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Despite the fact the F-22 Raptor has been grounded, never seen combat in seven years, caused multiple health problems including one death, and is outperformed by cheaper foreign jets in dogfights — Mitt Romney thinks the US needs more of them.Michael Hoffman at DoD Buzz reports Romney wants more of the beleaguered fighters as part of his plan to reverse defence cuts planned by the Obama administration.
The GOP candidate went on to tell a Virginia Beach television station, he wouldn’t include the military in spending cuts at all:
“Rather than completing nine ships per year, I’d move that up to 15. I’d also add F-22s to our Air Force fleet. And I’d add about 100,000 active duty personnel to our military team,” Romney said. “I think the idea of shrinking our military to try and get closer to balancing our budget is the wrong place to look.”
Because of the massive problems faced by the F-22, production was halted by former defence Secretary Robert Gates in 2009. Reopening production would cost almost $1 billion alone:
From DoD Buzz:
If Romney wins and follows through on his plan to buy more F-22s, it would cost at least $900 million to reopen the F-22 production line … In 2010, Japan discussed buying 40 F-22s from Lockheed Martin, builder of the F-22. Lockheed officials then told Japanese leaders it would cost $900 million to re-open the production line. Thompson said the cost would surely increase when considering two years have passed and the production line was still “semi-warm.”
The F-22 is the Air Force’s newest fighter and the only “fifth-generation” fighter in the world. Fifth-generation planes are able to evade detection, even when armed, possess high-performance air frames, and cutting edge avionics capable of integrating with other battlefield networks.
The cost of each F-22, after reopening production, is about $143 million.
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