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Thread: Does Israel need more fighter jets?

  1. #1
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    Does Israel need more fighter jets?

    In the "news" section, someone has just suggested that the best way to help Israel is for the US to give us their new F22 Raptor fighter jets. Yet it appears to me that we have no real need for more fighter jets. Part of the reasons are listed in the article I am about to post below, but there are also other factors that I will mention.

    [url=http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3166524,00.html]F-35 or M.R.I.?

    Does Israel really need another 100 fighter planes?

    The end of the crisis with the United States over Israel's defense equipment exports, and Israel's return to the group of countries developing the F-35 fighter jet (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter) is a welcome, important development.

    Even more than the necessary security cooperation with the United States, the project holds economic and scientific importance for Israel involvement in this project.

    But along side this development, announced during Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's visit to Washington last weekend, was another, no less important development.

    Sources close to Mofaz said Israel is interested in obtaining about 100 F-35s when development is completed, some ten years from now. The announcement was almost "by-the-way", and there has been no public debate about a crucial economic and security development.

    Attack plane

    The F-35 will be a war plane, whose main use will be to attack land-based targets. It will replace several planes in the American arsenal, most importantly for Israel the F-16.

    But it bears reminding that our air force is currently in the process of integrating new F-16 fighter planes, purchased not long ago for about 4 billion dollars.

    More than a few senior officers thought, including former IDF head of strategic planning Eival Giladi, have even said publicly, that the deal was too big, and didn't meet Israel's real needs.

    The new deal will be a lot bigger – if it really does include 100 planes, it will cost us more than double the F-16 deal.

    A lot of this money will come from American aid, but we are still speaking about an about money that could be used for other things, or perhaps, God forbid, that we could do without it.

    Buying planes is just a small part of its cost. After we've got them, there is maintenance, running costs, pilot training – each of these cost an incredible amount and come out of an already-exorbitant defense budget that every economist in the country says should be significantly cut.

    F-16 or M.R.I?

    The finance ministry routinely says that Israel must decide if it wants more F-16s or more M.R.I. machines in hospitals. The new deal is much more than one M.R.I. machine.

    Who knows – has anybody even explained? – why we need the new plane, or how many we really need?

    Israel already enjoys vast air superiority over our neighbors. Our planes can effectively deal with ground-based threats (remember, the F-35 is primarily an attack plane).

    Unmanned drones

    We are world-class with everything to do with unmanned aircraft.

    Perhaps we could make due with a few more drones, that would be cheaper to run, and wouldn't require pilot training or endanger pilot's lives.

    Many people say the F-35 is the last manned fighter plane that technologically developed countries will use. Do we really need 100 of them?

    And how is the decision being taken- why is there no opportunity for the public, that will pay a heavy price for the planes, to ask questions and receive answers?

    Bitter irony

    In order to give a bitter-ironic twist to the whole story, the whole story comes to light the same week in which the air force staged a huge operation, including sonic booms over Gaza.

    Without discussing the morality or benefit of this action, we should take note of the gap between the costs of the Israeli security projects as compared to the use they have in times of war.

    But just like the public asks no questions about just what the sonic booms accomplish, it does not ask about just why we need 100 F-35s, today or in another 10 years.


    Now, this article deals with the F35 vs. F16 dilemma, but it is very similar to F22 vs. the F15 which we already have. Yep, the F22 is superior in handling qualities, it's a better flier- but that's about it. Anything else the Americans can put into it, we can do the same or better- we're at least equal to them in the avionics and radars department and we're better in missiles (see the old thread in the news about why the Indian air force has beaten the USAF). And modern air combat is mostly a matter of exactly that- radars and missiles. You don't need to be all that good in maneuvering if you can acquire your targets with your tail towards them, or from a longer distance than they can lock on to you. Which renders the F22's flying advantage questionable.

    More planes means more expenses. Even if a miracle happens and we get these planes for free, they will still cost us an arm and a leg in maintenance and spare parts- and we're in the business of cutting down on spending, if you haven't noticed.

    Finally, what would we do with these planes? Anything we use our air force for can be done just as well with what we already have. We have an overwhelming advantage over our enemies already, and there's no shortage of ground attack aircraft. Hell, just a short while ago IAF was even considering upgrading the old Phantoms and putting them into use in the 21 century- and they would sure as hell be adequate for the job! Is there a sufficient reason for us to invest into enlarging our air power?



