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    F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

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    JohninMK
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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  JohninMK on Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:19 pm

    Werewolf wrote:
    higurashihougi wrote:Okey so the almighty F-22 first job is bullying terrorist army who have quite crude air defense ? Cool

    Have i mist something?

    Since when does the F-22 air strike US army?
    No but it might help the avoidance of the armies and air forces of sundry other countries in the area who might get upset.

    But then it has to be used there for something, it could be anything, as otherwise there would be questions as to why it was bought if it had no function in the type of wars that the US actually takes part in, as opposed to has nightmares about.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  George1 on Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:18 am

    United States Lacks F-22 Fighter Jets - Air Combat Command

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20150918/1027205019.html#ixzz3m8R77L10


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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  Kyo on Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:04 pm

    A The National Interest article:

    America's F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter is a Killer (But it can be Defeated)

    The U.S. Air Force has as a tiny fleet of 186 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. That’s all that survived out of 187 production aircraft (195 jets if developmental airframes are included) that were built out of the 750 that were originally planned. Of those 186 remaining Raptors, only 123 are “combat-coded” aircraft with another twenty that are classified as backup aircraft inventory machines. The rest are test and training assets.

    But even if 186 aircraft remain in the Air Force’s inventory—not all of those fighters are operational. At least two—possibly more—jets are not currently flyable. One test aircraft—tail 91-4006—at Edward Air Force Base (AFB) in California has avionics that are so old; it’s not worth bothering to fly it anymore. Another aircraft—02-4037—was badly damaged in a belly landing at Tyndall AFB, Fla. It’s going to take at least four years and $98 million to repair the damage. The Air Force has also had trouble with repairing other F-22s due to snafus with retrieving improperly stored production tooling for the jet.

    The bottom line is that the Air Force has well less than the 381 Raptors that it needs. While the F-22 is overwhelmingly qualitatively superior to any other fighter flying, it can’t be everywhere at once. The Air Force currently has only six operational F-22 Raptor squadrons—all of those are understrength compared to a normal fighter unit. A normal fighter unit flying F-15s or F-16s will usually have twenty-four primary authorized aircraft (PAA) and two backup aircraft inventory (BAI) jets—that’s the most efficient way to run a squadron according to Air Force officials.

    Five of the six operational Raptor squadrons have twenty-one aircraft plus two BAI machines. The Air National Guard’s sole Raptor squadron based at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, only has a total of twenty jets—two of which are backup inventory planes—or in other words, it’s severely understrength. But to field even that paltry force, the Air Force had to cut its test and training force to the bone—so much so that the elite pilots at the Air Force Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nev., have to share their thirteen F-22s with their operational test community brethren across the ramp at the 53d Test and Evaluation Group. That means the two Nellis squadrons are sharing half-a-squadron worth of planes amongst them.

    To make matters worse—as money is siphoned off to pay for the F-35—upgrades to keep the Raptor at the top of its game have been short changed. The Raptor won’t have full integration with the latest air-to-air missiles like the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120D AMRAAM until late in 2017—more than a decade after the jet became operational in 2005. Nor will the Raptor receive a helmet-mounted cueing system—which would allow it to take full advantage of the AIM-9X—until 2020 at the earliest. The original plan was to field the Raptor with a helmet-mounted cueing system on Day One—but a combination of a lack of funding and technical problems torpedoed that plan.

    But even without those upgrades, the Raptor is by far the most capable air superiority fighter flying anywhere. In any given scenario where a four-ship of F-22s goes up against an “enemy” force during large force exercises, those jets generate lopsided kill ratios. During initial operational testing, the “Red” forces went for months without taking a single shot at the Raptor. That hasn’t changed much in the intervening decade—but a fundamental problem remains.

    There are not enough Raptors and they don’t carry enough missiles. For example, it’s fairly routine for four Raptors to take on more than twenty Red aircraft during training exercises. Moreover, those Raptors help fourth-generation fighters like the F-15 to engage their targets—but the frequent complaint from both Raptor along with F-15 and F-16 pilots is that they run out of missiles very, very quickly. That’s especially true with the advent of digital radio frequency memory jamming that wrecks havoc on the AIM-120 and even the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars found on America’s best fighters.

    “We—the U.S. [Department of Defense]—haven’t been pursuing appropriate methods to counter EA [electronic attack] for years,” a senior Air Force official with extensive experience on the F-22 told me last year. “So, while we are stealthy, we will have a hard time working our way through the EA to target [an enemy aircraft such as a Russian-built Sukhoi] Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.” Another Raptor pilot concurred: “While exact Pk [probability of kill] numbers are classified, let’s just say that I won’t be killing these guys one for one.”

