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F22 moves happening?

America 1st

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A US Air Force combatant commander in Australia for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 has seemingly expressed regret from within the USAF about allied access to the world’s leading fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor, raising questions about the possibility of a combined allied push to reopen and modernise the Raptor line.

Designed to establish and maintain air superiority or air dominance, fighter aircraft have evolved from relatively simple wood and canvas air frames during the First World War, to the highly manoeuvrable, long-range aircraft that dominated the skies of Europe and the Pacific during the Second World War; the latest two generations of fighters are the pinnacle of these earlier designs.


Fighter aircraft, like every facet of military technology, are rapidly evolving. The current global and regional transition from fourth to fifth-generation fighter aircraft, like the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter platforms, is reshaping the role of fighter fleets and the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Designed to be the world's premier air superiority platform – and increasingly developed as a result of air-to-surface penetrating strike operations in heavily defended integrated air and missile defence networks in the Middle East – the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor represents the pinnacle of air combat system evolution and technological development.

Fifth-generation fighter aircraft represent the pinnacle of modern fighter technology. Incorporating all-aspect stealth even when armed, low-probability-of-intercept radar, high-performance air frames, advanced avionics and highly integrated computer systems, these aircraft provide unrivalled air dominance, situational awareness, networking, interdiction and strike capabilities for commanders.

The Raptor Ban - driving unit cost and hindering allied operations

The world's first fifth-generation aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor was first introduced in the mid-2000s and designed to replace the US Air Force's fleet of ageing F-15C/D Eagles – incorporating full spectrum, low-observable stealth characteristics, super cruise, and super manoeuvrability in an air frame designed to fight, win and maintain US and allied air superiority against even the most advanced enemy integrated air-and-missile defence systems and air combat capabilities.

However, shrinking defence budgets in the aftermath of the Cold War, a lack of credible peer adversary to US air superiority and a Congress-implemented export ban despite requests from Japan, Australia and Israel hindered even America's ability to field a credible fleet of these technological marvels – with an original order of 750 units cut to 195, the unit price rose beyond what was sustainable, paving the way for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter family to fill the role.

Despite this, US Air Force Colonel Brian Baldwin, Group Commander 13th Air Expeditionary Force, who is in Australia to participate in the 2019 Exercise Talisman Sabre, has set tongues wagging with statements made to the Australian media regarding allied access to the formidable air dominance platform.

"I wish we had more of them. I wish all of our closest friends could have some. We obviously have to take care of where we take the jet so we keep it as a special capability and it’s a pleasure to be able to bring it down to Australia," COL Baldwin is reported saying at RAAF Base Amberley in south-east Queensland.

The export ban on the F-22 was driven largely by US-concerns about the possibility of Israel exporting the top secret technologies present in the F-22 to potential adversaries like Russia and China – this ban subsequently left key US-allies like Australia, Japan and the UK with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, while also placing the increasing burden of establishing and maintaining air superiority and air dominance on a limited number of American Raptors and fourth-generation fighter aircraft.

A return to air superiority and air dominance

Looking abroad, the growing success of Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter aircraft like the Su-57, J-20 and JF-31 – combined with reports of Russia offering the Su-57 for export to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the increasing introduction of highly-capable fourth plus generation combat aircraft – is threatening to serve as a repeat of the air combat battles over Vietnam that saw dedicated Soviet designed and built air superiority fighter aircraft severely challenge US air superiority despite the advances in air-to-air missiles promising the end of traditional dog fights.

Enter the International Paris Air Show and revelations by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), which has been urged by the Turkish government to step up its development of a highly capable, twin engine, air superiority focused fifth-generation fighter aircraft following continued disputes between the US and Turkey over the latter's planned acquisition of the Russian-designed S-400 air and missile defence system in conjunction with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Turkey's push for a highly capable, fifth-generation fighter aircraft highlights the seeming proliferation of the technologies that characterise fifth-generation aircraft and lends growing credibility to the continuing specialisation of aircraft – with a focus on air superiority and multi-role capabilities in the form of a traditional 'high-low' capability mix.

By our powers combined

In response to the rapidly changing global environment and air combat capabilities, allies in Japan, the UK and across Europe have initiated the development of their own fifth and 'sixth'-generation fighter aircraft – Japan in particular has been one of the most vocal aspirants of a potential lax in America's ban on the Raptor – beginning the collaborative development of a replacement for the Japanese Air Self Defense Force's (JASDF) fleet of F-15J.

Recent changes within the US political establishment, notably the election of President Donald Trump, has triggered a major rethink in the policies that govern America's arms exports, opening the door for Japan to engage with major US defence contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to support Japan's domestic development of a large, low-observable air superiority fighter to replace its fleet of locally built F-15J aircraft.

