Romney wants to buy more F-22s

Romney wants to buy more F-22s

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Saturday he would buy more F-22 Raptors as part of his plan to reverse many of the defense cuts planned by the Obama administration.

Romney told a Virginia Beach, Va., television station he would not include the military in the spending cuts he is proposing to cut down the U.S. deficit.

“Rather than completing nine ships per year, I’d move that up to 15. I’d also add F-22s to our Air Force fleet. And I’d add about 100,000 active duty personnel to our military team,” Romney said in the interview. “I think the idea of shrinking our military to try and get closer to balancing our budget is the wrong place to look.”

He’s repeated his plan to increase ship building from nine to 15 ships per year and add 100,000 active duty troops to the military’s end strength. However, this is the first time he’s mentioned any plans to buy more F-22s.

F-22 production was famously ended by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates after the Air Force had fought for the U.S. to buy more fifth generation fighter jets. Air Force leaders wanted to buy 243 F-22s, Gates halted production at 187. Originally, the Air Force wanted to buy more than 750 Raptors.

The last U.S. F-22 rolled off the production line in 2011. The Raptor program has since come under scrutiny after a string of pilots have suffered hypoxia-like symptoms and struggled to breathe in flight. Air Force officials claim to have found the cause, but it has repeatedly grounded the F-22 fleet the past two years and continue to impose flight restrictions.

Air Force leaders pushed to build more F-22s to add to the fleet because they warned a fleet of 187 would be insufficient to defeat an enemy with a top line air force like China. Former Air Force Chief of Staffs Gen. Norton Schwartz and Gen. Michael “Buzz” Moseley argued the costs of re-opening the production line would be too costly to build up the fleet if Congress changed its mind and wanted more F-22s.

If Romney wins and follows through on his plan to buy more F-22s, it would cost at least $900 million to reopen the F-22 production line, according to Loren Thompson, a consultant for Lockheed Martin and other defense companies.

In 2010, Japan discussed buying 40 F-22s from Lockheed Martin, builder of the F-22. Lockheed officials then told Japanese leaders it would cost $900 million to re-open the production line. Thompson said the cost would surely increase when considering two years have passed and the production line was still “semi-warm.”

The cost to reopen the production line would come in addition to the per aircraft price tag to manufacture each jet. That per aircraft cost is harder to decipher. When factoring in development and manufacturing, the price tag per jet totaled the U.S. more than $370 million. However, the flyaway cost — the cost of manufacturing one jet — equaled $137 million per jet.

Re-opening the production line in Marietta, Ga., would take at least two years, Thompson said. Lockheed would be slowed by re-establishing supplier networks and re-training employees.

“In a rush, you could do it in about two years assuming all the other workers weren’t on other projects like F-35,” Thompson said.

He didn’t expect the problems with the F-22’s oxygen system to hold a Romney administration back from following through on buying more F-22 plans.

“It wouldn’t be a problem, Thompson said. “If there are still issues with the oxgen system they could just switch over to another supplier like Cobham.”

There are also questions about whether further F-22 buys would affect the acquisition schedule for the F-35. The Defense Department plans to buy 2,443 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Join the Conversation

Reopen the production line and export to Japan, Australia, Israel and other allies.

Now we are talking. Hopefully the Obama bouce will evaporate. Go, Romney, go!!!

Why not, I wonder if we can build a lower cost stealth version of the F-22 or a non stealthy version of the F-22

while that would be awesome I do not see Romeny winning.

Yes more F-22’s and kill the F-35. Sell the F-22 to Japan & Australia which will bring our production costs down considerably. With the current price of the F-35 at $196.9 million each. We can get a aircraft that Fly’s, has Super Cruise, Thrust vectoring and a lot more for a lot less.

Considering Obama at the DNC said he wanted more Military cuts ( Cold War Systems ) and with Sequestration about to go into effect. Romney will be able to get an extra 1,00,000+ Defense Industry votes if people want to make sure they have jobs in 2013.

Develop and deploy the FB-22 along with an improved Raptor (more fuel more missiles)…

This would only work if the F-35 program was abandoned entirely. However, I must admit that I do like the idea of cancelling the F-35 and buying some more F-22’s, then making an export version of the F-22 that we could then sell to Australia and maybe Japan. Again, I only think we should sell F-22s to Israel if Russia starts exporting the PAK-FA to their enemies in the region. I also really like the Dutch. They are solid and loyal allies. They are also a no-nonsense type of people. If the Dutch asked for F-22s I think we should sell them some.

What I would like to note is that unlike the F-35, the F-22 has actually been tested and it actually works. However, I think the whole fleet should be grounded and we shouldn’t make more of them until the oxygen problem has been fixed. If we bought more F-22s as they are now then we are handing aircraft to the USAF that are health hazards to their pilots. It might mean building a whole new oxygen system from scratch.

I’m not quite sure I like the idea of the troop increases. I would prefer it if they gave members of the service an extra pay raise, but then again I’m biased on this matter.

As for the ship building idea, seemed kind of odd to me. We don’t need a bigger navy. We need more Tactical Tomahawks, Super Hornets, and small flexible units that bring a lot of firepower. Our ship building rate is just fine to me, but then again that might be a decision motivated by the desire to create more jobs, which is understandable. I do think that defense cuts would be good in general. Our services haven’t exactly been smart with money when they’ve had too much of it and we really need to get rid of our national deficit. We also need to focus a lot more on our economic competition with China rather than our military competition, which we have a ridiculous lead on them with right now.

Is that $900 million just to get the factory going again? The mass production price of the F-22 at cancellation was around $120 million or so. If they built 100 more that’s at least $13 billion probably over 10 year period.

Romney wants to add 100,000 troops? Where is he getting the money to pay for them? Where are they going to live? Our bases are packed in tight as it is. The back of the envelope math for troops is $1billion/10,000. That’s at least $10 billion/year to the baseline budget for troops we can’t house at the tail end of this war when we won’t need them. We added 22,000 to the Army between 2008 and 2011 when the economy was nose diving. Military construction wasn’t keeping up and soldiers were housed in trailers and motels for months. If somehow we managed to recruit them and house them, we’d also be committed to spending a fortune on keeping them in if the economy improves.

Exactly why I think that money would be better spent giving the current service members pay raises.

That, and we should bounce the fat, lazy and dumb ones and increase training for the rest. We should privatize things like cooks, drivers, maintenance and just have warriors. In times of war, we can hire more “base personnel” for the more mundane jobs.

Say anything to get elected.

“Air Force leaders pushed to build more F-22s to add to the fleet because they warned a fleet of 187 would be insufficient to defeat an enemy with a top line air force like China.”

But I keep hearing the big, red, PLAAF was just a myth not worth fearing.

Where would they rearm F-22s anyway?

Nope, not going to work out in reality.

You want Halliburton to make more cash, do it someother way.

We tried that in Iraq, all it got me was sandy clothes and terrible food.

What type of disillusioned fiscal world are you living in? The USAF cancelled the C-27J to feed money to the F-35. If they couldn’t afford that what makes you think that they can afford F-22s on top of the JSF purchases?

“This would only work if the F-35 program was abandoned entirely.”

From your mouth to God’s ears.

This does prove that Romney will say anything to get votes there is a reason why the F22 numbers got cut back actually there 16 Trillion of them its just too expensive just like F35 . Super Hornets would be cheaper and proven replacements

Any re-opening of the F-22 line would simply be a huge bonus to Lockheed Martin for their having disastrously screwed up the F-35. Beyond the point of recoverability.

It’s time to start punishing failure and rewarding success. Kill things that don’t work. Idle those things that work but cost too much. Build new stuff that works and costs a reasonable amount.

LockMart have failed and should not have any major fighter contract. Can the F-35 program. Leave the F-22 program in cold storage.

What to do instead? A few thoughts.

(a) Buy upgraded versions of the F-15 and F/A-18 from Boeing. Don’t buy a lot of these. They won’t have a long shelf life. But they can be in service fast, and serve through the early 2020s, then be dispersed to allies via FMS. Gap fillers.

(b) The B-1 fleet should all be upconverted to B-1R. Pull back any reasonably good frames from Davis-Monthan to expand the shrinking numbers.

© Put the B-2 fleet in rapidly recoverable warm storage at Davis-Monthan. Keep a small cadre of maintainers and pilots occasionally flying one or two birds to maintain the skill base. We can’t afford such a small, exquisite, fragile fleet except in a hot war.

(d) Accelerate the X-47B. Which is far ahead of its test schedule (unlike the F-35) and consistently delivering good results (unlike the F-35). This could pick up most of the B-2 risky penetration missions eventually, all except strategic nuclear. With a faster cycle time because it doesn’t have the long dispatch lag of the B-2 (which is coming from CONUS, Guam or Diego Garcia). Fills the naval deep strike gap left by retiring the A-6.

