pvolcko wrote:I don't really care about the Marine One upgrade, didn't care much about losing the updated Howitzer program either. The F-22 cut seems like a very bad move though. Lots of jobs out the door after all the money is already spent on design, prototyping, production manufacturing, training the pilot/crew trainers, shaking out the problems, etc. All the really expensive stuff basically. Finally get to a point where there can be some cost reduction in the whole program on a per plane basis and get cranking out units and they pull the plug. Felt the same way about all the cuts to the Seawolf program back in the 90's.
Sure, there is an F-35 program that can hopefully get rushed into production, but that is still 2-4 years before we get to production units, another 4-8 or so before there are enough to offset the losses from the cut F-22 program (assuming F-35 funding is bumped to compensate not only for the rush, but to cover at least a portion of the unit loses on F-22s that would have been made during the period), to say nothing of training up pilots, logistics and maintenance crews, etc. May not seem like much of a loss or not that big of stretch of time to wait, but its a crazy world and you never know what will come about. I'm sure there are a lot of people that, if events dictate, would rather be going into a mess with a bunch more relatively proven and battle tested F-22s instead of a some first off the line F-35s.
Do we need a new fighter platform? Is any air force capable of shooting down an F15, F16 or F18 in air to air combat?
How many air to air combat losses did we take in Gulf Wars 1 and 2? I think the answer is zero.
In a world of asymmetrical warfare the air superiority fighter seems archaic.