order of magnitude, as out of economic necessity those limitations are creating ever diminishing caps on the quantity of these aircraft that we can afford to procure, and field.

We need to consider to what degree and to what critical threshold, this in itself, will begin to constitute an insurmountable handicap, against a foreseeable advisory, regardless, of what-ever wiz-bang "capability" that the manufacture's, USAF, and Pentagon promise for these "systems."

Furthermore, will they actually perform as advertised under adverse conditions ? So far we've been asked to take it all on faith, after countless billions in research, prototyping, and the most costly, protracted testing and development program to date.

What are the prospects in today's environment of rapid technological paradigm shifts, that the attributes and advantages of these systems could be to various degrees mitigated, or even neutralized, in the not so distant future, by technological breakthroughs, or even relatively modest, and available means to our enemies ? Including, simply overwhelming numerical advantage.

This might not be such a critical issue, if not for the horrendous costs and effort being poured into the development of these systems, however, we maybe in effect, putting far too many eggs, into that single, very expensive basket, and therefore are left with no alternative means what so ever, if it fails.

This is critical, and I cannot over emphasize the importance of this single point, this what the costs of procurement of these advanced systems has come to.

There are also many valid questions with respect to the overall effectiveness, and even usefulness, of these systems against terrorist religious fundamentalist suicidal fanatics, and in several of the guerilla, urbanized 4th generation warfare style environments that we've experienced in Afghanistan, Iraq, and also the Balkans.

Just for example, might some percentage of the exorbitant cost we've poured into the development of these systems perhaps be better spent on human intelligence gathering, persistent surveillance, covert operations, including infiltration of the terrorist organizations, etc.?

The military industrial complex would have us believe and follow without question, the foundation, and necessity of the F-22, but these are real, and valid concerns, that every thinking American, and Western ally should be cognizant of.

Consider that the USAF currently is supposedly geared to wage 2 wars, or significant conflicts on 2 fronts at the same time, in addition there's the ongoing NORAD and NATO commitment, Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq, for the foreseeable future, and all simultaneously.

Will a force of 150, or so, Raptors, and only a few hundred JSFs be enough, as the current F15s, and F16s age relentlessly and are retired as they reach the limits of metal fatigue, and economically viable repair ?

Another concern among informed skeptics is the track record of the USAF, for taking an otherwise good airframe, and others being not so good from the onset, and then ruining their "performance" by piling on so much extraneous crap, in the name of "enhanced capability" all by consensus and committee, with the goal of pleasing everybody.

In the case of the F-22 it seems to be more goal driven with the expectation that all the "extra crap," piled on, will somehow render it invincible, or somehow enable it to be in 3 places at the same time, as the dwindling procurement quantity may by necessity require, in a foreseeable scenario.

Just some food for thought, and believe me, there's a lot more to it, the further you dig into this issue. There's also the micro economic factors, in the form of corporate welfare, or subsidies to the Mil. Industrial Complex. With Boeing and Lockheed involved, the USAF, not to mention the USN are now essentially procuring from one and only a single monopolistic, and monolithic source, where, less than 20 years ago, we had nearly a 1/2 dozen suppliers.

I encourage everyone to do their homework thoroughly, by looking into this in depth, and not to just take the USAF, Lockheed, Boeing, and program enthusiasts, information and advertising as the their one, and only perspective.

292 1012 5257 292.1128173901

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

Use the link, download and study the entire report.

1) By size, weight and available thrust, the F-22 is only barely superior to
the F-15C. I have to wonder if the F-15s were equipped with the F-22s engines, (without the marginally useful 2d thrust vectors) if that combo might actually be better overall, IE; fuel fraction & range, and excess available thrust, etc. etc.

2) In a close in a visual domain fight the F-22 is one of the very largest and visually conspicuous fighter aircraft there is. So much for stealth.

3) The F-22 dosn't have sufficient fuel fraction to super cruise effectively. Riccioni compares it with a 40 year old F-104 starfighter.
Compared to the SR-71 (king of super cruise and also developed over 35 years ago) for example.

4) The F-22 negates any stealthliness from its frontal aspect particularly when flying supersonically by it's IR & acoustic signatures, and when not, and also, when it opens the weapons bay, or, operates it's OWN radar.

