During a recent visit to Europe, new Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne gave an interesting response to a question from a reporter for Stars and Stripes. The question concerned production of the F-22 Raptor. The Pentagon recently capped production at only 183 fighters, a number that Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, said would be sufficient for only seven squadrons. Wynne, on the other hand, maintained that he was sure that the Air Force would be able to field seven squadrons “and perhaps even more.” As we reported, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, because a new administration might decide to keep on building toward the Air Force goal of 381 Raptors, even after production is supposed to stop in 2010. Wynne may have been blue-skying the situation. Or, he may know something we don’t know.
The Air Force has picked Northrop Grumman over L3Harris and Lockheed Martin to develop and build the Stand-in Attack Weapon, meant to swiftly destroy enemy air defense sites and other high-value targets.