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F22 Analysis, News and Updates

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Picard, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    F22 analysis

    USAF says it is best fighter plane in the world. With unit flyaway cost of 250 million USD (as opposed to official and more commonly heard 150 milllion USD) and unit program cost of 411 million USD, as opposed to official cost of 350 million USD, it would better be so. But, is it true?


    FORCE SIZE AND QUALITY

    Obvious consequence of high cost is small force size. Same problem that is primary, albeit not only, cause of Eurofighter Typhoon's cost overruns, has plagued F22 from beginning. Due to increasing flyaway cost as well as increasing R&D cost, numbers ordered have dropped, which, in turn, increased unit procurement cost, and that increase further dropped number of units ordered (with Typhoon, orders have droped due to political unvillingness to pay, and thus part of cost increase - another part are various fixes). As result, US was unable to procure original number of 750 planes, or minimum number of 350 planes, settling for 187 birds instead.

    That, in turn, means reduced number of sorties as well as more stress on individual airframes, meaning that, even if we assume that pilots are frequently rotated so as to get enough of rest, effective force size will be small, and will drop in any conflict due to combat damage, wear and losses – all of which will be very noticeable due to very few airframes produced.

    Also, there is so-called "Lancester square criteria", which means that outnumbered force's per-unit effectiveness compared to outnumbering force must be square of numerical difference in order for outnumbered force to break even. Historically, at force size ratio of about 3:1, quality could no longer compensate for quantity; also, with increased total number of aircraft in air, exchange ratio goes towards parity for a given qualitative and quantitative ratio.

    When we take a look at F22s cost when compared to costs of two newest European fighter planes – Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon – we see that, with flyaway costs of 82 and 120 USD per plane, respectively, Rafale is almost exactly one third, and Typhoon less than one half of F22s cost. Comparing F22 with newest version of F16 (60 million USD flyaway cost) produces four-to-one ratio, and comparing it to F15K gives 2.5 to 1 ratio. Using unit procurement costs, however, would produce even worse results for F22, and F35 seems to be heading down the same road. Result is that USAF aircraft inventory has gone down, despite budget going up. Meanwhile, average age of fleet has gone up, to 25 years – which increases maintenance costs and decreases reliability.

    It becomes clear, therefore, that F22 simply cannot be produced in quantities large enough to guarantee US safety. 187 F22s in inventory can, at best, generate 60 combat sorties per day, which is pathetic number against any serious enemy – whereas F16s bought for same cost would generate 1000 combat sorties per day, F22s presence likely will not even be noticed in strategic sense, much like Me-262. Number of sorties will also become even lower as combat attrition and increased maintenance take its tool. There is also fact that per-unit maintenance costs for new F22s are larger than those for 30-year-old F15s, and will increase as time passes.

    So small number of sorties is bad – disastrous – in one more way. It harms pilots' training and practice.

    While simulators are good for procedure training and practice, they cannot replace live exercises due to them misinterpreting reality even more so than USAF setups for exercises which involved F22. Ultimately, tactics and approaches encouraged by simulators may get pilots killed.

    Back in 1975 – 1980, Topgun instructors, who had 40 to 60 hours of air combat manouvering per month consistently whipped asses of their students who were coming from squadrons which got 14 to 20 hours per month – and that despite instructors flying F5, and students F4, F14 and F15. Today, F22 pilots get 12 to 14 hours of flight training per month.

    Also, US cannot go on "production spree" and churn out hundreds of F22s per month, as it had done in World War Two, owing to increased complexity of fighter planes. Therefore, USAF's denial of reality might mean a military disaster for US if it goes to war against China once its F15s, F16s and F18s are retired, as it simply will not have numbers.

    DESIGN

    When you take a look at F22, you can see that everything is submitted towards one goal – stealth. Its airframe is optimised for head-on, and bit less side-on, undetectability by radar. However, by doing that, designers have sacrificed a lot.

    First, it has lots of problems – oxygen problems and corrosion problems still aren't solved, there are also fatigue problems due to parts of airframe being substandard (there are some reports that stealth coating itself may be counted among substandard parts, being substandardly produced and dishonestly tested, and aft boom also doesn't meet specifications required for F22 to fly 8000 hours) as well as frequent computer crashes, overheating problems and canopy problems, such as unreliability of opening mechanism as well as far-too-rapidly declining visibility. Its mission avaliability was 69% in 2009.

