Raptor Passes Initial Operational Test and Evaluation


Released on Tuesday, February 1, 2005
United States of America
F/A-22A Raptor
AFOTEC - Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center
IOC - Initial Operational Capability
USAF - United States Air Force
The US Air Force (USAF) has announced that the F/A-22A Raptor Air Dominance Fighter has passed the initial operational test and evaluation demonstrating to be overwhelmingly effective in simulated combat scenarios. The report was released by the US Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) at Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Testing for the Raptor began in late April 2004 and was conducted at the Nevada Test and Training Range. With additional tests carried out in simulators at Lockheed-Martin's facility in Marietta, Georgia. The Operational Test and Evaluation Center performs testing on every new system acquired by the US Air Force. During the initial tests the F/A-22 demonstrated its operational effectiveness and the suitability of its weapons system.

The operational test and evaluation assess four issues: lethality, survivability, deployability and maintainability. Up to four Raptors were involved in this testing flying in a variety of airborne simulated combat scenarios. During the test, it met or exceeded performance expectations in altitude, speed, maneuverability and survivability. The F/A-22 Raptor performed more than two times better than the F-15C in the same scenarios. Due to its stealthy airframe, the Raptor was not engaged by the simulated ground-based air defenses while shoot down all the adversaries aircraft using its 'first look, first shoot' capability strongly related to its stealthy, advanced sensors and weapons system.

Finally, AFOTEC identified some deficiencies/concerns tied to Raptor's deployability and maintainability, but the US Air Force expects to solve that issue before this December when the F/A-22 is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability (IOC). IOC means the aircraft is ready to deploy worldwide in a combat mission. Meanwhile, Raptor flight training is on-going at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and flight operations have begun at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, which will be the home of the first Raptor fighter squadron.

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