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F22 Program Timeline

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 Time Line last updated on: 9-17-02

Main Timeline taken From Raptor Stealth Fighter and adapted for this website.



When development of the F-22 began in 1981, the Air Force intended to purchase 648 aircraft at an estimated total program cost of $99.1 billion -- making it the most expensive weapons system in history. The program began to meet what was perceived as a growing threat of Soviet air power and to replace the F-15 fighter.

Requests for information were issued, resulting in concept definition studies awarded in September 1983 to Boeing, General Dynamics, Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop and Rockwell;








Competing engine demonstration/validation programs launched September 1983;






Requests for proposals for an Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) issued in September.




Submissions received by 28 July 1986;

On 31 October 1986 USAF announced selection of demonstration / validation phase contractors: Lockheed YF-22 and Northrop YF-23; Both Lockheed and Northrop produced two prototypes and a ground-based avionics testbed;

Ground testing started in 1986, continuing during 1987;






Flight-capable engines, Pratt & Whitney YF119s and General Electric YF120s were ordered early 1988;

Lockheed teamed with General Dynamics (Fort Worth) and Boeing Military Airplanes to produce two YF-22 prototypes, civil registrations N22YF (with GE YF120) and N22YX (P&W YF119);




October 11 the decision was taken to extend the evaluation phase by six months. First flight test of avionics in a Boeing 757, modified to include a F-22 wing section mounted above the forward fuselage to test conformal antennas.




First flights of all four prototypes.

USAF serial numbers 87-0700 and 87-0701 assigned, but only 87-0701 applied during second phase of testing, from late 1991.

- N22YF rolled out at Pahndale 29 August 1990;
- First flight/ferry to Edwards AFB 29 September 1990;
- First air refueling (1 lth sortie) 26 October 1990;
- N22YX first flight Palmdale Edwards 30 October 1990;
- Thrust vectoring in flight 15 November 1990;
- Anti-spin parachute for high angle of attack tests on 34th to 43rd sorties;
- AIM-9M Sidewinder launch demonstration 28 November 1990
- AIM-120A AMRAAM launch demonstration 20 December 1990
- Max speed of Mach 1.8 and super cruise of Mach 1.58 without afterburner achieved on 26 December 1990;

Temporarily grounded after 31 sorties/38 hours 48 minutes, 28 December 1990.

the F-22 team conducted a 54-month demonstration/validation (dem/val) program. The effort involved the design, construction, and flight testing of two YF-22 prototype aircraft. The dem/val phase of the program was completed in December 1990.




Flight test demonstrations included 100/s roll rate at 120 knots and super cruise flight in excess of Mach 1.58 without Second (F119-powered)

YF-22 taken by road to Palmdale mid-1991;

Fitted with strain gauges; began further 100 hour test programe 30 October;
Gathered data on aerodynamic loads, flight control aerodynamic effects, vibration/acoustic fatigue and maximum coefficient of lift;

The Air Force announces the F-22 as the winner in the next generation fighter contest.

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and its advanced aircraft were either not produced, or produced in limited quantity, and lacked the necessary maintenance to pose a serious threat to American fighters. Partially as a result, the Department of Defense cancelled both the MRF and A/F-X programs, but continued with the F-22 and F/A-18E/F.

Two contracts totaling $10.91 billion ($9.55 billion for the airframe and $1.36 billion for engines) were awarded for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) of the F-22 and F119 to the then Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics team and Pratt & Whitney in August 1991.




Flown by 65 10th test Squadron (F-22 Combined Test Force) of 65 10th Test Wing at Edwards AFB; a non-fatal crash landing at Edwards 25 April 1992, following pilot-induced oscillations;

Lockheed officials claimed that 95 percent of the testing was already complete at the time of the crash. The Air Force blamed the tragedy on the way the plane was operated and that certain operating restrictions and minor software changes should prevent future problems. After the crash, flight testing on the F-22 was suspended.

Non-flyable, but repaired for use as antenna testbed at Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss AFB, New York.




Fabrication of first component for first EMD aircraft (c/n 4001 ) began at Boeing's facility in Kent, Washington on 8 December 1993;

Combat role reassessment adds air-to-ground attack with precision-guided munitions to the F-22's roles. Weapons bay and avionics to be adapted for delivery of 1,000 pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); two JDAM's will replace two AIM-120A's in the main weapons bay.

In 1993, the Air Force planned to purchase 648 F-22s at a per plane cost of $84 million in 1995 dollars.

In 1993, the Department of Defense identified seven countries -- China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Cuba -- that pose potential threats to the United States. Estimates vary as to the quantity and quality of these countries' respective air forces. The General Accounting Office estimated that these potential adversaries, with the exception of China, possess air forces ranging from a low of 188 to a high 460 aircraft.




In 1994, procurement was reduced to 442 aircraft, with an estimated cost of $73.5 billion in fiscal year 1995 dollars. This raised the per plane cost to $91 million.

As of December 31, 1994, $11.9 billion had been spent on the F-22 program.




