Air Force Wants To Fly Retired F-117 Nighthawks For Another Decade

Air Force Wants To Fly Retired F-117 Nighthawks For Another Decade
F-117 Nighthawks are accompanied by F-15 Eagles on the flightline of the 144th Fighter Wing located at the Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif. Sept. 15, 2021. The F-117 Nighthawks are participating in dissimilar air combat training missions this week along with F-15 pilots from the 144th FW. (Air National Guard photo by Capt. Jason Sanchez)

Although the iconic Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was officially retired from active service in 2008 the U.S. Air Force is still flying the stealth aircraft at Tonopah Test Range (TTR). Now according to the latest reports, the U.S. Air Force wants to fly retired F-117 Nighthawks for another decade.

The U.S. Air Force is looking for suppliers of maintenance and logistic support to continue flight operations of the F-117 Nighthawk till 2034.

The Air Force Test Center published a Request For Information (RFI) about a possible 10-year contract for maintenance and logistics support services for the F-117A fleet at the TTR airfield.

According to the report, the services USAF seeks the following main technical objectives:

  • Maintenance and logistics support for F-117A limited flight operations at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) airfield.
  • The preservation of the F-117A aircraft fleet in an extended storage condition.
  • The demilitarization/declassification of F-117A aircraft determined to be an excess to Department of Defense requirements. Anticipated demilitarization/declassification rate is expected is a maximum of 2-3 aircraft per year.

Performance areas: The following are projected core performance areas related to F-117A Maintenance and support services:

  • F-117A Aircraft Maintenance Services
    • Maintenance management
      • Contractor’s ground operation procedures compliance with DCMA 8210.1C (with any revision implemented as of contract awards)
    • Launch and recovery operations
    • Aircraft inspection (pre/post flight, phase, calendar, etc.)
    • Aircraft systems troubleshooting and repair
    • Maintenance support tasks
      • Aircrew flight equipment (AFE)
      • Wheel and tire maintenance
      • Oil analysis
      • Aircraft weight and balance management
      • Engine maintenance/management
      • Low Observable (LO) configuration management, including composite and structural repair support
      • Mishap response
      • Munitions handling and storage – ejection seat explosives only
    • Maintenance plans and scheduling
      • Maintenance documentation
      • Maintenance Information System (MIS) management
      • Special Inspections and Time Change Item management
      • Aircraft historical documentation management
      • Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) management (Time Change)
  • F-117A Mission Support
    • F-117A T-2 modification services
    • Instrumentation systems design, installation, and repairs
    • Operation and maintenance of the F-117A mission planning system
    • Ground Diagnostic Imaging Radar operations and sustainment
    • Avionics repair using Consolidated Automated Test Equipment (CATES)
    • Aircraft Structural Integrity Program management
  • Quality Management
    • o Contract Quality Assurance
      • DAFI 21-101, Aircraft Maintenance and Equipment Management compliance
    • Maintenance Standardization and Evaluation
    • Technical Order management
    • Technician training and certification management
  • Logistics Support
    • Supplies/parts procurement o Government Furnished Property/Equipment (GFE/GFP) management
    • Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) management

For more details, you can see Request For Information (RFI) report.

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