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Some USAF Pilots Refuse To Fly F-22 Raptor 569

Posted by samzenpus
from the conscientious-objector dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that some of the nation's top aviators are refusing to fly the radar-evading F-22 Raptor, a fighter jet with ongoing problems with the oxygen systems that have plagued the fleet for four years. 'We are generally aware of a small number of pilots who have expressed reservations about flying the F-22, and each of those cases will be handled individually through established processes,' says Maj. Brandon Lingle, an Air Force spokesman. Concern about the safety of the F-22 has grown in recent months as reports about problems with its oxygen systems have offered no clear explanations why there have been 11 incidents in which F-22 pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms. 'Obviously it's a very sensitive thing because we are trying to ensure that the community fully understands all that we're doing to try to get to a solution,' says Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command. Meanwhile Sen. John McCain says that the jets, which the Air Force call the future of American air dominance, are a waste of their $79 billion price tag and serve no role in today's combat environment. 'There is no purpose, no mission in Afghanistan or Iraq, unless you believe that al Qaeda is going to have a fleet of aircraft,' says McCain, a former combat pilot himself. '[The F-22] has not flown a single combat mission... I don't think the F-22 will ever be seen in the combat it was designed to counter, because that threat is no longer in existence.'"
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Some USAF Pilots Refuse To Fly F-22 Raptor

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  • Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:45PM (#39910491)
    Although many believe that when you sign up for the military, you're agreeing to die for your country, I would like to remind them that this is not exactly Plan A; The goal is to make the other bastard die for theirs. And a defective plane that causes a pilot to pass out while engaged in combat rather defeats that purpose. These pilots are quite right to refuse to fly it -- it's not flight-worthy if it can't even hold up under non-combat conditions.
    • Not only that... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:55PM (#39910565)

      ...but for those who say the threat "isn't there", I guess this [ausairpower.net] is just a figment of the imagination then? And they certainly didn't have any "help" [dailymail.co.uk]...

      Oh, I know, China isn't a "threat". The fact that it's on track to exceed US military spending by 2025 [economist.com] must be for "peaceful regional defense". This [nytimes.com] isn't [economist.com] really [economist.com] happening [nytimes.com].

      What about the F-35? Oh, yeah — that, too. [aviationweek.com]

      • Re:Not only that... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:18PM (#39910683)
        The projections are wild guesses based on a few years data and sustained exponential growth. The US outspends China almost 10:1, and has for the past 10 years, that doesn't look to be changing, but China will still be spending more in 13 years than the US, who is spending 10 times as much today.

        China will never have enough to invade the US, so it isn't a worry. At best, they could attack/invade isolated islands, but China wouldn't be able to invade the US. It would take 10 years of obvious build-up to where they could. The LA police is better armed and trained than any force China could project in California, and would likely be able to repel an invasion of Long Beach without US military involvement.

        China has lots of people in their military, and unless Russia completes the tunnel under the Bearing Straight, China couldn't get them to US soil without us killing them faster than they could land them (and if the tunnel was built, I expect it would be shut down fast, in case of war).

        There exists no scenario where China threatens the US mainland. The US could abolish the standing army, let China build up for 5-10 years, and China would still be unable to invade the mainland. China is as much a threat to the US as someone who gets a picnic overrun with ants, then asserts they must spend $10,000,000 to ant-proof their $100,000 house because ants could invade at any time, and insecticides would be too little too late.
        • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:57PM (#39911301)

          And if they start landing, they better pay attention to what a few Japanese generals stated about a rifle being behind every blade of grass
          Multiple conflicts throughout history have shown what local gurrila fighter can do against a "proper military" - now imagine what one of the best armed civilian populations could do... The 2nd Amendment isn't about deer, duck, or dove hunting - it is about fighting back against enemies both foriegn and domestic.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by AK Marc (707885)
            Isn't the statistic that there are more guns than people in the US (though unevenly distributed)? I know it was 10 years ago, but I haven't kept up on that specific statistic. The militia response to a foreign invasion would be immense. The US civilians are more well armed than all but a few militaries. We could remain uninvadable without a standing army, with just a greater focus on the national guard being a little more prepared and equipped.

