The F-22A Raptor is the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22A Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts 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 combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, and weapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats. The F-22A Raptor possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected. Significant advances in cockpit design and sensor fusion improve the pilot’s situational awareness. In the air-to-air configuration the Raptor carries six AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders.
Advances in low-observable technologies provide significantly improved survivability and lethality against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats. The F-22A brings stealth into the day, enabling it 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 both speed and range over current fighters, which must use fuel-consuming afterburner to operate at supersonic speeds.
The sophisticated F-22A Raptor aerodesign, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft. The F-22A design has been extensively tested and refined aerodynamically during the development process.
The F-22A Raptor’s characteristics provide a synergistic effect ensuring F-22A lethality against all advanced air threats. The combination of stealth, integrated avionics and supercruise drastically shrinks surface-to-air missile engagement envelopes and minimizes enemy capabilities to track and engage the F-22A . The combination 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 aircraft in history. An F-22A Raptor squadron will require less than half as much airlift as an F-15 squadron to deploy. Increased F-22A reliability and maintainability pays off in less manpower required to fix the aircraft and the ability to operate more efficiently.
The Advanced Tactical Fighter entered the Demonstration and Validation phase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (YF-22 and YF-23) both completed their first flights in late 1990. Ultimately the YF-22 was selected as best of the two and the engineering and manufacturing development effort began in 1991 with development contracts to Lockheed/Boeing (airframe) and Pratt & Whitney (engines). EMD included extensive subsystem and system testing as well as flight testing with nine aircraft at Edwards Air 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 Force Test and Evaluation Center was successfully completed in 2004. Based on maturity of design and other factors the program received approval for full rate production in 2005. Air Education and Training Command and Air Combat Command are the primary Air Force organizations flying the F-22A . The aircraft designation was the F/A-22 for a short time before being renamed F-22A in December 2005.
Pictures and Images
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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 480 rounds; 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-air missiles.
Initial Operational Capability:
Point of Contact
Air Combat Command, Public Affairs Office, 115 Thompson St., Suite 211; Langley AFB VA 23665-1987; DSN 574-5014 or (757) 764-5014; e-mail: [email protected]