Friday, April 23, 2021

F-22 Cost Analysis

We now lament the termination of the F-22 program because the supposed low cost alternative, the F-35, has turned out not to be low cost and is many, many years behind schedule and is projected to cost trillions of dollars in sustainment.  Suddenly, that F-22 that was too expensive is looking a whole lot better especially in light of its vastly superior capabilities compared to the rather mundane combat capabilities of the F-35.


The F-22 program was prematurely terminated, in large part, because of its high costs.  Let’s review the F-22 program costs and see if we can get a better grasp of the cost issue.


To summarize the program, the F-22 was produced from 1996-2011with a total of 195 aircraft built (8 test plus 187 operational).  According to Wiki, the planned buy was 740 aircraft.(2)  The first production lot contract was awarded in Sep 2000. 


From Wikipedia, we see the original funding vision,


The USAF originally envisioned ordering 750 [F-22s] at a total program cost of $44.3 billion and procurement cost of $26.2 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1985 dollars. (2)


If realized, the procurement cost estimate of $26.2B for 750 aircraft would have put the procurement cost at $35M (FY85) per aircraft or $85M (FY2021) – the exact cost of the cheapest variant of the F-35, today!


Note, also, the envisioned relative proportion of development costs to production costs:


Development = $18.1B (41%)

Procurement = $26.2B  (59%)


One of the problems with modern aircraft (and ship!) procurement programs is that the development costs have a tendency (absolute certainty!) to balloon which takes an otherwise possibly acceptable program from reasonable to unreasonable.  We’ll circle back to this, momentarily.


Of course, the original funding vision failed to materialize.  Subsequent cost increases occurred and production quantities were reduced,


The 1990 Major Aircraft Review led by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney reduced this to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. By 1997, funding instability had further cut the total to 339, which was again reduced to 277 by 2003.  In 2004, the Department of Defense (DoD) further reduced this to 183 operational aircraft, despite the USAF's preference for 381.  A multi-year procurement plan was implemented in 2006 to save $15 billion, with total program cost projected to be $62 billion for 183 F-22s distributed to seven combat squadrons.  In 2008, Congress passed a defense spending bill that raised the total orders for production aircraft to 187. (2)




As production wound down in 2011, the total program cost is estimated to be about $67.3 billion, with $32.4 billion spent on Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) and $34.9 billion on procurement and military construction (MILCON) in then year dollars. The incremental cost for an additional F-22 was estimated at about $138 million in 2009.(2) [emphasis added]


Note the change in the relative costs of development to procurement from the original vision to the end of the program:


Development = $32.4B (48%)

Procurement = $34.9B (52%)


The development portion of the costs went from an anticipated 41% of the total program cost to nearly half.  Over the entire program, the production cost was $179M (FY2011) per aircraft ($209M per aircraft FY2021). 


More relevantly, the incremental cost in 2009 was $138M per aircraft.  This is more relevant because it captures the economy of scale that had been achieved near the end of the production run.  Compare this to the early F-35 production costs, at the same number of aircraft produced, which were running $150M - $200M+, depending on variant and whose report you choose to believe.  This tells us that at equivalent points in their production (around 150 aircraft produced), the F-22 and F-35 were in the same rough ballpark of production cost.  More importantly, this demonstrates that the F-22 would have continued to decrease in cost just as the F-35 has.  In other words, there was no reason to have terminated the F-22 program just based on production costs!


F-22 Production

F-35 production started at $170M+  per aircraft and has now dropped to $85M per aircraft, depending on variant.  Apply that same percentage drop to the F-22 price and you get a drop from $140M to $66M per aircraft.


Costs are interesting but, ultimately, unimportant, in a sense.  What matters is combat effectiveness.  In that regard, the F-22 is several times more combat-effective than the F-35 and, therefore, represents a much better value for the dollar.  It is this factor, combat value for the dollar that the decision makers failed to consider when they reduced and then terminated the F-22 program.  Even if the F-22 wound up costing twice the F-35, it delivers several times the combat capability and that makes it a bargain, in comparison.


