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F-22 Raptor retrofit to take longer

July 8, 2015

F-22 retrofit   click on photograph to enlarge

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor may be the world’s greatest air superiority jet, but the supercruise fighter came with some major structural flaws that are still being addressed.

One $350-million programme in particular is making a mix of five major structural changes to 162 aircraft, including a mid-fuselage and engine bay retrofit, just so each can reach its promised service life of 8,000 flight hours.

Another ongoing effort, known as the reliability and maintainability maturation programme (RAMMP), is buying 10,824 upgrades kits through 2020 at a cost of more than $1.7 billion. The kits deal with various deficiencies, from the landing gear light that doesn’t always work to a $30 million upgrade of the cockpit’s primary multifunction display.

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