Today brought the death knell of the fanciest fighter jet ever known to man as the F-22 Raptor, the most high profile casualty of military budget cuts announced today by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, cutting the project in favor of devoting more funds to the arguably more versatile but infinitely more thrifty F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

With thousands of jobs throughout the US attached to it, the (admittedly pretty sweet) F-22, just one of which costs upwards of $140 million to produce, became the predictable poster boy for military spending cuts.

In addition to nixing production of the Raptor after a mere 187 units have been produced, the proposed military budget slashes funding for the the Army’s Future Combat Systems program, which was working to design tanks and personnel carriers that promised to operate more efficiently on a 21st century battlefield. The multi-purpose family of vehicles just kept getting bigger, more complicated and further overdue as the years wore on, causing Gats and his associates to finally determine that the program was unfeasible and abandon work on the family of armor plated war machines.

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