Released: 3 Jan 2000
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- The Air Force Dec. 30 awarded contracts totaling more than $1.5 billion to Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems, Marietta, Ga., and Pratt & Whitney, West Palm Beach, Fla., to build six F-22 Raptor production-representative test vehicles.
The contract awards to the F-22's airframe manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, are valued at slightly more than $1.3 billion. These follow an earlier $195.5 million, advance buy contract to the company. A separate contract award of $180 million to Pratt & Whitney will fund two F-119 engines for each of the six aircraft, for a total of 12 engines.
"We are confident that the F-22 is ready to move forward in the defense acquisition process," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan. "These contracts put the F-22 program one step closer to its goal: a low-rate initial production decision by December 2000."
"During the past two years, the F-22 program, under the direction of Maj. Gen. Michael C. Mushala, has successfully met every acquisition milestone and achieved all development criterion established by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the program office," Ryan said. "Careful planning and execution by every member of the F-22 team -- government, prime contractors, and suppliers -- have helped this system pass every test with flying colors."
In a related effort today, the Air Force awarded the same two manufacturers separate, additional F-22 contracts totaling $277.1 million, to support the Lot 1 Advance Buy of l0 production F-22s. Lockheed Martin will receive $275.4 million, while Pratt & Whitney will receive $1.7 million. According to program officials, these contracts will focus on activities preliminary to building actual aircraft, such as buying components, vendor start-up and other procurement costs.
The first of the F-22 PRTV aircraft is scheduled for delivery to the Air Force by March 2002 for force development evaluation activities at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
The F-22 air superiority fighter is being developed to counter lethal threats posed by advanced, surface-to-air missile systems and next-generation fighters equipped with "launch-and-leave" missiles. Designed to replace the aging F-15, the aircraft will combine low-observable, advanced avionics and super-cruise technologies.
* F-22 Raptor Watch
* The F-22 Raptor
* Aeronautical Systems Center
* Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
* Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio