DT Poll: Should the Marines Buy F-22s?

This is a pretty wild idea — the USMC flying the Air Force’s premier fighter jet.

One Marine is suggesting that is a possible option if the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter falls victim to budget cuts.

From Maj.  Christopher Cannon in Marine Corps Gazette:

On the high end, the Marine Corps could opt for the most capable AAW platform available, the F–22. Embracing an aircraft Congress recently voted to stop producing may seem like an extreme course of action, but it makes the most sense for the Marine Corps for several reasons. First, F–22s could be purchased now and would be cheaper initially and cost less to maintain than F–35s in the future.

He adds:

Most significantly, the F–22 dwarfs the F–35 in stealth, speed, survivability, deployability, and firepower. With a more mature and more powerful active electronically scanned array radar, and with planned upgrades, the F–22 is a more credible and less risky investment to fulfill the VMAQ’s AEA mission. The F–22 also represents a better platform for AEA upgrades.

Significantly, this course of action would accept providing only 11 fifth-generation fighter-capable carriers. It may also require making inroads in positioning Marine F–22s in more expeditionary stations than those in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Virginia, where all F–22 aircraft are currently stationed. Forward postured Marine F–22s could provide the Nation with greater strategic reach than amphibious-based F–35Bs. With a supercruise speed of 1,220 miles per hour, an aerial refueled F–22 could make the 1,700-mile transit from Guam to Taiwan in less than 2 hours.

Cannon goes on to say the service could buy about 60 F-22s and a number of turboprop light attack planes to complement the 50 F-35C carrier variant JSFs that it’s slated to recieve.

Pretty strong stuff coming from a Marine whose service leaders say there is no plan B for the B-model JSF. The whole concept of Marines buying F-22s brings up a ton of questions, so read more on this story at sister site DoDBuzz.

Sound off on whether you think this is a good idea in the poll after the jump.

  • Dave Barnes

    And, Marine pilots are so tough that they don’t require oxygen.

  • @Earlydawn

    No. All the tactical aviation that the Marines have needs to be able to be carried afloat with the Fleet. Besides, the air-to-ground capabilities of the F-22 are pretty modest.

    • Jay

      Heard the F22 was made capable of carrying SDBs.
      F22 has twice the internal payload of the F35 and more speed and stealth, so the Marines would find it useful for ground attack in areas where less stealthy aircraft would be vulnerable.

  • Joe Boyum

    The marines are experts on what their mission is. If their mission requires them to have a quarter of a billion dollar gold plated stealthy land based silver bullet to accomplish whatever their mission is, then they will lobby congress to get it.

    Not quite sure why marine and naval aviation needs to be seperate, but I am not a marine corps bureacrat out to defend my budget so I have no clue.

    • BigRick

      that’s a good question Joe since the Navy and Marine pilots fly side-by-side, they train together and they both wear the wings of gold.

      The only reason I see is that the Marine focus is on ground support whereas the Navy’s focus is a larger. All Marines including pilots are trained infantry men first and foremost (which is what sets them apart) so I totally understand the different emphasis.

    • Guest A

      Other than the uniforms, Navy and Marine Corps Aviation are basically the same top to bottom in regards to maintenance, logistics and flight methods. Everything is done per NATOPS and 4790 manuals for both.

    • AntoniB

      the ONLY reason is that marines want to be able to deploy ground support without the need of requesting the permission of a naval officer if for instance in A’stan
      they had to request ground support cover from the navy all the time most of their requests would have been denied seeing as the navy has little to no power in that arena while marine forces can switch from sea operations to ground operations that is bring everything they got to land (artillery ,planes ,chooper etc’)
      and they train specificly for this kind of an operation the navy would have to change its fleet of aircrafts and change its personal’s training to accomplish this (they have their own missions which is to provide air to naval support and air to air support )

  • rooster7011

    Marine Aviation’s primary mission is to provide close air support for ground combat forces. The F-22 is an Air Superiority fighter, and a great one it is. But I’m not too sure it would suit the Marine Corps’ mission to well…

    • TMB

      Doctrinally, one of Marine Aviation’s missions is air superiority. If they handed that requirement over to the Navy they could focus their attention, budget, and technology on ground support.