While Japan has publicly committed to acquiring a fleet of 147 F-35s, including a fleet of 42 short-take off, vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B variants, the Japanese government has remained focused on procuring a fifth-generation air dominance fighter, with or without US help, to counter the growing challenges it faces in its direct region.

This resulted in the development of the X-2 Shinshin, a technology demonstrator that proved Japan's domestic aerospace industry could produce an indigenous stealth fighter design capable of competing with the world's best. Both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have actively supported Japan's continued development of the Shinshin concept, raising renewed questions about a US commitment to reopening the F-22 Raptor line.

Recognising the increasing proliferation of fifth-generation technology and the emerging peer competitor capabilities and previous attempts at acquiring the F-22, both Japan and Australia are well positioned to support the reopening and modernisation of the US F-22 Raptor line, estimated to be worth approximately US$9.9 billion for non-recurring start-up costs according to a US Congress report, and an additional US$40.4 billion to acquire 194 Raptors for the US Air Force.

What this House armed services committee report fails to account for is an allied acquisition and integration within the advanced Raptor development supply chain – most notably Japan and Australia, which are both widely respected US allies and industrial partners within the existing F-35 supply chain. The acquisition is not without risk, however, as both Japan and Australia would need to at least match the US order of 194 air frames – in a combined manner.

While a joint US, Japanese and Australian acquisition of at least 388 air frames would serve as the basis for re-opening the Raptor line – expanding the export opportunities of the Raptor to include other key 'Five Eyes' allies like Canada and the UK, both of which are currently undergoing an air force recapitalisation, modernisation or research and development programs of their own, would further reduce the costs associated with reopening the line and acquiring new Raptor air frames.

Australian procurement could mean enjoying a highly capable, interoperable and future-proofed air frame operated by Japan, a key regional ally, and potentially the US and UK, which agreed with the Japanese government in 2017 to collaborate in the joint development of a fifth-generation aircraft to replace the Royal Air Force's Typhoons within the next two decades.

For Australia, the future operating environment to the nation's immediate north, particularly in the face of increasingly capable Russian and Chinese air frames and integrated air and A2/AD networks, will necessitate investment in and acquisition of a highly capable, long-range, air dominance fighter aircraft to complement the RAAF's fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and replace the ageing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, beginning in the mid 2030s.
 

America 1st

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AUS will buy whatever the US is buying. They do not want a one off. The F22 line will not reopen. They are on the frontline of the war with China. They want and expect a 5th Gen weapon for a fifth Gen aircraft (F35)
I hope you are wrong.

The 22 should get another 5-600 runs just for the USAF and another 400 between JAP & AUS in an ideal world.

If UK would get in on another 150-200 as well as Canada getting another 100-150 costs wouldn't be an issue and I'd sleep easier at night.
 

316what

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I hope you are wrong.

The 22 should get another 5-600 runs just for the USAF and another 400 between JAP & AUS in an ideal world.

If UK would get in on another 150-200 as well as Canada getting another 100-150 costs wouldn't be an issue and I'd sleep easier at night.

Not gonna happen due to the Obey Amendment which prohibits the sale of F-22 to another nation…..and the cost of re-establishing a new production line. Work is already going on with NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance).
 

America 1st

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Not gonna happen due to the Obey Amendment which prohibits the sale of F-22 to another nation…..and the cost of re-establishing a new production line. Work is already going on with NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance).
NGAD should allow for some movement on the OA.

Costs shouldn't ever be a concern when it comes to getting weapons like that and at 50B for another 190 that's a steal as far as I'm concerned.

Sadly that would mean Congress doing something positive for America so you're likely spot on that it's DOA.
 

GatorOK

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NGAD should allow for some movement on the OA.

Costs shouldn't ever be a concern when it comes to getting weapons like that and at 50B for another 190 that's a steal as far as I'm concerned.

Sadly that would mean Congress doing something positive for America so you're likely spot on that it's DOA.
Cost is everything. Weapons budgets are the first to get cut in the defense budget.
 

tiderollsonu

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They have moved on from the F22, really is a shame they did not make more but the NGAD project should be a much better fighter that the F22. Restarting the F22 line would be more like developing a new fighter than restarting an old one due to the out dated computer systems on the F22. Would require all new software systems.
 

AgEngDawg

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I have to present the counterpoint from Pierre Sprey, sorry. I love everyone in this thread though.

Old article, but some points are still valid.


"Let's pretend for the moment that there exists, or will soon, an enemy air force for which the F-22 would be relevant. How, then, could the F-22 help?

