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Dec 22, 2004

Comments

sean

i am reading rubbish about not needing the f22 what are you smoking not only do we need it we need four times as many as are being funded as for the war on terroism where have people been it's nothing more than a catchphrase the bush administration invented to justify the lunatic war? in iraq i'm a gulf war vet so i know the difference between war and the anarchy in which our forces are in today it amazes me how ignorance can make a patriot unknowingly go against the best interest of one's nation our nation has poured trillons of dollars into the cesspool that is iraq with little public outcry yet these same citizens rail against spending the one or two hundred billion dollars needed to sustain our military in the dominant form of the 1980s us americans pride ourselves on individuality and freedom of thought yet from some of these comments many americans are very gullible and nearly incapable of rational thought i no longer have to wonder how bush got elected twice some of those morons are amongst us now

Tom

The F-15 may not be as maneuverable as the SU-30 but it is faster. I would like to see upgraded F-15's in conjunction with some F-22's.

Von Sudderth

The F/A-22 is a vital component in the force transformation of the Air Force. Understand that Sukhoi SU-30 and other aircraft in this family have the thrust vectoring ability and agility to out perform the current aircraft in the inventory of Western countries. The Sukhoi is being sold to China, India and others in number and the company has allowed manufacturing in China. If we do not step up the pace in getting the F/A-22 and the Joint Strike Fighter fielded now we are looking at a shift in strategic air dominance and that dominance will be with forces that have designs on changing the world structure as we know it. Yes, there is a war on terrorism. But, we have to look to the future to maintain dominance. The F/A-22 is that aircraft that has the ability to project force with a small force structure that will allow for superiority in air dominance. The aircraft out performs anything other aircraft in the world and has supercruise ability that allows for supersonic flight without the use of afterburners. The F/A-22 can out run and out pace all friendly and un-friendly aircraft in the world inventory. We have the need for this aircraft now and for the next fifty years.

chucky

I believe the acquisition of the F-22 is a necessity for several reasons. To start with people will often argue that the F-15 and 16 are still the most capable fighters out there. I believe this is true. One of the reasons this is true is the fact that these weapon systems are continually being upgraded thus making them more capable than the day they rolled of the assembly line. But one must not forget that these 20 to 30 year old airframes have either reached or exceeded their design structural life. F-15C model aircraft are now on a speed restriction due to a fatal high speed test over the gulf of Mexico where the aircraft simply disentegrated. F-16's have H shaped plates on the dorsal spine between the cockpit and vertical tail to help strengthen the airframe due to the number of flight hours these aircraft have flown. It would not surprise me if most of the critics of the Raptor program drove around in cars 6 years old or less. I bring this up because most people who have owned cars past 8 to 12 years understand that at some point in the life span of a mechanical device it begins to incur higher maintenance costs. Aircraft, very complex mechanical devices, are no different. Plus one other point is most cars which people put their trust and safety,some people value the safety part very much, do not endure 9g turns or travel at high rates of speed.
My next point deals with the new and emerging threats both Aircraft and newer generation Surface to Air Missiles or SAM's. I believe the higher of the two threats are sam's. Critics will often argue that if we by upgrades for older aircraft they will be able to survive in high threat environments. I am here to tell you that if we ever go to war with a country with double digit SAM systems such as the SA-10,11,12, and 20 F-15 and 16 will be shot down and in large numbers because these aircraft do not have the capabilities to penetrate these air defenses. this is one to the main reasons for the F-22's stealth capabilies. Another argument is that we train our pilots better and give them more flight hours of training time. this is not totally true. Because the average training hours that our air force fighter pilots are recieving is about 250 hours, India gives their pilots on average 300 hours. The Indian air force has adopted western tactics and recieves training from british and israeli pilots. Also the SU-30 MKI is a very capable airframe. Other air forces are trying to become better than ours and the indians are leading the way and doing a very good job.
There is an adage that says the cheapest war is the war never fought. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes the way to avoid war is to have such impressive military might that nobody chooses to challenge you. But human nature always proves if two big kids live in a neighborhood there is the probability that one will try to prove that he is bigger and stronger. When this occurs action must be swift decisive. I believe the F-22(I dont agree with calling it F/A because the F-16 is an excellent multirole fighter and it doesnt need the "A")gives the United States this capability.This is why it was designed and this is why we need it, along with many other important programs some of which the army needs and have been unfortunately cut. I blame congress(my 2cents worth of propaganda).

