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Subject: Is US were right to develop F22 and F35?
french stratege    2/11/2007 3:52:45 PM
I think that US did a mistake by developping both of them. F22 is overspecified vs any threat and quite expensive F35 is too light Making two programs means double R&D cost.40 B$ in R&D is equivalent to 300 F22. Should US should have make an intermediate fighter between F22 and F35? I mean a twin engine about 2*10/11 tons trust with stealthiness and supercruise of F22 (but with a reduced supercruise speed to mach 1,4) and polyvalent as F35 with bigger internal bays able to handle 2 AM9x more in a second bay like F22 OR two more AMRAAM . US tried to replicate F15/F16 combination. In the sixties US relied on F4 for all services: a medium/heavy polyvalent fighter. What is your thinking about that?
 
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Phaid       2/11/2007 4:10:43 PM
Without the ATF competition that led to the F-22, the technologies that are now going into the F-35, as well as the AESA technologies being retrofitted into earlier type airframes, would not have been developed.  Just as developing the F-14 and its Phoenix missiles eventually led to the AMRAAM, the F-22 pioneered many technologies that led to cheaper, slightly less capable versions that could easily be mass produced.

As is almost always the case, the lessons learned in developing the platform are strategically more important than the capabilities of the platform itself.

Having said that, the F-22 is an uncompromising air superiority platform, designed in recognition of the fact that since technology makes even obsolete airframes quite deadly with modern weapons and avionics, the only way to guarantee victory is to change the nature of the air battle.

As far as the F-35 being "too light", that is simply false.  It is easily capable of handling the same warloads that current strike fighters can.  It can't do that with internal carriage only, but for the sort of strike missions that e.g. F-16s and F/A-18s are currently performing there is no need for stealth.  The F-35 has every bit the heavy strike capability of any current strike aircraft; the difference is that it also has the stealthy strike capability that those aircraft do not.



 
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french stratege       2/11/2007 4:19:29 PM
The demonstrator phase YF22/YF23 was for sure necessary but cost less than 10% of F22 program.They could have stop there, cancell F22, save more than 30 B$, and develop an heavier twin engine F35 of 20 ton class, with some feature of F22 and build 2000+ of them for the same money.
It was my point.
 
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DynamicTraveler       2/11/2007 4:48:21 PM
I don't recall seeing any published material which said the F-22 could supercruise greater than mach 1.4.  I think the airplane you are proposing is just a F-22 with greather internal storage and strike capability.  Is this a correct assumption, FS?
 
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french stratege       2/11/2007 5:37:47 PM
No a lighter twin engine airplane than F22: between F22 and F35, with a bomb bay larger and T/W ratio and stealtniness and radar better than F35.ANd a reduced supercruise ability vs F22 which is said at mach1,7./1,6
Instead of a combo F22/F35 like F15/F16, a single medium hevy fighter like F4 was for airforce/navy/marines.
A fighter about 70/80m $ instead of 110 for F22 and 50 for F35 at marginal production price.
A small F22 but polyvalent and cheaper and with a navy version.See the picture?
 
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Phaid       2/11/2007 5:40:53 PM
There are numerous public sources which have confirmed the F-22 can supercruise at mach 1.8.  There is no controversy about that.

Re: FS, the problem with that is that the state of technology in 1989 would not have permitted development of a smaller, lighter F-22 type aircraft which would have met those criteria, and the basic technology of the F-22 itself was not yet mature.   Keeping the F-22 in production was the correct thing to do.  The intervening time allowed the F-35's avionics to benefit from advances in microprocessors, and its stealth technology to benefit from the lessons in materials learned in the F-22's development.

Buying 2000 airframes that are somewhere between the F-35 and the F-22 would neither have been affordable nor optimal.  The cost of the logistics and maintenance of operating that many aircraft developed with 1980s stealth technology would not have been affordable.

The F-22 is hardly a hangar queen -- recent exercises have confirmed that its availability is better than previous U.S. fighters at the same stage of development -- but its maintenance requirements are undoubtedly higher than those of the F-35.  Given the smaller number of F-22s, this is acceptable.

