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Air Force Campaigns to Save Jet Fighter
NY Times ^ | January 13, 2005 | LESLIE WAYNE

Posted on 01/13/2005 7:09:45 PM PST by neverdem

On a clear day at an Air Force base in Nevada, as a test pilot steered his F/A-22 skyward, the nose of the plane inexplicably turned down, pitching the $250 million fighter jet into the ground.

The pilot, luckily, walked away unscathed. But the crash, which took place just before Christmas, was not only a blow to Air Force pride but also, as it turned out, a bad omen. Days later, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld confirmed reports that the Pentagon planned to cut the number of F/A-22's it would buy by about a third, sending shock waves through the Air Force.

There is no plane more costly or more coveted by the Air Force, which has already spent $40 billion to develop the F/A-22 into a fighter jock's dream, capable of outperforming anything else in the sky.

But even though it is the Air Force's No. 1 priority, the F/A-22 tops the list of $30 billion in weapons programs that Mr. Rumsfeld wants to chop from the fiscal 2006 budget and years beyond as the Bush administration seeks to rein in spending while the costs of the war in Iraq continue unabated and a budget deficit looms.

"The conventional wisdom was that the Air Force would sacrifice their grandmothers to keep this program on track," said Pierre Chao, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan research group that analyzes foreign and military policy. "This cut was a clear surprise."

For the Air Force, and the hundreds of military contractors seeking a piece of the lucrative F/A-22 business, the big question now is whether they can overturn Mr. Rumsfeld's decision. To do so will require more than simply pressing their case to lawmakers.

Just yesterday the campaign for the F/A-22 began in earnest as the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. John Jumper, piloted one over the Florida skies - reaching speeds of Mach 1.7 - before returning to tell waiting reporters that the jet is "all that any of us had hoped it would be and more."

Equally adroit maneuvering, however, will take place on the ground. The decision on whether to keep the money flowing to the F/A-22, which is currently in operational trials, or to halt it by 2008, as Mr. Rumsfeld seeks, touches on a number of other issues - some monetary, some political and some personal.

Underlying the F/A-22 cuts is a policy debate between Mr. Rumsfeld and the Air Force over the future of the military air fleet and the nature of aerial warfare. This debate also sets up a political dogfight between the highly advanced F/A-22 and the Joint Strike Fighter, a cheaper, more prosaic fighter that is supposed to replace the venerable F-16 workhorse, starting in 2013.

Mr. Rumsfeld's decision to provide funds for only 180 F/A-22 Raptors, down from a previously planned 277, suggests that the Air Force has become more vulnerable in Washington's endless bureaucratic wars. That is partly a result of a growing political scandal over Air Force procurement practices that contributed to the resignation of Air Force Secretary James Roche, a staunch F/A-22 supporter.

Two years ago, when Mr. Rumsfeld, never a fan of the F/A-22, first attempted to cut it back, Mr. Roche threatened to resign and Mr. Rumsfeld folded. Today, all Mr. Roche can do is raise an objection on his way out the door.

"With these cuts, Rumsfeld has returned to a goal he first tried in the summer of 2002," said Loren B. Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a research group in Arlington, Va., that advocates limited government.

"Rumsfeld didn't succeed because of Roche's threats," Mr. Thompson explained. "Now the Air Force is defenseless. Its political leadership is leaving and its uniformed leadership has been discredited by scandal."

Still, the political forces behind the F/A-22 will not go down without a fight. With the work on the project spread over 43 states and two of its biggest contractors, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, among the most powerful lobbying juggernauts in Washington, backers of the F/A-22 will try to persuade Congress to do what Mr. Rumsfeld will not.

Cuts in the F/A-22 program would save about $10 billion, according to Pentagon calculations, with program reductions in aircraft carriers, landing ships and an Army high-tech combat system making up the rest of Mr. Rumsfeld's projected $30 billion in savings.

The bulk of the cutbacks would fall on Lockheed, which stands to lose $18 billion it was counting on from the F/A-22 and other programs. Also feeling the pinch is Northrop Grumman, which makes submarines and other Navy vessels and could lose over $5 billion.

For the F/A-22, "the game has just begun," said Keith Ashdown, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a research group that focuses on ways to cut federal spending. "Lockheed has a battalion of lobbyists and they will be spending millions of dollars hiring the best and the brightest of K Street."

