F-22 Raptor Facelift

An expensive nose jobF-22 Raptor Facelift

National Security,  | Quick Take
Feb 13, 2018  | 1 min read | Print Article

The F-22 Raptor first went into service with the Air Force in 2005. The program was ended early in the Obama Administration and the last aircraft (of fewer than 190) rolled off the line in 2011. But, because the airframe continues to be flown, and because the Pentagon is flush with cash it’s having a hard time spending, the F-22 is undergoing an expensive modernization program.

Now, let’s think about that for a moment…although the planes could be a few years older, they’ve only been flown operationally for thirteen years. Modernizing such a new program, touted as being “Fifth Generation” technology, suggests that it isn’t as cutting edge as we were told when billions were being spent to buy them.

Modernization funding obligated and planned in Fiscal Years 2017-2018 exceeds $1.5 billion. And the President’s Budget Request for FY19 asks for another $867 million.

That adds up to more than $2.3 billion so far. And that’s a pretty expensive nose job.