August 1, 2007 (by Eric L. Palmer) - Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $5 billion to build 60 F-22 Raptors. The United States Air Force had claimed that an order like this could save as much as $411 million dollars.
The aircraft will be purchased in three annual lots of 20 aircraft each. The Air Force said the bulk buy offers economies of scale that offset inflation, rising materials costs and other factors that push up per-plane costs.
The U.S. government previously awarded $2.3 billion to buy long lead- time parts and maintain manufacturing flow. This brings the total multi-year contract value to $7.3 billion.
The F-22, costs roughly $140 million per copy. The 60 planes covered by the current contract represent the end of the Pentagon's planned purchases, unless Congress steps in to extend production in future years.