April 30, 2018

FALSE ECONOMY: Retired General Says F-22 Production Was Killed So That A New Bomber Could Live.

Air Force Magazine was first to report on the revelations from the General’s new book “Journey: Memoirs of an Air Force Chief of Staff,” which also includes much more detail about how exactly the fight for the F-22 was lost, as well as how the battle to re-launch a Next Generation Bomber program was eventually won.

Behind the scenes, Schwartz’s predecessor General Mike Moseley “never gave up in his principled attempts to get those 381 F-22s” the book states. That push ended up getting Moseley fired along with his civilian counterpart, Air Force Secretary Mike Wynn. After the culling, the brass thought that the new bomber was simply too important and that the chances of winning both the F-22 and bomber arguments with Gates, who was staunchly averse to building high-priced weapons that couldn’t be used in Iraq or Afghanistan, was next to zero.

Schwartz, in an attempt to see if a reduced F-22 production number would be palatable to the Defense Secretary, executed an independent assessment that ended up stating 243 F-22s was the absolute minimum the force could get by with. But Gates balked at that number as well.

The most generous take I can think of is that Gates was working under the impression that serious Great Power disputes were a thing of the past — and since F-22 production was capped far below the “absolute minimum,” we can only pray that he was right.

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