Why not an F-22 stimulus?

posted at 4:15 pm on February 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If the Obama administration wants government to provide a real economic stimulus while benefiting taxpayers, defense infrastructure would certainly help in both jobs and in actual defense.  The F-22A Raptor seems to qualify on both counts.  The program employs 95,000 people, has over a thousand suppliers, and its advocates estimate its impact on the economy at $12 billion.

So why is the Raptor under consideration for the chopping block?  From last November:

Gates’s transition staff, led by special assistant Robert Rangel, has also mapped out key events for the first 90 days of the new administration — such as NATO meetings and budget submissions, as well as decisions on deployments and the F-22A Raptor fighter jet.

Debate centers around whether the F-22A should get more development or whether the Pentagon should look to the next generation of fighters in the F-35 Lightning II.  However, the Lightning II won’t start delivering until 2011, while the military needs more capability now.  The F-22A has a fully operational production line and supply support and can continue producing aircraft now while the Pentagon waits for the F-35.

It seems to me that both fighter projects produce more stimulus than most of what we have in HR1.  It certainly creates more jobs than contraception subsidies, Hollywood pork, Medicare expansion, and much of what Democrats pass off as “stimulus” at the moment.  Not only does the F-22A production create and maintain jobs, they are well-compensated manufacturing jobs, which the US needs now more than ever to help sustain an economic revival.  Plus, the project actually delivers useful product for national defense and for export to our allies (if approved for export), rather than just digging ditches or resodding the National Mall.

Plus, also unlike most of the stimulus, production can continue immediately, rather than wait for 12-18 months for ramp-up time.

Extending the life of the F-22A seems like a no-brainer for a government looking for stimulus.


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Comment pages: 1 2

That’s a stimulus to the ‘wrong kind of people’.

Vashta.Nerada on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM

but what about Aetheist schools??? STD prevention??? Condoms for Mexicans????

SDarchitect on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Because Obama is more interested in a populist gesture than doing something that might actually be helpful.

Bill Scrunty on February 4, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Oh my. The F-22 gives me a thrill up my leg.

KelliD on February 4, 2009 at 4:18 PM

It is true that with this pork bill, the Democrats have removed from themselves the right to say “we shouldn’t do that because it costs too much” in response to any Republican proposal.

kc8ukw on February 4, 2009 at 4:18 PM

F22′s and nuclear power plants. Skip most of the rest.

JiangxiDad on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Why not an F-22 stimulus?

They’d only do it if the plants were going to relocate in Murtha and Pelosi’s districts.

CP on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

SDarchitect on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM

this would be called “birth control for al-queda”

:)

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

F22’s and nuclear power plants. Skip most of the rest.

JiangxiDad on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Yeah, nuke plants would be a good idea too.

CP on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

What I don’t think most people understand, is that it was not SPENDING during WWII which got us out of the depresion, it was the INVESTMENT in PRODUCTION that was made.

We created hundreds of factories, which once the war was over, were switched over to civilian manufacturing.

What I would like to see in a stimulus bill, is some type of Low or no Interest loans for Manufacturing plants, infrastructure, and Energy production.

Thats the way to stimulate… Invest, don’t just give money to folks to spend.

Romeo13 on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

end the federal income tax
end wasteful spending

best stimulus package the government can give

offroadaz on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Remember when some company in FRANCE won a government contract to build planes for our armed forces and some in the government protested and got that contract to go to Boeing??

I wonder if this will be occuring with more frequency under Obama so that the joke that Michael Savage has made about outsourcing our security to China (or countries where they can do it much cheaper then in the USA) turns into reality?

TheMightyQuinn on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

And Robert Reich will be there to make sure none of those F-22 engineers-builders are “skilled white male” types.

aquaviva on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

#1 this isn’t good for Michelle’s kids.

#2 These aren’t Govt jobs.

marklmail on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

The problem is all those middle-aged WASP male areonautics/astronautics Ph.Ds working at Lockheed — and as for the guys in the factories putting the airplanes together, they’re just too d*mn much like white construction workers, ya’ know.

My collie says:

Sarcasm off.

CyberCipher on February 4, 2009 at 4:21 PM

How about we simply move along to the F35? The F22 should be seeing our needs for quite a while as long as we refuse to sell the things. I seem to recall hearing about Israel taking the Hornets we sold them, and selling guidance technology to the Chinese, so sadly they seem to be untrustworthy on that sphere. The F35 has been delayed constantly for years. Let’s get the sucker out and move on.

MadisonConservative on February 4, 2009 at 4:21 PM

No . . Obama’s not interested in the F-22. He’s more concerned about raping the treasury and putting free money in the pockets of his ACORN flunkies.

rplat on February 4, 2009 at 4:21 PM

I happen to work on the avionics for the F-35. Its a very sophisticated fighter. Plus, seven other countries will be involved in its production and deployment. Oh, except Israel. The DOD thinks those damn Joooooos will reverse engineer the thing and make it better. Couldn’t have that.

