Airforce outlines it future plans

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Lawman

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Unread post24 Feb 2004, 06:17

http://www.janes.com/defence/news/jdw/j ... _1_n.shtml

Good article, although Im intrigued to hear about this FB-22 initiative, mostly because I want to know why the hell they get a dedicated fighter <u>and</u> a dedicated bomber and the Navy gets the shaft on the same idea.
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elp

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Unread post24 Feb 2004, 15:33

I wish there was some funding for that FB-22 thingy. There are so many things using limited funding now: C-130 cockpit upgrade, C5 upgrade, more C-17s, F-22, JSF, will there be a tanker replacement roadmap within the next year? E-10 or whatever the JSTARS replacement is..., ( anyone know if Block F for the B-1 was ever funded? ( this was an important Block as it would increase reliability by overhauling the flight controls and cockpit avionics ) As mentioned they are cutting down a few F-117s.... interesting times for funding thats for sure. IMHO, F-22 and FB-22 would allow us to retire all F-15s and also IMHO have more firepower efficiency with less total airframes, be nice to see a UCAV version of FB-22. I wish there was a way to accelerate fielding of the X-45 UCAV both for its bombing ability ( it could do some ( not all ) tasks done by a JSF and as its other proposed role as a standoff jammer.
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viper032386

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Unread post26 Feb 2004, 01:45

Aren't the F-15E's pretty new to begin retiring them? They have at least only 15 years of active duty service.

How long will it take to get F-22s packin the fighter bases?
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TC

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Unread post29 Feb 2004, 01:44

They won't start retiring Mudhens for awhile. I'm thinking at least another 10 years, although truthfully, I really have no idea. I've heard rumors that some F-111s would be brought out of retirement. I don't know if this will take place or not. Anyone else heard that rumor? They're talking about a Boeing KC-767 to replace the 135s. I don't know how soon, or whether this will happen. I need to check Aviation Week for that one. As far as the 22s go, it will happen one wing at a time, and even moreso than that, one squadron at a time. I think Langley will be getting their Raptors sometime either late this year, or early next. 33rd FW @ Eglin should be next after Langley, maybe in 2006? Anyway, it will be very gradual. Don't get your hopes up too soon about seeing a sky full of Raptors. We've still got several years left with the Eagles.
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Unread post29 Feb 2004, 04:08

The 767 Tanker program was all set to go before the politicians started tearing it apart. Boeing hasn't helped matters with some questionable hiring practices (revolving doors etc) Boeing was already staffing up when the sh*t hit the fan. Now Boeing is reshuffling those people, with the soon-to-be idle Comanche folks looking around too. Lots of eggshells in the hallways these days.
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elp

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Unread post29 Feb 2004, 09:39

The only F111s to be brought out of retirement would be to provide spares for the Aussies. That program is long dead. Good thing too. It was a maintenance hog. There aren't enough funds for stuff we have now. Finding money to put modern avionics in it etc etc. And there is no depot SPO for it / depot infastructure. And I don't know what job it would do that the F-15E couldn't do. We don't need more airframes, we need to take the total number we have and reorganize it so that it makes sense, especially since we are now in the targets per sortie era with all the cheap modern PGMs we have. Look at the problems the Aussies are having with grounding F-111s every now and then and consider the fun of sustaining an old pig like that. :D
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TC

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Unread post01 Mar 2004, 00:34

Yeah, the first time I heard about them bringing the 111s back, I was very skeptical. You're right. There IS nothing the F-111 could do that the F-15E can't do, and can't do better. Plus, the F-15E can defend itself, if need be. There was nothing "F" about the F-111. The next thing they need to send to AMARC is the (Dare I say it?) F-117. Sure, keep it around for a few more years, but when the F-35 gets operational, they need to retire the Nighthawk. Sorry if I stepped on any toes there, but virtually invisible to radar, two bombs, a shoddy view out of the cockpit, and no provisions for supersonic flight, or self defense doesn't impress me. Sure, it was a pioneering aircraft, and it proved a point, that stealth technology could be done, but its time has come. The F-35 can do everything it can do, plus more, and do it better.
Last edited by TC on 01 Mar 2004, 06:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post01 Mar 2004, 03:00

RE: F-35 JSF I hope so. A real production jet is yet to fly :D
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SwedgeII

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Unread post03 Mar 2004, 19:24

One thing you forgot about the F-117 RANGE! The F-35 can?t match it. They should turn the F-117's into SEAD aircraft. Great loiter time..
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Unread post04 Mar 2004, 16:39

Do we know it can't match it yet? :D A real JSF hasn't even flown yet. :D Also F-117 would have 2 engines burning x amount of fuel per hour and JSF would have one engine burning x amount of fuel per hour. JSF in it's clean config mode would have a flight profile not unlike some private business jets 40,000 + feet. Again. Assuming we get one that flys it should do very well. Don't worry about SEAD / DEAD too much the "J" family of weapons and other tricksters- JDAM,* JDAM with Diamondback*, SDB*, SDB with Diamondback*, WCMD, WCMD with Diamondback JSOW, JASSM**, JASSM-ER**, SLAM-ER**(Navy), of course HARM.

If JSF has a good enough stealth profile it should be a nice killer of air defense networks. As you know also, F-22 with a couple of SDBs will make a nice initial hit. Fast rate of closure, because of its high speed and altitiude ( depending what the weapon release speed is rated for ) should be the longest range SDB or SDB Diamondback shooter. Cool thing about SDB is it has the initial penetration ability of the BLU-109 body ( "pointy tip" 2000lb iron ). Press releases put out some time back show we went out and ordered 24,000 SDB's. F-117 should be around a while, and while the F-117 community never likes to say what weapons they use. It would be interesting to see if it gets it. One more thing. With that funky weapons carry setup on the F-117 it might ( or might not - F-117 peeps dont tell :wink: ) be a problem for SDB in quantity. JSF, "as is", should be able to take at least 6 SDB's internally. For a lot of SEAD/DEAD targets, when you get single digit CEP in any weather, you are just as dead if hit by the little SDB as if you were hit buy a bigger weapon. Also more targets per sortie. "It's good to be the king".... ( History of the World; Part 1 ) The SEAD / DEAD platform I want to see is X-45 UCAV, both config'd as a shooter working in concert with other X-45s as stand off jammers and of course working with a manned platform coordinating and tossing additional weapons. "Rise of the machines"

One more thing about JSF if it works. Once the air defense network is down, you can hang a bunch of external weps on the wings and use it as a conventional weapon carrier. Also on the first night of a war, you can have some that don't penetrate the air defense, hang JASSM off of the wings, drop those and head home. Me? I want to see a C-17 that can be quick configed to kick out a bunch of JASSM / JASSM-ER the first night of a war. :o :shock: It would make a Tomahawk wave from floating USN platforms look kinda small :D The S.E.G's from the C-17 crew at the award ceremony for taking out 100 plus critical targets in one sortie would be priceless, and would bring back a temporary aircraft designation when used in that mission: "B-17" :D



*= inexpensive weapons.
**= Has loiter time and retarget ability.
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