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No more F-22s for you!

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LordMortis
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LordMortis » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:50 pm

I don't know anything about the F-22 but from the spin of the story laying it to rest sounds like a good thing. It also sounds like McCain harbors no ill feelings toward Obama. Good for McCain. Why is he always so seem like so much of a better political lifer when he's not campaigning?

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Arcanis » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:02 pm

F-22 is a bad ass plane that should dominate anything that is made by the competition for the next 20 years, but we already have several bad ass planes that should dominate for the next 15.

Watching the military channel they talked about it and one of the experts said: it is just too much. It is faster than it needs to be, more stealthy than it needs to be, ect...
The F-22 tried to be everything to everyone and it does that pretty well but costs such an ungodly amount of money. Plus they would need to retire current planes that will work just fine as is for several more years just to afford the new F-22s.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:17 pm

The president wanted to kill the program. The SecDef wanted to kill the program. The Pentagon didn't fight for it. The only people in Washington that wanted to keep it alive were lobbyists and the Congresspeople from places that build the thing.

I think it might come back to bite us. The F-35 is a good plane by all accounts, but not the air superiority platform that the F-22 is. While that isn't a factor that is needed in today's conflicts, planning to fight today's conflicts tomorrow is not an intelligent strategy. I hope that there are enough F-22s to fill the role that they need to in anything approaching a foreign nation's level air force will require planes to fill that role.

I bleed Air Force Blue and don't like the end of this program. I just hope that the military PsTB know what they are doing.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:03 pm

Isgrimnur wrote: I just hope that the military PsTB know what they are doing.
The only thing they've ever gotten right on a consistant basis is the technology arms race. And that's because they didn't care about costs (often at the expense of everything else). Now that they're cost conscious, thrifty even, I fear for continued superiority in cutting edge platforms.

I haven't look too deeply into it, but suspect it's typical political wrangling. The reason estimated costs were soaring is becuse they kept lowering the number of projected purchases. From around 750 all the way down to 180. This makes production cost per unit much higher, as well as R&D cost/unit. Which makes it an easy target because now "the plane costs $135M!!!!!111" With nearly 800 units could it get down around $100M?

What was the B2? $500M flyaway? The F35 is around $90M.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:11 pm

I fear that the F-35 is going to turn out to be a Saturday Night Special of aircraft, whereas the F-22 is the top of the line weapon. I fear we'll be sacrificing quality for quantity, which will put pilots' lives on the line. God, I hope I'm wrong.


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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Unagi » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Single engine on the F-35 is a big bummer.

The F-22 was probably overkill, but - then again, isn't that the key to Sun Tzu's?

Sadly, the price tag is outrageous.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by msduncan » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:23 pm

LordMortis wrote:I don't know anything about the F-22 but from the spin of the story laying it to rest sounds like a good thing. It also sounds like McCain harbors no ill feelings toward Obama. Good for McCain. Why is he always so seem like so much of a better political lifer when he's not campaigning?
I know it was a retorical question, but you know the answer: because you have to campaign to win. Campaigning as a Republican trying to win Democrat votes doesn't work. Campaigning as a Democrat to win Republican votes doesn't work. If you don't figure out a strategy to win your base and enough of the middle, you are doomed.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Unagi » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:40 pm

yes, yes... what ever it takes.

apparently not.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by cheeba » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:38 pm

farley2k wrote:The Senate, by a vote of 58-40, approved an amendment proposed by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to strip $1.75 billion in funding for the F-22 fighter. Levin worked hand in hand to kill the F-22 money with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
This kinda thing makes me think back to a book I read in PoliSci so many years ago. Nick Kotz's Money, Politics, and the B-1 Bomber. In it, Kotz details the politics behind the B-1, which really kinda sucks as a bomber as it tried to be too many things to too many people. (D) senators from Michigan strongly opposed it. (R) senators from Texas were strongly for it. Of course, it got made, and they had to base them somewhere. Now strategically, if you're going to base a fleet of wicked expensive bombers, where's the best place, Michigan or Texas? Texas is pretty easy to reach from the south. Michigan would of course be much harder to attack because it's much further inland. And note that the base that gets the B-1 bomber would create a ton of new jobs and be a pretty decent boost for the economy. Of course, it went to Texas.

