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Does McCain have a chance to be Rep. nominee?

Election 2008 McCain Republican Nominee

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#41 MuseZack

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:12 PM

Re: The F/A-22.  It's a great plane and all, no question.  But in an age of 500 billion dollar deficits and a broken Army and Marine Corps, not to mention one small and one medium size war, along with one major and several minor peacekeeping deployments, something has to give.

And seriously, what's the most likely opponent the US Air Force is going to face in the next 10-15 years?

a:  A non-state terrorist entity with no significant antiaircraft capabilities.

b:  A failed state with maybe some shoulder-fired missiles and the remnants of an old Soviet antiaircraft system.

c: A medium-sized rogue state with a patchwork AA network and a few dozen second and third generation fighters.

d: A nation equipped with a state of the art radar and antiaircraft network and several hundred third and fourth generation fighter planes flown by skilled pilots.

I mean, unless the US goes to war with the European Union, who's the opponent that we need hundreds of F/A-22s to take down?   Even the Chinese are flying mostly ancient MiG-21 knockoffs (albeit with modern air to air missiles-- thanks, Israel!), along with a few dozen SU-27 types.  Even if they buy the entire Russian fighter production line for the next five to ten years, they'll still be in no shape to take on the USAF and USN in the air.

While it'll make the fighter pilot mafia that runs the air force scream, I'd rather see most of that money go to C-17s, C-130s, A-10s, and a new fleet of refueling tankers for the conflicts of tomorrow.  I swear, sometimes it seems like most of the American military is still equipping and training itself to do battle with the Soviet military crossing the Fulda Gap.
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#42 DWF

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:16 PM

^^^Thank you Zack, that is an excellent point. :thumbs-up:
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#43 G1223

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:25 PM

So you want a place the defense of the country on 30 year old aircraft which has finished it's part manufacturing contract. What happens when the frames of these planes pass beyond thier life epectancies? We have B-52's which are alomost ready to be flown by the grandchildren of the men who first flew them. Why are they still flying? Because we can not get enough new aircraft to replace them.

The F-22 is to place the aging aircraft which cannot keep up with the state of the art aircraft being offered to other nations.  Which means we have to consider other options to defend the nation. Want to go back to the Nuclear armed anti-bomber aircraft.

Remember the defense of the nation is not who we might have to fight next week but three years from now or a decade.  That's the truth we need new aircraft because we cannot predict the future but we can prepare for the worse case.
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#44 tennyson

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:33 PM

From my Chinese Military thread:

As of 2001 the Air Arm of the Chinese People's Liberation Army ( otherwise known as an Air Force) had a 100 major SAM batteries with an estimated 16,000 antiaircraft artillery units. These include Russian S-300 Surface to air missiles defending Bejing.
The following types were in service equiping
72 Su-27K air superiority fighters armed with AA-10 and AA-11 AAMs 6 regiments
(another 72 were on order)
Chengdu J-10 (native build Chinese fighter using components from the Israeli Lavi project) soon to enter service
100 +Shengyang J-8/ J-8II (roughly equivalent to an F4 Phantom, but are equiped for AA-10 and AA-11)
4 regiments
400 Chengdu J-7(Mig-21)fighters 18 regiments
2600 Shenyang J-6 (Mig-19) fighters(many are stored or in reserve) 104 regiments
100 Xian H-6 (TU-16 Badger) nuclear capable bombers, they form the second leg of the Chinese startegic triad, they equip 5 regiments, although some have been converted to inflight refueling tankers
20 H-6/YJ-6 equiped to carry the C-601 missile 1 regiment
300 Harbin H-5 (IL-28 Beagle) light bombers 12 regiments
50 Harbin H-5/YJ-1 capable of carrying the YJ-1 missile 2 regiments
38 Su-30MKK ground attack fighters with modern weapons including the AS-17 Krypton missile 1 regiment
more are on order and will be liscnce built
500 Nachang Q-5 attack aircraft(modified Mig-19) some are nuclear capable 12 regiments
400 Shenyang J-5 (Mig-17) attack aircraft 20 regiments