    Well? Any thoughts?
    “This is a reality but I won’t deal with it in terms of recognizing or admitting it.”

    Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader

  2. #2
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    As I understood it, the F-22 incorporates "Stealth" design in its shape and hull, which are the big deal, not to mention an upgraded panel (so that pilots have to pay attention to fewer items) and better computers. The F-15 and F-16 are 1980's weapons. Its time to move into the new Millenia. Especially if it gives Israel a tactical advantage over Egypt, Syria, S.A. and Iran. THEN you add Israeli expertise.

    In the end, the warplane can same many more lives then the MRI machines.

    Israel is a nation always at the risk of war - its not the US, and can't afford to have US-like "why do we need such a big military debates." It simply does. Pieces of paper only offer so much protection.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    As I understood it, the F-22 incorporates "Stealth" design in its shape and hull, which are the big deal, not to mention an upgraded panel (so that pilots have to pay attention to fewer items) and better computers.
    Control panels and computers is something we can well do here. The stealth technology is another matter, and it is indeed a factor.

    The F-15 and F-16 are 1980's weapons. Its time to move into the new Millenia. Especially if it gives Israel a tactical advantage over Egypt, Syria, S.A. and Iran. THEN you add Israeli expertise.
    Israel has been known to use seemingly outdated technology to tremendous effect. We've won the Six Day War on World War II Shermans, and all our APCs are made out of obsolete Centurions and captured Russian T55. And like I said, the "Phalcon 2000" was considered adequate for 21 century.

    In the end, the warplane can same many more lives then the MRI machines.
    Only if a full scale war is highly likely. But I do not find it probable at present. What we're threatened by is the exhaustion war that does not require high tech planes.
    “This is a reality but I won’t deal with it in terms of recognizing or admitting it.”

    Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader

  4. #4
    KettleWhistle
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    The Raptors are far superior to all other planes in existence today, but they are also far costlier. F35's were designed to be way cheaper. That said, high tech planes will keep the Israeli military industry in touch with the more modern tech. But in all likelyhood, there is no need for a hundred planes.

  5. #5
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    Who has that quote on his sig - the latin - if you want peace, prepare for war.

    the number of planes can be debated. Should Israel do everything it can to keep a significant military advantage over its neighbors (especially in the air). Yes.

  6. #6
    Gilgamesh
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    Prior to the six days war, the Arabs had Air superiority over us, both in numbers of jet planes and quality, the best the USSR could provide. This fact has terrorised us for 19 years.

    Israel's military superiorty, is the only reason you won't see another conventional army vs. army warfare against Israel.

    Large conventional army is not efficiant in fighting illegal warfare, terrorism from within enemy civilian population centers. The reason the Arabs chose that tactic is a result of Israel having a large conventional army, which must be maintained further.

    I don't think the F-35 would be ready in ten years, And I don't think Israel would like to have large number of those in 20 years from now.

    The deeper question which arises, is whether or not, Israel should futher relay itself on American made weapon systems, which means stratigic dependence on American good will to send us spare parts. F-35 and other American made weapon platforms are infact golden shakels on Israel's political system and wieghts on our hi-tech defense industry.

    While it is important for Israel to stay in touch with projects such as F-35, Israel must develop our own home made air platforms, or at the very least, maintain self production of spare parts, at least of the critical ones, so America won't be able to pressure us through sanctions of any sorts.

    Israel's F-35I must be produced in Israel.

  7. #7
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    I agree Gil.. and I think the Israeli-made vs. American-made IS the key question. I'd argue, however, that the planes don't necessarily need to be made in Israel, but Israel must have the capability of upkeeping them by itself.

  8. #8
    Gilgamesh
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Who has that quote on his sig - the latin - if you want peace, prepare for war.
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
    It is one of the first morrow they teach you in boot camp. Ha'rotze Be'Shalom Hi'kon Le'Milhama

    The other two are "Artillary is queen of battle" (Napoleon), and "Hard in training, easy in battle" (Balisarius)
    Last edited by Gilgamesh; 01-02-2006 at 12:41 AM.

  9. #9
    ShimonG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    Prior to the six days war, the Arabs had Air superiority over us, both in numbers of jet planes and quality, the best the USSR could provide. This fact has terrorised us for 19 years.
    Gilga raised an important point above. Then the question becomes: Are the arabs likely to have high quality planes in the next 10-20 yrs and perhaps beyond? What are our threat perceptions? Do we envisage a bloody conventional war again.