I'm not too sure what the morale of that story was, other than it kinda worries me when Michigan senators do shit like that now.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Defiant » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:58 pm

msduncan wrote:
LordMortis wrote:I don't know anything about the F-22 but from the spin of the story laying it to rest sounds like a good thing. It also sounds like McCain harbors no ill feelings toward Obama. Good for McCain. Why is he always so seem like so much of a better political lifer when he's not campaigning?
I know it was a retorical question, but you know the answer: because you have to campaign to win. Campaigning as a Republican trying to win Democrat votes doesn't work. Campaigning as a Democrat to win Republican votes doesn't work. If you don't figure out a strategy to win your base and enough of the middle, you are doomed.
Erm, if you can't win your base, they're not really your base. :wink:

McCain clearly didn't do enough to get enough votes from the middle. Which maybe he could have if he moved to the center. (Though I think he would have been incredibly challenging to win no matter what the strategy).

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Arcanis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:43 am

the F-35 is a good plane but it lacks in focus. Like Isg. said it tries to be everything to everyone, and not just this country either, and the compromises they had to make to get it to work just weakened it.

I don't like that it is a single engine plane or that they think it can replace the A-10 and the F/A-18 as both of these planes have evolved into near perfection for their current roles. On a case by case here, will the F-35 have the loiter time of the A-10 how about the stupid level of toughness. I don't think a F-35 is going to make it home with this kind of damage:Image
Moving on to it trying to replace the F/A-18. Speeds and most specs. are comparable but i can't see this thing having the maneuverability of the F-18, there is a reason that is what the Blue Angels use. I also don't like that only 1 model comes with a gun standard and so few rounds for it, i thought they learned this lesson with the F-4 back in 60s.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by qp » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:13 am

Arcanis wrote:the F-35 is a good plane but it lacks in focus. Like Isg. said it tries to be everything to everyone, and not just this country either, and the compromises they had to make to get it to work just weakened it.

I don't like that it is a single engine plane or that they think it can replace the A-10 and the F/A-18 as both of these planes have evolved into near perfection for their current roles. On a case by case here, will the F-35 have the loiter time of the A-10 how about the stupid level of toughness. I don't think a F-35 is going to make it home with this kind of damage:Image
Moving on to it trying to replace the F/A-18. Speeds and most specs. are comparable but i can't see this thing having the maneuverability of the F-18, there is a reason that is what the Blue Angels use. I also don't like that only 1 model comes with a gun standard and so few rounds for it, i thought they learned this lesson with the F-4 back in 60s.
Plus the A10's are fuel by pure awesome! I mean how do you replace that? The F-22's were fueled by 50% awesome. I think the only other plane fueled by 100% awesome is the SR-71 (I mean a plane that doesn't have guns because it's TOO fast to use 'em?)
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Arcanis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:28 am

qp wrote:Plus the A10's are fuel by pure awesome! I mean how do you replace that? The F-22's were fueled by 50% awesome. I think the only other plane fueled by 100% awesome is the SR-71 (I mean a plane that doesn't have guns because it's TOO fast to use 'em?)
They tried that once. An experimental SR-71 with some 50 cal machine guns. It fired then accelerated and out ran the bullets. Ever noticed how the front landing gear of the A-10 is off center? That is because the designed the plane around the huge ass gun in the nose and had to move the landing gear to make room for it. Did I mention the gun can shoot through tank armor?
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by The Preacher » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:28 am

cheeba wrote:Now strategically, if you're going to base a fleet of wicked expensive bombers, where's the best place, Michigan or Texas? Texas is pretty easy to reach from the south. Michigan would of course be much harder to attack because it's much further inland.
Aside from a boomer in the Gulf, which is a real risk, Michigan was much easier and faster for the Soviets to hit than Texas. They'd simply fly over the Arctic.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LordMortis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:38 am

