GOP control of House could revive the F-22 fight

The takeover of the U.S. House by Republicans could prompt a revival of the fight for additional funding for the Marietta-built F-22 stealth fighter, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey said Friday.


U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican from Marietta. AJC file

“This isn’t just for the sake of home-cooking, but also for the sake of the country,” Gingrey said in a telephone interview.

But Gingrey conceded that concerns over spending and the federal deficit could make the funding battle a difficult one. The planes have a price tag of $120 million each. “We would have to look at it with a very, very sharp pencil,” he said. “It would take some negotiating.”

Suggestions from the debt commission, made public this week, may hold some possibilities A three-year freeze on federal pay and a 10 percent reduction of the federal workforce “are things that really get me excited,” the Marietta congressman said.

Production of the F-22 ended with its omission from the 2009 defense bill. Critics called the plane a Cold War relic poorly suited for anti-insurgent battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Secretary of State Robert Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush administration, recommended the end to F-22 production, and President Barack Obama threatened to veto the defense bill if more funding for the stealth fighter were continued.

Originally, 381 F-22s were to be built. Production ended nearly 200 short. Gingrey said he and many military analysts think the planes are necessary to meet a scenario in which the United States faces two hot wars at the same time.

Gringrey says he has not consulted yet with Chambliss on the issue of reviving the F-22. Right now, Gingrey said, he and the rest of the Georgia delegation were focusing their efforts on getting Republican Austin Scott of Tifton, who beat Democrat Jim Marshall of Macon, a seat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Scott, as the only Georgia Republican on the committee, would become the point man for any discussion of the F-22, Gingrey said.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

43 comments Add your comment


November 12th, 2010
12:03 pm

Why doesn’t this article make any mention of the fact that the next-generation F-35 received MORE funding when the F-22 ceased production? The Joint Strike Fighter is still a Lockheed Martin product! For some insane reason, some people won’t let the F-22 go, even though it was our own military leaders who thought it performed poorly in recent battle-tested conditions.

Leave it to our Georgia politicians — and probably some misguided lobbyists — to think backwards AND inflate government spending.

Jane Jacobs

November 12th, 2010
12:20 pm

This is the perfect example of why the “new” GOP will fail to meet their promises, just like the old GOP did when they last governed. Everyone else’s project is “pork,” but MY Congressman’s request is for the good of the country.
They can’t have it both ways. If you oppose earmarks and special project funding, you can’t fight for your special project!!


November 12th, 2010
12:35 pm

What ever it takes National Defense is the most important thing that government does. Everything else is gravy. It is the main thing that the constitution say’s that the government should do. Gates is a guys that will say or do to keep his job. Do not trust the man.


November 12th, 2010
12:45 pm

The F-22 requires so much maintenance, it is a white elephant. Drop it, concentrate on the F-35.


November 12th, 2010
1:01 pm



November 12th, 2010
1:06 pm

We are no longer in the days of the Cold War. Such “pet” projects are a waste of money and are perfect defense “welfare” programs for the cutting block!!! We no longer have a need for air superiority fighters. Our enemies now (and in the future) are best fought with drones such as the Predator and the Reaper…definitely the cheaper option.


November 12th, 2010
1:09 pm

Wow, let’s see:
A three-year freeze on federal pay and a 10 percent reduction of the federal workforce “are things that really get me excited,” the Marietta congressman said.

The republicans took the house and are thinking like this? Increase unemployment, lower wages but pay for my special ear-mark. Wasn’t this the type of stuff that got us where we are now? If folks in America are supporting this, wow, talk about “special” interest.


November 12th, 2010
1:25 pm

Come-one Rs.Us Dems lost Congress because we didn’t do what the voters asked us to do. Don’t fall into the trap just 10 days after the election


November 12th, 2010
1:31 pm

I say we bring back the F-14 with Maverick and Goose. That plane was a bad mamajama.

Sky Net

November 12th, 2010
1:36 pm

When I go live on 12/12/12 all of you humans who have entrusted so much in computers will be mine. The wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress will leave Earth a defenseless target for my machines that ere determined to destroy the human race. Our lithium fusion missiles will enter the atmosphere unimpeded and the President, in his top-secret submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, will feel the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized the poor, stupid peaceniks.

Big Al Gravy

November 12th, 2010
1:37 pm

Hmm..maybe we should add an additional 500 F22’s just in case some martians come calling and create a 3rd “hot” war?..or what about the antichrist’s coming..lets add another 600 for him / her. what does it matter? As long as the politicians keep their jobs and health care, oh yeah, and the CEO’s keep their 30 million dollar bonuses, who cares about anyone else right ?

Billy Bob

November 12th, 2010
1:43 pm

We need to spend billions of dollars on more of them jet fighters so we can keep pouring money into defense contractor’s accounts….I mean…um…so we can fight those jet flying terrorist! If you don’t like it you can geeeit out! Yeeee haw!

