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Friday, May 5, 2017

F-22 Raptors complete aerial targeting tests as part of major upgrade

By Richard Tomkins
May 4, 2017

May 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has completed operational tests of F-22 Raptors downing aerial targets with missiles as part of a major capability upgrade of the fighters.

The testing took place last month at the Utah Test and Training Range, Air Force officials said in a press release.

In the tests, the F-22 fighters fired inert AIM-9 and AIM-120 missiles against multiple BQM-167A sub-scale aerial targets, a "significant effort" along the 3.2B initial operational test and evaluation upgrade timeline, the Air Force said.

The jets were from the 411th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, Calif., while a team from the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron provided the BQB-167As.

The F-22s are due for a weapons systems upgrade in Summer 2019, which will include enhanced target location capabilities and new antennas for the aircraft's stealth abilities, among other developments.

"Threats are always evolving so we need to evolve this plane as well," John Cottam, F-22 program director at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, told Defense Systems.

The 3.2B modernization to the F-22 is the largest capability boost to the F-22 since the jet was granted Initial Operating Capability in 2005. The Air Force said the added capability enhances the service's air superiority but did not offer specifics.

Source: United Press International (UPI).
Link: http://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/05/04/F-22-Raptors-complete-aerial-targeting-tests-as-part-of-major-upgrade/9381493903181/.

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