F-22s Gobble Up More Billions
The U.S. Air Force is upgrading its F-22 fighters, at a cost of $39 million each. This is just the latest of several upgrades for the F-22, which entered service six years ago. Upgrading combat aircraft is common, and necessary. But the F-22 upgrades have been more expensive than previous aircraft. The F-22 is also more expensive to maintain. That costs $44,000 per flight hour, compared to $30,000 per hour for the older F-15 that the F-22 is replacing.
I wanted to bump this one up to the top because yesterday, the KIA Claire and I have been using since the Xterra ate its engine (and Tony Nissan refused to honor the engine warranty) decided to quit working. It is probably just a loose wire because it occasionally will still start. The roadside service plan we pay AT&T for was refused, because we have three phones on our account, and we have to call on just one of them to get the roadside service, the one we did NOT have with us; a small detail the sales person at the AT&T store neglected to tell us when we signed up. The fact is that as a nation, we incentivize failure. Companies that make products that fail quickly and must be replaced make more profit than companies trying to make quality products that last and are reliable. The lords of Wall Street approve because these constant purchases of replacements provide more wealth, and the government approves because this increased economic activity, while rather pointless (not to mention wasteful of natural resources) increases tax revenues. This is why light bulb makers are fined for making light bulbs that last more than 1000 hours!
So here is the problem. The United States is preparing to escalate this world war, using weapons systems from the same manufacturers that grew rich making light bulbs that burn out quickly and cars and computers designed to fail as soon as they are paid for. The F-22 mentioned in this article is in need of "upgrades" in part because the Oxygen system has never worked, and pilots cannot breath properly at high altitude and high-G maneuvers. The sister plane, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, suffers electronics problems when it gets rained on! As documented in the book and the movie "The Pentagon Wars", modern military procurement is a hugely profitable scam that yields few actual workable weapons. Thus, for all the money poured into defense contractors, the actual ability of this nation to wage, let alone win, a new world war is seriously in doubt.
In its quest for higher profits and greater tax revenues, the military-industrial complex may have already lost the war!