US Air Force Clears the F-22A Raptor for Operational Duty
January 16, 2006 2:47 PM
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Lockheed Martin's Raptor is cleared for deployment anywhere in the world
Lockheed Martin's F-22A Raptor has been officially cleared for operation in both
air-to-air and air-to-ground missions
. Langley Air Force in Virginia is now home to 12 combat-ready Raptors. It has been a long road for the Air Force's successor to the F-15 Strike Eagle. The first flight of the prototype YF-22 took place on September 29th, 1990 and the aircraft was officially named the F-22 Raptor in April of 1997.
The F-22A employs advanced stealth technology that was pioneered on the F-117 Nighthawk and has the ability to "supercruise" at speeds up to Mach 1.58 without the use of afterburners with its twin Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines. The fighter has the ability to obtain Mach 2+ with the use of its afterburners.
The F-22A is also one of the first operational fighter planes to feature an all-glass cockpit with no traditional round gauges serving as a backup. And for you CRT fans out there, sorry -- the Raptor uses six LCD screens instead of CRTs due to their lower power requirements.
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