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F-22 Raptor

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Post time 14-9-2009 08:50 AM | Show all posts
Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings
F-22's Maintenance Demands Growing

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 10, 2009 - Very recent article ok

Critics inside and outside the Pentagon say the Lockheed Martin F-22 suffers from maintenance issues and a design conceived during the Cold War.

The plane's capabilities are impressive, defenders say. But critics cite a number of shortcomings in its design, particularly in its high-tech skin.

The United States' top fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-22, has recently required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000, a far higher figure than for the warplane it replaces, confidential Pentagon test results show.

The aircraft's radar-absorbing metallic skin is the principal cause of its maintenance troubles, with unexpected shortcomings -- such as vulnerability to rain and other abrasion -- challenging Air Force and contractor technicians since the mid-1990s, according to Pentagon officials, internal documents and a former engineer.

While most aircraft fleets become easier and less costly to repair as they mature, key maintenance trends for the F-22 have been negative in recent years, and on average from October last year to this May, just 55 percent of the deployed F-22 fleet has been available to fulfill missions guarding U.S. airspace, the Defense Department acknowledged this week. The F-22 has never been flown over Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sensitive information about troubles with the nation's foremost air-defense fighter is emerging in the midst of a fight between the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress over whether the program should be halted next year at 187 planes, far short of what the Air Force and the F-22's contractors around the country had anticipated. (If I'm not mistaken, Obama has shut down the production of new F-22's)

"It is a disgrace that you can fly a plane [an average of] only 1.7 hours before it gets a critical failure" that jeopardizes success of the aircraft's mission, said a Defense Department critic of the plane who is not authorized to speak on the record. Other skeptics inside the Pentagon note that the planes, designed 30 years ago to combat a Cold War adversary, have cost an average of $350 million apiece and say they are not a priority in the age of small wars and terrorist threats.

But other defense officials -- reflecting sharp divisions inside the Pentagon about the wisdom of ending one of the largest arms programs in U.S. history -- emphasize the plane's unsurpassed flying abilities, express renewed optimism that the troubles will abate and say the plane is worth the unexpected costs.

Votes by the House and Senate armed services committees last month to spend $369 million to $1.75 billion more to keep the F-22 production line open were propelled by mixed messages from the Air Force -- including a quiet campaign for the plane that includes snazzy new Lockheed videos for key lawmakers -- and intense political support from states where the F-22's components are made. The full House ratified the vote on June 25, and the Senate is scheduled to begin consideration of F-22 spending Monday.

After deciding to cancel the program, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called the $65 billion fleet a "niche silver-bullet solution" to a major aerial war threat that remains distant. He described the House's decision as "a big problem" and has promised to urge President Obama to veto the military spending bill if the full Senate retains F-22 funding.

The administration's position is supported by military reform groups that have long criticized what they consider to be poor procurement practices surrounding the F-22, and by former senior Pentagon officials such as Thomas Christie, the top weapons testing expert from 2001 to 2005. Christie says that because of the plane's huge costs, the Air Force lacks money to modernize its other forces adequately and has "embarked on what we used to call unilateral disarmament."

David G. Ahern, a senior Pentagon procurement official who helps oversee the F-22 program, said in an interview that "I think we've executed very well," and attributed its troubles mostly to the challenge of meeting ambitious goals with unstable funding.

A spokeswoman for Lockheed added that the F-22 has "unmatched capabilities, sustainability and affordability" and that any problems are being resolved in close coordination with the Air Force.

Do you guys still wanted to buy F22? Better stick to F15

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Post time 14-9-2009 09:17 AM | Show all posts
81# escortburuk

"Do you guys still wanted to buy F22? Better stick to F15"

Takpe... singaland banyak duit, kan?

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Post time 14-9-2009 10:58 AM | Show all posts
81# escortburuk

Yes please...F22s!!

The problem with the F22 is that out-side it looks really good. However, there are a lot of legacy systems internally which restricts potential future upgrades unlike the F35s which comes with "open" systems allowing for constant future upgrades.

The good thing about existing F-22 planes is that they will continue to dominate the skies for at least 25 years even with the internal legacy systems. That is just how good the planes are. There is no comparison. Even the Russian are at least a decade behind where technology is concerned.

The bad thing is that you will need to over-haul the innards or internal systems sometime down the road in order to fully upgrade the capabilities of the plane. This is where the current maintainence issues come into the picture with the current F-22s in service. Servicing legacy 1990s-2000ish internal systems in a 22nd century body frame. But hey, what is maintainence compared to Russian made planes which have always been notorious with down-time. ;)

However, an export version would under-standably come with upgrades and improvements over the intitial batches in existence. It would expectedly include the same kind of "open" systems found in the F35 which are readily exported to US allies(and US allies only) like Japan, Israel, Singapore, etc. It will not be the same kind of plane that are currently in service with the USAF. The difference between the early batches of F16s and the latest F16s is an example.

