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House Legislation Orders F-22 Restart Study

Almost five years after Lockheed Martin shut down production of its F-22 stealth fighter jet, House legislation released Tuesday would direct the Air Force to look into restarting the assembly line. ( More...

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zennermd 5
Can someone explain to me why they shut it down in the first place? If I remember correctly it was a successful program with good results.
...I think that's your answer, lol.
ken young 3
Well, the conventional wisdom is that a Senator or House member with a whole lot of clout wanted the F-35 project funded to bring jobs to his/her State or District.
So something had to go. They picked the F-22. Which by the way I read is a superior aircraft in every sense of the word.
iflyfsx 0
There was the small issue of cost. Not that tax dollars matter much.
bbabis 8
So we could move onto a less effective more expensive F-35 program. Still the main goal was achieved. Pockets were lined.
mariofer 5
"in light of the growing perception that the US military is losing its technological edge to adversaries like Russia and China" Welcome to the conversation Mr. Congressmen. We are still defending our country with 30 year old + aircraft technology... which it may be a good thing given the status of the F-35 project.
iflyfsx 1
Defending from what? Who is going to invade? Canada? We have wars of aggression, not defense. This is not about "defense." We create enemies we didn't have before. The real wars we should worry about today are political and economic. We are losing those, and we can't win them by building fighters and aircraft carriers.
mariofer 3
hmmmmmm. So the military buildup that China and Russia is currently carrying out is nothing to worry about then. By the way, of the other wars you mention, the political, I don't know it has a solution as it seems every single american has a different opinion on what the solution is. We have become a country of individualists instead of Americans. On the economic war, we can only win it with our wallets. As long as the US is addicted to cheap priced goods, our economy will be at the mercy of foreign countries. You cannot produce cheap goods while paying $22.00/hr to produce them and a large portion of the population cannot afford goods made in the US because their salaries are so meager. So, is it the chicken or the egg?
ken young 2
Good..Because I read that F-35 is a real turkey
SmokedChops 2
In the past, once a program has finished, the tooling and jigs are destroyed. Were the F-22 jigs mothballed? The program was not without its wrinkles in development, but they have been at it for almost 25 years. The platform is a known quantity, with known strengths and weaknesses. Time lines would be the other consideration, how long to get production up to speed? It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I was visiting Lockheed Marietta in the spring of 2010 and saw a pair Raptors being flown out - very cool indeed! (near the end of the production run?)
Colin Seftel 1
From Wikipedia:
In 2010, USAF initiated a study to determine the costs of retaining F-22 tooling for a future Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). A RAND Corporation paper from this study estimated that restarting production and building an additional 75 F-22s would cost $17 billion, resulting in $227 million per aircraft or 54 million higher than the flyaway cost. Lockheed Martin stated that restarting the production line itself would cost about $200 million. Production tooling will be documented in illustrated electronic manuals stored at the Sierra Army Depot. Retained tooling will produce additional components; due to the limited production run there are no reserve aircraft, leading to considerable care during maintenance. Later attempts to retrieve this tooling found that the containers were empty
bbabis 4
Hummm.... The tooling disappeared and soon after the Chengdu J-20 showed up. Interesting...
SmokedChops 1
Thanks for the additional info!
Greg Zelna 1
Actually the development as I am aware of it having worked on the PW ATF engine development is 30 plus years (yes, already!) I worked at Pratt's Government Engine Business West Palm, 1985-1990, on what was then the PW5000/F119 ATFE development. They of course went on to win the engine contract, LM the airframe. I did a lot of work on the thrust vectoring nozzle for it. And our STOL/MTD nozzle was fitted to modified F-15's noted here :
The technology achieved pretty impressive results even in the F-15 airframe (I believe meeting many if not all of the mission goals for the NEW airframe- not listed below is/was supersonic cruise without the use of AB).:
"Prior to 1991, when McDonnell Douglas ended its program after accomplishing their flight objectives, the F-15 STOL/MTD plane achieved some impressive performance results:[6]"

demonstrated vectored takeoffs with rotation at speeds as low as 42 mph (68 km/h)
a 25-percent reduction in takeoff roll
landing on just 1,650 ft (500 m) of runway compared to 7,500 ft (2,300 m) for the standard F-15
thrust reversal in flight to produce rapid decelerations
controlled flight at angles of attack up to about 85 degrees
canuck44 2
At least me know the damn thing will fly unlike the F-35.
joel wiley 1
Point of clarification, we know the ones from the last production run flew.
As they say, past performance experience isn't proof of future performance. Lockheed(22) vs Lockheed(35), who prevails, who wins.
iflyfsx 1
They are still flying. And they still have ridiculous maintenance costs. And something like 40+ maintenance man-hours per flight hour. That's the kind of BS you can pull when you have an unlimited credit card you never have to pay off.
inoc 2
Ok so you lost the B-21 contract. We’ll compensate you by giving you 10-20 billion $ for that plane we said we didn’t need more of and cost too much – what’s it’s name? oh yeah F-22.
And we’d like to take this opportunity to thank your lobbyists for that $10,000 contribution to our reelection campaigns.
srobak 0
I think you are confusing the 22 with the 35... which has cost many times over what the 22 has, and still doesn't have a single hour of operational flight time.
Cecil Clark 2
Congress spends more money than a drunken diva in Las Vegas with a purse full of limitless credit cards. We can't afford to maintain and keep the airplanes we already have flying...and they want to build more?
Bart Booms 1
We should keep making the f-22 because, well, just look at the f-35, it's worse than the f-22
Anybody knows what makes the F22 so expensive? Stealth again?
zennermd 1
If I remember correctly, they had it nicely laid out somewhere. Where you develop and start production, there is a "cost down" as I will call it calculation. As you build more aircraft the price gets continuously cheaper per aircraft built. They stopped after producing X number of places which made the cost $Y and that is therefore the cost associated with each plane. This is of course simplifying things to an extent.
And they're still not learning the lesson arent they? The last fighter we had built's only problem was it was too expensive. Not to worry, we'll just build a new one which is even more expensive and that will work out fine
iflyfsx 0
Who are "they"? The only ones losing money here are us, the taxpayers. Everyone else is getting filthy rich.
Im south african but you good people have my sympathy my brothers in arms
iflyfsx 0
Simplifying to a great extent. The "mass production reduces unit cost" has always been true, but doesn't explain why the F-22 or the F-35 are so ridiculously more expensive than any other airplane, or the original estimates.

The goal is not to build airplanes. The goal is to make money.
zennermd 1
You are basically asking why a Ferrari doesn't cost the same as a Fiat 500.
iflyfsx 0
Neither the F-22 or the F-35 are Ferraris.


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