back to article US Senate halts F-22 Raptor production

The US Senate voted yesterday 58 to 40 to halt production of the stealth F-22 Raptor, handing president Barack Obama a significant victory in his drive to curb defence spending. The F-22 Raptor. Pic: Lockheed Martin The vote cut $1.75bn for the Lockheed Martin Corp aircraft (pictured) from a $680bn total defence bill. Back in …


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  1. nichomach
    Thumb Up

    Fingers crossed

    As long as the QE class carriers get built, albeit that Lewis'll be banging on for a bit about how F-35Bs are a waste of time and we should have catapults and so forth...well, anyway, assuming all that, we should end up with some pretty effective stuff that'll be able to support the army (as well as other things) without having to kowtow to the least hostile neighbour with an airfield.

  2. jon 44

    a title as required

    have you eaten lewis page?

    What I'd like to see is scrapping of all but 1 or 2 manned aircraft models (incase of jamming) and waste money on drones, choppers and infantry equipment instead.

  3. John Murgatroyd

    Carriers ?

    With any government that is elected the future carriers are unlikely to be built.

    the best that could be hoped for is that one will be built. And the future buy of these aircraft is not guaranteed either. Deficit: £800,000,000,000, and counting.

  4. Tim Spence

    Quarter of a percent

    Wow, they've saved themselves 0.25% of their total budget by doing this.

    Still, as my mother taught me; look after the billions, and the trillions look after themselves.

  5. Yorkshirepudding

    you fail me again starscream

    affordably stealthy too lol

    nowt is 100% stealthy

    even klingon birds of prey

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Kewl, time for Medvedev to throw a couple of B at Su47


    Is it just me thinking out loud or we are going to see a lot of knee-jerk action and headless chickins running about when Medvedev and Putin announce the reopening of the Su47 programme in the next RF budget this fall.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The USAF and the plane's builders had managed to put subcontractors for the F22 in 46 of the 50 states - and made sure the relevant politicians knew about it.

    And they still killed the programme? Is it too much to hope that the Senate is starting to see through the defence contractors? And let's hope some of that money goes to buy kit for the guys fighting the wars going on right now, not the ones in a Tom Clancy novel.

  8. Ian 11

    @ jon

    RE jon 44:

    "What I'd like to see is scrapping of all but 1 or 2 manned aircraft models (incase of jamming) and waste money on drones, choppers and infantry equipment instead."

    Jamming should be ineffective, there's no reason unmanned drones can't be autonomous enough to land themselves should they lose communication. More importantly though they can be communicated to via satellite (hence why most Afghan/Pakistan predator operators fly them from Nevada), this means any jamming signals would need to come from above the drones between the sat link and the drone. Not many countries if in fact any other than the top 2 or 3 super powers have this capability.

    Oh and if anyone's interested, the $1.75bn was for a mere 7 extra F22s. 7 extra F22s is hardly going to cripple the USAF now is it? $1.75bn is a massive saving though. It's not suprise then they voted to cancel it, that's a lot of cash for a benefit that is effectively negligible. If it had been 50 - 100 jets they may have had a point, but 7? The cost/benefit ratio just doesn't make financial sense by any measure.

  9. B 9


    @ Ian 11

    "this means any jamming signals would need to come from above the drones between the sat link and the drone"

    - No, that is not correct. That is not how jamming works. Jamming is simply flooding parts of the RF spectrum with enough noise to drown out communications between two parties. I can guarantee this can be done from the ground, it does not require the jammer to physically be in between the two parties since this is communications via RF, not laser or line of sight.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Mike Richards

    The Senate fought for it tooth and nail... they didn't "see through" anything.

    They finally killed the program because the president painted it as a big waste of money, and that any senator voting for it would be seen as contributing to a waste of money in this bad economy. Right now that's enough political suicide that it overrides the money-grubbing from lobbyists.

    Obama knows his political judo. He's seriously pissed off Congress, though, so he might have to keep using the stick a lot.

  11. Stevie


    Amazing how Senators and cogressmen who claim any money spent to fix the bent healthcare system will result in "socialized medicine" support 95 000 unnecessary aerospace jobs.

    Socialized aerospace. The acceptable face of pork.

  12. Matt 107

    @B 9

    I know very little about antennas, but...

    For jamming to work wouldn't either the sat or the drone have to receive the jamming signal?

    If the gain on the drone's antenna was high/directional enough, couldn't it 'ignore' signals from the ground (assuming no side lobes)?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Matt 107

    RE: jamming

    It is not likely that you can put a directional enough antenna on a drone - you would not be able to guarantee it points to the transmitter all the time. I could be wrong, however I cannot see this being the case.

    It is more likely that although the antenna will receive all noise from the ground they are running over ever changing, pseudo random (non-deterministic) frequencies so that it would be near impossible to jam all the comms, even with a really powerful transmitter.

    However it is more reasonable to assume that anyone with the capabilities to have a good go at jamming the comms could just shoot the things down or tac-nuke the command centre wherever it is located.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    95000 jobs?

    1,75 billion divided to 95 000 jobs gives about 18 000$ per job. Thats a bit higher than minimum wage in USA. So F-22 is built by hamburger friers?

  15. Annihilator

    re: 95000

    And unless they're building them out of fresh air, I think the materials would have taken up a fair chunk of that cost...

    These 95000 jobs don't have to be a year long though.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: 95000 jobs?

    > Oh and if anyone's interested, the $1.75bn was for a mere 7 extra F22s

    Can it really take 95,000 people to build 7 aeroplanes? I can imagine the entire programme (design, etc) involving that many people but not just for rolling our a further few planes on top of the >100 already built.

  17. Mr Mark V Thomas

    F22 Export for Japan... Unlikely

    So good news for Boeing or EADS, regarding a potential fighter order from Japan then...

    (Basically, Japan wanted to buy a export version of the F-22, as they're getting very worried about China now having fairly high tech fighters, such as the Su-27 (which they're now manafacturing under licence from Sukhoi as the J-11), & the J-10 (based on the abandoned Israeli Lavi project), but U.S export/technology transfer regulations forbade it),

    The U.S are trying to persuade Japan to buy a export version of the F/A -35A, but Japan's not interested, with the result Boeing might offer Japan, either the F-15 "Silent Eagle", or a enhanced version of the F-18E/F Super Hornet, while EADS is reportedly offering the Tranche 3 Typhoon, with the possibility of manafacture under licence in Japan...

    Incedentally, the "export version" of the F-22 had it existed, would have cost Japan approxmately some $250 Million per unit...

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