Skip to comments.Dogfight Over the F-22: Protecting Jobs or the Nation?
Posted on 07/15/2009 11:49:05 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
Supporters of building more F-22 fighters have their backs against the wall. The President, the Secretary of Defense, the Air Force leadership and the Senate's top military experts have all declared that the U.S. needs no more than the 187 of the $350 million fighters it has already bought. So the F-22's backers are changing their tactics in demanding more planes, relying on arguments from second-tier officers, citing imaginary threats and introducing the most potent argument of all these days: preserving 25,000 well-paying jobs.
Chambliss also sought a letter of support from the chief of the Air National Guard, who praised the F-22's "unique" capabilities and said its deployment with his reserve forces "is the most responsible approach to satisfying all of our nation's needs." Of course, the U.S. military has never been able to satisfy all of the nation's needs. Assembling a military is a balancing act, where threats are ranked and priorities set so that most of the available money is channeled toward countering the most likely threats. But so long as generals backed by lawmakers see it as their job to satisfy "all of the nation's needs," the taxpayers will continue buying unbelievably costly weapons to protect us from unbelievably minuscule threats.
(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...
More articles here.
No, I think the Pentagon would rather go with this rather than the F-22:
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LOL! very true.
Yup, we don’t need more air superiority fighters. We have the best the world has or ever will see. Ignore the declining rates of US citizens who graduate from our engineering colleges. Ignore our cratering manufacturing base. We’re the best, so why spend more money on maintainung production and upkeep facilities? It’s just a waste of money. Besides, if the EVIL USA lets other nations catch up, they won’t feel as threatened, and we’ll all be safer.
/ALL HEAVY SARC
Estimates for the fighter jet range from as little as $132 million to as much as $312 million. So far, the Air Force has invested as much as $28 billion in the Raptor's research, development and testing. That money, referred to as a "sunk cost," is already spent and is separate from money used for future decision-making, including procuring a copy of the jet.
By the time all 183 jets have been purchased, around $28 billion will have been spent on research and development. An additional $34 billion will have been spent on actually procuring the aircraft. That's about $62 billion for the total program cost. Divided out, that's comes to about $338 million per aircraft.
But the reality is, if the Air Force wanted to buy just one more jet, it would cost the taxpayer less than half that amount. The current cost for a single copy of an F-22 stands at about $137 million. And that number has dropped by 23 percent since Lot 3 procurement, General Lewis said.
"The cost of the airplane is going down," he said. "And the next 100 aircraft, if I am allowed to buy another 100 aircraft ... the average fly-away cost would be $116 million per airplane."
Maybe because this thread is about the F-22, not the F-35.
Our government has no mandate if it cannot defend us.
I posted your link. The question remains.
That is one great photo.
Are Russian bombers known to fly over Alaska often?
Meanwhile, let's discuss the procurement of more F-22's -- several hundred more, or maybe a thousand. Earlier in the thread
U.S. Sir Force DFifth Generation Fighter: The F22A Raptor Requirements Retreat
I posted the following:
Each State Air Guard unit needs at least one squadron (18 fighters per squadron). Several coastal States should have a full wing (3 squadrons): Alaska, California, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Hawaii, the Dakotas and Maine. Some pacifist New England States probably may not want any. So figure at least one thousand fighters to cover threats from north, west, south and east.
You like dead pilots and destroyed us aircraft?
Explain that. Are you saying that State Air Guard units can't become competent to fly and maintain the F-22? Both Alaska and Virginia Air National Guard units have F-22's. Other Air National Guard units, such as Oregon, wants F-22's.
You want to kill the planes.
"He added that he and other fighter wing commanders in California, Florida and Massachusetts are working to convince Air Force officials and members of congress that the "four corners" of the United States could use the F-22s. Under this plan, 96 F-22s would be divided amongst the four states."
They also should station a 24 aircraft strong F-22 wing at Loring AFB in Maine (I was stationed there when it was a SAC base). That base should be recommissioned for air defense and refueling purposes (with new tankers).
They didn't for the last eight years -- until 0bama became President.
Are Russian bombers known to fly over Alaska often?
They didn’t for the last eight years — until 0bama became President.
Personally, I want a couple of thousand of each. If welfare recipients have to go without, so be it.
Ha. That's about sums it up.
Unfortunately, any money has to come out of the relatively paltry sum King Obama decrees fro Defense, which is now hovering at about 2.3% of GDP, and falling.
