The Air Force's costly and controversial new F-22 Raptor made its combat debut during bombing runs over Syria in 2014, impressing defense experts with the first glimpse of its lethal firepower. Here are 11 stunning images of the stealth fighter jet in action.
Reviving production of the U.S. military’s pricey F-22 Raptor jet may not be so far-fetched after all, Bloomberg News reports.
Although canceled over cost a few years ago, the stealth fighter still has its supporters and now a House subcommittee has asked Air Force to investigate what it would cost to begin building the aircraft again, Bloomberg reported this week.
A reboot could mean adding 194 new F-22 jets, more than doubling the number now in service at a time when Russia and China are increasing production of their own advanced fighters.
In 2014 the F-22 was used in combat operations against ISIS militants in Syria.
In August, aerospace consultant Teal Group called canceling the F-22 in 2009 “an unexpected way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory,” Bloomberg reported.
Still there’s a reason why the plane, praised for its ability in the sky, got the axe.
The F-22 ending up costing about $140 million a plane. and that's not counting the billions of dollars spent in development, Bloomberg reported while also pointing out that the aircraft's per-hour cost to fly, at $44,000, is higher than that of most of the Pentagon’s air fleet.
Another hurdle is the impact reviving the F-22 could have on military’s newest fighter, the F-35, which Bloomberg reported has an average cost per plane of $106 million and a lower per-hour cost to fly than the F-22.
The F-35 has grown into the U.S. military’s most expensive weapons program in history with a projected final cost of $379 billion for a planned fleet of 2,443, according to Bloomberg.
Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-22, as well as the F-35, is going along with the F-22 review, Bloomberg reported.
The firm is giving the Air Force “any information and data” needed, a spokesman said.
An Air Force spokeswoman told Bloomberg that the future of the F-22 review, if any, would become clearer once Congress passes an overall defense budget.