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An F-22 fighter jet with its weapons bay open flies over Minnesota on June 27, 2010.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the Air Force on Tuesday to investigate safety problems with the F-22 fighter jet and restrict missions to regions where pilots can quickly land if they experience oxygen problems. Read more»

U.S. Sen. John McCain released this statement Thursday regarding concerns about the safety of flying the F-22A Raptor. Read more» 1

An F-22 at an air show.

The pricey F-22 Raptor jet has just gotten back up in the air, but the safety problem that grounded it doesn’t seem to be resolved. The Air Force’s Air Combat Command confirmed that some pilots — they would specify only “a very small” number — have requested not to fly the F-22. Read more»

An F-22 at Andrews Air Force Base in 2009.

The most expensive fighter jet ever built, the U.S.’s F-22, has not only sat on the sidelines in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya—the entire fleet has been grounded indefinitely since early May due to a problem that’s caused some mysterious symptoms for pilots. Read more»

Last year’s battle over building additional F-22 Raptor fighter jets illustrated the parochial political interests of individual members of Congress when it comes to defense programs.

The battle lines for the most contentious defense budget process in decades are already being drawn. The first shots have been fired, with various deficit commissions issuing proposals for significant cuts in spending. Watch for parochial political interests and partisan preferences to play their part. Read more»