Skip to comments.Romney wants to buy more F-22s
Posted on 09/11/2012 12:13:21 PM PDT by InsidiousMongo
Romney wants to buy more F-22s
By Michael Hoffman Monday, September 10th, 2012 5:54 pm Posted in Air, Election
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Saturday he would buy more F-22 Raptors as part of his plan to reverse many of the defense cuts planned by the Obama administration.
Romney told a Virginia Beach, Va., television station he would not include the military in the spending cuts he is proposing to cut down the U.S. deficit.
Rather than completing nine ships per year, Id move that up to 15. Id also add F-22s to our Air Force fleet. And Id add about 100,000 active duty personnel to our military team, Romney said in the interview. I think the idea of shrinking our military to try and get closer to balancing our budget is the wrong place to look.
Hes repeated his plan to increase ship building from nine to 15 ships per year and add 100,000 active duty troops to the militarys end strength. However, this is the first time hes mentioned any plans to buy more F-22s.
F-22 production was famously ended by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates after the Air Force had fought for the U.S. to buy more fifth generation fighter jets. Air Force leaders wanted to buy 243 F-22s, Gates halted production at 187. Originally, the Air Force wanted to buy more than 750 Raptors.
The last U.S. F-22 rolled off the production line in 2011. The Raptor program has since come under scrutiny after a string of pilots have suffered hypoxia-like symptoms and struggled to breathe in flight. Air Force officials claim to have found the cause, but it has repeatedly grounded the F-22 fleet the past two years and continue to impose flight restrictions.
Air Force leaders pushed to build more F-22s to add to the fleet because they warned a fleet of 187 would be insufficient to defeat an enemy with a top line air force like China. Former Air Force Chief of Staffs Gen. Norton Schwartz and Gen. Michael Buzz Moseley argued the costs of re-opening the production line would be too costly to build up the fleet if Congress changed its mind and wanted more F-22s.
If Romney wins and follows through on his plan to buy more F-22s, it would cost at least $900 million to reopen the F-22 production line, according to Loren Thompson, a consultant for Lockheed Martin and other defense companies.
In 2010, Japan discussed buying 40 F-22s from Lockheed Martin, builder of the F-22. Lockheed officials then told Japanese leaders it would cost $900 million to re-open the production line. Thompson said the cost would surely increase when considering two years have passed and the production line was still semi-warm.
The cost to reopen the production line would come in addition to the per aircraft price tag to manufacture each jet. That per aircraft cost is harder to decipher. When factoring in development and manufacturing, the price tag per jet totaled the U.S. more than $370 million. However, the flyaway cost the cost of manufacturing one jet equaled $137 million per jet.
Re-opening the production line in Marietta, Ga., would take at least two years, Thompson said. Lockheed would be slowed by re-establishing supplier networks and re-training employees.
In a rush, you could do it in about two years assuming all the other workers werent on other projects like F-35, Thompson said.
He didnt expect the problems with the F-22s oxygen system to hold a Romney administration back from following through on buying more F-22 plans.
It wouldnt be a problem, Thompson said. If there are still issues with the oxgen system they could just switch over to another supplier like Cobham.
There are also questions about whether further F-22 buys would affect the acquisition schedule for the F-35. The Defense Department plans to buy 2,443 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
I can see not totally shrinking gov by defence cuts, but given we spend more on military stuff than the next 20 countries combined (or something like that), there has to be some fat worth cutting.
Has he talked about where he will cut spending yet?
or will he not cut spending?
Nice idea, hope he gets the opportunity to act on it.
A better idea though would be the F-15SE. More bang for the buck and better than the F-35.
Flame away all you stick and rudder experts, self-proclaimed and otherwise.
Still need some cuts of waste but more than than that sweeping change in how we run things and budget across the board... fat chance for that.
Defense is already just a shadow of what it was under Reagan. We need enough for deterrence via anti-missele systems, an overwhelming nuclear force, and the Heavy Brigade Combat Teams that can roll over anybody if the F22s are overhead.
Being fair and balanced I do not believe a word Romney or the bastard says.
Perhaps, but I think our overwhelming capability also tempts our gov to meddle in a lot of places we shouldn’t be in and/or over stay. I don’t think the constitution writers had the military/industrial complex in mind that we have today.
We have a lot of very old, very worn out airplanes. The last decades of saber rattling, keeping the peace, protecting liberty and in general being the protector of all mankind have taken their toll on all of our hardware but mostly the stuff with wings and rotor.
Our men and women have done magical things to keep planes in the air and ships at sea. Ground hardware has been pretty well taken care of from what I can see. Thousands upon thousands of new, near new and blown up trucks litter the combat zones.
The first two numbers on the tail of USAF aircraft are the year of acceptance. Take notice of that.
Thank you... we must advance because the chicoms will have a communist version of the F-22 before long. They are working on it with the rooskies.
Planes are a means to an end, how does this support Mitt’s Foreign Policy, if he has one.
One thing Mitt better address and quickly, is how does he respond to what happened to our embassy in Cairo.
I agree. If we can’t defend our country spending less than we do, we must not be doing it right.
We should not be in Kosovo or Bosnia. We should not be in Kuwait forever. We should not be in Haiti. We should never have inflicted Sharia constitutions on Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to get out of Afghanistan but with the proviso that we might just come back and then it will be no more Mr. NiceGuy. Next time the constitution will be diff for the greatly reduced population.
When I read stuff like this, I know that Republicans aren’t serious about shrinking government. Let’s see, let’s undertake the expense of putting an overpriced plane back into production, likely with a much higher flyway price than it already had. Let’s add more planes to USAF’s fleet that cost 40 grand an hour to fly. THAT’LL help the deficit.
Defense spending isn't the problem. NASA isn't the problem. heck, PORK isn't the problem. Entitlements are the problem. Cut them first and then get back to me about the defense budget.
I’m sure we could cut our overseas commitments and installations by half and still be everywhere. Let Germany, Japan, South Korea and other rich allies foot their own defense bills.
I suprised so many Freepers are willing to throw away all the R&D investment on the F22 just because of a few teething problems. It is a very needed aircraft.
And I agree with other posters, we should be hearing from Romney about how he will cut spending intelligently without making us weaker, not just throwing out red meat thinking this is what we want. The debt is serious, he needs to take it seriously.