F-22s for the Marine Corps?

F-22s for the Marine Corps?

Yes, you read it correctly, Marines flying F-22s. One Marine is making the case for just that.

Writing in this month’s Marine Corps Gazette, Maj. Chrisopher Cannon, argues that it’s time the Corps begins looking at a plan B for the short take-off and vertical landing B-model– which has suffered numerous cost and schedule delays and was placed on a two year probation by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates last spring. Keep in mind that the plane is making considerable flight test progress and that just yesterday, the Marines’ top aviation officer reiterated the Corps long-held stance that there is no plan B for the Bravo.

Still, it’s understandable to worry about the F-35B’s fate in a time of serious budget cuts. Many would simply suggest the Corps buy more F-35C carrier variant JSFs or invest in F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

However, Cannon argues that Marine Aviation officials should look at replacing the Bravo with a mix of low-end turboprop attack planes (similar to the one the Air Force is considering for its light attack mission) and 60 of the super high-end F-22 Raptors. This would give the Corps a light attack capability and a fighter that “dwarfs the F–35 in stealth, speed, survivability, deployability, and firepower” for less money than it would cost to buy the F-35B.

Here’s what he has to say about buying the Raptor:

On the high end, the Marine Corps could opt for the most capable AAW platform available, the F–22. Embracing an aircraft Congress recently voted to stop producing may seem like an extreme course of action, but it makes the most sense for the Marine Corps for several reasons. First, F–22s could be purchased now and would be cheaper initially and cost less to maintain than F–35s in the future. The current DoD plan is to buy 50 Marine Corps F–35B aircraft through 2016 at a cost of $9 billion, or $190 million per aircraft. In 2011, flyaway costs for the F–22 are a reported $150 million per aircraft. The U.S. Air Force estimates flying hour costs for the F–22 are $44,259 per hour. The 2008 GAO report estimated $33,000 per flying hour in a JSF aircraft. However, F–35B costs will likely be higher than A and C models. Additionally, the 2011 GAO update states that “current JSF life-cycle cost estimates are considerably higher than the legacy aircraft it will replace.” If their most recent estimate of $1 trillion in operations and support costs proves true, F–35 flying hour costs will exceed $50,000 an hour. In other words, using current estimates, total life cycle costs for every F–35 exceeds that of an F–22 by almost $100 million per plane. Certainly there would be a cost to restart the F–22 manufacturing base, but this expense is easily dwarfed by these F–35 life cycle costs.

Most significantly, the F–22 dwarfs the F–35 in stealth, speed, survivability, deployability, and firepower. With a more mature and more powerful active electronically scanned array radar, and with planned upgrades, the F–22 is a more credible and less risky investment to fulfill the VMAQ’s AEA mission. The F–22 also represents a better platform for AEA upgrades.

Significantly, this course of action would accept providing only 11 fifth-generation fighter-capable carriers. It may also require making inroads in positioning Marine F–22s in more expeditionary stations than those in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Virginia, where all F–22 aircraft are currently stationed. Forward postured Marine F–22s could provide the Nation with greater strategic reach than amphibious-based F–35Bs. With a supercruise speed of 1,220 miles per hour, an aerial refueled F–22 could make the 1,700-mile transit from Guam to Taiwan in less than 2 hours.

Future Marine Corps involvement with the F–22 program could include testing air-to-ground weapon loads on the four external 5,000-pound-rated hard points and incorporating some of the ambitious close air support-enabling avionics and software upgrades currently only planned in the F–35. In the future, this would provide the Marine Corps with the most capable, stealthy AAW fighter for day one of any campaign. In the latter days of a conflict, an upgraded F–22 could serve as our most efficient and effective OAS asset. With proper development, the same platform could serve as the MAGTF’s AEA asset; conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; or even provide control for other aircraft or missiles. This would be all at less cost than the F–35B and without the threat of cancellation looming the next 2 years.

A high/low plan B could focus on acquiring approximately 60 F–22 aircraft to replace 5 F/A–18D squadrons scheduled to begin decommissioning in FY14 and removed from service by FY20. These aircraft would provide more capability and cost less than the estimates for the F–35B. For the cost of one F–35B, the Marine Corps could acquire and support 10 counterinsurgency-focused aircraft with a 6-hour loiter time. Seven squadrons, each consisting of 14 OV–10-like aircraft, could provide AV–8B replacements, gap the STOVL requirement while waiting for technology to mature, and pass the savings on to the taxpayer as part of the Commander in Chief’s $40 billion a year in cuts. Other options are available at less risk than betting on F–35B continuation in the next 2 years. It is time for an F–35B plan B.

Here’s the entire article.

He mentions a lot of the counter arguments against buying F-22s in his article but still, I’ve got to wonder how much it will cost to upgrade the F-22s avionics and sensors with those found on the JSF. Furthermore, how well would the Raptor stand up to being stationed at those expeditionary sites mentioned by Cannon? Don’t forget that the tooling for F-22 long-lead parts is already being shut down as Lockheed gets ready to end production of the jet. There are more questions to be asked, so go wild with this one.

Join the Conversation

I guess I would have to applaud Maj Cannon for at least considering the options and coming up with one that MIGHT just offer a different and perhaps viable perspective for the USMC and perhaps for the USAF and our allies as well. The F-22 could be a very capable interceptor/interdictor/striker, but… does it REALLY meet the USMC aviation needs (the same could, but the way be asked of any fairly expensive, high tech, fixed wing, conventional takeoff aircraft!) Does the USMC aviation arm REALLY want to become a maroon and gold copy of the USAF with the same missions, aircraft, capabilities and limitations? Somehow I dont see an F-22 supplying CAS for that jarhead down in the mud and an F-22 would certainly leave the Marines incapable of even “long deck” shipboard operations.

I like the idea of getting more F-22s in US markings, by any hook or crook, and the light attack/COIN aircraft certainly do fit with many of the USMC’s traditional missions, but… does it really serve the Marines’ overall purpose?

Lack of carrier capability and a very modest air-to-ground capability make this idea a non-starter. Love the idea of a high-low turboprop mix, though.

Bring back the A-1 Skyraider and call it done!

Really? The last thing the Marine Corps needs is another ‘gucci’ airplane that will eat their lunch on life cycle costs. Of all the “Plan Bs” that could be conceived, this has to be the worst!

Amen. The USMC should be our no-BS rapid fighting force, buying NDI operationally suitable and proven gear. Their brand has suffered greatly from V-22 and EFV, let’s hope its not too late to get off the slippery slope.

Then again… perhaps it is politically impossible to resurrect the F-22 production line without some sort of deal being made???.…

Why put aircraft we already KNOW are coming up short even now at the tip of the spear for the next 40 years? F-teens had their day. It’s over. (The P-51 is “proven” too, why aren’t we still flying those?)

Yeah, they’d be done alright.

Except…the Marines LOVE the V-22 for it’s capabilities.

The Skyraider was a tremendous A/C that the likes of which have not been duplicated. A flying tank it was !!!!!

I would like to see the new Saab aircraft series used. It is designed for missions the USMC does using highway and hard dirt runways instead of big airfields. It is also relitivve inexpensive. The USMC has proven the concept before. An F22 would be a waste of money for the USMC. The F22 is a fine plane but not a CAS aircraft. It is not designed for carrier use and to make it so would cost more than any F35.

Skyraiders were good at what they did, but never forget that danged big radial engine and all that high octane AvGas. VERY expensive to maintain and they did tend to have a low flash point. And think… is there ANYTHING that the A-1 could do that an A-10 could not do better? :-) Furthermore, you have to admit that the A-10 IS an aircraft that only Marines (and those who should have been Marines!) can love on appearances alone! My apologies the the “Scarlet and Gold”!

that’s the official story. what I meant was their integrity, reputation, and political capital.

So having wreaked the f35 program by insisting that they needed the unique carol capability now the story is they don’t even need to fly off carriers at all.

The solution is to scrap the clown corps whos lack of mssion means the want to do everyone else’s job.

ouch lol tell us how u really feel!

Agree about the Gripen NG. It would be just the ticket for the Marines. The Gripen NG is a True 4.5++ Gen fighter, The Gripen NG can land and refuel & rearm then take off from any 800 meter 2 lane strip of highway. It Super Cruises at Mach 1.2. Has AESA radar & IRST capabilities already built into it. A Flight of 4 Gripen NG’s can be refueled & rearmed by a C-130 or a couple of choppers or a truck, by 6 men in 10 minutes. It’s maintenance costs are about 1/2 of what a F-16C costs. It can be carrier capable very quickly ( See Brazil ) and it cost only 60 million each.

A F-22 and modernized P-51D Mustang for light attack missions. I like it :-)

“is there ANYTHING that the A-1 could do that an A-10 could not do better?”

Take off and land on a carrier?

Nice article, complete non sense but nice effort Major. How about re-imaging the corps into what it should be? An expeditionary, forward deployed maritime infantry assault force. Get it out of the land army occupation game. They should be looking to exit Stan immediately and get into the fight on the Horn of Africa yesterday. That is a mission tailor made for the USMC. Talking about pissing away $ on a land based air dominance platform is silly.

Piper Enforcer, remember that one??

Too bad President Obama closed the F-22 program if a new President opens it again we can talk about making it a tri-service fighter the Navy needs a jet to replace the inferior F-18E super Hornet anyway.

