• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Whoa! All F-15's grounded.

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,956
33
91
So far the Air Force has invested 28 Billion dollars to develop the Raptor. For the first 183 fighters it will be about $339 Million per aircraft if you divide the total cost of the program 62 Billion and divide by the number of fighters produced. However the incremental cost is $137 Million per aircraft since the 28 billion is a sunk cost. Please remember this is the aircraft that the Air Force is looking at using 20-30+ years from now. Lockheed in August of this year delivered the 100th Raptor and they are building about 20 a year. While the Raptor is not the best air craft for the war on terrorism whoever its primary is to guarantee air superiority for US forces, something that this aircraft is well suited to do. However the F-35 Lightning II was intended as a replacement for the F-16 and you are looking at a per unit incremental cost of around $48 million. Sometimes people compare the Raptor fighter cost of $339 million versus the per unit incremental cost of the Lightning II of $48 million however a correct comparison would be $137 million versus $48 million. Also the per unit cost of the Lightning II is also significantly lower because total production is expected to be 3,000+ unit versus the Raptor production of 183. If for instance the Air Force committed to mass production of the Raptor say by buying 300 more units there would a significantly lower per unit cost than $137 million . What really causes a aircraft cost to increase is cutting way back production so mass production techniques cannot be effectively used. The goal of the Lightning II program since the beginning has been mass production and this has been reflected in the per unit cost.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,517
3,615
126
For patrolling against Hijacked Airliners even the F-15 is/was way overkill.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Originally posted by: Brovane
So far the Air Force has invested 28 Billion dollars to develop the Raptor. For the first 183 fighters it will be about $339 Million per aircraft if you divide the total cost of the program 62 Billion and divide by the number of fighters produced. However the incremental cost is $137 Million per aircraft since the 28 billion is a sunk cost. Please remember this is the aircraft that the Air Force is looking at using 20-30+ years from now. Lockheed in August of this year delivered the 100th Raptor and they are building about 20 a year. While the Raptor is not the best air craft for the war on terrorism whoever its primary is to guarantee air superiority for US forces, something that this aircraft is well suited to do. However the F-35 Lightning II was intended as a replacement for the F-16 and you are looking at a per unit incremental cost of around $48 million. Sometimes people compare the Raptor fighter cost of $339 million versus the per unit incremental cost of the Lightning II of $48 million however a correct comparison would be $137 million versus $48 million. Also the per unit cost of the Lightning II is also significantly lower because total production is expected to be 3,000+ unit versus the Raptor production of 183. If for instance the Air Force committed to mass production of the Raptor say by buying 300 more units there would a significantly lower per unit cost than $137 million . What really causes a aircraft cost to increase is cutting way back production so mass production techniques cannot be effectively used. The goal of the Lightning II program since the beginning has been mass production and this has been reflected in the per unit cost.
Nice post, lots of good information. :thumbsup:
 

Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,956
33
91
Originally posted by: sandorski
For patrolling against Hijacked Airliners even the F-15 is/was way overkill.
Actually the F-22's ability to super cruise at mach 1.5+ allows the aircraft to close on a aircraft much more rapidly than a F-15. In order to exceed mach 1+ a F-15 our any aircraft except for the F-22 and the Concorde has to engage afterburners which gulps fuel. The F-22 can cruise at mach 1.5+ without afterburner allowing the aircraft to cover a much wider area than say a F-15 our F-16.
 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
4,345
24
81
It's always sad to see a truly great aircraft -in this case probably the best around fighter in the world for 25+ years- in the twilight of its career. I'm sure there's still some good years for the 15, in lower numbers and specialized roles, but it's still kinda weird. Like when they finally retired the 14, it was hard to believe that such a good jet could ever be replaced. Top Gun!!

