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Lockheed rolls out last F-22 fighter for USAF


The final F-22 Raptor fighter jet is displayed before being rolled off the Lockheed Martin assembly line during a ceremony on Dec 13, 2011, in Marietta, Georgia. A USAF photo.

MARIETTA (BNS): The final F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF) has rolled out from Lockheed's Marietta plant on December 13.

The warplane is the last of the 187 F-22s produced for the USAF.

Lockheed had rolled out the first F-22 fighter jet in 1997. The aircraft, dubbed as world's first fifth generation fighter jet, took to the skies on September 7, 1997.

The final fighter jet is the 195th F-22 to roll off the line and into the Air Force fleet. Eight of these jets were built for developmental purposes, the USAF said.

The F-22 combines stealth, advanced sensors and advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons that make it possible for the aircraft to cruise faster than the speed of sound without being detected.

However, the $143 million price tag per aircraft, along with the current state of the economy and changes in the military requirements for post Cold-War challenges, lead government officials to the decision to officially cease production of the F-22 in 2009, the USAF said.

The final Raptor fighter is scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force in May, 2012.

Tags:

F-22  USAF  Lockheed  

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