Already, lawmakers from Connecticut, Florida, Georgia and Washington State have raised a chorus of objections.

"We can't let civilian bureaucrats under the current secretary of defense make decisions that could harm the protection of our nation," said Representative Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican whose district includes the F/A-22 manufacturing site near Marietta.

Others chiming in included Senator Saxby Chambliss, the Georgia Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee, and the Republican Senator-elect Johnny Isakson of Georgia, along with 13 other members of Congress, who wrote the White House saying the F/A-22 cuts threaten the nation's "global air superiority requirements."

For its part, Lockheed, the prime contractor, remains cautiously optimistic. Thomas Jurkowsky, a spokesman, termed Mr. Rumsfeld's cuts "a starting point" for the fiscal 2006 budget to be presented to Congress by the White House early next month.

"The White House now has to determine the direction the president wants to take," Mr. Jurkowsky said. "We will want to see what the president proposes and how Congress reacts. Then we will respond accordingly."

Originally designed to take on the best planes the former Soviet Union would have to offer, the F/A-22 has been 23 years in the making and is scheduled to have its first combat-ready fighter wing ready this December. So far, about 25 F/A-22s of about 100 in the production pipeline have been completed.

Responding in part to changing global threats, the F/A-22 was redesigned to allow it to make air-to-ground attacks and not just engage in aerial combat against other fighter jets.

It is the most technologically advanced plane ever conceived - more lethal, more stealthy, more capable of sustaining high speeds for prolonged periods. Able to fly at over 1,000 miles an hour, it was developed to preserve American global air superiority and replace aging F-15's, F-16's, and F/A-18's.

"It's a plane that sends a message to the world, 'Don't even think about competing with the U.S.,' " said William C. Bodie, a vice president at DFI International, a corporate consulting firm in Washington, who was once a special assistant to Mr. Roche.

That is one reason the Air Force still thinks it has a good argument. Initially, it recommended that Mr. Rumsfeld cut the number of Joint Strike Fighters and leave the F/A-22 alone. While not getting into specific numbers, General Jumper, the Air Force chief of staff, said last month that he was open to scaling back the planned purchase of 1,763 Joint Strike Fighters to spare money for the F/A-22.

Instead, Mr. Rumsfeld did just the opposite.

Marvin R. Sambur, the outgoing head of acquisitions for the Air Force, said the service would make the case for its ultimate goal of 381 F/A-22's at the coming Quadrennial Defense Review, a once-every-four-year Pentagon report to Congress on future military strategy, threats and procurement requirements.

Mr. Sambur rejects the notion that the F/A-22 is a Cold War relic and instead calls it a vision of the future. Early investigations into the Nevada accident, the first for an operational F/A-22, point to problems with the airplane's software and flight controls. While the fleet was grounded briefly after the crash, the planes have since returned to the skies while an investigation continues.

Mr. Sambur, also takes issue with the celebrated $250-million-a-plane price tag, saying it includes all research and development costs to date spread over the number of planes to be made. A more accurate price tag, he says, is around $115 million a plane, the actual cost of making a new F/A-22 today.

"The cost going forward is significantly less than the $250 million everyone is talking about," Mr. Sambur said. "You compare the incremental price to the cost of a new F-15, which is far less capable, and the difference is relatively small."

In a world where inexpensive surface-to-air missile systems can be easily acquired by potential enemies, the F/A-22 is so stealthy and maneuverable that it can shoot down these systems and escape, quite literally, faster than a speeding bullet. Other planes in the Air Force's fleet are more vulnerable to being shot down from the ground while on the search-and-destroy missions that aid ground troops.

"Our air domination is taken for granted," Mr. Sambur said, "but it is the key for everything else on the battlefield."

Besides, Mr. Sambur said, the F/A-22 will be combat-ready by December, while the Joint Strike Fighter cannot be fielded until 2013.

"That means we have an eight-year delay until the Joint Strike Fighter comes on," Mr. Sambur added. "We'd like to take advantage of having more F/A-22's and delay some of the Joint Strike Fighters."

The Joint Strike Fighter, currently in development, is intended to be a plane for all services and for all countries. It is being developed jointly by the United States, Britain and other European allies and will be produced in versions for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines.