5) The USAF makes a point never to talk about the F-22 potential vulnerability to detection from the rear and side quarters. At a couple hundred million dollars each, that just might be a confidence issue, do ya think, Huh ?

6) The F-22s thrust vectoring adds significant costs, weight, and complexity to it's structure, therefore reducing range, including so-called "supercriuse", useful payload, etc, while only marginally increasing maneuverability.

There's a whole lot more, in that report, but I don't have the time,,. The more you study it the worse and worse the Raptor looks, and when you cross reference his facts he's right on the money.

Here's another link to one part of a 2 part transcribed interview with Al Piccerillo a retired USAF F-22 program manger, even he concedes that the F-22 has serious limitations that the USAF still won't readily admit.

For the kind of money we're spending, the F-22 should be a whole hell of a lot better than the F-15C or K model, and yet, it is, but only slightly, and at 2 to 5 times the unit cost ! depending on who you believe.

Exactly who are we going to fight with F-22s these days anyway, Osama ? The Chinese ? (IE;Walmart Inc.) India ?(Also a major trading partner) Japan ? Europe ? Or that arrogant military powerhouse to the North, Canada ?

Here's a hint for you Geniusis, maybe the US should first establish control in Afghanistan, and Iraq, BEFORE we take on Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, China, and North Korea,,,.

The fact is we can't, our military is currently very hard pressed, and we might just be holding our own in Afghanistan, if not currently actually loosing, in Iraq.

Be reminded that Both are considered in the world almanac as 3rd rate powers,

Even with the Brits, Aussies, and Canadians, on our side, we can't establish order, and bring about a decisive victory, and yet we squander billions on
idiotic computerized cockpit drive overweight pieces of crap like the B-2, F-22 and now also the F-35, which will serve no effective practical utility, other than as objects of blind dogmatic"worship" for the
pathetic Geeks on this, and similar forums.

It would be funny , if not for the billions being wasted could go to better use, as ultimately the defense of western civilization is being compromised and squandered.

Wake up people,,,!

Terrorist bombers have shown themselves to be far more cost effective, if not entirely more effective overall, against our interests currently, than any USAF, or USN offensive tactical aircraft is against theirs.

Do a search also for the Ralph Peters F-22 piece that appeared in the New York Post, he raises some interesting points, and dosn't pull punches.

Happy hunting.

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

"Welcome to the arguments! Good points. I remember when the F-4 and F-14 were "totally unneeded," "too expensive," "unproven" designs, too."


What magnificent victories did the F-14 rack up in it's illustrious 30 year career, and a cost in research, development, manufacture, deployment and maintenance including the Phoenix missile, of how many countless and multiple billions of dollars ?

Let's see, there were 2 pairs of second rate in ACM, Russian made, Libyan operated fighters, flown by 3rd rate pilots,,.

Now that's cost effectiveness, right there, the American way,,!
Boyd hated the F-14, almost as much as the F-111, and B-1.

I loved the F-14 as much as any enthusiast on the planet, and I'd be first in line, and first in place, even in the pouring rain to see one performed.

My conclusion, the F-14 would have been a much better aircraft @ 3/4's it's size and weight, and specifically without the Phoenix missile.

Read Riccioni's ( a close collaborator with Boyd early on) commentary, and draw you're own conclusions,,.

"Behind the experience of the current fleet of U.S. jet fighters, one finds a similar story. Where once DoD purchased F-86, and F-84 fighters in the thousands, the fleet buys of the Centur The development of Fighter air-to-air missiles has followed a similar path to that of America's bombers. Dramatically increasing costs have spurred dramatic decreases in the number of missiles.


As ambitions for air-to-air missiles have grown so too has their complexity and costs. Unfortunately, the greater these missiles alleged domain of relevance, the less effective they seem to become in combat.

In Figure 2, the unit cost of various means for "killing" an enemy is portrayed together with their relative effectiveness in combat. The cost of these so-called expendables is a weak parameter since the system support costs to destroy aircraft with missiles is enormous and ever increasing with missile complexity.

Now, examine Figure 2 closely. The cost of killing an enemy aircraft has gone from hundreds of dollars (when only guns were involved) to $15,000 for an AIM-9B/D to $90,000 for the AIM-4 to $190,000 for an AIM-7D to a precipitous ten-fold increase to $1.9 million for the Phoenix. Clearly, now we cannot even afford an air war or even one kill with the Phoenix.