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  Kyo on Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:34 pm

    America's Best Fighter F-22 Raptor Lacks Teeth

    US military officials do not appear to take air superiority seriously since one of America's leading military aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, does not have the best weapons or the latest upgrades to realize its full potential, defense analyst Dave Majumdar wrote for the National Interest.

    "The F-22 Raptor is by far the best air-to-air fighter America has ever built – but it too is being short-changed by inadequate weapons," the expert asserted. And the ones it does have are becoming increasingly obsolete.

    Take long-range air-to-air missiles, for instance.

    "While the Air Force is working on integrating the AIM-120D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) onboard the jet, even this newest version of the venerable active radar-guided air-to-air missile is already being challenged by enemy digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) jammers and will soon be outranged by new Russian and Chinese weapons," Majumdar explained.

    Russia has the R-37M ultra long-range air-to-air missile and a projectile currently known as izdeliye 810 in the pipeline. The former was developed specifically for the MiG-31BM supersonic interceptor aircraft. The latter is expected to be fitted on Russia's fifth-generation fighter jets developed under the PAK FA program.

    For its part, China test-fired its newest PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile in mid-September. The next day US Air Combat Command chief General Hawk Carlisle told the Flightglobal website that creating a missile superior to the PL-15 was a high priority for the US.
    In general, the US has long failed to arms its newest aircraft with appropriate weapons. Majumdar referred to this phenomenon as "a uniquely American blind-spot."

    "For example, when the McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle became operational in 1976, it used the same armament as its F-4 Phantom II predecessor. It wasn't until the introduction of the AMRAAM in 1991 – twenty-five years ago – that the Air Force gave the Eagle a weapon that could take full advantage of the jet's capability," the expert noted.



    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20151018/1028705799/us-air-force-f22-pakfa-pl15.html#ixzz3owhqTFyi

    max steel
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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:10 pm

    As US Bombs ISIS, Be Wary of Moscow’s Spies

    Does the USAF really need to fly F-22s where Russia can practice tracking them?


    There’s little chance that Russian leaders are worried about a nascent air threat from ISIS, nor even about a planned attack by NATO aircraft against their ground forces. It’s far more likely that they hope to use the SA-22’s sophisticated antennae to sniff out and capture various electromagnetic emissions from U.S. and coalition aircraft.

    Of particular interest to the Russians, no doubt, is the F-22 Raptor, the stealthy, sensor-filled aircraft that is the world’s most sophisticated fighter jet. In September 2014, F-22 pilots executed their first real-world combat mission, striking targets in Syria as part of the anti-ISIS campaign.

    The U.S. has been using the F-22 ever since. What better way to improve SA-22 operability and its software than for it and other Russian intelligence organizations to monitor the operations of the F-22 and other aircraft in a highly active conflict zone? The information obtained can be put to use enhancing improving tracking algorithms, air defense capabilities, and understanding of coalition weapons that are engaging in close air support and precision air strikes.

    Making matters worse, Russia recently sent a Moskva warship to the Syrian coast, where its S-300 Grumble air defense system can pick up signals up to 90 miles away. A Russian military source said it was deployed to “test the efficiency of the system protecting the air base near Latakia from air strikes.” It’s not clear which system was being tested, but Russia has also sent its S-400 Triumf — a 250-mile air defense system considered among the world’s best, and even capable of shooting down stealthy aircraft like the F-22. Less than 3 days after the Russian Su-24 was shot down by Turkish fighters, Russia deployed S-400s to Khmeimim airbase near the Syrian port of Latakia to “enhance air defenses.”

    The deployment of these sensitive air defense systems mean the U.S. must weigh its desire to hit ISIS targets against the strategic need to conceal its weapons characteristics and operating emissions from Russia. Such “war-gaming practice” and collection activities gives Russian anti-access/area-denial specialists the space, time, and data to improve their air defense systems and software.

    So what should the U.S. do differently? Stop using the F-22 in Syria; its stealth is hardly needed, and each mission it flies allows Moscow to practice tracking it. Limit the use of other advanced avionics, limiting Russian intelligence attempts to collect information and reshape their weapons, doctrine, strategy, operations, and tactics. The A-10 is the sort of aircraft best suited for this type of operating environment, primarily for its incredible firepower and its low-end technology and avionics on-board.

    If the U.S. cannot muster the prudence to stop exposing its most advanced aircraft, avionics, and tactics, it risks losing the next battle to an enemy that actually has the capability to shoot down U.S. and allied aircraft.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  Isos on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:23 pm

    I don't know if this video was posted on the forum but here it is: Rafale shooting a raptor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGuWadoTgkE

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    Air Force opposes restarting F-22 production.

    Post  nemrod on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:42 am

    Air Force opposes restarting F-22 production.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2016/03/14/air-force-opposes-f-22-production-wants-f-x/

    Air Force opposes restarting F-22 production, wants to prioritize F-X

    This post is appearing on Autoblog Military, Autoblog's sub-site dedicated to the vehicles, aircraft and ships of the world's armed forces.

    The F-22 Raptor is not what we'd call an old aircraft. In fact, having taken its first flight in the late 1990s, it's still technically a teenager. It's also not terribly common, with fewer than 200 in service. But rather than kicking up the numbers of this still-youthful fighter jet, the US Air Force is keen on moving onto a new sixth-generation fighter.

    According to Flight Global, the official reason comes down to cost, but also a shift in strategy for the so-called Next-Generation Air Dominance, or F-X program. It'd cost around $17 billion to restart F-22 production and add 75 fighters to the 187 currently in service, or around $267 million per unit. That's a big increase over the $150 million it cost in 2009, and it's money that Air Force brass thinks is better spent elsewhere.

    Perhaps hesitant of the boondoggle that is the $1-trillion-plus F-35 Lightning II program, though, this sixth-generation fighter won't be some bleeding-edge piece of technology that takes multiple decades to enter service. In fact, Flight Global reports the next aircraft could well be based on a heavily modified version of the F-22 or F-35, citing comments from Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements Lt. Gen James Holmes made to the Senate Armed Services subcommittee during a hearing on F-22 production.

    "Because we want to do it faster and don't want to do another 20-year development program for a whole host of reasons, we'll try and go with technology that are at a high readiness level now with manufacturing capabilities that are at a high readiness level now," Holmes said. "We're trying to move to a world where we go forward with new airplanes that take advantage of technology that's ready to manufacture and we have the manufacturing skills to do it, and what could we produce in five years or 10 years instead of 30 years?"

    From the sounds of it, the Air Force's new approach makes it seem like the sixth-gen fighter could almost be a spiritual successor to the F-16 – a relatively affordable, plentiful, multi-role fighter. We like the sound of that, even if it does mean the F-22 remains a rare commodity.


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    USAF wants on-time F-X, not more F-22s

    Post  nemrod on Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:41 pm


    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-wants-on-time-f-x-not-more-f-22s-422950/


    USAF wants on-time F-X, not more F-22s.

    09 March, 2016 BY: James Drew Washington DC

    The US Air Force has no interest in restarting production of the Lockheed Martin F-22, partly because it's too expensive and because it wants to move quickly on a next-generation fighter.

    The service’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements said as much during a congressional hearing on 8 March, suggesting that fighter jet manufacturers like Boeing, Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin may decide to offer modifications to existing technologies and platforms in the next F-X competition.

    “Because we want to do it faster and don’t want to do another 20-year development programme for a whole host of reasons, we’ll try and go with technology that are at a high readiness level now with manufacturing capabilities that are at a high readiness level now,” Lt Gen James Holmes tells a Senate Armed Services subcommittee panel in response to questions about restarting F-22 production.

    “I think it’s completely possible as we get the requirements that there may be competitors that bid on modification of an existing technology or platform like the F-22 and the F-35.”

    Industry sources tell Flightglobal that there has been a lot of interest within the Pentagon recently about the restarting F-22 assembly. However, air force leaders have repeatedly denied seeking rough-order-of-magnitude cost estimates for procuring more F-22s and instead point to future fighter concepts as the best way forward.

    The 187th and last twin-engine Raptor rolled off the assembly line in Marietta, Georgia in December 2011, but the manufacturing equipment was stored for possible use later. A RAND study in 2010 placed the cost of resuming F-22 production at $17 billion in 2008 dollars for 75 more aircraft, or $267 million per jet.

    “There were some initial rough order of magnitude estimates of what it would cost,” USAF military deputy for acquisition Lt Gen Arnold Bunch tells the subcommittee. “[But] we have not estimated what it would be to re-open the line and populate it with more modern technology. We’ve not done that at this time.”

    Holmes says pressing forward with the air force’s Next-Generation Air Dominance programme is the better way to make up for lower-than-planned fifth-generation fighter capacity, but cannot be a technologically exotic fighter jet that takes two or three decades to develop.

    “They cost too much, they take too long, they make you drive for technology that’s so far into the future that it’s really hard to achieve and by the time you spend 30 years achieving it, it may not be exactly what you want,” he explains after the hearing. “We’re trying to move to a world where we go forward with new airplanes that take advantage of technology that’s ready to manufacture and we have the manufacturing skills to do it, and what could we produce in five years or 10 years instead of 30 years?

    “It’s purely speculation on my part, but if I was going to ask a company to bid on what they could build for me in five years or 10 years, I’d expect that some of them would take advantage of work they’ve already done and base it on something they already have.”

