Journalism in the Public Interest

In Libya Intervention, No Use for the United States’ Costly, Much-Touted F-22 Fighter Jet

As part of an allied military intervention in Libya, the United States has launched a number of air strikes targeting Qaddafi’s ground forces and air defense centers, but one rather expensive aircraft is sitting out the action: the Air Force’s much-touted F-22 fighter jet, produced by Lockheed Martin.

Though early reports said the F-22 would likely be used to set up the no-fly zone in Libya, Air Force Times reports that the jet was likely excluded because it lacks capabilities to communicate with other aircraft and has limited ability to hit ground targets:

U.S. Africa Command, which is running Operation Odyssey Dawn, confirmed the F-22 has not flown over Libya.

“I see no indication that F-22s were used as an escort for the B-2 nor do I see anything that indicates the Raptor will be used in future missions over Libya,” said Air Force Maj. Eric Hilliard, a spokesman for Africa Command.

Had the F-22 been used, Libya would’ve been its first taste of combat. The $150-million aircraft has “not performed a single mission” in either the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in 2008 that the jet was “principally for use against a near peer in a conflict”—a far more limited use than the plane’s advocates suggest.

That’s also what Gates said in 2009, when he was fighting to get Congress to end funding for the F-22. He called it a “niche” solution used specifically for sophisticated air-to-air combat.

“The F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict,” Gates said. "Nonetheless, supporters of the F-22 lately have promoted its use for an ever expanding list of potential missions."

The Pentagon has spent more than $65 billion on the program, which suffered a number of complications, delays and cost overruns. Though the program produced far fewer than the number originally planned for, Gates has maintained that the current inventory of 182 F-22s jets is sufficient.

“Gates has maintained that the current inventory of F-22s jets is sufficient.”

That wrap-up left me laughing.  Was it meant to be ironic?  Can the Defence Secretary hear himself, in light of the costs and “potentional missions”.
Then there is the positive side of the irony. 65 billion and it hasn’t killed anyone, yet.
I still get the same feeling I got as a kid. I heard the government had spent 2k dollars per hammer.  When trying to bring my thoughts on the matter to a conclusion I found a large void where the facts and reason could not meet. I am used to that void now, it is part of the American experience.

Well, just wait. A “near peer” is emerging rapidly. And an old peer is attempting a “comeback”. China and Russia aren’t exactly our “Pals”. Neither are melting their fighters (or anything else) down into plowshares. Unfortunately the day may come when we will wish we had more F-22’s…and anything else that would give us an “edge” against them!

The F-22 is the newest US Air Force fighter, probably the most effective air superiority fighter in the world, very expensive and, yes, we have not very many of them.  Since our older aircraft could easily deal with a 3rd rate air force like Libya’s, it would have been foolish to have risked an F-22 in an operation where its special characteristics could bring no special advantage.

The F-22 is a pure air-to-air fighter with no compromises for other missions, and if, god forbid, we find ourselves in a war with a technologically comparable opponent, the F-22 will prove to have been a huge bargain.

Great reporting, Ms. Wang!

To Mr. “R. Kessler” & his “...if, god forbid, we find ourselves in a war with a technologically comparable, opponent, the F-22 will prove to have been a huge bargin,” as we say in Texas,  I recon if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle. 

  By launching endless wars, the US is provoking fellow real or potential war mongers to make the argument that their nations MUST build super weapons to protect themselves from the U.S.—and very likely, the tragedy is, these folks would likely be correct.

By the way “R. Kessler”  are you by chance an automated DOD sock puppet or just someone racking in big bucks in the war profiteering racket? Or are you merely deluded (too much Hollywood?) or deficient in critical thinking skills?

Love the circularity of the “argument”: build F- 22s, to scare shit out of other countries, then act all surprised if in self-defense, they build defenses to our super weapons rather than let the peaceful US conquer them. It helps this game, that the US endlessly wages wars on all continents except Antarctica.

Actually, DOD gave the game away by putting into the open source literature its infamous “Full Spectrum Dominance ”  document in which it explained it would be satisfied with nothing less than permanent &  total control of the land, sea, sky and space.  Now that was could not fail to goose up foreign weapons profiteers into screaming for huge contracts to counter DOD.  But, of course, that was the point.

