The F-22: A fighter plane that doesn't work well

The Associated Press has a detailed account of the Air Force F-22 trials and tribulations.

Fighter planes are small combat aircraft. They take off and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. The F-22 is a single-seat plane with stealth technology, meaning that its paint, radio emissions and ability to fly low combine to confuse radar systems. It can travel at 1,500 mph, but that's the maximum distance its fuel can take it. It carries guns, missiles, decoys to evade oncoming missiles and a complex radar and communications system. It's the queen of combat aircraft.

We've spent $67 billion for 195 planes.

The AP article is about its flawed pilot oxygen system. If you are following military budget issues, you will find it interesting.

But the deeper problem is that this plane was built for the Cold War. It has no opposition. So, logically, the Pentagon is also building the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the Navy, Air Force and Marines to share.

I don't favor sequestration because I don't think across-the-board cuts are wise. But we have to find some way to redirect those dollars to human needs.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here