Listen to the origin story, current state and future of the F-22 Raptor.
Widely considered the best air superiority fighter in the world, the Lockheed Martin F-22 is a fifth generation, twin engine, single seat, all weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft. Developed from decades of air combat experience the F-22 excels in its one true mission: to defeat any air adversary it encounters. This is accomplished by the Raptor’s incredible performance, advanced avionics, and stealth profile. Notable features include twin tails, a trapezoidal wing, and a golden canopy which is coated with a thin layer of Indium Tin Oxide or ITO which acts like an EM shield to maintain stealth characteristics.
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You are listening to the PilotPhotog Podcast. Lets listen to the story of the world's most advanced fighter and the F 22 Raptor Widely considered the best air superiority fighter in the world. The Lockheed Martin F 20 to is a fifth Generation twin engine Single seat, all weather stealth, tactical fighter aircraft Developed from decades of air combat experience. The F <inaudible> excels in its one true mission to defeat any air adversary counters. This is accomplished by the Raptor S incredible performance, advanced avionics and stealth profile.
Notable features of the rapture include A twin tails, a trapezoidal wing, and a golden you can't it be, Which is coated with a thin layer of Indium Tin, Oxide, or ITO, which acts like an EM shield to maintain stealth characteristics. Having been deployed since 2005. Let's take a look At some key specifications for the most 22 Raptor Maximum speed Mach 2.25 had sea-level knock one point to one and super crews at Mach one point a to rain, 1,600 nautical miles or more with to external fuel tanks. Each of the F 20 twos engines produces 35,000 pounds of thrust With afterburner and the <inaudible> is Thrust to weight.
Ratio is an incredible 1.25 at loaded weight and 50% internal fuel. When it comes to armament, The F 22 carries an internal 20 millimeter, M 61, 1 a To Vulcan rotary Canon, and typically carries 480 rounds of ammunition. The M 61 Is capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute or 100 rounds per second. Additionally, the F 22 has three internal weapons base and for the external hard points to maintain itself characteristics, the <inaudible> and keep ordinance inside of it is weapons base briefly opening them to deploy munitions. There is a central bay and to side Bays, some weapon loaded and include for air to air missions, six, 120 am Rams, and to Sidewinders for air-to-ground missions to 1000 pounds <inaudible> to a million twenty's and to Sidewinders or A two you put in 50 GBU, 39 precision guided bombs and to England twenties along with, to be Sidewinders.
It seems a Raptor never leaves home without some air to air missiles. Additionally, the four external hard points can be used to carry 600 gallon drop tanks or external Ordinance aside from its incredible performance and weapons options. Part of what makes You you too. So deadly is its advanced avionics. While some of the details are still classified today. Here's what we know about the <inaudible> sensor platform. The <inaudible> radar is the a N APG 77, which is an actively Electronically scanned array or AESA radar. Hey, ESA Raiders are a superior to mechanically actuated radars. This is the second change scanned direction in mere nanoseconds were a mechanical Raiders, had to physically move a dish to scan different Parts of the sky.
Officially The radar has an operational range of 100 miles, but some speculator, this could be as high as a, a 150 miles with an estimated 250 mile range for a narrow beam Search defensively. The S 20 to uses the AAN AAR 56 advanced missile launch Detector, which wants a pilot of a missile launch. So they're a face of maneuvers and countermeasures can be deployed. Additionally, The F 22 also has at a ad ALR a 94 radar warning receiver, which warns is the pilot of radar admissions or tracking. And you said to have a range of 250 Miles as well, along with warning Systems, you have 22 also carries flair and chaff dispensers to be used as countermeasures. And finally, along with the integrated communication navigation and information or CNI, the a 22 makes The extensive use of data links system's which allow to receive incentive Information that provides it with a complete picture of a battlefield, also known as a sensor fusion Development, or the Raptor could be thought of it as an evolution of is incredibly successful at 15 Egal in 19 80, 1 of the FFT was still a relatively new to the air force, put forth the requirement for an aircraft to eventually replace both the 15 and 50, the 16.
This was driven by advancements in Soviet air defenses, along with increasing Numbers of may 29 and SU 27 fighters. And what was called the advanced tactical fighter or ATF program required. And That's including the use of advanced materials, including composites high performance with super cruise and stealth technology by 1986, a competition of a narrow it down to two and Editor's Lockheed and Northrop, or to build And advanced the airplane. Northrup teamed up with a McDonald Douglas, all Lockie teamed up with Boeing in general. And then, And this resulted in two designs, Lockheed's YF 22 and Northwest YF, 23. Additionally, the General electric and Pratt and Whitney each developed an engine, which would be used in both design's the engines being the designated.
Why a four and 20 and why a nine Respectively and well, the two designs, both Men, the competitions requirements of a survivor, the Ability, super cruise stealth and ease of maintenance. They each had very different design philosophies seen as more conventional. It's not a lot Of you. The why of twenty-two is an evolution of the 15 with both utilizing twin vertical tails and horizontal Stabilizers. Meanwhile, the wives 23 was a more cutting edge design with a Rumba shaped wing and N all moving V tail. Performance-wise The why of 23 design was faster and more stealthy while the why of 20 to a slightly more maneuverable at low speeds through the thrust factoring. The way of 20 too is also seen as less of a risk when it came to the manufacturing Costs and 1991.