    Similar thinking has led Lockheed to propose an upgraded version of the KAI T-50 for the air force's T-X trainer programme over a clean sheet design proposed by Skunk Works. Boeing and Northrop, though, do not have any in-service fifth-generation fighters upon which to base F-X proposals.

    The US Navy is already moving forward with an analysis of alternatives (AOA) for its F/A-XX strike fighter platform that will eventually succeed the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. The air force will begin that acquisition process next year, says Holmes.

    The Air Force Research Laboratory is already working with industry on new aircraft and engine designs. Boeing, Northrop and Lockheed have already started releasing artist’s impressions of conceptual “sixth-generation” fighter jets, but none are based on previous aircraft.




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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:41 am

    F/A-XX is an updated version of F-18.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  nemrod on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:18 pm

    max steel wrote:F/A-XX is an updated version of F-18.  
    US air force does not want more F-22. It means that speaks volume on F-22. It means the exasperation of the air force about industrial militaro-complex that forced militaries to accept a fighter that could barely fly not more than 100 minutes, after the F-22 must be grounded for weeks to maintenance. F-22 has several dozens thousands of rivets, thrust vectoring engines that are really a great problems of reliabilities. Too much electronic, programs, digitals etc...
    In my view the real availability of the fleet of the F-22 does not exceed 10%. For that reason R. Gates and US military air force closed the production lines. It means nowadays that the only rival of the SU-30 SM, SU-35, and Mig-33, Mig-35 are EAF Typhoon, with the Rafale.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:13 am

    Forget developing a 6th generation fighter, restart the F-22

    The development of a sixth generation fighter should not be a top priority for the US Air Force given that, according to Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s legendary Skunk Works division, regular updates to the F-22 and F-35 would keep the edge of the current stealth fighters over China’s and Russia’s future fifth generation warplanes.

    Weiss recently told to DefenseOne.com, that these aircraft already enable the to have a distinct advantage over the capabilities its adversaries are developing and that a replacement for today’s F-22 and F-35 fighter jets isn’t needed anytime soon.

    “We’ve done this analysis for more than a decade now and it’s clear that the fifth-generation F-22s and F-35s are very capable versus a threat and substantially more capable than any fourth-generation airplane. There’s, in our view, little point in developing a new airplane that doesn’t do anything more than what you can do as you modernize F-22s and F-35s.”

    Instead the Pentagon should invest in developing “truly game-changing technologies and capabilities” that will be part of the future sixth-generation fighter whose development, added Weiss, should start in a decade or more from now.

    On the contrary, the Air Force is already procuring the ultimate future fighter that will eventually replace the Raptor under the so-called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program.

    But, assuming that a new fighter would require no less than twenty years to be developed, restarting the F-22 production line would be for sure a more cost-effective move for the service.

    The procurement of additional Raptors would also make the JSF more capable, given that as we have already explained, the Air Force said that without the support of a dedicated air superiority fighter such as the F-22, the F-35 would be irrelevant.

    Furthermore reopening the Raptor production would give the chance to fix the few shortcomings the aircraft has.

    For instance, thrust vectoring (TV) wasn’t a strictly needed feature since it could bring some stealthy trade-offs to the airframe of an aircraft built to achieve most of his kills silently. Moreover, although during within visual range (WVR) engagements TV can be very useful to put the F-22 in the proper position to score a kill, it requires an appropriate use to prevent the Raptor from losing energy and becoming very vulnerable.

    Eventually a helmet-mounted display (HMD), which the aircraft still lacks, coupled with the recently integrated AIM-9X missile, could equally turn the F-22 into a lethal dogfighter, given that the HMD would enable the pilot to exploit the full High Off-Boresight (HOBS) capabilities of the weapon.

    Fixing the F-22 shortcomings and then restarting its production line would be the best solution for the Air Force also according to Jamie Hunter, editor of Combat Aircraft Monthly, who wrote on the December 2015 issue of the magazine: “How about a risk-reduced approach for NGAD? Take the almost perfect Raptor and put it back into production, albeit this time with the tweaks that make it truly the best fighter ever it can be. That approach may just help mitigate against the early cost over – runs and delays – and provide capability faster and when it’s needed.”

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  Militarov on Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:09 pm

    "The US House Armed Services Committee has directed the USAF to look at a production re-start for the Lockheed martin F-22 Raptor In a release, the committee notes that production of the F-22 concluded in 2009, and notes 187 aircraft were produced, far short of the initial program objective of 749 aircraft, as well as the Air Combat Command’s stated requirement of 381 aircraft.