I'm sure I'll be saying the same thing about the Raptor in 30 years.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
18
81
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: EagleKeeper
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: Banzai042
Originally posted by: Aimster
More reasons to fund F-22
Or fund a fighter that performs the same duties as the f-15 and doesn't cost nearly as much as the f-22. Don't get me wrong, the f-22 is a beautiful piece of machinery, but it's way to expensive to deploy in raw numbers, and for coverage you need raw numbers.
In field tests 2 F-22's were able to down 8 F-15s without the F-15s even knowing they were in the area.

/shrug
Time to defend myself.:p
Comparing apples to oranges. Newer technology will always have some advantage.

However, the F15 is a tough bird - Like the A10, it can take a licking and still come back kicking. The IAF has demonstrated that with a missing wing from the engine bay outward, the plane can still bring back the pilot.

The F22, however, has not been proved in ANY type of live combat.
If the F22 is exposed to any type of shrapnel due to a near miss of a SAM or AA missile or possibly even a high velocity bullets (M16,AK47), it make become unflyable. This is due to the inherit instability of the aircraft by design, requiring constant computer adjustments.

Damage some or key sensors or control paths and bye, bye.
As I witnessed a few years ago, a simple electronics glitch makes a nice marshmallow roaster.
Like my martial arts instructor says, it's nice to be able to take a punch and keep on fighting, but it's better to not get hit at all :)

It's hard to say what will happen in real combat, obviously the F-15 has more of that under its belt than the F-22...but that's how all new planes start, and I see no indication that the F-22 is destined to be a dud in combat. Quite the opposite, in fact. And while the F-22 MAY be fragile, that seems unlikely to me...most high performance combat aircraft, as far as I'm aware, are naturally unstable to help reach higher performance, and designers have had years to figure that out.

We'll have to wait and see, of course, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the F-22. Don't get me wrong, the F-15 is a great aircraft, but the F-22 makes some pretty major improvements.
That was Mr. Miyagi actually. "Best way to defend is no be there". Fighter pilots and karate masters...this is the most awesome board evar! Gotta run, the phone in my NASCAR rig is ringing ;)
 

Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,956
33
91
Overall one thing that has to be examined is the length of time that it is taking to develop aircraft today. The procurement of aircraft with a development cycle of over a decade also increases costs. For instance the original Request for a proposal for new aircraft the F-22 was sent out Lockheed and Northrop in 1986. The first production air craft was delivered in 2003. For example the Lockheed and A-12 development that developed in the SR-71. The A-12 started development in 1959 and by 1963 you had production aircraft of the A-12 in CIA service. So basically in around 5 years Lockheed skunk works delivered a air craft that could cruise at Mach 3+ which was incredibly difficult considering ever component had to be designed from the ground up since no off-shelf components existed that could survive a Mach 3+ environment. Oh yes and this aircraft was designed and delivered in the era before desktop computers and CADD programs etc. If you look at the F-117 development were stealth was brand new the first model of a aircraft that developed into the F-117 was in 1975 and you had the first production model delivery in 1982.
 

ScottMac

Moderator<br>Networking<br>Elite member
Mar 19, 2001
5,471
2
0
Just as a (possibly) humerous side note:

One of the local Chicago TV stations aired this story commenting on the DOD-supplied video of the affected plane & model.

Unfortunately, the plane in the video was an F-18, it was sitting on an aircraft carrier, and it belonged (oddly enough) to a Marine Corps air squadron.

So far, noone is talking about who made the error; the DOD or the TV station ... but I'd bet it was probably the TV station.