Andy in Agoura Hills on February 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

F-22′s don’t help Michelle’s children.
Slightly OT: I got a tour of the F-35 production line last Thanksgiving in the Ft. Worth Lockheed plant. Talk about thrills up your leg! (Brother-in-law is working on the first Marine variant airframe.)

common sensineer on February 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Thats the way to stimulate… Invest, don’t just give money to folks to spend.

Romeo13 on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

That’s the scary part , they think any “spending” is stimulation the economy.

the_nile on February 4, 2009 at 4:23 PM

What would a ‘community organizer’ know about stimulating the economy or national defense?

petefrt on February 4, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Yeah, right now our military should be a top priority. Definitely.

Also, according to Lawrence Lindsay, a payroll tax cut and refinancing mortgages at a lower percent with the promise to pay will also provide a large stimulus without costing us any money.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=217029&title=Lawrence-Lindsey

funsutton on February 4, 2009 at 4:25 PM

I disagree, but for defense reason rather than economic ones. The F-22 is just too darned expensive per copy. AF generals will be unwilling to risk them in a war that gets really hot. This is a cold war fighter – there is not a potential enemy on the planet (except maybe Israel) who can match the technology.
 
On the other hand, even though it’s unlikely as China would be loathe to attack its best market, China (and others) could put up a LOT of cheap fighters that would eventually overwhelm the vaunted (and real) capabilities of the F-22 that we would be willing to risk in battle. Having a goodly number will be well to make potential enemies wary, but we must also have an aircraft that we are willing to risk in higher numbers.
 
As Stalin said (or was it Lenin) ‘Quantity has a quality all its own.’
 
Remember, the nuclear equation has also changed – even if we are willing to risk (and can afford) vast quantities of F-22s, will our enemy (soon) have an ally with nukes?

ElRonaldo on February 4, 2009 at 4:26 PM

end the federal income tax
end wasteful spending

best stimulus package the government can give

offroadaz on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

+ Tort Reform. Stupid lawyers and insurance companies are destroying the USA.

kirkill on February 4, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Oh my. The F-22 gives me a thrill up my leg.

KelliD on February 4, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Personally, I liked the look of the F-23 better, but the Airforce went with the F-22. Oh, well.

Count to 10 on February 4, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Does anyone know who, what, or it is running http://www.preserveraptorjobs.com?

You can’t find anything about the operators of this project on their website.

This is interesting.
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/02/f-22-astroturf.html

gabriel sutherland on February 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Yep, right along those lines. Annoying, to say the least, when they’re as important an ally as they are.

MadisonConservative on February 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM

I’m all for the F-22 Stimulus Plan. But what the heck happened to Drill Baby Drill?

Let’s build some refineries–Lord knows we need them. And what about some nuclear power plants?! Let’s take Sarah Palin up on drilling in ANWR. And what about offshore? All of a sudden this stuff is off the table?

This would put hundreds of thousands of people to work in good-paying, permanent jobs. We could dramatically reduce the amount of crude we have to buy from the Saudi oil ticks.

Gas prices are already on the upswing. Do we have to hit $4/gal again for anyone to notice?

IrishEi on February 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Guns or Butter?

bluejacket on February 4, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Ed said:

whether the Pentagon should look to the next generation of fighters in the F-35 Lightning II

Beg to differ. The F22 and F35 have been under parallel acquisition for years. These aircraft have different missions, different customers (it’s designed for international sales and domestic use), and different manufacturing schemes. The F35 is a lot like the Airbus. It’s built all over the place. The F22 is homegrown.

They are of the same generation, with differing missions.

BobMbx on February 4, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Extending the life of the F-22A seems like a no-brainer for a government looking for stimulus.

Of course it would…assuming the Government is actually looking for stimulus. But as many have said here, I would be shocked if this Administration or Congress would do it…that money would be going to something the Democrats have shown no interest in to date…protecting the US…plus, how does putting money into F-22 production keep Daschle in a limo or get Chris Dodd a better deal on his mortgage?

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Romeo13 on February 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Agreed. The “stimulus” is only going to destimulate. However, if they are going to throw money around under the delusion that it will do some good, the military is the best least damaging place for it.

Count to 10 on February 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM

How about tossing some money Aurora way?

MadisonConservative on February 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Too much trajectory for BO. Now, MO might think differently.

Cody1991 on February 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Guns or Butter?

bluejacket on February 4, 2009 at 4:28 PM

“Guns keep us safe. Butter only makes us fat.”
-Prodegy

Count to 10 on February 4, 2009 at 4:31 PM

The angle of attack that plane can fly at is beautiful.

I love fighter jets!

JadeNYU on February 4, 2009 at 4:31 PM

The F-22 is awesome, but unfortunately, none of them are deployed overseas, which kind of negates the whole “air supremacy fighter” thing. They do, however, rule.

Rainsford on February 4, 2009 at 4:32 PM

of what use if the F22 and 35 to us? what enemies are we fighting with these? who has the planes to challenge these. certainly not old 70s russian crap.

this suffers from the same wastefulness all defense spending does – namely the choice between guns and butter.

that said, i do think it is pathetic how most of our air force and navy dates from the 60s and 70s.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

The big plus, is that they are exportable…Denmark is interested in the F-35, as well as other nations.

right2bright on February 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

of what use if the F22 and 35 to us? what enemies are we fighting with these? who has the planes to challenge these. certainly not old 70s russian crap.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

China’s been busy, and their pilots are far from slouches.

