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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:11 AM

U.S. Stealth Fighter Pilot Raises Questions About F-35 and F-22 Purchase – Cost Is Too High

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/11/14/u-s-stealth-fighter-pilot-raises-questions-about-f-35-and-f-22-purchase-cost-is-too-high/

?

Over $650 million dollars of fighters.

U.S. Stealth Fighter Pilot Raises Questions About F-35 and F-22 Purchase – Cost Is Too High
November 14, 2012. 10:18 am

~snip~

The latest critic of the U.S. Air Force’s ambitious — and pricey — plan for an all-stealth fighter fleet is one of the flying branch’s top stealth pilots.

Writing in the Air Force Research Institute’s Air & Space Power Journal, Lt. Col. Christopher Niemi, a former F-22 test pilot who later commanded a frontline squadron of the radar-evading jets, says the Air Force is making a big mistake by buying only the most expensive stealth fighters — namely, the F-22 and the newer F-35.

“An all-stealth Air Force fighter fleet deserves reconsideration,” Niemi asserts (.pdf). ”Stealth technology demands significant trade-offs in range, security, weapons carriage, sortie generation, and adaptability. Stealth provides no advantage in conflicts such as those in Afghanistan or Iraq (since 2003), and (despite its obvious utility) it cannot guarantee success in future struggles with a near-peer adversary.”

“Most importantly,” Niemi adds, “the cost of F-22s and F-35s threatens to reduce the size of the Air Force’s fielded fighter fleet to dangerously small numbers, particularly in the current fiscal environment.”

5 replies, 1205 views

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Reply U.S. Stealth Fighter Pilot Raises Questions About F-35 and F-22 Purchase – Cost Is Too High (Original post)
unhappycamper Nov 2012 OP
lalalu Nov 2012 #1
DetlefK Nov 2012 #2
lalalu Nov 2012 #3
DetlefK Nov 2012 #4
Angleae Nov 2012 #5

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:17 AM

1. Meh, some people didn't want an Air Force

 

because they thought it cost too much.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:35 AM

2. But his point is valid

Stealth-fighters are good at avoiding detection, but in situations where stealth doesn't matter (or can't be achieved) they perform worse than ordinary fighters.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:43 AM

3. I am thinking this is more about a change in how we fight.

 

This is the age of technology and getting information for a targeted response vs just having a large amount of fighters. I could be wrong and I do agree this should be looked at and reviewed more.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:20 AM

4. It could lead to some kind of global disarmament.

Fewer and fewer soldiers and war-machines. But, as the war in Afghanistan, showed again, you still need massive amounts of those if you want to win a war of aggression.

What are Master-Chiefs and Space-Marines and Battle-Mechs good for, when you can only build and maintain so many of them, because they are too expensive? Defense and deterrence.

If everybody agrees to phase out their military for a small high-tech-army, then, at one point, the armies will be too small to actually WIN a war. ("Damnit, we need more cannon-fodder!")
As Napoleon said, war is about controlling time and space. Well, Afghanistan has too much space to be controlled and having a smaller army will only make war less desirable.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:31 AM

5. The "stealth" part isn't really what makes it that expensive.

The engines & electronics cost a huge amount but more importantly, there's corporate GREED.

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