actually, if you'd bothered to read previous history on like minded posts, or bothered to have a look at the background history of some of the (former) regular posters - then you'd discover quick smart that those who actually are in industry and who do this (systems evaluations) for a job (as opposed to being diehard widget fundamentalists have been reinforcing for years that its about the systems construct of how militaries fight, and its about logistics
platform centric discussions say more about what the enthusiasts don't know than what they do know.
thatrs why 95% of the commentary in this thread is an absolute wank - it isn't about the platform - its about what the platform brings to the rest of the system construct.
the US stopped fighting a platform war in 1982, and changed the rules on system warfare in 1991
In the US CONOPS for the F-22 it was always about how the F-22 was going to enter the fight with a greater degree of autonomy, but the US doesn't commit at a systems level, and the F-22 is going to take advantage of all the E-crows elements to penetrate and fight.
take away e-crows in the US hi-lo construct and the F-22 opens the gates for the JSF for follow up strike, but its a sweeper in its own right - but the journey to the fight includes all the other e-crows assets.
the emphasis from the US, and the whole RMA construct as originally formulated by the russians, but never implemented due to technology gap issues and the timing of history, was about systems fighting, even the uber troika platforms (B2, F-22, JSF) are heavily tied into the systems grid, and no other country has the same constellation saturation, (Global in particular) as the US, so systems fighting is less of an issue for them as they are already geared to fight a multiple theatre, multiple environment scenario. Even the russians are now basically reduced to a regional constellation capability, closely followed within 10 years by the chinese (at which point they will pass them assuming that the russians can't improve their attrition and build rate)
I'm not going to buy into the Rafale/Typhoon/Shornet debate as it just goes downhill quickly. In context. all are able to fight the good fight based upon the owners requirements.
The platform vs platform arguments leave me cold as they ignore the reality of how these assets are going to fight and that ultimately, the fight is now about sympathetic nodes (such as F-22, JSF, Growler, Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen) and how those nodes assist others in the battlespace (across the 3 services) Eg for US, Aust, Canada and the rest of the Link 22 club its about how all the assets in theatre can hand off and target on behalf or inform other shooters when and who to shoot.
For the last 5 -12 years we've been shifting down a path of how these platforms contribute to situational appreciation and the situational awareness of all the warfighters contributing to the fight. The F-22 as such has had its concept of operations evolve considerably from its initial design and CONOPS intent.
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