America needs more F-22 Raptor stealth fighters
The F-22 Raptor, America\'s new air superiority fighter, is an amazing aircraft. With its stealth, long-range speed, agility, and advanced technology, it\'s difficult for enemies to challenge this fighter in the air. Unfortunately, the F-22 faces its most dangerous opposition at home. The Air Force maintains that it needs 381 of these machines to provide for America\'s defense. But Congress and the Pentagon have only approved funding for 183 Raptors. This is less than half of the number of planes considered necessary by the Air Force. A senior Air Force official has called this number a \"nonstarter\" and asserted that the military would be \"flying the wings off\" such a small number of high-demand fighters. A study by Lockheed estimated that 250 F-22s would be needed in a major conflict. An independent study by Whitney, Bradley & Brown also recommended that the Pentagon purchase about 40 to 80 additional Raptors. The Air Force is currently buying its ration of F-22s slowly, trying to keep the assembly line open longer in hopes that funding for additional fighters may be approved. Critics have attacked the cost of the F-22 program, but much of that cost involves money already spent during development, and cuts to the number of planes produced has driven up per-unit costs, especially when the development expenses are included and divided among the planes. Considering the actual cost of production, the advanced capabilities, and the replacement of older planes, the F-22 is an affordable and cost effective aircraft. It\'s also something America can\'t afford to be without. The U.S. needs enough F-22 fighters to get the job done. Decisive control of the air is mandatory to win wars and protect our nation. We the undersigned call upon Congress and the Department of Defense to approve the purchase of 381 F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft.