Spreading your resources awfully thin...

twiligh81

Spaceman
Orig by Quarto:
"The only reason why the difference doesn't seem that great is because the pricetags are insanely high on both planes anyway."

My point exactly... when you're already spending $30 or $40 some odd MILLION bucks per aircraft... an extra mill or 2 is only an increase of a few percent, its not worth getting excited over... its like the difference been the price of a Farrari, or a Lamborgenie (er however thoes are spelled), WHO CARES what the difference is.. you're already spending way too much anyway... may as well get the very best for your money.


Orig by Quarto:
"Lives at stake? The fate of nations? That's a joke. These fighters aren't built because fighters of their stature are needed. The only "combat" they'll see during their career is a few skirmishes over a third-world country, where they'll destroy some poorly-armed F-16 or MiG that's too far away to even engage them, or fire off a missile at a radar site long before anyone on the ground realises what's going on. They'll never have to fight combat on an equal footing. Even if the F-22 is really worse than the F-23, no F-22 pilot will ever die merely because (s)he's flying an F-22 instead of an F-23."

I'm sorry that you think of peoples lives as a joke my friend, perhaps you sould talk to someone about that...

However generally I agree with you in that super-fighters aren't needed, I never said I AGREED with the ATF project, only that between the two particular fighters involved, the 23 was generally superior. IM(ns)HO, they would have better off investing in the JSF eariler, they could have bought 3 or 4 JSFs for every F-22, and the only areas the F-22 is clearly superior is in flight performance (supermaneuverability & supercruise), however the vast majority of modern air to air combat takes place BVR, so the F-22s advantages are largely wasted.

Altho your arguement about the F-22 never seeing combat against a worthy enemy doesnt hold water, true AT THE MOMENT in the world there is no challenger, but what about 10 or 15 years from now (when the F-22 will STILL be our front-line superiorty fighter)? By then the advanages of the F-23 might have saved some lives.

Also "3rd world" nations dont always have 3rd world tech... the Mig-29 is equivalent to the F-16C or the F/A-18C, and 29's are in air forces all over the world. The Su-27 which is the functional equivalent to the F-15C, but argueably a somewhat superiorfighter to the F-15 is also seen in a number of Air Forces, China, and N. Korea for example, if memory serves. Russia's newest super fighter, the Su-34 I think its called, will almost certinly be sold to such nations as well.

The F-22 could face serious compition sooner then you might think.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by Happy
first u r wrong, there r not 918 f-15c/e's.
the USAF website states the total numbers f-15s;
"Inventory: Active force, 396; Reserve, 0; ANG,126."
http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/F_15_Eagle.html
that equals 495 total f-15 airframes.
of those;
"Inventory: Active force, 217; ANG, 0; Reserve, 0 "
http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/F_15E_Strike_Eagle.html
217 are f-15E variants. making the 278 f-15C/D variant airframes in service.
The latest numbers i've been able to find, state that we are buying 295 F-22's, which will increase the air-to-air capabilities of the USAF. not to mention that there will be an number of f-15c/d airframes passed down to the reserves and air national guard units.

also in development is a strike varient of the f-22, the FB-22.
obviously to replace the f-15e, this is leading to alot of confusion among arm-chair generals.
http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/article/0,12543,262063-3,00.html

According to the General Accounting Office's report on the matter, there were 918 F-15's in the United States' inventory in 1992, and everything else I've read suggests they're sending out F/A-22's to replace F-15's as they reach the end of their service life. Do note the fact that it HAS been proposed that they cut the 339 ordered F/A-22's to 239 planes citing cost and and that no more than 180 of the jets would be required (from the office of the Secretary of Defense, June 2002, see http://www.voughtaircraft.com/news/inthenews/070802.htm). Since there are ten AEFs in the United States Air Force, that'd allow about one squadron per AEF of 12 planes, plus 10 or so reserve planes for training, replacements, etc.