            I know I'd never get elected, but if I were elected this No
            • Not sure precisely (Score:4, Informative)

              by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday May 07, 2012 @12:55AM (#39912741)

              There isn't a precise count, because records aren't kept centrally. Though there is a federal background check done on new weapons sold to civilians in the US there are two things:

              1) It is quite new, most firearms were sold prior to it.

              2) No record is kept by the government. The sale is approved or denied and that is it.

              Records are kept by individual gun shops (as required by law) but not centrally.

              However it is a lot. Best estimates are around 270 million or so. Not more than the population but close.

              You are correct about uneven distribution in that many people who choose to own a gun, choose to own multiple ones as different types are good for different purposes, and like most hobbies they simply enjoy it. About a third of homes have firearms as best as surveys can tell.

              It would make for an exceedingly armed militia. While there aren't a lot (relatively speaking) of fully automatic weapons in civilian hands (100,000 or so) there are plenty of weapons with military value, hunting rifles, AR-15s, AK-47s, etc. The US does not restrict such things from civilians, and many civilians own them. Likewise there is little restriction on ammunition. Some types (like steel) cannot be bought but legal ammunition is unrestricted to the point of being sold over the Internet and shipped directly to homes.

              A foreign power conquering such a populace, if they chose to fight, would be near impossible. The whole "getting shot from every window" would be a fairly literal reality. Blowing shit up is easy from afar, but occupation requires soldiers in cities and that is where the problem would be.

            • Re:Not only that... (Score:5, Informative)

              by Americano (920576) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:37AM (#39915293)

              We could remain uninvadable without a standing army, with just a greater focus on the national guard being a little more prepared and equipped.

              Yeah... no.

              All your 9mm Glocks and hunting rifles and even AK-47's and AR-15's aren't going to do much good against an armored column. The point of a guerilla response is to make the enemy bleed enough that it (eventually) saps the popular and political will supporting the invasion and occupation, forcing an eventual withdrawal. But that can be an awfully long time: How long was Russia in Afghanistan? the US in Iraq, Afghanistan? The French in Vietnam? The British... everywhere? An "armed resistance" sounds great. But it does not compare in the slightest to a modern, well-equipped, well-trained military. If you think a hundred thousand Angelenos and New Yorkers are going to meet the invaders on the beaches in a pitched battle rivaling Normandy... I want some of what you're smoking. Without a standing military, we'd be eminently invadable.

              The only thing we'd have is the firepower to offer some resistance after the occupation. But even still, 300 million amateurs with handguns are still fucking amateurs. The vast majority will know nothing of small unit tactics, communications, survival, evasion, etc. required to effectively fight against an occupying force. And there's a pretty steep learning curve when the smallest mistake means you catch a .50 caliber round in the face. There's a VERY small number of people who own guns and who would be capable of mounting effective resistance. The rest would be ground meat in about 2 days against any reasonably well-trained military. "Red Dawn" was a fanciful notion, but it's just that: fanciful.

          • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @10:58PM (#39912229)
            ...not attacking us; there's no point. They want to challenge our force projection and protection of other countries, especially those they want land and resources from. They could care fuck-all about North America. They want oil, rare earth metals, and territory buffer/control near them. We've been a thorn in their side, protecting Japan and a whole lot of the rest of Asia from them.
            • by indytx (825419)

              ...not attacking us; there's no point. They want to challenge our force projection and protection of other countries, especially those they want land and resources from. They could care fuck-all about North America. They want oil, rare earth metals, and territory buffer/control near them. We've been a thorn in their side, protecting Japan and a whole lot of the rest of Asia from them.

              I'm out of mod points, but this is right on. Whether China has a blue water navy is irrelevant. The point is to make our navy hesitant to get involved in regional conflicts against Chinese interests. It doesn't take many ship killing cruise missiles to keep carrier battle groups away from danger and hence out of action.

