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  • USA's 56-Year Air Superiority At Risk


    If President Obama is intent on listening to military commanders, as he promised during the campaign, why is he now ignoring the military’s own requirement for additional F-22s? Why would the President want to compromise America’s half-century dominance in the air that has led to one powerful result: There has not been a single soldier or Marine who lost his life in combat due to a threat from the air in over 56 years.

    As legacy aircraft retire at ever-increasing rates, however, maintaining that superiority is not guaranteed. Sufficient numbers of F-22s must be purchased as the Joint Strike Fighter slowly ramps up production in order to keep this tremendous capability and technological edge for the next four decades.

    The tremendous strain on America’s Air Force and Navy fighter forces due to a lack of quantity is undeniable. The fighter gap is essentially here now. The lack of available aircraft to provide air superiority, deter potential aggressors, defeat enemy air defenses, protect ground forces from threats, and provide critical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance is not some problem for a future generation to fix. Even the safety of the skies above U.S. cities are at risk within the next few years due to a fighter shortfall in the Air National Guard negatively affecting its ability to complete America’s air sovereignty alert mission instituted after 9/11.

    President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 defense budget only exacerbates the fighter strain, along with damage to the highly-skilled engineers and designers who build these world-class aircraft around the country. Indeed, before the budget is even approved by Congress, production work for third- and fourth-tier F-22 suppliers is already drying up. This affects America’s small businesses first.

    The Air Force originally planned to purchase 700 F-22As to replace the fleet of 800 F-15A-Ds and the retired F-117 Nighthawk bomber, but the required number of F-22s was reduced over the past two decades due to budget constraints. More than 30 air campaign studies over the past 15 years have confirmed a minimum requirement for 260 F-22s. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz recently acknowledged the Air Force warfighting requirement is for 243 F-22s, but the service can only afford 187 because of a lack of funds.

    With only 187 F-22s, the number of actual combat-coded fighters available at any given time is roughly 125, with the remaining fighters used for training, testing, backup, and reserve missions.

    Although the F-22A is the world’s sole fifth-generation fighter, numerous studies have concluded that the quality of the platform can be stretched only so far in making up for a lack of quantity. A shortfall of aircraft would also prevent the Air Force from filling out the service’s ten Air Expeditionary Forces, undermining their stability by ensuring the need to rotate F-22s on an as-needed basis.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to USA's 56-Year Air Superiority At Risk

    1. Spiritof76 says:

      Obama is anti-military and generally, anti-American.

      N.Korea is threatening missile launch aimed at Hawaii and Obama is cancellling the anit-missile shield. We must be thankful that President Reagan showed leadership and developed the anti-missile defense system that Obama is deploying in Hawaii now.

      Obama is prhaps th most destructive American president-economy, defense, health care etc. etc.

    2. Tim AZ says:

      Look Mao-Bama promised in a closed door meeting during his campaign that he would disarm America. This is one promise he intends to keep.

    3. Roy Bercaw Cambridge says:

      Obama serves himself as he always did during his precious life. He changed his position as the popularity of the special interests dictate. National security is unimportant as well as support for American allies. Obama is a classic case of H.L. Mencken's observation that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. That he was able to get elected President of this nation shows how shamefully clueless the voters are.

    4. Audrey, Oregon says:

      Obama is relying on his ability to TALK our enemies out of using their nuclear power. He is endangering the free world by doing so. Unfortunately, he is inexperienced in world affairs and also gutless.

    5. MaryAnn, USA says:

      Obama is anti-American. Everything he is doing is designed to destroy America. He has no interest in what the military tells him, he has no interest in what the American people tell him. He has no interest in a second term in office. He is moving as fast as he can, getting as much destructive policy passed as fast as he can.

      His only interest is the destuction of The United States of America. He is doing everything he said he would do during the campaign.

      This is the "hope and change" deluded American citizens voted for.