Numbers are their own virtue - at least as far as having coverage goes. Especially with the defense commitments the United States has, both in defending their own borders as well as actions across the world. If the YF-23 was even more expensive to produce than the F/A-22 has turned out to be, then the decision between numbers and needing the best gear out there becomes even harder to make.

And according to the official propaganda, it's an Air Dominance fighter with a secondary role as an air-to-ground attack weapon, which is where the two GBU-32 JDAMs as part of its standard loadout comes in.

The FB-22, as far as I can tell, is a way to combine the F-111's bombing capabilities with a stealthy platform, though the addition of the /A to the F-22 was to denote it was to do both air superiority and ground attack, IIRC, when they made the change about two years ago.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by Demon
I'm confused. Even if you only have 50 F-22s, which are by all accounts very stealthy and will be at least harder to spot than any other fighter plane yet made, how are you going to be "in so much trouble" the next time there is a war? Its not like we are going to lose the capabilities we already have. And, what nation can actually field an aircraft against us that will even rival what we have now? From all accounts, just a couple of F-22s will be able to take out multiple other aircraft at one time, and with our missiles we can probably take them out before they even realize we are targeting them. I really don't expect to take on Russia in the next war, and even if we did, I think that our command and control capabilities and our training would outclass anything they could field anyway.

You may not be taking on Russia... but Russia and France, especially, have a history of selling military tech to whoever's looking. This includes many nations which are known to be unfriendly to the United States of America.

Expect accidents - you've probably lost more F-15's to them than to battle. If you're only expecting 36 of them per year from the factory, losing one or two becomes a pretty big deal when you've got maybe 50 of them at the moment (Lot 4 for FY2002 includes 24 of them, while Lot 3 for FY2001 had 16, with Lot 2 having 10)... and you have to divide that over the whole air force's ten Expeditionary Forces. Accidents and friendly fire have probably killed more American and British soldiers in Iraq in THIS war than the entire Republican Guard managed to in both wars put together. :p I'm not counting the SCUDs launched by Iraq into American bases as being part of the Guard's list of kills.

Being honest, the F/A-22 isn't THAT advanced technologically- not really. It's BVR capabilities are impressive, as is the stealthiness of the frame... but the Europeans are catching up, and the Russians always had canny engineers even if their army was crap. The main thing is that it is out there and has demonstrated capabilities beyond most any other fighter out there at the present time. Don't expect this lead to be maintained as other companies put out their own airframes with capabilities inspired by the F/A-22's own.

It's going to be interesting, if the Secretary of Defense DOES cut the number of F/A-22's ordered down to 239 as proposed. The F-35's not nearly as stealthy, and it's already been admitted that they probably wouldn't last long in a real war without support from the F/A-22, which can be considered its bigger, badder brother.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Originally posted by twiligh81
My point exactly... when you're already spending $30 or $40 some odd MILLION bucks per aircraft... an extra mill or 2 is only an increase of a few percent, its not worth getting excited over... its like the difference been the price of a Farrari, or a Lamborgenie (er however thoes are spelled), WHO CARES what the difference is.. you're already spending way too much anyway... may as well get the very best for your money.
Is this some sort of weird reverse psychology thing? Logic dictates that the difference between prices like this would be a *lot* more significant than the difference between a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. We're talking millions here. If American taxpayers really want to spend this money, then spend it on something useful, like NASA or education - or just give it to me :).

I'm sorry that you think of peoples lives as a joke my friend, perhaps you sould talk to someone about that...
Oh, I think people's lives are a very serious thing... the joke is the fact that you think they're at stake here. They're not.

