The US F-22 Raptor fighter jets, which are used by the US Air Force in Syria, have started to lose its radar-absorbing coating.
The US F-22 Raptor fighter jets, participating in a military operation in Syria, have started to lose coating, hiding them from radars, the Aviation Week news portal reported.
The radar-absorbing coating on bodies of the aircraft warped and started to peel off. According to the US Air Force, climatic conditions in the area of usage of the warplanes are one of the reasons of this trouble.
According to head of the F-22 program of Lockheed Martin, John Cottam, the coating wrinkles and peels off due to the fact that it loses its hardness and turns into its original liquid state. He also noted that this process is accelerated by external factors, including rain and sand dust.
Earlier, US pilots complained about destruction of radar-absorbing coating during contact with fuel and lubricating oil. In 2009, a former engineer of the Lockheed Martin, Olsen Derrol, accused the company of application several excessive layers of the radar-absorbing coating in order to hide the fact that the ‘invisible’ coating easily erased from a body of fighter jets under influence of water, oil and fuel.
Developers of the F-22 Raptor claim that they have created a new, more stable formulation and are going to use it on all the 186 produced fighter jets during maintenance operations. According to preliminary estimates, this process will take at least three years.