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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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zero-one

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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 19:54

ricnunes wrote:My interpretation of their words is exactly what I personally believe to be the purpose of those same words: To justify the existence and keeping the F-22!

But why would they even need to justify the existence of the Raptor if the F-35 is just as good in A-A.

ricnunes wrote:So and regarding this, what would you say about the F/A-18? Would you say that the "primary role" of the F/A-18 is A2A or A2G? And of course the question also extends to its "secondary role"? And what about the Rafale?

I honestly can't answer that cause I did not monitor their developments as closely as the F-35s. I swear the term 60/40 has come up a few times from official sources where the F-35 has a 60% emphasis on A-G and 40 for A-A. But the 40% is still well above any 4th gens A-A capability.

The closest I can find now officially is Maj.Searcy's statemet. He said it clear as day they were desinged more for SEAD and Strike not Air dominance why do you keep ignoring that?

If I had to guess tho, the Hornet's airframe originated from the YF-17 which was supposed to be the best dog fighting machine from the LWF program. To give it A-G they had to add weight, but at the same time added thrust. So I guess its still more of a fighter than a true attack platform like the A-6. But I'm just speculating here.


ricnunes wrote:Of course that anyone would choose a F-15 over the F-86 for dogfights! The diference in terms of generational lead is massive between both aircraft.

Well there you go thats my point. In the export market the F-35 is going up against 4th gen aircraft where it has a generational lead. So even if A-A is its secondary role, its still better than those 4th gens in that role.

ricnunes wrote:Neither bigger or more necessarily means better. You can have better with smaller and fewer (parts) if you use newer and more advanced technology and the F-35 does this.
Moreover the F-35 has EOTS/IRST and DAS while the F-22 does not. So any advantage that the F-22 could potentially have over the F-35 in the sensor department is far offset by the advantages that the F-35 has over the F-22 in this same department.

Well the APG-77v1 uses the same hardware as the APG-81 and its bigger. The primary long range detection of fighters is still via the EM spectrum not IR or Optical so theres a big chance that the Raptor will detect bandits first.

Yes the F-35 can tell you if its a blue airplane or if the pilot shaved this morning but Raptor alrady has more than enough SA to get the job done.

ricnunes wrote:The problem is that you seem to ignore that the cost of the F-22 is prohibitive as it currently is - with less advanced technology and less sensors than the F-35 -


If....I'll say it again IF, they choose to do a Superhornet style program, neither the F-22 or F-35 will use it's current suite of sensors or engines. They will just recycle the airframe, everything will be put up to current standards. We're talking ADVENT engines. The most advanced AESA and DAS probably a 10% increase in size, the Swedes and Russians increased the fuel capacity of the Gripen and Flanker variants without increasing the size too much, so why not the US.
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quicksilver

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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 20:18

“...if they choose to do a Superhornet style program...”

SH was based on preliminary design work circa 1985 called ‘Hornet 2000.’ One could therefore argue that its dev timeline was in excess of 15 years as well.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 20:25

zero-one wrote:If I had to guess tho, the Hornet's airframe originated from the YF-17 which was supposed to be the best dog fighting machine from the LWF program.

Do you have a source for this statement? I could have sworn the YF-16 was judged to be the "better" WVR dogfighter, although the YF-17 was judged to have better high AOA capabilities, and, by some accounts, the feel of the YF-17 was judged to be the better of the two LWF competitors.

zero-one wrote:To give it A-G they had to add weight, but at the same time added thrust. So I guess its still more of a fighter than a true attack platform like the A-6. But I'm just speculating here.

Uhhh... coulda swore the YF-17 was pretty good at dropping bombs. Pretty sure the additional weight was due to the requirement of being flung off a boat by the front landing gear strut and landing by getting its a$$ yanked by a cable.

zero-one wrote:Well the APG-77v1 uses the same hardware as the APG-81 and its bigger. The primary long range detection of fighters is still via the EM spectrum not IR or Optical so theres a big chance that the Raptor will detect bandits first.

Have to disagree here. With the advent of the F-35, the primary long range detection of fighters is the network, or combat cloud... whatever you want to call it.

zero-one wrote:Yes the F-35 can tell you if its a blue airplane or if the pilot shaved this morning but Raptor alrady has more than enough SA to get the job done.

Maybe, but... disagree again. SA is one of those things that fighter pilots can never get enough of.


zero-one wrote:The most advanced AESA and DAS probably a 10% increase in size, the Swedes and Russians increased the fuel capacity of the Gripen and Flanker variants without increasing the size too much, so why not the US.