Supporters contend that the F-22 can also be used in an air-to-ground role. However, the Congressional Budget Office concluded in a February 1995 report that the F-22's utility in this role would be far less than that of an aircraft designed specifically for that mission.

The Congressional Budget Office report entitled "Reducing the Deficit" concluded in February 1995 that cancellation of the F-22 program would result in a five-year savings of $14.5 billion dollars. The CBO's primary reason for the cancellation option is that the F-22's additional capability is both unnecessary and too expensive.

The Critical Design Review (CDR) of the F-22 and the Initial Production Readiness Review (IPRR) of the F119 engine were completed in February 1995. The Air Force confirmed that the program was ready to proceed to fabrication and assembly of EMD aircraft.

Assembly work also begun at Fort Worth Summer 1995

Assembly of forward fuselage launched at Marietta on 2 November 1995 with start of work on nose landing gear well;

Supporters of the F-22 are expected to try and add $200 million to the military budget in fiscal year 1996 to avoid delays in the F-22 program. The Air Force originally requested $2.3 billion for fiscal year 1996 for the F-22 program, but the Pentagon reduced that to $2.1 billion. This follows a $110 million cut by Congress in the 1995 budget request, and $163 million in the FY 1994 budget plan.




$2.15 billion has been requested for fiscal year 1996

Mating of three assemblies that comprise the mid-fuselage of first EMD aircraft taking place in Spring 1996

Road transfer of the entire section to Marietta in August 1996, starting the final assembly process;

The anticipated total program cost of the F-22 is $73.5 billion for 442 aircraft.




$2.05 billion requested for fiscal year 1997.

First flight of an EMD aircraft, which was originally planned for May 1997 took place in September 1997.

Fall 1997
The number-one YF-22 prototype, painted and marked as the Pratt & Whitney powered aircraft, is scheduled to be put on display at the U. S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

October 1997
Approximately 10 F-22 test flights will be made from Marietta, Ga. During the later flights, the F-22 will undergo aerial refueling qualifications.

Although the Navy would like to adopt a variant of the F-22, the current design is only capable from operating from long, land based air strips. This model does not have a strong enough frame to handle the violent jolts incurred from landing on a short, moving aircraft carrier deck. The Navy maintains the option to begin work on their own variant in 1997.




March 31, An official ceremony today marked the transfer of the YF-22, the prototype for the F-22 Raptor, to the U. S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

May 17~18, The F-22 added another page to the base's long history of aviation milestones today when it resumed active flight testing at approximately 7:30 in the morning at Edwards Airforce Base. One day later the aircraft continued to check out "Code One", meaning returning to base with no deficiencies.

July 30, F-22 testers air-refueled a Raptor for the first time when aircraft 4001 topped off its tank behind a KC-135 about one-and-a-half hours into a test flight here July 30. The air refueling took place at an altitude of 20,000 feet and an air speed of 300 knots (approximately 345 mph) above Edwards Airforce Base.

August 26, The second US Air Force F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter, designated Raptor 4002, made its first cross-country flight today nonstop from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Marietta, Ga., to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. In California

October 13, Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley has flown the first F-22 built by Air Force contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney faster than the speed of sound for the first time.

The Air Force plans to procure 438 production F-22s, and production is scheduled to run through 2013.




The final Production Readiness Review for the F119 engine is scheduled to take place at Pratt & Whitney's facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. Later in the month, the F119 Full Flight Release is scheduled to be granted. Due to happen mid 1999

First flight of an EMD F-22 with a full avionics suite is expected to take place around mid 1999

September 30, 1999
The last of 27 EMD F119 flight test engines are scheduled to be delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems.

Low-rate initial production is scheduled to begin in 1999.

Planned delivery of lot 1: 2 pcs

During July the House Appropriations Committee agreed to suspend planned production of the F-22 stealth fighter, taking away some $1.8 billion in production funds to buy the first six fighters from Lockheed Martin Corp

Frantic negotiations were held over the next few months, to reach an agreement before the next official year started October 1st '99. House and Senate negotiators ended the struggle, giving the Air Force only half the $1.8 billion it had requested for next year to get the F-22 off the ground. The compromise spared the $65 billion program from being scrapped, as the House had voted last July.

The planes could only be put into production if certain performance tests were passed.




Planned delivery of lot 2: 6 pcs




The contractor portion of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the program is scheduled to be completed.  Defense Aquisition Board  grants the air force 295 planes.  Read about the production of the F-22's in this news article: Approval of F-22 Pleases Air Force

Planned delivery: 10 pcs



  13 planes delivered.

FB-22 conceived.  Still on drawing board as of 2002.  The FB-22 will be a variant of the F-22, but adapted for bombing missions, taking the role of a super bomber.  Will have a wing-style of an F-14 in supersonic mode (swept back, and most of body providing lift.).

F-22 has now been Re-designated as the F/A-22, officially.  






The F-22 is scheduled to enter operational service and it will begin to take over the air dominance role first with Air Combat Command late 2004.

Planned delivery: ? pcs














Data gathered from various news sources publicly available, among which Lockheed and the US AirForce,

Main Timeline taken From Raptor Stealth Fighter and adapted for this website.

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