F-22 Is No Boondoggle

So state Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in an op-ed decrying the “misinformation being disseminated about the F-22 Raptor” that ran in the July 14 Deseret News. The veteran lawmakers cite the F-22’s “unique ability to penetrate hostile airspace” in which “relatively inexpensive advanced integrated air defense systems would make it “extremely difficult, if not deadly, for those aircraft lacking the F-22’s advanced stealth technology and sustained supersonic cruise.” That stealth technology, they note, is not vulnerable to rain as some news reports have recently claimed—much like critics claimed of the B-2 bomber. Hatch and Inhofe write, “The F-22 requires far less work to maintain its stealthy characteristics than its predecessors, the F-117 and B-2.” And, although they acknowledge that maintaining that stealth capability does take a lot of maintenance hours, but they say, “In the end, it costs far less to maintain a war-winning stealth aircraft than to buy a replacement for a non-stealthy aircraft, such as the F-15, F-16, and F-18, which has been shot down because it was unable to penetrate hostile airspace.”