Long story here, but worth reading. We have a habit in this country of building really superneat high tech stuff that doesn't work perfectly at first and then getting our panties in a wad about it. Then we work out the kinks and the stuff works fine.
I hope that's the case here....though I'm not sure it is. The F-22 was conceived of in the waning days of the Cold War, and it has taken that long for us to field it. I'm just not sure there is a strategic case for it anymore, certainly not in the numbers the USAF wants to buy. I'm all for building expensive, high tech stuff to advance our technology edge, but there's got to be a point where we bring some sanity to the process.
The comments of Clinton era DoD man John Hamre are devastating: "We knew that the F-22 was going to cost more than the Air Force thought it was going to cost and we budgeted the lower number, and I was there," Hamre told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April. "I'm not proud of it," Hamre added in a recent interview." And I think John Hamre's a good man.
UPDATE: Sorry, link now included.