He Didn’t Say No

He Didn’t Say No: Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh didn’t shut the door on the possibility of restarting the F-22 production line, when asked about it Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference outside Washington, D.C. “I would never draw a line in the sand and say I would never consider buying the most capable aircraft in the world for the United States Air Force,” said Welsh, when asked for comment in the context of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent statement on the F-22. Romney said earlier this month he would add F-22s to the Air Force’s inventory if he became Commander in Chief. Welsh said the current force of some 180 F-22s is not enough. Quantity has a quality of its own, Welsh noted. Beyond that, “I think there’s s lot of ‘it depends’ on this one,” he explained. Welsh added, “I don’t know what the cost of restarting the line is; it would probably be significant.” Further, “I don’t know how many numbers we are talking about. I don’t know how [the F-22] is prioritized with other things that we now have in our program that we would have to displace,” said Welsh.