WELL: Here’s The F-22 Production Restart Study The USAF Has Kept Secret For Over A Year. “We finally see the study that was oddly classified on arrival and it has new relevance based on Japan’s desire for a new stealth fighter.”
Working primarily with RAND’s conclusions from 2011, the Air Force crafted the following cost estimates and assumptions for what it would take to restart F-22 production and produce 194 additional Raptors:
•Total non-recurring start-up costs over a five year period totaling $9.869 billion in 2016 dollars, equal to more than $10 billion in 2018 dollars at the time of writing.
•This included approximately $228 million to refurbish production tooling, $1.218 billion to requalify sources of components and raw materials, $5.768 billion to redesign four subsystems, and $1.156 billion in other associated “restart costs,” along with $1.498 billion in “additional government costs.”
•Two of the four subsystems needing “redesign” would be the AN/APG-77 low probability intercept (LPI) radar and the F119 engine, neither of which are still in production.
•The other two were the aircraft’s software package and an unspecified fourth system, acting as a placeholder to hedge against the Air Force discovering that other systems needed replacement during the restart process.
•The aircraft’s electronic warfare, communication, navigation, and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems were among those that might also need replacement or substitution with another system.
•While the 2011 RAND study estimated an average unit cost of $266 million, this was based on a total purchase of just 75 aircraft.
•The Air Force estimated that the initial unit cost for an order of 194 aircraft would be approximately $216 million.
•This would drop to around $206 million by the time the last one rolled off the production line.
•The unit price would begin to largely level out after the service had purchased the first 100 aircraft.
•The total procurement cost would be between $40 and $42 billion, with the entire program costing a little more than $50.3 billion.
The Air Force also noted that while approximately 95 percent of the F-22-related production tooling is still available, the physical productions facilities either no longer exist or are supporting other Lockheed Martin programs, such as the F-35. After the 2011 study, the service elected to put the “primary production tooling” into a warehouse at Sierra Army Depot in California in case there was a need to make certain spare parts in the future.
So it’s merely expensive then, and not next-to-impossible as we’d been led to believe.