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Janxy

US Stealth Air Fleet mostly grounded?

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Even if the F-22 or F-35 may be outdated. I'm sure the US government is working on new technology and airplanes that we've never seen. It is highly possible, as was the case for the F-117 Nighthawk and several other programs at Area-51.

How Area 51 Hid Secret Craft

There is even the X-37B, which is being operated by the Air Force, that no one really knows what it is doing in space. There are plenty of theories, but no facts.

Edited by Nicholas

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Hi all

In the only reported test of the F22 against the Eurofighter Typhoon, the F22 team ran away with their tails between their legs, trounced in both dogfight and Beyond Visual Range battle.

"internatinal AIR POWER REVIEW" - year 2006, issue 20, page 45. - ISNB: 1-880588-91-9 (casebound) or ISBN: 1473-9917.

http://eucitizens.eu/Forum/index.php?topic=166.0

The story was also carried on the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1818077.stm

Rumour has it Lockheed have put the Kybosh on tests of the F22 v the Typhoon. Which with the adition of its new BVR missile has become even more deadly against the F22.

There has not been a recorded test of the F22 against the Typhoon since.

Clearly the inference is that stealth no longer works.

Kind Regards walker

Walker, thats what you call Eurofighter PR, plenty of it, considering the mess it has made throughout development. Tranche 2 a/c in 06.. Who are you kidding Walker? :rolleyes:

---------- Post added at 06:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:45 PM ----------

Even if the F-22 or F-35 may be outdated. I'm sure the US government is working on new technology and airplanes that we've never seen. It is highly possible, as was the case for the F-117 Nighthawk and several other programs at Area-51.

How Area 51 Hid Secret Craft

There is even the X-37B, which is being operated by the Air Force, that no one really knows what it is doing in space. There are plenty of theories, but no facts.

Nicholas, your completely right. They are running on "older" technology. However in the aircraft industry it's not so easy to just snap in a Ipad with the right configs.

It seems each year we get a glimpse at another cool toy. :)

Edited by Star Four One

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Walker, thats what you call Eurofighter PR, plenty of it, considering the mess it has made throughout development. Tranche 2 a/c in 06.. Who are you kidding Walker?

LMAO Oh the Irony of that statement.

And you think the F-22 PR machine is truthful and accurate? What about all the F-22's failings? The obscene cost of maintaining the stealth coating? The very public and persistent oxygen system failures? The Ever increasing unit cost? Complete failure to meet capability deadlines? The complete failure to get a working Link 16 compatible datalink to the entire fleet?

Every fighter aircraft has its problems in development. Even getting into service. But only one has cost a reported $70bn for 195 airframes (so far).

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You forget about one thing: planes don't fight, people do. The gasket between the stick and the seat matters most of all. If the whole air force system works well, there will be victory. Just look at the early Arab-Israeli wars or Vietnam war.

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Your completely Clueless DM, (keep trolling, your good at it)

*you're ;)

Theres only so many times you can shoot down F-X before it becomes a waste of JP8.

Pretty sweet quote if you ask me.

I love the double standard: "Raptor is most best plane, everything else is like shooting fish in a barrel" vs. "training to shoot fish in a barrel is pointless"

Here's a snippet from Dozer22 on Fencecheck about the Raptor "kill"... <snip'd for sanity>

I love that whenever something doesnt go the way of a "prestige" project, its because the other team were breaking the rules, cheating, whatever.

I guess you have to watch Top Gear for this to make sense, but its classic "race car driver excuses". If it doesnt go your way it was the fault of the tyres, the tarmac, the weather, the engineers, etc etc.

At the end of the day, Raptor is not some invincible piece of tech, the same way the M1 Abrams isnt the "best tank in the world" (but don't suggest that it isnt if there are Americans around...) infact I'm pretty sure you'd lose a lot of them in a proper shooting war...

LMAO Oh the Irony of that statement.

And you think the F-22 PR machine is truthful and accurate? What about all the F-22's failings? The obscene cost of maintaining the stealth coating? The very public and persistent oxygen system failures? The Ever increasing unit cost? Complete failure to meet capability deadlines? The complete failure to get a working Link 16 compatible datalink to the entire fleet?

Every fighter aircraft has its problems in development. Even getting into service. But only one has cost a reported $70bn for 195 airframes (so far).

^ this, which brings me back to this:

Its a piece of equipment, which is fallable.

Made by people, which are fallable.

Piloted by a person, who, like the people that made it, is also fallable.

The F-22 is a very capable airframe, but its not unbeatable, simple as.

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LMAO Oh the Irony of that statement.

And you think the F-22 PR machine is truthful and accurate? What about all the F-22's failings? The obscene cost of maintaining the stealth coating? The very public and persistent oxygen system failures? The Ever increasing unit cost? Complete failure to meet capability deadlines? The complete failure to get a working Link 16 compatible datalink to the entire fleet?

Every fighter aircraft has its problems in development. Even getting into service. But only one has cost a reported $70bn for 195 airframes (so far).

I never said otherwise RKSL Rock, I know the history of the Raptor. I've followed it since the ATF.

I was responding to the ludacris PR that Walker trampled in with suggesting Tranche 2 Eurofighters obliderated the 'undertrained' American raptors. Besides his, also ludacris sources, he throws in the "stealth no longer works". I'd like to think theres nothing more to be said.

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I never said otherwise RKSL Rock, I know the history of the Raptor. I've followed it since the ATF.

