We are in the middle of a revolution in how war is waged. Future wars will be dominated by precision weapons, sophisticated intelligence, and communications systems. The speed and tempo on the battlefield will be much higher.
America has the technology and ability to adapt to these new conditions. But we also need the will. We are making the decisions now which will determine our country's military capability ten years into the next century. We must not falter. We cannot err in these decisions and expect to remain the world's most respected Air Force. Two decisions are critical. We must continue to develop stealth technology, and we must develop and produce the U.S. Air Force's next air superiority fighter -The Lockheed F-22.
Stealth gives us four major advantages in air operations. First, it restores the critically important element of surprise to the conduct of all our air missions. Stealth provides surprise, and warriors cherish surprise. Eighty percent of all the pilots shot down never saw who shot them. It also gives us freedom of action: the freedom to penetrate radar defenses when and where we want; the freedom to concentrate our mission planning on destroying targets rather than countering enemy threats; and the freedom to use the best attack option every time. These advantages are invaluable to air warriors.
Third,stealth makes our available numbers of aircraft, our force structure, more efficient. It allows us to attack more targets with fewer fighters and support aircraft.
Finally, stealth gives our aircrews high confidence of achieving their desired mission results. That's a very important attribute for a combat aircrew. Combat aircrews must be confident that they have a high measure of survivability when they go out on missions. That helps take the sting out of the 35-percent reduction in air force fighters we are already taking.
The Lockheed F- 117 was the first system to give us these revolutionary advantages. Lockheed did an admirable job integrating all of the technologies involved and bringing it on line. But the F- 117 was far from the final word on stealth. It is an example of first-generation stealth technology. Now we have our fourth.
In the late 1970s when it was developed, stealth technology was limited to subsonic speed and faceted surfaces. It was not designed to counter threats from every direction and it isn't as maneuverable as its nonstealthy counterparts.
The technologies continued to evolve, giving us more capabilities and more potential. When we designed our second-generation stealth system, the advanced cruise missile, we could achieve stealth with a smooth, aerodynamic shape that was invisible on radar from virtually any angle. But it was still limited to subsonic speeds and it also lacked maneuverability. The ACM was a big improvement but it was a very small system. We needed to apply this level of stealth to an aircraft to achieve the capabilities we will need in the 2 I St century. We did that with the B-2, our third-generation stealth system.
The B-2 is very large, carries a 50,000-Pound payload, has a 6,ooo-nautical-mile unrefueled range, and gives us omnidirectional stealth like the advanced cruise missile. It is a subsonic aircraft and it's less maneuverable than many of its non-stealth fighters. That's fine for the B-2S mission, but those are serious limitations for a fighter.
The F-22, our fourth-generation stealth system, breaks through those barriers. It's stealthy from all directions like the Acm and the B-2. But it is also more maneuverable than anything we've ever fielded and it has the blinding speed characteristic of all fighters. With the incorporation of all-around stealth and supersonic speed it becomes our fourth-generation stealth system.
All of this capability is vital in war. As you recall, the Gulf War started with an air campaign. In the dead of nig ' ht, we launched thousands of aircraft sorties across the desert to attack Iraq. They were led by the F- 117 Stealth fighter.
We knew the F- 117 was far better than the defenses it faced. It didn't need direct support to do its job. As we reported, it didn't get any direct support from other systems. The F- 117 restored the element of surprise to air operations in the Gulf War. The Stealth fighter gave our pilots freedom of action. They could, and did, go anywhere in Iraq without a single hit from enemy air defenses.
The F- 117 allowed us to use our available force structure much more efficiently, despite what you have read recently. And, it gave us high confidence in achieving desired mission results. The world watched as our pilots dropped bombs down elevator shafts in the most heavily defended city in that area of the world. Stealth, and the other things we invested in over the last 20 years - LANTIRN, advanced radars, low probability of intercept features, GPS, FLIRS, and night training-made us successful -especially at night. We were able to navigate and attack as though we were working in broad daylight. No other air force in the world can do that.
We took the fight to the enemy and kept it there. Our success kept the Iraqis from ever entering Saudi airspace or putting their air force into action against the coalition ground forces. We were able to conduct operations around the clock for weeks on end. The coalition launched more than i,ooo combat sorties per day throughout the war. The Iraqis never had a chance to rest and regroup. Precision-guided weapons let us decimate Iraqi capability with less than one percent of the ordnance used during the II-year Vietnam war.
