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.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is a business area of Lockheed Martin Corp.
"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.
The F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing, powered by Pratt and Whitney engines and made from parts and subsystems provided by approximately 1,200 subcontractors and suppliers in 46 states. Principal production activities take place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Fort Worth, Texas, and Palmdale, Calif., as well as at Boeing's plant in Seattle, Wash.
Final assembly and initial flight-testing of the Raptor occurs at the Marietta factory, headquarters for the F/A-22 program's contractor team. The Raptor's low-observable wing and vertical tail edges, low-observable antennas and radomes are built in Palmdale. Approximately 300 employees support the program.
The Raptor will replace the aging F-15 Eagle as America's premier front- line fighter jet starting in 2005. The F/A-22's transformational yet balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed and extreme agility, along with its advanced integrated avionics and overall user-friendliness, will allow the F/A-22 to help the Pentagon shorten future wars and save American and allied lives.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, T-50, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. Employing about 125,000 people worldwide, Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.
For more information on Lockheed Martin Corporation, visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/
For more information on Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, visit: http://www.lmaeronautics.com/
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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