I was responding to the ludacris PR that Walker trampled in with suggesting Tranche 2 Eurofighters obliderated the 'undertrained' American raptors. Besides his, also ludacris sources, he throws in the "stealth no longer works". I'd like to think theres nothing more to be said.

While I agree that Walker posts some ludicrous claims. I'm sorry but that wasn't one of them.

2x Tranche 2 EuroFighters did "obliterate" 2x F-22s. It was well documented in both the UK and European press at the time. The US press was strangely quiet about it.

The story goes they won all the Short Range engagements, losing out only in the BVR matches. The last implies that Stealth works but only at long range. (Which is what all of us in the aircraft industry knew all along.) But neither the USAF nor RAF officially commented. It should also be noted that there was also no denial. However subsequent events where the Typhoon and the F-22 encountered each other were strictly regulated. Wonder why that was?

EuroFighter/BAE Systems did comment but only in so much as they were "pleased with the Typhoon's Performance." Later stories and interviews - I believe Air Forces Monthly carried one - where F-22/USAF staff admitted that the Raptor pilots who engaged the Typhoons were new to the type, so to use Walkers phrase, "under trained". Something I later had confirmed by a real Raptor pilot.

In 2009 I was visiting a friend at RAF Coningsby who actually flys Typhoons. He wasn't one of the pilots who flew against the Raptors but I was introduced to one that did. He confirmed that while it wasn't a clean sweep it did prove to be "very embarrassing for the F-22 crews and their hosts." And "we didn't buy the beer for the rest of the stay."

Again in 2009 shortly after one exercise the French reported that the Rafale had recently "shot down" both the Typhoons and F22s during the wargames. A statement that both the RAF and the USAF took umbrage at forcing the French Air Force to retract and qualify their statements. Official USAF and RAF statement directly contradicted the French account. And the second "clarified statement" was widely received as an attempt at face saving after being caught lying to sell more planes to the UAE and the Libyans. The USAF and RAF again refused to give details of Typhoon vs F22. They would only comment about the French claims. Even after all this lots of un-official stories began to surface. All seemed to suggest the Raptor had egg on its face.

A year later I was invited back to Coningsby and introduced to another friend-of-a-friend. A visiting Raptor pilot; he also confirmed the story but went on to say that "at the time the Typhoon's capability was vastly underestimated and subsequent engagements had been less one sided." A statement I take to be confirmation of the original story in the news. I did press for more details but we were at a party and other people were less interested in shop talk and more interested in the next beer. when i asked my Typhoon flying friend the next day he said it had been strongly suggested to him that "keeping his mouth shut re any stories - ahem - "rumours" he'd heard would be a very good career move."

Again in late 2010 I went up to BAE Systems Warton with work. I met a few old friends from when I worked for EuroFighter, they confirmed that there had been numerous dogfights over the years. Some official, others not so official. Most recently during the weapons integration testing and Red Flag. The USAF seemed reluctant to let the Raptor "play" against any other nation's participants. All the official mission packages placed the F22 on the Blufor with Typhoon and Rafales. Several un-official engagements did take place - under the guise of burning excess fuel? - and The Typhoon reportedly did very well. Not quite as well as the first few times but it was still not all good for the Raptors. Probably the most credible story I heard myself was from both RAF and BAE Systems support personal that were present at the time. The Rafales had serious engine problems and the Raptors "cheated" ignoring the RoE several times.

Finally, my old boss - who I've mentioned several times on this forum - works at Lockheed Fort Worth on the F-35. He's very good friends with several guys that are on the F-22 programme. These are fairly senior people too. He also made comments about "how surprised the Raptor community was to have its collective ass handed to it by the inferior Typhoon". Jim also went on to say that the stories he'd heard coming from the F-22 test group had them worried that the Raptor's credibility had been irreparably damaged by the recent loses in DACT.

Just like DM, i know the Raptor isn't unbeatable. It isn't the super weapon that the Lockheed and USAF PR machines would have us all believe but it is a good tool if used properly. The same goes for the Typhoon, Rafale, SU-30 and numerous others. Unless you are going to come out and say you are actually a F-22 pilot yourself you are only speculating. Just like the rest of us.

You can choose to believe whatever you want. Now the accounts I've post above are my own personal experiences. I've never flown a Raptor nor a real Typhoon (I've been in the real sim for a few hours) so I can't report first hand. I've worked in the Aerospace/Defence industries for most of my working life. Most of that time with BAe, EuroFighter and Airbus. I work with people that can claim first hand experience. Or at least can claim to be getting the story closer to the source than the crap we see on the news sites. But there are sufficient and persistent stories/reports of Raptor 'losses' to cast significant doubt on your claims. So you might want to dial back on the national-pride bit. Nobody, no product is perfect.

On the whole issue of "which airplane is better the best", the best quote i can give, again one that was actually said in my presence, is from an RAF Squadron Leader, "Given what we've seen over the last few years I would choose the Typhoon over the Raptor, Rafale or SU (Indian Su-30MKI) for WVR (within Visual Range) combat on every day of the year and twice at Christmas."

Personally, given the cost vs. capability/flexibility I'd go with the Typhoon too. But I don't have a spare $70Bn to throw around.

Edited by RKSL-Rock
Typos

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Raptor's credibility had been irreparably damaged by the recent loses in DACT.

Upwards of 240 kills in training exercises and:

1 kill via a USAF F-16C

1 kill via a USN EA-18G

1 possible kill via USN F/A-18F

2 kills via RAF Typhoons

...now mean the Raptor's credibility has been irreparably damaged? Give me a break. You're implying some sort of agreement to avoid air combat training between F-22s and Typhoons?