      • major.rod

        Doctrinally Marine air establishes air superiority FOR the Marine Force not the whole force (that’s an air force mission). F22’s are not carrier based. If one is REALLY committed to to being prepared to provide air superiority and CAS (which is a higher priority) it would make sense to purchase an aircraft you are sure could be where the Marines you are supporting is fighting.

        When was the last time the Marines bought a fighter that wasn’t carrier capable? This move seems like a step away from the supposedly expeditionary role of the Marines.

        I know die hard the Marines can do everything types will hate but let’s call this what it is? Mission creep.

        • TMB

          For the small number of F-35Bs you can fit on an amphib, you’re getting squat for sorties - and it gets worse the longer the mission lasts. There wouldn’t be enough planes on the ship to provide both air superiority and CAS at the same time unless that air superiority was extremely local in nature.

  • brian

    the F-22 is not an F/A-22. Its ill-suited and too heavy to put on a carrier flight deck. Its ground attack role is secondary and minimal. That and do you think the Navy pilots are going to want the Marines to have a better fighter than them?

    • GunnyJames

      Ya never can tell about Navy brass. They decided to keep the RF-8, declaring that the RF-4 wasn’t suitable for carrier ops. This was disproved by VMCJ-1 (later rolled into VMFP-3) Det 101 aboard the Midway. Of course, not long after, the Marines went out of the wet film business and got on board the RQ-whatever for ISR. Although the F/A-18 has a recon module available, it relies on the digital format. One of the few times the Marines made out with Navy rejects.

  • Brian

    Please explain how the F@@ has ANYTHING to do with the marines’ fundamental mission of amphibious landings? Are we assuming both the Air Force and the Navy Aviation elements will be somehow not around?

  • guest

    dont take that statement too serious. but I’d like to see more F-22s

  • Yep


  • Maxtrue

    Yes, if the new F-22s are fixed and improved. I say this only relative to keeping the F-22 open as a production option. I have my doubts on when the new fighter DT posted here will be ready. A new bomber is needed too.

    However, I see the vertical take-off as giving the Marines great flexibility. I would advocate a vertical F-35 drone in the hands of on the ground operators. I don’t think this capability exists. Of course, the Navy and Air Force will be engaged in any battle, but my logic provides some vertical capability while improving our front line fighter pool an upgrade for the cheapest buck. A slightly smaller drone F-35 could launch off LSC and other ships as well as having survivability landing in combat zones relative to choppers..

  • Lance

    However with the Army and USMC being the hardest cut I don’t see the USMC buying the worlds most expensive fighter anytime soon either even if the F-35B is completely cancelled. It be nice to see F-22 and F-15SE in Navy and USMC service too but with money super short I think this is a dream more than a reality.

  • Targ

    If the F35B dies, and they do not want the F18, the F15K, F15SE makes way more than the F22. The only thing the F22 has going for it, you can get them in the field quickly, and it does has some nifty electronics.

  • M167A1

    Unlikely at best, but ANYTHING that gets more F-22s in the field is a good thing.

  • Zmonster

    Modified A-10s(folding wings?)(Hybrid STOL? Anyone remember the Rattler?) and a prop driven fighter for the USMC would go much farther along in accordance with Marine Air’s task and purpose.

    Some people are forgeting of carrier based requirements for the F22, that doesn’t exist and would require more R&D (money).

  • marvel

    I am not sure how survivable stealth aircraft will be over the Taiwan strait. Without a doubt, the F-22 will destroy anything that flies, but with networked radars and S-400s in the mix? Manned fighters on both sides are extremely vulnerable in that arena. But I love me some 22s.

