Still Nyet to More F-22s

Still Nyet to More F-22s: Despite the current woes of the F-35 strike fighter program, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he remains opposed to the idea of building more F-22s, even as a hedge. “I don’t think there’s any need to go on with the F-22,” Gates told reporters on Monday when asked about this. Gates reaffirmed his opposition on Tuesday, confirming to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) during a budget hearing that he has no intention of revisiting the issue. At the same hearing, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), said the emergence of the Russian fifth generation PAK FA fighter is also disconcerting when discussing the F-22 and F-35. The PAK FA flew for the first time last month. Inhofe said he’s worried that, “we’re down to 187 F-22s” and yet the Russians are “starting to crank [PAK FAs] out,” potentially in large numbers for its air force and export customers.