    Second, there are many unfixable problems too. It is very heavy, with wing loading larger than that of F15, despite the fact that latter is nearing end of its service life (there are, however, some reports that USAF may upgrade F15s instead of ordering more F22s).

    Third, in order to maintain its stealth, F22 cannot carry external stores, such as fuel tanks and extra missiles; instead, it is limited to what it can carry internally (4 radar-guided and 2 IR seeking missiles). Not only that, but despite stealth coating, airframe shape itself also plays a major part in reduction of plane's RCS – meaning that F22 vastly increases its detectability on radar any time it manouvers; as such, it will be far from invisible to enemy radar systems in combat, where it cannot control deflection angles. Moreover, there are many ground-based long-wavelenght radars in existence, which probably will not have any more trouble detecting F22 than they would have with any legacy fighter.

    Another problem with internal missile carriage is decreased reliability as well as inability of fighter to perform split-of-second shots, as well as increased size, both of which are detrimental to its dogfighting performance.

    Its fuel fraction has also been reduced to 27 % of takeoff weight, two-thirds of what is required for combat-useful supersonic performance, in order to make room for internal weapons carriage as well as heavy electronics.

    Last, it is based on wrong premises. When you take a look at design, it becomes clear that F22 is based around prospect of decisive BVR engagements and relyig on staying invisible during engagement. That, however, will not happen for several reasons.

    First is innate unreliability of BVR shots. In fighter-on-fighter engagements between comparable oponents, probability of successful BVR shot is 7,7 % - meaning that it would take, on average, 3,25 F22s firing off their BVR missiles to kill a single target. Moreover, missiles require 10-15 s to acquire cooperative target.

    Second is tendency of forces to shut down IFF – and radar - so as to avoid being tracked. While frequency-hopping is a good idea in theory, in practice, proliferation of spread-spectrum technologies will make it unrelaible at best.

    Third is fact that majority of modern fighters – such as Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, or Russian still-in-development PAK FA – are equipped with advanced IRST systems – one on Typhoon has unclassified detection range for subsonic head-on targets of 90 kilometers against subsonic head-on targets; as for missiles, AMRAAM launch can be detected at distance of over 90 kilometers, and AMRAAM itself can be detected at similar distance. This makes it far more logical for forces to rely solely on passive sensors (IRST, RWR, LWR, optical sensors) instead of risking detection by using active sensors.

    Fourth is that IFF may be duplicated by enemy, and even without previous considerations, it is still unreliable – as recently as "Operation Iraqi Freedom", allied aircraft and helicopters were lost to US fighters' BVR shots.

    Therefore, it is logical to conclude that F22 will be forced into close-in, manouvering combat. In such scenario, it will be at disadvantage when compared to legacy fighters, due to its stealth requiring both missiles and gun to be covered – therefore, it has to open doors covering its missile bays and gun before using either – which makes crucial split-of-second shots impossible (it takes F22 about a second to fire gun, and little more for missile), as well as its high wing loading and bad aerodynamical performance, for which even thrust vectoring cannot completely compensate.

    It is also very large fighter, and as goes Topgun saying – "Largest target in the sky is always first to die". As such, its dogfight performance will suffer further. Not only that, but its rearward cockpit visibility is worse than that of F15 and F16, althought better than that of F35 (which is not a great achievment, considering that F35s rearward visibility is essentially zero).

    EXERCISES

    F22s combat exercises against F15s and F16s are often cited as proof of its combat effectiveness. Even here, however, reality is not what it seems.

    First, exercises themselves are biased to play on F22s strenghts. F22s always played a Blue force; moreover, BVR missile kill probability was wastly inflated, and Red force was not allowed to use countermeasures. It also used outdated Soviet tactics, which Agressors generally simulate in exercises (logical, considering USAF's current mission of shooting down outdated planes used by Third-World countries, which most of them use).

    But when fighters do get into visual range, F22s, weighted down and aerodynamically harmed by many compromises required for achieving their VLO requirement, are nothing special. Its instantaneous turn rate is inferior to most modern fourth generation fighters, and its sustained turn rate is hardly any better – only thing saving it from becoming next "Lead Sled" like F35 is its thrust vectoring – which does not offer anywhere near same advantage as some would like to believe.

