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April 19, 2005



Nice summary. The F-22 definitely has some eye-watering capabilities, but as you showed, it is not all encompassing. It will definitely have a tactical role, but is only one piece of the puzzle. One of the reasons we have the greatest Air Forces in the world is because we put all the pieces of the puzzle together to form a powerful force. I really don’t think it could ever replace the F-15E models air to ground capability. Though it has some of the capabilities, it is defiantly more limited.

Minhduc Phan

I believe that the F-22 and other expensive programs should be put on hold until all the vehicles in Iraq are armored. There are much needed equipments for my brethen-in-arms over there. Currenty, the US Army is short on vehicle parts. These items may not be as sexy as the F-22 but it is far more important.


I agree that the Iraq vehicles should be armored. However, I don't think they are related problems. The Mesopotamian protection issue comes from lack of supply -- there are only so many places tooled to armor Humvees, with a finite production capacity.

The Redhunter

Minhduc, if it was the 50s and we had a dozen fighter programs in the hopper I'd agree. The problem today is that all of our eggs are in one basket; the JSF not really being primarily suited to air-to-air superiority.

And of course the F-15 is getting quite old, having first flown in (I believe) 1972. You can only upgrade an old airframe so much.

Most importantly, (and Bill says this in his post), I would think that the experiences of the past few years would have tought us the futility of trying to predict the nature of future wars. We're in a time period in which just about anything is possible, from guerilla-style Iraqi situations to old-fashioned shoot-outs on the high seas around Taiwan.

Minhduc Phan

One thing at a time. Let finish Iraq first. I recently came back from a deployment. During my tour, the only thing between me and a potential IED was a flimsy plastic door. Now two years into the war, it is unacceptable.

My personal believe on the sexy stuffs our DoD want to procure is that they can wait. We are at least 20 years ahead of everyone else. Put a program on hold for a few years and we will still be ahead. The best competitor with our F-15 is the Russian S-27/30/33/37. It is highly overated. Their avionics and electronics are decades behind our. An upgrad F-15 will last us another 10 years easily.

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