Lockheed wins $10.9B contract to modernise F-22
Defence Redefined
Published on 12/11/2021 at 18:30

The US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $10.9 billion contract to modernize its F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

The Advanced Raptor Enhancement and Sustainment, or ARES program will cover up to a decade’s worth of sustainment and modernization of the fifth-generation fighter.

F-22 Raptor General Characteristics

  • Length: 18.90 meters
  • Height: 5.08 meters
  • Maximum take-off weight: 38000 kg
  • Maximum Speed: ​​2.25 Mach
  • Maximum flight ceiling: 65000 feet / 19812 meters
  • Range: up to 960 km


  • Machine guns: 1 x 20 mm M61A2 with 480 rounds
  • Air-to-Air Missiles: 6 x Aim-120 AMRAAM, 2 x Aim-9 sidewinder
  • Bombs: 2 x 450 kg JDAM or 8 x 110 kg GBU-39 small diameter bombs

According to a Defence Department announcement, the contract will cover services including upgrades, enhancements, and fixes to the Raptor. Lockheed will also provide logistics services and modernization hardware kit procurement.

If all contract options are exercised, the Pentagon expects the work to be finished by October 31, 2031. Work on the contract will be carried out in Fort Worth, Texas. The contract was a sole-source award to Lockheed Martin, which built the F-22. It is noted that no details have been made known regarding the number of aircraft to be upgraded or the delivery times until the completion of the project in 2031.

Also read: USA – INDIA | The “Hybrid” F-21 Fighter Jet – VIDEO

However, by the time the F-22′s modernization under ARES is finished, the aircraft could be nearing the end of its life span. Air Force Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Charles “CQ” Brown, said in May the Air Force plans to eventually retire the F-22 as part of an effort to trim its fighter inventory.

Also read: General Charles Brown | The first African-American Chief of the US Air Force

Air Vice-Marshal Clinton Hinote, and Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, said in a May interview with Defense News the service is planning to use the Raptor as a “bridge” until the Next Generation Air Dominance program is up and running.

Hinote noted that by the 2030s, the Raptor would be four decades old, having first gone into development in 1991. “It’s just not going to be the right tool for the job, especially when we’re talking about defending our friends like Taiwan and Japan and the Philippines against a Chinese threat that keeps growing,” Hinote said.

Also read: Japan | Developing An ‘Invincible’ Fighter Jet – VIDEO





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