The Air Force plans to ask for 20 more F-22A Raptors, extending the shut down of the production line from 2011 to 2012, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Kenneth Miller, the Air Force Secretary’s special assistant for acquisition governance and transparency, told the Star-Telegram that the request would be in the Fiscal 2008 budget. If approved that would raise the total buy—currently capped at 183—to 203. That is still shy of the 381 Raptors the Air Force says it should have to cover its 10 Air and Space Expeditionary Forces and have enough for training, testing, etc.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.