USAF Lockheed F-22A Raptor Hits IOC
December 15, 2005, Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] F-22A Raptor, which is, according to Lockheed, the world's only 5th generation fighter aircraft, reached a milestone today when the United States Air Force declared that the Raptor has reached initial operational capability.
General Ronald E. Keys, Commander of Air Combat Command, made the announcement at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. "The F-22A fulfills a long quest to bring 5th generation capabilities of stealth, supercruise, and precision to the warfighter today and for decades to come," said General Keys in an Air Force news release. "If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us."
Lockheed says the Air Force is now capable of deploying and supporting 12 F-22A Raptor aircraft anywhere in the world to execute air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The Raptor is also qualified to perform homeland defense missions when required.
"It's another great day for our nation, the Air Force and certainly for the Raptor industry team," said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president and F-22 general manager. The Raptor is the very first supersonic, stealth fighter that incorporates capabilities never before possible in one weapons system and in the words of the Air Force, achieves 'overwhelming' performance."