(e) Tell Northrop Grumman to dust off the prints for the YF-23A, the plane that should have been built instead of the F-22. Make it bigger. NorGrum have unsuccessfully pitched an enlarged FB-22 stealth theater bomber variant in years past. Bring that up again. This is perfect for the long ranges of the Pacific. Massive internal fuel and better signature management than even the F-22 has. Plus an oxy system that doesn’t asphyxiate pilots.

(f) More and more mass produced aerial weapons like MALD and MALD-J, air breathing long legged smart mini cruise missiles. Game changers, they are. Especially with an armed hunting swarm variant being proposed.

Grrrr. Fingers outrun brain once again. Oh, for an editing function. I said, “NorGrum have unsuccessfully pitched an enlarged FB-22 stealth theater bomber variant in years past…”

That would of course be an FB-23 variant, not an FB-22.

The same FB-23 which had a proprietary in-house model accidentally get tossed in a dumpster and then onto eBay.


As for this comment,

“Super Hornets would be cheaper and proven replacements”

For the F-22? Cheaper, to be sure. Far cheaper. Proven replacements? Hardly.

The worst threat issue in the next few years isn’t going to be Russian or Chinese stealth interceptors. It’s going to be the already existing and rapidly expanding base of triple-digit SAM systems.

An F-22 has some chance of going inside the engagement envelope of one of those systems and coming back out. A Super Hornet isn’t coming back out. Time to write the sad letter home.

While I think more F-22s are a good idea, I don’t think its necessary or even a good idea to end the F-35 to do it. Ignoring the loss of political capital from allied nations left holding the bag for its developement… you haven’t seen the new price for the F-22. Second you’re looking at the F-35’s low rate production cost, which was the same type of unfair price tag people used to justify ending the F-22. Its the same cherry picking that looks at the peek price and not the truly representative price. F-35 has a purpose and ending it would still leave gaps in the AirForce, Navy, and Marines, requiring new programs in addition to the high cost life extension on existing equipment. The only thing the F-22 can replace is the F-35A… not the B or C.

Agreed, with some protection of sensitive techonlogy of course. I think a two seat version, capable of controlling UAVs would be a priority. An FB-22 would be usefull too.

The T-50 PAK-FA will be sold to the Indians beginning in 2014.

Seems like the F-35 is really only a smaller modified version of the F-22, so I imagine the supplier base should still be pretty much intact. I think many components of the F-35 could readily be adapted to the revived F-22 program. Indeed, adding the EOTS and DAS could make the F-22+ an even deadlier version.

No, I am thinking in an updated version of the F-22. It is not the United Arab Emirates Air Force’s F-16 the best F-16 in the world?

He is telling his audience what they want to hear. Basic election pandering.

Cold War Redux. Give the Generals whatever they want. More ships, more planes, more troops. Now the current Boogeyman in China.

He is clueless. Makes good street theater though.

After you throw out the actors, neocons, and lawyers, the Republicans are left with Bush I and Eisenhower as the only men that actually experienced war and understood the cost of this enterprise. Yet here we have our newest Republican president and VP candidate, that if we added up all of their military experience, and their sons, we come up with a very small number, zero days of service. Yet they want to reopen production lines for aircraft that the USAF does not want. So that we can spend billions or stealth aircraft to chase terrorists. NEWSFLASH!!! You don’t need an F-22 to take out a camel or mad-max toyota pickup truck.

Go back and READ Eisenhower’s Farewell Address the Nation (Jan 17, 1961), not just the military industrial complex part, there’s plenty of thoughtful advise for real ex-military members to reflect on.

The conflict in Asia is starting as we read this, the Chinese claim to the same islands as Japan will lead to armed conflict in the region. As Japan’s main allie in the area, we will have to repsond. The thought of confronting China is not as remote as it was even a decade ago.

We need a strong military so we don’t have to give up the freedoms we enjoy now…REMEMBER 9/11. I’m all for making our military strong but a big threat we have right now is getting rid of the climbing deficit. Just like we didn’t see 9/11 coming, I guarantee we may not see our next enemy coming so we need to be strong militarily and economically. Slowly cut the deficit and DO NOT CUT DEFENSE, we will only have to pay for defense later but later may be to late!!!!

As opposed to obama and his lie a minute strategy. Smarten up lib.

First, lets get the Department of Defense audited. DoD doesn’t even know were our money is going to. The Department of Defense has never been audited. Congress has tried to audit DoD since the early 70’s without success.

Good grief. You don’t spend all that money to develop your front line fighter for the next 30 years, then only build less than 200 of them. That is really stupid. Makes a helluva lot more sense than what onumbnuts has proposed.

Now we know Mitt was really studying military stategy while hiding out in France and not draft dodging Nam like everyone thought. What a genious..

We could reduce near term funding & slow down development of F-35, test more, giving more time to work out bugs and deliver a quality product. We could redirect F-35 funds into restarting the F-22 line, and produce the fighters into perpetuity as well as develop export and FB-22 versions, satisfying our long range strike requirement. Keep a close eye on the F-22 and if it becomes a lost cause, kill it off slowly, freeing up more funds. We could get a stronger military, and stronger economic value, with this proposal, vs thinking we must commit $300B+ more into an F-35 venture that has overpromised & under-delivered.

Yes, let’s remember 9/11, an intelligence gathering and dissemination failure, as a reason that we need to buy more fifth gen stealth fighters.

Well if Japan, Australia and Israel want F-22’s let the finance the cost and we’ll build it for them minus all the classified gear and hardware. They can add any hardware they want and we’ll give them the airframe and engine. Any stealth gear is all on them and let them bear the cost of the F-22 production

“need to focus a lot more on our economic competition with China rather than our military competition, which we have a ridiculous lead on them with right now.”

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare.

In response to torquewrench’s comment: “(e) Tell Northrop Grumman to dust off the prints for the YF-23A…”

I agree.

US projects power primarily with aircraft flown from CVNs, and that is not likely to change soon, even as the Navy needs to learn to defend against better anti-ship weapons systems.

X-47B is semi-autonomous, but still only as good as the network it is attached to. Unmanned systems are a long way from being able to operate well with real autonomy, and still depend too much on a vulnerable communications network.

The underlying design of the F-22 is not suitable for redesign to CATOBAR. The F/A-18E/F are multi-role and truly superior at nothing against the best opponents, and likewise the F-35B/C replacements.

The US Navy does not have an air superiority fighter interceptor that is truly superior, nor does the Navy have a good replacement for the A-6 Intruder long range ground attack light bomber mission tanker that can carry similarly heavy loads to similarly long range, while operating off the network.

So I agree, if we are to remain as the dominant global super power, the Navy should dust off the YF-23, and develop prototypes for two CATOBAR capable versions, a smaller lighter air superiority fighter interceptor variant that retains some attack capability, and a longer heavier strike bomber mission tanker variant that retains some fighter capability. The two aircraft could be designed to complement each other, while also sharing many parts and systems in common, but specialized enough to be very good at their separate primary roles.

Continue with the F-35B for the USMC for use from amphibs, and to augment existing F/A-18E/F on CVNs. Buy some more F/A-18E/F/G, because the replacements are too slow in coming.

Dust off the F-22 design, give it a tech update with F-35 avionics, and build them for the Air Farce.

Raise defense spending to 5%-6% of GDP, because we need also more ships.

where did you get the USAF does not want more F-22s? It was SecDef Gates that made the final decisions to stop production. BTW taking out “camel or mad max toyota pickups” represents a small portion of the military’s mission.

Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have slept through that session at Air War College! Tell me again about how an F-22 can be employed.

Weapon Expert? The F-35 is as far away from F-22 air-to-air performance as an F-4 is. It does not resemble the F-22 in anything but arrangement of lifting surfaces. No systems are compatible, especially the electro/hydraulic flight controls. The F-22 has its own intergrated situation awareness electronics, and an order of magnitude better radar signature. Helmet mounted cueing was tried and rejected for the F-22. I don’t know why, but I assume it was not worth the money to integrate. Right now, I am glad it does not have DAS. That helmet is a montrosity.
There is little chance anyone can resurrect the F-22. The subcontractors moved on 5 years ago. The tools are “stored” somewhere near the Ark of the Covenent in secret wearhouses. The whole idea of preservation of F-22 manufacturing capability was just a ploy to get F-22 proponents to stop their lobbying. Start over with a new pot of other people’s money. It makes work for the workin’ man.

Romney is going to have to find a way to pay for it and describe it prior to the election — considering it was the republicans that destroyed the economy after inheriting an $800B/year surplus — thereby making the sequestration deal necessary.

And take note — this isn’t supporting the military — this is supporting the military industrial complex: NOT the boots and vets.

An if Romney tries another “we’ll make the middle class and poor pay without raising taxes on the wealthy”, he’ll cook his own goose.

Since we taxpayers paid for you to attend AWC why don’t you inform us? See my argument above for more F-22s. We have validated requirements for 2K+ F-35 for a failing program with out of control costs, and we are foolishly rushing into production without a tested, stable production configuration. With the current state of F-35 programmed funding, we could re-open the F-22 production line, start production at minimum sustaining rates into perpetuity, continue improvement & production of latest F-15s/-16s/-18s at MSRs, start development of an FB-22 to satisfy the future long range strike requirement, improve our economy through export of new and constantly improving F-15s/-16s/-18s/-22s, improved relations & opportunities for better integration with allies, and continued development of the F-35 to give it more time for test & bug fixing, and have more funds for the capabilities to take out camels & mad max toyota pickups. We would have more benefits and more hedges against future risks for decades to come. What would you suggest?? $10B more a year into the F-35 status quo that can’t even given us a valid IOC after $60B in sunk development?

a good POTUS and a lot of cash can resurrect the F-22 production line. wouldn’t our best allies — Australia, UK, Japan, Korea, Canada — jump at a chance to get it?

exporting F-22s to those allies could make a lot of work for the workin’ man as well.

It is my judgment and only mine, that whoever is elected there is a 20 percent chance of building more F-22s and 80 percent chance of not. Why?
1.Putin has allocated 720 billion dollars to upgrade the Russian air force over the next eight years, including new planes, UAVs, and refurbish.
2.Chinese cannot build jet turbines, but can buy them from Russia. They are great at manufacturing, poor at maintenance and quality process tracking though. 10–15 years from fielding a reliable stealth aircraft. In addition, as someone else mentioned, the Chinese have money, and to protect their interest, will use a modern military to do so.
3.Development of a US subsonic bomber replacement that can be flown manned or unmanned, a priority. What it will be or look like is the subject of much pontification and speculation.
4.F-35 commitment and investment consumes resources and budget. Air force, Marines, and the Navy have bought into the program. Testing has recovered and has gone well and met all milestones. There is no turning back, even though many would like to cut the bait and fish somewhere else. It is not going to happen. (By the way, considering the poor design of the competition, the F-35 was the superior choice).
5.Oxygen problems with the F-22 were with the g-vest, a government furnished equipment (GFE), and not with any on board system of the F-22. This is a fact or one can just ignore the facts.
6.Lockheed Martin was the prime contractor on the F-22 program and in partnership with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. Boeing built the wings and was responsible for some sub systems, such as escape. Pratt & Whitney supplies the engines.
7.Legacy aircraft such as F-16, F-15, and F-18 will be flying for the next 10–15 years by the US and longer by our allies. The F-22 and F-35 will continue to be modernized as new developments come out of the labs. It will not be cheap though and is not like your cell phone where you can toss it or trade and get a new one. The F-22 will be the king of the skies wherever it flies for the next 20–30 years. End of discussion!(p.s. A number of F-22s are stationed in the UAE, ready to escort the B-2s with MOPs into Iran).

I guess Romney does not know how much we spent to shut down the line or how much time and money it would cost to start it back up. What a moron.

Come on now, discussions do not and should never end… In order to quantify a probability to an outcome you would have to build a simulation model that links all the independent variables to the outcome, specify the uncertainty on the inputs, and get an aggregated probability distribution of the outcome. The right leadership & execution could make re-opening F-22 production a near certainty. Much less likely outcomes have occurred in military history.

So who the hell is going to pay for this.

Peritus, you’re the expert, you win! I have a full-time non-government job and can’t chat all day. We should buy all of the F-22’s and F-35’s the Chinese will loan us money for. Then we can then defeat them in battle and not pay them back; what a great idea! You ought to run for office.
Ryan will be looking for a VP in 4 years.

You’re clearly a mongoloid. Please refrain from making stupid comments for others to see.

Since you went to AWC you should be the expert, what is wrong with this picture? Please come back when you have the time and complete your arguments. Try to refrain from fallacies. Your Chinese loan dig might make good rhetoric, but is a sad oversimplification that drags down policy discussion. The hypothetical war you constructed and sarcastic remark is a straw man. Maybe I will run for office some day but that is irrelevant. And you have no answers or constructive comment to any of the questions above. Please restore our faith that AWC graduates can make good strategists.

F-35 could be the billpayer. I’m sure in our portfolio of screwed up acquisitions we could find some more.

this is no place for racist comments. hopefully yours will be deleted. he seems more like a Boeing stakeholder.

Just how our political system works. Both candidates spend a year proving to their parties that they’re the most partisan guy in existence. Once they get the nomination, they try to ignore half the stuff they previously said so they can convince the rest of the country they can be everything to everyone.

“Tell me again about how an F-22 can be employed.?…“
I could, but it would take less space to list the capabilities against real threats for any other military aircraft. Tell me again how an F-35, F-16, F-18, F-15, Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale, Su-35 can be employed? Better yet, what is the intended employment of the Chengdu J-20 and the Sukhoi T-50?

Before a decision can be made about reopening the F-22 production line here are somethings i hope everyone thinks about
1) The cost of reopening the line
2) How much will it cost to put technological improvements (including but not limited to both stealth and electronics) developed for the F-35 onto the F-22.
3) How many will be produced and will there be an export version
4) Make it easier to maintain
5) How much will it cost to replace the OBOGS system

1) Can the range be increased without affecting the payload or overall design

If they can get a starting out price within $25–50 million of $120 million it may be cost effective to do it

Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the US Navy’s fleet is the smallest it’s been since 1915. China is in the middle of a very impressive naval buildup, and their fleet will rival ours in numbers of platforms (if not in quality) if current trends continue. Our anti-access problem with China is complicated by China’s geographical advantages and asymmetric “Assassin’s Mace” capabilities. We’ve got growing sea-based missile defense commitments that are diverting our Aegis CGs and DDGs from traditional sea control missions. And we’ve got a long SLOC to protect from the Strait of Hormuz which at present is threatened by Iranian nuclear saber-rattling. And you think we don’t need a bigger Navy?

Alot of people think maritime power of any sort is unnecessary.

Bravo, Torque.

Doublng down on the 4G fighter inventory is a recipe for failure against adversaries with triple-digit SAMs.

The F-22 and the F-35 development programs are vastly different from the legacy aircraft. F-22s and F-35s were the plan, but the drastic cost increases of both aircraft along with the major technical flaws in both aircraft were not part of the plan. These cost increases and design flaws differ from the legacy aircraft as well as any other american fighter aircraft in history in that they have never happened on the same scale, especially for the F-35.

The fiscal environment we have today was also not part of the plan when these aircraft were conceived. We can only have one or the other, but not both. Having both has now become too expensive in the fiscal environment that we have today. The USAF will have to choose only one of these stealth fighters or choose an upgraded legacy aircraft and the best option for them is to pick the F-22 and ditch the F-35. If that fails then they should buy F-15SE Silent Eagles.

Romney is just reflecting a huge difference in priorities from the Obama Administration. You may not agree with him, but “clueless” is just not a character attribute of Mitt Romney.

cost for obogs? cheap as shiiit

Let me fill you in on what you missed while you were sleeping. There’s this thing about “fighting the last war.” It’s where intellectually lazy military planners presume that the force the US will need for the future is the same as the force they wish they had to fight the last war.

Good luck with your future Air Force of Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6B’s. They’d have been great at smokin’ camels and killing technicals. Too bad we’ll be done with Iraq and Afghanistan by the time we field them. I’m sure they’ll shred the PLAAF’s J-10’s and J-15’s and the PLA’s S-300 SAMs when it comes time to kick the PLA back out of the South China Sea.

Yes, people who fail to learn and understand history.

Killing the program after only building 200 airframes was a silly, wasteful idea in the first place. Gates let the critics put the program into the acquisition death spiral, and after that death spiral politics & economics took over. Even paying the costs to restart production will probably be a better investment than the alternatives at this point, in terms of capability realized for the dollar. Restarting F-22 is the probably the shortest, least expensive route to 5G air dominance.

I would call the PLAAF a force to wreaken with NOT a grave threat.

Romney is so full of crap his eyes are brown, he will say anything to get elected. If you asked him where he was getting the money from he would answer “trust me”.
Buy the Silent Eagle, at least two for the price of one Raptor. It is not like the US ever attacks anyone with a front line air force anyways.

While it be nice to get some more F-22 in service there some flaws to some Raptors fans comments here. 1 F-22 cannot be exported passed by a Republican congress by law no other nation can have Raptors. 2 The FB-22 was cancelled by the Bush administration because of its cost and it did not other much more than the F-15E could do (except stealth). Overall a good Idea the Army and USMC doesn’t need modernization as bad as the USAF which was neglected by both Bush and Obama. Overall upgrading the F-15 and F-16 should also take effect.

Doesnt matter way all the polls are going Romney is going to lose.

Being absolutely full of shit is a character attribute though. Or maybe you haven’t been paying attention.

We will never get into a shooting war with China, they have intercontinental ballistic missiles.