You didn't think he would take the money out of his giveaways for "free" mortgages and health care, did you?
Air Force Association Responds to WP F-22 Article
F-16.net ^ | July 14, 2009 | Eric L. Palmer
Posted on July 14, 2009 12:09:19 AM EDT by Jet Jaguar
Below is the Air Force Association response to a recent Washington Post article that was highly critical of the F-22 program.
Just as important; if a supposedly renown paper like the Washington Post gets so much wrong on this topic, what else are they misreporting?
Assertion: F-22 maintenance man-hours per flying hour have increased, recently requiring more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour airborne.
Facts: The F-22 is required to achieve 12.0 direct maintenance man-hours per flight hour (DMMH/FH) at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. In 2008 the F-22 achieved 18.1 DMMH/FH which then improved to 10.5 DMMH/FH in 2009. Its important to recognize this metric is to be met at system maturity, which is projected to occur in late 2010. So the F-22 is better than the requirement well before maturity.
Assertion: The airplane is proving very expensive to operate with a cost per flying hour far higher than for the warplane it replaces, the F-15.
Facts: USAF data shows that in 2008 the F-22 costs $44K per flying hour and the F-15 costs $30K per flying hour. But it is important to recognize the F-22 flight hour costs include base standup and other one-time costs associated with deploying a new weapon system. The F-15 is mature and does not have these same non-recurring costs. A more valid comparison is variable cost per flying hour, which for the F-22 in 2008 was $19K while for the F-15 was $17K.
Assertion: The aircraft’s radar-absorbing metallic skin is the principal cause of its maintenance troubles, with unexpected shortcomings.
Fact: Stealth is a breakthrough system capability and it requires regular maintenance, just like electronics or hydraulics. The skin of the F-22 is a part of the stealth capability and it requires routine maintenance. About one-third of the F-22s current maintenance activity is associated with the stealth system, including the skin. It is important to recognize the F-22 currently meets or exceeds its maintenance requirements, and the operational capability of the F-22 is outstanding, in part due to its stealth system.
Assertion: The F-22 is vulnerable to rain and other elements due to its stealthy skin.
Facts: The F-22 is an all-weather fighter and rain is not an issue. The F-22 is currently based and operating in the harshest climates in the world ranging from the desert in Nevada and California, to extreme cold in Alaska, and rain/humidity in Florida, Okinawa and Guam. In all of these environments the F-22 has performed extremely well.
Assertion: We’re not seeing the mission capable rates expected and key maintenance trends for the F-22 have been negative in recent years.
Facts: The mission capable (MC) rate has improved from 62% in 2004 to 68% percent in 2009. And it continues to improve, the current MC Rate in the F-22 fleet is 70% fleet wide.
Assertion: The F-22 can only fly an average of 1.7 hours before it gets a critical failure that jeopardizes success of the aircraft’s mission.
Facts: Reliability is measured by Mean Time Between Maintenance (MTBM). One of the F-22 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) is to have an MTBM of 3.0 hours at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. Through 2008, F-22s averaged 2.0 hours MTBM while the fleet has accumulated 50,000 flight hours. The F-22 is on-track to meet or exceed 3.0 hours of MTBM at system maturity, projected to occur in late 2010, and the latest delivered F-22s, known as Lot 6 jets, are exhibiting an MTBM of 3.2 hours.
Assertion: The plane’s million-dollar radar-absorbing canopy delaminates and loses its strength and finish.
Facts: The F-22 canopy balances multiple requirements: mechanical strength, environmental resistance, optical clarity and other requirements. Initial designs for the canopy did not achieve the full life expectancy of 800 hours. The canopy has been redesigned and currently two companies are producing qualified canopy transparencies that meet full service life durability of 800 hours.
Assertion: The F-22 has significant structural design problems that forced expensive retrofits to the airframe.
Facts: The F-22 had a series of structural models that were tested throughout its development in a building block manner. Lockheed Martin completed static and fatigue testing in 2005 on two early production representative airframes. The results of those tests required upgrades to the airframe in a few highly stressed locations. Follow up component level testing was completed and structural redesigns were verified and implemented into the production line. For aircraft that were delivered prior to design change implementation, structural retrofit repairs are being implemented by a funded program called the F-22 Structural Retrofit Program. Structural reinforcements are common during the life of all fighters and have occurred, or are occurring, on the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18.
