The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson has awarded a contract for up to $6.9 billion to Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics Co. to modernize the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet, the Air Force announced Wednesday.
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.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.