Mike E wrote:
Nemrod - I don't see why not to believe that figure... The F-22's problems have basically all been worked out, and the only thing keeping some/them grounded is budget/money issues and isn't really related to the plane itself. The training cut back is due to the same thing (money) and is happening all around the AF (not only the F-22).
I wouldn't say that Iam a strong specialst in this area, nevertheless, I studied during long years mechanical engineering in university. What I say about the F-22, regarding its engines they are beside the SU-35, the state of the art in mechanical design, mechanical thrust. It is a real technological prowess. Furthermore, regarding electronic area, it is the most advanced fighter jet in the world, indeed, the F-22 embedded a kind of super computer, a kind of cray calculator. The F-22 is an awacs, elint, and fighter-bomber, beside its mechanical thrust vectoring engine.
As I said, more your machine is complex, more you must meet many other problems. During the world war II, you could have several tens of thousands B-24, B-29, P-47, P-51 flying against several thousands Messerschimdt. During the Korea war, you could see several thousands F-86, against several hundreds Mig-15. During the Vietnam war few thousands supersonic F-105, F-4, LTV A-7 Corsair II, F-100, against few hundreds of Migs. During the gulf war I, several hundreds US F-15, F-14, F-16, F-18, against few hundreds of Sukhoi and Migs.
What does it mean ? The complexity implies more maintenance, more problems of availlaibilty, then the number of the fleet is mechanically reduced.
I've given the example of the SU-30 MKI, and its availlabilty about 40%, the euro fighter Typhoon has the same problem, because of the complexity. If we admit the postulate that the F-22 is the most complex machine nowadays, and regarding the others and their problems, if you think that US overcame the problems of availlabilty, hence, you admit that americans are supermen. Nevertheless, the reality is not virtual. Moreover, knowing the fact that US used to lie, especially regarding this strategic area, their figure about 70% of availlibilty is simply ludicrous.
Moreover, another problem surged these recent years, America lacked money, they could not feed their war machine like before. The problem is becoming a nightmare.
For that reason the availlabilty of the F-22's fleet, is in the best cases
-very optimistic vision- around 30%
, but undoubtly, rather around 20-25%. In the next, you will see this problem becoming more and more critical. It won't be impossible that the fleet of the F-22 will be reduced to several dozens, because US could not afford to maintain a such power. Because America used to live above its means, and now it is simply impossible. Like Russia experimented this hard situation in the 90's after the Soviet Union collapse.
Mike E wrote:
... The F-22 is far superior to the F-35, and some of the teens are still great jets.
You could not compare these two aircrafts, these are two differents aircrafts. I've posted a link recently explaining that the F-35 could not go to combat without F-22 Raptor. As you cannot compare the Mig-29 and SU-27, these two aircrafts are complementary, as are the F-22 and the F-35.