The Air Force, along with with partners Lockheed Martin and Boeing, completed work on the last of 247 planes in the F-22 Structural Repair Program, officials at Hill Air Force Base in Utah announced on Wednesday. Structural modifications, made by the 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, to the F-22 Raptor added flying serviceability of the fighter plane by an estimated 8,000 hours, according to the Air Force.
Lockheed Martin won a $11.4 million deal, which provides engineering and logistics services in support of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program to monitor and manage fatigue and obsolescence issues and operational and/or technical problems arising from P-3 fleet usage for the Navy, Foreign Military Sales customers and other US government agencies. The P-3C Orion land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft was first operational in the US Navy in 1962. The P-3C first entered service in 1969 and has been continuously upgraded and updated with new avionics systems and mission equipment. More than 700 P-3 aircraft have been built by Lockheed Martin. The aircraft is operational in the airforces of ten countries. Work will take place in Marietta, Georgia and is expected to be finished in January 2026.
Middle East & Africa
The Times reports that a Pantsir-S1 air defense missile system was captured in Libya and turned over to the United States. A C-17 was sent to Zuwara airport last June to bring the system to Germany. The operation was ordered amid concerns that the Pantsir S-1 missile battery, which can easily bring down civilian aircraft, could fall into the hands of militias or arms smugglers in the war-torn north African country.
A detachment of Spanish Air Force Eurofighter combat aircraft and support staff arrived at Mihail Koglaniceanu Air Base on January 25, marking the service’s first operational deployment to Romania in support of NATO. Six EdAE Eurofighters and 130 personnel arrived at the base on Romania’s Black Sea coast, from where they will perform NATO’s Southern Air Policing mission through to the end of March. “This is the first time that Spain has sent [its] fighters to the southeast of NATO’s territory to support the alliance’s deterrence and defense measures,” NATO’s Allied Air Command said.
Draken International has rebranded its recently acquired Cobham Group Aviation Services UK business, changing the name of the UK-based aviation training provider to Draken Europe. The change has been made to differentiate the business from the Draken US branch of Draken International, and comes four months after the Aviation Services UK business was divested by Cobham Group on 25 September 2020.
Assault ship HMS Albion has transferred the duty of Royal Navy Fleet Flagship to aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. As Fleet Flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth will carry senior naval staff, receive foreign dignitaries, and act as a command and control centre for other Royal Navy vessels. In the last few decades, the flagship has usually been an aircraft carrier but in 2010 the flagship became assault ship HMS Albion, assault ship HMS Bulwark in 2011, helicopter carrier HMS Ocean in June 2015 and then back to HMS Albion in 2018.
Bell Boeing Joint Project Office won a $25.5 million, which adds scope for the production and delivery of nine right aft sponson fuel tank kits in support of V-22 Production Aircraft 9-17 for the government of Japan. Additionally, this modification provides development and updates to existing technical data as well as services in support of aircraft deliveries and aircrew pilot and crew chief training for the government of Japan. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. Boeing is responsible for the fuselage, landing gear, avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems, performance and flying qualities. Work will take place in North Carolina, Japan, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Texas. Estimated completion will be in March 2024.
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