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F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor

Role

Stealth Air superiority fighter

National Origin

United States

First Flight

YF-22: 29 September 1990, F-22: 7 September 1997

Introduction

15 December 2005

Status

Active, but out of production.

Primary User

United States Air Force

Number Built

187 in active service. Possibly more built.

Program Cost

US$ 65 billion

Unit Cost

US$ 137.5 million (2008 flyaway cost)

Variants

X-44 MANTA, FB-22



The F-22A raptor was introduced December 15th, 2005. The F-22A Raptor originated in the United States. It is currently Active. The F-22 has the role of a Stealth Air Superiority Fighter. Manufactured by: Lockhead Martin Aeronautics and Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. RWR (Radar warning receiver): range of 250 nmi (463 km) or more. Radar: 125-150 miles (200-240 km) against 1 m2 targets (Estimated range).

General Characteristics

Views of F-22

Views of F-22 Raptor

The F-22A Raptor holds a crew of one, it’s length is 62 ft 1 in, with a wingspan of 44 ft 6 in, a height of 16 ft 8 in. The wing area is 840ft2. The weight empty is 43,430 lb, weight loaded, 65,460 lb. Max takeoff weight: 83,500 lb.

Four external hard points can be fitted to carry weapons or fuel tanks, each with a capacity of about 5,000 lb.

It takes three months of ground training and another three months of air based training to fly the F-22A Raptor.

Maximum Speed

The maximum speed of the F-22 at altitude is mach 2.25 (1,500 mph, 2,410 km/h), The maximum speed of the F-22 during Supercruise is mach 1.82 (1,220 mph, 1,963 km/h), Range: 1,600 nmi (1,840 mi, 2.960 km) with 2 external fuel tanks Combat Radius: 410 nmi (471 mi, 759 km) Ferry Range: 2,000 mi (1,738 nmi 3,219 km) Service Ceiling: 65,000 ft (19,812 m) Wing Loading: 66 lb/ft2 (322 kg/m2)

Weaponry

Armanment.png

Armament

The weaponry of the F-22 Raptor can consist of the following

  • Guns: 1x 20 mm (0.787 in) MG1A2 Vulcan gatling gun in starboard wing rppt, firing 480 rounds per minute.
  • Air to air loadout:
  • 6x aim-120 AMRAAM
  • 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder
  • Air to ground loadout:
  • 2x AIM-120 AMRAAM and
  • 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder and one of the following:
  • 2x 1,000 lb (450kg) JDAM or
  • 2x Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMDs) or
  • 8x 250 lb (110 kg) GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs

Production

The first production F-22 was delivered to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on 14 January 2003 and “Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation” commenced on 27 October 2003, By 2004, 51 Raptors were in service.

The first crash of a production F-22 occurred during takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base on 20, December 2004, in which the pilot ejected safely prior to impact. The crash investigation revealed that a brief interruption in power during an engine shutdown prior to flight caused a malfunction in the flight-control system; consequently, the aircraft design was corrected to avoid the problem.

In August 2007, the United States Air Force signed a $5 billion, multi-year contract with Lockheed Martin that will extend production to 2011, and as of 2008, F-22 Raptors are being procured at the rate of 20 per year.

In a ceremony on 29 August 2007, Lockheed Martin reached its “100th F-22 Raptor” milestone, delivering aircraft 05-4100.

The United States Air Force originally planned to order 750 ATF’s with production beginning in 1994: however, the 1990 major Aircraft Review altered the plan to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. The goal changed again in 1994, when it became 442 aircraft entering service in 2003 or 2004, but a 1997 Department of Defense report put the purchase at 339. In 2003, the Air Force said that the existing congressional cost cap limited the purchase to 277. By 2006, the Pentagon said it will buy 183 aircraft, which would save $15 billion but would raise the cost of each aircraft, and this plan has been de facto approved by Congress in the form of a multi-year procurement plan, which still holds open the possibility for new orders past that point. The total cost of the program by 2006 was $62 billion.


Stealth

Although several recent Western fighter aircraft are less detectable on radar than previous designs using techniques such as radar absorbent material-coated S-shaped intake ducts that shield the compressor fan from reflecting radar waves, the F-22 design placed a much higher degree of importance on low observance throughout the entire spectrum of sensors including radar signature, visual, infrared, acoustic, and radio frequency. The stealth of the F-22 is due to a combination of factors, including the overall shape of the aircraft, the use of radar absorbent material (RAM), and attention to detail such as hinges and pilot helmets that could provide a radar return.

However, reduced radar cross section is only one of five facets that designers addressed to create a stealth design in the F-22. The F-22 has also been designed to disguise its infrared emissions to make it harder to detect by infrared homing ("heat seeking") surface to-air or air-to-air missiles. Designers also made the aircraft less visible to the naked eye, and controlled radio and noise emissions.

The Raptor has an under bay carrier made for hiding heat from missile threats, like surface-to-air missiles. The F-22 apparently relies less on maintenance-intensive radar absorbent material and coatings than previous stealth designs like the F-117. These materials caused deployment problems due to their susceptibility to adverse weather conditions. Unlike the B-2, which requires climate-controlled hangars, the F-22 can undergo repairs on the flight line or in a normal hangar. Furthermore, the F-22 has a warning system (called "Signature Assessment System" or "SAS") which presents warning indicators when routine wear-and-tear have degraded the aircraft's radar signature to the point of requiring more substantial repairs. The exact radar cross section of the F-22 remains classified.

Resources

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