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  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
Last F-22 set to be delivered next spring

Both of the USAF premier fighters have been plagued with significant issues over the last few years. The F-35 is back on track to some extent after numerous delays, even though some are calling for slowdowns in production of the aircraft. The F-22 is in full production, but that production has been problematic, as have existing aircraft.
The F-22 has been having problems with its onboard oxygen generation system that results at times in hypoxia-like symptoms for the pilots. The aircraft were on stand-down for a while, but that stand-down was lifted and the aircraft are back in the air. That means that aircraft that Lockheed had produced, but couldn't deliver are now heading to their final USAF homes.
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."
Lockheed also pointed out that while airframe 4185 was technically delivered, it was still undergoing flight-testing. After those tests are complete, the F-22 will be flown to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia where it will be based. The spokeswoman stated that the F-22 would be flown to Langley on December 8.
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor production line. [Source: Lockheed Martin] 

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.
In October of 2011 after the F-22 was returned to flight status, a wing commander in Virginia placed his fleet of F-22 Raptors on stand-down after another incident where the oxygen generation system of the aircraft was suspected of fault. As of now, no solution has been found to the problems the F-22 and its pilots are experiencing.

Source: Defense News

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The F-35 is no longer needed.
By jwflowersii on 12/7/2011 5:00:08 PM , Rating: 4
I'm a huge lover of military planes, but the reality of our times is that the F-35 is no longer a necessity and will probably be the last of a dying breed. With the limited loitering capability of supersonic aircraft in the types of conflicts we can expect in the future, other military hardware will accomplish the task. The most successful plane in the Iraq War was the A-10 because it could loiter and support the troops. We have cruise missiles and drones that accomplish surgical strikes that this airplane was designed for. We need to stop supporting companies and handing them these payouts.

RE: The F-35 is no longer needed.
By Nfarce on 12/7/2011 10:08:46 PM , Rating: 3
Judging the needs of the future based on the experiences of previous battles is myopic at best, and delusional and dangerous at worst. The global arena is too dynamic to make those kinds of judgements. The F-35 is both an A/G and A/A platform just like the F-16 and F-18 that have served nations for 30+ years.

While the US and allied nations have done plenty of air-to-ground over the last two decades of conflicts (including bombing Libya in 1986), we all have not gone air-to-air with another nation's air force since Gulf War I two decades ago. That day will come again, and we can't expect to know that drones flown by dudes drinking Red Bull a thousand miles away from the arena will win the day for us.

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