The Raptor is the world’s only fully operational 5th generation fighter, combining stealth, unmatched maneuverability, supersonic cruise, integrated avionics and advanced situational awareness. We work with purpose and commitment each day to deliver this unrivaled capability to the men and women of the U.S. Air Force who operate and maintain the aircraft.
F-22s have been patrolling the skies in areas of strategic significance around the globe, projecting power and promoting deterrence in support of U.S. and allied security interests. Raptors have deployed to Japan, Guam and the United Arab Emirates.
The F-22 performs an absolutely critical role in today’s global security environment and will for decades to come. With the proliferation of denied-access threats such as advanced surface-to-air missiles and attempts by other nations to develop rival 5th generation aircraft, the F-22 can overcome and defeat these threats, secure the skies and enable other U.S. and allied air, land and naval forces to maneuver and operate without threat from the air. In short, air superiority is a necessary precondition to victory in conflict, and the Raptor will ensure air superiority well into the future.
Given the importance of the Raptor, our focus each day is to deliver the F-22 to the U.S. Air Force, to work in partnership with the service to keep the aircraft flying and to preserve and enhance its capabilities so that the Raptor stays on the leading edge for decades to come. Though we face challenges like any other program, we’re proud of our accomplishments and the momentum carrying us toward our overarching objective of getting Raptors off the production line and into operational service.
Production is going well. On Sept. 13, Raptor 4166 made its ferry flight from Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Ga., facility to Langley Air Force Base, Va. To date, we have delivered 166 F-22s, 13 this year. We are on contract to deliver 187 production Raptors, with production targeted to end in early 2012. As we complete production, we are committed to delivering the highest quality jets as has been demonstrated throughout the production run.
As the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and support integrator for the F-22, we oversee a robust, comprehensive sustainment program in partnership with the Air Force to maximize aircraft availability, reliability and performance at the lowest cost possible. We execute this partnership through a Performance-Based Logistics contract providing weapon systems sustainment of the F-22 fleet at operational bases, including training systems, customer support, integrated support planning, supply chain management, aircraft modifications and heavy maintenance, sustained engineering, support products and systems engineering.
We’re seeing positive results in Raptor sustainment. Improvements in maintenance procedures and subsystem design are resulting in improved performance that is as good as or better than other complex weapon systems at a similar point in maturity.
As we build and deliver Raptors and work closely with the Air Force to optimize aircraft availability, we’re also in partnership with the service to enhance the Raptor’s capabilities and keep the fleet ahead of the threat. In doing so, we’ll help ensure that the Raptor continues to deter conflict and advance regional and global security and stability for decades to come.
As general manager of the F-22 Program at Lockheed Martin, I have the privilege of leading the dedicated team that takes pride in building, delivering, sustaining and enhancing the world’s best air dominance fighter
By George Shultz, Vice President and General Manager, F-22 Program