LOCKHEED MARTIN AND BOEING have begun studying derivatives of the F-22 air-superiority fighter under a 24-month, $9.5 million, US Air Force contract (Flight International, 15-21 March). Missions under study are strategic attack/interdiction; lethal and non-lethal suppression of enemy air-defences; reconnaissance; and surveillance. The study is in two phases. The first, lasting ten months, will address requirements across the five mission areas, and define operational concepts, generating required aircraft-design characteristics. During the second, 14-month, phase, a "preferred system concept" for an F-22 derivative will be developed, and costs and schedules defined.

Source: Flight International