(Sputnik) – The US Air Force recommended against relaunching its expensive F-22 Raptor fighter jet program in a classified report given to Congress, Congressional staff said Tuesday.
The House Armed Services Air and Land Forces subcommittee ordered the report last April to determine the costs and feasibility of reopening Lockheed Martin’s F-22 production line. The order came eight years after the Raptor line was originally terminated, once 187 aircraft were produced.
In the recently submitted report, the Air Force reportedly recommended against producing the aircraft again as it would be too expensive, even without taking into consideration the cost of hiring workers or training and equipping additional pilots.
It would take approximately $50 billion to procure 194 additional F-22s, at an estimated cost of $206 million to $216 million per aircraft. The total includes an estimated $7 to $10 billion for non-recurring start-up costs and $40.4 billion for aircraft procurement costs, according to reports by Military.com and the Washington Examiner.
After delivering the report to the Congressional Defense Committees on June 9, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson made it clear the USAF has no intention to produce more F-22s.
“The Air Force has no plans restart the F-22 production line; it wouldn’t make economic or operational sense to do so,” Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Emily Grabowski said in a statement.
According to the reports, the service has instead recommended applying resources to the “capability development plans outlined in the Air Superiority 2030 Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team Flight.”
The 5th generation stealth air-superiority fighter has quickly earned a reputation as one of the most advanced fighters in the world for its superior speed, maneuverability and combat capabilities.
This report prepared by Sputnik.