F-22 Should Costs Should Be Out This Fall

Air Force officials expect to have the results of the “should cost” analysis of the F-22 improvement program this October, USAF spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy told the Daily Report. Service acquisition executive David Van Buren announced the review last June. It’s one of several should-cost reviews that the Defense Department is conducting on some of its major acquisition programs, such as the F-35 strike fighter and RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft, to gauge better what it is currently paying for these new weapons systems and their upgrades versus what it should actually be paying for them if there were less inefficiencies and greater optimization. The Air Force will have a fleet of 185 F-22s after its final F-22 enters the fleet later this year. Its F-22 modernization plans—at least through Fiscal 2012—have entailed building a fleet of 34 Block 20 aircraft for training, 63 Block 30 and 86 Block 35 combat-ready aircraft, and two test-coded aircraft. While the training aircraft will retain Increment 2 software, the plans have called for upgrading the combat-coded airplanes with Increment 3 software to enhance their air-to-air and precision ground-attack capabilities.