    The report continues:

    The committee also understands there has beeninterest within the Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense, and Congress in potentially restarting production of the F-22 aircraft. In light of growing threats to US air superiority as a result of adversaries closing the technology gap and increasing demand from allies and partners for high-performance, multi-role aircraft to meet evolving and worsening global security threats, the committee believes that such proposals are worthy of further exploration.

    Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of the Air Force to conduct a comprehensive assessment and study of the costs associated with resuming production of F-22 aircraft and provide a report to the congressional defense committees, not later than January 1, 2017, on the findings of this assessment.

    The report is expected to include F- 15C retirement plans and service-life extension programs; estimated next-generation aircraft initial operating capability dates; and estimated end-of-servicetimelines for existing F-22s.

    Senior USAF officers have recently told CA that re-starting F-22 production would be prohibitively expensive, and some even ruled it out completely. Others say that porting some F-35 technology into the F-22 would provide an immediate solution to the USAF’s F-X fighter needs in an expedient manner."


    Source: http://www.combataircraft.net/2016/04/19/hasc-directs-usaf-to-look-at-raptor-production-re-start/

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:11 pm

    China’s state media: F-22 may have critical defects

    China’s official media Xinhua News recently released a post written by military expert Chen Hu, who is chief editor of “World Military” journal sponsored by Xinhua’s PLA Bureau.

    Chen Hu doubted in the post why U.S. rarely puts F-22 fighter into real combat; instead, it was always used for “blackmails”, to put on a show when Russia’s strategic bombers approach or when Korean peninsula became tense.

    Chen said although F-117 was not mature and was retired early, it joined battles frequently during its service, but F-22 hadn’t been equipped with combat missile until recently, when some officials in charge of F-22 upgrading project said that AIM-9X missile would be put on F-22 fighters.

    Chen said it is extremely rare in America’s air force history that a weapon doesn’t join any battle in a dozen years of service and then be ungraded with some very basic elements.

    Chen concluded that F-22 may have fatal defects as it has been concealed for such a long time.

    Some other analysts in China said that compared to the old F-22 fighter, J-20 has significant late-starting advantages, especially in respect of electronic components, such as distributed optical apertures (EODAS).

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:44 pm

    Want More F-22s? Here’s What That Would Take pirat

    Finding the Money


    First, the Air Force would need to find a boatload of money that it doesn’t have. The service is already buying fewer F-35 Joint Strike Fighters than it wants to because of the budget crunch. It also has plans to buy aerial refueling tankers, stealth bombers, radar planes, search-and-rescue helicopters, jet trainers, a new Air Force One, and ICBM-security helicopters. “If the F-22 is restarted, it will likely come at the expense of some of those other aircraft programs,” said Todd Harrison, a Pentagon budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Two years before Lockheed shuttered the F-22’s final assembly line, a RAND study calculate that restarting production to build 75 new jets would cost $17 billion. Adjust for inflation and boost production to 194 Raptors, and the total price tag likely approaches $30 billion.

    “We’re talking tens of billions of dollars to buy these jets, at the exact time that the Air Force has an aircraft modernization bow wave that’s just incredible,” Harrison said. “This would just add right on top of the peak years of the Air Force’s bow wave.”

    Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s budget is capped through 2021, meaning Congress and the next president would have to break and reforge the existing budget deal to free up the money.

    Perhaps the U.S. could defray the cost of restarting production by selling some F-22s abroad? Japan, Israel, and Australia all have wanted the Raptor at one time or another. There’s a hitch, however: it’s illegal to sell the jet abroad. That law was written by Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis., who retired in 2011 after more than 40 years in Congress. Still, the lawmakers who requested the study don’t see the Obey Amendment as a show-stopper; they are asking the Air Force to assess the potential market.

    Reengineering the Plane

    A second problem, or perhaps an opportunity, is that the new Raptor would need new electronic guts. The original electronic specifications are long obsolete; the plane first flew in 1997 and entered service in 2005. Indeed, the Air Force is now amid a $1.5 billion effort to bring all 183 existing F-22s up to a single software and hardware standard.

    Redesigned, more modern electronics could breathe new life and longevity into the F-22. First off, the prospective new Raptors won’t start arriving for five years or even longer, meaning that to build them to today’s standard means they will be half a decade old coming off the line. For another thing, much of the internal hardware is dated, so it will have to be created from scratch anyway.

    Some have suggested equipping the new F-22s — call them F-22Bs — with the more advanced computer processors and radar of its younger cousin, the F-35.

    “The F-35 is an amazing mission equipment package in search of a good air vehicle and the F-22 is an amazing air vehicle in search of a good mission equipment package,” said Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. The twin-engine Raptor is, for example, far more agile than the Lightning II.

    Perhaps the F-22B could even be fitted with the secret jet engine being built by Pratt & Whitney for the new B-21 stealth bomber, allowing it to leap a generation of power plant technology, Aboulafia said.