Stealth; electronic combat systems; and superior command, control, and communications let us travel anywhere at will. Our forces controlled our enemy's airspace. Despite this blur of activity, the coalition lossrate was less than one-half of one-tenth of one percent. If you compare that to our performance in previous conflicts, our combat losses were 58 times smaller than in World War ii, 13 times less than in the Korean War, and five times less than in Vietnam. In six weeks, the war was over. It took only ioo hours of ground combat to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait.
The Gulf War taught us many things. We learned that the technology we invested in for the last 20 years paid off. Prior to the hostilities, no one would have believed this convincing victory would be possible. Our critics claimed our high-tech equipment was too sophisticated for our own good. They argued that our computer-dependent systems had to be pampered and that heat and sand would wreak havoc with them.
The reverse was true. We en'oyed exceptionally high in-commision rate -better than our stateside, peacetime standard. We learned vital lessons for the New World Order in the Gulf War. Among them, despite our current improved relationship with the Soviets, the world is still a dangerous, violent place.
The fundamental capabilities built into each system let us adapt our fighters to missions they weren't designed for. Supersonic F- 111S went after tanks and A-10s hunted SCUDS, demonstrating the flexibility of airpower.
We learned that in troubled times the world still wants the United States to take the leadership role. We learned there are no such things as certainties in the New World Order. It's reasonable to expect the next conflict to arise on short notice in an area without U.S. bases or propositioned supplies.
We can expect to meet this kind of challenge with a much smaller force than we had available for the Gulf War. Our tactical air forces alone will be eight wings smaller. The Air Force will have a third fewer people, and the Army and Navy will take similar cuts. Despite these reductions, we must be able to field a force equal to any challenge.
There are people who claim the air force we have today is sufficient to defend us against any threat we face in the future. They are content to be adequate, not decisive. They forget we aren't playing basketball. When America goes to war, the taxpayers expect us to win ioo-o, not 99-98 in double overtime.
The Gulf War reaffirmed that air superiority is vital to victory. It is the first objective in any conflict. The F-22 wl 'll allow us to control the air despite our smaller force structure. It assures American air superiority well into the next century.
It guarantees the safety of our forces and our allies in friendly territory. It lets our ground and naval forces move freely while denying our enemy that advantage. Air superiority is the sine qua non of successful warfare. We have what it takes to gain and maintain air superiority today. Our fighters and the men who fly them are the best in the world. But complacency won't keep them this way.
Most people point to Soviet advances in fighters as the biggest threat to our air-superiority advantage. True, the MiG-29 and the SU-27 attained rough parity with our fighters. We understand the air-superiority fighter they have on the drawing board now has even greater maneuverability and a much lower radar cross section.
While these advances in interceptors are a valid J'ustification for the F-22, that's only part of the story. If you think the Soviets have been busy building fighters, look what they've done in integrated air defenses. This is their forte. They have the densest, most sophisticated surface-to-alr missile systems in the world. These systems are the Soviet's best export. You can find them anywhere in the world. They are already the centerpiece of their client- states' defense networks. And, it looks like the Soviets are hoping to expand their market.
The Soviet Union spent $235 billion on integrated air defenses over the last 25 years. It bought them better mobility, electronic countermeasure capabilities, and expanded the spectrum of frequencies used. These systems are easy to peddle. Because of their defensive nature, any reg me will be able to justify buying them I without triggering much controversy.
Even under a treaty like CFE, countries that have systems like these now will be allowed to upgrade. Consequently, there will be third-world nations with first-world integrated air defenses across the globe. That means stealth won't be a 'nice-to-have'; it will be an imperative.
During the Gulf War, we had F- 15S flying barrier CAPS deep in enemy territory. The pilots told us that those long hours loitering far from friendly territory were their most uncomfortable moments. Stealth would have reduced that vulnerability. But stealth alone doesn't negate all threats. The things that make a fighter a fighter- agility, speed, the combination of weapons, and capabilities that let us sweep our adversaries from the sky-are still the sine qiia non of air superiority.
