One hundred and eighty-five. That’s it. That’s the most Lockheed F-22 Raptor stealth fighters the U.S. Air Force will ever possess after production ended earlier this year. The Air Force actually procured 195 F-22s starting in the mid-1990s, but eight were test models and two operational models have crashed (as has one of the test airframes).
Archived posts with tag ‘F-22’
Some commenters claim the Red Flag exercise is not indicative of the way the F-22 would fight in the real world. In an actual shooting war, an F-22′s opponent “won’t make it to visual range,” one reader asserted. The stealthy Raptor would allow it to sneak up high and fast and kill the enemy from long range using an AMRAAM missile, commenters insist.
The fast, stealthy F-22 Raptor is “unquestionably” the best air-to-air fighter in the arsenal of the world’s leading air force. That’s what outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz wrote in 2009.
The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters poison or suffocate their pilots nearly 27 times per 100,000 flight hours — a rate at least nine times higher than other fighters and far worse than anyone outside of the military previously realized. That shocking revelation comes from two lawmakers, Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who have been aggressively pursuing the cases of Air Force pilots that are getting choked on the job.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN For decades, the military has tried — with little success — to build missiles capable of traveling at breakneck, hypersonic speeds. Missile tests, however, have been uneven, with repeated failures punctuated by the occasional stunning success. Now the Air Force is taking a bigger role by seeking to build another hypersonic missile, [...]
The second copy of China’s stealth fighter prototype has just flown at a research facility in the city of Chengdu. The first flight of the J-20 Mighty Dragon with the nose number 2002 doubles Beijing’s stealth test fleet at a time when America’s latest jet fighters are hobbled by cost overruns, labor disputes and lethal design flaws. But it’s far from certain how much, and how fast, the new Chinese jet will alter the military balance.
The Air Force is continuing disciplinary action against one of the Air Force pilots who refused to fly the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter because the pricey jet’s faulty oxygen system was steadily poisoning him. Capt. Josh Wilson, from the Virginia Air National Guard, has been granted whistleblower protection under federal law — a status the Air Force has publicly acknowledged. But that hasn’t stopped the flying branch from beginning a process that may very well threaten to end the pilot’s career.
The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and their faulty oxygen systems are choking their pilots. One attempt at a quick fix only made the problem worse. Despite this the Air Force, ordered its roughly 200 Raptor pilots to keep flying. Now Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson, both experienced Raptor fliers with the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing, have refused to fly an airplane that they claim is fatally flawed.
The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN It began as a conspiracy by two international drug traffickers to smuggle meth into New Jersey, but ended as a plot to steal U.S. military drone technology on behalf of the Chinese. At least, that’s the rather fantastic claim made by the Justice Department in an oddball caper that seems to borrow [...]
The first sign of the coming U.S. air raid was when the enemy radar and air-defense missile sites began exploding. The strikers were Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, flying unseen and faster than the speed of sound, 50,000 feet over the battlefield. Having emptied their weapons bays of super-accurate, 250-pound Small Diameter Bombs, the Raptors turned to engage enemy jet fighters rising in defense of their battered allies on the ground.
After nearly 20 years of development and $65 billion, the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 2005. But it wasn’t until this month that the first squadron of Lockheed Martin-built F-22s was fully combat-ready with ground-mapping radars and a flexible bomb payload — standard equipment on most Air Force strike jets. The cost to bring the roughly 150 front-line Raptors up to this normal level of capability: an extra $8 billion, boosting the per-jet cost from $350 million to almost $400 million.