The Next Generation Fighter – USAF F-22Raptor


The Next Generation of USAF F-22 Raptor

next generation fighter


The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by max_g_cunningham

We’re currently seeing the Eurofighter (Typhoon) now coming into service
with several western European NATO allies. We’ve seen the proliferation

of SU-27s, and the development of the SU-37 (vectored thrust version of SU-27). Add to the mix the Rafale, (exported) and Grippen (limited export, possibly to S. Africa).

In consideration of the time and expense it’s taking to develop the F22 Raptor, and I suspect that has a lot has to do with meeting the challenge and potential presented by some of those listed.

If you listen to USAF F22 advocates, from the start, it’s been not enough to simply “dominate” airspace, they expect the F22 to have “overwhelming capability, advantage and superiority” over any potential advisory, in every foreseeable circumstance, or combination there of.

The problem at this stage is the costs, and delay associated with attaining that level of virtual total “superiority.” In the meantime, the opposition, and alternatives also continue to evolve advance, to a stage where one wonders if the premise is valid, and attainable.

Due to rising costs, It seems now, that the USAF may never see the F22 in significant numbers. I wonder if the USAF is considering alternatives, or possibly even turning it’s back on the conventional air superiority mission, as defined and embodied in the F15 ?

I believe Boeing did a mock up of a lightweight single engine single seat fighter recently.

I wonder if the Advanced strike aircraft maybe substituted, and at the very least, used to augment the meager numbers of F22s, like the old Hi-Lo scenario represented by the F15/16 or F14/18 combination.

Possibly as another alternative, being un-manned solutions, particularly in consideration of what it now takes to overwhelm competition such as SU27 & 37.

Reusable high performance unmanned strike vehicles, are definitely under development, and even low cost unmanned decoys supplementing F22s might be a prospect, and suggests some interesting new scenarios, and advantages, we maybe on the cusp of a revolutionary change in the technology and approach to aerial warfare.

I don’t see much point in trying to do, what all the others do, better, at this stage, particularly as we’re reaching the limits of human (pilot) physiology.

There comes a point of diminishing returns, it was the legendary Kelly Johnson himself who suggested that with the trend towards cost escalations, “one day there would be only enough money in the entire US defense budget, to buy one single aircraft.”
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The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by max_g_cunningham

I’ll add that the original so-called HI-Lo scenario, as advocated in the F15 & F16 combination, for one reason or another didn’t seem to take hold, or work.

Maybe the premise was reasonable, but the USAF had other plans for the F16.

The F16a became the F16c and low, an behold, we had another 30 something million dollar package, so much for hi-lo, more like
Hi, and also pretty, HI, or, just somewhat less.

Only the ill fated Northrop F20 Tigershark promised to stay true to the Boyd doctrine, of a true LWF alternative.
M 30 84 569 30.1063814770

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by Greg_P

The F-16 and F-15 are outperformed by the late model Su-37-type aircraft, and the Eurofighter and the Rafale. They are a 30+ year old designs.

The F-22 can be a good aircraft, but we must remember that Northrop was screwed again in the competition. The Northrop fighter MET the design criteria and the F-22 did not. As a result, the criteria were downgraded so the F-22would win. Screw Northrop AGAIN.

In total, the F-22 package performance has not been revealed to the public, nor has the F-23. So, we don’t know what the capabilities are. If you think otherwise, then you have either exceeded your clearance and told someone or you are dreaming.

You can see any Su-27/35 coming on radar. Can you see the F-22?
Maybe, I don’t know. Neither do YOU unless you work there. If so, TELL us (if you won’t get thrown in jail over it).

Daylight, the fighters are close, but the F-22 probably has an edge in electronics … maybe. Night, forget it, the F-22 will kill you, right now, and you won’t see either it or the B-2 that is killing the air base.

Think we’ll attack in daylight? Think again. No way. Kill ’em at night.

F-35? Should be a neat addition. I wonder at the stealth capabilities, but know that thrust to weight equals performance … if it has enough wing area. It does. And can VTOL when necessary.

Can the Su-27/35, Eurofighter/Rafale? Nope.