It will have one engine, where the F/A-22 has two, and with its simpler design and less sophisticated technology, it is expected to have a much smaller price tag of $40 million to $50 million a plane.

But because the Joint Strike Fighter will be purchased by three services and because it, too, has manufacturing spread across the country, it has a lot of political firepower inside the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.

In the end, the decisions on both planes will probably turn as much on politics as on military policy.

"The F/A-22 program will be cut," said Steven M. Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, a research group in Washington that favors transformation of the military into a more flexible force. "But how much precisely is hard to say. Everyone agrees it's a good plane to have. But do we need 300 of them?"


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: airforce; f22; fa22
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Joe Cavaretta/Associated Press
An F/A-22 crashed during a test flight near Las Vegas on Dec. 20.

1 posted on 01/13/2005 7:09:46 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I just dont understand why we cant have chinese make em


2 posted on 01/13/2005 7:11:55 PM PST by Flavius ("... we should reconnoitre assiduosly... " Vegetius)
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To: neverdem

I have to agree that this program is one that could be trimmed without risking our strategic superpower status. I love this plane and am a pilot myself but it's clear we own the skies with or without this plane.


3 posted on 01/13/2005 7:23:52 PM PST by tbeatty (I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat salad.)
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To: neverdem

bump


4 posted on 01/13/2005 7:26:38 PM PST by kimosabe31
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To: neverdem; hchutch

The F/A-22 is a prime example of Augustine's Law. We need to get cost containment as a top priority in Air Force acquisition, or we will unilaterally disarm the Air Force.


5 posted on 01/13/2005 7:31:29 PM PST by Poohbah (God must love fools. He makes so many of them...)
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To: Flavius

We could have the Chinese make'm, but they will steal our design ;)


6 posted on 01/13/2005 7:40:48 PM PST by 1FASTGLOCK45
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To: neverdem; Mitchell; Allan; marron

"With the work on the project spread over 43 states"

Monetarily inefficient, but the MIC calculated by spreading them out they have bought more congressional votes. A calculating calculation knowing the product would have faced cuts.


7 posted on 01/13/2005 7:43:01 PM PST by Shermy
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To: tbeatty
I love this plane and am a pilot myself but it's clear we own the skies with or without this plane.

It was, or has become, a boondoggle but the ciruclation of money between politicians and the backers is thick.

8 posted on 01/13/2005 7:44:37 PM PST by Shermy
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

to funny...


9 posted on 01/13/2005 7:46:46 PM PST by Flavius ("... we should reconnoitre assiduosly... " Vegetius)
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To: neverdem
Take the money for a couple of Raptors and use it to build asquadron of new A-10s. One heckuva lot more bang for the buck -- and far more useful in the wars we are now fighting.

And the Hog can do what we will have to wait until 2013 for the JSF to do. And we know the A-10 works -- very well...

10 posted on 01/13/2005 7:54:27 PM PST by TXnMA (Attention, ACLU: There is no constitutionally protected right to NOT be offended -- Shove It!)
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To: TXnMA
I have to admit, that isn't a bad idea. At some point, missiles and robot aircraft will make the F-22 as vunerable as the next aircraft.

Put a bunch of Warthogs up, and increase our chance of getting the job done.

11 posted on 01/13/2005 8:00:08 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (never surrender, this is for the kids)
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To: neverdem

The F-22 was and is a boondoogle of the worst sort! The USAF sold it's soul for this POS!


12 posted on 01/13/2005 8:14:50 PM PST by zzen01
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To: Poohbah
Looking for Cuts, Pentagon Turns to Jet Fighter Program

From that link: At the moment, the fighter, known as the Raptor, costs about $258 million a plane. That is based on an overall cost of $71.8 billion, and the Air Force's plans to buy 277 Raptors.

Unfortunately, we need to replace aircraft as they are getting old and worn out.

13 posted on 01/13/2005 8:15:15 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: zzen01

+ the F-22 has Merrill Mcpeak's fingerprints ALL over it!


14 posted on 01/13/2005 8:15:52 PM PST by zzen01
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To: neverdem

I read an article that stated that the plane costs 133 mil. but you have to ask which cost is this. I still think it is worth it. I am no expert but our plnes are all aging, aren't they?