In the time that is to come, Singapore would either have bought around 50-60 F15SGs + 100 F35s or hopefully around 50 F22s + 100 F35s.

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Post time 14-9-2009 11:43 AM | Show all posts
I wish RSAF all the luck if you guys really wanted to operate the Raptors. From what I've read, the Raptor rather sensitive to heat and water - which is in abundance in this region.

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Post time 14-9-2009 01:14 PM | Show all posts
Post Last Edit by belacan79 at 14-9-2009 13:16

84# escortburuk

Probably speculative and something to do with the radar absorbing paint. If true, it is nothing LockMart cant fix with the experience of developing the F35. The export models may even be better than the original models and would probably consist similar tech from Israel as the US will not export the more sensitive equipment.

Im certain Singapore will get F22s. It is a matter of time; even if it means using the F15SGs first. Afterall, the F22 is the natural successor to the F15s. I believe the export model will be multi-role in addition to excellent dog-fighting capabilities. Israel and Japan would most definitely be among the first countries to get F22s.

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Post time 14-9-2009 04:57 PM | Show all posts
Yes. The paint could easily damage and there are some water leakage problem and this is not speculative. Previously there is problem on overheating electronics, but that has been sort out. The F22 is a magnificent bird, if it is a car, then it is the Bugatti Veyron. Like the Bugatti Veyron, the maintenance cost is astronomical and like we Malaysian like to say, a little "manja"

From what I've read, the air force and the manufacturer is struggling to rectify the problems and President Obama himself is not in favour to purchase more Raptors. For now, better take a wait and see stance than committing to purchase a multi-million dollar fighter which has the potential to give more problems than benefits.

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Post time 14-9-2009 06:36 PM | Show all posts
Post Last Edit by belacan79 at 14-9-2009 18:41

86# escortburuk

The F-22 is the first in a new line of new stealth birds. Im not surprised that the first few builds had problems. The subsequent batches are better. But still, the problem is not so much paint but really, the 1990 ish - 2000 ish internal parts(esp electronics) which have been incorporated into the current builds.  You can only upgrade it so-so far; unlike the F 35s. In order to make it as easily upgradeable like the F35s, you would need to take out those systems and put in new ones and currently, as I understand it, it is so expensive that you might just as well order new ones which they won`t.  It is ok for the next 25 years because it will still beat to bits anything out there flying. But Im sure you would want the lineage to last a lot longer like the F15s or F16s. And it will have problems incorporating the latest weapons because of limited software progression. The first few F22s are limited to only Amraam 120 C7s. They cant use Amraam 120 Ds. Subsequent ones can. But it is still a question mark as per other newer weapons in future.

In summary, the form of the F22 is out-standing but internally, LockMart made a mistake. They put in a lot of legacy systems which will restrict the future of the out-standing plane. Why did they do that? The plane was designed in the 1990s and instead of incorportating the latest electronics, they opted to save costs and put in electronics from that generation together with electronics in the current generation. Back-end, there are a lot of legacy systems. Still, the F22 will dominate and continue to dominate in spite of the legacy systems for the next 2 decades.

Well, they learnt thier mistake and ensured that the same thing never happened to the F35. The F35 is good and easily upgradeable.

A new export model would be a new opportunity to get all the things done wrong done right. Especially, if the transition to better innards or internal systems are paid in part by allied foreign governments via purchases.  Especially since economies of scale will push prices down. Who is willing to pay anything for the F22s? Japan. Israel would to a certain extent. South Korea and Singapore would be more than happy to buy export builds and contribute to the economies of scale. In turn, the US would be able to buy new and better F22s to replace ageing F15Es which will still soldier on for some time.

The gameplan is simple. Export the F22s to a selected group of allies. Keep certain signature key electronics secret and take it out from the export builds. Put in the ones you are ready to export like the ones on the F35 or equally good foreign derivatives like the ones from Israel. And there you are. Cheaper F22s for you(the US) and ones with internally re-designed systems unlike the ones you have which cannot be easily upgraded. Plus you maintain the market share for US planes and money flows in. And you keep a whole bunch of allies happy and "still" hooked to US weaponry and supplies.

Will it happen? You bet. It is just a matter of time. But it looks like it will be sooner. You dont spend money on making an export build unless you are prepared to export.

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Post time 15-9-2009 02:58 PM | Show all posts
So, kalau F22 terbang dalam hujan, ground radar boleh mengesan dan menjejak kedudukan raptor?

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Post time 15-9-2009 11:34 PM | Show all posts
88# areguard

It is an all weather fighter.

