STEALTH- is it worth it?

Discuss air warfare, doctrine, air forces, historic campaigns, etc.

Is the cost of US stealth programs worth it?

Yes
47
84%
No
9
16%
 
Total votes : 56

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Velvet

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Unread post26 Nov 2005, 17:12

Ya, I'm sure they are.
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Maffa

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Unread post26 Oct 2007, 18:40

someone told me that stealthiness is a lose-lose battle, simply because electronics evolve faster than aircraft engineering. Moreover, there is not a "stealth button" that shields an aircraft. there are several generations of stealthy a/c's, the former being less stealthy than the latter: who knows if F-117's are still "stealth" to nowaday radars? Are B-2's? Are F-22 invisible to another F-22 radar, or to an AESA, or an AWACS's? Lets say tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow a russian lab discovers a way to paint them: will be the radar cheaper than the plane?

I think that F-22's are superb a/c's, and that vectoring thrust and supercruise are invaluable assets. Stealthiness is as good as it lasts, anyway: and in my opinion is far honest the choice made on EFA's to reduce RCS as low as it is affordable, rather than lower other assets (like ordinance or fuel or affordability) to enhance stealthiness.

Moreover, the choice upon F-22 is to thrash all other legacy a/c's. If they dont, F-22 would be just the latter aircraft in the line to be sustained along all the others, and in this case there will be no money for everything.
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snypa777

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Unread post26 Oct 2007, 20:59

Wow, two years later! I know you are new Maffa so it`s ok!

The F-22 is an extremely well calculated risk. All things being equal, somebody will find a way of reliably detecting it, but not yet and not for some time. If this is the case, TODAY the F-22 is a viable and deadly adversary.

"Your lose-lose" description is a scenario viable in any competitive field, from aircraft to Coke versus Pepsi!
"I may not agree with what you say....but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
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Maffa

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Unread post26 Oct 2007, 21:05

well, i found out this discussion when googling around about stealthiness. This discussion is still ongoing and I am sorry to see positions are not moving much further -if not towards skepticism about F-35 (expecially export version)

my point (well, not mine really, but this opinion convinced me) is that the effort to make an a\c stealthy as F-22 is much greater than the effort to find a way to discover it, and at the end who invested too much for "stealth or death" will find himself with fewer airplanes than he needed.
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snypa777

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Unread post26 Oct 2007, 23:09

For sure, there was much effort expended in producing the F-22. I think just as much effort will be required to develop systems to counter it, including tactics, technology and espionage most likely. Another reason the US won`t be exporting it for now.

Even if the F-35 export versions are less stealthy, an enemy will still have to develop tactics and weapons to deal with it effectively. An F-16, naked without support is easy to detect and shoot at, however ECM, tactics and other team players will help a lot in it`s defence. Imagine what ECM, tactics and team players could do for the F-35....
"I may not agree with what you say....but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
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Thumper3181

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Unread post01 Nov 2007, 06:46

The F-117 first flew in the 1980s. To date there has been no effective counter to stealth. Over the years the stealth designs have continued to evolve and improve. While it is possible that one day the tactics and technology will be available to mitigate the effects of stealth the advantage would still remain, a stealth aircraft will stay undetected longer than a non stealth aircraft. "He who sees first wins".

What makes you so sure Maffa that the F-35 will not be stealthy enough? What makes you so sure that the F-35 for export won't be just as stealthy as those for the USAF?
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Maffa

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Unread post01 Nov 2007, 10:42

What makes you so sure Maffa that the F-35 will not be stealthy enough? What makes you so sure that the F-35 for export won't be just as stealthy as those for the USAF?


No, i am sure F-35 will be "stealthy enough" for nowadays techs, i am not sure that in the years to come it will remain so.
As for the export version, it is a design spec. Full stealth F-35, built in Forth Worth, will be given to USAF and RAF only (maybe IAF too, its a few days ago news). Italy and the rest of the world will have Cameri (Italy) built export version F-35, with much less stealth capability. I dont know the real downgrade degree, and what will be taken away in order to reduce its stealth capability (maybe the magic paint only?) but i imagine at the end of the process the result will be something like EFA RCS or the like. I dont know if actual AA1 (the one Dutch had bought) is a US stealth a/c to be downgraded before given to the Dutch, or just a plain export version, nor if there has been any final proof or guess of an export JSF RCS.

