F-22 Raptor

The F-22A Raptor is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Its combinationof stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics,coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap inwarfighting capabilities. The F-22A Raptor performs both air-to-air andair-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operationalconcepts vital to the 21st century Air Force. The F-22A Raptor , a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation's Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22A Raptor cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.

General Features and Capabilites
A combinationof sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, andweapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats. The F-22ARaptor possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot totrack, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before beingdetected. Significant advances in cockpit design and sensor fusionimprove the pilot's situational awareness. In the air-to-airconfiguration the Raptor carries six AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9Sidewinders.
The F-22A Raptor has a significant capability to attacksurface targets. In the air-to-ground configuration the aircraft cancarry two 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions internallyand will use on-board avionics for navigation and weapons deliverysupport. In the future air-to-ground capability will be enhanced withthe addition of an upgraded radar and up to eight small diameter bombs.The F-22A Raptor will also carry two AIM-120s and two AIM-9s in theair-to-ground configuration.Advances in low-observable technologies provide significantlyimproved survivability and lethality against air-to-air andsurface-to-air threats. The F-22A brings stealth into the day, enablingit to not only protect itself but other assets.
The F-22A engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine. The combination of sleek aerodynamic design and increased thrust allows the F-22A to cruise at supersonic airspeeds (greater than 1.5 Mach)without using afterburner -- a characteristic known as supercruise.Supercruise greatly expands the F-22A 's operating envelope in bothspeed and range over current fighters, which must use fuel-consumingafterburner to operate at supersonic speeds.
The sophisticated F-22A Raptor aerodesign, advanced flight controls,thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide thecapability to outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft. The F-22Adesign has been extensively tested and refined aerodynamically duringthe development process.
The F-22A Raptor's characteristics provide a synergistic effect ensuring F-22A lethality against all advanced air threats. The combinationof stealth, integrated avionics and supercruise drastically shrinkssurface-to-air missile engagement envelopes and minimizes enemycapabilities to track and engage the F-22A . Thecombination of reduced observability and supercruise accentuates the advantage of surprise in a tactical environment.
The F-22A Raptor will have better reliability and maintainability than any fighter aircraftin history. An F-22A Raptor squadron will require less than half asmuch airlift as an F-15 squadron to deploy. Increased F-22A reliabilityand maintainability pays off in less manpower required to fix theaircraft and the ability to operate more efficiently.
Historical Information
The Advanced Tactical Fighter entered the Demonstration and Validationphase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (YF-22 and YF-23) both completedtheir first flightsin late 1990. Ultimately the YF-22 was selected as best of the two andthe engineering and manufacturing development effort began in 1991 withdevelopment contracts to Lockheed/Boeing (airframe) and Pratt &Whitney (engines). EMD included extensive subsystem and system testingas well as flight testing with nine aircraft at EdwardsAir Force Base, Calif. The first EMD flight was in 1997 and at the completion of its flight test life this aircraft was used for live-fire testing.
The program received approval to enter low rate initial production in 2001. Initial operational and test evaluation by the Air ForceTest and Evaluation Center was successfully completed in 2004. Based onmaturity of design and other factors the program received approval forfull rate production in 2005. Air Education and Training Command and Air Combat Command are the primary Air Forceorganizations flying the F-22A .  The aircraft designation was theF/A-22 for a short time before being renamed F-22A in December 2005.
Pictures and Images
Please click Here to view F-22A Raptor Pictures
F-22 Raptor General Technical Characteristics
Primary Function: Air dominance, multi-role fighter
Builder: Lockheed-Martin, Boeing
Power Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles.
Thrust (each engine): 35,000-pound class.
Length: 62 feet, 1 inch (18.9 meters).
Height: 16 feet, 8 inches (5.1 meters).
Wingspan: 44 feet, 6 inches (13.6 meters).
Speed: Mach 2 class.
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (approximately 15 kilometers).
Empty Weight: 40,000-pound class (approximately 18,000 kilograms).
Armament: One M61A2 20-millimeter cannon with 480rounds; side weapon bays can carry two AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking)air-to-air missiles and main weapon bays can carry (air-to-air loadout)six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles or (air-to-ground loadout)two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-airmissiles.
Crew: One.
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