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Post time 16-9-2009 08:43 AM | Show all posts
86# escortburuk

Negara kaya mcm Jepun & Sg mmg mampu menten jet ala-ala Bugatti ni esp. yg kena selalu belai dan dimanja mcm raptor ni.

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Post time 16-9-2009 08:45 AM | Show all posts
89# belacan79

Mmg la all weather fighter, tapi betul ke kalau terbang dalam hujan radar boleh jejak mcm escortburuk kata tu..

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Post time 16-9-2009 07:04 PM | Show all posts
91# areguard

Seperti di maner semua projek ader dia punyer projek brief sendiri, sama jugak dengan Raptor dan f-35. Kedua-dua jet ini memang direka untuk beroperasi di berbagai-bagai cuaca. And it wont break thier stealth or adversely affect stealth.

The issue about rain plus other negatives was reported by a Washington Post reporter who, admittedly, does not know much about the F-22 nor has access to critical materials.

Us has many lobby groups. Penting kiter mengenal pasti aper fakta dan aper spekulasi.

July 14, 2009 (by Eric L. Palmer) - Below is the Air Force Association response to a recent Washington Post article that was highly critical of the F-22 program.

Just as important; if a supposedly renown paper like the Washington Post gets so much wrong on this topic, what else are they misreporting?

Assertion: F-22 maintenance man-hours per flying hour have increased, recently requiring more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour airborne.

Facts: The F-22 is required to achieve 12.0 direct maintenance man-hours per flight hour (DMMH/FH) at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. In 2008 the F-22 achieved 18.1 DMMH/FH which then improved to 10.5 DMMH/FH in 2009. It抯 important to recognize this metric is to be met at system maturity, which is projected to occur in late 2010. So the F-22 is better than the requirement well before maturity.

Assertion: The airplane is proving very expensive to operate with a cost per flying hour far higher than for the warplane it replaces, the F-15.

Facts: USAF data shows that in 2008 the F-22 costs $44K per flying hour and the F-15 costs $30K per flying hour. But it is important to recognize the F-22 flight hour costs include base standup and other one-time costs associated with deploying a new weapon system. The F-15 is mature and does not have these same non-recurring costs. A more valid comparison is variable cost per flying hour, which for the F-22 in 2008 was $19K while for the F-15 was $17K.

Assertion: The aircraft's radar-absorbing metallic skin is the principal cause of its maintenance troubles, with unexpected shortcomings.

Fact: Stealth is a breakthrough system capability and it requires regular maintenance, just like electronics or hydraulics. The skin of the F-22 is a part of the stealth capability and it requires routine maintenance. About one-third of the F-22抯 current maintenance activity is associated with the stealth system, including the skin. It is important to recognize the F-22 currently meets or exceeds its maintenance requirements, and the operational capability of the F-22 is outstanding, in part due to its stealth system.

Assertion: The F-22 is vulnerable to rain and other elements due to its stealthy skin.

Facts: The F-22 is an all-weather fighter and rain is not an issue. The F-22 is currently based and operating in the harshest climates in the world ranging from the desert in Nevada and California, to extreme cold in Alaska, and rain/humidity in Florida, Okinawa and Guam. In all of these environments the F-22 has performed extremely well.

Assertion: We're not seeing the mission capable rates expected and key maintenance trends for the F-22 have been negative in recent years.

Facts: The mission capable (MC) rate has improved from 62% in 2004 to 68% percent in 2009. And it continues to improve, the current MC Rate in the F-22 fleet is 70% fleet wide.

Assertion: The F-22 can only fly an average of 1.7 hours before it gets a critical failure that jeopardizes success of the aircraft's mission.

Facts: Reliability is measured by Mean Time Between Maintenance (MTBM). One of the F-22 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) is to have an MTBM of 3.0 hours at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. Through 2008, F-22s averaged 2.0 hours MTBM while the fleet has accumulated 50,000 flight hours. The F-22 is on-track to meet or exceed 3.0 hours of MTBM at system maturity, projected to occur in late 2010, and the latest delivered F-22s, known as Lot 6 jets, are exhibiting an MTBM of 3.2 hours.

Assertion: The plane's million-dollar radar-absorbing canopy delaminates and loses its strength and finish.

Facts: The F-22 canopy balances multiple requirements: mechanical strength, environmental resistance, optical clarity and other requirements. Initial designs for the canopy did not achieve the full life expectancy of 800 hours. The canopy has been redesigned and currently two companies are producing qualified canopy transparencies that meet full service life durability of 800 hours.

Assertion: The F-22 has significant structural design problems that forced expensive retrofits to the airframe.

