Bringing the Raptors Home to Roost:

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), powerful head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has questioned whether the Air Force had gotten the requisite permissions for the “non-traditional funding strategy” it was proposing for the F-22A Raptor. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne responded at a hearing last week that the plan had been “vetted” with acquisition and legal officials. USAF plans to purchase zero Raptors in 2007 and 20 each year thereafter through 2010. The service wants to buy key subsystems only in 2007. The new multi-year approach, which the service says would extend the F-22A line to coincide with production of the F-35, would “salvage some” cost savings of the earlier buy of 28 aircraft per year, said Wynne.