It looks like the Air Force’s F-22A Raptor fighter will be back in the Congressional spotlight this week. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s airland panel has set July 25 (Tuesday) for a new hearing. The subject: USAF’s multiyear procurement plan unveiled in the 2007 budget. This issue is controversial; many in Congress (and even a few in DOD) think it does not pass legal muster. The Pentagon and Air Force call it a smart way to do business. Appearing on the F-22’s behalf will be Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and James Finley, the Pentagon’s deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology. The critics will be represented by the heads of the GAO, CBO, and (no kidding), the Project on Government Oversight—you know, “POGO.” Stay tuned.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.