Restarting F-22 production

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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zero-one

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Unread post07 May 2018, 16:35

I don't think we can get around this by just buying more F-35s.

Think about it, when AMRAAM was integrated into the F-16, it had real BVR capabilities. Some countries use it as their premier air dominance platform. So you could make the argument of simply retiring F-15s and just buying more multi role F-16s.

In fact the F-35 has better chance of replacing the F-15C for A-A. Its already better than the Eagle in both BVR and WVR anyway. But they still want this whole F-15C 2040 non sense.

I think its because each aircraft has a "Nitch" to fill.

The F-15 is there when you need CAP against Syrian Su-22s and Mig-29s maybe, its cheaper than a 5th gen to operate and because its not stealth, the enemy knows you're there. They'd rather hide than face you.

The Raptor is the absolute top tier Air dominance platform, the silver bullet.

Now putting F-35s into A-A squadrons that train exclusively for A-A isn't a good idea. Not because it can't but because they won't be able to maximize the platform. They'll only use half the F-35's capabilities but you're paying for all of them.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 01:52

I think you might be wrong, zero one. It may well be that training will be the limiting factor for the F-35. We already have some evidence that exclusive ground attack and CAS training in some squadrons makes them better at the job than multi role squadrons flying aircraft that are theoretically better at ground attack. It’s entirely possible that a similar difference could be seen with an F-35 squadron trained primarily in air to air. Actually, it might even be worthwhile to have members of the same squadron focus individually on different tasks, particularly given the F-35s ability to fire wingmate’s weapons.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post08 May 2018, 02:25

zero-one wrote:I don't think we can get around this by just buying more F-35s.

Think about it, when AMRAAM was integrated into the F-16, it had real BVR capabilities. Some countries use it as their premier air dominance platform. So you could make the argument of simply retiring F-15s and just buying more multi role F-16s.

In fact the F-35 has better chance of replacing the F-15C for A-A. Its already better than the Eagle in both BVR and WVR anyway. But they still want this whole F-15C 2040 non sense.

I think its because each aircraft has a "Nitch" to fill.

The F-15 is there when you need CAP against Syrian Su-22s and Mig-29s maybe, its cheaper than a 5th gen to operate and because its not stealth, the enemy knows you're there. They'd rather hide than face you.

The Raptor is the absolute top tier Air dominance platform, the silver bullet.

Now putting F-35s into A-A squadrons that train exclusively for A-A isn't a good idea. Not because it can't but because they won't be able to maximize the platform. They'll only use half the F-35's capabilities but you're paying for all of them.



Honestly, main reason for keeping the F-15C and the A-10 is jobs. As every state wants to keep their bases fully employed. Same could be said of the Company that supply the parts or perform the work on the aforementioned aircraft. Hell, if the US had enough F-35's to replace either aircraft. They would both already be gone.......... :wink:
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icemaverick

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Unread post08 May 2018, 02:26

zero-one wrote:I don't think we can get around this by just buying more F-35s.

Think about it, when AMRAAM was integrated into the F-16, it had real BVR capabilities. Some countries use it as their premier air dominance platform. So you could make the argument of simply retiring F-15s and just buying more multi role F-16s.

In fact the F-35 has better chance of replacing the F-15C for A-A. Its already better than the Eagle in both BVR and WVR anyway. But they still want this whole F-15C 2040 non sense.


A lot this is also due to Senators lobbying to keep their airbases open. It probably also has a little to do with Boeing's lobbying.

I think its because each aircraft has a "Nitch" to fill.


This is true but as you have admitted, the F-35 is superior to the F-15 in both BVR and WVR.

The F-15 is there when you need CAP against Syrian Su-22s and Mig-29s maybe, its cheaper than a 5th gen to operate and because its not stealth, the enemy knows you're there. They'd rather hide than face you.


Will it be cheaper as time goes on? Once the F-35 infrastructure is up and running and the production line is churning out F-35s, its cost of operation should be cheaper than what it is now. The F-15C is getting quite long in the tooth and the cost of maintaining it will only go up as time goes by.

As for letting the enemy know you are there, the F-35s can easily carry radar reflectors and carry their weapons externally.

Now putting F-35s into A-A squadrons that train exclusively for A-A isn't a good idea. Not because it can't but because they won't be able to maximize the platform. They'll only use half the F-35's capabilities but you're paying for all of them.


It's true that you're only using half the capability but its still cheaper than buying new F-22s if more A2A platforms are needed. The PCA is realistically at least 20 years away from entering service and there are fewer than 200 Raptors in service. Not all of them can be operational at any given time and unfortunately it is almost inevitable that there will be some losses due to accidents.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 02:55

zero-one wrote:
Now putting F-35s into A-A squadrons that train exclusively for A-A isn't a good idea. Not because it can't but because they won't be able to maximize the platform. They'll only use half the F-35's capabilities but you're paying for all of them.



Getting to the point that dedicated Air Superiority Squadrons days are numbered. As all US Fighter Squadrons are becoming Multi-Role Fighter Squadrons. (including Raptors) The only real difference is some spend more time in one role vs another. (adjusting mission set as required) This is also becoming more common with Air Forces from around the globe.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 03:01

icemaverick wrote:As for letting the enemy know you are there, the F-35s can easily carry radar reflectors and carry their weapons externally.


The radar reflectors can't be discarded in the air though if the F-35 is suddenly fired upon and needs to stealth up. If that were an option then it'd be a lot more convenient. Same thing with weapons, if fired upon then the F-35 needs to discard or shoot them quick or become a target.

