Last Raptor

Last F-22 Raptor Rolls Off Assembly Line

The final F-22 Raptor fighter jet rolled off the assembly line during a ceremony at the Lockheed Martin aircraft plant at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The U.S. military is turning to the less costly F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to complement its operational fleet of 187 Raptors, amid concerns in Washington that the $153 million F-22 is too costly and too high-tech for its own good.

187 is not enough.


      1. As far as defending the US from foreign attack, we have only one alien nation on our border, Mexico, whose entire air force fighter fleet consists of 10 F-5s. Canada, the 51st state has slightly over 100 F-18s. Not too much to be worry about.

        If they wanted to buy more F-22s they probably should have demonstrated that it is of use to our current and foreseeable operational needs, namely bombing nations that have little if any air defenses. I thought they were going to designate it the F/A-22 to show that it could do as such. But evidently the “A” got dropped and it is just an air-to-air platform now.

        I am sure it is a great plane, the pinnacle of fighter development. But the need and funds are not there to justify it.

        1. You don’t build an Air Force for what you need right now or what you think you’ll need tomorrow. That thinking leads to all sorts of emergencies.

          This is the backbone of our attempt to maintain air supremacy (and the peace of mind that you’re using to justify not “needing” more planes) for a long, long time.

          187 is not enough.

  1. the Lightening being “cheaper” remains to be seen. I’d like to see a CBO audit of the program with a range of production numbers to get a current unit price. I have read around anything from 90 million to 130 million for the JSF, and they are still ironing out bugs.

    Both planes are way too pricey, but I feel like the Raptor is it least a fairly known quanitity at this point (OBOG not withstanding).

  2. Yah, the F35 is LESS EXPENSIVE @ about $207 million EACH for the still being tested, not in production variant. Where else but the puzzle palace could $157 MILLION be MORE than $207 MILLION, not counting the still rising OVERRUNS!

  3. If the F-22 would have been ordered on the schedule and built in the numbers originally planned for, they would cost around $95 million a piece.

    Every year an order is delayed drives the cost up, at least by government accounting standards. And because of R&D amortization, every unit NOT ordered drives up the apparent cost of the units already built. It’s all funny money.

    I have no doubt congress will turn the F-35 into what looks like a $100 million plus plane before it is all said and done.

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