The F-35 joint program office plans to update an onboard oxygen generation system to facilitate the flow of oxygen to pilots flying Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets, Defense News reported Tuesday.
The OBOGS upgrade plan is in response to five incidents of hypoxia-like symptoms or oxygen deprivation experienced by F-35A pilots at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona in June.
Brandi Schiff, a spokesperson for F-35 JPO, said a change in algorithm linked to oxygen concentration will be part of the OBOGS modification plan.
Schiff noted that Honeywell will design the updated firmware for the fighter jet’s OBOGS platform and create a way to retrofit all F-35 variants with the upgraded capability.
“Cost estimates are still being developed,” Schiff said.
“The current time estimate is 24 months, but the F-35 joint program office, or JPO, is pushing [F-35 prime contractor] Lockheed Martin to accelerate the fielding of this new firmware.”