          • Multiple conflicts throughout history have shown what local gurrila fighter can do against a "proper military"

            Yeah, it's shown that sometimes the guerrillas win (but not reliably), and that sometimes the guerrilla's force a draw - and a considerable percentage of the time they're used to wipe the floor by the "proper" military. (That is if you actually study history, rather than go by urban legends.) Generally, where the guerrillas end up on top, there's problems of some kind within the "proper" military,

        • The US outspends China almost 10:1, and has for the past 10 years, that doesn't look to be changing, but China will still be spending more in 13 years than the US, who is spending 10 times as much today.

          Did you even TRY to verify your facts before you posted that? Or are you seriously believing the official China figures of $25BN? You're off by an enormous amount:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China#Comparison_with_other_countries

          "Jane's Defence Forecast

      • Re:Not only that... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:27PM (#39911105) Journal

        But as we saw everywhere from WWII to Gulf War it ain't the bird, its the man. There is a good reason that the only time the USA pilots score went down was during the political bullshit of Vietnam (give them missiles that work best at long range and then refuse to let them engage until visually IDed, yeah what could go wrong?) and that is because our pilots are insanely well trained and the other guys? Not so much. The only ones so far that could go head to head with us was the Russians who likewise gave an insane amount of training to their pilots.

        The problem we are making is funnily enough the exact same one the Germans made in WWII, that is quality over quantity. As McCain said we have NEVER allowed the F22 in combat, why? Too damned expensive to risk it. doesn't make for a good selling point, it's like Nigel's guitar "Don't look at it! Well don't point either!" while the Russians are cranking out MiGs for less than $60 mil flyaway and the SU27 was even cheaper last i checked, something like 35 mil.

        IMHO the MUCH better choice if you want stealth is the F15 Stealth Eagle which is a battle tested platform and you can buy 3 for the cost of 1 F22 or F35. We should cancel the lame duck F35 and buy improved F-18s, F16s, and F15s in both regular and stealth packages and concentrate on giving our boys plenty of time in the sims and in the air instead of trillion dollar turkeys. Remember what Stalin said "quantity is a quality all its own" and considering they built 60,000+ T34s to Germany building less than 2000 Tiger Is I'd say the man had a point. If you want even more stealth than the Eagle build a fricking drone, with the new engines that would be a better goal anyway since they can pull more Gs than a pilot can survive.

        BTW that reminds me...WTF are we doing still making planes you sit down in? We have known since WWII that if you put the pilot flat on their belly they can take 3 to 5 times the G forces as someone in a sitting position, so why are we building superplanes where you sit down? all that means is we'll have to put limits on their performance much lower than the plane can actually take to keep from killing the pilot, so why do it?

    • Re:Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:03PM (#39910609)

      Precisely.

      I'll note that members of the military are sworn to follow only lawful orders, and are likewise duty-bound to disobey unlawful orders.

      One could definitely argue that while "fly this plane into extremely dangerous enemy territory and blow them up, we'll give you all the support we can but there's still pretty good odds you won't make it back" is a lawful order, "fly this plane on a routine practice mission over our own, undisputed territory, that's likely to kill you for no reason" is not. At the very least, you could argue that your death and the subsequent loss of the aircraft would amount to sabotage of America's defenses.

    • Re:Hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @08:09PM (#39911371) Homepage Journal

      Although many believe that when you sign up for the military, you're agreeing to die for your country, I would like to remind them that this is not exactly Plan A;

      As long as SuperPAC donor corporations are making money building the F-22 and the F-35, it doesn't matter one bit what is "safer" or "more effective" or a "better weapon". It doesn't matter how many pilots get splashed and it doesn't matter that the generals don't want those aircraft.

      What matters is some transnational corporation's stock price and political donations depend on those boondoggles. They're going to fly the F-22 and like it, because nobody cares what those pilots want. And not one dollar can be cut from military spending, no matter what agreements were made, no matter what votes were taken, no matter how wasteful.

