Military Aviation

USAF F-22 Raptor fleet surpasses 500,000 flight hours

F-22 Raptor fleet reaches 500,000 flight hours

As the video in this post shows, the US Air Force (USAF) F-22 Raptor fleet recently reached 500,000 flight hours.

Since its introduction over 25 years ago, the F-22 Raptor has been at the forefront of air superiority, demonstrating unparalleled capabilities across diverse missions worldwide. Its proven performance and continued incorporation of advanced technologies make it the world’s premier air dominance fighter.

This milestone and the journey to it is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the entire industry and Air Force team, including pilots, maintenance crews and support personnel. Their unwavering commitment to excellence ensures the F-22’s operational readiness and effectiveness as a strategic deterrent.

Lockheed Martin says on its website;

‘As we celebrate 500,000 flight hours, we look ahead to the continued evolution of not only the F-22 but air combat in its entirety. The ongoing modernization efforts and strategic upgrades being made to the F-22 today will further enhance its capabilities, while also enabling the next generation of air dominance.

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

‘Here’s to the next chapter of unrivaled air superiority, as the F-22 Raptor continues flying for the future, paving the path with each and every hour.’

The Advanced Tactical Fighter program

The F-22 Raptor was the result of the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program aimed at finding a replacement for the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter.

The ATF entered the Demonstration and Validation phase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (YF-22 and YF-23) both completed their first flights in late 1990. Ultimately the YF-22 was selected as best of the two and the engineering and manufacturing development effort began in 1991 with development contracts to Lockheed/Boeing (airframe) and Pratt & Whitney (engines). EMD included extensive subsystem and system testing as well as flight testing with nine aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first EMD flight was in 1997 and at the completion of its flight test life this aircraft was used for live-fire testing.

The program received approval to enter low-rate initial production in 2001. Initial operational and test evaluation by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center was successfully completed in 2004. Based on maturity of design and other factors the program received approval for full rate production in 2005. Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command and Pacific Air Forces are the primary Air Force organizations flying the F-22. The aircraft designation was the F/A-22 for a short time before being renamed F-22A in December 2005.

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

F-22 sustainment

Lockheed Martin is committed to providing higher readiness rates, faster response and lower life-cycle cost to our US Air Force customer, the company says on its website. Through Follow-on Agile Sustainment, a comprehensive weapons management program and an award-winning performance-based logistics (PBL) contract, Lockheed Martin provides a highly integrated F-22 support system.

The key to F-22 sustainment is integration. Lockheed Martin strategic partnership with the US Air Force helps to merge highly complex sustainment activities into one unified operation. This integration allows for greater efficiency, lower cost, and enhanced responsiveness to the needs of the operators and maintainers in the field.

Sustainment work for the F-22 includes:

  • Reliability, Availability and Maintainability Program (RAMP): In the RAMP, our team inspects data from the field of operations and engineering solutions to increase aircraft availability for combat.
  • Modernization Line: The Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base houses the only current F-22 Modernization Line, integrating the latest system capabilities to enhance the Raptor’s asymmetric advantage over adversaries.
  • Stealth Coating Repair: About 50% of maintenance performed on the F-22 is related to repairing the low observable stealth coatings that are damaged when the aircraft is opened up for routine maintenance.
  • Engine Maintenance: The Pratt & Whitney F119 engines are designed to allow standard flight line maintenance using just six common tools available at commercial hardware stores.
  • Integrated Maintenance Information System (IMIS): IMIS enables maintainers to plug their laptop into the jet, log completed maintenance, and plug their computer back into the system to update a global database instantaneously, ensuring proper and complete maintenance records are kept no matter where the F-22 is deployed to on the globe.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

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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