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A dear friend of mine is vaguely insisting that we must have F-22's -saying things like

Oh...if you knew what I knew, you'd keep those F-22's


It's just not that simple


please just talk to USAF people about this

This person is a friend and someone I respect, but they are not giving me much to work with.

We were having a FB debate and I commented that I was conflicted on the Defense Bill that included the additional F-22's and now has the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill.

This turned into a big discussion of if the F-22 was needed -

I referenced this NPR piece from morning edition -

Leading the fight against the F-22 jets is the man who lost to Obama last November. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says he understands that many workers' jobs are at stake: "Our sympathy is with them. We will do everything we can to provide job opportunities, including in the defense industries across this country. But we cannot argue that we should spend taxpayers' dollars for weapons systems simply to create or keep jobs."

Besides, McCain says,"this plane has never been flown over Iraq or Afghanistan — it's never been part of the two wars that we've been in."

And, as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) notes, even President Bush was unable to stop production of the F-22. "Two administrations now have made an effort to end the F-22 line," Levin says. "This is not a partisan issue; this is a Republican and a Democratic administration that have made this effort."

I quoted the Op-ed in the Washington Post by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartzsay who concluded their piece by saying

We support the final four F-22s proposed in the fiscal 2009 supplemental request, as this will aid the long-term viability of the F-22 fleet. But the time has come to close out production. That is why we do not recommend that F-22s be included in the fiscal 2010 defense budget.

Make no mistake: Air dominance remains an essential capability for joint warfighting. The F-22 is a vital tool in the military's arsenal and will remain in our inventory for decades to come. But the time has come to move on.

I was then told to go talk to some USAF folk because it is just not that simple.

I did some research and found this article that states that we need the F-22 for a preemptive strike  against Iran should it become necessary.

Again I was told my opinion only counted if I could talk to some USAF folk. Well I don't know any, but I figure there must be someone on this site that can tell me what I am missing.

Originally posted to Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:10 PM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

    by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:10:15 PM PDT

  •  Hmm -maybe i should post this on redstate! (0+ / 0-)

    Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

    by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:15:43 PM PDT

  •  For their job prospects. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet, ExStr8, Nailbanger, Xtatic

    They have to be gung-ho on acquisitions (regardless of their efficacy) in order to secure fat jobs in the private sector after they retire. They need to demonstrate that they are "team players".

    "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

    by homogenius on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:19:11 PM PDT

  •  First strike? (14+ / 0-)

    Sounds like a good reason not to build them.

    illegal, n. A term used by descendents of European immigrants to refer to descendants of Indigenous Americans

    by ricardomath on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:20:39 PM PDT

    •  Indeed, a preemptive strike against Iran while (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chipoliwog, BigAlinWashSt, Xtatic

      we have troops on the ground in Iraq AND Afghanistan would demonstrate colossal military ineptitude.

      Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d'un monde?

      by DawnoftheRedSun on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:26:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's one of the more amusing (5+ / 0-)

      arguments I've seen.

      First strike? Ya right, and the NY Yankees need a bigger payroll to fend off threats from AAA teams.

      Member, The Angry Left

      by nosleep4u on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:28:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good Point!! (0+ / 0-)

      It was pretty much the only argument I could find for building them on the interwebs.

      Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

      by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:30:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hardly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      While the F-22 has some air-to-ground capability, it's not that much greater than any current G4 or even G3 fighter equipped with precision-guided munitions.  The F-35 will actually be superior against surface (land and maritime) targets.  The Raptor is primarily an air superiority fighter.

      •  So is that the crux of the argument then (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Air superiority?

        Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

        by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:53:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The buzzphrase (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour, Xtatic

          is "air dominance": The F-22 is so far superior to anything else in the pipeline that its mere presence is a conventional deterrent because it is (apparently) capable of decimating anything that it might face.

          Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

          by socratic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:57:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, the underlying premise is... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            socratic, BlueGenes, Xtatic

            ...that the grand-scale apocalyptic WW-III conventional weapons fighting (shortly before the world turns to a smoldering cinder) is going to necessitate an even greater ability to maintain air superiority over, say, the amassed forces of a world united under the Red Menace's banner, or the global Caliphate, or whatever.

            As an Eagle Scout, I admire the preparedness instinct at play.  As an American and rational person, I'd rather we spend those funds on promoting peace, education, health care, housing, and food aid.

            "When those windmills start to chop people up, tilting at them may not only be rational, but may become a necessity." -arodb

            by JR on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:22:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Which is amusing... (6+ / 0-)

        We are building an air superiority fighter to fight...what?

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the US (and maybe some NATO allies?) is the only country with fighters advanced enough to challenge the F-22.

        Maybe the MiG-35...but that aircraft is on par with the F-18. Perhaps the Su-35...but again, outdated. The Chinese J program? Years away, and probably more comparable with the F-35 than the -22.

        So the F-22 gives us air superiority...Against ourselves?

        And I agree with the GP: I don't want the US to have first-strike capability...God forbid the next republican president actually uses it.

        It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

        by Gravedugger on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:07:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Weeeellll... if Texas secedes... heh. nt (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eeff, Shotput8, Xtatic

          I can do magic. If you want miracles, well... that's gonna take a little longer.

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:44:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The other sides missiles and planes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          are what our pilots need the plane for .
          As there missiles get better ,
          as there planes get better ,
          we need better planes also .

          The thought is that if the other planes are up to
          the level where our planes are not dominant anymore .
          Our pilots will start getting shot down .

          The aircraft is better than anything else in the air
          so when it goes head to head with anything else
          our guy wins .

          One of the down sides is that its overkill in a lot of cases .
          An idea was that the plane would go up as backup to lesser planes and that if something came up that the lesser planes could not deal with , the F22 would come forward for the fight .

