Restarting production of the F-22 stealth fighter would be "very expensive," the Air Force has found, and it has no plans for now to pursue it, Secretary Heather Wilson said on Wednesday.
Doing the initial work such as machining and tooling to get the production line ready would take about $7 billion to $10 billion, and then each Raptor would cost about $200 million, Wilson said.
The service submitted a classified report on the possibility to House Armed Services over the weekend, and it was planning to make portions public later on Wednesday. Some have argued that the F-22 program was prematurely ended by Congress in 2009 after only 187 of the 381 F-22s the Air Force originally said it needed were built.
"The startup costs are significant and very expensive," Wilson said of the Lockheed Martin aircraft. "The chief has assigned a fighter roadmap. Our plan is to put any resources we have into that roadmap and not into restarting a line from an older aircraft."
The F-22 remains one of the military's most advanced tactical aircraft but it has largely been eclipsed by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is being adopted by three of the four services.