With F-35 do we need F-22 anymore?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

vilters

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1154
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2009, 00:16

Unread post13 Jan 2020, 23:47

The cost for each upgrade/airframe is going to be huge.

Some 3.000 F-35 will be build and each upgrade R&D cost can be devided by 3.000.
The USAF only has some 180 F-22, so each upgrade R&D cost can only be devided by 180.
See where this is going?

In the long run, The F-22 will HAVE to be upgraded to stay on par or above the F-35 capabilities. But at what cost/airframe?

The Ruskies going bananas and the Chinese going oranges, sooner or later we will have to ask ourselves the question;
It it cost effective to continue upgrading 30 to 40 year old airframes? And do we "need" them at all?
And with what is in the pipeline for the F-35? My answer to that question is no, we do not.

Continue R&D for engine and avionix, OK. But for airfames?

What I can see happening, and it might even be cost effective, is opening up the F-35 airframe to Mach 2 Plus numbers.
But the same question pops up; Do we need it?
Offline

wrightwing

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3602
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 15:22

Unread post13 Jan 2020, 23:59

vilters wrote:The cost for each upgrade/airframe is going to be huge.

Some 3.000 F-35 will be build and each upgrade R&D cost can be devided by 3.000.
The USAF only has some 180 F-22, so each upgrade R&D cost can only be devided by 180.
See where this is going?

In the long run, The F-22 will HAVE to be upgraded to stay on par or above the F-35 capabilities. But at what cost/airframe?

The Ruskies going bananas and the Chinese going oranges, sooner or later we will have to ask ourselves the question;
It it cost effective to continue upgrading 30 to 40 year old airframes? And do we "need" them at all?
And with what is in the pipeline for the F-35? My answer to that question is no, we do not.

Continue R&D for engine and avionix, OK. But for airfames?

What I can see happening, and it might even be cost effective, is opening up the F-35 airframe to Mach 2 Plus numbers.
But the same question pops up; Do we need it?

F-22s are being upgraded right now, and the current plan is to keep them operational (and relevant) till 2060. The MLU consists of new computers, cockpit displays, helmet sights, new passive sensors, datalink upgrades, improved CNI/IFF, etc...
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2429
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 02:04

The 3,000 F-35s is actually 2,456 for the US which after excluding the USN and USMC will be 1,763 USAF F-35As which after excluding F-35As used for training and BAI/attrition will be 960 which form 44 combat coded squadrons which after excluding ANG and reserve squadrons will be only 24 F-35A fighter squadrons which is less half of the operational fighter squadrons of the USAF's "air force we need".

The F-22s will thus be needed until PCA replaces it. However, as CBO had kindly pointed out in 2018, even the small 414 PCA unit program will require double the average procurement budget that has been allocated each year...Hence even the F-15Es will need to be maintained and upgraded whilst the F-22s are still the silver bullets.

It is theoretically feasible to swap the 414 PCAs for another 1,200 F-35As (which has its merits). However that would mean the F-35As would be the mainstay for the next 30 years. Whilst there are many who believe the F-35A to be a magic plane, I think the USAF would still want better silver bullets. The issue is also if the USAF sacrifices the PCA for more F-35s, they risk ending up with less than half due to budget cuts.
Offline

disconnectedradical

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 907
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 00:44
  • Location: San Antonio, TX

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 03:59

weasel1962 wrote:The 3,000 F-35s is actually 2,456 for the US which after excluding the USN and USMC will be 1,763 USAF F-35As which after excluding F-35As used for training and BAI/attrition will be 960 which form 44 combat coded squadrons which after excluding ANG and reserve squadrons will be only 24 F-35A fighter squadrons which is less half of the operational fighter squadrons of the USAF's "air force we need".

The F-22s will thus be needed until PCA replaces it. However, as CBO had kindly pointed out in 2018, even the small 414 PCA unit program will require double the average procurement budget that has been allocated each year...Hence even the F-15Es will need to be maintained and upgraded whilst the F-22s are still the silver bullets.

