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U.S. Air Force looks for multi year deal on F-22

April 4, 2006 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The U.S. Air Force is looking to save money on future F-22A Raptor purchases by going with a three year buy instead of a yearly purchase.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

According to Congressional testimony by Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman, such a deal could save $400 to $500 million on sixty planes. Lt. Gen. Hoffman is a senior advisor to weapons procurement personnel in the Air Force.

Aside from the money saved, a three year deal would keep the Raptor production line open until 2012, ensuring a "warm" assembly line for fifth generation fighter jets when production ramps up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The USAF needs new legislation from Congress to enact such a multi-year contract as current law only allows for annual spending. A business case analysis has been commissioned by the Pentagon regarding the proposed three year deal and should be completed later this spring.