Reconnaissance planes
40 Harbin HZ-5 recon variants of the H-5 2 regiments
100 Shenyang JZ-6 recon variants of the J-6 4 regiments
6 A-50E(IL-76 Mainstay) airbourne early warning and control aircraft on order
2 Tupelov Tu-154 for signals intelligence


Transports
10 Il-76 heavy transports 1 regiment
12 An-26 tactical light transports 1 regiment
30 Li-2(C-47) transports 1 regiment
15 Y-11 transports 1 regiment
25 Y-8(An-12 Cub) 1 regiment
30 Y-7(An-26 Curl) light transports 1 regiment
250 Y-5(An-2 Colt biplanes) light transports 1 regiment
18 Trident transports 1 regiment
5 CL-601 Challenger light jet transports
8 Anotonov An-30 light transports

trainers
40 Su-27BK advanced trainers
50 JJ-7
150 JJ-6
100 JJ-5
1000 CJ-5/CJ-6

The Chinese use an ecletic mix of weapons including PL-2(Russian AA-2 Atoll)AAM, PL-5(French Matra Magic ) AAM, PL-9(Israeli Python-3)AAM, PL-10(Italian Aspide) AAM as well as the AA-10s and AA-11s on the Su-series aircraft. The Chinese airforce has little in the way of precision guided muntions except on the new Su-30s, relying maninly on rocket pods, "dumb" bombs and cluster munitions and rather large land attack and antiship cruise missiles.
[QUOTE]

More than a few dozen of the latest Su-series aircraft and they put in another order for 144 including lisence build production after the first 144.
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#45 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:18 PM

Quote

Zack: And seriously, what's the most likely opponent the US Air Force is going to face in the next 10-15 years?
China for one currently has aircraft that can give the F-16/F-15 a run for their money.  As they acquire more of the latest Russian designs theyíll gain an edge on the F-15.  In addition Cope India proved that under the right conditions even an updated Mig-21 can prove a threat to a bog standard F-15.    For that matter many small nations are acquiring these advanced aircraft.  The point is that no one can predict in 10 to 15 years who we might be fighting and what they might be flying.  In 1980 no one would have been able to predict the coming of the Gulf War I.  

The point is that opponents of the Raptor who are claming that the USAF are trying to fight the last war are really the ones stuck in the past fighting the last war.  You canít live much more in the past than saying the F-15 was good enough for the last time and it will be good enough this time.  

Quote

Zack: I mean, unless the US goes to war with the European Union, who's the opponent that we need hundreds of F/A-22s to take down?
Need I remind anyone that the EU just went through a hotly contested fight to drop sanctions on China and France wants nothing more than to sell fighters to China?  Or that the great world power of the Czech Republic is operating the Gripen?  The fact is that we are likely to see the Gripen pop up around the world as the replacement for aging MIG-21s and other old fighters.  In a straight up fight it can top the F-16 and give the F-15 more than an even run for its money.  I can all most guarantee that we will be facing the Gripen and Rafale in combat in the future at some point.    

Quote

Zack: c: A medium-sized rogue state with a patchwork AA network and a few dozen second and third generation fighters.
You mean like Serbia who bagged themselves a F-117?  

Quote

Zack: Even if they buy the entire Russian fighter production line for the next five to ten years, they'll still be in no shape to take on the USAF and USN in the air.
With the Chinese looking to start up their own SU production lines we could be dealing with who knows how many SU series aircraft by the end of the next decade.  The fact is that the USN is loosing a significant part of their air to air capability with the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat in favor of the Super Hornet. All the Chinese will need is a few hundred advanced fighters along with their mass numbers of outdated designs to overwhelm the USN and USAF.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 30 May 2005 - 09:44 PM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
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#46 MuseZack

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:20 PM

^^

CJ, unless you're agreeing with me, I think you need to fix that last quote. :blush:
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#47 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:53 PM

^Whoops! ;)
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
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#48 MuseZack

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 12:55 AM

CJ AEGIS, on May 31 2005, 02:53 AM, said:


Good show, ol' boy.  Now, re: the F-117 downing by Serbia.  Throw up enough metal into the air and you'll eventually hit something.  It's not like the Raptor has deflector shields; it's killable, too.

