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C4iSR: Air

US Air Force develops plan for restoring F-22 low observability maintenance capacity

23 August 2019
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Key Points

  • The US Air Force is determining how to improve the low observability maintenance capacity for its F-22 fleet
  • The capacity was damaged when the former F-22 home, Tyndall Air Force Base, was severely damaged by a hurricane in October 2018

The US Air Force (USAF) is developing a plan to restore low observability (LO) maintenance capacity for its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor multirole fighter fleet, although this might be trickier than originally anticipated, according to a top officer.

The US Air Force is looking to restore the low observability maintenance capacity for its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fleet, which was hurt by an October 2018 hurricane that hit Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Source: Lockheed MartinThe US Air Force is looking to restore the low observability maintenance capacity for its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fleet, which was hurt by an October 2018 hurricane that hit Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Source: Lockheed Martin

The former home of the F-22 fleet, Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, was devastated by a hurricane in October 2018. The USAF, in preparation, dispersed F-22s to three different bases: Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. The service lost critical facilities in the hurricane, including the buildings that maintain the LO coatings on the aircraft that help the aircraft evade enemy radar detection.

Air Combat Command (ACC) chief General James Holmes said on 23 August at an Air Force Association (AFA) breakfast that the USAF prefers to host the F-22 Flying Training Unit (FTU), formerly of Tyndall Air Force Base, at Langley Air Force Base. Unfortunately, he said, the air force did not build enough LO maintenance facilities at Langley because it curtailed production in fiscal year 2009 (FY 2009). Langley Air Force Base, he said, was originally designed for three F-22 squadrons.

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