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F-22 Raptor

Stealthy air superiority fighter

F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor stealthy air superiority fighter forms a core of the USAF



Entered service 2003
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 18.92 m
Wing span 13.56 m
Height 5 m
Weight (empty) 14.36 t
Weight (maximum take off) 27.21 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney F119-P-100 turbofans
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x ? / 155.69 kN
Maximum speed > 2 500 km/h
Range (with 2 external tanks) 2 950 km
Combat radius 760 km
Ferry range 3 200 km
Armament
Cannon 1 x M61A2 20-mm cannon
Missiles 4 x AIM-120C AMRAAMs, 4 x AIM-9M/X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. GBU-32 joint directed air munition, AGM-88 HARM
Bombs GBU-22 Paveway III laser guided bombs

 

   Developed to meet the USAF's ATF requirement for an F-15 replacement, the F-22 air dominance fighter forms the core of the USAF's war-fighting selection. It was developed by Lockheed Martin.

   Between 1990 to 1997 two YF-22A prototypes evaluated some of the technologies proposed for the production ATF. The F-22's configuration is designed to meet VLO criteria, key features including a trapezoidal wing whose angles are repeated on other surfaces to reduce radar signature, canted fins and internal weapons bay. The core of the offensive avionics is provided by the APG-77 multi-mode radar and a side-mounted phased-array radar. The highly integrated avionics systems also include a data-link, inertial navigation system with embedded GPS for high-accuracy navigation, and advanced electronic warfare, warning and countermeasures systems. Two central computers manage the automatic switching of the sensors between completely passive and wholly active operation, according to the tactical situation. Artificial intelligence algorithms fuse data from the sensors and present only relevant information to the pilot to reduce workload while at the same time improving tactical awareness. The datalink allows tactical information to be shared with other F-22s. It is worth mentioning, that many of sensors and avionics of this plane remain classified.

   The F119 engines high military power rating allow the F-22 to supercruise over long ranges while thrust-vectoring nozzles, combined with a triplex fly-by-wire flight control system, make it exceptionally agile.

   The EMD contract issued in August 1991 called for 11 (later reduced to nine) F-22s; two were planned as F-22B two-seaters, but this aspect of the programme was cancelled in 1996 as a cost-saving measure. The first EMD F-22A made the type's maiden flight in 1997. By early 2001 the four available EMD aircraft had demonstrated the type's excellent capabilities. However, the US Congress called into question the value of such a costly, high-profile programme. Low-rate initial production of the F-22 was finally approved subject to compliance with stringent objectives. Production of the Raptor ceased in 2011. Currently USAF operates 186 operational F-22 fighters. Interestingly it was never offered for export customers, even other NATO countries. This advanced aircraft can not be exported under US federal law.

   It is worth mentioning that the F-22 started life as a straightforward air superiority fighter. However since it's introduction this aircraft lacks a formidable air threat from other countries fighters. Later it evolved towards the multi-role fighter, as strike capability was added.

 

Video of the F-22 Raptor stealthy air superiority fighter

 

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

 
F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor

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