I know it was probably a mistake to start this BUT… I want to know what you all think.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has proposed to the Obama administration that the F-22 Raptor program be terminated after the 187th jet is made at the end of this year. The F-22 Raptor program costs the United States approx. $3.5 billion a year and because of this, and the fact that the past few “conflicts” have been ground wars…the feds believe that there is not as much for a need of an air superiority fighter as there is for a ground attack aircraft.
The JSF however, is still a project in development and so the cost figures are somewhat malleable, and the fact that the JSF is an aircraft approved for export, it makes it more attractive to congress than the F-22.
SO… with all being said, do you all think it is better to keep producing the F-22 to maintain air superiority over the battlefield despite the enormous cost? Or is it better to be producing more attack aircraft instead?
Personal Opinion >> I believe we should produce more F-22’s to maintain air superiority over the battlefield, other countries are producing advanced aircraft that are able to compete with our F-15’s and F-16’s and we must maintain an “edge”. The JSF is a good ground attack platform don’t get met me wrong, its stealthy, advanced, can operate from a FOB and will carry precision munitions, but I feel that there is not as much a need for many JSF’s yet, our current ground attack force is very formidable with A-10’s, Predator UAV’s, and attack helicopters from the Marines and Army.
If you look back after WWII the talking heads have always thought fighters were obsolete. Going into Vietnam was the same thinking, but unless we are going to stop fighting wars conventionally we will always need air superiority. I would rather keep the F-22 going and let our allies have the JSF. We need something just a bit better than everyone else because you never know who is still on your side at the end of the day.
I don’t believe in UAV fighters, they are more suited for intelligence gathering and light attack. The USAF’s motto is “Noone else comes close” yes, our current fighter fleet is better than anyone else’s… but in 10 years or less that may not be the case. For the AF to back that motto, more F-22’s need to be produced so that indeed, noone else comes close
The F-22 has proven itsself as a top dog in multiple mock dogfights against F-14’s, F-15’s, F-16’s, and F-18’s. I would pick a manned fighter (F-22) of a UCAV anyday, you’re saying it would “wax the ass” of a 5th gen advanced fighter but noone has seen one in action yet. We have seen what an F-22 is capable of and it is unmatched.
I don’t believe everything in the media because (God knows) they like to exaggurate things. I do know howver that an F-22 performed a demonstration while under testing that put it against the top 4 F-16 and top 3 F-15 pilots in the world. The “adversary” pilots were locked on and “engaged” and they didn’t even know nor did they even see the F-22. Thease 7 pilots were flying the best fighters in the world and were more than suitable for their role as an “adversary”.
Well, you just kind of “shot down” your own argument, don’t you think? The F22 “systems” are the trump card in these engagements, not the pilot (or “operator” as I’ve heard them called).
A UCAV with the same technologies as an F22 will smoke the current “top dogs” without the limitations of a human payload. Plus the similar UCAV could be mass produced at a lower cost than an F22. Face it, the days of close-in dogfighting are well over… technology is the new Big Stick.
As my pal Phantomjet pointed out, the F-22 “system” could have been airborne in a Piper Cub and the result would have been the same.
When it comes to yankin’ & bankin’ and turnin’ & burnin’ the day of aircraft piloted by frail and failure prone human operators is fast coming to a close.
Small, fast, stealthy UCAVs little larger than their prime movers in length and not burdened with human support systems, nor the necessity for human interfaced weapons systems, flown from facilities far removed from the zone of battle will soon rule the skies.
We should’ve scrapped the F-22 before it was built. The F-22 has already sucked up more than its share of money from other Air Force programs. It will be like the B-1 and many other projects that took more than 10 years to develop. Over priced and ineffective if ever applied in the field.
If the OA is to hot for an unstealth aircraft ie, F-16 & F-18 then, as JHEM is correct stated a stealth UACV should be the platform.
The test against the F-22 aren’t so stellar when the fight breaks down from a BVR systems contest to a visual gun fight. The F-18 & F-16 are equal or better when it’s a visual gun fight and don’t have have a changing drag coefficient when they fire their gun [the F-22 doesn’t fire a gun it opens bay doors and deploys it’s gun]
If we really want to save money kick the Air Force off the battle field and limit them to Freight, Fuel, & Brass. Give A-10’s, F-16s more 18s and 1/3 the money to Marines.
I remember the Navy claiming they shot down the SR-71 4/4 times in a “test”. The following week the fax with mission data didn’t get faxed from Beale to China Lake, “someone forgot”, & the SR-71 was on it’s third take/pass through when the Navy detected it & cried foul.
Maybe we can set up the battle field just like the tests and demos.
But if you consider the current threats conventional warfare is becoming rather obsolete. If the US had a full scale war it would be nuclear. And for current wars I don`t see the taliban opposing that great of a threat to say a F-15 that you would need a F-22. In fact for Afghanistan you could probably use P-51s and maintain air superiority . And the F-15 is way cheaper than the F-22 and still has a k/d ratio of about 110/0 .
So I think it would be smarter to keep up research and spend more money on designing new a/c than building them. In case of a war you then would be capable of building a/c that are decades and not just sligthly ahead of everyone else. The only real threat to the US is China and maybe North Korea(though no a match) (Only other real competition would be european allies and russia which is in my oppinion not longer a threat nor a competition).
Altogether I think their either would be nuclear warfare in which missiles would play the greatest role or unconventional warfare such as Afghanistan where you don`t have to expect any threat to air superiority and might rather want to keep cost low and invest in research.