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Apr 15, 2005


Jim Leko

The F/A-22 Raptor should be built in the numbers the USAF is suggesting. China IS a potential threat. They are currently purchasing (and building their own) Su-27/30 fighters, which are on par with our F-15 (the plane the F/A-22 is meant to replace). China wants to reclaim Taiwan, and we have said we would defend Taiwan should that happen. It is a very real threat. China has a larger military than the United States, and it is modernizing at an alarming rate. Our planes performed well against old Soviet equipment (SA-2, SA-3) in the Gulf War, but non-stealth aircraft will be easily shot down by modern SAM systems such as the SA-10.

It is true that we are fighting a new type of war these days, which require us to spend money on different technologies. However, we must not forget that the old types of threats still exist. Communist China will be a Superpower very soon. Its economy is growing at an unbelievable rate, and it huge military is modernizing. The F/A-22 will serve as a deterrent to China. Should they decide to ignore the deterrent, and retake Taiwan; the F/A-22 will help assure victory for the United States.

By the way, the "fly-away" cost of the Raptor is just over $100 million. The rest of the money you speak of is R&D costs. As that money is already spent, the true cost of building the fighter (from where our budget is now) is about $100 million per unit. The rest is spent whether we build the planes or not.

Frank Blair

POGO is quite right in stating that the F-22 needs to be shown as necessary particulraly if it will require more money than we are now expending on warfare. One has to wonder how long we will need to plan for "future wars". It's time that we look to the needs of everyday people e.g. health care and education and put war into the background. Defense contractors are wealthy enough as it is.

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