Also, individual aircraft procurement cost, when amortized over the life of the aircraft, is insignificant.  For example, an F-22 costing $140M and having, say, a 30 year service life, is only $4.7M/yr. 


Let’s also bear in mind that the real cost of the F-35 is not the supposed $80M in the most recent production lot.  The real cost is the initial production cost plus the cost to retrofit capabilities that are missing from the aircraft and fixes for the various problems that the concurrency production scheme imposed.  So, that early aircraft that cost $150M, or even the latest $80M aircraft, will have additional costs imposed in order to bring them up to actual combat standards.  In fact, hundreds of F-35s have already been deemed either incapable of being brought up to standard or uneconomical to bring them up to standard.  The cost of the hundreds of concurrency orphans has to be added to the overall program cost to produce a lesser number of actual combat capable aircraft (actual usable number of aircraft = total aircraft produced – concurrency orphans).





The F-22 was expensive, without a doubt.  However, as we’ve seen, by looking only at the cost early in the production run, the costs were exaggerated and inappropriately skewed the termination decision.  In contrast, the same kind of excessive costs early in the F-35 program were accepted and the economy of scale price drops eventually resulted in a production cost half or less of the initial cost.  Had we let the F-22 production run continue, there is every reason to believe that we would have seen the same percentage decrease in cost.


The other overwhelming conclusion is that we terminated a program that was delivering superb combat value for the dollar and that’s always an unwise decision.  This is not to say that costs can be totally ignored but it clearly says that there is more to production decisions than just cost.  A better route for the F-22 program might have been to impose a production hiatus for a year or so and focus on the cost issues with the goal of resuming production with lower costs.


It is also worth bearing in mind that the F-22 was the first of its kind.  No, it wasn’t the first stealth aircraft but it was the first mass produced, front line stealth fighter and, as such, incorporated many new technologies and production techniques - advances that the F-35 design and production benefited from.  Again, had we taken a hiatus and worked out those firsts we could have resumed production with the production cost savings that the F-35 ultimately benefited from.


This points out the problem of running a military by business cases.  Business cases tend to focus on the short term cost and exclude consideration of long term costs and non-fiscal factors such as combat effectiveness.


Finally, had F-22 production continued, the proposed naval variant might have come to fruition and naval aviation would be immensely more capable today. 








(2)Wikipedia, “Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor”, retrieved 2-Apr-2021,


  1. If the F-22 had continued, there would be a F-22E, Strike Raptor. A naval variant of the F-22E would have been a good F-14 replacement. E models and later would have benefited from lower maintenance coatings. Think of the work that has gone into updating F-15s, going instead to F-22s. Think how capable an Israeli F-22i would be today.

  2. We should reconsider the advice of not using business cases. Before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, we should consider the use and the place for them. For many years I have felt that a large part of the requirements process should look at what a particular system adds to the cost of fielding a unit. Whether it is an aircraft, a squadron, an infantry battalion, or a carrier battle group. Although effectiveness is often impossible to quantify (think of German Mk ii & III tanks in France), the quantity that can be fielded at cost of X is very real. Hence the Navy's slow slide in the number of ships it has and whether they are combat rated or not.

    Business cases are valuable if used intelligently within a particular domain. I think the biggest issue is people transplant concepts with out understanding hot to tailor them for a new domain. Very few ideas can move unaltered from one domain (commercial business) to another (military acquisition). The trick is to find the people smart and experienced enough to now how to do this.

    People first, ideas second, technology last.

    1. "Although effectiveness is often impossible to quantify"

      WRONG, wrong, wrong! Combat effectiveness is easy to quantify but it requires that you start with a strategy and Concept of Operations (CONOPS). THAT will tell you what you need and, therefore, what to design and build. If you do that, you KNOW before you begin building that what you're building will be useful and effective. After that, it's just a matter of straightforward testing to verify that what you specified is achieved.