15 posted on 01/13/2005 8:22:28 PM PST by GoldenOrchid
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To: GoldenOrchid
I am no expert but our plnes are all aging, aren't they?

Other than the latest copies of F16s and F18s coming off active production lines, most of the other series of jets average about 20 years old, IIRC.

16 posted on 01/13/2005 8:34:09 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Looking at that pic, I'm amazed at the structural integrity of the plane. The plane is basically one machined billet of titanium.


17 posted on 01/13/2005 8:37:54 PM PST by endthematrix (Declare 2005 as the year the battle for freedom from tax slavery!)
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To: neverdem

One Very Important consideration should be fully expliting our high tech manufacturing abilities. And even more important loosing that capability. If we do not produce this air craft might we eventually loose this air craft manufacturing ability ?


18 posted on 01/13/2005 8:39:20 PM PST by GoldenOrchid
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To: neverdem
But even though it is the Air Force's No. 1 priority, the F/A-22 tops the list of $30 billion in weapons programs that Mr. Rumsfeld wants to chop from the fiscal 2006 budget and years beyond as the Bush administration seeks to rein in spending while the costs of the war in Iraq continue unabated and a budget deficit looms.

This is the problem I have with the War on Terror. It has become a giant international welfare program. We should have killed Saddam, killed the Taliban and just keep killing any more terrorists who arise and threaten us. I don't get it, they destroy the world trade center causing more than $1 trillion in damages and somehow we are obligated to break our bank rebuilding these third world $h!t holes. We're scaling back the F-22 program, retiring an aircraft carrier, and canceling the production of new submarines all to bring "democracy" to these ungrateful demonic savages. To top it all of we then send economic aid to the palestinians and ME terrorist supporting nations. China is licking her chops and laughing at how stupid we are.

19 posted on 01/13/2005 10:59:46 PM PST by rmmcdaniell
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To: neverdem; TXnMA; GoldenOrchid

The cost of the F-22 can be computed one of two ways ....

a. Figure out what it costs to build the next plane - that is the procurement cost. (And per the article - it costs about $120 Million per plane.)

b. Figure out what it costs to build the planned number of planes at $133 million per plane. Add in the R&D costs of $40 Billion (this money is way high ... but is also "sunk costs" ..), then divide the total program cost by the number of planes purchased. Adding in the R&D costs to a limited procurement of planes .. and wow .. the price per plane is very very high.

Unfortunately, people who want to kill various programs will cite the total cost (#b.) ... without factoring in the fact that if the plane was cancelled, the per plane cost would be astronomical, and then the whole R&D game starts over as everyone starts trying to design a new plane.

And the JSF is still down the line ... and by the time it goes operational, do you want to bet that there will be problems, cost overruns, etc., that will make the $50 - $50 million projected cost to be a pipe dream - and way under!!

Ultimately, once the plane is designed and fielded - the cost per plane per item a. is what should be used ... and then a comparision of what you get for that money be used to compare with other options.
Twin engines (more reliability!!) and supersonic cruise without afterburners .... NICE!!! The JSF - single engine ... might not be quite as capable, and if the JSF costs 1/2 as much, but can only do 1/2 the missions ... then maybe we need a fair number of the F-22.

As to those who suggest more A-10s ... remember that the Wart Hog is for close air support and killing tanks. The F-22 is PRIMARILY an Air Superiority Fighter that can have other missions. I don't think we will EVER see the A-10 try to act as an Air Superiority Fighter.

Mike


20 posted on 01/13/2005 11:37:10 PM PST by Vineyard
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To: zzen01
From everything I've read, this is a great airplane and no POS. The issue here is that we're fighting a war against shadowy terrorist groups and it's very unlikely that we will end up in a shooting war against a country with a real air force. So the need for F-22s is not that great; they're more of a special mission airplane we will use to attack defended targets as the F-117A stealth fighter does today.

Also, with all the new standoff missiles and smart bombs being deployed today, the JSF will be able to attack targets from 30-100 miles away and avoid the enemy's SAM missiles. Rummy knows what he's doing. We don't need 300 F-22's and I'll bet the final number ends up around 200. Look for the White House to throw a bone to F-22 supporters and bump the final number up to just over 200--I'll say 202 in the final budget. After all the White House doesn't want to seirously irritate Sen. Chambliss. He's a key political ally.

