Thanks to David for the link!
Check this out from the comments section of Defense News regarding the Congress asking the USAF to investigate restarting the F-22 line. Let me say ahead of time that the conventional wisdom is that restarting the line is impossible because tribal knowledge has been lost. Check this out....
William WatkinsF22 wouldn't be difficult to ramp back up...other than vendors. They didn't scrap anything. Agree F15 F16 would be great additions, but F22 was ready for full rate, they just throttled us back each time the final 3-5 years. Cost per unit is skewed badly because of contact cuts.
Allen A Pierce ·Go to Defense News to check out the rest of the back and forth banter. One thing is clear. Insiders at LM are telling us that a F-22 production restart wouldn't be difficult.
Project Manager at Lockheed MartinPhil Salvatore Study done in 2000 is moot. Extensive effort was taken to perserve artifacts used to produce components, which will help decrease costs, and even though restarting a program is exspensive, learning lost and learning curve analysis suggests the costs are not that prohibitive. since 2000, many of the processes have been improved, with metal (ti) and composites manufacturing becoming more affordable.
As for Bugs, not sure what you are talking about. current configuration AC, Lot 10 are extremely effective and capable.
I agree with William, per unit costs at the end of production were quite low for such a complex AC. In fact the last lot of AC to be produced were produced on time, under budget, and defect free. A historical first for any fighter program.
Had the program remained open, NRE costs that helped to bloat the per unit costs would have been eliminated, and the true per units costs would have lowered the tail price dramatically. RAND knew this, and suggested to keep the line open, even if only one AC was produced per year. DC didn't listen.
As for buying older Legacy AC, WHAAAT! that would be like telling people they need to throw away their iPhone 6s and they need to start using the 1993 Simon Smart Phone. Going backwards doen't make sense when Russia and China are moving fowards.
F/A-xx is still a wet dream for the Navy and we won't see an AC for at least another 15-20 years, assuming the Navy gets the go ahead. Plus with NGC having been awarded the B-21 Contract, I don't see any of the services getting the $ for a 6th Gen AC, manned or unmanned.
Face it, F-35, KC-46 and now the B-21 are going to suck up a lot of Pentagon $, F-22 restart vs a new 6th Gen Program is more cost effective. Engineering has been done, Testing has been done, and tooling is available. Add to that a supply base that is currently supporting the program, not looking at a restart would be a serious error.
The problem now goes toward funding.
Will the USAF face the truth with the F-35? Do they have the institutional integrity to push for the best plane for the nation's defense or will they continue with the lies they've told about the F-35? Stand by to see whether your United States Air Force is worthy of your trust.
Side note: Yeah. I checked out what the program manager said and I get the full connection there. They're trying to push for the F-22 to be the 6th gen fighter. I'm not buying that. Its either cut the number of F-35s bought or not, but we shouldn't go back to the future and build the F-22 for our next gen fighter. Get it now to maintain air superiority (maybe) but if not then move on to a next gen jet.