- The flyaway cost for the last block of F-22s was $142M each.
- Because DoD terminated the program before 752 were delivered, the R&D costs were amortized over a smaller number of A/C. Much like the B-2
- There’s a lesson here: we have to buy aircraft – especially fighters – in quantity
- Government gets a better price – quantity discount and for multi-year procurement saves even more …
- Quality of the manufacturing process improves as one goes down the learning curve
- The last block of F-22s came off the production line without any defects … and on time and budget
- Nation gets the assets it needs to defend the US
daughters and sons fly modern equipment – not 50 year old planes that
- Part of
the F-22 R&D costs rolled into the F-35 program … so they were needed
in any event
- The F-22 has not flown in combat … despite requests from theater commanders for them
- The reason for this is simple – they were not needed
- The F-22 IOC’d (Initial Operational Capability) in 2005 – well after we had attained air superiority in Iraq and Afghanistan
is evidence that Sec Gates did not approve commander requests for the
aircraft so he could implement his cancellation order and not be
overturned by Congress
- The F-22 is needed for any combat zone where there are modern air defenses.
- This includes places such as PRC, Iran, RU, Taiwan
- The US considered creating a no-fly zone over the country of Georgia when the Russians attacked Georgia … and the only airplane that could have survived was the F-22 … due to the Russians deploying modern SAMs to their border
- If the US had used F-22s for Libya, they could have saved many billions of dollars of Tomahawks … as the aircraft could have roamed the battlefield with impunity and plinked key targets with JDAMs.
- Both the Russians and the Chinese are building 5th generation fighters
- The Russians have already agreed to sell theirs to India
- China has indicated it will sell theirs
may not fight either country … but we will fight their “stuff”
- Never in
the history of modern warfare has one side won in combat without air
superiority. It is like Oxygen – you need it and you won’t miss it
until you don’t have it.
- The Oxygen system is a problem [note the slick transition from the point above] … and the AF has put its brightest minds on fixing it … but they don’t yet know what the problem is
- The Air Force says it was not the cause of the (F-22) accident in Alaska …
- It is the same system that is on the Navy’s F-18
- The F-18 has had more than 20 incidents with the system … and doesn’t know why either
- One has to wonder why the public (and ABC) is not focusing on the safety of F-18s …
- The Navy joined the AF in trying to determine how to fix the system
- The AF has made significant changes to warn the pilots of problems – filters, warning lights, supplement O2, etc.
- But … these are just that … supplemental … and don’t fix the problem
- The AF hopes to know by late summer what the actual cause is
Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association