Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.
The Raptor has three internal weapons bays: a large bay on the bottom of the fuselage, and two smaller bays on the sides of the fuselage, aft of the engine intakes. It can carry six compressed-carriage medium range missiles in the center bay and one short range missile in each of the two side bays. Four of the medium range missiles can be replaced with two bomb racks that can each carry one medium-size bomb or four small diameter bombs. Carrying missiles and bombs internally maintains its stealth capability and maintains lower drag resulting in higher top speeds and longer combat ranges. Launching missiles requires opening the weapons bay doors for less than a second, while the missiles are pushed clear of the airframe by hydraulic arms. This reduces the Raptor's chance of detection by enemy radar systems due to launched ordnance and also allows the F-22 to launch long range missiles while maintaining supercruise. The F-22 can also carry air-to-surface weapons such as bombs with Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance and the Small-Diameter Bomb, but cannot self-designate for laser-guided weapons. Air-to-surface ordnance is limited to 2,000 lb (compared to 17,000 lb of F/A-18). The Raptor has an M61A2 Vulcan 20 mm cannon in the right wing root. The M61A2 carries 480 rounds; enough ammunition for approximately five seconds of sustained fire. The opening for the cannon's firing barrel is covered by a door when not in use to maximise stealth. The F-22 has been able to close to gun range in training dogfights while avoiding detection.[ The cannon fire is tracked by the aircraft's radar and displayed on the pilot's heads up display.
The Raptor's very high sustained cruise speed and operational altitude add significantly to the effective range of both air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. This gives it a 40% greater employment range for air to air missiles than the F-35.bThe USAF plans to procure the AIM-120D AMRAAM, reported to have a 50% increase in range compared to the AIM-120C. While specific figures remain classified, it is expected that JDAMs employed by F-22s will have twice or more the effective range of munitions dropped by legacy platforms. In testing, a Raptor dropped a 1,000 lb (450 kg) JDAM from 50,000 feet (15,000 m), while cruising at Mach 1.5, striking a moving target 24 miles (39 km) away.
While the F-22 typically carries its weapons internally, the wings include four hardpoints, each rated to handle 5,000 lb (2,300 kg). Each hardpoint has a pylon that can carry a detachable 600 gallon fuel tank or a launcher holding two air-air missiles. However, the use of external stores has a detrimental effect on the F-22's stealth, maneuverability and speed. The two inner hardpoints are "plumbed" for external fuel tanks; the hardpoints can be jettisoned in flight so the fighter can maximise its stealth after exhausting external stores. A stealth ordnance pod and pylon is being developed to carry additional weapons internally.
The F-22 uses a glass cockpit with no analog flight instruments. A side-stick controller and two throttles are the main flight controls. The stick is force sensitive and has limited movement. The cockpit interior lighting is fully night-vision goggle compatible. The monochrome head-up display by GEC (which has since become BAE Systems) offers a wide field of view and serves as a primary flight instrument for the pilot; information is also displayed upon six color liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.
The integrated control panel (ICP) is a keypad system for entering communications, navigation, and autopilot data. Two 3 × 4 in (7.6 × 10 cm) up-front displays located around the ICP are used to display integrated caution advisory/warning data, communications, navigation and identification (CNI) data and also serve as the stand-by flight instrumentation group and fuel quantity indicator. The stand-by flight group displays an artificial horizon, for basic instrument meteorological conditions. The 8 × 8 in (20 × 20 cm) primary multi-function display is located under the ICP, and is used for navigation and situation assessment. Three 6.25 × 6.25 in (15.9 × 15.9 cm) secondary multi-function displays are located around the PMFD for tactical information and stores management.
The life support system integrates critical components to sustain the pilot, such as the on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS), and a breathing regulator/anti-g valve that controls flow and pressure to the mask and garments. The pilot's protective garments are designed for chemical/biological/cold-water immersion protection, to counter g-forces and high altitudes, and provide thermal relief. The helmet incorporates active noise reduction for hearing protection.