The Preacher wrote:Aside from a boomer in the Gulf, which is a real risk, Michigan was much easier and faster for the Soviets to hit than Texas. They'd simply fly over the Arctic.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Arcanis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:38 am

The Preacher wrote:
cheeba wrote:Now strategically, if you're going to base a fleet of wicked expensive bombers, where's the best place, Michigan or Texas? Texas is pretty easy to reach from the south. Michigan would of course be much harder to attack because it's much further inland.
Aside from a boomer in the Gulf, which is a real risk, Michigan was much easier and faster for the Soviets to hit than Texas. They'd simply fly over the Arctic.
Yea what would the Canadian's do? If they tried to come in from the Gulf then the Mexicans would leave them with nothing but a frame sitting on some old oil barrels floating in the Gulf :roll: (imagine car on blocks for a ship at sea)

In actuality neither is that great of a choice but in TX they are more likely to get the space they need. Think about it something like Kansas would be ideal if nothing but location was important. The rest has to do with people surrounding the base and weather conditions. If the weather sucks it is almost impossible to take off and land, and we don't want a plane with a nuke crashing even if it isn't armed yet.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:45 am

Arcanis wrote: That is because the designed the plane around the huge ass gun in the nose and had to move the landing gear to make room for it. Did I mention the gun can shoot through tank armor?
It's not a "gun." It is the Hand of God, aka the GAU-8 Avenger cannon. :wink:

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Little Raven » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:54 am

I don't really see any reason to keep making planes that carry pilots. The future is autonomous drones. As long as our current air force can guarantee us air superiority for another 10 or 15 years while we perfect the AI we need to really run a drone fleet, we're fine. The F-22 was an enormous waste of money that desperately needed to be scrapped.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Arcanis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:58 am

Little Raven wrote:I don't really see any reason to keep making planes that carry pilots. The future is autonomous drones. As long as our current air force can guarantee us air superiority for another 10 or 15 years while we perfect the AI we need to really run a drone fleet, we're fine. The F-22 was an enormous waste of money that desperately needed to be scrapped.
Yes and no. I think we did end up with some good stuff out of it, but the planes themselves aren't it. I think the new or refined technologies required to make it will serve us well in the years to come. As to the drone armies i doubt that will happen for the simple fact that I like many others don't want a computer with that authority, i want a person at the trigger. I think that RC craft are the way we are headed and that is fine, it does take some away from effectiveness in combat but i'm ok with that because we don't loose a person if a RC drone gets shot down due to slow reaction time.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Little Raven » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:13 pm

Arcanis wrote:As to the drone armies i doubt that will happen for the simple fact that I like many others don't want a computer with that authority, i want a person at the trigger.
Won't work. People are HIDEOUSLY slow. They simply won't be able to compete in the battlefields of the future, where decisions will have be made in milliseconds.
I think that RC craft are the way we are headed and that is fine, it does take some away from effectiveness in combat but i'm ok with that because we don't loose a person if a RC drone gets shot down due to slow reaction time.
Still won't work. A remote control craft can have it's control cut, or worse, subverted. The craft has to be able to function autonomously in order to be really viable. And frankly, human reaction time just won't cut it going forward.

I wouldn't worry too much about a machine abusing it's authority. There's just no way a computer could be any worse about abusing authority than people already are, in fact it's likely to be far, far better.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:18 pm

Little Raven wrote:I don't really see any reason to keep making planes that carry pilots. The future is autonomous drones. As long as our current air force can guarantee us air superiority for another 10 or 15 years while we perfect the AI we need to really run a drone fleet, we're fine. The F-22 was an enormous waste of money that desperately needed to be scrapped.
Show me the UAV that's going to replace the air superiority fighter. Every UAV we have currently operational is tasked with recon and ground attack. Even the ones that are autonomous for most of their operation bring a human into the loop to pull the trigger.

