Waste Of The Week: $358M Fighter Jet Used To Shoot Down Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon 54_TND_chinese_ballooon

March 4, 2023 09:11 AM



The suspected Chinese spy balloon caught the attention of Americans across the nation and raised tensions between the U.S. and China. But many don't know the price tag of the fighter jet that shot down the balloon. 

The F-22 Raptor jet is worth a whopping $358 million, costing taxpayers millions of dollars to put the aircraft in the sky.

Founder and CEO of Open the Books Adam Andrzejewski joined The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat on Friday morning to discuss the story.

“This the first air-to-air kill for this fighter jet. That's pretty incredible because it entered service in 2005,” Andrzejewski said. “This F-22 Raptor jet was in development as early as 1986. The contractor on this is the giant defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, and in 2005 the Department of Defense purchased 187 of these F-22 Raptors costing $67 billion. This is the first time that it's had an air-to-air kill.”

The fighter jet now has four air-to-air kills, according to Andrzejewski. 

“It shut down three hobby balloons over the Yukon over Alaska in the week following over Lake Huron, as a matter of fact, the Northern Illinois bottle cap brigade actually had a $12 balloon that they feel was shot down by one of these F-22 Raptors. It's shooting a $440,000 Sidewinder missile. So on these four balloons, taxpayers spent about $2 million plus the cost to put that aircraft in the sky.”


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