AF Leaders vs. Bob Gates on F-22

Prodded specifically by the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman for their personal opinions, U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and chief Gen. T. Michael Moseley allowed that their own preferences would be for additional F-22 Raptor fighters and an alternative Joint Strike Fighter engine.

The top two Air Force leaders repeatedly stressed their support for President Bush’s fiscal 2009 budget request and outyear defense budget planning. Moreover, during the Wednesday hearing in front of the SASC they noted profound efforts to “salute smartly” in response to all budget-making guidance from White House and Pentagon superiors.

But explicitly asked by Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to offer their personal assessments, Wynne and Moseley made clear their own desires for more Raptors and an alternative JSF engine. The Air Force leaders suggested the SASC chairman ask them for their personal opinions after Levin grew momentarily frustrated with their hesitation to respond to his direct questions on the issues.

The secretary said he believes the minimum number of Raptors needed to meet future requirements is probably the previous estimate of 277. Moseley stated that he personally does not believe that the official Defense Department plan for just 183 of the Lockheed Martin-made fighters is enough.

“No, sir,” the chief of staff told Levin when the senator asked him.

Both men also allowed that a second JSF engine could be a smart move by Washington, citing engine experiences with F-16s. Wynne acknowledged that the “business case” for a second JSF engine undermines such an effort on that specific cost analysis, but the question for defense leaders and lawmakers might be more one of confidence in meeting capabilities rather than strict budget concerns.

“Affordability can’t always be the rule,” the secretary said.

Indeed, highlighting redundancy and reliability above cost concerns played a major role in Wynne’s explanations for more Raptors, in light of planned JSFs, as well as another JSF engine. He recalled being able to rely on F-16s when F-15s had to be grounded after longeron failures were identified last fall following an F-15 crash.

Moseley said the Air Force tries to craft its official budget request following affordability guidance provided from above, but it also stands ready to answer where further dollars would be best spent. “We owe you what we believe it takes,” the chief also said.

Read the rest of this story and more great stuff from our Aviation Week colleagues at

— Christian

81 Comments on "AF Leaders vs. Bob Gates on F-22"

  1. We make a tragic mistake not producing more Raptors. The F35 will not be a match for the Su 30 series and follow ons such as the SU35. The Su27 with upgrades will give all our current aircraft fits ( except for the Raptor ). In anothe5 years the Chinese alone will have 400-500 Su 27 and Su 30MKK aircraft. The switch to AESA by the Russians given will lead to significantly greater range on board than our aircraft will be capable of ( due to apperture aize differences in part ). All of our tactics and rely on control of the air. Without more Raptors, this will not be possible against major potential opponents in about 5-7 more years.

  2. Vercingetorix | March 7, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Reply

    Yay! Another Raptor thread!
    We decided to build the Raptor. We’ve fielded the Raptor. Now with the Raptor in production, we need to stock a strategic reserve.
    It replaces essentially the F-15 AND the F-117, and ameliorates the wear and tear on our ELINT and Electronic attack assets, which are chronically in short supply and under hard use.
    Build more.

  3. We need more F-22s, I agree, but P.J. Moran is dead wrong about the F-35. The latest Su-27 variants and the yet to be produced Su-35 can be defeated by the F-35, although not as easily as they will be defeated by the F-22. The newer Sukhois are merely reaching parity with our F-15s, but parity is extremely dangerous in warfare.

  4. Thank God,another F-22 thread….finally.I’ve been screaming at the top of my lungs about Hugo Chavez threatening to unleash his Su-27s against OUR ALLY Colombia.Fox News reported that Venezuela already sent troops into Colombia & that there was gunfire.
    Now…..As I’ve been trying to say in other threads,we finally get to see how our F-22 will perform against the Su-27/30 in “ACTUAL” combat.If anybody suggests that we shouldn’t use our F-22s in combat against Venezuela because they’re just too expensive to risk loss of just one of them….that’s like buying a Lamborghini sports car & then keeping it in the garage because you’re afraid it will get a scratch or a dent.
    Come on,don’t you feel it? This is what we all have been waiting for.So what if Chavez has the “Monkey Model” of Su-27s? Its a chance for our best to go against Russia’s current best,thanks to Russia’s surrogate Venezuela.Don’t you think that Russia wants to see how the Su-27 will perform against the F-22 so they can make needed modifications for their Su-27/30/32/33/34/35/37s?
    Forget that crap about India bringing their Su-30s to Nevada for war games,this is the real shit,its on now!!!!!

  5. DC2 Jennings | March 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm | Reply

    I think Levin is trying to get the Air Force to where you want them to be, with more Raptors. Having the top brass telling their honest opinions instead of towing the company line is the best way to do that.
    But this will bring us to the inevitable issue that we are faced with, one that we have discussed here a thousand times. How do we get more F-22s as the Air Force truly wants.
    And again I offer dumping the JSF. Europe is getting plenty from us right now with the KC-X and Marine One. They can live without the JSF if they were going to buy it at the escalated costs.
    I read in Aviation Week that the Navy is projecting to have a UCAV to replace the F-18 by 2025. So we just purchase more F-18E/Fs until then. 2025 will be 10 years past first delivery of the F-35C, which isn’t a long time.
    Buy more F-22s (and upgrade to make them more networked), replace the JSF with the F-16E, and there is not a real difference in the currently forecasted budgets. Win/win for everyone.

  6. The F-35 is too far along to be simply dropped right now. Besides, half the western world is waiting on it, including being the ONLY option for those naval forces based on the Harrier.
    Both the F-22 and F-35 will be capable aircraft and a credit to their service, but they are also different aircraft with different strengths and weaknesses. To concentrate on one would be an unbalanced force, like what the F-15 would be without the F-16.

  7. “I read in Aviation Week that the Navy is projecting to have a UCAV to replace the F-18 by 2025.”
    Whoa, sounds like the navy just fired a Mark 48 right at the USS JSF. I have to read that article.
    The AF and Navy can bail on the JSF, but it would leave the Marines and the Brits in a spot.

  8. > we finally get to see how our F-22 will perform against the Su-27/30 in “ACTUAL” combat.
    bah, no reason for that, just send down some F-16s or SuperHornets with AWACS
    against Chavez’s capabilities, it will be a turkeyshoot
    not to say the Su-30 in the RIGHT SITUATION isn’t very, very dangerous
    it’s just that ‘venezuela’ isn’t that ‘right situation’
    > The F35 will not be a match for the Su 30 series and follow ons such as the SU35
    i agree with Arcane, you are dead wrong on this
    > And again I offer dumping the JSF
    serious mistake
    the F-35 will end up being FAR more critical to our national defense than the F-22 ever will be
    > read in Aviation Week that the Navy is projecting to have a UCAV to replace the F-18 by 2025
    that’s a long time away and it’s dangerous to scrap very important capabilities simply because you ‘project’ you’ll have a suitable replacement 20 years from now
    > replace the JSF with the F-16E, and there is not a real difference in the currently forecasted budgets. Win/win for everyone.
    except for the US military
    the JSF is so much more capable than any varaint of the F-16 it isn’t funny

  9. Benjamin Fan | March 7, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Reply

    Can’t stop Robert Gates from weakening the Air Force if he’s bent on doing so.

  10. drop the f35 and you can also drop nato. my, dutch, government choose the f35 and with it made the most expensive decision in dutch history. the whole decisionprocess was/is somewhat contested, to put it mildly. the current government could very well fall if the f35 is dropped, because 2 of the parties choosing the plane are in it. the same goes for a lot of other european countries and in the case of the british the problems are probably multiplied with a factor 10. europe does not have an alternative for the f35. the rafale, gripen and eurofigther are very capable, but not part of a needed next generation. in short, the real discussion is not about the quality or financial aspect of the f22, it is about the political one.

