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Want More F-22s? Here’s What That Would Take

Rogue Valley

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Want More F-22s? Here’s What That Would Take

Congress is inquiring about restarting the Raptor production line, cold for almost five years now....

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PIPEWRENCH

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Too little too late. We should be developing our nest generation of fighters. Maybe we can have China build them for us. We have put Americans in the unemployment line in favor of subsidizing China's Aerospace building facilities. Now that they are clearly on our heals in technology and ahead of us in production. It is now a matter of sink or swim. Maybe China can build the next Air-force 1 for us while they are it. Our government is pathetic. We cut our programs and put Americans in the bread line in favor of buying from China. China will gladly subsidize the building and production of Aerospace in order to employ their citizens and take the lead in these areas. It takes decades to get back in the game of technology. It is not like flipping a switch.:doh
 

OrphanSlug

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It is not a good sign when we are having to back away from the continual problems in the development of one fighter, to then look at re-starting the effort for another we walked away from a while back. Perhaps our bigger mistake was ending the F-22 program entirely for the F-35, when it turns out some of the items on the F-22 are more advanced than the F-35 (as the article points out.)

What a damn mess we have made of this, with one hell of an expense as well.
 

reinoe

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It is not a good sign when we are having to back away from the continual problems in the development of one fighter, to then look at re-starting the effort for another we walked away from a while back. Perhaps our bigger mistake was ending the F-22 program entirely for the F-35, when it turns out some of the items on the F-22 are more advanced than the F-35 (as the article points out.)

What a damn mess we have made of this, with one hell of an expense as well.
The F-35 was a stupid idea in the first place. When you're investing in downgraded technology in any circumstance people should be leery. The fact that John McCain is the chair of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services explains everything. He's an idiot and despite his veteran status, he doesn't care about improving the state of our military unless it benefits himself personally in some way.
 

OrphanSlug

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The F-35 was a stupid idea in the first place. When you're investing in downgraded technology in any circumstance people should be leery. The fact that John McCain is the chair of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services explains everything. He's an idiot and despite his veteran status, he doesn't care about improving the state of our military unless it benefits himself personally in some way.

I have little doubt that there were backroom deals between Lockheed Martin and various members of Congress going back to 2008-2009, and it happened to collide with a time in this nation where Congressional spending for whatever reason ended up under more scrutiny. If you recall it happened to be the very same year of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by the 111th Congress that was solidly Democrat. If I recall right it was the National Defense Authorization Act of that same year (but for 2010) that pulled the plug on the F-22, and re-directed the money into handling those F-22s already purchased in "retooling" efforts.

The F-35 is going to end up doubling in cost in just existing purchases, yet we have less than 25% of the delivery we were to have by now. In a way it makes sense to walk away from the F-35 if by the time that they can all be delivered, other nations will be technologically ahead of it anyway.

But to your point McCain seems to be all over the place on this. For the F-35, now against it because of cost overruns and what he is recently calling a "scandal."

To my point we are stuck with a condition where a decision needs to be made on fighter jet development, despite the costs (and losses) we have sustained in mismanagement of both of these projects going back to 1997 ('ish) when the F-22 was originally developed.
 

DA60

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Good. Dump the F-35A (the Air Force version) and buy more F-22's, develop an F-22B (attack version) and keep buying/upgrading F-16's for the fighter-bomber role.

Whatever the F-22 would cost, I strongly believe it would be far more cost effective then whatever the F-35A will end up costing.

I like the F-35B (for the Marines) - but the 'A' and the 'C' are ridiculously expensive for what they promise, imo. And they will only get more expensive since full scale, high rate production looks out of the question with America's present economic and fiscal environment.
Plus, dumping the F-35A for new F-22's should substantially lessen the blow to Lockheed Martin (since they build/built both planes).


Obviously, developing an all-new air superiority fighter would be the ideal. But considering the development costs and the lack of any real foes for the foreseeable future PLUS the fact that America is economically stagnant and still running huge deficits points to making the best with what is available. And that seems to be the F-22.
 

American

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Good. Dump the F-35A (the Air Force version) and buy more F-22's, develop an F-22B (attack version) and keep buying/upgrading F-16's for the fighter-bomber role.

