September 28, 2005 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - Lockheed Martin delivered the 50th F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter to the U.S. Air Force today, marking another milestone in this revolutionary stealth aircraft program. The Raptor can dominate airspace anywhere around the globe, around the clock, and survive in contested airspace better than any other aircraft in the world.
The F-22 - USAF's new air-dominance fighter
Capt. Geoff Lohmiller, 27th Fighter Squadron, takes off from Dobbins ARB
in Marietta, Ga. Sept. 28 flying the U.S. Air Force's 50th F/A-22 Raptor to Langley AFB
, Va. Raptors are currently flying at three other bases; Edwards AFB, Calif., Nellis AFB, Nev., and Tyndall AFB, Fla. The F/A-22 is the World's only 5th Generation Stealth Fighter flying today, assuring air dominance for the next four decades.
"Fifty Raptors - more than two full squadrons - are in the hands of U.S. Air Force men and women charged with ensuring total air dominance for our nation so that all soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen can do their jobs," said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president and F/A-22 general manager. "Air dominance has been a vital element of every conflict since World War I. The Raptor is a leap forward in capability necessary to maintain our ability to own the high ground for the next four decades. We're proud to be a part of this achievement and look forward to continuing to provide the men and women defending our country an overwhelmingly effective weapon system."
This 50th F/A-22 will join Raptors flying today as part of the 1st Fighter Wing's 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley AFB, Va. Sixty-three of the 83 fighters now on contract have completed final assembly. All remaining aircraft scheduled for delivery to the Air Force in 2005 are on the flightline in Marietta undergoing flight tests and final preparation for delivery.
The United States fought hard to gain and maintain air superiority, and this unmatched success is evidence that not a single soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine on the ground has been lost to enemy airpower since the Korean War. The United States takes this achievement seriously, and the F/A-22 Raptor takes air superiority to a new level in the 21st Century by ensuring air dominance at a time when there are very real threats in the world.
The F/A-22 dominates any adversary through unmatched performance achieved through stealth, supercruise speed, agility and a complete view of the battlespace achieved with the advanced sensor suite embedded in the aircraft. The F/A-22 will enable combat commanders to change the way wars are fought over the next 40 years.
The F/A-22 Raptor entered full-rate production in April 2005 after Department of Defense approval, transitioning the Air Forceï¿½s premier fighter program to a new level of confidence and maturity. Another major program milestone, Follow-On Test and Evaluation, is under way. This important testing, which explores additional combat capabilities of the aircraft, is the next step toward Initial Operational Capability slated for later this year.
In addition to Langley AFB, the F/A-22 Raptor is currently flying at three other bases across the United States:
- Testing is conducted at Edwards AFB, Calif.
- Tactics development is ongoing at Nellis AFB, Nev.
- A full squadron of Raptors is based at Tyndall AFB, Fla., for pilot and maintainer training.
The F/A-22 Raptor, the world's most advanced 5th generation 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 Palmdale, Calif.; Meridian, Miss.; Marietta, Ga.; and Fort Worth, Texas, 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.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.