The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is an American single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). As the result of the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program, the aircraft was designed as an air superiority fighter, but also has ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence capabilities. The prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, built most of the F-22's airframe and weapons systems and conducted final assembly, while Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.
The aircraft first flew in 1997 and was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 before it formally entered service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite its protracted development and operational difficulties, USAF considers the F-22 a critical component of its tactical airpower. The fighter's combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and mission systems enable unprecedented air combat capabilities.
The USAF had originally planned to buy a total of 750 ATFs. In 2009, the program was cut to 187 operational aircraft due to high costs, a lack of air-to-air missions due to the focus on counterinsurgency operations at the time of production, a ban on exports, and development of the more affordable and versatile F-35,[N 1] with the last F-22 delivered in 2012.