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Sorry, but it was named after the bird, as per the Lockheed Martin public
relations department. Below is the press release:
Contact: Ray Crockett, Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems
Phone: (770) 494-3211
F-22 RAPTOR NEXT-GENERATION FIGHTER UNVEILED
MARIETTA, GA (April 9, 1997) --The curtain was drawn aside
today--literally--on a new era in aerial combat.
The first production F-22 air dominance fighter aircraft for the U.S.
Force was unveiled in ceremonies this afternoon in preparation for its first
flight next month. The rollout ceremony was hosted by the F-22 contractor
team--Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney.
Speakers at the ceremony included U.S. House of Representatives Speaker
Gingrich (R-GA); Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall; U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell
(R-GA), U.S. Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) and U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA); Air Force
Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald Fogleman; President of the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers George Kourpias; and Lockheed
Martin Chairman Norman Augustine.
Gen. Richard Hawley, commander of the Air Force’s Air Combat
ultimate user of the F-22, announced the popular name for the next-generation
fighter--Raptor. “This is the day we officially name a remarkable--in fact a
revolutionary--new multi-mission fighter,” said General Hawley in a
The aircraft displayed at the rollout is the first of nine flyable
be built under the current Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)
contract. The contract also calls for two additional airframes to be built
for ground-based static and fatigue testing.
“Rollout is an opportunity for the men and women and the families who
dedicated so much to F-22 to see the first fruits of the labors,” said Brig.
Gen. Mike Mushala, U.S. Air Force F-22 Program Office Director. “The next
exciting step is the return to flight next month.”
“The team has worked hard to bring Ship 1 to this point,” agreed Tom
Burbage, F-22 Team Program Office General Manager, “and it’s great to have
people see and appreciate the result of all that work.”
The F-22 is widely regarded as the most advanced tactical fighter in the
world, combining a revolutionary leap in technology and capability with
reduced support requirements and maintenance costs. It will replace the
aging F-15 as America’s front-line air dominance fighter, with deliveries
beginning in 2002.
Its combination of stealth, integrated avionics, maneuverability, and
supercruise (supersonic flight without afterburner) will give the Raptor
“first-look, first-shot, first-kill” capability against any potential enemy
aircraft. The F-22 is designed to provide not just air superiority but air
dominance, winning quickly and decisively with few U.S. casualties.
The F-22’s inherent air-to-ground capabilities also give it true
multi-mission effectiveness, complementing the primary air-to-ground
capability for which the Joint Strike Fighter (JST) is being designed.