    My answer is yes, but not in the next decade. However, as the ME sinks deeper into its extremist morass, as its populations expode and so do terror strikes against Israel, Israel will have to respond to such terror by opening up perhaps simulataneous fronts against at least two neighbors at a time. I envisage limited a quick air battle to achieve air superiority followed by lightning strikes about 10-30 miles into hostile territory. This will have to be followed up by the unpalatable task of evicting occupants in the occupied zones and truly making them no-man's land.

    To achieve air superiority for the IAF, without losing too many assets, we will have to have the then state-of-the-art in AtoA and AtoGr warplanes.

  10. #10
    Gilgamesh
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShimonG
    Gilga raised an important point above. Then the question becomes: Are the arabs likely to have high quality planes in the next 10-20 yrs and perhaps beyond? What are our threat perceptions? Do we envisage a bloody conventional war again.

    My answer is yes, but not in the next decade...
    For as long as the IAF opens a greater technological and numeric gap between Israel and the Arabs, the Arabs would be foolish to waste money on large air force the way they used to have. Here rises the problem, the Arabs will summon their allies air forces against us. Pakistan, Russia or Germany.

    Conventional war of warring armies, between Israel and the Arabs are not very likely in the near future. But on longer term, nobody knows.

    Israel chief security problem today (actually, since the 80's) lays with poor leadership and lack of determination. We seem to have succombed to enemy phsychological warfare, alian morality and bent logic product of the far left. Troops feel they have no legal or political backing to do anything meaningful and unreversable against Arab terrorism. The result is the morras we are bogged down in today. This is bound to change. New leaders must appear, only such process takes time in Israel's current system.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    The threat to the IAF is not other planes, it's battlefield control systems, aka AWACS and ground based C4I systems that can direct AA. Simply put the IAF can outfly pretty much anyone head to head in an air superiority scenario. But it's still vulnerable to more powerful theater systems. So one plan of attack would be for them to specifically go after all radar, telemetry and control systems (C3/4I) in the air & on the ground first using cruise missiles and drones. Then when whomever takes to the air - and the only real threats are Egypt and Saudi Arabia given the AF's of Syria, Iraq, Iran don't exist, knock them down using their own obvious advantages.

    The leverage one can apply using F-22's is one of force multiplier. In 'Red Team' trials against trained USAF crews in current frontline aircraft, the F-22 achieved 9:1 air superiority with zero losses. In short, you're dead and you don't stand a chance. So given that advantage one doesn't need the same number of aircraft as one normally would using today's front line gear, e.g. F-16s. Which is good because F-22's are very very expensive and it will be years before anyone has the technology to even be able to licence build them outside of the US, if ever.

  12. #12
    Roland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    For as long as the IAF opens a greater technological and numeric gap between Israel and the Arabs, the Arabs would be foolish to waste money on large air force the way they used to have. Here rises the problem, the Arabs will summon their allies air forces against us. Pakistan, Russia or Germany.
    Pakistan? What air force? The scrambled together a total of 20 (sic: twenty) operational helicopters to help in the earthquake desaster aftermath. Germany? A little paranoid, yes? Germany is allied to Israel, not to the arabs. Russia is a problem with its unpredictable imperial ambitions IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    Conventional war of warring armies, between Israel and the Arabs are not very likely in the near future.
    Yes. The arab way is firing missiles and exploding bodywear today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh
    Israel chief security problem today (actually, since the 80's) lays with poor leadership and lack of determination. We seem to have succombed to enemy phsychological warfare, alian morality and bent logic product of the far left. Troops feel they have no legal or political backing to do anything meaningful and unreversable against Arab terrorism. The result is the morras we are bogged down in today. This is bound to change. New leaders must appear, only such process takes time in Israel's current system.
    Israel's system is democratic - forget that and wipe them out?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Saudi Arabia has a defense budget that's in the top ten in the world. It was recently the 7th largest in the world. It's also pretty well accepted in the west though not admitted by the Saudis that every branch of the services with the exception of part of the Air Force has been heavily penetrated by Wahabbist extremist factions bent on overthrowing the kingdom. The KSA airforce has not been battle tested for 40 years really, Gulf War 1 notwithstanding. So it probably is not battle survivable past one or two days against the IAF. On the other hand the KSA has been very quietly assembling a missile force which may have the capacity to deliver chem-bio weapons to a civilian urban center though it is unknown and also untested. Considering the runup in oil prices and large amounts of cash the Saudis are floating in now this is a nontrivial concern.