    6. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    7. Emalee, Cedar Hills says:

      As aircraft get older and break down, as tragedy strikes and pilots go down, as foriegn leaders become more agressive, it is important to maintain a stong Airforce. We cannot do this if we are not continually obtaining new aircraft. A leader of this country who does not understand this is a fool.

    8. Chinookman, Republic says:

      WOW…how hard is this to figure out? Do you all not KNOW his indoctrination of Radical Marxism by his so called pastor and associates?

      I am so amazed at how naive you all respond as if you lack basic understanding of how humans work. Did not you mother tell you NOT to hang out with so-n-so because he was a thug…..and SHE KNEW bad company would have a bad influence……so how you you suspend the reality of life when it comes to this man?

      Look at his words and his actions….he hates this nation and will do everything to destroy the white male dominated capital market system. Don't believe it….look towards Africa and how the economy is failing as farmers are having their land stolen and given to people that just do not have the same core values of the free market system. Look at ALL the liberal Socialist states in our own country that are the highest crime, unemployment and loss of industry…..does it really take an MBA to figure all this out……no…….our military is in the process of being decimated to levels the Carter and Klinton only dreamed of. Folks we are being set up for attacks without little means to defend ourselves on multiple fronts.

      No genius need to see that……just look at the present track record……..so keep scratching your head and wondering what is going on……as I prepare my family for the coming internal upheaval due to the present financial policies and huge tax hike…… go hug a tree it may make you feel better …..as you're looking for provisions……lol…yeah I'm so sick of limp wristed whimpering from so many so called conservative while the left goes full guns with a plan agenda AND ARE UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT IT……. so why are conservative so whimpy and apologetic and fail to make the case……

      As a Viet Nam era veteran……I'm sick of the direction we are heading…… and pray for my fellow men and women serving today……. Hoo-Rah…….(CW-3 1970-1991)

    9. Ron, North Dakota says:

      Just think about this. Obama won't have to apologize for our superiority, or is it arrogance?!

    10. Jim, Connecticut says:

      What a paranoid article. So we buy a few less planes, which we can't afford now anyway. That doesn't mean we are going to lose air superiority; no one else comes close to us now and they still wouldn't even with the reduced number of planes. What buying fewer planes means is that we can no longer be the policeman of the world – WHICH WE SHOULDN'T BE ANYWAY. We don't need that many planes if our only concern is defense instead of offense. We should mind our own business and finally get out of Korea, Germany, Italy, Iraq, and everywhere else.

    11. ronifer, New Jersey says:

      Obama is a socialist and a pacifist without any business or military experience. We will rue the day that he was elected president as we see him emasculate our armed forces and our air force much like Jimmy Carter did, sell out our Israeli

      allies, destroy our medical insurance programs and heap future generations with indebtedness. We needed him in the White House – like we needed a wart !

    12. John Cunningham Lafa says:

      To think that Obama would scrap the F22 Raptor is beyond belief. That Jet and the new F 35 fighter bomber would have secured the skies for the next thirty years at least.

      Russia is our enemy, and China would love to see us battle Russia, to see is top dog. The twenty first Century, may very well turn out to be the bloodiest Century of all. At least it has started out to just that.

      Make no mistake we are at war with those who would love to destroy what we believe in. And I believe Barack Obama is one of those.

    13. Sharp, General Deliv says:

      Without the ideals of individual freedom, which our nation America has represented in the world, and has enforced with our blood and treasure, the world will quickly descend into an age of darkness and human despair not seen thus far in all of human history. Congratulations, to all those who hate the arrogance of America, and American's, your goal is very close to being achieved.

    14. Richard, Spring TX says:

      Obama will talk our enemies to death; he doesn't need a military. This again shows that the Democrats are anti-military. You can't be for the soldier if you take their superior weapons away.

