Procurement: May 23, 2002


The Air Force is reviewing its aircraft purchase plans. This includes reducing the F-22 purchase to as few as 180 (after originally planning for 432 and approving a new number of 295 late last year). This would push the flyaway cost over $100 million and the full price (including a share of research and development) to over $250 million per plane. The Air Force also plans to cut its planned purchase of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from the current 1700. (The Navy also plans to cut back its planned purchases of the F-35.) The Air Force is, however, considering the purchase of new production U-2s to back up the increasingly expensive Global Hawk fleet. (Each Global Hawk now costs $25 million, compared to the original price of $14 million.)--Stephen V Cole


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