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Riccioni and POGO strike again.......

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  • Riccioni and POGO strike again.......

    (Source: Project On Government Oversight (POGO); issued March 11, 2005)

    In concert with the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), Col. Everest Riccioni (USAF ret.), a pioneer in combat fighter design, has published his critical analysis of the Air Force's F/A-22 Raptor fighter jet program.

    Riccioni, who pioneered supersonic cruise technology and the F-16 Lightweight Fighter Program, says the decades-old F/A-22 Raptor program is broken and too expensive to fix. From his unique vantage point, Riccioni traces the history of the escalating cost projections and ever-changing justifications for the Raptor program. It is obvious that the official data have little basis in reality, and vary greatly with time. Unabashedly, the previous official cost quotes are immediately forgotten, according to Riccioni.

    The F/A-22 program currently costs $72 billion. The unit cost per plane has rocketed from $35 million to $257 million. With that, the number of planes the Air Force can afford to buy has dropped significantly. If the President's proposed FY2006 Defense budget is approved, the program would be cut back to approximately $61 billion, but the Air Force would only be able to acquire 180 aircraft. This would bring the cost to over $330 million per aircraft. Moreover, such a small fleet of fighter jets would have little to no impact in a real combat situation.

    Riccioni also argues:

    --The F/A-22 has no role that can't be filled by today's fleet of U.S. fighter aircraft. Al Qaeda doesn't train, enlist, or use fighter pilots, Riccioni writes. Terrorists do not employ fighter forces. There is no need for new air superiority fighters.

    --The F-22 was designed and conceived during the Cold War to penetrate deep into Russia, achieving air superiority, to break up the expected large formations of Warsaw Pact bombers that were to enter and attack Europe. Now those threats no longer exist.

    --The reduced numbers of F/A-22 aircraft will adversely affect the Air Force mission. Most important, 175-250 fighters do not allow for multiple, simultaneous missions like the thousands in our F-15, F-16, and F-18 fleets can perform.The solution: Upgrade the current F-16 and F-15 fleet with modern avionics systems like radar technology and situational awareness systems. By cutting the Raptor program, the Department of Defense would free up approximately $5 billion annually, money that could be spent on other, truly critical defense needs like supplying combat forces in Iraq and America's continuing Special Operations missions against terrorist networks throughout the world.

    Danielle Brian, POGO's executive director, praised Riccioni's work. "The ever-eloquent Riccioni raises important questions in this report that the Air Force should not be allowed to ignore."

    POGO investigates, exposes, and seeks to remedy systemic abuses of power, mismanagement, and subservience by the federal government to powerful special interests. Founded in 1981, POGO is a politically-independent, nonprofit watchdog that strives to promote a government that is accountable to the citizenry.
    "They want to test our feelings.They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and their newspapers."


  • #2
    blah, blah, blah.