To LC, CPA: Unless you are a DOD Sock Puppet, a war profiteer or a Hollywood movie addict, surely you jest.  If any country dared publish something like DOD’s “Full Spectrum Dominance” (see my response above) & implemented it with weapons that will bankrupt the U.S. far quicker than any country or combination of countries could possible harm us, then it’s unlikely that any country anywhere would beat its weapons into plowshares and pruning hooks.  Ah, thank all the gods that be for the double standard the demands that other countries act as we want, not as we force them to.  Hell, when Gorby tried to call off the Cold War, Ronny Raygun want nuts to the point of invading the really scary island of Granada on the laughable pretext of saving US medical students from the evil Commies. Tragically US and foreign troops slaughtered each other thanks to Ronnie’s hallucinations/madness/paranoid illness/senility/cowtowing to the war profiteers—take your pick.  The med students were put on ice, till they learned to repeat their lines just as DOD had rehursed them.  Of course this pure theatre required iron discipline, since the students were never in any danger except that one of their over zealous “saviors”  would accidently blow them to kingdom come while “saving” them from their study hall. 

  Let me charitably assume that you are an amateur clown. Maybe you wrote this note between gigs entertaining the troops.  Thanks for the laugh :-))).

David Bridgeman

March 24, 2011, 4:46 p.m.

sock puppet indeed

yah sock puppet face head, go love o rielly

This is absurd.  The F-22 is an air-superiority fighter, not an attack aircraft.  Making a case that the aircraft remains unused against an opponent with essentially no air-to-air capability is akin to saying that football pads are useless in a game of soccer.

they are too, have you ever tried that? extremely sweaty…

I agree with Mr. Rush’s first sentence: “This is absurd”. Alas,
neither Mr. Rush nor the U.S. Gov. headed by the anti-MLK, Pres. Obama, seems aware of the concept of opportunity cost,  The $65 Billion squandered on the F-22 might have been provided us a measure of security.  Instead the F-22 provides a rallying cry for building countermeasures able to shoot down the F-22s in countries we have not yet attacked such as Russia & China.

Unless they are as stupid & corrupt as the Pentagon and its jolly band of war profiteers, China & Russia realize that the era of the manned fighter is as obsolete as horse drawn artillery. We can assume that they are building an order of magnitude cheaper counter measure. Hint:  it won’t be manned or horse drawn.

Who wins? Bin Laden (if he exists). He bankrupted the old USSR. Now he is bankrupting the US by giving the billionaires a pretext for ordering up the waging of endless wars, occupations and the unthinking deployment of weapons like the F-22,  So, having spent $1.170 Trillion (to invade & occupy Iraq & Afghanistan), and within 6 months, another $3 Billion to $8 Billion to “do” Libya, $65 Billion on the F-22, etc. we sink into insolvency.
One is reminded of the surreal farce at the Hitler bunker as the USSR was shelling Berlin.  Then Hitler raved for non-existant divisions, now our ever cheery Obama steadily expends more & more non-existant dollars.  “Oh,  reason thou are fled to brutal beasts & men have lost their reason.”

The F-22 is a Fifth-generation air-superiority fighter, not an attack aircraft, nor is it a bomber or ground-support aircraft.  The F-22 flys faster, farther and more nimbly than any other fighter. Cockpit instruments give pilots computerized images of all potential threats within hundreds of miles, but the F-22 itself is designed to be invisible to radar. Other military planes have some of these capabilities, but none combines all of them in such a lethal package.  It is intended to compete with the Russian Sukhoi design bureau’s PAK-FA/T-50 project, which is their fifth-generation air superiority fighter.  The Russian fourth-generation-Plus air superiority fighter, the he Sukhoi Su-35, which is now in production, will also be matched by the F-22.  Putin took a flight in June, 2010 in the Russian fifth-generation T-50, which they plan to manufacture jointly with India and which will cost a third as much as an F-22 for export.  Fighter performance experts have consisted predicted the new US single-engine F-35 could not match the performance of the foreign fifth-generation fighters all of which are twin-engine.