Bovane: Please break up those mega-text blocks with some white space .. my eyes are bleeding (and thanks! if you do). This is mearly a request, not a criticism.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,517
3,615
126
Originally posted by: Modelworks
Originally posted by: sandorski
For patrolling against Hijacked Airliners even the F-15 is/was way overkill.
Bring back the biplane !
hehe, that wouldn't quite do it either, even a P51 Mustang wouldn't cut it, but it would almost be enough.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,517
3,615
126
Originally posted by: Brovane
Originally posted by: sandorski
For patrolling against Hijacked Airliners even the F-15 is/was way overkill.
Actually the F-22's ability to super cruise at mach 1.5+ allows the aircraft to close on a aircraft much more rapidly than a F-15. In order to exceed mach 1+ a F-15 our any aircraft except for the F-22 and the Concorde has to engage afterburners which gulps fuel. The F-22 can cruise at mach 1.5+ without afterburner allowing the aircraft to cover a much wider area than say a F-15 our F-16.
I'm sure there are advantages to a F-22, but since a Passenger Aircraft never exceeds Mach 1 practically any Jet Fighter built since the 60's has a huge advantage over a Passenger Jet. I'm not saying that the F22 shouldn't be used, just lending support to the idea that quickly knocking a couple hundred new F-15s out of the factory is not a bad idea for the role of Domestic Defense.
 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
4,345
24
81
Originally posted by: sandorski

I'm sure there are advantages to a F-22, but since a Passenger Aircraft never exceeds Mach 1 practically any Jet Fighter built since the 60's has a huge advantage over a Passenger Jet. I'm not saying that the F22 shouldn't be used, just lending support to the idea that quickly knocking a couple hundred new F-15s out of the factory is not a bad idea for the role of Domestic Defense.
Mentioning the P-51 in an F-15 thread brings up a wonderful image... There's this thing called the Heritage Flight that plays at many of the air shows on AFBs. It's a close formation of an Eagle, and Mustang, and a Warthog flying low and banking, etc. It's an incredible sight seeing those 3 together and incredible sound with the whine of the A-10, the gurgle of the prop, and thunder of the 15. Wow... so cool.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
The future of battle field air craft is going to be many robot piloted drones, some helicopters and some like a miniature warthog. Gun and missile platforms able to deliver pin point strikes deployed in massive numbers. If they get shot down, no matter, they must be very cheap to produce. Likewise the piloted high speed fighter jet was long ago a thing of the past. The pilot can't take the G forces of sudden maneuvers.

Much of what is being talked about is worthless military boondoggles and totally wasted money. Two hundred million plus per copy pieces of flying ego.
 

Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,956
33
91
Originally posted by: sandorski
Originally posted by: Brovane
Originally posted by: sandorski
For patrolling against Hijacked Airliners even the F-15 is/was way overkill.
Actually the F-22's ability to super cruise at mach 1.5+ allows the aircraft to close on a aircraft much more rapidly than a F-15. In order to exceed mach 1+ a F-15 our any aircraft except for the F-22 and the Concorde has to engage afterburners which gulps fuel. The F-22 can cruise at mach 1.5+ without afterburner allowing the aircraft to cover a much wider area than say a F-15 our F-16.
I'm sure there are advantages to a F-22, but since a Passenger Aircraft never exceeds Mach 1 practically any Jet Fighter built since the 60's has a huge advantage over a Passenger Jet. I'm not saying that the F22 shouldn't be used, just lending support to the idea that quickly knocking a couple hundred new F-15s out of the factory is not a bad idea for the role of Domestic Defense.
A new F-15 costs around 60 million dollars however you can build more F-22's at around 130-140 million per plane. Is the F-22 worth more than 2 F-15? I would say yes considering the beaten that the F-22's dish out whenever they do exercises against the F-15's. Basically the Stealth capabilities of the F-22 is such a revolutionary advance over the F-15 that really having the US buy more F-15 is a bad investment.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
5
0
Originally posted by: Vonkhan
The F-15 production line has been shut down for a while now :p
Only for USAF orders. :( Boeing is still producing my baby for export:thumbsdown:

 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
18,961
11,752
136
One of the great planes, like the F-4.

The F-4 was a great plane?? :confused: Probably the first time I've ever heard that. The Phantom shouldn't even be in the same sentence with the F-15.


The f-22 simply isn't needed for the majority of situations in the current world.


