Air turbines for the F-22 Raptor aircraft are being refurbished at Tinker Air Force Base, under a new cooperative agreement between the US Air Force and defence industry partners Lockheed Martin and Honeywell.

The Tinker AFB has been selected due to its experience in turbine maintenance and testing.

The turbines take hot air from an aircraft’s engines and, through a combination of compression and expansion, cool the air for use in avionics and other equipment. Unlike traditional compressor turbines that use metal or ceramic bearings to reduce friction, the air turbines use only air, reducing friction and wear on parts

Lockheed Martin is providing parts and spares, Honeywell the tools and training and the USAF’s 550th Commodities Maintenance Squadron will supply personnel for the maintenance process.

About 19 turbines will be repaired for the last quarter for 2009, and the maintenance numbers will increase once the Raptors become operational.