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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 kyp275 on 2/27/2007 12:53:48 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
A plane traveling 1100 miles per hour cannot make more than 1 pass at another plane. You would be 100's of miles apart after one pass rendering the fight useless.


yea you're right. Obviously both planes will head straight for each other at max burn, and will continue to do so for over 3 minutes after they pass each other, at which point they'll be about 100 miles from each other. I forgot they don't teach pilots how to turn anymore :rolleyes:

regardless, the above scenario will never happen anyway, as they'd be shooting at each other well before they get close, at which point both will not be flying straight towards each other, as they'd be busy evading missiles.

but it's ok, you sir just go right on ahead flying straight, I'm sure your aura of ignorance will shield you from any possible harm.


By Brassbullet on 2/27/2007 1:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, most engagments still reach the point of merge and then continue for a few turns until one pilot reaches a solution or the other bugs out.

The fact is missiles are still horribly inaccurate given their price tag and are easily fooled using a variety of techniques. In fact, most US fighter pilots prefer the older, semi-active and passive radar missiles to fire and forget active munitions.

Most missiles fired at range against a skilled adversary will miss, and you will have to turn and burn.


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