          "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

          by indycam on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:28:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, that's a tad simplistic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Sukhoi PAK-FA (intended to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27, just as the F-22 replaces the F-15) is supposed to fly this year (within a few weeks, although a delay is likely) and be in service within the next six years.

          As for the Su-35 or MiG-35 being outdated, well, only in comparison to the Raptor.

          Now, I'm not saying how many F-22s should be int he inventory, but, as an American, maybe you should ask yourself this: are you willing to be the person who tells a pilot that hey, we could have put you in the best fighter in the world but we only but you into a lower-class one?  You know, to give the other guys an even chance.

          They're your pilots.

          •  You have a point... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I would rather our pilots have a more holistic defense capability than put a bunch of money into F-22s at the expense of other programs. As our senior defense officials have said: If we buy fewer F22s, we can buy more F35s. I would rather us cap the F22 fleet at a little over a hundred aircraft and use the money elsewhere...where it could actually provide a superior system for not just our pilots, but the military as a whole. As you said, they are our guys. I think they need the best tool for the job.

            I would rather tell the pilot that we can afford a wingman, then tell him we can put him in a plane built for a war that ended a decade ago. I'm saying that I would rather send two F35s up than one F22...And we would be getting improved ground-attack capabilities with the equivalent stealth technology in a better implementation.

            Also, it would be kind of a bummer to give pilots an F22, then tell them they can't go supersonic in rain, lest it start to diminish the stealth capability of the outer coatings.

            It is a false equivalency to call the F35 a lower-class plane than a F22. They were designed for different purposes. The F35 is far better suited for the wars we fight now. The only potential enemies that could afford to challenge the F-22 are also nuclear if we truly need the F-22, we are already fucked in far more serious ways.

            It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

            by Gravedugger on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:20:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's a jobs program. (10+ / 0-)

     Only not a jobs program to improve roads, maintain and retrofit bridges, develop and construct solar/solar thermal/wind farms, retrofit schools to solar/geothermal power, paint roofs white or install rooftop gardens to mitigate urban heat islands and reduce energy consumption, clean up Superfund sites, or anything that's actually USEFUL for the United States.

     No, it's a jobs program to build fighters that we don't need.


    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:20:40 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like a turf war - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unterhausen, Xtatic

    why do Obama and Gates say otherwise?

  •  Well, I'm not USAF but let me hazard to guess (5+ / 0-)

    that it's because:

    1. They are top of the line fighter aircraft with stealth, electronic warfare and intelligence gathering capabilities


    1. Two words: Lockheed Martin

    In August 2007, the United States Air Force signed a $5 billion, multi-year contract with Lockheed Martin that will extend production to 2011,[12] and as of 2008, F-22 Raptors are being procured at the rate of 20 per year.[4] [wiki]

    -8.50, -7.64 "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer." - Camus

    by croyal on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:22:19 PM PDT

  •  Because... (14+ / 0-)

    ...some defense contractor wants to keep making money.

    It was once that simple. And changing that mindset is going to be very difficult.

    The Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff are saying that production of this aircraft is no longer necessary.  These are the only "USAF folk" whose opinion really counts.

    "This is my house. And I run the kitchen, so I can stand the heat" - Nikki Giovanni

    by sistermoon on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:22:24 PM PDT

  •  My mother was in the Air Force for years (10+ / 0-)

    when I asked her she said "this is 2009, but big military contractors and Congressional hawks want the funding and the free reign to spend it as they please that they had during the Cold War because the Cold War was good for business and it was the time where the world made more sense to them."

    But then, maybe my mom got cynical being in the Air Force.

    My dad, who was not in the air force added his two cents afterwards:

    He said it was because maybe these people rarely hear the word "no."

    You can't claim solidarity with people if you also want to bomb them

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:23:59 PM PDT

    •  My take: (6+ / 0-)

      "If you knew what I knew" can only mean one thing:


      Your buddy knows about "them" but has been sworn to secrecy.

      If Jeff Goldblum can beat them with an Apple Powerbook in "Independence Day", then the US Air Force can establish air superiority with military tech that is a million years behind an actual Flying Green Menace just as easily and the funding must be preserved at all costs.

      If only the pinko commies would just stop hating America long enough to put their brains in the pickle jar and not ask so many darn difficult questions. Like "Why?" or "Air superiority over who exactly?"


      You can't claim solidarity with people if you also want to bomb them

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:38:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's actually a great fighter jet (8+ / 0-)

    And so much faster than Universal Healthcare.
    Although both are equally stealthy.

    •  And both are designed to kill people. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wbramh, Xtatic

      Member, The Angry Left

      by nosleep4u on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:30:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  snarky and accurate - some stats (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff in CA, nanoboy, wbramh, Xtatic

      Based on total cost of program

      1 F-22 buys 5 F-35s

      The F-35 can be exported in one or other incarnation.

      The F-22 cannot and will never be exported.

      It is actually smarter long-term politics for the military industrial complex to cheer for more F-35 production, with sales to India or Israel or the UK, than it is to plead for one-fifth the production of a less flexible weapons platform with a practical budgetary cap at between 200 and 300 units, tops.

      But, that rational assessment goes precisely one nanometer deep into the brains of some ex-USAF folk (aided and abetted by Saxby Chambliss) who are the real cheering chorus to make as many F-22 as possible. (They never, of course, tackle the real issues, that each F-22 takes huge dollars of the table for F-35 production - which would be 4-5x as good for job preservation in their State.)

      Oh, yes, and Chambliss' plea for F-22 production totally ignores the practical benefits which would accrue to Georgia's Defense sub-contractors from making 4-5x the parts needed to make a full fleet of F-35 aircraft.

      No surprise there really, Chambliss is - putting it mildly - a myopic idiot.