  • Black Owl

    They should buy the International Upgraded version of the Super Hornet. It’s easily compatible with Navy carriers and has a high technological edge that can give even the JSF a run for its money.

  • joe

    Rafale. You heard it here first. ;-)

  • Ben

    I’m all in favor of anything that revives production of the world’s most lethal fighter, but since the Marines usually need fighters for close air support (CAS) and so forth, wouldn’t the F-22 be rather unsuitable for that role? All it can carry is SDBs.

  • chaos0xomega

    Yet another example of how the Marines think they are the only branch of service in the US armed forces…

    Here’s a better idea:
    How about we disband the Marine Corps and roll its capabilities into the Army, Navy, and USAF?

    If the marines can suggest such a daft idea, then I can too…

    I mean, maybe I could understand it if the AF had enough of them to meet its own needs, if any new F-22s are built they should get first dibs, as they have an actual need for them, not the Marines.

  • major.rod

    I love F22s and we need more of them but this defies logic. If the F35B is cancelled the fallback position should be F35Cs not F22s. The airplane has better CAS capability, can fly off carriers to support the Marine ground force (the raison d’etre for Marine Air), brings the cost down of F35s, simplifies the maint issue on carriers etc.

    MAJ Cannon is just one opinion. Sounds like MAJ Cannon is desparate to fly F22s or the Marines are hedging their bets as an expeditionary force.

    • TMB

      I wouldn’t consider MAJ Cannon to be anywhere close to the official voice of the Marine Corps. Marine CPTs and MAJs (especially while at the school house) are encouraged and often required to write articles that may end up in the Gazette. Required in the sense that it’s an academic requirement, not that they’re being forced to shill for HQ.

  • Stephen N Russell

    The AF should fly FA18, EFA18, F14, E2, aside the F35s for a true Uniform Military Strike Fighter system
    Like the F-86 & FJ Fury from the F86 model for AF & Navy.
    Same concept, why not.
    Save money BIG Time.

  • Belesari

    No, very no. The marines need something that is STOVL atleast.

    I would say the new super hornet for carrier ops and Something like the old A-1 shyraider for CAS and escorting the V-22 on missions.

    As mentioned maybe something like a navalized A-10 they still have the tooling for the A-10. The aircraft is so damn tought they shouldnt have to change TOO much.

    Really the Marines and Navy should have invested in a stand alone STOVL attack aircraft. Way to much is attempted in the F-35B. To many compromises mean poor aircraft for its mission and WAY over priced.

  • r1tual

    I think more money should be spent on air defenses too. Maybe our anti air systems are all classified, but it seems like we have been kind of stagnating in this department. We have Sidewinders and AMRAAMs and “Standard missiles” and what have you, but they all seem to be the same types of weapons we have been using for a long time. I never hear about major leaps in anti air missile technology.

    We are always “worried” about what types of planes the enemy is developing and wether our fighters can maintain superioty.

    To me though, doesnt it just come down to who has the best missiles? You can be flying a crop duster and take down a 10th generation fighter if you have the best anti air missile.


    Or you can fly a crop duster and maintain stealth if you have the best enemy radar jammers.

    You can control the sky with a crop duster if you have the best radar. etc etc.

    The plane is optional compared to all the rest of the systems you need.

    • marvel

      I sometimes wonder if you could take two big airships, strap a big AESA radar to one, and then a bunch of phoenix missiles (or amraam, but the phoenix has longer range) to the other, and just like that you have a floating AA system that can fire on the enemy before it ever gets in range.

      • chaos0xomega

        Why two airships? You could do it with one. The USS Akron http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Akron_%28ZRS-4%2… (using American airships due to their use of helium vs. hydrogen, even though the German airships could in theory lift more) had a useful lift capacity of 91 tons. Slash a few tons to mount sophisticated radar and sensor suits, and you have say 80 tons to tack on missiles. An AIM-54 has a weight of 1000lbs, so you could conceivably fit some 160 of them in there, or better yet mod up some Patriot missiles for air-to-air use, you can carry roughly 120 of them vs. 160 AIM-54, but you get another 50km or so of range, as well as the ability to use it in an anti-missile/self defense role.

