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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor delivered to the USAF today

The US Air Force took delivery of the last F-22 Raptor today at Lockheed Martin's plant in Marietta, Georgia.

It was a pretty elaborate affair with all the USAF big wigs like the chief, General Norton Schwartz, Air Combat Command boss General Mike Hostage, Pacific Air Forces commander General Gary North and a host of others.

Lockheed had its big wigs there too--CEO Bob Stevens, Aeronautics head Larry Lawson, and F-22 manager Jeff Babione all spoke during the ceremony.

And, of course, there legions of Lockheed and line USAF personnel--many of whom have worked on the program for decades. Which is a stark reminder that the Advanced Tactical Fighter effort originated in the early 1980s.

Overall, the mood was bittersweet since the USAF ended up with only a tiny fraction of the number of jets it wanted. 195 total--which breaks down into 187 production jets and 8 developmental test planes. Two have been lost, so the operational fleet consists of 185 jets.

Anyways, here are some pictures I took of the last jet 10-4195.

IMG-20120502-00030.jpgIMG-20120502-00029.jpgIMG-20120502-00028.jpg

My original plan was to have a full article up on the news part of the site, but unfortunately technological glitches have scuttled that effort. So this will have to hold you guys over till the morning.

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