BTW the French supposedly have a bad habit of just loitering around trying to get the best radar/IR/communications signature information they can from the F-22. No idea if this is true however.

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Upwards of 240 kills in training exercises and:

1 kill via a USAF F-16C

1 kill via a USN EA-18G

1 possible kill via USN F/A-18F

2 kills via RAF Typhoons

...now mean the Raptor's credibility has been irreparably damaged? Give me a break. You're implying some sort of agreement to avoid air combat training between F-22s and Typhoons?

BTW the French supposedly have a bad habit of just loitering around trying to get the best radar/IR/communications signature information they can from the F-22. No idea if this is true however.

Give me a break. Don't take the quote completely out of context. Those were the concerns of Lockheed F-22 team members in light of budget cuts and cancellation threats when the Raptor programme was being investigated by the US congress. They did eventually cut the programme short after all didn't they.

And as far as an "agreement to avoid air combat training between F-22s and Typhoons". Not avoid no. But there is certainly a gentleman's agreement not to publically discuss the results or lessons learned. I've had that from both US and RAF aircrew Remember these aren't my words either. These were the comments from actual aircrew involved. And there is a directive from the USAF about releasing any unofficial information about the F22 project and its combat effectiveness. It's been the subject of debate among people I know on the F-35 team. They find it very funny since the Raptors flaws and defeats only add to the "safety net" below the JSF programme.

As for your reckoning, I think you are a bit off. Where are you getting those figures? I've heard enough rumours and read enough stories in the press to know it's a lot higher than just 5 kills. I know you are missing atleast the famous T-38 Trainer vs F22 kill that hit headlines around the world a few years ago. Just a quick google flick through a few forums and magazines in my office kicked up these:

1x confirmed kill by T-38 where and when I dont know but its on Youtube.

1x confirmed kill by USN EF-18G

1x claimed kill by USMC F-18C - admittedly 2 vs 4. The F-22s killed 3 for 1 loss. - Forum

1x confirmed kill by a Belgian F-16 at Deci 2010 - AFM

1x claimed kill by a Spanish F-18 at Deci 2010 - AFM

3x claimed but unconfirmed kills by German Typhoons at Deci - Eurofighter Mags

5x claimed but unconfirmed kills by French Rafales 2009/10 Deci/Red Flag - Rafale Forums

2x confirmed kills by RAF Typhoons in the US 2007 - Flight International + First hand confirmation.

3x confirmed kills by RAF Typhoons at Deci 2009 - AFM/RAF Aircrew.

1x claimed kill by Italian Typhoon F2 at Deci - Forums

1x claimed kill at Red Flag 2009(?) by a French Mirage 2000 - Forums

Dates are approximate.

Even if half of them are true its still not the clean sweep some people are claiming.

The French have a habit of only commiting if they know they can win. There were complaints about it in various wargames. AFM did a very good After Action review a few years back. Around the same time as the French were claiming to have shot down Typhoons and F-22s etc. It didnt put the French tactics in a very nice light. To use a cliched British term. "Its wasn't cricket." In other words they didnt play by the spirit of the game only the letter of the law.

EDIT Another thing just came up in our Office conversation. I'm sat here with 2x BAE Staff and 1 poor soul from MBDA at Lostock. Out of those claimed 240 kills how many were BVR? How many were WVR?

Edited by RKSL-Rock

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I just noticed someone mentioning usage of the nuclear armament. My opinion on nuclear armament is:

The only people who are justifiable to be attacked with nuclear weapons, are the people who think it is justifiable to use nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons are A no-no from me. It is whay harder without a nuclear armament, but the damage done by it can be irreparaible. Hiroshima still has the traces of the first atomic bomb used in combat explosion.

Now, rant over, back to planes:

I think that F-22's expensive, tad too much, but from what I read here from you guys, I assume, that the specifications required for F-22 should be fixed until achieved and all bugs fixed. Scampering all across the board will do nothing. I mean, in my eyes all projects should be reached like this:

1)set goal

2)achieve the goal

3)new specs

4)specific upgrade package (example of such planing: TUSK for M1A1/A2)

I mean scampering all across the board was proven by history wrong. That is why Panther never had all the problems fixed back in WWII. Hitler just kept adding new reqirements, without considering to fix the final drive issues, etc. Had they've been fixed, without that BS, it had been few extra weeks of existance for Nazi Germany.

Well, that's me.

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Give me a break. Don't take the quote completely out of context. Those were the concerns of Lockheed F-22 team members in light of budget cuts and cancellation threats when the Raptor programme was being investigated by the US congress. They did eventually cut the programme short after all didn't they.

And as far as an "agreement to avoid air combat training between F-22s and Typhoons". Not avoid no. But there is certainly a gentleman's agreement not to publically discuss the results or lessons learned. I've had that from both US and RAF aircrew Remember these aren't my words either. These were the comments from actual aircrew involved. And there is a directive from the USAF about releasing any unofficial information about the F22 project and its combat effectiveness. It's been the subject of debate among people I know on the F-35 team. They find it very funny since the Raptors flaws and defeats only add to the "safety net" below the JSF programme.

As for your reckoning, I think you are a bit off. Where are you getting those figures? I've heard enough rumours and read enough stories in the press to know it's a lot higher than just 5 kills. I know you are missing atleast the famous T-38 Trainer vs F22 kill that hit headlines around the world a few years ago. Just a quick google flick through a few forums and magazines in my office kicked up these:

1x confirmed kill by T-38 where and when I dont know but its on Youtube.

