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Aircraft Vs Thread 5


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The New Year's has just rolled around, you have 3 big financial goals - one of which is to buy a new car. You really need a new car, because well A) your current vehicle won't last the year, it's about to literally fall apart and B) in this fictitious Universe, a really expensive car boosts the owner's attractiveness towards the opposite sex by 1000%. But then disaster strikes, you loose your job. However, you must still find a way to achieve your 3 goals.

You must also still get a new car, because a car is a necessity to live your life. So what's the best option? Don't buy the Beamer you were hoping for, but buy a cheaper family sedan. In this path, you will have met your objective that now you have a safe vehicle that is not falling apart, but you will not get the prestige bonus of driving a beamer.

You know, this analogy made me think about how to fit in the B-52...hmm...You can't afford the beamer, don't want to be caught dead in a sedan, so what's left? Grab your granddads 1955 Coupe de Ville and ace all 3 goals! :D

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If all the bad things about the F-35 were true, I'd can the program as well, and go buy some Block-60 F-16's and whatever variant of the F-15E that is being sold to Singapore/S.Korea, and just make a nice little fund to keep the few raptors that the USAF has in optimal condition and training.

Don't think anyone doubts the ability of the F-35 to replace the F-16... it's the fact that it's going to have to pick up slack in replacing the F-15 since there's been continued downdrawing of the F-22. Do you think the USAF has more F-15 than it really needs? That's the only possible satisfactory answer... unless you really think an F-35 can take the place of an F-15... Much less the A-10, F-117, etc.

Of course there is going to be some fictitious future war more reliant on Air Superiority, but military and civilian leadership cannot make decisions based on hypothetical future scenarios in the face of clear threats and missions that exist now and the limited availability of money.

Uh, that's exactly what leadership is supposed to be doing. You have to win the fights you're in, sure, but you also have to plan for the future lest you get hit with a Pearl Harbor and get sacked from your command and your name and reputation scorned for decades.

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Don't think anyone doubts the ability of the F-35 to replace the F-16... it's the fact that it's going to have to pick up slack in replacing the F-15 since there's been continued downdrawing of the F-22. Do you think the USAF has more F-15 than it really needs? That's the only possible satisfactory answer... unless you really think an F-35 can take the place of an F-15... Much less the A-10, F-117, etc.

Interesting question but difficult to say. The F15 was built in numbers to deal with the soviet airforce of its day. There is no hostile airfoce of that size left, so there could be quite a bit of excess capability that is no longer needed.

Uh, that's exactly what leadership is supposed to be doing. You have to win the fights you're in, sure, but you also have to plan for the future lest you get hit with a Pearl Harbor and get sacked from your command and your name and reputation scorned for decades.

True, but it's hard to predict how future conflicts will be fought and which technologies will be essential. Pearl and the Pacific war showed that the number of battleships on each side didn't matter in the end.

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Uh, that's exactly what leadership is supposed to be doing. You have to win the fights you're in, sure, but you also have to plan for the future lest you get hit with a Pearl Harbor and get sacked from your command and your name and reputation scorned for decades.

Right, in the ideal world, leadership has no pressure, is not subject to corruption or lobbying, knows everything there is to know, and can see the future ... yes.

Unfortunately, that is not the way the world works. A general/admiral or any corporate CEO's performance is hardly based on foresight but on actual performance in present situations. You need to find a reason to say "this man/woman is doing a great job, and we should increase the pay, give him/her a promotion, etc." The only way you can do this is with present facts & figures. Since you cannot find "future facts," foresight will always be an afterthought in decision-making. You can disagree with this (I do to some extent), but that's how it is.

Oh, and I think Pearl Harbor is not the best example here, it was more of a failure of intelligence (or acting upon it). If the IJN were using Gundams, then yes.

I'm not making an anti-raptor or an anti-F-35 case at all. The problem is that given the crushing government deficits + 1.5 foreign wars, for policymakers the short term will always be more dire than the long term. Also... my answer would change if by now we had zero raptors, which is not the case. We have 140 F-22's. I can't think of many Air Forces in the world with that many shiny and new dedicated Air Superiority fighters.

Since there is also only 1 AF in the world with more than 1 operational 5G fighter, I doubt that a few years of slack is going to have disastrous effects.

