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#3852 2009-04-07 04:28 GMT-5 hours    
Word is on the street that the F-22 Raptor Production line will be shut down. The Pentagon anounced that the C-17 and F-22 Production lines are to be shut down. They will increase the production on the F-35 program and boost its # of jets to Appr. 535.

Very sad day. The F-35 is good but its no F-22... Very poor decision Congress, and the Pentagon.

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#3853 2009-04-07 13:20 GMT-5 hours    
Agreed. A very, very short-sighted move by the administration. We're going to stop producing our most capable platform in favor of a jet that's not even designed to be anywhere near as capable, and is still in TESTING?

Given the fact that many F-22s are used for training, testing, weapons school, and evaluation - there will not be many 'battle ready' on the first day of an air war. Meaning that the few F-22s we do have will almost surely be outnumbered against the plethora of SU-27/30 type fighters that are being mass produced and exported. Quality can only match quantity up to a certain point...

I think the final # of F-35s will be considerably more than 535 though - this jet is supposedly going to be the "one size fits all" cookie cutter jet for our armed forces. Which in my opinion is not a good philosophy.

My soul is in the sky.

- Shakespeare

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#3854 2009-04-07 15:38 GMT-5 hours    
They should stop making a jack of all trades and master of none. Thats what i think of the F-35.

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#3855 2009-04-07 20:57 GMT-5 hours    
It is a tough call on both ends of the question. I am a great fan of the F-22, but still see it for what it is, a one trick pony. I am not as up on the test program as I would like to be, but I recall reading that air-to-ground capability for the F-22 is still a work in progress. If we do not produce the best warplane the industry can make, someone else will.

The massive cost of a platform that can only fulfill one task is not justifiable at the level the F-22 is budgeted. There is nothing close in capability to the F-22 flying against the USAF today. PLAAF/VPAAF Su-27/30's are fine aircraft in their own respects, but pale in comparison to the F-22 and her crews. As much as it pains me to have congress do what it did, I get it. If allocated properly, the 186 F-22s which will be built can defend the US for decades to come. The only foreseeable scenario in which I see the F-22 matched with any equity could be against Saudi Ef2000 Typhoons, and that is a stretch at best. PLAAF J-10s do not pose the threat envisaged by Pentagon war planners, they are trying to get their budgets filled as well.

I think a priority for the USAF should be replacing the airframes which are coming close to or over their airframe hours. F-15Cs from the 70's and F-16s from the early 80's should be withdrawn before they start killing their pilots. How soon the administration forgets the events of just a couple years back.

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#3856 2009-04-08 15:49 GMT-5 hours    
The real number of front line fighters will always be lower than 187 though. Like Jonathan already mentioned testing and training will require a certain number of airframes. Not to forget airframes being down for maintenance. Not familiar with the F-22 systems but i read that the "stealth" stuff requires quite a bit of maintenance.

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#3857 2009-04-08 20:41 GMT-5 hours    
I read once where an F-15C requires about 8-10 hours of maintenance per flight hour and the Su-27 requires around 12. The serviceability question is a good point. can 187 be enough to defend the continental US and assets abroad? Keep in mind we are talking about defense only. Offensive operations are well covered.

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#3860 2009-04-09 11:42 GMT-5 hours    
I totally agree with the above assessments. !87 aircraft isn't much more than 2 wings. As capable as they are, that doesn't cut it. The argument with the F-35 reminds me of McNamara's SNAFU with the F-111. He wanted one airframe to do everything. The F-35 is a replacement for dual role F-16's. To arm and send one's countrymen in harms way without the best than can be produced is a crime. Hopefully this will get changed when congress gets involved with the battle.

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#3915 2009-04-22 16:48 GMT-5 hours    
I love the F-22, but also agree we need to trim spending. More info:

"Lockheed Martin to accept F-22 termination decision"

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/04/22/325475/lockheed-martin-to-accept-f-22-termination-decision.html

Perhaps we can curb the international travel, US delegates make abroad? A few less Presidential trips could buy a few more bird, perhaps?

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#4202 2009-07-21 15:37 GMT-5 hours    
It's official. Future funding for the F-22 has been halted. Full story here.

-Ray

This is the oldest I've ever been.

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#4203 2009-07-21 21:50 GMT-5 hours    
I think the political watchdogs and their cronies in the media are making more of this, than there really is. The question was over seven additional airframes. Airframes for a type, which is now, a single role aircraft. The F-22A's ground attack capability has yet to be perfected and finalized as an additional capability. 7 birds are not going to make/break US national defense.

I do agree the idea of the F-35 as a cure-all for the various aerial needs of the armed services is a throw-back to the early sixties with the F-4, and it's procurement for all services. Right now, the most credible air-to-air threats come from China or Russia, folks the present USAF/USN/USMC can handle just fine.

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