WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following comments after the U.S. Senate voted 58 to 40 to remove $1.75 billion from the Defense Authorization bill for F-22s. Air Force officials have repeatedly stated that no less than 243 F-22s would be sufficient with a moderate level of risk. Accordingly, Inhofe has continued to express serious concerns with halting the production of the F-22s ever since Defense Secretary Robert Gates first announced his intentions to do so earlier this year.
"The F-22 is the only fifth generation fighter we have, and we need a fleet of them to ensure that the U.S. Air Force can maintain air superiority in future conflicts," Inhofe said. "Only the F-22 with its advanced stealth technology, weaponry and supersonic speeds can successfully penetrate denied airspace, hunt and destroy strategic ground targets during the day and night, collect and provide critical battle-space intelligence and awareness, and maintain superiority in the air.”
“I am committed to this country’s national security and therefore, I will continue fighting to fund the F-22 fleet regardless of today’s vote. By completing the production of the F-22s, the United States will once again have the world's most capable tactical fighter aircraft.”