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F-22 Raptor News

Lockheed Martin delivers first F/A-22 for initial operational testing

October 15, 2002 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - Lockheed Martin has officially delivered the first production F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter to the U.S. Air Force. The formal acceptance documents for the aircraft were signed at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company facility here on October 23.

On a rare rainy day in the Mojave Desert, the F/A-22 Combined Test Force puts Raptor 4001 through wet-runway testing at speeds of 30, 60 and 90 knots. [U.S. Air Force photo by Kevin Robertson]

"It is supremely gratifying to achieve acceptance of our first production aircraft," said Bob Rearden, Lockheed Martin vice president and F/A-22 program general manager.

The aircraft, the tenth Raptor built, is a Production Representative Test Vehicle (PRTV) and is the first aircraft to be purchased with production phase funds. It will be flown to the service's flight test center at Edwards AFB, Calif., in the next few weeks. Raptor 10 will then be readied to successfully support the F/A-22 program's Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E) phase, scheduled to begin next year.

At Edwards, Raptor 10 will be assigned to the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) detachment, serving alongside Raptors 07, 08, 09 and 11 to demonstrate the F/A-22 is suitable for operational use.

AFOTEC's DIOT&E mission is to demonstrate the Raptor's lethality, survivability and reliability in a simulated operational environment. DIOT&E is currently scheduled to begin during the summer of 2003.

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