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The Final F-22: 4195   (Source: Lockheed Martin)
Final F-22 will be delivered next year

The F-22 Raptor has faced many challenges this year, which just so happens to be the final year the aircraft will be produced. The F-22 has had a number of issues, most notably the problem with the fighter's onboard oxygen generation system that has caused hypoxia like symptoms in some pilots.
The aircraft were placed on stand-down for months while an investigation was conducted. That investigating ultimately failed to find the cause of the hypoxia-like symptoms of some pilots and the aircraft were returned to duty with some restrictions months later.
With the aircraft off stand-down, Lockheed Martin was able to start the assembly line in Marietta, Georgia rolling again. Thanks to the production restart, the final F-22 rolled off the assembly line on December 13 bringing the procurement of the fighter program to a close. The final Raptor -- the 187th to roll off the assembly line -- has tail number 4195 and still has to undergo company and USAF flight-testing before it is delivered. After flight testing the aircraft will have its stealth coating applied.
The last Raptor will be delivered to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The Raptor will replace one that the squadron stationed their lost in a fatal accident.
With the final Raptor now complete, the Marietta production line will now be crated up and stored. Lockheed hopes that in the future the F-22 program might be reinstated and production can start again.
"It's sad to see the end of the Raptor, but given the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the state of the economy, it stood little chance," said analyst Richard Aboulafia at the Teal Group, Fairfax, Va. He also said, "Given the potential of the aircraft, the line preservation efforts, and an uncertain strategic picture, it could one day follow the C-5 or B-1 and be reborn in a few years."

Source: DefenseNews

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It is amazing...
By MrBlastman on 12/14/2011 5:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
What Americans can build when the put both their minds and bodies together in a joint effort to do so. The F-22 program stands a testament to this.

I sit here writing this though, shedding the proverbial tear as I look on at the last plane and the assembly line, lamenting that this place, the plant in Marietta, Georgia, this is a place where our tax dollars are well spent. Unlike the money spent on bailing out fat cat bank executives, paying for stupid programs like Acorn, or even road projects that were completely unneeded, this single plane and the monumental effort that went into it--not just the assembly, but also the production and procurement of all the individual parts and subsystems in it--this is where my tax dollars should be spent to help our economy.

I can only hope more Americans realize this and that one day, they also become less "cheap" and re-learn the value of goods produced within our own boarders, in our own industry--that ultimately benefits our own people. The millions unemployed will surely agree to that.

RE: It is amazing...
By MrBlastman on 12/14/2011 5:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
boarders != borders. Stupid spelling. :-|

RE: It is amazing...
By bigdawg1988 on 12/14/2011 5:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you ought to talk to some of the people that work there. There is PLENTY of money wasted at that plant. Some of the rules are so stupid they are mind boggling. Constantly repairing 40-50 year old AC units when it would be cheaper to buy new ones, etc, etc. And don't even get me started on Lock-heed's crookedness....

Still, that is one helluva plane, and those are some damned good workers!!

RE: It is amazing...
By Samus on 12/14/2011 5:27:09 PM , Rating: 1
It is one of the finest military aircraft ever built. The F35 (although suited for different purposes and more capable as a STOVL) has a lot to live up to over the next few decades.

Unfortunately, the F35 soars like the boat that it is and just isn't nimble enough to evade an attack, something that should be Priority 1 when designing a jet fighter.

RE: It is amazing...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/14/2011 7:38:31 PM , Rating: 1
It is one of the finest military aircraft ever built.

I agree with that. I would rank it right up with the P-51 Mustang and F-15 as far as legendary fighter planes in their time goes. Although the F-22 probably won't get to see as much action as the others, doesn't take away from the awesome effort and fighting ability of it.

RE: It is amazing...
By MrBlastman on 12/14/2011 9:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno man, after seeing this today...

I'm beginning to wonder...

RE: It is amazing...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/14/2011 10:27:02 PM , Rating: 1
We've had carriers since WWII. I'm not worried that China finally managed to build one.

RE: It is amazing...
By HypocriteWatch on 12/15/2011 12:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
China's "used" and inefficient carrier is not a factor. When will someone start to complain about how polluting and wasteful it is?