  11. Also, recall the history of USN aviation since the 1980s. They initiailly put all their eggs into one basket – A-12, which collapsed. Then the A-6F or G, which also collapsed. The Super Hornet was the third priority program, but it was the only one that survived.
    So it would be a bad idea for the Navy to concentrate on one airframe like a UCAV – they’ve done it before and it wasn’t a wise decision. Introducing a UCAV in 2025 with the F-35 operating alongside it would be a safer choice.

  12. irtusk,
    Are you afraid of “denting the Lamborghini”,afraid it will get a scratch?
    What the hell are we buying the F-22 for then if we’re not going to use it? That’s a VERY pretty expensive dog & pony.
    All we need to provide for Colombia is aerial support against Venezuela’s “Sukhois.”
    I’m sorry,but I’ll ask again,what the hell are we buying F-22s for if we’re not going to use them?
    This situation is tailor made for showcasing the F-22 in combat.A chance like this may never come again & it will just add more ammunition to critics for canceling a “plane without a mission.”
    Until the F-22 is able to fire its missiles in anger,it will be viewed as just a paper tiger being dangled by a balless bluffing U.S. government,unless this whole Venezuela & Ecuador against Colombia is just a staged event to keep oil prices artificially high.
    P.S. Supposedly all three nations kissed & made up anyway.
    That’s ok,reality scares me too.The idea of our precious F-22 ACTUALLY going into combat in the real world…..lets just keep it all in the fantasy world of the hypothetical,huh?

  13. You yanks make some amazing aircraft but hell you sure know how to balls up the procurement aspect of a program, might as well give up and forget about trying to have a military if the clowns in power won’t fund more then a token purchase, very sad to see you Americans going this way, one can only hope the powers that be pull thier fat heads out the sand…

  14. > Are you afraid of “denting the Lamborghini”,afraid it will get a scratch?
    i’m for using them where their unique capabilities are needed
    this isn’t one of those times/places
    think of it this way, which results in greater glory for america/shame for russia
    1. america’s superfighter wipes venezuela’s poorly trained airforce from the sky with no losses
    2. america’s legacy F-16s wipe russia’s latest and greatest from the sky with no losses
    if i thought venezuela’s su-30s posed a credible threat, sure, send the f-22s
    but they don’t
    but like you said, it’s all moot since they all kissed and made up
    > I’m sorry,but I’ll ask again,what the hell are we buying F-22s for if we’re not going to use them?
    what the hell are we buying ICBMs for if we’re not going to use them?
    just because we don’t use ICBMs in every podunk conflict doesn’t mean they are useless
    > Until the F-22 is able to fire its missiles in anger,it will be viewed as just a paper tiger being dangled by a balless bluffing U.S. government
    only by the ill-informed
    and russia and china and iran are not ill-informed

  15. > might as well give up and forget about trying to have a military if the clowns in power won’t fund more then a token purchase
    a token purchase?
    how many nations have more than 187 front-line fighters?
    besides most of the development was rolled into the F-35.
    is 1700 enough for you?

  16. Cranky Observer | March 8, 2008 at 10:24 am | Reply

    > All we need to provide for Colombia is aerial
    > support against Venezuela’s “Sukhois.”
    > I’m sorry,but I’ll ask again,what the hell are
    > we buying F-22s for if we’re not going to use
    > them?
    > This situation is tailor made for showcasing the
    > F-22 in combat.
    I am somewhat curious what you intend to fuel those F-22s with when Venezuela turns off the oil tap?

  17. > I am somewhat curious what you intend to fuel those F-22s with when Venezuela turns off the oil tap?
    1. venezuela can’t afford to turn off the tap
    2. half of america’s oil comes from domestic sources, and then there is mexico and canada
    3. that’s what the SPR is for
    it might create a pinch, but i assure you, there will be enough to fly some F-22s

  18. causeiambetta | March 8, 2008 at 11:05 am | Reply

    I think the F-22 is a colossal waste of money.
    For the price of one F-22, Air Force should buy F-16s with the latest electronics, replace their troop transport planes and other vehicles that troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan use *right now*
    Is Russia a military threat? Only in Videogames
    Is China close to threatening US in the sky? How long will it take? Maybe 20 years, if ever.
    Both F-22 and F-35 are wet dreams for contractors and corrupt AF officials. They’re not necessary. They are way ahead of their times, too much so. They’re so expensive they wont get used.
    They’re built for wars the US will not be fighting .
    I support Gates in his attempts to try to hold the AF to some semblence of fiscal responsibility. The best thing would be to take the procurement process out of AF’s hands entirely.
    Air Force is corrupt. They can’t handle finances and they’re making America ill equipped to handle the wars its fighting.

  19. The maxim that the bane of modern armies is “overspecialization” holds true in the case for the F-22 and the F-35 hi-lo mix. Striking a balance between a nation’s conventional/force projection and unconventional warfare capabilities is necessary, but economic constraints place an upper limit on the size and sophistication of a modern army.

  20. > They’re not necessary. They are way ahead of
    > their times, too much so. They’re so expensive
    > they wont get used.
    just like the B-2 never got used?
    > Is China close to threatening US in the sky? How long will it take? Maybe 20 years, if ever.
    depends on how long we stick with ancient F-16s and F-18s
    > They’re built for wars the US will not be fighting
    you forget that they also have a very critical A2G component that will get used
    if you want to attack something that has strong air defences (for instance a plant in Iran), it sure helps to have stealth
    sending a conventional plane would be suicide
    > Air Force should buy F-16s with the latest electronics
    the F-35 itself isn’t that expensive (except perhaps the liftfan in the B variant), what makes it more expensive is all the electronics and integration
    if you add all those electronics to an F-16
    1. it won’t fit
    2. it will be just as if not more expensive than an F-35!
    i don’t think people realize how cheap the F-35 really is

  21. irtusk,
    The best pilots in the world are no doubt the Israelis & the Americans.I’m sure you could also add the British to that list.
    The Venezealans most likely wouldn’t be any better or any worse than any of the other nations’ pilots we could meet up against in battle.
    Also,there’s no saying how much worse the Venezealan’s Sukhois are compared to other nations or to Russia & China.Even if Venezuela has the “monkey model,” it would still give us an idea of how the Su-27 family of fighter jets perform.India is bringing their Su-30s to nevada to train against our F-22s,but they are removing their fire control radar from their Sukhois,as a courtesy to Russia,so we won’t find out their capabilities.
    Off-topic,as far as ICBMs go,I personally believe that we should not have scrapped the Pershing II Missiles or the Lance Missiles.We could have easily replaced the nuclear warheads on the Pershings with a conventional warhead,& then we’d have a missile to counter the Scud family of missiles & their improved variants.
    Anyway though,I was totally pumped up at the prospect of seeing our best against Russia’s(through proxy Venezuela) best fighter jets.

  22. Vercingetorix | March 8, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Reply

    “drop the f35 and you can also drop nato.”

