Woe to the Republic 3: Raptor down

Today the Senate voted to cut funding for the F-22 Raptor. Per norm, the corrupt officials of Congress and Administration used numerous excuses to try to effectively kill the program rather than admit they are intentionally harming both the United States military along with American workers and industries for political purposes.
It’s not too often I completely disagree on military matters with my state’s senior Senator, John McCain, but this is one of those time where I feel Mr. McCain is not only wrong, but misguidedly so.

Both planes at issue, the F-22 and the F-35, are exceptional in their abilities and roles. It should also be noted that both have similar but decidedly different roles. Let me also state clearly that I have and continue to have my personal disagreements/dislikes over the F-22 and the questionable procurement system used by the DoD and Pentagon used to decide of Defense Department projects. That said I don’t see how ending funding now can recoup the billions overspent on the project anyway.

The F-22 Raptor was designed to replace America’s aging F-15 Eagle as the U.S. Air Force’s primary air superiority fighter with it’s improved systems and stealth technology. These advanced systems make the craft superior to many, if not all, other aircraft in its roll but also brings a hefty cost.

The fools in Washington use the excuse of cost in order to cut funding the program even though doing so could and will have serious repercussions for the military and civilians alike. Of note is the fact that funding for the F-22s only makes up approximately 0.2% of the defense budget for FY2010 (around $1.75 billion).What I want to know is what other projects does the DoD want that are supposedly more important? I keep hearing that claim and yet no one, not one single person, will cite a project as an example. I personally think it ahs nothing to do with costs and more to do with them covering for their pet political donors and lobbyists.

So suddenly the Administration and Congress, the same people willing to throw hundreds of billions away to financial institutes and car companies and is willing to throw the nation into trillions in debt over Obamacare is suddenly concerned about the budget? Yeah, right.

The Congress and Administration’s flagrant hypocrisy aside one of the most specious arguments used is that the money was needed to fund the F-35 Lightning II, better known to most as the Join Strike Fighter. The F-35 is a multi-role stealth fighter intended to replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F/A-18 Hornet. It’s most notable advancement that the varying models can share some 80% of their parts, thereby reducing costs.

This is where we get back to Congress’ hypocrisy over costs and the “new math” they like to employ in Washington. The Pentagon and SecDef Gates claim they want to stop production of the F-22 in order to produce 500 more F-35s. This sounds good until you check the unit costs.

F-22 Raptor Cost per unit: US$137.5 million (per USAF 2008 Budget Estimates)

F-35 Lightning II Cost per unit: US$83 million (per USAF 2009 Budget Estimates)

That comes out to a ratio of about 1.65-1.66 F-35’s per 1 F-22 produced. The math simply doesn’t add up. It could be, and likely is, that the F-22 is much more expensive to maintain than the F-35, but that was not the excuse used by Congress. And if that is the real reason for the funding cut then they should have plainly stated so.

So now we have several things that will result from the funding cut:

  • The U.S. Air Force will be denied a viable replacement for the F-15 allowing rival nations (Russia, China, et al) to catch up and even surpass the U.S. technological edge in military power. China already has 7 divisions with J-11s (their licensed versions of the Su-27) attached.
  • Some 11,00o jobs directly related to the F-22 are likely now lost, in addition thousands more related. Some estimates are as high as 95,000. Not unexpectedly the machinists vow to keep fighting for F-22 funding. Apparently the only union Obama and Congress give a rats ass about is the UAW rather the far more important (from a defense and aerospace perspective) IAM.

Obviously the Obama administration plans to continue the ongoing Federal campaign to cripple the aerospace industry in America and continue to push us into a second rate service industry economy. As crazy as this sounds, should the F-22 end, India will have a more technologically advanced air force than the United States with their recent purchase of upgraded Su-27 and Su-30 Flankers from Russia which have have rapidly increasing sales worldwide.

This is but another highlight of the inept fools running our government alongside their equally greedy and corrupt compatriots. They willingly throw billions away on pie-in-the-sky untested and unproven socio-economic programs like “health care” reform (Obamacare) and bailing out corporations at tax payer expense, but then whine about a pittance of the budget.

So gut the economy. Check.
Gut our support for democracy around the world. Check.
Gut American industry. Check.
Gut health care. Check.
Gut the military. Check.

So great job you big dopes. Great job. </sarcastic clapping>

Just another reason for Americans to take bake their government from the fools and buffoons running our nation into oblivion.

Woe to the Republic!

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