Posts Tagged ‘Fighter Jets’

F-22 Raptor’s Proud Record

February 17, 2009

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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

USAF to Brief Obama Team on F-22 Raptor Requirement

December 13, 2008

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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 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.

Retirement of 300 Fighter Jets Would Leave USAF with Only 129 F-15CS

October 21, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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Newly revealed plans to retire more than 300 F-15 and F-16 jets in fiscal year 2010 would leave the Air Force with signficantly fewer of its No. 2 combat air fighter, nearly 60 less than the service intended to fly until the mid-2020s, reports Inside the Air Force.

The scrapping of 137 F-15s would leave the Air Force with only 129 F-15C fighter jets, according to an internal service document obtained by InsideDefense.com. Officials have long said the Air Force would augment its fifth-generation F-22A fleet with 187 F-15Cs, dubbed “Golden Eagles.”

Earlier this week, InsideDefense.com reported that the Air Force is planning a dramatic 18-percent cut to its F-15 and F-16 fighter jet fleet in fiscal year 2010 in an attempt to find $3.4 billion to bolster other combat aircraft programs, munitions inventories, ISR and manpower efforts.

Read more at Inside the Air Force (Subscription Required)

French Sailors Experience Flight Operations Aboard Roosevelt

July 23, 2008

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) (TR) is conducting carrier qualifications with members of the French Navy during Operation Brimstone July 21-31.

Pilots from the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 and French navy pilots are learning the value of camaraderie and the true meaning of the term ‘shipmate.’

“Every day we have close air support and air defense missions preparing us for carrier qualifications,” said French Lt. Lebars “Barzy” Stephan, a Rafale pilot assigned to the 12th Fighter Squadron.

“It’s very nice being aboard TR because we are learning to work together as allies so we can fight more efficiently and effectively. For me, it’s also nice to compare the specifics between the F/A-18E Super Hornets and the French Rafale aircraft.”

While working together, the pilots of both navies recognize their similarities.

“It’s been a real treat to have them [the French pilots] around because of the camaraderie and to see the different aspects of their coalition capabilities,” said Lt. Christopher “Buttercup” Jones, a pilot assigned to VFA 31.

“Learning about each other’s cultures helps us with our teamwork. They’re just like us, because at the end of the day, we’re still pilots and we share a lot of things in common, such as terminology, hobbies, and motivational skills.”

Other similarities include how flight operations are controlled and the importance of communications during flight deck operations and carrier qualifications.

“I was called this year to participate in carrier qualifications aboard TR,” said Lt. Cmdr. Yann Beaufils, French Air Boss. “Being an air boss is the same on an American or French aircraft carrier. In the tower, I have direct contact with all the French pilots as they’re flying. Everything is pretty much the same on French and U.S. aircraft carriers. Both our navies are the only ones to operate with these catapults and arresting gear systems on the flight deck.”

During their training, French and U.S. Navy pilots train every day to ensure that TR carrier qualifications run smoothly. It’s good for camaraderie, and also helps instill a sense of pride and teamwork, strengthening allied relationships in training and war-time environments.

Commanded by Capt. Ladd Wheeler, Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRSCG). The TRSCG is preparing for a scheduled deployment later this year.

(NNS)