Assertion: The F-22 has a significant design flaw in the fuel flow system that forced expensive retrofits to the airframe.
Facts: The F-22 fuel system has not required redesign. Similar to other aircraft, the systems on the F-22 are continually being enhanced by a reliability and maintainability improvement program. For example, early fuel pumps turned out to not be as reliable as desired and have subsequently been replaced by more reliable pumps.
Assertion: Follow-on operational tests in 2007 raised operational suitability issues and noted that the airplane still does not meet most of its KPPs.
Facts: The F-22 has 11 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs). The F-22 exceeds 5 KPPs (Radar Cross Section, Supercruise, Acceleration, Flight Radius, and Radar Detection Range). The F-22 meets 4 KPPs (Maneuverability, Payload, Sortie Generation and Interoperability). The remaining 2 KPPs are sustainment metrics (MTBM and C-17 Loads) that are to be evaluated at weapon system maturity — which is defined as 100,000 total flight hours and is projected to occur in late 2010. These two sustainment metrics are on-track to be met at 100,000 flight hours.
Assertion: The F-22 costs $350M per aircraft.
Facts: The F-22s currently being delivered have a flyaway cost of $142.6M each, which is the cost to build and deliver each aircraft. This number does not include the costs for research and development (that were incurred since 1991), military construction to house the aircraft, or operations and maintenance costs.
Assertion: The F-22 needs $8 billion of improvements in order to operate properly.
Facts: Similar to every other fighter in the U.S. inventory, there is a plan to regularly incorporate upgrades into the F-22. F-22s in their current configuration are able to dominate todays battlefield and future upgrades are planned to ensure the F-22 remains the world’s most dominant fighter. F-22 Increment 3.1, which will begin entering the field in late 2010, adds synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode in the APG-77 radar, and a capability to employ small diameter bomb (SDB). Increment 3.1 is in flight test today at Edwards AFB, CA. Increment 3.2 is being planned and will add AIM-120D and AIM-9X weapons along with additional capabilities.
Assertion: F-22 production uses a shim line and national spreading of suppliers has cut quality, thus the F-22 lacks interchangeable parts.
Fact: The F-22 does not have a shim line. During the earliest stages of production while tooling was undergoing development, there were a few aircraft with slight differences which were subsequently modified. The F-22 supplier base is the best in the industry, as demonstrated by the aircrafts high quality and operational performance. All operational F-22s today have interchangeable parts.
Assertion: The F-22 has never been flown over Iraq or Afghanistan.
Facts: The F-22 was declared operational in 2005, after air dominance was achieved in South West Asian Theater of conflict. Due to the absence of air-to-air or surface-to-air threats in these two theaters, stealthy air dominance assets were not an imperative. 4th generation fighters operate safely and effectively supporting the ground war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The best weapon may be the one that isnt used but instead deters a conflict before it begins. Just as we have Trident submarines with nuclear weapons, and intercontinental ballistic missiles that were not used in the current conflicts, we need air superiority capabilities that provide deterrence. The F-22 provides those capabilities for todays contingencies as well as for future conflict. It is important to remember that the F-15 was operational for 15 years before it was first used in combat by the USAF.
Folks, it is this simple.
We depend on air superiority for the success of our armed forces. For our ground troops, our ships at sea, and nearly every single thing you can relate to.
We have been spoiled, because we have had adults in charge most of the time who understood this necessity, and worked towards maintaining it. We have had air superiority in every single engagement of any kind from the end of WWII up until today.
If we do not maintain control of the skies and cede that to our next enemy, we will see American blood shed in ways we have not seen since WWII.
We won’t be able to supply and transport our troops by air. Helicopters are sitting ducks for the enemy if they control the air. We won’t even be able to medevac.
Our supply columns will be destroyed, as will our tank formations. Our ships at sea will suffer the same fate.
In the same way that nearly the entire food chain from livestock down to corn is dependent on water, military power is dependent on air power. Without it, you cannot have and project military power.
It is really that simple, and it is why we must buy more F-22s and F-35’s. But we know that isn’t going to happen, the same way we know that transiting this economic and leadership crisis unscathed isn’t going to happen.
Thanx for the info-shoots down the WaPosts obviously biased and misleading article.The F-22 is technologically years ahead of the competition,and it’s not unusual for new systems to undergo tweeks and upgrades after deployment.Is the F-22 expensive?Yes-but worth every penny.
Ah shucks. I had hoped it too was 0bama’s fault.
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