As far as fighter jets go, the enemy will need to come up with something extraordinary to match the F-22.
The F-22 Raptor is renowned as the first 5th-generation fighter in the U.S. Air Force inventory. It is exceptionally impressive because it features modern avionics, low observable technologies, and efficient engines to bring to the show a fighter unmatched by any other modern military of today.
It is the most crucial component of the Global Strike Task Force and has been created to achieve the purposes of projecting air dominance, at great distances and quickly, while destroying any threats attempting to refuse access to the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force.
There are no projected fighter aircraft out there in the world that can match the F-22, giving the US a great weapon in their stockpile. Undoubtedly, the F-22 is something extremely special, and we cannot wait to see everything it has up its sleeve over time.
Here are 15 facts you didn’t know about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor:
15. Twice As Many Missiles
The F-35 can carry around a total of 5,700 pounds of bombs and missiles. On the other hand, the F-22 is capable of carrying more than twice that weight. Hence, not only does the F-22 have amazing combat features, but it is also ideal for traveling during times of conflict because of all the weapons it can carry.
14. Capable Of Thrust Vectoring
The fact that the F-22 is capable of thrust vectoring is just one of the few things that make it such an incredible asset for the US to have. Thrust-vectoring nozzles were added by the Lockheed-led team on the F-22 in order to achieve an enhanced level of maneuverability.
There is word going around that the US is considering the production of a greater number of F-22s over time, as it is the best fighter aircraft they have. After all, the F-22 is the first 5th generation fighter and to this day, the only operational one. For now, the US has no need to worry.
12. 30 Year Lifespan
The F-22 has been designed for a lifespan of 30 years and 8,000 flight hours, alongside a $100 million “structures retrofit program”. There is work being done to find a way to further extend the life of an F-22, and in the longer term, the F-22 is likely to be superseded by a sixth-generation jet fighter.
11. Most Expensive Fighter Jet In The Country
The F-22 is the most expensive fighter aircraft in the country and one of the most expensive all across the world too. However, the price being $150 million per Raptor is not a surprise considering that the F-22 was revolutionary from the very beginning and one of the greatest military advancements ever.
10. Max Speed: Mach 1.82
The maximum speed of the F-22 without external stores is measured to be Mach 1.82 during supercruise, and with afterburners, it is estimated to be greater than Mach 2. What makes it even better is that it is easy to maneuver at both supersonic and subsonic speeds.
9. Large Weapon Capacity
The F-22 can carry a large number of weapons as it has four hardpoints on the wings, all of which can carry around 5,000 lbs and are capable of holding external fuel tanks or AIM-120A AMRAAM. The F-22 comes with three internal weapon bays, and the main weapons bay can carry the highest number of weapons.
8. First Combat Mission:2014
On 23rd September 2014, the F-22 went on its first combat mission when it engaged ISIS ground targets in Syria. It was a mission which made a statement to the world by showing everyone what the F-22 is capable of. The US is lucky to have such a strong weapon at their disposal.
7. Operating Cost Per Hour
The operating cost (per hour) of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a big $68, 362. While that is quite an intimidating number, it doesn’t come as a shocker considering the potential of this aircraft, and the insane amount of fuel that must be required to simply keep it running in the first place.
6. No Export
The F-22 cannot be exported out of the US according to US federal law in an attempt by the US to protect its stealth technology and classified features. Reports have stated that Japan has tried to purchase the F-22 as it would require fewer fighters for itself if it had the F-22.
5. Kill Ratio Of 108:0
With a kill ratio of 108:0, the F-22 surely manages to live up to its name. According to reports from the Exercise Northern Edge 2016, the F-22 had to compete with the F-15 and came on top with a kill ratio of 108:0. It has maintained good ratios even against some very advanced aircraft.
Since the main wings and the rear wings of the F-22 line up exactly, it appears as small as a bumblebee on radars. That makes it extremely small and difficult to capture, however, it is not invisible. According to China, they have produced technology allowing them to track the F-22 easily.
3. Combat Built
The F-22 served as a replacement for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-15 Eagle, hence it is capable of both air to ground combat and air to air combat. However, some might argue that the best strength of the F-22 lies in its air to air superiority.
2. 1.7 Million Lines Of Code
The software of the F-22 consists of around 1.7 million lines of code, out of which the majority is linked to the processing of radar data. According to the Former Secretary of the USAF (Michael Wynne), the use of the DOD’s Asa was to be blamed for the delays and cost overruns related to the F-22.
1. Unique Cockpit
The most crucial fact for a pilot – the F-22 has a unique cockpit decked out in the trending technology. It has an upgraded life support system and is the first cockpit compatible with the baseline Night Vision Goggles. Lastly, the cockpit uses the Helmet Mounted System, ensuring that the pilot can focus in a consistent manner.