MadisonConservative on February 4, 2009 at 4:34 PM

China’s been busy, and their pilots are far from slouches.

MadisonConservative on February 4, 2009 at 4:34 PM

cause we’re going to have a shooting war with china. right.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Japan has been begging for this plane…they’ve just dropped their requests though, once they heard it’s being canceled.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

cause we’re going to have a shooting war with china. right.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Better weapons , less fighting.

the_nile on February 4, 2009 at 4:39 PM

how many people on welfare are going to enjoy this? None. So obviously this is not the type of stimulus we’re looking for.

Phoenician on February 4, 2009 at 4:40 PM

I’m all for the F-22 Stimulus Plan. But what the heck happened to Drill Baby Drill?

Let’s build some refineries–Lord knows we need them. And what about some nuclear power plants?! Let’s take Sarah Palin up on drilling in ANWR. And what about offshore? All of a sudden this stuff is off the table?

This would put hundreds of thousands of people to work in good-paying, permanent jobs. We could dramatically reduce the amount of crude we have to buy from the Saudi oil ticks.

Gas prices are already on the upswing. Do we have to hit $4/gal again for anyone to notice?

IrishEi on February 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM

The funniest thing about the drilling debate is that California could, if not completely fix their budget problems, then at least make a huge dent it by allowing drilling and exploration off its shores to begin again. No bailout money for Cali until it opens up its shores to drilling and allows power plants to be built in state.

Corsair on February 4, 2009 at 4:40 PM

cause we’re going to have a shooting war with china. right.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

The point is as much to prevent such a thing as it is to win it.
Peace through superior firepower–there is no other kind.

Count to 10 on February 4, 2009 at 4:41 PM

My father works at Lockheed on the F-22 and the possible cuts have had him searching for other jobs (within Lockheed) that aren’t tied to certain programs for better job security.

modnar on February 4, 2009 at 4:42 PM

My father works at Lockheed on the F-22 and the possible cuts have had him searching for other jobs (within Lockheed) that aren’t tied to certain programs for better job security.

modnar on February 4, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Well, if Lockheed hasn’t already, they should fabricate some ‘Global Warming’ snake oil projects…that’s where the Mad Federal pork money is at these days.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

of what use if the F22 and 35 to us? what enemies are we fighting with these? who has the planes to challenge these. certainly not old 70s russian crap.

this suffers from the same wastefulness all defense spending does – namely the choice between guns and butter.

that said, i do think it is pathetic how most of our air force and navy dates from the 60s and 70s.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Its also about getting through air defenses. I would not want to try to penetrate Iranian air defenses with a couple of f-16s. As to the debate of being outnumbered, that is why you need several different types of fighters/bombers. They all perform different roles so if the (scenario play) Chinese put up 400 fighters and we had 20 f-22s it would make it difficult for them so you also need the older f-16s etc.
Combined arms is the only way to go.

Corsair on February 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Also, just to remind folks here the F15s are falling apart.

liquidflorian on February 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Extending the life of the F-22A seems like a no-brainer for a government looking for stimulus.

Isn’t this redundant?

PappaMac on February 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

cause we’re going to have a shooting war with china. right.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Uhhh, yeah. If China for whatever reason would want the US, they’d be avoiding the nuclear option at all costs. Save infrastructure for takeover, and you reap much bigger rewards after conquest.

Hopefully Hillary would be on the rag because they’d be glowing by noon.

MadisonConservative on February 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Corsair on February 4, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Very good point.

This whole damn thing is so frustrating.

IrishEi on February 4, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Plus, also unlike most of the stimulus, production can continue immediately, rather than wait for 12-18 months for ramp-up time.

Well, OK. As long as they come equipped with condom dispensers as standard equipment.

Wyznowski on February 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Unmanned fighters are the future. How many G’s can the F22 pull in a turn if it wanted to? How many can the pilot take?

BL@KBIRD on February 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM

F-16 would be better.
- still in production
- easier to spool up production line
- less demand for carbon-fiber which is in short supply
- we have worn out our fleet much quicker than expected
- Widely exported – i’m sure Israel, Taiwan, South Korea could some more… build a production blog for Iraq…

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Most of those 95,000 jobs are probably held by “white” people, so it’s not worth spending the money there.

GarandFan on February 4, 2009 at 4:53 PM

This is exactly what I thought last week when talking about this so-called “stimulus”. The F-22 purchase schedule should be accelerated, and they should buy more than currently committed to. This is a fantastic aircraft, and we have F-15C pilots finding their cockpits separating from their airframes in midflight. Remember that recently? The Air Force grounded the whole fleet of Eagles for emergency metal fatigue inspections(except for the newer Strike Eagles).

