Procurement: F-22 Enters Sort-Of-Mass Production

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October 1, 2005: Without much fanfare, the new American F-22 fighter has entered production. Hardly "mass production," as only two a month are being produced for U.S. Air Force fighter squadrons. Moreover, the U.S. Air Force does not want to offer the F-22 to foreign customers. This is probably wise, as the market for $400 million (each) fighters is not very large to begin with. The high cost of this very capable aircraft has led to money problems for other air force projects. For example, there is a big demand for more air transports, but the air force does not want to divert F-22 money towards building more C-17s (which are mostly needed by the army and marines). Even the new F-35 is likely to see its production numbers reduced, in order to make more money available for the F-22. Despite all this enthusiasm (among the senior air force leadership) for the F-22, it's likely that no more than 200 will be built.

 


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