Ummm.... because of VLO... and the restrictions it places on the OML of the aircraft.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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marsavian

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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 20:45

notkent wrote:
marsavian wrote:I think F-117 helps my argument rather than yours, one was spotted and shot down and by old technology too. You really can't afford to let B-21 technology be transferred in this way. No, I really did mean F-22/F-35 escorts for B-2s and eventually B-21s, they can form defensive screens around the bombers especially on egress. They don't have to be in line formation, just in the general area sweeping ahead, around and looking back for fighters.


The F-117 was shot down by a SAM not a fighter. It was shot down because it flew the same route each time, lacked threat detectors ...

Escorts would not have prevented it being shot down.

If the idea of the escort is to bomb the B-21 if it lands behind enemy lines to prevent technology transfer it would be better to have a build in self destruct system.

Flying more planes around the stealthy B-21 that is trying to hide just increases the chance of detection and giving away where they should concentrate their forces. They will be a limited force of PCA and they will have their own targets to attend to.

Even with near peer forces the PCA would be better off targeting the airfields and C3 assets.


The most important thing about the F-117 shotdown was that it was first detected on a long VHF wavelength which all stealth fighters are susceptible to and our Serbian poster milosh vehemently disputes the same route theory. They could have just as easily sent a supersonic fighter after it rather than just cueing a fire-control radar (to fire its SAM) which more modern stealth aircraft would be able to evade/jam and there's no escaping from the supersonic deficit for a subsonic bomber. Once the bombs are released there will be no doubt stealth aircraft are in the vicinity anyway so you lose nothing by sending stealth fighters to escort the bombers out in a protective bubble around them.

Returning to the thread title the primary reason F-22 is still needed even with F-35 around is that it is more proactive in establishing air superiority. You know that if you send F-22s to intercept they will have the supersonic endurance to complete that interception and engage the enemy. It's more touch and go with the F-35 which maybe chasing supersonic shadows from a very fast intruder which may even only be on a very fast reconnaissance mission like Foxbats in Iran-Iraq war. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the F-35 in either BVR or WVR combat so it is fine as a front line fighter for export nations but F-22 gives the US the edge in air superiority/intercept missions as there is no escape from this Raptor's claws as engagement will be made to happen.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 20:48

zero-one wrote:Well its hisrorically how long it takes.
F-22 was conceptualized in the 80s with IOC in 2005.
F-35 conceptualized in the 90s with IOC in 2015.


How much of that is because of the airframe and how much is because of the mission systems? You keep using development times of the whole program when mission system and software is what drove the schedule the most on F-22 and F-35. So your examples are bad at trying to argue why new airframe will take so long.

zero-one wrote:I think PCA will look more like the SuperHornet or F-20, an evolution of existing mature designs.


Roper's analogy of century fighters with more emphasis on airframes instead of systems does not mean you have to use "existing airframes", and besides, you need to completely redo structural analysis and aerodynamic analysis of a modified airframe anyways, so actual time you save is not as much as you think.

When they talk about "mature" systems, you keep on trying to use that to justify modifying existing airframe (namely F-22) even when it's been repeated said mature can mean mission systems which takes just as long and is just as expensive if not more. In fact, if we use the century fighter analogy, one way focus more on airframes with faster development is to use same mission systems on new airframes.

Also, what quicksilver said about Super Hornet. That airframe came from a McDonnell Douglas Hornet program from 1985.

zero-one wrote:The PCA won't be a 1 size fits all jet. Instead it will be a family of systems. Some planes in that family might be a dirivative of the B-21 that can address the long range escort duties. While other planes in the family can be derivatives of the F-22 that can fill the role of the traditional air superiority fighter that excels in both BVR and WVR.

Its my interpretation of what USAF brass is saying that they want to use marure technologies.
So far all your interpretations of PCA revolves around a clean sheet design in a 1 size fits all jet. Exactly what AF brass is trying to move away from.


AGAIN, mature technology DOESN'T HAVE TO MEAN AIRFRAME. And I don't interpret PCA as 1 size fits all, don't know where you're getting that impression. PCA is supposed to be a fighter with much longer range, better survivability, and more "magazine depth" than current 5th gen fighters. I don't see F-22 airframe fitting that.

I too would like to see more F-22s. But that should have happened yesterday (in 2011), and with current timeline of having to restart production, it doesn't make sense anymore.

I don't know why you are so in favor of F-22. Is the airframe really that special? Why are all USAF and LM/NG/Boeing concept art using tailless designs in their concepts for the next fighter then?
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 20:53

“...if they choose to do a Superhornet style program...”
then they will make a brand spanking new airframe with a similar design approach to an existing platform but scaled up and it will use all "off the shelf" avionics, displays, and communications.

It won't be until "block II" that it gets new state of the art versions of existing Systems to take advantage of the larger space.

It won;t be until "block III" that it even gets a proposed increase in power and proposed new systems that are in play on other platforms but not this one.

