Base awards $6.9B F-22 contract

The work will expand the type of weapons the aircraft can carry, add multi-spectral sensors, improve anti-jamming capabilities and add data link connections, according to B.J. Boling, a Lockheed Martin spokesman in Fort Worth, Texas.

“This is all about ensuring the F-22 maintains its position as the most dominant air platform in the world today,” he said.

The modernization will be added to every F-22 in the Air Force’s fleet, he said. Work is scheduled at supplier and Air Force locations across the country for the next decade.

Northrup Grumman and Boeing are among the major subcontractors expected to work on the upgrade, he said.

Lockheed Martin produced 187 Raptors for the Air Force’s fighter jet fleet before the final aircraft was delivered last year. Cost overruns and delays reduced the number of F-22s the Air Force had hoped to purchase.

The Air Force, including the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright Patterson, conducted tests on oxygen-related equipment, among other measures to find the source of complaints from some F-22 pilots who had reported feeling dizzy, or hypoxia-like symptoms, while flying the fighter.

The service imposed flying restrictions temporarily on the aircraft while it searched for the cause.

The Air Force has said it would redesign a valve in the pilot’s upper pressure garment to prevent improperly inflated vests from restricting breathing and install an automatic back-up oxygen system.

Boling said several restrictions on the aircraft have since been lifted.

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