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F22 History

Prior to its selection as winner of what was then known as the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, the F-22 team conducted a 54-month demonstration/ validation (dem/val) program. The effort involved the design, construction and flight testing of two YF-22 prototype aircraft. Two prototype engines, the Pratt & Whitney YF119 and General Electric YF120, also were developed and tested during the program. The dem/val program was completed in December 1990.

Much of that work was performed at Boeing in Seattle, Lockheed (now known as Lockheed Martin) facilities in Burbank, Calif., and at General Dynamics' Fort Worth, Texas, facilities (now known as Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems). The prototypes were assembled in Lockheed's Palmdale, Calif., facility and made their maiden flight from there. Since that time Lockheed's program management and aircraft assembly operations have moved to Marietta, Ga., for the EMD and production phases.

A $9.55 billion contract for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) of the F-22 was awarded to the industry team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin in August 1991. Contract changes since then have elevated the contract value to approximately $11 billion. Under terms of the contract, the F-22 team will complete the design of the aircraft, produce production tooling for the program, and build and test nine flightworthy and two ground-test aircraft.

In February 1995, the Air Force customer approved the final design of the F-22 air vehicle and confirmed that the program was ready to proceed to fabrication and assembly. The Air Force plans to procure 339 F-22s, and production is scheduled to run through 2013.

Above info from The US Air Force


below from: F22-raptor.com
These are the common points of contention within the media on the F22:

These points have shaped the F-22's history. However, they all are answered and prove no point to derail the F-22's future: 

Q Why can’t we continue to use the F-15 as our main source of air dominance, since the F-15 performed so well in the Persian Gulf War and the Kosovo conflict?
A Today, with advanced surface-to-air missiles available both to major powers and bands of dissidents hungry for vindication, our F-15 is already behind the curve. Surface-to-air missiles, because of their relatively low cost, are a quick and easy way for countries to modernize their air defense systems. Twenty-one countries will possess the most advanced systems by 2005. Some are already denying America access to airspace around the globe because they pose a formidable challenge to the F-15.

Amid sophisticated air defenses, the F-22 can cover more than ten times more battlefield compared to the F-15.

The F-15 has always been a great aircraft, a great fighter for which we can give thanks, but its heyday is over. It is a Pong-era aircraft. Some F-15 avionics parts are already becoming obsolete. We can maintain a nearly 30-year-old aircraft, but we cannot, practically speaking, continue to bolt new features onto old technology and hope to retain air dominance.

The Air Force investigated a "bolt-on stealth" variant of the F-15. The amount of "stealth" achieved was modest, and the cost for a third of the relative combat effectiveness of the F-22 amounted to 90 percent of the cost of the F-22 itself.

Nevada congressman Jim Gibbons, a former USAF pilot, wrote in a 1999 letter to his colleagues, “The F-15 is ‘trailing-edge’ technology compared to the F-22 Raptor; when you get into a dogfight with trailing-edge technology, one thing will happen: leading edge technology will win, period.”

It is time to say goodbye and move on. The F-15 has been in service for nearly 25 years. It requires costly upgrades to aircraft systems to meet rough parity with existing threats. Continue with it as our mainstay, and we will be bested by rival technology as early as 2005.
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Q Why can’t we use the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) or the Navy Hornet in place of the F-22?
A The F-22 is the only stealth air dominance fighter America is building. Lockheed Martin is leading its development, as well as that of the JSF. It is up to the Pentagon to decide if, when and how each of those aircraft should be developed, built, and delivered.

The Joint Strike Fighter is not an alternative to the F-22. It is meant to work in tandem with the F-22 as a multirole fighter, similarly to the synergistic team of the F-15 and F-16 today. Neither the Navy's Super Hornet nor the JSF can perform the F-22's air dominance mission. They are primarily air-to-ground attack aircraft with a secondary air-to-air combat capability.

