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kurtfriedrich
07-21-2009, 12:20 PM
The radar-evading F-22 is designed for combat against other fighter jets but has not seen action in the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts, where U.S. foes have not fielded an air force. Critics point out that each hour of flight time requires 30 hours of maintenance and say the plane is a relic of Cold War military strategy.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090721/pl_nm/us_usa_congress_defense_5

richmeyer
07-21-2009, 11:44 PM
"cold war relic" or not, those things flat out perform. Thrust vectoring is wicked cool. But lets just keep bailing out underperforming auto makers and financial institutions.

tonered
07-22-2009, 07:24 AM
I'm a jet head, but I have to ask: For what? Why do we need thrust vectoring and stealth capabilities? To evade the Taliban hanging out in caves? To out turn a flying RPG? At a quater billion a pop, who give a f&$k?

With the existing fleet week could have a good run at the Russians, Chinese, and anyone else at the same time. Like that is likely.

It is time to slash the Pentagon budget if you ask me and throw that money at education and infrastructure. We don't need another Minneapolis down at the Seattle waterfront.

Have a good one.

Sieg
07-22-2009, 08:06 AM
Wonder what the hourly shop rate is on an F-22 mechanic :cool2:

Jeremy
07-22-2009, 08:30 AM
30:1 maintenance/flight ratio is ridiculous for a modern fighter jet.

That said the F-22 is an amazing aircraft. It is hands down the best fighter in the world at the moment...just like it should be.

The F-35 (joint strike fighter) is also an amazing fighter, and from all accounts is cheaper...so cutting funding for the remaining F-22s in favor of the cheaper F-35s is probably a good move.

As to the question of why we need this? Well, we need to be prepared. Thrust vectoring, stealth, and other technologies are the direction air combat is moving and the US needs to be continually prepared. No one can be sure who our enemies will be in the future, and what their capabilities will be.

Post Korean war military "thinkers" believed that dogfights were a thing of the past, so they built an interceptor jet (F-4) without guns, and cancelled most air to air combat training. Vietnam proved them wrong...and when $1M Migs were shooting down $20M F-4s at a clip of 50% of engagements, they realized their mistake. Training was reinstated, and within a fairly short time period the US kill ratio was more like 20:1...where it should be. Every conflict since, with the exception of Afghanistan (no air force) has seen air to air combat...dominated by the US.

Another reason we need to continue to buy airplanes is so we keep the skills and technology in country to build them. If you stop designing and building them within 20 years you'll have lost the ability, as there won't be any engineers and machinists left with experience.

tonered
07-22-2009, 08:55 AM
And maybe we should keep all the nukes around just in case E.T. shows up.

The short sighted vision that kept a canon off of the F-4 may be the exact vision that is creating a techno behemoth when an F-15E or A-10 would do just fine. The JSF is a joke just as the F-111 was. We all know that history buffs don't exist in D.C. Otherwise, I'd like to see a raise of hands from anyone who believes the F-18E/F is a superior interceptor over the F-14D.

The interesting aspect is that the Russian still employ the swarm mentality, i.e. cheap numbers versus expensive superiority. Given the capabilities of the US aircraft versus the current Russian export crop, it all comes down to the pilot. Just like our Ducs, it depends on the skill of the riders since the bike exceeds our capability in just about every respect.

We have modern day examples also. The vaunted Apache was taken out by small arms fire in Iraq. Hmmm. The official excuse was that it was only designed to attack main battle tanks. I guess there would never be enemy troops in the field with those MBTs. LOL.

How's the V-22 doing? If I were a Marine, that'd machine would have me requesting a nice USAF assignment.

Edit:
Every conflict since, with the exception of Afghanistan (no air force) has seen air to air combat...dominated by the US.

Uh, thinking really hard, there were no air-to-air conflicts in the second half of Vietnam. There were a handful of dogfights in Deseret Storm. Other than that, the USAF has been either a tactical or strategic bombing air wing. I could be wrong, but the only air-to-air offensives I can think of were the Falklands and Iran/Iraq.

Have a good one.

Jeremy
07-22-2009, 09:03 AM
The short sighted vision that kept a canon off of the F-4 may be the exact vision that is creating a techno behemoth when an F-15E or A-10 would do just fine. The JSF is a joke just as the F-111 was. We all know that history buffs don't exist in D.C. Otherwise, I'd like to see a raise of hands from anyone who believes the F-18E/F is a superior interceptor over the F-14D.


The F-15 and A-10 are still great planes. I'd be curious to see what their flight time to maintenance ratios are though. That could be what is driving their retirement.

...and I will raise my hand...I believe the F-18 is a superior plane to the F-14. I also know that the F-18 requires something like 3-4 times less maintenance than the aging F-14.

Where's Rich? He may actually have FHE on some of this.

tonered
07-22-2009, 09:18 AM
The maint to flight ops ratio is ridonkulous on any front line fighter. It mainly depends on what aspects and systems require the work.

I don't think the F-18 had the legs that the F-14 did, at least not without external stores.

Have a good one.

Jeremy
07-22-2009, 09:24 AM
Uh, thinking really hard, there were no air-to-air conflicts in the second half of Vietnam. There were a handful of dogfights in Deseret Storm. Other than that, the USAF has been either a tactical or strategic bombing air wing. I could be wrong, but the only air-to-air offensives I can think of were the Falklands and Iran/Iraq.