In Congress, there has been talk that the Pentagon will have to choose between the F-22 and the F-35, as if they are competing for the role of U.S. fighter. We need them both, because they are complimentary to each other across the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-15 Eagle will be replaced by the F-22 Raptor as the air superiority fighter, while the three variants of the F-35 Lightening II will replace the F-18C for the Navy and Marines on Carriers, the F-16 Falcon for the Air Force, and the AV-8 Harrier “jumpjets” for the U.S. Marines and the U.K. Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

There has been interest by Japan and Australia in both the Raptor and the conventional runway version of the Lightening II. This will help to preserve good paying jobs here in America as Ed points out while helping our Armed Forces do their jobs better, and our allies are involved heavily in the F-35 program from the start. A RAF pilot was the first to execute a vertical takeoff, break the sound barrier, cruise supersonic, then execute a vertical landing all in the same flight. That’s what earned the Lightening II prototype VTOL team the prestigious Collier Trophy for setting aviation benchmarks.

We should also keep the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet production going, since we need airlift upgrade and the Brits have already took delivery of the C-17′s they purchased and got them operational. With today’s farflung battlefields, the C-17 is critical to the USA, NATO and our alliances in the Pacific such as Japan, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and others.

All of this and I haven’t even mentioned the USA’s strategic interest in Israel having a top-notch Air Force with which to confront Iran, should that suddenly become necessary. Russia is still developing next-gen aircraft, and since the Russian Air Force can’t afford many of them, they are financing the programs by exporting to China the Sukhoi and MiG latest models. India is a big customer as well.

You are right on the money here, Ed. Good catch!

Brian1972 on February 4, 2009 at 5:00 PM

+1 on c-17 we didn’t buy enough in the first place… should really build the KC-135 replacement off the c-17 platform

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 5:02 PM

+1 for the F-16. You could buy several updated and highly capable F-16s for each F-22. In addition, the currently fielded F-16 are getting old, and their replacement (the F-35) is not due to be produced in mass quantity for at least another decade (not 2011 as is said above). The current forecast has thousands of Air National Guard jobs going away in the next 5-6 years because their F-16s are heading to the boneyard. That affects many communities here in the USA, and adversely affects our combat capability.

Build, baby, build. My squadron would greatly appreciate new jets.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 5:04 PM

I don’t agree Ed.

I don’t know where you come up with the statement that the military needs more capability “now”. 2011 is only three years away and the Navy is perfectly happy with the FA-18 … Air Force seems to be happy with the F-16. Additionally – I believe some NATO countries like Norway are already betting on the F-35.

I don’t know – I think I would go with the most bang for the buck – even if it meant waiting a few years on the Lightning II.

HondaV65 on February 4, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Spend government money on what the constitution actually says you can spend it on to stimulate the economy? What an odd idea.

Sue on February 4, 2009 at 5:09 PM

The F-22 is just too darned expensive per copy.

ElRonaldo on February 4, 2009 at 4:26 PM

With R&D costs so high compared to production costs, of course they’re too expensive per copy with the cut back numbers we have right now. The original program numbers were much, much larger. How about we spread the R&D costs that have already been sunk into the program (a fixed cost no matter what we do) over more airframes so they cost significantly less per copy?

James on February 4, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Again, there are no production F-35s going to any squadrons outside of the flight test community for at least another decade. Because of the delays in this program, many of the aircraft that the F-35 is supposed to replace will have reached the end of their service lives many years before then.

Building more F-16s with updated avionics as a stop-gap (or as a replacement altogether) makes very good sense.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I forgot the tankers! To keep all this stuff in the air as long as needed we need that new fleet of tanker jets soon. I suggest going with the Boeing proposal, and ramp it up. The tankers we are using now are almost as old as the B-52 fleet. Late ’50′s, early ’60′s. The tankers will be exported to our allies as well.

Don’t cut the Osprey! The helicopters it replaces are from the early ’60′s too.

Brian1972 on February 4, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Ok, so I am in the AF and have worked with the first operational F-22 (not F-22A anymore Ed) fighter squadron. There are a few reasons why the F-22 appears on the scope of getting rid of it. First, with the F-15 and F-16 and the Navy’s F-18 we dominate the skies as far as fighter jets for the most part. The Russian Mig is still an amazing jet that if the pilot is good enough can definitely give our guys a run for their money. But we still dominate overall without the F-22.

Second reason is that the F-35 is being designed to be used by the Navy and Air Force. They want to streamline all these different fighter jets down to a few between the two services.

Now, ultimately I believe that they should get rid of some of the older jets such as the F-15 to implement the change to the F-22 which will help defer some of the costs. At the same time as investing in the F-35 at a slower pace and see how it handles operationally. I know there was a huge problem with the fuel pump on the F-22 which was shot after roughly 500 hours of flight. The fuel pump had to be redesigned from scratch.

But I am just a lowly NCO that doesnt know anything…ha!

cappy718 on February 4, 2009 at 5:12 PM

F-16 is completely outclassed by the newest Russian fighters and has been for a while…this thing is still the best of the best, and there is (or was) a sizeable export market for it among our allies.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Plus, the project actually delivers useful product for national defense and for export to our allies (if approved for export),

Its not short-term stimulus. It is valuable but not an investment in productivity. It belongs in a different bill. F22 raptors don’t help us commute to work faster or help boost the economy. They bomb stuff. Its valuable and we should spend money on it but not part of the stimulus package.

Jimmy the Dhimmi on February 4, 2009 at 5:16 PM

F-16 marginal cost – $27 million (2005)
F-22 marginal cost – $125+ million

Not enough production tooling to produce F-22 at higher rate.

a few hundred F/A-18 superhornets would be good too

C-17, C-130 and finally the KC-135 replacement (think 707)

all would be high “value-added” manufacturing jobs with minimal up-front engineering delay… a vast majority of the dollars staying in the domestic economy

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Brian1972 on February 4, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Ha basically the same thing i just said…knew American Airmen would come running at this one…hahahah

cappy718 on February 4, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Oh. and you would actually train people to do real work instead of pushing paper or flipin’ burgers

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 5:19 PM

In regards to the argument of “who are we going to use them against”; be very careful of assuming that the next war we fight will be like the current one. That’s the problem we had for years in the 90s sticking to the ‘attack on western europe, fulda gap’ model. We might need heavy firepower and air supremacy for another conflict.

And above all else I wanna have the biggest, baddest, most advance and most dominant force of everything avaliable

Defector01 on February 4, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Listen… I’m a big supporter of the military, and an advocate for a strong defense, but the F-22 is a boondoggle, much like how the Stryker vehicle was. It has the corrupt hands of Ted Stevens all over it.

The money spent on the F-22 would be better spent on reopening the F-15/F-16/A-10 production lines. The F-22 is an utter waste of money. It’s a single mission jet produced to combat a nonexistent threat. Namely, Soviet era jets. Let get real and give the boots on the ground what they really need.

ThomasB. on February 4, 2009 at 5:23 PM

And above all else I wanna have the biggest, baddest, most advance and most dominant force of everything avaliable

Defector01 on February 4, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Wouldn’t that be unproportional to the enemy..

the_nile on February 4, 2009 at 5:23 PM

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 5:13 PM

The F-16 is not outclassed per se, it’s just an apples to oranges comparison. The F-16 isn’t meant to lead the charge in an air-to-air environment….the F-22 is made for that. The F-16s is a multi-role aircraft, with the ability to perform a lot of different missions. I don’t see the F-22 or the Sukhoi SU-35 being used for air-to-ground missions that the F-16 excels in.

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Also, with some of the upgraded avionics that Lockheed are putting into the F-16s that are going to overseas buyers, the aircraft is actually pretty competitive against anything flying (that’s not an F-22).

Chuckie on February 4, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Market Decision. Love, Randy

williars on February 4, 2009 at 5:29 PM

“So why is the Raptor under consideration for the chopping block”

uuuhhhh……..because the country elected an idiot??

notagool on February 4, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Remember when some company in FRANCE won a government contract to build planes for our armed forces and some in the government protested and got that contract to go to Boeing??

that fiasco was caused by none other than John Murtha. Fortunately someone came to their senses and squished that dumb idea. It was for some Air Force refueling tanker aircraft.

maineconservative on February 4, 2009 at 5:31 PM

the dems absoluty hate the military
with a passion..

I am sorry but i will bet you obama will take the entire production facility and GIVE it to both the chinese and islamic countries..

Well he wants to spead the wealth around..

jcila on February 4, 2009 at 5:32 PM

All your reasons for continuing the F-22 program are the exact reason the Dems. want to eleminate it.

Helloyawl on February 4, 2009 at 5:33 PM

How does this help michelle’s children?

jukin on February 4, 2009 at 5:37 PM

The money spent on the F-22 would be better spent on reopening the F-15/F-16/A-10 production lines. The F-22 is an utter waste of money. It’s a single mission jet produced to combat a nonexistent threat. Namely, Soviet era jets. Let get real and give the boots on the ground what they really need.

ThomasB. on February 4, 2009 at 5:23 PM

The F-15 line was developed in the 70s…how many cars from the 70s do you still drive?

The F-16 is still somewhat valuable…

I will agree with you on the A-10. We dont have another plane that can do the “Close Air Support” mission like it can.

But the F-22 being a single mission jet…ummm it used to be called the F/A-22 because it is a fighter/attack jet and it has been tested to do other missions as well. It is NOT a waste of money.

cappy718 on February 4, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Ohhhh… I know how to fix this…

See… its the name… Raptor… its so violent…

Change the name to F-22 Rainbow Defender…. or F-22 Unicorn!

Or F-22 Gay Liberator! (with the special Limp wrist fly by wire Control System!)…

Paint em Pink, or Rainbow? Dems would LUV em!

Romeo13 on February 4, 2009 at 5:42 PM

cause we’re going to have a shooting war with china. right.

Xolom on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

True or false: According to a 2008 Janes Intelligence Review report, China sells weapons systems to the governments of Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and terrorists groups in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Afghanistan?

True, but let’s buy more butter because, you know, America deserves to be invaded, militarily beaten and ruled by a dictator because Bushitler and Cheney did it to Iraq with their friends in Halliburton so it’s like, you know, fair and stuff.

ScottMcC on February 4, 2009 at 5:43 PM

end the federal income tax
end wasteful spending

best stimulus package the government can give

offroadaz on February 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Change that I can believe in.

Johan Klaus on February 4, 2009 at 5:43 PM

There is a brand new paper released by the Australians about how the F-22 is the only aircraft able to establish air superiority against Russian built Integrated Air Defense Systems. The same type of systems being bought by the Chinese, Iranians, Venezuelans, etc.

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-02.html

Here is the abstract:

The United States and its Allies have relied since the end of the Cold War upon the ability to quickly overwhelm an opposing IADS, and the ability to then deliver massed precision firepower from the air, as the weapon of choice in resolving nation state conflicts.

The reality of evolving IADS technology and its global proliferation is that most of the US Air Force combat aircraft fleet, and all of the US Navy combat aircraft fleet, will be largely impotent against an IADS constructed from the technology available today from Russian and, increasingly so, Chinese manufacturers.

If flown against such an IADS, US legacy fighters from the F-15 through to the current production F/A-18E/F would suffer prohibitive combat losses attempting to penetrate, suppress or destroy such an IADS.

The IADS technology in question is currently being deployed by China, Iran, Venezuela, and other nations, most of which have poor relationships with the Western alliance.

Until the US Air Force deploys significant numbers of the intended New Generation Bomber post 2020, only aircraft types in the US arsenal will be capable of penetrating, suppressing and destroying such an IADS – the B-2A Spirit and the F-22A Raptor.

There are only twenty B-2As in existence and retooling to manufacture a B-2C is an expensive approach given the commitment to the New Generation Bomber.

The United States therefore has only one remaining strategic choice at this time. That strategic choice is to manufacture a sufficient number of F-22A Raptors to provide a credible capability to conduct a substantial air campaign using only the B-2A and F-22A fleets.

The expectation that the US can get by with a small “golden bullet” fleet of stealth aircraft to carve holes in IADS to permit legacy aircraft to attack is no longer credible. The difficulty in locating and killing the new generation of self propelled and highly survivable IADS radars and launchers presents the prospect of a replay of the 1999 OAF campaign, with highly lethal SAM systems waiting in ambush, and mostly evading SEAD/DEAD attacks.

The F-22A Raptor will therefore have to perform the full spectrum of penetrating roles, starting with counter-air, and encompassing SEAD/DEAD, penetrating ISR and precision strike against strategic and tactical targets. The B-2A fleet can robustly bolster capabilities, but the small number of these superb aircraft available will result inevitably in very selective use.

If we assume an aircraft configuration reflecting the planned F-22A Block 40 configuration, and a contingency of similar magnitude to Desert Storm in 1991, then the required number of F-22A aircraft to cover the spectrum of penetrating roles is of the order of 500 to 600 aircraft in total.

The United States no longer has any real choices in this matter, if it wishes to retain its secure global strategic position in the 2010 – 2020 time window. Any other force structure model will result in a nett loss of strategic potential, and produce strategic risks, which neither the US nor its Allies can afford.

rbb on February 4, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Listen… I’m a big supporter of the military, and an advocate for a strong defense, but the F-22 is a boondoggle, much like how the Stryker vehicle was. It has the corrupt hands of Ted Stevens all over it.

The money spent on the F-22 would be better spent on reopening the F-15/F-16/A-10 production lines. The F-22 is an utter waste of money. It’s a single mission jet produced to combat a nonexistent threat. Namely, Soviet era jets. Let get real and give the boots on the ground what they really need.

ThomasB. on February 4, 2009 at 5:23 PM

I have to disagree with you here. First of all, the Stryker was/is not a boondoggle at all. It’s been rapidly developed and deployed, and has been very effective in theater. The troops love them, and the enemy fears them. From all that I’ve read about the Stryker program, it’s been a smashing success.

The Raptor is not a boondoggle either. This is the world’s best fighter aircraft that can do things no other fighter can do. The Raptor certainly can take on surface targets with JDAMS and various other munitions. The radar cross section is much less than anything we have now, meaning it’s way harder to see it coming. Add to that the latest engines allowing the ability to cruise at supersonic speeds with out the use of a fuel guzzling, range shortening afterburner and it’s on top of you before you know it’s there.

By the way, Soviet era jets are all over the world, if you had not noticed. Just like there are Soviet era infantry weapons all over the world. Whoever the enemy may be in the future, the odds are good if they have aircraft it will be Russian.

Sure, keep building F-15s and F-16s, just sell them to our allies who can’t afford the newer hardware. The A-10 has been out of production for more than 15 years. The current fleet will be maintained and upgraded for some time to come, because it’s so effective at close air support.

How about let’s get real and get all of our services what they need as soon as we can. It’s rather annoying to me that people are saying “let’s do this instead of that”, when they should be saying “let’s do this, this AND that.”

Since government spending is not a problem anymore, let’s do some of this on the Reagan model. Carter forced a choice between the B-1 bomber and a Navy submarine. Naturally Carter side with the Navy and cancelled the B-1. Reagan restarted the B-1 program and pursued a 600 ship Navy and the Abrams tank with the Bradley APC all at the same time.

Stop encouraging intra-service warfare in DC by having the branches take bites out of each other to get what they think they need. Let’s give them all the best possible, Air, Sea and Land. They all deserve it. That includes the U.S. Coast Guard, who need new ships and some Ospreys of their own.

Brian1972 on February 4, 2009 at 5:51 PM

The F-16s is a multi-role aircraft, with the ability to perform a lot of different missions. I don’t see the F-22 or the Sukhoi SU-35 being used for air-to-ground missions that the F-16 excels in.

Well, my point is, the F-16 isn’t really multi-role…it’s been almost exclusively air-to-mud for the last 15 years or so…it doesn’t even pretend to be an air superiority fighter. So, building more F-16s at the expense of the world’s best air superiority fighter is not a balanced approach. The F-15 is going away soon, and we still need air superiority fighters, even if the last war didn’t need them…the next war may very well need them.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 5:51 PM

I don’t know where you come up with the statement that the military needs more capability “now”. 2011 is only three years away and the Navy is perfectly happy with the FA-18 … Air Force seems to be happy with the F-16…
HondaV65 on February 4, 2009 at 5:05 PM

They may or may not be perfectly happy, but the airframes are running out of time. The USN is looking at a deficit in airframes as high as 180 planes (the size of the gap is debated, not the certainty that it’s coming) between the point when “legacy” C-model Hornets being to wear out in large numbers and the F-35C enters service (and that’s being optimistic–somewhat unsurprisingly the “C” model F-35 is the most troubled in its development, and may arrive years later than promised).

Meanwhile, the Air Force may “seem” to be happy with the F-16, unless you, say, actually bother to ask the Air Force. They’re wearing out, too, and while (unlike the “legacy” Hornets) more could be produced, their capabilities are gradually being overshadowed by those of the various Euro-canards and widely proliferating Sukhois.

That said, the F-35 is shaping up to be something of a dog, lacking the performance and payload of virtually every aircraft it’s meant to replace (a remarkable triumph of mediocrity, considering it carries the single most powerful fighter engine ever developed). It can’t even supercruise–a capability promised by even the next iteration of Sweden’s budget-basement Gripen. Instead, it banks its entire hope for survival on stealth and networking (though its stealth is poor relative to F-22′s).

And of course, it’s not clear the US Navy even wants the F-35C. The Admirals rarely talk about it, seeming to be far more excited about the prospect of fielding far more imposing and stealthy UCAV’s by 2020. One gets the impression they’d be just as happy with more F/A-18E/F’s (which at least have two engines–considered a “must” for carrier planes since the early 1970′s, unlike the F-35)to bridge the plane shortage until the bomber-robots arrive.

The only service that seems to really need the F-35 is the USMC, whose Harrier II’s pale in comparison. But performance and payload will always be a penalty paid for vertical jet takeoff, and the F-35B will certainly offer up its own sacrifices. And one might even be so bold to ask if vertical-lift for tactical jets is a capability the USMC truly needs in the first place.

One party that most certainly does want the F-35, even if it means sacrificing the F-22, is…Lockheed Martin, builder of both planes. Though the F-22 is the vastly superior aircraft, the F-35 promises to be a crushing money-maker. And due to all those foreign investments, it’s unlikely the F-35 program can be killed at this stage, no matter how expensive or mediocre the plane gets.

If you ask me, the F-35 is exactly what we get for climbing into bed with so many Euros: A committee-designed albatross that does little well, but which will quash all opposition out of sheer diplomatic gravitas.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 5:57 PM

F-22 Raptor

Dominating the Skies. Overwhelming the Threat.

Welcome to the era of the F-22 Raptor – the world’s premier 5TH generation fighter.

The F-22 is the only fighter capable of simultaneously conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions with near impunity. This is accomplished with a never-before-seen standard of survivability even while facing large numbers of sophisticated airborne and ground-based threats.

In addition to being America’s most prominent air-superiority fighter, the F-22 evolved from its original concept to become a lethal, survivable and flexible multimission fighter. By taking advantage of emerging technologies the F-22 has emerged as a superior platform for many diverse missions including intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic attack.