Identification and interception of hostile aircraft is not anywhere near the option to be replaced by an automated drone. This environment is still too fast of an engagement envelope to be readily replaced by drones at thsi time frame. Give it another couple of decades, maybe, but you still need piloted aircraft for sustained air operations against any sort of technologically advanced opponent.

You couldn't re-fight Desert Storm today and replace even all the strike aircraft with drones, much less the air to air interdiction, strike package coverage, and CAS roles.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Defiant » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:21 pm

Little Raven wrote: I wouldn't worry too much about a machine abusing it's authority. There's just no way a computer could be any worse about abusing authority than people already are, in fact it's likely to be far, far better.
Thank you Kimberley Duncan.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:30 pm

Little Raven wrote:I wouldn't worry too much about a machine abusing it's authority. There's just no way a computer could be any worse about abusing authority than people already are, in fact it's likely to be far, far better.
Yeah, because it's all safe...
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Fretmute » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:36 pm

Little Raven wrote:I wouldn't worry too much about a machine abusing it's authority. There's just no way a computer could be any worse about abusing authority than people already are, in fact it's likely to be far, far better.
I work with the people that would write the code for your hypothetical flying death machine. I'm wary.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:36 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Show me the UAV that's going to replace the air superiority fighter. Every UAV we have currently operational is tasked with recon and ground attack. Even the ones that are autonomous for most of their operation bring a human into the loop to pull the trigger.

Identification and interception of hostile aircraft is not anywhere near the option to be replaced by an automated drone. This environment is still too fast of an engagement envelope to be readily replaced by drones at thsi time frame. Give it another couple of decades, maybe, but you still need piloted aircraft for sustained air operations against any sort of technologically advanced opponent.

You couldn't re-fight Desert Storm today and replace even all the strike aircraft with drones, much less the air to air interdiction, strike package coverage, and CAS roles.
"Show me the UAV that's going to replace the air superiority fighter." One current line of thinking is that it won't one UAV that replaces one fighter. It will be 50 or a hundred that replace one fighter. Because UAVs are so much cheaper, it will be numbers that give them strength. Because they will be smaller and pilotless, a UAV will be able to out maneuver a piloted fighter at 1/50th the cost. Show me an air superiority figher that has enough ammunition and fuel to take out 50 drones, let alone enough counter measures to defend against them, and I'll show you a nation that will quickly go bankrupt sending human pilots off into the WBY.

I agree that remote control won't suffice and that we're still a ways out in terms of automation (as far as we civilians know). Still, I think we're closer than 20+ years.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Little Raven » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:39 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Show me the UAV that's going to replace the air superiority fighter. Every UAV we have currently operational is tasked with recon and ground attack. Even the ones that are autonomous for most of their operation bring a human into the loop to pull the trigger.
It doesn't exist yet. But we don't need it to exist yet. We HAVE air superiority with our current fleet. We'll have air superiority for the next 10 or 15 using just what we have. The F-22 was meant to extend that timeframe, but it's unnecessary. By the time we need a fighter like the F-22, we'll be able to replace the human entirely, which will open up whole NEW capabilities.
Give it another couple of decades, maybe, but you still need piloted aircraft for sustained air operations against any sort of technologically advanced opponent.
But we don't fight that kind of opponent any more, and we never will again. We're only going to fight people we could beat up on without breaking a sweat. All the big boys are interconnected and armed with nuclear weapons, so war is quite literally unthinkable, or at least unwinnable. Why bother spending hundreds of millions of dollars a plane for a situation in which we're all dead anyway?
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:54 pm

Little Raven wrote:We'll have air superiority for the next 10 or 15 using just what we have. The F-22 was meant to extend that timeframe, but it's unnecessary. By the time we need a fighter like the F-22, we'll be able to replace the human entirely, which will open up whole NEW capabilities.
...
Give it another couple of decades, maybe, but you still need piloted aircraft for sustained air operations against any sort of technologically advanced opponent.
But we don't fight that kind of opponent any more, and we never will again.
So what are tomorrow's Lotto numbers?