As an individual performer in real-world air-to-air combat, the F-22 is a huge disappointment. The Air Force vociferously disagrees—based on its untested-by-combat hypothesis that air wars can be fought and won by long-range, radar-controlled missiles fired at enemies you cannot see or reliably identify. If ever the F-22 finds itself in an air war against a serious opponent, all of us will find out who is right.

Three issues matter here:

Force size—The U.S. Air Force initially decided that to fight any serious opposing air force would require 750 F-22s. For development and procurement, Congress is providing $65.3 billion—a huge sum. However, because no stakeholder was interested in exercising discipline over the design, weight and cost of each F-22, that $65.3 billion will buy only 184 aircraft. Given the need to maintain a training base in the U.S., and considering the demonstrated daily sortie rate of similarly complex aircraft already in our inventory, the Air Force will be lucky to be able to fly 60 deployed F-22s per day at the start of a major conflict overseas.

That number would shrink as inevitable combat attrition and maintenance down-time take their toll. But even that generously estimated initial 60 sorties per day would not be a meaningful force against the major threat air force that the F-22 advocates hypothesize to make the F-22 relevant.

Pilot skill—We can expect that same tiny F-22 force to attrite all too rapidly in combat because the Air Force funds only 10 to 12 hours of flight training for F-22 pilots per month. That amount of realistic training is completely inadequate. At the height of their prowess in the 1970s, the Israelis gave their fighter pilots 40 to 50 hours of flight training per month.


The history of air warfare shows that the most important determinant of who wins an aerial dogfight is pilot skill, not aircraft performance. Because they have raided pilot training accounts to feed increasingly voracious procurement programs (such as the F-22), Congress and the Air Force have virtually guaranteed high pilot losses in any hypothesized, large-scale air-to-air war.

When we buy ultra-expensive fighters such as the F-22 that gobble up already scarce training and support funds, we make our own pilots more vulnerable. If the advocates of more first-line fighters for the U.S. were serious about winning air wars and saving pilots' lives, they would double (and then triple) the amount of money available for pilot flight training before spending a penny on new aircraft. Instead, Congress cut Air Force training accounts in the new Department of Defense Appropriations Act by $400 million.

Cost—The current plan is to buy 184 F-22s for $65.3 billion, or $354.9 million per aircraft. The Air Force contends that such a calculation is unfair; it distributes the cost of all testing and development—thus far—equally to every aircraft.

The Air Force contends that a more meaningful calculation for a prospective purchase is what it calls "flyaway" cost, which considers the development cost to have been sunk and that the only cost that should count now is the "cost to go." That cost, the Air Force contends in an October "fact sheet" on the F-22, is a mere $159.9 million per fighter.

Even at the Air Force's advertised price, the F-22 remains history's most expensive fighter aircraft. Considering the tiny inventory and reduced pilot training that the unprecedented cost implies, it's still no bargain.

The Air Force has failed to reach a point in F-22 production where it can be bought more efficiently. There is no "bargain" in going beyond the 184 that the taxpayers have already paid for.

The most telling characteristic that Lockheed and the Air Force are pushing to acquire additional F-22s is demonstrated in recent newspaper articles and advertisements. Nowhere do these items talk about a dangerous threat that makes more F-22s mandatory. Instead, they address how money for additional F-22s would be spent for defense corporations and jobs in more than 40 states.

Perhaps these articles and advertisements really have it right: Congress' lust for pork, and the perverted thinking that jobs and profits (not the threat) should drive defense spending, will determine the size of the F-22 fleet.
 

America 1st

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I have to present the counterpoint from Pierre Sprey, sorry. I love everyone in this thread though.

Old article, but some points are still valid.


"Let's pretend for the moment that there exists, or will soon, an enemy air force for which the F-22 would be relevant. How, then, could the F-22 help?

As an individual performer in real-world air-to-air combat, the F-22 is a huge disappointment. The Air Force vociferously disagrees—based on its untested-by-combat hypothesis that air wars can be fought and won by long-range, radar-controlled missiles fired at enemies you cannot see or reliably identify. If ever the F-22 finds itself in an air war against a serious opponent, all of us will find out who is right.

Three issues matter here:

Force size—The U.S. Air Force initially decided that to fight any serious opposing air force would require 750 F-22s. For development and procurement, Congress is providing $65.3 billion—a huge sum. However, because no stakeholder was interested in exercising discipline over the design, weight and cost of each F-22, that $65.3 billion will buy only 184 aircraft. Given the need to maintain a training base in the U.S., and considering the demonstrated daily sortie rate of similarly complex aircraft already in our inventory, the Air Force will be lucky to be able to fly 60 deployed F-22s per day at the start of a major conflict overseas.

