Fixing the Fighter Gap

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by Amsel, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Mackenzie M. Eaglen is Research Fellow for National Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.


    Fixing the Fighter Gap Facing the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Air National Guard
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting.
     
  3. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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  4. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I haven't heard of that variant. Boeing says they can upgrade existing frames for this package.
     
  5. lingo

    lingo Member

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    How many fighter aircraft does America want? Easy, the more the merrier.
    How many do they need? Not so easy to answer. Of course the Military and the manufacturers will lobby hard for the obvious reasons. How many can be afforded at present? That's the real question.
     
  6. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Being a superpower and needing to have air superiority over our peers, i would assume quite a bit of fighters, especially next generation type.
     
  7. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Just read that the F-22 costs $44,000/hr to operate when you factor in the 6 hours of maintenance for each 1.7 hours of flying. The Silent Eagle is flying next year. I say purchase those and F/A-18E/Fs. Invest the money that would have gone into the F-22 into UCAVs like the X-45C as a force multiplier and let the F-22 manage the battlespace.
     
  8. PJay

    PJay Member

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  9. Butters

    Butters Member

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    #9 Butters, Sep 4, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
    The F-22 is a white elephant. Sure, when it's working right, it is the best fighter in the world, but it's just too damned expensive and unreliable. And this is after more than 20 yrs of development! The true cost of the thing is well over $300 million a pop. And for this you get a 60% serviceability rate and monstrous maintenance costs. And after spending all that money, now they're gonna have to spend another $8 billion dollars to upgrade it so that the older ones can communicate with 'legacy' a/c . And yeah, I know how wonderfully stealthy it is. About the same as any other hanger queen...:rolleyes:

    The sad part is that the F-35 increasingly promises to be more of the same. I see that 10 more of'em have recently been ordered at the bargain price of 4.5 billion dollars.. This for an a/c that was supposed to be in the $ 60 million range. My guess is that even if hundreds are produced (You can forget the '1000's' being bandied around. It ain't gonna happen), it will almost certainly have a true cost in excess of $200 million per. IOW, a typical squadron of 12 a/c of unexceptional performance, range, and payload is gonna cost around $3 billion.

    The USAF and pals needs to adopt a new motto. Maybe something like the Rolling Stones song that goes, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try real hard, you might get what you need"...

    Nobody needs 2-3 hundred million dollar a/c that won't work half the time. Even if they are loaded with all those super-duper ultra-fancy bells and whistles...

    JL
     
  10. PJay

    PJay Member

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    I wonder if the RAM 'paint' problem will also affect the F-35.
     
  11. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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  12. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    It's for export
    in ITAR-cleared configuration and the piece does state that the USAF are not a sales target. If they really need an F-15SE they'll retrofit their existing F-15 inventory. Nice to see there's life in the old bird yet, though, it's a lovely machine.
     
  13. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Hot Air Blog Archive Obama refused to be photographed with F-22
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #14 FLYBOYJ, Dec 5, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
    Butters, I wonder what source you're making your claims on - Newsweek? CBC? Aviation Week? Are you close to a source or involved with DND in Canada's potential purchase of the F-35? Have you even seen either aircraft up close??? I don't think you have a clue about the inner workings of either aircraft and how their procurement program will allow the numbers requested too be fulfilled. Do you even realize that the aircraft are purchased in yearly "bloc" buys and procurement will be stretched out or compacted based on money available or current need?? Additionally although the F-22 currently has difficulty meeting its MC rates (and the F-35 will have the same problems), that will change in the near future and this situation is no different than any other combat aircraft with leading edge technology deployed for the first time. Lastly, do you also realize that the manufacturer is penalized when schedule or MC rates are not met?

    20 years of development - do you know why? For one can you say "Bill Clinton?" And that has nothing to do with the situation today.

    As far as the F-35. It will become a very capable aircraft and will be deployed within the numbers planned, unless you see other administration either reduce or expand procurement numbers based on the input and need of the USAF. When the F-22 and F-35 are fully deployed I see the B-52, earlier bloc F-15 and F-16s as well as the A-10 going away, and just from the operational and sustainment costs saved by those airframes being retired will offset a portion of the F-22 and F-35 coming on board.

    I can proudly say that I worked on the YF-22 during my last years at Lockheed. My best friend along with many other friends helped design the X-35 and are currently on the F-35 program. I've seen both aircraft and was involved in the inner workings of their development, either during my time at Lockheed or as a subcontractor. In either case I could attest that I seen both aircraft up-close and personnel and will say that they will be both untouchable once deployed - again, I make these statements by being there, not by reading some negative propaganda thousands of miles away from the source. Even today as an employee at the USAFA I still interface with people who have worked on both aircraft and both the planners and "warriors" want both aircraft.

    Yes, both aircraft are extremely costly and like any other modern weapons system, will exhibit teething pains when first deployed, but in the end they will be around for a very long time and worth their cost, quieting naysayers either at the source or from their recliner chairs.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    And what "problem" is that?
     
  16. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I wold second FJ's comments. Its also worth remembering that the US has a huge advantage in that the current F18/F15 and F16s will be available for some years to come. Whilst they may not be up the standards of the F22 / F35 they are still more than capable of wiping the floor with the vast majority of the potential opposition.
    Would anyone have bet on the B52 still being around 50 years ago?
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Agree Glider....

    What's so funny is I could remember back in the mid 1970s, even with the former Soviet Union in existence, the same negative inputs when the F-15 and F-16 were being developed.
     
  18. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    But then they were really needed to deal with the latest Soviet fighters.

    Now I really don't see that much use for them. It's not that other countries have the financial means to get latest generation fighters. It seems that a 4.5 is all what they can afford.

    However, I do like the idea of the F/A-22 (or whatever it would be called) as there is much more need for a long range stealth interdiction aircraft. One with a longer range than that of the F-35.

    I also have my doubts about the real need of the ANG. But that is of course taken from my PoV, I know it goes to the core of the American history ... think militias.

    Kris
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The situation the world is in right now would tend to show that there is no need for an advanced air to air fighter with stealth capabilities, but 25 years ago who would have ever predicted that the Soviet Union would be no more?

    The F-35 will be a more capable aircraft than being advertised, being able to replace the AV-8, F/A-18, F-16 and A-10 depending on configuration. This isn't about what you're purchasing for today's world and threats, it about being proactive to know what could be possibly facing you on the horizon and not being proactive may mean seeing the USAF falling no longer holding the state of the art advantage, something I would not see happen.

    As far as the ANG - do some research on them and why they exist. Essentially they are a reserve function that is run by the Governors of each state and the mission varies from state to state. Not only does it give the state to answer any domestic problem (natural disasters or civil unrest) but also provides a training platform for a reserve function with most of its membership being "citizen soldiers."
     
  20. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    So what do you think can happen in 25 years from now that most people think won't ?

    And the F-35 seems a better option even though the price tag seems to have risen substantially too.

    So do you consider the ANG really necessary ? Or at least in its present size ?

    Kris
     
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