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About MKopack

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  1. US built "Su-33"

    As you said, it must have been a comedy. The current 'flyaway' price of a F-22 (quoted from a Raptor pilot at Langley this afternoon) is 93 million dollars. Yes, that's a heluva lot of money, but look at it this way, I believe that the current quoted price of an F-15 is right around 65 million (based on bid prices for F-15K, S, or I's) and given a choice of a Raptor or 1.4 Eagles, I know what I'd get for an air superiority aircraft any day of the week. Show me more than a handful of Raptors that have been 'lost' during excercises and I will show you literally thousands of engagements that have gone the other way. Right now it is currently running at well over 500:1 against the very best the USAF, USN and USMC can put up against them. Don't believe me? Fine. But, if you are trying to find the truth about the Raptor from the Military Channel, good luck. If you want to really know what the F-22 is worth take a ride out to Langley, Tyndall, Elmendorf, or Holloman and ask them. Or better yet, go talk to the pilots at Eglin, Shaw, Oceana, Seymour Johnson, etc., who have to fight them every day. They are the ones who can tell you what a Raptor can do and does. Nothing anywhere comes close, at any price. Mike
  2. US built "Su-33"

    That's true with any aircraft ever built, anywhere. Of course last summer Raptors dominated all comers at Red Flag with a roughly 150:1 kill ratio, and every Raptor pilot in attendance had less than 100 hours in the airframe. I have had the opportunity to have talked to quite a few experts on the subject. They are Eagle pilots from Langley and Eglin, Viper pilots from Shaw, Hornet and Super Hornet pilots from Oceana, and Beaufort - these guys fight Raptors every day. Want to know what they think? "Nothing else comes close." "It's not even fun to fight them." "I didn't even know they were there until I was dead." Although the Eagles are getting old, I don't think anyone will doubt their capability, even today - especially working as a group and with AWACS support. I spoke to a group of Eagle drivers after and 8 vs. 1 fight against a Raptor, EVERY Eagle was killed and not a single aircraft ever got a visual on the F-22. THAT'S dominance... ...and it's also a typical Raptor engagement. Raptor squadrons are having a difficult time scheduling training missions - why? The Eagle, Viper and Hornet squadrons just have a tough time justifying TDY's and the flights out to the training area to time and time again just receive the radio call "You're dead, return to back for the debreif". Mike
  3. US built "Su-33"

    That's right, it'll see you a lot nearer than normal - and I'm not going to mention the RAAF pilot on an exchange assignment as an Eagle pilot who couldn't get a lock in a Raptor, either with his radar or his AIM-120 when he could visually see the acft in his HUD. Another thing about your comment of 'nearer than normal' - if you are looking for that Raptor, he already knows where you are. A radar beam, especially in a search mode, is literally a flashlight in a dark room and while yes, there is the chance that you might catch the 22, through passive means he knows exactly where you are, has data linked your position to his flight, and the first indication that you have on your precious IRST is a pair of exhaust plumes from inbound AMRAAMs. The harder you search for a low observable airframe - and you MUST search, if there is even a possibility that he's out there - the more power you emit, the further away he can detect, track, and prosecute your contact. Now it's your choice, you've got two missiles inbound, and now a direction to search. Evade or search, your choice... Mike ...and remember, you still don't have an idea where his wingman is...
  4. We train faster and harder than just about anyone out there, and while it is, of course, tragic when losses such as this occur, it happens. Military aviation is a very dangerous buisness, and anyone involved in tactical aviation has lost friends in incidents like this. Some people say that we train like we fight, but I don't believe that it is true, we train to make the fight look easy. It is our tactical air force's goal to dominate any encounter. I am not interested in a fair fight. Any less than that and we will take losses, and I want every one of those guys and girls in those birds coming home. Mike
  5. This is part of an interview, courtesy of Lou Drendel, with one of the pilots in my squadron during Desert Storm, the 614th TFS from Torrejon AB, then Capt. (now BGen) Phil 'Ruhldog' Ruhlman, at the Lucky Devils in the Gulf War (http://www.lucky-devils.net) website. Along with the the interview, we've got over 250 personal photos of our aircraft, people and places, a photo gallery of official USAF photos, articles, stories and some amazing cockpit video of the largest raid on downtown Baghdad during the war - Package Q. I invite you to take a look and hope you enjoy my tribute to the people that support, maintain, and fly the aircraft that we all love to see. Visit the Lucky Devils and Forgotten 1000 in the Gulf War ...and you won't even have to sleep in a tent... Mike Kopack ex-Lucky Devil Viper Maintainer
  6. Dropping tanks and racks/ordinance?

    Being a maintainer, I'm not sure where the actual decision comes from to jettision the external fuel tanks, whether it be the strike commander, the flight commander, or the individual pilots - although it is likely to be a combination of all of them and based on the scenerio and situation. Externals wouldn't be jettisioned because of being painted by a SAM radar. Our pilots during the Gulf War were fired upon by SAM's and AAA on almost every mission, yet there were only a handful of instinces where the tanks were blown off - why? When running a simulation it's easy to punch off the tanks to get that extra bit of acceleration and manuverability that going from CAT 3 to CAT 1 brings you, and it's an option if you really need it, but in the "real world" fuel tanks are expensive, in limited supply, and you're operating from a remote location at the end of a LONG supply chain. So, jettision the tanks if it's really necessary, of course, but when your aircraft are flying at least two sorties a day, seven days a week, for long periods of time, jettisioning when it's not critical could mean the difference between having tanks to fly the next day - or not. Mike
  7. US built "Su-33"

    As far as 'fictitous', I consider anyone attempting to lug around a dozen air-to-air missiles, or air-to-ground weapons on amassive scale as has been displayed on Flankers in the past. You will never see rocket pods, Harpoons, Mk-84's (internally, or likely externally) or Mavricks on a Raptor. As far as the Navy goes, I would prefer to see something other than F/A-18E/F's, but Flankers are not the direction that I would go. As I said above, if I can see you, but you can't see me, I am going to kill you the vast majority of the time. Mike
  8. US built "Su-33"

    Su-anything is simply Raptor meat. Easy pickings. Dinner. Especially if you carry any of those fictitous warloads, which work great in a PC sim, but in real life are full of c#@p. A Flanker has the radar cross section of an entire city, especially when carrying weapons and the first indication that he'd even have of a Raptor hunting him would be a pair of incoming 120 that are already on terminal homing. If it was my choice between an F-22 for $120M or a pair of Sukhois for the same price (look at the purchase price that was offered to South Korea) I'll show you a pair of DEAD Flankers. Mike

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