F-22 Raptor, Performance versus Cost: Is it worth it?


F-22 Raptor

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




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