10 most expensive fighters

Jan 2007
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#21
Jets like MIG 35 or SU 35 that get sold around to various countries, friendly or not so friendly, wonder how long the jets could stay functional without a constant supply chain of parts and technical information? Like the F14's that were sold to Iran way back, how long were they still usable if & when we cut our ties to them? Maintenance hungry aircraft may not stay flying very long.
 
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Sep 2011
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aMEEErica
#23
I just saw a documentary that said the WW2 P-47 Thunderbolt consumed about two gallons a minute.

This site here says an F-15 burns 25 gallons a minute.

"A B-52 bomber gulps down 86 barrels per hour. F-4 Phantom fighter/bombers devour 40 barrels per hour. At peak thrust, F-15 fighters burn 25 gallons per minute. An F-16 jet on a training mission ignites more fuel in a single hour than the average car owner consumes in two years."

Environmentalists Against War

Thx :)
 
Jan 2007
32,861
6,841
#24
I just saw a documentary that said the WW2 P-47 Thunderbolt consumed about two gallons a minute.

This site here says an F-15 burns 25 gallons a minute.

"A B-52 bomber gulps down 86 barrels per hour. F-4 Phantom fighter/bombers devour 40 barrels per hour. At peak thrust, F-15 fighters burn 25 gallons per minute. An F-16 jet on a training mission ignites more fuel in a single hour than the average car owner consumes in two years."

Environmentalists Against War

Thx :)
I believe I heard the military is one of or the biggest user of fossil fuel.

Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Jr. (USN Ret.) of the Washington, DC-based Center for Defense Information, is a former commander of the Independence. While stationed off Vietnam, Adm. Carroll recalls, the ship consumed 100,000 gallons of fuel a day. Every four days the Independence took on a million gallons of new fuel — half of which went to supply the carrier’s jet aircraft. Steaming to the Persian Gulf in 14 days, the Independence would consume more than two million gallons of fuel. Simply "standing by" in the Gulf, the carrier must still consume oil at a voracious pace in order to purify 380,000 gallons of fresh water daily and produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of a city of 40,000 people.
 

Tedminator

Former Staff
Jun 2010
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South Florida
#25
Best bang for the buck currently would be the SAAB Gripen imo. A country could field a large fleet of 150 Gripens for 40 years for about $20B. Altho considered a 6th generation fighter, the Gripen is not stealth. If what a country needs is an offensive weapons platform able to operate inside the best air defenses of a hostile adversary then go with a small fleet of F-22 Raptors.
 
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Tedminator

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Jun 2010
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#26
I agree the cost are insanely expensive for these planes to operate. From what I understand the direct CPFH (Cost per flying hour) per each F-22 aircraft is probably around $5k to $6k to operate per hour to operate the F-22. That would obviously be fuel / ground, maintenance, operator personnel. / weapons / consumables / parts (really expensive) / etc. I've heard that the R.A.M (Radar Absorbing Material) type paint is also highly expensive to keep up. I also am not really sure how many total man hours contribute to CPFH on F-22's.
For the rest of the total CPFH computation (And it would be more along the lines for an AF comptroller expert than me a AF mechanic) but , from what I understand it requires some math involving Total fleet cost / Total Flying Hours / Total Aircraft. I have read where the cost could be as low as $44k to $59k using 2015 / 2016 numbers. The CPFH can also vary widely from year to year from different factors.

I was a C-130 Maintenance guy, so it's my bread and butter. Also I affectionately call that beautiful aircraft the VW of the skies ;). We did some math one day to figure out how much it would cost for a C-130 H (slick) model to fly down to Kadena AB in Okinawa from Yokota AB Japan. It's roughly about 1300 miles or so. It cost about $30k to fly from Yokota to Kadena using all factors.
You might find this interesting since you a maintenance guy..


Gripen is VSTOL so able to operate from roads and serviced by vehicles dispersed in hardened garages which makes the Gripen highly survivable in case of all out war.
 
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Jan 2007
32,861
6,841
#27
Best bang for the buck currently would be the SAAB Gripen imo. A country could field a large fleet of 150 Gripens for 40 years for about $20B. Altho considered a 6th generation fighter, the Gripen is not stealth. If what a country needs is an offensive weapons platform able to enter the best air defenses then go with a small fleet of F-22 Raptors.
Gripen is a nice plane and it likely works well for many countries. I think they are not selling well to other nations. I wonder how well stealth really works in the real war environment. F22 & F35 have been doing some in the Middle East. Don't know the results. They may possibly be detected under some conditions but can a missile lock on it?
 

Tedminator

Former Staff
Jun 2010
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South Florida
#28
Gripen is a nice plane and it likely works well for many countries. I think they are not selling well to other nations. I wonder how well stealth really works in the real war environment. F22 & F35 have been doing some in the Middle East. Don't know the results. They may possibly be detected under some conditions but can a missile lock on it?
A problem with stealth aircraft is you can't have anything hanging off it (see pic below), so missiles and such have to be stored in hidden hardpoints which in turn severely limits how many missiles/bombs/fuel/pods you can carry into battle. F-22 and F-35 are very expensive highly specialized weapons.. sorta like a sniper, it will still need to be supported by a large fleet of cheaper aircraft.


 
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Jan 2007
32,861
6,841
#29
A problem with stealth aircraft is you can't have anything hanging off it (see pic below), so missiles and such have to be stored in hidden hardpoints which in turn severely limits how many missiles/bombs/fuel/pods you can carry into battle. F-22 and F-35 are very expensive highly specialized weapons.. sorta like a sniper, it will still need to be supported by a large fleet of cheaper aircraft.


F35 is especially penalized in it's weapons load. Internal.
 
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Nov 2007
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#30
Scared to ask what a B52 or a B1, B2 would cost . Just the fuel itself is insane, imagine if a tanker plane is needed.

War is expensive, we need to do something else. Should be banned due to Co2 emissions.

C130 still going after all these years. The new version of the C130 gunship is something else.
It's my understanding that the B-52 is currently the cheapest bomber to operate due to its relative lack of sophistication and rather routine operational profile.

On the other hand for intercontinental missions the B-52 often requires two tankers while a B-2 requires only one.