Monday June 3, 9:49 am Eastern Time
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
MARIETTA, Ga., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News)-led F-22 air dominance fighter industry team has delivered Raptor 4008 — the program's dedicated low-observable, or stealth, reliability and maintainability flight-test and evaluation aircraft — to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Raptor 08 arrived at Edwards late Friday, May 31. It is the last Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD), or developmental flight- test, aircraft to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force.
Once at Edwards, Raptor 08 will be carefully monitored to determine the resistance of the aircraft's stealth coatings to both inclement weather as well as the usual wear-and-tear combat aircraft undergo while being operated and maintained in field conditions over a period of time. Despite the super sophisticated nature of the F-22 and its stealth technology, the Raptor is designed to be easily maintained on the ramp, adjacent to the runway, in a manner similar to today's conventional fighters.
"I am tremendously proud of, and would like to enthusiastically thank, everyone who had a hand in helping to deliver Raptor 08," said Robert Rearden, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. vice president and F-22 program general manager. "Raptor 08 will now join the ongoing flight-test activities at Edwards Air Force Base and is on track to support the U.S. Air Force's Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E) activities, scheduled to begin next year."
Team Raptor is currently working under two previous production contracts to build 23 F-22s. In addition, nine test aircraft already have been built to support the program's EMD phase. Eight more Production Representative Test Vehicles (PRTVs) also are in various stages of fabrication and assembly, and will be used following their delivery to the U.S. Air Force for both operational test and evaluation, and tactics development, at Nellis AFB, Nev., starting next year. To date, the F-22 program has accumulated approximately 1,900 flight-test hours during almost 850 flight-test sorties.
The F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter is built by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. 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 LM Aero facilities in Marietta, Ga., and Fort Worth, Texas, 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-22 program's contractor team.
The Raptor will replace the venerable F-15 Eagle as America's premier front-line fighter jet starting in 2005. The F-22's transformational yet balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed, and super-agility, along with its advanced integrated avionics and overall user-friendliness, will allow the F-22 to help the Pentagon shorten future wars and save American and allied lives.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and 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-22, Joint Strike Fighter, F-117, C-5, C-27J, C-130, P-3, and U-2.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp. 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.