Aussie and Brit pilots stunned by F-22, plane defies belief

Raptor debuts at Red Flag, dominates skies

2/20/2007 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (ACCNS) -- The 94th Fighter Squadron deployed 14 F-22A Raptors and 197 personnel from Langley AFB, Va., to participate in the aircraft's first Red Flag exercise, which ran from Feb. 3 to 16 here.

An official from the 65th Aggressor Squadron said the F-22s demonstrated an extremely lopsided advantage in their favor.

Pilots from the 65th and 64th AS, including exchange pilots from the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Air Force, of Australia and England respectfully, expressed their frustration related to flying against the stealthy F-22.

"The thing denies your ability to put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it through the canopy," said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, F-15 exchange pilot in the 65th AS. "It's the most frustrated I've ever been." :frustrated:

According to Lt. Col. Larry Bruce, 65th AS commander, aggressor pilots turned up the heat on the F-22 using tactics they believe to be modern threats. For security purposes these tactics weren't released; nonetheless, they said their efforts against the Raptors were fruitless.

"We [even] tried to overload them with numbers and failed," said Colonel Bruce. "It's humbling to fly against the F-22." This is a remarkable testimony because the Red Flag aggressor pilots are renowned for their skill and experience. Lt. Col. Dirk Smith, 94th Fighter Squadron commander, said the aggressor forces represent the most lethal threat friendly forces would ever face.

"The training provided by the Red Flag adversaries is like no other on earth," said Colonel Smith. "Our pilots are experiencing a tremendous learning curve."

Despite the F-22's "unfair advantage," Colonel Smith said flying against the Red Force aggressors of the 414th Combat Training Squadron was a demanding task.

"These scenarios are not made to be easy," said Colonel Smith. "The [aggressor] pilots are well trained and good at their job." Aggressor pilots are made up of F-16 and F-15 pilots specially trained to replicate tactics and techniques of potential adversaries according Maj. Bill Woolf, 57th Adversary Tactics Group assistant director of operations.

In addition, Red Flag opposing forces aren't limited to aggressor pilots. There is no shortage of ground threats at Red Flag. These include electronically simulated surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery, communications jamming, Global Positioning System jamming and more said Maj. Woolf.

In fact, the Red Flag exercise is now so intense one 414th CTS critique quotes a squadron commander saying "This ain't your daddy's Red Flag anymore."

Although the Raptor did have an "unfair" advantage, Colonel Smith explained "Peyton Manning didn't make it to the Super Bowl by practicing against a scrub team." The goal of Red Flag, he said, is sharpening the Air Force - and that involves grinding away imperfections.

The F-22's debut at the Red Flag exercise is a significant milestone for the jet, according to Lt. Col. Dirk Smith, 94th FS commander. Red Flag is an advanced, realistic combat training exercise designed for fighter pilots, and conducted over the vast Nellis Range Complex - measured 60 by 100 nautical miles.

More than 200 aircraft participated in this Red Flag exercise. Among the foreign aircraft involved were the RAF's GR-4 and RAAF's F-111C. In addition, the F-22s flew with the B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, the aircraft that pioneered stealth.
How odd that this article appears in the Air Combat Command News just as the debates on the budget bills are get underway amidst rumours that at least one of the appropriations committees might overturn the multi-year procurement (MYP) authority for an additional 60 airframes.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the only one of four agencies tasked with determining if the scheme would save money and meet all the other legal requirements for MYP said that did. This was the government-funded non-profit group, the Institute for Defense Analysis.

It's a funny story really, because,as it turns out, the President of IDA, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, USN (Ret.), is on the Board of Directors of EDO Corporations, a subcontractor for the F-22 program that stands to do quite well from the deal. (Adm Blair owns about 1,800 shares and has about 30,000 stock options in the company- currently valued at about 1/2 a million bucks.)

By the way, the latest Follow-on Independent Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) on the F-22A’s existing systems found 75 unresolved deficiencies. New problems that have cropped up include faulty cockpit actuators – which trapped a pilot in the jet, and he had to be rescued from his cockpit with chainsaws; uncommanded nose landing gear retractions, which recently caused an aircraft to fall on its main weapons bay doors – literally falling on its face; and concerns about the heat treatment of the titanium forward boom frames, which causes structural cracking. These problems have been reported to Congress by CRS, GAO, and even the Air Force. Problems have also been identified by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).

According to CRS, the F-22A has historically experienced problems with the Avionics, Airframe, Engine, Cockpit Canopy, and Maintenance and Support Requirements. All of these, it has been promised, will be corrected once the kit is in service- honest guv. (At substantial further cost to the tax payer.)

