F-22 Raptor Fighter Aircraft
Lockheed Martin and Boeing
Two F22 Raptors
F22 Raptor in Flight
Looking down on the Raptor
The F-22 Raptor is an ultramodern aircraft of the fifth generation, built by Lockheed Martin and Boeing. It has active electronic scavenging and electronic sensor links for other platforms (sensor fusion). The F-22 Raptor is difficult to detect on radar; it can fly at cruise speed and super-cruise speed with supersonic speed. The Raptor has two supercomputers that organize all functions of the aircraft, and vector traction control.
The F-22 Raptor was designed to replace the F-15 Eagle, as an answer to the release of the soviet Suhoi Su-27 in the 1980s. Its program develops the next generation air superiority fighter for the Air Force and counters the emerging threats all around the world. The F-22 Raptor is capable of multiple targets, after penetrating the enemy airspace. It has a highly maneuverable airframe, aerodynamic performances and advanced integrated avionics, which allows it to perform supersonic cruise without afterburner.
The proposal request for the F-22 Raptor was issued in July 1986. The selection was made in October 1986 and there were two teams who had a 50 month demonstration phase that would end with the flight test of the two prototypes, the YF-22 and the YF-23. The design was completed in April 1991. The winner was announced on the 23rd and it was the YF-22 designed by Lockheed. At that time the US Air Force announced that they anticipate an order of 650 aircrafts.
The first delivery of the F-22 Raptor was made on 14 January 2003 to the Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and the Operational Test and Evaluation started on 27 October 2004. By that time there were 51 F-22 Raptors in service.
The US Air Force signed a multi-year contract with Lockheed Martin, that was worth $5 billion with production extended to 2011. Every year there Lockheed produces 20 F-22 Raptors starting with 2008. On 29 August 2008 Lockheed Martin celebrated the delivery of the 100thF-22 Raptor. The 100th aircraft delivered was 05-4100.
The F-22 Raptor stealth allows increases the survivability and lethality, thanks to its capability to deny the enemy critical information, which is needed to attack the F-22 Raptor and defeat it. The pilots have great awareness of enemy forces through the fusion of on- and off-board information, due to the integrated avionics the F-22 Raptor disposes of. The supercruise makes the weapons more effective and helps the Raptor rapidly pass thorough the battle space, thus reducing the enemy's time to counter attack.
The shape of the F-22 Raptor, and other factors such as the radar absorbent material make it difficult to trace on radar. Another unique characteristic is that the F-22 Raptor was designed with the capacity to disguise the infrared emissions in order to be hard to detect by infrared homing surface to air and air to air missiles. It also has controlled noise and radio emissions and it's less visible to the naked eye; it has an under bay carrier designed to hide heat from missile threats (surface to air missiles).
The F-22 Raptor can carry air to air missiles in internal bays. Thus the stealth capability will not be disrupted. It can also carry bombs with Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance system these can be released from the internal bay when flying at supersonic speed; the F-22 Raptor carries an M61A2 Vulcan 20 mm rotary cannon with a trap door in the right wing root, a new small diameter bomb. The M61A2 is the last option weapon, thus it carries only 480 rounds which means about five seconds of sustained fire.
The F-22 Raptor launch platform provides additional energy to the missile. This helps improve the range of air-to-ground ordnance. While specific figures remain classified, it is expected that JDAMs employed by F-22 Raptors will have twice or more the effective range of munitions dropped by legacy platforms.
Here‚ as a brief presentation of all the armament the F-22 Raptor uses: Armament: guns: 20 mm (0.787 in) 61A2 Vulcan gatling gun in starboard wing root, 480 rounds; air to air loadout: AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9 Sidewinder; air to ground loadout: AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder and one of the following: 1,000 lb (450 kg) JDAM or Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMDs) or 250 lb (110 kg) GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs Additionally, four external hardpoints can be fitted to carry weapons or fuel tanks, each with a capacity of about 5,000 lb (2268 kg).
The F-22 Raptor is undetectable to a Radar warning receiver of 250 nmi (463 km) or more. The radar has an estimated range of 125-150 miles (200-240 km) against 1 m targets.
The United States Air Force has a valuable treasure to use. It was a great investment for the US government, but the performances and characteristics make the investment a success. The F-22 Raptor is still in production and the Lockheed-Boeing partnership continues the high performance of producing the best battle aircraft ever built.
||62ft 1 Inch (18.90m)
||44 ft 6 inchs
||16ft 8 inchs
||NACA 64A 05.92 root, NACA 64A
|Max Takeoff Weight
|Max Speed at altitude
||Mach 2.25 (1,500 mph 2,414km/h)
|Max Speed at supercruise
||Mach 1.82 (1,220mph, 1,963km/h)
||1,600 nmi (1,840mi, 2,960km/h) with 2 external fuel tanks
||410nmi (471mi, 759km)
||1,738nmi (2000mi, 3,219km)
Thrust / Weight
with full internal fuel
with 50% internal fuel
1.09 (18,000 Pounds)
1.26 (9,000 Pounds)