As the F-22. which has been in design and development since 1991 as the YF-22, represents a considerable sunk cost, and the decisions to cut back spread the development cost over fewer production planes, almost doubling the original estimated cost of the individual F-22.  In addition to the cutbacks (from 750 to 183) for US use, the export (slight less-than top-rate) versions, which under exception to the Obey Amendment that bans the F-22’s sale abroad would have eventually prevailed and exports of the aircraft to Japan, South Korea, Australia and others would have been the next shoe to drop.  Our allies wanted to purchase 200 of these export-F-22’s which would have produced a tidy profit for the USA, but none are now planned to be available for sale to allies.

F-22 cutbacks are also costly and false economy because of the effect on the now-technically-obsolescent F-15 Eagle, the US’s former and present, but very aged air superiority fighter, which first was placed into service in 1976. This over-35-years-in-service fourth generation air superiority fighter, while still formidable, will require additional billions to keep additional F-15s in service (due to the smaller number of F-22 than planned for replacement), now estimated to be past 2025, at a much greater cost for the aging airplane, and much greater parts and maintenance costs.  Exports of the F-15 have been sold to numerous nations, and the current US-varient is the F-15e Strike Eagle.  The lack of sufficient F-22s for air superiority will cost billions to fund development and production of future variants of the F-15 beyond the F-15e, in an attempt to be competitive.

While many competitively would love to kill and/or reduce the F-22 program, in particular Boeing and EADS, there was also heavy political credit claimed for “cost-cutting” and fighting the “military-industrial complex” and “pentagon waste”.  The Russians and Chinese fear the F-22 and want to see their fifth-generation competition killed.  The reality is probably closer that any savings in cutting back production of the F-22 will involve counterbalancing costs in pursuing other alternatives, and maybe even end up costing more for inferior weapons.

After the last F-22 cutback we plan to eventually purchase 183 @ $144 million a piece, and the first units came online in 2005 with production estimated of the last plane estimated for late 2011.  The F-22 and its parts are directly responsible for 100,000 US jobs, which will end after 2011 and many, if not most will not be replaced with other production.

There is also consideration that with no F-22s for export sale, our allies (in addition to our enemies) will buy their fifth-generation fighters from the Russians, Europeans, and Chinese, who are rushing development and production of their own air superiority fighters all of whom plan export variants.

Now that Obama and the Democrat Congress have cancelled the F-22, we can watch other countries develop and build fifth-generation stealth fighters for air superiority, including:
PAK-FA (Russia)
J-20 (China)
Sukhoi/HAL FGFA (Russia/India)
Mikoyan LMFS (Russia)
J-XX, J-12, J-13, J-14 (China)
ATD-X Shinshin (Japan)
KF-X (South Korea/Indonesia)

Since WW II and the P-51 Mustang, the US has always been able to count on achieving air superiority.  Hopefully, we will still be competitive in the future.

What a stupid article .... No use for the f-22 in Libya .. No kidding ... It wasn’t BUILT to fight Qu” daffy ” ... There’s no use for a Neutron Bomb over there either , but i think they should drop several ... Idiot ...
    All we need is some poison in the watering holes, and all the camels will get sick, and war over ...
    Dear God, they will let anyobe write for these things, as long as they are Morons ....
                    Nuff Said.

Now, send in the troops, maybe i’ll get called up, and i can once again gun down Moslems by the Hundreds… I LOVE the smell of Cordite in the morning ...  Let’s go Grab the oil !!    ...

So , WHAT is the connection between the ” Flash ” that was shown, about ” What is the amount of US involvement in Libya ”  , and this silly article.. Talk about your come- ons ....
    Go Troops !! Kick Daffy’s ass ! . Set those people free ! He has been killing his own for far too long….
  Nuff said !

Ther is gold ’ in them darn airplanes.’
If we could only tax the arms industry fairly… .

Isn’t all this posturing about the relevance of the F22 and “fighter planes” banal and silly? UAVs are the way of the future in all air-superioroty roles. Sure, some useful tech might have come out of the F22 program, but it’s (much cheaper) replacement will not carry a human payload.