Altho your arguement about the F-22 never seeing combat against a worthy enemy doesnt hold water, true AT THE MOMENT in the world there is no challenger, but what about 10 or 15 years from now (when the F-22 will STILL be our front-line superiorty fighter)? By then the advanages of the F-23 might have saved some lives.
No, they won't. I understand what you're saying, but it's not true. You see, if that was the case for the F-22/23, then, logically, it would also be the case for the F-14, 15, 16, and 18. But it isn't. These fighters aren't the best of the best anymore. They're pretty much bog-standard or, as you point out, even inferior to some fighters. Yet, behold, they are not dropping out of the sky.
 

Rambo_UK

Spaceman
$30-40 million a pop? not for the F-22. More like $100-120 million each. And as with all such aircraft, that will only go up with the later block-number productions, I expect.
 

Rambo_UK

Spaceman
And really the Su-37, which has thrust vectoring, excellent performance and greater all-round agility really would be a threat. Where the Russians used to be let-down was in the BVR shots with primitive radars (ie, the German MiG-29s were only getting a 50-50 kill ratio against the Tornado F3 and less against the SHAR2 on excercises) but with a modern radar and missiles installed I wouldn't like to meet one.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by Rambo_UK
$30-40 million a pop? not for the F-22. More like $100-120 million each. And as with all such aircraft, that will only go up with the later block-number productions, I expect.

Current F-15C's do cost about $30 million dollars, though the F/A-22 currently prices out to around $92.4 million or so (after a reduction in orders for planes - it'd be 128 million otherwise)... if you're spending 'a bit extra' for each unit, it'd probably be more like $10-20 million per unit, which prices out to an extra $3.4-7.8 billion dollars for the total order of 295-339 fighters. The Department of Defense has spent about $26 billion of the total $69 billion allocated to the F/A-22 program, including development costs, the prototypes, and now the first lots of fighters sent out as of 2002. Due to cost overruns in the development phase, they've already cut the order of F/A-22's down by 49 fighters between 2004 and 2009 to a maximum order of 276 fighters.

Let's assume that the YF-23 costs, on average, 10 percent more per base unit, not counting development costs... if we use the revised figure above, that's $102 million or so per fighter. If we do count development costs, it'll probably go up to $140 million, especially if they ahd the same sorts of problems with the YF-23's development - which is likely - as with the other program... especially when they added the ground-strike role.

If you look at it that way, that would have come out to an extra $4.7 billion on top of everything else, at the very least, not counting inflation. Given that they've already cut the orders of F/A-22's down by 50 fighters to handle cost overruns and keep within some sort of budget - and in doing so, trimmed off 4.5 billion off the total expenditure, as much as the initial overrun I noted with the YF-23's production would've been - can you imagine what they'd have cut the total orders dow by?

It's possible that instead of the ~276 fighters they're looking at buying for the F/A-23 program, they'd probably have cut it down to the 180 fighters plus a few replacements that the Department of Defense had projected would be all that was needed to maintain air superiority... all because the cost would be too much, and when given a choice between spending lives or spending money - government always, always chooses to save money.

I think I'll take the F/A-22, given its capabilities, even if it may have been overmatched by the YF-23, in the numbers that they're projecting right now. Because numbers are still their own virtue, even if you're only looking at losing these fuckers due to accidents - which isn't likely to stay the case for more than 5-10 years.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by Rambo_UK
And really the Su-37, which has thrust vectoring, excellent performance and greater all-round agility really would be a threat. Where the Russians used to be let-down was in the BVR shots with primitive radars (ie, the German MiG-29s were only getting a 50-50 kill ratio against the Tornado F3 and less against the SHAR2 on excercises) but with a modern radar and missiles installed I wouldn't like to meet one.

If they ever got the MiG-35 off the ground (as in in production), with decent radar technology... well, it may well match the newest French (EuroFighter 2000) and American fighters, or at least provide a decent threat. It did have ground-strike capabilities built into the frame, thrust vectoring, and similar stealth capabilities (though I don't know how good it was, in the latter respect).

As I said, the F/A-22 isn't the most advanced technology ever, but it's the first to be out there with all those capabilities in one very competent package.