The high-low mix of F-22 and F-35 will work very well together.  In terms of the air supremacy mission, look at the way the F-22 worked with F-15Cs in the recent Alaska exercises -- the F-35 will perform the same role as those F-15Cs did, only it will be stealthy while doing it.  The F-35 is a very capable platform in its own right, certainly more capable than any other than the F-22.  On its own, the F-22 is unbeatable.  Acting with other U.S. fighters it is a tremendous force multiplier.  Meanwhile, the F-35 is an affordable fighter that benefits from the F-22's technology as well as innovations of its own and can be exported at a competitive price.  The combination makes the most sense for the U.S., and for the U.S. defense industry.
 
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Phaid       2/11/2007 5:45:21 PM

No a lighter twin engine airplane than F22: between F22 and F35, with a bomb bay larger and T/W ratio and stealtniness and radar better than F35.ANd a reduced supercruise ability vs F22 which is said at mach1,7./1,6

Instead of a combo F22/F35 like F15/F16, a single medium hevy fighter like F4 was for airforce/navy/marines.

A fighter about 70/80m $ instead of 110 for F22 and 50 for F35 at marginal production price.

A small F22 but polyvalent and cheaper and with a navy version.See the picture?


I realize your numbers are just examples, but that does not work out.

300 F-22s at $110m apiece, plus 1700 F-35 at $50M apiece, comes out to $118 billion.

2000 hypothetical fighters at $75 milloon apiece comes out to $150 billion.

That's just the flyaway costs, let alone the logistics etc as I mentioned previously.
 
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leroy       2/11/2007 7:26:51 PM
As has already been said... the F-35 was really made possible by the F-22. Without the F-22 program the F-35 would have been impossible to attempt.
 
The F-22 was of course designed to be the ultimate jet fighter. It was built with only one purpose in mind and at a time when funding was available provided the capabilities were as advertised. (plus it suffered huge cost growth during its development which was largely due to the fact that it was a very aggressive program technologically)
 
The F-35 is designed with a completely different goal in mind. It is an aircraft designed to strike a balance between performance and cost. It will allow us to field an aircraft that will get the job done, without overpaying to buy something that just isn't necessary. It has the added benefit of being highly exportable. The F-35 will ultimately be the fighter that defines the 5th generation, not the F-22. When the Russians, Chinese, Indians, and other attempt to build a 5th generation fighter, the F-35 will be the standard. A versatile, maintanable, and highly flexible design is what the world needs today.
 
 
 
 
 
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sentinel28a       2/12/2007 1:45:23 AM
The F-4 became a multirole fighter almost by mistake.  Remember that it was developed as a fleet defense fighter and intended up as an interceptor/bomb truck/Wild Weasel/recon bird/air superiority fighter simply because there was no real alternative, and the aircraft lended itself well to adaptation.  Still, the F-4 was hardly the be all end all, as it struggled with dealing with MiG-17s and MiG-21s. 
 
The F-22 was designed as a pure fighter; where people are getting confused is assuming that it's anything but.  The F-35 will be the multirole bird toting the bombs and such; the Raptor will be the one killing people trying to defend their airspace.
 
FS, thank you for not turning this into a selling thread or a dick-waving contest for the Rafale.  Seriously.  But I wonder if the French have any plans on replacing their Mirage 2000Cs with Rafales, which doesn't seem to me to be a pure fighter-interceptor.  Will the Rafale end up replacing everything in the AdA, or is there something on the drawing boards to replace the Mirage 2000? I know France isn't planning on buying the Typhoon (which I think is a pretty good move on their part).
 
 
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Ezekiel       2/12/2007 3:46:39 AM
These two planes ensure US air superiority for many more decades to come.... The fact is that these two planes couldn't have been developed at a better time, b/c the us economy has enjoyed the peacetime of the 90's and the leadership in the computer tech industries they were able to absorb these defense costs. Now that they are involved in two conflicts and having to counter russian and chinese emerging powers, the chances of them being lets say developed today instead of 15-20 yrs ago would have been for more difficult. They took advantage of the peace time wisely  by investing in these two air platforms that puts the force projections and capability far beyond anyone else.
 
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Bluewings12       2/12/2007 11:06:58 AM
Sentinel28 :
"But I wonder if the French have any plans on replacing their Mirage 2000Cs"

Ultimatly , Rafale will replace all our Fighters . The Mirage 2000-5s might stay up to 2020 (?).
The 2000-5s are a formidable threat to any other Fighters . It is known to be as the hardest Aircraft to kill in a2a combat .
Its record within NATO excercises is something like 80 kills for 4 losses (against ANY other Aircrafts) .

Cheers .



 
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