Jul 22, 2009

Senate axes F-22 funding

Back in February, Slate's Fred Kaplan had argued that it was time for Congress to stop ordering new F-22 Raptors, later providing reasons that the save-our-jobs argument for the fighter jet was essentially bunk. Yesterday, the Senate followed his advice. Kaplan triumphant:
This is a big deal: The Senate today voted to halt production of the F-22 stealth fighter plane, and it did so 58-40, a margin much wider than expected.

Not only is this a major victory for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who lobbied strenuously (something he rarely does) to kill this program, and for President Barack Obama, who pledged to veto the defense bill if it contained a nickel for more F-22s. The vote might also mark the beginning of a new phase in defense politics, a scaling-back of the influence that defense contractors have over budgets and policies.

Then again, I might be dreaming. Surely things couldn't be changing quite that much. Could they?
Time, as they say, is a blabbermouth.

The F-22 is wicked cool, but in today's geopolitical climate (partly cloudy, with pockets of insurgency), air superiority through fighter combat is obsolete. As Kaplan observes, the Raptor has never been deployed in battle.

The future belongs to drones.


MTGAP said...

As you say, Raptors are pretty awesome. It may seem like we don't need any more of them, but they will be very useful in the coming zombie apocalypse.

Jim Anderson said...

...which, you can be sure, Michael Bay will film.

ZacharyTaylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZacharyTaylor said...

Not to be a literalist, but unless the Zombies are flying an F-35 would cary more of the appropriate Air-to-Ground ordanance.