Posts Tagged ‘F-22’

F-22 Raptor — Major Acquisition Unlikely

February 25, 2009

According to Air Force Magazine, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz is noncommital on continued F-22 Raptor fighter jet acquisition, but his words sound bearish. Here’s what Air Force Magazine writes:

The Air Force’s new acquisition objective for the F-22 likely won’t be officially announced until President Obama decides whether to certify the airplane as a critical defense program that must be kept going, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told Washington-based defense reporters Feb. 17.

See the F-22 Raptor in action: History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Lawmakers in both houses have urged the President to continue Raptor production in the short term, pending another review of the necessary total number. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has publicly stated the Air Force is looking at perhaps an additional 60 Raptors. Rumor has it that Mullen will make the final call.

Schwartz said the new number has been run through “an analysis which I feel is credible” and was arrived at “objectively.” He added that the Air Force is not afraid to revisit old assumptions and react to changes.

However, he dodged saying just what strategic considerations have changed that would make the F-22 less important in the future. The new number will be a “moderate risk” inventory, Schwartz said, and “I will be happy to defend the numbers when they become public.” However, he said there was “considerable skepticism about the validity” of the old Air Force target of 381 F-22s. “Maybe there will be equal skepticism of the new number,” he continued, “but it is my number and that is what we will use.”

F-22 Raptor’s Proud Record

February 17, 2009

Find the F-22 Raptor on posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Late last year, the F-22 was verbally trashed by Pentagon acquisition chief John Young, who charged that the Raptor wasn’t meeting key performance parameters and was turning in mission capable rates of only about 60 percent.

Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin’s F-22 program manager, declined to rebut those remarks directly during an interview with Air Force Magazine. However, he displayed a chart showing that the F-22 meets all KPPs and exceeds about half of them, including range, top speed, acceleration, and radar detection range.

The aircraft’s mission capable rates are coming in around 70 percent—which is the Air Force’s overall fighter average—but they don’t have to meet that level until the aircraft reaches “maturity,” which is around 100,000 flight hours.

Young dinged the F-22 for needing too much maintenance, but the program is on track to meet a specification that calls for three hours mean time between maintenance at maturity in 2010; it’s at 1.8 hours now.

In exercises and simulations, the Raptor racks up a 30:1 kill ratio, vs. 3:1 for the F-35, and slightly better than 1:1 for the F-15. All other fourth-generation fighters in US service score a tossup against foreign fighters.

Lawson also noted that the F-22 program received two performance awards from the Pentagon in 2008—the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics Award, and Collaborator of the Year.

See the F-22 Raptor in action: History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Extending F-22 Production Would Save 90,000 Jobs

February 16, 2009

Keeping the F-22 going will preserve about 90,000 to 95,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, Lockheed Martin program manager Larry Lawson said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. It’s a great stimulus package, he said: The money takes effect immediately, and there’s no uncertainty about how many jobs will be affected, or how much it will cost. The F-22’s parts are made in 44 states, with big clusters of employers in Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Washington state, and California. Although final assembly is in Marietta, Ga., the majority of F-22 jobs are in California, Lawson noted.
Worried about where America’s going? Read Jack Cafferty’s newest book Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream

US Airspace Vulnerable, Warns GAO

February 12, 2009

Air Sovereignty Alert at Risk: Eleven of the 18 sites across the nation at which the Air Force maintains fighter aircraft on 24-hour alert to protect US airspace “could be without viable aircraft by 2020,” if their legacy F-15s and F-16s are not replaced within the next few years, the GAO warns in a new report.

Also disconcerting is GAO’s assessment that the Air National Guard and active duty units at 14 of these sites will have to suspend ASA operations for some time between 2010 and 2020 as their legacy aircraft reach the end of their service life or as they transition to new fighters, writes Air Force Magazine.

While it may not solve the issue, GAO says formally elevating ASA to a steady-state mission may help to alleviate some of the personnel and equipment issues facing the units that are consistently executing the mission today in addition to their expeditionary rotations. This is something the Air Force tells GAO it hasn’t done yet because it is focused on other priorities such as overseas military operations, writes Air Force Magazine.

GAO also calls on NORAD to conduct routine risk assessment to determine ASA operational requirements. The fate of some Air Guard fighter units is a major looming issue for the Air Force as the service mulls phasing out many of its legacy fighters more quickly and questions still surround the ultimate size of the F-22 fleet and the production rates of the F-35. (For more, read The Hill’s report.)

See the F-22-Raptor’s power in action with the History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Bottom Line: USAF Needs 250 F-22 Raptors, Minimum

February 12, 2009

Not Less Than 250: That’s how many F-22s the United States needs “for the good of the nation and the world” to shore up its conventional deterrence capabilities for the next 20 years, writes Rebecca Grant in a new study she authored for the Lexington Institute.

Air Force Magazine quotes Grant as saying that the F-22 is crucial for conventional deterrence because it gives the US the ability to conduct tailored, proportional air strikes in the face of evolving threats and also to gather valuable intelligence information over defended areas that otherwise “lock out” other airborne assets.

The US would be taking a risk by halting F-22 production now and could see its policy options cramped in coming decades by the limits of its own military power, Grant says. “If the F-22 fleet remains stuck at 183 aircraft, it will put future conventional deterrence abilities at risk,” quotes Air Force Magazine.

Commanders may not have enough of them to defeat threats with confidence and “the overall life of the fleet would be used up years before it should be, due to heavy tasking,” she states.

The Obama Administration has until March 1 by law to inform Congress whether it intends to keep Raptor production going beyond 183 aircraft.

Learn all about the F-22 Raptor via a breathtaking multimedia view: 21st Century U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, Next-Generation USAF Fighter Aircraft (CD-ROM)

Lockheed Martin Rejects F-22 Performance Criticism

February 1, 2009

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MARIETTA, GA — The Air Force’s premier fifth-generation F-22A fighter jet meets all of its key performance parameters despite accusations from the Pentagon’s top acquisition executive to the contrary, according to senior Lockheed Martin program officials.

The company’s defense comes as future Raptor buys remain in limbo as the White House has yet to make a decision on whether to extend production beyond the 183-aircraft program of record, reports Inside Defense (paid subscription required).

“We meet all our KPPs,” Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-22A general manager, told a small group of reporters here during a Jan. 29 briefing.

Lawson was responding to accusations made by Pentagon acquisition executive John Young in December that the plane had not met all of its KPPs

USAF to Brief Obama Team on F-22 Raptor Requirement

December 13, 2008

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Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Top Air Force officials are poised to make a case to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team for more F-22A fifth-generation fighters they feel are needed to combat current threats, reports Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

American Birds of Prey

December 5, 2008

An F-22 Raptor and an F-15 Eagle fighter jet of the US Air Force patrol the Alaskan coastline along Prince William Sound. Both USAF combat aircraft are assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

USAF Chief of Staff Puts on Brave Face, Prepares for Budget Cuts

December 5, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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The Air Force’s top officer warned last week that his service must be ready to weather cuts to weapons programs and other budget areas as the incoming administration confronts the growing tab for the financial crisis.

Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said in an interview that he is prepared for tough choices. “I can foresee there’s going to be additional pressure and, frankly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” he said.

Read the entire article at the WSJ

American Patrol

November 30, 2008

America’s finest airpower comes together: F-15 Eagle fighters, the mainstay of US Air Force air superiority, join the 21st century’s super-fighter, the F-22 Raptor. Rounding out the scene is an A-10 Thunderbolt II, USAF’s finest tank-killer and close-air-support CAS aircraft.

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.