The Hill quotes Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who supports buying additional F-22s (see above), that he is concerned that the F-22 costs about $50,000 per hour to fly, which makes it much more expensive than the F-15 it’s intended to replace. However, that dollar figure includes base standup and other one-time costs no longer applicable to the F-15, according to the Air Force. It also includes other costs solely related to a stealth aircraft. To get a more credible comparison between the F-22 and the F-15, the Air Force says to look at the variable cost per flying hour, which in 2008 for the F-15 was $17,000 per flying hour and for the F-22 was $19,000.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.