RE: It is amazing...
By Owik2008 on 12/15/2011 2:56:23 AM , Rating: 2
I think some people did start a movement for cleaner aircraft carriers in China but probably got put in front of the firing squad and then launched off the front of the carrier during the "Training & Research" period.

RE: It is amazing...
By Owik2008 on 12/15/2011 2:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't worry about it, it looks like they are only launching buses (just south of the control tower)... unless they are operating tour groups :)

RE: It is amazing...
By arazok on 12/15/2011 9:04:01 AM , Rating: 2
Stupid Chinamen! They forgot to put airplanes on it!

RE: It is amazing...
By TSS on 12/14/2011 11:08:21 PM , Rating: 4
The reason the F22 is the better fighter can probably be found in the F22 being designed as an Air superiority fighter

The F35 is designed as a fighter bomber. Though it's called "Multirole fighter" these days. It's designed to still be good in air-to-air combat, but it can also bomb stuff.

The F22 can shoot any plane out of the air but it can't do *anything* against a column of tanks. A F35 can. That requires sacrifice somewhere. And still if you put a 100 F22's vs 100 F35's, atleast 40 of your F22's are going down. That's not a bad number at all for a bomber

RE: It is amazing...
By arazok on 12/15/2011 8:58:21 AM , Rating: 4
if you put a 100 F22's vs 100 F35's, atleast 40 of your F22's are going down.

I'd buy tickets to that.

RE: It is amazing...
By e36Jeff on 12/15/2011 2:01:38 PM , Rating: 4
actually the F-22 can go after a column of tanks. it is spec'd to carry a pair of 1,000 lbs JDAM or 8 250 lbs SDBs. In fact, in testing, a Raptor dropped a 1,000 lb JDAM from 50,000 feet, while cruising at Mach 1.5, striking a moving target 24 miles away. The F-22 is the plane that inherited the F-117s mission. Granted, it is a bit more limited in what it can carry, but that tank column is not safe from attack from F-22s, and there are plans on the books to increase the air to ground abilities of the F-22.

RE: It is amazing...
By TSS on 12/15/2011 4:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
A pair of 1,000 pound JDAMs. Hah.

The F35 can hold 8 2,000 pound JDAMS.

RE: It is amazing...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/15/2011 6:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
The F35 can hold 8 2,000 pound JDAMS.

Kind of an expensive bomb truck, don't you think? Once the F-22's do their thing and establish complete air dominance, we can send in anything we want to drop the bombs. Why the F-35?

The F-35 is a bombing capable plane without a mission, to be honest. We have way better fighters, and better bombers. The F-35 is mediocre across the board, for WAY more money than better alternatives.

RE: It is amazing...
By gamerk2 on 12/15/2011 2:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
But the problem with the F35 is it doens't have a large enough payload capacity to be good as a fighter bomber; even the F18-E/F is more suited for that task. Hence why the A-10 has had its service life extended AGAIN.

I've long proposed giving the A-10 to the Army, since the Air Force doesn't and never wanted it...

RE: It is amazing...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/15/2011 6:46:49 PM , Rating: 1
That's because the F-25 compromises on EVERYTHING to be "stealthy". Except it's build on outdated stealth tech that is easily defeated already.

RE: It is amazing...
By MrBlastman on 12/14/2011 5:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
My next-door neighbor works at the plant every single day (he's an engineer there) as well as another guy I know personally as a friend who is one of the senior engineers there. I've never once heard either of them complain about it.

RE: It is amazing...
By MrBlastman on 12/15/2011 2:23:07 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, seems I pissed off a lot of Europeans and foreigners with my nationalism. Sorry if the truth hurts. Us North Americans have to take care of ourselves first. I'm sick of the United States pissing all their money into economies overseas while we suffer here.

RE: It is amazing...
By Zingam on 12/16/2011 4:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
Something stupid, expensive and complete waste of tax dollars, used to wage wars for some greedy corporate bastards.
At the same time US don't have cheap and secure health care for everybody. How about education?

Bad Choice
By simian pete on 12/14/2011 9:29:27 PM , Rating: 2

These F-22's still have some bugs in them, I'm sure the military will figure out what's wrong and fix the problems....

It's a bad choice to stop producing the F-22. We have to replace all them F-15's ! Plus other possibly hostile countries are developing more and more advanced military technology ...