      You state that business cases are useful in their proper place. I state somewhat the same thing by saying that costs cannot be totally ignored. I hate the phrase (or practice) of business cases because they take on a life of their own and assume more importance than they ought to have. That's why I would ban formal business cases. Plus, as I pointed out in the post, business cases have, as their foundation and goal, short term profit. Military acquisition programs, in contrast, have no profit and ALL of their benefits are long term. Most of a business case is not really appropriate for a military acquisition analysis.

    2. Sorry you are WRONG, WRONG, and WRONG AGAIN! How many times have we tried to predict the strategy and CONOPS that will win the next war AND FAILED miserably?

      The Battleship Admirals were sure that there would be a major gun battle that would decide the Pacific campaign. The French thought they had the sure thing with the Maginot line, the US Army Air Force thought bombing would end the war quickly. The F-111 was going to revolutionize combat aviation. Just as the B-1 was going be unstoppable There are even more examples.

      CORRECTLY being able to determine combat effectiveness is difficult, takes vision, intuitiveness, and an ability to see how the enemy will respond. Guderian, John Boyd, Tukhachevsky, Mahan, and Patton had it. Not many other do.

      I am tired of dealing with the people that are certain they can see the future and commit our treasure and ultimately lives on their perfect combat effectiveness.

      Need I mention DDG-1000, LCS, or USS Ford? How about the F-35? The Navy doesn't even write a CONOPS before they start building a ship class, so I am not sure how you can state I am mistaken.

    3. Sorry but you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG (one more wrong than me - that's really wrong!). I described exactly how to predict combat effectiveness. What I didn't mention - didn't think it needed mentioning - was that stupidity and incompetence can certainly reach incorrect conclusions about combat effectiveness. Battleship admirals had all the evidence they needed to correctly predict the future of naval warfare but they incompetently refused to recognize it.

      The process, as I've described, exists to allow us to confidently predict combat effectiveness. Whether we choose to do so or whether we choose to cling to outmoded paradigms is up to us.

      Do not confuse strategy with combat effectiveness. For example, an incorrect strategy of bombing is not a reflection on the combat effectiveness of any given aircraft. It's just a misuse of the asset. The same would apply to the French strategy and so many other examples.

      I also note that you conveniently neglect to mention the outstanding examples of correctly predicting both strategy and individual combat effectiveness. For example, the US War Plan Orange correctly predicted the entire course and strategy of the Pacific war AND CORRECTLY PREDICTED THE ROLE OF THE CARRIER (as evidenced by the long series of Fleet Problems leading up to the war) thus demonstrating that the battleship admirals, while incorrectly predicting the future of naval warfare, held no great sway over Navy strategy and planning. The Navy had fully committed to the aircraft carrier PRIOR to WWII. Pearl Harbor merely cemented the new commitment out of necessity.

      I am tired of dealing with people who are incapable of seeing the future when the evidence is piled up all around them.

      I've never claimed that our Navy is an example of being able to predict the future. In fact, they're as far from that as possible. What I've stated is that the tools and evidence to predict the future of warfare are readily available as my many predictions on this blog about future warfare have demonstrated.

      "CORRECTLY being able to determine combat effectiveness is difficult, takes vision, intuitiveness, and an ability to see how the enemy will respond."

      Being able to predict combat effectiveness is NOT difficult. Yes, it does require vision, intuitiveness, and an ability to see how the enemy will respond, among other requirements but many people have those traits. What's difficult is getting those people into positions of leadership where they can impact developments. Almost by definition, those people will be rejected from leadership because their vision won't match the existing orthodoxy.

    4. Sadly business cases are sometimes used to rubber stamp a decision that has already been made.
      A business cases purpose is to highlight the best option out of more than 1 that will best meet the goals that have been set. Very often its just financial but if a particular outcome can not be solely justified financially, (the numbers themselves can be 'massaged' to an extent to deliver the goods), then what happens is that other intangible/non-monetary benefits or drawbacks are included to benefit the preferred choice or hinder the unwanted ones.
      In the end if the powers that be have already made up their mind (like cancelling the f22), the business case will 'justify' that decision. Seen it happen a few times over the course of my worklife.