21 posted on 01/14/2005 12:35:50 AM PST by carl in alaska (Once a Chargers fan, always a Chargers fan....)
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To: zzen01
The USAF sold it's soul for this POS!

You've logged enough hours in one to know this?

22 posted on 01/14/2005 2:37:16 AM PST by pt17
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To: neverdem
Unfortunately, we need to replace aircraft as they are getting old and worn out.

Someone tell that to the Air Force. They're pricing themselves out of the market. The F/A-22 follows Augustine's Law to the nth degree.

(Augustine's Law is named for Norman Augustine, who plotted the constant-dollar cost of US Air Force aircraft from 1947 to 1977. If you extend his cost curve to 2054, the entire US defense budget will buy one airplane, which the services will have to take turns using.)

23 posted on 01/14/2005 3:45:56 AM PST by Poohbah (God must love fools. He makes so many of them...)
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To: GoldenOrchid

The Build some new and updated ones then!


24 posted on 01/14/2005 4:42:55 AM PST by zzen01
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To: pt17

Have you!? AND O by the way what line of work are YOU in?!


25 posted on 01/14/2005 4:43:48 AM PST by zzen01
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To: zzen01
Have you!? AND O by the way what line of work are YOU in?!

I'm not the one who's passing judgement, so it doesn't really matter, does it?

26 posted on 01/14/2005 4:54:48 AM PST by pt17
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To: neverdem

Billions and twenty years have been wasted on the Osprey. DOD should go back to the Kelly Johnson way of producing airplanes.


27 posted on 01/14/2005 4:59:33 AM PST by cynicom (<p)
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To: neverdem
Save the Hog!


28 posted on 01/14/2005 5:05:31 AM PST by Fierce Allegiance (MY COUSIN GREG IS HOME SAFE FROM IRAQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: cynicom

While your at it don't forget the A-12 program either!

You can't forget about the increased lifecycle costs of operating and maintaining older aircraft. It get's cancerous after awhile.

I saw an estimate which showed that the average age of military aircraft fleet(in terms of FLE) increased by six years during the Clinton years. Skipping a generation of aircraft only provides a temporary savings to the taxpayer.


It's now time to pay the piper....


29 posted on 01/14/2005 5:11:40 AM PST by Wristpin ( Varitek says to A-Rod: "We don't throw at .260 hitters.....")
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To: pt17

I work DIRECTLY in and with the Defense Industry. So I guess that I know more about this than you do.


30 posted on 01/14/2005 5:16:31 AM PST by zzen01
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To: Fierce Allegiance

nice pic...one of my favs as well...


to be honest, i think the time to call an end of a physical human presence in a plane is fast approaching. I would be far from an expert but from what i have read, one of the main restrictions to plane advancment is keeping the pilot concious. I believe a few companies have prototypes of remote and independent systems working. I would not be recommending we jump now but it is close to beginning. if you look at the cost of a drone over afghanistan, they are roughly 250K. Also, i believ it was a remote drone that fired the hellfire that nabbed one of Bin Ladens bad guys in Afghanisatan. You loose a drone, you slap a guy on the wrist for eating too many doritos in langley! (okay thats a bit of an exaggeration but you get my POV) I realise air superiority is key but as a previous writer said we need a diverse approach. We are looking more towards an integrated battlefield, one where your troops can request air support without delay and one where you dominate the sky and above. I think the expert pilots are needed..but i am becoming less and less convinced they need to be in the cockpit. Also since the pilot would not be physically in the plane, the size and range can be changed dramitically. this leads to a whole range of changes to smaller aircraft carriers with hundreds of planes on huge sorties, right down to battlefield launches by troops. i think this dinstinction between air force army and navy just doesnt fit well with me anymore. i think that has caused a lot of problems for the Hog for example...is it a plane or a flying tank? my answer would be ...i dont care if it works...and you see a marine in falluja smile up after calling in a stirke that makes his life easier...sounds like a good idea to me...nothing i would like more is to see a fleet of drones taking on an airforce where we are doing mach 9....and they are not. i think technology will make huge advances in this area...

just a viewpoint....i am sure there are many...i cannot remember the name of the test drone they have now..anyone remember??


