It’s been known for a long time that the F-22 jet fighter had serious problems. The military aircraft has been involved in a series of accidents, and the cost of its development and production has far exceeded what was promised. Its mission is also doubtful, having been designed in the 1980s, in order to take part in a massive air war against the Soviet Union.
The Washington Post has just published a new report on the F-22 that reveals new details about how troublesome the high-cost airplane has become.
First, there’s the admission by a Pentagon official that the military deliberately deceived Congress about how much the F-22 would cost. The military understated the cost knowing that the political difficulties in passing funding for the F-22 would increase if Congress knew the truth.
Then, there’s new information about the poor engineering and operational capacity of the F-22. It turns out that the jet fighter needs 34 hours of repair for every single hour that it’s in the air. It cannot even be flown for two hours without beginning to fall apart in the air, risking complete destruction of the plane in the middle of a mission.
Republicans love to complain about government waste. However, each and every Republican on the House Armed Services Committee voted in favor of piling yet more money on to pay for construction of F-22 jets. It seems that there’s a big gap between GOP talk of fiscal conservatism and the practice of the real thing.
The Democrats on the Committee don’t come out spotless, either. Six Democrats joined the Republicans, voting to insert additional money for the F-22 plane. They were:
There’s one more dark spot for the Democrats in this vote: The additional funding for the F-22 came after a very close vote: 31-30. It didn’t have to be that way. F-22 funding could have been deadlocked with a 31-31 vote – if only Representative Loretta Sanchez had bothered to show up. She didn’t. She is marked “absent” that day.