  23. Byron Skinner | March 8, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Reply

    Good Morning Folks,
    I find nothing to disagree with on what “irtusk” said regarding the F-22. as far as the F-35 goes, well this posting is not about the F-35 so I will not comment.
    The irony here is that the Air Forces only option of getting it’s much beloved F-22’s is the election of Hillary Clinton to the Presidency. The Bush admin. at this point is clearly ready to pass off to the next administration any decision of the F-22. In angering Sec. of Defense Gates the Generals didn’t do themselves any favors in the White House.
    As for Boeings hopes they are slim. Jonh McCain clearly has a case of the a** with Boeing from the tanker deal and Obama, his silence on this issue must be deafining to Boeing, although Illinois is the new headquaters state for Boeing Obama has shown no inclination to support defense spending to the level that would be needed to buy 200 more uber expensive F-22’s.
    My oh my, how fortunes can twist and turn.
    Byron Skinner

  24. freefallingbomb | March 8, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Reply

    To “eric”: You wrote: “my, dutch, government choose the f35 and with it made the most expensive decision in dutch history.”
    Can’t you Flying Dutchmen wait less than 4 years until the Eurofighter’s definitive “Tranche 3” version rolls out of the factory? I assure you, Holland won’t need any 4th- / 5th-generation-jet fighters until then for any purpose, unless it races to join the closing season of “terrorist”-hunting…
    The Eurofighter
    1) is equally S.T.O.L.-capable as the F-35
    2) is equally carrier-capable as the F-35
    3) but is faster than the F-35
    4) and outmaneuvres any number of F-16s, F-15s, Su-30s and Su-35s (the kill-ratio against Su-35s is 4,5:1…) and F-35s thanks to its moving canards alone, which initially rendered any necessity for thrust-vectoring superfluous. The Germans had already studied the concept of 3-dimensional thrust-vectoring together with the U.S. Americans in the Rockwell-M.B.B. “X-31” project, but saw no true necessity to incorporate it in the first two versions (“Tranches”) of their own Eurofighter jet. From 2012 on the Eurofighter will NEVERTHELESS have ADDITIONAL thrust-vectoring added on to keep it manoeuvering freely even long after stalling (instead of just building a plump 137,5-million-dollars-plane around a rotating nozzle, like the U.S. American Raptor), making the Eurofighter EVEN MORE manoeuvrable than before, in fact so extremely manoeuvrable that it comes even prepared with a panic button, should the pilot inside the tumbling plane totally lose his orientation, and the plane will start to level out until he controls his own acrobacies again, no kidding! That’s the difference between still having inherent RESERVES of manoeuvrability (Eurofighter) and having none (F-35).
    5) So far I only compared the dog-fighting agility of both, because the F-35 SUCKS at air-to-ground (the U.S. Airforce WILL need a second plane type for close air support, and so will the Royal Dutch Airforce if it chooses the F-35) ! Or do you really want to compare a F-35s ground-attack “capabilities” (no, not that of its smartest ammunitions) with that of an Eurofighter’s or even with that of a Gripen’s?
    6) And all that for a mere 8 million dollars more cost per unit than for a F-35 !
    Why doesn’t Holland compare those two airplanes in a few years from now and then try to express some interest again in uh… “F-35s”?

  25. DarthAmerica,
    You could not be more wrong about not needing any more F-22s.
    You should get your facts correct before posting such nonsense.

  26. > 1) is equally S.T.O.L.-capable as the F-35
    that’s TBD for the A model and certainly false for the B model
    > 2) is equally carrier-capable as the F-35
    the Typhoon CAN’T operate from carriers, the F-35B and C CAN
    there is quite a big difference between CANNOT and CAN
    but afaik, the dutch don’t operate any carriers so it seems like a moot point
    > 3) but is faster than the F-35
    perhaps for short bursts, but for sustained speed i would rather suspect the F-35 has it beat handily
    > 4) and outmaneuvres . . . F-35s
    we shall see
    > in fact so extremely manoeuvrable that it comes even prepared with a panic button
    i’m fairly sure the F-35 has the same
    > 5) the F-35 SUCKS at air-to-ground!
    you have no idea of what you speak
    the F-35 is optimized for A2G, it will be the best A2G plane in the world and it won’t even be close
    > Or do you really want to compare a F-35s ground-attack “capabilities”
    > (no, not that of its smartest ammunitions) with that of an Eurofighter’s
    > or even with that of a Gripen’s?
    any day of the week and twice on Sundays
    > 6) And all that for a mere 8 million dollars more cost per unit than for a F-35 !
    a) the F-35 will be more than 8 million cheaper once mass production starts
    b) you conveniently leave out two major advantages
    – range: the F-35 has it spades and the EF doesn’t
    – stealth: hello? the major selling point of the F-35 and you don’t mention it once?

  27. Vercingetorix | March 8, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Reply

    freefallingbomb is a Truther, btw…
    Posted by: freefallingbomb at March 3, 2008 10:52 PM
    So feel free to scorn, or ignore, him.

  28. I’ve seen a guy of Boeing itself saying that the Su-30MK kicks F-15 and F-18 butts.

  29. DA, I read the article at Aviation Week’s website and the quote was the Navy’s expecting to replace f18s with UCAVs by 2025. I can’t give an exact quote because AvWeek’s site is now down (Brit, Dutch and US Marine cyberwarfare?!)
    I’ve been a fan of a radio show on the NY commie station called “Weaponry”. For quite some time the host has been of the opinion that the Navy is happy with the F18 and would like to dump the F35C. When I read an article like this it makes me wonder if he may be right. To talk about introducing a UCAV as a F18 replacement with no mention of the F35 sounds like they’re hinting they don’t need the F35.
    And as far as the F22 and the AF. I wonder if you gave AF brass the choice of 320 F22s but no F35 (upgrade existing platforms) or 180 F22s with F35s in the future, which they’d pick.
    Of course it could just be strategy by the services.
    The AF and Navy might figure that the F35 has to be produced anyway, so if they “cancel” their order they have that money now, then years later while the F35 line is still running they can hop back on board with an order.

