USAF extends F-22 sustainment contract

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The US Air Force has extended its Follow-On Agile Sustainment for the Raptor contract with Lockheed Martin by $111.4 million, taking the arrangement, originally agreed in 2008 and extended in 2009, to $709 million.

The agreement is for a performance-based logistics contract providing weapon systems sustainment of the Lockheed Martin F-22 fleet at all operational bases for the 2010 calendar year, including training systems, customer support, integrated support planning, supply chain management, aircraft modifications and heavy maintenance, sustained engineering, support products and systems engineering.

 © Billypix

F-22 Raptors are assigned to seven US bases. Flight testing takes place at Edwards AFB in California, operational tactics development is ongoing at Nellis AFB in Nevada and pilot training at Tyndall AFB, Florida. Operational F-22s are assigned to Langley AFB, Virginia; Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; Holloman AFB, New Mexico and Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

Separately, the USAF is considering whether to launch a major upgrade for 63 of its F-22s. A decision will be made internally within a few months, but the service will wait to publicise the outcome until the Obama administration releases its fiscal year 2012 budget request next February.

Under review is a proposal to upgrade nearly half of the USAF's fleet of 186 operational F-22s with a suite of advanced new weapons that have entered service during the last few years, plus advanced communications equipment that is still in development.