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LOCKHEED MARTIN F-22 Raptor air dominance fighters begin operation in NEW MEXICO


HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.-- Ceremonies held at Holloman AFB, N.M., today marked the formal beginning of operations for the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-22 Raptor with the United States Air Force’s 49th Fighter Wing.

“The F-22 is the most advanced and capable fighter in the world,” said Larry Lawson, executive vice president and F-22 program general manager for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “Now it stands ready at a key location in the United States, prepared to defend America and our allies. The pilots of the 7th, 8th and 301st Fighter Squadrons will fly a weapon system that has the capabilities essential to dominate the air for the next three decades.”

The 49th Fighter Wing has made its mark in military aviation history from World War II through every major military engagement to include more than 80 F-117 Nighthawk missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. With the arrival of the F-22 Raptor at Holloman AFB, the 49th Fighter Wing is definitely the “home of the stealth fighter.”

A total of 183 production Raptors are currently on contract, and 119 aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Air Force. The F-22 is the only aircraft that blends speed, super-agility, stealth and sensor fusion into a single air dominance platform. Raptors have been in operational service with the U.S. Air Force since December 2005.

The F-22 is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. Parts and subsystems are provided by 1,000 suppliers in 44 states. Production takes place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facilities in Marietta, Ga.; Fort Worth, Texas; Palmdale, Calif.; and Meridian, Miss., as well as at Boeing’s plant in Seattle, Wash. Final assembly and initial flight testing occurs in Marietta.

Raptors are currently assigned to six U.S. bases. Flight testing takes place at the Air Force Flight Test Center 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 Raptors are assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, Va., the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and now the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, N.M. In the future, Raptors will be based at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.


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