How many more would you like for the U.S. government to spend? Is nearly 30,000,000,000 dollars not enough just to produce the 187?
I would hope thats more then what would be needed. I honestly hope that not one is ever needed to be truthful. Besides, technology is moving in many
different directions that maned aircraft probably will be obsolete anyways in the next decade.
Based on my limited (grunt) experience with "official" numbers and requisitions: I don't really think that 180-something is a real quantity. I
think an argument could be made for gross minimalization in this case. Mention was made in the article about "compensation for potential war-related
losses". Not to mention any "black" budget items, etc.
All in all, the F35 theory holds water as well, but I would posit that a combination of this and my theory is the more likely scenario.
Why though? The Raptor is faster and carries bombs too. The F-35 is only needed for the Navy. They screwed up by not just making two versions of the
Raptor, One for the Air Force and one for the Navy. It is really a waste to use the F-35 for anything else as it was made to replace the A-6 and 7
then later the Harrier witch is a waste of deck space that the Comanche should be taking up. If Congress would buy more Raptors then the price would
drop as well as the cost for maintaining the older planes. Not to mention how they are getting wore out do to all the time put on them since 1991.
They didn't screw up anything, the F-22 was part of a design competition to full fill a role for a certain branch.
The F-35 was designed with a different thought in mind, that's why it's the JSF and will most likely be mediocre at anything it does.
The original 683 Raptors that had been planned at the project's conception may never happen, but 180 is not enough. The number that they had
originally developed came out of the Cold War era, they believed a war with the Soviet Union would take place while they had the F-22 so those numbers
would be necessary to ensure victory, at least in their minds. I don't think any of them would have known that 2-3 years later the USSR would
collapse. The way I see it is the F-22 is the F-15 of the 21st century and the F-35 is the F-16.
Both aircraft will see their legacies develop and mature into different areas.
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