So … let’s see what combat tells us. In combat, so far the F-15 is simply the best fighter ever made. Kill ratio is out of sight and the fear in enemy pilot’s minds is overwhelming. The F-15 wins hands down when the shit hits the fan.

Just wait for the F-22.

The enemy will never know what hit them. 30 94 1770 30.1064716348

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by max_g_cunningham

Ok, maybe the F22 will be invincible, maybe not.

The latest figure I have is from Popular Science Magazine,
in October, 2003. They quote the F22 now at a projected cost of
over $ 122 Million US dollars each, and still rising !

It all depends, however at that price, we need to consider, and ask ourselves, if the F22 is really going to be better than 3 x F15Cs, or further upgraded variations, 6 x F16Cs, 5 x SU27s, 4 x Eurofighters, etc. ?

That puts a lot of pressure and expectations on the F22, it’s going to need to perform and overcome odds with an exchange rate of at least 10:1, if not, if it doesn’t perform, when called upon, and against serious opposition, then it constitutes a disaster, on several fronts, including financial, national prestige, etc.

This is going to be a challenge, with the current, and foreseeable threats, not to mention what might further evolve 10-15 years down the road.
At those prices, and with the current deficit, American tax payers won’t be too happy at the prospect of bellying up to the bar again, and forking over again, if the F22 proves less that adequate.

Putting that kind of money into a single type of aircraft, and at that cost of each, I really question at this stage, if that’s good policy.
MC 30 214 1320 30.1070734736

Do we really need FA-22?, by phantomphan

Back in the 1980’s we thought we needed the ATF. The Soviet’s were producing there Mig-29’s,SU-27’s and Mig-31’s. Those fighters had or were approaching our fighters capability. There was also evidence that the soviets were teaching there pilots in these new aircraft to operate more like western fighter pilots. There air to air missiles were also becoming more advanced. So the ATF program that led to the F-22 and YF-23 was justified. In the 1990’s of course the cold war was over. There was no more USSR or Warsaw Pact to worry about. The massive air battle over Europe was never going to happen. Russia of course is still a serious military power. In the 90’s also unstable. That makes them still a threat. So we still need the F-22’s. Well if the USAF could still develop the F-22 to replace the F-15 Eagle. Why couldn’t the USN buy more F-14D’s. Also upgrade there existing tomcat’s to D standard. I remember the navy’s failed A-12 Avenger stealth attack bomber of the late 80’s being the main reason. Cost overruns and all that. If the threat to the USAF is real wouldn’t the threat to the navy be just as real? We know a lot more about the newer Russian fighters now. We even fly some ourselves. We get to fly against them on a pretty regular basis. There technology is still not what ours is and ours keeps getting better. There handful of SU-35’s and one 37 is to me not enough to justify spending billions on a few hundred FA-22’s. Stealth or no stealth. The F-15 with upgrades and more advanced weapons is I think more realistic. The Eagle and other American fighters have and will continue to dominate the world’s skies. I have know reason to believe that’s going to change without the Raptor. 8) 30 330 1709 30.1079822138

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by max_g_cunningham

The F-22 can be a good aircraft, but we must remember that Northrop was screwed again in the competition. The Northrop fighter MET the design criteria and the F-22 did not.
Excellent observation, and well put.
I too wonder if indeed, we have the right aircraft, once more
I’ll add, that I have never gotten over how Northrop got screwed, on the superlative F-21 Tigershark.

In total, the F-22 package performance has not been revealed to the public, nor has the F-23. So, we don’t know what the capabilities are. If you think otherwise, then you have either exceeded your clearance and told someone or you are dreaming.
This is a big part of the problem at this stage, and with a cost per airframe now quoted at something like 268 million USD (source CNN)
we are asked to continue to take it on pure faith that this thing will perform, and do all it’s claimed to do, in a combat environment, and under conditions that maybe dis-advantageous, including the “fog of war.”

