CRS — Air Force F-22 Fighter Program

November 19, 2012

Air Force F-22 Fighter Program (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Procurement of Air Force F-22 Raptor fighters began in FY1999, and a total of 195 (177 production aircraft, 16 test aircraft, and 2 development aircraft) were procured through FY2009. In the FY2010 budget, the Administration proposed to end F-22 procurement at 187, and Congress approved that termination. The F-22 assembly line in Marietta, GA, has been shut down, with its tools and equipment placed in storage.

Since 2010, operational issues have arisen. Following a November 2010 fatal crash of an F-22 in Alaska, the Air Force recorded at least 25 “physiological incidents” of F-22 pilots reporting hypoxia-like symptoms while flying, possibly indicating oxygen deprivation. Following a lengthy investigation and grounding of the F-22 fleet, the Air Force attributed the oxygen deprivation to “a ‘mosaic’ of interrelated cockpit equipment issues.” Following corrective actions, the F-22 fleet has returned to the air.

The Administration’s proposed FY2013 defense budget requests $283.9 million in FY2013 procurement funding for modification of in-service aircraft and $36.7 million to equip Air Logistics Centers to perform F-22 maintenance. The Administration’s proposed FY2013 defense budget also requests a new start program, funded at $140.1 million in research and development, for the Increment 3.2B software, and $371.7 million in FY2013 research and development funding for F-22A Squadrons.

The Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2013 defense appropriation bill includes language prohibiting funds from being used to approve or license the sale of the F-22 to other countries. The bill does permit the Department of Defense to conduct studies and design activities to develop a future export version of the aircraft that protects classified and sensitive information. This language is similar to provisions passed by Congress each year since 1998.

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