Thursday, March 19, 2009

F-22 To Israel?

LMC links to this article arguing that the US should commit to selling Israel F-22 Raptors if Russia sells its new antiair missile system to Tehran so that nuclear diplomacy could continue. The logic is: Israel would be tempted to strike before the new hardware was installed, but with the F-22 the Israelis would still have a strike option.

Should diplomacy fail, the United States can mount a powerful strike, regardless of the state of Iran's air defenses; Israel, operating at extreme range with the F-15I and F-16I, cannot. The F-22 fighter, however, might represent a trump card that could dissuade Russia from transferring the new air defense systems or that could preserve Israeli options should Russia go through with the sale.

This is fucking bullshit. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, which means it is designed to shoot down other planes. Since the problem Israel faces isn't from other planes, but rather anti-air missiles, ballistic missiles, and nuclear reactors, this doesn't make any sense in the context of the Iran nuclear issue. Perhaps there is merit to selling Israel F-22s, but it sure as shit isn't because of the nuclear Iran problem.

1 comment:

Chris said...

While the F-22 Raptor's primary role is that of an advanced air supremacy fighter, it's internal weapons storage bays (necessary to maintain it's stealth profile) can just as easily carry guided munitions as they can air-air missiles - or any mix thereof. This makes it a better and more survivable long range strike platform than even the famed F-117 Nighthawk.

The F-22 is the only airframe currently in service (the F-117 has been retired, and the F-35 won't go into active service for another few years) that could fly into an area defended by the S-300/Tor M1 SAM systems and survive.

Personally, I am against selling the Raptor to Israel - regardless of who pays for it - this is because of Israel's history of passing advanced aircraft and weapons technology to the People's Republic of China.

China's J-10 would still be on the drawing board were it not for Israel's assistance with the airframe design and fly-by-wire systems technology.

James H.

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