Gormogon Operative Mark writes Confucius*, apropos Gen. McPeak’s op-ed (which Confucius mainly posted to bash the general’s apparent fecklessness as a high-level advisor, but with the general thrust of which he agrees):
Ask anyone who served in the Air Force while McPeak was CSAF whether he’s worth listening to. McPeak is a fighter jock through and through, and he’ll defend the F-22 whether Obama does or not. While he shook the Air Force from the Cold War mindset, he broke many things that were right (including the nuclear weapons forces). If McPeak said the sky was blue, I’d go to the window to check.
My own opinion on the F-22 procurement is that it was the wrong vehicle for the Air Force to emphasize. We need something closer to a bomber, with lots of payload, loiter time, and range. The F-22 brings little of this. But we needed a bomber more, and McPeak is one of a long list of reasons why we don’t have one. I almost wonder if the F-117 was put into retirement unnecessarily in order to make a better case for the F-22. The -117 was getting old, but not that old.
G.O. Mark’s points are well-made and -taken. Your Œc. Vol. tends to disagree on the F-22 on the grounds that if you’ve got that kind of advantage, keep it, and always keep your enemies chasing you, as well as the massive advantage air superiority gives you.
But Confucius does not disagree on the need for a new bomber, given that the B-2’s twenty years old and we’re still flying B-52s from the War of 1812. Plus, even if those BUFFs and boomerangs give us decades more of service, we could definitely use something smaller and faster, akin to the F-117, for quick-strike missions as well as the loiter-type operations like we could use in Afghanistan these days.
And it is possible the F-117 was cleared to make way for the F-22 the way the F-22 was cleared to make way for the F-35: political/procurement concerns over strategy. It was only, what, just shy of 15 years old? That’s weird, given we were still flying F-4s into the ’90s in various capacities. Maybe the airframes were unusually stressed given their oddball characteristics? We’ll find out at some point.
*For those who came in late, Confucius is the Gormogons’ Œcumenical Volgi.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.