F-22A susceptible to FOD

F22A

A case has been put before the US Senate Armed Forces Committee for an $8M taxiway to be built at the Holloman Air Force Base (link to map). One of the arguments for the project is that the new taxiway would help reduce FOD damage to the F22A Raptor. The funding has been requested by Tom Udall, the senator for New Mexico. The case states:

Due to the high susceptibility of the F-22A to engine damage caused by ingesting Foreign Object Debris (FOD), F-22A operations require pavements free of FOD. If this project is not executed, all F-22A Raptor operations will remain susceptible to extremely costly FOD damage. Each engine in anĀ  F-22A costs over $6M and a single FOD incident can render an engine useless without major repairs. Given the fact that other installations operating the Raptor have already experienced severe FOD damage incidents, a project costing just under the price of one single F-22A engine pays for itself in short order. Failure to train aircrews in the world’s premier airborne weapons platform will greatly reduce the ability of the U.S. Air Force to project global airpower dominance in defense of the nation.(….source)

There is some evidence to backup the claims regarding the F22A’s susceptibility to FOD damage (and the expense):

In October, 2005 a F-22A from the 27th Fighter Squadron operating from Hill Air Force Base suffered $6.7 Million worth of damage to the right engine after sucking in 5-inch-long landing gear pin while the engines were running.(….source)

For more details and debate regarding the above incident see here.

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