To bring the price down seems like an industrial engineering problem. You can have a fighter custom built, or you can develop the technology (robotics, mechatronics) to build fighters at a lower cost ... sort of like a hi tech assembly line ......

So how about it, US military ? Time to change the production paradigm ....

RE: Bad Choice
By shin0bi272 on 12/14/2011 11:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
Re: F22 bugs... See F-16 LOL yeah they'll fix it eventually

Re: production... what? economics of scale? pshaw that only works in that evil money hungry private sector.

RE: Bad Choice
By Strunf on 12/15/2011 7:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
The companies that make the F-22 or any other planes are pretty much private... they don't really reduce the price per plane cause really there isn't competition, there are like just 2 contractors that can sell planes to the US and both are interested (like any private company) in squeezing as much money as possible from the state.

RE: Bad Choice
By invidious on 12/15/2011 9:27:46 AM , Rating: 2
The government typically forces companies to reduce their costs over time in modern contracts. This may not have been the case back when the F22 was contracted. But nowadays the price per aircraft drops over time and its up to the manufacturer to figure out ways to reduce their costs if they want to maintain profitability.

This is what bugs me about the military
By shin0bi272 on 12/14/2011 11:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
Dont get me wrong I love the military I just dont get why they only produce X number of an aircraft and then NEVER PRODUCE ANOTHER ONE EVER! We have B52's that have been flown by 3 generations of the same family! WHY CANT WE MAKE MORE B52S?! If you have an airframe that works and (like say the F15 which has never been shot down in combat) is a proven winner why dont we ever build more of them after the government orders their politically agreed upon number? When we upgrade an airframe like the one of the F15 to the F22 fine upgrade. But dont keep an airframe around and never build new ones of it.

Also I could have sworn that obama vetoed the funding bill for the 186 ordered F22s back in 09. When did the funding pass? Or is this just more deficit spending?

RE: This is what bugs me about the military
By bigdawg1988 on 12/15/2011 3:26:06 AM , Rating: 2
The reason why they don't make more B52s is that it would cost almost as much as a B2 to restart the 50 year old production line and produce those things. You'd have to rebuild the production line virtually from scratch, and the parts would be crap. Back in those days design wasn't that good as far as fit and tolerance. Parts would be hand modified to fit together due to overlapping tolerances. Engineers today aren't used to dealing with that kind of stuff, nor should they be. Same with the F15 and other aircraft. The machinery (tools, dies, etc) they used has probably been scrapped long ago.
I think the F35 will be "okay" once they get the STOL thing working reliably.

And you can't just produce old designs forever. As technology advances you don't want to be caught behind. The F15 may not fare as well against some of the newer fighters, but then again, with all the AWACS, JSTARS, etc., we rarely have to fight anyone in a straight up dogfight anymore. I would have preferred to wait another 10 years before producing the F22, but it looks like the F15/F16s were wearing out faster than expected, so the Pentagon certainly knows more than I do.

RE: This is what bugs me about the military
By shin0bi272 on 12/15/2011 1:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
Good points. My complaint though was why we stop producing them and scrap the machines that built them? The problem I have with this idea is that we know eventually we'll need new planes either from war or age or some other reason so why limit the production to what ever the government decides to buy? True you cant keep the machines around for 50+ years but how much more expensive are limited production runs of cars? Oh they only made 1001 of this muscle car 30 years ago? You have one in mint condition? Only asking a million for it? deal! That sort of thing. Economics of scale help out too. If you need to replace all of your F15's and F16's with F22's and F35's eventually the price of making them goes down. Then replacing them even later will be cheaper than designing, prototyping, testing, tweaking and selling to the government, an all new plane.

Two examples that I can think of about upgrading old designs are the AH-1z and the B-52h. According to wikipedia "B-52s are periodically refurbished at USAF maintenance depots such as Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Even while the Air Force works on its Next-Generation Bomber and 2037 Bomber projects, it intends to keep the B-52H in service until 2045, more than 90 years after the B-52 entered service and an unprecedented length of service for a military aircraft." So with plans to keep a plane in service for damned near a century I think we can make some new ones.