1x confirmed kill by USN EF-18G

1x claimed kill by USMC F-18C - admittedly 2 vs 4. The F-22s killed 3 for 1 loss. - Forum

1x confirmed kill by a Belgian F-16 at Deci 2010 - AFM

1x claimed kill by a Spanish F-18 at Deci 2010 - AFM

3x claimed but unconfirmed kills by German Typhoons at Deci - Eurofighter Mags

5x claimed but unconfirmed kills by French Rafales 2009/10 Deci/Red Flag - Rafale Forums

2x confirmed kills by RAF Typhoons in the US 2007 - Flight International + First hand confirmation.

3x confirmed kills by RAF Typhoons at Deci 2009 - AFM/RAF Aircrew.

1x claimed kill by Italian Typhoon F2 at Deci - Forums

1x claimed kill at Red Flag 2009(?) by a French Mirage 2000 - Forums45

Dates are approximate.

Even if half of them are true its still not the clean sweep some people are claiming.

The French have a habit of only commiting if they know they can win. There were complaints about it in various wargames. AFM did a very good After Action review a few years back. Around the same time as the French were claiming to have shot down Typhoons and F-22s etc. It didnt put the French tactics in a very nice light. To use a cliched British term. "Its wasn't cricket." In other words they didnt play by the spirit of the game only the letter of the law.

EDIT Another thing just came up in our Office conversation. I'm sat here with 2x BAE Staff and 1 poor soul from MBDA at Lostock. Out of those claimed 240 kills how many were BVR? How many were WVR?

I would bet that most of the claimed (non-confirmed) kills are not true. We are talking about fighter pilots after all. I've also seen that video from a T-38, but can that even simulate having an armament? Were the aircraft still practicing ACM at the time or did the T-38 decide to go for a shot after the engagement officially ended?

I believe RAF Typhoons have gotten a few kills, but I'm sure F-22s have gotten kills in return. Indeed the bulk of the F-22's kill tally is likely in BVR, because that is where it's most capable. However that doesn't mean its physical performance is lacking. It certainly isn't. It has outstanding maneuverability, acceleration, high speed and high altitude performance. But that doesn't assure victory. Experienced Aggressor F-5E pilots have long humiliated newer pilots flying F-16s that have all-around superior performance.

I'm not certain if you're trying to claim there is some fundamental design flaw with the F-22, but that isn't the case. Rather the lack of a system like JMHCS with AIM-9X support is a significant disadvantage when you close with an enemy who has comparable systems. Right now F-22s are still flying with AIM-9M Sidewinders, which work but aren't nearly as capable as that combination of newer missiles (AIM-9X, ASRAAM, IRIS-T) and a helmet-mounted cuing system. A HMCS for the F-22 is one of those one of those features that always keeps getting delayed/cut due to the cost, technical issues, and indecision regarding possible commonality with the F-35's helmet mounted display. AIM-9X capability keeps getting delayed as it isn't a massive improvement without a HMCS. Another nice thing the Typhoon has is an IRST. The AIRST once planned for the F-22 was cut with a host of other features during the '90s. Today I still think an IRST would be nice to have on the F-22, but not yet necessary.

The decision to cut the F-22 was an incredibly short-sighted one in my opinion. If the lack of systems that could have been integrated with the necessary funding and effort factored into the decision to cut the program, that is a new level of stupidity in my book. The F-22 program suffered greatly due to constant cuts, changes, and was finally cut off at the knees a few years ago. It will work, but it's unlikely to be everything it could have been, which is a terrible shame. The F-35 is needed but that fills a different set of requirements.

I'm sure the technical issues the F-35 is encountering will be fixed, I just really wish they could cut back on the weight. Of course these days everything is at risk due to our spending/debt problem, and despite what some will tell you, military procurement spending isn't the culprit.

Edited by ReconTeam

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An amusing thread.

F-22 'kills' are completely meaningless without context. It's even more amusing just how much length some would go into bellitling an aircraft that currently has no rival. I wouldn't expect anyone in a Typhoon or Rafale to really want to face off with F-22's - that's really asking for punishment.

Here's one you might wonder about:

-QGwsRazhvA

Maybe F-16's aren't such great fighters after all, huh? :)

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How could Rafale go against westerner aircraft knowing we don't sell any unit? :p

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I would bet that most of the claimed (non-confirmed) kills are not true. We are talking about fighter pilots after all. I've also seen that video from a T-38, but can that even simulate having an armament? Were the aircraft still practicing ACM at the time or did the T-38 decide to go for a shot after the engagement officially ended?

The T38 can simulate weapons as the video shows. It is after all an “advanced†trainer. And really just an upgraded F-5E.

As for the engagement well it depends whose description you read doesn’t it. The first one I saw claimed that both were actively engaged. I later saw various versions on forums. Some defending the F-22 others pointing out flaws, both real and imagined. As were the explantions... ;)

I believe RAF Typhoons have gotten a few kills, but I'm sure F-22s have gotten kills in return. Indeed the bulk of the F-22's kill tally is likely in BVR, because that is where it's most capable. However that doesn't mean its physical performance is lacking. It certainly isn't. It has outstanding maneuverability, acceleration, high speed and high altitude performance. But that doesn't assure victory. Experienced Aggressor F-5E pilots have long humiliated newer pilots flying F-16s that have all-around superior performance.

I have no doubt that the Typhoon have sustained losses against the F-22.