    “There’s a chance for a migration of technology to come full circle,” he said.

    While the guts of the F-22 would need an upgrade, the plane’s structural design is sound, Aboulafia said.

    Finding a Place to Build it

    Then there’s finding space to build the plane and its almost innumerable specialty components. Lockheed, Boeing and Pratt & Whitney were the three big F-22 contractors, but there were more than 1,000 F-22 suppliers from firms in 44 states, according to the Congressional Research Service. Lockheed said 25,000 jobs were directly tied to the project.

    The factory floor spaces that once assembled the world’s most complex fighter jet have long since been given over to newer projects. In the Seattle factory that used to build Raptor wings and aft fuselages, Boeing now does commercial work. Pratt, which built its final Raptor F119 engine in 2012, now overhauls the engines at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

    Final assembly took place at Air Force Plant 6, nestled in the northwest corner of Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. Lockheed now uses the space is now used to build C-130J, make center wings for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and overhaul massive C-5 Galaxy cargo planes.

    After the final F-22 was delivered to the Air Force in early 2012, all of the tooling and structures were packed up and sent to the Sierra Army Depot, in northeast California near the Nevada border.

    Even if new space could be found and the tooling set up once more, it would take considerable effort to assemble and train a new workforce to build the F-22. Lockheed took care to capture as much knowledge as possible before the line closed. “Every F-22 assembly process has also been videotaped, photographed, recorded, and stored,” the company wrote in 2012.

    But Harrison said that only goes so far. “If you have videos, that will help, but you lose a lot of your learning-curve efficiencies,” he said. “You’re basically starting over with a new workforce.”

    All in all, if the Air Force study recommends restarting production, and somehow the money is found, the design updated, the supply chain rebuilt, the production spaces reconstituted, and a new workforce trained up, the new Raptors would not arrive until after 2020.

    “It would be almost a decade shut down by the time this would actually get going again,” Harrison said.

    But for true believers, national security is worth the time and trouble. T. Michael Moseley, the former Air Force chief of staff who locked horns with Gates over the F-22, still believes the service needs more Raptors. “I believe a restart is absolutely required to be able to modernize/recap the [Air Force],” he said.


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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  JohninMK on Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:10 pm

    Video of the F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron based at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida on detachment at Lakenheath having some fun in mid Wales. Clearly a plane at home low level as well as high. Mind you, a Lakenheath F-15E then came along and showed how a regular flyer there does it. Turn your volume up!


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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Fri May 20, 2016 12:20 am

    F-22 beat French Rafale.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:56 pm

    The US is currently fighting ISIS with the most up-to-date F-22s


    The Raptors deployed to Al Dhafra airbase, UAE, are the most up-to-date F-22As flown by the US Air Force.

    Assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, the modernized Raptors made their debut in Operation Inherent Resolve, the air war on the Islamic State, in April 2015, bringing expanded capabilities in the fight against Daesh.

    “What our squadron is bringing to the fight now versus some of the previous squadrons, is we have the most up to date software and hardware loads that an F-22 can carry,” said Lt. Col. David, 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander in a recent Air Force release. “There is a huge advancement in the capabilities of the avionics, the radar system, the sensors and certain electronic features on board the aircraft.”

    Although they are rarely requested to attack ground targets, the Alaskan Raptors can now drop 8 GBU-39 small diameter bombs while previously they were limited to carry two 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) in the internal weapon bay: with the latest upgrade they can be tasked for missions which require greater precision.

    An initial air-to-surface capability, including that of dropping the GBU-39 (a 250-lb multipurpose, insensitive, penetrating, blast-fragmentation warhead for stationary targets equipped with deployable wings for extended standoff range, whose integration testing started in 2007) had been introduced with the software increment 3.1 back in 2012.

    Even though the odds of using an advanced air-to-air missiles over Syria are pretty low, another important addition to the F-22’s payload is the latest generation AIM-9X (already integrated in most of US combat planes since 2003): on Mar. 1, 2016 the 90th Fighter Squadron (FS) officially became the first combat-operational Raptor unit to equip an F-22 with the AIM-9X Sidewinder.

    Noteworthy, the AIM-9X will not be coupled to a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) as the F-22 is not equipped with such kind of helmet that provides the essential flight and weapon aiming information through line of sight imagery (the project to implement it was axed following 2013 budget cuts).

    But the Raptor will probably benefit of the AIM-9X Block II, that is expected to feature a Lock-on After Launch capability with a datalink, for Helmetless High Off-Boresight (HHOBS): the air-to-air missile will be launched first and then directed to its target afterwards even though it is behind the launching aircraft.