        And those numbers are based off of old tech. Given the advances relating engine and aerodynamic design, through a hybrid airship design that uses lift as well as lighter-than-air gases you could conceivably carry an even larger payload and still retain the ridiculous loiter time of an airship.

  • JRL

    USMC aviators shouldn’t have to settle for something as primitive as the oh-so ‘last year’ F-22 Raptor.

    Major Cannon should stand up for his beloved Corps and demand hundreds of Incom Corp T-65 X-Wing fighters!

  • HudBlack

    i hate to say it but “step outside the you know what”. The f22 is so dominant in its arena, any style of force would be complimented by its ability. The AF doesn’t have to be the mastermind of marine strategy or any other for that matter. This is just political BS when you talk about service control points. We need to be interchangeable. 22s strategicaly placed to support marine units is perfect warfare. It ensures their air dominance when they choose it to be required. The army may require a different platform. The AF may not need them if but instead use Air Dominant & Stealthy Bomber platforms. We need to stop thinking one component should only be used one way. The 22s can be adapted to perform different roles. Instead of developing a whole new concept. Use what works and modify it. Thats what marines are good at doing. I think they might make better use of the platform anyway. The F35 can be used the same way. When it comes to changing the outcome of a war, the marines have a philosophy that gets the right gear to the right place at the right time to change the tide of tactics in warfare at an atomic level. There is no substitute. They deserve the best of every platform. Sea, land and space. The 22 may not be suitable for current carriers but the Fords could change that. Why give the marines their own ford. A floating island for highly tactical maneuver. Change it’s base to suit them. Just give one to them and watch what they do with it. Every doctrine should be adaptable. Generals supporting doctrine is bull shit. Doctrine should support the general. He’s the one with eyes on the field and philosophy needs to stay in the school. Marines with an F22! Completely devastating. The most potent weapon in the hands of the most potent fighting force today. No doubt it would prolong our rein for decades to come. And just so you know, I’m Air Force…

    • wqedsd

      cool story

    • Cheesed

      I’ll do you one better: can the other three services, and give all their assets to the marines! Right?

    • chaos0xomega

      I don’t think you can really say the Marines do it better. Maybe if this were the 60s or 70s, but Goldwater-Nichols has made the military into a more effective joint organization. The Corps philosophy doesn’t have anything to do with getting things to the right place at the right time. At the end of the day, they are answerable to a combatant commander, who has a JFACC underneath him or her, usually from the Air Force. While a MAGTF and organic Army Aviation assets don’t come under the control of the JFACC, they do come under the effective control of a JFMCC or JFLCC. In other words, the corps will rarely have any real say in where the F-22s are positioned, since that comes down from higher which is usually not a marine officer.

    • Robert

      You really have no idea what the role of Marine air support really is. Before you recommend something, maybe you should read the mission statement of the Corps. The Corps was never meant to be another land army like it has been used during the last two decades and why the Sec of Def has brought the Corps back in line to its original mission . . . amphibious landings and vertical envelopment.

    • Col B

      The guys who fly the F-22 own the sky. If you own the sky, you also own the land and the sea.

      Col B


    A FN-22 Sea Raptor could get a software and hardware upgrade to make them a step beyond the current fleet of F-22 flown by the Air Force as Navy pilots will be envious as a naval version of the F-22 Raptor would be a natural successor to the F-14D Tomcat.

    • Cheesed

      Obviously it would work just like that.

    • chaos0xomega

      Yeah, no, it would be an inferior aircraft. The amount of weight that would be added to the craft in order to strengthen the undercarriage would decrease its overall capability, but it would still be a step up from the F-35C in the air superiority role.

      And for the record, Navy pilots are no better than their Air Force counterparts when it comes to actually flying, landing on an aircraft carrier does not a better combat pilot make.

