F-35 Means More Jobs Compared to F-22

13.09.09

Categorie: Air, David Axe, Politics |

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by DAVID AXE

Daniel Strauss at Campus Progress interviewed me for his after-action review of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ F-22 cancellation. After concluding that support for the Lockheed-made F-22 Raptor fighter was mostly motivated by jobs and , Strauss quoted me to underscore his point that shifting to Lockheed’s cheaper F-35 from the F-22 won’t mean lost employment:

Another reason military budget hawks won on the F-22 is because it can be replaced by the F-35, a similar, single engine aircraft that’s more up-to-date and cheaper, but slower and able to carry a wider array of weapons. This means that the jobs for the F-22 can be replaced by the development of the F-35 as well. David Axe, a defense journalist who writes for Wired‘s Danger Room blog, says that in addition to the fact that the F-35 is more fitting for what the U.S. military needs today, those same manufacturers that helped build the F-22s can switch over to building the F-35. “Here’s the thing with aerospace workers: they don’t just build one airplane,” Axe explains. “It’s like a car factory — they build the same trucks in the one factory but they build different models of the same truck.”

Okay, so that sounds a little confusing. Allow me to clarify. There are broad similarities between building an F-22 and an F-35 — and between building fighters and other types of combat planes, as well. Ending the F-22 does not mean firing aerospace workers, as the ramp-up in F-35 production will more than compensate. Today the F-22 sustains 25,000 “direct” jobs, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In its final year, 2011, the Raptor will employ 13,000. This year, the F-35 provides 38,000 direct jobs. In 2011, that number will climb to 82,000. The transition from F-22 to F-35 will actually mean an extra 32,000 jobs two years from now.

If more F-22s meant fewer F-35s — as Gates seemed to believe it did, given fiscal constraints — then buying more F-22s probably would have cost us jobs.

(Photo: Air Force)

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2 Responses to “F-35 Means More Jobs Compared to F-22”

  1. Steve M. says:

    A point worth mentioning: the HASC’s initial proposal called for redirecting money from other programs to pay for the new F-22s, so the job losses caused by actually buying the planes would have been very real and immediate.

  2. 中山秀征 司会 …

    中山秀征が日テレで司会をするそうですね。私この人があまり好きでないんですけどいろんな局で司会等の仕事してますよね。狙ってるのは堺正章か関口宏の路線なので…

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