Senate Votes in Favor of Joint Strike Fighter Over F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor will cease its production run at 187 units, with funding shifted to the multirole F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). While the Raptor is a more sophisticated air superiority fighter, the less expensive JSF is intended to replace both F-16s and A-10 attack jets. The F-35 would also be available to Navy and Marine squadrons as well as the Air Force. The 58-40 vote, supported by Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, is nevertheless seen as a political victory for President Obama, McCain's opponent in last year's election. Critics of the vote suggest that the need exists for between 250 and 380 Raptors. There is currently funding available to build about 30 F-35s.