R

The F-22 ("/A" intentionally omitted) is an extremely capable fighter, but today's money is better spent in relation to the threats we face in the near future. Our F-15 and F-16s still outmatch any Russian, Chinese, or Indian threats especially when used in conjunction with our usual strike package support assets. The exercise in India was not a true indication of our abilities, and the publicity was well-timed considering the current F-22 procurement decisions. The Su-35 and the Bison have their strengths but nothing too cosmic.
Selected avionics upgrades cost far less than a brand new jet, and they can add a lot to the fight. Most of the newer avionics can get a software update to keep pace with new developments. A 30-year old Eagle will do just fine in a high-threat environment with 1-year old avionics. And don't forget the value of training. If we can't afford the best training then we are certainly going to suffer no matter how good our equipment is.
Bottom line - keep the Raptor alive in small numbers for now. Develop tactics, work out the bugs (and there will be plenty), and retain the ability to increase production when the time comes. Spend the money on some new Eagles/Vipers, buy some new gadgets for them, and put the rest where we really need it - which is a different discussion altogether.


The author of the comment that the U.S. does not need the F/A-22 has obviously never seen video of the capabilities of the Russian SU-35 and SU-37. We need the stealthy, fast flying capabilities of the Raptor to beat these jets. The Sukhoi's are faster and more maneuverable than the F-15s the Raptor is designed to replace. With the economy in Russia being in the state it is, the Russians are selling their planes to the highest bidder. Do we really want to have to worry about Iran or China getting one of the Russian Fighters? This threat is very real and it is now, not years and years in the future.

Yes, you are right in your assumption that I STRONGLY believe the U.S. should acquire the Raptor. I am not the best debater and there are far more knowledgeable people out there that could explain why the Raptor is so important and needed. However, I feel so strongly for having this next generation fighter aircraft that I will comment further. And no, I am not a Lockheed Martin stockholder or have any other stake in this program.

Although the A-10 is not the issue here, I will first say that I appreciate your comments and the points that the Gov't has a high tech fetish is correct to a degree. I also will state that the Gov't has made a lot of development and acquisition mistakes on several military programs in the past. I am a big A-10 supporter because it is the right plane for it's mission of close air support (CAS). Whether or not it has a lot of high tech equipment or lack thereof thus does not enjoy the support it deserves is besides the point. High tech equipment in a CAS aircraft that is designed to go "low and slow" is not needed. But the USAF has realized the value of the A-10 and thus has not retired it. However the A-10 conducts the CAS mission in one way. There are other ways to conduct the CAS mission using advancements in technology in both aircraft and weapons and that is where, for example, the F-35 will come in.

Back to the original message, the author appears to not understand that evolving threats exist or how we conduct modern warfare. The threats are not only increasingly more capable aircraft being sold to various countries not of their origin, but surface to air missles (SAMs) as well. Any pilot will tell you SAMs are just as dangerous or even more dangerous at times than other fighter aircraft. SAMs are cheaper to acquire and there is evidence that other countries are acquiring them in mass to upgrade their air defenses. The F/A-22 was never designed to just defeat other fighters, and never has been. It is also designed to operate in the future battlespace and defeat advanced SAMs that threaten it as well. These are threats that something no "upgraded" F-15 or F-16 could be expected to go up against or win without a substantial loss. No, we will not loose a future air war even without the F/A-22, but we will not achieve it as easily and without cost in both lives and resources. I ask, can we afford that? With the modern aircrafts now in service, just going into service, or on the drawing boards, can the 30+ year old designed F-15 or F-16 be expected to take them on? That is like asking a 30+ year old designed car to win the Indy 500 against modern race cars! Hardly what I or any USAF pilot would want.

Nick

I assume you think the US should get the Raptor. It IS a "cool" plane. But is it needed? The highly-respected and non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) has called on the Pentagon to justify the program, especially given the extreme costs and technical issues with it.

Please see:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A61777-2004Mar15&notFound=true

The DOD's high-tech fetish is folly. Sure, high-tech is desirable in many instances, and in those cases it should be pursued. But not for its own sake. In contrast, the Air Force wanted to end the A-10 Warthog, one of its most successful, yet low-tech and CHEAP aircraft in its inventory (http://pogo.org/p/x/archivedefense.html#a10). Could it be that one reason for the Raptor's support, and the Warthog's lack thereof, is that the Pentagon is sleeping with Defense contractors? Judging by the recent Darleen Druyun scandal (http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2004/12/new_emails_refu.html), the answer is a resounding YES.

I am very glad this person DOES NOT make the decisions of whether or not we will get the F/A-22 Raptor.

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