(Edit: I just looked up the Eurofighter 2000's costs. The British procurement of 232 fighters is expected to cost 15.9 billion pounds, which comes out to 68.5 million pounds per airframe, or $107.7 million per fighter in current-day USD).
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by Maniac II
*French* fighters??? thats a myth! :D

They developed them in conjunction with the British and the Germans.

Even if the regular army sucks, their technology isn't too shabby. :D
 

Maniac II

Rear Admiral
your right their technology isnt that bad... have you ever seen the movie "Behind Enemy Lines", if you have do remember that scene with the French Special Operations Team.... i was like holy crap... they have Spec. Ops???? oh wait... theyre probably no better than regular US Marines :D
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by Maniac II
your right their technology isnt that bad... have you ever seen the movie "Behind Enemy Lines", if you have do remember that scene with the French Special Operations Team.... i was like holy crap... they have Spec. Ops???? oh wait... theyre probably no better than regular US Marines :D

Their French Foreign Legion's the only really formidable force they've got, outside of the paramilitary units they've got in the DGSE and other Intelligence groups.

Basically, the Foreign Legion, because it's composed of NON-Frenchmen, is their best force. :D Hell, they almost pulled off a coup before loyal elements stopped them.
 

twiligh81

Spaceman
Orig by Quarto:
"Is this some sort of weird reverse psychology thing? Logic dictates that the difference between prices like this would be a *lot* more significant than the difference between a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. We're talking millions here."

*sighs* And i'll explain yet again... yes the price of the 23 would have been a few mill higher BUT we're already talking about tens of millions of dollars so the DIFFERENCE bewteen the 22 and the 23 is only a FEW PERCENT... just as in the case of the Farrari and Lamborgene, altho the differnece would be tens of thousands of dollars, sence we're already talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, the DIFFERENCE is only a few percent. My entire point is that, in my opinion, a few measely percentage points difference in price shouldnt stand in the way of haveing the best you can get.


Orig by Quarto:
"No, they won't. I understand what you're saying, but it's not true. You see, if that was the case for the F-22/23, then, logically, it would also be the case for the F-14, 15, 16, and 18. But it isn't. These fighters aren't the best of the best anymore. They're pretty much bog-standard or, as you point out, even inferior to some fighters. Yet, behold, they are not dropping out of the sky."

However, the F-14, 15, 16, & 18s have to date NOT fought in a major air war. Gulf War I doesnt count because, 1 - it was a masive colaliton against Iraq not just the US, and more importently, 2 - Iraq's air force didnt bother to put up a fight, which is a failure of their leadership & training, not their technology, had the Iraqi air force actually put up a signifigant fight there would have been losses amoung the american fighters, losses that might not have occured if congress had been more intresisted in giveing our troops the best they cant get, rather then saveing a few bucks. Gulf War II also doesnt count but cause Iraq effectively doesnt have an air force at all this time around.


Orig by Rambo_UK:
"$30-40 million a pop? not for the F-22. More like $100-120 million each. And as with all such aircraft, that will only go up with the later block-number productions, I expect"

.... are you sh*tting me?! I knew the F-22 was more expensive then the F-15 (new fighters always are) but I didnt know it was THAT much....


Orig by Haesslich:
"Current F-15C's do cost about $30 million dollars, though the F/A-22 currently prices out to around $92.4 million or so (after a reduction in orders for planes - it'd be 128 million otherwise)..."

...Huh? Produceing more of a product REDUCES the cost per unit, it doesnt increase it... so logicly, reduceing the production numbers of a product would INCREASE the cost per unit, not reduce it... basic economics.


Are you guys sure bout that $100 mill price tag for the F-22? sounds awfully high to me...
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by twiligh81
Orig by Rambo_UK:
"$30-40 million a pop? not for the F-22. More like $100-120 million each. And as with all such aircraft, that will only go up with the later block-number productions, I expect"

.... are you sh*tting me?! I knew the F-22 was more expensive then the F-15 (new fighters always are) but I didnt know it was THAT much....