  3. "Finally, had F-22 production continued, the proposed naval variant might have come to fruition and naval aviation would be immensely more capable today."

    Another possible variant that might be useful is an armed trainer version. One of the major costs of flying stealth aircraft is maintaining the stealth coatings. By making a variant without it, you allow lower cost training without wearing out your topend combat assets. It could be used to practice touch and goes, weapons employment and refueling.

    If you get any use out of them as actual fighters that would be good too. However I wouldn't field as anything but a trainer until it proved itself. As mentioned before purpose built machines almost always out perform. The proposed trainer would probably suffer slightly in performance compared compared to fighter designed without stealth.

  4. I dated a girl when I was in my 20s that ended up being a doctor. I look back on the F 22 with only slightly less wistful regret.

    1. LOL

      What's your F-35 then?? Your Wife ;)?

  5. "Finally, had F-22 production continued, the proposed naval variant might have come to fruition and naval aviation would be immensely more capable today."

    Navalizing a land-based aircraft is always a challenge. Naval aircraft usually have a heavier fusalage and landing gear to handle the stresses of taking off and landing on a carrier.

    But, Wiki lists her range at "590 nmi (679 mi, 1,093 km) clean subsonic." I assume that means internal weapons only. With a heavier structure and landing gear, that could reduce her range to 450 to 500 nmi. Which wouldn't be much better than the Super Hornet.

    Though, being stealthy it would have an advantage over the Super Hornet. But, probably be just as dependent on mid-air refueling as the Super Hornet.

    1. Did you think that statement was a proposal for the ultimate solution to every Naval aviation problem that exists today?

      Or … as any reasonable person would read it … did you think it meant that had the naval variant of the F-22 been produced beginning around 1990 when the variant was proposed and no Chinese/Pacific ultra long range requirement existed, that a subsequent population of naval F-22s in the air wings would have put us well ahead of where we are now?


    2. "With a heavier structure and landing gear, that could reduce her range to 450 to 500 nmi. Which wouldn't be much better than the Super Hornet."

      I have no technical expertise on which to base this skepticism, but a 25% reduction in range seems like a pretty aggressive estimate.
      The F-22 airframe is already strong enough to handle an extremely high g-load.

      Are there previous examples of aircraft that have been strengthened for carrier ops previously that could be compared to this?

    3. ". . . that a subsequent population of naval F-22s in the air wings would have put us well ahead of where we are now?"

      In your Missile Escort post, in response to a comment about a navalized variant of KF-21, the CNO wrote, "A good example of what navalizing a land based aircraft does to an aircraft is the F-15N Sea Eagle proposal which, when fully navalized would have added 10,000 lb and negated all its useful advantages."

      Why would a navalized version of the F-22 turn out differently?

    4. "Why would a navalized version of the F-22 turn out differently?"

      Well, for one thing, the F-22 is a full stealth aircraft and no amount of extra weight would negate that. Thus, we'd be well ahead of where we are now with F-18 Hornets.

      Also, the F-22 is an optimized A2A fighter and, again, no amount of weight would negate that. Thus, we'd be well ahead of where we are now with F-18 Hornets.

      As you know, the F-15N was being considered as a replacement for the F-14 and there wasn't that much performance difference between them. The Navy wanted to add the Phoenix missile/radar system to the F-15 and that pushed the weight beyond the point that the F-15 could outmatch the F-14 so the idea died. In contrast, the F-22 would have had nothing added beyond the usual navalization items and, most importantly, the F-22 was so far beyond that F-18 that no amount of degradation of performance would have brought the F-22 down to the F-18 level. An F-22 air wing would be immensely superior to today's F-18 air wing.

      I know you know all this so why are you commenting? Why don't you stop trying to nitpick and instead offer some insight on the larger issues such as cost versus combat-value or present dollars versus future dollars or economy of scale issues or the use of business cases to make military decisions? There are so many comment-worthy topics. Contribute something worthwhile!

    5. "could reduce her range to 450 to 500 nmi. Which wouldn't be much better than the Super Hornet."

