‘Two F-117s are participating in DACT missions with 144th FW F-15s,’ USAF says. And releases first official photos of Nighthawks deployment to Fresno.

The USAF is looking for ‘suppliers with experience and capabilities’ to keep the F-117 Nighthawk flying until 2034

By Dario Leone
Jan 21 2023
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According to a Request For Information published on Oct. 3, 2022, the Air Force Test Center is looking for ‘potential suppliers with experience and capabilities to support a 10-year F-117A Maintenance and Logistics Support Services contract at the Tonopah Test Range.’

The F-117 is the world’s first operational stealth aircraft. The Nighthawk is a single-seat, twin-engine stealth attack aircraft. Only 64 were ever built and first flew in 1981. The US Air Force (USAF) “Retired” the aircraft in 2008.

Although officially retired, many F-117s remain airworthy and are used to support limited research and training missions based on overall cost effectiveness and their ability to offer unique capabilities.

As of January 2021, the USAF had 48 F-117s remaining in its inventory, and is disposing of approximately four aircraft each year. As airframes are disposed, they are offered to museums though the USAF Strategic Basing program and the National Museum of the USAF.

However, according to a Request For Information (RFI) (CLICK HERE to read the full RFI) published on Oct. 3, 2022, the Air Force Test Center is looking for ‘potential suppliers with experience and capabilities to support a 10-year F-117A Maintenance and Logistics Support Services contract at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR). Estimated Period of Performance start – 1 January 2024.”

According to the RFI these services involve the following main technical objectives:

  • Maintenance and logistics support for F-117A limited flight operations at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) airfield.
  • The preservation of the F-117A aircraft fleet in an extended storage condition.
  • The demilitarization/declassification of F-117A aircraft determined to be an excess to Department of Defense requirements. Anticipated demilitarization/declassification rate is expected is a maximum of 2-3 aircraft per year

Performance areas: the following are projected core performance areas related to F-117A Maintenance and support services:

F-117A Aircraft Maintenance Services

  • Maintenance management
  • Contractor’s ground operation procedures compliance with DCMA 8210.1C (with any revision implemented as of contract awards)
  • Launch and recovery operations
  • Aircraft inspection (pre/post flight, phase, calendar, etc.)
  • Aircraft systems troubleshooting and repair
  • Maintenance support tasks
  • Aircrew flight equipment (AFE)
  • Wheel and tire maintenance
  • Oil analysis
  • Aircraft weight and balance management
  • Engine maintenance/management Low Observable (LO) configuration management, including composite and structural repair support
  • Mishap response
  • Munitions handling and storage – ejection seat explosives only
  • Maintenance plans and scheduling
  • Maintenance documentation
  • Maintenance Information System (MIS) management
  • Special Inspections and Time Change Item management
  • Aircraft historical documentation management
  • Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) management (Time Change)
F-117A print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.  F-117A Nighthawk (Stealth) 49th OG, 8th FS “The Black Sheep Squadron”, HO/88-843, Holoman AFB, NM – 2008

F-117A Mission Support

  • F-117A T-2 modification services
  • Instrumentation systems design, installation, and repairs
  • Operation and maintenance of the F-117A mission planning system
  • Ground Diagnostic Imaging Radar operations and sustainment
  • Avionics repair using Consolidated Automated Test Equipment (CATES)
  • Aircraft Structural Integrity Program management

Quality Management

  • Contract Quality Assurance
  • DAFI 21-101, Aircraft Maintenance and Equipment Management compliance
  • Maintenance Standardization and Evaluation
  • Technical Order management
  • Technician training and certification management

Logistics Support

  • Supplies/parts procurement
  • Government Furnished Property/Equipment (GFE/GFP) management
  • Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) management

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

F-117 Model
This model is available to order from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

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Dario Leone

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.

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