Skip to comments.The Air Force Seeks the F-22's Low-Tech Alternative (bring back the Mustang?)
Posted on 08/27/2009 7:17:59 AM PDT by markomalley
The Air Force spent years fighting to keep building the $350 million F-22 fighter, an airplane crammed with so much gee-whiz technology there's a law barring it from being sold to any other nation. But since no other nation is building such a plane to challenge it, the F-22 has become a costly investment with an uncertain payoff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates just killed it. That sent an unmistakable message to the two new top Air Force officials Gates recently appointed, and now the service is seeking 100 slower, lower-flying and far cheaper airplanes most likely prop-driven that it can use to kill insurgents today and use to train local pilots such as Afghans or Iraqis tomorrow.
The list of requirements for what the Air Force is calling its Light Attack Armed Reconnaissance plane is fairly basic, and harkens back to the Vietnam-era A-1 Skyraider. It must be capable of flying 900-mile missions at up to 200 miles per hour (compared with up to 1500 mph for the F-22), including at night and poor weather. It will carry guns and rockets, along with a pair of 500-pound bombs, according to an Air Force solicitation issued last month. It will have to fly to and from dirt airfields where the only ground support is fuel. The its two pilots will have warning systems for enemy radars and missiles, an armored cockpit and self-sealing fuel tanks and ejection seats if those protections fail. It should convert from an attack plane to a trainer by simply removing those weapons.
(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...
Wonder how a 200 mph plane would stand up to surface-to-air missiles? /sarc
...yawn. Gates is a twit.
Par for the course over at Slime magazine, though.
Bring back the A-10 Warthog!
I have no doubt there is a place in our military for prop driven planes but we should also have the cutting edge technology.
Anyone who thinks we should give enemies and potential enemies a level playing field is a moron.
That is a very strange (and non-responsive) demand you just made.
I was thinking that the A-10 would fit the requirements. Might need some avaionics upgrades but for the most part already designed, built, battle tested and capable.
Tooling is gone, but a follow on to it would be sweet, I have some ideas, but that is just back of the envelope armchair aero-design and unfortunately may not go anywhere..
It is quite a machine.
Did the A-10 go anywhere?
Gotta love the A-10.
You can't. They closed Republic in 84. The people who designed and built it were dumped on the street. Actually, most of them retired to Florida. Nice, huh?
Bring back the Sandy in any case. That's what they're looking for.
"Cruise speed: 300 knots (340 mph, 560 km/h)"
That’s what I was thinking. Just fire up the production lines for the A-10. Problem solved.
Oh yeah. No problem. Let's see....
The factory is a crumbling hulk in Bethpage, gone for 25 years...
The tooling, the mylars, the analysis, everything, gone gone gone (well, Northrop and the AF have the docs, allegedly)
And the people, who are absolutely the most important component, cuz they know where the bodies are buried in the design...dumped. Gone. Dead (really).
Good luck. Seeya in 5 years. And that's just to start up.
(clears throat, raises hand) "How about the new MIG-35?"
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.