And even with the numbers of SU variants coming off the production line, I still don't worry a lot about China, esp. given American superiority in training and tactics over just about everyone in the world.  Thinking of various possible fighter equipped enemies, the only one that gives me pause is one that's rarely mentioned-- Saudi Arabia.  If the very unstable House of Saud falls, there's the very real possibility of the US facing an enemy equipped with the latest F-15s and F-16s, plus a world class command and control and antiaircraft system, a la Khomeni inheriting the Shah's F-14 Tomcats and F4 Phantoms.  But that seems more a cautionary tale about who we sell weapons to than a reason to buy the Raptor.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#49 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 08:57 AM

Quote

Zack: Now, re: the F-117 downing by Serbia. Throw up enough metal into the air and you'll eventually hit something.  It's not like the Raptor has deflector shields; it's killable, too.
It looks like that F-117 was defeated by more than just throwing enough metal into air.  The Serbians probably had spies watching for the takeoff of the aircraft and then used the limited radar return you get off the F-117 to narrow her location down.  Then they threw everything they could into the air hoping to get a lucky hit.  The F/A-22 in mant ways has a stealth advantage over the older F-117 so it can better avoid attempts to narrow down the location of the aircraft and then throw fire at it.  In addition with a higher speed and supersonic flight the Raptor can get out of trouble quicker than a Wobbling Goblin.

Quote

Zack: And even with the numbers of SU variants coming off the production line, I still don't worry a lot about China, esp. given American superiority in training and tactics over just about everyone in the world.
I have to disagree there Zack.  The advantage in tactics and training is less than youíd like to think it is.  Another lesson from Cope India, other than the weaknesses of the bog standard F-15, is that the Indian Air Force had tactics and training on par with or better than our own pilots.  This came as a huge and rather rude surprise.  Now I doubt China is up to these standards but saying we have better training and tactics then expecting that to magically carry the day isnít going to work any more these days.  We have pretty much reached the plateau of what we can do with our current aircraft.  Everyone else is going to be improving rather than falling behind us.  

Then you have the fact that as point out by Tennyson in a few years the Chinese will be able to put a couple hundred advanced SU series aircraft into the air.  You are looking at least probably three hundred on the low end and more likely 500+ by the end of the decade if their production lines take off.  Then on top of that their new home built J-10 appears to be no slouch.  The aircraft is a delta wing, has canards, and is fly by wire with a excellent thrust to weight ratio.  The take off weight is darn close to what the F-16 achieves.  On top of all this it has a phased radar array that can engage multiple aircraft at range same as our own fighters.  

In a dogfight the J-10 has the edge on both the F-16 and F-15 in terms of potential maneuverability.  On top of that it looks like the Chinese are trying to fit vectored thrust onto the J-10.  In a long range duel it is tougher to say but the J-10 is at least the equal to early F-15s and F-16s.  Then when you consider how the Israelis aided in the design of the aircraft you can bet this aircraft has some of our own technology in it.  Iím willing to bet without thrust vectoring the J-10 is the equal of a Block 50 F-16 C/D*.  Only the newest F-16s are going to have the edge on it for the time being in long range fights.  In terms of improving the F-16 to keep ahead of the J-10 the F-16 is reaching the limits of what you can do with the airframe.  

Overall the F-16 is falling behind and against a potential vectored thrust J-10 the F-16 doesnít have a chance in a dogfight.  Even against a conventional J-10 the delta wing and big canards gives the J-10 an edge over the Falcon.  According the many reports the Chinese are finding the J-10 to be superior to the SU-27.  Iíve heard reports that we should expect to see 300 to 1,000 of these aircraft produced.  With numbers this high they could effectively nullify our F-16 fleet.  Training and tactics arenít going to carry the day when their aircraft are on par or better than ours in certain areas.  

*Your opinion Tennyson?
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
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#50 MuseZack

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:19 AM

^^

Not to take anything away from the fine pilots of the IAF (who had learned well after getting spanked by the French air force in 2003 and changed their tactics accordingly), but it seems pretty clear that Cope India 2004 was cooked so that India would win, in several ways.

The American F-15Cs were consistently outnumbered by a 1 to 3 ratio.

The F-15Cs were not allowed to use their advanced AESA radar systems.

