Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Nears Completion of $250 Million Capital Investment to Build F/A-22 Raptor Air Dominance Fighter
WASHINGTON, DC, September 17th, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is moving toward the successful completion of a decade-long capital investment project at its facility in Marietta, Ga., totaling approximately $250 million. This investment will allow the company to efficiently and cost-effectively build large quantities of F/A-22 Raptor air dominance fighters at high rates of production. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is a business area of Lockheed Martin Corp. [NYSE: LMT].
"We have spent the last decade building the world's most advanced combat aircraft factory, incorporating both industry-standard 'lean thinking' and 21st century aerospace manufacturing processes," Bob Rearden, F/A-22 program vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., said today during a press conference at the Air Force Association's 2002 National Convention. "We have built robotic paint barns, radar cross-section verification facilities, air combat simulators and flight operations facilities necessary to delivery the world's most awesome fighter jet for years to come."
Since 1992, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. has vastly expanded its Marietta facility, adding close to 1 million square-feet of factory and office space dedicated to the design, development, test and production of F/A-22 Raptors. This includes a $28 million expansion of the F/A-22's existing production line and a new, $44 million coatings facility that uses automotive industry robots reprogrammed to paint Raptor subassemblies.
Related projects awaiting commencement or completion include a $15 million flight operations complex and a $20 million fuel barn and aircraft delivery center, which will be operational in 2005.
The F/A-22 Raptor, the world's first true stealthy fighter, is built by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in partnership with Boeing. The Raptor is powered by Pratt and Whitney engines and is made from parts and subsystems provided by approximately 1,200 subcontractors and suppliers in 46 states. Primary production activities take place at LM Aero facilities in Marietta, Ga., and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at Boeing's plant in Seattle, Wash. Final assembly and initial flight-testing of the Raptor occur at the Marietta factory, headquarters for the F/A-22 program's contractor team.
The Raptor will replace the venerable F-15 Eagle as America's premier front-line fighter jet starting in 2005. The F/A-22's balanced design of stealth, supercruise speed and super-agility, along with its advanced integrated avionics and overall user-friendliness, will allow the F/A-22 to help the Pentagon shorten future wars and save American and allied lives. Currently, the U.S. Air Force has an F/A-22 acquisition goal of 339 aircraft, but has stated its existing force structure requires at least 381 and as many as 762 Raptors.
At present, seven developmental F/A-22s are engaged in flight-test activities at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Another eight follow-on test vehicles are being built to support operational testing and tactics development. Furthermore, Lockheed Martin is operating under two production contracts to build a current total of 23 operational (warfighting) F/A-22s; President Bush's 2003 defense budget has requested Congress fund an additional 23 operational aircraft.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, T-50, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2.