      And one presidential candidate wants an additional $100 billion for defense spending, while cutting $600 billion from "wasteful" things like Pell Grants, Head Start schools, infrastructure and food stamps.

      Now who are the real "welfare queens"?

  • There is a point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henriok (6762) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:47PM (#39910511)
    There is a point for the F22, and that is to suppress all other power's desire to make stuff that will encounter it. That's why the US have nuclear weapons, not to use them but to deter others from using such weapons agains them. So.. it very well might be well spent money.. but we never know, since we won't see the stuff that the F22 is designed to encounter..and that's the point.
    • Yup, that's the only thing stopping al Qaeda from developing an air fleet--they know it would be out-gunned by our F22's.

      • by giampy (592646)

        Agreed. Besides we basically have the F35 ready by now. So tossing the F22 would really be the most sensible thing to do, and i would argue that the only reason why we haven't done it already it's because people get attached to their pork.

        Funny how the same people that want to starve the government start to cry bloody murder when government supported defense jobs are at stake.

    • Re:There is a point (Score:5, Informative)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:53PM (#39910549) Homepage

      Ok, if you want to make that argument, you take an F16, skin it to look like an F22, make hundreds of them and fly'em around and look scary.

      Would work for about a month until the paint fell off. I'm all for shock and awe, but spending 80+ billion on a bluff is just batshit stupid.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        The difference is that the F-22 is not a bluff. It's real. It's more like wanting all your opponents to fold. A bluff is to bet high with poor cards. Betting high with good cards hoping to scare off everyone else so you win by default so nobody will see the cards to know if it was a bluff, or if your "high cards" were "only" two pair or a straight flush is a different tactic that is not a bluff. You can't shock and awe with a bluff.
      • Re:There is a point (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dahamma (304068) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:35PM (#39910761)

        Which in fact seems to be China's exact strategy with the J-20. Build a barely working prototype that superficially looks like the F-22, and let the US continue to spend billions (borrowed from them!) to pay for development of something to "counter" it.

    • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:59PM (#39910593)

      To use the F-22 correctly we'd have to go to war with Russia or China. If that happens then there are a lot of other issues that are more important than the F-22.

      If we fight another proxy war (like Vietnam was or when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan) then we'll probably be using drones.

      Follow the money. Who's making the profit on the F-22?

      • by hey! (33014)

        To use the F-22 correctly we'd have to go to war with Russia or China.

        See? There's a simple solution to every problem.

    • Good point (even with the Patton [imdb.com] reference). However, I think there are other, current, weapons systems that can do the job of the F22 for much cheaper. Also, in this era of deficit and debt, it makes sense to trim back the Defense budget which is still largely based on fighting an enemy which ceased to exist 20 years ago.
    • by Dahamma (304068)

      There is a point for the F22, and that is to suppress all other power's desire to make stuff that will encounter it.

      If that's true, then the "other powers" are pretty much guaranteed to win. You know that's how NATO eventually defeated the Soviet Union, right? No need to fight, just make your opponent spend so much money on perceived threats it bankrupts them.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:50PM (#39910527)

    There is no purpose, no mission in Afghanistan or Iraq, unless you believe that al Qaeda is going to have a fleet of aircraft

    But there are companies with lucrative military contracts in Iraq, so it has a purpose for someone.

    • What I don't get is this: They could make equal money building out a fleet of say, 1000 F16 / F18 Superwhaterver BlockZ aircraft. Scary enough and potent enough to deal with any adversary in the next several decades. Cheap enough for generic use.

      Something else is going on, maybe military penis size or something.

      • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:25PM (#39910707)

        What I don't get is this: They could make equal money building out a fleet of say, 1000 F16 / F18 Superwhaterver BlockZ aircraft. Scary enough and potent enough to deal with any adversary in the next several decades. Cheap enough for generic use.

        But this is the F22. It's 4 louder than the F18!

        Something else is going on, maybe military penis size or something.

        A little known fact: the famed pacifist Gandhi had the biggest cock in all of India. He'd swim in the Ganges, and people would think that an anaconda was following him. Which was kind of weird, since anacondas live in South America. Then Gandhi and Martin Luther King would stand on opposite sides of the river and have a swordfight.