When it's decades between designs which are rolled out in quantity, you'd be a twit to build an upgrade based around current scenarios. If that's how we conducted ourselves, there wouldn't have even been a F-15 Eagle and we'd still be relying on the Phantom for our air supremacy needs. No, the design guys have to make it compete with foreign equivalents which represent unknown performance characteristics. For a design from the 70s, I'd say we've gotten our moneys worth out of the F-15 and all it's versions.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a proponent of not fixing things that aren't broken, but that doesn't really apply in this case when you consider all the goodies the Raptor has which allows it to spank the Eagle to such a degree. Retaining air supremacy well into the 21st century simply does not mesh with the "well this is good enough" mentality.








 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
4,345
24
81
Originally posted by: kage69
One of the great planes, like the F-4.

The F-4 was a great plane?? :confused: Probably the first time I've ever heard that. The Phantom shouldn't even be in the same sentence with the F-15
Oh I dunno... I think the F4 could be considered great. It was way advanced when it came out (it came out close to the same time and was to go head to head with the Mig21, which was a POS) and served pretty well with a long life span. They we're using them wild weasel style well into the 90s. I would go so far to say that it was probably the best multi-role fighter in the world for a good 15 years.

Compare to the 15? Nah... but still great within its own right.
 

heyheybooboo

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2007
6,278
0
0
Spending 100s of billions of dollars on fighter jets is a waste. Shut down the F-22 and serverely curtail the F-35. I can see a limited role for the VTOL of the JSF but there is no reason to throw any more money down this rathole.

Unmanned combat air vehicles are here. Stop romanticizing piloted aircraft and get with the program. UCAVs are cheaper, lighter, faster, stealthier, more durable, less costly and more deadly.

Replace the pilots with the nerds and their joysticks.

 

CaptnKirk

Lifer
Jul 25, 2002
10,053
0
71
Originally posted by: EagleKeeper
Originally posted by: Hayabusa Rider
Poor Eaglekeeper

I don't expect this will be permanent, but points to the fact that it's days are numbered. One of the great planes, like the F-4.
1) That was one of the older models - I was in 2 seat D model

Damm, that makes me old.


2) The newer E models and derivatives are beefed up at the roots.


3) The USAF and Reserve/Guard units will need to start standing down the older models and sending them back to either Robins AFB or Boeing/St. Louis for complete retrofitting.
If done right, there will be another 15-20 years of life in them along with upgraded electronics and weapons capacity.


. . and . . .

Only for USAF orders. Boeing is still producing my baby for export

When I was there from mid '96 we were going great guns putting these together.

By 2000 it was down to 2 a year and foriegn sales to select allies were tendered.

They are still putting out a few, but airframe upgrades could be a viable solution.

When ther're down for the beef, re-equip the avionics.
2008 would trump 1995 in spades. Lots of equipment bays,
lots of mirco-technology electronics - easily triple capability.


Or we could just do this

 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,063
495
126
Originally posted by: cwjerome
Originally posted by: kage69
One of the great planes, like the F-4.

The F-4 was a great plane?? :confused: Probably the first time I've ever heard that. The Phantom shouldn't even be in the same sentence with the F-15
Oh I dunno... I think the F4 could be considered great. It was way advanced when it came out (it came out close to the same time and was to go head to head with the Mig21, which was a POS) and served pretty well with a long life span. They we're using them wild weasel style well into the 90s. I would go so far to say that it was probably the best multi-role fighter in the world for a good 15 years.

Compare to the 15? Nah... but still great within its own right.
Well lack of a gun kind of puts a damper on the F4 imo.
 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
4,345
24
81
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: cwjerome
Originally posted by: kage69
One of the great planes, like the F-4.

The F-4 was a great plane?? :confused: Probably the first time I've ever heard that. The Phantom shouldn't even be in the same sentence with the F-15
Oh I dunno... I think the F4 could be considered great. It was way advanced when it came out (it came out close to the same time and was to go head to head with the Mig21, which was a POS) and served pretty well with a long life span. They we're using them wild weasel style well into the 90s. I would go so far to say that it was probably the best multi-role fighter in the world for a good 15 years.