The a/c unit cost is now getting close to $800m, if not more, once all the in-service mods are takien into account.
RAF_RAF_RAF! said:
are you serious? the lies you spew on this thread and elsewhere have to be seen to be believed.

Welcome to the party. I'll over look the fact that your comment makes no sense whatsover and presume that you doubt that a) I'm serious and b) I might know what I'm talking about.

So, with that in mind, here's with the US Congressional Research Service- a non partisan organization within the US government that exists to compile background briefing notes for Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate- has to say about the F-22:
And if you still don't believe that the USAF and Lockheed Martin are screwing the American taxpayers royally, take a look at what happened when the DoD tried to cancel procurement of the C-130J a couple of years ago:

And that was for a truck! Can you imagine the lengths they'd go to when the fighter mafia that runs the USAF sees their pride and joy on the chopping block?
no, my comments make sense when you realise what many of us already realise - you are a fat knacker who needs to put others down so that you won't feel so bad about yourself.

According to the piece you posted
Titanium boom "problem" - not a problem in Lot 5 planes and afterwards

Canopy actutator "problem" - do you know what an actuator is? do you know what a simple piece of kit they are? The problem was an improperly fixed piece on one plane, you listed it categorically as a problem as though all the planes are afflicted with it.

The wheel failure "problem" - may I remind you, thousands of landings have taken place with no problem and that as your own document states, isn't the quick fix already applied to other planes. What was the parameters of the failure, was the plane trying a high speed heavy load landing to simulate war conditions? Was it not the case that the Typhoon pancaked on one landing as well?

Your dishonesty is shocking. All planes have had problems during their production, that's why the SU-27 was put into production 12 years after the F-15 for example. The F-22 has easily overcome the juvenile problems you raised. The F-15/16 and numerous other planes already had vastly longer problem lists than the one you posted in their youth, not to mention hangar queens like F-4 or F-14.

If you are ignorant about these things, stay away like a bad smell.

The fact that you knew these were limited problems yet used them liberally as examples of F-22 failure or to comfort yourself about the technological gap between Europe and America shows your wanton and flagrant disregard of the facts.

With floaters like you, who needs the MOD stuffed-ups to make the British military look bad?

Where is the 800 million figure in your document? Is it a case of you presenting opinion as fact again, excreable, laughable, ally-bashing opinion as usual? Stop embarassing yourself, ballsack.
You're quite emotional, aren't you? Relax, mate, it's Friday.

The problems were stated in the Congressional Research Service, Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office reports, which, trust me on this, are too many to mention here. I'm not making this stuff up. Everybody in the US government outside of the USAF and the districts where bits and pieces are manufactured will tell you that it's an overpriced lemon that, even if it worked properly, cannot be deployed in sufficient numbers to do the job properly.

Regarding Adm Blair:

As for the units costs, You'll see the Lockheed Martin throw around a figure like $180m a pop. That doesn't include the cost to the US taxpayer of 20 yrs of research & development and test and evaluation. I did however, through the mongish use of my calculator overestimate when I said $800. With the life extension program needed to give the airframe 8000 flying hours and the retrofitting of the radar to bring it up to spec on things like ground imaging, there's a chance that the taxpayers will see a bit of change from half a billion dollars each (that's in then year dollars- we're not counting 15-18 years worth of inflation) assuming nothing else goes wrong. (That's working off a GAO report from 2004 which said that the cost of the mods to make sure it does what it says on the tin could run up to another $40bn)

The GAO is even using the F-22 as a case study on how NOT to develop and procure a weapons system:

The big lesson of the story (which was the same thing that happened with the B-1B)- don't authorise high rate production and start writing cheques until the thing has been tested and it works because you'll be paying out of the arse for mod after mod across the fleet later.
It's no good trying to sell us the Raptor, RAF3, we've got our own white elephant to get rid of first.

By the way, you don't really get on with humans do you?

I'm sure this is all very interesting, but RAF3, fcuk off to PPrune where they may give a damn, there's a good chap.

Oh and take some time to grow up and get a personality that gets on with the real world. That would be nice too
RAF_RAF_RAF! said:
are you serious? the lies you spew on this thread and elsewhere have to be seen to be believed.

RAFx3 you really know how to ingratiate yourself to the members of a website don't you?

You've been seen off for using a piece of yank propoganda by someone who knows what they're talking about. Now fcuk off and grow a brain. You're welcome to try this on PPRUNE as well, although I can guess what their reaction might be...
Forgot to mention also that (on top of the fact that the program is a money pit in itself) for the next few years the USAF will be fighting tooth and nail to maintain its share of the pie as funds are diverted to pay for the expansion of the US Army and USMC.
It should hardly come as a surprise that a brand new fighter can outperform a harrier ground attack aircraft let alone the antedeluvian F111.

