HomeNewsArticle Display

F-22A Raptor goes operational

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw guides an F-22A Raptor into its parking space after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw guides an F-22A Raptor into its parking space after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw does a post flight inspection on an F-22A Raptor after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw does a post flight inspection on an F-22A Raptor after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Gen. Ronald Keys answers questions during a press conference to announce the F-22A Raptor's initial operating capability today. General Keys is the commander of Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quinton T. Burris)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Gen. Ronald Keys answers questions during a press conference to announce the F-22A Raptor's initial operating capability today. General Keys is the commander of Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quinton T. Burris)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Gen. Ronald Keys and Brig. Gen. Burton Fields answer questions during a press conference to announce the F-22A Raptor's initial operating capability today. General Keys is the commander of Air Combat Command. General Fields is the commander of the 1st Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quinton T. Burris)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Gen. Ronald Keys and Brig. Gen. Burton Fields answer questions during a press conference to announce the F-22A Raptor's initial operating capability today. General Keys is the commander of Air Combat Command. General Fields is the commander of the 1st Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quinton T. Burris)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- The F-22A Raptor -- Air Force’s most advanced weapon system -- is ready for combat, Air Force officials announced here today.

In reaching initial operational capability, the Raptor is certified ready for operational use.

The first combat-ready Raptors are flying with the 27th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Wing here. The squadron’s deployment capability is a 12-ship package designed to execute air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

“If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us,” said Gen. Ronald E. Keys, commander of Air Combat Command.

Declaring the transformational stealth fighter “IOC” means the Raptor’s proven capabilities are available for combat and supported by a properly trained and equipped force.

It also means the aircraft is qualified to fly homeland defense missions.

“F-22A IOC means our warfighters now have an unprecedented lethal mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities at their disposal,” General Keys said. “The Raptor’s cutting edge technology brings us continued joint air dominance despite advancing enemy threats.”

Reaching the IOC milestone culminates a collaborative 25-year effort between various Air Force organizations and industry partners. The road to the IOC included was a step-by-step process. The F-22A System Program Office first turned Air Force requirements into a successful acquisition program. Then there was developmental flight test and evaluation, simulation and ground testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Eglin AFB, Fla. There was engine testing at Arnold AFB, Tenn., and missile testing at Holloman AFB, N.M., and over the Pacific Test Range. Also, there was tactics development at Nellis AFB, Nev., pilot and maintenance training at Tyndall AFB, Fla., and deployability here.

“The F-22A fulfills a long quest to bring fifth-generation capabilities of stealth, supercruise and precision to the warfighter today and 30 years from today,” General Keys said. “Now that we have met our first promised milestone of a fully capable, multi-mission platform ready for combat, we are already focused on furthering our integrated tactics development, refining our deployabilty, growing and training our force.”

The general said, “To add to what we learned on our successful first operational deployment to the Utah Test and Training Range to drop JDAMs (joint direct attack munition), fly against double-digit SAMs (surface-to-air missiles) at Nellis and work (close air support) with F-16 FAC-As, we will conduct our first routine peacetime exercise deployment by taking 12 Raptors to Alaska in June for Northern Edge.”

Designed to ensure America’s air dominance for years to come, the F-22A will ensure U.S. joint forces’ freedom from attack and freedom to attack, even as adversaries continue to advance their weapons and technologies, officials said.

“As I told (Air Force Chief of Staff) Gen. (T. Michael) Moseley, he and I have spent our lifetime executing, instructing and providing air dominance for the joint force. Lamentably, we have never been privileged to hold a weapon like this in our hands.

“After reviewing our test results -- seeing our operational deployment performance and talking to the pilots that will go to war with it -- I am confident the F-22A joins the combat force at a far more mature and capable level than any of our previous great aircraft, and will take its rightful place in a long line of U.S. Air Force legends of the air,” General Keys said. 

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: With a little help from my friends 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 The @usairforce @AFThunderbirds perform with the @rafredarrows in the largest a…
RT @AF_Academy: New Academy telescope will be largest available for public viewing in Colorado. https://t.co/0e4AJJTHUn https://t.co/uHT0Mb…
RT @DepSecDef: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett on confirmation as the 25th Secretary of the @usairforce. A businesswoman, attorney, dipl…
RT @30thSpaceWing: #DYK –VAFB is partially powered by a 200 acre, 28MW solar array, reducing its electrical demand by 35%, saving the base…
RT @WrightPattAFB: An @AFResearchLab team recently delivered version 2.0 of the Survival Health Awareness Responders Kit (SHARK) to @usairf
Watch the video of Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett being sworn in. Click the link to learn more about… https://t.co/agE0mT2cFj
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett, the 25th @SecAFOfficial. I know she will lead the charge to modernize @usairforce operati…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: It’s a great day to be an Airman. Today Barbara Barrett officially became our 25th @SecAFOfficial. The men and women…
RT @DeptofDefense: Fill em up! ⛽ KC-135 Stratotankers from @RAFMildenhall refueled over 80 F-15s in a two-day exercise, offloading 480,000…
RT @SecAFOfficial: Today I officially became the 25th Secretary of the #AirForce. I'm conscious of the extraordinary privilege of working w…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: #BomberTaskForceEurope 20-1 is in full swing and B-52s from @TeamBarksdale are operating out of RAF Fairford to improve bomb…
RT @EsperDoD: During #CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth, I challenge all @DeptofDefense employees to stay committed, ensuring they are following…
RT @AirNatlGuard: Special Delivery! ✈️📦 The @109thAW teamed up with the @RCAF_ARC for Operation Boxtop, an annual resupply mission to suppo…
We strive to increase our Airmen's lethality and capabilities. Learn about firefighters leading the cost-effective… https://t.co/Nrgx3BSrtl
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett for her overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by @SenateGOP & @SenateDems to be the 25th Se…
Gen. Stephen Wilson visited Houston to help #SpaceCity celebrate #AstronautWeek. He visited @spacecenterhouston and… https://t.co/Nymvd98qvQ
Our Airmen continuously work to strengthen our alliances. Learn more about how EOD partnered with Niger Armed Force… https://t.co/VwRIOnBokn
Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of #HoustonWeHavePodcast by @NASA_Johnson where Gen Wilson joins Air Force Colon… https://t.co/Y7u9cHFtOt
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: This is an exciting day for our Air Force. Secretary Barrett brings an incredible background and a level of strategic…