Why was the F-22 finally used?
According to reports, Syria has advanced Russian radar installations that would have picked up less-stealthy military aircraft.
The F-22 can also fly higher and drop guided bombs from a greater distance away from its target than other fighters. The WSJ says an F-22 can drop a 1,000-pound guided bomb from 15 miles away.
Each F-22 cost U.S. taxpayers about $377 million including production and development.
An older F-18 Super Hornet costs about $51 million per plane, while the newest fighter, the F-35, which will seemingly be shared with the world's air forces, costs about $135 million per unit, not counting development costs.
The most expensive plane? Probably the B-2 Spirit bomber. Twenty-one of the iconic, stealthy planes were built by Northrop Grumman at a unit cost of almost $800 million each. But, unlike the F-22, the B-2 has been used frequently since it became operational in the early 1990s.
Funding for the F-22 was killed by the U.S. Senate in 2009
after Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the air-superiority fighter was not well-suited for combat against enemies who didn't have modern planes (Iraq, Afghanistan).
Will the F-22 finally be worth what we paid for it? I have no idea. But I do know the next time a big military spending bill comes up, some politician is sure to remind us
the next Russian or Chinese warplane
requires us to spend even more.