PAYBACK

August 23, 2014


It is a very sad day when we lose an American citizen and doubly sad when the loss is due to terrorist activity.  James Wright Foley, a photo-journalist, was captured by ISIS while filming in Syria.  He was held captive over a year and beheaded by that remarkably brutal terrorist organization this past week.  The gruesome video, posted on U-Tube, has now been taken down.

I have seen digital photographs of children, Christian children, beheaded by these thugs.  They will stop at nothing to spread fear throughout the Middle-East and eventually to Western powers unless stopped.  They apparently are well-funded, well-organized and use American weapons left when military forces from Iraq deserted their posts.  They, for the most part, offered no resistance to the ISIS movements from Syria into Iraq and, of course, we provided no incentives for them to turn back.  We watched and did nothing.  We did not heed the warning and now it appears the “cat is out of the bag”.

I have no idea what our response, if any, will be but reality indicates we must do something to stop this spread of terror. The only manner seemingly effective is elimination—kill them.  They cannot be reasoned with and diplomacy obviously will not be the path leading to resolution of this growing problem. If we look at those areas controlled by ISIS, we see the following:

ISIS MAP

We are told they are coming for us and will not be satisfied until their flag flies from our White House.

All indications are there will be no “boots on the ground”.  If a military response is planed, it will be by virtue of air power.  Maybe that will be enough but who really knows?   With that being the case, let’s look at what we have in our arsenal.

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

This is the era of the F-22 Raptor – the world’s premier 5th Generation fighter.

The F-22 is the only fighter capable of simultaneously conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions with near impunity. This is accomplished with a never-before-seen standard of survivability even in the face of sophisticated airborne and ground-based threats.

In addition to being America’s premier air-superiority fighter, the F-22 evolved from its original concept to become a lethal, survivable and flexible multi-mission fighter. By taking advantage of emerging technologies, the F-22 has emerged as a superior platform for many diverse missions including intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic attack.

The Raptor is operational today, protecting our homeland and combat ready for worldwide deployment. F-22s are already assigned to multiple bases across the country.

F-35 Lightning II

F-35 Lightning

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all weather stealth multirole fighters currently under development. The fifth generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground attackreconnaissance, and air defense missions. The F-35 has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based CATOBAR (CV) variant.

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, which was the winning design of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. Other major F-35 industry partners include Northrop GrummanPratt & Whitney and BAE Systems. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006. The United States plans to buy 2,443 aircraft. The F-35 variants are intended to provide the bulk of its manned tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. Deliveries of the F-35 for the U.S. military are scheduled to be completed in 2037.  It should be noted here that problems do exists with this aircraft and it is not yet fully operational.

F-15

F-15

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a superior next generation multi-role strike fighter that is available today. Its unparalleled range, persistence and weapons load make it the backbone of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). A complement of the latest advanced avionics systems gives the Strike Eagle the capability to perform air-to-air or air-to-surface missions at all altitudes, day or night, in any weather.

The F-15 is a twin-engine, high-performance, all-weather air superiority fighter. First flown in 1972, the Eagle entered U.S. Air Force service in 1974. The Eagle’s most notable characteristics are its great acceleration and maneuverability. It was the first U.S. fighter with engine thrust greater than the basic weight of the aircraft, allowing it to accelerate while in a vertical climb. Its great power, light weight and large wing area combine to make the Eagle very agile.

The F-15 has been produced in single-seat and two-seat versions in its many years of USAF service. The two-seat F-15E Strike Eagle version is a dual-role fighter that can engage both ground and air targets. F-15C, -D, and -E models participated in OPERATION DESERT STORM in 1991, accounting for 32 of 36 USAF air-to-air victories and also attacking Iraqi ground targets. F-15s also served in Bosnia (1994), downed three Serbian MiG-29 fighters in OPERATION ALLIED FORCE (1999), and enforced no-fly zones over Iraq in the 1990s. Eagles also hit Afghan targets in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, and the F-15E version performed air-to-ground missions in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

F-16

F-16

The General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.  Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.

F-117

F-117

The F-117A Nighthawk is the world’s first operational aircraft designed to exploit low-observable stealth technology. The unique design of the single-seat F-117A provides exceptional combat capabilities. About the size of an F-15 Eagle, the twin-engine aircraft is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines and has quadruple redundant fly-by-wire flight controls. Air refuelable, it supports worldwide commitments and adds to the deterrent strength of the U.S. military forces.