  30. freefallingbomb | March 8, 2008 at 8:13 pm | Reply

    To the poster “irtusk”:
    1) “the Typhoon CAN’T operate from carriers”
    And if it can’t, it’s because you said so!
    “The second application, FJCA was a more promising project. The biggest issues in this case are strengthening the landing gear and fuselage to allow arrested recovery of the aircraft and the marinisation of certain potential areas of corrosion.” The rest: (Scroll down to the bottom)
    In the end, however, the Royal Navy pretermitted a navalised Eurofighter for its aircraft carriers in favour of the scandalously inferior U.S. American F-35.
    2) “but afaik, the dutch don’t operate any carriers so it seems like a moot point”
    a) I guess you meant “the dutch don’t operate any carriers” ANY MORE :
    b) 3 of the 4 Eurofighter partners however DO operate aircraft-carriers and will get even more of them, including this very same year! Even the French do, but they bailed out twice of the Eurofighter project because of similar impertinent demands. But maybe you just ignored all that, so here’s the complete list of all aircraft carriers that ever existed EXTRA FOR YOU :
    c) The reason I mentioned the Eurofighter’s carrier-landing capability to the Dutch poster “eric” is simply because it’s the ultimate proof of that – of any – plane type’s S.T.O.L. capability.
    3) “perhaps for short bursts, but for sustained speed i would rather suspect the F-35 has it beat handily”
    a) Can you also “suspect” which one of these two figures is bigger – all by yourself? I give you three educated guesses:
    Top speed of the F-35: Mach 1,6
    Top speed of the Eurofighter: Mach 2,0
    b) High sustained speeds are only needed to rush quickly into combat zones, but these “short bursts” of speed on the other hand decide the outcome of air duels and thus help to win entire air wars (when beyond-visual-range missiles aren’t involved). Always did! Or are you claiming now that the slower warplanes win the dog-fights?
    4) “and outmaneuvres… F-35s”. “we shall see”
    I doubt that a little. In March 2005 U.S. Airforce Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper, then the only person to have flown BOTH the Eurofighter and the F-22 Raptor, mumbled something about the Eurofighter being “uncomparable” and more or less “on a par” with the F-22 Raptor, and that alone made the U.S. Airforce lose its enthusiasm for all further comparisons of combat performances between its inferior airplane types and the Eurofighter.
    Tell us, why?
    And on the 17th of October of 2007 the Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba also confirmed that the Eurofighter (its name in Asia: “Typhoon”) was “the best alternative to the F-22 Raptor”…
    But if the F-35 is inferior to the F-22 Raptor, then what do the official statements from these two economic Super-Powers allow you to conclude about the F-35, when compared to the Eurofighter?
    That the F-35 is a chick on an eagle’s plate!
    5) “the F-35 is optimized for A2G, it will be the best A2G plane in the world and it won’t even be close”
    Then I must have been completely blind to the overwhelming evidences for that, right in front of my very eyes, in all the texts I’ve ever read…
    6) “range: the F-35 has it spades and the EF doesn’t”
    Again: Can you figure out all by yourself which of these two numbers is bigger?
    Range (not combat radius) of the F-35: 2.593 kilometers
    Range (not combat radius) of the Eurofighter: 3.790 kilometers
    I always presumed alphabetization to be a basic pre-requisite for understanding air superiority fighters…
    Or are you merely trolling all of us? (Lousy at losing?)
    7) “stealth: hello? the major selling point of the F-35 and you don’t mention it once?”
    Hello yourself:
    a) Stealth features are mutually exclusive with dogfighting manoeuvrability (are you the new pupil in my Aerodynamics class?). They also limit a stealth plane’s amount of offensive and defensive weapons, because these have to be stowed in a few, confined, interior holds. But I’m sure that your stealthy F-35 beats a fully-loaded A-10 anytime in front-line ground support (“it will be the best A2G plane in the world and it won’t even be close”).
    b) I’M LAUGHING at the fallacious Imperial, almost Providential hopes which you U.S. Americans always attach to that whole, single, multi-billion-dollar concept called “stealth”:
    I) It was immediately proven obsolete and inviable at its debut, over Serbia (and I’m referring to a 100 % “P-U-R-E” stealth plane, that was “seen” at night and shot down by an obsolete ex-Soviet missile!), but you must have found a completely different interpretation for this fact,
    II) your own stealth planes’ residual advantage disappears immediately as soon as your enemies also build stealth planes (and with “people (not) realiz(ing) how cheap the F-35 really is” – Posted by: irtusk at March 8, 2008 11:39 AM, that instant can’t be too far away now, can it?),
    III) you clearly ignore (or conveniently omit) that the F-35’s stealthiness is EXCLUSIVELY optimized against X-band radars, which

  31. Vercingetorix | March 8, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Reply

    Just below this post is unreadable garbage from FFB. Who is a truther.
    Posted by: freefallingbomb at March 3, 2008 10:52 PM
    Its okay not to read it.

  32. DarthAmerica,
    The fact that the ONLY study/evaluation to actually look at how many F-22s the USAF needs in order to fulfill its commitments indicated a MINIMUM of 381. That is enough for just 1 squadron for each of its 10 AEF plus those neccessary for things like training, maintenance & attrition reserves.
    It is not how many we need for any one specific scenario, it is how many we need for the USAF to do its job (at least the air dominace part) as it is expected to do for the next several decades.
    There are NO greater priorities for the USAF than F-22 Raptors & F-35 Lightning IIs (thats right we need BOTH). By the end of THIS decade all F-15Cs will have TWICE as many flight hours on them as they were intended to have before being replaced & only by somehow managing to keep F-15Cs combat worthy for 3-4 TIMES as many flight hours as the intended to have can we even keep enough F-15Cs & service until ~2025 when it was expected that all F-15Cs would be replaced 381 F-22s (& even that if possible will be an engineering marvel if ever there was one much less how anyone can even dream of keeping enough F-15Cs flying past ~2015 without continued production of F-22s). USAF control of the skies over the next several decades IS DEPENDANT on having enough F-22s to ensure that at any place at any time the USAF can place at least one (depending on the crisis two or more) AEF with at least one squadron of F-22.
    I know how much of an advantage our F-15C & F/A-18E/F DON’T have over current & probable future threats…
    If you are going to quote someone you had better get what they said right…you are COMPLETELY misrepresenting what General Jumper said about the Eurofighter.
    I also love how you are incapable of getting ANY facts correct concerning F-22/F-35 vs Eurofighter. :)

  33. The case for the F-22s is that they will remain in service longer the more we buy. If we only buy 187, we’ll have to spend a lot more money later on to replace them. If we buy 300+, they can have a much longer service life. Buying the minimum we need saves us money today, but merely perpetuates the increasing cost spiral of military acquisitions.

  34. To whoever said that 3 out of 4 countries that fly the Eurofighter have aircraft carriers,well yeah,which they fly harriers off of.Spain’s & Italy’s aircraft carriers are incredibly tiny & could NEVER support any fixed wing aircraft other than the Harrier,& then not very many of them.They are more helicopter carriers than anything else.The same goes with the aircraft carriers that the U.K. currently has.Only France seems to have an aircraft carrier that can handle a non-VSTOL aircraft & that is the Rafale,& before that was the Super Etendard & Crusader jets.

  35. Vercingetorix | March 9, 2008 at 5:01 pm | Reply

    Against China, for instance, based farther away, many possibly on defense (against cruise missiles, low level bombing), few fighters will be available, consistently, on the front lines and against high concentrations of airpower, seapower, and ground defenses. Only the F-22 can survive that, not the F-15, not the B-2, not the F-117.
    If you are so convinced, DA, that the F-22 (which can carry only 10 AMRAAMs at a time, with external hardpoints) really does enjoy 100-to-1 kill ratios over enemy fighters, come right out and say we need just 4 F-22s to counter all 400 Chinese Flankers. But in the real world, we need reserve capacity. That

  36. The reason why the US needs more F22’s is not to counter the Norks or Colombia or Iran ( though in Irans case it certainly has enough money to put together a formidable IADS system failry quickly by buying S300 , 400 against which stealthy strike would be important).
    There is a case for saying that peace in the Taiwan straight will depend on maintaining the sort of force that will deter the Chi Coms from being tempted to try anything. But even here the political messahge that the US remains resolved to preserve the status quo is far more important than more F22’s. The Chi-com leadership is fairly rational and would only be tempted to try seething if they had come to believe that the US was not truly resolved to defend Taiwan.
    No the real reason why the US needs more F22’s – though no politician wants to say it – is that two US allies – Egypt and Saudi Arabia – that are armed to the teeth with modern offensive Air power – could fall into the hands of virulently anti-american Jihadists with a demonstrated record of acting irrationally at almost any moment. These forces are already powerful enough to make both countries the most fickle and troublesome of allies. Were they to take over there is no good reason for thinking that they would excercise rational self restraint. Against F15’s, Typhoons and F16s, in quantity and stationed in range of key US bases as well as the strategic waterways of the Suez and the Gulf F22’s would be needed in quantity.

  37. It’s is essential to produce more F-22 Raptors, they hold the key to air supremacy. Anything less will be overpowered by SU35 and SU27’s, if not raptors we might as well give the russians money to supply ourselves with SU27’s and SU35’s in order to help counter the growing amount that the Chinese are buying. I doubt they’d let us do that. Russian technology being so readily available I find it so rather odd that we even discuss the superiority of SU27 or SU35, you think the U.S. does not have access to these planes if they REALLY desire? Having access means knowing weaknesses and abilities, far more hten us petty individuals on the internet would know.

