The Ion Cannon coming to an orbit near you!

terroshak

Spaceman
Maj.Striker said:
No, your numbers are way off. The cost to the US military for one F22 Raptor is a great deal higher than $22M. In fact, an F15 cost around $25M while the F16 cost around $16M. The F22 in its current form is not twenty years old, the project or idea to design the F22 is about twenty years old. That's like saying that a Corvette is fifty years old because they started designing the first one way back when. The F22 may have began its life cycle twenty years ago but along the way its been redesigned, reconfigured and updated to make it the most sophisticated Fighter in active service today. You don't think it's operating on 1986 computer chips do you?
Blimey - the F22 is an absolute bargain compared to the billions squandered on the Euro-Fighter, which is pretty much hated by most RAF pilots.

As to the whole tank/machine-gun argument (and by the way, have you noticed how the Germans had all the cool toys in WWI and II but still lost?), IMO whatever advances we have in war, the problem these days is what to do with the conquered/occupied country afterwards. Will our boys ever come home from Afghanistan, Iraq, and now are we off to invade Iran? Pretty soon most of the western forces will be so involved in so-called "Peace Keeping" that there won't be anyone left to fight wars.
 

terroshak

Spaceman
Also don't you think it looks a lot like the laser out of Die Another Day?
What do you reckon, did some government scientist just watch that film and think: "Cool! I gotta make me one of those!". ?!?
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
I'm with Halman on this one. You're way off base. Why on earth would you think the F22 (the most technologically advanced fighter in active service today) is a waste of money? The F22 can shoot down anything that flies today. Or perhaps you think we should keep flying 30-40 year old planes?
Yes. The F-15 is still the greatest fighter flying today, and the F-16 is the best all-around fighter flying. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's worth it, and just because its old doesn't mean it's worthless. The F-15 can shoot down anything else flying today as well, and we don't have to pour millions upon millions into it. I am also well aware on the MiG-25 Foxbat. It's a fantastic fighter, but it won't be any more than a toy for the Russians and is not a threat to us.
Think of it this way: You can either have the Wc3 Excalibur or the Dragon. Both can waste anything else flying, but the Dragon is many times more expensive. The whole F-22 and B-2 project is an excuse to funnel more money into companies like Lockheed.
Blimey - the F22 is an absolute bargain compared to the billions squandered on the Euro-Fighter, which is pretty much hated by most RAF pilots.
I'd be interested in hearing more about that. I always thought the Eurofighter was a decent fighter.
 

psych

Destroyer of assclowns
Fatcat said:
Yes. The F-15 is still the greatest fighter flying today . . . The F-15 can shoot down anything else flying today as well, and we don't have to pour millions upon millions into it. . . . The whole F-22 and B-2 project is an excuse to funnel more money into companies like Lockheed.

You don't know much details about the Cope India exercises; if you did, then you would take back all that crap you spewed.

I'm specifically quoting your F-15 lines, so when you realize how outdated the F-15 is (which the US Air Force learned the hard way in the Cope India exercises), you won't be able to go back and edit your posts.
 

Vermin

Spaceman
wow long time not posting but hey might as well...hope everyone is good.

The world is never going too be a peachy place, now alot of weapons are concieved as counter weapons too existing threats and will never be used unless a weapon is used on another country, i dont think its a display of power (or any offensive power statement at least) by any means.

Personally i dont think there will ever be a "WAR" like that with orbital or nuclear weapons used, with the rise of terrorism its going more the way of fighting unseen/unknown enemies and also chemical weapons being something that scares me.

But i suppose theres always a risk that a country will have too defend itself against a major threat (who knows when there will be another Hitler? however unlikely i think it is), so the military will ALWAYS build these kind of things.

yes they are made too cause destruction and death, but usually only in a defensive measure.

There are exceptions, the H-bomb was designed for a different reasons in a different age (i suggest having a read here....http://www.bilderberg.org/hbomb.htm#Must) being more a statement of who had the power in hand. But what do i know, just my opinions as a person on the earth.

And who knows maybe its not a weapon at all just a giant CD player.