I do agree that we need to upgrade but we didnt replace all of our bombers with B2's and we didnt replace all of our fighters with drones (though that's probably gonna happen eventually). I also agree that the 15 and 16 are wearing out faster than expected but they are war planes that do 6+G turns... over the course of 40 years that will create lots of micro-cracks and stress fractures in the airframe (imagine what's going on in the BUFF's wings). I love the F22 but if youre gonna make a replacement aircraft you should probably replace the entire fleet (is that the right term?) of them rather than what 1/4? That's why Im saying keep the production equipment at hand and let the engineers figure out the minutia of the issues they come across (will of course require tests and checks before they release their first one)so that we arent hamstrung when we lose large chunks of aircraft in that eventual war with china.

They have an aircraft carrier now did you know that? They showed the picture either today or yesterday... then there was that F22 knock off jet. They are gearing up for something. Might not be for a decade or two but mark my words they are up to something and I dont just mean currency manipulation. Damned commies.

By Skywalker123 on 12/15/2011 11:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
What they are gearing up for is the taking of Taiwan, which they will eventually do, whether its 5 years or fifty.

US could have sold to allies.
By Justin Time on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: US could have sold to allies.
By edge929 on 12/15/2011 3:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
They may not always be our allies. Keeping the F-22 all to ourselves ensures we always have the upper hand. Ever played poker?

Our allies will be just fine with the F-35.

RE: US could have sold to allies.
By Justin Time on 12/15/2011 4:32:33 PM , Rating: 1
Britain, Australia and Japan were all identified as no-risk allies who could be trusted with the F22 and who expressed interest. The Pentagon and US Defence secretary both stated they had no objections to these potential sales... and yet the USA congress still chose to deny access.

By geddarkstorm on 12/15/2011 10:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
And congress was wise to do so. Some things we should always keep to ourselves. Our best gear should always stay -our- best gear.

Even if we can trust our allies to not turn our weapons against us, we can't control if the tech is stolen from them because they are not as competent at us with counter intelligence. Or if our relationship sours with them in the future (treaty dispute of any kind) and our "allies" give the technological secrets to a state we can't trust, like China. No matter how you slice it, giving them our cutting edge gives THEM leverage over us, even if they won't use the weapon directly against us. Diplomacy is a tricky, fickle beast.

Never, ever give out your best gear, because once it's beyond your control you don't know who else will get their hands on it, study it, exploit it, or even improve it, and eliminate all you technological edge. And as we've seen throughout all history, technological edge is one of if not the most important aspect in military superiority.

By 91TTZ on 12/15/2011 9:00:01 AM , Rating: 2

That also means that the production line for the F-22 is back in full swing. Lockheed spokeswoman Alison Orne said, "We are delivering jets. The last one delivered was 4185. 4195 will be delivered in late spring 2012."

The last F-22 that will be built will roll off the assembly line and be delivered in the spring of 2012. That aircraft will be stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska and is set to fly with the 3rd Wing.

By Neesnu on 12/15/2011 10:35:56 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks to the production restart, the final F-22 rolled off the assembly line on December 13 bringing the procurement of the fighter program to a close. The final Raptor -- the 187th to roll off the assembly line -- has tail number 4195 and still has to undergo company and USAF flight-testing before it is delivered.

If you read the whole articles you would understand that this is the end of the production restart.

By pwnsweet on 12/14/2011 7:24:57 PM , Rating: 3
That is one sexy fighter jet

By Amiga500 on 12/14/2011 5:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
'cos the F-35 is just lurching from disaster to disaster at the minute.

[There are a whole load of yet more problems just come to light that have yet to hit Dailytech]

Looks like half the damn airframe is gonna need a redesign to deal with fatigue issues.... fatigue issues - and the F*kking flight testing isn't even finished yet! Complete unmitigated disaster.

Just shows how stupid project managers are with "concurrency" on complex programs. Idiots.

their != there
By CharonPDX on 12/14/2011 8:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
The Raptor will replace one that the squadron stationed their lost in a fatal accident.

should be "stationed there"...

Yes that has to be why...
By DoctorBeer on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yes that has to be why...
By Nfarce on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: Yes that has to be why...
By Skywalker123 on 12/15/2011 11:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
The next President won't have the money for military toys

RE: Yes that has to be why...
By Skywalker123 on 12/15/2011 11:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Ironic that fighting all these wars are draining the ability of the Empire to buy new weapons.

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