      •  Re (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ItsSimpleSimon, Xtatic

        As I understand it, the two planes have somewhat different roles.  The F-22 is more akin to the F-15 in that both are heavier fighters, i.e., more range, more armament, etc.  The F-35 is more like an F-16, being lighter and more maneuverable.

        Now, I think that the F-22 is grossly overpriced and that the program should be scrapped.  A new fighter should probably be designed and so on, but I'm not sure that it would save money.  The problem is more of a contractor one than an actual design and technology one, I think.

        •  Absolutely agreed they do have different roles (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And the F-35 is better suited to the modern world - being versatile, the F-22, not so much.

          But there is one more myth the F-22 jean creamers like to use - Stealth, it's so damned stealthy.

          Guess what, the F-35 actually has more advanced stealth than the F-22 (not in geometry, but rather in the coatings and composites).

          Not really a big surprise, when one considers that the F-22 was initiated in the 1981, and the F-35 contract was signed in '96.

          •  Would you fly a F-35 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jack the R, Xtatic

            against a F-22 ?

            Would you think that you could down a F-22 with F-35 ?

            "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

            by indycam on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:33:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Easy choice - F-22 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wbramh, Xtatic

              Of course you weren't asking me, but unlike other Kossacks I know the F-22 is the greatest air superiority fighter ever and the F-35 isn't.

              •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

                In it very first mock dogfight, the F-22 beat the F-18 something like 24 out of 24 encounters.
                It's awesome.
                Unlike Star Wars Lasers or anti-missile missiles - the F-22 certainly works - and apparently works out of the box - and it does have some practical usage.  The F-22 has no equal as afighter and as we discovered during Vietnam (with the over-designed and under-considered real World needs for the F-4), the age of the dog fight is far from over.   We would once again discover that fact in any future conflict with a Korea or Iran.
                Unfortunately, the F-22 costs too much, and not unlike the F-4, the Pentagon tried to do too much with one plane. While it may be a smarter  result than the original F-4, the F-22's costs are way out of line versus its benefits.  Ever since the F-86, we keep making that same mistake.  The F-35 incorporates newer technology - and technology that streamlines functionality, stealth and costs. Yes. I'd rather be sitting in an F-22 facing any other fighter in the World, but for the money we spend on just one fighter, we could build about 100 state-of-the-art schools in Afghanistan and peacefully win 100 times more hearts and minds than those we would otherwise need to kill with an F-22.

                •  I wonder ? (0+ / 0-)

                  "the F-22's costs are way out of line versus its benefits."
                  Would you say that if you were siting in the pilots seat ? If you were in the air with the best from Russia / France / China , would you want an F-22 under you or something else ?

                  "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

                  by indycam on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:00:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Hey - Not fair to Saxby (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BenGoshi, ItsSimpleSimon, Xtatic

        You don't know which defense contractors have been paying him bribes and which have not.
        When it comes to his own pocket, he's a myopic prick.

        •  He has at #8 on his list (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BenGoshi, Xtatic

          Lockheed Martin

          Now, the funny thing is, the miserable sum he got from them - $52K

          Which might be the value of 3/4 of a lower-tier technician at a sub-contractor in Georgia responsible for making the F-35 engine.

          See what I mean about being myopic?

          (And yes, I got your joke :))

          •  Cheap whores... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wbramh, ItsSimpleSimon, Xtatic

            Saxby got bought for $52K? Damn.

            The health lobby spends $1.4 million/day lobbying.

            Those amounts are so profoundly tiny compared to what they get.

            Buying politicians is probably the best ROI out there today...They would be a bargain at ten times the price.

            I wish I was some lower-tier tech at some subcontractor...I could use the job.

            Though, given the choice, I would much rather assemble generator control boards for wind turbines than solder together weapons guidance packages.

            It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

            by Gravedugger on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:13:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My French grandfather (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              unterhausen, skohayes, barbara318, Xtatic

              was captured by the Germans during World War I.  He tried to escape, got shot twice in the leg, then crawled for miles in the snow (which probably saved his life) only to be recaptured.
              After a very brief recuperation, the Germans forced him to work in an armaments factory putting together bomb sites.
              The factory floor was comprised mostly of forced laborers like my grandfather.  They fashioned each site so it would be just slightly off and managed to get away with it for the remainder of their indenture.
              I suppose some defense industry jobs are worth it even when the pay sucks.

          •  Spiro Agnew and Myopic Idiocy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ItsSimpleSimon, Xtatic

            One of the illegal gifts that Spiro received was literally a Thanksgiving turkey. You could buy Spiro at all price breaks (bless him). In a sick way, he was truly a Democrat at heart.
            Saxby's $52K rmay seem like a paltry sum, but...
            Then again, a lot of these slime balls make the big pay-off on the back end of their Congressional stints.
            They stay in office just long enough to receive Congress's version of a gold watch, which is a plush, high-paying, do-nothing job in the company or Industry they had shilled for as Senators or Congressmen.

          •  Come on, everyone knows that $52K is what's on (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ItsSimpleSimon, Xtatic

            the books.

            What happened to the pallet loads of $100 dollar bills they 'lost' in Iraq? $20 billion? Goes a long ways to 'encourage' the media and the politicians.

            Today's dessert special is Plain Baked Alaska

            by shpilk on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:12:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  When someone has to resort to platitudes (5+ / 0-)

    and condescension -- that's a pretty strong sign they're just plain wrong.

    Your friend is yanking your chain. If he wants to convince you of something its his obligation to provide relevant facts. If he refuses to do so, tell him the discussion is over and he loses.

    Member, The Angry Left

    by nosleep4u on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:25:34 PM PDT

  •  DON'T YOU KNOW!!!??? (7+ / 0-)

    Brown people might throw their poverty at us and get us all sticky!!!

    The jobs argument is bullshit.  The same amount of money could produce the same amount of jobs building electric trains, windmill turbines, even desalinization plants.  There's tons of things that money could be better spent on to produce jobs.

