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Thread: What is up with the F-35? Part II

  1. #16
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    I don't think they'll get them - at least in the immediate term. There isn't any political cost to drive this too fast, however there are some in other areas - that probably will. Having said that, I was surprised that the RAAF got a 5th C-17 (probably something with using funds from it's allocated budget), and that we were lucky enough to pick up HMS Largs Bay for 100 mil... Looks like some good things come out of cyclones/earthquakes/flooding.
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  2. #17
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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  3. #18
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    I'm remember Gates stating that part of his justification for cancelling the F-22 was that by 2020 we would have over a thousand 5th Gen fighters while the nearest competitors will only have a handful. Now F-35 won't get IOC till 2017 (if there are no more delays), F-22 production is stopped, and Russia and China are pressing on hard. I can't think of a single one of Gate's justifications for cancelling the F-22 that has actually stood up. So shortsighted.
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  4. #19
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    phoenix,

    "pressing on hard", that's a meaningless phrase. how many will they have by 2020 or even 2025? how tested will they be?

    meanwhile, as chogy points out, 5th-gen technology ie the raptor, has already gone through quite a few changes. by the time either russia or china start fielding anything close to the numbers the US has, the US will have -have- the equivalent of 5.5 gen...with 6th-gen fairly close behind.

    yeah, sucks the USAF can't get 360+ F-22s. OTOH, overall risk doesn't increase that much, either by scale or by timeline.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    phoenix,

    "pressing on hard", that's a meaningless phrase. how many will they have by 2020 or even 2025? how tested will they be?

    meanwhile, as chogy points out, 5th-gen technology ie the raptor, has already gone through quite a few changes. by the time either russia or china start fielding anything close to the numbers the US has, the US will have -have- the equivalent of 5.5 gen...with 6th-gen fairly close behind.

    yeah, sucks the USAF can't get 360+ F-22s. OTOH, overall risk doesn't increase that much, either by scale or by timeline.
    Astralis,

    "Pressing on hard" as I used it means actively pursueing an operational 5th gen fighter through flight test programs and the development of the technologies associated with an operational 5th gen fighter. That is, there is no question that they are working to field these aircraft as soon as they can. You are right, they will not likely have hunderds of operation birds by 2020 and they will likely not be fully tested by then- but that was not my point at all. My point was that it is evident that by 2020 we will not have nearly as many 5th gens as Gates suggested and the the numerical gap between the US and Russia/China will be much smaller than he predicted. Does this mean a vastly increased risk to US dominance? No. But it does mean some risk. When I look at Gate's arguments for cancelling the Raptor, I have to ask "what was he thinking?"
    -"F-22 is un-proven" - And the F-35 is?
    -"F-35 costs 1/3" - not likely
    -"numerical issue" - already covered
    -"F-22 uses obsolete technology" - far from true
    -"F-22 cannot attack ground targets" - Block 3.1 is funded for later this year
    ...the list goes on.

    I'm with you, it's just obvious to me that Gates made his decision based on bad information, shortsightedness, and incorrect assumptions.

    EDIT: Just a note that I am a huge supporter of the F-35 and I think it will be a phenominal aircraft once fielded. 187 Raptors and 2400+ F-35s just doesn't strike me as the "balance" Gates was so striving for.
    Last edited by Phoenix10; 22 Apr 11, at 19:26.
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  6. #21
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Doubtful that we will have 187 F-22's left by 2025 or even 2020. One has to account for inevitable loses. More likely, about 160-175 Raptors will be left in that time frame.

  7. #22
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    Good point, and of those 160-175, how many will reserved for training? Like I said, Gates was incredibly shortsighted.
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  8. #23
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    Remember that Sukhoi and China have rolled out prototypes. They have barely started to fly. They are many. many years from production, let alone IOC. The F-35 is both technologically more mature, and much closer to real production and capability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix10 View Post
    Good point, and of those 160-175, how many will reserved for training? Like I said, Gates was incredibly shortsighted.
    About 30. I can't remember the actual number, but the training jets are early models that can't be upgraded to the standard of the current combat coded Raptors.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    About 30. I can't remember the actual number, but the training jets are early models that can't be upgraded to the standard of the current combat coded Raptors.
    I think it was more like 60 (or so) according to Highsea.

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    Could be. There are 20-something at Tyndall, plus all the test jets at Edwards and wherever else.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Could be. There are 20-something at Tyndall, plus all the test jets at Edwards and wherever else.
    And that leaves 120+ odd to police the globe. One can only hopes that the US will not be involved in any major conflicts in the next 25 years.

  13. #28
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    According to this Flight Global article USAF debates major upgrade for F-22 Raptors, the F-22 fleet is currently divided into three groups:

    37 Block 10 aircraft that are being upgraded to Block 20 standard and are used for testing and training.

    63 Block 30 aircraft

    80 Block 35 aircraft

    IIRC, both the 62 Block 30 aircraft and the 80 Block 35 aircraft are to receive that Increment 3.2 upgrades which would standardize the combat coded F-22s and give them AIM-9X and AIM-120D capability.

    Strangely, the above numbers add up to only 180. I wonder where the other 7 airframes fit in.

  14. #29
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    About 30. I can't remember the actual number, but the training jets are early models that can't be upgraded to the standard of the current combat coded Raptors.
    Could be. There are 20-something at Tyndall, plus all the test jets at Edwards and wherever else.
    I read something way back when , that the birds the 43d FS fly were/are combat coded.

    I know the new squadron will be.

  15. #30
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    I know they weren't...but the overall plan for the airframe allocation has changed several times so maybe there was a shuffling around.

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