Boeing teamed with Lockheed Martin in the mid-1990s to develop and build the F/A-22, an extremely advanced tactical fighter. It combines stealth, integrated avionics and maneuverability and is intended as a replacement for the F-15 as Americas front-line dominance fighter.
The first production of F/A-22 was unveiled in April 9, 1997 and it was the first nine flyable F/A-22s built for flight testing.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems is responsible for program management, the integrated forebody (nose section) and forward fuselage (including the cockpit and inlets), leading edges of the wings, the fins and stabilitators, flaps, ailerons, landing gear and final assembly of the aircraft. The company is also responsible for the center fuselage; stores management; integrated navigation and electronic warfare systems; the communications, navigation and identification system and the weapon support system.
As of April 2005, Boeing had delivered 61 sets of wings and 66 aft-fuselages, as well as a number of integrated avionics flight-test packages and updates to Lockheed Martin. As a replacement for the F-15C, the fast, agile, stealthy F/A-22 was designed to take over the air superiority role with the Air Combat Command starting in 2005.
F-22s demonstrated exceptional performance at joint training exercise Northern Edge in Alaska during June 2006. F-22s also participated in the U.S. Air Forces Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB, Nevada, for the first time in February 2007 with superb performance in air maneuvers as well as maintenance.
Ongoing modernization efforts, including integration of the Small Diameter Bomb, electronic attack capability, synthetic aperture radar and the Coordinate Seeking Weapon, all of which will ensure the Raptors relevance throughout its 40-year service life.
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