    Recovering Intellectual. 12 days stupid.

    by scionkirk on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:25:56 PM PDT

  •  PS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's not do we need them?  Some 150 or so are funded.  It's how many at $100 or more at a pop do we need?  Dept of Defense is say we could skip 12 or so?  You really want to argue with that?

  •  That link is to a neocon thinktank. (4+ / 0-)

    Probably some disinformation to throw things off a bit.

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:27:31 PM PDT

  •  Try.. (5+ / 0-)

    This op-ed in the Washington Post. It's by the secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff, and explains why no more F-22s should be built.

    I do believe the chief of staff counts as "USAF folk" :-)

    Presidential politics is like jumping into raw sewage with your mouth open -- Batfish

    by Frank on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:29:17 PM PDT

  •  From What I Gather..... (5+ / 0-)

    Those in favor of continued production have used a letter sent to Congress by Gen. John D.W. Corley, the four-star chief of Air Combat Command at Langley to help drum up support for the F-22.

    "In my opinion, a fleet of 187 F-22s puts execution of our current national military strategy at high risk in the near to mid term," Corley wrote in the June 9 correspondence. "To my knowledge, there are no studies that demonstrate that 187 F-22s are adequate to support our national military strategy."

    Corley’s command organizes, trains and equips the Air Force’s squadrons. His argument for the F-22 relies on the fact that current military readiness planning is based on the production of 243 F-22s. The 243 number is based on what the Air Force believes it would need in the event the United States would have to fight two major conventional wars at the same time.

    Secretary Gates has countered that what we save from stopping F-22 production can be transferred to the cheaper F-35, and procure more planes & save money.

    •  Yes, BUT, they look so COOL and give so many... (3+ / 0-)

       . . . of the Air Force generals such hard ons!

       I ask you, what could be more important?!


      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:59:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  eh... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The two major war strategy is pretty much going the way of the dodo bird now. ThisThis article in talks about it.

      "The military requirement right now is associated with the strategy that we are laying out in the QDR," Cartwright said.  "And it is a departure from the two major theater war construct that we have adhered to in the past and in which this aircraft grew up. I mean, it grew up in that construct of two major theater wars, and both of them being of a peer competitor quality..

      "The strategy that we are moving towards is one that is acknowledging of the fact that we are not in that type of conflict, that the more likely conflicts are going to be the ones ... similar to the ones that we are in in Iraq and Afghanistan," Cartwright explained. "But we do need to have a capability against a major peer competitor and ... that we have fifth generation fighters across all three services rather than just one and that the number of those fighters probably does not need to be sufficient to take on two simultaneous peer competitors."

      The use of "peer competitor" is important as it basically puts a nail in the coffin of quite a few high tech (read cold war minded) programs in favor of more cost effective programs aimed at continued engagement with a faster moving, stateless opposing force.

      A Conservative is a man that believes that nothing should be done for the first time - Alfred E. Wiggam

      by mrckknievel on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:36:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not arguing for the F-22, but (4+ / 0-)

    this is the case for it.

    Short version: without a large force of F-22's the US risks losing the air superiority it currently possesses relative to other major power air forces, meaning the deterrent effect of our air dominance will be eroded, and we will suffer more casualties in combat.

    "It means a step down from air dominance," Richard Aboulafia, an air-warfare analyst for the Teal Group, which conducts assessments for the defense industry, told me. "The decision not to replace the F‑15 fleet with the F‑22 ultimately means that we will accept air casualties. We will lose more pilots. We will still achieve air superiority, but we will get hurt achieving it."

    General Tinsley suggested that there will be a deeper consequence: other countries will be more tempted to challenge us in the air...Today, Russia is equipping its air force with Su‑35s, and has offered them for sale. Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela is a customer of the plane’s close cousin, the Su‑30. These fighters are every bit the match of the F‑15. Combine that with the hybrid threat posed by revamped older fighters, and the fight in the air begins to look fair for the first time in a half century.

    •  Ooh -thanks, thats what I'm looking for. (0+ / 0-)

      Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

      by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:38:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So this basically boils down to every other (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      debate...your experts say one thing and mine say another. It seems that the argument for the F-22 is being made by older retired USAF folks.

      Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

      by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:51:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its not really expert vs expert (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack the R

        its plane vs plane .
        We send up fighters
        they send up fighters .
        We want our fighters to beat their fighters 100% of the time .
        One way to do that is to equip our fighters better .
        Its still an arms race , the best fighter wins .

        "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

        by indycam on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:40:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well i get that -but in the debate of (0+ / 0-)

          how many we need, it seems that there are differing numbers on both sides depending on who you talk to. No one is denying it is the best fighter, but is the the best fighter for what we need and is our money better spent else where. The experts that have the whole picture seem to mostly say we don't need any more. Obviously there are some who disagree.  

          Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

          by Xtatic on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:51:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How many ? (0+ / 0-)

            How many will crash before the useful life is up ?
            How big an area do you want to own ?
            How many will be in for repair at any one point ?
            How big an opposing force of aircraft and missiles would you like to be able to take on and dominate ?

            The calculations of all the variables will drive a person nuts . And I am sure I do not have the knowledge to figure out how many are the right amount . In my fantasy world , none would be the correct number . In my fantasy world we have no nukes , no fighter planes and no bombers .

            "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

            by indycam on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:39:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If there are to few F-22s (0+ / 0-)

            other planes are going to be used .
            If the loses of the lesser planes / pilots is because an F-22 was not used , the price for not having a F-22 is high .
            If the other side scores a hit on an aircraft carrier that could have been avoided via a few F-22s being available ...

            "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

            by indycam on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:47:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's a fucking jobs program. (7+ / 0-)


       No other country poses a conventional threat to the U.S.  Of course, the Beltway Bandit Teal Group -- which makes MONEY off of the defense industry -- is going to be all "Oh! Golly!  We've got to have more and more and more defense spending!"



