Raptor MYP Sealed:

The Air Force has cemented its multi-year procurement of 60 F-22A stealth fighters, awarding prime contractor Lockheed Martin $5 billion for three production lots of 20 aircraft each. Per Lockheed, that will extend the production line through 2011. The Air Force already has given the company $2.3 billion for long-lead contracts for parts. The Pentagon just certified the controversial MYP earlier this month following an independent review ordered by Congress that estimated savings of about $411 million. Even the low estimate—$274 million—derived by Rand analysts was nearly $50 million more than the USAF estimate. Lockheed has completed final assembly on 105 Raptors and delivered 99 to the Air Force. The first of the MYP aircraft will come off the Marietta, Ga., production line in 2008, bringing the total number to the currently approved 183 fighters.