The future ; you build planes, guns, cars, computers looking toward the future. The world is still a very unstable place; f” friends ” today can easily become foes tomorrow.  ( China )
  KaDaffy’s Air space could be controled with bi - planes ; be thankful we DON’t have to deploy them there . Twenty years from now, I want the best plane in the sky too; As Sonny Coleone said ” I don’t want him coming out of that bathroom with nothing but a dick in his hands ! :  This is why we have programs like the f-22. All Tech, all dollars . Research & development leads to the best ; unfortunately, R7D is n’t free. It costs millions fo rthese companies to develop the technology to keep our men safe, and to give them every advantage on the field of battle.
  Contrary to what many of you ACORNS believe out there, this is a democracy , and we are NOT Socialist . It s not all FREE. Companies spend Billions to develop weapons systems , only to be turned down by an ignorant , non - looking forward Congress. Remember when WWll broke out, the US was at least two years behind in weapons. Planes, ships, tanks, even troops. This cost untold American lives, as we tried to ’ hold the fort ’ till the new arms arrived. Korea - the same thing. We were so ill prepared for that war , We lost more troops to sickness, and cold, than we did to enemy arms.
    Learn from the past . We , sadly , do NOT . Memories fade. Liberals take over , in the Good times, and the Armed Services suffer , till its time to fight again . AND, unfortunately, memories fade, and we allow yet another 2 - bit hoof to start killing yet agin ...
      Manned aircraft will always exist . Real - time Actions , the demand for a real person to make a ” illogical ”  decision will always be there . We send Probes into space, it seems, on a daily basis. Yet, we are always looking at sending real people to do the exploring. Because, there are real - time things that you need a person there for . There are , and will continue to de inmanned planes. they have their place, and certainly do save lives.  but they are not the end all to save all. Far from it .  There will always be a need for pilots; for you that have not been in battle, you probably, once again , will not understand. Those of you that have, you know from where I speak .
    And, a Payload is is an amount of Ordinance you drop on an enemy . A payload can never fly a plane, Just like a Bullet is the thing that comes OUT of the barrel of a gun. A Cartridge is what goes INTO the gun. Also called a round… Speaking of which, go have another .........

Hey Miguel   ~ If only you’d get a Job, and pay taxes, maybe we wouldn’t NEED to tax the Defense Industry Too Mich , as we do now…
    All the millions of your relatives, working illegally in the US, not paying taxes on the money they make ” Under the table ”  all the free medical assistance, schooling, housing, food…. ACORN - Man , this stuff is NOT FREE , it all cost money , even though the Prez, Mr O’bomba ’ says other w wise.
      America is NOT the world’s patsy , as much as you people like to think so . America is the home of the Free. Perhaps, with all your lack of use of the English language, you think it                     s ’ America Home, and its Free ! ”

Tragic for America that so many comments (unlike Wang’s superb article) avoid the really urgent issues brought to mind by her article:

1) Is the hyper expensive, dysfunctional fleecing of taxpayers like the F-22 & Omaba’s latest adventure in warmongering, the war against Libya, bankrupting America?

2) Why is Obama risking bankrupting of America and ignoring the lesson of the similar bankrupting of the no longer existing USSR?

3) Why is Obama’s approach to the strategy ascribed to Bin Laden to bankrupt America a carbon copy of the the USSR?

4) Even though Obama is a flunky of US billionaires rather than Bin Laden, the result is the same:  astronomical & completely unnecessary risk of bankruptcy of America.

5) This cliff that Obama’s subservience to his billionaire patrons is driving the economy over —this is the real risk to America, not
the fanciful hypotheticals in which Russia & China wipe out the US with thousands of their own F-22 knock-offs.

Rather than jeopardize the continued growth of their economies by greasing the U.S. and its NATO dwarfs who are prime Russia-China customers and debtors, at most these gonzo capitalists will go with a cheap, effective UNmanned weapon to neutralize the F-22.

6) Ms. Wang: please do an article on why these fundamentals are not permitted to be discussed in polite society in the
US.  Likely short answer: this discussion would upset Obama’s billionaire weapon-making patrons who control mainstream discourse.

  May I suggest, Ms. Wang, that you start your article with the quote from Manheim, the father of the sociology of knowledge: “the single most important question to ask is ‘what questions are not permitted to be asked.’”

