Military Aviation

LOCKHEED MARTIN DELIVERED THE FIRST F-22 RAPTOR WITH NEW MORE RESISTANT RADAR-ABSORBING COATING

After USAF F-22 Raptors started to lose their radar-absorbing coating during military operation in Syria, Lockheed Martin developed a new, more resistant coating to apply to the 5th Generation stealth fighter

Lockheed Martin Corp. completed the first F-22 Raptor at the company’s Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline facility and delivered the aircraft back to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) ahead of schedule.

The USAF contracted Lockheed Martin to establish the Speedline in Marietta, Georgia, in Aug. 2016 and the first F-22 arrived there in early November. A second aircraft arrived in early Dec. 2016 and a third in late Janu. 2017. Lockheed Martin is on contract to perform this work on a total of 12 aircraft and a follow-on contract is anticipated. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is providing modification support services, analytical condition inspections, radar cross section turntable support and antenna calibration.

Periodic maintenance is required to maintain the special exterior coatings that contribute to the 5th Generation Raptor’s Very Low Observable (VLO) radar cross-section. The increase in F-22 deployments, including ongoing operational combat missions, has increased the demand for ICR.

“The inlet coatings work, coupled with future improved Low Observable materials and repair improvements, is a critical part of increasing the 325th Fighter Wing’s repair capacity and combat readiness,” said Lt. Col. Argie Moore, deputy commander of the 325th Maintenance Group.

Noteworthy as we have already reported the USAF F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, which took part in military operation in Syria, started to lose their radar-absorbing coating. After this issue Lockheed Martin developed a new, more resistant coating which will be applied to all F-22s during maintenance operations.

Lockheed Martin provides sustainment services to the F-22 fleet through a U.S. Air Force-awarded Performance Based Logistics contract and a comprehensive weapons management program called Follow-on Agile Sustainment for the Raptor (FASTeR). As the original equipment manufacturer and support integrator for the F-22 Raptor, Lockheed Martin works closely with the U.S. Air Force to integrate a total life-cycle systems management process to ensure the Raptor fleet is ready to perform its mission.

Lockheed Martin F-22 depot work is part of a public-private partnership agreement between the Air Force and Lockheed Martin that has been in place for nearly a decade.

Source: Lockheed Martin; Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

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

The story of the BEA C-47 Dakota that crashed onto the roof of a house near Northolt Airport. Amazingly, nobody was hurt.

The C-47 Dakota The Douglas DC-3, which made air travel popular and airline profits possible,… Read More

19 hours ago

Photos show a “flying saucer” (aka Avro Canada VZ-9AV Avrocar) arriving at the National Museum of the USAF via C-5 Galaxy

The Avro Canada VZ-9AV Avrocar Taken in November 2007 the interesting photos in this post… Read More

2 days ago

SR-71 pilot recalls when a KC-135Q crew flew through a thunderstorm with their tanker’s throttles frozen to refuel his Blackbird

The KC-135Q It’s impossible to overemphasise the essential role played by the KC-135Q tanker crews,… Read More

3 days ago

Here’s why the B-29 remote controlled turrets were worse than B-17 and B-24 manned turrets in protecting the aircraft from enemy fighters

B-29 Superfortress remote controlled turrets. Designed in 1940 as an eventual replacement for the B-17… Read More

3 days ago