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Air Force finishes structural upgrades to 247 F-22s

Hill Air Force Base announced the completion of a project upgrading 247 F-22 Raptor aircraft by the 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Photo by Alex Lloyd/U.S. Air Force
Hill Air Force Base announced the completion of a project upgrading 247 F-22 Raptor aircraft by the 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Photo by Alex Lloyd/U.S. Air Force

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Air Force, along with with partners Lockheed Martin and Boeing, completed work on the last of 247 planes in the F-22 Structural Repair Program, officials at Hill Air Force Base in Utah announced on Wednesday.

Structural modifications, made by the 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, to the F-22 Raptor added flying serviceability of the fighter plane by an estimated 8,000 hours, according to the Air Force.

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Aircraft modernization, coating restoration, modernization and corrosion repair were among the assigned tasks to improve the plane, first flown by the U.S. Air Force in 2005.

"This is a great milestone for the program," Misty Stone, director of the 574th AMXS said in a press release. "Since Hill Air Force Base gained the F-22 workload in 2006, the 574th AMXS team of 400 employees has remained focused and dedicated on expanding the combat capabilities of the F-22 weapon system,"

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Over 3.8 million hours were spent on completing technical orders for repair, with 1.5 million hours dedicated to coating restoration and 2.3 million hours on modifications and corrosion repair, according to officials.

Five damaged F-22s were also completely overhauled.

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With the mission completed, the squadron will shift to modifying the planes' engine inlets and overhauling flight controls in what is known as a reversion program.

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"We have already ramped up our new reversion workload producing nine aircraft totaling nearly 200,000 hours to date," said Paul Woolever, 574th Production/Flight Test section chief.

"In conjunction with this workload, we are currently posturing ourselves to accomplish avionics upgrades that will greatly improve the already amazing capabilities of the F-22," Woolever said.

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