F-117 retirement: mistake or correct decision?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by gjs238, Jul 8, 2010.

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F-117 retirement: mistake or correct decision?

  1. Yes

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
    36.4%
  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Can the F-22 really replace the F-117? Was it really designed to?
    Is using the B-2 as a replacement really appropriate? (Sort of like replacing the F-111 with the B-52.)
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The F-22 was not designed to replace the F-117. The F-117, despite the "F" designation was never a fighter. It was a strike attack aircraft. It didn't carry air-to-air missiles or guns and was subsonic. Realistically, it was an aircraft with a specialized mission, to get in undetected, strike, and get out. It did it well, but that is about all that airplane would do.

    The F-22 was designed to be an air superiority fighter with all the latest technology.

    I don't know where you are going with the B-2. The B-52 did not replace the F-111. More like the B-1 replaced the F-111, but only sort of.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    It was 1970's technology that became "dated".
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Yep, and the advent of the F-22 and F-35 led to the 117's demise. Why have a stealth ground attack airplane that can do nothing else when you can have newer aircraft with stealth technology that can perform multiple roles, including a stealthy strike aircraft.
     
  5. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    Undecided - No Vote.

    As far as componant servicing procurement costs, the old Nighthawk is so cheap and sustainable now; certain F16, F5, F18 C130 (+ F15?) componants sub-systems were/are used in the Nighthawk because of cheaper developement costs and it is/was easier to hide from 'extremist budgeteers' 'congressional comitees'.

    Although its stealth rcs capability is like an osprey to a apartment buildings B52, newer rads systems software, ground based multi inter-linked (hard networked) radars with advanced computer tech software make it more visible.
    And also it has probably reached its structural and weapon hardware upgrade/developement limit.

    Borrowed software system wise, it can still use some of the the latest developed componants systems from its contributing a/c (see my 1st serntence), where as the uber expensivelimited production/development project that isrealistically the F22 still has development growth potential in hardware, software, sytems and structure areas.

    The real worth of the F22 and the even more problematic cheaper white elephant JSF (F-35 series, although the CTOL 'A'(?) version will end up the longest life version IMHO) are as industrytech/mech/etc R&D test/training/teaching subjects for the real 5th generation aircraft that might be operational around 2030+.

    The 117 could still be usefull in some situations, certain to cover the capability gaps between current a/c, the training of Raptors development of Lightnings Too (punn intended)

    But this is all my opinion based upon my flawed knowledge.
     
  6. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    #6 gjs238, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
    It seems the US has a history of retiring useful systems before they are fully replaced, creating capability gaps, for political economic reasons.
    With the F-111, F-117 and A-6 now retired, what has truly replaced them? What capability gaps have been created?
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The F-117 hasn't been completely replaced, however, missile technology and systems in the F-16 and F-15 Strike Eagle can get in to drop their ordinance also, just not with Stealth.

    The F-111 and A-6 were cold war weapons, designed for a much different enemy than we have today. We have multiple aircraft that can be used in an attack role without having to continue support for aging equipment. You need to compare the cost of the new systems versus maintenance and upgrade costs of older systems, including potential major overhauls for airframes and structural components that wear out.

    The F-117 was a neat airplane that did a very specific mission, and did it pretty well. But is the cost of maintaining a single mission aircraft worth sacrificing funds for other aircraft that can perform multiple missions?
     
  8. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    I remember similar reasoning for retiring the A-10.
     
  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    The A-10s not retired. It's being upgraded to the C model.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #10 FLYBOYJ, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
    The F-117 is being replaced by the F-35. it was 1st or even 1.5 generation stealth technology that worked well and served its purpose. Operating the aircraft was expensive and those dollars could be used for other programs like the F-22 and F-35 production and engineering sustainment. The B-2 was designed for an entirely different mission.

    The USAF has and will sell its soul to ensure the successful deployment of the F-22 and F-35. Mistakes were made on both programs but in the end I firmly believe they will be successful and will form the backbone of the USAF fighter/ strike contingency.
     
  11. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    So in the meantime...what?
     
  12. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    You have
    some funny ideas of what's replacing what and what's retiring
    The A-10 is not retired, won't be for a while, certainly not while Afghanistan is on-going.

    Only my opinion, but I see the A-10 being the next B-52 in terms of operational longevity.
     
  13. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Since there are new platforms coming online or all ready online that can do the F-117's job as good, if not better, and also perform other duties, than yes. Retiring the F-117 is the right choice. Agree on the Warthog Colin! One of my favorite active planes!!!Mean and Green!
     
  14. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    I don't think it was a mistake. Firstly 'stealth' is not the be all and end all, it can only be a part of the overall package. While the F-117 was the only option for stealth, it had a role. As it no longer is, then it doesn't, as in all other respects its performance and capability (in airframe terms) is mediocre at best.

    There is nothing the F-117 could do that the F-22 cannot do, faster and with a greater range and payload to boot, or that the F-35, 'Phantom Ray' etc will not do in the near future.

    gjs 238, so in the meantime, if a LO platform is required for a sensitive mission the F-22 is already in service, in greater numbers than the F-117 ever was, of which only 59 were ever made.
     
  15. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    I never said the A-10 was retired.
    I was referring to the pressures the aircraft has faced over the years for cancellation and retirement.
     
  16. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  18. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You should read the whole article. The last sentence says it all:

     
  19. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    I did read the whole article and found it interesting, so posted it.
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought but what would be the reaction to selling the F117 to Japan. The aircraft may not be up to facing 1st rate defences anymore and its technology may be onsidered old by todays standards, but N Korea is Japans biggest threat and I am confident that the F117 is more than capable of dealing with N Koreas defences.
     
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