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F-22 HISTORY

Definition

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.


F-22 Mission
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.


Military Action
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.


Production
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.


Worldwide Participation
The U.S. government at this time does not permit foreign sales of the F-22.


Unique Characteristics

  • Four pillars of success ­ supercruise, super-agility, stealth and integrated-avionics
  • 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


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