    15. Chinookman, Republic says:

      "Jim, Connecticut writes:

      What a paranoid article. So we buy a few less planes, which we can’t afford now anyway. That doesn’t mean we are going to lose air superiority; no one else comes close to us now and they still wouldn’t even with the reduced number of planes."

      Wrong on many levels. Do you know how many planes we need to fulfill our present roles in all operational theaters? I think not. Cannot afford them? Eliminate all the entitlement programs for illegals. We cannot afford NOT to have them. In case you have not noticed Russia and China are modernizing their military; Air, sea land equipment. We are cutting back. i guess you support Chairman Moa-Bama's pacifist view, good for you but Jimmy Carter already proved that those with radical ideology do not care one whit about us and they fact we are laying down our defensive budget just increases their contempt for us as just being empty and weak, and gutless.

      The one thing they do respect is power and the knowledge that the foe will use it if need be. We are being set up.

    16. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      An Egomaniac only listens to one voice, his own. Millions may die, our Nation may be lost, but in Obama's mind, he is right!


    17. Pingback: FOUNDRY: USA’s 56 Year Air Superiority At Risk

    18. libertybel, Rye, NY says:

      It's wryly amusing to read article after whiny article in publications both liberal and conservative that begin, "He promised ABC, but now he's doing XYZ". Golly. Gee. Who would have thought? Tell me, did anyone with an IQ larger than his neck size actually believe O's pre-election promises? So why refer to them?

    19. Pingback: USA’s 56-Year Air Superiority At Risk » The Foundry « Eastaustinvoice’s Weblog

    20. Kevin, Addison,TX says:

      I agree with Roy Bercaw. The voting public who put this guy in the highest office in the land should be ashamed. In 2010, the country will be taken back by people who love her, and not the ones who despise her. I love America, and God bless AMERICA.

    21. Jim, Connecticut says:

      Chinookman, Republic of Texas writes:

      "Do you know how many planes we need to fulfill our present roles in all operational theaters? I think not. Cannot afford them? Eliminate all the entitlement programs for illegals. We cannot afford NOT to have them. In case you have not noticed Russia and China are modernizing their military; Air, sea land equipment."

      I don't believe we should or need to be involved in all of those operational theaters you refer to. I believe in following the advice of the founding fathers. Stop messing around with every other country in the world. No more CIA sponsored color revolutions. No more bombing wedding parties in the Middle East. No more surrounding Russia with missiles and increasing hostilities. China and Russia are not ever going to invade the US. "There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." An occupation would be impossible. And that's leaving aside the fact that we still have the ultimate deterant to an attack.

      We spend north of half a TRILLION dollars a year on the military. Subsidies to illegals are a fraction of that amount (I support eliminating all entitlement programs, to illegals and otherwise.) We only need to spend more than half a trillion every year to support an OFFENSIVE military, not a defensive one. There is no other purpose for it.

    22. R. Victor Tn Tonawa says:

      regretably, the gulible and stupid american voters again voted as instructed. we now have an avowed socialist bent on reducing America to a third world country. we still have impeachment as a viable solution. don't we????

    23. R. Victor Tn Tonawa says:

      whats to moderate. it's true in content as is.

    24. Douglas Gilmore St. says:

      We continue to make ourselves weaker as our enemies watch and wait.Why would they risk men and equipment when they can sit back and let Obama do the work for them.By the time this love affair is over it will be too late. Most Americans think that most of the world works like the United States.Not even close.One day we'll wake up and our freedom, our rights, our guns, our capability to defend ourselves from foreign enemies, our way of life will be gone. And that's the "change" Obama is talking about.

    25. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      You need to be an American to feel this Pain!

    26. William Taylor, San says:

      Although President Obama wants to stop production of the F-22, the World's best fighter, it is noteworthy that the first F-22's were deployed to protect Washington DC where Obama and his liberal, anti-defense elitists live. *+#@!* the canon-fodder peons!