I wouldn’t call myself a Raptor fan, more of a national security & economic growth fan. We all know the law would have to be changed in order to export the F-22.

good considerations. a good analysis of alternatives to address all your considerations would precede a new acquisition program, by law. I wouldn’t be too greedy with trying to get an improved performance F-22 (range). I’d be happy enough to just get back in to production.

Clueless is parhaps too harsh a term. Allow me to restate: restarting production of a (single role air-to-air) one-trick pony makes no sense.

In this instance Mr. Romney does NOT know what he is talking about — IMHO.
A weapon system this expensive has to be multi-role or it is not cost effective.

The F-22 can carry 8 x 250lb bombs internally. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, it can also carry 4 X 5000 lbs of bombs mounted on each hardpoint, if you sacrifice stealth? 22K pounds of bombs and 480 rds of 20mm actually have some punch air to ground. It can perform other roles, not nearly as limited as you imply. If the law were changed and we could export it would the industry & job creation benefits make sense?

Nice talk. Where’s the $? The budget next year alone would need to have $1.2 trillion in deficit spending cut to just balance. That’s before we start adding defense spending hand over fist and if it isn’t cut I’d love to read some math on precisely where he plans to find about $1.5 trillion in a single year from a federal government with about $2.8 trillion in annual revenue collections.

Populist campaign BS, that’s about all.

$ could come from the F-35 program, which currently takes up $300B in planned DoD spending in the near future. Right now we are buying too many LRIP jets when we shouldn’t. We should slow and extend the F-35 program, freeing up the resources for a multitude of defense requirements. Defense waste is still a problem that can be measured in Billions of dollars. But with out Defense spending we get the national security infrastructure that makes the global economic system work. Health care annual waste is measured at @ $765B / year, and the future unfunded liabilities of health care, social security, pensions, etc. is $60+T. You can advocate cutting defense and accept responsibility for the increased risks to national security, or we could actually start addressing the real problem. The choice is yours.

The UAE F-16 is not better than ours, even if it has a higher lot number ect.

Will just have to trust me on this one.

PLAAF today is not what it was even just 10 years ago. The PLA 2 Artillery is also game-changing for its ability to deliver massive offensive counter-air against TW and Okinawa. For some sobering reading, see http://​www​.rand​.org/​p​u​b​s​/​m​o​n​o​g​r​a​p​h​s​/​2​0​0​9​/​R​A​N​D​_​MG8.…

Note the RAND team found that Guam-based F-22s with their long legs and supercruise capablity offered the prospect of offsetting the PLAAF’s geographical and numerical advantages.

No, I still don’t think we need a bigger navy. The odds of us actually going to war over the Straights of Hormuz are very low. Iran knows they could probably hurt us in a fight, but they also know that we would absolutely crush them. They would gain nothing from a conflict and lose everything.

The technology has vastly changed to the point where the fleet we have now is good enough to destroy almost the rest of the world’s navy’s. What we need is more ammunition and better types of ammunition. 1915 was a long time ago when guns were the only thing able to be used and nuclear reactors weren’t around so you needed to cycle ships much more often if you wanted to maintain a presence in a certain location. The fact that the navy has fewer ships than 1915 means nothing in light of today’s technical advances.

China’s naval build up only has two things that are actually a threat to us: advanced submarines and a single carrier. If anything the only ships we need more of are submarines right now. China has the home field advantage so obviously they will know how to fortify it better. However, Chinese training and ship quality is not impressive and still not a valid threat. The only thing they have that could hurt us are subs, a crap ton of cruise missiles, and the DF-21. Our dollars shouldn’t be put in making more ships, but in making more ammo and better technology to counter such weapons.

Also, none of this means anything if our economy is in the toilet. If we can out muscle the Chinese, but we’re owned by them and working for them then they will win in the long run. Using an extreme example: it would be better to have a good economy and be China’s military equal than to have a superior military for a short time period and then let their economy out pace ours, which would eventually give them a better military. The economy is a much much bigger priority right now than maintaining the ability to penetrate China’s air space.

Musket…not sure if you have been keeping up with the AirSea Battle developments. Given the trajectory of the PLAAF modernization and Chinese anti-access capabilities (i.e. 2nd Arty), US air dominance is no longer a given (see http://​www​.rand​.org/​p​u​b​s​/​m​o​n​o​g​r​a​p​h​s​/​2​0​0​9​/​R​A​N​D​_​MG8.… Having more than 187 F-22’s could go a long way to restoring and maintaining a credible US air dominance capability in a TW or SCS theater. Without air dominance, many, many other warfare tasks become an order of magnitude more difficult.

And F-22 as a family may not be as much of a one-trick pony as you suggest. F-15 started out as a pure air superiority fighter, but the F-15E turned out to be a pretty good strike platform. Lockheed had evolutionary plans that included an FB-22 (and F/A-22 when they were trying to sell to the Navy). With a restart of the production line, it would be easier to adapt F-22 airframes for logical growth missions. Incorporating F-35 avionics would surely be one of many options on the menu.

So do we. And a lot more than China does.

Do you think a few dozen ICBMs makes a country invincible? If China thinks so, and decides that it can move aggressively against Taiwan or its South China Sea neighbors without fear of intervention by the US, then we are certain to be on a collision course.

Unfunded liabilities are just that, unfunded, they aren’t part of any problem yet, and honestly won’t be because there is no money to pay for them. That has got nothing to do with balancing the budget nor do these pointless promises politicians make on the campaign trail. Mentioning social security is also pointless along with the bulk of medicare, their funding streams have squat to do with defense. We spend too much on everything, defense included.

If he kills Obamacare on 20 January, he’ll make a great start. I bet that Executive Order will be signed between the inauguration and the inaugural ball. (Legislation will follow).

Obama’s misplaced domestic priorities. When Romney presses the “undo” button on Obamacare, that will be a great start.

You missed the part where Romney said, “I think the idea of shrinking our military to try and get closer to balancing our budget is the wrong place to look.”

The point is not to rearrange a shrinking Defense budget pie…it’s to shift more spending to Defense from non-Defense programs.

Obamacare has contributed a nickel to the current $16 trillion debt. It also has nothing to do with this years budget which is $1.3 trillion more.

You missed the part where entitlement funding crowds out discretionary funding… That could be used to fund capital investments to grow the economy, or fixing things that are flat out broke, like saving kids from a lifetime of poverty & government dependency. Oh yeah, add the interest on top of the debt that crowds out other opportunities for discretionary investments. You also miss the psychological impact that the future debt bomb has on economic growth today.

shrinking Defense budget pie has been, is, and will be, standard practice for years to come. I don’t quite follow you…

My dear friend, I think you you should get the grand price of 5 gallons of prune juice. Just about 60% of the Raptor’s cost goes to private industries that make components for them. That means more people to work that will earn tax paying salaries wich will contribute to paying the deficit our hero Mr O and his cronies created for US. That’s all we need to pay the deficit. More industry means more people to work
more salaries, more income taxes to pay what the goverment owe. Not increasing the taxes to few people that work to feed those who don’t.

Yes it does, because the political & economic capital expended in getting Obamacare passed (took a year +) could have been spent on economic growth initiatives to grow the economy & reduce the debt. it’s called “opportunity cost”. You also don’t understand “implementation cost” and must think that all the work they are doing to implement Obamacare comes for free. Add in the uncertainty to employers who are less willing to hire new employees, who then become more dependent on government unemployment & other benefits, slower economic growth, more foreclosures, reduced property taxes & local government tax revenue, school, police, and fire dept layoffs, more uemployment, more foreclosures, financial institution failure & govt bailouts, repeat cycle, etc. and that’s your strike three — you’re out.

darnit I forgot to add “tighter credit” after financial institution failure & foreclosures.. please forgive me.

BlackOwl, you don’t seem to know very much about naval warfare.

Numbers matter, particularly for global naval powers. You can’t project power if you cannot sustain naval presence in the places you need it. We don’t have the luxury of assuming that Iran, North Korea, and China won’t all become problems simultaneously. When CGs and DDGs need to be in a box for missile defense missions in Europe and off North Korea, those platforms can’t also perform CSG strike/air defense missions. We also have significant time/distance problems, and we’ll have to beat a PLAN defense-in-depth that includes a large submarine force, a growing force of DDGs armed with next-gen ASCMs, and the 2nd Arty DF-21s.

You also seem to be ignoring the range of naval missions that need to be acomplished. The kind of force the US would need for mining/countermining operations, for SLOC security, for counter-blockade operations, for ASW…those all require larger numbers of platforms.

Conflict with Iran is as close as it’s ever been, and closure of the SoH won’t be the first move…that will be Iran’s response AFTER the first strike–whether it’s Iran striking Tel Aviv or Israel striking Iranian centrifuges.

And China’s long-term economic rise has a built-in kill switch: a subreplacement birth rate that ensures their demographics will be upside-down before the middle of the century. They’re going to get old before they get rich. The question is will they try to make an aggressive land grab first.

