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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 07:19

HI everyone!

Ok, I've had to ask the question. The F-22 is the better air to air fighter. I'm sure the F-35 has some advantages with it's updated avionics but overall, I'm confident the opinion is the F-22 is better. The bigger question is, do we even need it now that we have the F-35? That is, once we get the right number of F-35s, we can stop supporting it all together? Is this not the same as saying we don't need the F-15 so long as we have F-16's for our 4th gen fighters?

I would prefer to have the F-22 simply because it's better. For our 4th gen fighters, I would prefer to have the F-15 since it too is better in some ways than the F-16. But can it not be argued that the F-16 and F-35 are more than enough (with the right number) to perform the role of air superiority and air to ground?

Thank you.
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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 07:32

Makes no sense to me. QUANTITY has a QUALITY all of its own. No? I guess I have to ask - are you suggesting that in your opinion a smaller number of F-22s is better than a much larger number of F-35s (then add a worldwide number of F-35s).
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 08:21

So question is, do we need dedicated air superiority fighter? As long as other countries are developing stealth fighters, then yes we need dedicated air superiority fighter, which is the F-22. We should have gotten 381 of them when the production line was hot instead of right now when it's not economical to build any more. So right now we are putting efforts into PCA which should take most of F-22 capabilities but add much more range, better broadband stealth, and also bigger payload.

F-35's biggest strength is in numbers since sensor fusion gets much more powerful when you have the numbers. F-35 can do many things, but as pure air-to-air it won't match an F-22 especially when the sensor enhancements from MLU happens. It's still a strike aircraft at its core with competent air-to-air.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 08:56

We need every Stealth Fighter we can get. Regardless, if that is an F-22 or F-35...



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hornetfinn

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 09:55

rowbeartoe wrote:HI everyone!

Ok, I've had to ask the question. The F-22 is the better air to air fighter. I'm sure the F-35 has some advantages with it's updated avionics but overall, I'm confident the opinion is the F-22 is better. The bigger question is, do we even need it now that we have the F-35? That is, once we get the right number of F-35s, we can stop supporting it all together? Is this not the same as saying we don't need the F-15 so long as we have F-16's for our 4th gen fighters?

I would prefer to have the F-22 simply because it's better. For our 4th gen fighters, I would prefer to have the F-15 since it too is better in some ways than the F-16. But can it not be argued that the F-16 and F-35 are more than enough (with the right number) to perform the role of air superiority and air to ground?

Thank you.


I'm sure USAF will use F-22 for a long time even if it was not really needed because of large number of F-35s. They are still extremely capable aircraft, they are mature and have the pilots and support and maintenance systems in place. I doubt any USAF general would give them up without fighting tooth and nail to keep them. They are also kind of prestige system, basically the biggest and baddest of them all.

But I think F-35 and F-22 are not really directly analogous to F-16 and F-15. In many ways they are like F-22/F-15 being a lot bigger, faster, twin-engined and with better high-altitude capabilties. However there are some major differences between F-35 and F-16. First, the avionics system in F-35 is comparatively much better than in F-16. There is rather small difference in radar size and likely also performance between F-35 and F-22 (about 10-20% or so). F-15 on the other hand has a lot bigger and longer ranged radar than F-16 (like twice the range). F-35 has EOTS and EODAS while F-22 only has MLD/MAWS functionality in IR spectrum. F-35 has more advanced sensor fusion according to designers and also more advanced networking. This means it can ID targets better and more reliably and have better SA than any other fighter, including F-22.

Also weapons carriage is not that different in F-35 and F-22 as it was in F-16 and F-15, especially in the Sparrow era. Then F-15 could carry about twice as many missiles as F-16. Of course early F-16s could not even use AIM-7 even though not much hardware was needed for that. Now F-22 can also carry about twice as many missiles internally as F-35, but pretty soon F-35 can carry the same number of AMRAAMs internally and also carrying two IR missiles externally (with some loss of VLO capability).

Another thing is that comparatively a lot more F-35s will be built compared to F-22 than how many F-16s and F-15s were built. With F-16 and F-15 the ratio was something like 5:1 while with F-35 and F-22 the ratio will be something like 20:1.

So I could see reasons to give up F-22s and let F-35 do everything. I think F-35 would do very well in the role. That's likely not gonna happen though as F-22 definitely has some things going for it in air-to-air domain.
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marsavian

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 10:17

I think of the F-22 as the very sharp tip of the USAF spear. For sheer high altitude high speed hunting it is much better suited than the F-35 and is worthy of keeping as long as possible. In fact all the earlier blocks should eventually be brought up to the future MLU standard to maximize the fleet efficiency. F-35 can do air superiority too but not with as much kinematic brute force relying more on stealth for positioning.
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vilters

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 14:13

F-22 and F-35 are completely different animals.

Remember the initial F-15? ? => Not a pound for Air to Ground?

F-22 concept started as a pure A2A vehicle.
F-35 concept started as an attack vehicle.

Some finally woke up and got the idea right that wars are won or lost on the ground.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the Russians and Chinese? Let me tell you guys one simple thing here;

Neither the Russians nor the Chinese will come to fight the USA on its homeland.