This is similar to the F-14 cycle: A - new airframe for Missaleer avionics and weapons using Aardvark engines, B - Give it the engines it should have had in the first place, D - Upgrade the radar from 1960s tech to current standard of radar.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 21:11

And who knows if Roper's idea of going back to century fighters way of having small fleet of airframes in different batches will work out. Imagine the logistics to support all that.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 21:21

zero-one wrote:But why would they even need to justify the existence of the Raptor if the F-35 is just as good in A-A.


The F-35 is "just as good in A-A" (compared to the F-22) in general terms or "more precisely" if we consider all possible A2A roles/missions as a whole. This being said, there are certain A2A missions within the entire "A2A spectrum" where the F-22 is better, this due to the reasons we all know and as such not necessary to repeat, I believe.

I believe I already gave this example (but on another thread): This is like comparing the Su-35 and Mig-31 Russian fighter aircraft. In A2A the Su-35 is generally better than the Mig-31 but there are certain A2A missions that the Mig-31 does better than the Su-35 and as such the Russians try everything to keep the Mig-31 in service (and to modernize it) despite restrained budgets.
Although and despite the more obvious diferences, this isn't much different when looking at the USAF stance regarding the F-22 (and why they defend it, this in face of restrained budgets).


zero-one wrote:
ricnunes wrote:So and regarding this, what would you say about the F/A-18? Would you say that the "primary role" of the F/A-18 is A2A or A2G? And of course the question also extends to its "secondary role"? And what about the Rafale?

I honestly can't answer that cause I did not monitor their developments as closely as the F-35s. I swear the term 60/40 has come up a few times from official sources where the F-35 has a 60% emphasis on A-G and 40 for A-A. But the 40% is still well above any 4th gens A-A capability.


But I actually can (answer my own question):
The F/A-18 was equally designed to be an A2A and an A2G aircraft with the same emphasis on both roles. Or using a percentage scale like you used above, the F/A-18 was designed to have a 50% emphasis on A2A and a 50% emphasis on A2G from the very beginning.
Actually the initial plan was to have 2 different aircraft/variants based on the very same airframe, one would be called the F-18 with A2A as the primary role and A2G the secondary role and the other would be the A-18 with A2G as the primary role and A2A the secondary role. However advancements in technology a allowed to put all the features (namely sensors and avionics) of the F-18 and the A-18 in the same aircraft hence why the F/A-18 has this quite unique designation ('F' slash 'A' dash 18).

So if it was possible to design a multi-role aircraft (F/A-18) having the same level of emphasis in both A2A and A2G roles this in the late 1970's why can't or couldn't the same happen with the F-35 which is much more recent and was designed using far more advanced technology?
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 21:47

ricnunes wrote:Ok, I know where you're trying to get at and while your reasoning as some logic/merit, I simply don't agree with you that the F-35 has a "primary A2G role" and a "secondary A2A role". IMO, the F-35 was designed as "true multi-role" aircraft (like the two aircraft that I mentioned above) and as such A2A and A2G are both "primary roles" when it comes to the F-35.
I strongly believe that an aircraft (F-35) which was designed to surpass any other existing fighter aircraft in BVR combat/realm (perhaps even exceed the F-22 in this regard - BVR) and to have the combined agility of the F-16 and the F/A-18 wasn't designed to perform A2A roles/missions as a "secondary role" but also as a "primary role".


F-35 will perform A2A as primary role in some countries because it's the only thing that's available, just like with F-16 or F/A-18. That doesn't mean it's the best tool for the job, just the best that's available for use since F-22 isn't exported and there's not enough go to around everywhere.

ricnunes wrote:Moreover the F-35 has EOTS/IRST and DAS while the F-22 does not. So any advantage that the F-22 could potentially have over the F-35 in the sensor department is far offset by the advantages that the F-35 has over the F-22 in this same department.


I think EOTS is more designed for strike than for air-to-air, since a dedicated IRST would be at a different wavelength, IIRC. And EOTS has the same problem with all IRST, it's like looking through a straw so you need to know where to look in the first place. I don't think F-35 would actually have any advantage over F-22 in BVR, but they probably won't see each other until they get up close, and that's where F-35 DAS has a huge SA advantage that I don't know if F-22 advantage in kinematics can overcome. Once F-22 gets MLU though then F-22 can trounce F-35 in WVR but that hasn't happened yet.

ricnunes wrote:Regarding a tentative heavily modified F-35, IMO this would have the following advantages over a heavily modified F-22:
- The baseline design (F-35) has more range (and considerable so) which seems to be a major feature/requirement for the PCA.
- The baseline design (F-35) is cheaper to be build which could mean that a PCA design based on this could be cheaper than a PCA design based on the F-22.
- The baseline design (F-35) can carry heavier weaponry internally.
- etc...


