AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The F/A-22 Raptor program involves 1,000 nationwide suppliers and subcontractors in 42 states. “This Lot 5 production contract sends a great message to the nationwide industrial base for the F/A-22 Raptor,” said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and program manager. Test flights at Edwards Air Force Base are among F/A-22 Raptor flights that have occurred at four bases, and the Air Force is preparing for initial operational capability in December – with the 1st Fighter Wing’s 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Able to fly at supersonic speeds for long distance and hard to spot on radar, the F/A-22 Raptor is intended to replace the F-15 Eagle as the Air Force’s top fighter. The “A” in its military designation notes that the F/A-22 fighter also can attack ground targets. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday that it has been awarded a $2.9 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force to continue making F/A-22 Raptor aircraft through November 2007. The contract provides for production of 24 of the fighters, increasing the planned total to 107, according to Lockheed. The money for the latest 24 was authorized in the 2005 defense budget. So far, final assembly has been completed on 66, including 53 delivered to the Air Force. The F/A-22 is built at Lockheed factories in Palmdale and in Meridian, Miss., Marietta, Ga., and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at Boeing Co.’s plant in Seattle. Final assembly and initial flight testing of the Raptor occurs at the Marietta site.