November 27, 2002 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The F/A-22 Raptor industry team has delivered the air dominance fighter program's last Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E) aircraft - Raptor 4011 - with yesterday's signing, Nov. 26, of formal acceptance documents here by U.S government officials.
Raptor 4001 undergoes wet-runway testing during a rare rainy day here at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert. The F/A-22 was tested at speeds of 30, 60 and 90 knots. This test is just one of thousands that the F/A-22 Combined Test Force is putting the Raptor through during the most extensive test program that any fighter aircraft has undergone.
"The delivery of Raptor 11 completes the five-ship Raptor fleet required by the Air Force for DIOT&E
," said Ralph Heath, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. executive vice president and F/A-22 program general manager. "Raptor 4011 will now be flown to Lockheed Martin's facility in Palmdale, Calif., where it will be prepared to support the timely start of DIOT&E pilot training, scheduled to begin in February up the road at Edwards Air Force Base."
Once at Edwards, Raptor 11 will be assigned to the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center (AFOTEC
) detachment there, and be used to demonstrate the F/A-22 lethality, survivability and reliability. AFOTEC's overall mission is to determine whether F/A-22 is capable of, and suitable for, operational use.
The F/A-22 Raptor is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing, powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, and made from parts and subsystems provided by approximately 1,200 subcontractors and suppliers in 46 states. Principal aircraft production activities take place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Meridian, Miss., Fort Worth, Texas, and Palmdale, Calif., as well as at Boeing's plant in Seattle, Wash. The engines are built in East Hartford, Conn.
The Raptor's low-observable control surface edges, antennas and radomes are built in Palmdale while its mid-fuselage is built in Fort Worth. Boeing builds the aircraft's aft-fuselage and wings, while Lockheed Martin is the program's principal systems integrator.
The Raptor will replace the aging F-15 Eagle as America's premier front-line fighter jet starting in 2005. The Raptor has unprecedented fighter and attack capabilities with its balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed and extreme agility, along with advanced integrated avionics and the pilot-friendly cockpit. These attributes make the Raptor truly transformational and will support the goal of quick, decisive victory in future conflicts, saving American and allied lives.