    • Robert

      The airframe of the F-22 was never designed to take the impact of a carrier landing which also requires bigger landing gear and tires which wouldn’t fit into the existing F-22. You can’t just modify any airplane to take carrier landings.

  • Anthony

    Give the Marines what they really need. A 24 month Lockheed Skunkworks / DARPA program to make a 21st century A-10 Replacement. Same caliber gun just slow the rate of fire down 25-50% and make a dedicated, armored ammo case with 4x what the A-10 carries now…computer assisted ground targeting with plenty of pods for external munitions.

    No need to be supersonic, but for sure use Rugged high tech composite armor. Something that is cast and will not need fixing for 100 years of weather or direct hit from AAA. For example NO sensitive coating, forget the stealth paint stick to good old fashioned Armor!

    Put it around $60-80 mil each and build 175. This and a dozen other things from rifle rockets to switching to the 6.8 remmington round Should have been done starting November 2001 when we decided to um, Invade Afghanistan…Even if it takes a decade to pull the defense industry’s head out of its arse, its still worth a shot.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Mission creep….

  • Jeff Fraser

    Should we get more F-22’s? Yes. Should they be Marine F-22’s? Eh, I love the Corps but it doesn’t fit right with their mission.

  • jamesb



    HELL NO!

    • PMI

      Pretty much sums it up.

  • JohnGlenn

    Since were talking crazy… why not a spooky gunship version of MV22. Mount a big gun pointed to Starboard, add a rack of small diameter bombs and you have yourself one scary carrier based ground attack aircraft.

  • Matt

    More F-22s: Great
    Marine F-22s: Not so great

    The Raptor is air supremacy 1st and foremost. It can carry so bombs but no air to ground missles like the F-35B can. Not to mention that VTOL/STOVL is litterally the biggest difference between Marine aviation and the others. Just spend the money on the F-35B…

  • S

    S - 5 minutes ago
    Does the Corps really need jets for close air support (Just a question) With
    Cobras and prop planes. Personally I think A-10s and close air support should
    Be given to the army from the USAF. But high costs f22s?

    • Riceball

      Can’t and won’t happen until/unless they amend or scrap the Key West Agreements which says that the Army can not operate armed fixed wing aircraft. This was part of the agreement that spun the Air Force from the Army and given the likely shrinking budgets coming up there’s no way that the Air Force is going to want to touch Key West because allowing the Army to have things like A-10s would be seen as potentially threatening to the Air Force’s existence or, at the lease, threatening to their budget.

      • chaos0xomega

        How about instead of giving the army air assets, we make the service in the best position to support those assets, etc. actually do what they are supposed to under the key west agreement and actually support the army mission. The problem w/ key west is that it stated the what and left the how open to interpretation. The AF interpretation of supporting the army is fast jets w/ precision bombs. While its good some of the time, it ain’t good all the time. If it had stipulated a more precise requirement, say (in modern terms) the AF must provide no less than 8 COIN type aircraft and an appropriate number of pilots, attached as part of an ‘enhanced TACP’ at the Brigade level as an organic component of a BCT, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        That being said, the AF needs to take up helo aviation, not just to support the army, but to drive helicopter R&D. We have made great leaps and bounds in fixed wing aviation, primarily because the AF has pushed it forward. The Army, Navy, and Marines haven’t done the same for helo’s. You will notice a common trend in European nations w/ superior helicopter platforms…. the Air Force flies them too. It would also have the added benefit of growing the currently small ‘air to mud’ community and increasing the ranks of those that understand what it means to support the fight on the ground, as well as increasing the numbers of actual kinetic warfighters in the service.

        • major.rod

          Agree with your read on the Key West agreement but what radical Helo development has the USAF spurned? Think about it and compare what the Army has done. I don’t buy the Air Force will automatically evolve helo tech.

