Military Aviation

EDWARDS AFB TESTERS GAIN NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR KEEPING F-22 RAPTOR THE BEST FIFTH-GENERATION FIGHTER IN THE WORLD

“What we’re doing, you could almost call it Raptor 2.0, is essentially a rebirth of the Raptor and what it can do,” Lt. Col. Lee Bryant, 411th Flight Test Squadron Commander

411th Flight Test Squadron’s F-22 Modernization Team at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) recently garnered national recognition for having integrated software into the aircraft that interfaces the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) with the Air Force’s latitude longitude GPS based navigation system.

As explained by Christopher Ball, 412th Test Wing, in the article F-22 Quick reaction test and modernization efforts lead to national recognition, the MGRS was originally proposed by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to simplify coordinate exchange for the soldier or marine in the field. It is based on maps which are divided into grids in 1,000 meter squares with the equator, the prime meridian and the international dateline as references. Latitude and longitude, however are based on the degrees and minutes of a compass.

When a Soldier or Marine in the field identifies a target, the Raptor’s systems must be able to convert those grid coordinates into latitude and longitude for accurate targeting. Integration of MGRS into the Raptor allows it to do just that.

The team was tasked to conduct a quick-term test on the system and was able to field it within five months, enabling accurate air strikes against ISIS in Syria in May of 2016.

Lt. Col. Lee Bryant, commander of the 411th Flight Test Squadron, was the unit’s director of operations at the time of the testing.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-22A Raptor 192nd Fighter Wing, 149th Fighter Squadron, FF/04-4082 – Langley AFB, VA – 2014

“It was a quick reaction project,” he said. “Within a month of test completion the new capability was successfully utilized to strike ISIS targets in Syria.”

It was the quick integration of the MGRS capability, along with the 411th’s Raptor modernization efforts, that earned them the Air Force Association’s 2017 Citation of Honor Aerospace Award.

Bryant explained that the projects the team is doing now are also setting the stage for future projects.

“In addition to quick reaction projects such as MGRS, ongoing Raptor modernization efforts are focused on where Raptor is going in the near future,” he said. “What we’re doing, you could almost call it Raptor 2.0, is essentially a rebirth of the Raptor and what it can do. We’re making sure the Raptor, with its first look, first shot, first kill capability, continues to be the most capable fifth-generation fighter in the world.”

Photo credit: Teddy Techer

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

USAF McDonnell Douglas YC-15 pilot recalls AMST program failing to replace the C-130 Hercules

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 Vs Boeing YC-14 The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) YC-15 was a four-engine… Read More

5 hours ago

“Wild Weasel sighted SAM site—Destroyed same.” The story of Wild Weasel’s First Kill

The F-100F Wild Weasel After the single-seat, supersonic F-100 fighter entered service in 1954, it… Read More

5 hours ago

USAF predicted a six-year U-2 development plan but thanks to CIA spymaster Richard Bissell and Lockheed Aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson it was deployed in slightly over a year

Richard Bissell Richard Bissell, the senior Government official who took responsibility for the Central Intelligence… Read More

1 day ago

Photos show Wright-Patterson AFB and US Air Force Museum damaged by tornado

Wright-Patterson AFB and US Air Force Museum damaged by tornado On Feb. 28, 2024 Wright-Patterson… Read More

1 day ago

B-52 bomber Makes Emergency Landing due to Engine Fire, No Crew Injured

B-52 Emergency Landing Early on Feb. 23, 2024 a B-52H bomber at Minot Air Force… Read More

2 days ago