Pentagon Used $358M Jet to Shoot Down Balloon
While the country was infatuated with the saga of the Chinese spy balloon, few people know the price tag of the equipment used to pop the balloon: a whopping $358.3 million, according to Reason.
The balloon was shot down by the American F-22 Raptor fighter jet, a top of the line aircraft that has been hailed as an “exponential leap in warfighting capabilities.” It began development in 1986, and after decades of testing and refinement, officially entered service in the Air Force in 2005. The U.S. purchased 187 of these aircrafts from defense giant Lockheed Martin at a price tag of $67 billion, coming out to $358.3 million per plane.
Unfortunately for taxpayers, this pricey plane has seen little action since 2005, with the balloon being the aircraft’s first air-to-air kill. Some may say that the F-22 is primarily for air to ground attacks, but $358 million is a hefty price tag for a plane with limited capability.
Moreover, the Department of Defense was given a budget of $404 billion for 2023 and has trillions of dollars’ worth of the most advanced weaponry ever made at its disposal. The DoD thought a $358 million aircraft with no prior confirmed air-to-air kills was the best tool it had at its disposal?
Taxpayers should be wondering: now that the balloon threat has subsided, what is the F-22 going to be used for?
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This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.