A fast-changing world requires a new way of thinking about aircraft support. As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and support integrator, Lockheed Martin is committed to working 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.
Our collaborative partnership with the Air Force helps to provide fast delivery of capabilities needed in the field to ensure the F-22 fleet’s maximum readiness. Our integrated teams provide support to F-22 operators and maintainers wherever the F-22 flies, helping to keep it 22 constantly deployed since 2008.
The key to F-22 sustainment is integration. Our strategic partnership with the U.S. 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.
We provide sustainment services to the F-22 fleet through an Air Force-awarded Performance-Based Logistics, or PBL, contract and a comprehensive weapons management program called Follow-on Agile Sustainment for the Raptor, or FASTeR.
Through these contracts, the Air Force receives a highly integrated support system for the F-22 fleet that encompasses supply chain management, modifications and heavy maintenance, sustaining engineering, training, direct field support to the warfighter, and a seamless flow of technical data to the field through a 24/7 technical support center.
The PBL concept shifts sustainment from an approach oriented to maintenance transactions to one that focuses on aircraft performance. In basic terms, the contractor is accountable for providing capability or availability of the weapon system.
Two main areas of F-22 sustainment work include:
- RAMMP, or the Reliability and Maintainability Maturation Program: In RAMMP, our team is constantly inspecting 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, Utah, houses the only current F-22 Modernization line, or Mod Line. At this center of excellence, the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin integrate the latest system capabilities to bolster the Raptor’s asymmetric advantage over current and potential adversaries.
Improving Reliability and Reducing Maintenance Hours
As the F-22 continues to mature, we are focusing on further improving aircraft availability, reducing maintenance hours, and improving reliability and diagnostics, while enhancing efficiency and minimizing costs.
About 50 percent of the maintenance performed on the F-22 is related to repairing the Low Observable (LO) stealth coatings that are damaged when the aircraft is opened up for routine maintenance. We’re currently working on two sustainment projects to decrease maintenance in this area:
- Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline: In August 2016, the U.S. Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin to establish an F-22 ICR Speedline in Marietta, Georgia, and the first F-22 arrived there in November 2016. Lockheed Martin is on contract to perform ICR work and related support services on a total of 12 aircraft and a follow-on contract is anticipated.
- Mighty Tough Boot: The mighty tough boot will increase the strength of the boots, or the seams between aircraft panels. As a result, this will decrease damage to the seams and the LO coating when panels are removed for routine maintenance.
- Form In Place (FIP): FIP builds on the Mighty Tough Boot project, by improving the aircraft’s panels to make it easier for them to be removed during maintenance without damaging the LO stealth coating. This reduces time by eliminating the need for recoating the aircraft after maintenance.
Other sustainment activities include:
- 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: This system enables our team to work off a centralized network that consolidates maintenance and repair data worldwide. Maintainers can literally plug their laptop computer into the jet, log completed maintenance, and plug their computer back into the system to update the global database instantaneously. This ensures proper and complete maintenance records are kept, no matter where the F-22 is deployed to on the globe.