I agree though that the professionalism of US Pilots will make the best they can of the F-22s capabilities to offset any weaknesses and play its cards to the best possible.... That said I guess the enemy has a vote in such matters aswell
While one can do that it neither means it is sensible or the optimal design available for that task at hand, granted it may suffice for the role thoughA million dollar Bugatti Veyron could be cleaned up by a 20 year old rusty Hilux when it comes to taking out the rubbish......does it matter?
Agreed, as per how you are suggesting you have not only produced additional stocks incase a surge capacity is needed, but you have run down costs somewat per unit and hell you have an abundance of systems which could end up being exported to increase the capabilities of allies if necessary (and/or by the time you have already started to bring in the next generation of aircraft..) What I find somewhat ironic/sad is that the Aircraft was unable to be exported to what I can tell because of a congress approved ban, I guess to maintain the US edge in capabilities and to safe guard secrecy, ironically because that meant less could be built I am sure that must have had a part in running up costs and as a result played a part in cutting the fleet size reducing capabilities (and forcing allies to rely upon Legacy Systems or the more troubled F-35)To me, the only thing noteworthy is the fact that factoring in the R&D costs for that bird the US should have built a bunch more of them to bring the unit cost down, even if it meant just complete flyable airframes and engines to sit in a warehouse under a rubber condom wrapper...if they're needed in the future.....purchase the next gen avionics for it and you're away laughing.
$412 million per bird ain't cheap...the only way to "make it cheaper" is to try and build some more to ammortize the sunk R&D costs.
I wonder how possible it would of been to produce an even cheaper export version and how much capabilities could of been maintained in that processs
I might be entirely wrong in some of my thoughts but well, that is my rant over