Independent Study Says USAF Needs More Raptors

Remember the tactical fighter review Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England ordered last year to look for ways to streamline the fighter fleet? According to Reuters news service, the study finds that the Air Force should get up to 77 more F-22As than the 183 the Pentagon currently plans. No doubt England expected to see the independent review, which he kicked off last August, return a verdict saying the service’s have too many tactical aircraft, vindicating the decision to limit the buy of Raptors. However good this news is for the Air Force, the total number of F-22s—up to 260 per the new study—still falls short of the 381 that the service for at least two years claimed it needed to round out its expeditionary force.