Whatever the F-22 would cost, I strongly believe it would be far more cost effective then whatever the F-35A will end up costing.

I like the F-35B (for the Marines) - but the 'A' and the 'C' are ridiculously expensive for what they promise, imo. And they will only get more expensive since full scale, high rate production looks out of the question with America's present economic and fiscal environment.
Plus, dumping the F-35A for new F-22's should substantially lessen the blow to Lockheed Martin (since they build/built both planes).


Obviously, developing an all-new air superiority fighter would be the ideal. But considering the development costs and the lack of any real foes for the foreseeable future PLUS the fact that America is economically stagnant and still running huge deficits points to making the best with what is available. And that seems to be the F-22.

They are two completely different kinds of aircraft. They deploy different weapons.
 

DA60

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They are two completely different kinds of aircraft. They deploy different weapons.

Actually, they don't.

The F-35's radar is just an upgraded version of the F-22's. No reason it cannot be fitted into new-build F-22's. Then there is nothing the F-35 can deploy that the F-22 could not. And the latest updated F-22 radar's can (I believe) already handle full air-to-ground attack modes.

Plus, the internal weapons bays in the F-35 is no better then that in the F-22 plus the latter can carry FAR more ordinance externally.

Finally, the F-22 is stealthier, far more maneuverable, faster and has a much longer range. Additionally, it has the added safety of twin engines to the F-35's single engine.

It is the far superior combat aircraft.


Ordinarily, the F-35 would be the 'cheap' fighter-bomber and the F-22 the big, pricey, air superiority fighter. But considering how ridiculously expensive the F-35 is getting, the difference is, IMO, not worth it.

2485px-F22_Raptor_info.jpg


I say if new build F-22's can be had for anywhere remotely near the price of F-35A's, then end 'A' production in favor of F-22 production.
 
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American

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That's because it's a bigger aircraft. However the F-35 can carry a bigger bomb.
 

DA60

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That's because it's a bigger aircraft. However the F-35 can carry a bigger bomb.

True.

The F-35A can carry two 2,000 pound bombs internally whereas the F-22 can only carry two 1,000 pound bombs internally...though they both can carry the same number and weight of SDB's (which are the future IMO).

But that is only for pure stealth missions which will clearly be the vast minority of future operations considering the expected adversaries of America in the near future (low tech defences).
Plus, the F-22 is much more survivable against potential high rate adversaries...I would rather have to do more missions with the better weapons system.
Plus, the Air Firce already has 167 F-35A's. If that extra 2,000 pounds of bombs are so critical, then just use the existing Lightning II's for those particular missions.
And for the super high value targets you would use cruise missiles or the B-2 anyway.

But the vast majority of Air Force bombing missions since 9/11 have been and should continue to be against enemies that do not even have radar guided missile/AA defenses (which is the only real reason for being stealthy as stealth is almost useless against heat seeking missiles and basic AA guns).

For targets that don't require stealth, the F-22 can carry FAR more external ordinance then the F-35 and do it faster and at far greater ranges.

And if it has to fight it's way in and out, the F-22 is the far superior aircraft.

You want F-35's? Fine.

But if the F-22 can be had at anywhere near the cost of the F-35, I will take it in a heartbeat. And I bet you their pilots would as well.
 
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American

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True.

The F-35A can carry two 2,000 pound bombs internally whereas the F-22 can only carry two 1,000 pound bombs internally...though they both can carry the same number and weight of SDB's (which are the future IMO).

But that is only for pure stealth missions which will clearly be the vast minority of future operations considering the expected adversaries of America in the near future (low tech defences).
Plus, the F-22 is much more survivable against potential high rate adversaries...I would rather have to do more missions with the better weapons system.
Plus, the Air Firce already has 167 F-35A's. If that extra 2,000 pounds of bombs are so critical, then just use the existing Lightning II's for those particular missions.
And for the super high value targets you would use cruise missiles or the B-2 anyway.

But the vast majority of Air Force bombing missions since 9/11 have been and should continue to be against enemies that do not even have radar guided missile/AA defenses (which is the only real reason for being stealthy as stealth is almost useless against heat seeking missiles and basic AA guns).

For targets that don't require stealth, the F-22 can carry FAR more external ordinance then the F-35 and do it faster and at far greater ranges.

