Lockheed Martin has completed work ahead of schedule on the first of 12 F-22 Raptors at its Inlet Coating Repair Speedline facility in Marietta, Ga. There are two more Raptors currently at the facility, one that arrived in December 2016 and another that arrived in late January. “Periodic maintenance is required to maintain the special exterior coatings that contribute to the fifth generation very low observable radar cross section,” according to a company release. “The increase in F-22 deployments, including ongoing operational combat missions, has increased the demand for ICR.”
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.