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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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RE: They should build more of these.
By amanojaku on 12/8/2011 10:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know enough about military aerospace engineering, but I assume the issue is cost and complexity. The avionics package isn't cheap, and the 22's computers would need to be updated, as well. The hardware is on par with the F-16 and later planes, but not at the level of the F-35. And the 22's software is written in Ada, while the F-35's is written in C++. Getting the 22 there would likely double the cost, and we all seem to forget the 22 was over budget, as well, which is one factor that led to its termination.

The F-22 has a 5th generation frame with a 4.5 generation computer.

The F-35 has a 4.75 generation frame (it's based on the F-22) with a 5th generation computer.

Realistically, had the 35 been on schedule it would have replaced a bunch of F-15's, 16's, 14's and 18's for a minimal increase in flyaway cost per unit. Maintenance and upgrade costs would have been lower, considering the initial order of ~2,500 units. The next generation of fighter would likely have built on the technology of both the F-22 and F-35, using the profits from 35 sales as funding. After all, the US makes a profit off of every 35 sold overseas.


RE: They should build more of these.
By 91TTZ on 12/8/2011 11:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Getting the 22 there would likely double the cost, and we all seem to forget the 22 was over budget, as well, which is one factor that led to its termination.


The F-22 may have been over budget a bit, but it's nothing like the F-35 program.

Most of the perceived cost increase of the F-22 was actually due to them lowering the number ordered, making the per unit cost seem higher than it really is.


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