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F-22 Raptor News

F/A-22 Raptor begins initial Operational Test & Evaluation Phase

April 30, 2004 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The U.S. Air Force has begun Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) of the F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter aircraft, an important phase of the program's overall acquisition. The F/A-22 is built by a Lockheed Martin -led industry team.

The F/A-22 Raptor on its first test flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. [Courtesy photo]

"We congratulate the entire government and industry team that has worked so long and hard to achieve this significant milestone," said Dain M. Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "We believe IOT&E will clearly demonstrate the transformational warfighting capabilities of the Raptor aircraft as it moves toward being declared ready for operational service with Air Force squadrons."

The Air Force expects to complete IOT&E - which will be flown from Edwards Air Force Base in California - during September of this year. Initial operational capability of the F/A-22 is scheduled for December 2005 at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.