Feast your eyes on this chart released two months ago by the Congressional Budget Office, which came attached with an alarming note on the blog of CBO director Douglas Elmendorf.
“The Air Force has been spending nearly as much annually to purchase relatively small numbers of F-22 fighter jets and Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) as it did to purchase much larger numbers of F-15s and F-16s during the 1980s,” Elmendorf wrote.
The USAF’s purchasing power is declining dramatically over a 30-year period, according to CBO. Adjusted for inflation, the same amount of money — roughly $6.8 billion in today’s dollars — that was good for 220 jets in 1986 is worth only 80 jets in 2016. In the computer industry, technology becomes cheaper even as the products become more sophisticated. The chart above is another vivid example of how that is not happening in the aerospace and defense industry.
Fighter spending gone bezerk?