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Final Developmental Flight Test F/A-22 Ferries to California; Progress Continues Toward Operational Testing of the Raptor
PRNewswire-FirstCall
ORLANDO, Fla.

The final Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter built for developmental flight testing was flown from the company's facilities in Marietta, Ga., recently to California.

The aircraft will shortly join the U.S. Air Force's Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards Air Force Base. The flight testing is part of the program's Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase.

"It was extremely satisfying to see Raptor 09 leave Marietta for use by the Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB," said Ralph Heath, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company executive vice president and F/A-22 program general manager. "With this event, we move one step closer to closing out the program's EMD phase."

At Edwards, Raptor 4009 (Air Force serial number 91-009) will be assigned to the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) detachment there. It will be used to demonstrate F/A-22 lethality, survivability and reliability during the program's critically important Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E) phase, scheduled to begin this summer.

During DIOT&E four F/A-22s -- Raptors 08, 09, 10 and 11 -- all of which were delivered during 2002 -- will be used by AFOTEC and Air Combat Command pilots to determine whether the F/A-22 is capable of, and suitable for, operational use. An additional F/A-22, Raptor 07, will support DIOT&E as a backup aircraft.

In the spring and summer of 2002, Raptor 09 -- while still in Marietta -- was subjected to a series of tests conducted by the Air Force to validate how easy the F/A-22 is to maintain and repair. Known as Dedicated Logistics Testing and Evaluation (DLT&E), the successful completion of those tests was a major achievement, and a key event necessary for the timely start of the DIOT&E phase.

In related news, the F/A-22 program continues to execute EMD activities necessary before DIOT&E can begin.

  --  The F/A-22's flare countermeasures were recently flight tested for the
      first time.  During the test, MJU-10 flares were released from a
      Raptor test aircraft flown from Edwards AFB.  All flares separated
      cleanly from the aircraft.

  --  The first ground-based live-fire testing of the Raptor's M61A2 rotary
      cannon has occurred.  The test demonstrated the Gatling gun's basic
      functionality with a single, 6-round burst of 20mm shells against a
      fixed target.

  --  Lastly, to date, the Raptors at Edwards AFB aircraft have accumulated
      almost 2,900 flight test hours during more than 1,320 test missions.

The F/A-22 Raptor is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing, powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, and made from parts and subsystems provided by approximately 1,200 subcontractors and suppliers in 46 states. Principal aircraft 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. The engines are built in East Hartford, Conn.

Final assembly and initial flight testing of the Raptor occurs at the Marietta factory, production headquarters for the F/A-22 program's contractor team. The Raptor's low-observable control surface edges, antennas and radomes are built in Palmdale, while its mid-fuselage is built in Fort Worth. Boeing builds the aircraft's aft-fuselage and wings, while Lockheed Martin is the program's principal systems integrator.

The Raptor, scheduled to become operational in 2005, has unprecedented fighter and attack capabilities with its balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed and extreme agility, along with advanced integrated avionics and the pilot-friendly cockpit. These attributes make the Raptor truly transformational and will support the goal of quick, decisive victory in future conflicts, saving 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.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 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/ .

For more information on the F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter program, visit: http://www.fa22raptor.com/ .

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

CONTACT: Greg Caires, +1-770-793-0818, or greg.a.caires@lmco.com , or
James Saye, +1-770-793-1021, or james.w.saye@lmco.com , or Sam Grizzle,
+1-770-494-3211, or sam.c.grizzle@lmco.com , all of Lockheed Martin
Aeronautics Company