Tuesday, March 3, 2009

AFA President: Raptor decision has 30-year ramifications

Lt. Gen. Mike Dunn, USAF (Ret.), had an interesting discussion on the F-22 Raptor with Stephen Trimble of Flight Global, as posted recently on Trimble's blog, The Dew Line.

Dunn, a former command pilot of the F-15 and other aircraft, now AFA's President/CEO, supports keeping the F-22 line open. Among just a few of his points: the Raptor is our most capable air dominance aircraft and the only fifth generation fighter in service, the nation will rely on it for another 30 years, potential competitors are developing their own fifth generation fighters, and finally, a lot of American jobs depend on the Raptor. Specifically, 95,000 direct and indirect jobs in 44 states.

The discussion is timely, as the next major decision by the Obama administration is due very soon to certify whether or not the program goes forward. A bipartisan group in Congress, comprised of nearly half of the members of both houses, has already weighed in strongly on the need to produce more F-22s before allowing a permanent shutdown or costly interruption of the line.

Listen to the podcast here.


Uranus said...

The F-22 is a must-continue-to-buy, even at the expense of scrapping the technologically obsolete F-35 program. As many have already said, invest in the F-22 and spend the rest on combat UAVs, Warthogs, and SLEP the F-16/F-18

Airpower Oracle said...

Hold on there, Uranus. The F-35 is the sequel to the F-22. Both are fifth generation fighters, far superior in every respect to the F-16/F-18s you suggest we retain. In fact, the F-22 uses the F-35 radar because it is a newer generation radar. The engine on the F-35 is an advanced derivative of the F-22 engine. The solution is to continue producing F-332s until the F-35 reaches high rate production in a few years.