USAF Chief Notes F-22s Are Needed, Defends Capabilities
Feb 17, 2009
U.S. Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, the chief of staff, says more stealthy F-22s are needed – though less than the 381 required by the service in recent years - yet he has stopped short of identifying how many more.
“We looked at this in a dispassionate and analytical way” and produced a number that “I feel is credible,” Schwartz said during a Defense Writers’ Group breakfast this morning in Washington. The top four-star USAF general further said it is a “sign of a healthy institution” when it is “willing to revisit its own beliefs.”
Schwartz said the F-22’s performance is “respectable,” especially when compared with the first-generation stealthy F-117 and the B-2 bomber. “These are not numbers to be scoffed at,” he says.
Schwartz was cool on the notion of developing an export version of the F-22. Japan has expressed interest in buying the system, but the so-called Obey Amendment, named after the top House appropriator who drafted the language years ago, prohibits foreign Raptor sales.