In effect, the greater the sophistication, the greater the claims, the greater the expense, the less effective the military result! 1 At these prices the constant complaint of theater commanders is that we lack sufficient missiles for a war - small wonder. One example is the cruise missile. Almost the entire NATO/US inventory of cruise missiles was expended in the Kosovo engagement, with questionable political/military results Series fighters - F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104, F-4, F-105, and F-106 - were more restricted.

At the same time, the F-14 with its vaunted beyond-visual-range, multi-mode Phoenix missile has remained largely unused.

Why ?

In part, because the F-14 is committed to defense of the carriers, and because the US Navy's excellent fighter pilots have seldom been committed to significant air battles.2

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by max_g_cunningham

Here's a pretty good dissertation borrowed from another blog,
IMO this guy knows what he's talking about.

My additional observations appear in parenthesis,

The F/A22 program is one that is deeply flawed and needs to be stopped now. The radical claims of the magical silver bullet that overwhelm the enemy with high kill rate have always been a myth in the modern era. A myth derived from computer simulation and canned scripted testing and manufacturing wanting to sell their new airplane.

In real world testing like the Aimval-Aceval exercise that Colonel Everest Riccioni refers to in his March 8, 2005 paper show what happened when F-5 flew against F-15's. In this exercise when 4v4 sorties where flown the F-15 kill/loss ratio dropped all the way to 2-1.

During my own career I've seen the same thing when we would deploy to Nellis. I used to be amazed when the Aggressors would hand our Eagle Drivers their heads out on the range.

Now that I've learned a few things on tactics and aircraft performance capability I understand how this happed.

Why does the F-22 have to become viable?

The only possible justification of procurement is if we fight the Chinese.

< Not likely anytime soon, Walmart Inc. (US Based) on it's own, is now one of China's foremost trading partners, try to imagine the economic damage to both the US & China as a result of a major protracted conflict, (not to mention potential for nuclear exchange) which is about the only justification for the flea ridden "dog," that F-22 supporters can come up with.>

Now that said let's look at the numbers, 180 aircraft built, 40 in a training role, 50 in Europe, 50 in the Pacific leaving 40 in the states.

OK a squadron of 25 A/C, 1 in phase, 1 in load barn, 1 in K-ball, 22 left and lets be generous 90% of these FMC That leaves 19 to generate sorties with or in the case of the 50 in PACAF 38 jets maybe 40.

The Chinese field approximately 120 SU-30's with 40 on order for 06, first deliveries of 250 J-11 (SU-27 clone) are on going, first deliveries of 500 J-10 all due by 2010 has started. In addition there are over 1000 J-7 and J-8 aircraft flying and while termed obsolete by today's standards they have been going through various upgrades in both avionics and weapons.

What other opponents are out there?

Who else can afford these new generation jets (Raptor, Typhoon, Flanker) and operate them effectively? So what real advantage does this high cost plan bring to the battle ?

<Russia is at war internally, India is an emerging US market, and labor resource, although Americans hate the French, an all out shooting war seems pretty far fetched, and also very bad for business.>

Some proponents will say stealth. Ok then some questions need answers. In radar signature how do we simultaneously defeat high frequency fighter radars and low frequency ground based systems?

To launch missiles do we not have to turn on the radar at some point thereby eliminating electronic emissions stealth?

And of course thermal emissions, with two enormous PW119 out the back which are then vulnerable to detection by many of the IR sensors that are available.

So by pressing on with the full F-22 buy we end up spending the full 70 BILLION dollars for 180 A/C that realistically have no one to fight except for the Chinese.

<Again, war with China would be preposterous for other than " artificially provoked justification" *>
(* A current Bush administration specialty)

<In a large scale protracted conflict, just how far will 180-200 platinum plated airframes go in terms of accidents, maintenance shortages, and combat losses,,, (oops, I nearly forgot, yeah, that's right, the F-22 will be totally invincible !)

This of course does not count other costs that no one talks about.

For instance 1 billion a year for operations and maintenance, the cost of establishing a depot system, the cost of cleaning up any parts obsolescence in the avionics system plus whatever money is poured down the development drain to utilize the F-22 as a tactical bomber.

The net result like I have said before is a down sized force that cannot project power like today and a plane that has no relevance in 4th generation anti terrorist warfare.