Orig by Haesslich:
"Current F-15C's do cost about $30 million dollars, though the F/A-22 currently prices out to around $92.4 million or so (after a reduction in orders for planes - it'd be 128 million otherwise)..."

...Huh? Produceing more of a product REDUCES the cost per unit, it doesnt increase it... so logicly, reduceing the production numbers of a product would INCREASE the cost per unit, not reduce it... basic economics.


Are you guys sure bout that $100 mill price tag for the F-22? sounds awfully high to me... [/B]

Uh-huh. It's been quoted by the GAO's report in June 4, 1997, and according to the Air Force, after the overruns, without restructuring... it'd have been a unit-cost of $128 million per F/A-22. They've managed to reduce it to $92.9 million per fighter now, after dumping some of the overruns elsewhere, trimming costs with warantee and several other areas, and STILL they ended up cutting down the order by 49 fighters. It was initially $99 million, before they discovered the overruns... then it went up an extra $30 million per fighter.

And the economies of scale only really apply if you're going to keep production of those things going - cars are affordable now because they put them out in the millions using machines to cut down on the labor costs. Fighters have to be made by PEOPLE, which signficantly increases the price-per-unit, and they're only made for specific runs before the line shuts down. There's also the maintenance for these beasts, which may require new equipment and training costs... and those were factored in when they cut the order of 750 F/A-22's down to 339, and then later to 276 F/A-22's.

Everything I've seen lately prices the current run of F/A-22's between $93-100 million apiece. If they did try to produce more of them, that price MIGHT drop slightly... but not significantly. And the YF-23, if it cost about 10% more to produce, would've meat it cost between $100-110 million per plane... which comes out to being able to buy three F/A-22 squadrons for the price of two YF-23 squadrons.

(Edit: According to the most recent GAO report, GAO-03-603T, the F/A-22 is having more costs overruns due to system instabilities and other unforeseen problems).
 

twiligh81

Spaceman
:eek: *blinks* [Insert military 'intelligence' joke here.]

And these are the people that are supposed to be helping to insure the security of our country... they can't even secure a budget... America is SO doomed... :rolleyes:
 

Rambo_UK

Spaceman
Frog Fighters

Actually the French fighter is the Rafale, basically the ultimate evolution of the Mirage series, comparable to the Eurofighter or Saab Gripen. The Eurofighter is more agile, having the canards further forward, amongst other things. Head on, it is nearly as stealthy as an F-22. Last quoted figure I heard for it was about £65 million each - but that's for a real swing-fighter with (IIRC) 13 hardpoints - the F-22 has somewhat less. The Eurofighter also has a massive instantaneous turn rate, nearly double that of it's rivals, and the computer controlled flight surfaces give it a certain amount of post-stall manoueverability. The ASRAAM and look/shoot capability make it pretty formidable - though the Russians have a similar capability with their latest fighters.

As far as I knew, the "MiG-35" was simply a technology demonstrator and not a real prototype. please correct me if I'm wrong. The Su-37 is a real aircraft that could be put into production shoud the orders materialise.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Re: Frog Fighters

Originally posted by Rambo_UK
Actually the French fighter is the Rafale, basically the ultimate evolution of the Mirage series, comparable to the Eurofighter or Saab Gripen. The Eurofighter is more agile, having the canards further forward, amongst other things. Head on, it is nearly as stealthy as an F-22. Last quoted figure I heard for it was about £65 million each - but that's for a real swing-fighter with (IIRC) 13 hardpoints - the F-22 has somewhat less. The Eurofighter also has a massive instantaneous turn rate, nearly double that of it's rivals, and the computer controlled flight surfaces give it a certain amount of post-stall manoueverability. The ASRAAM and look/shoot capability make it pretty formidable - though the Russians have a similar capability with their latest fighters.

