F-22 Raptor

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to support the F-22 Raptor maintenance and repair work at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah, US.

Under the terms of $67.8m contract, the company will conduct preparation work. This will include procurement of materials and services for any F-22 aircraft heading into Hill AFB’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex (ALC) for maintenance and repair work.

Ogden ALC is set to perform all depot-level maintenance on the F-22, after the US Air Force (USAF) decided to consolidate the maintenance work being undertaken at the complex and at Lockheed’s facility in Palmdale, California.

According to a USAF analysis, the consolidation would result in a minimum cost savings of $300m over the programme’s life cycle.

In addition, a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report indicated Palmdale has higher labour rates than the Ogden ALC, and has charged more labour hours than the facility for performing similar modifications to the aircraft.

The report also noted that continuing maintenance issues with Raptor have resulted in the aircraft failing to meet its ‘availability requirement’, which is the time a jet is available for military use.

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"The Lockheed-built aircraft is originally expected to have a 30-year lifespan, which could be extended with modifications."

The Lockheed-built aircraft is originally expected to have a 30-year lifespan, which could be extended with modifications.

A fleet of 187 F-22s is currently operated by the USAF. The last of these were was manufactured in 2011.

In September 2014, the F-22 Program Office, along with the Ogden ALC, and Lockheed implemented a 21-month incremental transition plan that will eventually relocate all of the F-22 maintenance work to Hill AFB.

Approximately 12 F-22s typically undergo depot maintenance at the Ogden ALC every year, but the number is expected to increase to approximately 24 in 2015 due to the additional workload.

Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at Lockheed’s Palmdale facility and at Ogden ALC, and will complete by December 2015.

The F-22 Raptor is a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force. It performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission, allowing full realisation of operational concepts critical to the modern day air force.

Image: Lockheed will support F-22 Raptor maintenance and repair work at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.