You honestly think that we're never going to have to fight a technologically savvy opponent? If we hadn't already stopped by Iraq for Desert Storm, we would have been facing the same sort of forces in 2003 when we went back into Iraq.

Go watch Lord of War. The five seats at the U.N. Security Council are the biggest arms dealers in the world. We sell aircraft to a lot of people that can't afford to develop their own.

There are military coups, there are elections that change who is in charge of a country. To say that we will never have to face down an opponent that has any sort of air force is the height of folly. I'd rather we send our pilots in the newest models if we ever have to face down someone flying our used models.

Don't plan to fight the current war over again. Plan to fight the next one. This lesson has been demonstrated over and over agin in history and no one seems to want to learn from it. Ask the French how the Maginot Line worked out for them.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by RLMullen » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:02 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:While that isn't a factor that is needed in today's conflicts, planning to fight today's conflicts tomorrow is not an intelligent strategy. I hope that there are enough F-22s to fill the role that they need to in anything approaching a foreign nation's level air force will require planes to fill that role.
Planning to fight yesterday's conflicts tomorrow is an even less intelligent strategy. I think the F-22 is a great plane if you are planning to fight a conventional war in the late 80's. We may even find a use for the platform in a conflict 10 to 20 years down the road, but it won't be in the role that it was designed for.

How many unmanned air superiority fighters can you build for the cost of one F22? All you need is a small airframe, a cheap engine, and a few different pods for weapon loadouts. No need for expensive fire suppression systems, cockpits, ejection systems, and the many other systems designed to keep pilots alive. Your pilot will be safely secure in a bunker somewhere. Removing the pilot not only removes a great deal of weight and energy consuming systems, it also removes several performance limitations most notably maximum G! If the plane gets shot down, the pilot will simply retrieve another craft that will already be loitering near the combat area... you get the same pilot back into the fight with newly acquired information about the enemy. This is tomorrow's conflict. The F-22 isn't needed for air superiority in this battlefield, and it will be outclassed by smaller more maneuverable "practically disposable" aircraft. Hopefully it will be the US fielding this Air Force.

Could we find a use for an F-22 in tomorrow's conflict? Who knows. That is up to technology. If in 1989 someone told you that GPS-guided JDAMs (GPS was still classified then) would make the B-52, the B-1, and the B-2 the preferred delivery vehicles for a future conflict, and that they would achieve an accuracy level that was unheard of at the time, you might have accused that person of reading too much Sci-Fi.

Quick question: If you have to prepare a force to repel a large armored assault, would you rather have dozens of AH-64's and A-10's, or hundreds (maybe thousands) of "Hellfire-Predators"?

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:15 pm

One of the limiting factors for air ops has always been the supply of munitions. In a sustained battle, we start getting low on missiles and bombs. Replacing a sustainable loadout of 200 raptors with 20,000 drones just defers the cost of ownership to a different line item, especially if you are losing more weapons because your "disposable" aircraft are getting shot down much mre quickly without ever getting their weapons off.
How many unmanned air superiority fighters can you build for the cost of one F22?
Right now, zero. There is not a drone that can fill that role. If there was a program that was ready to go to replace them, I would remove myself from this battlefield.

One of the other factors that's turning into a interservice fight is command and control of the airspace. The Army likes being able to wing it, but this puts other air assets in danger when other aircraft aren't aware that somebody just pulled a pocket recon drone out and sent it into your strike package's airspace.

