Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor Program Surpasses Another Key Flight Test Goal
MARIETTA, GA, November 18th, 2002 -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter program surpassed another key flight-test goal on Nov.13 by successfully completing initial flight-testing necessary for the U.S. Air Force to begin training pilots who will execute the programÂ¿s upcoming Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E) phase. The F/A-22 Raptor is cleared to fly up to speeds twice the speed of sound (Mach 2); to fly at altitudes above 50,000 feet; and to perform extreme maneuvers such as 9-g turns while flying subsonic (slower than Mach 1) at altitudes above 10,000 feet. Developmental flight-testing continues at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to achieve further flight envelope expansion necessary to start formal DIOT&E flight-testing next year.
"I wish to extend my congratulations to all members of the F/A-22 Combined Test Force and the Air Force-Industry team who were responsible for this significant accomplishment," said Bob Rearden, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. vice president and F/A-22 program general manager. "The flight-test and support teams have done an outstanding job achieving this goal per the plan and commitment made this summer."
This achievement also satisfies one of several Pentagon-mandated criteria that must be achieved prior to the U.S. Air Force awarding the F/A-22 Raptor industry team the Lot 3 production contract. Equally important, this achievement moves the U.S. Air Force closer to begin training pilots who will execute the programÂ¿s critical Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation phase. Pilots assigned to the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center detachment at Edwards AFB are scheduled to begin DIOT&E initial flight training early in 2003, while the formal DIOT&E phase itself is expected to begin approximately six months later.
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., Meridian, Miss., Fort Worth, Texas, and Palmdale, Calif., as well as at BoeingÂ¿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, headquarters for the F/A-22 programÂ¿s contractor team. The RaptorÂ¿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 aircraftÂ¿s aft-fuselage and wings, while Lockheed Martin is the programÂ¿s principal systems integrator.
The Raptor will replace the aging F-15 Eagle as AmericaÂ¿s premier front-line fighter jet starting in 2005. The Raptor 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.