Our Idiot President Shuts Down Raptor Program

Did you hear that the Obama administration is cutting the F-22 Raptor program?

First, let’s talk about the simple economics. The F-22 Raptor program was started in 1981 with the goal of creating the next air superiority fighter to replace the F-15. In 2004, the first 51 Raptors were delivered. The cost of development for this program was approximately $60 Billion. Now, that’s a lot of money, but it was also spread out over 23 years. So the annual development cost was not that awful. These planes cost approximately $360 Million each. That’s a lot of money, but again, you have to look at what it replaces.

The F-16, our primary fighter since 1973, costs about $36 Million each. The development of the F-16 began in 1965.

The cost of fighters is actually tied to the number of planes the military ultimately orders. Remember, development of these planes is done by private companies. The incentive to invest billions into development is that there will be a payoff… sometimes 20 years after initial investment. The military initially planned to order 650 planes. The ultimately ordered 187. Thus, we can deduce that the F-22 would have cost roughly $105 Million each, had the military followed through with their plans.

Now let’s talk about the F-22 and why it’s worth three times the cost of an F-16, and why we’re fools for ending the program.

The F-16 is equal to the task of dogfighting with existing enemy fighters. It can maneuver just as well or better than anything else out there. The concept of the F-22 was air superiority. And superior it is indeed.

The F-22 has some amazing characteristics (and I can only speak to those that are not still closely guarded secrets). The F-22 uses directional thrust nozzles to maneuver rather than flaps. This means the plane can do turns and rolls that would tear apart any other fighter. It’s constructed using advanced polymers that are both super strong and contribute to its integrated stealth technology. That’s right, it has stealth technology built in.

It also has the most advanced avionics in the world, as well as the most sophisticated weapons systems ever developed.

A human would not be capable of flying this plane without the help of advanced computing systems. The design is inherently less stable in the air than a typical plane (due to the shape for stealth and the propulsion system). The computers make thousands of adjustments to course and other flight dynamics every second the plane is in flight.

What does this all add up to? Listen to this and I shall enlighten you.

Lockheed Martin sent up an F-22 to dogfight (simulated of course) an F-16. Seven seconds into the exercise, the F-22 shot down the F-16. This was such a silly exercise they decided to up the ante. They sent up two F-16s to fight the F-22. Less than a minute later, both F-16s were shot down. Finally they sent up as many as eight F-16s, and the F-22 took out all of them each and every time. Guess how many times the F-22 lost the fight… zero.

Ultimately in 2006, the military did a full-scale simulated “war” using F-16s and F-22s. They sent up 108 F-16s and 12 F-22s. The F-22s took out all 108 F-16s with no losses. Over the next days, the F-22 had 241 kills.

So we’ve spent $60 billion developing a fighter that can individually wipe out at least 8 enemy planes AT ONCE, and now we’re going to scuttle the program, thanks to the bumbling idiot we have elected to President and CEO of America.

Personally, I like the concept of peace through superior firepower. Do you think that our enemies are going to stop developing next-generation fighters?

  5 comments for “Our Idiot President Shuts Down Raptor Program

  1. livieloo
    April 7, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Obama is an idiot…that pretty much sums it up. I wonder how many jobs he eliminated by canceling that program.

  2. April 7, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I hesitate to call the leader of the free world an idiot, but this particular item really ticked me off. And you make a good point about jobs. I’m sure there are thousands of people working on the Raptor… But they aren’t “important” Americans because they work for “evil” defense contractors.

  3. Dave
    April 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I can tell you the people out here where I live, which is very much a Lockheed town, are ticked.

    And by the way, our fighter pilots, under Obama’s orders, are grounded upon return for an extended period of time, and almost all routine training and practice flight is being cut or eliminated due to budget cuts. So we’re going to send our boys over in inferior aircraft without proper preparation. Forget about jobs – this is carelessness with young men’s lives.

  4. syn_ack89
    April 7, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Incredipete, what do you know about the F-35? I read that they are going to use that for all the services in the future. I figured you’d have (or get) the skinny!

  5. April 10, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Hey Incredipete,

    I read this post of yours the other day and then I read an article in the WSJ today about the same thing. Thought you might like to look at it. It talks about F-16’s, 22’s and 35’s.


    I agree in that cutting military spending with crucial systems (naval ships, F-22’s, the Airborne Laser system, etc.) is a huge mistake. There are plenty of other programs that can and should be cut before essential ones like these. I’m a conservative Democrat (not a liberal) who desires peace but not at the cost of making our nation militarily inferior to an unfriendly nation who could conquer us with its newly superior military. These cuts may be made for the sake of diplomacy with the intent of achieving world peace but it boils down to blind foolishness if our leaders think Russia and China won’t take advantage of this golden opportunity.

    The pendulum is obviously swinging the other way now. Before, with ‘W’, the Military-industrial complex grew enormously. We managed to alienate “hostile” nations who actually had good relations with us before his presidency (e.g. Iran) and drag others into an ugly mess with an unlawful war in Iraq. Now, we have a president who is trying to build bridges with some and burn them with others by cutting military spending and not engaging enemies who deliberately test us (e.g. North Korea, Somalian pirates, etc.) while helping to foster better relations with Turkey and Iran by offering open lines of communication. I can’t really say this way is better, just different.

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