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Tue, May 12, 2009

F22 Shutdown Will Not Be Cheap

The US Air Force reports that when the 147-million-dollar cost of shutting down the production line for the F-22 is spread over the cost of the last four aircraft to be delivered, those last four Raptors will end up costing 196-million dollars each, an increase of about a third over previous F-22s.

Reuters reports the Air Force hopes to reduce those end-of-production costs through negotiation. Lockheed Martin says those talks have not yet begun.
 
While it sounds like a startling increase in per-plane costs, those numbers are somewhat abstract. For years, critics of the F-22's cost have pointed out that if you consider development expenses, as would be done in many civilian development programs, the per-plane price tag is more like 350-million dollars.

Lockheed and Boeing have both produced the F-22. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a few weeks ago that production would not be extended past this year, despite The Air Force's claim it needs more Raptors, and lots of wailing from Congress. Lawmakers from 40 states have constituents with some role in building the F-22.

FMI: www.usaf.mil

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