Fraternal Twins: C-17 and F-22

The C-17 and the F-22 have a lot in common.

As aircraft development programs, they both:

  1. were born in the late 1980s, survived a painful upbringing through the early- to late-1990s and had reached maturity at about the turn of the century
  2. cost about the same. It’s about $62 billion to deliver 185 F-22s, including two that crashed. It’s about $62 billion to deliver 190 C-17s
  3. are both supposed to die by the end of the decade …
  4. … but neither the US Air Force or Congress seem inclined to let them


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3 Responses to Fraternal Twins: C-17 and F-22

  1. Peter 7 April, 2007 at 11:06 pm #

    These are two great planes at what they do and neither really should die.

  2. Stephen Trimble 9 April, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    I don’t disagree with you.

    If you’re going to spend $62 billion to buy 183 F-22s, you might as well buy enough to have a reasonable force structure, which is at least 10 fighter wings, plus a training wing.

    The case for the C-17 may be more problematic. Any number you pick is going to be arbitrary, reflecting certain assumptions that may or may not ever be relevant.

  3. Eric Bryce 6 July, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    The future of the manned air superiority fighter interceptor is very much in doubt. It has been said that as the price of each generation has cost substantially more than the previous one, it was predicted that at that rate, by mid century the total U.S. budget for that type of aircraft might buy two planes. At two Billion a copy the B-2 is surely the last manned bomber. The F-22 may very well be the last of the breed as well.

    On the other hand, The military will always have a need for heavy lift aircraft.

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