Agree that Romney needs to specify how he’ll pay for it…but it’s clear that he intends to make domestic spending cuts the bill-payer. Note Defense spending at present is at a low ebb–only about 3.5%. Entitlements on the other hand are eating the entire private economy.

Blaming Republicans for the 2008 recession is laughable. It was the collapse of the housing market, fueled by Democrat policies to guarantee loans to consumers who could not afford them — Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Clinton-era Community Reinvestment Act — that led to the 2008 crisis.

And that’s not what made the sequestration deal necessary — if Obama and company had not blown the budget on a $1.2T takeover of the health care industry, an $800B stimulus that largely went to state union workers and non-ready “shovel-ready jobs,” and a massive bailout of GM to save overpriced union pensions, the defense budget would have been just fine.

Socking it to the taxpayers isn’t the answer…the answer is to rein in domestic spending.

Sorry FB-22 is DOA cancelled by President Bush not going to happen.

Good idea a upgraded F-15 c an do much like the F-22 and is cheaper.

I agree but I read the USAF times and this is a pipe dream to make Romney supporters feel good. Any more F-22 or export will have to be approved by congress and l read the senate is saying a BIG NO!. Theres a difference from campaign talk like Romney and cold hard reality.

This is just talk not going to happen.

I agree

majr0d should see this OFFICIAL pub highlighting how VULNERABLE airbases are in asia.

This won’t be the Japanese “Battle of Britain,” this will be more like being on the receiving end of the Gulf Wars.

Thank you SecretSquid, I’ve been looking for more info like this for awhile to prove my case.

No reason not to give the Japanese the whole shibang. They DONT trust China. Nor Russia. Australia i’d say go ahead to Im not sure the isralies would want them. They seem to be going more towards the F-35A.

FYI, Japan’s been making their own 5th gen fighter for awhile now. Could be in production.

Here we go:

The Shinshin.

I can’t imagine Mitsubishi wanting local fighter industry being crushed *again* by an American import. They might insist on manufacturing rights…or perhaps assembly of kits from Lockheed.

Mahan and Douhet don’t have complete answers to our national security needs.

Haliburton imports workers from random third world countries and bills the taxpayers with the markup. Unless Uncle Sam actually haggled as hard as they haggle hospitals for Medicare…(and the reimbursements are pretty fractional, which causes spurious procedures just to have more codeable items to bill for).

“BlackOwl, you don’t seem to know very much about naval warfare. ”

… I happen to go to a U.S. military academy that puts a VERY STRONG emphasis on naval warfare. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

As for the other stuff, I am merely going to say that you have a misguided view on naval warfare as well as the SoH situation and China, but it is understandable. I stick by my opinion that we don’t need a lot more ships, just better technology, better weapons, and better personnel. Also a poor economy is the road to a weaker military. China is rising now because their economy is rising. We are in decline now because we have made some bad decisions that put us in a poor economic state. We need to beef up the economy before we can beef up the military. By the way if Iran attacked Israel all we would need to do is sit back and watch as the Israelis decimate Iran for us. I think our only concern would be deciding when to tell Israel to stop pummeling them.

Does the word “hype” mean anything to you?

Yes, that Democrat Ayn Rand disciple Alan Greenspan that dropped the Fed fund rate to 0 to battle the bursting tech bubble, then didn’t bring the rate up to soak up the easy money in the economy. And even when it became beyond obvious to many economists and industry insiders, still didn’t do squat.

And that Democrat Anthony Mozillo of Countrywide Financial and those free enterprise Democrats at Washington Mutual, AIG, Bear Sterns, and Lehman that all imploded their socialist banks and insurance companies and wiped out their shareholders so that pure socialism could bloom from the wreckage of capitalism. Those Democrats figured out that you could create a printing press by conning poor people into obviously terrible teaser rate no-doc mortgages then selling the mortgages in tranches based on their supposed low risk to pension funds and other suckers. Those democrats made a killing each time they sold or resold a crappy high risk mortgage—but only if they created huge systemic risk to the entire economy. But hey, those socialists got rich, right?

And those Democrats at Fitch and the others ratings agencies that were in on the con and gave all that toxic mortgage derivatives a AAA rating–even the worst tranches in the worst mortgage pools.

And that Democrat George W Bush and his Democratic VP Dick Cheney who informed us that deficits don’t matter!!! Tax breaks to rich people!!! Giving free money to rich democrats who will gamble it in the stock market because they already have too much money– what could go wrong?

Those Democrats that did all of those things while still being out of power and disgraced as a party until getting a hold of Congress in 2006, far far into the housing bubble*. And Clinton– that genius who planted the seeds of economic destruction a decade earlier knowing that his replacement was such a tool that he would never be able to figure out the problem, let alone attempt to solve it, in 8 years as president.

What an amazing bunch.

quit watch Fox Squid (MSN too, for that matter). Partisan media is destroying America.

*from 2006 on– Democratic politicians are as much to blame for their complicity.

Hello Tee — According to Richard Banholzer, Boeing’s Director of Business Development for the Air Force Fighters and Weapons, was a former USAF F-15A, F-15C and F-15E pilot and test pilot, with 2,000 hours on the F-4 Phantom II and 1,900 hours on F-15s.

He claims the F-15 still has a vital role to play (which I agree). The F-22 Raptor, with their greater stealth, Raptors might be the aircraft of choice to penetrate particularly high-threat zones.

However, on the “friendly” side or low to medium threat zones of the forward edge of the battle area — for cruise missile defence, defending high value assets and if the rules of engagement dictate close-in-engagement — the F-15 may be a better choice. So a mixed force of Eagles and Raptors would present a potent combination of flexibility and capability which is a perfect idea to complement with each other.

I’m not sure if you’re aware Tee, Boeing Co. has extended the F-15 production line well into the 2020’s to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.

Restart the F-22 production line. Indeed sell the F-22 to Japan & Australia which will bring our production costs down considerably.

Super Hornets? Are you kidding? F-18s and F-15s are continuously beaten in mock combat by F-22s. The only thing proven about Super Hornets is that they are obsolete, just like all 4th gen fighters.

Hi Superraptor

Indeed get rid of the Obama administration including the Defence Secretary Leon Penatta, they are terrible to your country and the allies. I will like to see further F-22s, advanced F-15s and F-16s buys affect the acquisition schedule for the failed lemon F-35 Joint Strike Failure.

Hi octopusmagnificens

The failed lemon F-35 program. Where will it end up? The JSF (Junk Strike Failure) will be put in the Davis Monthan AB, Arizona and see the “overweight baby seal” get chopped up and shredded away into the bin as a cancellation which I really love to see that happen for good. Dust bin awaits.

@ octopusmagnificens

Another person that needs to get dismissed is LM Tom Burbage (Executive Vice President and General Manager, F-35 Program Integration, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics) and his colleagues from the organisation. They can escort with the F-35 program to Davis Monthan AB to see the lemon get shredded and dumped. “Say goodbye to your lovely F-35 Mr Burbage”.

You can have both planes. The F35 is designed as a ground support fighter, the F22 as an Air-To-Air superiority fighter. The F35 is sold internationally to many allies, so it has some help in reducing costs due to large bulk buys and engineering costs being spread over several countries and more planes.

The F22 problem has been fixed. Trust me I know. It was not a problem with the plane or the system it had to do with a valve on their flight suits.

Lockheed has proposed selling a “dumber” version to Japan, Israel, and the UK.

did you read the news headlines today? we need 5th gen stealth fighters to deter nations like Iran from thinking they have something to gain by provoking war, and, God help us all, if/when shooting starts, we need to win decisively.

Turns out Mahan and Douhet are not running in this election cycle.

Congratulations, cadet. Maybe you better hit the books a little harder.

Understand your employment argument, but it’s completely misapplied here. Your logic is ultimately Keynesian pump-priming. If that worked, the treasury would already be flush with cash from the Obama stimulus…but it’s not.

It’s the PRIVATE economy that fuels the government. Makes no sense for the Fed Gov to spend billions in order to get millions in return when Federal Gov and contractor employees pay their taxes at the end of the year.

FYI: Rand did a report on restarting tha F-22 line and claimed it was $434M not $900M ( restart less shut-down). http://​www​.rand​.org/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​d​a​m​/​r​a​n​d​/​p​u​b​s​/​m​o​n​o​gra

Where did you get $900M?

Juan, it’s not the federal government’s job to hire people just for the sake of giving people jobs. If you’re spending billions of taxpayers money to only get a fraction of that back in taxes, you’re better off not spending the money at all and keeping the deficit down that way. If the government could spend money and ensure there would be return on investment you might have a case, but so far the federal government sucks at it.

The middle of this article.

I am neither phased nor amused. Have a good day.