Boca Baby

November 12th, 2010
1:48 pm

The F22 and the F35 are two completely different planes. The F22 is an air superiority or dominance jet fighter. The F35 is a multitask fighter but it cannot go up against the F22 and win. The F15 Eagle is the old generation configuration of the F22. You must have sufficient numbers of these type planes in order to achieve air superiority in two different major combat theaters. And air superiority is what enables ground superiority to take place. We must build the remaining 200 planes to accomplish this.


November 12th, 2010
1:51 pm

“We no longer have a need for air superiority fighters.”

This is laughable. I suppose we no longer need long-range bombers or light-attack fighters either? You must have been hoping for change two years ago…


November 12th, 2010
1:57 pm

All those who think Repubs will lower the deficit, raise your hand!


November 12th, 2010
2:04 pm

I say bring back the F4 Phantom, what a blessed plane with all that smoke and noise. We could put different skin on it so it will be stealth. Look the pentagon already said it doesn’t need the F22, Lockheed builds the F35, and the Marietta plant has work for those planes and the C130’s so let it die.


November 12th, 2010
2:06 pm

Gingrey is right: as we sit here twiddling our thumbs, Lenin and Stalin and the rest of the gang running the Soviet Union are plotting in the Kremlin for our downfall. We must step up production of Lockheed’s next-generation Sopwith Camel to stop the advance of the USSR.

Dominate The Empty Skies

November 12th, 2010
2:07 pm

I guess we need air superiority against those Talaban Sopwith Camels or El-Quida Cessinas?


November 12th, 2010
2:08 pm

Boca Baby U are talking to idiots that don’t know anything about aviation. I worked on the F15 and it was a great aircraft for its time. It needed to be replaced but the cost overrun of the F22 were too much. People forget the Airforce wanted initially over 700 aircraft. Liberals cry but when the Chinese develop stealth fighters, then they wont be crying anymore except what happen to our air superiority.


November 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

as long as the politicians keep their goverment jobs and goverment health care. thats where my social security money went so they could all keep jobs.

Dominate The Empty Skies

November 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

Boca Baby must work at Lockheed and has drunk the kool aid


November 12th, 2010
2:20 pm

I am a little surprised that all you libs on here are gripping about more F-22. All of them are built by good democrat union workers?

professional skeptic

November 12th, 2010
2:20 pm

A sharp pencil? Is that supposed to impress the accountants in your district?



November 12th, 2010
2:21 pm

Outraged Republican: The Obama trip is costing US taxpayers $200 trillion a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy defense industry lobbyist: They must be using F-22’s.

Last Man Standing

November 12th, 2010
2:30 pm


“We are no longer in the days of the Cold War. Such “pet” projects are a waste of money and are perfect defense “welfare” programs for the cutting block!!! We no longer have a need for air superiority fighters”

I would have to disagree as it appears that Russia is trying to revert to earlier times.

The need for air superiority is always there. I am not saying that the F-22 is the a good project. What is needed should be determined by the military and that is what we should try to get for them.

It is always best to negotiate from a position of strength rather than weakness. This is a fact apparently lost on our current president.

John Ballard

November 12th, 2010
2:31 pm

People need to realize that staying on the cutting edge with technology is expensive. The F-22 is not cheap but it is one of the most awesome machines ever built. Somewhere in the early 90’s we lost our ambition. Why is it that we can pay our neighbors mortgage when they bought a house they could not afford but we have to lose project like the Space Shuttle, Constellation, and the F-22? Going to the moon in the 1960’s would cost trillions in todays dollars but how many people would argue it was a waste? Projects like these are not cheap but they spin off countless advances in technology that all of society benefits from. It also provides jobs for thousands of highly skilled employees. We are also approaching a second Cold War with China and need technology like this to keep our edge. Anyone who thinks the Chinese are not spending billions on defense is crazy. They also are surpassing us in Math and Science. If you excel in those two areas, you can dominate everyone. They graduate more engineers than we do every year. I really don’t think people realize they are already a superpower and we are going to get left behind if we drop too many projects like F-22.

Dominate The Empty Skies

November 12th, 2010
2:43 pm

Warfare evolves ……. ground troops stood in rank massing fire until their tactics failed them. There isn’t much air to air combat, and pilot skill is more important than bleeding edge technology. Ask the Britich who went up against superior aircraft in the Faulklands with sub sonic Harriers and ruled the skies. Ask the flying Tigers, who went up against vastly superior Zeros and dominated them with tactics. Same with the Brits against the Me-109s.

The F-22 was built for a day when we feared Russian MIGS. Today, we fight an insurgant war. Our enemy has no airforce to speak of. Our choppers are brought down from the ground, not air to air. It has been that way since Vietnam. SAMS brought down more AC than MIGS.

