This story from Yahoo News on Tuesday says the Air Force has been directed by the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces to conduct a comprehensive assessment and study of the costs associated with resuming production of F-22 aircraft.

Here is the language in question Straight from the bill:

The committee notes that production of the F-22 fifth-generation tactical aircraft concluded in 2009, and notes 187 aircraft were produced, far short of the initial program objective of 749 aircraft, as well as the Air Combat Command’s stated requirement of 381 aircraft. The committee also understands there has been interest within the Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense, and Congress in potentially restarting production of the F-22 aircraft. In light of growing threats to U.S. air superiority as a result of adversaries closing the technology gap and increasing demand from allies and partners for high-performance, multi-role aircraft to meet evolving and worsening global security threats, the committee believes that such proposals are worthy of further exploration.

Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of the Air Force to conduct a comprehensive assessment and study of the costs associated with resuming production of F-22 aircraft and provide a report to the congressional defense committees, not later than January 1, 2017, on the findings of this assessment. The committee expects the report to be unclassified, but may contain a classified annex.

While it’s not a done deal, it’s a widely acknowledged issue, and even the Secretary of the Air Force basically acknowledging they wish they had more.

It stands to reason that they have a ballpark idea of how much this would cost, so the fact that they’re moving forward with a formal study seems to be more of a step toward getting authorization to spend the money and restart production.

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Wow, congress actually doing something productive for once!