No other aircraft can match the F-22’s range of capabilities—many of which remain classified—for speed, agility, stealth, and battlefield sensor power. With 183 in service, a reboot could mean, theoretically, the delivery of 194 additional planes that were planned before the program was canceled.
The F-22s built for the current fleet were restricted from foreign sales owing to its advanced technologies. The F-35, on the other hand, has been sold to U.S. allies. Several F-35 customers abroad, such as Japan and Israel, would likely switch to the F-22 “in a heartbeat” if it became available.
Lockheed could be asked to build copies of the F-22 with updated elements. Its software was considered dated more than a decade ago and would probably need a major revamp. And if some of the other platforms on the current F-22 are considered sufficiently “obsolete,” how much would modifications add in terms of complexity?
A 2010 Rand Corp. study on the F-22 shutdown calculated that restarting production for just 75 more jets would cost $17 billion, or about $227 million per copy. A revived F-22 program would almost certainly need to siphon funds from some of the military’s most expensive programs: the F-35, or the new B-21 long-range bomber
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.