      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:54:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nice chart! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

        by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:55:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a fucking jobs program. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metal prophet, Xtatic

        It's fucking corporate welfare.

        These companies could be making distillers to convert waste plants to ethanol and bio-diesel instead, and they'd be making this country a hell of a lot safer than they are now.

        Trouble is, there's no where near as much profit in it.

        So we make the weapons, and the CIA and NSC manufacturer the terrorists for us to demonize and kill.

        Same as it ever was.

        Today's dessert special is Plain Baked Alaska

        by shpilk on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:09:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're in violent agreement. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk, Xtatic

           It is a "jobs program" for the Congress Cretins who bring home the pork for the plants in their Congressional Districts that employee the people that make these wasteful things.  

           Then said Cretins brag to their constituents about all the jobs they've brought in, or kept, and they get re-elected.

           And, yes, it's also largess for the defense contractors.


          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

          by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:15:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Leave it to a general to make that kind of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metal prophet, skohayes, Xtatic

      argument - that if we don't have the alpha air superiority fighter, other nations will be tempted to challenge us.

      They would challenge us when we seek to invade their territories or intimidate them ("projection of power").

      Which to me means that unless we cap our out of control military capability, we are doomed to justify it with foreign adventures which then justify more spending, ad nauseum.

  •  F-22 is superior (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl, The Jester, Xtatic

    I've heard that as part of the F-22 training, they put rookie pilots in virtual combat against 4 or 5 F-16s with veteran pilots. The F-22 wins almost every time. In that regard it's certainly safer for our pilots, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. /shrug

  •  According To Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) It Is (5+ / 0-)

    to keep Boeing from going bankrupt and unemployment in Washington State from going higher.  She is simply about bringing home the bacon.  Rather than diversify the Washington State economy, Patty has spent the last 20 years as a Senator keeping Boeing propped up. Forget about that it's outdated and unnecessary, Patty needs to keep the status quo going as she has no other ideas.

  •  One argument (6+ / 0-)

    that hasn't been made is the loss of institutional knowledge.  For a timely example, look at what happened when the Apollo program ended. Thirty-some years later, and we're having to reinvent travel to the Moon (at tremendous cost) because of the expertise gap. Engineers move on to other projects, critical equipment is scrapped, etc.  (Keep in mind that some people talk about creating a bomber version to satisfy a longer-term USAF need for a modern strike platform to replace the F-15E. Starting this program in a few years when the F-22 is out of production could be difficult and expensive.)  I believe the same argument is made with procurement of submarines: cutting down procurement to one company's product means that we severely curtail the amount of knowledge in the system in the event that something awful happens (like global war) and we need to ramp up systems production quickly.

    To me, that's more of a systemic problem in that we're not doing a good enough job of archiving key knowledge as a hedge against the unexpected. There's another systemic problem of having a completely broken procurement process that doesn't place a premium on timely, on-budget delivery (compare the well-run EA-18G Growler development program, which was completed on time, under budget, and with roaring success ... but you never hear about it).

    So, it's not a very satisfying argument, but it's one of the arguments I've heard for keeping the F-22 in production.

    Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

    by socratic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:54:53 PM PDT

    •  Hmmm - interesting. That's a really expensive way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to preserve the knowledge. What's the critical mass for  that? Do we need 12 more?

      Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

      by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:58:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the problem with the reasoning (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack the R, Xtatic

        You have to keep the program running in some form long enough for a smooth transition to the next platform.  And given the incredibly drawn out procurement process for modern weapons, that doesn't seem sensible unless you start working on the next platform now (which doesn't make sense given the anticipated lifespan of the F-22).  

        Given the incredible amount of computing power and storage capacity, storing designer notes, plans, and even entirely virtual production lines digitally should be trivial.

        Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

        by socratic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:01:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We need 40 more. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack the R, SyntaxFeline

        And the cost is seriously chump change.

        Maintaining absolute air dominance in the world is critical to assure both US national security and frankly, freedom and the hope for democracy worldwide.

        We stand as the force in the world to keep truly bad people at bay.

        DON'T CONFUSE the obscene abuse of our power by the scum of the Republcan Fucktards with the importance of the US as a stabalizing force for good in the world.

        The American people who voted to put the Republican scum in power have blood on thier hands, worse they have put at risk the very future of mankind. By undermining the US as a force ... military, political, economic, and humanitarian...they have set back the very progress of mankind for decades.

        But, that is after all, what those filthy scum do and always have done, for centuries, whether they were "republicans" or any other label through the centuries.

        It is not the F22 we need to purge it is the Republican DNA that needs to be excised from the human race once and for all.

        For the F22, we need enough to form a viable attack force, and it is not Iran or anyone else we KNOW of that is the issue.... it is what we DONT KNOW of in the future that requires we remain vigilant and one (or more) steps ahead of any foreseeable opponent.

        We are NOT the USSR, we can sort out our money issues in a heartbeat, the momnet our President frows a ball....

        As I've said repeatedly, we have the legal means to go get the money that has been stolen the last 8 years and return it to the Treasury. Simply confiscate through eminent domain the Treasury Bonds held by the Filthy Rich (tm), the top 1%. Returning $5 TRILLION to the treasury and removing $5 TRILLION from the national debt, as well as the interest on it....we can do it tommorrow, the IRS has all the information required.

        •  Mutual Assured Destruction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Jester

          doesn't work anymore? Or is Osama Bin-Laden going to get jets?

          Today's dessert special is Plain Baked Alaska

          by shpilk on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:06:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its not terrorists these things are for... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jack the R

            ... it is state actors.

            And if anything human history makes clear, there is always a new asshole around the corner to become a threat.

