Stealth aircraft like the F-22 is high maintenance tech to the max. Just how high is truly astounding.
Much of what makes up and lies beneath the F-22 Raptor's silver skin remains a tightly guarded secret. The aircraft's outer mold-line is a mosaic of radar-absorbent coatings and radar transparent and radar defeating composite structures that combine to allow the Raptor to remain aerodynamically efficient while also largely invisible to fire control radars. All this takes a lot of work to maintain and many of these applications start degrading shortly after they are applied, with friction from high-speed flight, crushing G forces, and the elements accelerating that process. As such, one of the costliest aspects of operating F-22s—and flying this aircraft is extremely expensive with an average flight hour cost of about $60k—is keeping its stealthy skin up to par. This also is a major contributor to its fairly abysmal mission capable rate of around 50 percent.
High maintenance indeed.