December 15, 2011 (by Asif Shamim) - The 187th and final operational F-22 Raptor came off the production line at Lockheedâ€™s, Marietta, Georgia facility on December 13th bringing procurement to a close.
USAF F-22 block 40 no. 10-4195, the final F-22, is seen rolled off the assembly line in ceremonies at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia on December 13th, 2011. [Lockheed Martin photo by Todd R. McQueen].
A crowd of several hundred employees, US Air Force
, and Raptor industrial team officials at the event followed the aircraft as it came out of the main assembly building.
Aircraft serial number 10-4195 still requires its exterior coatings followed by series of company and airforce airworthiness flight tests before it gets turned over to USAF. When ready the final F-22 will head to 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB
, Alaska sometime in spring of 2012.
With the final Raptor now complete, the Marietta production line will now be crated up and stored with Lockheed hoping that the program can be reinstated and production restarted if fresh orders are placed in the near future.
A grand total of 195 F-22s were built, counting test, initial production, and operational aircraft.
In the meantime Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $7.4 billion contract to overhaul the F-22. The contract, which was announced November 18, is for the development of system upgrades, additional capability and enhance performance of the F-22 weapon system.
"We will continue with the maintenance program," Lockheed spokeswoman Alison Orne said.
The F-22 fleet will be modernized as required to meet Air Force requirements over its entire lifespan of 30 years. Those modifications, depending on size and complexity, can be accomplished on the bases, at the USAF Depots and at Lockheed Martin facilities, including in Marietta and Palmdale, California.