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Fri, Aug 10, 2007

Air Force Signs Multi-Year Deal For 60 F-22 Raptors

Combined Contract Saves Money Over Smaller Orders

Air Force officials signed a production contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. this week, to add 60 F-22 Raptors to the Air Force inventory by December 2011.

The multiyear contract for the fifth-generation fighters will save the Air Force $411 million, compared to a traditional annual procurement program of three separate, single-year contracts for 20 aircraft, according to Air Force Print News.

"The Air Force's efforts at streamlining the F-22 acquisition process through a multi-year contract is a substantial benefit to the American taxpayer," said Sue C. Payton, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, research and development.

With the multiyear contract, Air Force officials can lessen the costs resulting from changes in production rate, materials and other inflation effects.

"The global threat continues to increase among nations that already have fourth generation technology, and potential enemies to U.S. interests are making technological leaps to close the capabilities gap with the U.S.," said Maj. Gen. Mark D. Shackelford, the director of global power programs. "The procurement of the F-22 is another crucial step toward staying ahead of our adversaries' technological advances."

In June, the F-22 was awarded the 2006 Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association, which recognizes the most significant achievements in the advancement of aviation. Additionally, the fighter has been recognized for operational successes in numerous overseas deployment, Air Force and joint exercises.

The F-22s rolling off the production line today are being sent to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, to stand up a second operational location. Late next year, the Air Force plans to send the aircraft to Holloman AFB, NM.

"While we continue to plan for today's fight, we must also posture for tomorrow's war," General Shackelford said. "The F-22 is a key part of US combat power, and it will be a key part of joint air dominance for years to come."



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