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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?

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