Former Coastie

November 12th, 2010
2:53 pm

It’s funny that liberals accuse folks of “fighting the last war.” Not every opponent this country faces will be without an air force. Air dominance is a key part of any battle plan and it’s something the F-35 can’t do. The F-22 is designed for exactly that. Predators and other UAVs would be useless against the Chinese, who can not only shoot the things down easily (they’re slow and not as stealthy as one would think), but who can also jam the datalinks that connect them with their pilots.


November 12th, 2010
2:59 pm

You can blame the liberals all you want.

The fact of the matter is just about every single military leader wants the F-22 to stop production. The opposition cuts across the political divide. McCain, Gates, Mullen, Rumsfield, all favor moving on.


November 12th, 2010
3:11 pm

3 year freeze on federal salaries and 10% reduction in workforce. Yes. it is about time something was done on federal salaries. It has been amazing that they continue to get annual across the board raises when the federal deficit is growing and no one else can get a raise.

Light on Policy

November 12th, 2010
3:12 pm

@ DogGone Liberal

“Liberals cry but when the Chinese develop stealth fighters, then they wont be crying anymore except what happen to our air superiority.”

The “fear” play card is what will continue to drive the military-industrial complex and keep the ill-informed American voter casting votes for Repubs…that “when” won’t happen with China, especially in our generation. They quite naturally understand that defense spending above 10% of their GDP is absolutely absurd.

We will continue to single-handedly outpace the next 20-ranked industrialized nations combined in defense spending.


November 12th, 2010
3:27 pm

The next “wars” will be economic and cyberspace wars. To paraphrase Von Clauswitz, the way to win a war is to make the other side not want to fight anymore. When an enemy cripples our financial system, hacks into the power grids and cripples them, steals the identity of most of the population, and creates havoc in our computer infrastructures, When we can’t use our credit cards, surf the net or watch TV any more, we’ll roll over pretty quickly, and without firing a shot. The F22 is the last gasp of a bygone era and we don’t need to spend any more on it.

Jon Lester

November 12th, 2010
3:57 pm

There are only two world powers who can realistically challenge our air power at its current inventory, both of which would much rather continue to do business and enjoy good relations with us. Keeping it that way and not antagonizing either of them would be a far more responsible (and fiscally conservative) path to take.

[...] last year when Congress, with the full support of Sec. Gates, ended spending for it. But guess what at least one GOP lawmaker wants to see resurrected. Phil Gingrey wants the plane back, because it was built in his district, [...]


November 12th, 2010
8:46 pm


There are dozens of things the Constitution states the federal government should fund. Read it sometime.

The Centrist

November 13th, 2010
1:33 am

Phil Gingrey, like the rest of the Georgia Gang, is fighting to keep those jobs he says that government can not create, and reduce government spending by spending more on wasteful projects that he promises to eliminate.

[...] War. It “has not performed a single mission” in Iraq or Afghanistan, and comes with a $120 million price tag per plane. Coupled with the $8 billion it would cost the Pentagon to upgrade the 100 F-22s already [...]


November 13th, 2010
9:02 am

So, I guess all of the experts at the U.S. Dept. of Defense who have consistently stated we don’t need the F22 should have it forced down their throats at taxpayer expense just because certain members of the Georgia congressional delegation want to take care of their constituencies.


November 13th, 2010
10:34 am

Voodoo economics. That’s the name GHW Bush called the idea of cutting taxes and increasing military spending. And did Regan and both Bushes leave office with America having more debt than when they were elected? Of course. Voodoo doesn’t work when it comes to economics. Cut the F22 and get rid of these corporate welfare pimps like Lockeed and half of Cobb County.


November 13th, 2010
12:13 pm

What to do in 2011-2020: Get knowledge from data fusion and avionics of F-35 into F-22, restart production line with F-22 for 20-24 units. Cap F-35 production to 10-20 units per year until ending testing. Get 300-400 F-16C with AESA, IRST, CFT, possibly small increase in thrust. 100-150 F-15E, 200+ F/A-18E/F for the Navy and USMC. Kill the F-35B. Get rid of F-15Cs. Start research 6th gen fighter, NGB, new trainer, none of these would be in production before 2022 anyway. F-35 is overweight compromise striker, and there is not way USAF should invest all its money into one type, you need diversity.

the mehlman rings twice

November 14th, 2010
1:14 pm

Yall do know that Congressman Gingrey voted for the prescription drug benefit bill?


November 16th, 2010
3:22 pm

I love the fact that Obama just promised to give away 20 Joint Strike Fighters to the tune of 2.75 billion dollars to Israel if it agrees to impose a three-month freeze on settlement construction. Okay, let me get this straight.. we can afford to give away jets but we can’t afford to buy some of our own… yeah.. that’s Obamanomics….

The Centrist

November 17th, 2010
3:16 am

Reservist. Find another Knee Jerk to promote. “Israel has signed a CONTRACT with the United States to BUY 20 F-35 fighter jets for $2.75 billion, if it agrees to extend a freeze on settlements.” I bet Lockheed and Cobb County are happy about this type of Obamanomics, but are too ashamed to admit it.