Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor Begins Initial Operational Test & Evaluation Phase
Marietta, Georgia, 30-APR-04 -- The U.S. Air Force has begun Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) of the F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter aircraft, an important phase of the program's overall acquisition. The F/A-22 is built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team.
"We congratulate the entire government and industry team that has worked so long and hard to achieve this significant milestone," said Dain M. Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "We believe IOT&E will clearly demonstrate the transformational warfighting capabilities of the Raptor aircraft as it moves toward being declared ready for operational service with Air Force squadrons."
The Air Force expects to complete IOT&E - which will be flown from Edwards Air Force Base in California - during September of this year. Initial operational capability of the F/A-22 is scheduled for December 2005 at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
The F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighter is the world's first truly stealthy military aircraft capable of simultaneously conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions with near impunity amid large numbers of sophisticated airborne and ground-based threats. 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 1,000 subcontractors and suppliers in 43 states. To date, 25 F/A-22 aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Air Force, with Raptors in operation at Edwards AFB, Calif., Nellis AFB, Nevada, and Tyndall AFB, Florida where they routinely demonstrated the F/A-22's unique and transformational warfighting capabilities. The Raptor will replace the U.S. Air Force's F-15C Eagle; the service has a requirement for at least 381 F/A-22s.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and 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, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter, and is a co-developer of the C-27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.