  14. #14
    Gilgamesh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland
    Pakistan? What air force? The scrambled together a total of 20 (sic: twenty) operational helicopters to help in the earthquake desaster aftermath.
    Pakistan is modernising its air fleet, with modern American systems. Pakistan felt no hurry in aiding its earthquake victims, cause it far cheaper to relay on foreign aid. I guess the Pakis have stolen half the aid directed to the earthquake victims.

    Germany? A little paranoid, yes? Germany is allied to Israel, not to the arabs.
    Israelis like me maybe paranoid, but this doesn't mean were are not chased after. Germany supplied the Arabs, Iraq and Syria VX (nerv gas) technology, for the spacified goal of genociding more Jews. Germany has military trade relations with the mad ragime of Iran. Germany refuses to do fair justice to Nazi war crimimnals. Germany was involved in the munich massacre. W. Germany was among the first European nations to recognize PLO terrorism as legitimate, in this Germany showed consistance with Nazi foreign policy in the ME. Germany was among the first to suggest embargo on Israel, early on the recent terror wave. Germany doesn't behave like an ally, more like an enemy. Ask any Israeli walking on the street, he'll say thesame.

    I repeat myself, almost in every post I write you. High time you realize the truth about you goverment policy and do somthing about it. Clinging to self illusions or the words of some Israeli born ultra left wacos (regarding the relations between Jews and Germany), won't shed off any aunce of repsonsibility from you regarding future events.

    Israel's system is democratic - forget that and wipe them out?
    There are so many non-leathal actions Israel can take against the Arabs and doesn't, without resulting to a 'final solution' you keep suggesting in such an alarming rigor. It maybe a surprise to you, but contrary to modern German propaganda, we Israelis are no Nazis.

  15. #15
    Cato
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    "The deeper question which arises, is whether or not, Israel should futher relay itself on American made weapon systems, which means stratigic dependence on American good will to send us spare parts. F-35 and other American made weapon platforms are infact golden shakels on Israel's political system and wieghts on our hi-tech defense industry.

    While it is important for Israel to stay in touch with projects such as F-35, Israel must develop our own home made air platforms, or at the very least, maintain self production of spare parts, at least of the critical ones, so America won't be able to pressure us through sanctions of any sorts.

    Israel's F-35I must be produced in Israel."

    I agree Gilgamesh, Israel should manufacture it's own aircraft as well as upgrading them.

    However on the subject of pre-1967 aircraft while the Arabs has a hell of a lot more, wether the Russian or French aircraft were better is highly debatable. The Mirage series of aircract which is what we got from the french did hold it's own in plenty of other conflicts, you shouldn't underestimate the french arms industry. I would also like to take that idea further to say that Israel is the United States Allie unconditionally, and that the United States should not give us any aide money. We don't need it today the way we used to, it severely damages our image abroad, and it makes us somewhat dependent on the United States. I am glad that the foriegn aid to Israel from the United States is being phased out, and perhaps when the aid to us is over America will look at Egypt and see all of the blatant violations of the peace treaty.

    Roland

    "Pakistan? What air force? The scrambled together a total of 20 (sic: twenty) operational helicopters to help in the earthquake desaster aftermath. Germany? A little paranoid, yes? Germany is allied to Israel, not to the arabs. Russia is a problem with its unpredictable imperial ambitions IMO."

    I agree, Gilgamesh was wrong, Germant is not an enemy of Israel, however why must you underestimate Pakistan? Remember the last time Europe and America underestimated Pakistan? Remember that the thing they developed because of that?

    Gilgamesh and Roland

    1. The only reason a conventional war is unlikely is because of superior Israeli Technology. If that ever dies it is back to the battlefield, which is especially dangerous since Arabs have very high tech equiptment from the Unites States and Europe, including Syria which buys American Equiptment from Saudi Arabia.

    2.When did Arab Leaders ever put their people, and the best interests of their nations first? A conventional war with the Arabs will happen again because if an Arab leader kills enough Israelis he is a hero wether he wins or loses. Arab leaders put themselves first, and making themselves heroes is a great way for them to stay in power, they don't care that an army of lets say 20,000 is destroyed.

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