December 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AFA Supports Air Force Requirement for More F-22s
Arlington, VA – The Air Force Association (AFA) today urged the incoming Administration to support the Air Force’s requirement for more F-22A Raptors.
The Air Force requires more F-22s in coming years beyond the 183 already approved for purchase, with some recent reports placing that number at 60 additional aircraft. In recent years, the Department of Defense has drastically cut back expectations for the purchase of F-22s, initially slated for 750 aircraft and repeatedly reduced since then.
“The Air Force Association strongly supports the Air Force in this requirement,” said Sandy Schlitt, Vice Chairman of the Board for AFA. “These F-22s are absolutely vital to provide air dominance – a Key Air Force Mission.”
“The F-22 is in many ways without peer in the skies. Only the F-22 can survive in airspace defended by increasingly capable Surface-to-Air missiles, especially the SA-20,” said Mike Dunn, President of AFA. “The F-22 is needed, and the day will come when we’ll wish we had more. We must at least have enough to do the job.”
The F-22 is the Air Force’s newest active aircraft, although the funding and development effort began decades ago as the Advanced Tactical Fighter, and the design competition choice was announced back in 1991. The F-22 is known for combining stealth, fuel-saving supercruise, unmatched maneuverability and integrated avionics; all of which produce the most lethal and most survivable fighter aircraft in any fleet. However, Russia and China are pursuing fifth generation fighter development that could challenge U.S. air dominance. AFA fully expects these aircraft will be sold to other regional powers. Both nations, reportedly, have plans to build thousands of their 5th generation fighters.
Speakers at AFA’s most recent symposium in Los Angeles have pointed out that the F-22 is much more than an air superiority fighter. It carries a full load of air-to-ground ordnance plus has a suite of sensors which add to the overall air picture, giving it great ISR capabilities. In reality, it is the F/FA/B/EF/EC/RC/AWACS-22 said one speaker.
Discussing the F-22 in a December 10, 2008, forum in Washington, D.C., Lt. Gen. Dunn (Ret.), USAF, pointed out that only the F-22 is currently capable of operating in highly defended hostile airspace with a high rate of survivability. Scenarios such as penetrating Iranian air defenses or enforcing a no-fly zone in Georgia against new generation SA-20 missile technology demand adequate numbers of F-22s. Schlitt also noted that reports which came out this morning cite senior defense officials in saying Iran is buying SA-20s for defense of it key areas. “We have to have more of these systems” says Schlitt. “They can ensure U.S Air Dominance for the next 25-plus years.”
AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has more than 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 125,000 members. Visit AFA at http://www.afa.org.
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