Axing Raptor Jobs? Maybe, Maybe Not

February 23, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Remember last month, when a Website called Preserve Raptor Jobs began warning that 95,000 jobs would get cut if the Pentagon scrapped the problematic Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter plane? Via Rob Farley, milblogger David Axe points out that even if the very unlikely cuts do come to pass, they probably don’t lead to those job losses:

…that 95,000 number counts indirect employment at firms for whom the F-22 program is just one of many clients. And it also counts Lockheed assembly workers who are in high demand for other aviation projects. In fact, ending Raptor production today might not result in a single unemployed aerospace worker. …

A year ago the industry was worried about huge labor shortages. Shutting down the Raptor line would see thousands of workers snapped up for active production lines churning out F-16s, F-35s, C-130s and modernized C-5s for Lockheed, not to mention the prospect that industry rivals Boeing and Northrop might lure Lockheed workers for their own active production lines for the F-15, F/A-18 and others.

David doesn’t necessarily think the F-22 should face program cuts — “There are good reason to keep buying F-22s,” he writes — just that the stimulus argument against the cuts is dubious.