Again, that might change as the tech gets better, but it's not there yet.
If you have to prepare a force to repel a large armored assault, would you rather have dozens of AH-64's and A-10's, or hundreds (maybe thousands) of "Hellfire-Predators"?
I would want a primarily manned package of Apaches and Warthogs, as each is capable of multiple kills per sortie, what with multiple rockets, missiles, and cannons. Each Predator has one missile. The current technology is much more suited for hunter/killer type missions than being the weapon of choice for a set-piece battle. You want to take out a single C&C vehicle behind the lines? I'll take the Predator. You want to stop an armored column? I'll take the manned vehicles with lots of firepower.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Arcanis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:17 pm

Well as was already stated RC has issues of its own with jamming and someone potentially taking control. But I think it was the movie Stealth that illustrated how scary a completely AI aircraft can be. I want a person that has an understanding of what it means to kill someone a living creature to make that decision as to fire or not. I want a person to decide if that village is acceptable collateral damage. All the computer sees is numbers and while that has its own advantages it doesn't make a distinction between civilians and combatants that are dressed like civilians.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by RLMullen » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:54 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:One of the limiting factors for air ops has always been the supply of munitions. In a sustained battle, we start getting low on missiles and bombs. Replacing a sustainable loadout of 200 raptors with 20,000 drones just defers the cost of ownership to a different line item, especially if you are losing more weapons because your "disposable" aircraft are getting shot down much mre quickly without ever getting their weapons off.
How many unmanned air superiority fighters can you build for the cost of one F22?
Right now, zero. There is not a drone that can fill that role. If there was a program that was ready to go to replace them, I would remove myself from this battlefield.

One of the other factors that's turning into a interservice fight is command and control of the airspace. The Army likes being able to wing it, but this puts other air assets in danger when other aircraft aren't aware that somebody just pulled a pocket recon drone out and sent it into your strike package's airspace.

Again, that might change as the tech gets better, but it's not there yet.
If you have to prepare a force to repel a large armored assault, would you rather have dozens of AH-64's and A-10's, or hundreds (maybe thousands) of "Hellfire-Predators"?
I would want a primarily manned package of Apaches and Warthogs, as each is capable of multiple kills per sortie, what with multiple rockets, missiles, and cannons. Each Predator has one missile. The current technology is much more suited for hunter/killer type missions than being the weapon of choice for a set-piece battle. You want to take out a single C&C vehicle behind the lines? I'll take the Predator. You want to stop an armored column? I'll take the manned vehicles with lots of firepower.
The only response that I have to this is:
Isgrimnur wrote:planning to fight today's conflicts tomorrow is not an intelligent strategy.
This is exactly what you are doing in defending the future role of aircraft that require the pilot to actually be *IN* the aircraft. There are hundreds of reasons that a remote-controlled airforce of drones won't work in today's battlfield... most notably the fact that we don't actually *have* an airforce of remote-controlled drones. Don't tell me why unmanned remote aircraft aren't feasible today, tell me why they aren't feasible tomorrow. Telling me today that RC fighters won't be feasible in tomorrow's war is like going back to 1985 and telling me that JDAMs are not feasible 15 years out because we don't have a GPS system, and if we did the satellites would just get shot down anyway.

You chose a manned package of Apaches and Warthogs because that is what you know and are familiar with. You aren't using your imagination.

Why is it that you equate a manned vehicle with "lots of firepower"? If an Apache carries 16 Hellfires, then how is that more firepower than 16 "Predators" (think Predator Version 4 or 5... or a different unmanned airframe altogether since the Predator was designed as a recon vehicle) each carrying one Hellfire? You have to have the imagination to reorganize your flight package roles to take advantage of the new capabilities of the vehicle. You don't have to marry a single pilot to a single aircraft for the duration of the flight. You only need as many "combat pilots" controlling aircraft as you want craft actually fighting. The remaining craft will be controlled by "logistics pilots", and I'd imagine that with advanced autopilot features you can get a 10 to 1, maybe a 20 to 1 ratio of craft per logistics pilot. While you can organize flights of Apaches and Warthogs to deliver a large amount of firepower in a short amount of time, my plan gives you relentless consistency. Your plan needs to deliver weapons quickly because that reduces the loiter time for your expensive aircraft and even more expensive pilots. My plan can deliver weapons in a moderate trickle that doesn't stop. I might lose craft, but they are cheap craft. I might lose a weapon with a lost craft, but as you said, the aircraft can only carry one... it's not like I'll lose an entire load of weapons. I won't lose any pilots! In reality, with proper training, my logistics pilots can hand-off aircraft to combat pilots quickly enough that I'll be able to deliver weapons in about the same amount of time that you can with your Apaches and Warthogs.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:11 pm

