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  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
No more F-22 Raptors after final aircraft was delivered

Lockheed Martin has announced that it has delivered the final F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter to the United States Air Force (USAF). The final fighter is the 195th F-22 Raptor to be built. Lockheed held the ceremony for the final aircraft delivery with senior leaders from the aircraft manufacturer, USAF, local, state, and national elected officials.
“There is no longer any nation that wishes us ill or any adversary who wishes us harm that has any doubt that their actions will have consequences – that they will be held to account and that our response will be undeterred,” said Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martin’s chairman and CEO. “The very existence of this airplane – your airplane – has altered the strategic landscape forever.”
The aircraft will join the USAF 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. F-22 fighters are currently assigned to seven USAF bases around the world. Lockheed Martin notes that the F-22 is the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter.
The F-22 is a very impressive fighter capable of flying at supersonic speeds without afterburners (supercruise) and attacking both air and ground targets. The development and production of the F-22 fleet has cost over $74 billion according to the GAO. The F-22s in use right now require more than $11 billion and modernization work through 2017.
General Michael Hostage, the head of air combat command, recently said that a small number of pilots are actually refusing to fly the F-22. The refusal to fly has do with the fact that the Air Force and Lockheed Martin have so far been unable to determine the cause of the hypoxia-like symptoms some pilots experience while flying the aircraft.
The F-22 fleet was placed on stand down leaving pilots unable to fly for a number of months while the cause of the hypoxia-like symptoms were investigated. Ultimately, the fleet of Raptors was returned to the skies with no official determination on cause of some pilot issues.

Sources: Defense News, Lockheed Martin

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RE: F-22A
By adiposity on 5/3/2012 12:29:37 PM , Rating: 5
It seems like a bass-ackwards way of running a free market. It's like if Ford told me I'd have to pay $100,000 for a Ford Festiva because they didn't sell as many as they wanted last year.

I realize that's not exactly how military procurement contracts work, but... maybe it's how they SHOULD work. How many units they sell is their problem. Set a price, and that's what the US taxpayer (via the DoD) pays, no more.

That's ridiculous. You can't set a price for one plane and tell them you will buy 1000, then turn around and say, "well, we only want one at the price you promised us." How will they recoup their investment costs?

You may say, "well, that's their problem." It's not their problem if the government committed to buy a bunch of planes, and that's how they made the decision to do the R&D. That's why they structure it this way, or else they would never agree to do it at all.

It's not like they can just make up their losses by selling these planes to Iran. As a defense contractor, they have some limits on what they can do with their R&D.

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