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U.S. Senate votes to stop production of F-22 Raptor

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  • U.S. Senate votes to stop production of F-22 Raptor

    Originally posted by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to stop production of the F-22 fighter plane, handing President Barack Obama a victory as he tries to rein in defense spending.
    The Senate voted 58 to 40 to strip $1.75 billion for the Lockheed Martin Corp-built planes from a $680 billion defense bill, overriding the objections of lawmakers seeking to protect manufacturing jobs in the midst of a deep recession.
    The Senate's vote does not necessarily kill the program, as the House of Representatives included funding for the state-of-the-art fighter in its bill, which sets military spending priorities.
    The two chambers must resolve their differences before sending a final bill to the president to sign into law.
    Obama has threatened a veto if Congress continues to fund the F-22 beyond the 187 planes already built or in the production pipeline.
    "At a time when we're fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, this would have been an inexcusable waste of money," Obama said after the vote.
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates has proposed capping production as part of an overhaul of the Pentagon's weapons programs as it tries to provide resources to fight insurgencies like those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon applauded the vote.
    On a separate voice vote, the Senate also adopted a measure that urges Obama to impose sanctions on Iran's central bank if that country continues to pursue its nuclear program and rejects an offer for diplomatic talks.
    The radar-evading F-22 is designed for combat against other fighter jets but has not seen action in the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts, where U.S. foes have not fielded an air force. Critics point out that each hour of flight time requires 30 hours of maintenance and say the plane is a relic of Cold War military strategy.
    The Pentagon wants instead to ramp up production of the cheaper, more versatile F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and Gates said last week that funding for that program could be jeopardized if Congress continues to fund the F-22.
    Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor for both planes. The company's stock closed at $75.13, down 8.5 percent, on a day when it posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings but failed to raise its full-year forecast.
    F-22 backers in the Senate said national security could be compromised if the plane was canceled. Up to 95,000 jobs across the country also could be at risk, said Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a hub of defense manufacturing.
    "To give up an aircraft of this sophistication and this capability, and simultaneously in an economic situation such as we're in .... I think is terribly shortsighted," Dodd said.......
    The complete article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090721/...IyZmlnaHRlcmo-

    -Chris

  • #2
    It's a good decision to end F22 production. The pentagon (yep, the users) want this to occur, it's only the politicians and diehard F22 fans who want to keep this airframe in production.

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    • #3
      Im fine with that unless there is a replacement aircraft for it. We live in a world with genocidal maniacs that seek the destruction of other countries. We need to stop through Mutual Assured Destruction aka MAD

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Olbob567 View Post
        Im fine with that unless there is a replacement aircraft for it. We live in a world with genocidal maniacs that seek the destruction of other countries. We need to stop through Mutual Assured Destruction aka MAD
        I think that an addition for this would be the phrase -- pilotless...i.e. unmanned, thus saving countless lives and employing hundreds of already trained masses of teenagers who have done nothing else than game their lives away. Let them now play the real thing, safely, and at a distance.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SYDCBRWOD View Post
          It's a good decision to end F22 production. The pentagon (yep, the users) want this to occur, it's only the politicians and diehard F22 fans who want to keep this airframe in production.
          Actually it's Gates (translation: his boss, Obama) who doesn't want it. What the actually military personal want is irrelevant since Democrats haven't met a weapon system they don't want to kill.

          The Senate just proves they are a bunch of useful idiots, and McCain is right at the top of the list.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by B757300 View Post
            Actually it's Gates (translation: his boss, Obama) who doesn't want it. What the actually military personal want is irrelevant since Democrats haven't met a weapon system they don't want to kill.
            I agree - without F-22s how are we going to shoot down the Taleban's supersonic bombers or Al-Qaeda's fighters ?

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            • #7
              Please correct me if I am wrong - but is not the F-35 a replacement to the F-22 program? Or, is the F-35 simply a compliment?

              I was under the assumption (perhaps incorrectly) that the F-35 would have much of the same capabilities however due to the fact that it is being mass produced and retaining much of the technology of the F-22, yet costing less b/c of lower R/D costs and a great number ordered (by not only all applicable branches of the US Armed Forces but also by International Allies)?