OK, got me on that one!

Make it “is there ANYTHING that the A-1 could do that an A-10 could not do better, once it was flying?”. . And as I mentioned, AvGas does burn MUCH better than JP-8!. . :-)

Isn’t that the F-35C

That’s a biggy for a marine force. I think a low end for the corps is a good idea. Not necessarily the A1, but a turbo prop is fine that could operate from carriers. They also do another important thing A10s don’t, have at least 10x less per flight hour operating costs, and in fiscal austerity times that’s a biggy too.

The problem is this high end notion. The marines don’t have a high end need. They aren’t going to be in a high end operation alone, so this is a redundant wasteful idea in the F22. They have other far more pressing needs.

Here is a link to Saab’s Sea Gripen NG “PDF” being discussed in the UK for Brazil. It shows what is available today and what is in the works including their “Thrust Vectoring for the GE 414G engine” How ever it doesn’t include the new “Stealth Air intakes , or the Conformal fuel tanks” as well as other new Stealth features scheduled for release in 2013. That’s a diffident PDF by Saab not this one.–11.p

This is totally practical. Special Ops is the new M.C. Embassy guards, a band and enough to march in a parade is an adequate heritage.

This is how white-scarfism changes requirements from an AV-8 ground attack replacement to a lofty cost and altitude, non-carrier-launching, non EO/IR-seeing, Air Force mission duplicator. Whatever happened to embracing the F-35B because it doubles our jet-capable carrier quantity and could be moved elsewhere on Okinawa if warnings/indications showed potential for a preemptive Chinese missile strike?

It’s doubtful the O&S (inflated future dollars) or procurement (skips ground attack & comms upgrades required not to mention line restart and dual engine) cost comparisons are accurate. Nice try Major. I’m sure those striving to fix the Marine F-35B really appreciate your efforts.:) Would agree you could make an argument for giving some or all A-10Cs to the Marines or creating a carrier-capable optionally-manned prop plane that also controls UAS and escorts V-22s..

I love reading articles written by Marine captains and majors. I went to one of their schools and they teach these guys to think outside the box and to put pen to paper (writing an article for the Gazette is a graduation requirement). Not all of them keep that insight when they put stars on but that’s another discussion…

I love the idea of short-deck turboprops for the Corps, but I don’t see where a Marine F-22 is needed where a Navy F35C wouldn’t/shouldn’t already be (he should be convincing the Navy to buy the F-22 instead if that’s his argument). One of my classmates a few years back wrote a paper on eliminating the Corps’ air to air capability altogether and giving it to the Navy. Let’s face it, you’re never going to generate air superiority from an amphib unless the enemy had no air defenses to begin with.

Let’s hope that the monitors at HQMC get a whiff of this nonsense and Major Christopher Cannon is never selected for Lieutenant Colonel.

“maroon(sic) and gold”

That would be scarlet, not maroon.

I was about to say-given that Marine air is predominantly focused on CAS anyway (have the Harriers ever flown an air-superiority mission without the USAF and USN also in the area) they ought to take a look at Saab.

Ironic how the frickin F-22 has a flyaway cost less than the damn F-35B does.

this could be some sort of political ploy and by doing his part he will get promoted. Pentagon has its own logic only comprehendible to privileged insiders.

if the USMC pursues the overpriced exotic technological route of the other services then it loses its affordability brand, a major reason why it is alive. USMC cannot afford more V-22, EFV, and F-35B.

I love F22s and we need more of them but this defies logic. If the F35B is cancelled the fallback position should be F35Cs not F22s. The airplane has better CAS capability, can fly off carriers to support the Marine ground force (the raison d’etre for Marine Air), brings the cost down of F35s, simplifies the maint issue on carriers etc.

MAJ Cannon is just one opinion. Sounds like MAJ Cannon is desparate to fly F22s or the Marines are hedging their bets as an expeditionary force.

Agree The Sea Gripen NG is a True 4.5++ Gen fighter, The Sea Gripen NG can land and refuel & rearm then take off from any 800 meter 2 lane strip of highway. It Super Cruises at Mach 1.2. Has AESA radar & IRST capabilities already built into it.

Here is a link to Saab’s Sea Gripen NG “PDF” being discussed in the UK for Brazil. It shows what is available today and what is in the works including their “Thrust Vectoring for the GE 414G engine“–11.p

So we spent all this money to develop a Gen 5 stealthy air dominance fighter and a Marine version would ruin its stealth characteristics with external ordnance and they would try to operate it down on the deck in support of the “mud marines”. That makes no sense to me– like using a Ferrari to take the kids to soccer practice,

Currently the F-35B and the latest batch of F-22s have nearly identical REC Flyaway costs (with the F-35B being a little cheaper). As orders pick up and the F-35 goes to FRP the B will get much cheaper than the F-22.

It must be a slow news week, to waste time speculating on the marines ever acquiring the f-22, has anyone heard that f-22 production orders has ceased?

If the Marines were able to get 60 F-22s that would keep the production going so that if a future president wanted to buy more F-22s for the Air Force he could do so easily. The Russans want to build 1000 Sukhoi PAK FA (T-50)s with a minimum of 250 for their air force and an equal number for the Indian Air Force. With the remainder going to China, Iran, Venezuela, etc.. 187 F-22s for our Air Force will seem like a small number in the years post 2018. Can the F-35A defeat the T-50 and J-20s in large numbers assuming the analysis of Aus Air Power on these planes is correct?

J-20: http://​www​.ausairpower​.net/​A​P​A​-​J​-​X​X​-​P​r​o​t​o​t​y​p​e​.​htm

PAK FA: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2010–01.html

Why we need more F-22A Raptors: http://​www​.ausairpower​.net/​r​a​p​t​o​r​.​h​tml

The budget tea leaves I have been reading say Marine air better have a Plan C — a few F35Cs and a bunch of leased cas turboprops. Then spend their money on air to ground links and uav integration.

If it wasn’t designed and built in the US then the Congress will never approve the purchase in today’s economy. Our Senator’s and Congressmen/women want the jobs for their districts. It’s a forgone conclusion that the USAF will choose the american aircraft regardless of results of the fly-off.
Even the Harrier, designed and built in the UK, had to be re-designed for the USMC and was built in US plants, not England. If the USMC had not included that in the contract neither the Congress or the Pentagon would have approved the buy.

At least someone is thinking of a plan B. Takes a LOT of guts to break from the party line (especially a Mid-Grade Major) and put their ass on the line for a thought. I favor any CAS dedicated aircraft. Strap a AIM-9 or a special AAMRAM to it and bomb bad guys but have D-Fence.
Good on you Major. Simper Fi.

Sorry to post again. But that was SEMPER FI. You all know us Corpsman have big fat fingers that screw up typing and get the “Purple Marker Kickback”.
Better to examine you with.

Actually, in a properly constituted situation, the USMC would take over almost all of the SpecOps jobs which, over the last 3 decades or so, the other branches have all fought to get a piece of. They should get all of the quick in-and-out jobs…and of course they are uniquely qualified to ‘kick in the door’ and hold on until the Army can get moving on larger scale operations.

I certainly agree that the F-22 isn’t well suited for CAS missions, and it will never be ready for carrier based operations (of course neither was the B-25), but it seems like the writer has the CAS angle covered with the turbo-prop option.

I agree, It would be built here in the US by Americans, all the deal’s be done are for building them in the country buying it. Brazil & India were both going to produce the aircraft in their country. Brazil still might.depending on who wins that fly off. There is a huge plant sitting empty right now doing nothing in the south because of Union problems. It would take just a US company tp partner with Saab. Their are other plants that could be set up rather quickly. So thats really not a issue.

Bring back the OV-10 and/or get A-10s. Let the AF and sailors worry about the air to air fight.

Many Marines in the family, including my father. But I’m less concerned with honoring the past than ensuring my children have a country to inherit. The United States Government is all but bankrupt. What exactly is the justification for having two armies (Army, Marines) and three air forces (Air Force, Navy, Marines)? How many $Billions is the Marines spending to re-enact the invasion of Tarawa (AAV) or according to the good Major above, the Cactus Air Force on Guadalcanal? Maybe, just maybe…the Marines need to focus on being the Navy’s infantry again.

And nobody brought up the OV-10 for cas.

A good option but if the USMC procures the F-22 I would suggest a lower risk expanded version:
– an additional fuselage segment for another recessed weapons bay
– conformal fuel tanks
– stealth external weapons pods mounted on the hardpoints to minimize the signature when external stores are needed
– add the Scorpion HMD for SA and the CAS mission
– add a second seat for the NAV / WSO / CSO / MSO

or they could revive this blast from the past… the concept MD model 226–458 Quiet Attack Aircraft

but just stop throwing good money after bad…

Compared to the F-22 the the F-35 is a step back instead of building stealth fighter light aka F-35 lets build more of the best fighter ever to take to the sky’s (Raptor) and fit this already proven airframe with different avionic tech for different missions why do we need to recreate the wheel again when we have already perfected it with the F-22

AWESOME-YES! You get an F-117 + F-15 =F-22 , the Airforce’s website stated that the accuracy rate of the F-22 when dropping 1000 pound JDAMs from above 35000 feet supersonic was around 92% which was the best rate in their history out of any of it;s platforms. the article went on to say that the 1000 pound JDAM was more effective than the 2000pound JDAM launched from an F-117 because of the altitude and speeds at which they are dropping the 1000 pounders at, plus the range because of dropping the at high altitude and supersonic was around 70 miles which is far greater range than the F-117. The load-out on an attack mission was two 1000 pound JDAMs and two AIM-120ds in the center bays and one AIM-9X in each side bays. That sounds like a jet for a force that is tasked with kicking in the front door and kicking some BUTT! kind of force !! ( MARINES ) It doesn’t get any better than that, an awesome attack and fighter all in one, and when the get the SDB ( small diameter bomb ) qualified it will be able to carry eight SDBs in place of the two 1000 pound JDAMS.

The final F-22 is being fixed to the jigs and will be done around the first quarter of 2012, which totally sucks because MR.Gates lied to all Americans when he stated that Russia and china would not have a stealthy fighter until 2020. China says it is going to make 300 J-20s for itself and expects another 200–300 more in export sales. The annalist who wrote that said when China states that it will make 300 for itself it intends to do just that, and their goal is to be at the forefront in aerospace technology by 2025. plus all the Russian’s T-50s, they will buy 100 and have stated there is a market for another 500 that’s including India’s 300 T-50s . We are going to be in big trouble when they all get in the air, many people think that China is getting strong enough militarily that they can invade Twain and we will not dare to counter .

Can the F-22 take off from a carrier today? If not, all of the author’s number crunching gets called into question since he didn’t take into account the costs of rebuilding the F22 to land and take off from a deck. For all we know it could surpass the F35B’s development problems.

I have an Idea : let’s disband the army and the air force, and make the Navy stronger with the Marines being the Navy’s infantry again.

We could save a few bucks…

How hard would it be to re-engine the A-10? It would provide excellent close air support since that is what is was designed to do. It’s also tough as nails, far more resistent to small arms fire than either the ’22 or ’35. it lacks pretty much anything resembling avionics, but it’ shouldn’t be difficult to provide a modest amount. As I understand it, the AF never liked it, even after the Gulf war. Give them to the Marnes.

Well, in fairness to the F35 it isn’t done with dev yet and isn’t in full production. That’s a cost on the F22 that was both. When the F35 is done, it’s flyaway cost will be less, but the questions is will it be enough to justify the cheaper argument that was made for it in the first place.

Considering Kopp has no security clearence and is based on internet pictures, The assumtion can be made he doesnt have a clue whats what

Taiwan may be traded in the division of the SC sea, but it wont be because china rules the air/sea
This is both RU and CN first 5th gen, I think a lot are over rating them and the systems they will work in

Why they can start exporting watered down versions to allies like Japan,Australia,India,Korea etc all threatened by the rise of the chinese empireand cross subsidise the start of the production line for the USMC and if needed in the future for them USAF boys too.What is your honest opinion gentlemen?

RAND Project Air Force did a study, “Ending F-22A Production” and a follow-up related “Retaining F-22A Tooling.” RAND concluded that average procurement cost with included production restart costs totalled $233 mil each (FY 2010 $) to produce 75 more aircraft ($17.4 bil).

Just to bring the current F-22s, less training aircraft, up to Block-35 increment 3.2 standards with a two-way data link and ability to drop 8 SDB-1 simultaneously will cost upwards of $100 mil per aircraft ($16 bil). Still no integrated EO/IR or laser designator. Still no STOVL or big carrier capability.

In response to Lance above:

No, the F-35C is meant to supplement the current F-18 E/F fleet, which in my opinion is not lacking. The current F-18 E/F is the most effective 4.5 gen aircraft deployed in the world. I use effective for a few reason. 1. On paper other aircraft such as the Typhoon & Rafale are very capable, and impressive, but they have yet to meet all of the tranche and operational requirements as set forth and only live up to their paper numbers under a specific set of circumstances. This one of the reasons the UK has reduced the purchase and it going to mothball the Tranche 1 aircraft already purchased. 2. The F-18E/F is the only 4.5 gen aircraft deployed in any quantity, with the exception of the UAE F-16 block 52’s. 3. Effective, you can buy almost 3 F-18’s for one F-35B, and when you carry stores externally on the F-35 it is displays only a marginally reduced radar cross section over the F-18’s, and this will remain true unless we re-design all of weapons exteriors to exhibit some stealthy qualities, which I don’t believe we can afford. The Corps should buy the F-18’s, and spend their money to build an AV-8C to replace their current aircraft.
We have to remember that the Corps number one priority is CAS, it is not as sexy as the Air Force’s mission, but it is the only mission with which we should be concerned. Everything in the corps is should be used to support our grunts on the ground, and if our officer want to engage in air to air combat with SU-30MKI’s in a sexy gen 5 aircraft, well maybe they should have joined another branch. This is one old Corporal reminding our officers, that your job to support your junior officer and enlisted personal on the ground. If you buy new heavy armor, you buy heavy armor which best supports our grunts. If you buy a new helo, you buy one that suits our Marines the best. Listen really close hear, IF YOU BUY AN NEW FIGHTER/ATTACK AIRCRAFT YOU PURCHASE THE ONE THAT BEST SUPPORTS YOUR MARINES ON THE GROUND. Really, you are buying a stealthy 5th gen STOVL with a combat radius of 450 nm. Don’t you kind of think the 890′ Ship parked 300 miles away from the bad guys with “stealth” aircraft on its deck isn’t really all that stealthy? Just saying. Furthermore, isn’t Marine Corps and Navy stealth really a moot point and a waste of money until we discover a way to make our CVN’s and LPH’s invisible. Moreover, the only stealthy deep strike capability the Navy should be focused on is Sub lunched cruise missiles. We need to embrace our mission of CAS. We are the Big Meat Head Brother of the armed forces and we are acting like we want to wear our little sister’s (the Air Force) prom dress (the F-22), after all if our sister has any clothes that will fit us it is clearly her work out sweats (the A-10’s). Maybe the Marine Officers should be more focused on this aircraft? Have all of us forgotten the purpose of Marine aviation?

Guess that since China and India aren’t exactly pals, India’s purchase of T-50s isn’t a bad thing. Russia has said it wants to do lots of things over the years…few have panned out. They also need to learn how to build reliable engines and true stealth as do the Chinese.

Thousands of experienced-pilot F-35s counter hundreds of untested pilots flying oversized J-20 fighter bombers. Teens of fighters in other threat hands are handled by F-22s alone. Dispersed, hidden air defenses are the bigger threat and many low observable manned ground-attack and carrier-launched unmanned aircraft handle that best.

F-22s are not the answer; but opening the A-10 assembly line would be a great alternative.
GAU-8, 11 stations, and titanium bathtub for the pilot, and FOD damage in practically nil!

I didn’t realize that the USMC’s main role was air superiority.

Unfortunately the Marines could not hack it as a full land Army, even if they increased their numbers. Not only could they not handle the 12–15 month deployments which the Army stepped up to fight, but even in Helmand Afghanistan, their AO, they cannot fight without a lot of support from the Army, medic’s and medivac’s in particular.

The Marines keep short deployments to stay in step with their ship-board deployments. I’ve worked with Marines who while they only did a 7 month rotation, they spent as many total months deployed as I did pulling multiple 12–16 month deployments. The problem with the Marines-as-second-land-army is that they weren’t designed for a single campaign lasting countless years. They’re designe for get in-get out fights.

He might as well have asked for Sherman tanks and Sopwith Camels, as both are just as likely to be produced in any more.

He’s not even proposing a carrier variant though. He is talking plain ol garden variety F22s.

Navbm7: If Saab and Boeing partnered up on this, they would be able to get the technology that Saab is using for the “Thrust Vectoring” on their GE 414G engine, which could lead to “Future Super Hornet upgrades including “Thrust Vectoring” which would greatly improve it’s combat capabilities long into the future.

What does the Corps need with solely land-based stealth fighters? That’s entirely in the Air Force’s playground.

But then you have that old “Made in America” problem…

Indeed. One would hope that a USMC Major would put a little more effort into a “plan b” that actually meets the USMC requirements (60 F-22 + 140 ‘OV-10-like’ doesn’t even come close), & would use more realistic apples-to-apples cost comparisons with more accurate numbers (no way the USMC could procure F-22s in FY2012-2014 for the same cost as the USAF did in FY2007-2009 & no way would they be in service before 2017/2018)…

Not ironic at all given how few & at such low rates F-35Bs have been procured so far.

Not even back when US defense budgets were 6+% of GDP could the USAF afford an all high-end fighter force…thus we got a ‘small’ number of F-15s & a significantly larger number of F-16s.

The A-10 is going to be around for quite some time still. What makes you think the A-10s need new engines (its speed is limited by the airframe not engine thrust)? While there are/were SOME in the USAF which ‘never liked the A-10″, quite a number LOVED it every bit as much as anybody else. The biggest problem for the A-10 in the USAF is that with reduced funding, specialized aircraft like the A-10 HAD/HAVE to be sacrificed for more versatile multi-role aircraft.

2. UAE F-16E/F Block 60s

3a. With each year of procurement the procurement cost od the F-35B will get closer & closer to that of the F/A-18E/F. Eventually you will be able to procure ~4 F-35Bs for the cost of ~5 F/A-18E/Fs…

3b. An F-35 with any likely external stores will still be stealthier than a CLEAN F/A-18E/F. Also note that JSOW & JASSM are both ‘stealthy’ weapons…At any rate 8 internal SDB II is a quite significat CAS payload.