    Also, as has been seen in exercises F22s performed with F16s, F18 "Growlers", Eurofighter "Typhoons" and Dassault "Rafales", highly manouverable fighters (especially if they are equipped with EW suite) have very good chance of getting to visual range – and when they do, F22 is, invariably, toast. Considering that, in real life, WVR combat composes majority of fighter-versus-fighter combat, that means bad news for F22. Granted, in exercise against F16s, one F22 managed to "kill" three F16s before fourth killed it, but these were most likely BVR shots before last F16 got to visual range; and there are several problems with that too:

    First, it has been shown that exercises such as that are unreliable – BVR shots are nowhere as effective as exercises presume, and as such, F22 itself will not be anywhere as effective.

    Second, even with such bias towards F22, it only took four F16s to kill F22; and as has been shown above, one F22 costs same as four F16s. So, is F22 really more effective? I don't think so.

    STRATEGY

    Stealth fighters are, as can be seen, obvious mistake in terms of securing air superiority in fights with enemy fighters, and even more when it comes to defense of points of strategic interest. They are expensive, vulnerable, and impossible to procure in large enough numbers; moreover, they harm pilot training – and skill of pilots is far more important than plane itself.

    As for F22s touted ability to act like AWACS - even if there happen to be F22 pilots stupid enough to turn radar on, uplinks will, in all probability, be jammed - and as we have seen, F22 did not take part in war where such ability may have been useful (and no, I don't mean "useful for the enemy" in betraying your location); and if it does, chances are that either communications will get jammed, and F22 will not be able to penetrate jamming, or it will be discovered - therefore negating its stealth. Not to mention issues of crew on board, computer capacity and so on.

    In the end, only roles that F22 may be able to perform better than legacy platforms are roles of AWACS killer and as escort for USAF stealth bombers – F117, B2 and F35, althought last one can be called "self-escortable" light bomber – when penetrating enemy's anti-air defences.

    Conclusion? F22 doesn't seem like raptor... more like turkey, and a threat to US national security. While it will be invisible in any war between US and comparable superpower (e. g., type of wars it is supposed to fight), that invisibility will be due to reasons other than what F22 supporters mean when they talk about it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
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  2. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    F22 - STEALTH

    While F22s stealth is often touted to bring it unbeatable edge over any opponent, that reasoning is fatally flawed. Not only beacouse stealth fighters can be, as mentioned above, be easily detected, either via their own radio emissions (radar, IFF, radio traffic, uplinks) but also due to proliferation of counter-stealth technologies which mean that even non-emitting stealth fighters can be detected.

    It also brings aerodynamical and payload penalties – while thrust vectoring has been used to compensate for them to an extent, ultimately, TVC-equipped non-VLO fighters, such as Su-35 or Su-37 Terminator, will be at advantage; and even non-TVC-equipped platforms like Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen may be more manouverable. Also, usage of weapons requires weapons bays to be opened, resulting in a vulnerable "window" of vastly increased RCS as well as increased response time.

    As for detection, such technologies can be divided into:
    a) technologies based on radio emissions
    b) technologies based on IR emissions
    c) visual search and tracking

    All these technologies, directly and indirectly, make stealth fighters more cost than worth.

    TECHNOLOGIES BASED ON RADIO EMISSIONS

    Radio emissions, as has been said, can be divided into radar, comm and IFF.

    Radar detection can be divided into active and passive.

    Active radar is, naturally, radar which transmits its own radio signals in order to locate enemy, and is one type of sensors that VLO aircraft are generally optimized to avoid. And while usage of radar by fighter planes will be rare due to inherent dangers of allowing enemy to detect and track plane's radar emissions, it can be used by ground-based radars as well as AWACS.

    VLO aircraft use two ways to reduce their radar signature - airframe shaping, which means that radio waves are deflected in direction other than radar which sent them, and radar-absorbent materials, which reduce strength of waves deflected by aircraft. Neither method is perfect, but aircraft's shape is generally what makes difference between LO and VLO plane.

