We need more F-22 Raptors
I could get into a long and complicated explanation of fighter aircraft theory about the importance of the E-M formula and “supercruise” ability plus “super stealth” but I won’t because this isn’t really a very controversial call. We need more very high-end fighters, the Aussies need some, the Japanese need some, and we always share with the Germans and the British — and they need some of these super planes as well.
To do this thing, build another 100 of little gems, we need to re-start the production line and convince Congress to lift the export ban on this technology to those countries listed above and only those countries.
Unfortunately I think we will need these planes in the next 10 years, even if only not to use them because I cannot imagine an air force actually willing to fly against these killers.
From Wikipedia (convincing evidence the Pentagon foresaw this day)
“In 2010, USAF initiated a study to determine the costs of retaining F-22 tooling for a future Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). A RAND Corporation paper from this study estimated that restarting production and building an additional 75 F-22s would cost $17 billion, resulting in $227 million per aircraft or 54 million higher than the flyaway cost. Lockheed Martin stated that restarting the production line itself would cost about $200 million. Production tooling will be documented in illustrated electronic manuals stored at the Sierra Army Depot. Retained tooling will produce additional components; due to the limited production run there are no reserve aircraft, leading to considerable care during maintenance.”
I think it will cost $20 to $25 billion for another 100 of these planes with the latest upgrades and it will be money well spent. Senator John McCain has been busy lately; maybe we can get him on this. This plane isn’t the turkey the F-35 turned into, this thing is the real deal and we need more of the real deal right now.
It wouldn’t hurt to spend another $10 billion on the top of the line F-18’s either. They also kick ass, although not quite in the F-22’s class — but would extend our force capability dramatically — because of their relatively low cost.