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US House of Representatives considering resumption of F-22 production

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - United States
 
 
US House of Representatives considering resumption of F-22 production
 
The House seems to have second thoughts on the F-22 air superiority aircraft’s revival whose production was terminated in 2009. During that time, the US was deeply engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, with most of the financial resources allocated for that cause. However, with China and Russia closing the technological gap in air-defence systems and aerial platforms, the US and its allies are extremely worried.
     
US House of Representatives considering resumption of F 22 production 640 001A USAF F-22 Raptor fighter jet
     
The House Armed Services Committee publicized today the H.R. 4909 National Defence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee.

The committee stresses in the document that the 187 F-22s that were delivered until 2012, are “far from the original 749 initially planned and Air Combat Command’s stated requirement for 381 aircraft, and understands that there has been an interest by the Department of the Air Force, the DOD and the Congress in potentially restarting the production of F-22 aircraft.” Due to the opponents’ capabilities and the global security risks “the committee believes that such proposals are worthy of further exploration.”

Given the aforementioned, the committee mentions in the official document that it “directs the Secretary of the Air Force to conduct a comprehensive assessment and study of the costs associated with resuming production of F-22 aircraft and provide a report to the congressional defence committees, not later than January 1, 2017, on the findings of this assessment.”

The House Committee also asks from the Secretary of the Air Force to include in the research the following areas of consideration:

“1) Anticipated future air superiority capacity and capability requirements, based on anticipated near-term and mid-term threat projections, both air and ground; evolving F-22 missions and roles in anti-access/area-denial environments; F-15C retirement plans and service-life extension programs; estimated next- generation aircraft initial operating capability dates; and estimated end-of-service timelines for existing F-22As;

2) Estimated costs to restart F-22 production, including the estimated cost of reconstituting the F-22 production line, and the time required to achieve low-rate production; the estimated cost of procuring another 194 F-22 aircraft to meet the requirement for 381 aircraft; and the estimated cost of procuring sufficient F-22 aircraft to meet other requirements or inventory levels that the Secretary may deem necessary to support the National Security Strategy and address emerging threats;

3) Factors impacting F-22 restart costs, including the availability and suitability of existing F-22A production tooling; the estimated impact on unit and total costs of altering the total buy size and procuring larger and smaller quantities of aircraft; and opportunities for foreign export and partner nation involvement if section 8118 of the Defense Appropriations Act, 1998 (Public Law 105-56) prohibiting export of the F-22 were repealed;

4) Historical lessons from past aircraft production restarts; and

5) Any others matters that the Secretary deems relevant.

The official document can be accessed via the following link:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/20160420/104831/BILLS-114HR4909ih.pdf

 

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