|Entered service in||2000|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Wing span||13.5 m|
|Engines||2 x Pratt-Whitney turbines F119-PW-100|
|Maximum speed||2655 km/h|
|Flying range||3704 km|
|Aviation gun||20-mm 6 barrel rotary gun M61A2|
|Missiles||4 x AIM-9 "Sidewinder", AIM-7 "Sparrow", 4 x AIM-120|
Fighter F-22 "Raptor" also known as "Lightning" is a new generation fighter which has priority ability to see enemy first, to fire first and defeat target first. It was intended to break into enemies air defense and to take it's control. F-22 "Raptor" entered service in US Air Force in 2000 and is going to be main USAF fighter at least for a decade.
Fast perspective "surface-to-air" and "air-to-air" missile number increasing in relation with growing world countries Air Force's technological abilities made important to create fighter such as F-22.
It's creation began in 1986 when US defense government made contract with "Lockheed-Boeing-General Dynamics" group. In 1990 first test variant YF-22 was developed. In April 1991 F-22 was brought as a winner of perspective tactical fighter competition. It's first flight was made in May 1997.
Test aircraft was used to demonstrate works on lowered radar visibility for F-22 program. It was made with wide usage of parts based on epoxy matrix in proportion with titan welded connections, moulds and lining. Earlier none of these means were used in a test aircraft.
The main difference test YF-22 from real F-22 "Raptor" were a bit smaller dimensions and side the front wheel stock will be hiding in. On YF-22 it was hiding forward to lower engines damages by lateral things ability. It has some more diferences in eleron control and air brake.
F-22 has characteristics such as low radar visibility, high cruise speed, integrated board radio electronic equipment, maneuverability, effective target defeating and easiness of maintenance to reach victory in future air combats to conquer air territory.
"Raptors" combat vitality is much more higher than F-15 "Strike Eagle's". Comparing combat vitality including the most modern missiles and possible enemy fighter aircraft, which may appear till 2008, shows that at the same campaign F-15 losses are 20 in proportion with one F-22.
F-22 "Raptor" comparing with other US Air Force fighters has later advantages:
- Half decreased maintenance personnel for one fighter.
- It needs only half of transport aircrafts supplemental flights to provide exploitation outside base squadron of 24 aircrafts in 30 days time.
- Exploitation in 20 years period including technical supply costs 500 million dollars less than the same exploitation for F-15 "Strike Eagle"
- It is able to make supersonic flight in significantly increased number or time, in other words F-22 is able to make supersonic cruise flight. To compare with it F-15 is able to work on forced regime only for 5 - 7 minutes. Supersonic cruise speed in proportion with effective reflection surface control decrease ability to defeat F-22 by ground anti-aircraft forces by lowering it's radar visibility leading time.
- Fighter has additional power unit for autonomic start and for ground maintenance inspection. It is "Ellaid Signal" 0250 power unit which has working time of 800 hours to rejection. This power unit works in F-22 till 14 300 m altitude and when speed is M = 1 (approximately 1200 km/h).
- It has 100% engine defense from straight engines visibility threw air collector, what lowers visibility with radiolocation sources because engine itself doesn't reflects radio waves.
To sum it up F-22 "Raptor" is going to be one of the best world fighters for at least 10 years to come supplied by the most modern radio electronic equipment and low visibility technology.