Procurement: December 10, 2002


The Pentagon is investigating the latest cost overrun in the U.S. Air Force's F-22 warplane project. This over run is $690 million. The project is now expected to cost $69.7 billion and produce 339 aircraft (at a cost of $207 million each.) While the F-22 will probably be the most capable combat aircraft in the world, it was originally designed to defeat the next generation of Russian fighters. But the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 put a stop to development of that aircraft, and no one else has stepped up to play "can you match this" with the U.S. Air Force. But the F-22 project is so large, and has firms in so many Congressional districts producing components, that it has proved impossible to stop it. Meanwhile, the air force cries poverty (or demands still more money) when it comes to buying desperately needed transports (like the C-17) or upgrading current combat aircraft. 


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