I don't know if air-air combat tailed off in the second half of Vietnam. I do know that when the war started US pilots weren't doing so well, but after training was reinstated they began to dominate.

I believe about 40 planes were shot down in the Persian Gulf war. Another 15 or so were shot down in the Serbia/Bosnia conflict. The current Iraq war apparently didn't have any.

You're correct in that the majority of US air operations have been of the bombing variety.

Sieg
07-22-2009, 09:45 AM
The future of aircraft in military ops:
http://www.usaasc.info/alt_online/images/090207_photo2.jpg

http://www.compositesworld.com/uploadedimages/Publications/CW/News/ng_uav_web.jpg

http://air-attack.com/MIL/predator/mq-9_armed.jpg

Jeremy
07-22-2009, 10:37 AM
The future of aircraft in military ops:



Hopefully not completely. :(

tonered
07-22-2009, 01:07 PM
Hopefully not completely. :(

:( I'm with you in that respect. Once the value of human life is taken away from a conflict, a lot more will get disconnected. Like I said, I'm a wing nut (in more ways than one) . . .

Toward the end of the Vietnam War, fighter pilots were being retasked to bombing roles. We simply crushed the NVA air force. That is where the requirement for the A-10 was drafted (ground attack, CAS, and tank destroyer).

There were dogfights in Bosnia? I'm bummed that I don't remember that.

Have a good one.

swassociates
07-22-2009, 01:13 PM
Anyone that questions the reason for needing the F-22, or the F-35, needs to read "Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War". After reading the book it will be perfectly clear.

tonered
07-22-2009, 01:24 PM
Thus demonstrating that the F-100 could be made into an effective fighter aircraft while not being a great platform. ;)

This goes back to pilot training and tactics, not the aircraft. Again, similar to all the time we put into managing the energy of our old school Ducs. :happy57:

So, instead of spending a few $1m to train the guy at the stick, we'll toss a few hundred $1m to let the aircraft do it in an age where just underneath air superiority it says to see the US aircraft fleet. Sounds like the arguement for DTC.

Have a good one.

bafflebrain
07-22-2009, 02:54 PM
Its very true. That's where a lot of military spending and R&D are on right now.

Don't ask me how I know :P


The future of aircraft in military ops:
http://www.usaasc.info/alt_online/images/090207_photo2.jpg

http://www.compositesworld.com/uploadedimages/Publications/CW/News/ng_uav_web.jpg

http://air-attack.com/MIL/predator/mq-9_armed.jpg

Sieg
07-22-2009, 03:38 PM
Its very true. That's where a lot of military spending and R&D are on right now.

Don't ask me how I know :P
There is more than one way to capitalize on all the upcoming generations of highly skilled Xbox 360 players out there.

Rich Quarre
07-22-2009, 06:07 PM
The F-15 and A-10 are still great planes. I'd be curious to see what their flight time to maintenance ratios are though. That could be what is driving their retirement.

...and I will raise my hand...I believe the F-18 is a superior plane to the F-14. I also know that the F-18 requires something like 3-4 times less maintenance than the aging F-14.

Where's Rich? He may actually have FHE on some of this.

Sorry, I kind'a missed this thread. No FHE with the F-18, F-14, or A-10. My only experience with the F-15 was a couple of 2v2 engagements while flying an AT-38B. That was in '88 or '89 when I was a T-38 IP...much has changed since then. Unfortunately, I am not at all up to speed with current military aircarft. The F-15 is an impressive, albeit aging, weapon system.

This is always an interesting discussion. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to build a fighter (or any weapon system) that can be effectively employed in all combat theaters and scenarios. For instance, the A-10 had been all but written off by the USAF as out-dated due to it's low-tech character. However, during the Gulf War it proved to be quite flexible and totally invaluable doing what it had been originally designed to do...kill tanks and ground interdiction. Interestingly though, the theater that it was originally designed for (Europe) was entirely different from where it was ultimately successful.

The small number of extremely sophisticated F-22s that the DOD will be procuring begs the question, who/where/how many is the enemy? Employed with AWACS command and control, it will no doubt be an effective system against a limited number of aggressors. I guess the question I'm left with is, who does that include as potential adversaries? Maybe all the Mid East, South America, Africa, and most of Europe. But what about China and their interests? China, while not (yet) as sophisticated, could possibly mount an awesome airborne force just in terms of shear numbers. At what point is the low tech/high volume approach more effective in suppressing an aggressive, large-numbered force?

Are UAVs the answer? Again, it totally depends on their mission. However, I don't believe we will ever see a totally unmanned Air Force.
Just my opinion.

richmeyer
07-22-2009, 07:05 PM
But what about China and their interests? China, while not (yet) as sophisticated, could possibly mount an awesome airborne force just in terms of shear numbers.

NAILED it, exactly the reason we need to keep these "relics" around.

Quack
07-22-2009, 07:36 PM
No Union so they pay them way less than their training and responsibility should earn them
Wonder what the hourly shop rate is on an F-22 mechanic :cool2:

desmo99802
07-25-2009, 09:02 AM
Not much, what ever your pay grade/rank is. Your part of the military, pays you less so they can spend more. I'm not against service of country, i just think that the boys keeping the stuff in the air and their lives on the line should be paid alot more than $25,00.00 a year. JMHO! I wanted to join up, but was told i was too old at the time. Cut off age was 32 and i had just turned 33 a month before.