I wasn’t suggesting that the physical performance was lacking in all regimes. Just the capability in some regimes when compared to other newer aircraft. The F-22 is primarily a long range fighter/interceptor. It can dogfight but dog fighting is not its primary function. What I am criticising is some people’s suggestion that despite all the evidence to the contrary the F-22 can do absolutely everything and anything all of the time. That’s just utter bull.

The F-22 has an impressive kill ratio. – Recently quoted as 30:1 see link below – but most of that is going to be BVR since that is what it is actually designed to do. And it does it well. What my own post and the posts of other are saying is that the F-22 is not the “ultimate fighter aircraft†as you and others have claimed. It’s a well conceived BVR platform that has been crippled by bad management, politics and shoddy politically driven engineering.

I'm not certain if you're trying to claim there is some fundamental design flaw with the F-22, but that isn't the case.

Yes it is a flawed design. It has so many flaws that the cost per aircraft has spiraled so far and so fast that it has outstripped the NAO’s worst case cost overrun scenarios. To name just a few flawed areas:

• Extreme cost and labour intensive “Stealth Coating maintenanceâ€. ~11x more expensive than forecast and takes 3x longer to do

• Requirement for specialised facilities to apply the above coating. Ie it cannot be done on remote sites. Aircraft have to be returned to special sites. It’s definitely a flaw in planning and long term cost of ownership as well as the aircraft’s design.

• Ongoing Oxygen system flaws - http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-22-redesign-considered-as-oxygen-system-concerns-linger-368988/

• Electrical power generation shortage – onboard systems cannot generate enough power to run the current or projected avionics given the current spec and design loads.

• Lack of NATO compatible “netcentric†data link.

• No ISTAR compatible sensors for “fusion†with ground forces.

• No capability (planned or otherwise) to carry any sort of joint targeting pod.

• Repeated failure to implement the MADL/Link 16 datalinks

I could go on…

Rather the lack of a system like JMHCS with AIM-9X support is a significant disadvantage when you close with an enemy who has comparable systems. Right now F-22s are still flying with AIM-9M Sidewinders, which work but aren't nearly as capable as that combination of newer missiles (AIM-9X, ASRAAM, IRIS-T) and a helmet-mounted cuing system. A HMCS for the F-22 is one of those one of those features that always keeps getting delayed/cut due to the cost, technical issues, and indecision regarding possible commonality with the F-35's helmet mounted display. AIM-9X capability keeps getting delayed as it isn't a massive improvement without a HMCS. Another nice thing the Typhoon has is an IRST. The AIRST once planned for the F-22 was cut with a host of other features during the '90s. Today I still think an IRST would be nice to have on the F-22, but not yet necessary. .

I agree with you that if the JMHCS and 9x were to be properly implemented then it would be harder to kill a F22 in short range fights but that alone will not resolve the engineering and maintenance flaws in the airframe.

The simple fact is that all these features are being dropped due to fundamental problems getting the basic airframe into full service. The money has run out time and time again so more of these secondary features have been cut. It’s the reality of modern large scale projects.

IF the F-22 had been properly managed both in practical engineering and finance and it had entered service with the full spread of planned features and capabilities then we wouldn’t be having this debate and I would be joining you in the “Gosh Wow clubâ€. But, again the reality of the F-22 has repeatedly failed to live up to the PR. You’ve even highlighted the flaws yourself in your previous posts yet you fail to see them as the flaws they are.

The decision to cut the F-22 was an incredibly short-sighted one in my opinion. If the lack of systems that could have been integrated with the necessary funding and effort factored into the decision to cut the program, that is a new level of stupidity in my book. The F-22 program suffered greatly due to constant cuts, changes, and was finally cut off at the knees a few years ago. It will work, but it's unlikely to be everything it could have been, which is a terrible shame. The F-35 is needed but that fills a different set of requirements. .

The decision to keep funding the F-22 through all its problems and force politically driven requirements onto an already failing engineering team was just stupid. It should have been managed properly. And when it first started to fail it should have been audited properly and the management reviewed.

And given the obscene cost published by the US Congressional hearings and the NAO reports on the F-22 program there was no other practical of political conclusion. Given the current state of the US and world economy it was always going to get cut.

I'm sure the technical issues the F-35 is encountering will be fixed, I just really wish they could cut back on the weight. Of course these days everything is at risk due to our spending/debt problem, and despite what some will tell you, military procurement spending isn't the culprit.

The F-35 has definitely benefited from the F-22 failings. The engineering teams have been streamlined and the design review cycle reviewed to remove wasted efforts, From an engineering side of things the main problems come from the complexity of working with new and exotic materials and the international partnerships. Specifically every nation that has bought into the F-35 wants a (large) piece of the production work. Compared to a civil aircraft that’s almost impossible to accommodate due to the specialised tools and processes involved in composite manufacture and assembly.

From a political and management point of view there are still some serious problems. The politicians are all trying to get a piece of the action, retaining manufacturing sites in their states etc. And in the process forcing a logistics nightmare on the Lockheed team. And even in some cases, forcing them to use “less than optimum†equipment choices for political ends rather then practical needs. So there are still engineering issues to solve but those are being hampered by politics and the need to satisfy politically driven requirements which seems to be the norm for any large scale operation throughout history.

An amusing thread.

F-22 'kills' are completely meaningless without context. It's even more amusing just how much length some would go into bellitling an aircraft that currently has no rival. I wouldn't expect anyone in a Typhoon or Rafale to really want to face off with F-22's - that's really asking for punishment.

