F-22 highway operations incase of WWIII

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falcon17

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 05:43

Would the F-22 be able to operate from a highway strip if most air forces bases are damaged during times of war just like some of the other aircraft it serves with. Or will it be severely hindered due to the lack of a dedicated air base?
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 06:55

By the time it came to that, there would be nothing left to defend. An all-out war with a top-tier opponent isn't going to be anything like COD, MW, or Battlefield my friend. I recommend reading Jonathan Schell's "The Fate of the Earth" and "The Abolition." There's also a more technical work by MIT called the "Nuclear Almanac," as well as OTA's "The Effects of Nuclear War."
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FlightDreamz

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 12:44

You're almost pleading the case for the Marines F-35C S.T.O.V.L. version reason for being there. I know Sweden (among other countries) have practiced launching their aircraft from new autobahn's before they're opened to traffic, but I think forward basing Harriers, A-10's and F-35C's is more practical myself. :shrug:
Off to comb the local library's online site for the books 1st503rdsqt mentioned! :)
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muir

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 15:21

FlightDreamz

Actually, we here in Sweden used normal highways that where widened in some places. Usually there were a "normal" landing strip in the woods somewhere and on a nearby highway there were some three-four-five sections that were widened. Between them there were sufficiently large pockets to park an aircraft, and there were more than enough pockets to park a couple of squadrons during turnarounds. On exercises, part of that road would be closed down to the public, with traffic re-routed, and those road strips were used along with the longer main strip. There were in several places two of those "spread out bases" located in the same area, with perhaps something like 50 miles between them. Everything needed to keep the aircraft flying were on trucks and jeeps and there were several stores (fuel, spare parts, arms) located around the base, mostly beneath ground and spread out through the woods to make it hard to knock out a base completely. One of the reasons for turning down the Viper and develop the Gripen instead was that the Viper was believed to be unable to function under those conditions, it needed longer, smoother runways and had a larger logistical footprint and a slower turnaround time. In hindsight it's obvious developing the Gripen was more of the usual moronic goldplating the Swedish military has for the most part been very fond of. When the Soviet union collapsed the operations of the Swedish air force have become a lot more conventional, pretty much all of those war bases are scrapped or mothballed and there aren't enough trained personnel to use them even if they were still around. I very much doubt that we will ever build another indigenous fighter, when the time comes to replace the Gripens I suspect we will opt for the F-35B.
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golden_eagle

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 19:19

Any A/C, not just the marines who train to it, that fly from highway strips are hindered by "lack of a dedicated air base". I.e. where do parts to maintain, fuel to fly, weapons to load come from? They aren't at the local Wal-Mart, mc Donald’s, gas station...

Maybe you mean can it land on a highway strip? Of course it can as can any aircraft if there is enough wing tip clearance and length.
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 22:16

I would think the tire pressure alone would annihilate the road surface.
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golden_eagle

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 22:55

What does tire pressure have to do with ruining up a road surface?

It's a/c weight not air pressure in the tires that one should worry about.

Most of your large semi trucks carry 80,000 lbs everyday up and down our nations roadways. So most fighters would eventually do some damage to highways over time due to their entire weight (36-85,000 lb) being on only the three tires vice distributed over 18 tires.
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 00:45

If the bases for the F-22 are damaged beyond use, then most likely there will be no functioning F-22's to fly anyway. The few that are able to get off the ground during the first volley of an all out nuclear war will be of no value by the time they run out of fuel and are forced to use some highway to land.
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 04:31

golden_eagle wrote:What does tire pressure have to do with ruining up a road surface?

It's a/c weight not air pressure in the tires that one should worry about.

Most of your large semi trucks carry 80,000 lbs everyday up and down our nations roadways. So most fighters would eventually do some damage to highways over time due to their entire weight (36-85,000 lb) being on only the three tires vice distributed over 18 tires.


