A U.S. Air Force F-22 “Raptor” fighter jet made an emergency landing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida after the aircraft suffered an “in-flight emergency” on Monday night.
An image of the fighter jet, with its nose landing gear collapsed, was shared on the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page Monday night. “Inbox: It’s still out there b/c they have to get crash kit from Tyndall” the Facebook page states.
Inbox: “It’s still out there b/c they have to get crash kit from Tyndall”Posted by Air Force amn/nco/snco on Monday, March 15, 2021
In a Monday night press statement, Eglin Air Force Base said, “An F-22 Raptor, assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, experienced a ground mishap on the flightline here at approximately 3:30 p.m. March 15. The F-22 experienced an in-flight emergency. The aircraft landed safely. There was one person on board. Fire crews responded immediately and the pilot was transported to flight medicine for an evaluation.”
Eglin Air Force Base went on to state an investigation into the crash incident is underway.
Another F-22 belonging to the 325th Fighter Wing went down near Eglin Air Force Base on May 15, 2020. The pilot in that incident, who was assigned the 325th Wing’s 43rd Fighter Squadron, was able to successfully eject from the aircraft before it crashed.
On May 19, 2020, Four days after the F-22 crash, an F-35 “Lightning II” joint strike fighter based out of Eglin Air Force Base crashed during “a routine night training sortie.” The F-35 was assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron with the 33rd Fighter Wing. The F-35 pilot was also able to successfully eject before the aircraft crashed.
According to an Air Force fact sheet, the F-22 entered service in 2005. The same Air Force fact sheet, current as of 2015, stated there were 183 F-22 fighter jets in service. According to Air Force Magazine’s June 2020 aircraft almanac, there were 186 F-22 fighters in service. Military.com reported that in 2009, the Department of Defense decided to cap its number of F-22’s at 187, and would take the last delivery of the aircraft in 2012.
The Air Force fact sheet estimates the F-22’s unit cost at $143 million, but according to a 2017 study, the per-unit cost had risen to between $205 million and $216 million in 2017 dollars. Military.com reported the fighter is now valued at $250 million in today’s dollars.
The F-22s price tag has been prohibitive to new reviving the program, according to Military.com. In 2018, Lockheed Martin pitched the idea of building new F-22s with some upgrades from the newer F-35 fighter jet, including more modern mission avionics and some other structural changes to the aircraft.