31 posted on 01/14/2005 5:35:24 AM PST by Irishguy (How do ya LIKE THOSE APPLES!!!! HUH)
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To: neverdem
Early investigations into the Nevada accident ... point to problems with the airplane's software

Damn spyware and popups. The stuff's everywhere.

32 posted on 01/14/2005 5:41:59 AM PST by Condor51 (May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. - Gen G Patton)
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To: Irishguy

I am no Air force expert, but I do not like the idea of a UAV doing CAS. Sure, UAV's are great for recon and some ground attack roles, but CAS is too tricky with friendly's in close proximity.


33 posted on 01/14/2005 5:42:51 AM PST by Fierce Allegiance (MY COUSIN GREG IS HOME SAFE FROM IRAQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Irishguy
Also, i believ it was a remote drone that fired the hellfire that nabbed one of Bin Ladens bad guys in Afghanisatan. You loose a drone, you slap a guy on the wrist for eating too many doritos in langley!

My biggest nightmare scenario about UAVs is the possibility of an enemy hacking into the command channel. All of a sudden, all your planes have become HIS planes (and "all your base are belong to us!")

Secondary scenario (the "Battlestar Galactica" scenario, for those who saw the pilot episode) is an enemy agent infiltrating the software development team, and planting a bug that can be exploited in battle

34 posted on 01/14/2005 6:00:24 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (We are going to fight until hell freezes over and then we are going to fight on the ice)
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To: zzen01
I work DIRECTLY in and with the Defense Industry. So I guess that I know more about this than you

Well, since you don't know what I do or know, that statement is, at best, a bit presumptuous. I would recommend that you avoid guessing and/or not make judgements when you don't have all the facts.

35 posted on 01/14/2005 7:22:35 AM PST by pt17
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To: neverdem

With all the pork barrel and unconstitutional garbage the Feds spend money on, why are we cutting defense spending, one of the few things the Feds are supposed to spend money on?


36 posted on 01/14/2005 7:54:31 AM PST by jrp
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To: Shermy; neverdem
The apparent fact that we are stretched to the breaking point in Iraq suggests that, rather than looking for cuts in military spending, we should be expanding. One regional war should not have us forced to call up reserves and guard for extended and repeated deployments.

Since this article was about air forces, and not about the size of our infantry, this is a little off-topic. But I was struck by the fact that they are looking for cuts in aircraft carriers. Carriers are key to being able to project force into an area where we have no friends. You need them to be able to seize territory from which to base your Raptors and infantry. I love Rum, but he seems so determined to make his Clintonized military the best it can be that we seem to have given up on any thought of making it bigger.

I realize that the overall size of the budget is beyond his pay grade, of course, so he has to do what he can with what he has. The willingness to fund a larger military has to come from Congress and the President, and I don't see any such willingness. There are too many other pet projects to fund.

Mr. Sambur rejects the notion that the F/A-22 is a Cold War relic and instead calls it a vision of the future.

Something is a Cold War relic if you believe you will never have to confront a modern, industrial-power military force. If we can swear that we will only fight guerrillas, then we don't need Raptor. But our enemies deploy guerrillas because they dare not confront us openly. If we no longer have clear military superiority, if we no longer have clear air superiority, we will find ourselves confronted at that level.

37 posted on 01/14/2005 8:57:44 AM PST by marron
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To: neverdem

"The F/A-22 program will be cut," said Steven M. Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, a research group in Washington that favors transformation of the military into a more flexible force. "But how much precisely is hard to say. Everyone agrees it's a good plane to have. But do we need 300 of them?"

The F22/35 combo is precisely what we had with the F15/16 combo.

While the F35 is capable, it's NOT as capable as a F22. The F15 has the range, kinetic energy, and radar, which makes it the gorilla it is.

The F22 will have more power in engines and for radar while having a smaller yet RCS and greater performance with two dimensional thrust vectoring compared to the F35/JSF. The F22 is what the F15 once was, complete overmatch. A giant gas can with two huge engines strapped on to an all-powerful radar (APG63).

The idiots from the NYTs will be the first to proclaim Rumsfeld failed if in 10 years US fighter pilots are shot down by a highly capable threat like a SU35.

While the threat has gotten less and we don’t need a 1000 F22s, we nonetheless still face possible high intensity conflicts and an evolving enemy in capabilities. The JSF is NOT interchangeable with the Raptor. Their capabilities are different.