That’s historical revisionist crap. The USAF leadership had the F-16 shoved down their throats. They tried more than once in ’73 to have the future budget for the Lightweight Fighter zeroed. Those efforts failed because Boyd and the “fighter mafia” had back-channel contacts with the OSD. The High-Low mix (an application of Lanchester’s Square law) was settled on as the rationale for accepting the F-16 only after it became clear to the Air Force brass that they couldn’t suffocate it. The point is, no, they could not afford an all high-end fighter force in reality. But that IS what they wanted, and the budget increase that would eventually have been necessary to afford it.

As for the F-35, it certainly is the “low” end of the mix in every way except what matters. You have to be able to afford enough of the low end aircraft to fill out the requirement, and that’s something we can’t do. That also damns the F-22. What good is the “high” end of the mix when it cost so much that it made itself into a pinata? The political and budgetary realities of the day will ALWAYS end up out-leveraging some projected future “need” that never seems to materialize.

I like this Marine major. He is thinking out side of the box. How ever, I see a turf war brewing. But, that will be later. After reading some of the comments here on this thread, I often wonder where some of the peoples heads are. Apparently, they are up their collective 4th point of contact. Nothing useful adding to the debate.(disbanding the corps? ain’t gonna happen anytime soon…sorry, wake up and smell the coffee) But, alas the end of my critique of posts is here. Now, time for the debate. The F22 for the corps.…good idea. Perfect fit. See, the Marines are a combined air/ground invasion force. And beings they are supposed to be the first to fight, the F22 would make a perfect fit. Immediate air superiority, and a huge increase in strike capability for hitting coastal targets. How ever, The CAS role is highly questionable. Short loiter time, high fuel consumption, and limited targeting for large armor. (dropping a 1000 JDAM on a T80 series tank?????) and a series of limited weapons for CAS role. But, here is the F35 problem.…will the corps ever get the required jets for their role as the nations door kickers? Will further developmental problems prevent it from its intended role? And the same type of weapons problems for CAS exist here also. The only plus for CAS in the F22 is a 20mm vulcan cannon. But will that be good enough for taking out armor and heavily fortified bunkers and command sites? The F35 has no cannon, and again limited munitions for the CAS role.
I do like the idea of a prop driven CAS aircraft for the corps instead of the for CAS. Throw some hellfire or some maverick missiles with a side of 30mm chain gun pods,and you have a great CAS plane. But here is a problem…with these proposed CAS prop planes, will they be able to operate from the corps amphib ships? The have a very short range and need a airfield. Cannot fly them 100+ plus miles to a fight. Would the ships even be able to carry modification to the flight decks to handle these planes? Plus limited amount of munitions carried…a huge problem! (give the corps the A10? Good idea, but not made for ships and put pf production!)
The pit falls of the F22 are numerous. And the pitfalls of the F35are beaten like a dead horse. Adding a prop driven CAS aircraft too risky? You bet. But the corps need something and soon. These marines need CAS. And the Navy and Air force are not going to be there to support them all of the time. Add capability and give them the F22.Buy them prop airplanes for CAS. Cheap, in production, and adding a long range strike capability a huge plus out weighs the alternative…nothing at all.

For thinking outside the box, we need to disband the USMC. Their fixed wing assets to the Navy and their helo fleet to whoever wants them. The country is too damn broke. We don’t need two land Armies. The Marines claim to fame is ship to shore operations. Well Afghanistan is totally land locked and they made the trip anyway in looking for a mission that is being done by the Army.. Sorry Marines, we can’t afford you.

I’m thinking if I’m a Marine on the ground I would want vote for Max TOS and Max FP.

LOL! You caught me! It is indeed the scarlet and gold. Was just checking to see if anyone noticed! :-)

I think that you might confuse range, and loiter time for speed. When an F-22 or an F/A-18 is going fast, its not going to be going fast for very long.

Lets think about an even more radical mix.… first off, lets get away from that VSTOL fighter concept and go with the F-35C. VSTOL fighters come off the worst compared to STOL fighters in terms of mechanical complexity and “offload” capacity, and Im sure that with a moderate loadout, an F-35C could probably work just as good as a Viggen from ad hoc runways. Toss in some of those light turboprop aircraft (AT-6B or equiv) also with good tolerance for austere facilities, a gunship variant of the V-22 rigged out a lot like an AC-130, and as many AH-1Zs as possible. Feels like a “full spectrum” air support system for Marines on the ground, and THAT, I offer, is, and should continue to be, the role of Marine Aviation! :-)

The problems you bring up for a prop plane or the A-10 for the Corps are the same problems as using an F-22. First off the F-22 isn’t carrier capable. You said the F-22 is great for air superiority. Absolutely. But an amphib doesn’t have the deck space for a compliment of F-22s and CAS aircraft at the same time. If a landing force needs air superiority and strike capability at the same time, they’re going to have a full-sized carrier parked next to them. If that happens, what’s the point of Marines flying F-22s to begin with?

oh please stop that Kopp trash!!

Sea Gripens? F-22s? This is rather crazy.

It’s the Navy who needs an aircraft with capabilities rivaling the F-22 in the air-superiority role. While USMC aviation has some capability is to provide air cover, the greater part of their job is providing close air support to troops on the ground. The F-22A can currently carry 250lb SBDs and 500-1000lb JDAMs, but that’s it unless the aircraft gets some upgrades. The F-35 can simply carry a much wider array of munitions.

Currently the Marines operate the AV-8B and the “classic” F/A-18 Hornet. While both frequently operate from land bases, the AV-8B often does so from amphibs and Marine F/A-18s can operate from the Navy’s carriers. The F-22 can’t do either, which is a big drawback.

I think the current F-35B/C plan provides the best mix of capabilities for the Marine Corp. If the Navy got a no-compromise 5th gen air-superiority fighter, perhaps they could give the Marines some F/A-18F Super Hornets instead of F-35Cs.

I would love to see the Marines get something like the OV-10X, both for light attack missions and forward-observation. Yet I fear Boeing isn’t putting much serious effort into that project.

Give some more credit to Marine pilots. They’ve been doing a great job of providing CAS in their AV-8Bs and F/A-18s. Supposedly the two-seater F/A-18D is quite popular in this role.

The OV-10 can land on the boat, escort V-22s, and has a long TOS.

The Marines have done very well in OEF and OIF.

You’re right on the quals though the Army has dominated all marksmanship competitions. We tend to focus a little more training on the guys that primarily shoot for a living. Of course the Marines do a better job at emphasizing marksmanship in general.

PT test — same argument as above. Would anyone like to compare Olympic medals, professional athletes etc.?

Heard of all those battles. At Khe Sanh the Army’s 1st Cav broke though the NVA surrounding the Marines. Something the surrounded Marines couldn’t do. At Falujah the Army provided 30% of the combat power and the lion’s share of armor. I’d list famous Army battles but we are limited to only a couple thousand characters.

Its not productive or right to bash other branches. Note who started it.

Did you miss the part about the F22 being land based?

The 20mm on the F22 isn’t a CAS option, only carries 480 rounds of 20mm. An A-10 carries like 1200 30mm.

The F-22 is a land based option, so the corps is only going to have air superiority if it’s within range of an appropriate airfield.

Prop turbo planes aren’t anymore range limited than any other aircraft. When the AT-6 was put on display in Paris, that plane crossed the Atlantic using mid air refueling. Plus, tinkering with amphib design to allow turbo props to operate from their decks is far cheaper than adapting the F-22 into a naval variant.

The corps needs to focus on marine missions. You can write any set of requirements to supports whatever doctrine you like to end up needing what you want to procure. The question is where precisely is the USMC going to face a tier 1 air to air threat that the USN and USAF aren’t going to be right there with them? Answer, no where. This is exactly the kind of wasteful redundancy that needs to be eliminated from all branches budgets, not just the USMC.

This is a very good idea, buy high tech fighter in a little number and a biggest lot of turboprop to fight insurgent go straight on that Usmc.

It is always going to be a Joint fight…if the Marines use F-22’s or F-35(any variant) it all comes down to getting to the fight and staying airborne.…which means tankers…which means USAF tankers…which means Air Dominance in the AOR—–so unless we attack Haiti (again—and I was there) or some low threat spot…what is the point of all this high end fight stuff .…..combine all the air into a Joint service.…much like all the ground stuff.…wear whatever uniform you like.…but it is all DOD for DEFENSE of the USA—-the parochial perspective from all services is lame and unfundable

Nothing is as it seems. Why is it not career killing to promote the F-22 anymore? I ask you to consider this proposal as an attempt to rally those who killed the F-22 in the first place to help the F-35. Although the last F-22 is nearing the end of the production line now, it would be at least 3 years and many $billions to get another one. I think Maj. Cannon knows that a restart of the F-22 will not look good financially against buying a version of the F-35. He is counting on the coalition of anythingbutF-22 groups to materialize. It is just something to consider.

Deflect media attention away from a poorly performing F-35 program by creating an outrageous strawman argument that “alternatives were explored and they were no good”?? Sure sounds like Pentagon Machiavellian-esque tactics.

combining the Air into a joint service is effectively what is done when we organize a JTF for a unified command. all the air assets are under control of the JFC, through a JFACC. The greater problem is that DoD does not test its joint organized, trained, and equipped JTFs in realistic warfighting exercises. If we did, we could expose the flaws of over promising exotic technologies and get back to developing gear designed to work effectively in the rigors of joint warfare.