It is theoretically feasible to swap the 414 PCAs for another 1,200 F-35As (which has its merits). However that would mean the F-35As would be the mainstay for the next 30 years. Whilst there are many who believe the F-35A to be a magic plane, I think the USAF would still want better silver bullets. The issue is also if the USAF sacrifices the PCA for more F-35s, they risk ending up with less than half due to budget cuts.


Exactly. F-35 is a great strike fighter, but it’s not magic plane and with how limited the number of F-22 is, we will definitely need PCA as a dedicated air superiority fighter, and free of any airframe limitations that F-35 has, as good as it is.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 6890
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 04:50

disconnectedradical wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:The 3,000 F-35s is actually 2,456 for the US which after excluding the USN and USMC will be 1,763 USAF F-35As which after excluding F-35As used for training and BAI/attrition will be 960 which form 44 combat coded squadrons which after excluding ANG and reserve squadrons will be only 24 F-35A fighter squadrons which is less half of the operational fighter squadrons of the USAF's "air force we need".

The F-22s will thus be needed until PCA replaces it. However, as CBO had kindly pointed out in 2018, even the small 414 PCA unit program will require double the average procurement budget that has been allocated each year...Hence even the F-15Es will need to be maintained and upgraded whilst the F-22s are still the silver bullets.

It is theoretically feasible to swap the 414 PCAs for another 1,200 F-35As (which has its merits). However that would mean the F-35As would be the mainstay for the next 30 years. Whilst there are many who believe the F-35A to be a magic plane, I think the USAF would still want better silver bullets. The issue is also if the USAF sacrifices the PCA for more F-35s, they risk ending up with less than half due to budget cuts.


Exactly. F-35 is a great strike fighter, but it’s not magic plane and with how limited the number of F-22 is, we will definitely need PCA as a dedicated air superiority fighter, and free of any airframe limitations that F-35 has, as good as it is.


Eventually, we will need a replacement for the F-22. Yet, in the next 20-30 what is seriously going to challenge the F-35???

:wink:
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2429
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 09:15

The difficulty is that being a 1 engine jet, there is a weight (and space) limitation imposed upon the jet. Despite advent, the opposition can upgrade far easier e.g. J-20.

6G projects are already taking off whether Russian (started in 2013), Chinese or European. Even Japan's F-3 stealth fighter will be likely match the F-35. If US choose to skip the PCA, even if they can protect the tech lead, they could end up losing field advantages with a sole F-35 fleet, even if these will be continuously upgraded. Much like how the F-16 is already seeing peers.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 6890
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 11:16

weasel1962 wrote:The difficulty is that being a 1 engine jet, there is a weight (and space) limitation imposed upon the jet. Despite advent, the opposition can upgrade far easier e.g. J-20.

6G projects are already taking off whether Russian (started in 2013), Chinese or European. Even Japan's F-3 stealth fighter will be likely match the F-35. If US choose to skip the PCA, even if they can protect the tech lead, they could end up losing field advantages with a sole F-35 fleet, even if these will be continuously upgraded. Much like how the F-16 is already seeing peers.


6th Generation Fighters are only at the very early conceptual stages. They won't enter service for at least 20 years. (most likely longer)


Also, the Japanese F-3 died sometime ago. That never got past the ATD-X/X-2 Demonstrator...They do plan to develop a future 6th Generation Fighter. Yet, that to is at a conceptual stage. Which, they likely will develop with a partner or partners!
Offline

zero-one

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2350
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 16:19
  • Location: New Jersey

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 11:42

Corsair1963 wrote:6th Generation Fighters are only at the very early conceptual stages. They won't enter service for at least 20 years. (most likely longer)


https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... n-5-years/

Roper calls the “Digital Century Series” would flip that paradigm: Instead of maturing technologies over time to create an exquisite fighter, the Air Force’s goal would be to quickly build the best fighter that industry can muster over a couple years,

Imagine “every four or five years there was the F-200, F-201, F-202 and it was vague and mysterious [on what the planes] have, but it’s clear it’s a real program and there are real airplanes flying.