You know, this analogy made me think about how to fit in the B-52...hmm...You can't afford the beamer, don't want to be caught dead in a sedan, so what's left? Grab your granddads 1955 Coupe de Ville and ace all 3 goals!

pink_cadillac.jpg

Ooooh yeah.

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If all the bad things about the F-35 were true, I'd can the program as well, and go buy some Block-60 F-16's and whatever variant of the F-15E that is being sold to Singapore/S.Korea, and just make a nice little fund to keep the few raptors that the USAF has in optimal condition and training.

I believe that's pretty close to what Pierre Sprey and others would like the USAF to be.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fu...askthisid=00197

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewl...us-airpowe.html

Edited by Vifam7
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Soooo---anyone got any links to a GOOD article on why we need more F-22's? Preferably one that's carefully read before being linked to? blush.gif

Its not about the F-22, but it is about the future direction of the Air Force. Hopefully you can access it. It details how the UAV crowd has become more influential in the past few years.

Edited by Noyhauser
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I can't think of many Air Forces in the world with that many shiny and new dedicated Air Superiority fighters.

Since there is also only 1 AF in the world with more than 1 operational 5G fighter, I doubt that a few years of slack is going to have disastrous effects.

It's not just the fighters, though PAK-FA could be an issue. How about the latest and greatest that Russian SAM systems (upgraded S300 and S400) that are just as much a threat to 4th generation fighters...

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It's not just the fighters, though PAK-FA could be an issue. How about the latest and greatest that Russian SAM systems (upgraded S300 and S400) that are just as much a threat to 4th generation fighters...

Thats got little to do with the F-22's role. Its an air superiority fighter, not a deep penetration bomber, nor a SEAD platform. The US has already developed a range of responses to deal with this situation without ever resorting to deploying the F-22s... the retirement of the F-117 a few years ago should indicate to you why this isn't really the threat that its made out to be. First off the current generation of Precision Guided Munitions like the JSOW and the AGM-88E are viewed to be sufficient to deal with these threats for the foreseeable future. They provide high probability kills at extremely long ranges. Moreover these new generation of weapons allow for less of a need to undertake deep penetration missions as was the case in prior operations.

Next the USAF already has several major aircraft that can deal with the threat. This includes the EA-18G and the F-16CJ. Within five or six years you'll see the third generation of UCAVs. One the major aims is to use them to attack SAM emplacements without putting aircraft at risks at all.

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If you want to take out a bunch of modern SAM sites using HARMs, I see a few issues:

1. F-35 can't carry it internally----first day high-risk missions are where stealth is needed the most.

2. F-16's only carry 2, and aren't stealthy in the slightest.

3. Super Hornets can carry 4, but will seriously lack loiter time, which is often required for HARM deployment as the SAM sites aren't going to be active 24/7.

A quick check at F-16.net on this very issue suggested F-22's at high speed and high alt, using SDB's---and that actually sounds like a good idea--I doubt even the most advanced SAM will have much success trying to shoot down something going nearly Mach 2 at 60,000ft. Question is would the USAF risk them, especially in a "first day" situation

Noyhauser---I *fully* read that Post article and found it very interesting, thanks. :)

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I agree with David, its a very interesting article. Vested interests within an organisation clashing with new developments.

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I do.

I'd second that.

I think today's USAF would overwhelm the PLAAF even harder than the 8th and 9th kicked the GAF in the final few months. (ok actually this is a lousy analogy because they still had the occasional 262 who could circle out of harms way and a few Krupinski/Hartmann's in 109s). But basically, the USAF is way capable of the PLAAF's arse in the forseeable future.

And its not just in the fighter hardware. All the supporting hardware and doctrine is still miles and miles ahead.

Edited by Retracting Head Ter Ter
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I believe the F-117 was retired not because it wasn't needed, but because it was fatally compromised. The F-117 shot down over Kosovo showed that modification to the RADAR let them see the F-117 for brief periods and it's stealth was likely fatally compromised, if not by that, then by the examination on site which also had Russian witnesses, IIRC.

If we can't get 4th gen strike aircraft in to hit sites, F-35 is insuffcient, and there aren't enough F-22, then it means we're going to lose a bunch of pilots. UCAVs are still pie in the sky. Maybe they'll bear fruit... maybe they won't (jamming and other ECW against UCAV set up near said SAM sites).

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I believe the F-117 was retired not because it wasn't needed, but because it was fatally compromised. The F-117 shot down over Kosovo showed that modification to the RADAR let them see the F-117 for brief periods and it's stealth was likely fatally compromised, if not by that, then by the examination on site which also had Russian witnesses, IIRC.

