Skip to comments.Big-ticket F-22 Raptor jet fighter has never seen battle
Posted on 08/14/2011 11:58:36 AM PDT by skeptoid
It's the most expensive fighter jet ever built. Yet the F-22 Raptor has never seen a day of combat, and its future is clouded by a government safety investigation that has grounded the jet for months. The fleet of 158 F-22s, including those in Alaska, has been sidelined since May 3 after more than a dozen incidents in which oxygen was cut off to pilots, making them woozy. The malfunction is suspected of contributing to at least one fatal accident, in Alaska. At an estimated cost of $412 million each, the F-22s amount to about $65 billion sitting on the tarmac. The grounding is the latest dark chapter for an aircraft plagued by problems and whose need was called into question even before its first test flight.
(Excerpt) Read more at adn.com ...
. . .and there's this gem:
Corrosion has also been an issue with the plane's radar-evading skin, which, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said, is "difficult to manage and maintain, requiring nearly twice the number of maintenance personnel as anticipated."
The plane takes about 3,000 people to maintain, the Air Force said. The service calculated that for every hour in the air, the F-22 spends 45 hours undergoing maintenance.
The best plane possible made with parts manufactured in China. . . .. oops
We have been killing people with OBOGS for years. I knew a guy that got killed in a hornet from it. I know another guy that almost got killed by it. In order to avoid the hazards of handling liquid oxygen, it was replaced with a system that has little or no warning when it goes bad and starts pumping poison gas into the mask.
How many man-hours of maintenance go into each hour Ozero appears in front of a teleprompter?
(Also, which of the two is more valuable to national security?)
Damn I thought William Proxmire was dead. Proxmire never met a weapons system he liked. For an example he hated the F-14 Tomcat and listed all the problems he possibly could to show that it was a waste of money.
It was not a waste of money, just as the F-22 is not a waste of money.
In July 2011 the investigators began to suspect a second scenario in which the pilots were poisoned by carbon monoxide generated in the fighter's engines, while warming the plane up inside the hangars. F-22 pilots have been tested and found to have also inhaled other chemicals from the OBOGS, including oil fumes and propane.
I can’t address the rest of the statements in the article, but I can tell you flat out that the headline itself is false... The YF-22 and the YF-23 were both tested years ago in the sandbox, before the decision as to which one would “make the cut” was made. The YF-22 was chosen... I can’t say if it was a mistake or not, but the headline is indeed wrong.
You don’t show your cards until your opponent calls you. You want to see the F22 in combat, put your money on the table.
First off, 45 man-hours of maintenance per hour of flight time is pretty good. F-18's require 18-20 man-hours, and they're not useful for getting into heavily-defended airspace. Second, a fleet of 158 aircraft is definitely going to require thousands of maintenance people. This paper is definitely fishwrap at best.
Corrosion is a big issue; it wasnt addressed properly during design. Plus the aircraft is just too dang expensive. Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.
It is a little left-leaning alright, but in this instance, the story originated at the Los Angeles Times (according to the byline at the source.
I am pretty sure that is 45 maintenance man hours...
Though a lot, many of those people are working at the same time, so the availability of the plane is much better than 1/45th
Kelly Johnson ain’t here no mo!
I was thinking the 3,000-man maintainence group referred to the number of personel required at a Raptor base regardless of the number of assigned a/c.
Also, while looking for more info, I came across this:
Are those in fact HUGE ten bladed ceiling fans in the overhead?
The Sherman and the Tiger had the same range. The F-22 has superior range in the sense that it can see (on a radar screen) and hit the enemy before the enemy even knows it's there. The analogy is between having a pistol and having a knife. This is why defense establishments worldwide are spending so much money trying to catch up - being able to eliminate the enemy before he even sees you is a war winner.
Or just maybe ‘battle’ has not seen the F-22.
(yes the name is legit)
Pardon my french:
Be careful when you ‘google’ Big A%% Fans.....
“Plus the aircraft is just too dang expensive. Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.”
Yes we should learn from history. Remember the cold war? Where we had fewer weapons but they were much better.
My 357 hasn’t killed a man yet but I have no doubt it will work as advertised when called upon
Do the geniuses at the Anchorage Daily Rag want there to be more combat, or do they just want us to risk our best assets on it, whether they're needed or not?
The LA Times is way more left-wing than the NY Times. Weirdly enough, it used to be more conservative, but those days are long gone, thanks to massive immigration (into CA) from the liberal states, as well as from abroad.
Mostly Chicago Bears sites?
Never had seen a 24-foot Powerfoil X before!
I see there's an official BigAssFans Whoopee Cushion available.
Quite an engineer.
“Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.”
Poor analogy. The Tiger was designed as an offensive strike weapon and had kill ratios of greater than 10:1 in that capacity. The defensive nature of its combat with Shermans was a use it was not designed for.
The Cold War; we never went into battle, we just outspent the enemy.
Plus.. the countermeasures are cheaper.
The pols were also against the F-15 and the F-16.
They wagged their tongues how the venerable F-4 was good enough for future wars and we could just push the development of any new fighters into the "future."
They nearly killed the B-1 until Reagan pushed it through and even then they only built 100. It was a great nuclear capable bomber and has even been admirable in a conventional form. We should have built more of them.
“The service calculated that for every hour in the air, the F-22 spends 45 hours undergoing maintenance.”
