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F the Air Force Dash hopes for the More building-22s?

If the F-22 Raptor production line stopped in 2011, Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel thought the Pentagon had made a big mistake.

He drove in his car in 2009, when he found out, “of the Raptor fleet at 187, and I don’t remember, ‘This is great.’ I thought it was a mistake.”

Because “more is better than less, right?” the F-22 pilot with the 95th Fighter Squadron, said. He said to Military.com under the condition that his last name not be used for safety reasons in the midst of the ongoing air operations against the Islamic state.

Military.com recently sat down with a couple of pilots and a supervisor in Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, as part of a trip to watch, the fifth-generation F-22s fly with the fourth-generation F/A-18 Hornets for the training.

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The Air Force originally wanted to 381 birds of prey. Had purchased the service that many of the slow end-of-life twin-engine Fighter from Lockheed Martin Corp., today perhaps a little less hectic for the service members that fly and maintain them.

More of the F-22 fleet could “mitigate [operations] tempo, and we are always on the road, so we had more raptors, there were more Raptor squadron, more Raptor-maintainer, that would be something to mitigate training and operational requirements,” said Daniel.

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Lieutenant Colonel Ben, the 325-year-old Operations-agreed group.

“That’s exactly right,” he said. “But those decisions are above my pay grade.”

Daniel added: “of course, it is a huge cost.”

He’s right. In fact, the cost of the driving factor was the insistence of behind-the Minister of defense Bob Gates’ decision to stop the Pentagon in advance, the purchase of the aircraft.

According to a 2010 RAND study of the F start-build 22-production lines, 75 more of the nozzles would cost dollars to over $20 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

The construction of a new Raptor-not to a 1990s version – “you’re the same aircraft they were building, and it is said a much more expensive quote,” a defense analyst in Washington, DC Military.com on background on Thursday.

“So you build a new “old” F-22, or build a better one?” the analyst said.

And this number is a rough estimate, a marginal amount of levels. It does not take into account the cost of hiring workers, the Integration of new stealth technologies, or the training and equipping of additional pilots.

Preparation of the Raptor pilots, to fly out of the nest and takes time, also.

“A really good F-22 pilot, I need about seven to eight years to get him where he is fully employed, a jet and a quarterback can, in fact, the whole fight,” said Daniel.

But as the Air Force weighs their F-15C/D fleet, sometime in the middle of the 2020s (although the legislators in the Congress have a say in the matter), many defense experts on the question of how the service plans to maintain air superiority. For example, the F-22 finally, the role of the F-15 Eagle? If so, is the Raptor pilots are more in demand than ever before?

The questions are not abstract. Both the active-duty component and the Air National Guard are under consideration for outsourcing of the Boeing-eagle, service officials told the House Armed Services Subcommittee, during a hearing on Wednesday. The F-16 Fighting Falcon missions of the F-15, it could take you said.

Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican and former Air Force officer who flew the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft, said: “before the F-22 [F-15] was the best air-to-air.” The F-16, a fixed-wing, single-engine fourth-generation-platform”, brings the same skills,” she said.

The reference to Air Force officials, the F-16 rather than the F-22, which started during the hearing, even the analysts are surprised.

“Why not the Air Force, the F say-22?”, he said during a telephone interview. “Why you have the leak you are looking to replace it with F-16s, instead of investigating it as a case, the F-22 restart?”

One reason could be because the Senate is the next Air Force Secretary, the analyst said not Heather Wilson confirmed that a former Congressman was nominated by President Donald Trump. Until they are confirmed, “the air force is concerned about the important decisions,” he said.

Another reason could be because the Air Force leaders have zero interest in the reboot, the F-22 production. The reference to the F-16 can suggest “this is the end for the F-22, you start the story, not the beginning,” he said.

Earlier this week, officials from Lockheed — what the F-16 and F-22 — produced DefenseOne said it plans to move the F-16 production line in South Carolina, from Fort Worth, Texas, where he built the single-engine fighters for more than 40 years.

