Strike Raptor

Well-Known Member
So here's a question for some of the military guys, that I've wondered for a while. Do I have a shot at becoming a military pilot?
Just kidding.
The question is given the problems and the expense of the F-35 (granted it's now finally starting to come along now), wouldn't it have been possible and cheaper to do with the F-22 what they did with F-15 and make a ground attack version. I'm thinking we would ve saved a lot on R & D, as well as brought the unit cost down because we would of produced 10 times as many. Granted the VSTOL option wouldn't be there, and the government may or may not have opened it up to other partner nations but at least for the Air Force maybe it would ve been a cheaper option. Maybe bringing the cost down as we'll by not having all of them with the stealth coating that's expensive to maintain.
I'm just a military brat so take this with a grain of salt, but the Strike Eagles role was different than that of the F-16 Vipers. I'm almost positive the F-35 is more slated to replace and expand on the F-16's role. Also, the F-22 still cost more per plane than the F-35. So making a 'Strike' version of that would only raise the costs even more.

Again, the actual military guys would know more but this is the understanding I've come to based on conversations with my dad (former USAF pilot) as well as my family friend who's a current Viper pilot.
Well they wanted a fighter that all of our allies could buy... This (in theory) would make the practice of joint operations easier and also (again... In theory) reduce the overall development cost of the program. Also, in case you haven't noticed (and personal opinions aside about the F-22), the Raptor is a pretty incredible purpose-built fighter with some pretty cool capabilities our enemies (and allies) don't have. We wouldn't even sell it to Israel. We don't want anyone else having the technology that we have in the 22. Could they of built an F/A-22? Yes... And in fact I think the program even started out that way. But they wanted a program to share with our allies and they didn't want to hand the F-22 over to anyone. Just my .02