House Legislation Orders F-22 Restart Study – Charles D’Alberto

Charles D'Alberto
Charles D’Alberto

WASHINGTON — Almost five years after Lockheed Martin shut down production of its F-22 stealth fighter jet, House legislation released Tuesday would direct the Air Force to look into restarting the assembly line.

At the direction of then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Lockheed terminated F-22 production at its Marietta, Georgia, and Fort Worth, Texas, facilities after producing just 187 aircraft — far short of the original requirement for 749 jets. But in light of the growing perception that the US military is losing its technological edge to adversaries like Russia and China, Congress has expressed keen interest throughout this year’s budget season in restarting the line. The F-22 has also drawn attention recently from several high-profile deployments to Europe and the Middle East.

However, Air Force officials have consistently dubbed reviving the Raptor line as a nonstarter, citing the enormous cost of the project. A 2010 RAND study commissioned by the Air Force placed the cost to buy just 75 more F-22s at $17 billion in 2008 dollars.

Posted By Charles D'Alberto

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