June 15, 2005 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The F/A-22 Raptor fighter aircraft recently received the green light by Department of Defense acquisition officials to enter into full-rate production.
The Lockheed Martin Raptor industry team has reached a new level of program maturity with reliable production, solid performance and expanding capabilities, according to Orville Prins, vice president of business development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
The F/A-22 Raptor fighter aircraft recently received the green light by Department of Defense acquisition officials to enter into full-rate production. This program milestone follows initial operational test findings in February and March by both the Air Force and the Department of Defense, which judged the aircraft to be "overwhelming effective" in its performance. Air Force pilots will be able to dominate any engagement with the Raptor. The F/A-22 will provide protection for troops no matter where they are, to an extent never before possible.
In a presentation called "The F/A-22 Raptor: Leading Edge of Global Strike ... the Unmatched Advantage" today at the Paris Air Show, Prins described the F/A-22 as "real, required and relevant" with advanced technologies never before designed into a single fighter.
"The Raptor is now in full rate production and capable of dominating air- to-air and air-to-ground combat. No fighter in the world comes close to the F/A-22 with its overwhelming capabilities," said Prins. "The success in this program to date is the culmination of a tremendous effort by many in the Air Force as well as industry. Our Raptor team understands that the dominant capability the F/A-22 provides is vital today and must also be relevant for three to four decades to come."
The F/A-22 Raptor, the world's most advanced fighter, is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. Parts and subsystems are provided by approximately 1,000 suppliers in 42 states. F/A-22 production takes place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facilities in Marietta, Ga.; Fort Worth, Tex.; Palmdale, Calif.; and Meridian, Miss., as well as at Boeing's plant in Seattle, Wash. Final assembly and initial flight testing of the Raptor occurs at the Marietta plant facilities.
The Raptor is slated to reach initial operational capability in December 2005 at Langley Air Force Base, Va. The F/A-22's balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed, supportability and super-agility, along with its advanced integrated avionics, will enable combat commanders to change the way future wars are fought.