The Instigator
Jonnykelly
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
BlackFlags
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The US should have invested further into the F-22 rather than the F-35

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 457 times Debate No: 82498
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
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Jonnykelly

Pro

Simple, educated military debate.

Resolved: The US military should have pursued further into the F-22A Raptor rather than the F-35A/B/C Lightning II

Round one is acceptance only, round two for arguments, rounds 3-4 for rebuttals, and round 4 is conclusions
BlackFlags

Con

I will be representing the argument that the US should not invest in either the F-22 Raptor or the F-35 Series planes.
I reject all round structure rules, because I am a real debater, and that isn't how debating in the real world works. Live with it,
Debate Round No. 1
Jonnykelly

Pro

Thank you for accepting, Black Flags, and I wish you the best of luck.

A brief summary of both aircraft:

F-22A Raptor:
The F-22A Raptor is the aircraft selected for the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition to replace F-15 Eagle air superiority fighters. The F-22 makes use of low-reflection angles, radar-absorbent coatings, low infrared signature design, and reduced acoustic and visual signatures to maintain a "stealthy" state. The F-22 incorporates all-aspect stealth, 2D thrust vectoring, agile beam radar, supercriuse, supermaneuverability, and advanced weapon to accomplish its mission: own the skies. The F-22 program came under fire and was ultimately cancelled as a result of high production costs. There are currently 186 F-22s in the US fleet.

F-35 Lighting
The F-35 Lightning is the aircraft(s) selected for the Joint Strike Fighter competition to develop a multi-service, multi-role, stealth fighter to replace the F-16 Falcon, A-10 Warthog, F/A-18 Hornet (& variants), AV-8B Harrier, and later the F-15 Eagle. The F-35 has three variants: A,B, and C. The A model has an internal GAU-22A 25mm cannon and is designed for the Air Force. The B model is STOVL and is intended for the Marine Corps. The C model is a carrier version and is intended for the Navy. The F-35 program is one of the most controversial military programs in history, having cost the US $400 Billion already. The F-35B was pronounced IOC by the Marines in 2015.

Arguments:

The F-35 program has proven to be a horrible misapplication of US funding, and should have been cancelled long ago in favor of further investment in the F-22. While it is too late to cancel the program now, the goal of this debate is to prove what should have happened in order to keep from making the same mistake again. The F-35 has proven its own failure compared to the F-22 in these respects:

1. The F-35 is far (FAR) too expensive.
While most military projects should have been cheaper, the F-35 program's cost is just inexcusable. Current estimates project that the F-35 has already cost the US $400 billion, and will cost over $1.5 TRILLION by the end of the project. This expenditure of money has put an unacceptable amount of government eggs in the Boeing/Lockheed basket, and has constricted the US Air Force, Navy, and Marine budgets horribly. The Air Force will struggle to afford the new bomber, the Navy won't be able to afford all three of its ship replacement projects, and the Marines have to put off replacing the M-16. All because of the F-35.

2. The F-35's capabilities are nearly nonexistent.
Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars, the F-35 has nearly no capabilities worthy of note. A full analysis of the F-35's performance is discussed on Air Power Australia, but a few shortcomings will be mentioned here. Airframe is not nearly as stealthy as the F-22 (inherent design error), engine is not nearly powerful enough, STOVL variant has low internal fuel range, not maneuverable enough, EXTREME reliability issues on all variants. These are just a few of the issues with this atrocious aircraft. To its credit, the F-35's sensor fusion is fantastic, and it can use laser guided weapons with extreme accuracy.

3. The F-35's capabilities can be covered by other aircraft - with better performance.
To date, no capability or role that the F-35 possesses cannot be covered by other airframes. This is less of an argument for me than it is a challenge for my opponent to name something that the F-35 can do that another aircraft cannot.

4. The F-35's air-to-air capabilities are critically lacking.
The F-35 cannot fight in the air very well at all. It lack maneuverability for a close range fight, it lacks the speed to hurl AMRAAMs effectively, it lacks all aspect stealth for in-and-out fighting, and it lacks missile capacity for a drawn out fight. The F-35 is replacing the F-15 Eagle, so it should be at least decent at air-to-air combat, but it has proven its own failure. The F-22 on the other hand, has proven that it is fantastic at air-to-air combat.

5. The F-22 is amazing at anything it has tried so far.
In operation "Northern Edge", the F-22 had over 100 "kills" on aggressor aircraft with no deaths. In the operations against ISIS, the F-22 has deployed PGMs with highly increased range and precision, and provided unprecedented situational awareness to the Raptor pilots and to surrounding pilots. The F-22's sensors have provided crystal clear search-and-assess capabilities to the fighting force, increasing efficiency. The F-22 has provided deterrence in Syria, Korea, Europe, and Iran. The F-22 has out-performed the competitions in almost every field.

It is clear what the US military should have done: Chosen more F-22s over the failure F-35. Unfortunately it's too late. Hopefully the future Pentagon won't make the same mistake.

Sources:
http://topics.nytimes.com...
http://www.scout.com...
http://breakingdefense.com...
http://nationalinterest.org...
http://www.ausairpower.net...
http://www.ausairpower.net...
http://www.businessinsider.com...
BlackFlags

Con

BlackFlags forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Jonnykelly

Pro

Debate.org seems to be having some issues lately, so I will go with the assumption that my opponent's forfeiture was unintentional. I'll give Con the chance to argue.
BlackFlags

Con

BlackFlags forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Jonnykelly

Pro

I'll give my opponent one last chance to argue.
BlackFlags

Con

BlackFlags forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Jonnykelly 1 year ago
Jonnykelly
Not sure what happened to this debate. This web site is still really buggy.
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
I hate how this site doesn't continuously save arguments, so if something happens to your browser all your arguments up to the point of review are erased.
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
Never said you didn't mate.
Posted by Jonnykelly 1 year ago
Jonnykelly
I know full well the difference between an Air Superiority fighter and a multi-role fighter, thanks.
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
Well it is important to distinguish that these are two different types of planes. The Raptor is just a fighter aircraft, while the F-35 is a multirole aircraft.

I have a problem with multi role fighters, but I understand that it is extremely expensive to maintain both a full service wing of fighter aircraft, a full service wing of ground attack aircraft, and a full service wing of interceptor aircraft.

The good thing about developing multirole aircraft is their overall versatility, so I could see an argument working for developing a cost effective solution rather than a grossly expensive alternative.

My personal take on the topic is that the US military should discontinue all aircraft production and begin to work on a new production line for several cheap role specific aircraft variants.
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