I’m guessing much of that is maintaining the RCS. It takes a lot of work....
Wow!So what.The F-22 has never seen battle.Maybe we should start a war to try out our new toys.These People are out of their minds.Every new Aircraft or ship or weapons system has had troubles in the development stage even well after it went into production.
The history of military equipment development in the U.S. is loaded with such incidents.
The Air Force will determine what the Problem is with the Life Support systems and they will be repaired.
wrong on both counts
Okay. Count me as someone who sees this title as fatuous, as it implies that the F-22 isn't worth having because it has never seen combat. The nuclear missile submarine had never seen combat, but it was damn sure worthwhile during the Cold War. The M1 Abrams had never seen combat for eleven years after deployment, likewise the Tomcat for about fifteen years.
When we get into a shooting war with an opponent who really wants to go toe to toe with us to contest something, and has capable aircraft in large numbers, there will be a lot of hand-wringing and wailing on why our kill ratio is only about one-to-one or two-to-one, and we get attrited to the point our troops on the ground are left with no air cover.
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 wont be able to supply and transport our troops by air. Helicopters are sitting ducks for the enemy if they control the air. We wont even be able to medieval.
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.
So, this stuff is going to get cut. And when the rules of war have to be re-learned and re-written with NEW American blood, people will be looking for scapegoats, as to why we sent our troops into combat without the tools to get the job done. And none of the people responsible, those that made the cuts in the government, and those that agitated for it (including many here on Free Republic), and those dickweeds who wrote this article will be nowhere to be found.
As a matter of fact, those dickweeds that wrote this article will be the ones who are screeching the loudest about the situation when Americans die.
The fleet of 158 F-22s... has been sidelined since May 3 after more than a dozen incidents in which oxygen was cut off to pilots... suspected of contributing to at least one fatal accident... $412 million each, the F-22s amount to about $65 billion sitting on the tarmac.
DAMNED auto spell checking.
Geez. Remember the handwringing about the Abrams? They said it would never work, that it would be a disaster, that the desert would destroy and degrade its capabilities.
Funny. You NEVER HEARD ANOTHER PEEP FROM A SINGLE DAMNED ONE OF THEM after Desert Storm.
“At an estimated cost of $412 million each, the F-22s amount to about $65 billion sitting on the tarmac.”
This is somewhat misleading. Since the buy was cut from 650 planes to 158, the sunk engineering costs are only spread across that many, and are counted into that price. The real cost to build a new F-22 is around $150 million per plane. The F-35 is rapidly catching up in price, and is a much less capable airframe.
The F-22 is a great plane, other than the issues cited. It’s hard to understand why we’re having trouble building reliable breathing systems in 2011. As to the coatings problem, it seems to me that the way to go might be to put on a thin protective coat, as long as it can be removed easily and quickly. Maintain a few frontline planes at full levels, and seal the others to preserve the stealth coating and avoid maintenance costs.
As to the “haven’t seen combat issue”, we could always send them to bomb a few camel jockeys. That’s the only combat role the super hi-tech B-2 bombers have seen...all 19 of them that we have left.
Don’t worry, sooner or later we’ll be up against a first-tier opponent and the F-22s will prove their worth.
I also have a very strong hunch there are lots of untried ways to cut costs while maintaining the force.
I don’t disagree with that statement at all. The procurement process is a huge millstone around the neck of military spending.
I don’t know about current man-hour rates, perhaps a little perspective is in order. In a former life I flew SH-2F’s, we had older H-2’s, in fact one had a BUNO beginning in 139. Our average was in the 40-50 man hour range, they were old and tired and required significant maintenance. H-53’s during that time had similar numbers even though they were considerably bigger. As an aside, there was a saying in Marine H-46 squadrons that when you add 4 H-53’s for a cruise you double your maintenance. The idea with new aircraft is to get lower cost of ownership with a lower man hour rate. If this is true of the F-22, that is not good.
... and probably never will.
To me, it boils down to this: Strength and resolve deter aggression, while weakness and indecision invites it.
10 Abrams tanks would destroy 500 Sherman tanks in short order.
I'm sure a few are still classified...
Yep, and the Tiger had at least a 10-1 kill ratio over the Sherman. If you were driving a Sherman or part of the crew you spent every moment avoiding Tigers. YOU HAD NO CHANCE.
The cost of these aircraft are NOT the issue.
Over the life of these aircraft we will spend a hundred times their cost in maintenance, fuel and manpower. The platform itself is cheap.
I had the privilege and opportunity to spend several hours with a recently retired Air Force pilot. He had 28 years in (USMC, Air Force and ANG) and retired in protest over the recent homosexuality issues in the military.
When I visited him, he had on his wall about every plaque and certificate you could imagine that could be bestowed on a fighter pilot. Top Gun school, you name it. He had extensive combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said had flown everything in the inventory from A-4 Skyhawks to the F-15 (Mostly F-18 and F-16) but not the F-22.
When I asked him if he had ever flown against F-22's, and if so, what was it like, he looked at me and said:
"Flying against the F-22 was like being a baby seal."
This guy was, from all accounts, Sierra Hotel as a fighter pilot, and he said that not only was it not even close to being close, but "Any pilot not flying an F-22 who tells you he waxed an F-22 is simply full of crap."
A Tiger would be toast against an Abrams. The cost is worth it, if the end product is superior.
That says it all... thanks