And if it has to fight it's way in and out, the F-22 is the far superior aircraft.

You want F-35's? Fine.

But if the F-22 can be had at anywhere near the cost of the F-35, I will take it in a heartbeat. And I bet you their pilots would as well.

I never said I wanted F-35's, I was just debating the differences.
 

DA60

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I never said I wanted F-35's, I was just debating the differences.

I did not say you wanted them...that is why I put a question mark after my statement.

I just assumed you might since you seemed to be defending them.


I have one major problem with the F-35....they are WAY too expensive for what they can do.

And there is nothing anyone can say (that I can imagine) that will change my point of view...unless Lockheed Martin offers huge discounts on new F-35's - but I am not holding my breath for that to occur.
 
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Dayton3

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There is the bigger issue that F-35s have been promised to several countries allied with the United States while the U.S. has refused to allow the F-22 to be exported.

and I doubt the F-22 could be used from small carriers as other nations intend to use the F-35 for.
 

DA60

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There is the bigger issue that F-35s have been promised to several countries allied with the United States while the U.S. has refused to allow the F-22 to be exported.

and I doubt the F-22 could be used from small carriers as other nations intend to use the F-35 for.

Personally, I don't care what was promised to foreign countries.

They can still buy the F-35 (at greater cost).

Or if the F-35 (which was promised by Lockheed-Martin, not the U.S. gov't.) is cancelled then tough for them.
 

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Personally, I don't care what was promised to foreign countries.

They can still buy the F-35 (at greater cost).

Or if the F-35 (which was promised by Lockheed-Martin, not the U.S. gov't.) is cancelled then tough for them.

Many of those nations like the British and Australians have been out closest allies for decades. They joined the F-35 program in good faith. You can't just cut them off at the knees no matter how much the U.S. wants to save money.

At the very least we should offer them the latest F/A-18s at cost.
 

DA60

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Many of those nations like the British and Australians have been out closest allies for decades. They joined the F-35 program in good faith. You can't just cut them off at the knees no matter how much the U.S. wants to save money.

At the very least we should offer them the latest F/A-18s at cost.

Are you seriously suggesting that America has to build thousands of aircraft it doesn't need, costing trillions of dollars just so Britain and Australia can buy the F-35 cheaper. Forget it.

And no one is saying they cannot still buy the plane...it will just be more expensive with the development costs spread out over less airframes if America cancelled further F-35A acquisition.

There were no guarantees when they put money into the Joint Strike Fighter Program...they knew the risks. There have been TONS of times in history when countries (including Britain on numerous occasions) have co-developed a military aircraft, only to see one country pull out or the program gets cancelled altogether. It has happened in Europe many, many times.
It's life.


BTW, the F/A-18 is a Boeing aircraft, not a Lockheed Martin one. I see no reason why Boeing should have to build and sell their planes at cost because Lockheed Martin screwed up and failed to develop the F-35 for a 'reasonable' cost.
 
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Dayton3

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Are you seriously suggesting that America has to build thousands of aircraft it doesn't need, costing trillions of dollars just so Britain and Australia can buy the F-35 cheaper. Forget it.

And no one is saying they cannot still buy the plane...it will just be more expensive with the development costs spread out over less airframes if America cancelled further F-35A acquisition.

There were no guarantees when they put money into the Joint Strike Fighter Program...they knew the risks. There have been TONS of times in history when countries (including Britain on numerous occasions) have co-developed a military aircraft, only to see one country pull out or the program gets cancelled altogether. It has happened in Europe many, many times.
It's life.


BTW, the F/A-18 is a Boeing aircraft, not a Lockheed Martin one. I see no reason why Boeing should have to build and sell their planes at cost because Lockheed Martin screwed up and failed to develop the F-35 for a 'reasonable' cost.

Actually the U.S. does need the F-35. Or at least something equivalent. And you can't blame Lockheed Martin for the failures of the F-35. Congress mandated that the F-35 have some bizarre requirements that no single airframe could reasonably be expected to fulfill.
 

DA60

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Actually the U.S. does need the F-35. Or at least something equivalent. And you can't blame Lockheed Martin for the failures of the F-35. Congress mandated that the F-35 have some bizarre requirements that no single airframe could reasonably be expected to fulfill.

