Which to Kill: Raptor or Lightning Deus?

f22raptor.jpgOkay, folks, something's gotta give, money-wise. As we dicussed in a recent post and podcast, the VH-71 is in the crosshairs for severe reductions if not outright cancellation. These are bad times to be a program 100 percent over budget and a couple of years behind schedule.

Moreover, these are bad times PERIOD. Now I understand that the JSF and F-22 are designed to meet separate Air Force requirements. The JSF meets the LOW requirement and replaces the F-16; the F-22 meets the HIGH requirement and replaces the F-15. But the fiscal situtation now and in the FYDP might not support both.

We had a similar situation back in the day when carrier aviation, due to budget concerns primarily, was forced to choose between the A-6 and the F-14. Long story short, the Intruder went away and the Navy enhanced the Tomcat's resident bombing capability. (The rest is OEF and OIF history, of course.)

JSF.jpg

So with Christian on the road for the next few days and me minding the store, I wanted to open up the discussion to you guys, the awesome and erudite in defense matters DT readers. What do you think? If the USAF decison-makers are made to choose one or the other, which should they pick?

Wikipedia (the source of all modern knowledge) "apples-to-apples" unit flyaway price comparison: F-22 - $137.5 million; JSF - $83 million. And I know the Raptor does things the JSF doesn't, but does that capability validate the additional cost considering the current (and projected) threat and budgetary situation?

The comments board is now open.

-- Ward

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