A team of airmen from the US Air Force's (USAF) Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) has developed a solution to address a recurring weapon's system issue with the stealth tactical fighter aircraft, F-22 Raptor.
The in-flight weapons system maintenance issue affected the radar cross section of the F-22 and it reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft's low-observability.
The issue that continued to exist for a few months would have helped enemy aircraft and radars to better identify the aircraft.
USAF 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member senior airman Samuel Privett said: “We have a fabrication machine in the shop that allowed us to create what we needed.
“We were able to fix the problem ourselves without having to send the jet off to the depot for maintenance.”
The airmen believed that replacing the entire affected system would cost approximately $40,000 to $50,000. However, an in-house team solution only cost $250, a fraction of the estimated cost.
The repair reduced the down time of F-22, allowing the aircraft to resume operations.
325th Maintenance Group commander colonel Jacqueline M. Mongeon said: "Diversity within teams helps us to view problems from a multitude of perspectives, experience levels and individual technical knowledge capabilities.
"We have the unique ability to leverage the knowledge of both more experienced maintainers with the fresh perspective and innovation the younger generation brings to the fight. New ideas tempered by a steady hand sets us apart as an organization and contributes to the overall mission."
The 62ft-long aircraft has the ability to collect and share tactical information with friendly assets, therefore allowing US and allied forces to engage targets with unmatched battlespace awareness, Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
Image: Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in flght. Photo: courtesy of Rob Shenk.