  38. Build more f-22 raptors period!

  39. DarthAmerica,
    Yes the USAF is & has been saying it can’t do its job with less than 381 F-22s (sure it is getting by now but what about in 2015, 2020, 2025…note that the USAF doesn’t even expect to get all 381 F-22 until 2020-2025). The USAF is not saying its WANTS one squadron of F-22 for each of its 10 AEF, it is saying it HAS TO in order to ensure that it can guarantee that no matter which AEF is “up” at the time of any crisis has at least one F-22 squadron. What it has said it that it would like to have 1.5 squadrons of F-22 for each AEF.

  40. Sven Ortmann,
    On the contrary…it is those who are NOT pro more defense spending who are the ones making the assumptions. Assuptions that could/would prove detrimental & possibly result in unecceptable losses in future conflicts.
    You fight wars with what you HAVE, not what you wish (in hindsight) you did have. It is fool-hearty to assume that the only conflict the US (an anybody else) will see in the future is that of “police actions” & insergencies. It is also fool-hearty to assume that the US will engoy the same advantagees it currently has unless continues to improve its armed forces to at least maintain that advantage. You need to prepare NOW for conflicts 10-20-30 years from now.
    Those who are pro more defense spending are simply being smart & applying the lessons that history teaches over & over & over again.

  41. America needs lots of F22’s and lots of F35’s and they need a $600 billion dollar military but what they need most is the continued justification for keeping their economy in war mode. This ongoing issue is tearing your country apart – you are no longer the reigning economic power – you are simply a country of heavily armed shoppers continually looking for a fight.
    The Chinese are spending upwards of $120billion – you guys are spending $600billion. You sacrifice your greatness for the greed of you military industrial complex. You have a great country but it is going down the wrong lane – lets just hope the Saudi’s can start selling oil in Euro’s this year and your country can actually start trully owning its debt though with a greatly diminished dollar.

  42. freefallingbomb | March 10, 2008 at 1:28 am | Reply

    To the poster “C4Casey”: You wrote:
    1) “There has almost NEVER been a sustained dogfight at +Mach 1.”
    In World War One maybe. Today you need a “g-suit” to survive your own dog-fighting manoeuvres (which can produce a crushing + 13 / – 10 g, depending exclusively on your plane’s wings’ resistance).
    2) “And the F-35 is FAR more manuverable than the Eurofighter.”
    Maybe this answers the previous point too: The Eurofighter is capable of a SUSTAINED + / – 6 g flight, for example when flying at high speeds and simultaneously at ultra-low altitudes, in order to fly underneath hostile radar envelopes and lower than the minimum range of man-portable short-range missiles, or simply to dodge incoming anti-aircraft fire. I vaguely know what you’re talking about. I’m a private pilot myself (“PPL-A”, “PPL-B” and “PPL

  43. freefallingbomb | March 10, 2008 at 1:38 am | Reply

    To whoever said: “To whoever said that 3 out of 4 countries that fly the Eurofighter have aircraft carriers,well yeah,which they fly harriers off of.Spain’s & Italy’s aircraft carriers are incredibly tiny & could NEVER support any fixed wing aircraft other than the Harrier,& then not very many of them.They are more helicopter carriers than anything else.The same goes with the aircraft carriers that the U.K. currently has” :
    “Tiny” aircraft carriers they may be, but just two of these, the old British carrier “H.M.S. Hermes” and the new, but smaller carrier “H.M.S. Invincible”, were still enough to wrestle off the Islas Malvinas / Falkland Islands right in front of Argentina’s coast again, at the lower extreme of the Atlantic, operating in Antarctis-influenced weather, and without any other country’s help…
    That’s what I call an Armed Forces perfectly sized to a country’s TRUE needs, in this case even to a medium economic and nuclear power’s needs!
    I admire the simple underlying British rationale: What need is there for sunlight-blocking swarms of unpayable jet fighters, for a horizon full of aircraft carriers, body armour that lets you survive direct cannon-ball hits and a whole military-industrial complex too, if your soldiers fight well enough?

  44. Sven Ortman:
    “You guys are pissing off the entire world at the moment with your unsustainable, over-spending attitude.”
    You claim to have a degree in Macro-economics and yet produce a statement like the above. The idea that the Chinese or anyone else are pissed off at US consumption is economically illiterate, US consumption is a driving force in most developing countries economies, and the US market has been the most open, and open the earliest, which is why there has been a willingness to finance US debt. The fact that the US has never defaulted or moved into extended periods of negative or negligible returns is another reason. It has led to big imbalances, which are now looking dangerous, but what does piss people off is not US consumption (which enriches people selling into the US the world over) but Chinese mercantilism, which hurts their industry, their employment and is the main cause of the big imbalances.
    Stealth really does change the game, no-one is claiming that there are not counters, but the counters impose their own cost, and the fact is that Stealth + Capable radar will get first look there fore first look and first shot against an equal radar without stealth every time.
    Only morons ( and I am looking at freefallingbomb here) think that a single shootdown of a single first generation stealth aircraft in Kosovo that was primarily the result of espionage and predictable flight plans invalidates the advantage stealth confers.

  45. Hopefully USAF will defeat the evil cabal known as the DOD.

  46. Vercingetorix | March 10, 2008 at 10:19 am | Reply

    When Europe and Europeans can send more soldiers overseas than kids in my high school graduation, without using American support, then I’ll be interested in their opinions on military matters.
    As it stands, Europe is a freeloading backwater in the world, whose equipment exists solely to be sold to murderers and shot down by Americans.

  47. Vercingetorix
    so i take it you dont own anything made in china either?

  48. Vercingetorix | March 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Reply

    Sven, brother, if you think sociolism is a better system than capitalism, you’re wrong; if you believe stealth isn’t an advantage in modern war, you are wrong; if you think that Americans are impressed by claims of European militaries, which cannot even deploy in force ON THEIR OWN CONTINENT to places like the former Yugoslavia, you are laughably wrong, bro.
    And that “shitty” Iraq war, if we had not fought it in 2003, children would still be starving from the sanctions, and we’d still be flying overwatch, and sooner or later, we’d be going in anyways for Uday and Qusay, Hussein the sequels. I support it. Europe was wrong.
    I’m not mad at you. I just think that you need stop being so invested in European inferiority; just because the Eurofighter is garbage compared to the Raptor, doesn’t mean you need to cry about it.
    Have a schnitzel, a coke and a smile, and STFU.

  49. Vercingetorix | March 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Reply

    Will wonders never cease. My arch-enemy of all things in all the world, DA ;), takes down the Euroweenie for me. Sigh. Think I’ll go fishing.
    But Sven, baby, just stop. You had me hysterical at “The militaries of Europe can easily send half a million men to places like that. We just don’t do it.”
    There are barely ten thousand soldiers in Afghanistan, and Europe bitches about even that, the “good” war. Get outta here. Hell, ten thousand people is one Carrier Battlegroup plus one Amphibious Ready Group, and we have about twenty of those combined, all floating, going places.
    Europe couldn’t even bus a hundred thousand soldiers to Oktoberfest, much less a half million.
    I know you don’t like the Iraq war. And I do not care. Neither does anyone else.
    But your whole spiel has been 1) America has no enemies in the world, but happy fields of singing butterflies and kite-flying tykes and 2) eh, stealth sucks anyways.
    1) is false, but Europeans won’t even fight in Europe, so I guess that tells you something.
    2) is false too. There’s a reason we no longer wear bright red and blue dress uniforms on the battlefield. That reason is the rifle. So we camouflage. Stealth is that camouflage. And there is no going back.

