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F/A-22 Raptor

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Congressional rept.

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The FA-22 Raptor is a next-generation fighterattack aircraft that features the latest stealth technology to reduce detection by radar. Using more advanced engines and avionics than the current F-15 Eagle, the FA-22 is intended to maintain U.S. Air Force capabilities against more sophisticated aircraft and missiles in the 21st century. This report examines the Air Forces FA-22 Raptor program, including costs and schedule considers several key issues and concludes with a synopsis of recent legislative activity the program. In 1986 two contractors were selected to build competing prototypes, Lockheeds YF-22 and Northrops YF-23, which were flight tested in late 1990. In April 1991, the Air Force selected Lockheeds YF-22 design for full-scale development, now termed System Development and Demonstration SDD. The aircraft is powered by Pratt Whitneys F119 engine, selected in competition with General Electrics F120 engine. If produced as now projected, FA-22s could begin replacing F-15s after 2005. Through FY2004 Congress provided some 41 billion for the FA-22. A 279-aircraft program was estimated by DoD in June 2004 to cost about 72 billion in actual prior-year and projected out-year expenditures. The Administrations FY2005 budget requested 4.8 billion for the FA-22 program in procurement and development funds. Appropriators reduced this request by 40 million. The FA-22 has had strong congressional support, although some have criticized the program on grounds of cost, requirements, and coordination with other tactical aircraft programs. Some question the urgency of procuring of the FA-22 when production of comparable or better aircraft by other countries appears unlikely. Others argue that the FA-22 should enter production as early as possible to cope with future threats from more advanced air defenses of potential enemies and to maintain the preeminent U.S. position in aviation technology and production.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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