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  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
No more F-22 Raptors after final aircraft was delivered

Lockheed Martin has announced that it has delivered the final F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter to the United States Air Force (USAF). The final fighter is the 195th F-22 Raptor to be built. Lockheed held the ceremony for the final aircraft delivery with senior leaders from the aircraft manufacturer, USAF, local, state, and national elected officials.
“There is no longer any nation that wishes us ill or any adversary who wishes us harm that has any doubt that their actions will have consequences – that they will be held to account and that our response will be undeterred,” said Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martin’s chairman and CEO. “The very existence of this airplane – your airplane – has altered the strategic landscape forever.”
The aircraft will join the USAF 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. F-22 fighters are currently assigned to seven USAF bases around the world. Lockheed Martin notes that the F-22 is the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter.
The F-22 is a very impressive fighter capable of flying at supersonic speeds without afterburners (supercruise) and attacking both air and ground targets. The development and production of the F-22 fleet has cost over $74 billion according to the GAO. The F-22s in use right now require more than $11 billion and modernization work through 2017.
General Michael Hostage, the head of air combat command, recently said that a small number of pilots are actually refusing to fly the F-22. The refusal to fly has do with the fact that the Air Force and Lockheed Martin have so far been unable to determine the cause of the hypoxia-like symptoms some pilots experience while flying the aircraft.
The F-22 fleet was placed on stand down leaving pilots unable to fly for a number of months while the cause of the hypoxia-like symptoms were investigated. Ultimately, the fleet of Raptors was returned to the skies with no official determination on cause of some pilot issues.

Sources: Defense News, Lockheed Martin

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By anandtech02148 on 5/3/2012 8:52:10 PM , Rating: 1
China can just place some long range missiles in some friendly south american or carribbean country and that will sweat some american balls. OH Wait, the Soviet did that, America had to withdrawal missiles from Turkey. The kids never really got to know what was the reason behind the Cuban missile crisis, because America never told them the truth.

By Skywalker123 on 5/4/2012 10:04:37 AM , Rating: 1

Khrushchev was said to have bitched about being able to see the American missile bases from his seaside dacha. The Russsians didn't blink, they got exactly what they wanted, the removal of the American missiles.

By Just Tom on 5/5/2012 11:13:23 AM , Rating: 2
If it was such a victory for the Russians how come Khrushchev fell from power 2 years later? The withdrawal of missiles from Turkey and Italy was not officially part of the deal, although of course it was, and the announced agreement made Russia look weak. The resolution of the crisis was an enormous blow to Russian prestige and a minimal strategic gain since the missiles in Italy and Turkey were largely superfluous due to the introduction of ICBMs into America's nuclear arsenal. The Russians never have considered it a victory and I am willing to accept their view.

By Steve1981 on 5/4/2012 10:38:49 AM , Rating: 2
if you're the good guy, why do you have so many enemies?

Even if the US was a perfect angel (which I don't claim it to be), the reality is that the world is a competitive place with limited resources. No matter how nice you are, you're going to have enemies.

China can just place some long range missiles in some friendly south american or carribbean country and that will sweat some american balls.

And the US could send some missiles to South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan which would cause China to sweat, if not blow a gasket (at least in the case of Taiwan). What's your point?

By FPP on 5/12/2012 11:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Because, grasshopper, no one likes the sherriff until they need him..and the last time someone tried putting missiles at our doorstep they got tutored on that good old american game of chicken. Rational Marxist government-by-committee does not take irrational risks, but they do exploit advantages. They will be watched.

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