As Of Sept. 30 the air force 949 Fighting Falcons had received, according to the Air Force inventory figures by Military.com.

By comparing the service less than half as many Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles. The F-15 inventory totals 456 aircraft and is divided almost evenly between the two versions, with 236 of the older eagles, including a 212-seat F-15C models and 24 two-seat F-16D models according to the service data.

“The F-15C/D is just a job,” the analyst of all-weather, tactical fighter said. “The Air Force is, is the same argument the A-10, which is, ‘How do we look to the Air Force to save money, we are retired things would go, have a job.’

“The F-16 is multi-role … and the F-16 has grown considerably since it was only a small crumb under the F-15, the wing,” he said.

For example, in December, Raytheon co. a contract for the modernization of the F-16 computer was awarded as part of the Modular Mission Computer Upgrade, the “more than two times the current computing power and 40 times the current storage, the equipment of USAF pilots, with the proximity of the fifth-generation aircraft computing power,” the company said in a press release at the time.

Just last week, the Air Force announced the 416th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base in California has begun testing the F-16s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar equipped with Northrop Grumman, a fifth-generation Active Electronically Scanned Array fire-control radar.

“It is intended to replace the currently used, APG-66 and APG-68-said Radar and the F-16 with advanced features, similar to the fifth-generation fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II,” the service said in a press release.

The Air Force claims that it has the ability to recapitalize in the F-16C community, ” … radar has the same function as the F-15 has done and reduce the various systems that we have, to obtain and to operate, so that makes it more efficient,” said Maj. Gen., Scott D., West, Director of current operations and the service’s deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon.

The effort will help minimize the number of systems in place to operate the pilots, to the West, said during the hearing on Capitol Hill.

As with the Eagle, Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Scott Rice Military.com said that all the planned upgrades will be fulfilled. However, the Air Force may want to look at to save the next block of upgrades and future maintenance and operating costs, he said.

Rice said he believes that the Air Force is about the comparison of aircraft platforms, “especially in the digital age”, if you will, he said, the platforms and systems “, how they integrate, will be as important and more important in the future as the platform itself,”.

The F-16 is a “less capable dogfighter than the F-15,” the analyst added, “but at the same time, the question is,” How realistic is it that you’re going to a single F-16 with no help” from the other fighter jets? “That’s not how we are planning to fly,” he said.

In the past year, the House Armed Services air and land forces sub-Committee instructed the Air Force to issue a study on what it would take to have the F-22 line up and running again.

Whether the official investigation is completed, “preliminary evaluation showed that it was unaffordable, open the F-22 line,” an Air Force spokeswoman said Military.com on Thursday, in line with the RAND study.

Even so, Lockheed offers advice on what it would take to do this, said John Cottam, F-22 program Deputy for the company in Fort Worth.

“You come to us and have asked us for inputs in the study, so we have worked very hard with them to ensure that the data,” he said last month. “With this new government, you have priorities that put Americans back to work and make America strong, so we believe that what the Air Force provides, could very easily be in resonance with the administration of the policy.”

Cottam added, “As time goes on, if the report delivered to the [Congress] can we Refine our answers and make it more and more.”

Meanwhile, Raptor pilots can’t help but wonder if factory new aircraft from the production.

In each exercise, the pilots are the first show a couple of days, “Integration with other platforms-everyone is trying to learn,” said Daniel. “By the end of the first week, everyone is clear, we need about 30 more F-22s in the track, because as soon as the F-exit 22s, to people start to die, in the air-to-air combat.”

Daniel said: “It is always disappointing that we have, or not have, more missiles, more gas-it’s always frustrating, as an F-22 pilot, if you hear, ‘Bingo, bingo,’ and you’re out of missiles, and you go home and start listening to other aircraft shot down.”

The stealth, the speed, the “unfair amount of information, the jet offers us … .it’s magic,” he said.

Even with the oncoming upgrades to the F-16, a lot of fighters, pilots, and others in the question of whether a fourth-generation fighter-or could — always step up to such a role.

— Oriana Pawlyk achieved oriana.pawlyk@military.com can be. You can follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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