There Is No F-22 Study, Period

Despite the pervading myth that the Pentagon decision to end F-22 Raptor production at 187 aircraft is supported by a new requirements study—as would normally be the case when contemplating a major strategy shift—there is no study. The Daily Report was first to report this astounding fact late Wednesday when it pressed OSD for a direct response. JCS vice chairman USMC Gen. James Cartwright just last week fueled this myth by testifying to Congress that there was a study and he would see that lawmakers received it. Sen. Carl Levin referred to Cartwright’s words on the “just completed and partnered with the Air Force” JCS study and declared on the Senate floor Wednesday during debate on the 2010 defense policy bill, “There is strong analytical underpinning for the decision of the Administration, including the Air Force,” to end F-22 production at 187 aircraft. However, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), in floor remarks July 16, countered the myth: “I am unaware of any comprehensive study that has concluded F-22 production should cease at 187 aircraft. … My staff has inquired about this study and was informed a recently completed comprehensive, analytic study does not exist. No doubt, the Joint Staff has prepared some justification for F-22 termination. Yet I believe it is only natural to question the objectivity of any assessment which justifies previously reached decisions. Unfortunately yesterday, Mr. President, my suspicions about this so-called analysis were proven correct when Geoffrey Morrell, the Pentagon’s Press Secretary, stated General Cartwright was referring to “not so much a study [as a] work product.” (That last is the response Morrell provided to the Daily Report.) Hatch urges Congress to place “great significance” on the professional advice recently provided by Air Combat Command boss Gen. John Corley, who said that, under the present national military strategy, a fleet of 187 Raptors represents “high risk.” (Levin’s remarks) (Hatch’s remarks)