              I, for one, am saddened to see the F22s go, however, I am rather confident that we will see more daring equipment surface in the future simply due to the aircraft's influence.
              Whatever is necessary, is never unwise.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AA 1818 View Post
                I, for one, am saddened to see the F22s go......
                The F-22 is not going to "go". There will still be 187 of them. The decision highlighted here is merely to remove funding for seven more. As for the F-35, I think this is more geared to the ground attack role. It does, of course, mean that we are putting a lot of faith in the F-35 going forward, which has no operational record and which you can guarantee will end up also being cut back in production numbers (the nation is bust after all) and might become unnecessarily complicated.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AA 1818 View Post
                  Please correct me if I am wrong - but is not the F-35 a replacement to the F-22 program? Or, is the F-35 simply a compliment?
                  Pretty much - and much more. The F-22 was originally designed in the late 80's early 90's to be an air superiority fighter to meet and beat the soviets fourth gen fighters and the rumoured stealth aircraft that we still haven't seen (the PAK-FA). As such, it is a superb air superiority fighter designed around an electronic architecture that also dates from the early 90's. The stealth coatings are maintenance intensive and the entire aircraft requires a stack of maintenance per flight hour. It is difficult to upgrade the software due to the hardware in the systems installed in the aircraft (80286 based processor IIRC - younger members, ask your dad about those). The F-35 is designed to replace a host of legacy airframes, F-16, F-18, F-15 AV-8B and A-10. As such it is a far more versitile airframe. In US service the F-35 will compliment the F-22 (although not for too long - the F-22 won't serve too many more years), in other airforces it will serve as the primary air supremacy and strike aircraft.

                  Originally posted by AA 1818 View Post
                  I was under the assumption (perhaps incorrectly) that the F-35 would have much of the same capabilities however due to the fact that it is being mass produced and retaining much of the technology of the F-22, yet costing less b/c of lower R/D costs and a great number ordered (by not only all applicable branches of the US Armed Forces but also by International Allies)?
                  The F-35 will have a much greater range of capabilities - later production F-22's have been fitted with a ground attack capability, but it won't be as capable as the F-35. The F35 is fitted with a Distributed Appature System - when combined with a helmet mounted display, the pilot will be able to look 360 degrees as though the airframe was see through. This much greater situational awareness combined with the open architecture of the software will mean that this airframe will be able to be continually upgraded, unlike the F-22. The F-22 supposedly cost $200M apeice, the F-35 should be less than half that for a far more versatile airframe.

                  Originally posted by AA 1818 View Post
                  I, for one, am saddened to see the F22s go, however, I am rather confident that we will see more daring equipment surface in the future simply due to the aircraft's influence.
                  I'll be sad that the F-22 will go, it is a superlative air superiority fighter, but the F-35 will be far more versatile, cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate and most importantly, needed NOW to replace the thousands of teen series aircraft around the world. The F-35 may not have the same performance as the F-22 in sheer kinematic terms, but that's no great loss, it's still well ahead of it's 4th generation competition.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by B757300 View Post
                    Actually it's Gates (translation: his boss, Obama) who doesn't want it. What the actually military personal want is irrelevant since Democrats haven't met a weapon system they don't want to kill.
                    That is simply a dumb statement.

                    The Senate just proves they are a bunch of useful idiots, and McCain is right at the top of the list.
                    That one I agree with...

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                    • #11
                      A "eulogy" for the F-22:

                      http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...of-an-era.html

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                      • #12
                        Well, there is the F/A 18 for those supersonic bombers and fighters

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                        • #13
                          all this talk about an aircraft that has never seen combat, or at least not that i have read about. yeah it did one intercept of a russian bomber....woopdeedo!

                          what a waste of money...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HalcyonDays View Post
                            I agree - without F-22s how are we going to shoot down the Taleban's supersonic bombers or Al-Qaeda's fighters ?
                            First of all,what bombers are u speaking of?The taleban dont have bombers or fighters.The best they have r RPGs and a few AA guns.And we have the F-35,and the other 150 F-22s out there
                            August 29th will be the worst day of the year.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BoeingKing77 View Post
                              First of all,what bombers are u speaking of?The taleban dont have bombers or fighters.The best they have r RPGs and a few AA guns.And we have the F-35,and the other 150 F-22s out there
                              No, F-35's yet IOC is still at least 2 years away.

                              This link may provide the answer you are looking for: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sarcasm

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