The USAF says it’s ready to create a version of the F-22 that could be exported.
It was the second time in less than a week the question of foreign sales came up at a Senate hearing. Five days earlier, at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, asked the Air Force’s top two leaders — Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Secretary Michael Donley — what it would take to sell the stealth fighter abroad. After the hearing, Inouye said Japanese officials had asked him about the possibility of creating an F-22 export version. Australia also has expressed interest in buying the F-22.
The last US F-22 is scheduled to be built in 2011. No doubt the Air Force thinks that keeping the lines running for export planes will keep the door open for additional USAF purchases down the road.