            It may seem, TODAY, that we are in the catbird seat, but we will only stay thier if we put reasonable efforts in research and manufacturing to assure we remain there.

            In 1890 who would have forseen the USSR? Or Imperial Japan, or Mao?

        •  Your statement that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          " it is what we DONT KNOW of in the future that requires we remain vigilant and one (or more) steps ahead of any foreseeable opponent." has been the military-industrial complex's rationale for ramping up our defense spending far, far beyond our national defense needs.

          Contrary to your overblown comment, these are the people responsible for our national defense who want to limit the F-22 program: Commander-in-Chief Obama, Secretary of Defense Gates, Senator McCain along with a host of retired generals who recognize that the F-22 is a jobs program, not a program that improves our national defense.  

          •  You should look at the history of - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Jester

            how unprepared the U.S. was at the beginning of World War 1 and North Korea.  We don't want that to happen again.

            •  And WWII... we were without pants... (0+ / 0-)

              And FDR had been skirting the law trying to build up our abaility... he was a LEADER... so he was doing what was needed, not what was wanted at the time.

              But we had no chance against Germany in 1939 and is why we stayed out of the fight for 2 years.... we had to build our asses off just to catch up.

              Again, how many times must we learn (not) the same lesson over and over.

    •  Yeah (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      socratic, Jack the R, The Jester, Xtatic

      I'm not sure it's enough reason alone, but it's a definite worry.

      The canonical example, as you mention, is submarines. As it currently stands, the United States cannon produce Diesel submarines. There just isn't a company anywhere in the country with the knowledge, equipment, experience, and research to make one. If it came down to it, I'm sure that the Electric Boat Company could figure it out in five or six years, but it would be very expensive and somewhat unreliable, and would entail a whole lot of reinventing the wheel.

      This lack of ability, for example, cause a bunch of problems when Taiwan wanted to buy a few Diesel subs from us a few years ago. The sale was OK'ed, but the DoD had to find a European group to manufacture them, which was greatly complicated by EU rules about selling weapons to China. I don't remember the final resolution of it, but the subs were eventually built in some complex arrangement, which could have been avoided if we just remembered how to build Diesel subs.

      AT&T offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

      by Scipio on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:07:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack the R, Xtatic

        I'd forgotten about the Taiwan thing.

        The thing is, while some might argue passionately that we shouldn't worry [as much] about weapons expertise, it's a broader problem. Americans aren't very good about institutional memory in general.

        Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

        by socratic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:13:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Though Taiwan is NOT China. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack the R, Xtatic

        Also, to preserve the skilled workers, we are building another Seawolf class attack sub, even though there is no enemy that requires it... because our opponents are not standing still, though nothing like the cold war is going the moment.

  •  Preemptive Strike (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack the R, SyntaxFeline, Xtatic

    If we were to go on a preemptive strike against Iran, I suspect that a few F-35s could get the job done in ample fashion.

    Having said that, the F-22 is a good plane. A very very good plane, and if someone disputes this, they're probably not worth listening to for the remainder of what they have to say. It's a very good plane, but it's good at pretty much one thing: air superiority. It will do other mission profiles (ground-attack, SEAD, EW) but air superiority is its bread and butter, so to speak. This means that it's designed to shoot down, in one way or another, any other fighters up there - which it can do with ease, as it's about a generation and a half ahead of what anyone else has prototyped.

    The F-35 can do air superiority, but without the overwhelming dominance the F-22 has. It's also much better at other things. In this way, the F-22 is like a heavily souped-up Honda Civic (think The Fast and the Furious). It's extraordinarily good at one thing - driving straight very quickly - and can do other things somewhat well, but it's not really designed for it. In comparison to that, the F-35 would be something like a BMW station wagon. It can go pretty fast in a straight line (although not as fast as the Civic), but can do a whole lot of other things that the Civic can't.

    AT&T offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

    by Scipio on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:57:47 PM PDT

    •  thanks. (0+ / 0-)

      Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

      by Xtatic on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:01:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The F22 is designed to... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jack the R, louisprandtl, Xtatic

      ... fly toward enemy aircraft formations, at mach3 completely invisible to enemy radar, target and launch air-to-air missles at them, and kill the enemy before they knew they were under attack.

      You dont need to dogfight with enemy aircraft that you already shot down. But it is also as manuverable as a human pilot can be.

      To do the dogfight thing, the next step will be unmanned fighters, which can pull 30G's and fly rings around anything with a human in it. That is the next step, and they are working on it.

      But a force of 40 F22's can destroy any other airforce on earth.

      But the F22 is not "needed" for a strike on Iran, the F18's and F15's behind a flock of wild weasels, backed up by Aegis destroyers, can neutralize Iran's air defenses, destroy thier airforce, and move on to bomb the shit out of whatever... without bothering to launch an F22. All those forces are present in the area now, and a strike on Iran could be carried out with a few hours notice... that's what we PAY our military for.

  •  they'll claim it's a dual-role airframe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, ItsSimpleSimon, Xtatic

    which is, in a word, horsehockey.

    The F-117, as a fighter / bomber, was a FAILURE. The F-18, online now with the USMC/USN, can do what the 22 can faster, better and cheaper. The 35 is the outgrowth of that aircraft. The 22 is the outgrowth of the (failed!) 117/ B-1B, that Carter killed, that Reagan resurrected, that never went to Desert Storm.

    Texas: Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Lady Bird & LBJ, Ann Richards, Sam Rayburn, Dan Rather, Ike, Sully Sullenberger, Lloyd Bentsen. It's No Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:11:39 PM PDT

  •  I need someone to explain why we need the USAF (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet, ohcanada

    "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

    by Wilberforce on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:23:42 PM PDT

    •  there's no replacement.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jack the R, SyntaxFeline, Xtatic

      for control of the skies. It makes EVERY other combat mission easier.  

