Defense

April 26, 2013

CTF celebrates Raptor’s 1,000th sortie

Tags:
Laura Mowry
Staff writer

The oldest flying F-22 Raptor, tail number 4007, successfully completed its 1,000th sortie April 19. The F-22 Combined Test Force celebrated the milestone with a James Bond themed plane-side ceremony, referring to the aircraftís tail number ending in ì007.î

The F-22 Combined Test Force celebrated an impressive milestone April 19, when the oldest flying Raptor successfully completed its 1,000th sortie.

For members of the CTF, the aircraft, tail number 4007, is affectionately referred to as the “James Bond jet,” referring to the aircraft’s tail number as well as its lethality and good looks.

“We had a plane-side ceremony, wrapped around the James Bond theme. It turns out our own tail number 007 has a lot in common with the silver screen ’007.’ It’s a great looking jet and it’s one of the most lethal jet’s on the planet,” said Lt. Col. Daron Drown, F-22 CTF director.

According to Lt. Col. Devin Traynor, F-22 CTF director of operations, the mission tested the Raptor’s next software upgrade.

“Just as you see software changes and updates to the operating system on your computer, we are working to upgrade the software on the F-22. This sortie was one of the first flight tests of Increment 3.2A, the next major software upgrade to the aircraft which will enhance its lethality and self-defense capability,” he said.

Boeing test pilot, Steve Rainey was at the controls for the jet’s moment in the spotlight.

“The milestone, compared to World War I when fighters flew 40 to 50 missions in their entire operational life before getting shot down, is huge by comparison,” said Drown. “These 1,000 missions were not reiterations of the same combat training mission – vast majority of these were very unique test missions.”

Since the jet’s arrival in October of 2001, the aircraft has participated in a wide-variety of ground and flight tests and in the true spirit of James Bond, the aircraft continues its vital role in weapons testing and development.

“It was the first F-22 to shoot an AIM-9M guided shot. On its second shot, it shot down a QF-4 drone target aircraft and put it on the bottom of the ocean,” said Drown. “In the early 2000′s, when F-22 was at the stage that the F-35 Lightning II program is now, if there was a guided missile shot or a bomb released-this is pretty much the jet that did it.”

While members of the CTF enjoyed the James Bond-themed ceremony, the real cause for celebration is the teamwork and manpower behind each mission’s success.

Through their hard work and dedication, members of the CTF continue the tradition of delivering leading-edge capabilities to the warfighter.

“It’s a great milestone; 1,000 sorties represents many, many more man hours of dedication and professional service in developing weapons of war for our Department of Defense,” said Drown.

“There was a lot of creative engineering work and a lot of elbow grease in maintaining the jet and we’re excited about what the next 1,000 sorties hold for this Raptor.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 
 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 

 

Future of AF helicopter fleets discussed at conference

Air Force Global Strike Command’s Helicopter Operations Division hosted the Worldwide Helicopter Conference at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 7-9, to discuss the current and future state of the Air Force’s helicopter fleets. The conference promoted cross talk among the Air Force’s helicopter forces, which are principally operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific Air...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First F-35A operational weapons load crew qualified

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Airmen with the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew one, prepare to load a GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition on to an F-35A Lightning II during a qualification load on Eglin Air...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>