Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called the F-22 a perfect illustration of the United States’ ill-advise defense spending.
“We must change the way we think and the way we plan — and fundamentally reform — the way the Pentagon does business and buys weapons,” Gates told the Los Angeles Times.
The estimated $65 billion that funded the research, development, and production of the F-22, which was originally designed to respond to potential Soviet threats, was spent on building an expensive weapon with limited capabilities.
President Barack Obama wrote to congressional leaders stating that he would veto any defense bill if it included any funding for F- 22 production. The F-22 has been flown by the military since 2005, however, it has never been used in a combat operation.
ABC reported that Gates said the job done by the F-22 “is better done at much less cost by three Navy SEALs.” Gates added that the arguments were “far-fetched” and the funding necessary led to the sacrifice of “thousands of uniformed Air Force positions… to help pay for it.”