Lt. Col. James Hecker (front) and Lt. Col. Evan Dertein line up their F/A-22 Raptor aircraft behind a KC-10 Extender to refuel while en route to Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Colonel Hecker commands the first operational Raptor squadron — the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va. The unit went to Hill for operation Combat Hammer, the squadron’s first deployment, Oct. 15. The deployment has a twofold goal: complete a deployment and to generate a combat-effective sortie rate away from home. [U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Ben Bloker]
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It is primarily an air superiority fighter, but has multiple capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Integrated Defense Systems provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and all of the pilot and maintenance training systems.
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