Gen. Charles W. Lyon,
DOD: F-22 Analysis Continues
September 16, 2012
As an investigation continues into oxygen-deprivation issues involving
the F-22 Raptor fighter, Air Force officials remain optimistic about the
program’s future and the jet’s ability to perform, the director of
operations for the Air Force’s Air Combat Command told the House Armed
Services Committee today.
Air Force Col. Jeff Harrigian, 49th Fighter Wing commander, and Lt. Col.
Mike Hernandez, 7th Fighter Squadron commander, fly F-22 Raptors, June
2, 2008, over White Sands National Monument on the way to their home
base, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.
Maj. Gen. Charles W. Lyon said Air Combat Command convened a working
group in April, consisting of F-22 pilots, engineers, and medical and
safety professionals from the Air Force, Navy, NASA, Lockheed Martin and
“We’ve integrated their findings, continued the investigative process
and drawn conclusions that could not have been reached without the
benefit of this collaborative approach,” he said.
Previously unexplained F-22 physiological incidents, Lyon said, were a
result of a combination of factors.
“The trend over time has eliminated system-specific factors related to
oxygen delivery system components,” the general said. “Systemic factors
in the life-support system, such as the upper-pressure garment and the
C2A1 filter functionalities, have been identified [and] removed, and
corrective action is under way.”
The findings also determined that human factors contributed to incidents
at two F-22 locations.
“We’ve communicated findings and corrective actions to the [F-22]
community,” he said. “This communication has reduced the ambiguity and
uncertainty while significantly increasing pilot and ground crew
confidence in the F-22’s life-support systems.”
the task force has ruled out oxygen quality as being the cause of
previously unexplained problems, recommendations do include development,
testing and fielding of a modified valve for the Combat Edge
upper-pressure garment that F-22 pilots wear to help control breathing,
“The trend is on a positive vector not seen in years,” Lyon said. “The
Air Force is committed to implementing these changes to return the F-22
to normal operations, … significantly contributing to our nation’s vital
interest by providing air dominance … to protect and enable the joint
U.S. military force.”
F-22s, the world’s most expensive fighter jet, are forward-deployed to
support the objectives of geographic combatant commanders in the U.S.
Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of operations, Lyon
“This forward presence reassures our allies, enhances joint and
coalition interoperability and demonstrates our resolve for lasting
global relationships,” the general said. “Simply stated, the F-22 fleet
combined with complimentary capabilities from our joint partners allows
us to kick down the door and enable joint operations in the most
demanding environments that exist now and in the foreseeable future.”