Both sides were restricted to shots of under 20 nautical miles while attacking and 18 while defending, hugely disadvantaging the Americans.   US fighter doctrine is all about eliminating an enemy's numerical superiority with salvos of long-range missiles.

The US pilots flew in boilerplate formations that assumed the use of long-range missiles, even though they weren't allowed to use them.

The US pilots flew without the AWACS or Hawkeye support they're accustomed to.

So why would the USAF agree to rules that hugely gimped them against the Indians?  Several reasons.  They get a first closeup look at the Indians' SU-30s, our ally India gets bragging rights and increased leverage against neighbors China and Pakistan, and most of all, the USAF gets to take the results to Congress and say "See?  We really do need the F/A-22!"

So while the results of Cope India are interesting and instructive, I'd caution against reading too much into them.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#51 Delvo

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:53 AM

It looks like the thread should be retitled to something about the planes... like "The planes, the planes!" :D

Here's something I'm not getting about our next-generation planes. Currently, in this group of planes (14, 15, 16, 18), we're talking about four types: a fighter with some ground-attack ability, a ground attacker with some śrial fighting ability, and two of each of those types, one for the Navy and one for the Air Force. And in the next generation, we're talking about only two so far: a fighter and a ground-attacker. OK, so that's a fighter and a ground-attacker, instead of two of each; an end to the Air Force/Navy model split, so they both use the same planes instead of different ones? So it would seem, except that the 22 won't do aircraft carriers and the last time I asked no Naval counterpart modification was planned for it. In fact, the response I got at the time I asked about this was about what the Navy could do with the other new modern plane, even though it's a "joint" design instead of fully American. But that plane's not an air-to-air fighter. With the retirement of the 14, that leaves the Navy without one at all. Meanwhile, the Air Force has no ground-attacker unless it also plans to use the Navy's "joint" one. I have no problem with that part if the two branches of our Armed Forces feel like using the same plane for the same function, but the complete lack of a dedicated air-to-air fighter like the 22 that can be used from aircraft carriers is confuzzling.

#52 tennyson

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 01:24 PM

Delvo, the most direct replacement for the F-14 is the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet that has just come into service. It is a larger variant of the earlier Hornet with a better radar and  some limited stealth features as well as a longer range than the rather notoriuosly short-legged earlier Hornet variants. The Navy will eventually recieve its F-35 variant to complement this aircraft and replace the earlier Hornet variants.
The Air Force will recieve its own F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variant to replace both the F-16 and the A-10 just as the Marines will replace thier Harriers and earlier F/A-18s with  thier own F-35.
Originally the F/A-22 was supposed to have a naval variant with it and the JSF serving on carriers in a "high-lo" mix like the F-14 and F/A-18 or F-16 and F-15 but relatively early on in the program that plan was scarpped as a cost saving measure since a naval variant would require chages to the basic design to allow it to survive repeated carrier landings.
But after the F-14 leaves service thier won't be a single dedicated interceptor on the Navy's carriers, instead it willl have all multirole aircraft.
As for the Air Force, it will continue to use the F-15E varaint for the deep strike mission until well past the F/A-22's service entry date and the F-16 and A-10 are supposed to continue into service until the F-35 replaces them both.
As for the J-10, I'm just not sure enough about its capabilities to make a good judgement.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#53 Kosh

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 03:17 PM

I think McCain may be all the republicans have left by 08. Frist will shoot himself in the foot before it's over, Jeb Bush, who is supposed to be more articulate and better in debates then his father or brother, says he wont run. A lot could change between now and then, but McCains the only republican that I would vote for at this stage.
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#54 tennyson

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 04:11 PM

He's about all I can think of right now as well, but then I don't know much about the other potential candidates.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#55 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:34 PM

Quote

Zack: The American F-15Cs were consistently outnumbered by a 1 to 3 ratio.
Our most likely and most challenging potential air to air foe is China.  If you run the numbers for what they have now and what they are likely to have in the future then being outnumbered one to three is not that unrealistic.  They have more aircraft then we have currently even if they are older.  They want to have one the order of a few hundred SU series aircraft and up to a potential 1,000 J-10 series aircraft.  That is enough aircraft concentrated in one area to just about equal our entire reserve, guard, and active force of F-15s and F-16s.  At most we will be able to send a few hundred fighters to counter that force.  In other words we will likely be facing numerical odds that are not in our favor.

