SINGAPORE --- With the F-22 Raptor reaching U.S. Air Force Initial Operational Capability last December and the scheduled first flight of the F-35 later this year, the 5th Generation of fighter aircraft is now a reality. Lockheed Martin, which produces both aircraft, detailed some of the battle-changing advantages and unmatched capabilities the world's only 5th Generation fighters now bring to the United States and its allies.
George Standridge, vice president and deputy for business development at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, presented an in-depth look at the state- of-the-art attributes uniquely integrated in the F-22 and F-35 5th Generation fighters. "These fighters bring an order of magnitude increase in capability, survivability and supportability over legacy fighters, at a significantly lower cost and will transform defense worldwide," said Standridge, who briefed the press at the Asian Aerospace air show here today. Asian Aerospace is the region's foremost aerospace and defense technology exhibition.
"Lockheed Martin has launched the world into the fifth generation of military aviation," said Standridge. "We believe the F-22 and F-35 represent a major inflection point in military aviation and all aviation for that matter. The F-22 and F-35 are battle-changing systems. These two aircraft, the only 5th Generation fighters being produced or developed today, are the only fighters that can survive and defeat the threats of tomorrow."
Standridge said numerous analyses of tactical aircraft operations from a variety of government sources have all reached the same conclusions: 5th Generation fighters are significantly more effective than legacy fighters in all air dominance mission requirements and are the best value for the money.
Without getting into detailed, classified information, Standridge noted that the F-22 Raptor's unique combination of stealth, speed, precision, agility, situational awareness, air-to-ground and air-to-air combat capabilities make it unlike any other military aircraft in the world. It is faster to the fight, two times more reliable, and three-plus times more effective than the F-15 it replaces. The Raptor also requires 1/3 less airlift to deploy.
Standridge added that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be:
--Four times more effective than legacy fighters in air-to-air engagements
--Eight times more effective than legacy fighters in prosecuting missions against fixed and mobile targets
--Three times more effective than legacy fighters in non-traditional Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) and Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD/DEAD) missions
--About the same in procurement cost as legacy fighters, but requires significantly less tanker/transport and less infrastructure with a smaller basing footprint.
"The synergy that results from combining stealth, speed, maneuverability, persistence, information fusion and situational awareness, improved sustainability, lean deployment and the ability to work within and interact with a broad array of networked systems in a single platform represents a quantum leap in capability and survivability over previous fighters," said Standridge. "No other fighter in the world today besides the F-22 and F-35 can make those claims."
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.