Thursday, 14 June 2012

F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor developed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing is probably one of the best if not, the best fighter jet in the Western World. This American jet has stealth shaping that reflects radar waves else where and radar absorbing material which makes it a truely stealthy. A pair of F119 engines has supercruise capability. Supercruise is the ability to fly at supersonic speeds without the use of full afterburners, making it harder for heat seeking missiles to detect the F-22. The F-22's afterburners have enclosed nozzles which also gives out less heat and increase survivability from heat seeking missiles. The plane's size is big at 18.56 metres in length and it has the capability carrying alot of fuel and weapons, meaning more range and bigger firepower. It can carry 6 Aim-120 AMRAAM and 2 Aim-9 Sidewinders in a air to air stealth configuration. It's air to ground configuration enables the fighter the carry either the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) or SDB (Small Diameter Bomb). The Raptor has a M61 Vulcan placed internally. It is also equiped with advanced avionics and the APG-77 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar. Previous radars have to mechanically move to scan a particular target or area but AESA radar can simultaneously scan all areas in front of the plane and can also distinguish both land and air targets (eg - tanks, bombers, etc). AESA radar can also jam enemy SAM radars and incoming enemy radar guided missiles. It also has thrust vectoring capability which can make the Raptor conduct supermaneuverability and the Cobra maneuver. The F-22 show it's superiority when it scored 144 kills to no losses in an air combat exercise a few years ago. The fighter is intended to replace the F-15 Eagle. The United States Air Force currently operates 187 F-22s.

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