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

Hi Max,

Excuse us all for considering ourselves as thinking people, but I must respond.

1) If the F-15 were equipped with the F-22 engines, it very well might perform as well as the F-22. If it were equipped with the F-22 avionics and weapon systems, it would weight as much as the Raptor and wouldn't be any better than the Raptor.

2) The F-22 is no more visible than the F-15 Eagle, long the standard of the world for a large, conspicuous fighter.

3) The fuel fraction debate must come from people who KNOW the numbers. I don't and neither does anyone else in this forum. Max is spouting the rhetoric coming from his heroes, who may or may not know the real numbers.

4) and 5) ALL stealth aircraft are optimized for illumination from then front quarter. That is not a F-22 trait, it is a trait of almost every military fighter and attack aircraft developed since 1949. The Raptor is no different and neither is any OTHER aircraft. They must all obey the laws of physics. There ARE no fighter aircraft with protected sides and rear. If you can think of one, Max, except for the movie fighter "Firefox," then talk about it as an alternative rather than simply criticizing the Raptor with no useful suggestions as alternatives.

6) Yes, thrust vectoring adds weight, complexity, and cost. What's new? You have NO IDEA what it adds to maneuverability since the flight tests are classified. Where do you get this stuff? If it's so bad, then why is Russia pursuing it too? We've all seen the agility conferred by thrust vectoring to the Sukhoi Su-37 in the Paris airshow, and it is real. I hate to dispel your tirade, but a few pounds of alloy in the thrust nozzles and motors isn't all that heavy, and they don't burn up fuel at all. Nozzles with thrust vectoring also have some weight and that only argument you have there is the difference in weight between vectoring and nonvectoring nozzles. That isn't published or available to anyone outside the program, so you must be spouting some bunk you read somewhere, probably from your heroes in Boyd's little clique.

I have gratitude to Boyd and his group, but they've all been out of the cockpit for a LONG time. In 1975, the opinions of WWII pilots weren't all that relevant, and theirs aren't today.

The F-14 has been a stalwart of Naval defense for 30+ years Max, and has performed its duties with distinction. There have no been many opportunities for victories, but we could have easily changed that if we had gone to war when it was avoidable. Is that what you were wanting? If so, we're done talking with you.

Max, you seem to feel that only your opinions are worthy of consideration. You DO have some opinions and have stated them with great verbosity. I have mine and am not shy about sharing them, but I am also open to other peoples' opinions since they usually, but not always, have a reason for coming to the conclusions they come to.

You have some good points. 100 MiG-21s against 8 Raptors would NOT be a good fight if done in the daytime. I daresay we wouldn't and shouldn't play that game. We should initiate battle when it is to OUR advantage. That is the essence of brilliant leadership and tactics.

We would, rather, take out the MiG-21s while they were still on the ground with a night attack using precision weapons. The next day, we would fly the 8 Raptors in a sky devoid of 30-year old MiGs. And they would super cruise as long as they wanted to do so or until the fuel gauge says otherwise.

Sorry Max, I disagree and many others do, too. In case you haven't noticed, we have a Raptor squadron in service doing developmental work on tactics especially for the type. You can bet those tactics don't include daylight attacks on massive formations of older jets on combat air patrol. Rather, they would seek to use the capabilities of the F-22.

Your spouting sounds like sour grapes to me. Sorry, but the Raptor is the best we can field at this time. I don't like the cost, but I DO like the Raptor. I'd support not buying it only if we had a good alternative. In any case, your support or mine is not required, and it looks like we're gonna' fly Raptors whether you or I like it or not.

Come on back with something relevant to reality and state your choice for the alternative to the F22 ... or go find a thread to which you can make a useful contribution.

Hey Twitch, jump in here :-D
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F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Twitch

Every plane discussed here was conceived or built during the time when the mighty USSR was a nuclear threat. Even though the first metal to be cut on the F-22 was after the dissolving of the USSR it was still laid out with the enemy in mind as the Soviets.

We quit building specialized aircraft with one job description a long time ago. By the late 1950s it was evident that we couldn't have the number of specialized aircraft as we did in WW 2. A torpedo plane, a torpedo/bomber, a defense fighter, a fighter/bomber, a dive bomber, an interceptor, a ground attacker, an anti-tank plane, a long-range escort fighter, a recon plane, STOL, VTOL and on and on can't be separate planes at today's costs! Everyone knew with the emerging technologies back then that costs were climbing and would escalate even further due to new equipment, weapons and systems not yet conceived.

