Wednesday, September 05, 2007

100th F-22 delivered

F-22 Raptors fly in formation. Lockheed Martin delivered the 100th F-22 to the Air Force Aug. 29 in Marietta, Ga., and the latest aircraft will be assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers)

MARIETTA, Ga. (AFPN) -- Air Force officials received the 100th F-22 Raptor from Lockheed Martin in Aug. 29 ceremonies in Marietta.

The milestone aircraft -- Air Force serial number 05-0100 - will be assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne signed the Defense Department 250 Form, the official government acceptance document, at the ceremony. The 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB is expected to receive its full complement of 20 F-22s by the fall of 2008.

The F-22 is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverabilit, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities.

Starting with the first parts being made, production of each F-22 takes a total span of approximately 30 months. The various parts are sent to the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta for final assembly. With 30 positions on the assembly line in the 3.5 million square foot main production building in Marietta, the elapsed time in the major mate and final assembly process is approximately 12 months.

F-22s are currently assigned to five bases. Flight testing takes place at Edwards AFB, Calif. Operational tactics development is ongoing at Nellis AFB, Nev. Pilot and crew chief training takes place at Tyndall AFB, Fla. Operational F-22s are assigned to Langley AFB, Va., and at Elmendorf AFB. F-22s will also be based at Holloman AFB, N.M., and Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

"The F-22 is a testament to the skills of engineers and technicians from more than 1,000 companies across America," said Larry Lawson, the Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-22 program general manager. "This delivery marks a significant milestone for the Air Force and the F-22 program. The Raptor is providing top cover for America and our allies. We have developed the most capable fighter in the world, which is exactly what the men and women defending us deserve."