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Six Lockheed F-22 Raptors have Y2K-esque glitch of their own over the Pacific

Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor is the most advanced fighter in the world with its stealth capabilities, advanced radar, state of the art weapons systems and ultra-efficient turbofans which allow the F-22 to "supercruise" at supersonic speeds without an afterburner. The Raptor has gone up against the best that the US Air Force and Navy has to offer taking out F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18 Super Hornets during simulated war games in Alaska. The Raptor-led "Blue Air" team was able to rack up an impressive 241-to-2 kill ratio during the exercise against the "Red Air" threat -- the two kills on the blue team were from the 30-year old F-15 teammates and not the new Raptors.

But while the simulated war games were a somewhat easy feat for the Raptor, something more mundane was able to cripple six aircraft on a 12 to 15 hours flight from Hawaii to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. Air Force's mighty Raptor was felled by the International Date Line (IDL).

When the group of Raptors crossed over the IDL, multiple computer systems crashed on the planes. Everything from fuel subsystems, to navigation and partial communications were completely taken offline. Numerous attempts were made to "reboot" the systems to no avail.

Luckily for the Raptors, there were no weather issues that day so visibility was not a problem. Also, the Raptors had their refueling tankers as guide dogs to "carry" them back to safety. "They needed help. Had they gotten separated from their tankers or had the weather been bad, they had no attitude reference. They had no communications or navigation," said Retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd. "They would have turned around and probably could have found the Hawaiian Islands. But if the weather had been bad on approach, there could have been real trouble.”

"The tankers brought them back to Hawaii. This could have been real serious. It certainly could have been real serious if the weather had been bad," Shepperd continued. "It turned out OK. It was fixed in 48 hours. It was a computer glitch in the millions of lines of code, somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes."

Luckily for the pilots behind the controls of the Raptors, they were not involved in a combat situation. Had they been, it could have been a disastrous folly by the U.S. Air Force to have to admit that their aircraft which cost $125+ million USD apiece were knocked out of the sky due to a few lines of computer code. "And luckily this time we found out about it before combat. We got it fixed with tiger teams in about 48 hours and the airplanes were flying again, completed their deployment. But this could have been real serious in combat," said Shepperd.

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RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ajfink on 2/26/2007 12:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
The Raptor would certainly not help in situations like Iraq. The program for it came into being at the end of the cold war, and it's quite apparent.

F-35s would never be sold to Taiwan. It would start a war with China. While Taiwan is in name officially a part of China, there is a lot of old resentment there. That's where the former democratic government fled to after Mao Zedong took control. Taiwan allegedly already has invasion defenses built in, essentially handing them air superiority would probably give them the teeth to fend off an invasion for a while by themselves. Oddly enough, in that case the F-22 would come in quite handy.

By mino on 2/27/2007 4:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
"former democratic government"

Which one? Both Comunists and Kuomintang poclaimed themselves "democratic while none of them actually was. Kuomintang wasa bit better taht it realy intended and said to be pro-democratic at the begining. Hoever this is pretty common for ANY movement when trying to out feudal or dictatorship gov. AFAIK at the time of a final civil war(aftee 1945 Japanese defeat) it was pretty much the same autocratic organization as communists.

They changed many of their ways to pro-freedom after the loss and retreat to taiwan. No question there.
There however was pretty much no democracy in China except the few short-lived episodes around 1910-1920.

I tis natural however, one cannot expect feudal society to be able to adjust itself to parliamentary system whithin years. It takes generations.

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