      Even using your ridiculous, unfounded range numbers, that still would leave the F-22 with a 15%-28% increase in range over the F-18 Super Hornet which Wiki lists as having a combat range of 390nm. Given that aeronautical engineers fight to get a few percent increase in fuel efficiency and range, 15%-28% seems quite a bit better. Your idea of 'wouldn't be much better' leaves something to be desired in terms of realism and objectivity. You seem to be looking to argue for no good reason (and incorrectly) rather than address any of the myriad of comment-worth topics the post suggests.

      Contribute positive discussions, don't look for meaningless arguments.

    6. "Well, for one thing, the F-22 is a full stealth aircraft and no amount of extra weight would negate that."

      True. But, you're assuming there would be no external changes that would affect its stealth characteristics. Though the design wasn't finalized, there were concept artwork suggesting a navalized F-22 would have swing wings like like the F-14 in order to achieve lower landing speeds. Some articles suggested forward cannards.

      "Also, the F-22 is an optimized A2A fighter and, again, no amount of weight would negate that."

      Of course, extra weight is going to affect its A2A abilities. Worst case, it could limit what a navalized F-22 could carry internally.

      A navalized F-22 was also seen as a replacement for F-14 and, as you well know, navalizing a land-based aircraft is no trivial effort. Some kind of development program would have been necessary. And, it would have been a development program competing for funding against other needs and priorities.

    7. "you're assuming there would be no external changes that would affect its stealth characteristics."

      That's correct. To do otherwise would have been idiotic in the extreme. Stealth is the F-22's number one characteristic so I'll assume that no one would be stupid enough to alter that. Some artist's concept drawing is not evidence of what would have happened.

      The F-22's A2A capabilities are so far beyond the F-18 that no amount of extra weight would significantly impact that relative to the F-18.

      This is becoming tedious. This is the last post I'll allow that dwells on non-productive, trivial minutiae. Move on.

  6. Regarding cost, F-22 has a big problem which was not well studied in R&D phase - extremely high running cost plus low readiness.

    To protect its problematic surface coating, F-22 have to be housed in constant temperature/humidity hangers. Have you ever heard F-15, F-18, ... need to be housed in such facility? It is very labor intensive, unbearable long time, very high cost to repair surface coating damages. The coating material is very brittle and easy to crack. Bedsides the coating material, F-22 has heaps other requirements causes running cost ~60,000 to fly one hour!

    Besides cost, F-22 have heaps other technological problems. Fortunately, up to now, there is no war which relies on them to do vital tasks.

    It is common for a business able to tolerate high capital cost (by an expensive machine, etc.) but not high running costs.

    With so many problems, F-22 production stopped at 186, far less than planned. With F-35's problems surface, it masks F-22's problems.

    1. "Regarding cost, F-22 has a big problem which was not well studied in R&D phase - extremely high running cost plus low readiness."

      Which is really odd if you considers every stealth aircraft we made before have the same issue. The B-21 has a $135000 per-flight-hour cost and the F117 is probably even higher. Did they thought they could achieve the level of stealth they require without the need for such expensive coating? Maybe or maybe not but this seems like a big oversight.

      "With so many problems, F-22 production stopped at 186, far less than planned. With F-35's problems surface, it masks F-22's problems."

      This is an odd comment. You stated that the F-22's problems are masked but everyone else has the impression that the F-22 is much more complicated to operate than the F-35. As you demonstrated in your comment, operating the F-35 is as complicated if not more than the F-22. If anything, the F-35's problems just remind us about operating the F-22 as they shared many similarities in difficulties.

      "It is common for a business able to tolerate high capital cost (by an expensive machine, etc.) but not high running costs."

      Are you suggesting that the military is a business? Because it's not one! The military has demonstrated the willingness to sustain high running costs (B-21!) if it provides the right combat value for the price. A more current example would be the F-35 as the military believe that it's worth paying the high running costs if they think it provides synergy shared by multiple nations that multiplies combat effectiveness. Whether that logic is correct or not, you have to admit that the military is the furthest from a business!