Here's one you might wonder about:

[YOUTUBE]-QGwsRazhvA[YOUTUBE]

Maybe F-16's aren't such great fighters after all, huh?

It’s actually hilarious to see the extents people will go to defend the PR image of the F-22 despite all the evidence.

The F-22 has its niche. A niche in which it shines as a glorious example of engineering prowess. But outside of the niche it capability reduces. Even USAF Generals are publically talking about its flaws… It can be killed if you use the right tactics. eg:

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/02/top-usaf-general-explains-exac.html

The F-22 does have rivals, they may not all 5th Generation airframes but they are very capable platforms. As you say “context†is everything. In the right scenario I suspect the F-22 will excel. But how often will that scenario happen? Especially given the reality of modern warfare.

Edited by RKSL-Rock
Typos and clarifications

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If there is one thing you take away from this forum, it should be that nobody knows more about aircraft than Rock. You only need to dig up every aircraft related thread on this forum to see what I mean, lol! :D

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If there is one thing you take away from this forum, it should be that nobody knows more about aircraft than Rock. You only need to dig up every aircraft related thread on this forum to see what I mean, lol! :D

LMAO, thats not really true. Its just that people keep picking topics about my "favourite" aircraft and projects I do actually have first hand knowledge of.

Besides I'm cheating a little bit here. I've done a hell of a lot of research on the F-22 and F-35 projects as well as professional time on Eurofighter and Airbus stuff. This is really just warming up for (re)starting my MSc in Defence Acquisition Management. These discussions are good practice for interviews etc. Well at least im considering doing it. I stopped a different course a few years ago due to personal issues. Now i have the time again I'm seriously thinking about giving it a 2nd go.

Edited by RKSL-Rock

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@Rock (sorry slight detour) would you buy the V-22?

Depends on the application, but for general use, in a word "No". Personally I think it cheaper to use a modern helicopter.

The V-22's use in Afghanistan has proven that its not good for general use (resupply, MERT/CASEVAC - load space is too small according to some) its load space and carrying capability make a CH47F/Merlin AW101 class a better option. But it proven to be a good SF platform as recent surprise raids have shown. Then again its lack of defensive weapons ie side guns limit its use. And since they cancelled the belly turret its not likely to get any practical new defensive toys which means it needs an escort which either negates it speed advantage. Or means you have to assign fixed wings to it. Which may again be impractical for various reasons.

Edited by RKSL-Rock

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Yes it is a flawed design. It has so many flaws that the cost per aircraft has spiraled so far and so fast that it has outstripped the NAO’s worst case cost overrun scenarios. To name just a few flawed areas:

Flawed by what measure?

• Extreme cost and labour intensive “Stealth Coating maintenanceâ€. ~11x more expensive than forecast and takes 3x longer to do

Stealth is a high (cost) risk technology.

• Requirement for specialised facilities to apply the above coating. Ie it cannot be done on remote sites. Aircraft have to be returned to special sites. It’s definitely a flaw in planning and long term cost of ownership as well as the aircraft’s design.

It's toxic stuff ... but if necessary, you bet they'll do it anywhere, any time.

Ongoing no one's certain what's up with it flaws. Risks of new technology.

• Electrical power generation shortage – onboard systems cannot generate enough power to run the current or projected avionics given the current spec and design loads.

Never heard of that one, but interesting if true.

• Lack of NATO compatible “netcentric†data link.

Because it isn't compatible with being stealth. Being worked on, subject to budget.

• No ISTAR compatible sensors for “fusion†with ground forces.

• No capability (planned or otherwise) to carry any sort of joint targeting pod.

Not wanted/needed. This is the F-35's mission.

• Repeated failure to implement the MADL/Link 16 datalinks

Not wanted. Link-22 is the thing for the F-22.

I could go on…

Do, as long as you have such nice lists for its contemporaries. ;)

The simple fact is that all these features are being dropped due to fundamental problems getting the basic airframe into full service. The money has run out time and time again so more of these secondary features have been cut. It’s the reality of modern large scale projects.

The F-22 is being constantly upgraded. Some choose not to notice (or don't know).

It’s actually hilarious to see the extents people will go to defend the PR image of the F-22 despite all the evidence.

It's also hillarious to see the extents people will go to malign the F-22 based on a couple press releases that they claim to be evidence ( .. of what? ).

Anything can be killed with the right tactics, but neither example is making your point. Both examples are rather silly - one pertains to equipment (BTW, did you know that an F-22 went up against 4 F-16's with AIM-9X while loaded with just 9M's and gun, and killed all of'em in ACM/BFM? Mutual kill with the last guy, though). There are a lot of exercises you probably will not hear about.

The F-22 does have rivals, they may not all 5th Generation airframes but they are very capable platforms. As you say “context†is everything. In the right scenario I suspect the F-22 will excel. But how often will that scenario happen? Especially given the reality of modern warfare.

The F-22 is an Air Dominance fighter. That's what it excels at. Up close, or in BVR - it has shortages, but guess what ... so do other fighters. In the end, if it really needs a 9X, they'll stick one on. The JHMCS as well. You're looking at this from a 1v1 perspective instead of a fighting force perspective, and you're seeing just the tip of the iceberg.

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LOL, looks like someone didn't heed my advice.

Next you'll be saying the F-35 program is going exceptionally well.