The Raptor is operational today, protecting our homeland and combat ready for worldwide deployment. Two squadrons of F-22s are assigned to Air Combat Command’s 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, Va. And two squadrons are assigned to the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. Raptor pilots and maintainers train at Tyndall AFB, Fla., while operational testing is conducted at Edwards AFB, Calif., and Nellis AFB, Nev. New F-22s continue to roll from the production line and will soon operate out of Holloman AFB, N.M., and Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

Brian1972 on February 4, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Well, my point is, the F-16 isn’t really multi-role…it’s been almost exclusively air-to-mud for the last 15 years or so…it doesn’t even pretend to be an air superiority fighter….
AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Sure it does, as numerous photos of F-16′s loaded out with nothing but AMRAAMs and AIM-9′s can attest. It’s just gotten a bit heavy with air-to-ground avionics for turning and burning like it used to. Strike is its primary mission, but it can still be tasked with air-to-air. Just ask the ANG.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Well, my point is, the F-16 isn’t really multi-role…it’s been almost exclusively air-to-mud for the last 15 years or so…it doesn’t even pretend to be an air superiority fighter. So, building more F-16s at the expense of the world’s best air superiority fighter is not a balanced approach. The F-15 is going away soon, and we still need air superiority fighters, even if the last war didn’t need them…the next war may very well need them.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Need to remember that the reason they (air superiority fighters)were not needed (going back to GWI) was they were so superior that the Iraqis all fled to Iran in the early days of the war. I would prefer the enemy run away because they cannot compete, than to have to fight them one on one because their equipment (and training – HAHAHAHA) made them competitive(see WWII)

Corsair on February 4, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Sure it does, as numerous photos of F-16’s loaded out with nothing but AMRAAMs and AIM-9’s can attest. It’s just gotten a bit heavy with air-to-ground avionics for turning and burning like it used to. Strike is its primary mission, but it can still be tasked with air-to-air. Just ask the ANG.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Yes, you can load it out like that, but it’s like putting a ‘flame’ paint-job on a Chevette…it’s not going to go head to head with an SU-35 and do well.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Corsair on February 4, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Yes, I do remember…agreed.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 6:10 PM

This makes way too much sense to get much traction. Let’s see

High paying jobs producing something that can keep us safer?

Another great way to stimulate the economy would be to
Give a 20 % pay increase across the board to all emlisted men and women.
…and…
Start to increase the ranks of the armed forces by about 20 %

Red State State of Mind on February 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM

The F-16s is a multi-role aircraft, with the ability to perform a lot of different missions. I don’t see the F-22 or the Sukhoi SU-35 being used for air-to-ground missions that the F-16 excels in.

I don’t know who wrote that, but you aren’t up on current events. Not only can F-22 carry a pair of 1000 lb JDAM’s (which it can sling at supersonic speeds, providing some unique new capabilities), and is even having an entire line of bombs–the Small Diameter series–produced primarily because they can fit nicely into its internal bay (though other aircraft will employ them as well), it’s implicitly the “replacement” for the F-117, the last examples of which were retired in 2008.

If the USAF had enough of them, there’s little question that on the first day of a fight with a serious enemy some would be tasked with air superiority and some with destruction of enemy air defenses. As it stands, though, it’s unlikely there will be enough available to fulfill both missions simultaneously.

The Su-37 already has air-to-ground capability, more or less advanced depending on who you’re dealing with (India’s examples, for instance, even carry Sniper targeting pods). The Su-35 is a different program based on the same airframe but from a different manufacturer, and it’s off to a slow start. But it’s also intended to have full multi-role capability as well.

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Yes, you can load it out like that, but it’s like putting a ‘flame’ paint-job on a Chevette…it’s not going to go head to head with an SU-35 and do well.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 6:09 PM

The Su-35 is still in demonstration phase. You’re probably thinking Su-37, and no, with equivalent pilots it will not best an Su-37 in a dogfight. But it would do better than a F-35, and until F-22 gets a helmet cueing system and AIM-9X, it might have trouble with the same situation. Ideally, USAF doctrine is to get the enemy killed before a dogfight can unfold (wishful thinking or not).

Blacklake on February 4, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I largely cannot believe how many people are against the F-22. Everyone faults Detroit for “falling behind the times” with their vehicle models, and now you want Fort Worth to do the same thing by reverting to F-15/16s??

Look folks, if you want your airforce to be outclassed and outproduced by the Russians and Chinese (who I assure you won’t stop developing and producing air dominance fighters), then by all means, lets start reproducing P-51 Mustangs. Surely they are even cheaper than F-15s and F-16s, yes?

And another thing, the F/A-18 is no better than the Eagle in a dogfight and it is no better than an F-16 in an A/G role. Buying more Super Hornets gives us a fighter that is only on-par with the airforces of other nations. If I want assured, overwhelming defeat of an adversary in the air, I’m buying as many Raptors as the production line can make.

Other nations are designing stealth 5th generation aircraft. I have no doubt that they will produce as many as possible. The Raptor is untouchable by all current and projected fighter aircraft, because it is nigh-invisible on radar.

I do not want to see us fall into a mentality, however, that we only need 180 of them. When other nations develop 5th gen fighters, I want our Raptors to be numerable enough to defeat them with assured and overwhelming power. The Lightning II, while good, is NOT the air-to-air dogfighter that the Raptor is – just like the F-16 is not the dogfighter that the Eagle is; we desperately need them both.

We need to save those jobs, and we must build enough Raptors to defeat ANY adversary.

Lastly, to anyone who believes the Raptor cannot deliver on it’s promises: go watch it in an airshow, and tell me how many other aircraft in the world can maneuver, accelerate and perform like it can. Oh, that’s right… the Raptor stands alone.

knob on February 4, 2009 at 6:30 PM

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