    However, there are ways to detect them. VHF radars can detect stealth planes by virtue of operating at wavelength between one and three meters, within Rayleight scattering region, creating resonance. However, such radars have poor resolution and as such cannot typically be used for engagement radars – however, they can be, as demonstrated in Serbia, be used to direct command-link guided heat-seeking missiles close enough to VLO target for their seekers to acquire heat signature of stealth plane. Thus, not only they deny the greatest value that stealth can offer – surprise – but are also credible direct danger for VLO planes. VHF band 3D radars are capable of tracking stealth aircraft at distance of 50 nautical miles or more, and can be used to direct anti-aircraft missiles or interceptor aircraft, most of which are equipped with an on-board IRST. While they can be jammed, large antenna is required to perform the jamming, and radars themselves are usually frequency-hopping designes, although antenna bandwidth limits hop range. However, these can be attacked by F22s using supercruise to drop bombs (JDAM, 60 nm range). While active cancellation is viable, it is difficult to implement.

    Also, such radars are generally mobile, and while Nebo SVU can stow or deploy in 45 minutes, newer Vostok E can be stowed or deployed in eight minutes. If weapon is launched at it from long range, radar will be moved long before such weapon strikes, unless weapon itself is very fast. Also, newer Russian AESA designs are most likely capable of tracking stealth fighters up to 180 nm range, and are almost certainly accurate enough to allow for mid-flight course update for long range SAMs or AAMs.

    Other ways of active radar detection, while not "cassical", are viable with any form of radar. One of these is "background scanning", where airborne or space-borne radar is not looking for stealth aircraft itself, but for background behind it. If stealth aircraft is operating anywhere above terrain being mapped, it will appear as a hole in data. However, since radar would have to scan entire terrain it is assigned to cover, initial detection of VLO aircraft may be slow. However, once identified, it would be possible to make more detailed scans, possibly even identifying aircraft by silhouette.

    Same method could be used by satellites, while ground-based systems may use similar method by looking for radar signatures of stars, which, with sensitive radio-astronomical equipment, cover entire sky – meaning that stealth aircraft would be eclipsing one or another known star entire time. Even equipment of lesser sensitivity may be used by searching for anomalous differences is strength of star's radio signal. If all friendly aircraft have known locations, those not accounted for can be determined to be enemy aircraft – stealth or otherwise.

    Yet another method is usage of over-horizon radars; these radars bounce HF waves from ionosphere to "look over the horizon". Since stealth airplanes are not optimized for defeating HF radio waves coming from above, but rather UHF radio waves coming from front and sides, that method may be viable as early-warning method. There are already such radars in operation in US, Russia, Australia, France and possibly China. Australian system is also multi-static, further improving its counter-stealth capabilities. Their range can be as large as 5 000 kilometers.

    Passive radars and radar warning recievers rely on detecting radio emissions by enemy aircraft (usually radar, but can also be IFF, communications or similar) and using it to determine vector to emitter that signal has originated from. However, it is of limited utility, as fighters in war typically turn off their radars and IFF to avoid being tracked, and stealth bombers use targeting systems that do not require them to emit any signals whatsoever.

    Therefore, main detection systems employed by fighters are likely to be passive detection measures, be it radar, IRST or optical.

    Multistatic radar, as its name says, is a radar where emitter and reciever are not in one place – or one emitter has several recievers. As such, moving recievers away from emitter, preferably to positions that radio waves are likely to be detected (in air, and so on) is a viable way of dealing with stealth aircraft.

    Also, every aircraft creates air distrubances when in flight; as such, metheorological Doppler radar may be used to detect these disturbances, assuming it has sufficiently high resolution.

    Other detection measures include detecting disturbances created by airplanes in Earth's magnetic field, as well as networks of low frequency radio links, which would detect any aircraft passing between two linked emitters.

    TECHNOLOGIES BASED ON IR (INFRARED) EMISSIONS

    Any object has its own infrared signature. Jet fighter's IR signature is very high, not only due to emissions from engines, but also due to its skin being heated by air friction, as well as reflection from Sun (during daylight, obviously). Both these problems can be partially adressed, but cannot be removed, or even lessened anywhere near level that problems with radar detection can.

    Reduction of IR signature in stealth planes is achieved by shaping the jet exhaust – flattening it – in order for it to cool down to temperature of surrounding air faster, as well as reshaping parts of airframe to hide it better from angles that detection is most likely to come. Also, IR paints can be used to reduce IR signature by aircraft itself. However, neither is likely to be very effective, especially with supersonic fighters, as fighter supercruising creates shock cones with temperature of 86 degrees Celzius. Meanwhile AMRAAM launch has large, unique thermal signature. Su27s IRST should be able to detect typical fighter at distance of 90 km tail on and 50 km head on, as well as detect head-on supercruising fighter from about 55 km, and detect mentioned AMRAAM launch from distance of 90 kilometers, while AMRAAM at Mach 4 creates 650 degree Celzius shock cone, allowing it to be tracked from distance of 80 kilometers; comercially avaliable Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector technology should greatly increase performance – Eurofighter Typhoon already has one, with unclassified detection range for subsonic head-on targets of 90 kilometers.

    Also, while experimental Russian plasma stealth may be applied to legacy airframes, and may prove to be more effective than classic stealth technology in countering radar, it will make aircraft stand out on IRST like a Christmas tree.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
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  3. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Advice and critique appreciated.
     
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  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Right now the F22 against the best planes we can use to oppose them has a 30 to 1 kill ratio. Thats useing the best trained pliots in the world flying the opposing planes. For the last 30 years US planes have shot down a 100 or more migs with out a loss. I doubt if Russia with just 10 percent of us military budget and just 10 percent of military research budget is going to come up with something that is going to change those odds when they failed so badly with the entire resouces of the USSR.
     
  5. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    i will definitely be voting for you to be promoted as a think tank on the IDF forum.
    nice article. :pop:
     
  6. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    You forget the fact that planes USAF was shooting down had no radar in most cases, and no countermeasures either, plus US had numerical superiority as well as better pilots. Everything else, I have adressed above. If there is something I did not adress, say it, and I will do it ASAP. As for these exercises, they are not even remotely realistical.

    Those "best planes" are inferior to newest European and Russian designs, have no counter-stealth sensors (IRST), and fought at unrealistical disadvantage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
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  7. DrSomnath999

    DrSomnath999 Major RESEARCHER

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    picard did u make this analysis on ur own .
     
  8. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Yes. I did use those 50-odd PDF documents I have on my computer, though.
     
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  9. DrSomnath999

    DrSomnath999 Major RESEARCHER

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    well done mate really appreciated ur efforts do 1 thing convert it in PDF / jpeg & create ur name as watermark & upload it on web .So that no one copies ur content .
    ONCE again thanks for all ur effort
     
  10. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    In the real world F22 30 to 1, US vs Russian Planes in the real world 100 to 1. In the real world USA VS RUSSIA military, research, and economcally 10+ to 1.
     
  11. TereBinLaden

    TereBinLaden Captain STAR MEMBER

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    hmm... lack of infra red tracking system is certainly an disadvantage,but to its advantage with a low probability of being seen in enemy radar specially airborne platform, it have the advantage of being the first to see the enemy, US got the AESA advantage and detecting an AESA radar through the RWR is a critical job,it seems like it is more a BVR engagement aircraft but even for dogfights it is highly maneuverable with a powerful engine and huge tail wings. Maneuverability should not be a problem for F-22 till the limit of human sustainability of G force, euro canards and Russian designs are reputed for better, but still F-22s maneuverability is not as bad to state it as a sucking maneuverability plus it will have the T/W ratio advantage I think. Internal weapon bay may have its disadvantage but it have its advantages too- low aerodynamic drag, more speed for super cruise, less stress upon missiles air frame components while on board and answer to RCS reduction, to compensate the disadvantage F-22 raptor can be configured to carry external weapon loads too but at the cost of loosing stealth but still with a stealth design, its RCS would be less compared to non stealthy design jets, where in war ability to sight the enemy before it can is an advantage, considering equal powerful radars on both side the favour should be in F-22 raptors side, to note that latest seekers have counter-counter measures systems installed and AESA radars are jam resistant. In a dog fight which is generally fought with IR missiles their wont be any advantage of a radar stealth platform, but in case afterburners are not used it will help in not letting the enemy follow the cloud path which dictates the path of the enemy fighter plane, their by making it hard to locate the target in close dog fights, The supercrusie and high thrust engines of F-22 might be of help in that. F-22 is not cost efficient but US do not have plans either to make it cost efficient, they have blocked the export of the jet, (production output to cost ratio curve) . High servicing cost as another demerit but it is the cost of having the upper edge in a probable battle field. If the cost of procurement do not crumple the defense budget or the economy it is a worthy weapon to have, if not it is better without.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  12. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    @Picard

    Stealth is very young.

    Know while I agree that the F-22 is not what people make it out to be, out of all the operational fighters of today, the F-22 is the most likely to kill the enemy without being detected let alone killed. Yes other methods of detection are still alive, but the F-22 can rely on it's radar to detect sub 5th gen, whereas 4.5 gen would as you said rely on other methods.

    Radar stealth itself is not flawed, radar is probably the most preferred, prevalent and effective means of getting the job done.
    IMHO the biggest killer for F-22 is it's heavy price tag and maintenance requirements.

    You must understand the USAF can afford the F-22, and can afford for it to become redundant.
    We know where the F-22 is just as vulnerable as any other jet, but for now that area has not been exploited to an extent where the F-22's superiority is threatened. But I can see as Pak Fa, F-35 and J-20 become operational, countries will invest more in other methods than radar.

    Your not wrong about the F-22, but to put into context, it suits the USAF's need for air superiority well.
     
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  13. Shreeram

    Shreeram 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Dont u think the USAF would have started a secret project other than the F-22, C'mon they wouldn't sit for 15 years there must be some secret platform they have atleast started working on which would keep them above other nations in terms of air-superiority!!! USAF especially would have thought about it! It is still the best platform and if they bring out another more capable jet they cannot be touched for another 40 years atleast!
     
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  14. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Picard has pointed some out.

    But lets face it... the F-22 is ONLY as effective when it is given the required conditions that the USAF can provide, when it is not a lone wolf and is backed also by AWACS.
    If you were to pit multiple 4.5 gen birds against a single F-22, the 4.5 gen birds have a good chance.

    They carry more AAMs, they use IR detection, they can share data among themselves through a safe and secure datalink, they can have a dedicated aircraft for EW among them. Given that the F-22 can only carry so many AMRAAMs and given that it needs to be at a safe distance to get some sort of an advantage, also given that kill probability is low for BVRAAMs especially beyond 60-80km, also given that the enemies RWR will work just fine despite the hoo ha about LPI, F-22 may find itself vulnerable.

    The F-22 is only effective IF you can afford it in large numbers, IF you can provide it AWACS support, IF it's not a lone wolf and IF the enemy is not employing the same technologies as you (note: I said technology and avionics, not stealth).

    But when pitted against an enemy of who's just as capable if not somewhat capable, you will find yourself at a disadvantage if you field the extremely expensive F-22 especially as a lone wolf, given that the enemy has fielded a cheaper and just as capable bird in larger numbers.

    The F-22 works for the USAF, for now.
    In the decade to come it wont be so great and it surely wouldn't work if fielded by any other AF.

    The USAF/USN also have F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s and soon F-35, they can afford to make use of the F-22.

    ceteris paribus

    Yes, it is the best A2A platform for the USAF, by far.

    You must have misunderstood me, I'm not questioning it's superiority in today's battlefield, but what the future holds for it and just my opinion on why it works and where it lacks.

    I hope this post clears it up a bit.

    regards,
     
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  15. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Aircraft using radar will be seen first, regardless of any stealth / no stealth. Thus, in actual combat, passive sensors will be preferred.

    Not impossible. Also, for BVR engagement, aircraft must radiate from TWO sources: IFF and radar, which automatically doubles chance of detection.

    It is still not what it should be.

    True, but in the end, it is question of who shoots down who. As for drag, missiles and pylons are generally optimized for as low drag as possible, while offering advantage of instantaneous launch, which is critical for dogfight.

    Side emitting signals (radar, IFF) will be spotted first.

    True, but I don't see why someone can't make it so without hunting radar VLO.

    Weapons have to be cost efficient, else what you get is very few planes which can easily be replaced by other planes which, while maybe only half as capable, cost four times less.

    Again, questionable, and that is even without taking numbers into account.

    US economy already is AWOL, but Chinese keep it running so US can keep their populace fed.

    If it uses radar, or uplink, or even IFF, it will be detected before it detects anything. And even if we assume it can detect enemy without being detected, it still has to close to WVR to be able to reliably kill a target.

    Against Taliban and third-world countries, yes. But against first-world countries, using radar is... well, same as using flashlight at night. You can see things, but if there is anyone out there, he will see your flashlight far earlier than you can see him. Using radar is, basically, akin to jumping and screming "Hey, I'm here!" while waving a torch.

    Yes, they can afford it. Few dozen of them, maybe. But not more.

    I have impression that one thing it suits most is Lockheed Martin's bank account.

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    Really, people, did you read what I wrote? I adressed 90% of these points in essay.
     

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