    Interestingly, along with the ability to carry “new” weapons, the aircraft were also given a radar upgrade that enhanced the F-22 capabilities in the realm of air interdiction and the so-called “kinetic situational awareness”: as we have often explained in previous articles, the role that the Raptor plays in the campaign is to use advanced onboard sensors, such as the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar, to gather valuable details about the enemy targets, then share the “picture” with attack planes as the F-15E Strike Eagles.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  Werewolf on Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:12 pm

    The US says so, so it so.

    F-22 vs ISIS, phantom versus US phantom.

    Hard to find something when neither of them are in the dark room in the first place.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  OminousSpudd on Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:17 pm

    Good. I hope they're being used. They will be very interesting to listen to I am sure.

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    Re: F-22 Raptor: News and Discussion

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:16 pm

    The Real Reason the U.S. Air Force Won't Build New F-22 Raptors

    Almost every defense-industrial publication this month has covered the language in the House version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization bill which directs the Pentagon “to conduct a comprehensive assessment and study of the costs associated with resuming production of F-22 aircraft.” We could take out pick of stories from Defense News, Aviation Week, Inside Defense, or Politico Pro. The actual issue perhaps should not have been so newsworthy. In a note to investors this week, Byron Callan of Capital Alpha called the restart idea “a fantasy.” On the numbers, I’ll call it just a very questionable idea.

    Why the enthusiasm the F-22A? Some supporters believe strongly that it’s a better fighter than the F-35A. But when fielding a question at last Thursday's Royal Aeronautical Society dinner, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program manager, suggested asking pilots who have flown the both the F-22 and the F-35 which they’d prefer to take into combat. (The dinner, incidentally, was honoring the general for his work on the program.) The bigger problem may be economic. At issue is more than potentially alarming restart costs; the F-22s are very expensive to operate, and the USAF knows so. Back in 2013, the service released figures from its Air Force Cost and Performance (AFCAP) system that accounted for costs per flight hour. All such numbers are strongly subject to accounting conventions, accountants’ interpretations, and simply the number of hours flown in any year. These were average, and not marginal, costs. All the same, the differences were remarkable:

    Fighter or attack aircraft type, Average cost per flight hour, 2008–2012 (CY $):

    F-22A Raptor - $68,362

    F-15C Eagle - $41,921

    F-15E Strike Eagle - $32,094

    F-16C Fighting Falcon - $22,514

    A-10C Thunderbolt II (Warthog) - $17,716

    MQ-9A Reaper - $4,762

    The F-15s, and particularly the older -C models, are expensive to fly simply because they’re old. The -C model F-16s aren’t just smaller, they’re generally newer too. The A-10Cs were built Republic tough, and were recently refurbished. The MQ-9As, however, are in a whole different category. Perhaps that’s why, as Reuters reported last week, drones have accounted this year for over 61 percent of all aerial weapons launched by the USAF over Afghanistan. In 2015, drones accounted for 56 percent; in 2011, the figure was just 5 percent.

    Where does the F-35A fit in? It’s too early to tell, but Bogdan's office reported in February that the modest fleet of F-35s so far were costing about $42,200 to fly per hour. That’s already far less than the F-22A. As the fleet grows, and the Air Force becomes more accustomed to operating it, the average costs should drop considerably. Using common assumptions, the program office estimates that the long-term cost per flight hour of the F-35As will be much less than that of the F-22As, but still rather more than that of the F-16Cs that it will replace:

    Fighter aircraft type, Estimated future cost per flight hour (FY'15 $):

    F-35A Lightning II - $32,554

    F-16C Fighting Falcon - $25,541

    None of these numbers are new; what’s new is just the enthusiasm for buying the plane with the highest numbers. Fielding a plane (the F-35A) whose support will cost a quarter more than the plane (the F-16C) it’s replacing, while the budget outlook is at best flat in real terms, is questionably affordable. What’s worse is going back to buy more of a plane (the F-22A) whose support will cost twice again as much.

    At a panel discussion hosted last week by the National Defense Industries Association (NDIA), Roger Zakheim of Covington & Burling argued that operations and maintenance (O&M) costs were eating the budget. In response, Camron Gorguinpour, director of transformational innovation for the USAF, mused about how about R&D now could help suppress O&M later. The problem in this regard with any stealthy aircraft is that it’s comparatively difficult to modify, and thus not a great target for mid-life R&D rescues. Buying more MQ-9s doesn’t fully address the problem either, because drones today not nearly as survivable in a big fight as a manned fighter. But whatever the Pentagon plans to buy next, ask next time how much of the R&D effort is being focused on suppressing the system’s long-term costs. The F-22A first flew in 1997, but we’re dealing with design decisions twenty years on.

