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White House Aero-Hit-List #3: F-22 Raptor Fighter Aircraft

$17 Billion Cut... But Trillions More Spent Elsewhere

The Obama Administration, in the process of spending trillions of dollars for all manner of programs and projects, is trumpeted the 17 Billion dollars it is trying to cut from the Federal Budget. Rather than try to digest them all en masse, we'll look at each of them one at a time and allow you to make up YOUR mind as to the rationale and wisdom for the decisions included below. Herewith; another of the programs on the chopping block that has an aviation or aerospace connotation.

From the 'Terminations, Reductions, and Savings' document published this week by the OMB, as part of the FY 2010 US Budget:

Proposal: The Administration proposes to terminate the F-22 Raptor program after production of the planned 187 aircraft because the Department of Defense (DOD) has determined that 187 F-22s, together with other fighter aircraft including the new Joint Strike Fighter now in production, will be able to meet foreseeable threats.

Justification: This proposal would terminate procurement of the F-22 Raptor after 2009 when the current multiyear procurement contract ends. In December 2004, DOD determined that 183 F-22s would be sufficient to meet its needs. The Administration's current plans would provide a total of 187 aircraft, including four additional F-22s funded in the 2009 supplemental request to replace legacy aircraft lost in the war theater. Once these 187 aircraft are built, the production line will close. Both the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Budget Office have questioned the affordability of continuing the F-22 program, at about $3.5 billion per year, while simultaneously making other large procurements, such as the Joint Strike Fighter.

Moreover, several reviews within DOD, for example the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, have confirmed that 187 F-22s, together with the planned growth in the fleet of Joint Strike Fighters to 2,443, will meet DOD's requirements to maintain air superiority and to attack enemy forces on the ground.

FMI: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/trs.pdf



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