F-22 Retrofit Goes on Supercruise

The Air Force is accelerating the delivery schedule for the F-22’s auto backup oxygen system by approximately one year based on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s directive to speed the fielding of this important in-cockpit safety measure, service spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy told the Daily Report May 16. Under the expedited schedule, the Air Force will receive the first A-BOS phase one kit for retrofit on an F-22 in December, said Cassidy. Beginning in January, the planned retrofit rate is 10 aircraft per month, with both Air Force personnel and contractors performing the modifications, she said. At this tempo, the upgrade would be completed on all F-22s in June 2014, said Cassidy. The estimated total cost of A-BOS phase one is about $44 million; the Air Force is shifting funds from lower priority F-22 reliability and maintainability projects to cover it, said Cassidy. F-22 pilots will be able to manually activate the A-BOS at any time and it will automatically activate in the event of a rapid decompression or shutdown of the aircraft’s environmental control system, she said. The Air Force is still refining the requirements and fielding schedule for A-BOS phase two, which will add automatic activation based on aircraft oxygen sensors, said Cassidy.