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F-22 Raptor

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5cDn8EE-DI

Demonstrated Operational Maturity
The Collier Award-winning F-22 Raptor has delivered on its promise to provide unprecedented air dominance. The F-22 has demonstrated precision attack capabilities, defeating both air- and ground-based threats with unparalleled lethality and survivability.
The F-22’s ability to collect and share tactical information with friendly assets enables U.S. and allied forces to engage targets with unmatched battlespace awareness. The Raptor makes other coalition aircraft more survivable.

 

Mission-Ready Sustainment

Lockheed Martin and the F-22 Team are committed to total support for the F-22 by providing higher readiness rates, faster response and lower life-cycle cost to our U.S. Air Force customer. This is achieved by Follow-on Agile Sustainment, a comprehensive weapons management program and an award-winning performance-based logistics contract that provides a highly integrated F-22 support system. The F-22 program was awarded the Air Force Association’s 2015 John R. Alison Award for outstanding contributions by industrial leadership to national defense.

Modernizing To Deter and Defeat Emerging Threats

The F-22 is the world’s most dominant fighter, but potential adversaries continue to develop capabilities intended to challenge the ability of U.S. and allied air forces to gain and maintain air superiority. With that in mind, Lockheed Martin is dedicated to working with the U.S. Air Force on a robust F-22 combat enhancement program to bolster the Raptor’s asymmetric advantage over current and potential adversaries. The capabilities of the F-22 Raptor remain essential to deter and defeat threats and ensure regional and global security well into the future.

http://lockheedmartin.ca/us/products/f22.html

F-22-thermal-image.jpg

Needless to say, stealth does not mean “invisible”…

The above image was posted by the National Police Air Service helicopter serving the South West of England.

It’s a screenshot from the thermal camera used by the EC-135 of the NPAS, based at Filton Aerodrome, west of Swindon, and shows one of the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor jets that deployed to RAF Fairford to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo airshow, on the ground, at RAF Fairford, UK.

The photo is somehow funny, as it depicts the stealth 5th generation jet more or less as it would look like in a combat flight simulator, and interesting, because the IR camera caught the parked Raptor’s heat signature more or less in the same way an infra-red search and track (IRST) systems would perform passive detection of a radar evading plane.

 

In fact, F-22s and other stealth planes have literally no (or extremely little) radar cross-section  (RCS) but they do have an IR signature. This means that they can be vulnerable to small, fast non-stealthy planes that feature low observable coatings and using their IRST sensors, hi-speed computers and interferometry, to geo-locate enemy LO (low observability) aircraft.

https://theaviationist.com/2016/07/13/this-is-what-the-f-22-raptor-stealth-jet-looks-like-through-the-thermal-camera-of-a-crime-fighting-helicopter/

The Raptors of the latest Block can drop GBU-39 small diameter bombs on ISIS targets.
The Raptors deployed to Al Dhafra airbase, UAE, are the most up-to-date F-22As flown by the U.S. Air Force.

Assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, the modernized Raptors made their debut in Operation Inherent Resolve, the air war on the Islamic State, in April, bringing expanded capabilities in the fight against Daesh.

“What our squadron is bringing to the fight now versus some of the previous squadrons, is we have the most up to date software and hardware loads that an F-22 can carry,” said Lt. Col. David, 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander in a recent Air Force release. “There is a huge advancement in the capabilities of the avionics, the radar system, the sensors and certain electronic features on board the aircraft.”

Although they are rarely requested to attack ground targets, the Alaskan Raptors can now drop 8 GBU-39 small diameter bombs while previously they were limited to carry two 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) in the internal weapon bay: with the latest upgrade they can be tasked for missions which require greater precision.

 

An initial air-to-surface capability, including that of dropping the GBU-39 (a 250-lb multipurpose, insensitive, penetrating, blast-fragmentation warhead for stationary targets equipped with deployable wings for extended standoff range, whose integration testing started in 2007) had been introduced with the software increment 3.1 back in 2012.

Even though the odds of using an advanced air-to-air missiles over Syria are pretty low, another important addition to the F-22’s payload is the latest generation AIM-9X (already integrated in most of US combat planes since 2003): on Mar. 1, 2016 the 90th Fighter Squadron (FS) officially became the first combat-operational Raptor unit to equip an F-22 with the AIM-9X Sidewinder.

https://theaviationist.com/2016/07/05/the-most-up-to-date-f-22-raptor-jets-are-currently-fighting-daesh/

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