  50. Sven Ortmann | March 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Reply

    OK, this is ridiculous.
    Vercingetorix and DarthAmerica have a serious disconnect with reality and lack basic knowledge of warfare.
    Go, look your propaganda infos on American way of war, I won’t bother anymore.
    I’ve encountered some of the most stereotypical dumb Americans imaginable here.
    I copied some good quotes for the jokes section of some forums from here.
    Seriously – some persons here have absolutely no clue about security policy and warfare whatsoever. They just believe the propaganda/marketing.
    Never look around some public relations messages, never assume that foreigners might be smart as well, never recognize that your military is so useless and overpaid that it’s repeatedly being defeated by light infantry forces.
    Go on if you want to disconnect from Europe.
    The USA is causing more troubles for Europe than it has uses with its incredible ignorance and lack of respect for other nations.
    Sleep well in your dreamland, guys. Reality will wake you up in time.
    Finally; call me anti-American and be satisfied to have missed the point yet again.

  51. Vercingetorix | March 10, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Reply

    “Agreed on at least this point even if we disagree on how much exactly “stealth” it takes.”
    Indeed. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to the open-24 hours-a-day and manned by oppressed immigrants, good-old fashioned American supermarket and stock up on canned goods to wait out the apocalypse. :)

  52. Sven Ortmann,
    Nobody is suggesting unlimited defense spending.
    If fact I have not seen/read/heard of anyone seriously suggesting more that a 20% increase over what we are spending now (which would STILL put our defense spending at only ~5% of our GDP).
    Just as an example (inflation along will increase future budgets), the FY09 budget allocated $515.4 billion to defense with $143.8 billion of that for the USAF. Procuring 20 F-22 would add (or require reallocation) only ~$3 billion – that is only ~0.06% increase for the total defense budget & only a ~2% increase for the USAF budget.
    Try looking at it while ignoring the billions. A $3,100 overall budget with $515.40 allocated to defense with $143.80 of the $515.40 for the Air Force increased by just $3.00 for 20 of the most important items in the entire budget…

  53. DarthAmerica,
    The USAF has already determined (in a MUCH more thorough study than you could possibly conceive) that 381 is the MINIMUM number they NEED.
    It is the responsibility of anyone who claims any smaller number will do to prove their number.

  54. DC2 Jennings | March 10, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Reply

    So with your argument that all services ask for more than what is needed we should ascertain that the Army and Marines really do not need the additional troop numbers they are requesting?
    Based on your other posts in this blog string my suggestion that we do away with the JSF is correct. You have stated numerous times that our current F-15/F-16/F-18 aircraft can defeat any enemy brought against it. Therefore, we only need one 5th generation fighter as the tip of the spear during an armed confrontation. The F-22 is now at the end of its production cycle while the JSF has yet to be cleared for production.
    The F-22 is more maneurvable, more stealthy, and with upgrades currently planned more capable in compairson to the JSF. Why would you not want more of these at the expense of the JSF? Simply replace the JSF with the F-16E which is just as capable with the exception of stealth. The Navy can buy more F-18E/F and use the saved money for their real needs (ASW).
    My proposition would not cost any more than what we are currently budgeting for future procurement. Yet it will recapitalize the Air Force inventory and give the generals all of the F-22s they need. The F-22s will still be augmented (in the Reserves and Guard) with the Golden F-15 just in case the F-22s ever became grounded.
    You think we have enough F-22s? Pay attention to the Bears we are currently intercepting over Alaska. They are being escorted by F-22s with drop tanks. Reason being: the drop tanks give longer loiter time and prevent another pair of F-22s from having to come up and escort.
    There simply aren’t enough of these aircraft available now.

  55. Vercingetorix | March 10, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Reply

    Johan, I believe I luv u! In a purely platonic sort of way, of course, but then again, it is the Y2K’s, so WHAT-eva… ;)
    This is awesome…
    “Money may get printed on paper, but for a really worthless currency it would be hard to go past whatever institution issued you with an economics degree.”
    I cannot believe I missed it.

  56. DarthAmerica,
    Who knew the truth would hurt so much…lol
    The USAF has provided the proof that 381 is the minimum number they need & unlike so many ignorants, they did not pick some number out of their ass & then attempt to come up with some BS about how it is the “right” number (if they even bother to try & justify their number at all). The USAF conducted a VERY thorough study based on [WAY OVER SIMPLIFYING HERE] what they are being asked to do now & in the comming decades (& the state of their current forces) & the study indicated a minimum number of 381.
    What REALLY pisses me off is the [insert derogatory term of choice] who can’t even remember or go back even a few years to realize that the “deal” the Bush administration made was to provide a multiyear commitment to 183 F-22 through the FY09 budget (the last budget the Bush adminstration would have any part of) – leaving the total number to be eventually procured up to later administrations. Now there are fools (even within the Bush administration & the DOD) who think that deal was to be the end/last of the F-22 at 183.

  57. DC2 Jennings | March 11, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Reply

    As far as I know, the F-15s are still grounded. And the F-18s you mention are Canadian. Check on the squadrons in Alaska right now and how many aircraft they currently have. That is the real reason why they had drop tanks. If there were enough aircraft available, then a second pair of F-22s would have come in to relieve the original pair.
    There were very intelligent people within our government back before we invaded Iraq that threw away 10 years of planning to reduce the number of soldiers needed to occupy that country. When the Army Chief stated they needed 400,000+ ground troops he was basically fired in lieu of a yes man.
    Ignorant, yeah, right.
    You must not have read about the capabilities of the F-16E. Again, without stealth, it is just as capable and maneuverable as the JSF.
    One of the reasons the SDB was developed was to further increase the strike capabilities of the F-22. It can do the job as a lead attack aircraft. After that stealth does not matter and you can resort to the F-16E, F-15E, A-10 combination.
    Get a life and stop being so arrogant. Maybe you will learn a thing or two.

  58. DC2 Jennings | March 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Reply

    BTW, the last 4 F-22s were procured this year. Meaning, that it is at the end of it’s production cycle. When we are having dialogue about funding to close down the production line, that would indicate to me that the cycle is almost done too.
    But you know, I’m just ignorant and you are omnipotent (at least in your own mind).

  59. > The USAF, DoD, Congress are leaving open the
    > possibility of continued F-22 production. If
    > they want to stop it, it will take about 500
    > million dollars to do so.
    Thats the funny thing. Some people are argueing that the DoD knows how many F-22’s the AF needs, and thats all they should get. But if the DoD felt so strongly about their numbers why dont they fund the shutdown?

