Skip to comments.Saving The (F-22) Raptor
Posted on 06/22/2009 5:32:55 PM PDT by WhiteCastle
Defense: By a narrow margin, a House subcommittee has voted to keep open the F-22 Raptor production line. The future of American air dominance and the fate of the world's most capable fighter hang in the balance.On May 30, with North Korea huffing and puffing about nuclear war, the first of 12 high-tech U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter jets landed at Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. It was just days after North Korea unnerved the region by detonating a nuclear device. There were reasons the F-22 was deployed to Japan. The stealthy, radar-evading fighter jet is quite simply the best aircraft of its kind in the world. It can slice through enemy air defenses and clear the skies of enemy planes virtually undetected. So why aren't we building more than we have?
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I have personally talked to F-15 pilots who have faced the Raptor in training exercises. It is as much of an advance over previous technology as the monoplane was over the open cockpit biplane. There simply is no aircraft on earth that can match it. It is limited only by the amount of armament it can carry.
We decided to by GM instead
We can help keep the production line open by letting our close allies (UK, Japan, Australia) buy them.
The F-22 can't do what???
By Stephen Trimble on June 22, 2009 1:24 PM
Dave Majumdar's aerospace blog on examiner.com illuminates some stunning omissions in the US Air Force's upgrade plans for the Lockheed Martin F-22 fleet. My list of highlights from Dave's recent interview with the F-22 SPO:
1.The first 34 F-22s can not be upgraded with the Increment 3.1 air-to-ground and electronic attack and Increment 3.2 advanced air-to-air and networking upgrades.
2.The next batch of 63 F-22s will be upgraded to carry eight small diameter bombs, but they can only attack two targets at a time. These aircraft will never be able to fire high off bore sight missiles, which are swiftly becoming the standard for aerial combat.
3.The final batch of 91 aircraft are programmed to receive both the air-to-ground and advanced air-to-air hardware, but these do not include helmet-mounted cuing, also standard kit for latest-generation dogfighters.
This gets complicated:
Forward Fuselage and Empennage
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta, Ga. builds the forward fuselage of the F-22. It consists of the structure aft of the radar bulkhead, the cockpit area, nose wheel well, and F-1 fuel tank. It consists of approximately 3,000 parts made mostly of aluminum and composite materials. The forward fuselage also contains wiring harnesses, tubing, cockpit instrument fixtures, avionics racks, and canopy mounts.
The F-22’s forward fuselage is just over 17 feet long, slightly wider than five feet inches wide at its widest point, five feet, eight inches tall, and weighs roughly 1,700 pounds.
The mid fuselage is the largest and most complex of the F-22 assemblies. It is approximately 17 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 6 feet high, and weighs approximately 8,500 pounds as shipped.
The mid-fuselage is considered the heart of the F-22 as almost all systems pass through this section, including the hydraulic, electrical, environmental control, and auxiliary power systems, as well as the aircraft’s fuel. In addition, there are three fuel tanks, four internal weapons bays (the two side bays, and the two sections of the main weapons bay that is separated), the 20-mm cannon, and the auxiliary power unit (APU).
Mid fuselages of F-22 EMD aircraft are assembled in the north end of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas. Employees at the Fort Worth plant fabricate most of the composite parts and assemblies, tubes, and harnesses in the mid fuselage.
Boeing began major assembly of the aft fuselage for the world’s first F-22 in June 1996 at its Developmental Center in Seattle, Wash. Boeing began the process by loading the left-hand forward boom, a large component that contains fuel and carries structural loads, into the aft fuselage assembly fixture.
The F-22 aft fuselage houses the two Pratt & Whitney-built F119 engines that power the F-22. It also contains all or part of the aircraft’s environmental control system and fuel, electrical, hydraulic, and engine subsystems. The aft fuselage is designed to withstand supersonic speeds for extended periods of time and extremely ‘high-g’ maneuvers.
The aft fuselage is 67 percent titanium, 22 percent aluminum and 11 percent composite by weight. A completed aft fuselage weighs 5,000 pounds and measures 19 feet long by 12 feet wide.
Boeing began assembly of the left-hand wing for the first F-22 in January 1996 when machinists loaded wing attachment parts for external fuel tanks and weapons pylons into an assembly tool.
By weight, the Boeing-built portion of the wing is 42 percent titanium, 35 percent composite, and 23 percent aluminum, steel, and other materials in the form of fasteners, clips, and other miscellaneous parts. Each wing weighs approximately 2,000 pounds.
Final assembly operations for the new fighter will take place in the 3.5-million-square-foot B-1 building (which has been in near-continuous use since 1943) at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta. However, other things necessary for the F-22 specifically - such as composite parts fabrication, painting, radar cross section verification, ground-based engine runs, and flight operations - take place in nearly $31.5 million worth of facility improvements that have been completed or will soon be finished. Most of the facilities improvements are located near the company’s flight line.
Aw c'mon we're talking 0bama. Job one for him is to siphon off as much taxpayer dollars to his communist friends at ACORN and make certain Americans are slaves to the Democrat party and the government.
“The Japanese wanted to buy 200 F-22s to counter the North Korean and Chinese threats.”
This is a no brainer!!!
We also need to sell them to Australia and the UK.
He I say we sell them the F-35’s and B-2’s!!!
If we can keep some limited production going until 2012, and vote in a President with some common sense, perhaps then we can build to the originally planned total...or more.
A no brainer indeed.
The list, ping
We have to keep producing this jet, and selling it to the Japanese, Brits and Aussies is a no brainer!
Sure, after we've replaced (one-for-one), all Air Force and Air National Guard F-15s with F-22s.
So our F-15s have been getting pasted by F-22s, in air-combat excercises, that are dogs? Damn, just think how deadly they'll be if all the remaining bugs are worked out!
The only 5th gen fighter out there. My prediction months ago is about to come true. The F-22 production line will live on and on.
In the end, Gates will have little or no say in the disposition of F-22s. He won't be around long enough to make any difference.
And when is the F-35 to be in full production?