Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Good Bye, F-22
I am waiting for the storm of abuse that is going to be coming from conservatives, now that it appears likely that the Obama administration is going to stop production of the massively expensive F-22.
I wonder how many of the right's instant F-22 "experts" have ever been close to a real F-22, or seen one in flight, as I have on several occasions.
Here's my two cents on the issue. I believe that it is very important to the security of our country that we maintain the technological superiority of our air force, particularly in areas like avionics, where we have been far ahead of anyone else for decades. Technology will always be cheaper than human lives, as far as I am concerned, and therefore I do not begrudge one cent of the huge development costs involved in producing this plane.
However, the tradeoffs in performance to achieve stealth, while maybe appropriate against the only other truly technologically advanced fighter plane producer, Russia, are simply not a good deal against all of the other, far more likely, enemies that we may face in the future.
Much of the technological expense involved in the F-22's development will pay off in future planes like the Joint Strike Fighter. But the plane itself, like other planes that were amazing in their own right, like the B-58 or the B-2, has been caught in a changing world, and its cost is no longer justified.