USAF Considers Making all F-22s Combat Capable

The potential air-to-air threat from so-called fifth-generation fighters built by near-peer competitor nations has led to an interest in potentially increasing US air-to-air capability by making all Lockheed Martin F-22s currently used for training fully combat capable. This would include a proposed $1.7 billion programme for upgrading 34 Block 20 F-22s currently coded as training aircraft to the full Block 30 standard along with providing them with the Increment 3.2B upgrade package, currently planned to be applied only to combat-coded aircraft. Resea-F-22s used for testing would not be made combat capable.

David C Isby