You can see any Su-27/35 coming on radar. Can you see the F-22?
Maybe, I don’t know. Neither do YOU unless you work there. If so, TELL us (if you won’t get thrown in jail over it).
For years now, we’ve been fed reports from DOD/USAF, and the manufacturer, (insiders, with vested interests in the programs continuation) about “this milestone,” and “that accomplishment” throughout this unprecedentedly lengthy, and costly development program.

What if these people are not being entirely
truthful in these disclosures, or in their own interests, fudging the tests ?
Exaggerating these results and capabilities ? Or demonstrating and testing these capabilities under only the very most favorable of controlled circumstances ? There’s even a kind of delusion that takes hold in that kind of environment, if left unchecked, for too long.

There are precedents for this, in the not too distant past, recall
the F-111 debacle, where the Navy came close to being sold a pure lemon.

I say at this point the costs have risen too far, it’s out of control, and the stakes are far too high, to take all this on faith anymore.

Many now question whether we have the right aircraft for the right kind of war, after all, it’s difficult to imagine Al Qaeda, Osama, types, zooming around the stratosphere in MiG-29s, and SU-27-37s. After all, we’re talking about people who essentially live out of tents, if not literally caves.

The ATF was conceived in the closing years of the traditional US/Soviet cold war era, an awful lot has changed.

Another observation I’ll add is that in the case of the B-2 Spirit, the USAF by my humble observations seems to be quite timid with the operational use, and particularly forward deployment of that horrendously expensive and limited number of aircraft. It’s almost enough to make you question whether they are pre-occupied, if not terrified, over the prospect of losses.

Finally from the similar perspective, is a 260 million dollar fighter plane what the US as the defender of Western democracy and commerce, really needs right now ? Particularly with no end is sight, vis-a-vis the escalation of costs associated with the campaign in Iraq, and ensuing burgeoning National Debt.

As for the F-22 being acquired in limited numbers and being “supplemented” operationally in the Air dominance & superiority role by F-35s, or older types including F15Cs, in relation to the overall sunk costs associated with the program, I don’t think that’s a particularly enviable situation, in fact I’d say we’re being “ripped off, big time.”

I use this analogy to illustrate part of what I’m describing here, particularly applied to the B-2, but also the F-22.
Imagine yourself shelling out for, what you’ve been told is a new Lamborghini, then being told you can’t drive it, even if only around the block once in a while, for fear of speeding tickets, and accidents. Instead you’re told to rely on, and use you’re “1989 Chrysler.”

What are the implications of the severely reduced numbers of F-22 airframes with respect to opportunities for combat pilots, and other professionals, within, and entering the USAF branch of the service ?

Overall, to summarize, I think it sucks, and as beleaguered tax payers, who rely on our military and elected decision makers to act in our best interests, we’re being had.

Perhaps it’s all moot at this point, anyway, for as far as the F-22 is concerned, it’s becoming increasingly apparent, that it’s never going to materialize in significant numbers, since we simply don’t have that kind of money, to throw around anymore. No matter what you’re opinion of that aircraft, and it’s potential usefulness, economic reality has taken over, and made the decision for us.
Just wait for the F-22.

The enemy will never know what hit them.
Yeah, just wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait.

“I have seen the enemy, and it is us.”
MC ๐Ÿ˜• 30 431 5268 30.1085242065

F22 Re-visited, by max_g_cunningham

The question every thinking 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 warfare style environments that we’ve experienced in 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, covert operations, including infiltration of the terrorist organizations, etc, 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,
all simultaneously.

Will a force of 150, or so, Raptors, and only a few hundred JSFs be enough, as the current F15s, and F16s reach towards their fatigue limits ?

Another concern among 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.
I relate to this perspective personally, as someone who’s involved with electronic systems design.

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

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.

MC 30 530 5138 30.1091377996

Look outside the US!, by B-24WillowRun

This is all very interesting and well said. I agree that the F-22 has some growing pains and in this age of greater and continued fighting in areas that will never need its designed usage why bother? It was said the F-14 and F-15 programs are dead, but only because the players want it dead. They could be revived and continued.