  60. Boy, talk about a flamewar.
    There’s been some light here and there in the fog and heat; people have made some good points. Even the Euro- and US-bashing serves a purpose, I guess; better grudges are aired, than nursed.
    Still, there’s been some ugly, stupid sh*t here. Some of you folks need a different way to get out your ya-ya’s.
    Apart from that, one of the things that seems to be missing here is that directed energy weapons are going to be deployed over the next several decades. It’s already started with AESA, whose DEW capabilities are an open secret. There have been pretty open discussions of using AESA for soft kills of missiles and UAVs. If that seems absurd, consider the fact that you can run a 50,000 volt stun gun off a 12V battery.
    The tech is a little beyond me, partly because so much of it is still in the black world, but common sense and physics suggests that stealth isn’t just about avoiding detection. In a world of RF DEW, refractive/absorbing materials like RAM would be a form of armor, like wearing rubber shoes and gloves when you’re working with live wires.
    Apart from that, the US hasn’t fielded a new A2A or A2G system in decades. Developing the F-22 and -35 as next generation aircraft seems pretty much a no-brainer, especially if either of them can also be UCAVs. It’s not so much that we need them now, or next year; it’s more that we might need them in 10 years.
    Apart from that, air wars are fought with mission packages and fleets of complementary types. Consider it a minimax strategy; if you want to cover all outcomes, you have to hedge your bets. The UK didn’t stop building Hurricanes after the Spitfire proved out. The US didn’t stop building Wildcats or P-40s after the Hellcat and P-51 proved out, and so on. We’re probably keep on building F-15s, -16s, and -18s for a while, and, even after JSF, Europe will probably need to keep on building Typhoons, Rafales and Gripens.
    You go to the track, you don’t bet on one horse to win. You bet on 2 or 3, win, place, or show. That’s how pretty much all nations have conducted air combat, since its inception. SHTF, you launch whatever you have.
    My bet is, we’re going to buy a little bit of everything. Especially after the US Congress and European parliaments get through making sausage.

  61. DarthAmerica,
    Read you own comment concerning not being able to meet our global military obligations and deploy 400,000 troops to Iraq…
    The same thing is true for the F-22. We will not be able to meet our global military obligations and deploy enough F-22s when/where/who ever the next “major” confict could be without A LOT more F-22 that are currently funded.
    That is problem with BS of trying to tie the number of F-22s we need with any one specific conflict. Even if a conflict breaks out somewhere, we have other global military obligations that require F-22s that don’t go away.

  62. DarthAmerica,
    The problem is that “today” is irrelavent (there is nothing we can do about “today”) what matters is 10, 20, 30 years from now…
    If you think the rest of the world is just going to sit still while age and fatigue continue to reduce the number of F-15Cs we can keep in the air, you are VERY MUCH uniformed & sadly mistaken.

  63. DC2 Jennings | March 12, 2008 at 7:12 am | Reply

    Please do not respond to this comment, I don’t need your arrogant self-righteousness.
    On, there is an article indicating a GAO investigation of the JSF shows costs increasing dramatically for this aircraft. That means we will either pay more for the total airframes we are currently asking for or we will reduce the number of airframes we purchase. I would go for the latter based on previous experience with the F-22 and the B-2.
    Gen. Moseley has indicated in the past that the JSF is the last priority on his list. The only service that truly needs this aircraft as a replacement is the USMC (along with those nations that need the B version). So the real question is what to do for them to fix their needs.
    But the fact of the matter is the Air Force cannot afford two 5th generation fighters. We have a known cost for the F-22, and possible reductions due to additional airframe purchases. We can also offer this aircraft for export to help those nations offended by the cancellation of the JSF (obviously not at the same capabilities) to further reduce the cost. With JSF projected costs rising each year there is no telling how much we will eventually end up spending.
    Again, 381 F-22s plus F-16Es make far more sense to me than the JSF purchases with fewer F-22s. Especially given the fact that when it is all said and done we may only be purchasing 1000 F-35s, further reducing our capabilities.

  64. DA,
    Here is a good comment for you:
    “The F-35 program of record for the US and UK held steady at 2,593 for four years, and those numbers were reaffirmed in the January 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. There were reports in early 2006 that the Air Force had an internal plan to ultimately reduce the number of joint strike fighters from 1,763 to somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200.”
    And the 1,763 number is a reduction from the originally planned 2,000+ the Air Force originally requested in 1996. That does not include reductions made by the Navy in the past. That also does not include other nations looking to back out of the program due to increased costs.
    BTW, here is the link from my quote:
    What you reference is always subject to change. There is currently debate among a number of the countries referenced from the docs about their commitments to the JSF.
    I was referencing the F-16E as the Block 60 version. And it is cheaper than the JSF (even as it currently costs). Again, you are talking about a fixed price for an aircraft versus a price for an aircraft that has not been determined. The F-16E has a unit cost of $27M while the JSF is at least $80M (the 6 F-35s purchased this year had a unit cost of $200M).
    So, everyone here can judge for themselves what insults we throw apply appropriately. I just find it amazing that someone currently in country has so much time on their hands that they can be all seeing, all knowing about everything the military is doing. I guess you are some sort of Geek Squad Rambo or something.
    Trust me, I’ve dealt with you know it alls while I was in the military. Back when I was in we usually rimmed your coffee cups and gave you nice little blanket parties. For you, I might have left a nice little curly-que for you to chew on with that cup of joe.

  65. DA here is your quote further proving my point about the lack of a need for the JSF purchase of 1,700+ aircraft.
    So we are arguing about aquiring 180 F-22s because there is no apparent enemy that we could not deal with for the next 30 years. But purchasing 1,700 F-35s for at least three times the cost of a cheaper alternative is perfectly acceptable? You are talking about a savings of $85B between the F-35 and F-16E in unit cost (at a minimum). I think that would be more than enough to purchase the F-22s the Air Force is looking for.
    And I’m the one smoking crack?

  66. For those that want to look at the full GAO report just released on the F-35, here is the link:
    Reference page 8 of this doc. It shows an average procurement cost per unit of $104M in 2008 from a cost of $69M in 2001.

  67. DC2 Jennings | March 12, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Reply

    Prove the cost isn’t what I quoted. I provided my reference which you always claim must be provided. You have referenced Wiki in the past, so you must believe it is credible.
    Again, you have quoted many times on this blog that nobody can match the capabilities of the USAF. What country poses a threat in the next 30 years that justifies 1,700+ JSFs?
    The GAO article I have referenced indicates the maintenance costs for the JSF are increasing too. Once again, I backed up my claims.
    What the F-16E can’t satisfy, the F-22 can. In fact, one of the reasons the F-117 was retired so early is because of the capabilities of the F-22.
    Last time I checked, the Army hasn’t equipped Humvees with WiFi access. War doesn’t change, never has, and only will once robots are fighting for us. Otherwise, it still takes a soldier aiming something (gun, laser designator, etc) to kill an insurgent.
    Grow up? I’m a man pal, trust me. Now stop being a snot nosed brat and stick to facts.

  68. DarthAmerica,
    I said “If you think the rest of the world is just going to sit still while age and fatigue continue to reduce the number of F-15Cs we can keep in the air, you are VERY MUCH uniformed & sadly mistaken.”
    I stand by that statement 100%.
    Like I saud, current threats are not the problem. Future threats are.
    And stop with the BS that I have to justify the requiremnet for 381 F-22. The USAF has already done that. Those who claim otherwise OTOH have not – so the ball is in their court to prove their number. You are obviously one of them so “If you cant do that then please don’t waste my time with one-liner responses or unsupported assertions.”

  69. DC2,
    You are wrong about the cost of the F-16. You need to do more research into where the numbers came from & what they actually represent. For example how do you explain the F-16I costing SO much more than the others?
    To save you A LOT of time, I will give you the answer.
    F-16A/B in 1979: $14.6 million
    F-16C/D in 1984: $18.8 million
    The true “fly-away” cost of the F-16I & F-16E are nearly impossible to accurately quote because they were purchased as part of a foreign arms deal but by taking the amount paid divided by the mumber paid for…
    F-16I: ~$70 million
    F-16E/F: ~$80 million

  70. DC2 Jennings | March 12, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Reply

    The foreign military purchases also included spare parts and other equipment. Therefore, the number is not accurate by simply dividing the number of aircraft by the total contract cost. Also, I believe the UAE contract also included R&D money for the addtional system that were installed (AESA, IRST, etc.), but I don’t know if the overall purchase price you are using includes that amount.
    Honestly, I have never found a site that was completely accurate with regards to purchase prices at flyaway costs. Everyone wants to slant it one way or the other.

