The F-22 Raptor is the world’s first stealthy air dominance fighter and is capable of multiple missions. Deadly and unseen at long range, unmatched at close-in dogfighting and with superb, precision-strike
ground attack capabilities, the F-22 will establish absolute control.
The F-22 is being built for the U.S. Air Force by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, with Boeing as principal subcontractor and engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney.
The F-22 Raptor achieves air dominance of the skies
over any battlefield through the skillful blending
of stealth technologies, supercruise engines, integrated
sensors and avionics, maneuverability and agility
and long-range, internally-carried weapons. Two Pratt & Whitney
F119-PW-100 engines allow the Raptor to soar to uncontested
heights and achieve dry-thrust speeds unheard of
by today’s fighters.
Its main weapons bays carry either six radar-guided
AIM-120 medium-range missiles or two AIM-120s and
two 1000-lb GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs)
for ground attack. The F-22 also packs two heat-seeking
AIM-9 short-range missiles, one in each of its side
weapons bays. As a result, the Raptor can fly very
high, very far and very fast with little risk of
detection or intercept and strike with near-impunity
against both airborne and ground-based targets.
The F-22 reached initial operational capability Dec. 15, 2005.
History and Production
Lockheed Martin won what was then called the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition in April 1991 and was put on Air Force contract to build 11 EMD test aircraft in August 1991. Manufacturing of Raptor 4001 began in 1994; the aircraft rolled out in April 1997 and was flown for the first time September 7, 1997. After nearly three years of basic flight tests, Raptor 4001 was retired from the flight test fleet in November 2000.
Two nonflying aircraft have also been built to undergo
static and fatigue testing at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Company in Marietta, Ga. The fatigue test ended after 20,000 hours, equivalent to 2.5 lifetimes of operational service.
The Air Force plans to field the Raptors during the
next decade to replace the aging fleet of F-15 Eagles.
The first Raptor squadrons are operational at Langley AFB, Va. and Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.
Other candidates include Holloman AFB, NM and Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Additional testing continues at Edwards AFB, Calif. and Nellis AFB, Nev. Pilot and maintainer training is conducted at Tyndall AFB, Fla. The F-22 is scheduled to remain in service through at least the year 2040.
The Air Force has announced that Langley AFB, Hampton,
Va, will be the first operation base for the Raptor.
Other candidates include Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; Eglin
AFB, Fla; and Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. The service
is expected to select two or perhaps three locations
to base the F-22. Additional test and training
F-22s will be located at Edwards AFB, Calif.; Nellis
AFB, Nev; and Tyndall AFB, Fla. The F-22 is scheduled
to remain in service through at least the year 2040.
Evolution and Enhancements
The F-22 program began in the early 1980s as the
Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF), a next-generation combat aircraft designed
to confront and defeat the Soviet Air Force during
the height of the Cold War. With the fall of the
Berlin Wall, the role of ATF expanded to include multimission capabilities,
such as precision-strike ground attack.
The U.S. government at this time does not permit foreign sales of the F-22.
- Four pillars of success supercruise, super-agility, stealth and
- Supersonic for sustained periods of time without needing to engage afterburners
- Ease of maintenance only six commercially available tools needed
for routine maintenance on the Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 engine
- Common Integrated Processor (CIP) heart of integrated avionics suite,
these "Super Computers" can process 10.3 billion bytes per second