The first F-117A was delivered in 1982, and the last delivery was in the summer of 1990. The F-117A production decision was made in 1978 with a contract awarded to Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, the “Skunk Works,” in Burbank, Calif. The first flight was in 1981, only 31 months after the full-scale development decision. Lockheed-Martin delivered 59 stealth fighters to the Air Force between August 1982 and July 1990. Five additional test aircraft belong to the company.

FA-18

FA-18

The McDonnell Douglas (now BoeingF/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (F/A designation for Fighter/Attack). Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter’s YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations. The U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, has used the Hornet since 1986.

The F/A-18 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph or 1,915 km/h at 40,000 ft or 12,190 m). It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon. It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio. The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading edge extensions (LEX). The fighter’s primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defenseSuppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), air interdictionclose air support and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.

A-10

A-10

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately nicknamed “The Warthog,” was developed for the United States Air Force by the OEM Team from Fairchild Republic Company, now a part of Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems Eastern Region located in Bethpage NY and St. Augustine FL. Following in the footsteps of the legendary P47 Thunderbolt, the OEM Team was awarded a study contract in the 1960s to define requirements for a new Close Air Support aircraft, rugged and survivable, to protect combat troops on the ground. This initial study was followed up by a prototype development contract for the A-X, and a final fly-off competition resulting in the selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Selection of the A-10 Thunderbolt II for this mission was based on the dramatic low altitude maneuverability, lethality, “get home safe” survivability, and mission capable maintainability designed into the jet by the OEM team. This design features a titanium “bathtub” that protects the pilot from injury, and dually redundant flight control systems that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft out of enemy range, despite severe damage such as complete loss of hydraulic capability. These features have been utilized to great effect in both the Desert Storm conflict of the 1990’s and in the more recent Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Global War on Terror engagements.

In 1987, the ™A-10 OEM Team and all A-10 assets were acquired by Grumman Corporation from Fairchild Republic Company, and are now part of the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Eastern Region, presently partnered with Lockheed Martin Systems Integration as a member of the A-10 Prime Team.

A/V-8B

AV 8B Harrier

The Harrier today is one of the truly unique and most widely known of military aircraft. It is unique as the only fixed wing V/STOL aircraft in the free world. It also is unusual in the international nature of its development, which brought the design from the first British P.1127 prototype to the AV-8B Harrier II of today.

When the Harrier II was first flown in the fall of 1981, 21 years had elapsed since the original Hawker P.1127 first hovered in untethered flight. This basic design, only one of many promising concepts of the time, has weathered its growing up period and reached maturity in the AV-8B.

The 1957 design for the P.1127 was based on a French engine concept, adopted and improved upon by the British. The project was funded by the British Bristol Engine Co. and by the U.S. Government through the Mutual Weapons Development Program.

With the basic configuration of the engine largely determined and with development work under way, Hawker Aircraft Ltd. engineers directed their attention to designing a V/STOL aircraft that would use the engine. Without government/military customer support, they produced a single-engine attack-reconnaissance design that was as simple a V/STOL aircraft as could be devised. Other than the engine’s swivelling nozzles, the reaction control system was the only complication in the effort to provide V/STOL capability.

F-14

F-14

The F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, variable sweep wing, two-place strike fighter manufactured by Grumman Aircraft Corporation. The multiple tasks of navigation, target acquisition, electronic counter measures (ECM), and weapons employment are divided between the pilot and the radar intercept officer (RIO). Primary missions include precision strike against ground targets, air superiority, and fleet air defense.

The F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, variable sweep wing, two-place strike fighter manufactured by Grumman Aircraft Corporation. The multiple tasks of navigation, target acquisition, electronic counter measures (ECM), and weapons employment are divided between the pilot and the radar intercept officer (RIO). Primary missions include precision strike against ground targets, air superiority, and fleet air defense.

The F-14 has completed its decommissioning from the U.S. Navy. It was slated to remain in service through at least 2008, but all F-14A and F-14B airframes have already been retired, and the last two squadrons, the VF-31 Tomcatters and the VF-213 Black Lions, both flying the “D” models, arrived for their last fly-in at Naval Air Station Oceana on March 10, 2006.

CONCLUSIONS

I think ISIS, or ISIL, is a real and present danger.  We can no longer talk our way around this situation; this is no solution.  Playing golf is no solution.  Waiting for the next administration is no solution. The only recourse we have is to kill them.  Do not let ISIS live to see another sunrise.  Let’s let them enjoy their seventy-seven (77) virgins sooner rather than later.  I would enjoy your comments.

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