Wednesday, April 20, 2016

House Lawmakers Want Air Force to Study Restarting F-22 Production

Republicans on a key defense committee in the U.S. House of Representatives want the Air Force to study the cost of restarting production of the F-22 fighter jet.
The House Armed Services Committee’s Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, headed by Rep. Mike Turner, a Republican from Ohio, on Tuesday proposed legislation that would direct Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James "to conduct a comprehensive assessment and study of the costs associated with resuming production of F-22 aircraft," according to a copy of the bill posted online.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2009 had famously led the charge to stop production of the F-22 Raptor, a fifth-generation stealth fighter made by Lockheed Martin Corp., after 187 aircraft were produced at a cost of $67 billion. (The last aircraft was delivered in 2012.)
In his 2014 memoirs, "Duty," Gates noted that former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne had repeatedly lobbied him to support funding for a new stealth bomber or more F-22s, even though at the time the U.S. was engaged in irregular warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Nearly every time Moseley and Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne came to see me, it was about a new bomber or more F-22s," he wrote. "Both were important capabilities for the future, but neither would play any part in the wars we were already in."
Lawmakers and Pentagon officials have since noted with alarm the improving air defenses of countries such as Russia and China. more