If the F-22 was similar in price, it would be better in almost every way then the F-35A...faster, stealthier, more maneuverable (it has thrust vectoring, the F-35A does not), longer range, twin engines to the F-35's single engine (greater safety margin), can carry far more total ordinance, etc..
Ask an Air Force pilot which plane he would rather have under him?

And Congress/the Pentagon did not force Lockheed Martin to enter the competition for the plane...the fact that the plane is skyrocketing in price is the latter's fault, not Congress's/the Pentagon's.
 

PirateMk1

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If the F-22 was similar in price, it would be better in almost every way then the F-35A...faster, stealthier, more maneuverable (it has thrust vectoring, the F-35A does not), longer range, twin engines to the F-35's single engine (greater safety margin), can carry far more total ordinance, etc..
Ask an Air Force pilot which plane he would rather have under him?

And Congress/the Pentagon did not force Lockheed Martin to enter the competition for the plane...the fact that the plane is skyrocketing in price is the latter's fault, not Congress's/the Pentagon's.


A lot of times the cost escalation is exactly the result of pentagon or congressional meddling with specifications with the resulting reengineering to adjust to the new specifications. That's why defense contractors typically bid the way they do. This reminds me of the F-111 fiasco. It was supposed to be a do it all plane. It was a great medium low level strike plane and electronic warfare aircraft when it was said and done. But not remotely worth what we paid for it.
 

DA60

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A lot of times the cost escalation is exactly the result of pentagon or congressional meddling with specifications with the resulting reengineering to adjust to the new specifications. That's why defense contractors typically bid the way they do. This reminds me of the F-111 fiasco. It was supposed to be a do it all plane. It was a great medium low level strike plane and electronic warfare aircraft when it was said and done. But not remotely worth what we paid for it.

I agree, it does happen sometimes.

But to my knowledge, the Pentagon did not significantly alter the mission requirements of the F-35 after the initial requirement for the Joint Strike Fighter was put forward. From what I can see, Lockheed Martin just severely underestimated (or deliberately understated to win the competition against the Boeing X-32) the costs of the F-35.

I, for one, thought the Pentagon/Congress were asking for trouble right from the get go by requiring one airframe to perform 3 distinctive missions, somewhat similar to what happened with the F-111. Back then, McNamara got it in his head to that the F-111 should do it all. The result was a bloated whale of a program.
 

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A lot of times the cost escalation is exactly the result of pentagon or congressional meddling with specifications with the resulting reengineering to adjust to the new specifications. That's why defense contractors typically bid the way they do. This reminds me of the F-111 fiasco. It was supposed to be a do it all plane. It was a great medium low level strike plane and electronic warfare aircraft when it was said and done. But not remotely worth what we paid for it.

Anyone remember in the mid 1980s when the B-2 bomber was basically already completely designed the government suddenly told Northrop it had to operate at low level as well?

This of course required massive changes. And to date the B-2 has never been used on low level missions.
 

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Actually the U.S. does need the F-35. Or at least something equivalent. And you can't blame Lockheed Martin for the failures of the F-35. Congress mandated that the F-35 have some bizarre requirements that no single air frame could reasonably be expected to fulfill.
As a life long employee of Boeing nee McDonald Douglas I can say we blew that one. Trying to make a JSF Harrier!
The F35 is engineered very well and still being engineered daily for changes but it will be the "last" manned aircraft designed for the USA. I almost laugh at the people who are so worried about falling behind in 5the generation manned aircraft. The future of course is video/ computer fly by wire wings by the thousands with pilot sitting in an air conditioned trailer in Las Vegas.
 

kanabco

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A lot of times the cost escalation is exactly the result of pentagon or congressional meddling with specifications with the resulting reengineering to adjust to the new specifications. That's why defense contractors typically bid the way they do. This reminds me of the F-111 fiasco. It was supposed to be a do it all plane. It was a great medium low level strike plane and electronic warfare aircraft when it was said and done. But not remotely worth what we paid for it.

Hey! we go back, eh?
The F-111 was probably a noble thing to try. A Joint Strike Fighter of its day. Navy pretty much killed it with Carrier requirements as I recall. At least a few are still flying today.
 
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