The US Congress is poised to lift a ban of almost nine years on export sales of the F-22A Raptor aircraft following a vote to lift the ban in the US
House of Representatives on 20 June.
US lawmakers approved an amendment to the 2007 defence appropriations bill that would allow F-22A manufacturer Lockheed Martin to sell the
next-generation fighter jet to other countries seeking to upgrade their fighter fleets. Potential customers include Japan and South Korea.
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The good news on this is that our allies will probably be happy that theyre getting what is considered the most advanced fighter ever. The problem is
what happens if our allies become our enemies. There goes our ace in the hat.
True there is an inherent risk when top line systems are exported but seeing as how only the most stable and loyal allies are being considered
at this time that risk IMO is minimal. I don’t expect countries such as Japan, Australia or the UK to become US enemies in the coming years. On a
side note, can you imagine the tech transfer nightmare that will accompany such a deal? Picture JSF code dilemma x 10.
The Air Force is trying to find ways to keep the assembly line open for later orders. If they close the line after the last lot, it's over. If they
start exporting them, the USAF can sneak in a few more.
Of course, the USAF wants as many Raptors as possible, clearing the Raptor for export would also bring down the production cost of each bird assuming
significant numbers are ordered. As it stands now the last F-22 is to be delivered in 08 and the line will stay open until then pending any future
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