Vermin
 

wolfboy

Captain
i agree with psych here, though you also gotta realize, no matter how old or new the aircraft, its the pilot thats in the seat that is the true edge of the aircraft. As for UAV's being the wave of the future, something people tend to forget is a little thing called LAG TIME, the greater the distance between the pilot and the UAV the longer it takes for a command to reach it. People like to believe that the UAV prodject will allow US pilots to never leave their bases in the US and attack forces overseas, its not gonna happen, the lag time is to great. you lose most of your command funtions to the distance
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
I said the technology for UAV's wasn't there yet; give it another couple years. On another note, pilots stationed in the US are using UAV's now for military combat ops. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/afweapons/a/predatorcontrol.htm

The rise of another WWII type scenario in this day and age is impossible for two reasons. First, nuclear weapons prevent it- any attempt at conquering any nuclear armed country results in MAD (mutually assured destruction). Second, there are far too many countries with an economic interest in maintaining the status quo- you think economic powerhouses like Japan, China, the EU or the US are interested in losing current markets to some country bent on spreading its brand of nationalism through military force? Good luck.
 

Wake

Spaceman
Maj.Striker said:
No, your numbers are way off. The cost to the US military for one F22 Raptor is a great deal higher than $22M. In fact, an F15 cost around $25M while the F16 cost around $16M. The F22 in its current form is not twenty years old, the project or idea to design the F22 is about twenty years old. That's like saying that a Corvette is fifty years old because they started designing the first one way back when. The F22 may have began its life cycle twenty years ago but along the way its been redesigned, reconfigured and updated to make it the most sophisticated Fighter in active service today. You don't think it's operating on 1986 computer chips do you?

They've been working on the aeronautics and general design for the aircraft for 20 years. Not everything is 20 years old simply because the technology that it holds did not exist. For instance the F-22 only requires a few tools to completely repair and the computer in the F-22 is capable of telling the mechanics what's wrong with it and what needs to be done and even orders a part if need be while it's still in the air. That simply was not possible back then. But the airframe and engine are all very old. And comparing a car to a fighter jet simply doesn't work. In your particular example, a new Corvette model is released every year, and every once in a while is completely redesigned. But then again, it's not an aircraft that's supposed to be stealth and a killing machine. A lot more goes into it than a car. The F-22 is an old design, the production model is not as old I guess would be more accurate.

And someone asked about the Eurofighter and why it was a waste of money. Basically, politics and economics of the different countries got in the way of it's production. It will probably never be produced and it wasn't the greatest fighter in the world to begin with. I'm not sure what countries were involved but I can say France wasn't because they were busy designing a very similar aircraft, and if England was involved they opted out for the JSF.

I actually found a number for the cost of the plane for 1997. Each aircraft would have cost $71 million. Still considerably less that $160 million that was stated and triple what I had said. It doesn't state how much the cost of each unit has risen but they cut somewhere near 150 aircraft out of the plan so that definetely jacks the price up a bit, and the program is caught behind red tape. They're actually considering updating the F-15 AGAIN but it will be 1/3rd as effective and cost 9/10ths of what the F-22 does. I don't see the point. I was wrong in terms of cost. But, the F-22 requires 1/3rd less maintenance time than an F-15, which is very important both economically and logistically. Also, the F-15 is being surpassed quickly by foreign aircraft in air supremacy. The only reason a U.S. or Saudi F-15 hasn't been shot down is due to training and simply that there has not been a significant threat to U.S. Air Supremacy since the Korean War. The F-15 would not be able to stand up against an Air Force that is equipped with current fighters and the U.S. could lose Air Supremacy which has been a major part of victory conditions since World War 2.

The JSF is in no danger of being cut right now, because it is probably the most economical and advanced aircraft currently in development. It's replacing the F-16, F-18 and Harrier fleets of the U.S. and the Harrier fleet of the RAF. Should be neat to actually see one soon.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
In a couple of responses here and there to varying posts, Psych is absolutely correct, the F15 has long enjoyed its day as King of the air but those days are over. Its still a good fighter but not a supreme fighter, there are others out there that are cheaper to buy that can either match its abilities or beat it (I can't name a conclusive list since its been a while since I studied the numbers out there but the Mig 29 and SU-27 come to mind). Some people have hinted that it would be more effective to not spend the money on the F22 and just buy two F15s or F16s for every F22. Here's why, as Wake has already mentioned, the F22 is much easier to perform maintenance on but that's a small reason. If you had two (or possibly three) F16s for every F22 then that means you have to have fuel for each fighter so instead of consuming X amount of fuel you now are expending 3 * X amount of fuel, instead of one trained pilot you must now train 3 pilots and last time I checked, jet pilot training ain't cheap! You have to service three planes, each of which is much more difficult to service than the F22. The F22 is no more teetering on the edge of extinction than any thing else. The brand new computer you bought in the store today is about to go obsolete as the big manufacturers release the next waves. Man is always creating better faster things, sure what's in active production is going extinct but you can't keep waiting for the best because the process doesn't stop. You have to pick the best option you can go with it and then in a reasonable amount of time do it again. The Eurofighter and the F22 signify the current boundaries of manned planes. The next generation of extreme fighters will either have to come up with a way to negate the effects of g forces on a pilot or come up with a perfected unmanned craft because now, human weaknesses are the limitations holding back an aircraft.
 

