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Author Topic: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor  (Read 62960 times)

Offline Webmaster

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Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« on: October 17, 2007, 02:54:39 PM »
The F-22 is the world's best fighter, superior to any aircraft. No argument.

But some shortfalls are starting to appear. In no particular order:

1. No helmet-mounted aiming and cueing sight, project had been cancelled, and no new plans for such a system are there.

2. "Third-Generation" Gun, the 20mm M61A1

3. No datalink for the netcentric battlefield, only voice communications. It can't receive over the Link-16 datalink yet, only send. Although a new tactical datalink will be added on Block 35 aircraft, the last block standard planned for now.

4. AIM-9X and AIM-120D (AIM-120C-8) capability will not be added until Block 35.

5. Rumour has it that it won't do that good a range in supercruise... although Pentagon officials deny any such claims, by saying look we carry more gas than a F-15, so it's not true. :-p I suppose American car makers would wish it works that way.

I think it's only a matter of time before more will pop-up, it may be the best, greatest, but it isn't perfect.

Then there are the consequences of having the best:

1. This one we know longer than today: Concern over highly valuable security-sensitive technology ruins its export potential, basically keeping its price per unit for the USAF high.

2. The above will also result in more restrictions placed upon forward operating bases abroad as well as operations. For example the Pentagon may decide to deploy legacy F-15/F-16 in any future conflict in favor of the superior F-22A because of security or even political concerns. 
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Offline tigershark

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 11:56:05 PM »
1. When they cancelled the program what reason did  they state?
2. I agree the gun is an older design but is it flawed or is there a much better one out there?  If so why wasn't it used?
3. What Block is the current F-22 and why would they leave this out?
4. Again what is the current block and how long before the block 35 is produced?
5. Rumors are just that I'll wait until more is released by the US Air Force.

There are very few perfect aircraft most can't be improved but beating six advance F-15C with good pilots and making it look like taking candy from a baby is still very good.

1A - Well this goes for any advance weapons systems not just F-22 that's not for sale to other countries.   
2b- Almost the same answer as above I'm sure F-15s weren't allowed to land just anywhere when they first came out either.   I'm sure in time certain safe countries will be cleared or at least certain safe bases around the world will be cleared in time.   There not many countries that field fighters that the F-22 would need to be deployed currently.   I think the F-22 will be used more for stealth attack missions then fighter missions anyway   Besides a few Indian MKI squadrons and a few advance Flankers squadrons from Russia and China, legacy F-15C mixed with good pilot & weapons training US Air Force F-15s still can more then hold there own almost against anybody.   There just isn't hundreds and hundreds of Flanker out there flown by highly trained pilots supported by AWACS.   Rafale's still don't have any sales yet and EF2000 to date haven't been sold to US enemies so the trusty F-15s still do well in most of the worlds hot spots.   
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 12:37:06 PM by nonpilot »

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2007, 08:10:29 AM »
I totally agree with nonpilot.

Point one, though. Apparently they cancelled A LOT of programmes. This isn't the only one they did. If the whole thing went through i expect the F-117 would be eventually fully scrapped and the F-22 would fully replace them as the ultimate fighter-bomber.
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Offline valkyrian

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 10:02:11 AM »

5. Rumour has it that it won't do that good a range in supercruise... although Pentagon officials deny any such claims, by saying look we carry more gas than a F-15, so it's not true. :-p I suppose American car makers would wish it works that way.

I think it's only a matter of time before more will pop-up, it may be the best, greatest, but it isn't perfect.


Those Pentagon official that claim "Look we carry more fuel than the F-15, don't know a s***t about range.

Stating that "more fuel means more range" is not even only the 33% of the problem.

What matters is the follows

1) Fuel Fraction, i.e. the weight of the fuel divided by the total weight

2) the Lift to drag ratio and the speed where the best L/D occurs.

3) The specific fuel consumption

All the above are connected as follows :

R=V*L/D*lnWfuel/Wtotal

Unfortunately for the designers, the fuel fraction of the Raptor is not better that a F-15C. In fact a F-15C with FAST PACKS  has a huge 0.42 fuel fraction where the F-22 is below 0.30.

The way i see it, since USAF once stated that the L/D of the F-22 is about 10% better than the Eagles, and considering all the other parameters, i don't think it will better the Eagles' already small supersonic range by a 60-70%, which is far below than the initial stated 800 miles supersonic range.

And don't believe that 1.6 Mach is the speed that this aircraft supercruises, this is the quoted speed that the Raptor can achieve WITHOUT afterburners. This is not nesassarily the speed which the aircraft achieves its best range, bcz as u can see from the above equation, there are also other parameters involved. So, don't easily buy, what they state.

All the other problems (electronics etc) will be solved, i am sure. Same problems with hi tech aircraft occur always.

The price tag is very high, so the F-22  will always be a Silver Bullet (or A Platinum one?)

And yes, it is the best fighter in the world, overall, as a system i mean. A Super Flanker maybe more maneuvrable, but since fighting aircrafts are not only for airshows (so u need good electronics etc) the Raptor is No1.  And even if it is not as stealthy as they present it, it is surely better than anything flying today.

