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Some in Congress want Air Force to study cost of building more F-22s

An F-22 Raptor conducts in-air refueling off the East Coast on May 10, 2012.

JEREMY LOCK/U.S. AIR FORCE

By FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM Published: April 21, 2016

Remember the F-22?

Before Lockheed Martin cranked up the F-35 program, it built the F-22 fighter jet, a supersonic stealth aircraft designed during the Cold War. The program was shut down after then-defense Secretary Robert Gates decided in 2009 to hold production to 187 jets, well short of the program’s goal of 381 aircraft. He cited the program cost — the Pentagon spent $67 billion for the planes.

Now some members of Congress want to build more. According to reports in the defense industry trade press, members of the House Armed Services Committee’s Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, headed by Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, introduced a bill Tuesday that would direct Air Force brass to study the cost of resuming F-22 production, “in light of growing threats to U.S. air superiority.”

In particular, they cited concerns over improved air defenses being developed in Russia and China.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics built the mid-fuselage for the F-22 in west Fort Worth and did final assembly on the jet in Marietta, Ga.

Last year, a decade after it was delcared combat-ready, the F-22 made its wartime debut, flying more than 100 missions against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq.

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©2016 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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