  71. DC2 Jennings | March 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Reply

    Here is an IDF website for the F-16I. It indicates a unit price of $45M per aircraft. Again, I don’t know what that number entails. Whether that is a full unit price or fly away cost.

  72. DC2,
    Are you incapable of reading what is posted by others?
    I said:

    The true “fly-away” cost of the F-16I & F-16E are nearly impossible to accurately quote because they were purchased as part of a foreign arms deal but by taking the amount paid divided by the mumber paid for…”
    F-16I: ~$70 million
    F-16E/F: ~$80 million

    I guarantee you those numbers are MUCH more accurate than your BS $27 million. Personally, based on all the information I have seen the true “fly-away” cost of the F-16I & F-16E/F are PROBABLY around ~80% of the numbers above but as I said the true “fly-away” cost of the F-16I & F-16E are nearly impossible to accurately quote.

  73. DarthAmerica,
    True, F-15C/Ds are not in as bad a shape as some think &/or would have you believe BUT it is what shape they will be in from 2015-2025 that matters.
    While the F-15C/Ds are more than likely OK for another half-full decade, after that you run into SERIUS problems. And reduced numbers of F-15C/Ds doesn’t help anything unless those F-15C/Ds are replaced by something (otherwise it is actually worse since having fewer airframes means that the airframes you have run up flight hours faster).
    Sorry but the F-35s will be replacing F-16s & A-10’s for the USAF (plus F/A-18A-D for the USN & USMC plus AV-8B for the USMC plus several foreign partners). There is NO WAY we will procure enough of them fast enough to replace F-15s as well…Besides, as good as the F-35 will be in air-to-air combat it is a poor substitute for the F-22 (which the USAF can afford) for air dominance. Saying we should procure more F-35s instead of F-22s is akin to saying we should have stopped procuring F-15s when we started procuring F-16s.
    The USAF has already justified its need for a MINIMUM of 381 F-22s. It is those who claim a smaller number will do who have yet to justify their number.
    Saying that we don’t need more F-22s beyond those already funded is akin to saying that we should have stopped procuring F-15s in 1980 (about half way though its eventual production run – not including the F-15E & later varients). Just imagine how bad a shape we would be in now if that had happened…That is how bad a shape we WILL be in ~2030 if we don’t continue procuring more F-22’s!
    And saying that we should procure “advanced” F-15s instead of F-22s is akin to saying we should have procured “advanced” F-4 Phantons in 1980 instead of continuing to procure F-15s. Not as bad as not procuring anything at all but just think if the USAF’s primary air-superiority fighter (F-22’s being a rarity & all F-15A/Bs being long gone) today & for the next decade or two were “advanced” (as in F-15C/D avionics but not flight performance) F-4 Phantons…
    The requirement for 381 F-22’s is not 381 F-22’s TODAY but by ~2025 (when even the “Golden Eagles” will no longer be combat worthy).

  74. DarthAmerica,
    Don’t confuse the number the DOD has/had agreed to fund with the number the USAF needs. The number prior to 381 was 442, the 339 number is the what DOD agreed to fund (at the time) based on projected budgets & had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with how many ANYBODY thought were needed. Same for the 183 number – it is based SOLELY on the number that could/would be funded through the current administration & has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with how many ANYBODY thought were needed. Unfortunately there are enough ignorant people out there who don’t realize the difference & mistakenly think that the number funded is in any way relavant to how many are actually needed.
    It is true that the 381 number is based on the previous 2MRC (2 Nearly Simultaneous Major Regional Conflict) model (no “Soviet” like threat levels) which has now been replaced by the “1-4-2-1” model which could in fact require MORE F-22s…
    And stop with the BS that there has to be (or is or ever was) any specific threat or threat level as THE FACTOR in how many F-22s are needed because it simply is not true. It IS (& has been) based on how many are needed for the USAF to to fulfill its obligations.
    Who said anything about new numbers would were out our airforce too much? If anything the current numbers have not yet taken into account the higher ops levels in recent years.
    Keep in mind that you have to commit to procurement at least 2 years in advance in order for all of the parts/pieces et cetera to be ordered in time for final assmebly…

  75. DarthAmerica,
    NOBODY (at least nobody I know of) IS SAYING WE NEED 381 F-22s NOW!!!
    But someday we will. And unless you are willing to pay MORE for F-22s later, the only way we are going to ever get the 381 F-22s we WILL eventually need is to keep the production line open.
    THAT is the problem, there are far to many people like you who are only looking at today & not the future.
    The U.S. Air Force Transformation Flight Plan (AFTFP), doesn’t do anything to indicate that the USAF will be able to meet its worldwide oblications in the decades to come with fewer than 381 F-22s…

  76. DarthAmerica,
    Did I say anything about how realistic it was (it IS realistic by the way, not neccessaryily highly propable but possible)?
    Did you even read what I posted. My scenario SAYS that the F-35 knocks the Typhoon & Rafale “out of the market” so they go to another market (a market not all that friendly to the US). You think that Europe is going to just give up & let the US & Russia become the ONLY suppliers of fighter to the ENTIRE world…
    You are dreaming if you think that Russia could not or would not increase Flanker production if the market supported/required it.
    F-15Es, F-35s & F-16 are not air superiority fighters – not the the USAF anyway. Good luck pulling enough of them away from what that WILL be doing to use them as air superiority fighters…All those F-35s are replacing A-10s, F-16s, F/A-18C/Ds, AV-8B – NOT F-15C/Ds.
    We can’t even get ONE full squadron of F-22s for each AEF with 187 and you want pull some BS that we will be able to somehow get all (half is not even realistic) F-22’s in inventory to any specific conflict. Join the real world man!
    Sorry, but I have friends & family in the USAF – I have a pretty fair idea how bad the F-15C/D maintenance is (& what the trends over the past decade make it clear how much worse it will get over the next decade)…Like I said, even IF it is physically possible to keep a useful number of F-15C/D combat worthy until 2020 (much less any time beyond that) it will likely become economically unrealistic (politically incorrect) to do so.
    Prove that a fleet of 187 F-22’s would “overwhelm quantitatively and qualitatively 90% of our potential advesaries”. Beside, if you don’t prepare for that other 10% you are NOT preparing properly.

  77. DarthAmerica,
    Your lack of understanding of the real world is truly astonishing…

  78. | May 27, 2008 at 6:02 am | Reply

    The only way to know for sure if the Raptor really is the best fighter money can buy is to send it up against a real opponent like the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale. Perhaps we’ll know the truth in a Red Flag exercise when the RAF and the French air force bring their Typhoons and Rafales respectively for a showdown with the USAF.
    Only then will we know for sure if the Raptor is all that it is hyped up to be.

  79. The USAF should pit the F-22 against the RAF Eurofighter and the French Rafale in the next Red Flag exercise. Then we’ll know the truth as to how good the Raptor really is.

  80. Just a little reminder as to how numbers do matter: The USAF and US Navy outnumbered the Vietnamese MiG force over Vietnam. That is how the expensive F-4 Phantom managed to get a superior kill ratio over the MiG-17 and MiG-21. Pierre Sprey was right about strength of numbers making a difference. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the F-22 is not stealthy and it’s not the only airplane that can supercruise (Rafale, Flanker and Typhoon can all do that AND detect the Raptor via IRST). US taxpayers are getting ripped off. Prove me wrong.

  81. Interesting facts, I learned new something today

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