No Call From the Governor

There have been no indications that either President Obama or Congress will reverse course and allow more F-22s to be built for export, said Ralph Heath, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president. “We’ve heard nothing that would suggest a change of course,” Heath told the Daily Report Tuesday. The last of the Air Force’s 187 Raptors left the assembly line on Tuesday at the company’s plant in Marietta, Ga. Lockheed will deliver it to the service in the next couple of months. Japan had been holding out for the F-22, but has set it sights on the F-35 after the United States rebuffed its requests for the Raptor. Heath said F-22 tooling is already being packed up in climate-controlled containers and being shipped for long-term storage in Idaho. Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager who formerly ran the F-22 program, said “the only thing that would cause us to reopen the line now would be some catastrophe for the nation,” namely, a war requiring fresh F-22s to be built in a hurry.