Anyone talking F-15s has to realize that to produce another couple hundred TODAY would cost a tremendous amount more that they did in 1972. That goes for all other aircraft of the Cold War era, F-14,F-16, F-18 whatever. If the F-22 is no good and they cancel the JSF to build new F-14's, F-15s and whatever you like from the old tooling, if it still existed, they would be horrendously expensive. Or let's just put it all on hold and revisit the JSF and F-22 and see how much they'll be in 10 years. How was the not-picked Boeing F-23 way better than the Raptor?

You must remember the Cold War scenario was just like WW 2- American long range bombers and escort fighters taking the war to the enemy homeland. The Soviet enemy could afford more aircraft with short-range and interceptor role capabilities to confront fewer, more expensive multi-role, long-range aircraft.

About every damned plane since the F-86 has had the added complexity (cost) of being able to tote nuke bombs or missiles as a pre-requisite to any additional roles. The whole idea of expensive sophisticated long-range smart missiles was to combat an enemy of superior numbers. It wouldn't have made any difference how much anything cost if the Sovs could over run us. Why do you think we have an arsenal of missiles with varying ranges, warheads and smartness capability? It was to originally intended that out expensive, complex multi-role fighters would shoot down as many Sovs over the horizon with missiles for that purpose as possible. Next the medium range stuff would be shot off and quickly thereafter we'd be down to Sidewinder range with guns as a final resort.

If one fighter could take out at least 6 enemy targets incoming, one plane was worth 6 of theirs. 6 of theirs, though less expensive than ours, would still be WAY more than 1 of ours. And even though ICBMs proliferated there was still a credible or perceived threat from conventional bombers popping over the pole. And even in non-nuclear scenarios we'd likely be outnumbered in any confrontation, hence the spread of varying range groups of missiles and weapons systems on US aircraft. Right or wrong it was reasoned that a conflict would ultimately be attrition-factored just like WW 2 was.

Why did we own the sky over the D-Day beaches? Because we made a concerted effort to eradicate the enemy's air defenses. When we weren't going one on one in fighter melees we were bombing production facilities. The bottom line was that once the enemy's ability to field aircraft was decreased, victory would be in site.

Today with superior recon abilities we can target every targetable asset the enemy has and then load that data into the computers and disperse it to the strike squadrons. Who can forget the laser tag we played with the Iraqis? There was ordnance coming out of the black of night down their chimneys like Santa Clause on Christmas. They didn't know where it was coming from cause they couldn't "see" anything electronically of visually. We mostly broke their toys on the ground and the few pilots dumb enough to take on technologically superior US fighters were mostly smoked while out of the range that they could lock on or shoot at us. That expensive stuff worked!

There ain't going to be any more Red Baron fantasy dogfights where we all meet at some pre-determined time on the field of battle. We're going to murder them in their sleep as they dream of some "knights in the sky" crap that ended a century ago.

And as for pilots, no matter how reknown, commenting on "what I want in a fighter" that's happened in every war with every ace making his feelings and ideas known. US pilots have always emphasized the strengths of the particular aircraft they fought with and avoided situations where its weaknesses could be exploited by the enemy. How did it matter that the P-47 was "too heavy"? What a bunch of crybaby junk. Pilots exploited the advantages the P-47's strengths whether they originally liked the ship or not.

By this Boyd character's line of logic on modern fighters the P-47 and P-38 would have all been shot down in the opening stages of combat. The F-4 could never kill MiGs either! And fifty caliber machines guns, hell they're no good when compared ballistically and mathematically to 20 millimeter cannon. Hey statistically they should'nt have been able to destroy anything applying defeatist reasoning.

There were originally going to be 392 F-15s and it was cut to 209. There were originally 447 F-22s in the production contract. How many will there be now? In primary terms quantity reduces costs when amortized over a greater number of units. If we want cheaper planes one way is to build more of them.

So even if your F-15, F-14 or any other crate you wish to name was adequate against any foreseeable foe, you still need to build some new ones as they do wear out. And if you want to do that it's going to cost big time in today's dollars.

