Procurement: More F-22s

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November25, 2006: The U.S. Air Force has ordered another 24 F-22 fighters. That makes a total of 131 F-22s on order, with 83 already delivered. The 36 ton F-22 is believed to be the most capable fighter in use today. It is stealthy, and is also replacing the F-117 as a light stealth bomber. In that mode, it can carry two 1,000 pound smart bombs internally, or eight 250 SDB smart bombs. If it wants to compromise some of its stealth capability, it can carry eight tons of bombs under the wings. The F22 has state-of-the art radar and engines, and has proved very effective in training exercises. All this is very expensive, with each new F-22 costing about $150 million. Add in the large development cost, and per-aircraft cost (assuming about 300 are built), and the per plane cost gets as high as $400 million.

 


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