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Would love to watch the DACT engagement...

...between this guy and this guy. 

Knowing how jocks get when they fly relatively new weapon systems (especially the younger ones), the debrief would be uuuuuuugly! Heh. -Attila


Kewl! The Air Force finally got an airplane that can do the same hammerhead stall / Return-To-Target we've been doing in helicopters for forty years *and* an airplane in which the pilot can see what's below him without having to yank and bank, just like in helicopters!

Ummmmmm -- too bad they can't *both* do *both* helicopters can...

[scrambling for the bunker]
Boring day in Iraq, eh, Bill?
It'll get livelier when Dusty shows up.

Right now, I'm just using bandwidth while I can...
The same debate with different players. You have one jet with less "bells and whistles" and another jet with more "bells and whistles". Now, we have a limited amount of money to invest in this type of aircraft. The relationship between "bells and whistles" is directly related to the purchase price, the short-term and long-term maintenance costs. Therefore, this has an impact on the actual final number of purchased deployed aircraft. When I use the term, "deployed", I am speaking of both operational, in theatre and training. The other issue is the new "player" in the debate, the "unmanned air vehicle or unmanned combat air vehicle". In all ways, this will say a great deal about our view of fixed-wing aircraft and their role in our Nation's National Security.
All Dusty-ragging aside, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will always have the need for manned fixed-wing aircraft.

It takes *forever* for helicopters to self-deploy.
Ooooh, don't get Dusty started on *that* subject...!

Oh, heck, let's get Dusty started on that topic.

I won't have to post for a week.

Heh.  COnsidering that E. Asia's my bag, well, I figure I'll throw down(and get run outta the joint).

where you can station them and how you get them to the fight matters, too.  An AF of F-35s doesn't stand a chance of getting to the fight(legs are too short).  The F-35C(vstol) hasn't even been done acceptance trials yet.  So  Nava; aviation of the suckers is 2-20 years into the future.  Figuring that we'll have to fly either from JPN(and I wouldn't bet on getting to use that training strip they've got sitting right on the CADIZ line in the Ryuku chain), or Guam, I'm for the F-22 given a crisis in the near to mid-term.  Cost and all.  She's the only bird that can do what's needed.  Period. Gotta deal with the necessity instead of just numbers, y'all. 

IF we had the F-35C in hand, and a large number of L ships and escorts, well, I'd say fine.  Take the F-22 off the table.  THe Navy and Marines could kick in the door, set up rough and ready fields for the golfers, er, excuse please, the AF to work off of and extend further inland.  But, we don't have the triad to make that viable.  So, the AF gets the 22, and can come play on day one with good odds of survivability and making a major difference. 

BUt that's me.  ;)
Flying F-22s from *Guam*?

Let's say the PRC gets feisty in the Formosa Straits. The F-22s could make Taiwan unrefueled, using drop tanks, but then they'd have to tank before engaging in combat, then refuel over Taiwan, then at least twice more during the return trip to Anderson.

Then they'd have to refuel, rearm, and go back and do it again. And again. 

Without losing any to combat action or maintenance glitches.

Nevah hoppen.
Hey, if you check the trend, and what both our JPN and ROK buddies want, we'll be out of Asia proper by 2015.  Where you gonna fly from?  Alaska?  We're already building sub pens there.  Good chance they'll put carrier there when JPN finally says no to a nuc boat there.

That's kinda why that Ryuku island right on the CADIZ line is kinda important, Unk.  Stagging P-3/P-X and other fighters out of there would make things soooooooo much easier.  But, again, try convincing the Diet to go for it while the PLA's doctrine amounts to 'if you attack from there we can attack you there'---which means alla Nihon is on the table according to the Chinee.  Hence, the Diet'll neve go for it. 

Hey, remember, Unk, I was the guy chastizing Kat about sortie time/rate back the last time this came up.  It sucks.  WHich is why I'm saying without the -35C it's the only bird the AF has that can get to the fight.  THe -35 faces an even worse problem of refueling.

Formosa is largely a Navy problem, but any problem in the Western Pac requiring AF will have to be served by the -22.  She's the only one of the two with the range to make it across with what's available in tanker capacity(and where they're located/can be located). 

But, yeah, I now about the problem of sortie.  That's why the AF shows up to keep the PLAAF off the Super Hornets in most scenarios I've seen that win.  Beat back all that Russian crap, let the Hornets go after the transports.  That's what she, the F-22, can do.  

But, hey, if'n 'ya wanna talk Barry into forking out the kroner for a mother-load of amphibs capable of carrying a dozen F-35 each and get rid of the super-carriers, for major savings(in some areas), I'd be down with that too.  You know you got the pull, Unk.  You're just that nifty.  ;)

Um, ry? Just checked me some Wiki combat radii, and I got:  -F-35A CTOL 590 nm
-F-35B STOVL 450 nm
-F-35C CV 600 nm
-F/A-18A/C 290 nm
-F/A-18 Super Hornet 390 nm
-F-16C (Block 30) 295 nm
-F-22 410 nm
Now. What was that about short legs, again? 

I do like your idea F-35-capable amphib, though. Do we have any old Midway- or Essex-class carriers in mothballs to try that out? :) More seriously, aren't the modern amphibious assault ships nearly the same dimensions as the Essex?
Ummm, Ry?

You there, buddy?

(tap, tap, tap) Is this microphone on?

(tap, tap) testing; one two three...

er, what was that again about long legs?