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USAF returns mothballed Raptor to fleet

The US Air Force has taken a Lockheed Martin F-22A out of storage and plans to return the Raptor to flying status by the end of this year, the service confirms to FlightGlobal.

The service’s fiscal year 2018 budget justification documents states the F-22 programme will add another operational test aircraft to the fleet by taking one aircraft out of flyable storage.

The USAF selected F-22 serial number 91-4006, an engineering, manufacturing and development model aircraft with a Block 10 avionics configuration. It has been parked at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Modifications worth $25 million to upgrade the parked Raptor to a Block 20 avionics standard have already started, a USAF spokeswoman tells FlightGlobal. The service will also modify basic systems including hydraulic, electrical and flight controls.

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