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Congress to look into restarting F-22 production

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  • Congress to look into restarting F-22 production

    http://thehill.com/policy/defense/27...22-fighter-jet

    My understanding is the costs would be about the same as starting up initial production with inflation. If they do restart production, that is a lot of money that didn't need to be spent and is a perfect example of save a couple bucks today and spend a lot more tomorrow. I never understood the idea of shutting down production completely with such a small number of air frames built. Little to no resilience to attrition via accidents or war. Thoughts, will this advance further or die a political, bureaucratic death?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jimbo View Post
    Thoughts, will this advance further or die a political, bureaucratic death?
    A fool's errand from the start. It'll die, the question is how long it'll take.

    The F-22 is magnificent aircraft but shutting down production meant that, no matter what measures (and half-measures) were taken to preserve the production equipment, it would never be produced again.

    I'd say the best we could hope for is a new plane based heavily on the F-22's airframe and certain internal assemblies. And even that could be just another pipe dream.
    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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    • #3
      Congress looks at lots of things. That doesn't make them true.

      I look at how to spend my Lotto winnings everyday, just in case....
      "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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      • #4
        If they do that then you can kiss good bye any chance of rebuilding an Army (to include the National Guard and Reserve) which is flat worn out by 15 years of unending war.

        And we will cease being able to meet all of the missions the Government levies on us.
        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
        Mark Twain

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        • #5
          If they restarted production they would have to redesign the electronics to current standards and to interface with the F35. I imagine the cost of that would be tens of millions per plane beyond the cost of the airframe. They should also see if a new skin can be developed that is less sensitive to weather. Wait, sounds like they would need a new design. Ooops.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
            If they do that then you can kiss good bye any chance of rebuilding an Army (to include the National Guard and Reserve) which is flat worn out by 15 years of unending war.

            And we will cease being able to meet all of the missions the Government levies on us.
            I would hope if (and I think that is a mighty big IF) it proceeds beyond a mere looking at by congress, it would come out of the Air Force's budget and not further drain the Army's budget. The Army can barely upgrade its existing equipment with its current budget let alone procure new equipment. A lot of Army equipment is getting long in the tooth. That said I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

            Originally posted by Shinytop
            If they restarted production they would have to redesign the electronics to current standards and to interface with the F35. I imagine the cost of that would be tens of millions per plane beyond the cost of the airframe. They should also see if a new skin can be developed that is less sensitive to weather. Wait, sounds like they would need a new design. Ooops.
            Why, if what the current F-22's have is good enough for them to be fielded for the next 20-50 years, why would the new batch have to be upgraded relative to existing F-22 air frames? The only reason I see for doing upgrades that are not already being applied to current F-22's is for cost savings.

            My thoughts are the ship has sailed, and except for a major war the F-22 manufacturing is dead. This story just reinforces in my mind that it was not a wise decision to completely stop production and leads me to believe that we still do not have fiscal sanity in Washington.

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            • #7
              As a back up to a total failure of the F-35 to become a truly mission capable aircraft it might be doable, especially if the export controls were relaxed for critical allies. The tools still exist, some parts are still in production and most of the workers are still LM employees (F-35 project). The problem is cost and time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jimbo View Post
                I would hope if (and I think that is a mighty big IF) it proceeds beyond a mere looking at by congress, it would come out of the Air Force's budget and not further drain the Army's budget. The Army can barely upgrade its existing equipment with its current budget let alone procure new equipment. A lot of Army equipment is getting long in the tooth. That said I wouldn't hold my breath on that.
                Yes, it was a stupid decision. And there are those who say that if we had taken all of the money that we've (so far) wasted on the F-35 and, instead, spent that money on the F-22, that we'd have a 500-plane Raptor fleet, instead of 187 (well, 185, actually; we've lost a couple of airframes since 2005). However, an article I read last year said something about the F-22 tooling "missing", or at least not where it's supposed to be.


