– GOP president nominee Mitt Romney in an interview with a Virginia television station. Production of the Lockheed F-22 Raptor was halted by uber-dove Robert Gates when he was defense secretary. The final F-22 rolled off its Georgia assembly line in December.
Restarting production would nearly $1 billion, not to mention the cost of each additional plane (the original 188 cost $358 million each). The planes have flown combat missions in none of the three wars (Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya) since they have been operational, and their pilots have had troubling breathing because of a flawed oxygen system.
Romney made the comment at the rather modest Military Aviation Museum just south of Virginia Beach. So perhaps he was just channeling the good vibes he was getting from all the museum pieces. Thank God he wasn’t interviewed at the cavernous Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum outside Washington…he might have called for restarting production of everything from the space shuttle to the SR-71 Blackbird displayed there.