Support our troops

An impassioned yet well-researched plea by E. E. Riccioni, a veteran AF fighter pilot and charter member of the Fighter Mafia (99 KB PDF).

About the author:  I first met Rich Riccioni about 35 years ago, when I was a junior staffer doing grunt work for a tac air shop in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Rich was an Air Force colonel running the flight mechanics division at the Flight Dynamics Lab.  After a career as a fighter pilot, Rich had became a designer and advocate for air-air systems.  He played a critical role in initiating the Lightweight Fighter Program, which led to both the F-16 and F-18, and organized the first conference on the then-radical concept of supercruise (i.e., sustained supersonic cruise without afterburner), a key characteristic of the F-22.

Although no fan of the F-22 itself, Rich continues to advocate for characteristics like stealth and supercruise in more affordable systems.  He retired from the Air Force in 1976 and from Northrop Grumman in 1993.

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Filed in Misc. | 5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Support our troops”

  1. loggie20on 05 Oct 2008 at 3:12 pm 1

    There are many ways to look at issues.

    Most excuses to stay the course in the overly aggressive and wasteful war on terror are based on slogans and emotion. The US must not lose, or show it has no guts for casualties, nor endurance to go bankrupt. This line never asks for anything other than more of the same, and shows no thread between tactics and operations which lead to any strategic benefit.

    The strategic interests of the US are not secured by the two occupations. These have devolved to “kill sacks” where US strength and treasure are consumed with no beneficial effect. Forward defense is tantamount to getting to the Volga and getting killed.

    The US is being destroyed in detail. And those at the helm are to blame.

    I agree with Col Riccioni, the US needs to plan on future gains not past losses nor past slogans which have no thread to strategic interests.

    A bankrupt policy has little to defend itself with………….

  2. Maxon 05 Oct 2008 at 7:49 pm 2

    Great to see Rich published.


  3. Maxon 09 Oct 2008 at 11:10 am 3

    More background on Col. Riccioni.

    Rich developed an air combat tactical technique called “the
    double attack, which was adpated and rebranded with little
    variance as the “lose deuce” CAP tactical element by the USN, has gone on record as saying,

    “the only way to make the F-22 stealthy is to remove
    the oppositions eyeballs.”

    I know that as an enthusiast, I’ve visualy spotted and correctly identified an F-22 at a distance of not less than 18 statute miles.

    Did I mention that I wear glasses to correct near sightedness ?


  4. OldSkepticon 29 Oct 2008 at 4:38 am 4

    Hah. Sea Harriers thumped F-5 and F-15s from the USAF ‘Aggressor’ squadrons.

    I mean really thumped them, kill ratios of 1:5 and 1:10 were not uncommon. Simulations are one thing, they then did the same in the Falklands in real life, where not a single Harrier was shot down by an enemy aircraft.

    Why? the Sea Harrier followed all of Boyd’s rules. Small, very, very maneauvarable, no smoke. Yes a good radar, used carefully, good weapons, plus great loiter time (lovely engine). Superb pilots who knew how to use its strengths against ‘technically’ superior planes … which they weren’t. Plus every kill was in WVR and from behind (the old lessons never change).

    BVR is a chimera, in real life it never happens, unless you are up against a 2nd/3rd world opponent, which a bunch of F-16’s could sweep aside, or to be more cynicall, WW2 Spitfies with missiles attached with AWAC support could also achieve.

    ‘Sharkey’ Ward described it perfectly when he told how to go up against F-15’s (read his book)… and thumped them repeatedly.

    A good design, with great pilots, great ground crews = a win. If you want ‘supercruise’, buy a Concorde.

  5. Maxon 18 Nov 2008 at 8:38 am 5

    The last word on “AIPOWER”

    This is just too good to pass up, I had to share it.
    Entirely Germain to the vector this thread has taken,
    and the sympathetic to the prevelent thinking
    of the group.

    Not to mention sardonic witt at it’s finest.

    Enjoy !