wolfboy

Captain
Originally Posted by Maj.Striker
No, your numbers are way off. The cost to the US military for one F22 Raptor is a great deal higher than $22M. In fact, an F15 cost around $25M while the F16 cost around $16M. The F22 in its current form is not twenty years old, the project or idea to design the F22 is about twenty years old. That's like saying that a Corvette is fifty years old because they started designing the first one way back when. The F22 may have began its life cycle twenty years ago but along the way its been redesigned, reconfigured and updated to make it the most sophisticated Fighter in active service today. You don't think it's operating on 1986 computer chips do you?
the problem is that the research done for the F-15 and F-16 are decades out of date. Right now the oldest fighters in the US inventory are the F-14 through F-16 and the AV8B Harrier. Honestly the only thing keeping our pilots safe is their training.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Wake said:
Even though my whole sentence is quantified by the word "IF" you still assume whatever you want. Well good for you. Make assumptions and be a jerk about it. You always are to every new poster to this site. You're creating a wonderful community here. My post was harmless but for some reason you got a wild hair up your butt to be a jerk about it.
The problem here is that people see something I say that disagrees with them and it automatically becomes an "OMG SO OPPRESSED!!!" issue. If it seems like we only have issues with new people, that's because all the people who've been here for months and years don't try to start fights with administrators over ridiculous stuff like this. Since you have such a problem with the community I'm creating, I guess there's no reason for you to be here anymore.

Fatcat said:
Think of it this way: You can either have the Wc3 Excalibur or the Dragon. Both can waste anything else flying, but the Dragon is many times more expensive. The whole F-22 and B-2 project is an excuse to funnel more money into companies like Lockheed.
Forcing a real world situation into an overly simplistic Wing Commander analogy isn't a fair comparison. The only way that would begin to describe the situation would be if they decided to go with the F-23 instead. But even that wasn't that much more expensive, and the point is moot since they ultimately went with the cheaper alternative.

Airplanes don't last forever. You have to continually replace/modernize them as each unit accumulates enough hours in the air. After a while, it makes sense to go with whole new designs.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Think of it this way: You can either have the Wc3 Excalibur or the Dragon. Both can waste anything else flying, but the Dragon is many times more expensive. The whole F-22 and B-2 project is an excuse to funnel more money into companies like Lockheed.
The Wing Commander portion of this argument is invalid: we have no idea how much either the fighter costs... and we *are* told that the Excalibur was the prototype for the Lance -- they're not completely distinct development programmes.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
wolfboy said:
As for UAV's being the wave of the future, something people tend to forget is a little thing called LAG TIME, the greater the distance between the pilot and the UAV the longer it takes for a command to reach it. People like to believe that the UAV prodject will allow US pilots to never leave their bases in the US and attack forces overseas, its not gonna happen, the lag time is to great. you lose most of your command funtions to the distance.
More importantly, what if the enemy jams your radio signal so that you cannot communicate with your UAV? The plane is then stuck operating on its own AI, which if the programmers were smart, primarily involves dodging any incoming fire and then hightailing it out of there on maximum afterburner. Even if your UAV escapes intact, the enemy has denied you the ability to operate UAV's within the jamming area. Do you think that unmanned fighters would have been able to take out the patrols and Electronic Warfare capship in the Peleus system with the jamming on in WC4?
 

