The F22 is the United States Air Force’s most advanced air superiority fighter and likely one of the most expensive fighter jets to maintain and operate.
There are an estimated 195 F-22s, of which 187 are operational, and the remaining 8 are for testing purposes.
An F-22 costs an estimated $120 million to purchase, but it would cost around $334 million if we factor in research and development costs.
The F-22 has high operating and maintenance costs because of the plane’s advanced systems and limited production.
The United States Air Force intends to eventually replace the F-22 Raptor with a new plane they’re secretly developing.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much an F22 Costs – By Variant
- 2 Even the F22s Engine is Expensive
- 3 Not to Mention Its Operating Costs
- 4 The F22 is Unique to the U.S.
- 5 A Few F22s Have Crashed
- 6 F22s Have Excellent Range Without Refueling
- 7 No One Knows What Fighter Jet Will Replace the F22
How Much an F22 Costs – By Variant
These are the purchasing costs of each of the 5 F-22 variants.
The YF-22 was an F-22 prototype produced for the United States Air Force that cost an estimated $125 million.
The F22-A is the United States Air Force’s most advanced air superiority fighter. It’s rumored to cost $150 million per unit.
The F-22B was a planned two-seat variant of the F-22 that was canceled in 1996.
Had it been produced, it would have cost around $150-160 million, similar to other two-seat fighter jets.
The Naval F-22 variant was planned to replace the F-14 Tomcat for the US Navy.
This variant was canceled early in production, but it would have cost over $150 million per unit.
The X-44 MANTA was a planned experimental aircraft based on the F-22 that was canceled in the early 2000s.
If it was to be produced, it would’ve likely cost over $200 million.
Even the F22s Engine is Expensive
Experts estimate that an F-22’s engine, the P&W F119, costs around $9.5 million.
This estimate comes from Pratt & Whitney’s $341 million contract for producing 42 F119 engines in 2006.
Not to Mention Its Operating Costs
TIME Magazine reported that an F-22A cost $68,362 to operate per hour in 2013.
This cost is so high because of the limited manufacturing of fighter jet components and the plane’s high maintenance requirements.
Upgrades to F-22s over time also increase the plane’s operating costs.
The F22 is Unique to the U.S.
Only the United States Air Force owns and uses F-22s.
F-22s are used by these 8 fighter wings of the United States Air Force:
- 1st Fighter Wing
- 3rd Fighter Wing
- 325th Fighter Wing
- 15th Wing
- 154th Wing
- 192nd Wing
- 44th Fighter Group
- 477th Fighter Group
Some United States Air Force Test and Evaluation Squadrons, including the 57th Wing and 412th Test Wing, also have F22s.
A Few F22s Have Crashed
From 2004 to 2022, 5 F-22s have crashed.
- The first F-22 crashed during takeoff in 2004 because of a flight control system malfunction caused by a brief power interruption during an engine shutdown.
- The second F-22 crashed during a test flight in 2009.
- The third F-22 crash was in 2010 because the bleed air system malfunctioned after the engine overheated, resulting in the vital electronics and avionics systems being disabled.
- The fourth F-22 crash was because of a control system malfunction in 2012.
- The fifth and most recent F-22 crash was in 2020. This crash was attributed to faulty air data sensor readings.
F22s Have Excellent Range Without Refueling
An F-22’s maximum range with 2 external fuel tanks is an estimated 1,800 miles or 3,000 km or 1,600 nautical miles.
The F-22’s combat range is estimated to be 530 miles (850 km or 1,600 nautical miles) with 115 miles (185km or 100 nautical miles) in supercruise and 679 miles (1,093 km or 590 nautical miles) clean supersonic.
No One Knows What Fighter Jet Will Replace the F22
There are no publicly disclosed details about the F-22’s replacement, other than that it is currently being developed.
The United Stated Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance program will produce a replacement fighter for the F-22 raptor.
The US Air Force reported that they had already produced and tested the replacement plane and are moving the secret plane to the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase.
- The F-22 costs an estimated $120 million, but the cost rises to over $300 million if you include research and development costs.
- Details about the F-22’s costs are not public knowledge, but many analysts have made educated guesses about the plane’s maintenance, operating, and other expenses.
- The F-22 costs over $60,000 to operate an hour, since it’s one of the most advanced planes in the world.
- The F-22 is exclusively used by the US Air Force, which has an estimated 186 spread over multiple fighter units.
- The US Air Force has a program that is currently producing the eventual replacement of the F-22.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.