The same garbage was said about the F15 years ago when it was being bought. It's to expensive! It'overkill! Government waste! Hmmmm, 30 years and a 83:0 kill ratio later this stupid F15 wasn't such a waste after all.

Fact is, the NYTs complains about cost. If they build more F22s the cost per unit goes down. Right now the biggest enemy of the F22 is small scale production which pushes up the per unit price. Many fixed costs don't change whether you build 1 or 1000.

If you want dead US airmen, cancel the F22.

Red6


38 posted on 01/14/2005 9:23:31 AM PST by Red6
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To: zzen01
"The USAF sold it's soul for this POS! "

In that the F-22 is superior to any current design you have just called America's entire arsenal a POS.

If the Wright brothers had only consulted you we might of had a chance.

39 posted on 01/14/2005 9:38:32 AM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: marron

Rumsfeld was a lobbyist for the Star Wars, Part Deux lobby before 2001.

He himself made a statement about troop increases, diminishing them saying they'll take money from other programs.

It's not "just" Clinton, Bush II/Rum came into office looking for more troop cuts and blowing up the Star Wars budget.

Soldiers don't recycle part of their paychecks into campaign contributions. We need more feet, we won't get it.


40 posted on 01/14/2005 10:53:54 AM PST by Shermy
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To: Fierce Allegiance

I think though planned the Hog won't die even when JSF comes on line. This thing is just unmatched at CAS from its platform characteristics.

Even though the AF is starving funds for it and just recently upgraded from the Pave Penny (All the AF cares about is fighters), still has all steam gages, no high tech electronics/avionics, no major ECM type capabilities etc this machine is STILL awesome.

The AF tried killing the HOG after the fall of the wall, then came Desert Storm.

They wanted to kill it after desert storm and then came the Balkans.

After the Balkans they wanted to kill it and then came Afghanistan.

Of course, it was used in Iraq in 2003 as well.

The HOG can carry a lot, loiter a long time, sustain serious damage and the 30mm is a capable weapon. It’s obvious the AF sees the HOG as a bastard child though. They do as little as possible and LESS capable CAS platforms had lots of money pumped into them to increase their capabilities while the HOG (From it’s base design is more capable) is let in the dark and starved for funds and is let aging.

Despite all the theorizing and starving for funds, in the end this platform is from its concept in design extremely capable for CAS and I think the JSF will not be able to fill its shoes, despite what they say. The AF thinks strategic more than the Army. A bunch of fighter Jocks (Fighter mafia) who are generals leads them. The AF seems to loose perspective or not care for what is needed in the close in fight on ground. It’s all about fighters for them and the A10 is a victim of perceived priorities.

“Viva la HOG!” But that’s the typical answer you’ll hear from a ground pounder such as I.

Red6


41 posted on 01/14/2005 10:56:44 AM PST by Red6
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To: Irishguy; SauronOfMordor; Echo Talon; pt17; jrp; Red6; marron; Shermy; avg_freeper; All
Thank you for reminding me about flight medicine. Please check FLIGHT SURGEON'S GUIDE from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine and look in Chapter 4 about G-induced loss of consciousness. There's no point in buying aircraft with flight characteristics that exceed human tolerance.

IIRC, the UAV used a Hellfire to nail about 4 - 6 Al Qaeda guys in a vehicle in Yemen. We thought we saw Osama in Afghanistan with a UAV, but they had not yet been armed in the earlier versions.

42 posted on 01/14/2005 10:59:14 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Depending on load out, altitude etc the aircraft may only be able to achieve less than the maximum listed structural g limit. An aircraft may be rated at 9g but under certain instances can only push 7.5. The F22 will be able to do things at speeds where the F16 would get spanked.

A F15 can’t sustain some of the turns which it may do instantaneous. A F22 can turn and turn and turn while the other runs out of energy. No energy=dead.

More electricity=see further and jam better. TWO really big F**ing engines provide lots of power both for a fight (maneuver) and for a radar. One over Radius Squared.

Think of the F22 and F35 as a F15 and F16 with stealth respectively. (Conceptually)

No stealth=modern radar and air to air missiles see you really far and clear. Soon it will no longer be viable to fly with a 6square meter RCS (F4) frontal. There won't even be holes in the IADS where you can squeeze a conventional 4th GEN airframe through. You’ll get seen from far away, you’ll be shot at from far away. Finally, you’ll die stupid, never knowing you were even shot at.

