Apr 12, 2014
All F-22s To Have Backup Oxygen Systems Within 12 Months
Lockheed Martin was awarded by USAF contracts to install the systems following a grounding and multiple high-profile reports of pilots experiencing hypoxia-like symptoms while flying the F-22, including a fatal November 2010 crash of a jet based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Most of the current backup oxygen systems in the F-22 fleet require activation by the pilot, which might not be possible in the case of extreme hypoxia-like symptoms, such as a pilot blacking out.
The Air Force in its fiscal 2015 budget request asks $330.6 million in research, development, test and evaluation for the F-22, and $331 million in procurement. This funding covers the Increment 3.1 software suite, which is scheduled to be complete in fiscal 2017. It includes new air-to-ground capabilities such as a new ground mapping radar, threat geolocation and the ability to carry the small diameter bomb.