March 17, 2011 (by Chris McGee) - The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is logging a deployment-intensive pace in early 2011 following a busy 2010, and Lockheed Martin continues to provide key support to the fleet as the Raptor projects power globally.
An F-22 Raptor prepares for take-off at the end of the runway after receiving a final inspection on May 24th, 2010. F-22's from Holloman deployed to Kadena AB for approximately four months as part of a U.S. Pacific Command Theater Security Package. [USAF photo by SrA. DeAndre Curtiss]
In January and February, the U.S. Air Force had Raptors deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan, as part of a rotational deployment for a Pacific Air Forces Theater Security Package; to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, for capabilities enhancement testing; and to Nellis AFB
, Nev., for Red Flag, an air combat training exercise. F-22s from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, deployed to Japan performed with exceptional readiness, flying 100 percent of a robust sortie schedule in January.
The world's premier air dominance fighter and the only fully operational 5th generation fighter, the F-22 deployed around the world in 2010, including to Andersen AFB, Guam; Japan; South Korea
; and the United Arab Emirates
. In a first for the F-22 fleet, Raptors from Holloman AFB, N.M., performed a re-deployment, travelling from Japan to Guam last year. The Holloman Raptors combined with F-22s from Langley AFB to make for 24 total Raptors on Guam at the time.
As the weapon system support integrator, Lockheed Martin supports Raptor deployments through comprehensive and responsive sustainment services as part of a Performance-Based Logistics contract. The company received a $726.6 million contract modification from the Air Force in February for fleet sustainment this year.
When F-22 units deploy, Lockheed Martin field service representatives deploy with them, providing support in areas such as avionics, systems engineering, low observables maintenance, technical information and mission planning. Thanks in part to the contributions of the representatives, Raptor performance in recent global deployments often proved greater than even that of home-station operations.
"The Raptor is a high-demand asset in vital strategic theaters, projecting power, bringing deterrence and enhancing security for the United States and allies," said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s F-22 program. "We have been working alongside U.S. Air Force F-22 maintainers to ensure aircraft availability, performance and reliability for pivotal operations around the world."
Deploying to new areas brings new challenges. Highlighting F-22 performance capabilities in an austere overseas climate, 12 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron based at Langley AFB, Va., flew more than 600 sorties and 1,300 hours while deployed to Andersen AFB from early June to mid October last year.
According to Lt. Col. Pete M. Fesler, squadron commander, Lockheed Martin sustainment representatives proved helpful not only in keeping Raptors flying, but in helping squadron maintainers sharpen their skills.
"Lockheed Martin representatives proved a great addition to our maintenance and operations team during our deployment," said Lt. Col. Fesler. "Their engineering, maintenance and system expertise helped to grow our active duty and Air National Guard Airmen into better Raptor maintainers."
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 132,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.