  • MCQknight

    Well, the Marines have flown the front-line Air Force fighter before (in the form of the F-4). Then again, the F-4 was carrier capable, and the F-22 is not. I wouldn’t be suprised if the Air Force is lobbying the Marines behind the scenes to get them to purchase the F-22 in order to revive the production line. That way if the Marines buy it the Air Force can say “Now that Marine Corps Raptor purchases have reopened the line and reduced per-unit costs, buying more F-22’s is the logical choice for dealing with F-35A delays.

  • MCQknight

    Also, if the Marines succeed in buying more Raptors then any more problems with the F-35 will result in Congress screaming to kill the program.

  • Kski

    Why would they ( the Marines) need such a top line air superiority weapon when practically all there stuff revolves around supporting the grunts on the ground. NOT, clearing the skies of the enemy. Besides they already have the capability with F/A-18 Legacy Hornets. So in the end it would be cheaper to drop the idea, and buy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. And drop the over costly F-35 program and work on a program to create a Super Harrier variant of the AV-8 Harrier. Better use of the Corps’ ever limited money.

  • Ben

    Curious question for everyone:

    Would you rather have a US military armed with 500 Raptors and 2,000 other regular jets (F-15E, Super Hornet, F-16) for the next few decades to come,


    187 Raptors and 2,500 Lightning IIs?

  • Chesty Puller

    Did any of you idiotic arm-chair Generals read the article? Apparently not.

    The Marines are considering the F-22 for VMAQ squadrons not VMA or VMAFA squadrons.

    Next time, read before you knee-jerk post.

    • Guest A


  • Jackofalltrades

    Make a STOVL version of the A-10 and you have a winner

    • Cheesed

      Why would that be?

      • William C.

        Impossible given the configuration and design of the A-10.

    • Guest A

      Watching old G.I. Joe cartoons I see…

  • tribulationtime

    Yes USMC must buy it and USAF too, but a F-22E “strike raptor”. Then F-35 program been cut down to F-35C for USAF and US Navy. F-35A buyed can be used as fly-hours “burner” for training and to use spare money and recources to build a Really F-35C Strike Fighter ( with more than 2 jdam weapons by sortie)

  • Steve B.

    The whole concept of Marine Air is obsolete.

    We do not need a third Air Force, we already have one as well as Navy Air Corp.

    Yes, the Marines need air to ground support and the reason Marine Air is as good as it is, is beceause they dedicate the resources to the requirement.

    The Army as well needs air to ground support and relies on the Air Force to deliver “some” of it’s requiremnts, with the Army’s organic attack helicopter force delivering what it feels the USAF won’t.

    If you could get both the USAF and USN to dedicate resources to providing reliable and appropriate air to ground, then Marine Air could be phased out. The biggest issue is what do you put on the amhib carriers. Probably a slimmed down two seat attack version of a V-22 designed for both simple air to ground for low intensity conflicts, or as stand-off weopens delivery as needed. That’s essentially how the Cobra copter was developed from the Huey. The reality is the Navy is not going to commit an amhib group or groups to a high tech battlefield without an attack carrier in the vicinity, too much at stake, so the idea of needing a VSTOL attack fighter on the ambib carrier, especially with as few as 6 or 8, makes no sense.

    There will come a time when a platoon level grunt on the ground with a laser designator, plus GPS, plus networked communications link, will be able to call up an air strike on any target desired and he/she won’t care if it’s a Marine F35B, USAF B-1, a loitering UAV, an Army or Marine MLRS or artillary shell, or a fast missile from a ship just off-shore. Air to Ground support will just be another method of providing indirect fires support. The air to ground portion will end up as stand-off launchers, as the surface-to-air threat makes hanging around the local battlefield too dangerous.

  • Dfens

    If they had any sand at all, they’d force Boeing to give them the F-23 design and build it. What the f, the US taxpayer paid for it. It sure as hell doesn’t belong to Boeing.

  • Brian Black

    If the USMC are only to duplicate the USAF, why have Marine jets at all?