RAF^3 - wind your neck in.
Bat_Crab said:
RAF_RAF_RAF! said:
are you serious? the lies you spew on this thread and elsewhere have to be seen to be believed.

RAFx3 you really know how to ingratiate yourself to the members of a website don't you?

You've been seen off for using a piece of yank propoganda by someone who knows what they're talking about. Now fcuk off and grow a brain. You're welcome to try this on PPRUNE as well, although I can guess what their reaction might be...

Entertaining, no doubt. I would love to see how Jackonicko responds!
The F-22 is a curious mixture of pants-wettingly sexy and capable technology and frankly barking design decisions, all wrapped up in a production package far more expensive than it needs to be because of the way the US orders airframes - slowly and in penny packets.

It's expensive because it's stealthy and very fast, so it can kill without being seen with BVR missiles. So far so good - but why then does it lack a passive IR sensor ? It has a mind blowingly effective - read powerful - radar which when on at full chat renders it rather easy to find. It might be a bit of a handful for current adversary ESM but give it a few years and things will change, for if you're pumping out RF someone else can detect it.

And of course the design is stressed for ACM, has a gun etc which compromises other areas - but close to visual range and all the advantages of speed and stealth are gone if the opposition can see you. Indeed, if you're screaming in with your hair on fire aerodynamic heating means your opponent can track you with his IR sensor and get a firing solution without emitting. Of course the US aggressors mentioned in the article don't do IR but potential opponents do - ever wondered why the Russians are so big on them ?

And then we have the mods to make the F-22 a ground attack aircraft, converting it into possible the world's most expensive way to cart a couple of JDAMs around the sky. Oh, and the lack of overload missile stations means a lack of combat persistence relative to the opposition - who tend to turn up in greater numbers anyway.


Grow up and engage brain, before hitting the enter key :censored:

Apart from being a rude little tw@t......some of us may forgive you for that impediment...possibly not Crabtastic :pissedoff:

Crabtastic posted valued and referenced comments with good quotes from official sources. This in itself illustrates that maybe there is a more sinister commercial target than just a military procurement one.

Eyes wide open to the septics and commercial/military gain.

Apart from that I personally think that you are still a rude tw@t :thumright:

For all the design probs the F22 is a good aircraft, or it will become one.

I'm not sure how it helps protect anyone against car bombs and Taliban hiding in the hills. Maybe next time they will invade some one that still has an airforce.

Not mentioing any names or anything.
I worked with the 422 Test sqn a few years ago on a det to Nellis and the F-22 will become an immensely capable aircraft; a true air dominance fighter in the air-air arena will be untouchable. It's speed and acceleration are truly phenominal. Oots, believe me, you don't need to worry about it's passive detection capabilities, the thing is like a flying SIGINT asset. Right now it does have a number of developmental problems. However, these will be overcome.

It's biggest problem is its immense cost and it has come close to cancellation on a number of times. Thankfully, the problems are gradually being ironed out and are probably no worse than the F-15 and F-16 faced when they entered service. In terms of capability it will be the only thing that will beat Typhoon for the foreseeable future. Why didn't we buy it? Cost, technology transfer, and the political need to support European defence. The RAF already have an exchange pilot flying the Raptor at Langley and he is exceptionally enthusiastic about it.

Why do we need it? Plenty of nations are now getting advanced Russian double digit SAMs like SA10, 12 and 20. These mobile systems can deny the airspace to us out to about 100nm. If they're doing that then you guys will be sitting there and sucking up an awful lot of hostile CAS and artillery as air will not be able to get in to conduct DCA over you nor find, fix and engage (or allow you to engage) the land targets. Let's also not forget that modern fighters like the F-22, Typhoon and Rafale also have extremely good capabilities to employ their radars and sensors in an ISR role which is directly applicable to modern ops. Aircraft like the F-15E and GR4 are already doing that. the next generation will provide much greater capability that in some respects outstrips 'traditional' ISR assets like JSTARS and ASTOR.

The F-22 probably lags behind the Typhoon in terms of development however and even F-22 pilots admit the Typhoon cockpit ergonomics and MMI is better. Typhoon is further down the line to operational deployment in an A-G role in particular. In a perfect world, we'd have bought F-22. However, political realities and its enormous cost make that unviable.

I'm glad it's on our side! For thos that aren't familiar with the beast, this is an F-22 alongside it's predecessor, the F-15C.