You're right, I meant road pressure (PSI to the road, not the tire walls).
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FlightDreamz

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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 17:38

muir thanks for the information, much appreciated. I was aware that Sweden had practiced with their Viggins and other aircraft in the past. Was unaware how much that practice had fallen by the wayside since the end of the cold war (seems almost a shame).
And golden eagle your points on still needing to supply fuel, ammo, spare parts are well taken. The devils in the details here.
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geogen

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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 21:49

muir -

I must say I about choked on my knäckebröd when I read your prediction that Sweden will end future indigenous fighter development and instead buy foreign.

Where's the innovative, self-reliant and independent spirit?

The day Sweden gives up on indigenous tactical aircraft development and opts for foreign buys instead will be a huge alarm to the will power of Sweden's manufacturing and technology base if it's not offset with something equally modern in scope, which can be provided to domestic and rest of world at the high-end engineering level.

On the F-22, vis-a-vis roadway operations... probably a more suitable next-gen US platform w/ capability for roadway operations in any future requirement (other than the obvious F-18 Super Hornet given it's inherent durability), would be an evolved and already rugged F-15E+ class platform, albeit with 2-D thrust nozzles + Thrust Reversing. Once the solution is found for shortening F-15's landings, such a capable multi-role aircraft would provide a game-changing option as part of any potential, alternative mid-term mix.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post13 Nov 2011, 00:16

geogen wrote:muir -

I must say I about choked on my knäckebröd when I read your prediction that Sweden will end future indigenous fighter development and instead buy foreign.

Where's the innovative, self-reliant and independent spirit?

The day Sweden gives up on indigenous tactical aircraft development and opts for foreign buys instead will be a huge alarm to the will power of Sweden's manufacturing and technology base if it's not offset with something equally modern in scope, which can be provided to domestic and rest of world at the high-end engineering level.

On the F-22, vis-a-vis roadway operations... probably a more suitable next-gen US platform w/ capability for roadway operations in any future requirement (other than the obvious F-18 Super Hornet given it's inherent durability), would be an evolved and already rugged F-15E+ class platform, albeit with 2-D thrust nozzles + Thrust Reversing. Once the solution is found for shortening F-15's landings, such a capable multi-role aircraft would provide a game-changing option as part of any potential, alternative mid-term mix.


First off, modern fighter development has simply become too expensive for an economy the size of Sweden's. The Gripen, good as it is, will probably be Sweden's last hurrah in fighter design. One should also remember that, excepting the airframe, the Gripen relied heavily on imported technology.

Second, now it's a TVC F-15 that you're advocating as an interim solution? :roll: we already messed around with a TVC F-15 back in the 1980s (F-15 ACTIVE), but that was before the US and Europe largely gave up on flexible basing (a situation often lamented in cold-war era books). In fact, the F/A-18 and the F-16 were tested with TVC as well. Apparently, the USAF/USN found that TVC wasn't all that great from a cost/benefit point of view, and the system probably only found its way into the F-22 because it was an integral part if the design from the beginning (plus the plane was expensive as hell anyways).
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Unread post13 Nov 2011, 23:02

:offtopic:
I was going to comment that thrust vectoring is cost prohibitive but <b>1st503rdsgt</b> beat me to it. Although the F-35B still has it's thrust vectoring (if the STOVL version of the F-35 reaches production).
And I hope Sweden continues to develop it's own aircraft in the future (American engines and other imported systems not withstanding). Time will tell on that score I guess.
Anyone else remember when STOVL was the wave of the future and the Navy's F/A-18A-D was predicted to be the last CTOL fighter? Look how that prediction turned out.
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falcon17

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Unread post14 Nov 2011, 01:26

Pardon me for not clarifying my post. What I meant by operate is if a raptor can take off or land on a highway strip.
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post14 Nov 2011, 01:34

I could actually understand a resurgence in flexible field operations... the reason why it was ignored during the Cold War was that in a real conflict everything was going to be nuked to smithereens in less than an hour anyway, so why bother?

Nowadays nuclear war seems rather unlikely, but a coordinated conventional IRBM and cruise-missile strike does not. I believe that was actually the gist of the RAND report a few years back that had F-22s being beaten by an overwhelming numbers of Su-30's.

PS: Thrust reversers were axed pretty last minute from the ATF requirements- after the YF-23 design freeze, in fact, so it was built with space for them.
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