      The crux of the issue however is how much combat capability could we extract for the cost? Should we have stick with the F-22 or try our hand at a cheaper aircraft? If leaders in the past have the benefit of hindsight, they would have stick with buying more F-22s.

    2. "With so many problems, F-22 production stopped at 186"

      I've seen nothing to indicate that F-22 production was halted due to any operating problems or costs that emerged subsequently. The halt appears to have been due strictly to production and development costs. Citing subsequent maintenance or operating costs and problems appears to be hindsight.

    3. Sorry, F-22 actually produced 187 plus 8 test pieces.

      Nevertheless, it is far short than originally planned.

      For a good product, rather than cut, you add more.

      Of course, Pentagon doesn't want the whole world know its underline problems so they know how to go against F-22.

      Originally, F-35 was designed to compliment F-22 as F-16 toward F-15. Due to F-22's own problems, it was raised to air superiority plus attack than mainly attack fighter. It has become the slowest air superiority fighter in US Aire Force and Navy. Now, itself has heaps of problems.

      Regarding B-21, its targeted OP cost (realizable?) is far less than B-2. You cannot compare a strategic bomber to a fighter jet. It carries far more load than F-22.

  7. RE: the F35 concurrency orphans. I realize that many of the earliest F35's actually require structural modifications to bring them up to current standards, which causes some to be not worth the effort. But my impression is that for the more recent ones, updates are primarily just software changes. Am I wrong about that?

    1. There's a whole range of degrees of necessary upgrades. The older the aircraft, the more physical changes are required. The more recent aircraft require fewer changes. ALL require software upgrades.

      Also, bear in mind that even the software changes require some physical changes. The current ?3F? upgrades seem to also require changes and replacements of computers and electronics to support the software.

      Finally, note that NONE of the F-35s produced are actual, full combat capable aircraft as was intended. That will only come with Block 4 software which is struggling and still some years down the road. EVERY F-35 will require those upgrades.

    2. "Finally, note that NONE of the F-35s produced are actual, full combat capable aircraft as was intended. That will only come with Block 4 software which is struggling and still some years down the road. EVERY F-35 will require those upgrades."

      Not bad for a program started in the 90s!

  8. Maybe for bring the F-22 to carriers it may be wise to bring back a modern government-run version of the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF), at least in part, to:

    "to obtain cost data for the department’s guidance in its dealings with private manufacturers"

    Not to mention also to bring down the R and D costs to both Lockheed and the United States government.

    And to ensure future costs don't balloon (as much)after all near the end:

    "Naval Air Facility maintained its busy schedule of aircraft evaluation on numerous different varieties of aircraft built for US Navy service, and even conducted extensive research into converting the famed P-51 Mustang into a carrier-capable aircraft"

    From below:

    Also to ensure future seaborne stealth forces maybe it be suggested to bring back " aircraft maintenance carriers" designs to maintain stealth coatings perhaps based on experiences gained by the British Majestic class below

    And of course my apologies, as it would be very expensive but maybe during bidding the United States should also:

    "built aircraft designed by other manufacturers to evaluate the cost of aircraft submitted by industry."

    As was once the job of the Naval Aircraft Factory.

    Of course if manufacturers don't allow the U.S. can, maybe should, do like below (on Glock pistols as the example, but scaled up to aircraft's):

    " the revolutionary Glock 17 pistol was withheld from the U.S. XM9 trials at the behest of its inventor, Gaston Glock, who would not accept U.S. government requirements to release the winning contender's production and patent rights to open bidding. "

    To at least ensure (somewhat) low cost production in the future.

  9. @ComNavOps: I'm interested in your source of 85 million USD for the cheapest F-35. Based on my research, the most accurate figure I could get for the F-35A's price is 77.9 million USD, according to the LRIP-14 contract price. The increase to 85 million seems strange to me, given the historical downward trend in pricing in the contract lots.

