australian aviation logo

Last F-22 rolls off the line

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 14, 2011

The last scheduled F-22 Raptor has rolled off the production line. (USAF)

The last F-22 Raptor scheduled to be built for the US Air Force has rolled off Lockheed Martin’s production line in Georgia.

The fighter, tail number 4195, is the 187th built under the F-22 program, which began in 1988. Two have been lost, leaving the USAF with an operational fleet of 185 of the jets. Tail 4195 is scheduled to join the 525th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.

The twin engine F-22 was conceived during the closing stages of the Cold War as a stealthy air superiority fighter that would be faster and more manoeuvrable than anything else in the sky. With a top speed of roughly Mach 2.2 and a turning rate about twice that of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the pure flight performance of the F-22 is unlikely to be rivalled anytime soon, especially as fighter design turns to favour more advanced sensors and longer range weapons over close-in flight capabilities.

But the F-22’s price tag of roughly US$150 million each ran afoul of the belt tightening atmosphere in Washington, and the program was scuttled in 2009 in favour of the F-35. The US is scheduled to buy 2443 F-35s over the coming years, which are expected to cost about $65 million each once the JSF program reaches full production.

Still, a series of upgrades to the F-22’s sensors and weapons carrying capabilities are scheduled to go forward in the next few years, and Lockheed said it will preserve production line tooling and manufacturing know-how in case the Air Force decides to restart production in the future.


Below is a Lockheed Martin video commemorating the milestone.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comments (7)

  • Steve


    I presume APA will be holding a Wake!

  • A.B


    They make out its really special and sweet but at the end of the day its built for killing people!!

  • Freewuns


    You could look at it that way A.B and (I assume you are a US citizen) you could well be speaking Japanese or German or even Russian if it wasnt for similar killing machines built 70 yrs ago to save your ancestors butts!

  • Freewuns


    or even if you were Australian….same outcome!

  • Peter


    Lockheed hopes that in the future the F-22 program might be reinstated and the production can start again. Given the potential of the aircraft, the line preservation efforts an uncertain strategic picture, it could one day follow the C-5 or B-1 and a reborn in a few years.

    Someone out their mentioned if the F-22 production does start again in a few years or sometime later, the design of the airframe and the weapons bay should be enlarged (designated F-22C model) to be able to carry ground attack weapons internally as well as air-to-air missiles too so hopefully there will be no exaggeration about “lack of strike capability”, and have a longer range without refuelling beyond 2,000+ miles.

    Like you said Steve about the F-22A model does have a same range as to the F/A-18A/D model Hornets at 2,000 miles (3,700 km)


  • David


    What a waste of a life – and money. It’s just a machine.

    187 x 150,000,000 USD = 28.05 billion USD
    2445 x 65 million USD = 158 billion USD
    = great value

    It’s a shame their talent could have been used for something meaningful.

    “I was part of a team of the flame thrower.”
    “I was part of a team of the most powerful aircraft ever built.”
    Talk about distortion of values. How immature we are, despite our technological know how. Brought a tear to my eye.

  • Dane


    Great for airshows, but that’s about it.

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.