According to Rand (http://​www​.rand​.org/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​d​a​m​/​r​a​n​d​/​p​u​b​s​/​m​o​n​o​g​r​a​p​h​s​/​2​0​1​0​/​R​A​N​D​_​M​G​7​9​7​.​pdf) it was $79M to shut down and would take another $434M to restart. The $79M is sunk. The $434M to restart is about 3 F-35s. That’s pretty cheap to have anoter line open as F-35 continues to under perform. Lockheed has been touting all of this progress on F-35 and the DAB apparently went very very poorly. To me restarting the F-22 line is a no brainer. We need more air dominance aircraft anyway and we need a hedge against F-35 complete failure. With some additional investment to reduce F-22 cost it may end up cheaper than F-35 also.

You missed the part where I just said there is no money for entitlements. We are running out of borrowing potential. Romney is making political campaign promises. There isn’t the revenue to do what he is saying. Unless people here think someone is going to just magically erase medicaid and all entitlements completely there isn’t the money for what he is suggesting.

Regardless of why we got into this economic mess or how we get out of it, the ultimate fact is that we are in it right now. Until we get out of it buying more F-22s or buying the F-35 is a bad decision.

Do you honestly think the US would be willing to loose 50 major cities to defend Taiwan???

Living in Bancroft does not mean that you know very much about Naval Warfare or the current stateof the fleet. In addition to now being very very small, the current fleet has a number of ships that are getting very long in the tooth and in need of Service Life Extension or replacement. A perfect example of this can be seen in the cruisers, many of them are over 20 yrs old now and they have serious, even critical issues to keep them operating. The LSDs are another class that has critical needs just to keep them afloat and replacement of both the LSDs and the cruisers will be needed within 10 years. Given the time needed to design and procure ships, it is imperative to start now.
All of the high tech weapons systems in the world won’t help you if the ships are not seaworthy or otherwise capable of sustained operations at sea. And with smaller fleet numbers, those operations must be even more sustained.

The UK is not interested in buying F22 nor do they have the money to buy it.

It’s all game theory. If you nuke most of the eastern coast of the People’s Republic, there isn’t much country left to call a country.

As long as Minnesota isn’t on the nuke list I will ride out the apocalypse.

If the PRC wants to go with Assassin’s Mace on a conventional BM, the United States has no way of knowing that a BM flying over the Pacific won’t be going for CONUS, which might trigger a nuclear launch to destroy Chinese cities just so the Second Artillery can bag a carrier. It’s not a very good exchange.


Play nice or ride the mushroom.

(Disclaimer: I don’t think nuclear Tomahawks will replace diplomacy…)

I can imagine Iranian civilians being fed a line about national pride, but if it comes to nuclear exchange for martyrdom there’s no way every single Iranian is going to agree to nuclear incineration.

You’re right. My view is limited and I don’t know everything about the navy or the state of the ships. I am merely applying basic principles to what I have already learned, but the state of the ships is something I didn’t really consider.

Grant, do you think China would be willing to lose everything just to attack Taiwan?

We call it Mutually Assured Destruction for a reason.

Maybe he could Buy more B-1 bombers too.That’s another weapons platform that cost billions and will never see combat.The more this guy talks,the more he proves that he’s just a sock puppet for people even richer than him.

He’s just a jerk with no real idea about the world around him.

For more relevant data study the 7th fleet, and the toll forward deployment does to them.

Also, check out this think tank pub: http://​www​.rand​.org/​p​u​b​s​/​m​o​n​o​g​r​a​p​h​s​/​2​0​0​9​/​R​A​N​D​_​MG8

But yes, I understand the long game.

“Obamacare” will NOT cost the US the money rightwing nut TV says it will. Another big lie from fox, another red herring.

Willard is a draft and tax dodging liar and is wrong for America.

Romney is a draft and tax dodging liar, pure and simple.

OH I think he will. The American people are suffering and I think they are ready for a leader that is more concern with results and is least concern with popularity . In my eyes Romeny portrays a himself as a strong will business man. He like making money . I see this when I listen to him talk and read his articles The man has a simple plan TO MAKE MONEY. Obama see this too and so this is what he attack him on. Romeny attacks Obama on his 4years of all talk and no action. Obama health care plan is failing because he refuses to tell American that in order for it to work we need to pay allot more Taxes . Health care is not free. His ideas lack strength as he more of a smooth talker then a leader. I watch him come on TV and time and time again I can never tell where he stands or what he is willing to fight for. I often hear the famous accuse that congress is against him and is standing in his way of accomplishing his goals. As President it is his job is to lead congress. It is his job is to unite Congress just as it is to unite us american to elect him for another 4 years. I think we as Americans often forget that we decide who our congress men and women are. They represent the unified voice of the state they are representing. So if he can’t lead them how can he lead us? I know I am not the only one who see this. Anyone who has been in a position leadership knows that that your authority is base on how well you can influence your subordinate to accomplish the task you set before them. In politics it is no different . Obama spoke a good game prior to his first election but speaking a good game and is nothing unless you play a good game. I think the american people are starting to see this.

Hell ya Rommey go make that money !!!! Nothing makes a person happier then getting a pay check.

Romney it appears has more backbone than our current administration, and talk of building more F-22’s to fall in behind some drones seems like an even better idea with the Middle East exploding right in front of us and an Egyptian President defying us with no apology on 9–11. Looks like Romney’s our Man.

don’t forget that the eurofighter typhoon has been something of a boondoggle for the British.. .http://​www​.theregister​.co​.uk/​2​0​1​1​/​0​3​/​0​3​/​e​u​r​o​f​i​g​h​t​e​r​_​n​a​o​_​a​n​a​l​y​s​is/

while the article clearly has a slant, the numbers don’t lie. As poor as some of our acquisition programs have been recently it does appear that we are getting a lot more for the money.

Anyone seen the pictures of the SU-30? Without the F-22, it could be the P-40 vs the Me-109 or Japanese Zero all over again. Reopen the d–n production line or face a disaster in a major war. Figure out some way to reduce the cost as part of opening the production line.

Paul Ryan would balance the budget in 2030, if all of his rosy assumptions were to come true, and if he could cut social services. Mitt would cut taxes for the wealthy. Now he wants to spend trillions on new toys for the military. In other words, pray the Chinese will have enough money to loan the US while those two wannabees double the national debt.

Yep the Windvane does make good theater.

This is delusional. The commenters supporting such an idea are deranged along with Romney. What world do you live in? Please crawl back under your rock.

There is no evidence to suggest USAF F-16s are currently upgraded to a level superior than the latest model 50/52+ variant and the Block 60. There is currently a Block V under proposal, which would apparently be a refined Block 60 (minus the upgraded power plant), but that would take development. Moreover, the current plans are to upgrade the later block USAF F-16 to a more modern standard of avionics to potentially include AESA and more competitive EW and computer probably more closer in-line with the Block 60. (minus upgraded power-plant). Even old Euro F-16s operating in at least 2 Air Forces have been upgraded with MLD/MAWS capability, as system which USAF currently does not employ. One capability USAF F-16s are superior in would of course be in operating the HTS pod, however an upgraded F-16 and Block 60-type with improved computer and EW management suite could also effectively employ an equivalent ‘all-in-one’ escort/support ECM pod.

Even more attractive as a ‘beefed-up’ USAF TACAIR strategy instead of a reopened F-22 line, in my opinion at least, would be for an accelerated F-23A/B development as a poor-mans’ bridge and alternative to both an NGAD program and NGB. Sink those combined programs’ R&D into an accelerated next-gen Multi-mission F-23 platform (the F-23B being a 2-seat and possible CFT + enlarged wing(?)) and it could be deployed sooner, in greater numbers, likely more reliably and at a cheaper combined program cost overall. Bring both Boeing and LM into a ‘flexible and competitive’ joint-production scheme as well, to help ensure acceleration, efficiency and reduced costs in manufacturing capitalizing on maximal resources and capacity made available. With F-23’s inherent and existing internal bays capacity, it’s possible a JASSM-ER class munition could be carried too.

Just complement with USAF cm-armed P-8(?), a B-1R-type life-extension(?), next-gen UCAV and stand-off munitions programs down the road. A fully fledged 2040 Bomber replacement could follow-on.

In the interim, as hard as it is to swallow… can the F-35 and launch an accelerated procurement strategy of actual operational late model F-16+ and F-15E+ (and possibly even F-18E/F) platforms given a $5bn annual combat aviation procurement baseline.

That would probably cover the bases as best as possible in an overall flexible and least-risky acquisition recap strategy while under austere budget environments going forward.

I agree–It’s very weird logic indeed that you think you would spend taxpayer money to private companies who would hire people who would pay taxes and that would increase revenue to buy down the deficit.

