F-22 order in jeapordy?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 20, 2008
kt was telling me about the pentagon cutting the F-22 order for the AF in half from 360 to 180. is this just speculation or is it happening? i saw one of Obama's transition staff say they were an unneccesary addition to our air power...is this new at all or has talk of this been going on for a while? and is this a done deal or still up in the air? thanks...:eek:
First off, I recommend the mods move this thread to either the "Military News" or "Off Topic" sections of the General Discussions. Not a big deal, but it's more appropriate for there.

Second, to actually answer your question:

Up to this point, Congress has authorized the AF to purchase 184 F-22s (that number was agreed to for a few years now). The last of these will roll of the assembly line at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth Tx facility in the next couple of years. The AF has always argued that 184 F-22s just aren't enough to meet it's commitments in the current Defense Planning Guidance strategies (official big-wig document), and has requested more be made (anywere from 280 to 380 (ish), depending on the political climate and who is asking them for justification).

Well, in order to keep the Lockheed Martin line open for now, Congress has authorized the initial funding (and initial parts such as titanium and such) for the manufactor of 20 more F-22s. Assistant Secretary of Defense John Young (the guy in charge of Aquisitions and Requirements for the Pentagon) does NOT want to buy any more F-22s (thinks they are too expensive) and wouldn't release the funds to Lockheed to start the manufactor process of the first 4 of the 20 ordered. Congress grilled him on his decision (especially the Congressmen form the districts involved in F-22 manufactoring).

The whole thing (buy more F-22s or not) will be decided shortly after Obama takes office. Part of my job in the Pentagon was to provide Obama's transition team with information they requested on the whole thing, to include information onteh status of the F-35 buy, as that will impact readiness.

So, Bottom Line: 184 F-22s curently paid for, AF wants more, Congress allowing 20 more, Obama will decide if even this 20 more is a good idea or not shortly after taking over.

If i was a betting man, I would place quite a bit of my life savings on the number staying at 184....

Hope this answer wasn't too confusing!
I wonder what McCain would've done? Oh well, that is behind us, and won't change.
I don't think the outcome would have been any differnet if McCain was voted in. He has a well earned reputation as one who hasn't put up with what he believes to be wasteful spending on the part of the Pentagon, and in particular the AF (Tanker lease fiasco is a perfect example).

What concerns me is we really won't know the real requirement until we are 20 years down the road and able to look back to today. In the next 20 years, will all the wars we may fight in be like Iraq and Afghanistan? Or will "something else" happen that would make us wish we bought more "high end" weaponry? All of this is part of the cost / benefit analysis constantly taking place in the corridors of the Pentagon. Of course, with the "cost" portion beig so high in the case of the F-22, the benefit portion needs to be perfectly clear and legitimate. In the F-22's case, the benefits are kind of "fuzzy" to the non-military types...
Looking at China and Russia my fear is we will be short the number required.
My beef with the F22 is that when you have F15's that are definitely good enough to get the job done and cost much less you either have to make major cuts for spending elsewhere (like personnel!) OR the budget just keeps skyrocketing to no end which in my opinion, shouldn't be an option

also, because the F22 is so good its conceivable that rival countries wouldn't bother trying to make a better fighter, but would instead focus their efforts on numerous inexpensive 'drones' or what have you, to take them out where perhaps them losing a dozen drones to knock out a F22 is much more costly to us then it is to them

but i'm just an army guy, take it for what you will!
I have taken the liberty of moving this thread to Military News per Bullet's suggestion. Thank you.
you have F15's that are definitely good enough to get the job done

Perfect example of the misperceptions I've been talking about. Don't get me wrong, the F-15s and the rest of the 4th generation fleet of fighters we are currently employing are GREAT assets and will kick butt against almost anything currently out there. But note, I said ALMOST anything, and I said CURRENTLY. There are countries, and I won't mention any names (*cough* *cough* China, India, Russia, *cough*), who are working diligently on developing, or have developed, weapon systems BETTER than our current planes and missiles, or are making access into any potential airspace they control rather dangerous (advanced SAMs). The F-15 would do well, probably kill a few of them, and then be bravely blown out of the sky.

Now, the F-22 employs technology (stealth, maneuverability, super cruise) that makes them much less vulnerable to what these other "nameless" countries are developing. The F-22 is not only able to fly into this denied airspace and beat the pants off of them, but they would probably stick around just to drink their beer and kick their dogs as well :shake:.

But, this ability comes at a price. The big question is and has always been is the price worth the risk? Most of the AF leadership thought yes. Most of the other services and our civilian masters thought no. And it has always been the civilian masters who have the final say, and rightfully so. The AF leadership can whine all it wants about the need for more F-22s, the civilian leadership can (and will) tell them to either stop the whining or go home. Our last Chief of Staff and Secretary learned that lesson the hard way.... :thumbdown:
As long as the "powers that be" allow BVR engagements...
history channel had a special called "dogfights of the future" on a while ago. quite interesting. talked about an F-22 su-35 matchup i believe. and it was a decent fight if i remember
Read the book Wings of Fury.

Great book, and teaches you a lot of fighter pilot lingo and basic tactics/concepts.
sounds interesting matt. and what are the chances of any of us from '13 eventually getting trained to fly the 22 or 35?
Actually, the chances are good that one of you young 'uns on this forum will have a chance to fly in either one. And with the numbers of F-35s the US is planning to buy, maybe a quite a few of you!
Last edited:
Okay Bullet's post made me laugh...now at our house he tells our son that he will probably start out in the Strike and move over.:rolleyes:

I guess he is Johnny Rain cloud to DS:shake:
That's okay...

What we've been telling the folks at USAFA is this:

1,380 F-35's...breaks down into:

a. 380 F-35's of all variants
b. 1,000 MQ/F-35 UCAV's...brush up on your video games

That doesn't go over very well with them. :wink: