The incremental shutdown of F-22 production hit another milestone last week as workers at Lockheed Martin’s aircraft plant at Fort Worth, Tex., completed the final F-22 fuselage mid-section. They marked the occasion with a special send-off, draping the mid-section in the Texas flag before sealing it in its shipping container for the journey to Lockheed’s F-22 final assembly facility in Marietta, Ga. Fort Worth workers constructed a total of 195 mid-sections for F-22 development and production aircraft, reported the Fort Worth Star Telegram. With the mid-section production run complete as of May 12, the workers began dismantling the line. The Air Force’s final F-22—the last of 187 production airframes ordered—is due to roll off the Marietta assembly line this summer. Its delivery to the Air Force is scheduled for February 2012.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.