Yes!!!!!!!, what I wanted to hear.….….……,With Russia coming out with the PAK FA & China witht he J-20, we will need more air superiority fighters, the F-35 will need a escort, cuz with the current design it will not out perform the PAK FA(the F-35 design needs to be reformed)

Heck yeah! Now we are talking, build a lot more with the latest upgrades. Also replace our B1-B fleet with B-1Rs. A lot of people are asking how can we afford this, well very easy, 1st we quit subsidizing the rest of the world’s defense, i.e. Europe, Korea, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., for that matter they should pay us back for what we’ve done for them. The savings alone there would easily be a shot in the arm for our aging equipment. Do away with all forms of welfare, quit paying bums not to work and quit giving Coorperations a free ride. There is a lot of waste in the DoD, cut out that and move that money to where its needed. All of this is just a start but would definitely help our military in the right direction.

Romney is a big BSer…He will promise you the world and lie all the way to get votes. Listen we don’t need to be spending so much on the Military if we are expected to be withdrawing from the now burdensome and almost forgotten Afghanistan War.

I REALLY would like to know how he will be able to swing increases in military spending unless of course he plans to start a useless war with Iran. Considering per year that $300 billion is being shelled out for unemployment, $300 billion extra for our presence in the Middle East, $300 billion for the Senior Drug Prescription donut hole, and for his tax cut plans for the rich another $250 billion bringing a total of $1.15 trillion towards the deficit . So you need to ask how could he be expected to add even $50 billion more in Defense spending?

(Rest of my comments…)

Again the guy is a total BSer and probably will NOT be able to get his Defense spending increases passed through his own party, especially the small government minded Tea Partiers. He is not to be trusted. Obama at least is trying to be honest here that some wise cuts are needed across the board in ALL government programs like in the Defense F22. Make smart cuts and raise taxes on the rich are the way to go to reduce the deficit optimizing as many jobs as possible with every decision.

Severe cuts in social programs and Discretionary spending will just increase unemployment adding perhaps another $50 billion in pay outs with even less revenue collected, So unless he has a magic genie I only see major middle class tax hikes and cuts to senior citizen entitlements to help him out. Is this what you want?

There is a reason why rummie didn’t buy more F-22’s, it’s not cost effective, so they went with the F-35 instead. I mean, it’s a good bird, and it’s way ahead of everybody else, but it cost too much. Another reason, this thing is so far advanced, we’re not ready to let this tech fall into the wrong hands, that might P some of our allies off but, for now, thats the way it is. A lot of you here want us to sell this bird to Japan.….“Never put Profit ahead of Security”, it will come back to bite you every time.

I don’t think even a repub controlled congress would be stupid enough to change that law.

Not the one’s from FOX, I’ll tell you that!

It looks as though you assume the US has (or would have, in this scenario) a “launch on warning” policy. A BM targeted on a Pacific CVG would have a different trajectory than one targeted on the CONUS, and I imagine the difference would be duly noted by PAVE PAWS in time to guide response decisions.

So you’re saying the US will detect launches via DSP, estimate trajectory, then make the launch decision?

I suppose a Red Line to Beijing is not out of the question if one does not already exist…

If that were true, then the Russians and the Chinese would not be all freaked out with Conventional BMs. Perhaps the Chinese should not have opened Pandora’s box to conventional BMs…and considering we all know that a warhead can be put into a cruise missile or a waverider or an artillery shell, using an entirely different platform for conventional delivery is moot in a shooting war.

Remember, GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE JOBS.. Now all the Republicans that say that about roads, schools, bridges and all inter-structure are suddenly saying just the opposite, government must buy jets to keep or create jobs. Hypocrites, or liars, you choose. Truth is, if the government supported jobs were not nixed by Republicans our unemployment rate would be 6% or less and government coffers would be swelling with taxes paid by the folks working. But as they said “defeating Obama is our goal, not creating jobs.”

6% is a little rosy.

There is less and less incentive to invest in large business in the United States, especially when you can make offshore and sell here, then use tax law to park your money offshore. One can see the latter as “oh dear, the taxes are so high we need to lower them so money can flow back into America”. Or, you can see it as an opportunistic practice that small businesses and wage-earning folk cannot avail themselves of?

I guess if workers were paid in non-voting shares with a deflated value and weekly dividends (as ersatz paychecks) that they had to return to the company upon leaving employment, it would show that companies cared about creative ways to minimize the tax burden on their workforce.

“When members of a House subcommittee convene today for a hearing on the troubled F-22 stealth fighter, they’ll have more in common than just an interest in the mysterious symptoms that caused some pilots to declare the plane unsafe to fly earlier this year. All but one of the 25 subcommittee members have received contributions in the current election cycle from individuals or political action committees associated with Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-22, according to a Project On Government Oversight (POGO) analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.”

They each got anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 “contributions”. We have the best Congress money can buy, and Lockheed knows this first hand.

Of course he does, because it makes for a great sound bite, but his priorities are all screwed up. Our President is correctly persuing a path of military downsizing because that is the biggest chunk of the budget…thanks to GW, Cheney, & Haliburton. Our days of being the World’s Police Force must come to an end so we can take care of our own country first.

i agree.…

We produced the last F-22 almost a year ago, and since then the production line has not only been shut down, it has been dismantled, and many of the suppliers have either moved on, or have gone out of business. Re-starting the F-22 production line is not cost effective. The Rand Corp in two studies told the AF and DoD that the best option for the F-22 was to keep the production line luke warm and that it would be cost effective to build just a couple of F-22s per year as compared to the costs of shutting the program down. The AF and DoD didn’t listen.

The last few jets to roll off the assembly line were produced at the maximum of Boeing and Lockheed Efficiency, and that from a Learning Curve Perspective; BA and LMT were producing F-22s at an astounding rate and at significantly reduced costs.
To restart the line, would mean going back to the top of the learning curve. For those who don’t understand the affects of learning curve loss, Google it. Add the fact that the F-22 has experience supplier loss, tools being dismantled or scrapped and in some cases critical raw materials no longer available, Mitt as good as his intentions are, will never as President get the F-22 back in production while trying to balance the budget. I wish he could, trust me I truly do as I am an expert on this subject and AC, but it just isn’t practice from a Cost Stand Point..

The F-35’s escort would best come from an F-15E+ with large aperture IRST, large AESA and ‘all-in-one Support jammer’ on the centerline station. This concept is nothing new and would probably just be as justified for the F-22!

I agree with you, produce more of the Dual Purpose F15E’s to go with the F-22’s, for the High end mix, and some more F-16 Block 60’s for the low end mix to go with the upgraded A10’s.

I agree, need a longer range version to take the place of the FB-111 in the Pacific. Sell a bunch of them to the Ausies and Japenese.

You miss the part where investors across the world flee to US treasuries every time they get scared, so your opinion on the borrowing potential of the US is just that, you’re opinion. Got a PhD in economics? Cause the PhD’s disagree on the borrowing capability of the US govt. I’m not saying it’s ideal I’m just countering your theories. You also miss the part where I made the recommendation that the resources to restart F-22 production can come from what is planned for the F-35. That is where the “revenue to do what Romney is saying” could come from.

oh yes, enhancing national security for decades and growing the economy would be so stupid. I’m glad you don’t have the political power to vote something to become law.

very good analysis

Why can’t you see restart of F-22 production and export to our best allies as a possible contributor to solving the economic mess? Close the trade deficit and create jobs for American defense workers? BTW, the business continues long into the future throughout the jets’ O&M life (20+years)

Long Range Strike/NextGen Bomber is still a requirement. Derivative F-22 is very viable.

You mean “fazed.” Good luck, cadet. Let’s chat again after you’ve passed your freshman year.

There’s hope for this youngster after all. ;-)

Damn spell check.

I don’t think there is any reasonable scenario under which China could successfully target 50 US cities, with or without the US 3rd and 7th Fleets deployed. Their ICBM force isn’t large enough, for starters.

Second, they understand that even if they were to launch a countervalue strike against US cities, they could not be assured of successfully eliminating (or even denting) our nuclear second-strike capabilities.

The better question is this: do you seriously believe China is willing to trade Beijing in order to gain Taiwan? I think one SSBN strike would fairly make Beijing a large smoking hole. They’d better make their first shot a good one.

Canso…hate to break it to you, but I haven’t been able to find any “non-partisan media.” It’s either left or right, and best bet is to sample both sides to cull the facts and draw your own conclusions.

Your rant about Mozilo and Countrywide, et al, is also laughable. You might recall that Angelo Mozilo was indeed a Democrat, and that his “Friends of Angelo” circle of VIP beneficiaries is a “who’s Who” of prominent Democrats, including Sens. Christopher Dodd, Kent Conrad, and Barbara Boxer, Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Jim Clyburn, and dozens of execs and staff of Fannie Mae. See http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​A​n​g​e​l​o​_​M​o​z​ilo.

Mozilo’s actions were illegal, and he paid for them. They weren’t exactly Republican policy.

And how do you think those high-risk mortgage-backed securities became so high-risk? Check back to Fannie, Freddie, and CRA, and their Democrat proponents, writing laws requiring lenders to extend credit to consumers who coulndn’t afford them.