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The F-35 program, it, like the F-22 program, and the F-15 program and the F-14 program, and the F-111 program - it has its problems. That is something you will never get away from. The more capable the fighter is supposed to be, the more development problems it will have. It isn't unlikely to be left with some problems in production, either ( for example, F-14's engines, or for the F-15, some issues with radar manufacturing ). All these fighters were constantly upgraded, and things fixed.

The F-14 was cool but never amounted to much in practice (it just didn't face the scenario it was built for).

The F-111 did its job well, but didn't get famous either (of course, it isn't a pure fighter by any means like the others are)

The F-15 ended up being king of the skies, with only the F-22 left to take the title ... and the F-15 certainly 'got killed' a whole lot more than the F-22 does in exercises.

Other types of aircraft, such as the B-1 and F-117, not to mention the B-2, had their own kinds of hurdles as well.

LOL, looks like someone didn't heed my advice.

Next you'll be saying the F-35 program is going exceptionally well.

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Flawed by what measure?

Seriously?

You don't see the issues with the huge list of failed milestones, technical failings and the constant removal of requirements from the "upgrades".

I would suggest you are confusing the F-22 "Concept of what was promised" with the reality of its situation.

The inservice date was delayed so often it became a joke even in the USAF.

When it did arrive it represented less then 30% of the promised capability at the time of order. Which is not that uncommon but even now after production has ended it still only meets less than 60% of the original spec.

The reason for that is that the original and current designs were not a practical proposition in either engineering or financial terms. That is a fundamental flaw.

Stealth is a high (cost) risk technology.

Now I know you know nothing about operating aircraft. Servicing costs represent the largest percentage of the cost of ownership in any military aircraft's lifecycle. The fact that nearly all of its maintenance issues relate back to the stealth coating is a design flaw.

The fact that it cannot be repaired in the field is a failure to comply with the original conditions of the contract. Another flaw in the "plan".

It's toxic stuff ... but if necessary, you bet they'll do it anywhere, any time.

You are showing your ignorance again. Actually the "new" stuff isnt toxic. It just needs special facilities apply and 'bake' it. The old stuff was slightly toxic if improperly handled but no more than some commercial paints. The issue was that it needed special storage and application equipment none of which was air transportable. Incidentally that was also part of the original spec - the ability to affect local repairs to the coating while deployed.

Ongoing no one's certain what's up with it flaws. Risks of new technology.

Thank you. You've proved my point for me. Thats a flaw right there then. Especially since no one knows whats up with it.

Its a risk with new tech, but its a risk that is nearly always dealt with in R&D phases. Not after the last aircraft rolls out the hanger.

Incidentally its also suspected to be the cause of several F-22 crashes. Now I'm sure the families of the dead aircrew would call it a flawed design.

Never heard of that one, but interesting if true.

You can't have followed the engineering updates then. Its been a huge issues since 2001. Its been solved in fleet use by using "conditional switching" (Im not sure what the offical USAF term is but thats the BAE term used fro the same procedure when testing electrical installations in new airframes under battery driven test gear). A manual procedure that requires the aircrew to turn off some systems to balance power.

Because it isn't compatible with being stealth. Being worked on, subject to budget.

LMAO, no it isnt too stealthy but it is a vital component when working in NATO controlled airspace as part of a joint operation. Such as Libya, Afghanistan, IRAQ various US and NATO ACM ranges etc. You know things that modern aircraft do.

Not wanted/needed. This is the F-35's mission.

Actually, it was. It was part of the original spec. Then it was dropped as a part of the first few lot requirements and moved to a future capability requirement.

And the F-22's mission is to provide air superiority over the F-35 (and other types) strike package passing data and target updates to the F-35s via secure link 16 compatible data links...

"Sensor Fusion" was key requirement in the radar and intelligence gathering capability requirement. It was a huge bragging point for a while. But it finally and completely vanished from the requirements in 2007.

Not wanted. Link-22 is the thing for the F-22.

Again, you are proving your ignorance. Link 22 has nothing to do with the F-22 at all. It is a NATO standard that defines the level of compliance required to meet that standard. One of the conditions of compliance is that it be compatible with all Link-16 systems.

From Wikipedia - not the worlds greatest source but it is at least public info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_22

Link 22 was developed to replace and overcome the known deficiencies of Link 11. Link 22 was also designed to complement and interoperate easily with Link 16. It was designed with automated and simple management to ensure that it is easier to manage than both Link 11 and Link 16. This program is called “NATO Improved Link Elevenâ€, which is abbreviated to “NILEâ€. The tactical data link provided by the NILE system has been officially designated Link 22.

Link 16 is the standard for all US and NATO secure communications. Since the F-22 is supposed to be part of an integrated NATO compatible weapons system it has to be Link 16 compatible to be able to operate within the modern integrated warzone.

The F-22's MADL link was cancelled in 2010. It would have provided a Link-16 compatible secure frequency agile data link with other Link-16 enabled platforms. However they couldn't get it to work on the F-22 for various, power and signal receptions issues. It was dropped as a requirement due to the rising costs and the funding for a common system box moved to the F-35 project funding allocation to reduce the reported cost of the F-22 development.

This left the F-22 with no other method of communication than a standard frequency agile radio (Incidentally its a slightly modified F-16 design). It cannot share targets even among F-22 and it cannot receive tactical information for JTIDS/JSTARS or AWCS aircraft at all. Every bit of information has to be relayed by very unstealthy and very slow conventional radio. (Another flaw in the F-22 I think)

Do, as long as you have such nice lists for its contemporaries.

