May 07, 2004
Senate could cut two F-22s
By Laura M. Colarusso
Times staff writer
The Air Force might lose two F/A-22 Raptors if the Senate Armed Services Committee has its way.
Committee members said today that their version of the 2005 Defense Authorization Bill would include $3.4 billion to buy 22 jets in fiscal 2005. The Air Force had requested 24.
The reduction was made “to allow the Air Force time to improve its production delivery schedule,” according to a committee press release.
The House Armed Services must agree to the reduction and the full Congress must approve the bill before the cuts are made official.
In recent months, the F/A-22, which is the Air Force’s premier acquisition program has run into schedule delays, causing development costs to increase. Most recently, the service’s acquisition chief, Marvin Sambur, acknowledged the Raptor might be a few months late for initial operational capability — the milestone that signifies the aircraft is ready to go to war — from its December 2005 target.
Well, just as long as they DO buy them, and start to retire the obselete, strike-incapable F15Cs...
2 less planes per year is a fair compromise...