The F-117 first flew in the 1980s. To date there has been no effective counter to stealth.


there were much more non-stealth a\c's around to cope with. A few B-2 and F-117 cant compare to F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10 swarms... Nowadays stealth is just like radars or jet engines back to the 40's: it will be an edge for some time, then it will become common tech. All i am saying is that countermeasure will be cheaper than stealthiness itself, since a more capable radar will require less money to research and build and update than an airframe.
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ACMIguy

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Unread post01 Nov 2007, 13:32

The real problem with stealth is cost. Yes it works, yes it's what we will have, and yes more countries will have it.
But look at the real number for a sec.

Cost of war so far $464,879,315,701
http://www.nationalpriorities.org/Cost- ... War-3.html

Sorry guys "no bucks no Buck Rogers", as long as we have ground troops slugging it out the money is just not going to be there.

"each citizen's share of this debt is $29,862.23."
"The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$1.39 billion per day since September 29, 2006!"
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

"China is a major funder of US debt, holding about $260bn (£149bn) in US Treasury bonds - second only to Japan."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4875606.stm

"For several years, China's loans have helped to keep prices and interest rates low in the United States, and to finance big tax cuts. If the lending began to dry up - because Chinese officials decided to diversify into other currencies or to spend more at home - prices, interest rates and taxes in the United States would very likely rise.

If the loans dried up quickly - a worst-case scenario - the result could be a sharp financial crisis. A gradual shift could mean a long downward trend in American living standards as a higher cost of living took its toll."
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/23/ ... dchina.php

Guys the point is you don't attack your banker. China does'nt need to invade us, nor any other country, we are selling ourselves out wholesale.
So debate 180 F-22 vs. 300 F-22's all you want, but if we don't get a handle on this thing soon all the F-22's in the world will not save us.
The pin maybe mightier than the sword, but the banker is the most powerful of all.
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Beazz

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Unread post02 Nov 2007, 23:23

Guys the point is you don't attack your banker. China does'nt need to invade us, nor any other country, we are selling ourselves out wholesale.
So debate 180 F-22 vs. 300 F-22's all you want, but if we don't get a handle on this thing soon all the F-22's in the world will not save us.
The pin maybe mightier than the sword, but the banker is the most powerful of all.[/quote]

All you said is true, BUT, the Chinese don't hold all the aces. Even though they could *dry* up the loans or *call* the notes due, America could absorb it and continue, even though it would hurt. On the other hand, IF the Chinese try that, then the US simply says hey China, NOT even one piece of merchandise comes into America from China. I know you're gonna say that would also hurt the US and it would, but it would end the Chinese industrial revolution and China would literally be done and collapse overnight.

IMHO China is nothing more then a big state owned bank. The US is a huge nationally owned bank and therefore a much more powerful *banker* ;-))

Beazz
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Maffa

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Unread post02 Nov 2007, 23:32

All you said is true, BUT, the Chinese don't hold all the aces. Even though they could *dry* up the loans or *call* the notes due, America could absorb it and continue, even though it would hurt. On the other hand, IF the Chinese try that, then the US simply says hey China, NOT even one piece of merchandise comes into America from China. I know you're gonna say that would also hurt the US and it would, but it would end the Chinese industrial revolution and China would literally be done and collapse overnight.


its a mexican standoff. Maybe yesterday's china could have tried this economical aggression attempt, just to remain unscathed in their communist/isolationist economy... but once they ate the sweet fruit of capitalism and easy life, its hard to get back.
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ACMIguy

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Unread post05 Nov 2007, 17:51

Beazz wrote:I know you're gonna say that would also hurt the US and it would, but it would end the Chinese industrial revolution and China would literally be done and collapse overnight.
Beazz


No not totally, though what you said is partly true.
Wal-Mart would be without any products, :cry: but overall we could survive.
China is not the only problem, and I hope everyone will see that selling our country's debt to to other nations is a very poor policy.
There is a contradiction in our foreign policy with regards to the UN. We are digging ourselves in deeper monetarily to the same Governments we refuse to talk to, or are at odds with, on the Security Counsel.