I tell you what we'll focus on the F-22 in this thread but feel free to start a EuroFighter Typhoon thread. Or Rafale, Su-30/33, Gripen, F-18E I'll happily chip in with what i know. I've got a long list of stuff ont he Typhoon. And its first hand too since I worked in both the design and procurement teams on it. I can tell you some nice stories about the A380, A319/320/321, Tornado, Harrier and Hawk too.

The F-22 is being constantly upgraded. Some choose not to notice (or don't know).

LMAO, some choose to ignore the original design promises and contracted specifications too.

Yes its being upgraded to fix its current short comings. Those little realities that Lockheed and the USAF can no longer make excuses for ;)

But lets be fair no aircraft arrives in service complete and perfect. In the 17 years I've been working in the Aerospace and Defence sectors I've seen more than a few upgrade programs. The reality is that not one plane ever lived up to the image created for it by the company advertising team.

It's also hillarious to see the extents people will go to malign the F-22 based on a couple press releases that they claim to be evidence ( .. of what? ).

A couple? Press releases? Im referring to official US government reports issues but the US Congress, National Accounting office, Joint Chiefs of Staff, USAF and other government bodies issued of 12 years of development and service. Where are you getting your information? I'd like to see your research too.

Heres a nice free summary to start you off: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/f22-raptor-procurement-events-updated-02908/

It's been updated as time has gone on. It's certainly not the definitive guide but its a pretty good list of the project's highlights. Both the problems and the successes.

For a more aviation sided viewpoints have look through the Flight International New feeds. Its a very credible and not easily bullshitted publication read by a lot of Defense industry professionals. People that can usually spot a good whopper and say so. Some of the Editorials on the F-22 are written by long standing observers of industry and government. Always a good read: http://www.flightglobal.com/searchresults/%20f-22/

I'd love to see your evidence of the F-22's amazing successes and weigh them against the articles and reports about the spiraling costs, deaths due to equipment failures and concerns of the "diminished capability of the F-22 due to rising costs and mismanagement".

Anything can be killed with the right tactics, but neither example is making your point. Both examples are rather silly - one pertains to equipment (BTW, did you know that an F-22 went up against 4 F-16's with AIM-9X while loaded with just 9M's and gun, and killed all of'em in ACM/BFM? Mutual kill with the last guy, though). There are a lot of exercises you probably will not hear about.

Yes I heard about that. Redflag 09 I think. It was widely reported. It was also later expanded up by some of the F-16 pilots. Seems the F-22's did a bit of a "Jester" and went below the safety floor causing them to break off. The F-22 returned from out of area and re-engaged but that was never officially confirmed was it. Unlike the F-22's kills.

The F-22 is an Air Dominance fighter. That's what it excels at. Up close, or in BVR - it has shortages, but guess what ... so do other fighters. In the end, if it really needs a 9X, they'll stick one on. The JHMCS as well. You're looking at this from a 1v1 perspective instead of a fighting force perspective, and you're seeing just the tip of the iceberg.

Air Dominance Fighter. Such a great tag line isn't it.

My point as I keep repeating is that you should not believe all the PR releases and publically driven propaganda. The F-22 is a very good airplane. But it is not what was originally promised nor is it the model of perfection that some people are claiming. It has serious flaws in its design. Flaws that have killed people. It is obscenely expensive to maintain due to flawed design decisions. And after nearly 7 years of operational flying it is still not integrated properly into the US air defence network. It cannot fully operate as part of a modern integrated strike package nor can it be integrated fully into any NATO operation. Every other modern fighter can. Even the Indian Su-30MKI's are getting Link-16 compatible systems in the next few years.

So yes I think the F-22 in its current form is fundamentally flawed. Given all the links to official US government announcement and published articles form credible industry news services I've given listing its failure (and successes) I cannot see how you can say it isn't flawed.

EDIT: This is an old article but its still valid since it highlights the problems, both political and engineering since the project started albeith with a negative spin: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/09/AR2009070903020_2.html?hpid=topnews⊂=AR&sid=ST2009071001019

Edited by RKSL-Rock
typos

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Anything can be killed with the right tactics, but neither example is making your point. Both examples are rather silly - one pertains to equipment (BTW, did you know that an F-22 went up against 4 F-16's with AIM-9X while loaded with just 9M's and gun, and killed all of'em in ACM/BFM? Mutual kill with the last guy, though). There are a lot of exercises you probably will not hear about.

And here you have a T-38 Talon trainer shooting down a F-22 in a dogfight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXmDj3mFrXQ

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Here you have an F-22 turning its tail for the T-38 student who needs practice. That's all there is to that one.

And here you have a T-38 Talon trainer shooting down a F-22 in a dogfight:

---------- Post added at 04:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:40 PM ----------

I'll leave the rest be and say this: As far as I'm aware, the pilots only have a couple of problems with the F-22 currently - that would be the troubles with the OBOGS, and the fact that they (and probably the Golden Eagle crews, too) are under a microscope. Now, I don't hear a whole lot, but what I have heard ( ... and not from your described propaganda ) is that the pilots don't really complain about the aircraft being 'fundamentally flawed', but everyone who can blow hot air without a jet engine seems to. I'd say you're just taking this propaganda thing in the other direction. As far as I'm concerned, it's no different than any other fighter development, but at the same time it just happens to kill stuff in the air better than other fighters.

So yes I think the F-22 in its current form is fundamentally flawed. Given all the links to official US government announcement and published articles form credible industry news services I've given listing its failure (and successes) I cannot see how you can say it isn't flawed.

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