Has it ever been career killing to promote F-22? It’s more likely that it’s been a career killer to oppose the F-22…

Speaking from a crew chiefs view, which one is more maintenance friendly? Does ANYBODY think about what it costs to MAINTAIN these aircraft?????

Uh…if you actually read the link, he talks about life-cycle and maintainence per hour costs. The 22 is cheaper.

sferrin opines that the F-teens are no longer relevant — against what threat? His partisan support of all things F-35 make him less than credible in this discussion. The reality is the “F-teens” remain relevant, and will be for many more years, if not decades. Moreover, the “F-teens” will continue to be much more affordable than the F-35.

Marine Air Support is just that, CAS for the Marines on the ground. The best CAS aircraft in the world are the A-10C and the AC-130U. BUT they can only operate when the area is secured from Air-to-Air threats, Hence, add a few F-22’s to the mix to “clear the air” to let the Warthogs and Spooky’s do their job. Flying F-22’s off carriers would add cost for the modifications for CATOBAR operations. (Stronger landing gear, hooks and testing to ensure it works) Also, the A-10C and the AC-130U are not really set up for carrier operations either. (Despite tests in the 60’s of using the C-130 as a COD aircraft) The Marines really need something that can operate off their Amfib carriers (like the Harrier can) and deliver maximum punch to the enemy when called upon by the Marines on the ground. I really think the F-22 is a non-starter for the Marines. If a way could be found to operate A-10’s off an Amfib Carrier with F/A-18E or F support from a super carrier or F-22’s from the Air Force to clear the way, then the Marines would be in “hog” heaven!

I’ll just assume that you are either former USAF or not into the details of what it takes to make a conventional land fighter into a carrier-based fighter. Even though several aircraft have successfully transitioned from carrier ops to shor ops (F-4, A-7, even the A-3 as the EB-66!), I really dont know of a SINGLE operational fighter originally designed for land ops that has EVER made the transition (successfully!) to carrier operations! Not one! Its not just the landing gear and tail hook, its the “total package”. For just a small sample of the more visible issues, check out the differences between the carrier based F-35 and the land based F-35 in terms of wing area, weight, etc. Taking a “land optimized” fighter and turning into a “carrier capable” fighter would be at least as radical and costly as the redesign that went into the YF-17 in its conversion to the F/A-18!

We had a Commandant with enough gumption to cancel the USMC F-14 program simply based on expense. The F-22 and F-35 should not be considered based on cost alone. Standardization is fine for some things, but when it comes to the USMC Air-Ground team, it should be “the right tool for the job.” The F/A-18 falls outside this envelope. If STOVL is the requirement, why not an AV-8C? High tech is fine if you can afford it, but given the tight strictures of the traditional USMC operational budget, we just can’t get enough band for the (available) buck. ALL Air and Ground equipment should fit into the amphibious/expeditionary role, period. I know our pilots would love to be able to get into the furball with the USAF, but the real job is to move mud for the guys down in the mud.

Either way, it’s still a lot of money to move one camel turd. Ya don’t need a sledge hammer to swat a fly.

This day and age. the next major war we will have more Pilots than planes. we would never be able to mass produce these aircraft fast enough to keep up with the loss of aircraft in a major war. **** these aircraft are not even allowed to fly at or below shoulder fired missile range. So all this stealth what good is it if you can not replace the aircraft if destroyed in combat in the air or god forbid they get caught on the ground, like that has never happened. we need aircraft that one is easily replaced and easy to fly. The modern Air Force would be easy to wipe out in terms of plane loss in a war that where you lose a plane a day.

“Roger”, lets just hope that more of the people in positions of power, “copy”!

When it comes right down to it, in times of “austerity” the overlaps in the military services are what the axemen come looking for. Air superiority is one of those overlaps where the USAF, USN and today USMC, all end up with a piece of the pie, and who gets “whacked” when the cuts come. My expereince is that the Marines (unfortunately) end up just behind new paint for all of the ships and rounds for the saluting cannon in the USN budget line, so… you have to get ALL of the bang those few precious bucks allow. As much as I have a soft spot for the F/A-18, its really not a CAS bird, and Im not even sure that the AV-8B is the “perfect” CAS tool, but… sometimes you have to “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!”

In spite of my little good natured jab at “maroon and gold” (I was actually expecting a riposte with regard to “Golf Courses” or “bus drivers”!), I think we are in violent agreement on the best role for USMC air assets.

They should buy the internationally upgraded version of the Super Hornet. It has better bang for the buck than anything else, and it’s almost as good as the JSF. Boeing has already made spherical IR scanners, laser detectors, and a glass cockpit for it.

By the way, the internationally upgraded Super Hornets feature conformal fuel tanks and a stealthy weapons pod that it can hold two bombs and two AMRAAMs inside of. Boeing showed that with external weapons removed and a stealthy weapons pod attached it gives the Super Hornet an RCS from the front that is equal in stealth to the F-35’s. The upgrade also features a stealthy IRST scanner mounted in the front under the nose that can compete with the F-35’s EOTS. All of this comes extremely cheap and would only up the F/A-18E/F’s price to about 47–50 million each at a modest estimate. The cheapest F-35A is 122 million. The F-35B: 150 million. The F-35C: 139.5 million. We could build nearly 3 Super Hornets for every 1 F-35 that we make. I’m not even factoring in the drop in cost to the Super Hornet as its numbers increase.

Amen to the prayers for those in positions of power. Although an aviator made it to CMC, even given the cry to return to our amphibious/expeditionary roots, there are enough enamoured with high tech to keep this kind of thinking alive. Coupled with potential back door deals, it’ll have to die an ugly death. Hopefully there are enough “high mucky-mucks” that still bleed scarlet and gold. I’m well past the time where I could write a paper or two and have them read. I went from the TDRL to civvy-street in 1980, so even all the butter bars I knew are retired. Still, I live by Semper Fidelis, and pray for God, Country, and Corps. May wiser heads prevail. Thanks for the backup, Thinking_ExUSAF.

I never said the USAF didn’t ever WANT an all-high end fighter force BUT as you yourself eventually get around to admitting the REALITY was that it could not afford one.

The F-35 is only ‘low’ in comparrision to the F-22, it is however a game-changing, generational improvement over anything/everything else before. And full rate production F-35s will only be 10–20% more expensive to procure than the latest varients of the F-16 (F-35A) & F/A-18E/F (F-35C).

We could easily have afforded 500 F-22s PLUS 2000 F-35As for the USAF (plus 500 F-35Bs for the USMC & 500 F-35Cs for the USN) with 4% of GDP defense budgets. AND WE COULD DO THAT WHILE BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET!

The Super Hornet is NOT almost as good as the F-35, not even in proposed super-duper Black III form. Not to say it is not good (even in current form) but the F-35 IS that much better & the Super Hornet’s viability vs the threat will become increasingly maginal.

The Super Hornet cost is & has been more-or less stable for quite some time (at ~$55 million recurring flyaway/~$80 weapons system cost), procuring more of them isn’t going to bring the cost down any significant amount. The F-35s OTOH could reach ~1/2 the cost of LRIP 4 costs…

And no, Boeing knows & admits that even a CLEAN Super Hornet does not nor will it ever have a frontal RCS equal to the F-35 [it is 2 orders of magnitude higher].

How can you say that about the Block III? There have been no specs released at all to make that bold a statement.

He’s right about the Super Hornet’s cost and stealth features. You simply can’t turn a 4.5 gen fighter into a true stealth design by adding some RAM. All of the Super Hornets include a number of features designed to reduce RCS, but this doesn’t mean they compare to the F-22 or F-35.

I’m pretty sure there were some estimates back in the day claiming the Super Hornet would never get anywhere near the objective price too.

In the long term, outside of a new fighter program, the F-22 is the only viable alternate. Yet it’s only an option for the USAF and not the USN. Seems like they have a good point.

Not when Gates showed up. Rumsfeld wasn’t huge on it either.

Raptors for the USMC
Not a great idea. USMC uses are far too rough and ready sites. F22 requires a LONG Logistics trail that USMC is simply not ready to assume, fiancially or otherwise.
Semper fi

Boeing showed that the RCS of the Silent Eagle from the front was equal to that of an F-35. The Super Hornet has more RCS reduction features than the original Strike Eagle. It should be able to match the F-35’s RCS from the front as well, not from the sides or rear though. It might not have the all aspect stealth of the F-35, but considering the price to capability ratio the choice is a no brainer.

The main reason I don’t like the F-35 is that it will probably not be cleared to fly below 30,000 feet in a combat zone. If it gets shot down all it’s classified technology will be at risk of falling into the hands of the Russians or Chinese. I’m sure China would like to get their hands on more stealth technology than just the tail of one of our helicopters.

They “compare”! You just have to get past the fact that stealth / LO is a relative factor, not an “absolute”. Lets just assume that instead of going for “micro” RCS (F-117, B-2, F-22 and to a degree the F-35), you went for just a 3-6dB decrease across the forward sector for an otherwise conventional “4.5 gen” fighter. Would that make the modified aircraft “invisible”, no (not even the micro-RCS birds are truely invisible!), but it would cut down the maximum detection range and therefore exposure time if you happen to be inbound on the bad guy! Perhaps more importantly, 3–6 dB would significantly increase the effectiveness of any self protection or stand-off jamming. Its all “shades of gray” and tradeoffs unless you happen to be kissing up to the gods of program advocacy instead of using good tactics and reasonable engineering. You just have to work the radar range equation a bit instead of just repeating the hype.