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    Take care! Captain America's last adventure!

    Post  nemrod on Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:57 pm


    The last joke above syrian's sky.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/08/25/united-states-pilots-tense-syrian-jet-encounter/89258646/

    The most laughable quote

    ...the Syrian jet left the area, apparently unaware it was being followed.
    I like the "apparently" word.
    Is he unaware of IRST ?



    Mwahahahahaha.


    Exclusive: U.S. pilots provide first account of tense Syrian jet encounter

    Jim Michaels, USA TODAY 3:20 p.m. EDT August 26, 2016

    A MILITARY BASE IN SOUTHWEST ASIA — Two American fighter pilots who intercepted Syrian combat jets over northern Syria last week said they came within 2,000 feet of the planes without the Syrians aware they were being shadowed.

    The tense encounter occurred after Syrian jets dropped bombs near a U.S. adviser team with Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The Pentagon warned Syria that American forces were authorized to take action to defend its troops. Syrian aircraft haven’t dropped bombs in the area since then, and the U.S. military is no longer operating continuous combat patrols there.

    “I followed him around for all three of his loops,” one of the American pilots, a 38-year-old Air Force major, told USA TODAY Wednesday in the first detailed account of the incident. “He didn’t appear to have any idea I was there.”

    The two pilots asked that their names be withheld for security reasons.

    “The behavior stopped,” said Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, which conducts airstrikes in Iraq and Syria from an undisclosed location in this region. “We made our point.”

    The encounter highlights the complexity of the battle in Syria against the Islamic State and raises worries that a mistake could widen the war.

    “The big concern is really a miscalculation,” said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of U.S. air operations in the Middle East. “It can happen on either side.”

    Coalition pilots have generally managed to avoid Syrian and Russian aircraft over Syria, despite the congested airspace.

    The U.S.-led coalition is not at war with the Syrian government or its Russian allies, and the Pentagon reached an agreement to exchange information with the Russians to avoid a miscalculation in the air, but the two sides are not cooperating.

    “We made it very clear to our folks from the highest levels: We’re not at war with the Russians or Syrians,” Corcoran said. “We’re not here to shoot down Russian or Syrian airplanes.”

    Russia and the United States have agreed to keep some areas off limits to Russian and Syrian aircraft, which includes Hasakah, the area bombed last week by the Syrians.

    The complexities have required pilots to navigate an ambiguous environment in the crowded skies over Syria.

    “I’m thinking how do I de-escalate this scenario to the best of my ability and also keep us in a safe position while doing so,” said the second pilot involved in last week's encounter, a 30-year-old captain.

    After the Syrian bombing in the off-limits area, the United States put round-the-clock combat air patrols over Hasakah, and prepared its pilots to take action should the Syrians attack American forces.

    Friday's incident, as described by commanders here, began in the afternoon, when a Syrian aircraft was spotted entering the airspace around Hasakah, and the pair of F-22s, already in the area, raced toward them.

    The captain said he quickly got on a common radio frequency in an effort to reach the Syrian aircraft, asking the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions. There was no response.

    U.S. commanders also contacted the Russians by phone to seek information, but the Russians were unaware of the Syrian action.

    At that point the only way to get information was to have the American pilots approach the Syrian planes, Su-24 Fencers, to determine if they were armed or dropping bombs.

    The American pilots asked permission to get closer to the Syrian aircraft to determine if they were carrying weapons on their wings or appeared to be attacking ground targets. Normally pilots are under orders to keep their distance from Russian or Syrian planes to avoid a miscalculation.

    Permission was granted. One of the F-22s watched as the other maneuvered behind the Syrian aircraft to get a closer look. After about 15 minutes, the Syrian jet left the area, apparently unaware it was being followed.

    Moments later a second Syrian jet entered the airspace. The American pilots repeated the sequence. Neither of the Syrian planes appeared to be carrying weapons, the pilots said.

    In the air command center in Qatar, which oversees air operations in the Middle East, Maj. Gen. Jay Silveria said he was prepared to order the pilots to down the Syrian aircraft if they threatened coalition forces. “I wouldn’t have hesitated,” he said.

    “All I needed at that point to shoot them down was a report from the ground that they were being attacked,” Silveria said. “We were in a perfect position to execute that with some pretty advanced weaponry.”

    But reports from the ground and the American pilots confirmed that the Syrian aircraft did not drop bombs and appeared to be transiting through the area. Syria has an air base in the region, and it is not uncommon for them to fly over the area.

    The F-22 is a stealth aircraft, and pilots are trained to avoid being seen by their adversaries. Commanders are considering more overt tactics in the future to send a message to the Syrians.

    “From now on if it happens, it’s get out to where they can visually see us,” Corcoran said.


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