This thing is worse than the Comanche


DefenseTech points out yet again what joke the Air Force’s F-22 fighter project is. The General Accounting Office issued a report entitled “Changing Conditions Drive Need for New F/A-22 Business Case“. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it looks like a doozy.

The F/A-22 program has experienced several significant changes since it
began development in 1986. First, the Air Force cannot afford to
purchase the quantities of aircraft that were planned 18 years ago. The
Air Force had originally planned to buy 750 aircraft, but it now
estimates it can only afford 218 aircraft. Second, in order to develop
the expanded air-to-ground attack capability, the Office of Secretary
of Defense estimates that the Air Force will need $11.7 billion in
modernization funding. Lastly, the Air Force has determined that new
avionics computer processors and architecture are needed to support
most planned enhancements, which will further increase program costs
and risk.

Further, the development test program continues to experience problems
and risks further delays. The F/A-22’s avionics continue to experience
shutdowns and failures. Moreover, the F/A-22 has not met its
reliability requirements and has experienced failures in its
computerized maintenance support system. This has led to aircraft
spending more time on the ground undergoing maintenance.

Due to the risks of future cost increases and schedule delays, a
congressional subcommittee requested that DOD provide business case
information on the F/A-22. However, the information DOD provided did
not address why this aircraft is needed given current and projected
. (emphasis added)

Hmmm. Sounds familiar. I will do some more reading and post about this again soon. I’ve been saving a special trick a friend came up with, and this seems like the appropriate time to spring it.


  1. I have serious doubts about the F22 as well. The price is just too steep when we already have a big advantage over any possible peer competitor, even counting the new eurotrashfighter. The F35 is moderately stealthy, will kick the ass of even our best existing fighters, has designed in ground strike capabilities, can be built in a straight-up, v/stol, or naval version and costs much, much less. That, to me, is a no brainer. The air force needs to start looking at UCAVs built on fighter airframes rather than scaled up RC model airframes. This will be the wave of the future. Capable, but far more expendable than a fighter with a pilot in it. And while they’re doing the research on that, they need to build some K767s and B747s. Something that can get the fuel and smart bombs where they’re needed *in quantity* because going through enemy controlled airspace is becoming a thing of the past, and even if it comes back, stand off munitions like the Jpig will still make the B747 incredibly useful. Still iffy on the comanche. We need the Buford, though – in a big way.

  2. Comanche was totally overcost, but at least it would have a place on the battlefields of the next decade. F22 is just dumb at this point, not matter how ‘cool’ it is. And you and I are totally on the same wavelength as far as an airliner-based bombing platform.

  3. Seems like the JSF can do everything the F/A-22 can do plus bomb stuff. There is already talk of a ‘land strike’ version of the 22 called F/B-22. Question I have is why not just make a F-15E-like plane that can be a fighter but more often a bomber. I know the Air Force doesn’t like to support the grunts but clearly that is the future. I think bucket is right, the Air Force needs to focus on UCAVs.

  4. ddudes, dudes, woah there, this beast can take out ANYTHIN in the skies, plus sum, its soo bloody incredibly deadly. right now, try to act like winston churchill, instead of an ordinary person. Churchill saw wut the soviets were doin in WW2, and he was doin sumthin bout that. u guys aren’t, ur lookin JUST at the present day war, but look in the future, i’m thinkin 10 years. CHECK OUT CHINA, especially sum of their more advanced programs, and economically, THEY are REALLY catchin up

  5. The Raptor is needed because the F-15 is 30+ years old. In the recent cope India exercise with India using the Su-30MKK the F-15 with current upgrades HAD ITS BUT HANDED TO IT. Many people point out that in recent conflicts like Serbia, Iraq, and Afghanistan air superiority has never been at stake. This is horrible ignorance, because while we havev been at war recently with weaker nations we should always be ready to fight a high-tech opponent. This is like Russia at the turn of the last century, so concentrated on crushing rebellions that they were militarily unprepared for the First World War. The Eurofighter, the improved Sukhois, the Grippen, and the Rafael all represent planes that could end up in our adversarys hands. Countries like China, India, and Russia represent powerful nations that we may have to face. That is why we need the Raptor