      A Conservative is a man that believes that nothing should be done for the first time - Alfred E. Wiggam

      by mrckknievel on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a load of.. (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:


        take your 'combat missions' and shove them sideways.

        "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

        by Wilberforce on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:43:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jack the R, mrckknievel, SyntaxFeline

          I'm sure YOU feel fine about going into combat with no air support. However, our soldiers don't share that feeling, and 90 years of warfare have proven unequivocaly that he who rules the skies rules the battle feild.

          But, like most Republicans and Christian nutballs and Palinites.... some people just refuse to learn from history. Too bad it is other people who pay with thier lives for such shortsighted thinking. Funny how the "airforce, who the fk needs that" people never end up paying the price with thier life for thier thinking.

        •  Look up "Highway of Death" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          on wikipedia.

          That's what happens when you don't control the sky.

          You really want that to happen to our guys?  I hope you enjoy the next 100 years of Republican rule, because it will take that long for the Left to regain the trust of Americans.

          •  Who exactly are we going to fight? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Canada? Mexico? International terrorists? They don't even have an air force. We could probably destroy China or Russia ten times over with half of the military we have now. Your warmongering arguments are ridiculous.

        •  classy. (0+ / 0-)

          Very classy response Wilberforce. I apologize for taking your question seriously.

          A Conservative is a man that believes that nothing should be done for the first time - Alfred E. Wiggam

          by mrckknievel on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:04:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Murtha's the Man (0+ / 0-)


        Reps move to counter proposed F-22, C-17 cuts

        By William Matthews - Staff writer
        Posted : Friday Jul 17, 2009 16:14:50 EDT
        Defense companies that once feared big changes with Democrats in control of the White House and Congress can begin to relax.

        The House Appropriations subcommittee on defense unveiled its version of the 2010 defense budget Thursday, a spending plan that resurrects some big-ticket weapons that appeared doomed by the budget drafted by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

        Under the command of Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the subcommittee voted to keep alive the F-22 stealth fighter program, to buy more C-17 transport planes, to double the number of F/A-18 aircraft to be bought for the Navy, even preserve the disastrous VH-71 presidential helicopter program.

        Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

        by ohcanada on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:50:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have no problem with the F-22. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack the R, SyntaxFeline, Xtatic

    It works, it advances technology, it limits the options of China wrt Taiwan, it affords prestige, and it's cool.  Cut out the actual fat from the DoD budget - fraud, corrupt contracting, crap that doesn't work, etc. - and there would be plenty of money for it and other systems that make real sense.

    "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

    by Troubadour on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:38:43 PM PDT

    •  You need problems with the F-22 - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Xtatic

      here are some real problems:

          1. The f-22 can't fly in the rain without
             damaging its stealth skin.
          2. Its avionics are unreliable.
          3. It requires 34 hours of maintenance for
             every flying hour.
          4. It is completely untested in combat, never
             having flown even one combat mission.
          5. Even if China attacked Taiwan, which they
             won't, the US has had its fill of overseas
             wars when our national security is not at

      "Prestige" and "cool" be damned, we don't need this flying money-suck and spending more on it doesn't make sense.

      •  Rebuttal (0+ / 0-)
        1. I think this is an urban legend, but even if it were true, I picture most F-22 fights beginning with an undetected F-22 flying above cloud level and shooting down the enemy plane before it knows the F-22 is there.  No need to fly in the rain.
        1. Show me a source that says this is happening with production hardware, not development hardware.  
        1. I believe this number is about 3 times higher than the actual number, but regardless, no amount of maintenance will make the enemy's plane flyable again after it's met an F-22.
        1. "Completely untested" is flat-out wrong.  In mock dogfights against the F-15, the F-22 blows the F-15 away to a ridiculous degree.  If there is an F-22 in the sky, you do not want to be in any other plane but another F-22.

        Not flown a combat mission?  Sure, but what a completely bogus and misleading point!  There are no combat missions in 2009 that require an F-22.  However the F-22 will be with us until 2060 or so, and who knows what adversary we will need to use them against in the next 50 years?  Why not save them until we need them, and put the wear and tear of current conflicts on planes we will be retiring soon?

        1. Where did you get your crystal ball at?
      •  Totally wrong. (0+ / 0-)
        1.  The F-22 can fly in all weather.
        1.  Its avionics are state-of-the-art and gone through full flight testing.
        1.  That figure was in the early stages of deployment, and has been going down consistently with continuing operations.
        1.  It's never had to fly a combat mission because the only war in which it could be needed would be a non-nuclear WW3 with China.
        1.  If China attacks Taiwan, we will stop them.  Period.  We will not let a democratic society be trampled.  You say they won't, and I agree - they won't because we won't let them.

        "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

        by Troubadour on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:22:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not the USAF that needs them. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, skohayes, Nospinicus, BlueGenes, Xtatic

    It's Lockheed Martin, it's Boeing, it's BAE

    Here's the list of Lockheed's sub-suppliers.

    As long as we have a military industrial complex controlling politicians with massive influence, we will have a budget that forces us into armed conflict with other nations on this planet. If Al-Qaeda wasn't created by the CIA, the CIA would have been forced to invent it.

    The MIC abhors a vacuum of enemies to kill.

    Dwight Eisenhower gave us fair warning, and we failed to listen.

    Today's dessert special is Plain Baked Alaska

    by shpilk on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:03:15 PM PDT

  •  I just got back from the movies... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, SyntaxFeline, BlueGenes, Xtatic

    ...and I assure you, the F-22 is the ONLY thing that stands between us and brutal subjugation by interstellar war-robots who can disguise themselves as General Motors products.

    BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:06:00 PM PDT

  •  Why are we listening to McCain? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rush 2112

    This guy's judgement was so good he picked Sarah Palin for his V.P.!  Do you really think he knows what he's talking about?