Old and decrepit in 1991 the F-15s and their pilots managed to kill every Iraqi MiG, Mirage, and Sukhoi flown against then and no US aircraft was shot down by an Iraqi plane. Has any überfighter emerged upon the scene from a country of dubious motives that is superior to anything in our inventory? While it may be a difficult case to say that we "really need" F-22s or JSFs at some astronomical cost, re-tooling for 30 year old airframes and avionics will still be prohibitively expensive in relative terms. Ever have an old car that you kept too long and it continued to cost you in repairs all the time. You finally see how for just a bit more you could make payments on a new car.

If 2006- built F-15C were produced how much would they cost? 50 or 70 million each? And F-22 cost 100 mill. Ain't bad considering. To think we can go back to 1 plane for 1 role is silly. That is ridiculously expensive. So unless by some wizard's wand we can make multi-role aircraft as cheaply and light in weight we'll have to face the fact that the past 40 years of aircraft development will be like the next 40- larger multi-role craft.

And it's always been about deterrent. It's not that a weapon will be used but the fact that it deterred to Soviets from becoming a little too bold. Facing a 50% destruction of an incoming force of fighters by American fighters before even visual range sobered up even the most vodka-soaked commissar. Sov bombers would have faired far worse. We have the same situation with the Chinese but are far less likely to provoke them. If we didn't do it in Korea we'll never do it. Whatever we come across in the future will be from tin horn country's dictators with used Soviet aircraft that have few spares and can't be replaced once we eliminate them with technological weaponry.
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F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by thenorthman

Just to let everyone know when they talk about trading partners...Japan right before they attacked us...had a huge trading partner....the USA....their largest.

Plus every time people start saying there is no need for dogfight capability because all of the fighting will be over the horizon cause of the long range missiles it has come back and bit the fighter pilots in the butt.

I am not saying the F-22 Raptor is great or not. What I am saying is we need something like it. The reproducing of the F-14's, F-15's, F-16's, and F-18's is foolish. Twitch is right on that regard it would be nearly as much to build the retooled factories and fighters as it would be to produce a more advance F-22.

Deterrent is always a factor when decisions are made for combat equipment. (M-1A1, M1A2 Abrams as a prime example they do there job great and excel in their job performance, but if we had a long protracted maneuvering ground combat we would have some problems. Simply supplying the gas to the beast will not happen for very long; talking 6 months to a year, it just guzzles it down like a 14 year old's slurpee. This thing in Iraq isn't what would be considered maneuver warfare either so that don't count.)

The F-22 probably has similar shortfalls but not well know or talked about. Just the thought of getting shot down while you don't even know they are out there is deterrent enough for most countries pilots.

One of the down points Max G has said was if they turn on their radars they loose their stealthiness. Yea that is why they usually don't do that. That is what the tactics they practice where developed for. All fighters that turn on there radar is like turning a flashlight on at night with in everyone's line of sight. Everyone well see you before you can see them. That is what the E-3 AWACS are for, and any other aircraft or what not they have for seeing over the horizon is used for.

Sean 292 1032 2014 292.1129748193

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by duggi4

hi i'm just recalling what i've read in various aircraft journals and such and passing on my personal opinions so here goes...
if you want a better plane you will have to pay more so its the trade off of numbers versus tech that the strategists have to bargain with. besides it still remains the stealthiest production fighter to date...even when it operates its radar. which has a designed reduced signature way less than that of the f15
i much favored the yf23 during the competition because of the longer range and greater degree of stealth
that is why i'm wondering why the navy think tank didn't opt to develop an f/a 23 instead of the f/a18e to do what the a-6 and f14 did.
to all you guys shooting down your raptor- shame!
i come from a country that can barely afford to buy 28 Saab JAS39 and to actually be able to decide on how many of an aircraft the caliber of f-22 .. you should be glad you're in that situation-your tax dollars are going to a good cause. 292 1034 1013 292.1129768647

F-22 Raptor Performance - Re: F-22 Raptor Performance, by Greg_P

I must agree with the last couple of posts. The Northrop YF-23 may or may not have been a better fighter aircraft that the Raptor, but it DID meet the specifications. The YF-22 did not.

So, the stealth spec was relaxed in order to let the Raptor into the competition.

Northrop was screwed again, just like they were when the YB-49 was cancelled because Jack Northrop wouldn't sell the firm to Consolidated.

Anyway, the YF-23 may or may have been better, but it met the spec, and also had "supercruise" ability.