Aplha 1-1

Spaceman
Ijuin said:
Do you think that unmanned fighters would have been able to take out the patrols and Electronic Warfare capship in the Peleus system with the jamming on in WC4?
I agree with your point. Seems like some here take the whole purpose of the UAV out of context. The ability to scout comparitively short distances ahead of your armed forces is a good thing. Not to be mistaken with a plan to completelyreplace front line units with very expensive RC planes. Want a purpose to have them flying frontline? keep 'em a kilometre or so ahead of your squadrons (heck, fly em from an electronic warfare bird now theres an idea) and use them to trip up hapless radar operators and ground defences. UAV gets shot down then sure you've lost the investment but in war, shit happens. Still a lot cheaper than the cost of a pilot.
LESSON - UAV's are scouting tools, not awesome weapons of death. Effective pilots need effective tools, thus the need to create new manned birds-of-prey.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Ijuin said:
More importantly, what if the enemy jams your radio signal so that you cannot communicate with your UAV? The plane is then stuck operating on its own AI, which if the programmers were smart, primarily involves dodging any incoming fire and then hightailing it out of there on maximum afterburner. Even if your UAV escapes intact, the enemy has denied you the ability to operate UAV's within the jamming area. Do you think that unmanned fighters would have been able to take out the patrols and Electronic Warfare capship in the Peleus system with the jamming on in WC4?
Actually, Boeing is developing UAVs right now that do have the ability to inteligently select their own targets. Right now they're prohibited from executing an attack until a human pilot okays it, but the technology is there.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/x-45.htm
The Boeing UCAV concept exploits real-time, on-board and off-board sensors to quickly detect, identify and locate both fixed, relocatable, and mobile targets. Secure communications and advanced cognitive decision aids will provide a human operator with the situational awareness and positive air vehicle control necessary to authorize munitions release.
http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/aboutus/wonder_of_flight/ucav.html

Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)
The Phantom Works division of Boeing is developing a vehicle for the U.S. military that will go into combat without a pilot. The UCAV X-45A demonstration vehicle is a tailless 27-foot-long airframe. It has a 34-foot wingspan.


Also, the internet has a screwed up concept of "jamming." Science fiction constantly uses "Our communications are being jammed!" as a plot device to build tension. In the real modern world, things are swiftly moving towards network centric warfare and there are already a host of technologies that prevent jamming or interference. To answer the question, if someone had the technology to magically "jam" signals throughout an entire star system, someone else most definitely has the capability to implement unmanned craft intelligent enough to seek out the jammer.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
You don't know much details about the Cope India exercises; if you did, then you would take back all that crap you spewed.

I'm specifically quoting your F-15 lines, so when you realize how outdated the F-15 is (which the US Air Force learned the hard way in the Cope India exercises), you won't be able to go back and edit your posts.
Thanks for the heads-up, Psych. I just read about the Cope India exercises. While planes like the Flanker may have some advantage over the F-15, they are nothing but toys. Anyone outside of Europe would be hard-pressed to make and maintain enough to pose a significant threat. We're not at war with anyone with significant Air assets, at least no one with anything that could even come close to our Air Force. The F-15 can still shoot the Flanker down , the F-15 is cheaper, and the F-15 can be easily used as a bomber, while the F-22 is more suited for dogfighting. Don't get me wrong, the F-22 is an awesome piece of engineering, but it's to impractical right now with the USA's economy in the shape it's in. Imagine what we could have done with the 4 billion spent on our two B-2s.
You have to continually replace/modernize them as each unit accumulates enough hours in the air. After a while, it makes sense to go with whole new designs.
It would be far cheaper to make an upgraded version of the F-15, such as adding full electronic controls and newer computer systems. The F-15 is a tried and true design.
Actually, Boeing is developing UAVs right now that do have the ability to inteligently select their own targets. Right now they're prohibited from executing an attack until a human pilot okays it, but the technology is there.
Human-controlled UAVs seem like the best choice at the moment. We'll have to wait a while before we see significant automation.
the problem is that the research done for the F-15 and F-16 are decades out of date. Right now the oldest fighters in the US inventory are the F-14 through F-16 and the AV8B Harrier. Honestly the only thing keeping our pilots safe is their training.
Just because the design is old doesn't mean it's worthless. Also, correct me if i'm wrong, but I believe we don't use the F-14 anymore, not in significant numbers, at least.
The next generation of extreme fighters will either have to come up with a way to negate the effects of g forces on a pilot or come up with a perfected unmanned craft because now, human weaknesses are the limitations holding back an aircraft.
Extreme fighters?
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
The avionics of existing aircraft may be upgradeable, but in the end the F-15 is still a big, heavy airplane with a radar signature of a barn door that can be out-maneuvered by more than a few more modern designs. Development of new hardware takes time, and isn't cheap. "We're the best in the world, we don't need to make new designs" is a pretty sure way of making a country get bypassed by future events.

