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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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RE: Sure took long enough
By Eris23007 on 1/17/2006 2:18:46 PM , Rating: 2
It has been through a few redesign cycles also.

Yes the JSF is still being worked on; in fact it is the largest defense procurmnet program in the history of the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-35_Joint_Strike_Fig...

The Raptor and the JSF have COMPLETELY different purposes. The F-22 Raptor is the most capable air-to-air interceptor ever created. Its stealth characteristics combined with its AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) Radar allow it to engage targets from essentially over the horizon. In its years-long testing phase there were anecdotes indicating that a single F-22 was able to engage and destroy (with simulated munitions) 5 F-15s before the F-15s were even able to acquire the F-22 on their Radars.

Some have questioned the need for such a fighter now that the Soviet Union is no more. A valid argument, but when evaluating that argument, I believe it should be considered that the Russians have continued to innovate with their own fighters - and sell them to China and Iran. For example: the Su-30 Flanker MK is generally considered to be comparable in capability to the F-15E (the most current version), while the Su-30 MK1 is considered to exceed the capability of the F-15E and potentially be competitive with the F-22A (though frankly, I doubt it).

Any questions, boys and girls? ;-)


RE: Sure took long enough
By amish on 1/17/06, Rating: 0
RE: Sure took long enough
By abakshi on 1/19/2006 12:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
I think you mean the Su-30 MKI (Su-30 Indian version), not MK-1 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su-30). MKI has some interesting features, like 3D thrust vectoring and its radar, that some say push it to 5th gen, like the F22. But even without the latest additions, F15 has some issues against modern fighters like the Su-30.

Problem with the F-22 as an effective countermeasure, though, is its cost. A regular Su-30K costs about $30m, and each MKI costs India ~$45m -- that's a heck of a lot less than an F-22, which is at ~$152m.


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