But lets look at it in a whole new way, that of global economy! AS we are exporting arms all over the place why not import them 8) WE take in nuclear arms and other unusable stuff so it will not end up being used why not bye some of the Mig-29s and 31s. That would help to stabilize the economy in Russia and also our ties diplomatically. Other European countries are doing or looking into this why not the USAF? Because we need to have our own programs. As much as I like the F-22 it is getting bogged down in all the crap that a good plane dose as it is developed. The Air force wants to replace two of the most widely known and used airframes in the world with one that is unproven and coast a whole lot more.

The F-35 will I fear be in even worse shape then the F-22 and the Navy needs something to replace the ageing F-14. The Supper hornet program was a good step but the F/A-18Es are not the cure all. We need to develop the USN more as we seem to like to toss it out over the world.

To close The defense department has tried to get all it’s eggs in one basket and that basket is now controlling it. So why not go out and look for a new basket? If domestic companies are not providing the stuff look at Great Britain or Germany. Russia? Yes it will turn a lot of heads green that I would support this but Boeing and Lockheed have no real competition and the national debt and ongoing wars are just eating into F-22 and F-35 production and operations. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ 30 532 1826 30.1091474647

Common Sense Needed, by Spitz

Hi All, it’s Spitz.

Way to go, Lucky! Personally, I think the F-22 should be given a lower priority than the F-35 JSF program, number one, and number two, its numbers should not go far beyond 10 to 16, to make a full wing at best, and should preferably be less, if any at all. It is WAY over priced, is already being outdated both here and abroad, and just doesn’t seem to be cutting the mustard. The best current investment is the JSF, which is supposedly three generations ahead of the Raptor, and will have capabilities, as mentioned, up the fragging wazoo. The F-117 and B-2, however, I don’t believe were wastes, after seeing their effectiveness in the Gulf twice and Kosovo once (now if only intel could catch up, darn it!). Precision and stealth make unbelievable aircraft out of both, and cruise missile capability make the Spirit excellent. Just don’t make too many more. To summarize, I couldn’t care less about the F-22, go ahead and cancel it, but concentrate more on better technology AND performance AND (hopefully) bang for buck and go with the F-35 JSF.

However, this argument, small and numerous versus large, complex, few, and potent, has gone on for years, but against a well-trained adversary with good tactics and capabilities (or weight, as god forbid might be the case with China), small and numerous will win. Look at Vietnam before 1972 and Top Gun, look at the results of Top Gun matchups, and most recently look at how even the best planes and some of the best regular pilots in the USA can get completely destroyed by Adversary pilots in F-5s and F-16s (occasionally Kfirs and even A-4s) during Red Flag. We, the United States, at least need a strong backup of many cheaper but highly maneuverable aircraft (F-16s or -18s at the high end) for the USAF, otherwise a good enemy could screw us over. We need to use less money, make a scad of smaller, nimbler planes with good capabilities, and more importantly stop screwing our economy in the backside. Concentrate on training and producing more, and stop piddling in technology and go long with the JSF. Enough said.

Aside from that, best regards.

Best Wishes,
Matt “Spitz” Spitznagel 30 542 2217 30.1092358465

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by Greg_P

OK, let’s look at it this way.

The F-15 is a 1970s design. It is outperformed by newer Russian and European designs. Ditto the F-16. What do we DO about it? There are several possibilities:

1) Do nothing. Fly the current fighters. Yeah, right. Ya’ think? Nawwwwww ….

2) Do something about it. Ya’ think? I do.

3) Design and build a new fighter, the F-22 Raptor, with capabilities to kill anything. Expensive, but possible.

4) Buy a competing design, maybe from Russia, England, Germany, France, or Sweden. Possible, but the Pentagon would never go for the entire force, just for an evaluation squadron.

OK. We will build a new fighter. What is on the horizon as the premier air superiority fighter? Only the F-22. Ergo, we get Raptors.

What did I miss? 30 954 850 30.1126662304

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by max_g_cunningham

by author=Greg_P K. We will build a new fighter. What is on the horizon as the premier air superiority fighter? Only the F-22. Ergo, we get Raptors.

What did I miss?

