Thursday, July 23, 2009
Raptor - One who seizes by force. (Dictionary.com)
It is by far the most advanced fighter plane in the sky from any nation. It's function - Air Superiority! It was designed for air-to-air combat and with the ability to fly at supersonic speeds with stealth capability (radar will not pick this up).
The development and manufacturing of this plane has four major contractors, 240 major subcontractors which oversee 1,150 firms working for the subcontractors. 46 states and Puerto Rico have 42,000 people employed in the production.
The F-22 can not only fly at 60,000 feet, it can do tactical maneuvers at this elevation, which is almost twice as high as other jets can do tactical maneuvers. It can fly at Mach 1.8 (almost twice the speed of sound) and has a crew of only the pilot. It is armed with the following: 2 Sidewinder Missiles, 6 Air-to-Air Missiles, 1 Gatling Gun, 2 1,000-pound JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions), 8 250-pound Bombs, and four other areas designed to carry additional weapons or fuel tanks.
The Air Force was scheduled to begin using the F-22 in December of 2005. Initially, the USAF planned on having 750 of these planes. Various cuts, over the years, have the current inventory at 187.
This week, a Senate committee cut the funding for additional F-22's out of the budget, following the recommendation of the BO administration. BO then claimed a triumph for spending disclipine due to the elimination of the $1.75 billion cost. Yes, that is a lot of money, but it is 1/3 of 1% of the 2010 defense budget. While we are cutting our defense budget, China and Russia are increasing theirs and building more weapons. BO is also pushing to cut our Missile Defense Program. This is the capability to shoot down incoming missiles prior to them reaching the USA. He is also shrinking the size of our Navy.
"How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nations?" James Madison