And for North Korea?
We can level the place with cruise missiles in a matter of hrs.
And do that each and every week if required. (And twice on Sundays)
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notkent

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Unread post11 Dec 2019, 15:05

They are more like siblings than completely different animals.

Its kinda like having kids, you put all your lessons learned from mistakes with the first one into raising the second one.

The F-35 has built in stealth that requires much less maintenance, its software is not a dead language (Ada), has EOTS, 360 degrees situational awareness and a host of other improvements that the F-22 does not have.

Design goals called for the JSF to be the premier strike aircraft through 2040, second only to the F-22 Raptor in air supremacy.

That is a pretty high bar for its performance in air to air combat.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 02:33

notkent wrote:They are more like siblings than completely different animals.

Its kinda like having kids, you put all your lessons learned from mistakes with the first one into raising the second one.

The F-35 has built in stealth that requires much less maintenance, its software is not a dead language (Ada), has EOTS, 360 degrees situational awareness and a host of other improvements that the F-22 does not have.

Design goals called for the JSF to be the premier strike aircraft through 2040, second only to the F-22 Raptor in air supremacy.

That is a pretty high bar for its performance in air to air combat.


Like having both P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs in 1944-45. Either could do the mission but each complement the other. In short stronger together than apart....
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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 12:50

Former USAF ACC commander Gen. Hostage
https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... n-4444053/

These airplanes complement each other and we’re trying to learn how to take that from a design perspective into a tactical arena and be the most effective combat team we can be working with the F-22s
***
In February, Air Combat Command chief general Michael Hostage was quoted by Air Force Times as saying that F-22s will undergo service life extension and modernisation, as they are required to support F-35 fighter.

"If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant.

"The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22."


https://breakingdefense.com/2014/10/acc ... and-syria/
Question: One of the concepts we’ve played with is what we called the S Cubed, which is the tradeoffs between sensors, stealth, and speed. And how you played them off against one another. Does that make sense?

Hostage: It does. I think an excellent portrayal of the value of looking at the interaction of those parameters is to examine Raptor versus the Lightning. A Raptor at 50-plus thousand feet at Mach 2 with its RCS has a different level of invulnerability than a Lightning at 35,000 at Mach .9 and it’s RCS.

The altitude, speed, and stealth combined in the two platforms, they give the airplanes two completely different levels of capability. The plan is to normalize the Lightning’s capability relative to the Raptor by marrying it up with six, or seven or eight other Lightnings.

The advanced fusion of the F-35 versus the F-22 means those airplanes have an equal level or better level of invulnerability than the Raptors have, but it takes multiple airplanes to do it because of the synergistic fused attacks of their weapon systems.

That’s the magic of the fifth-gen F-35, but it takes numbers of F-35s to get that effect. That’s why I’ve been so strident on getting the full buy. Because if they whittle it down to a little tiny fleet like the Raptor, it’s not going to be compelling.


He stated in another Breaking Defense article that it take 8 Lightnings to do what would take 2 Raptors.
Granted all this was said back in 2014 but I think it holds relevance today.
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ricnunes

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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 15:45

charlielima223 wrote:He stated in another Breaking Defense article that it take 8 Lightnings to do what would take 2 Raptors.
Granted all this was said back in 2014 but I think it holds relevance today.


Of course he (and other USAF officials) will say that and other similar stuff, afterall USAF wants to keep their F-22 so "they" will say anything that justifies keeping the F-22, even going to the point of "exaggeration" like saying that "it takes 8 F-35s to do the same as 2 F-22s".

In the end, it's a matter of national pride to keep the F-22 since they are probably the best fighter aircraft when it comes to absolute/sheer performance (combination of speed, acceleration and agility).
IMO, it's a bit like the Russians keeping their Mig-31. Despite the Su-35 doing more and in most cases better than the Mig-31 (like the F-35 does compared to the F-22) the Russians still want to keep and modernize their Mig-31s because in terms of absolute/sheer speed performance nothing beats it.

My 2 cents, of course...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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quicksilver

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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 16:03

“In the end, it's a matter of national pride to keep the F-22...”

No, actually, it’s a matter of fulfilling the service’s role in meeting the ends of the National Security and Defense strategies.
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ricnunes

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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 16:26

quicksilver wrote:it’s a matter of fulfilling the service’s role in meeting the ends of the National Security and Defense strategies.


Which can also be fulfilled by the F-35 (and in the vast majority of the cases/situations better than the F-22) but here I digress...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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quicksilver

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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 16:32

ricnunes wrote:
quicksilver wrote:it’s a matter of fulfilling the service’s role in meeting the ends of the National Security and Defense strategies.


Which can also be fulfilled by the F-35 (and in the vast majority of the cases/situations better than the F-22) but here I digress...


So, you’re sticking with the ‘national pride‘ idea, eh?
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sferrin

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Unread post12 Dec 2019, 16:53

ricnunes wrote:
quicksilver wrote:it’s a matter of fulfilling the service’s role in meeting the ends of the National Security and Defense strategies.


Which can also be fulfilled by the F-35 (and in the vast majority of the cases/situations better than the F-22) but here I digress...


I guess you missed this:

"Air Combat Command chief general Michael Hostage was quoted by Air Force Times as saying that F-22s will undergo service life extension and modernisation, as they are required to support F-35 fighter.

"If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant."
"There I was. . ."
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