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AYVN
Topic Author
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:47 pm

Quality Over Quantity?

Sat May 09, 2015 7:17 pm

I think than someone more qualified than I am has put this question to EXEL and come up with a result favoring quality. But still I would like to question prices of nowdays fighters.
prices are from wiki and propably off By some or many millions
F-22 about 150 million usd / unit
F-35 about 100 miliion usd / unit
I know now this is getting stupid ...
F-5E about 2 million usd / unit (1978), inflation corrected to 2015 about 7,5 million / unit.
Even when most stories about F-5 can be read from the history books, F-5 E seems capable to fire AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 series.

Now the questions are:
In war zone you woldn't worry about losing 7,5 million plane with same magnitude you woud about 150 or 100 million plane?
Fighter like F-5 was not intended for air dominance, but 20 F-5 with cost of one F-22, how does this calcute?
You could have 80 AMRAAMS protecting selected airspace instead of 6 with same airframe cost?
Anyway, if shooting with some major enemy gets to the point where ICBM:s are used F-22, F-35 and F5 would be almost equal in usefulness?

I know taking example of F-5 is maybe redicilous but since it can fire same air to air weapons as F-22, I took it as price example.
Could seriously taken 10 million fighter still be made today?
 
Ozair
Posts: 5532
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: Quality Over Quantity?

Sat May 09, 2015 9:40 pm

Quoting AYVN (Thread starter):
Even when most stories about F-5 can be read from the history books, F-5 E seems capable to fire AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 series.

Not quite. While an F-5 may be able to fire an AIM-120 it can only do so when it has received significant upgrades including a new radar.

Quoting AYVN (Thread starter):
In war zone you woldn't worry about losing 7,5 million plane with same magnitude you woud about 150 or 100 million plane?
Fighter like F-5 was not intended for air dominance, but 20 F-5 with cost of one F-22, how does this calcute?
You could have 80 AMRAAMS protecting selected airspace instead of 6 with same airframe cost?

While the cost ratio may be a bit less than the 20 after upgrade you suggest there are quite a few additional costs you need to include. You have to factor in all the additional back end support costs required to fly and fight those extra maybe 10-15 airframes. Those costs include
- 10-15 more pilots and all the training it takes to get them to the point where they can effectively operate the F-5.
- All the additional maintenance staff you need to service and maintain those 10-15 additional aircraft.
- The ramp space you need to house all the additional airframes.
- The extra tanker aircraft you need to support 10-15 times the number of airframes that are significantly shorter ranged aircraft, especially if you want to conduct any sort of offensive operation.
- All the additional support facilities you need like accommodation, warehouse facilities, munitions storage, dedicated airspace etc.
- You need to have enough airspace for all these airframes to fly in and not tactically effect or crash into each other when conducting operations.

I'm not saying you don't have a point, a cheap local defence airframe has some cost advantages, but comparing airframe cost only is too simplistic.

Quoting AYVN (Thread starter):
Anyway, if shooting with some major enemy gets to the point where ICBM:s are used F-22, F-35 and F5 would be almost equal in usefulness?

And if your adversary has enough ICBMs to kill all your airbases then he probably also targeted your naval bases, your major army facilities, your political institutions and perhaps your population centres.

Most air forces need aircraft that have the capability to support a whole range of potential conflicts, from local bush war all the war to near peer.
 
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Aesma
Posts: 13604
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: Quality Over Quantity?

Sat May 09, 2015 11:39 pm

Many fighters were designed, then build in large quantities during WW2. During the war.

Nowadays, that would be much more difficult, especially since a war would not last that long (conventional war between similar enemies, not asymmetrical wars like Irak, Afghanistan).
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3566
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: Quality Over Quantity?

Sun May 10, 2015 5:36 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 1):
I'm not saying you don't have a point, a cheap local defence airframe has some cost advantages, but comparing airframe cost only is too simplistic.

Also need to factor in the costs of getting fighters good situational awareness so they can execute the OODA loop faster than the opponent; a opponent that is fewer in number, but expertly handled and excellent situational awareness so they can make decisions faster will beat a more numerous opponent with poor situational awareness.

Hence, a lot of the investment in fighters have been made not in improving kinematics, but bringing better situational awareness to the pilot while reducing the enemy's situational awareness; things like adding radar, all-aspect sensors, data links, increased sensor fusion, and even low observability. And unfortunately, those sparkly bits of avionics aren't cheap.
 
bucky707
Posts: 955
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 2:01 am

RE: Quality Over Quantity?

Mon May 11, 2015 12:05 am

"Quantity has a certain quality all it's own." Stalin

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