House Panel Calls For F-22 Restart Study

The House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel’s version of the Fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill calls on the Air Force to assess the cost of resuming F-22 production. The mark language, released Tuesday, directs the Secretary of the Air Force to study the cost of procuring another 194 F-22s to meet the 381 aircraft the Air Force originally said it required and report the findings to the congressional defense committees no later than Jan. 1, 2017. The subcommittee said the proposal is warranted due to “growing threats to [US] air superiority as a result of adversaries closing the technology gap and increasing demand from allies and partners for high-performance, multi-role aircraft to meet evolving and worsening global security threats…” When then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates terminated the fighter program at 187 aircraft in 2009, a RAND study found it would cost upward of $19 billion to shut the production line down and then restart it and produce another 75 jets. The panel is slated to begin markups April 20, and the full committee markup is scheduled for April 27. (See also The Last Raptor from the February 2012 issue of Air Force Magazine.)