10 Things You Didn't Know About the F-22 Raptor

The Senate voted to strip funding for the jet from a defense bill.

FILE -- In this June 22, 2009 file photo released by the U.S. Navy, an Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Gulf of Alaska.

An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby in the Gulf of Alaska.

By + More

1. The F-22 program began in the 1980s as a response to the threat of the Soviet Air Force during the Cold War.

2. The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. won a contract from the U.S. Air Force in April 1991 to begin building the F-22, a next-generation air superiority fighter jet.

3. Cost estimates for an F-22 range from $143 million to $350 million. The fighter is 62 feet long, has a wingspan of 44 ½ feet, and is flown by a single pilot.

4. The U.S. Air Force currently has 187 F-22 fighter jets ordered or in production. The military previously recommended 243 as its ideal fleet size for use in future missions against enemy aircraft, but it now says 187 is a sufficient number.

5. Under federal law, the F-22 cannot be sold to a foreign country.

6. Despite its intent as a war aircraft, the fighter jet has never been used in combat, including in Iraq or Afghanistan.

7. Making its Hollywood debut, the F-22 Raptor was featured in the 2007 blockbuster Transformers as the alternate form to Decepticon character Starscream. The jets were filmed at the Edwards Air Force Base.

8. In 2006, the F-22's development team won the Robert J. Collier Trophy. The award, administered by the National Aeronautic Association, is given annually for the nation's greatest achievement in aeronautics.

9. The Senate voted 58 to 40 on July 21 to stop the production of the F-22. The vote was part of the Obama administration's efforts to reshape the military's priorities.

10. The F-22 is scheduled to remain in service until 2040.

Sources:

  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
  • United States Air Force
  • The New York Times
  • The Associated Press
  • National Aeronautic Association