Four F-22s down, 16 more to go


The US Air Force will award Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney a $50 million contract to start buying the next four F-22s and eight F119 engines, while signing an option to buy another 16 aircraft and 32 engines.

And so begins the saga of the long-lost F-22 Lot 10 production contract, which former Secretary of Defense Donald Rusmfeld whacked in 2004 and the USAF has been working to overcome ever since.


The $50 million keeps the supply chain going through at least January. The new administration, which takes office on 21 January, will face an immediate decision on whether to spend another $90 million.

With that amount, Lockheed can keep the earliest components of the F-22 supply chain humming until at least 15 March. But the $90 million adds strings to the deal, as the Pentagon will be ordering parts for more than just the next four jets.

Finally, by 15 March, the new President’s staff must decide whether to release another $360 million — or $500 million altogether — to keep full-rate production going another year. Of course, that’s just a down payment. Another roughly $2.5-$3 billion must be added to the budget in fiscal 2010 to finish buying the next 20 aircraft. That doesn’t include the next $500 million needed for advanced procurement, either.

I hope that’s clear.

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One Response to Four F-22s down, 16 more to go

  1. Dave 13 November, 2008 at 6:15 am #

    Well hopefully we’ll get those 16 more jets. Gates, England and Young have long tried to kill the Raptor- this is merely the last attempt at it. IF they wanted production to continue they would have released the 140 million that that Congress has budgeted for the program as they were obligated to do. Of course, England and Young are part of the Rumsfled old guard… so this isn’t really that surprising. I’ll be happy to see the lot of them go.

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