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Jul 12, 2011

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Henry J Cobb

Turns out the problem isn't too different from running your car engine while the garage door is closed.

Chris

Problem with the F-22 is price. Everything else with be ironed out and even when the Russian and Chinese products eventually come on line they will be outclassed by this. Its not only the aircraft the computing & weapons systems are superior. Price will be its undoing - I suspect numbers will be cut soon, the F15SE might even replace till the F-35 comes online. defenece spending has to brought in and UAVs, Special forces and ops will always take priority these days.

Henry J Cobb

This article is missing a rather important point.

Even if the F-22 were flying today, it still would not be useful because it is missing many modern functions found in those 4th generation aircraft, like the ability to share data with other platforms, IR/laser capabilities, SAR, etc.

So there's like another five to seven billion dollars to pay to upgrade the Raptors to the level needed for modern combat.

Compare with the Super Hornet which went from concept to combat within its budget and timeframe and does all of that already.

Dfens

The F-22 is "cutting edge"? That's a laugh. The damn program started back in 1984. It was trailing edge before it ever flew, as evidinced by the fact that the very first sustainment program once the F-22 entered full rate production was an avionics upgrade to replace obsolete hardware. And by the way, the F-22 is grounded. It is not limited in its flight envelope. It's limited to not getting OFF THE GROUND. What part of that do you people not understand?

Personally, I'd like to see the USAF go a whole different direction with stealth. To date, they've used stealth coatings as an excuse for our new fighters and bombers to cruise at subsonic speeds both to and from targets. The F-22 is capable of supersonic speeds, but only in short bursts despite the rhetoric about "super cruise" which that design never actually achieved due to supersonic drag levels that are far too high.

I'd like to see the USAF go to vehicles capable of Mach 3+ that use shape stealth only, using mainly metallic structures and abandoning the over priced composites and unreliable as well as expensive stealth coatings. These aircraft would be both cheaper and more robust. They would provide better protection to their pilots from enemy fire and provide more jobs to the suffering US machine shop industrial base. No country was ever capable of shooting down the SR-71, so since it was not a cash cow for Lockheed Martin, it was retired in favor of the U-2 that experiences constant upgrades to stay out of the reach of enemy defenses. It's time for our defense strategy to revolve around what makes sense for the US taxpayer instead of what provides the best return to the defense industry.

CanuckDriver

Yes, the F22 is a complex aircraft and is "cutting edge" in many of its design features, despite the moronic delays imposed by the Clinton administration and the wrong-headed moves by Gates and Obama.

Anytime you have a very advanced anything, there will be teething troubles. I don't care if it is a computer, a radar set, a car or a plane. Technological advancement involves uncertainties. These take time to correct.

Remember, the first operational squadron of F22s only got going in late 2007. This aircraft is really just now starting to be given the only tests that really matter -- service use. All the previous testing involved "test cases" thought up by engineers and test pilots. Now, they are actually using them, the remaining bugs are going to show up. That is normal.

If you can point at ANY aircraft that was "cutting edge" at its introduction that did not have "teething troubles" for at least 5 years, I will be surprised indeed.

Is it expensive? In straight dollar terms, yes. When you factor in capabilities, not so much.

therealJohnSmith

The only thing really wrong with the F-22 is that neither the Brits nor Europeans built it and they know that their 4.5 generation "superfighters" can't compete. Therefore, any normal problems with it - and all aircraft have problems - all normal problems with the Raptor are hysterically seen by Europeans as proof that the F-22 is unworkable, etc. This from a continient whose stars, such as Typhoon, have only recently been given the ability to do what a Sopwith Camel could do in 1918: drop a bomb from a non-stealthy aircraft...whinning about American equipment doesn't make Typhoon and Rafale state of the art.

Brueschke

I live within two miles of Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson and if the F-22 is "stood down" or "grounded", then there are a lot of sorties of F-22 breaking the rules. I've seen three pairs of them this morning over head.

My understanding is that they are currently restricted from -.1 to -.3 G at altitudes where the pilots have to be on OBOGS because thats the envelope where the system fails. It works above -.1G and at below -.3 G and it has something to do with a valve in the OBOGS.

The Alaska F-22 fleet was very active during the recent Northern Edge '11 and while where was a lag in operations back in March for a radar and software upgrade, they've been flying since April.

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