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F-22A Raptor

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Congressional rept.

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The F-22A 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 F-22A is intended to maintain U.S. Air Force capabilities against more sophisticated enemy aircraft and air defenses in the 21st century. This report examines the Air Forces F-22A Raptor program, including costs and schedule considers several key issues, and concludes with a synopsis of recent legislative activity on 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. In December 2005, the Air Force announced that the 12 F-22 aircraft with the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, had reached initial operational capability IOC. A 184-aircraft program was estimated by the Department of Defense DoD in September 2006 to cost about 65.2 billion in actual prior-year and projected out-year expenditures. The Administrations FY2007 budget requested 2.6 billion for the F-22A program, and the authority to enter into a multiyear procurement MYP for the final 3 years of production. Congress granted both these requests. Congress denied the Air Forces request to incrementally fund F-22 procurement. Some question the urgency of procuring the F-22A when production of comparable or better aircraft by other countries appears unlikely. Others argue that the F-22A should be produced in large numbers 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
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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