  • Mastro

    The Marines really don’t like the FA-18E do they?

  • Elijah

    A BRANCH of the Armed Forces is suppose to work “closely-knit” together with the other brances of the service. If the Marines need planes to accomplish the mission the Airforce should help them get the planes.

    • tiger

      The DoD has never worked like that. Turf fights date back to the Creation in 1947. Many Including Eisenhower wanted to kill the USMC entirely. The whole bomber vs. Carrier debate was big then as well.

    • SMSgt Mac

      Suggest you read up on Operational Maneuver From the Sea. Ponder the ‘Time’ element as well as the structure.

  • bigo239

    Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for the Marine Corp to put their funds toward close air to ground support; A-10 or upgraded attack helicopter…No offense to Marine pilots, but unless we go to war with China or Korea, our troops on the ground will benefit more in close air support.

  • tiger

    What is wrong with looking at Boeing’s X-32 JSF Again?? It was simpler as a design, Still VTOL, Still carrier capable. The F-22 does nothing to meet the Marine Air’s Needs

    • Mastro

      Starting over is probably not a great idea right now. the X-32 was not a mature design.

    • SMSgt Mac

      See answers to the first two times you asked the question.

    • PMI

      Not enough downward thrust to lift off with a useful combat payload. Unable to perform short take offs due to lift system. Overheating caused by hot air re-circulation causing potential engine stalls during landings.

      Should I continue?

  • voodkokk

    A-29B Supertucano or OV-10…Marines should be fighting on the ground not in the air.

  • ding

    It doesn’t make any sense to purchase a whole different fighter. As expensive as the toys get, the training is going to be more expensive. I’m not just talking the pilots. The mechs will need to learn a whole new set of engines. The Ordnances guys will be learning new racks. We are up to the task but we are shorthanded as it is we cannot possibly introduce two different birds at the same time. The 35Bs are coming and we can’t wait but its going to take awhile. Promising Lockheed that the Marines will “bail them out” (he he) is not the solution. With the 35 we are trying to go to all one aircraft. Harriers are getting very old and so are the 18s. My grandfather was flying the prowlers.
    The 35 can replace the harriers and hornets role and then the hornets can be retrofitted to the “G” model the growler, to replace the prowlers. The 18s are all all hand me downs from the navy and they were old when that happened.
    The 35 will be cheaper for us in the long run.
    You can’t fly a 22 off a carrier and it is not an all weather fighter. (It has sensitive skin)

    • SMSgt Mac

      RE: …. and it is not an all weather fighter. (It has sensitive skin)
      Do you have an authoritative source?

  • FtD

    i don’t think navalizing F22 will cost more than F35B variant….. as this B is now only for the marines as the brits had pulled out anyway.

  • chockblock

    Like logistics, Close Air Support just ain’t sexy. Air dominance? We have the NAVY for that. Between Naval Air and AGEIS cruisers, (and the USAF) Marines shouldn’t have to worry about enemy air. What Marines need is flying artillery. Airplanes that can lug the bombs and missiles to support infantry. The F-22 is a waste of money for the jarheads. It can’t land on a carrier, dismal air-to-ground and the production line will CLOSE. Best to either go big on the F-35 or start adapting Supertucanos and digging OV-10’s out of mothballs.

  • Uranium238

    If Lockheed can do an F-22C with a stiffer landing gear, arrestor hook and can update the aircraft systems to more of a ‘fighter bomber’ role, the USMC and the USN could have quite an aircraft.

    • tiger

      You seem to miss the point That we are not operating from CVN’s.

  • Anlushac11

    The F-35B has to work. Period.

    The USMC needs to maintain capability to operate from land bases or carriers. The F-22 cannot operate from carriers so IMHO this is a very bad idea.

    The F-35B may have issues but instead of comparing it to 4th gen fighters you have to ask is it a better aircraft than the AV-8B+ which it was designed to replace. Whatever shortcomings the F-35B has it is still leaps and bounds better than the Harrier.