Then on top of that the 3 to 1 odds arenít nearly as bad as they sound.  It was often a case of 4 F-15s facing 4 IAF fighters and the rest were strike planes.  I think at worse it was a case of 2:1 odds in fighters with the rest being strike planes that the IAF was escorting.  

Quote

Zack: The F-15Cs were not allowed to use their advanced AESA radar systems.
If you consider that only a small portion of the F-15s happen to be equipped with AESA this isnít that unrealistic of a scenario.  

Quote

Zack: Both sides were restricted to shots of under 20 nautical miles while attacking and 18 while defending, hugely disadvantaging the Americans. US fighter doctrine is all about eliminating an enemy's numerical superiority with salvos of long-range missiles.
Considering the fact that many of the current generation Russian AAMs outrange the AMRAAM they arenít being that unrealistic in that case.  The IAF has access to missiles that outrange the AIM-120.  So really the IAF is on fairly even terms in BVR and actually has longer ranged missiles than the USAF.

Quote

Zack: So while the results of Cope India are interesting and instructive, I'd caution against reading too much into them.
The scenario was rigged to play to the weaknesses of the F-15 but it was rigged in a way that is realistic to what the F-15 will have to face in the future.  Potential enemies with a numerical advantage, longer ranged AAMs, and radars that match or exceed early F-15Cs.

The SU series, Rafale, J-10, and Gripen are all going to be out there and have various advantages on the F-16/F-15.  

Quote

Tennyson: As for the J-10, I'm just not sure enough about its capabilities to make a good judgement.
Gut feeling?
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#56 tennyson

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 08:18 PM

My gut felling is that it will average out in its base form as something like an early F-16 with better missiles(they have AA-11s, we have AIM-9X, we have AMRAAM, they have access to AA-12 ARAAMski) once you factor in Chinese industries relative inexperience with such advanced systems. But as the Chinese gain that experience the design has the potential to surpass all F-16 variants except for the very highest upgraded F-16E/F, which the USAF isn't buying.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#57 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 06:43 PM

Quote

Tennyson: My gut felling is that it will average out in its base form as something like an early F-16 with better missiles(they have AA-11s, we have AIM-9X, we have AMRAAM, they have access to AA-12 ARAAMski) once you factor in Chinese industries relative inexperience with such advanced systems.
I think their level of pilot training will hold them back for a bit but I have a feeling that like India they will get their act together eventually.  At that point it will be a simple technological fight and the newer airframe in my book is more capable of accepting modifications than the older F-16.

Quote

Tennyson: But as the Chinese gain that experience the design has the potential to surpass all F-16 variants except for the very highest upgraded F-16E/F.
Even there I expect the canard and delta wing design of the J-11 will give it a WVR advantage on the F-16E/F.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#58 Han

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 07:05 PM

^ Just curious, but how do we know the pilots aren't well trained? Is it from exercises they hold with foreign militaries that showcase their skills or is it from analysts, etc.?
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#59 Delvo

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 07:05 PM

Where would a battle between Chinese and American aircraft take place? Without usability from an aircraft carrier, we wouldn't be able to fly 22s over China no matter how many 22s we had unless they used someone else's base in the area or an airstrip was built on conquered Chinese land, both of which seem unlikely. Whatever China's got, they can't deliver here for similar reasons, given their lack of much of a navy or any allies near us. So it looks like you're envisioning smaller-scale proxy conflicts, with China and the USA supplying some third and fourth parties, like maybe a border war on one of Thailand's borders.

If that kind of a conflict is where the 22 is expected to be useful/needed, then the saying that it's a cold-war plane is accurate; it's just that it's a serious prediction of a new second cold war, instead of a throwback to the last one as the intended insult implies.

#60 Delvo

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 07:07 PM

Hankuang, on Jun 7 2005, 07:05 PM, said:

^ Just curious, but how do we know the pilots aren't well trained? Is it from exercises they hold with foreign militaries that showcase their skills or is it from analysts, etc.?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are you thinking of the old saying "Never let your opponent see all your abilities"? (Sun-Tzu, "The Art of Warfare") ;) :D :o



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