Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Obama-hated F-22s in combat role over Syria, Part II

I've had a few messages. I get it. Not everyone is a fan of the F-22.

The F-22 was pricey, it had significant cost over runs, and there were technical developmental issues even after the fighter was placed in service.

But the woes of the F-22 are likely no more out of line with cost and waste than the F-35 project...
F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
File photo/Courtesy U.S. Air Force
which may be far more egregious.

CNBC recently borrowed this from the Fiscal Times:
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive, and possible the most error ridden, project in the history of the United States military. But DOD has sunk so much money into the F-35 — which is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over the 55-year life of the program — that the Pentagon deemed it "too big to fail" in 2010. 
Heck, by the time it belatedly takes its role as a front line fighter in a wide spread capacity, an F-35 may cost as much per copy as an F-22.
"A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a 'generic' F-35 costs $178 million," (government watchdog Winslow) Wheeler wrote. 
And the F-35 price tag keeps gaining altitude.
"The cost of an F-35B grew from $232 million in 2014 to a bulging $251 million by 2015," Wheeler wrote. "The cost of the Navy's F35C grew from $273 million in 2014 to a wallet-busting $337 million by 2015." 
The full roll-out of the F-35 is still a long way off...

About a year ago, Aviation Week reported what were then advertised as F-35 in-service expectations:
U.S. Marine Corps: December 2015 (with 2B software capability) 
U.S. Air Force: December 2016 (with 3I software capability)  
U.S. Navy: February 2019 (with 3F software capability) 
Don't fret the delays. Over at DoD, Chuck Hagel tells pilots not to worry:
“We're not going to put the F-35 in the air air send it anywhere until we are absolutely convinced and know that it's safe to fly,” Hagel said. “As to timing, I'll leave that up to the experts, who will come back to us and make a recommendation.” 
Meanwhile, some of the F-15s our military's still flying are long overdue for retirement. But the F-15 is what Obama wanted as a backdrop for a photo op in 2009.

The F-15 is a fighter design that's been in service with the Air Force since Gerry Ford was president. The F-15 was on Air Force flight lines when Obama was still running with the Choom Gang.

Yet it was the F-22 that Obama called outdated.

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