  • chockblock

    There will be no more F-22’s full stop. The media killed the aircraft and are trying to kill the F-35. Between deficit hawks and POGO, the F-35 has lots of enemies. It has to work.

  • raptorfixer


  • Andrew M

    For all those saying the payload if of an F-22A is worse then the 35, how many of you have actually read what the payloads are? External and internal, the F-22 wins both.

    I’m not saying the Marines need 22s, but they are better aircraft then the 35 and at the same relative cost, its confusing to say the least.

  • oz4656

    I say buy UK GR9 remod to AV-8B’s until JSF gets back on track. At least USMC will still maintain it core mission. Close Air Support to combat.

  • FormerUSMC-air

    I think VSTOL capability is critical to the Marine CAS mission. The AV8 has seen it’s day. If you can come up with a VSTOL/Carrier-capable F-22, whoopee.. Til then I vote for the F-35B.


    This major should be fired. The plane has never seen combat. It’s currently grounded and it was never designed to support the grunt on the ground. If anything the USMC should buy the F/A-18E/F and invest in drones to replace the AV-8B

  • RCousins USMC

    I thought the F35B was meant to replace the AV8 harriers that are used for close air support for anphibous groups deployed around the world. I dont see how The F22 could fill that roll unless a main carrier group was in close vacinty to opperations of the anphibous group. I agree that it would be a great upgrade from the current version of the F18 hornets in service.

  • Tom

    The Marines, IMO as a Marine F-4 pilot, would do better with retiring the Legacy F-18s and getting updated F/A-18E/F for their role. They have most of the capability of the F-22 and F-35 while costing much less. They would also do much better than either the F-22 or F-35 from austere landing sites. I suspect the F-22 or F-35 would be unmaintainable in an austere environment.

  • Bruce Wayco Adams

    I have never believed the F-35 would overcome the problem with its power (engine piece). The result is we have ‘eased the requirenment’from a VTOL capable F/A platform to that of a STOL aircraft?

    If VTOL is not the major focus of this project, then I would argue that we are back to a traditional aircraft already. That being the case, why shouldn’t my beloved Corps fly the premier fighter aircraft on the planet? I would also argue that the MARINES should be flying another Air Force aircraft, an upgraded version of the A-10 for CAS missions…

    Beef up the gear, shock mount the avionics, hinge the wings and add a tail hook. Lets go flying MARINES…

  • Jim Scarlott

    Ground support is the primary concern for us Grunts (0311) & such but the role changes as the armament package changes. most fighters are designed for air to air with air to ground as a secondary role so changing the f-22 to an F/A 22 is not that big of a deal besides it would be nice to have new gear instead of hand me downs once in awhile see as marines are often the 1st to be sent in.

  • James Andrews

    No it provides little if none for ground support…..

  • Matthew Little

    what ever happened to the new amphibious troop carrier that could carry 17 Marines and have a top speed of over 30 knots? That is an awesome vehicle and should be bought and employed, as they suit the Marine Corps Mission much better. The amphibious vehicle could be dropped off over the horizon, about 25 miles, and could navigate it’s way to the beach like a speed boat that has radar capabilities, and change the landing at the last moment if nessisary. IT has an awesome gun to protect the disembarking marines, and is more to the Marines capabilities than anything else.



    • PMI

      Things are worse than I thought…the AF can’t even afford shift keys!! Oh the humanity!

  • Steven Oliver

    The only issue i see is the Marine’s little carriers not be able to launch an F-22. Perhaps they put a ramp on the end of the flight deck?

  • Jetstream

    As we all know the old and proven McDonell Douglas F4 Phantom was an aircraft that was shared by all 3 branches Navy/Air force/Marines and was manicured to be one of the best fighters with the longest production of any aircraft. The F22 could do that for all 3 branches, just like the Phantom did…and with continued production the price should eventually come down a bit. I say yes…Let the Marines have a new toy!

    Semper Fi

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