    27. Jim in MO says:

      Vis-a-vis the subject re air supremacy/F22 production or lack thereof, I simply noted on 06/28 Barack Obama is a COMMUNIST and enjoined all from using sanitized terms to describe communists as socialists, collectivists, etc.

      You have quite apparently DELETED my remarks in total. WHAT IS YOUR problem(s)? You too politically correct, too squeamish to call a spade a spade, or what??!!

    28. Mo, DC says:

      "Frankly, to be blunt about it, the notion that not buying 60 more F-22s imperils the national security of the United States, I find completely nonsense." – Secretary of Defense Robert Gates


    29. Dave McDuffie, Aliso says:

      The "Obaman" is the perfect stooge for all the socialists which run the demorat party and have for years and getting richer by the minute, and they in turn are run by the conmen of Goldman Sachs. Do you really think this know-nothing community organizer can draft thousands of pages of legislation at the snap of a finger?! They have been waiting in the bushes for just such a person and working with their henchmen in the media to get him elected. And by not jumping up and demanding HONESTY AND FAIRNESS from the news media we are now ready to give up our country after so many died fighting exactly what we are facing now, from within. You Californians go to East LA and look around…that is your future. It is not a coincidence the only truth you can get is on so-called right wing radio, and the reason it is so popular and profitable. Lefty talk fails because listeners simply tire of hearing oughtright lies, like global warming or all the many lies of our new president. Uh dare we compare Rush to Jeanine Garbleawfulo who could be on the air a million years and not garner but a handful of steady listeners compared to Rush's 20million. I am hearing very heavy talk on the street and the situation is going to get heavy.

    30. Nick, Dallas Tx says:

      The F35 will have some shortfalls fulfilling the air to air role currently provided by the F22 and F15. Altitude, high-speed maneuverability and an ample quantity of missiles are requirements to perform this important mission. Cost of course is an issue today as it was with the F15 years ago. (People had similar arguments over the (then) costly F15). In my opinion I would like to see 600 air superiority capable fighters in our future inventory. These would break down like this.

      200 F22 Raptors – Air Defense and Counter-offensive. All fighters combat coded and upgraded to 3.2 or 3.3.

      200 F22 Non Stealth no LO (Same $ as F35 and as good or better,cheaper then the Typhoon) – Air Defense. 20 to 40 of these for training and testing.

      200 FA18EF w/20% thrust increase with newer engine – Air Defense, Multi-role capabilities for small conflicts or less formidable air force. (Contract soon should produce savings over same amount of F35's). Need the thrust increase for better high altitude performance.

    31. bob says:

      The US intelligence community as usual continues to overestimate its own capabilities while underestimating the potential threat that the US face. China and Russia are modernizing their military tech and equipment that is correct. The US military so far appears to be much more inefficient and costly over the past two decades, that being said the US still has some legacy technology to fall back on, although that advantage is wearing out as time moves on. Both Russia and China considers the US to be a longterm geo-strategic threat to their interests. Chinese leaders have been saying for years that war with the Us is inevitable. They are only using the US for tech transfers and technical skills possessed by the US. Simply due to the US government spending money on its military-industrial complex does not mean the projects will turn out to be efficient. As we have seen in Kosovo. Not to mention the plethora of US intelligence failures over the years. Even with the so-called expensive color revolutions and cia covert ops both Russia and China have maintained solid footing at a much lower expense than the US. Americans need to stop believing that more money will solve an issue, just look at the education system as another example. The Chinese can already take out our aircraft carriers through a combination of radar system technology (that we sold them) and emp warheads to turn our carriers into expensive pieces of floating metal, they are also capable and allegedly have already maintained more nuclear warheads than the generally quoted 250-400 amount, by western media. There is no transparency in China or russia,unlike the us take they say with a grain of salt. The real risk for the sino-russian is when there is social unrest in the us perhaps post-dollar collapse.

    32. Pingback: Air superiority and national security–two concepts that go hand-in-hand

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