You know the American Aircraft Companies. They give the best of everything in their designs since the cost for them comes last when they optimize a design. Unlike the Russians where they try to built it as cheap. Even the European makers can't follow their American counterparts.
It is a different design philosophy. (F-15/F-14/B-2)

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 10:43:14 AM »
Apparently, the F-22 carries a lot more gas than even an F-15E WITH drop tanks, though i'm not sure if even a massive difference can make up for the engine's fuel-ineffecience

The current block would be Block 20, where there are standard air-to-air and basic air-to-ground capabilities. There are plans for a Block 30 and Block 35, where there will be a more advanced radar, the synthetic aperture radar. It is also intended for a new Ground attack weapon: The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)

The Block 35 will have an additional advanced tactical datalink, the capability to launch AIM-9Xs, AIM-120Ds (AIM-120C-8), which are, right now, among the best missiles the Department of Defense has to offer.
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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 04:28:13 AM »
Sorry to reopen this old topic.

Valkyrian, good reply, I didn't want to go deep on the fuel thing. However, I don't agree with your last statement though, Russian are just behind, they don't design cheap aircraft, they are just cheaper because of labour and relative simpler tech & production. They aren't neccessarily cheaper to Russia. Different design philosophies yeah, but cheap isn't one of them, that philosophy of cheap to produce aircraft dissappeared after the MiG-21 age when capabilities evidently became more important than just outnumbering your enemy. This discussion is a bit off-topic though.

Raptor, how much more?

nonpilot, 1. basically the "BVR combat rules" statement was used over and over again afaik, next is costs of course

The reason I re-opened this topic is that some more problems have apparently surfaced:

6. leaks (further details unknown, but I suspect they are issues and not just inherent to the design)
7. corrosion (further details unknown)
8. structural weakness in forward fuselage boom that supports weight, apparently this part was never stress-tested, at least not using a full scale structural test prototype as commonly done.

I didn't start this topic to say it's sh**, just to show it isn't perfect yet, but it will be near-to-perfect eventually of course. Probably in time before any rivals will be, way ahead, but at a tremendous cost.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 04:41:44 AM by Webmaster »
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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2008, 03:06:03 PM »
I have no idea, Webby...

Hmm that sounds... disturbing, at best. Especially the corrosion bit.  :P
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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 08:13:26 AM »
It is no coincidence that the Time Between Overhaulls for Russian engines are only a fraction compared to the European or the American ones. Or the fact that the airframes are build for 4000 hrs. Simply put, the Russian design philosophy states that in war times an airframe won't survive enough time, so why build it as a Mercedes while a LADA quality will do the work and save money for more units. It is pitty when you see Flanker photos and see the external finish is very crude, unlike even a good old Viper. Compare it with a F-22 and you'll see the difference.


There were voices (Riccioni for example ) who were stating that the F-22 was not being tested properly. If you consider the long time period since F-22 won the ATF contest (1991) and the date it entered service (2005-6?) i think it should be a perfect, (not even a near perfect) airplane. Maybe those voices were true. Any operational shortcomings won't be known publicly, for reasons of security...












 

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008, 04:16:34 AM »
Want to know about the shortcomings of the Raptors? I have had the opportunity to have talked to quite a few experts on the subject. They are Eagle pilots from Langley and Eglin, Viper pilots from Shaw, Hornet and Super Hornet pilots from Oceana - these guys fight Raptors every day. Want to know what they think?

"Nothing else comes close." "It's not even fun to fight them." "I didn't even know they were there until I was dead."

Although the Eagles are getting old, I don't think anyone will doubt their capability, even today - especially working as a group and with AWACS support. I spoke to a group of Eagle drivers after and 8 vs. 1 fight against a Raptor, EVERY Eagle was killed and not a single aircraft ever got a visual on the F-22. THAT'S dominance...

 ...and it's also a typical Raptor engagement.

Mike


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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2008, 08:02:54 AM »
Are you sure the Eagle drivers werent procrasitnating (big word for the day  :o)?

Making the F-22 better then it really is?

Offline MKopack

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2008, 11:48:50 PM »
Are you sure the Eagle drivers werent procrasitnating (big word for the day  :o)?

Making the F-22 better then it really is?

Gripen, have you ever met a fighter pilot? If not, let me tell you a little something about them in general...

If you ask a fighter pilot who the best fighter pilot in the world is, they will universally answer that they are. If you ask them what the best fighter aircraft in the world is, the answer is the same, it is theirs.

Think of it this way, pick your favorite sports team, doesn't matter what football, rugby, baseball, cricket, F1 racing, anything... If you asked your team's biggest star what the best team is in the league is, what do you think they'd say? I'll bet they'd say their own - and not their biggest rival, the people that they compete against each day.

No one thinks more highly of themselves, or their abilities, than a fighter pilot. It's part of their competitive edge. It would be so far out of character for a pilot (much less talking to a couple of squadron's worth across several bases) to exaggerate the F-22's abilities that it would almost be ridiculous to think of it that way.

When I can talk to an Eagle pilot with hundreds of combat missions, a USAF Fighter Weapons School graduate, over a dozen trips to Red Flag, Maple Flag, and Deci, flying against the best pilots and aircraft in the world, and ask him about flying against Raptors and he just laughs, telling me about flying 8 vs. 2's, where the Eagles have an AWACS to back them up, are told generally where the Raptors are starting, and EVERY single Eagle is dead before even a visual or radar contact is made, I believe him. He's got no reason to lie.

Raptor squadrons are having a difficult time scheduling training missions - why? The Eagle, Viper and Hornet squadrons just have a tough time justifying TDY's and the flights out to the training area to time and time again just receive the radio call "You're dead, return to back for the debreif".

Mike

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Re: Shortfalls of the World's Best Fighter - The F-22 Raptor
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 12:01:04 AM »
Have they had any dogfight?? That would be interesting to see
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