Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The F-22 Fighter Plane Is Needed

The F-22 Fighter Plane (Which started life as the Advanced Tactical Fighter {ATF} and later became the Air Dominance Fighter {ADF}) and the Typhoon were programs started in the early 80's. The F-22 is intended to replace the F-15C/D While the Euro fighter plane is intended to replace a whole plethora of aircraft.

The JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) is a replacement for aircraft types such as the Harrier (VSTOL variant slated for the USMC; Britain), the F-16 (CTOL Variant for the USAF) and the F/A-18C/D (Naval Variant for the USN).

While the Jury is still out on the JSF (As far as I am concerned) I think the F-22 has turned into one of those "Projects that won't die" like the M2/M3 Bradley. The US Government has spent so much money on it that they can't afford to buy it.

Do we need it? That question is already moot. We are getting it whether we "need" it or not. I think, however, that the F-22 may be the last manned fighter to be deployed. The focus will, IMHO, switch to highly capable UCAVs...

From a military perspective, yes. What will stop these European countries from selling this aircraft to any country that wants it? What will stop members of the design team from selling plans to other countries? It is possible that our aircraft will infact have to fly against the euro fighter.

Keep in mind, there was a time when Iraq was our ally (of sorts). Just because someone is my ally today does not mean they will be tomorrow. If I'm putting you in a hunk of metal that for all intents and purposes is one large explosive. That you will have to fly faster than the speed of sound while being fired at.... call me crazy, but I think you would like to be sitting in the most technologically advanced thing you could get your hands on.

Being on the cutting edge of military advancement doesn't come cheap or easy. But the most powerful country in the world is ALWAYS the country with the most powerful military. You can't very well impose your will if you... can't impose your will.

Our military isn't just judged based upon its ability to fight those we will likely have to in the near future. But, everything out there. including our own weapons.

A lot of Russian/European Fighter planes are at par or has exceeded the F-15E's capability. This puts the US at a disadvantage. Besides, F-15 will be at least 25+ years old. For a military that's taking the fight into the OPFOR's own backyard, the US has to dominate its battle space. And that means having an Air Superiority to operate with impunity.

Sure, it's expensive. But whoever said that Air Superiority was cheap? If you looked back into the 70s when the F-15 was still in its R&D phases lawmakers said the same damn thing: "that plane's too expensive!" And now, we got hundreds of them.

The F-22 may be the single biggest waste of money since the B-1. Large, heavy, bad E-M (energy-maneuverability) ratings it simple is not a good air plane. Instead of being based on the E-M theory like the F-15 and 16 were it has instead reverted back to the bigger-higher-faster doctrine. It simply puts to many gizmos into a plan that doesn't need it. The E-M theory proved that the lighter the plane the better it will be able to maneuver, the F-22 is one of the heaviest planes designed.

It also has far surpassed its budget and its cost per plane is simply unacceptable. By the time the air force has enough money to replace its fleet with these flying boxes they will be long obsolete.

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