February 10, 2007 The Lockheed Martin-led F-22 Raptor aircraft team is the recipient of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) 2006 Robert J. Collier Trophy, considered America's most prestigious award for aeronautical and space development. The NAA is the oldest national aviation organization in the United States dedicated to the advancement of the art, sport and science of aviation in the U.S. The Collier Trophy was established in 1911 and is granted each year "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America... during the preceding year." The list of previous winners reads as a who’s who of aviation including Orville Wright, Howard Hughes, Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, the crew of Apollo 11, and SpaceShipOne. Team members include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and BAE Systems. NAA President and CEO David Ivey called the F-22 “a revolution in aeronautics,” and pointed out the fighter’s performance in the 2006 Northern Edge military exercise, saying it “established the unquestionable superiority of the Raptor, a culmination of years of visionary design, rigorous testing, and innovative manufacturing.”
"Lockheed Martin and the entire Raptor Team are honored and thrilled to receive this esteemed award," said Ralph Heath, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Corporation and President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautic Company. "As the world's first operational 5th Generation Fighter, the Raptor will ensure air dominance for the U.S. and allied joint forces from Day One for decades to come."
"The Collier Award is not only a tremendous honor for the entire F-22 team, but also a wonderful tribute to the visionaries who conceived the Raptor and the warfighters who fly and support this revolutionary aircraft every day," said Larry Lawson, Executive Vice President and F-22 Program General Manager. "What airmen did in Alaska last year is only a sign of great things to come in 2007 and beyond."
The Raptor Team's nomination package underscored the numerous performance, safety and efficiency dividends the Raptor has provided to U.S. and world aviation through its development, testing and manufacturing phases. The nomination's main focus, however, was the Raptor's overwhelming performance in the demanding 2006 joint military exercise called Northern Edge. During the large-scale, force-on-force exercise, Raptor pilots flew an amazing 97 percent of their scheduled missions, achieved an unheard of 80-to-1 kill ratio against their Red Air "opponents", scored direct hits with 100 percent of their 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition air-to-ground weapons, and increased overall situational awareness for their entire team through the F-22's integrated avionics package. The Raptor's performance in Northern Edge confirmed that it is the most lethal, reliable, survivable and revolutionary fighter the world has ever seen. U.S. Air Force Raptor pilots who formerly flew legacy fighters say the F-22 is taking military aviation to a whole new level. Just as jet fighters were able to operate "with impunity" against piston-driven aircraft, the F-22 represents a quantum leap in capability and survivability over previous fighters. NAA President and CEO David Ivey said the fighter's performance has "established the unquestionable superiority of the Raptor, a culmination of years of visionary design, rigorous testing, and innovative manufacturing." Raptor Team members include the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, BAE Systems and some 1,000 suppliers in 42 states.