Limits placed on costly US fighter jetMay 15, 2012 10:55 pm
The Pentagon has said that it will limit flight operations for the F-22 Raptor, thecontroversial stealth aircraft, while it attempts to get to the bottom of long-running problems connected to its oxygen systems.
A spokesman said on Tuesday that the US Air Force would impose a series of measures, including restrictions on how far the fighter jet can fly from landing strips to ensure pilots can return safely if they encounter any difficulties.
It is the second time the defence department has limited the F-22ís operationsin as many years and will further stoke the ire of critics who have assailed the aircraft for its high costs and questionable reliability.
As part of broader efforts to reduce expenditures, in 2009 the Pentagon decided to cap purchases of F-22s at 187 aircraft for a total coast of about $67bn, although perversely the move dramatically increased the unit costs of the jets.