What I think would be a hoot though is if/when they finally get external fuel tanks for the F-35, then the F-35 could carry them, and just drop them if fired upon. Then watch the missiles go for the fuel tanks as the F-35 circle around to kill.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 16:19

Corsair1963 wrote:
Getting to the point that dedicated Air Superiority Squadrons days are numbered. As all US Fighter Squadrons are becoming Multi-Role Fighter Squadrons. (including Raptors) The only real difference is some spend more time in one role vs another. (adjusting mission set as required) This is also becoming more common with Air Forces from around the globe.


I think it could be largely because we haven't gone up against an adversary with some real air-air contenders. The last one maybe was Vietnam and only because they were heavily backed by the Soviets and China.

But when the air becomes heavily contested again, I think we may find ourselves with a renewed emphasis on specialized roles
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icemaverick

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Unread post08 May 2018, 18:17

vanshilar wrote:
icemaverick wrote:As for letting the enemy know you are there, the F-35s can easily carry radar reflectors and carry their weapons externally.


The radar reflectors can't be discarded in the air though if the F-35 is suddenly fired upon and needs to stealth up. If that were an option then it'd be a lot more convenient. Same thing with weapons, if fired upon then the F-35 needs to discard or shoot them quick or become a target.

What I think would be a hoot though is if/when they finally get external fuel tanks for the F-35, then the F-35 could carry them, and just drop them if fired upon. Then watch the missiles go for the fuel tanks as the F-35 circle around to kill.


In some scenarios, as described by Zero, one doesn't want or need stealth. Presumably we are talking about making a statement rather than an actual aerial engagement. Even if unstealthed, the F-35 isn't helpless....it has chaff/flares, ECM etc. besides, a smart commander would have a stealthy F-35 or F-22 escorting the unstealthy one.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 20:58

zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
Getting to the point that dedicated Air Superiority Squadrons days are numbered. As all US Fighter Squadrons are becoming Multi-Role Fighter Squadrons. (including Raptors) The only real difference is some spend more time in one role vs another. (adjusting mission set as required) This is also becoming more common with Air Forces from around the globe.


I think it could be largely because we haven't gone up against an adversary with some real air-air contenders. The last one maybe was Vietnam and only because they were heavily backed by the Soviets and China.

But when the air becomes heavily contested again, I think we may find ourselves with a renewed emphasis on specialized roles

Every air force in the world is moving away from specialized roles, and to multi-role aircraft. There will never be a point in time where Russia or China will have numerical or qualitative superiority vs the F-35.
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Unread post08 May 2018, 22:04

Russia does not have the technology and does not have the money. No worries there AT ALL.

China on the other hand, does not have the technology (yet) but has the will, the tech, AND the money to buy into anything they want to get their hands on.
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Unread post09 May 2018, 00:08

zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
Getting to the point that dedicated Air Superiority Squadrons days are numbered. As all US Fighter Squadrons are becoming Multi-Role Fighter Squadrons. (including Raptors) The only real difference is some spend more time in one role vs another. (adjusting mission set as required) This is also becoming more common with Air Forces from around the globe.


I think it could be largely because we haven't gone up against an adversary with some real air-air contenders. The last one maybe was Vietnam and only because they were heavily backed by the Soviets and China.

But when the air becomes heavily contested again, I think we may find ourselves with a renewed emphasis on specialized roles


No, not really....It just adds more flexibility and is more cost effective to the overall fleet. In addition adding more mission sets to a fighter. Hardly, means it less capable in the Air Superiority Role. For example adding the ability for the F-22 Raptor to drop 1,000 lbs PGM's from its Weapon Bays. Hardly, means it would be less effective in the Air Superiority Role by doing so.
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Unread post09 May 2018, 02:43

You can specialize an unmanned platform much simpler and cost-effective considering the platform has no human limitations.
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Unread post09 May 2018, 02:50

The paradigm has shifted. The cross-domain Network is the killer.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post09 May 2018, 15:11

zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
Getting to the point that dedicated Air Superiority Squadrons days are numbered. As all US Fighter Squadrons are becoming Multi-Role Fighter Squadrons. (including Raptors) The only real difference is some spend more time in one role vs another. (adjusting mission set as required) This is also becoming more common with Air Forces from around the globe.


I think it could be largely because we haven't gone up against an adversary with some real air-air contenders. The last one maybe was Vietnam and only because they were heavily backed by the Soviets and China.

But when the air becomes heavily contested again, I think we may find ourselves with a renewed emphasis on specialized roles


We will.

The only question is will it be too late. It takes time to train and psychologically hone an airman for air to air only. If the air war is over the Taiwan straight, it isn't going to last long and we might not have the luxury of running classes and classes of guys through top gun like we did in Vietnam...
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Unread post09 May 2018, 15:18

citanon wrote:I'm suggesting that the sixth gen won't initially be an airframe. It will start as a better network and a better way of employing the network. One key feature, I think, will be the ability to bypass big centralized C2 nodes. Another key feature would be better fusion of high bandwidth data from a larger number and larger variety of platforms to counter stealth.

The first hardware components will actually be MADL data links pushed out across all the platforms and advanced data fusion engines with even more powerful processors.

When PCA the aircraft finally comes, it will be designed to plug the remaining capability gaps of PCA, the network.


I don't agree with you, but will concede it's an interesting concept.

I think it might give Russia a great story line though: "We can't really manufacture a 5th gen. Don't have the stealth, engines or integrated avionics. But we're building bigger and more robust networks, and that's what's really important... " :D
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