Lockheed Martin has delivered the first F-22 Raptor from its Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline facility to the US Air Force (USAF), following periodic maintenance.
The Speedline was established in Marietta, Georgia, in August last year, as part of a contract signed between Lockheed and the USAF for the maintenance of the aircraft.
The first F-22 arrived at the facility in November last year and two more F-22s arrived in December last year and January this year respectively.
Lockheed has been contracted to perform the inlet coatings work on a total of 12 aircraft.
The ICR work is in line with the air force's comprehensive weapons management programme, called Follow-on Agile Sustainment for the Raptor (FASTeR).
USAF 325th Maintenance Group deputy commander lieutenant colonel Argie Moore said: "The inlet coatings work, coupled with future improved low observable materials and repair improvements, is a critical part of increasing the 325th Fighter Wing's repair capacity and combat readiness.”
Additionally, Lockheed is providing modification support services, analytical condition inspections, radar cross section turntable support and antenna calibration for the aircraft.
According to the company, periodic maintenance is required to maintain the special exterior coatings that contribute to the fifth-generation Raptor's very low observable (VLO) radar cross-section.
The increase in F-22 deployments, including ongoing operational combat missions, has increased the demand for ICR, Lockheed stated.
The F-22 has been designed to collect and share tactical information with friendly assets in order to help the US and allied forces in engaging targets.
Image: Technicians inspect an F-22 Raptor at the F-22 Speedline in Marietta, Georgia. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin photo by Andrew McMurtrie.