If we can't get 4th gen strike aircraft in to hit sites, F-35 is insuffcient, and there aren't enough F-22, then it means we're going to lose a bunch of pilots. UCAVs are still pie in the sky. Maybe they'll bear fruit... maybe they won't (jamming and other ECW against UCAV set up near said SAM sites).

I think it's obvious that the way to deal with such problems is to start lobbing nukes at the first sign of trouble. after all it's the only way to be sure.

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Its not about the F-22, but it is about the future direction of the Air Force. Hopefully you can access it. It details how the UAV crowd has become more influential in the past few years.

I LOL'd hard at this:

The Predator pilots, who flew their planes from an Air Force base outside Las Vegas, received a thank-you note from a three-star general based in the Middle East. Senior Air Force officials concluded that even though the Predator crews were flying combat missions, they weren't actually in combat.

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If you want to take out a bunch of modern SAM sites using HARMs, I see a few issues:

1. F-35 can't carry it internally----first day high-risk missions are where stealth is needed the most.

2. F-16's only carry 2, and aren't stealthy in the slightest.

3. Super Hornets can carry 4, but will seriously lack loiter time, which is often required for HARM deployment as the SAM sites aren't going to be active 24/7.

A quick check at F-16.net on this very issue suggested F-22's at high speed and high alt, using SDB's---and that actually sounds like a good idea--I doubt even the most advanced SAM will have much success trying to shoot down something going nearly Mach 2 at 60,000ft. Question is would the USAF risk them, especially in a "first day" situation

See I think there is waay too much focus on one aircraft in SEAD, when since the first Gulf War its been carried out by huge strike packages that include dozens if not a hundred aircraft working as part of a team. Stealth aircraft play one part, and not that significant when you have very good stand off weapon, UAVs and a whole new generation of Jamming equipment. Nobody sends stealth aircraft alone to do SEAD. You need dedicated SEAD aircraft, which is another area of growth for the US military. It didn't receive much attention but the last budget saw the Navy receive another four Growler squadrons, in addition to the ten already projected. In addition to the Growler, the military is investing in a new set of Jammers as a follow on to the ALQ-99 generation. These include directed energy system that will adaptively jam a capability.

UAVs are a critical part of this strategy because they can be sent into high risk areas to identify threats for manned aircraft operating outside of the line of fire. During the 2003 invasion of iraq, the USAF sent stripped down Predators to either identify emplacements, or provoke them so that they could be targeted. So effective was these operations that the USAF reconsidered its cancellation of the MALD drones, and prompted Raytheon to restart development. Its designed to provoke SAMs to fire, where they can be identified and destroyed. If an opponent doesn't use their SAMs, then other UCAVs like Reapers or their follow-ons the X-45/47, can independently search out silent emplacements and kill them. Thats something which didn't exist before because you didn't want to send aircraft and men into harms' way. Its a far more dangerous for air defences when they are up against a capability that is not concerned for its own existence.

With the proliferation of electronic jammers, there isn't much need for "shooters" with High stealth with F-22s. The 16CJ right now plays that role sufficiently. Launching SDBs at hight is nice, but the JSOW is a pretty capable system that is purpose designed for such a role. Its highly accurate, has a range over 100km and contains significant stealth features to prevent interception. JSOW can fit into the F-35's bays as well. With the level of Jammers available the stealth capabilities of the F-35 are likely quite sufficient. Given the number of platform available, there isn't really a need for the F-22 to undertake SEAD missions.

In reality the US Military is pretty well prepared for this threat area and are pretty well ahead of any possible threat. Its not just the Americans either; after Kosovo they identified this area as an issue and have started to deploy their own countermeasures.

Edited by Noyhauser
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So they actually want to replace the A-10 with the F-35 in the 2020s? Can't picture the Lightning going low and slow to support troops on the ground. Atleast not in situations where it has to linger over a potentially hot AA area.

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So they actually want to replace the A-10 with the F-35 in the 2020s? Can't picture the Lightning going low and slow to support troops on the ground. Atleast not in situations where it has to linger over a potentially hot AA area.

The idea is to use a different tactic instead of low and slow, you use higher speed passes at a higher altiude and smart small diameter bombs. Will it work? Don't know, I just fly helicopters, when we do CAS it's a tad more direct.

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