A 2017 Pentagon report to Congress detailing production retail costs for Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor show that reviving the powerful stealth air superiority fighter would be prohibitively expensive. Moreover, it would take so long to reconstitute the production line that it would not be until the mid to late 2020s before the first “new” F-22s would have flown. By that time, the F-22 would be increasingly challenged by enemy—Russian and Chinese—capabilities.
“The timeline associated with pursuing F-22 production restart would see new F-22 deliveries starting in the mid-to-late 2020s,” the Air Force report to Congress reads. “While the F-22 continues to remain the premier air superiority solution against the current threat, new production deliveries would start at a point where the F-22′ s capabilities will begin to be challenged by the advancing threats in the 2030 and beyond timeframe.
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