I meant within USAF, of course

How about re-opening A-10 Engineering, and coming up with a model that can work for a carrier and still give outstanding close air support to our boots on the ground? (Rather much like the A-6 used to??)

Reality was something that had to be imposed on the USAF by the civilians in charge. The only “reality” the F-15 proponents at that time believed was that the LWF was a threat to their budget and “strategic vision” or whatever.

As for “generational improvement,” the F-35 needs to make IOC before it’s generation is over. Clock’s ticking. The rest of your post in unsubstantiated hogwash.

And get rid of the tactical wing of the Air Force? We need two tactical air forces about as much as we need two armies. Let the Marines get back to their primary mission; give them the tools for that mission, not some aircraft with no CAS capability.

What happens when the Marine Corps pilots out-fly the Airforce pilots in their own jet?

You addressed the issue better than anyone. The F-22 can’t replace the Harrier, it can’t even replace the F/A-18. It doesn’t matter if the F-22 can fly 30,000 miles nonstop. It needs to be on target when it is needed and it may not have 10 hours notice to get there. It would have to be carrier-based and/or capable of STOVL for the LHA’s (we no longer have LPH’s; same thing).

The only place I disagree with you is the Air Force that the Air Force mission is sexier. As an old Huey crewman who had his share of air support, there is nothing you can do with your clothes on that is more fun than CAS.

Great reply and right on the money.

Has anyone heard that aircraft that go aboard a carrier have to either be vertical lift and take off or launched from a catapult and trapped upon their return? Let’s see an F22 do that.

Good idea, and many more good ideas generated bythe discussion. F-22 for less than F-35 — one has to think about that.

3 Air Branches — well yes and look at the different roles they perform.

High Performance Jet (F-22), low end (Maybe an OV-10 Updated or AD-1 with a Turboprop engine) possibly?

Many other great ideas to be thought of and possibly implemented!

It is time to take action instead of “probation” of various models.

Do we really want to be last in everything?

It’s funny to see all of these posts regarding getting rid of the Marine Corps…because we can’t afford Marines. Seriously? Whether you like it or not, Marines are a ready force in general. The equipment most Marines use from boot camp to the field isn’t even new. Worn down, broken, old as Vietnam (not exaggerating) belts and canteens. The Marine Corps was alloted only 4% of the military budget…and rightfully so because they are the smallest, next to the Coast Guard.

However…it’s ONLY 4% of the budget. If the Army didn’t have to unwrap everything new or close to it, we could afford a second Marine Corps or another Coast Guard. $225.2 billion was allocated for the Army. You want to save money? Go to any Army basic training or military occupational school…you WILL find overspending from even the smallest things, take their soft pillows and cush jobs away. How about making the Army use crappy equipment for practice once in a while. How about the Army using their money intelligently at the lowest of levels before you say you don’t need a Marine Corps. I have an idea. Let’s make the Army do boot camp over…the right way this time. How about ALL the services attend one basic training…OH WAIT, they all serve different purposes. The Army doesn’t go to Marine Corps boot camp because they ARE NOT the same. While we’re at it, let’s take all of the Army aircraft away…because the Air Force already has planes. — Sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous. The Army employs over one million people full-time and reserve. Imagine if they’d spend properly.

Itfunk. Straight out, Out your back side dip stick son of girl dog. You limp head cheese holder of nothing to say. History of the Corps has been written but not finished. I ain’t raggin on none of my fellow service members. But you. Just remember Sight alignment sight picture. All ready on the right, all ready on the left, All ready on the firing line. Duck Funky!

YES !! Old Skool but most effective air plane, OMHO.

yes, the air frames WERE sufficiently robust to hang on a tail hook, again, only IMHO. and why not turbo prop for the A-1 instead of 400 octane air gas. ?? whatever

perhaps I’m wrong, but IMHO, the Marines should concentrate on air-ground support. in theory, the Navy would have a carrier with the Marine Amphibious Assault Force. a Comm. ship, ammo ship, tankers for non-nuclear ships re-fueling, etcetera. the Navy has DEFINED carrier based air to air, as well, along with the bombing of strategic targets. or I have read my history wrong. factor in several cruise missile destroyers/cruisers and there is the attack package. if the Marine Corps ever abandons it’s amphibious mission, then is no cause to have a Marine Corps. 200+ years of tradition and all. + USMC wrote (AND UPDATES) the book on water deployed attack forces. maybe no Tarawa any more but other smaller yet critical shore line targets. which must be invested BY the Corps. not hating, NOR pretending, just saying (and way above any pay level I had when I was in). jz

Ltfunk if you’re a commissioned officer and those are the most cogent thoughts you can put together for the “clown corps” (really ?), not to mention your fourth grade spelling, I’d suggest you get a refund from whatever magazine you got that degree from, tender your resignation from whatever candy ass branch you serve in AND go back to writing for “The Vagina Monologues.”

Ltfunk if you’re a commissioned officer and those are the most cogent thoughts you can put together for the “clown corps” (really ?), not to mention your fourth grade spelling, I’d suggest you get a refund from whatever magazine you got that degree from, tender your resignation from whatever candy ass branch you serve in AND go back to writing for “The Vagina Monologues.”

continued. It would be incumbent on Naval Air to secure the air space of the AO of the coastal area to be invested by the Marine AMphibious Force. the Navy has been doing this for quite some time now, and it does it VERY well.

An Old Marine: I served with a Marine Air Wing for two years and was always amazed at the people that ran it. Someone has stirred up the poop again and the name calling ls loud and clear. I ftrmly believe we have qualified people running Marine air and they know what they need and what to do about it. If they dont get what they ask for, they will take whats issued and get maximum performance from it. But when some people start saying to get rid of everything “Marine” it really gets this old man angry. I would also like to make a short comment about the video about the 3/7-It caused me to remember all those Marines that did not make it back and how fortunate I was to have served my country in this great organization.

In the early 50’s, Douglas redesigned the A-1 Skyraider into the turboprop powered XA2D Skyshark. But it was a time when the Navy was losing interest with props, and Navy lost total interest with slow development of the turboprop engine, and the plane never made it to full production.

It would not be much of a reach to revisit the Skyshark design, update it and modify it to share the same turboprop and propellor with the C-130J Super Hercules and C-27J Spartan.

A modernized turboprop A-2x Skyshark would be much more capable than an AT-6B/C Texan II, but less capable than a navalized CATOBAR compatible A-10x. But of any of these, including the F-35B and the F/A18-E/F, I think a navalized CATOBAR compatible A-10x would be the most useful for CAS in those combat situations where CAS is most needed.

Horses for courses…

Yeah yeah, try adding the R&D and procurement costs of ships and aircraft, and ship O&S costs to that 4% and see what you get. Compare the cost of a new CH-47F at $36 million or UH-60M at $18 million to an MV-22 at over $100 mil. The Marines don’t finance sufficient logistics units or any MEDEVAC helicopters so guess who ends up with the mission? Try being more purple.

BTW, the cost of a LRIP-4 F-35B was cited as $109.4 million by Aviation Week. They also provided the info in my first paragraph’s first sentence. Compare that to a RAND predicted price per line restart F-22A at $233 million. Then check out the news today of both a landing and take-off of a F-35B on a Wasp amphib…something an F-22A could do, uh once, with a lot more heat damage than the Lightning created.;)

I believe this get down to what does a MEU needs more then want the USMC needs has a whole. As Marines are big thing thown the years has been fighting the small wars. The last 10 years we have been a 2nd land army so we have moved away form want we should be doing. How a MEU only has 1 flat top and only 4 jump jets on it or at lest on the one i was on did. So you need a short take of and landing, air to air fighting, and CAS platform. So that rules out the F-22 and F-35A and C, The Navy and Air force have both and own the air fields and ships they would be on anyway. So if Marine F-22’s and F-35’s are coming they could just as easy be air force or navy, thus where not improving are selfs. So the plane that we need is the F-35B it well cost more but if where not getting what we need then use the money on something else we do need. And the USMC needs a lot of new things.

The thing that would make the Sky Raider so appealing IS its radial engine. Despite what some see as higher maintenance requirements, those things kept running even after multiple hits. The P-51, wonderful though it was, had the vulnerability of being water cooled and thus seizing up if the radiators or lines were hit. The Sky Raider, like the P-47 before, was indeed a flying tank. And it could operate from unimproved strips if need be.

flying tank ugh not quite, check how many pilots were lost because those slightly temperamental radials froze up or caught fire while landing(lots) the radial was and is a maintenance nightmare gas/jet turbines were a revolution compare lifespan of Marine seahorse and ‘huey’ for real incite. OV-10 was and is the answer, the bronco should never have been dumped could have provided overwatch for V-22 all day and all night.

