In Business This Week
THE F-22 FLIES AGAINST THE WIND
The fiery Apr. 25 crash landing that destroyed the only flying prototype of the Air Force's F-22 fighter jet isn't likely to kill funding for the plane. But it was a setback for F-22 contractor Lockheed and its partners, Boeing and General Dynamics. The crash could delay the F-22 program, drive up its cost, and make Congress more cautious about weapons funding.
The Air Force plans to spend $90 billion for 648F-22s. Operational flights of the F-22 are set to start in 2002, but if it turns out that design flaws led to the crash, that schedule could slip. General Dynamics could benefit if the delay makes the Air Force push development of a new multirole fighter plane instead: The leading contender is GD's advanced version of its F-16 fighter.EDITED BY DEIDRE A. DEPKE