As for that "4 billion for 2 bombers" (which is a load of shit, by the way), that's not even enough to qualify as a statistical margin of error, as far as the national budget of over 1.5 trillion dollars (I forget the exact amount offhand, and haven't the time to search for it at the moment) is concerned. Even cutting every cent of money spent on the military, both development of future equipment and funding for existing operations, would be a small drop in the bucket.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Do you really WANT a UAV selecting its own targets without human intervention? Who will be held liable if it makes an error and blows up an elementary school instead of the intended warehouse three blocks away?

As for jamming, what about the signal-to-noise ratio? If the noise is loud enough, the signal is overwhelmed. Sure, we can develop ways of detecting weaker signals, but that takes time--every generation of technology has its limits.

As for the four billion dollars--that is about the yearly cost of NASA's new lunar program. We can send men to the moon for that much.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
Ijuin said:
Do you really WANT a UAV selecting its own targets without human intervention? Who will be held liable if it makes an error and blows up an elementary school instead of the intended warehouse three blocks away?
What part of Chris statement regarding the UAV must be okayed by a human pilot, didn't you read? All the system does in its current form is a type of auto targeting.


Thanks for the heads-up, Psych. I just read about the Cope India exercises. While planes like the Flanker may have some advantage over the F-15, they are nothing but toys. Anyone outside of Europe would be hard-pressed to make and maintain enough to pose a significant threat. We're not at war with anyone with significant Air assets, at least no one with anything that could even come close to our Air Force. The F-15 can still shoot the Flanker down , the F-15 is cheaper...
Well, technically speaking, almost any plane made in the last 60 years can shoot down another plane...a lot of it is in the targetting system and the planes ability to evade incoming missiles. Dogfights, as most people think of them, don't really occur anymore (at least not the upclose and personal ones). However, the current hot topic in the military is a plane's survival ratio against comparable enemy aircraft. In Korea and Vietnam the US achieved an improbable success ratio which was due mainly to the fact that the enemy air forces simply didn't have as good of training and were flying antiquated aircraft (Upgraded, antiquated aircraft...you can see how well that works). In the latest training exercises the results have shown that the F15s survival ratio against current enemy fighters is not nearly as high as it once was (i.e. Israel's F15 achieved some incredible kill ratios in the battle for the Golan Heights). Due to the cost and the expense of training pilots and the huge cost of the aircraft itself, the US military isn't interested in buying planes that don't have a high survival rate. We are not in the business of throwing massive numbers against an enemy to overwhelm them by quantity. That would cost us much more than our F22s ever will. (massive amounts of fuel, trained pilots, support staff etc).

, and the F-15 can be easily used as a bomber, while the F-22 is more suited for dogfighting.
I believe the F22 can carry anything the F15 can and possibly more of it.

Don't get me wrong, the F-22 is an awesome piece of engineering, but it's to impractical right now with the USA's economy in the shape it's in. Imagine what we could have done with the 4 billion spent on our two B-2s.
Pray tell, what shape is the US economy in? One important thing to consider about why America invests so much in military research and equipment is because...we actually have the money to spend. The US economy is not in the doldrums, we aren't in a depression, the job market is one of the strongest I've seen ever, business is booming. If this isn't the right shape for our nation to strengthen our military then what shape is right?
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Billions of dollars wasted on B-2's alone (let alone other pointless Black Ops projects) may be a "drop in the well" compared against the overall US economy. However, that's not the issue. The issue is wasteful government spending on ineffective weapons. If any of you are depending on student loans in the next few years for college, try and say with a straight face you'd rather have a multibillion dollar bomber can't do the job it was meant to do or have a non-functional ABM shield then an uncut student loan program (which was cut this year to help fix the deficit http://money.cnn.com/2005/12/22/pf/college/congress_loans/ )- money has to come from somewhere, and when the powers that be go through the motions of trying to shore up the federal deficit, it's not duplicative or ineffective pork barrel projects they kill... it's the programs that effect an American's every day life.
 
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