As far as I knew, the "MiG-35" was simply a technology demonstrator and not a real prototype. please correct me if I'm wrong. The Su-37 is a real aircraft that could be put into production shoud the orders materialise.

The Eurofighter's price was about 68 million pounds, when I looked for what the British were getting theirs.. which works out to $100 million US dollars... about correct for a fighter of that technology.

And yes, the MiG-35's a demonstrator... but it could well have been a great fighter had the Russians any money to buy them. The Russians boasted it would have nearly the stealth capabilities of a F/A-22, though I doubt it'd have the same range... that's a real problem for the Russian airframes; they just didn't have the range of their American counterparts.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Originally posted by twiligh81
My entire point is that, in my opinion, a few measely percentage points difference in price shouldnt stand in the way of haveing the best you can get.
And my point is that your point is illogical, because in this case, a few percent is *millions*. It could be 0.001%, but if this percentage translates into millions of dollars, you don't look at it as "just 0.001%".

However, the F-14, 15, 16, & 18s have to date NOT fought in a major air war.
Absolutely right. Which makes you wonder whether the F-22 can be expected to see any major air wars. The answer is no - the only enemies the F-22 will face will be decrepit third-world air forces along the lines of the Iraqi forces.

You might argue that such an attitude is dangerously complacent. That the army should be prepared for anything. I disagree. The army should be prepared for challenges it has a reason to expect. So, if, for example, you have no reason to expect an alien invasion, you don't build giant space cannons. Similarly, if you have no reason to expect a major war, don't waste money buying ridiculously expensive fighter jets.
 

twiligh81

Spaceman
Quarto, you keep looking at it from the ant's perspective... yes to you Quarto, an individual person, a few million dollars seems like a lot of money... however to the U.S. Department of Defense, whos annual budget is somewhere in the trillions i'm sure, a few million more or less spent on things here and there is NOT a big deal.


Orig by Quarto:
"Absolutely right. Which makes you wonder whether the F-22 can be expected to see any major air wars. The answer is no - the only enemies the F-22 will face will be decrepit third-world air forces along the lines of the Iraqi forces."

I'm sorry... I didnt realise you were psycic, and could see the future with absoulte clarity... in that case would you kindly email me this weeks lottery numbers...


And you've made my arguement for me, such an attitude IS dangerously complacent. Freedom, wealth, happiness, are all worthless if you arent ALIVE to enjoy them... the number 1 responsabilty of any government is (or at least should be) the physical survival of its people, ANYthing else is a distant 2nd.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Originally posted by twiligh81
Quarto, you keep looking at it from the ant's perspective... yes to you Quarto, an individual person, a few million dollars seems like a lot of money... however to the U.S. Department of Defense, whos annual budget is somewhere in the trillions i'm sure, a few million more or less spent on things here and there is NOT a big deal.

It's more in the billions. The UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT has approximately $2.2 trillion dollars to split up among all those departments, including the army. You know, things like... oh... social spending? Acting to make sure the gas you're using for your car doesn't cost $200 a gallon? Running every department?

Do you understand? The General Accounting Office and the Office of the Department of Defense has already made cuts to the F/A-22 fleet before it's completely done. Because there are costs associated with the craft, over triple that of the current F-15 force.... and maintenance is still going to be an issue. Yes, they're cheaper to run, fuel-wise... but they still need parts, and they've still got some serious bugs which can completely knock out their avionics if you open up several menus concurrently. Also, they've got severe heating problems when travelling over 500 miles per hour, which means they're significantly below the supercruise speeds they're supposed to be operating at.

It's not a matter of a 'few million more'. We're talking a $10 billion dollar cost overrun ALREADY, when they had allocated about $34 billion dollars to produce 339 fighters, now cut down to 276 fighters because of those extra costs.

The money's coming out of YOUR taxes... or probably more accurately your parents' taxes. You know... Uncle Sam and the IRS?
 
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