13:52 GMT +316 October 2019
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    A US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft is parked inside a hangar

    Software Issues Cause F-22 Raptor Upgrade Delays

    © AFP 2019 / SAUL LOEB
    Military & Intelligence
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    An expensive program to upgrade the Lockheed Martin F-22, the Air Force’s “aerial quarterback,” has been set back by software issues.

    According to the Pentagon’s Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), continued delays in software development over the past two fiscal years have "limited development progress." While the Pentagon originally expected to have development testing completed in April, 2017, it is "unlikely," a recent DOT&E report noted, that development testing will be carried out "as planned."

    The software upgrades are part of an initiative to bolster the F-22’s air-to-air missile capabilities. New Raytheon air-to-air missiles are part of that package, but the project to incorporate deployment of those missiles with the F-22’s computer systems will evidently be delayed. The Pentagon is no stranger to delays in the development of advanced weapons systems. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which officials conceived in the early 2000s, still struggles with mechanical issues and internal fires even though the first plane was delivered in 2006.

    According to unclassified government documents, the total cost of the upgrade program is $613 million.  

    The Pentagon is hoping to arm the stealthy F-22 with Raytheon 9X Block 1 and 2 Sidewinder missiles, an advanced medium-range air-to-air missile, a common weapon employment zone for air-to-air missiles, renovated geo-location devices, and electronic weapon enhancements. These aspects of the upgrade have now been postponed.

    Tags:
    software, F-22, Raytheon, Pentagon, Washington
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