Well, another Moon - Bat has appeared .. Figures. Another Moron, with his head up his arse .. Good old Tom..  Thank God our troops are made of better material than you.  Though , you’d make a good target .
  I know , i’m not making any points, yak, yak , yak .. I never will , with a Lunatic like you . Perhaps, they should at least have an American write an article about America , not some immigrant wannabe ...
  The US cannot be bankrupted , dummy ... They control the banks, and the printing Press… I get sooo very sick of hearing that the Country is being Bankrupted ,, Move on ! .
  I don’t know; I can’t really make myself read the rest of what you wrote .. Another left Wing Diatribe that does nothing to help , means nothing to anyone but you and yoour Drinking buddies.. Of, that’s right Teddie Died…  Perhaps your Butt buddt , Barney Franks can take his place ..
    So clueless, you people walk around in a Dream - World.. By God, the Matrix DOES exist , and you people Live it ...
    Nuff Said ......

I know one question NOT asked .. Who let that Nut - Case Tom out of the Looney bin ???..
  Another is , Is he getting his medications ?

For the record I served as a consultant to the National Defense University on research aimed at understanding how decision making can become tragically flawed and how folly can be averted. I delivered papers at venues such as DOD’s Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics and have been a US citizen for c. 60 years.  The main reason I’m alive today is that my volunteering to become a forward artillery observer was rejected by an officer who
acknowledged my top grades in my ROTC artillery unit but pointed to my deficiencies in boot polishing and marching—two skills vital to any forward artillery observer keen to die the first time through the wire.
The good major suggested I serve the US by getting a Ph.D. which I proceeded to do. 

Many thanks to Steve & Stan for illustrating my point: really deep questions vital to our real national interest are rarely permitted to be discussed with rational discourse. 
Instead, those who avoid the vital questions are more comfortable in spewing insults and unsupported speculations in the style of ad hominem remarks.

I feel the stakes are too high to rely on emotion rather than facts and logic to contend with issue so vital. 

I speculate (and I emphasize “speculate”) that if I got big bucks from the status quo, I’d really be upset if anyone challenged the status quo, however dangerous, particularly if the challenger resorted to reasoned discourse instead of insults.

If S & S etc.  have anything to substantive to contribute, they might wish to change their mode of communication from insult to rational discourse. Doesn’t even minimal patriotism require at least this much?

Finally, from the perspective of psychiatric epidemiology, one is struck by the insistance of S & S that folks who do not worship at the alter of conventional wisdom are insane.  Would S. & S. enlighten us regarding the basis of rendering the diagnosis of insanity based on peoples’  rejection of what is increasingly becoming a minority view. Should Sec. of Defense Gates me numbered among the insane off their meds for having lost enthusiasm for blunders such as the F-22?

Let me speculate S. & S. etc are former fighter pilots who are finding it difficult to come to terms with the passing of the manned fighter just as in an earlier time their counter parts never really accepted the obsolecene of horse drawn artillery or coal power battleships.

I wish S. & S. well.  Perhaps they are haunted by the past…

Just as we all Figured , a liberal moon - bat ; amazing that you’d expose yourself so early….
  You know, its so very easy for people to claim credintials .. Hell, was n’t old Stan there head of the CIA once / I think so ...
    Like I said, I would never begin a discussion, fight, or talk, However you want to word it . Because ,like you said, you can never have a sensible talk , with a Moon - bat .  We all know that , and we are learning to use our vote to remove you parasites from office, and anywhere elae you have infiltrated ...
    Argue as you will, you will never change a single mind. Argue as i will , and i will nevr change one either . At the end of the day , nothing has changed ...
    I served in the Army, as a weapons officer on an apache Longbow. That is a Helicopter, I figure I should explain that to you .
    In 1991 , I did some real good; I made a real difference . I did not sit on my hands, hiding behind paper , as the country of Kuwait was freed .
        War :  Old men start it,
        Young men finish it,
        Idiots babble about what they saw .....

just google up “Operation Pacific Vision.”  you’ll find your answers there about the F-22

Glad to see my Great state ( Massachusetts ) is one of the staes involved.. It doesn’t surprise me in the least , considering it is THE base for Liberal Moon Bats ...  I’am like a Prisoner here….lol..
  A prophet in the wastelands….

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