Like Clubbing baby seals

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by IDonT, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. IDonT
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    IDonT Senior Member
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    This is from an Airforce Magazine article

    By Laura M. Colarusso
    Times staff writer

    NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Among the F/A-22’s opponents, there’s none more determined than Maj. Robert Garland, whose job is to beat the Raptor, the Air Force’s most advanced fighter jet.

    It’s a tough job. He flies an F-15C.

    He’s never won.

    Garland and his F-15 buddies, assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, fly against the Raptor to find its weaknesses and help develop the tactics to employ the Air Force’s newest fighter jet.

    “The Raptor is going to win, but that’s what it’s designed for,†said Garland, who is also an F/A-22 pilot. “It doesn’t matter, really, how experienced we are or if we have a good day or a bad day. The Raptor is going to succeed.â€

    Even though they rarely win, the pilots of the 422nd radiate confidence. They say they use each sortie to improve their skills in the F-15. They’re on a mission to prove themselves against the aircraft the Air Force has billed as the best in the world because of its speed, stealth and integrated avionics.

    “When I go out in an F-15 and I fight a guy in a Raptor, if a guy does a good job in that airplane, there’s no chance that I have to defeat him,†Garland said.

    It sounds discouraging, and these pilots talk at length about being throttled, kicked in the face and frustrated by the Raptor. But Garland and the others who train against it say the fight’s not supposed to be fair.

    The training missions almost always start out with the Raptor in a defensive position, because otherwise it would be a “waste of gas,†said Maj. Robert Novotny, another F-15 pilot with the 422nd.

    When the F/A-22 is on the defensive and the fight is taking place in a visual maneuvering environment — meaning the aircraft are in close, so everybody can see each other — the F-15s have more of a chance.

    These fights are violent, said Lt. Col. Art McGettrick, a former F-15 pilot who now solely flies the F/A-22 with the 422nd. The pilots pull 9 Gs, perform jarring maneuvers and generally try to beat each other up when the F-15s and the F/A-22 fight, because they are trying to wring out the Raptor to find any deficiencies.

    The pilots prepare for the mental and physical demands of dogfighting, Garland said. They study tactics constantly and try to learn from the mistakes highlighted in the mission debriefings. The pilots also train like professional athletes, lifting weights and running several miles a week, he said.

    Once in a while, if the scenario is set up right, Novotny has been able to shoot the Raptor. Two new technologies, the AIM-9X missile and the Helmet Mounted Cueing System, have leveled the playing field by giving the F-15s the ability to shoot off-bore sight shots.

    Pilots once had to maneuver so the noses of their jets were pointing at the enemy. Now they can simply look at the target and shoot, shaving seconds off the targeting process.

    But if the mock battle starts from a distance, the F/A-22 is in its element, and there is little an F-15 can do against it, according to Garland. The Raptor’s radar and standoff weapons allow it to shoot enemy aircraft before they even know the Raptor is there, McGettrick said.

    Yet they keep trying. Novotny has never gunned down a Raptor, the ultimate in air-to-air combat. But when asked whether he’s given up fighting the Raptor, Novotny’s enthusiasm for the mission is clear.

    “Hell no,†he says, pounding the table. “I love it.â€

    Novotny says sometimes his goal is to just survive for 60 to 120 seconds.

    “Nobody wants to get beat,†said Novotny, who has flown about 1,700 hours in the F-15. “It’s a very frustrating fight for me, because I almost never, ever, ever see, hear [or] smll the Raptor, and I’m dead. So, it’s a really boring ride for me, because I get killed all the time.â€
     
  2. Gollevainen
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    Gollevainen Colonel
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    as there is no clear link to chinese military aviation, i'll move this to the world armed forces forum
     
  3. Neko
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    Neko New Member
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    An F/A-22 could wank a Su-27. :>
     

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