Apparently Greg,

I wonder if you just might have missed Everest Riccioni’s (Legendary figure in the Fighter Aerospace community, collaborator with John Boyd, and Harry Hillaker on the design of the original F-16 prototype) brilliant critical analysis on the myriad flaws in the F-22s design, intended purpose, performance, and practical implementation.

Behind the cost and procurement numbers fiasco, and it is a FIASCO, there are some serious questions(re well founded doubts, based on sound scientific principle) about the F-22s basic performance, it’s much touted stealth and super cruise features.

More disturbing is the USAF not being entirely thorough, or honest in their reporting and testing procedures.

In a nut shell, basically the F-22 can’t possibly perform what it’s over hyped advertising claims, and in several respects, may barely match the performance of current upgraded F-15s being supplied to S Korea. Yet coming at between double to four times the cost.

This could lead to the USAF being woefully under equipped in the future, and left with a fleet of solid platinum hanger queens, and operationally so timid about forward deployment and the prospect of losses, that they remain under deployed being safely stowed in Kansas, ala; the B-2B.

Don’t believe me, look it up, a good place to start is on the POGO website,
among many more, there’s lots of info out there, if you dig around a little, and take a skeptical
perspective towards all the Lockheed/Martin Boeing and USAF hype.

Riccioni knows his stuff, and he’s been there, done it all, but if that’s not enough, Also check out what Chuck Myers and Admiral Guillchrist also have to say, among others,,. Then there’s the piece by the New York Post.

To sum it up, I’ve been at this for years, and the more, and more, I study and learn about the F-22, the less, and less, I still believe in it, or the direction that the USAF is currently headed.

The USAF is in very serious trouble, most agree, and now recognize, and the F-22 fiasco is one aspect, and manifestation of the attitude that has brought us to this point.

Good luck with your advanced research.
MaX 30 955 2605 30.1126721179

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by Greg_P

Hi Max,

I’ve been at this since I was a kid. I’ve been in the industry since the early 1970’s, and I’m not too sure Rear Admiral Paul Gillcrist, Retired is objective. He seems to simply want more F-14Ds in place of anything else … or maybe we should buy some Russian Flankers and fly THEM. Anything but the Super Hornet!

While he might be right or wrong, we must deal with reality, not fantasy. The F-14s are getting “long in the tooth” and jet aircraft wear out with use. Most F-14s are more than 10 years old with many approaching 30. You can only overhaul so many times before it becomes impractical, even if it IS your pet fighter project from 30 years ago. Also, we have the Super Hornets in the inventory. What does he expect us to do, scrap them and build more F-14s? Fat chance.

I am VERY familiar with the old Navy “fighter Mafia” guys and their beloved F-8 Crusaders, as well as the Air Force fighter mafia led by John Boyd. They were and are good, but they aren’t very current from the front seat on the current threats.

So, I get back to my original premise behind my original question. We’re buying Raptors … they are already in service. If you think you can change that, go for it. I don’t think you can.

If we had anything else “in the hopper” so to speak, we might have an opportunity to change the Raptor build, but we really don’t. Also, most fighter aircraft since the mid-WWII era have been selected and built mostly by politics, not by the needs or the wishes of the pilots. It’s much more about who in congress will vote to get jobs in his jurisdiction than it is which one flies better. If they bought on performance for the dollar, we’d be flying F-20 Tigersharks.

I have a bit of an “in” to the Raptor test process since I know some old friends working on it. You may think the Raptor has performance issues, but they don’t. And they are there watching and analyzing the data. Naturally, I don’t have specifics since it is classified, but everything I see says they are “meeting goals.”

What hard data do YOU have that shows the Raptor to be falling short of goals?

It has a very good thrust-to-weight ratio, better than anything ELSE we are flying. If has pretty good stealth capability. It has super cruise. It has vectoring nozzles. It has cutting edge electronics. And it all works, or seems to do so.

Tell us what you know about the shortcomings of the Raptor. Please leave the price out it. Concentrate on performance specifics.

I’m not trying to “challenge” what you are saying here; I’m looking for cold, hard facts that show the Raptor is missing the performance goals.