“With the F-35, we had too much [emphasis on] systems and not enough [on the] air vehicle.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 6890
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 11:49

zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:6th Generation Fighters are only at the very early conceptual stages. They won't enter service for at least 20 years. (most likely longer)


https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... n-5-years/

Roper calls the “Digital Century Series” would flip that paradigm: Instead of maturing technologies over time to create an exquisite fighter, the Air Force’s goal would be to quickly build the best fighter that industry can muster over a couple years,

Imagine “every four or five years there was the F-200, F-201, F-202 and it was vague and mysterious [on what the planes] have, but it’s clear it’s a real program and there are real airplanes flying.

“With the F-35, we had too much [emphasis on] systems and not enough [on the] air vehicle.


What have we seen to support such a claim??? As we've seen very little progress with "any" 6th Generation Program. All just conceptual designs and concepts....

Tempest is making a little progress. Yet, nothing to suggest. That they're in a position to substantially cut the time of development.
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4153
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 13:04

They're going to keep/upgrade the F-22, no question about it. And it will likely continue to maintain its dominant edge, despite advancements in Russian/Chinese aviation. The SU-57 is going nowhere fast: Marginal stealth at best, going to be expensive as hell (particularly for foreign operators) and probably built in very small numbers. The J-20 looks to have better stealth, but still won't give them an aircraft that'll survive the F-22 onslaught. All of this just gets magnified more when the AIM-260/Perigrine get here.

The F-35 will go on to dismantle air defense networks in various parts of the globe, although I would expect a few losses. These new generation SAM's aren't very forgiving, and I would expect poor mission planning/a lucky shot like we saw in Kosovo here and there. In the air to air realm I do think it'll be very close to the F-22: Silent, almost invisible, deadly.

As of yet though, it hasn't exuded the fear factor that the Raptor instills in enemies when it arrives in theater. The F-22 sends a powerful message, and I'm convinced it has helped us avoid more fights than we're probably aware of. You don't give up a capability like that, no matter how much is perception vs. reality. Those silver bullets need to stay in the magazine...
Offline

zero-one

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2350
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 16:19
  • Location: New Jersey

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 13:38

Corsair1963 wrote:What have we seen to support such a claim???


Obviously only people with high level clearance can answer that.
Right now its mostly the aircraft developers who talk about going through another clean sheet design which will take years to develop.

However, for airforce brass, theres a lot of talk about moving away from the traditional development cycle of creating a clean sheet design and more about using mature systems and mature technologies. Think of the F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet concept. It took Boeing like a few months to conjure that up. The F-15X also seemingly came out of nowhere and so did the F-21.

Using mature or existing platforms and upgrading them to meet the PCA's requirements can be done much quicker than starting from scratch.

For all we know the PCA program could be:
-Modified F-22 as the shooter component
-Modified B-21 as the Stealthy sensor node, while some will operate as stealthy refueling tankers and other will act as missile trucks.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2763
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 13:56

Corsair1963 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:The difficulty is that being a 1 engine jet, there is a weight (and space) limitation imposed upon the jet. Despite advent, the opposition can upgrade far easier e.g. J-20.

6G projects are already taking off whether Russian (started in 2013), Chinese or European. Even Japan's F-3 stealth fighter will be likely match the F-35. If US choose to skip the PCA, even if they can protect the tech lead, they could end up losing field advantages with a sole F-35 fleet, even if these will be continuously upgraded. Much like how the F-16 is already seeing peers.


6th Generation Fighters are only at the very early conceptual stages. They won't enter service for at least 20 years. (most likely longer)


Exactly!

And why are we calling those projects 6th gen??