That number would shrink as inevitable combat attrition and maintenance down-time take their toll. But even that generously estimated initial 60 sorties per day would not be a meaningful force against the major threat air force that the F-22 advocates hypothesize to make the F-22 relevant.

Pilot skill—We can expect that same tiny F-22 force to attrite all too rapidly in combat because the Air Force funds only 10 to 12 hours of flight training for F-22 pilots per month. That amount of realistic training is completely inadequate. At the height of their prowess in the 1970s, the Israelis gave their fighter pilots 40 to 50 hours of flight training per month.

The history of air warfare shows that the most important determinant of who wins an aerial dogfight is pilot skill, not aircraft performance. Because they have raided pilot training accounts to feed increasingly voracious procurement programs (such as the F-22), Congress and the Air Force have virtually guaranteed high pilot losses in any hypothesized, large-scale air-to-air war.

When we buy ultra-expensive fighters such as the F-22 that gobble up already scarce training and support funds, we make our own pilots more vulnerable. If the advocates of more first-line fighters for the U.S. were serious about winning air wars and saving pilots' lives, they would double (and then triple) the amount of money available for pilot flight training before spending a penny on new aircraft. Instead, Congress cut Air Force training accounts in the new Department of Defense Appropriations Act by $400 million.

Cost—The current plan is to buy 184 F-22s for $65.3 billion, or $354.9 million per aircraft. The Air Force contends that such a calculation is unfair; it distributes the cost of all testing and development—thus far—equally to every aircraft.

The Air Force contends that a more meaningful calculation for a prospective purchase is what it calls "flyaway" cost, which considers the development cost to have been sunk and that the only cost that should count now is the "cost to go." That cost, the Air Force contends in an October "fact sheet" on the F-22, is a mere $159.9 million per fighter.

Even at the Air Force's advertised price, the F-22 remains history's most expensive fighter aircraft. Considering the tiny inventory and reduced pilot training that the unprecedented cost implies, it's still no bargain.

The Air Force has failed to reach a point in F-22 production where it can be bought more efficiently. There is no "bargain" in going beyond the 184 that the taxpayers have already paid for.

The most telling characteristic that Lockheed and the Air Force are pushing to acquire additional F-22s is demonstrated in recent newspaper articles and advertisements. Nowhere do these items talk about a dangerous threat that makes more F-22s mandatory. Instead, they address how money for additional F-22s would be spent for defense corporations and jobs in more than 40 states.

Perhaps these articles and advertisements really have it right: Congress' lust for pork, and the perverted thinking that jobs and profits (not the threat) should drive defense spending, will determine the size of the F-22 fleet.
It's pretty easy to see how drastically underfunded the military is currently 😞
 

America 1st

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LOL the military is not underfunded by any means, we just waste soooooooooo much money
Didn't say it was underfunded.

Edit: I'm clearly retarded as I did in fact write this just above this.
images (19).jpeg

Just that we should be spending more money and increasing budgets (especially for things that work like the 22). New software and expenses should never be a reason not to do something militarily speaking.
 
Last edited:

TJHall1

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Didn't say it was underfunded.

Just that we should be spending more money and increasing budgets (especially for things that work like the 22). New software and expenses should never be a reason not to do something militarily speaking.
You literally said this:

It's pretty easy to see how drastically underfunded the military is currently 😞

Wut?
 

America 1st

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You literally said this:

It's pretty easy to see how drastically underfunded the military is currently 😞

Wut?
I'm retarded. I'm all over the place making calls today.

But my opinion still stands. We need to be acquiring more resources regardless of the 'cost'.
 

AMSO

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The human is the lim-fac in regards to performance, I think we go unmanned after the next gen the AF is currently working. I will be retired by then..hopefully
 

America 1st

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The human is the lim-fac in regards to performance, I think we go unmanned after the next gen the AF is currently working. I will be retired by then..hopefully
Don't need to pay for training hours and all sorts of other shit is the idea right? Besides the obvious loss of life exposure?
 

shiv

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The human is the lim-fac in regards to performance, I think we go unmanned after the next gen the AF is currently working. I will be retired by then..hopefully
Better have some hellacious cyber security if we are gonna go completely unmanned
 

AMSO

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Don't need to pay for training hours and all sorts of other shit is the idea right? Besides the obvious loss of life exposure?
Mission endurance. G Tolerance, cost to train an aviator from API (aviation preflight indoctrination to wings) is close to a 750k. Among other things
 

America 1st

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Mission endurance. G Tolerance, cost to train an aviator from API (aviation preflight indoctrination to wings) is close to a 750k. Among other things
Appreciate the insight!
 
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