The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It is primarily an air superiority fighter, but has multiple capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. The United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of the U.S. strike force.The F-22 is claimed by multiple sources to be the world's most effective air superiority fighter. The US Air Force states that the F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
With afterburners, it is "greater than Mach 2.0" (1,317 mph, 2,120 km/h), according to Lockheed Martin; however, the Raptor can easily exceed its design speed limits, particularly at low altitudes, with max-speed alerts to help prevent the pilot from exceeding them.
The true top-speed of the F-22 is largely unknown to the general public, as engine power is only one factor. The ability of the airframe to withstand the stress and heat from friction is a further, key factor, especially in an aircraft using as many polymers as the F-22. However, while some aircraft are faster on paper, the internal carriage of its standard combat load allows the aircraft to reach comparatively higher performance with a heavy load over other modern aircraft due to its lack of drag from external stores. It is one of only a handful of aircraft that can sustain supersonic flight without the use of afterburner augmented thrust (and its associated high fuel usage). This ability is called supercruise.
While in its air-superiority configuration, the F-22 carries its weapons internally, though it is not limited to this option. The wings are capable of supporting four detachable.
Each hardpoint is theoretically capable of handling 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) of ordnance. However, use of external stores greatly compromises the F-22's stealth, and has a detrimental effect on maneuverability, speed, and range. As many as two of these hardpoints are "plumbed", allowing the usage of external fuel tanks. The hardpoints are detachable in flight allowing the fighter to regain its stealth once these external stores are exhausted. Currently, there is research being conducted to develop a stealth ordnance pod and hardpoints for it. Such a pod would comprise a stealth shape and carry its weapons internally, then would split open when launching a missile or dropping a bomb. Both the pod and hardpoints could be detached when no longer needed. This system would allow the F-22 to carry its maximum ordnance load while remaining stealthy, albeit at a loss of maneuverability
These are Great In-flight Photos of the F/A-22 as the first Aircraft Delivery was being made to Langley AFB in Va. . Langley is to be first Operational AFB for the F/A-22. It is a very Beautiful AFB, located in a picturesque location, as you can see in these photos, near Norfolk and Hampton , Va.
The Aircraft flying along with the F/A-22 in the last of these photos is the F-15, which will be replaced by the F/A-22 which is several times better than the F-15. In Actual In-flight (simulated) Combat Operations against the F-15, two F/A-22's were able to operate without detection while it went Head to Head against (8) F-15's. The F/A-22's scored Missile Hits (Kills) against all the F-15 Aircraft and the F/A-22's were never Detected by either the F-15's or Ground Based Radar.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lewis said: 'The Raptor Operated Against All Adversaries with Virtual Impunity; Ground Based Systems Couldn't Engage and NO Adversary Aircraft Survived'!!! F/A-22-- America 's Most Advanced Fighter Aircraft for the 21st Century!!!!