But that’s just how I see it.

Red6


43 posted on 01/14/2005 11:24:35 AM PST by Red6
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To: marron

Sort of off the topic, but due to the down-sizing of our military, what we have left has to be more effective. I notice a lot of articles recently in the various media about Reserves and people who have left the Guard, some years ago, being recalled.

The training needed to put a pilot in a front line aircraft is considerably more than training someone to fly a drone. There is such a shortage of trained people that the services are forced to extend tours of duty as well as call up those whose service obligations are completed.

By having an aircraft such as the F-35 which is supposed to be able to do it all, less pilots would be needed as well as less overall aircraft. While I can see the logic of this arguement, what it means is that in order to save a little money, we are giving our troops less than the best to do their job with. I had hoped the unarmoured Humvee issue had taught the government a lesson.


44 posted on 01/14/2005 11:41:31 AM PST by Postal Worker with a gun (I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.....)
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To: Red6; Poohbah
From the first paragraph in the link of comment# 42:

INTRODUCTION

Aeromedical concern about the effects of acceleration has a long history. Concern was first stimulated during World War I when pilots complained of a loss of vision and consciousness during pullouts from dives in aerial combat. Interest in this area has continued until the present day, where the effects of sustained acceleration have become a major limiting factor in the operation of the newer generation fighter aircraft (F-15, F-16, F-18). Because of their high thrust-to-weight ratios and structural strength these aircraft are able to routinely fly in the 7 to 9 +Gz range for sustained periods. Future aircraft designs such as the advanced tactical fighter (ATF) will make it possible to fly in the 10 to 12 +Gz range if the human limitations to such operations can be overcome.

I'm a doc, not a flyboy. Could you translate or explain the following?

Soon it will no longer be viable to fly with a 6square meter RCS(radar cross section?) (F4) frontal(?). There won't even be holes in the IADS(improved air defense system?)where you can squeeze a conventional 4th GEN(eration?)airframe through.

Poohbah, any comments?

45 posted on 01/14/2005 11:58:39 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

(RCS) Radar Cross Section.

(IADS) Integrated Air Defense System.

4th Generation fighter. (Example F14, 15, 16, 18)

F4 phantom has a RCS somewhere around 6 square meters. A JSF will have LESS than 1/10 that.

A F16 with a GE power plant will whip a Pratt and Whitney at low flight. The Pratt will win at altitude. Both have similar thrust and both have the same airframe. There are differences in performance because of “how” thrust is developed, altitude, load out, instantaneous and sustained turning abilities, complexity in the wing design and what it can do to help turn, avionics which help turn the plane (F16/18)……. and much more influence how well a plane turns. These issues are WAY over simplified here. A F18 turns better than a F16 but both are rated at 9g. The key difference between the new and older planes is STEALTH. I don’t think any of these planes will seriously fly in a 12g range. But fact is a F16 in certain maneuvers will run out of speed, as it does so it must exchange altitude to keep up the pace. A plane like a Raptor has lots and lots of power. It is capable of enormous performance without afterburner. Sometimes you want performance but no afterburner. The plane can turn on a dime and SUSTAIN it. It has a reduced RCS and is capable of penetrating enemy air defense and is less vulnerable against capable radar AAMs.

But that’s just what I think.

Red6


46 posted on 01/14/2005 4:32:22 PM PST by Red6
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To: zzen01

Sounds like you work for the loser.


47 posted on 01/14/2005 4:46:59 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Pass Tort Reform Now! Make the bottom clean for the catfish!)
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To: Red6

Most of this Modern USAF Fighter Pilot Mentality can be laid at the Feet of Gen Merril McPeak.


48 posted on 01/14/2005 8:27:04 PM PST by zzen01
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To: Redleg Duke

And WHO do YOU work for?!


49 posted on 01/15/2005 12:06:29 PM PST by zzen01
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To: zzen01

Does it matter? I'll bet I have more military and industrial experience than you do. I can appreciate what the Raptor delivers from both perspectives.


50 posted on 01/15/2005 3:12:36 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Pass Tort Reform Now! Make the bottom clean for the catfish!)
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