Can I just add a few things? First, why are we looking to spend a frazillion dollars for aircraft that are based on old Soviet technology? Improved perhaps but I still see vulnerabilities. http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​8​1​a​j​l​d​A​5​xwA

Another point is that if we can’t/won’t look at an improved Harrier, then by all means let’s see what can be done about firing up the A-10 lines again. For CAS it is a fantastic plane and CAS is the primary focus of the Air Wing. How much stealth is needed for a mission that is carried out on the deck where you can damn near see the whites of their eyes? I could go on at great length and not to sound like a Luddite, but I fear we are putting too much faith in the technology suites and not enough into the toughness of the aircraft and skills of the pilot and crew.

And @ Marine Air — Damn straight! The Air Force, while necessary and quite capable, haven’t got anything on Marine Huey’s and Super Cobras! OO-RAH, Brother!

And just as the reality was that even with defense budgets 6+% of GPD the USAF could not afford a all high end (F-15) fighter force, with defense budgets 3.0–3.5% of GDP the USAF can not afford a all high end (F-22) fighter force. The USAF recognizes that reality. Why can’t you?

No it is a VERY BAD IDEA. You clearly have no clue what the USMC does or how it does it.

The F-35 pogram isn’t performing poorly. In fact it has been performing so well over the past year that naysayers have resorted to recycling old news.

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne & Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley…

No they were NOT fired because the nuclear mishaps, that was just a convenient exuse.

No it isn’t. Never has been & never will be. In fact technology FROM the F-35 is hoped to be applied TO the F-22 in order to reduce its costs.

Because the Block III would STILL be a F/A-18. One with more/newer goodies that would make it MORE expensive than the current Block II…

Boeing did no such thing. Boeing HAS corrected the inaccurate statement of one representative.

The frontal RCS of the F/A-18E/F is on the order of 0.1 sq m (the F-15SE likely similar).
The fronat RCS of the F-35 is on the order of 0.001 sq m (-30 dBm).

–10 dBm (aka a RCS reduce to 1/10th) results in a reduced detection range of ~1/2.

There is only so much RCS reduction that can be done to an existing airframe (or airframe design).

Bring back the OV-10 and an updated heavy weapons platform like the A-10.
Use the A-10 as both a close support Aircraft and a large stand off aerial Air to ship missle system.
How many Harriers were involved in and air to air dog fight? That was the problem with the Harrier they decided to turn it into a Dog fight aircraft where it would survive less than 10 secs.
F-18 is the best bang for the buck right now. The Harrier never proved itself in a true war scenario. Sure it was cool to refuel it from a highway in Desert Strom and Iraqi freedom and be on station in less than 5 mins but in a true all out war that forward refuleing farm would have lasted less than 5 mins.
Think smart sometimes simple is better and although stealth technology is the cool thing to have and it may increase your chances of survivability nothing beats simple aircraft with a shphisticated guidance system, hell all you have to do is drob a bomb and the Satellite guides it for you.

You neither understand my position, nor the reality we are facing. Our economy is a train wreck. If we continue as we have, there will not be any more F-22s and the F-35 program is going to end up as a shadow of what was planned. America has to have a strong economy based on producing goods, with a robust well-educated middle class, if we want to have a strong military. These are just fundamentals.

I don’t see any purpose to having a $700 billion military guarding a hollowed-out shell of a country, and that wouldn’t last long in any case. We’ve made some very poor choices in our leaders the last 50 years. This problem is not going to be solved by pretending it doesn’t exist.

The Marines should have WHATEVER THEY WANT! PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!

For me, USMC ‚Vietnam 66–67, The Marines are Superior to all branch’s, lets not drag them down, AND they should have WHATEVER they need!


The Marine Corps should wait for the F-35 Lighting II JSF VSTOL and Carrier models. Too bad we are no longer making Harrier IIs and Warthogs. I would recommend the A-10 over the F-22 any day. The Corps needs a flying tank that can work with the Cobras and loiter for a while. The current F-22 model(s) does not fit well into the Marine Corps’ mission.

Semper FI!

The F-35 is performing well per YOUR criteria. Considering the program is operating without a valid baseline, hasn’t even held the meeting to develop the new baseline, and has blown its original cost & schedule promises, I call that POOR. Old news? Let me know when the program is rebaselined, then we can discuss the new news.

no you miss the point again. USAF leadership’s (including Wynne & Mosely) #1 priority for two decades was F-22, now it is F-35. Making a critical observation about F-22 was heresy for anyone in the US from 1990–2007.

Sure..another multi-billion dollar investment in the tac air gobbler VS recapitalizing the rest of the fleet.

pfcem — Its a bit of knowledge and some concepts that might not gain you any favor in the F-35 PEO’s world, but let me refer you to:

and slide down to Figure 6.

Its a pretty good discussion throughout, but Figure 6 is the important part for our discussion here. :-)

You can work the math as well as I, but let me add in one other function. add in a closing velocity of 7 miles a minute or perhaps a bit quicker. As that “detection range” decreases the amount of time allowed for the defenses to “do something” starts getting very compressed.

Now, take into account that the detection range (with infinitly large RCS) is limited by the radar horizon. If my F/A-18 or better, F-15E, has a 100SqM corner reflector on the centerline but is approaching at about 480 knots and 300 ft, the OODA loop for the bad guy ground defenses gets very tight! :-)


Since Im just a lazy old engineer, and the dust has jammed my slide rule, and I’m too cheap to pay an authoritative SME contractor to give me the politically correct answer that I so desperately desire .…(no matter what the raw physics say!) .…. ROTFL!

Here is an online RCS vs Detection range calculator (you supply your own parameters for the detecting radar system, as long as we are dealing in gross relative terms the radar parameters only feed the equation! ): http://​www​.calculatoredge​.com/​c​a​l​c​/​r​a​d​a​r​.​htm

The F22 sounds like a lot of fun for someone, someone other than the marines stuck in the mud. I agree we stay with the Corps basic mission and adapt the a/c around the mission, not change the marine mission to adapt to a new plane.

The F35B is suppose to be better than the harrier, not so, the Harrier has proven itself over its time in service. The F22 as with the F35B is too excpensive and it too has had its cost increased due to overruns. Why doesn’t the Marines opt for a Harrier av8c, or perhaps an A10 Warthog, which has proven itself over and over again.

Perhaps it is better if we hold the contractors to the bid price as does any corporation and fine them when they fail to deliver on time?

Buy Sukoi’s and Migs. Russians would be cheaper to buy from and then put our black boxes in. We can reverse engineer the parts, like the Chinese and Russians have been doing with our aircraft over the last 60 years.

I don’t why we are all worried about harriers with these expensive aircrafts, I have been on numerous combat deployment since 2001 i have yet to see a Harrier do what it is made for ( short take off and landing in austere conditions) that single engine would FOD out so quickly from sucking up everything around instant flaming hole in hte ground. No body talks about the time on station for these fancy jets that usually average about 45 — 60 min. before they need fuel they suck at CAS.

Now this is a very good idea!

the A10 IMHO is flat out the best air to ground aircraft we have, and why the Marine Corps has not adopted it is beyond me. Since the phasing out of the A4 Skyhawk, the only aircraft the Marine Corps has for close air support and time on target is the Harrier.

and the A10 flat out does everything better then the Harrier. I say this because I had the honor to work on the A4 Skyhawk, in Vietnam, and later as an I & I instructor at NAS S.Weymouth, MA

Any plan that takes away carrier capability is dead on arrival. The Navy hasn’t made deck load requirements without the Marines in a quarter century and are less likely to now. Any low and slow CAS AC is also dead on arrival as Marines on the ground don’t need to die while waiting on long reaction times. Increased loiter time is great in a non-hostel environment; low and slow is a death sentence in the increased surface to air shoulder fired and light missile envelope.

Maybe the Major should think about his chances of survival low and slow over tough terrain above camouflaged infrared capability, or the plight of the ground combat folks in a — I need it and I need it now situation.

Ooh Rah.…

Tee — You like the Gripen don’t ya.

Jack — You may hear so many negative things about Dr Carlo Kopp observations. He’s a source of truth to know whats the best equipment to have. They are just trying their best to do there job.

Quite the opposite.

Kopp & company are a source of half truths, misrepresentations & outright lies. What they are trying to do is to convince as many ignorant fools as they can that the the only way to save Austraila from certain defeat is F-22 & F-111S. The most important fact being that the rebuild & upgrade that is the F-111S was to have been done by an Austrailan company which Kopp & company have financial interests in…

Major Cannon, GOOD ON YOU DEVIL DOG. Love the fact that you stepped out of the lane and presented a contrary point of view. One always needs a Plan B and even a Plan C. You did mark yourself for the rest of your career, but if this is what you truly believe in, then bravo for having the intestinal fortitude to go forth. I disagree on the F-22. It has no place in USMC TACAIR. Since the late 90’s, I have stated to higher USMC officials that the F35B has no place with our TACAIR as well. I was basically told to “Shut up”. It was not what “they” wanted to hear. For some reason, I have yet to see why to this day, USMC Officials love a jet that can hover. Besides air shows, I do not see the value. Somebody sold our soul for the F-35B and it’s been downhill ever since. CONTINUED.…

For where we are at, and we are designed to do, The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet could readily meet our needs. It’s not the fastest, most capable jet out there, but the continuing upgrades in systems, along with its inherent capabilities makes it one versatile platform. I did a tour flying Test & Evaluation on the E/F, did Gulf War I & II, etc. and can vouch for what I’m saying. If not the E/F, then the F-35C. The point to remember is that for us, the USMC, it’s always going to be about money. We want the EFV? Take the E/F and roll into the EFV. At some point, our well is going to dry up and the old question of “Why does the USMC even have TACAIR?” will resurface. Mark my words. S/F.

