Beyond the Obey Amendment

Boeing vice president for military business development Chris Raymond said that getting past the Obey Amendment that bars sales of the F-22 overseas is simply the first of many items to consider in the potential export of the Raptor. “We have to address what do we need to change in the product?” he told reporters during a pre-Paris Air Show briefing June 10 in Arlington, Va. There are other thorny issues like the business case and potential work share arrangements on the fighter, he said. As a main subcontractor on the F-22, Raymond said Boeing does not speak for the program, which is headed by Lockheed Martin. (Boeing builds the aircraft’s wings, aft fuselage and supplies about 70 percent of its mission software.) An export version of the F-22 would have to have a reduced capability, and industry officials have said the expense of re-engineering the aircraft could be considerable. Japan has expressed an interest in procuring the F-22 (see above) and has attracted the sympathetic ear of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who is considering reexamining the export issue.