Those projects such as the Su-57 (and other projects such as the Mig-41), J-20 (and other Chinese projects), Tempest, NGF, etc... are all in fact 5th gen aircraft!
I know that the companies/countries that develop them are "taunting" them as 6th as some sort of superior leverage against the F-35 and F-22 as well as a great part of the media which supports this lets say "behavior" but those aircraft/projects are still 5th gen.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2763
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 14:35

zero-one wrote:For all we know the PCA program could be:
-Modified F-22 as the shooter component
-Modified B-21 as the Stealthy sensor node, while some will operate as stealthy refueling tankers and other will act as missile trucks.


And why not a modified F-35?

By looking at the F-35's flight envelop it's seem clear that with further testing (and in case of being necessary, small modifications) it could pass the Mach 1.6 top speed with relative ease.

I believe that with further and definitely more extensive modifications it would be possible to develop a modified version of the F-35 with full supercruise capability, higher top-speed, (even) longer range and of course higher ceiling.

Someone previously mentioned that a single-engine fighter aircraft would be less "upgradable" than a twin engine fighter aircraft. I disagree with this and the F-16 is a clear testimony that a single engine fighter aircraft can be as "upgradable" or even more than a twin engine one.
Moreover the F-35 compared to the F-22 can already carry bigger, heavier and bulkier weapons compared to the F-22. For example the F-35 (excluding the -B variant of course) can carry 2000lb bombs while the F-22 can only carry 1000lb bombs.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline

zero-one

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2350
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 16:19
  • Location: New Jersey

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 16:58

ricnunes wrote:And why not a modified F-35?

The F-35 is originally designed as a ground attack aircraft with considerable A-A prowess.
Kinematically it will always be inferior to the Raptor.

The PCA program is tailored for A-A, If they will indeed upgrade a mature platform to fulfill one part of the PCA family of systems, its only logical for them to use an airframe that was tailored for A-A than one that is tailored for A-G.

Don't take my word for it,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITCerewkIQE
F-35 pilot Maj. John Searcy, specifically said that the F-35 was consciously designed to be compromised in a way because it had a different mission in mind.

ricnunes wrote:By looking at the F-35's flight envelop it's seem clear that with further testing (and in case of being necessary, small modifications) it could pass the Mach 1.6 top speed with relative ease.

That wasn't clear to me, isn't the DSI intake only one of several limiting factors for it to be limited to 1.6M.


ricnunes wrote:I believe that with further and definitely more extensive modifications it would be possible to develop a modified version of the F-35 with full supercruise capability, higher top-speed, (even) longer range and of course higher ceiling.

For example the F-35 (excluding the -B variant of course) can carry 2000lb bombs while the F-22 can only carry 1000lb

Performance wise the only advantage the F-35 has over the Raptor is range, while the Raptor has speed, maneuverability, acceleration, Energy retention, supersonic persistence and max flight ceiling advantages over the Lightning.

The PCA will use Avionics and systems that the F-22 and F-35 don't have today, so if we're talking about choosing an air-frame only specifically for air-frame characteristics. Then the F-22 is the clear winner for a candidate A-A platform.

And while the F-35 can carry 2k bombs to the F-22's 1k, the F-22 can also carry 8 internal AAMs to the F-35's current 4 and possibly 6. so the payload argument is a draw.
Offline

sprstdlyscottsmn

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4927
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2006, 01:24
  • Location: Nashua NH USA

Unread post14 Jan 2020, 17:36

zero-one wrote:That wasn't clear to me, isn't the DSI intake only one of several limiting factors for it to be limited to 1.6M.


Not at all. The F-16 tested the DSI out to Mach 2. Even the F-35 was tested to Mach 1.67 as a test point, not an absolute limit. Look at the difference in 0.8-1.2M acceleration numbers between the C and the A. Most of that is due to higher wave drag from the giant wing causing a less efficient area rule. Not remember that the C still hits 1.6M. The A has a LOT of excess thrust available at 1.6M.
"Spurts"

-Pilot
-Aerospace Engineer
-Army Medic
-FMS Systems Engineer
-PFD Systems Engineer
-PATRIOT Systems Engineer
PreviousNext

Return to General F-35 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests