According the weapons list that Gates submitted to the White House, he is asking that the F-22 be capped off at the current level, plus planes in progress. This will cap production at about 140 planes.

The congressional boy’s club is up in arms (sorry for the pun), as the Representatives and Senators see their states losing big contracts.

Whether or not you agree with Gates (wrong plane at the wrong time and way over budget), you at least have to give him a passing grade on guts.


Although the Raptor is a magnificent aircraft, it has no present or projected adversaries, nor has it ever fired a single shot in anger. None serve with our forces overseas who are engaged in conflicts against opponents who do not have aviation assets.

Capping the present output at 187 aircraft as the SecDef has proposed makes a great deal of sense in light of:

A) The concurrent announcement on 6APR09 by the SecDef that the US would buy a total of 2,443 F-35s, an aircraft that equals or exceeds the F-22 in every air superiority category for less money.

B) The F-22 is a sole US asset forbidden by Federal law to be sold overseas, which artifically inflate the cost of each aircraft, whereas the F-35 is being developed as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in cooperation with numerous foreign governments. While the United States is the primary customer and financial backer, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark have agreed to contribute US$4.375 billion toward the development costs of the program. The nine major partner nations plan to acquire over 3,100 F-35s through 2035, making the F-35 one of the most numerous jet fighters, akin to the worldwide acceptance and purchase among friendly nations of the F-16.

C) The days of young studs yanking and banking in fighter aircraft against opposing forces are truly numbered by the incipient arrival of unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), such as the Navy’s X47B:


so does this mean the F-22 is being scraped like the Commanche was?

No, it means that there will be 140-190 of them built and put into service.

They are outrageously expensive to build and maintain and will probably have a relatively short shelf life. Once the JSF is deployed, I would guess the F-22 will be relegated to National Guard and Reserve Units. Building this thing was a mistake from the outset, but … politics is a strange way to buy the needs of the country.

Yeah, true, but it has a really cool name.

Lets hope they shelf the JSF & just turn out more Hornets & Vipers.

Ain’t gonna’ happen, the JSF is in our future because there’s a perception in the corridors of power that there are better aircraft coming from unfriendly countries that will challenge our present air superiority.

anyways F22 is better

Better than what? (He asks with foreboding.)

2 opinions & 2 facts.

If you have to open a door to deploy a weapon your flying a bomber not a fighter.

The JSF will be a jack of all trades and master of none.

The F-16 & F-18s cheaper to produce and have better energy/maneuverability numbers than both the JSF & F-22.

The F-22 was developed in the late 80’s and early 90’s; It is old, bloated, unwanted and no leap above the F-16 or F-18.