Two More Raptors Upgraded

Two F-22 Raptors recently returned to JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, after receiving the Increment 3.1 hardware and computer upgrade in depot at Hill AFB, Utah. Elmendorf’s F-22s were the first combat-coded Raptors in the fleet to start receiving this upgrade; the base is home to more than 40 Raptors. “Increment 3.1 gives the F-22 the ability to precisely locate, engage, and target emerging ground threats,” said Lt. Col. David Piffarerio, commander of Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Fighter Squadron, in an Oct. 11 base release. Before the upgrade, Raptors had to rely on outside targeting information to drop guided air-to-ground weapons. With the new performance enhancements, Elmendorf F-22s earlier this year pioneered autonomous operational employment of both joint direct attack munitions and small diameter bombs. The Increment 3.1 modifications are installed in depot instead of at Elmendorf to allow the base’s maintainers to focus on keeping operational jets airborne, according to the release. (Elmendorf report by Capt. Ashley Connor)