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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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I think
By suryad on 2/26/2007 6:53:43 PM , Rating: 1
those exercise numbers and kill ratios etc are quite doctored up just to get the bean counters all happy and produce large orders. The F22 is an impressive piece of machinery and a marvelous technological achievement no doubt but I doubt those are actual numbers. It wont be the first time the military will have lied to us after all.

RE: I think
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 7:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
You think . . . maybe you should get some knowledge before speaking up. The F-15C has an acutal kill ratio of 95-0. So, the simluated combat of the F-15's successor gets 241-2 isn't so far fetched when you look at the real numbers from previous air superiority aircraft. Then again, you'll probably claim that the 95-0 number is made up to.

RE: I think
By Brassbullet on 2/27/2007 1:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
Kinda like the F-15 loses in excercises were padded and arranged so to scare Congressmen into funding the F-22?

Not that I have anything against the F-22.

RE: I think
By mino on 2/27/2007 5:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
No, they do not have to lie on this one.
Congressmen's lack of brainpower will suffice.

Just take into account that F15, not its weapons, radar or pilot training for that matter was designed to shoot down non-existent threat like Russian F-22.
They do not need to, there will be no 5-gen craft as stealthy as Raptor. Period.
What would be more informative is whether The raptors radar is able to detect themselves.
That would mean something as any enemy craft with simmilar abilities as F-22 will be spotted.

On the other hand it might make sense not to develop tech to see Raptor until there is a real F-22 threat on horizon as no one could steal tech that was not jet developed :). Heh.

RE: I think
By CascadingDarkness on 3/1/2007 6:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
No, they should develop it. They just need to keep it super secret and secure. Maybe they could put it in a 'lock box' somewhere.

RE: I think
By coldwarrior on 3/6/2007 10:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
The military doesn't lie to us and it is our military. There are some things that our military must hide for national security. I think they are releasing way too much information and the media is allowed to report way too much. Imagine a month before D-Day in WWII if the plan to win the war by invading at Normandy with a certain number of troops was broadcast on a world wide news channel.

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