    -Ghiskey Wolf

    1. Relax. I'm talking in general terms, aggregating across recent lots and accounting for the concurrency costs that are an unaccounted but real part of every F-35 purchase. Actually, with concurrency rework costs and pending, known required software upgrades I may be underestimating the cheapest cost!

      The various required Tech Refreshes add to the true production cost. Even the long awaited (and seemingly never deliverable) Block 4 upgrade will require physical upgrades as well as software. I've seen reports that suggest Block 4 will be 80% software and 20% hardware.

      The contract amount is just part of the true purchase price. Similarly, the Navy's 'phased' ship delivery contracts are an attempt to evade true costs by performing post-delivery construction and modifications at a later data and under a different account line.

      FYI, the GAO 2020 annual weapon assessment report puts the average F-35 procurement (development and concurrency excluded) cost at $125M per aircraft over the entire program.

      Lest you think concurrency and development costs have ended, here's a passage from the latest GAO report,

      "... as of December 2019, there were over 850 unresolved deficiencies, of which over 300 were identified during the ongoing operational testing. Until operational testing is complete, there is potential risk that the testing will reveal additional deficiencies with the aircraft. Addressing the current deficiencies and any additional deficiencies found during testing will require retrofits to delivered aircraft, which will add to the program’s costs."

      So, much more 'production' costs await!

  10. Though nominal Sino defense spending is significantly less than the United States when measured in the USD....I wonder what their "bang for the buck" actual return on invested expenditures might be when compared to our bloated procurement mess. On second thought....I don't want to know. probably way too discouraging.

    1. Bear in mind that their military spending is HEAVILY subsidized both formally and informally and that none of that shows up in any reported military expenditure report. So, the claim/belief that they spend significantly less is likely untrue.

    2. Disagree!

      If so, Chinese economy would be dragged down but what we see is US economy been dragged by defense spending, not China.

      There are way too many people live in US defense food chains, from Union workers to politicians.

  11. By coincidence, when I bookmarked your Blog CNO, I did it on the following entry:

    "Sunday, April 13, 2014
    F-22 Lessons"

    Thanks for your consistent and thorough blog CNO. Really appreciate it.

    As for the F-22, I've often thought that the F-22 production line could, and should be restarted. Apparantly 75-85% of the machinery is stored away, so it shouldn't be difficult to restart, nor too costly, relative to starting an entire new production factory and line for a new plane. And compared to what the F-35 offers (or rather, doesn't), it's common

    Have a good day!


    1. I probably should have referenced this in the post but I take it you've read the post on the cost of restarting the F-22 production line? If not, F-22 Production Line Restart

  12. Perhaps an extremely overlooked and unreported issue is Lockheed Martin as the manufacturer of the F-22 had a vastly diminished incentive to lobby and "fight" for and to produce larger numbers of F-22 aircraft, including a potential carrier variant, because they were also the primary contractor for the F-35 program. Maybe an unintended consequence of post Cold War U.S. defense industry consolidation. There was no competing primary aerospace company fighting with all of their ability and supporters for the F-22.

    Additionally, then Secretary of Defense Robert 'Bob' Gates chose the F-22 as his choice of major defense programs to terminate. While I personally admire and respect Robert Gates he was up to his tail in alligators with the fiasco Iraq had become and ongoing operations in Afghanistan. He also seemed influenced by the book written about air combat energy maneuverability theorist and USAF fighter pilot John Boyd in which discussion of a SECDEFs opportunity to cancel just one major defense program while they could. I think that was a factor. As an "old Cold Warrior" confronted with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what appeared to be a a diminishment of Great Power conflict at the time, a seemingly short sighted and highly questionable decision was implemented to terminate the F-22 program.

    A much larger force of F-22 and potential F-22 variant aircraft of vastly greater capability was lost.

    I'm certain this does not displease the PRC and Russia today. The U.S. has less military capability due to the termination of the F-22 program. This is not a good thing as we deal with both a current situation and certain future of threats and re-emergent Great Power competition with continuing possibility of large scale high intensity conflict. The need to both deter this and if necessary fight and prevail remains.


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