Raptor Rising

So far in Fiscal 2009, the F-22’s overall mission-capable rates have been rising. Not by leaps and bounds, but steady improvement, nonetheless. From Oct. 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009, the Raptor’s MC rate among the combat air forces was 62.3 percent, according to information provided to the Daily Report by Air Combat Command. Through May, the number rose to 62.7 percent. And, as of June 26, the figure stood at 62.9 percent, ACC said. And during this fiscal year, contingents of Raptors have been on air and space expeditionary force rotations to Guam and Okinawa. Last year the F-22 program took some shots to the chin from then-Pentagon weapons executive John Young, who said Raptor MC rates were too low and the situation was getting worse. Conversely, Air Force officials told us in May that the trend line was positive, and the data we’ve seen now support that claim.