None of these numbers are new; what’s new is just the enthusiasm for buying the plane with the highest numbers. Fielding a plane (the F-35A) whose support will cost a quarter more than the plane (the F-16C) it’s replacing, while the budget outlook is at best flat in real terms, is questionably affordable. What’s worse is going back to buy more of a plane (the F-22A) whose support will cost twice again as much.
At issue is more than potentially alarming restart costs; the F-22s are very expensive to operate, and the USAF knows so. Back in 2013, the service released figures from its Air Force Cost and Performance (AFCAP) system that accounted for costs per flight hour. All such numbers are strongly subject to accounting conventions, accountants’ interpretations, and simply the number of hours flown in any year. These were average, and not marginal, costs.
More at: http://bit.ly/New-F-22-Raptors