Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new budget, including cutting the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program, could cause a growing fighter gap with less F/A-18s being produced in the future.
The Navy is expected to purchase 31 F/A-18 fighter jets next year including the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growlers -- both have Boeing-made airframes, but the Growler has additional electronic warfare measures included. In last year's budget, the Navy planned to purchase 40 F/A-18s in 2010, but won't be able to do so due to budget issues.
The main problem is that the aging F/A-18 Hornets are being decommissioned at a faster rate than private contractors can build the F-35C Lighting II fighter jets. It's possible Gates and the Pentagon will try to accelerate the F-35's development, as it's not scheduled to be ready until 2015.
"If anything, things have gotten worse," according to Robert Dun, retired vice admiral and Association of Naval Aviation president. The "aircraft are being over-utilized" in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there are "ongoing attacks in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill."
"At the current rate, given no further procurement, the Navy will be as many as 150, perhaps as many as 200, strike fighters short of what's needed within five years, and that's with the most optimistic projection of JSF production," Dunn said before Gates' original announcement.
The US Air Force recently defended the decision to eliminate the F-22 program, with a stronger emphasis put on the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. The Air Force will still receive up to 187 F-22 fighter jets, but the Pentagon won't make another order, Gates recently announced.
As the military begins to transition from traditional warfare to modified warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, it'll be interesting to see how the current fleet of fighter jets adjusts.
quote: Wouldn't be better to build something that is not a drain on society? Railways, light rails, subways in cities? Things that are not a drain on economy?
quote: then the planes ends here, some of them after contributing nothing to the world
quote:You left off part of the sentence, it should read, "Military spending to fight WW2" helped pull the country out of the Great Depression, by gearing up idle factories and putting people in jobs. It also led to high inflation throughout the 1950's.
quote: Socialists love to point to WWII as an example of how government transferring money to itself can get you out of a problem. But it's a perverse example that is neither desirable nor reproduceable. It didn't work in a peacetime economy.
quote: Borrowing to increase productive capacity is WORLDS APART from borrowing to consume foreign production.
quote: FDR's "New Deal" promised government spending, which started the road to recovery. (Although you are correct, it was the absolutely MASSIVE government spending that ultimately fixed the economy).
quote: It also led to high inflation throughout the 1950's.
quote: I don't know about you, but I prefer to pay for a national defense which is worth a damn in a fight against Russia or China instead of giving out bonuses to AIG executives as part of a bailout.
quote: This mentality has to go...
quote: We haven't been attacked by a nation since WWII.
quote: (c) replacing the intelligence officials who ignored intel that people were learning to fly planes but not land them
quote: I would agree with you Military spending on my DEFENSE is priceless...I just wish they would stop attacking nations for the sake of other people's profit and stick to defending me and my country something our military hasn't been doing for some time.
quote: This mentality has to go...
quote: Incidentally, there is no aircraft in the world that can do what the F-22 does
quote: eck, a single F-22 could mop up the entire US fleet of F-16s without breaking a sweat, provided it was able to carry enough munitions.
quote: Think F-15 vs F-16. The 16 can be outfitted for a more variety of missions than the F-15 can, but the F-15 will easily outperform the F-16 in a dogfight and other air to air missions.
quote: The F-22 outperforms the F-15, though (at least, the trials the Air Force ran with the F22 vs. the F15 showed that)
quote: F-22 is in the same generation as the F-35
quote: The US Air Force recently defended the decision to eliminate the F-22 program, with a stronger emphasis put on the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. The Air Force will still receive up to 187 F-22 fighter jets, but the Pentagon won't make another order for the aging jet technology, Gates recently announced.
quote: "could cause a growing fighter gap"