Don't tell me why unmanned remote aircraft aren't feasible today, tell me why they aren't feasible tomorrow.
They aren't feasible tomorrow because there's nothing being tested today. There's nothing that's made it off the drawing board that is even being tested to provide these capabilities. My primary concern is a repeat of the space program, in that we have a large time gap between killing the current option and having to do without because there's not a replacement ready for five years after we've retired the old craft. If there's a project that I'm not aware of, please let me know.
You only need as many "combat pilots" controlling aircraft as you want craft actually fighting. The remaining craft will be controlled by "logistics pilots", and I'd imagine that with advanced autopilot features you can get a 10 to 1, maybe a 20 to 1 ratio of craft per logistics pilot.
Handing off these aircraft is going to put a big hole in the combat pilot's situational awareness, one of the major factors on why we still use real pilots. The ramp up time to get therse pilots up to speed in terms of intel and force locations is going to take time, time that may result in a target getting away, misidentification of forces, and possible blue-on-blue losses.

And again, you have to be able to own complete air superiority to keep these ground strike drones in operation. If the skies are contested, you aren't going to be able to maintain a cloud formation of ground strike aircraft on orbit waiting for a target designation.

I don't have any info on the stealth characteristics of the bigger drones, which you would need to ramp up the weapons carry capability. If they have the radar cross section of a flying barn with 4 missiles hanging off them and we can't keep enemy planes out of the sky or completely disable a SAM network, it doesn't matter how cheap they're going to be.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Combustible Lemur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:47 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Don't tell me why unmanned remote aircraft aren't feasible today, tell me why they aren't feasible tomorrow.
They aren't feasible tomorrow because there's nothing being tested today. There's nothing that's made it off the drawing board that is even being tested to provide these capabilities. My primary concern is a repeat of the space program, in that we have a large time gap between killing the current option and having to do without because there's not a replacement ready for five years after we've retired the old craft. If there's a project that I'm not aware of, please let me know.
.
Where are you getting your imformation? I am by no means well informed, but you're the only person I've heard write off UAV R&D levels and the F35. I recently saw the documentary on the initial developement of the f35. The Lockheed pilots and engineers talked about how it had many of the same capabilities as the F22; that the flight feel was actually improved from the, at this point, old F22 design, It was much more versatile and the cheapness actually made it a realistic option. The introduction to the show was all four armed forces discussing how the F22 was flat out dead, because full production would cost more that the entire current defense budget. Then at the end when Boeing lost the contract for the JSF they just talked about their list of developement contracts for UCAV's for which the already had in development. Both companies are gearing up for manned fighters being somewhat obsolete. Plus I can't imagine the US gov being so willing to readily distribute the current top of the line fighters to so many other countries without having some ridiculous technology behind locked doors above the F-35. The F-22 is a great air to air fighter, but it is not the cure all. And although the F-35 is still in testing everything I've read and seen about it says that it's just as far ahead of the curve as the F-22, just in some different ways. And assuming global conditions change, and we decide to produce more F-22's or in particular manned air superiority fighters, the adaption of the F-22's frame and design into the JSF demonstrates the strength of the core design to be quickly altered to suit a new role.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:57 pm

The F-35 is highly politicized due to it being an international venture. While I love watching those shows, some of them are no better than propaganda and love letters to the communities that support them.

But some of our international partners are seriously considering buying EuroFighters and F-16s rather than deal with cost overruns and design issues of the F-35.