Our weak trade agreements are building a deeper hole everyday. We are selling off the debt to which we can only hope to pay a portion of the interest back each year. With not enough revenue being returned to offset the debt will only put off to other generations the responsibilities of repayment.
This will further weaken the dollar in the world market.
This is a very dangerous game being played out in the world and we must be very careful how we proceed from here.

If we keep going our National productivity will be drained of capitol. We have no choice but to pay back those to whom we borrowed from or face international bankruptcy.
Without capitol, programs like the F-22/F-35 and others will have to resort to a devalued dollar or face cutting the projects. A devalued dollar spells inflation and recession. Some of you may remember the days of 20% or higher home interest loans, I know I do.

I know people don't like to hear "there is no money", just like we hate it when a bank refuses to give us a loan. But it is a reality of life.
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snypa777

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Unread post07 Nov 2007, 22:17

ACMIguy,
Right now, I agree that the conflicts the US has militarily are far removed from the capabilities of expensive stealth fighters. I see them as an insurance policy though, ideally they would never need to be used, the ultimate deterrent.
Expensive yes, but much dheaper than a war with a high tech` adversary in a high stakes conflict.

I realise that the presence alone of stealth fighters and aircraft in general offers no guarantees against this, but in conjunction with a military much more powerful than it`s nearest rivals, it presents a very powerful dissuader.
Peace unfortunately costs us dear....

The biggest danger exists when two rivals are equal in capabilities, pushing and prodding each other, as in the cold war.
"I may not agree with what you say....but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
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ACMIguy

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Unread post08 Nov 2007, 05:17

snypa777
I appreciate what your saying, I know what we are doing now is important. But the cold war was totally different situation.
The US was paying for it's power on it's own back then. We were not selling our Treasury bonds to Russia to finance the war.
Today we are selling our stocks to Japan, China, and a host of other nations. That's money spent with out revenue to back it up.
We broke the back of the Soviet Union financially not militarily. I don't think that was lost on Osaba's thinking. He knows he can keep us spending money and thereby lays the trap for us just as we did for Russia.
I wish there were easy answers, but it looks like we may all be in for a very long hard road.
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ACMIguy

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Unread post29 Nov 2007, 19:51

Update
Just so you have a better picture of what I'm saying about the budget and why it will have an effect, no matter what we may need, on how many F-22 or F-35's are built in the future. :cry:

Fiscal year Reported surplus/deficit Debt increase Debt at start of year Debt at year's end
2000 $236.2 billion surplus $23.2 billion $5.606 trillion $5.629 trillion
2001 $128.2 billion surplus $141.2 billion $5.629 trillion $5.770 trillion
2002 $157.8 billion deficit $428.5 billion $5.770 trillion $6.198 trillion
2003 $377.6 billion deficit $561.6 billion $6.198 trillion $6.760 trillion
2004 $412.7 billion deficit $594.7 billion $6.760 trillion $7.355 trillion
2005 $318.3 billion deficit $550.6 billion $7.355 trillion $7.905 trillion
2006 $248.2 billion deficit $546.1 billion $7.905 trillion $8.451 trillion
2007 $162.8 billion deficit $497.1 billion $8.451 trillion $8.949 trillion
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Ne ... nDebt.aspx
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avon1944

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Unread post04 May 2008, 08:47

I think stealth is worth it. Look at the new aircraft and missile designs being produced as part of generation 4.5, without stealth one huge advantage is nullified. Stealthy designs are not stagnant. The F-117 that was retired was far more stealthy than the one that was used over Panama.
I remember the horror of the kill ratios in Viet Nam, I don't want that sort feeling again.
The F-15 and F-16 have great kill ratios but, those ratios would not exist if the MiG's, Sukhoi's, Mirages, etc. were flown by pilots that were as well trained as the US pilots. The PGW#1 illustrated to the world the value of well trained people. PLAAF last year wanted to purchase an ACMI system, Russia is trying to improve its training of its pilots.

Adrian
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