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F-22 Raptor News

F/A-22 Raptor enters Follow-On Test and Evaluation

August 29, 2005 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor team marked another milestone today toward operational fielding of the F/A-22 when the U.S. Air Force officially began Follow-On Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada.

The F/A-22 Raptor is the replacement for the F-15 Eagle. The Raptor is the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world, combining a revolutionary leap in technology and capability with reduced support requirements and maintenance costs. The F/A-22's integrated avionics gives it first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability that guarantees U.S. air dominance for decades. With the addition of Raptor tail number 0015 to the base, the number of F/A-22s at Nellis AFB increases to four. [U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald]

For the next several weeks, seven Raptors will fly in a series of event-based operational battlespace scenarios. This phase of testing will further demonstrate the overwhelmingly effective performance of the aircraft, and its suitability and readiness for Initial Operational Capability later this year.

"We at Lockheed Martin, along with our partners Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, and thousands of men and women at nearly 1,000 subcontractors in 42 states, who build the F/A-22 Raptor, are honored to be part of this proud moment for the team and for the U.S. Air Force. FOT&E will build on the success achieved in Initial Operational Test and Evaluation late last year in which the Raptor was declared 'overwhelmingly effective,' an unparalleled score for a new weapons system. The contractor team is committed to supporting the Air Force during FOT&E as it continues to expand the Raptor's capability and improved suitability," said Larry Lawson, executive vice president and general manager, F/A-22 program for Lockheed Martin.

Final preparations are well underway for the establishment of the first operational wing at Langley AFB, Va. Currently, the F/A-22 Raptor now flies at four U.S. Bases:
  • Development testing is conducted at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • Tactics development and FOT&E is ongoing at Nellis AFB, Nev.

  • A full squadron of Raptors is based at Tyndall AFB, Fla. for pilot and maintainer training.
  • At the same time Raptor aircraft are being delivered to and are flying at Langley AFB, Va. in preparation for Initial Operational Capability.

The F/A-22 Raptor is the world's most advanced fighter. Aircraft 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.

"The F/A-22 Raptor's unmatched features – stealth, supercruise speed, supportability, enhanced agility, along with advanced integrated avionics – are proving that this means unmatched capabilities for combatant commanders to employ to shorten wars and save lives. That's what makes this aircraft relevant for the next four decades," said Lawson.