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US Air Force wants to retire F-22 Raptor

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The United States Air Force needs a new fighter jet. The plane’s price tag, however, could be multiple hundreds of millions of dollars.

To help cover the costs, the Air Force wants to retire the F-22 Raptor, one of its newest fighters, in the next 10 years. F-22 Raptors entered service in 2005 as the world’s first fifth generation fighter. The USAF has 185 Raptors, although only 123 are combat ready.

Raptors were designed during the Cold War. They are meant to fly from established bases in Western Europe to engage with Russian and Soviet Bloc fighters. The Raptor is the best fighter in its class, but it’s not designed to operate at long distances. The planes are also incredibly expensive to maintain and cannot be upgraded easily.

As the military shifts its focus to China, the USAF said it needs a plane that will likely fly thousands of miles just to engage the enemy. It will also need to deal with modern war zone factors like drones.

The Air Force wants to start retiring the F-22 Raptor and put that money toward the development of its Next Generation Air Dominance fighter. The Air Force is even willing to retire the Raptors before the NGAD fighters are in service. Congress wants to retrofit the Raptors, but that might be cost prohibitive.

The new NGAD fighter was designed, built and tested in under a year. It hasn’t been revealed yet, so the public doesn’t know what it looks like. What is known about the NGAD fighter is it was specifically designed to fight China in the Pacific. It will come in both manned and unmanned versions. It will control robotic wingmen, and it will be the most expensive fighter ever deployed.

Air force Secretary Frank Kendall told Congress each fighter will cost “multiple hundreds of millions of dollars.” When asked if the U.S. can afford such a high price per fighter, Kendall asked a question of his own: Can the U.S. afford to not have air superiority?

THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE NEEDS A NEW FIGHTER JET. BUT THE PLANES’ PRICE TAG COULD BE MULTIPLE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

TO HELP COVER THE COSTS—THE AIR FORCE WANTS TO RETIRE ONE OF ITS NEWEST FIGHTERS, THE F-22 RAPTOR, IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS.

F-22’S ENTERED SERVICE IN 2005 AS THE WORLD’S FIRST FIFTH GENRATION FIGHTER.

THE AIR FORCE HAS 185 RAPTORS—ALTHOUGH ONLY 123 ARE COMBAT READY.

RAPTORS WERE DESIGNED DURING THE COLD WAR, AND MEANT TO FLY FROM ESTABLISHED BASES IN WESTERN EUROPE TO ENGAGE WITH RUSSIAN AND SOVIET BLOC FIGHTERS.

THE RAPTOR IS THE BEST FIGHTER IN ITS CLASS—BUT IT’S NOT DESIGNED TO OPERATE AT LONG DISTANCES. THE PLANES ARE ALSO INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN,  AND CANNOT BE UPGRADED EASILY.

AS THE MILITARY SHIFTS ITS FOCUS TO CHINA—THE AIR FORCE SAYS IT NEEDS A PLANE THAT WILL LIKELY FLY THOUSANDS OF MILES JUST TO ENGAGE THE ENEMY. IT WILL ALSO NEED TO DEAL WITH MODERN WARZONE FACTORS—LIKE DRONES.

THE AIR FORCE WANTS TO START RETIRING THE F-22 RAPTOR AND PUT THAT MONEY TOWARD THE DEVELOPMENT OF ITS NEXT GENERATION AIR DOMINANCE FIGHTER. THE AIR FORCE IS EVEN WILLING TO RETIRE THE F-22’S BEFORE THE NGAD FIGHTERS ARE IN SERVICE.

CONGRESS WANTS TO RETROFIT THE RAPTORS…BUT THAT MIGHT BE COST PROHIBITIVE.

THE NEW NGAD FIGHTER WAS DESIGNED, BUILT AND TESTED IN UNDER A YEAR, BUT IT HASN’T BEEN REVEALED YET, SO WE DON’T KNOW WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

WE DO KNOW IT WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO FIGHT CHINA IN THE PACIFIC. IT WILL COME IN BOTH MANNED AND UNMANNED VERSIONS. IT WILL CONTROL ROBOTIC WINGMEN, AND IT WILL BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE FIGHTER EVER DEPLOYED.

AIR FORCE SECRETARY FRANK KENDALL TOLD CONGRESS EACH FIGHTER WILL COST MULTIPLE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

WHEN ASKED IF THE U-S CAN AFFORD SUCH A HIGH PRICE PER FIGHTER—KENDALL ASKED A QUESTION OF HIS OWN: CAN THE U.S. AFFORD TO NOT HAVE AIR SUPERIORITY?

The United States Air Force needs a new fighter jet. The plane’s price tag, however, could be multiple hundreds of millions of dollars.

To help cover the costs, the Air Force wants to retire the F-22 Raptor, one of its newest fighters, in the next 10 years. F-22 Raptors entered service in 2005 as the world’s first fifth generation fighter. The USAF has 185 Raptors, although only 123 are combat ready.

Raptors were designed during the Cold War. They are meant to fly from established bases in Western Europe to engage with Russian and Soviet Bloc fighters. The Raptor is the best fighter in its class, but it’s not designed to operate at long distances. The planes are also incredibly expensive to maintain and cannot be upgraded easily.

As the military shifts its focus to China, the USAF said it needs a plane that will likely fly thousands of miles just to engage the enemy. It will also need to deal with modern war zone factors like drones.

The Air Force wants to start retiring the F-22 Raptor and put that money toward the development of its Next Generation Air Dominance fighter. The Air Force is even willing to retire the Raptors before the NGAD fighters are in service. Congress wants to retrofit the Raptors, but that might be cost prohibitive.

The new NGAD fighter was designed, built and tested in under a year. It hasn’t been revealed yet, so the public doesn’t know what it looks like. What is known about the NGAD fighter is it was specifically designed to fight China in the Pacific. It will come in both manned and unmanned versions. It will control robotic wingmen, and it will be the most expensive fighter ever deployed.

Air force Secretary Frank Kendall told Congress each fighter will cost “multiple hundreds of millions of dollars.” When asked if the U.S. can afford such a high price per fighter, Kendall asked a question of his own: Can the U.S. afford to not have air superiority?

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