September 7, 1997, marked the beginning of a new generation in air superiority, with the first flight of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.
The Raptor, which had its maiden flight in Marietta, Georgia, after six years of development, emerged as the first of the 5th Generation Fighter.
The program received approval to enter low-rate initial production in 2001. Initial operational and test evaluation by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center was successfully completed in 2004. Based on maturity of design and other factors the program received approval for full rate production in 2005. Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command and Pacific Air Forces are the primary Air Force organizations flying the F-22. The aircraft designation was the F/A-22 for a short time before being renamed F-22A in December 2005.
The F-22 Raptor is combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force.
The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
Lockheed Martin says the Raptor continues to provide our nation and allies air superiority and is a pathfinder to the next generation of air dominance.
Cleared for takeoff! Celebrating 25 years of #RaptorNation. 🎉 The #F22 first took flight on Sept. 7, 1997 after six years of development. The Raptor continues to provide our nation and allies air superiority and is a pathfinder to the next generation of air dominance. pic.twitter.com/nH7Iz9vnGf
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) September 7, 2022