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F-22 back in Defense Bill


Jen Dimascio at Politico reports that the bad ass F-22 Raptor has been saved from early extinction.

The Pentagon’s budgetary war of attrition for fiscal 2010 moved to the House Armed Services Committee, where lawmakers approved a $550 billion defense bill early Wednesday that could keep Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor alive for two more years.

The answer to the prayers of the fighter-jet community came in a last-minute amendment to provide $368.8 million toward the purchase of 12 F-22s in fiscal year 2011, squeaking through the committee early in the morning on a 31-30 vote.

“It does send a message that we do want to keep the production line open,” said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who sponsored the bill. “And does give us the chance to fight again.”

This is good news for anyone who thinks owning the skies is a good thing. We may not have any real competition up there right now, but both the Russians and the Chinese are developing new birds and I don't think ignoring that would have been wise.