Technology is a tool that provides us capabilities we need to accomplish missions. The problem is how should we go about sustaining and improving upon capabilities to better accomplish missions given inherent uncertainty in future threats, missions, and required capabilities. And as USMC.. astutely notes, all this technology costs. In the case of Super Hornet and F-35, we have Super Hornet, which is proven operationally suitable and capable, and can be improved with much greater certainty than F-35. F-35 is a big unknown in terms of capabilities and cost, and its cost is already at luxury item premium, and we have no idea when IOC or FOC will be achieved. And it’s only cost us $70B to get to this point. America is so stupid if we are either destroyed or implode we have ourselves to blame. There are many that want USMC eliminated, I personally like the brand of America’s fighting force at affordable cost. This brand has been destroyed by the V-22, EFV, and F-35 experience. Please USMC — focus on buying non-developmental item proven weapon systems. Technology is only a tool, and if it is not operationally suitable, don’t risk your Corps on untested ideas.

Why do they not consider the F-15K. It has twin engines, tailhook, and everything new in the aero world. The tail hook allows the F 15K to land on Korean highways with landing cables, so it should work on a carrier. Be a heck of a lot cheaper to buy and maintain. But, again, why play with the A-1 Skyraider? Why not go back to the F-51D? Or, P-51D? ?Even in WW II configuration it was capable of hovering over the battlefield for 15 hours and dive at 454 mph.

EE, very well put. You have my vote for the next CMC.

It is good to see Marines throwing shit against the wall to see if it will stick.
I hope the F-35 works out, because it should make a good strategic gap filler, giving the brown water forces more bite and freeing up the blue water sailors to take up other forces if need be.

I think the Marines would do well to snag a squadron or two of the A-10 Warthogs. There is a plane designed for the Marine Corps if there ever was one.

pfcem — Oh yes the F-35 program certainly has been performing very poorly. In fact it has been performing disgraceful over the past year that NAYSAYERS LIKE YOU KEEP ON SAYING THE JSF PERFORMS WELL . Everything what you, William C, and your colleagues from Lockheed Martin say it performs well in its testing stage have resorted to recycling old news its been repeated again by you people.

pfcem — RAAF F-35 jets “clubbed like baby seals” by Russians/Chinese fighters were comprehensively beaten in highly classified simulated dogfights against Russian-built Sukhoi Flanker fighter aircraft, it has been reported. The war games, conducted at Hawaii’s Hickam airbase last month, were witnessed by at least four RAAF personnel and a member of Australia’s peak military spy agency, the Defence Intelligence Organisation. “This is real life simulation.”

pfcem — Detailed modelling, analysis and participation in highly fidelity simulator exercise which have shown and demonstrated by my colleagues that the JSF has been defeated all realistic current and future threats that Australia is likely to face by the Sukhoi family aircraft and J-20 Mighty Dragon. Part of the presentation showed a computer simulation which calculated that the F-35 would be consistently defeated by the Russian-made Su-35 fighter aircraft. The defeat calculated by the scenario also showed the loss of the F-35’s supporting airborne-early warning and air-to-air refuelling aircraft.

The F-35 lacks the aerodynamic performance to be employed effectively as an air defence interceptor, while its stealth performance in provably insufficient for defensive/offensive counter-air and ASuW strike operations against contemporary regional capabilities. In the most fundamental sense the argument is moot, as the F-35 is incapable of making any useful contribution to the defence of Australia’s sea-air gap.

pfcem — The F/A-18F Super Hornet has similar performance and capability deficiencies to the F-35, and is equally incapable of credibly performing against modern regional threats. The sting in its tail is certainly not their, perhaps the new name called Super Dog certainly not a Super Hornet. There is no way the Super Dog can be expected to hold it’s own with the modern Russian sourced fighters coming into service now in our region.

pfcem — As I mentioned before what I said the JSF looks like a “Flying Baby Seal” because the airframe is too fat and ugly that can’t out-manoeuvre, can’t climb and can’t run. Thats the reason why its not a true air-to-air fighter as I said again its a Flying Baby Seal given to the F-35s new nickname.

pfcem — Now you understand why its been called that way is because its a dud, a turkey and a wrong aircraft for any air forces needs.

Yeah, I think the Corps should get the F-22.Since I am a Marine, not former, or X, I think it’s about time we were given some up to date equipment to work with. While I was active, we always got the hand-me– downs. It’s time the Corps caught up with the other military branches.

pfcem — I strongly disagree with your statement and its quite the opposite. Kopp & the company are a source of truths, and not misrepresenting any lies. What they are trying to do for Australia is to have the best equipment for the RAAF to cement Australia’s regional air power lead as much as possible. As they can that the only way to save Austraila from certain defeat is the F-22 & F-111S. The most important fact being that the rebuild & upgrade that is the F-111S was to have been done by an Austrailan company which Kopp & company have financial interests in… Well I reckon its the better that way to have the F-22 and F-111S for RAAFs needs. You and I both know the F-111 is a very hard aeroplane to replace because of its crown jewel strike capabilities etc etc, the JSF or any small fighters can’t do what the F-111 can do ( e.g. long range, larger weapons payload, speed etc etc).

I reckon YOU and YOUR TEAM have a half of truths, misrepresentations & outright lies about the suitability of the JSF etc etc. Why should I or anyone accept your opinion pal?

pfcem — This is why Brad’s asking about Why America need more F-22A Raptors?

pfcem — This is why You don’t understand about my or anyone elses observations that we’re trying to explain to YOU and William C and other JSF advocates. All you do is keep on mentioning that the (JSF) turkey is the best aircraft for any air forces needs to cement the air power lead, claiming that the JSF is on track, on– time and on-budget (In fact which it isn’t on track, its way too expensive to buy and maintain, its 8 years behind schedule with delays and cost overruns is shooting higher and higher), claiming it has the great capabilities which it doesn’t have at all compared to other high capability aircraft etc etc.

You can assume whatever you wish about Kopp and his other contributers, but such assumptions have a noted and well documented effect on both you and me (should I decide to follow your advice!).

If they are truely “outsiders” lets at least give them credit for trying to apply logic, reason and at least some intellitence to analyzing the situations rather than just trying to “out yell” all of the other bloggers. Caveat emptor? Of course, but rather than just bluster they do tend to put some logic behind their claims and I might add, it would seem to be pretty reasonable logic from the articles that I have read.

Going back to the credibility of the posts. .. . I would just suggest that you look at http://​www​.ausairpower​.net/​s​u​p​p​o​r​t​.​h​tml for a list of the contributors. At least a few of those seem to have a bit of professional as well as personal credibility. :-) A lot of folk, whether they agree or disagree with Kopp’s conclusions would do well to read the articles on the site.

For my $0.02 worth, I think I will just hold my assumptions to myself! :-)

I still think they should reconsider and restart the production of the A-10 and make a dedicated “navalized” version of “The Hog”.…..it’s way cheaper and doesn’t need stealth to get the job done!!!

Perhaps the article eludes to the problem with Navy acquisitions: no sense of reality.

How does this USMC officer propose to restart the F-22 production line that is already being mothballed?

Get real! Where would the restart money come from bucko?

Perhaps a centralized acquisitions entity void of service-specific political pressures is in order in today’s DoD.

Really need to bring back the the A4M

Lets just bring back an upgraded version of the old A-4 Skyhawk. Now that was one hell of an aircraft. I served with VMA-223 out of CHU-LAI in MAG 12 in ’68-’69. Wish I could get a nickel for every bomb That I loaded and every 20MM shell I slid down the ammo chute !!! Now that was one hell of an attack aircraft. Our pilots were some of the best that the Corps had to offer and they got the job done !!!

they killed the OV-10 Bronco after the first gulf war for no good reason; now they are playing pattycake with the high-end birds. The AF is losing the C27’s also-all 21 to be delivered and boneyarded including the 6 or so deployed to units right now. No matter what anyone says, at the end of the day it is just another circle-jerk.

nice! a hugely expensive high speed high alt interceptor high maintenance (currently for every hour of flight time it needs 40 hours of down time in a fully equipped hangar) 350 million dollar air superiority fighter that one rifle bullet can take out to be used to fly slowly and at low altitude over battlefields
sounds great genius much better than Apaches ‚cobras, harriers or A –10s

The USMC would benefit from having a high altitude air interdiction capability one which is not addressed by the F35B. However to suggest that the removal of the F35B is the way to go is off…given the force multiplier impact that it can provide at the local level given the capability of smaller light carriers to now host the F35B. Better that the F35A is reduced. This is where spend is misallocated. By all means alter the spend to the USMC to include both F22’s and F35B’s in the ration 1:2 and go after the F35A programme such that the weighting is 1:3. The result would be assumming that the intent was to have say 1600 F35A’s then the 1:3 ratio would give a reduced production of 1200 F35A’s and an additional 400 F22 Raptors. Giving a much more capable Air interdiction capability. The USMC could certainly benefit from altering its mix by having just the F35B it makes its air supremacy campaign less forceful and exposes its missions to greater risk as well as its F35B compliment to greater loss. The F22 does have a place in balancing this and catering for a more effective mission delivery when asked.


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