Fighter Jet News

F-22 Raptor News

Independent test proves F/A-22's revolutionary performance

February 5, 2005 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The transformational F/A-22 Raptor has met or exceeded all technical performance parameters during a rigorous Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) by an independent U.S. Air Force agency that released its testing results today.

A KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., refuels an F/A-22 Raptor. The Raptor is the replacement for the F-15 Eagle. It 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. [U.S. Air Force photo by Judson Brohmer]

An Air Force news release states the operational effectiveness of the F/A-22 is "overwhelmingly effective, demonstrated by the Raptor's ability to operate against adversary ground and air defenses with impunity. Ground defenses could not engage the F/A-22, nor could adversary aircraft survive."

"The F/A-22 is living up to expectations to be the country's air dominance aircraft for decades to come," said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company executive vice president and general manager of the F/A-22 program. "The remarkable capabilities of the Raptor were proven in demanding IOT&E flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where Raptor aircraft were subjected to the highest level of exhaustive testing ever undertaken, and with better results than any aircraft in U.S. history."

IOT&E testing, which began in April 2004, evaluated the Raptor's lethality, survivability, deployability and maintainability in a variety of operational missions.

"Today marks another significant milestone for the F/A-22 program and Lockheed Martin. The Raptor's advanced stealth, sustained supersonic speeds and sophisticated avionics were tested and passed IOT&E with flying colors. This unprecedented combination of capabilities allows Air Force pilots to dominate any engagement from air-to-air to air-to-ground. We are looking forward to a full rate production decision and Initial Operational Capability at Langley Air Force Base this year," said Lawson.

The F/A-22 Raptor, the world's most advanced fighter, is built by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company 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, California; Meridian, Mississippi; Marietta, Georgia; and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at Boeing's plant in Seattle, Washington. Final assembly and initial flight testing of the Raptor occurs at the Marietta plant facilities.

The Raptor is slated to reach initial operational capability in December 2005 at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The F/A-22's balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed, supportability and super-agility, along with its advanced integrated avionics, will enable combat commanders to change the way future wars are fought – making them shorter, while saving American and allied lives.