Fighter Jet News

F-22 Raptor News

Lockheed Martin delivers F-22 Raptor to second operational squadron

March 5, 2006 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - The 94th Fighter Squadron, famous for its historic "Hat in the Ring" insignia and legendary aviator Eddy Rickenbacker, began receiving F-22 Raptors from Lockheed Martin today.

Lt. Col. Wade Tolliver delivers the second permanent F/A-22 Raptor at Langley AFB on June 8th, 2005 Shortly after, Maj. Charles Corcoran delivered the base's third Raptor. Colonel Tolliver is the 27th Fighter Squadron director of operations, and Major Corcoran is a pilot with the squadron. [U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker]

The two 5th Generation stealthy, air dominance fighters are assigned to the second operational squadron in the U.S. Air Force.

The two Raptors will join F-22s flying today as part of the 1st Fighter Wing's 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Lockheed Martin has completed final assembly on 71 of the 107 fighters now on contract, and 63 have been delivered.

"This is another great milestone in the history of the F-22 Program," said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and F-22 Program General Manager. "The F-22 will dominate airspace anywhere around the globe, around the clock, and survive in contested airspace better than any other aircraft in the world."

"Today's deliveries speak to the continued success of the program," Lawson added, "which includes a key milestone we surpassed in January by meeting our Congressional commitment to deliver 37 F-22 Raptors to the U.S. Air Force in an 18 month period."

The Air Force declared initial operational capability for the Raptor in December, and it is already flying operational missions in support of homeland defense. "We are proud to build such a sophisticated, 5TH Generation stealth fighter that can do things better than we ever imagined," Lawson said.

"Today is a great day in the history of the 94th Fighter Squadron," said Lt. Col. Dirk Smith, 94th FS Commander. "It's good to have some of our own iron on the ramp."

The 94th FS legacy of being a frontline fighter unit spans from World War I to operations in the Persian Gulf Region. This unit has been a key player in the fight to gain and maintain air superiority.

The F-22 dominates any adversary through unmatched performance achieved through stealth, supercruise speed, agility, precision and a complete view of the battlespace achieved with the advanced sensor suite embedded in the aircraft. The Raptor will enable combat commanders to change the way wars are fought over the next 40 years.

In addition to the active air force, pilots with the 192nd Virginia Air National Guard in Richmond are also flying F-22 Raptors. The F-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.