Retired Gen. Richard Hawley, former commander of Air Combat Command, commented at the CSBA forum that he still believes the Air Force can cut back its fighter force by a third because new fighters are at least 10 times more effective and capable than their predecessors. Hawley maintains that does not mean he advocates fewer F/A-22 Raptors. He urges just the opposite. He says of the Pentagon-imposed buy of only 180 Raptors, “We need more F-22s, not less.” Hawley asserts that the Pentagon could have gone with a somewhat smaller production rate, to provide more procurement flexibility in case of a surprise. “We get surprised all too often,” he said.
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.