Facts: The F-22 had a series of structural models that were tested throughout its development in a building block manner. Lockheed Martin completed static and fatigue testing in 2005 on two early production representative airframes. The results of those tests required upgrades to the airframe in a few highly stressed locations. Follow up component level testing was completed and structural redesigns were verified and implemented into the production line. For aircraft that were delivered prior to design change implementation, structural retrofit repairs are being implemented by a funded program called the F-22 Structural Retrofit Program. Structural reinforcements are common during the life of all fighters and have occurred, or are occurring, on the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18.

Assertion: The F-22 has a significant design flaw in the fuel flow system that forced expensive retrofits to the airframe.

Facts: The F-22 fuel system has not required redesign. Similar to other aircraft, the systems on the F-22 are continually being enhanced by a reliability and maintainability improvement program. For example, early fuel pumps turned out to not be as reliable as desired and have subsequently been replaced by more reliable pumps.

Assertion: Follow-on operational tests in 2007 raised operational suitability issues and noted that the airplane still does not meet most of its KPPs.

Facts: The F-22 has 11 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs). The F-22 exceeds 5 KPPs (Radar Cross Section, Supercruise, Acceleration, Flight Radius, and Radar Detection Range). The F-22 meets 4 KPPs (Maneuverability, Payload, Sortie Generation and Interoperability). The remaining 2 KPPs are sustainment metrics (MTBM and C-17 Loads) that are to be evaluated at weapon system maturity -- which is defined as 100,000 total flight hours and is projected to occur in late 2010. These two sustainment metrics are on-track to be met at 100,000 flight hours.

Assertion: The F-22 costs $350M per aircraft.

Facts: The F-22s currently being delivered have a flyaway cost of $142.6M each, which is the cost to build and deliver each aircraft. This number does not include the costs for research and development (that were incurred since 1991), military construction to house the aircraft, or operations and maintenance costs.

Assertion: The F-22 needs $8 billion of improvements in order to operate properly.

Facts: Similar to every other fighter in the U.S. inventory, there is a plan to regularly incorporate upgrades into the F-22. F-22s in their current configuration are able to dominate today抯 battlefield and future upgrades are planned to ensure the F-22 remains the world's most dominant fighter. F-22 Increment 3.1, which will begin entering the field in late 2010, adds synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode in the APG-77 radar, and a capability to employ small diameter bomb (SDB). Increment 3.1 is in flight test today at Edwards AFB, CA. Increment 3.2 is being planned and will add AIM-120D and AIM-9X weapons along with additional capabilities.

Assertion: F-22 production uses a shim line and national spreading of suppliers has cut quality, thus the F-22 lacks interchangeable parts.

Fact: The F-22 does not have a shim line. During the earliest stages of production while tooling was undergoing development, there were a few aircraft with slight differences which were subsequently modified. The F-22 supplier base is the best in the industry, as demonstrated by the aircraft抯 high quality and operational performance. All operational F-22s today have interchangeable parts.

Assertion: The F-22 has never been flown over Iraq or Afghanistan.

Facts: The F-22 was declared operational in 2005, after air dominance was achieved in South West Asian Theater of conflict. Due to the absence of air-to-air or surface-to-air threats in these two theaters, stealthy air dominance assets were not an imperative. 4th generation fighters operate safely and effectively supporting the ground war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The best weapon may be the one that isn抰 used but instead deters a conflict before it begins. Just as we have Trident submarines with nuclear weapons, and intercontinental ballistic missiles that were not used in the current conflicts, we need air superiority capabilities that provide deterrence. The F-22 provides those capabilities for today抯 contingencies as well as for future conflict. It is important to remember that the F-15 was operational for 15 years before it was first used in combat by the USAF.

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Post time 15-2-2010 08:56 AM | Show all posts
dah stop production

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Post time 15-2-2010 01:54 PM | Show all posts
93# HangPC2

The specs is always there to re-start production and rebuild the machinery, assuming they decide to trash the latter. Especially so with foreign funding and change in mindset and/or administration. Unless a new fighter comes up(Boeing FA-XX for example which is 6th generation), the F22 remains the viable replacement for the F15.

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Post time 16-2-2010 01:37 PM | Show all posts
Pesaing Projek ATF


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Post time 17-2-2010 01:03 AM | Show all posts
Evolusi F-22


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Post time 17-2-2010 11:22 PM | Show all posts
dulu2 aku ingat sukhoi paling hebat, rupanya raptor ni jet pejuang terhebat

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Post time 18-2-2010 12:47 AM | Show all posts

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Post time 23-2-2010 07:28 PM | Show all posts

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Post time 23-2-2010 11:55 PM | Show all posts
Dengan maiden flight PAK FA, maka mil-industrial complex di AS akan mendapat amunisi baru untuk mendesak kongres membuka semula kilang produksi utk penambahan bilangan Raptor..

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