New F-22A Oxygen System in the Works

A U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor(right) prepares to land at Hickam Field in Hawaii on May 31, 2012. (Marcus Weisgerber/Staff)

A new oxygen system is in the works for the Air Force’s F-22A Raptor.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $19 million contract for what is being called the “automatic backup oxygen supply.”

Here is the June 5 contract announcement:

Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $19,154,000 (face value) cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for automatic backup oxygen supply in the F-22 Life Support System.  Effort includes 40 retrofit kits, plus non–recurring engineering, and 10 spares.  The location of the performance is Marietta, Ga.  Work is to be completed April 30, 2013.  ASC/WWUK, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8611-08-C-2897 P00145).

F-22A pilots have suffered dizziness, nausea, confusion and other hypoxia-like symptoms while flying the high-tech fighter. Maintainers who work on the aircraft have also experienced some these types of symptoms.

The Air Force has grounded the jet numerous times over the past year, however, no one has been able to find the cause of the problem. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta slapped restrictions on F-22A flights last month.

The Air Force is “working on this very, very hard,” Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said at a June 5 briefing at the Pentagon. “We expect that they will be briefing the[defense] secretary, giving him an update, in the very near future.”


Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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