And the way I was twenty-two with a pride. And when the engine combination were chosen is a winner of the ATF competition. And so why did the Y of 22 beet the why of twenty-three eventually you could say it came down to the public relations. The Lockheed Team conducted a demonstration flight, have a high angle of attack maneuver while the Northwest team decided not to do so. And even though the waves twenty-three, you could perform the same maneuver by not demonstrating at the implication. Was that the why of twenty-two form the maneuver while the why of 23 could not A dish finally, although not a requirement and the test program, the Lockheed Team also conducted a live fire exercise of the name nine Sidewinder, and a name one 20. You were A missile from the internal weapons bay.
This was Seen as going above and beyond what was necessary for testing and made it a favorable impression on the Evaluators, despite this, some of called the why of 23 design ahead of its time. Getting back to the F 20 twos development. The Navy briefly Looked at obtaining you have 20 twos is part of the navel advanced tactical fighter programmer, or N a T S program pay swing wing. You have twenty-two is envisioned, but it was fast at the added weight and potential loss of self characteristics, But the swing, which was not acceptable, the Nat a program was canceled in 1991. Can you imagine, See Raptors operating off of carriers Production run initially a plan For a run a 750 advanced the tactical fighters in 1996, the steamer is reduced to 648 aircraft.
During 1997, budget cuts. This number was further reduced to 339. And in 2003, the number was reduced again to 277. And well, the air force advocated a 381 aircraft where necessary to meet its needs in 2004, the summer was reduced again to a, a 183 aircraft who would be assigned to seven combat Squadrons. It's hard to imagine now, But in the early two, thousands of the F 20 to was seen as an unneeded Luxury with low intensity wore is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. The need for a super Advanced air superiority fighter was extensively Debated this along With funds being diverted to the <inaudible> and fat production lines lead to the final production.
One of a, a 197 total aircraft At it's peak, the S 20 To a production line was producing two new airplane's a month while the employing 95,000 people in 46 States. And finally, with Both Chinese and Russian designs, closing the gap on the F 20 to as recently as 2016 studies are being conducted to a resume production of the, Of 22. It was the estimated That to produce and additional 194 of 20 twos. It would cost a total of $50 billion Or about $215 million per aircraft. Unfortunately, The air force society not to move forward with this plan. The last Raptor was rolled out of a Lockheed factory in Georgia in 2011 Countries that operated the attorney too, is operated exclusively by the United States.
The countries Such as Australia to Japan and Israel expressed interest in obtaining you have 20 twos. You S federal law prohibits the exports of the F 22, as it contains many still classified technologies. Instead, the F 35 was developed with similar technologies of the day. You have 22 and designed to be more affordable and available for Operational history, introduced operationally in 2005, by 2007, They have 22 at achieve full operational capacity or FSOC with the first fighter wing and the 192nd Virginia air National guard being the first fully integrated S 20 to squadron's during err Readiness trials, and 2008 in a simulated air combat, or the unit around a kill a ratio of 221 to zero as 20 twos, a somewhat routinely intercept, a Russian bombers, including tea you in <inaudible>.
And to you when ninety-five with the first such incident occurring in 2007 Year, Alaska starting in 2009, has 20 twos have been deployed to <inaudible> in the UAE, which line is less than 200 miles from Iran. In fact, in 2013 and 20 to intercept, that is an Iranian F four that gotten a little Too close to a predator drone, which is flying near the Iranian Coastline. And although not initially intended as an air to ground attacker in 2014, As part of the initial strikes during operation inherent resolve as twenty-two is dropped 1000 pound laser guided bombs on ISIS targets And Syria by 2015 of 20 twos, a dropped over a 250 bombs and the support of the effort. And it also played a key role in deterring, Russian Iranian, and series and aircraft from intervening against Kertis troops, this highlight, and one of the lesser known missions of the <inaudible> Reconnaissance and surveillance today.
Some of the current units operating of 20 twos include the 27th fighter squadron, the 43rd fighter squadron, which is a training unit, the 90th, the 94th fighter squadrons, the 199th Fighter squadron, which has the air national guard units. The 411th fighter Squadron, the 522nd tests and evaluation squadron, the 433rd weapons squadron and the 525th fighter squadron future. The air force had Initially planned to operate the F 22, well into the 2050s while the F 22 is still Widely considered the best air superiority fighter in the world. There are signs of the gap closing with near peer rivals like China and Russia.
This along with the productions of F 20 twos, prematurely cut will likely surf to hasten development, have a sixth generation aircraft, one which CF 20 to conserve Alongside with. In fact, the air Force has already started working on plans to develop an employee six generation aircraft in a program, which is known as the next generation air dominance, or N G D D obviously a very highly classified. The N G D D program can hopefully produce A sixth generation fighter in sufficient numbers to maintain air superiority and the near future. What do you think should more of 20 to have been built? How long we're the F 20 twos dominance last, thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to this podcast.
So you don't miss any future episodes. You can also check out my YouTube channel. I'll leave the link in the show notes below, and lastly, you can find me on any social media platform at PilotPhotog be well, stay safe and see you next time.