The F-22 is the next step beyond stealth. It adds all of these things to stealth -superior speed, superior avionics, and superior supportability. Each gives us distinct advantages over our opponents. Supersonic cruise gives our pilots a tremendous advantage but one that many people fall to understand. Speed influences more than our ability to get to the fight. We aren't preparing for a race; we re preparing for a war. Supersonic cruise lets us operate in a realm where the enemy cannot. It lets our 'lots dictate the terms of the engagement. They will choose when and where to engage and when and where to disengage.
The combination of stealth and supersonic cruise dramatically shrinks the engagement envelopes of enemy defensive systems. The enemy simply won't have the time to react.
The F-22's superiority is not limited to stealth and supersonic cruise. Its avionics package gives our pilots access to information enemy pilots lack. It gives them superb situational awareness. The integrated avionics structure uses VHSic and fiber optics to give it a two order of magnitude improvement in speed and storage over the F- 15. This computing power synthesizes the massive influx of information from sub-systems and puts it in a usable format for the pilot. It turns data into information. Flying an F-22 Will be the closest a human being can get to omniscience.
The F-22 will have superior reliability and maintainability. It will be nearly twice as reliable as the F-15, giving it higher mission-capable rates and higher sortie rates, while needing less support. That means it is inherently more mobile. We will need fewer people and parts to support it and it will need maintenance less frequently. With fewer bases overseas and our increasingly expeditionary role, these are very important advantages.
We can't add these features to the F-I5. Aerospace technology went through a revolution during the 20-PIUS years the F-I5 has been flying. We upgraded it literally hundreds of times. But no upgrade can give it the combination of speed, stealth and reliability we get with the F-22. The F- 15 is simply growing too old, and its basic design limits what we can do.
I don't fault the designers. No one expected the F-I5 to be around for 30-Plus years. We do expect the F-22 to be, and it was designed with upgrades in mind. The modularity we put in this aircraft will allow us to keep our fighter force supplied with the best technology America has to offer 20 and 30 years from now.
Technology isn't the only revolutionary aspect of this program. Its development will have as much impact on defense acquisition as the F-22 will have on warfare. You are all well acquainted with the problems that plagued defense acquisition in the i98os. We had trouble meeting our cost, schedule, and performance goals. As Commander of the Aeronautical Systems Division I saw it first hand. Scandals plagued our development programs. Products didn't always perform as advertised when they reached the field.
In searching for the solution to these problems, we found our development process was flawed. The right hand did not understand what the left hand was doing. We were operating as independent entities-operators, designers, developers, manufacturers, testers, and supporters. We were trying to build the world's most sophisticated products like cars on an assembly line. Requirements were set, designs drawn up, and assembly begun without any of the principals understanding how their actions affected the final product. Consequently, we spent big money fixing problems.
That changed with the F-22 program. Designers, manufacturers, logisticians, and operators sat down together at the beginning of this program. They pooled their expertise to build a product that is the embodiment of quality. If the design wouldn't work in the factory or on the flight line, it was fixed with a few keystrokes on a monitor. When the operators insisted on a capability with a high price tag, the team weighed the @radeoffs carefully and helped us make an informed decision.
Because of this investment in time and education, we know the F-22 is the best design based on the best balance of cost, schedule, and performance.
It's a superior product in every sense. The thousands of people involved in bringing it into being should be very proud of what they are doing to ensure America's future. It's no surprise that Lockheed is leading the F-22 team. They have a long and distinguished history of producing fast, innovative, and reliable fighters.
Next April is the 48th anniversary of an air battle you may not have heard about. It happened in I944 during three days of heavy fighting on the north coast of New Guinea. At Hollandia, squadrons from our Fifth Air Force flying Lockheed P-38s shot down 6o enemy aircraft while losing only two P-38s and a single B-24. 14oliandia stripped the Japanese of most of its remaining air cover. It opened the way for allied ground and naval forces to the heart of japan.
The F-22 is cut from this mold. It has a proud heritage. It will ensure continuation of the air dominance in war that America has become accustomed to. An entire generation of Americans has passed since we last had to fight without unquestioned control of the air. We cannot -we must not-ask a future generation of Americans to face its enemies with anything less than complete air supremacy.
With America's technologies and the F-22 they will enjoy the same advantages in war that we did. These advantages will keep us the world's most respected air force well into the next century.