                Originally posted by Jimbo View Post
                Why, if what the current F-22's have is good enough for them to be fielded for the next 20-50 years, why would the new batch have to be upgraded relative to existing F-22 air frames? The only reason I see for doing upgrades that are not already being applied to current F-22's is for cost savings.
                Good example: "If the F-22 were ever reintroduced, then there would be a strong push to update the plane's technology, further delaying production. The Raptor relies on a 25 MHz Intel 80960 32-bit processor, a chip design now a quarter-century old. The 80960 is capable of 9.4 million instructions per second. A modern iPhone 6, by contrast, can execute 25 billion instructions per second."

                http://www.popularmechanics.com/mili...-line-is-dead/
                "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                  The Raptor relies on a 25 MHz Intel 80960 32-bit processor, a chip design now a quarter-century old. The 80960 is capable of 9.4 million instructions per second. A modern iPhone 6, by contrast, can execute 25 billion instructions per second."

                  http://www.popularmechanics.com/mili...-line-is-dead/

                  ...and that is the scary part. One can get those chips for relatively cheap since it is a consumer product. Now try putting it into a Raptor and all of a sudden it is a 5 million dollar chip. Kind of like my tweezers for modeling from a hobby shop. Now a very similar tweezers, called a cilia remover (eye lashes), and all of a sudden it costs 10x more. Hobby vs. medical.

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                  • #10
                    The i960 series isn't really a consumer product.

                    Especially the socalled multiprocessor of the F-22, which is basically an integrated hardened cluster of 35 i80960MX processors in concert with a specifically designed digital signal processor (from Raytheon, derived from the radar DSP of the F-15). The signal box handles about 4 billion instructions per second, which is considered plenty enough. In addition that cluster is highly modular and meant for later upgrading with an upgrade path already laid out and secured.

                    There's a somewhat more detailed view at the "obsolescence" here (15 years old but still valid):
                    http://www.militaryaerospace.com/art...-upgrades.html

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jimbo View Post
                      I would hope if (and I think that is a mighty big IF) it proceeds beyond a mere looking at by congress, it would come out of the Air Force's budget and not further drain the Army's budget. The Army can barely upgrade its existing equipment with its current budget let alone procure new equipment. A lot of Army equipment is getting long in the tooth. That said I wouldn't hold my breath on that.
                      Jimbo,

                      The services are fighting tooth and nail for every dime each can get. The Air Force doesn't give a rats ass, mostly, if they get their money at the cost of the Army. So long as the Army can provide Title 10 theater sustainment support and the Air Force can project power then the Air Force is happy.

                      My program, the ONLY successful DOD enterprise sustainment system (the Navy, Marine & Air Force all failed and are back at the starting block), just took a massive cut. This is happening across the Army.
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

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                      • #12
                        Wasn't there recently (ie, 2-3 years) some articles comparing this with a possible USAF version of the new advanced F-15 Boeing was trying to sell/build? I'm sure I remember something... but maybe I've been drinking too much coffee...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          ... The problem is cost and time.
                          Any cost and time to resurrect an F-22 line will be child's play compared to the time it will take and the cost incured to build a 6th gen fighter that is planned to replace the F-22.

                          USN is working on the autonomous tanker, USAF is working on its B-21. Both these programs (and whatever else is being hammered in the 'drones' world) will give pentagon the experience required to make a truly revolutionary 6th gen fighter to replace the F-22. Why don't they use these programs in the works to buy time to mature revolutionary technologies for the 6th gen replacement? In the meantime, ressurect the F-22 and revamp it with current mature techonologies. This will release pressure on mid 20s to mid 30s budgets as the new F-22s will stretch the current life of the fleet to beyond 70s, giving more time to mature 6th gen tech. A revamped F-22 possibly with 3D TV, modern processors, F-35 levels of data and sensor fussion, next gen power plant, side radars, would be more than a match for whatever adversaries can come up with before the advent of its replacement. Meanwhile, pushing the F-22 replacement further down means more time to mature technologies which will result in cheaper frames. Personally i really do hope (against hope) that congress succeeds in this new effort.

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                          • #14
                            According to more detailed reports only one member of the committee suggested restart and his comment was regarded with skepticism by all others present.

                            As cool as an F22 restart would be it seems there are way too many other priorities.

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                            • #15
                              A tally of potential items needed for F22 restart and opportunities to upgrade the plane:

                              http://www.defenseone.com/technology...ref=d-topstory

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