Glad to see you acknowledge Democrat culpability from 2006 on. It also goes back to the 1990s, when CRA was passed and Fannie and Freddie were getting blank checks.

Your tax rants are old and tired.

GWB and Dick Cheney were right when they said that deficits don’t matter. They don’t when they’re small and when federal spending isn’t consuming the entire GDP. Deficits are not so much the problem–it’s the staggering size of the federal burden on a contracting private sector that is the problem.

Raising taxes on wealth-producers doesn’t help solve that problem–it stifles the kind of private sector growth we need to get people working again.

The wealthy already pay the overwhelming majority of taxes. Raising rates on upper income earners doesn’t help the rest of us–it just siphons otherwise productive capital to underwrite federal government bureaucracy and bloat.

Don’t follow me…follow Romney. Defense is shrinking because the Dems have used it as the billpayer for massive increases in domestic boondoggles.

The shrinking Defense budget is a result of Democrat priorities. Elections have consequences. Come 20 January, there will be new “standard practices,” as there were when Obama & company took the driver’s seat in 2009.

Don’t believe me. Don’t believe Fox News. Believe the nonpartisan GAO and CBO.

See http://​www​.forbes​.com/​s​i​t​e​s​/​s​a​l​l​y​p​i​p​e​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​8​/06

CBO report is here: http://​cbo​.gov/​s​i​t​e​s​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​c​b​o​f​i​l​e​s​/​a​t​tac.…

Polls today don’t matter for anything other than positioning and targeting. Let’s talk polls AFTER the debates.

If post-convention polls meant anything, then Carter would have been re-elected in a landslide, Dukakis would have been the 41st president, and Kerry would have defeated GWB in 2004.

Oh…and it’s a MASSIVE tax increase that will keep the stranglehold on the private economy that’s preventing a full recovery.

If Romney is President on 20 January, there will be a very different Senate.

The smaller the buy, the more they cost.

Not the same. Here’s why Republicans who support Defense spending and worry about the Defense industrial base are fair when they criticize federal make-work boondoggles.

Providing for the nation’s defense is legitimately the most important Constitutional responsibility of the US Government. These aren’t make-work programs we’re talking about. These are legitimately jobs the nation requires for the purpose of its national defense, and the federal government is the only agent who can provide for them.

Make-work programs like the “shovel-ready jobs” of Stimulus fame, state government bailouts, auto industry bailouts, etc., are way outside the Consitutional charter of the federal government. The federal government has no proper role in these arenas–they should be left to state governments and the civil free market economy, which are much better equipped to deal with them.

Excellent analysis, Torque and well stated.. regarding (a) through (f).

I’d personally differ though in saying that new built late block F-15, F-16 and even F-18E/F can very much have a valued shelf-life far surpassing the early 20s. They could be the final legacy airframes in operation well into the 30s, upgraded themselves in future MLU.

And I wouldn’t have a problem retiring B-2 deterrence either, but only after your (b), (d) and (f) suggestions became operational. Thus ‘filling-that-gap’ first, appropriately.

As far as the F-23 idea goes.. absolutely that would seem like a valid and plausible option to study. Perhaps an F-23A, updated with latest off-the-shelf materials, manufacturing and avionics and probably employing the F119 instead of the F120. A follow-on F-23B could very well incorporate twin-seat and a CFT at the least (a la F-15E), but possibly even go as far as incorporating a larger wing for additional range.

One more thing to add would be drone receiving order from nearly pilots. Dedicated or not, they will permit to fill even more mission in hostile environment, without necessarily requiring extensive stealth; to a point where a “legacy” platform will be capable to perform a bigger part of the jobs, at a much lower cost. It also imply more flexibility like to use them with stealth jet in very hostile environment, or more likely a combination. Having a fleet only made of stealth fighter jet a la f-35 is more of a dream than a necessity.

Before reopening the f-22 production line, it would be better to consider a complete re-engineering, and put emphasis on lower operating cost and improved robustness. I don’t know much about the f-23 but it would be a good reason to go that way should it have those characteristics.

Hello Tee

I was wondering if there is a Block 68 version of the F-16V variant in development? The guy I was to know in the hobby shop said to me he attended one of the conference meetings, one of his colleagues said to him Lockheed Martin may develop the F-16 Block 68 with bigger wings with more weapons payload. Or is it the Block 70 being talked about at the moment?

Regards Guest

Hi Guest,

I’m just curious which one of the ‘conference meetings’ your hobby shop friends attended regarding a block ‘68’ F-16 with potentially bigger wings, and did he mention when was this said conference was held? Thanks in advance…

True, an improved and updated F-22 variant could be designed and developed and ultimately produced down the road.

But I don’t think that was the inference made.

It’s just not realistic for a well-intended Romney, if elected, to simply start up the line & order more F-22s, near-term, on top of F-35A procurement, which I think is what was being implied.

It could be part of a longer-term, next-gen Plan B recap strategy though, sure.

Near-term however, if one wants to truly bolster USAF TACAIR capability gaps which will be widening over at least the next 8–10 years due to the F-35 Program miscalculations, then a special emergency TACAIR recap procurement requirement could supplement (or partly replace) F-35 procurement in the near-term and medium-term to include new-build operational F-16+, F-15E+ and possibly even F-18E/F.

Hello Mars HQ

Yes when I was buying some model aircraft from his shop he was explaining to me more updates which he found out during the conference meetings (probably at the Australian Air Force cadets or something) and it was being talked about LM may develop the F-16 Block 68 with potentially bigger wings (probably equivalent to the Agile Falcon, a redesign of the basic F-16 which incorporates a larger wings and additional stores-carrying capabilities). I’ve been trying to research more about the potential “Block 68″ version and I couldn’t find it, maybe LM hasn’t gone up to that stage at the moment.

Regards Guest

Hi Jeff

To me, I reckon its necessary or even a good idea to end the failed F-35 of moving on to Plan B to buy more F-22s, advanced F-15s and F-16s to affect the acquisition schedule for the JSF program.

You can read more of my comments on the article Report: How to lower F-35 costs? Lockheed asks employees and just scroll down on page no.2 until you’ll see “Guest” and read the reasons of why is the F-35 is a wrong aircraft for the air force, navy and marine corps requirements.

Cheers Guest

Yeah! Let’s sell the F/A 22-Raptor to the Japs — ’cause all us old geezers know we can trust THEM …

To me keep these cancelled. Gates cancelled these I believe because he knows the new BLACK WIDOW 2 fighter is nearing production. Saw it on the internet, Awsome plane.

Yes Romney ;YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUY THE F22 OBAMA HAS TO FAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where the f*cking hell are you talking about ??? The YF-23 failed, agree or disagree

Lower cost options were explored mostly modifying the existing fleet of F-15. There is no way the F-15 could even come close to the F-22’s performance.

It would be far cheaper to design another aircraft with the best practical features of the F-22.

YF-23 was a far superior plane. Just build it!! and while you are at it, build another 20 B-2’s

buy more raptor, the block 35 with 3.3 increment software version also do more advance research on composite material that are lighter & very strong than steel, the avionics system and last advance variable cycle engine with thrust of 49,000 lbs thrust in each engine make it more maneuverable the total number is 1,000 fighter jet, demobilize the legacy fighter for lose support buy 500 F-35b & for serious bombing buy 600 next generation bomber

the marines & army should fight better DISPOSE the 5.56, go for 120 grains 6.8SPC II or the 7X46 caliber

the navy must only use the F/A-XX, buy more virginia block III class subs, more destroyer

The only problem that you would have exporting to other countries is that THIS IS STEALTH TECHNOLOGY!!!! We dont shareSTEALTH with anybody (except the UK) This is our technological edge why would you give it away!!!!!! This was developed with YOUR defense dollars. You guys think you have such great ideas. The reason that the number of F-22s were cut was not just the cost. We could afford to use them in any of our existing wars. We couldn’t afford to have one go down! UAVs cost less and were more efertive. Our military thought that it made more sense to buy things we could use (IE UAVs) since we were fighting two wars at once. You guys are just BASHING!! You don’t know what you are talking about and neight does Romney!

You’re the only voice on this web site that has any sense. The rest of these guys are nuts!

I know I’m a little late in reading this article and the associated comments to follow. However, I do have to disagree with you about the B-1 Lancer never seeing combat. It is still a deadly & viable weapon system in the USAF’s arsenal. It also has seen many combat missions or sorties, since 2001 with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (forgive my spelling, if I did in fact spell that incorrectly). It is used for Air Suppport bombing missions in support of ground operations, using both “smart” & “dumb” bombs. Not sure if anyone reading this knows or has heard this previously, but they use the B-! as a psychological weapon as well. The aircrew flys at the 500FT level while going supersonic, the sonic boom that’s created literally has the enemy shaking in their boots, sorry their sandals.


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