Compare to the 15? Nah... but still great within its own right.
Well lack of a gun kind of puts a damper on the F4 imo.
Lack of a gun was a mistake they realized quickly and subsequent (most) models had the good old M61.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
Originally posted by: kage69
One of the great planes, like the F-4.

The F-4 was a great plane?? :confused: Probably the first time I've ever heard that. The Phantom shouldn't even be in the same sentence with the F-15.


The f-22 simply isn't needed for the majority of situations in the current world.


When it's decades between designs which are rolled out in quantity, you'd be a twit to build an upgrade based around current scenarios. If that's how we conducted ourselves, there wouldn't have even been a F-15 Eagle and we'd still be relying on the Phantom for our air supremacy needs. No, the design guys have to make it compete with foreign equivalents which represent unknown performance characteristics. For a design from the 70s, I'd say we've gotten our moneys worth out of the F-15 and all it's versions.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a proponent of not fixing things that aren't broken, but that doesn't really apply in this case when you consider all the goodies the Raptor has which allows it to spank the Eagle to such a degree. Retaining air supremacy well into the 21st century simply does not mesh with the "well this is good enough" mentality.
Phantom II
Highlights:
Broke 16 records shortly after release
Could cary over 9 tons of weapons
Could climb to 98k+ feet
Took between 12 and 16 years to beat 5 speed records.

Nothing in it's day could touch the "flying brick", the "triumph of power over aerodynamics".

Today? Be shot out of the sky. But in VN it was King.

Regarding the Raptor vs. Eagle, how many places can one Raptor be in, vs. three F-15's?

Current requirements mandate many planes in many places. No matter how sophisticated the F-22 is, it still can't be everywhere, where "lesser" planes like the F-15 or it's equivalent can be made for less resulting in greater coverage. Maybe the F-15 per se isn't what should be built, but one far less expensive than the '22 can be made in sufficient quanties.

 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
18,961
11,752
136
Well lack of a gun kind of puts a damper on the F4 imo.

Thank you. :)

No cannon doesn't strike me as high-tech, rather it seems closer to being idealistic and short-sighted. To be fair though, they did remedy that once it became clear cannons are indispensable - particularly when you combine radar clutter-prone topography with unreliable missiles! It may look menacing (and I give it points for the badass mofo look) but it's also LOUD, way too big of a target, and leaves these annoying smoke trails in the sky... Aerodynamically, it's more of a plow than a knife.
The pilots I have spoken to that have flown it say the view is limited, the handling is mediocre, but hey, at least it's fast. It's a workhorse, not a stallion, which is why I don't understand any comparison with the F-15.






 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
18,961
11,752
136
Broke 16 records shortly after release
Could cary over 9 tons of weapons
Could climb to 98k+ feet
Took between 12 and 16 years to beat 5 speed records.

Nothing in it's day could touch the "flying brick", the "triumph of power over aerodynamics".

Today? Be shot out of the sky. But in VN it was King.

Regarding the Raptor vs. Eagle, how many places can one Raptor be in, vs. three F-15's?

Current requirements mandate many planes in many places. No matter how sophisticated the F-22 is, it still can't be everywhere, where "lesser" planes like the F-15 or it's equivalent can be made for less resulting in greater coverage. Maybe the F-15 per se isn't what should be built, but one far less expensive than the '22 can be made in sufficient quanties.

Yep, big ol engines, I'm aware of them. But, as I'm sure you're aware of, thrust alone does not a fighter make.

As for your poser about the F-22 vs. F-15, only one position is really needed when you consider the Raptors sensors and firecontrol systems. Someone help me out here, what the number of threats able to be engaged at once with the F-22? 16? Something like that?
I saw a pilot being interviewed on a special about the Raptor and if memory serves he stated 2 Raptors went up against 12 Eagles and took them all out.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY