Procurement: January 3, 2005


The U.S. Air Forces new F-22 fighter just got more expensive. In an effort to save $15 billion, Congress wants to cut production from 277 to 160. Currently, including the $40 billion development cost, the 277 buy would come to $258 million per aircraft. Cutting production to 160 would push per aircraft cost to about $370 million. The problem with the F-22 is not that it doesnt do what it was designed to do, its just that theres no one to do it to. The F-22 was designed at the end of the Cold War to deal with the next generation of Russian fighters. But the Soviet Union, and its huge defense industry, disappeared in the 1990s. There was no next generation of Russian fighters. Current American fighters, with improved electronics and missiles, are more than adequate to take care of any possible foe. The F-22 would, of course, do the job better and faster. But with a tight defense budget, and upgraded aircraft costing a tenth of a new F-22, the cuts are hard to argue against. 


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