The U.S. wants to decommission the F-22 Raptor to free up budget for a next-generation fighter that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars
The United States Air Force wants to withdraw from service the first fifth-generation fighter aircraft F-22 Raptor, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
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The F-22 Raptor has many problems. The aircraft has high maintenance requirements and a high cost per flight hour. Because of this, the Air Force is trying to keep the fighters out of the sky unnecessarily.
The US Air Force command wants to retire the F-22 Raptor to make room in the budget for a sixth-generation fighter, which is being developed under the NGAD (Next-Generation Air Dominance) project. It is expected to cost several hundred million dollars. But most likely we are talking about $300-400 million at the start of production, after which the price will fall. As a result, the fighter will be about 2-3 times more expensive than the F-35 Lightning II, which now in A-modification costs about $70-80 million.
The U.S. armed forces now have 185 F-22 Raptor aircrafts. But only 123 fighters are ready for combat operations. The rest of the aircrafts are physically unable to conduct air combat. This applies to training and reserve aircraft.
The U.S. wants to decommission 33 of the oldest combat-ready fighters in the Block 20 modification. This would not only get rid of operating costs, but also save $50 million that would be needed to upgrade these aircraft to more modern standards. The Air Force could then use the savings to develop the NGAD.
Source: Popular Mechanics
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