October 8, 2002 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - As a scheduled part of the F/A-22 program's ongoing developmental efforts, Lockheed Martin has successfully completed the modification and upgrade effort necessary for Raptor 08 to begin Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E).
Air dominance is the first priority of any combat commander and the F-22A Raptor #91-4005 will provide it for them, according to Lt. Gen. John D.W. Corley, the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition at the Pentagon. He testified before the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on tactical air and land forces.
Raptor 08 is the first of three F/A-22s scheduled to undergo DIOT&E
readiness modifications at Palmdale.
"Performing the modifications on Raptor 08 was a tremendous opportunity for us," said Rick Baker, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. vice president and Palmdale site general manager. "We couldn't be more proud to be part of this exciting flight-test program."
Based on lessons learned from the F/A-22 program's ongoing developmental flight-test activities, Raptor 08 underwent a series of structural and electrical system modifications to support a wide swath of operational profiles, such as various speeds, altitude and angles of attack to make ready for DIOT&E planned for next year. After the jet arrived on July 2, a crew of just 14 technicians was able to complete the upgrades on schedule.
"We're very proud of that accomplishment," Baker said. "We will ensure that all the latest upgrades are included so the DIOT&E fleet of jets will have a common configuration. These activities are a critical aspect of the F/A-22 Raptor program's development effort and low-rate production phase."
Raptor 08 departed the company's Palmdale facility on Oct.4. Now back at Edwards, Raptor 08 will continue to perform developmental flight-test activities primarily in avionics testing before being transferred to the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC
) detachment located there. Raptors 10 and 11 are expected to arrive at Palmdale for their DIOT&E modifications later this year. Previously, Raptor 07 underwent its DIOT&E modifications at Edwards AFB
while Raptor 09 was upgraded at the company's facility in Marietta, Ga.
AFOTEC's mission is to challenge and validate during realistic operational activities whether the Raptor is as lethal, survivable and reliable as is it was designed to be. DIOT&E is currently scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2003.
The F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing, powered by Pratt and Whitney engines and made from parts and subsystems provided by approximately 1,200 subcontractors and suppliers in 46 states. Principal production activities take place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Fort Worth, Texas, and Palmdale, Calif., as well as at Boeing's plant in Seattle, Wash.