    His point is ridiculous - the Air Force is not going to put wear and tear on the most expensive fighter ever to secure the skies of countries that have no aircraft needing shot down.  It is pure sound bite bloviation from a man who is totally full of it.

    The F-22 is likely to be our top fighter until 2060.  It only makes sense to use them sparingly, they've got a long way to go.

  •  Or cancel the F-35 (0+ / 0-)

    A UCAV can more easily fill the ground attack/sometimes-fighter role of the F-35 than it can fill the air dominance role of the F-22.  Most likely both planes will be replaced by UCAV's, but the F-35 is easier to replace with a UCAV, still in development, and it's actual performance is an unknown quantity.  It may be great, it may be a dud, we don't know yet.  

    To me it makes more sense to cancel the F-35, start developing a UCAV to replace it, and bridge the gap with F-22's in the air superiority role and F-15's/16's/18's in the F-35's place until the UCAV comes online.

    But at any rate, anyone interested in this topic would do better to pursue it on an aviation forum.  Kos is a good place to discuss liberal politics, or politics in general.  For a subject like this it's not so great.

    •  An aviation forum would tell me that the (0+ / 0-)

      F-22 is the best thing ever ..which I am happy to agree with I want to know the whole picture considering the  Air Force Secretary says its time to move past the F-22. Clearly we need them. It's not clear how many and who is the best judge of that.
      That said- point me in the direction of a good aviation forum.

      Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

      by Xtatic on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:59:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes.... (0+ / 0-)

    .....I wonder if Daily Kos has become Red State. So many people here apparently jack off to Popular Mechanics magazine. Yeah, a more sophisticated way to kill someone. Real inspiring.

  •  Let me start off with an observation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    before I get to a direct comment on the serious question asked by the diarist. I have come to the progressive viewpoint through research, study, and reason while my early life was much more conservative.  That is a common story for young men, women too, who choose the military as a lifetime profession.  I spent the first 33 years of my life striving to become a military pilot.  It's all I ever wanted to do. I succeeded and proudly flew in the USAF for nearly eleven years.  I had most of the same ideas and world view of my peers.  And just like I moved on from my life long dream of military aviation I moved on from many those ideas and the world view that almost invariably attend military service.  The move was by choice and came through reason when strong evidence showed that my old way of seeing the world was in error.  It took another dozen years to make the transition.

    Why would I make this statement?  It has nothing directly to do with the question asked but it has everything to do with many of the comments made in response to a serious request for information upon which I assume the diarist will base a decision on his/her position on buying more F-22s.  I've continued in aviation and maintained pretty close attention to military issues, particularly in the airpower area.  

    I also want to try to deflect a flame war when I make another observation.  There are many comments here that seem based on knee jerk anti-militarism.  That reaction is the same beast as the knee jerk militarism, nationalism, and authoritarianism found in the right wing.  It is every bit as destructive to the dialog we should be having as is theirs.  It is often based on belief that the poster has turned to fact in their own head.  Instead, I offer the idea that we seek evidence that both supports and refutes possible answers to the question at hand.  It's all about good process leading to usually good answers.

    With that I offer my view on the F-22.  The Raptor is the best air superiority fighter ever built and will remain so for many years.  There is no other fighter in the air-to-air arena that can survive in it's presence.  Though all of it's capabilities are just being understood and tactics to use them are in the initial stages of development, it does an outstanding job in nearly every defensive and offensive mission that can be assigned to a tactical fighter including ones only now being dreamed up. Things like electronic surveillance, reconnaisance, and warfare.  It is lethal, survivable, flexible, and horribly, horribly expensive.

    Were it not so costly we would probably not be having this discussion.  A perfect world would negate the necessity of maintaining a military but we do not live there we live here.  The same denial of the hazards to the nation posed by enemies real and imagined and a hatred of all things military is one of the issues for which our conservative brothers hate about us.  (No, I don't think hate is too strong a word though the feeling is far from universal.) So, IMHO we need a military and must endure the cost of a certain number of systems like this.

    The question is how many, the answer is horribly complex. The F-22 is replacing the F-15 which is now nearly 40 years old (designed in the late 60's and built in the 70's.)  The F-15 is still quite capable although it is matched or slightly outclassed by new generation systems of our friends and adversaries.  It is not survivable in the high threat ground based air defense systems that are currently fielded.  The F-22 is, for now.

    The F-35 is intended to replace the F-16 and F/A-18.  Both are nearly as old as the F-15, are less capable then the F-15 in the air-to-air environment, and are no more survivable than the F-15.  The F-35 should be better in all three measures but somewhat less so than the F-22.

    The decision on the proper mix of F-22/35/15/16/18s is a crystal ball exercise.  DoD has to decide who our likely adversaries might be, their capabilities, the intensity of the potential conflicts, and thousands of other lesser factors to decide what we need to accomplish the mission of an air force.  This is a constantly ongoing process.  

    The current decision says we will have enough F-22s when those scheduled to be bought in the 2010 budget are delivered.  Due to the extreme sensitivity of the F-22's capabilities none are permitted by law to be exported even to allies.  I think rightly so and so when these are delivered the production line will close.  It would be very, very expensive, take a great deal of time, and be difficult if not impossible to reopen. That adds another dimension to the discussion. Congress, for it's own reasons, disagrees.

    Jobs, rampant militarism, or pork.  I think each plays a role in Congress' position. (FWIW, McCain is still pissed he didn't reach flag rank and never misses a chance to show who the big dog is to DoD so I'm always skeptical of the motives for his positions.)  I also think Congress is wrong.

    Lets recap.  F-22 capable and necessary for our air force to do it's job.  Nothing can do what it does, we need it's capabilities, but we have enough of them.  The experts say so and I can't disagree.  FWIW.

    Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    by VTCC73 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:12:00 PM PDT

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