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:35PM (#39910771)
        The military also learned that dead people lose wars. Wars will all be won, so long as the public is behind them. But dead people undermine public support. So a more expensive aircraft with a 1% better survival rate isn't worth the money, but will get built and deployed because it will help the "war effort" They should just rename the defense department back to the original and more fitting name. Everything it does is to start and win wars, not to prevent them and save people. Only the "loss" of Vietnam (a political loss, not a military one, the military could have held the south indefinately, like Korea, if only the public hadn't stopped supporting it, and the dead people helped undermine it, though more die in car crashes than the Vietnam war and nobody cares, so people are insane and fickle).

        So the expensive equipment is better for the War effort, even if 1000 F16s and A-10s would kill more enemies in a shorter period of time for less money, because A-10s get shot down because they go low and slow. And it's not successes that win wars anymore, but lack of losses.
  • Apparently the F-35 is turning out to be rather crappy [foreignpolicy.com] as well. Ooops.
  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:06PM (#39910629)

    Sen. John McCain says that the jets, which the Air Force call the future of American air dominance, are a waste of their $79 billion price tag and serve no role in today's combat environment.

    If the Libyans had acquired Eurofighters, rafales or if the syrians had any decent russian aircraft he'd be singing a different tune. Yes NATO has air assets that can handle SU27's and Mig 29's, but you end up in a shooting war with eretria, or sudan or syria and they manage to down even one US aircraft people will be wondering wtf there wasn't something better available.

    The problem with *all* military spending is that you're trying to guess future needs and have something that can cope with an unknown problem. It's not like the US was stupid enough to only buy f22's (at the astronomical price that would have entailed). The US Air force has something like 2400 'fighters' of which about 200 are F22's. That's not counting the Navy. For what they do that seems like a fairly reasonable allotment of 'might need for air superiority role' for the next 20 years or so. One can argue specifics on stealth, performance or total numbers, but it doesn't seem like the F22 purchase was wildly out of place by US standards. As with any piece of equipment it's possible there is something wrong with a system (in this case the oxygen system), but that could be a maintenance issue, a replacement part issue a design issue, or any number of other things. Whenever you buy any piece of equipment (including a car) you take the chance that something on it will be defective.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:25PM (#39910713) Homepage

      The BIG problem with the F22 and F35 is the military is putting the cart before the horse. They design an aircraft that has never flown and pushes the technical envelope in dozens of different ways and then try to come in on a budget. They NEVER, EVER get even close to budget. Never.

      Why they think it will be different this time I don't know.

      What they SHOULD be doing is giving the advanced designs over to the various skunk works. Let them come up with the tech. When it's mature enough for production, then put it in line of battle machinery. Not before. Yes, that means you have to fund R&D better, but that's what you're doing anyway, just doing a half assed job of it. The advantage there is you aren't hosed if one of the high tech gizmos doesn't turn out the way you want it - you just design the device around another tech. Once you freeze the design, it's much harder to change.

      • by LeperPuppet (1591409) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @08:25PM (#39911441)

        Why they think it will be different this time I don't know.

        The contractors lie about capability and cost because they want to win the contract. The DoD accepts these lies because it wants shiny new toys. Congress goes along with it as long there's pork involved. No-one learns anything because there's no incentive to avoid corrupt behaviour. The MICC at its finest.

        Reality intervenes and the project goes overbudget. Production gets cut, yet it doesn't really save any money. The project continues through several cycles of the death spiral until it is either cancelled or delivers a product. And we end up with the congress critters getting their pork, contractors getting their piles of money, DoD getting their shiny new toys, along with promotions for anyone who didn't end up holding the bag. The troops end up with nothing or a handful of gold-plated weapons with less capability than they were promised. Oh, and the taxpayer gets screwed, but that's the usual outcome.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:55PM (#39911295)

      Is the R&D type military spending does have civilian benefits. The most major and obvious one in recent history would be GPS. It was built because the military wanted to be able to precisely locate all their men and material anywhere. Now? It is the principal navigation method for virtually commercial and civilian all craft, falling back to less accurate measures only should it fail.

