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View Diary: Breaking:  F-22 Voted out of Senate Bill; Veto Threat lifts (262 comments)

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  •  I was going to make the same point. (0+ / 0-)

    The F-22 airframe is by Boeing, but otherwise the F-35 has a lot of the same suppliers.

    The F-22 is an "air superiority" fighter and the F-35 is a more versatile "strike fighter". That is why the F-22 has not had any combat engagements since it was introduced in 2005; we've needed aircraft with better ground strike capability.

    We're not talking about retiring the F-22s. We're going to have a mix of F-22 air superiority fighters and less expensive, more versatile F-35 strike fighters in our arsenal.  This isn't anything new. The Air Force has had run F-15s and F-16s in those respective roles for a long time.  This way the US military has a "no compromises" air superiority fleet as well as plenty of flexibility. I've read that the F-22 is a "first day of the war" fighter.  You wipe the enemy out of the sky with your F-22s, then your bring in your still very good, more versatile, more numerous,  cheaper, more reliable F-35s. It makes no sense to buy more F-22s, given that the numbers we'll have will wipe out any opponent's fighter fleet without much difficulty. A fraction of the cost put into more F-35s would make more sense because there's no end to things we might want to hit on the ground, but there's only many fighter planes in the world that present a danger to the F-35s.

    As far as jobs are concerned, sure if you run both programs you will employ more people, but it's not as if the manufacture of fighter planes is ending.

    All in all, the idea that F-22s are our highest spending priority is pretty hard to defend. Oh, we can dream up scenarios where having more would be nice, but they won't add much to either the economy or to our military capabilities.

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 02:01:02 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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