I don't buy into the F-22 derived airframe for PCA, but F-35 derived PCA don't make much sense either. Because like it or not, F-35 is saddled with lots of limitations on size, and also what the airframe is optimized for. I don't think modifying either airframe will be that much cheaper or quicker than clean sheet, and especially in F-35 case where you'll have to modify for PCA mission, you need more speed, possibly twin engine, and other structural changes (F-35 carries less A2A weapons than F-22 even with the planned 6 AMRAAMs) so it's not trivial at all.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 22:05

“...EOTS has the same problem with all IRST, it's like looking through a straw so you need to know where to look in the first place.“

It likely has a selectable scanning function, and the fusion engine provides additional ‘where to look‘ cueing.
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Unread post16 Jan 2020, 22:29

quicksilver wrote: the fusion engine provides additional ‘where to look‘ cueing.

ding ding ding, we have a winner.

If the AN/ASQ-239 can jam (even an F-22) it can direct an EOTS as well. Any hot spot picked up by the EO/DAS can/will be targeted by EOTS. This is why everyone calls it such a game changer.
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Unread post17 Jan 2020, 04:40

steve2267 wrote:Do you have a source for this statement? I could have sworn the YF-16 was judged to be the "better" WVR

No, what I meant was, the LWF program itself was suposed to produce the best dogfighter, and since the YF-17 was a finalist candidate, then it had to be pretty good as a dogfighter. I agree that the YF-16 always had the edge

steve2267 wrote:Uhhh... coulda swore the YF-17 was pretty good at dropping bombs.

No doubt, but I saw a Hornet documentary once that said the Navy "heavily modified the YF-17 to make it more multi role" so Im sure they didn't simply add CATOBAR gear on it.

steve2267 wrote:Have to disagree here. With the advent of the F-35, the primary long range detection of fighters is the network, or combat cloud... whatever you want to call it.

Both the F-22 and 35 were used over Syria as ISR assets to collect data. What were their primary means of long range detection to share to the cloud?

steve2267 wrote:Maybe, but... disagree again. SA is one of those things that fighter pilots can never get enough of.

Never heared of anyone say the Raptor didn't give him enough SA, quite the opposite, pilots usually give high praise at the amount of SA they have on it,
Last edited by zero-one on 17 Jan 2020, 05:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post17 Jan 2020, 04:53

disconnectedradical wrote:
I don't know why you are so in favor of F-22. Is the airframe really that special? Why are all USAF and LM/NG/Boeing concept art using tailless designs in their concepts for the next fighter then?


I said IF they choose to do a Superhornet style program the F-22 upgrade will be a better choice than an F-35 dirivative. You can't convince me that a new clean sheet design will take less time than an existing design, its just not possible.

If they can develop 3 clean sheet designs for the PCA family within the 5 year time table then great. I just don't see it.
Paul Metz once said that contractors told them
Speed
Maneuverability
Range
You can only choose 2.

PCA will require all in spades. So yes, 1 has to be a large bomber type that has a deep magazine and extreme range while another has to perform the role of traditional air superiority fighters. All I'm saying is I think a Raptor dirivative is better than a Lightning derivative for the air superiority variant thats all this is. If they can do clean sheet, great.... in 5 years? I don't know about that.

The contractors are businesses who need to make money, so obviously they will push for the project with the most profit margin. A clean sheet design. Those art renders are just proposals at this point.
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Unread post17 Jan 2020, 05:10

ricnunes wrote:So if it was possible to design a multi-role aircraft (F/A-18) having the same level of emphasis in both A2A and A2G roles this in the late 1970's why can't or couldn't the same happen with the F-35 which is much more recent and was designed using far more advanced technology?


Thats right I forgot all about the A-18 program, yes it was a 50/50 jet. I'm not saying it's impossible for them to make the F-35 that way. What I'm saying is, the requirements were simply not set up that way.

The US had the most leverage in the design requiremnts and since they had the Raptor already compounded by the fact that the main threat to aircraft remains to be SAMs, they put a premium on SEAD/DEAD capability. Exactly what Maj. Searcy said. They were designed more for SEAD and Strike.

The 40% A-A capabilities is nothing to sneeze at. It's still a stealth fighter which is a big deal. It has all the sensors and data links to give you all the SA you need and the kinematics of a Lightly loaded Viper with the AoA of a Hornet as the icing on the cake doesn't hurt as well.
To 90% of A-A combat that overkill.
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Unread post17 Jan 2020, 09:43

zero-one wrote:
The contractors are businesses who need to make money, so obviously they will push for the project with the most profit margin. A clean sheet design.


That would actually favor a derivative since you'd get to the fixed-price production sooner where profit margins
aren't capped the way they typically are in longer clean sheet development contracts.
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