The Take-What-You-Can-Get F-22 Force

The Air Force’s absolute requirement of 381 F-22s—long held, and backed up by countless studies and analyses—is history, Secretary Wynne and General Moseley said. The new figure of 183 is adequate to national strategy, assuming that the Air Force gets “the rest of the strike portfolio”—which includes introduction of the new F-35 and a new bomber, plus retention of some legacy fighters. Wynne said that 183 is the new “baseline,” and while the service would love to have a 184th F-22 and beyond, “we are not planning on it.” Moseley insisted that USAF can get seven deployable squadrons out of the 183 airplanes, but probably at a squadron size of 18 rather than 24 airplanes apiece.