      GPS is the biggest and most evident, but not the only one.

      While that doesn't mean we should just blindly throw money at anything, I think money spent on military R&D is better than money spent on wars, or having a massive military. I'd rather have a smaller military with the highest of the high tech equipment than a massive one with whatever can be scraped together.

      And of course, as with any R&D, you can to be ok with the idea that the results may suck, they may not work, they may have problems, or there just flat out may not be any. If you want guarantees, you have to stick with what you have. If you try new things, there may be problems, failures, as you push the envelope.

  • The F22 is a remarkable aircraft. It has some problems but they all did. It takes decades to work out all the bugs.

    Is the F22 meaningless because it's foe doesn't exist. Not really. It's silly to think we don't need air superiority fighters simply because of the war on terror. Don't try to fight the last war. That's over. We need tools for the NEXT war which might well include more technologically savvy enemies.

    That said, I think the real problem the F22 is that it isn't a drone. Generally, the future of al

    • The Shuttle was Truly Amazing (the most complex device ever devised by man). But it wasn't a good idea because it was too expensive and too complicated.

      Sometimes you just want to meet your military objectives, not amaze your friends and enemies.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:41PM (#39910809) Homepage Journal

    When the near trillion dollar price tag for the F-35 comes due. Already nearly 5 years behind schedule, with hundreds of billions in cost overruns and no end in sight. 7 project ending design flaws uncovered in the last Quick Look Review. And the model being built for the Marines, they don't even want it. The Naval version is melting carrier decks and the Air Force version doesn't fly well. Plus most of the Tier 1 nations that are supposed to buy it in return for building components for it, are starting to bail out and contracting with rapid upgrades of the soon to be discontinued F-16 or purchasing the Eurofighter or Dassault Rafale.

    And the really sad thing is that their early competition, the Boeing F-32 was widely acknowledged to be a better cheaper more efficient and elegant AND more advanced plane but it was not selected because, and I quote, the Air Force didn't think it looked aggressive enough, compounded with weak VTOL characteristics that now, it's clear, aren't going to work out for the F-35 either because it's SO efficient that it melts runways, which is why the Marines don't want it.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:43PM (#39910817)
    The point in having an aircraft like the F-22 is that countries like North Korea or Syria or Iran know that they have absolutely no chance against it. Pick a fight and your air force is gone. Period.
  • The Vietnam Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:52PM (#39910847)

    During the decades before the Vietnam war, everyone was also convinced that conventional air combat was a thing of the past. We even designed our air forces and training regimens around the contemporaneous concept of high-tech air warfare. In Vietnam, however, it turned out that actual combat ended up being more of the same from previous wars. But, our pilots and planes weren't equipped to fight this way, so our pilots found themselves getting their butts handed to them. The Navy, which was less invested in the high-tech warfare concept, was the first to clue in and start training their pilots appropriately and going old school by putting "antiquated" anti-aircraft cannons back into or under their jets.

    The point is that the military has been burned at least once badly by the idea that our high-tech trinkets will fundamentally change warfare. While the military will continue to adopt new technology, until there's a shooting war that *proves* the F-22 is an obsolete concept, they won't abandon traditional tactics.

    BTW, the F-22 still serves a vital role. You can't use our last two counter-insurgencies to imply that air superiority aircraft aren't needed anymore.

  • Short sighted much? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AaronLS (1804210) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:21PM (#39911051)

    McCain might be right, but his statement sounds frighteningly a lot like when they believed in wars after WW2 that dogfighting aircraft were no longer needed, and then had to make an about-face when the MiG fighters had no American competition in Korea. For a short time in Korea, we had WW2 propeller driven Mustangs fighting against MiG jets. There were even some pilots from WW2 flying, and supposedly helped advise the design of modern jet fighters and dogfighting techniques to counter the MiG.

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