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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 rippleyaliens on 2/26/2007 6:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly, you cannot READ. Did you not notice the 241 to 2 Kill loss ratio, with the 2 loss, comming from f-15's..
What this means, is that those jets flying against elite pilots of the ALREADY DOMINANTE F-15, and still smoked them.
In uneducated , wording, those 125million dollar jets smoked the next best fighter jets on the planet.
Not to mention that the F-15 is older than most people here posting.

Why do we need this aircraft? Easy, the United States at this moment, doesnt have the largest airforce on the planet. Even though we are not in a air war, doesnt mean that there is not one comming. Overkill= you have the tools that you need, . Being normal= Man, i wish i had the tools that i need, but dont have.

By mino on 2/27/2007 4:59:12 PM , Rating: 3
Well that ratio says nothing about combat value in a real war.
F15 nor ANY US weapon is designed to shoot down Raptor or Raptor-like craft. It makes sense, there is no enemy stealth project like Raptor, no even a horizon.

However almost any country with a competing military projects from Mirage2000 upgrades up to PAK-FA project makes great strides to be able to engage F-22 successfully.

I is simple, Russians have the best air-defense systems around because they NEED them for the huge territory and to balance superiority (mostly in QUANTITY!) of US naval nad air forces.

US on the other hand have the best fighters to be able to project power to the enemy ground. Simple as that. It does NOT make sense for Russian to make advanced Stealth craft as F-22 as it is MUCH more important to see the enemy than to be invisible when you are above your own country with serious ground support and ability fo fly at the attitude of your choosing as there are no SAM's to worry about...

The only real test to Raptor superiority to even 4+ gen planes would be to attack Russia or France _maybe_ even China or India for that matter.

I believe everyone understands we should never know the reall capabilities of F-22 for that matter.

Other use for F-22 is to threaten and colonize (or "democratize" is the word now?) _technologically_ weaker countries like Iran or NK.
I implify technologicaly as I am pretty sure any G8 country is able to develop and build F-22 class craft. The only reason they do not is that it's not economically feasible for many of them (maybe except Russia) and most importantly _not_neccessary_.
Currently the single country with ability of power projection is US. Simple as that. What the others invest mostly is therefore to inhibit this US advantage and AFTER the have achieved that, they _might_ consider building such a capability on their own.

By jabber on 2/28/2007 6:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
Would be interesting to know the effect on that ratio if the pilots involved knew that the missiles and weapons being used were real.

I guess pilots would fly/behave differently if they knew that that there was more than just a radar lock tone to watch out for.

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