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by Twitch

Just who is going to be inventing, researching, manufacturing and exporting in substantial numbers of anything that is going to overwhelm F-22s, Eurofighters and JSFs in a decisive way? The USSR is over and there will be no more masses of MiGs staffing every tin horn dictatorship’s air forces around the world. I am not saying there is no threat out there but any threat is nothing in relative terms to what the old USSR was. As far as numbers, organizational defense networks, pilot/mechanic training, spare parts and the intimidation factor there is no state that has the capacity to fill out their ranks with รผber-planes in meaningful numbers like the Soviets did.

Having aircraft perform only one role is unjustifiable in accounting. To get the most for our dollar airframes need to have multi-role capability. The last pure air superiority fighter was like, what, the F-104? Once they tried to make it do other things accidents began. We don’t have the luxury to bankroll a cadre of single-role aircraft. WW 2 showed how there were often too many different aircraft performing similar functions. Today it’s better to have fewer types from the standpoint of logistics, training and maintenance. A billion dollars in spare parts goes farther with two principal aircraft than it does with four.

With the spearhead of cutting edge aircraft along with ones like the F-14, F-15, F-16 etc. for support we have a very adequate contingent of capable aircraft. The scenario of a duel of air superiority aircraft to own the skies above somewhere is a myth. With perhaps what is now Russia Allied (NATO) craft will steamroll any future logical air foe as happened with the Iraqis. Remember NOT ONE American aircraft was downed by an Iraqi fighter.

And since the B-52s have taught everyone that airframes can be continuously updated like sea vessels “old” F-14-15-16s will be formidable combat aircraft for a long time to come. Combating against non-aircraft air defenses such as SAMs is a crap shoot at best even with the best technology. Since we as a nation now have a torturous time with the justification of combat casualties of any number we should probably give up being exportive of our democratic philosophy.

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by max_g_cunningham

Very good reply Twitch,
It’s good to hear from someone who makes some solid points, backed by common sense and empirical evidence.

I encourage all to study, read for comprehension, get past the hype, and think it through thoroughly.


The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by Greg_P

I think you all made good comments.

If I am not mistaken, and I could be, Dick Cheney caused the tooling for the F-14D to be destroyed. Bad move, and political in the extreme.

I like the F-22, but I am not in love with the price. My main argument is that there is no other new design in the system that we could buy due to the cost of producing a proposed new design. I still think we could be very effective with larger numbers of a slightly update Tigershark … but I don’t think anyone in the Pentagon would buy it, even if they were beaten over the head with a superior bang-for-the-buck return.

We have jumped on the “stealth and gizmo” bandwagon to the point where capable, cost-effective aircraft are almost unable to be considered by the people in power … and I don’t know what to do about it.

Retired Rear Admiral Gllicrist once suggested we buy Russian Su-27/33 airframes and install western engines and avionics. He MiGHT have a good idea there … but getting anyone in the Pentagon or on capitol hill to actually DO it would be difficult at best. In fact, it is NOT a bad idea.

My main frustration is that it appears that there is no one who will listen to a reasonable proposal for a much more cost-effective alternative, and I don’t know what to DO about it. My statements in two of these threads are meant to display the sentiment that “we are on a runaway train to buy the stealthiest planes that anyone but Northrop can offer, even if it bankrupts us.” That frustrates me, and I’m not all that sure we need absolute stealth considering the current threat environment.

Does that make sense to anyone else?

The next Generation of USAF F-22 – by Twitch

One thing we are going to see more of is better UCAVs- unmanned combat air vehicles. More and better robot fighting craft are in out future for sure. Just as the PC your are reading this on now is light years beyond the 1987 8086 PC so it is for this technology.

We need to be prepared sure but with the fall of Soviet-style aircraft evolution technique there is no plausible super foe as they were turning out new secret planes on a regular basis of on-upmanship. My question is what possible belligerent nation is capable of long term dedication to design, research and development programs and the funding they demand to produce an alarming number of superior aircraft?

JSFs and F-22s should be the last examples needed for many decades if we forecast the future with realism. By about 2040 when the B-52s are scheduled for final retirement imagine how advanced UCAVs will be and the use of beam weapons will be.