F-22 Grounding Will Delay Some Raptor Deliveries

Lockheed Martin has delivered four F-22s to the Air Force since the grounding of the Raptor fleet in May. However, since the aircraft are barred from flying to their home bases, they remain on the flight line at the company’s production facility in Marietta, Ga., Lockheed spokeswoman Alison Orne told the Daily Report Tuesday. Air Combat Command stood down the entire F-22 fleet indefinitely as officials investigate potential malfunctions with the aircraft’s onboard oxygen-generation system that provides the pilot with breathable air in flight. Orne said, so far, the grounding has not impacted the delivery schedule and the production line continues to grind on—and wind down as the last Raptors in the Air Force’s program of record are assembled. However, that may change if the grounding continues much longer. “We expect to rollout the final jet at the end of the year, so the last one is already coming down the line,” she said. “We know we are going to have to make some adjustments. [Raptor aircraft] 4182 and 4183 were scheduled to be delivered this month, but because of the stand-down, we won’t be in a position to deliver them until August.”