Defense Industry Daily story from December '07.
On May 3, 2007, during the 19th test flight of the prototype of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a serious electrical malfunction occurred in the control of the plane. After an emergency landing the malfunction could be identified as a crucial problem, and it became clear that redesign of critical electronic components was necessary.
...
After several weeks of evaluations, the engineers learn that there are serious design problems in this new electrical system. Expensive redesign will be necessary.
...
The F-35C naval variant’s Hamilton Sundstrand power generator was mistakenly designed to only 65% of the required electric output. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C. The contract announced by the US Department of Defense in August 2007 says that this engine update won’t be ready for use until the end of 2009, which is almost the beginning of low-rate initial production.
...
The F-35C naval variant’s Hamilton Sundstrand power generator was mistakenly designed to only 65% of the required electric output. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C. The contract announced by the US Department of Defense in August 2007 says that this engine update won’t be ready for use until the end of 2009, which is almost the beginning of low-rate initial production.
...
In an article that Bloomberg News publishes on August 31, 2007, it is announced that Lockheed Martin is exceeding the budget on the first phase of the Joint Strike Fighter program. The manufacturer warns that the reserves will be spent by the end of 2008, unless cuts are made. Lockheed Martin is seeking US Defense Department approval to lessen the number of test aircraft and personal plus hundreds of test flights to save money, and replenish a reserve fund.
...
Australia has decided to buy the more traditional, but advanced and reliable F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet, in order to avoid any risks to their air defense stemming from F-35 schedule slips. Some NATO countries, including JSF partner nations Norway and Denmark, are considering other options entirely, instead of the JSF. One European candidate is the advanced but expensive twin-engined Eurofighter, already in service with the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Another European candidate is the new Saab JAS-39 Gripen Demo, an advanced version of the proven Saab Gripen already operational with Sweden with NATO members the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Wiki wrote:Furthermore, F-35 export competitiveness has been hurt by international buyers finding either its export variant too costly per unit or "watered down". While the F-16E/F costs $50 million per export copy, the F-35 is likely to cost between $65-120 million.[73]

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:04 pm

Oh, and even Lockheed Martin admits that the Raptor is better.
With supersonic speed, the most powerful engine ever flown in a fighter, the ability to carry weapons internally and avoid the aerodynamic drag of external stores, and turning agility of up to 9 g’s, the F-35 will provide close-in or long-range air-to-air combat capability second only to the F-22 Raptor, and superior to all other fighters.
Mind you, they do build both of them.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Combustible Lemur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:13 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Oh, and even Lockheed Martin admits that the Raptor is better.
With supersonic speed, the most powerful engine ever flown in a fighter, the ability to carry weapons internally and avoid the aerodynamic drag of external stores, and turning agility of up to 9 g’s, the F-35 will provide close-in or long-range air-to-air combat capability second only to the F-22 Raptor, and superior to all other fighters.
Mind you, they do build both of them.
At air to air combat. Is the f22, a better strike fighter, bomber, vtol?

Do we plan to lose 187 Fighters anytime soon? particularly if everyone is buying the planes we're replacing. (dependingon which set of simulators you beleive.)


edit* one of the recurring themes throughout the documentary was how lockheed martin has brilliant designers and engineers but they are shitty with money. :D
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:28 pm

I haven't seen any comparisons in those roles, but I would imagine that the F-35 is better at the ground attack role since that is what it was designed to do. The Raptor does have those capabilities, but they were designed for two different roles.

The request for proposals that led to the F-22 were specifically designed to replace the F-15 as the premier air superiority fighter. The F-35 was designed to replace the F-16, A-10, F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier. There's two different targets here. Asking the F-35 as a replacement to fill the role is like asking you to replace your steak knives with a Swiss Army knife. It might get the job done in a serviceable manner, but not as efficiently and you can still only use it for one thing at a time.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Combustible Lemur » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:46 pm

Image:Boeing Bird of Prey at The Official National Museum of the United States Air Force.jpg

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-45" target="_blank
Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Barracuda_av_dr.jpg" target="_blank

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-47_Pegasus" target="_blank
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