Redesigning the JSF for an air dominance role would make it more difficult for the program to meet the Navy and Marine Corps' needs, and break the underlying premise of the JSF as an affordable, tri-service combat aircraft. Such a redesign will significantly increase the JSF Program's costs and technical risk, and disrupt its development, test and production schedules. To meet the Air Dominance Key Performance Parameters, the JSF would require redesign at substantial cost and time and would field no earlier than 2015.
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Q Why not have the F-15 and F-16 accompany the JSF, thereby filling the gap?
A Today's F-15's and F-16's cannot safely and effectively protect the JSF because their non-stealthy airframes would reveal the location of the stealthy JSF — placing their pilots in jeopardy.
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Q Why is the F-22 considered unique and indispensible?
A The F-22 Raptor achieves air dominance through the skillful blending of stealth technologies, supercruise engines, agility though thrust vectoring, and integrated avionics. Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 engines allow the Raptor to soar to uncontested heights and achieve dry-thrust speeds unheard of by today’s fighters. Its main weapons bays are packed with either six radar-guided AIM-120 medium-range missiles or two AIM-120s and two GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) for ground attack. The F-22 also packs two heat-seeking AIM-9 short-range missiles, one in each of its side weapons bays. As a result, the Raptor can fly very high, very far, and very fast with little risk of detection or intercept and strike with near-impunity against both airborne and ground-based targets. It is the one aircraft that can support American air dominance, giving us an asymmetric advantage.
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Q Why is air dominance considered so important to America today?
A Air dominance is a precondition for all other successful combat operations in modern warfare. As General Eisenhower said after the D-Day invasion, "If I didn't have air supremacy, I wouldn't be here."

Air dominance has proven instrumental in nearly every modern military victory, from the invasion of Normandy in World War II to the more recent Desert Storm operation. More importantly, it minimizes U.S. casualties and losses.

Since WWII, the U.S. has always had a state-of-the-art dominance fighter, usually with a ten-year lead on other countries' aircraft. Because of American air superiority, no American soldier, sailor, marine, or airman on the ground has died from enemy air attack in over 45 years.

If we seek air dominance as this century unfolds, we must get on with the F-22. The goal is not parity or slight advantage. It is overwhelming advantage. We must defeat opposing fighters, air-defense radars, and surface-to-air missiles by a decisive margin. The mission requires an airplane that will not only fly undetected and see the enemy first but also outfly and outmaneuver the enemy in combat engagements.

The F-22 is a national asset that will guarantee our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines the ability to operate free from air attack. And come home safe.
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Q How far along is the F-22 in meeting its benchmarks?
A The F-22 is ready to go into production.

The F-22 is flying today with more than 1100 flight test hours and is meeting or exceeding all Air Superiority Key Performance Parameters. The purpose of every flight test program is to determine an aircraft’s final design. Simulation is useful up to a point, but there are certain parameters that can only be conclusively validated through actual flight testing. Testing to date has indicated that the F-22 will require minot necessary design refinements and we have made these changes. Now that the aircraft delivery rate has increased, we expect the number of flight test hours to increase dramatically and quickly.

Team has met or exceeded every developmental and flight test milestone to date, including supercruise at speeds greater than 1.5 Mach with no afterburner. Superior maneuverability throughout the flying envelope from sea level to 50,000 feet, assuring that the F-22 will maintain a distinct advantage in visual range dogfights. Integrated avionics delivering unprecedented situational awareness. Highly stealthy signature. Supercruising was reached in less than 275 flight hours. The 50,000 feet benchmark was reached a full year ahead of schedule.

F-22 avionics have been tested on the ground and in a flying test bed, reducing the number of flight tests needed and identifying anomalies early in the program, when they are less costly to correct.

The F-22 has undergone the most extensive and sophisticated testing of any combat aircraft ever developed. Over 42 months and over 900 hours, in comparison to the F-18 A/B (100 hours before production), F-16 (brief testing before production) and the F-15 (180 hours before production).

Compared to the F-15, F-16 and the F/A -18, the F-22 has already completed more flight test time than any of the other three aircraft at their production decision points. In fact, the F-22 has undergone more testing than any other fighter aircraft prior to its initial production decision and the Raptor has met or exceeded all of its key performance requirements. The F-22 is ready to go into production.
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Q Isn’t the F-22 creating a negative economic impact in this country?
A The F-22 is creating an estimated EMD 25,000 jobs, plus 21,000 production jobs, with 42,000 total projected personnel on production. The positive economics of the F-22 will impact 5,000 firms across 48 states and Puerto Rico. Virtually every state in the union has aerospace firms that manufacture the smaller components that make up the F-22. In California alone, there are 380 companies that support the F-22 with a total contract value in excess of $575 million.
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Q How can we afford to have the F-22?
A The F-22 will require only half the F-15's support personnel, because it can fly twice as long as the Eagle between maintenance periods and be made ready for combat in 1/3 less time than the F-15.

With an average aircraft "sticker price" of less than $84 million – not $200 million as is often quoted in the F-22 -- the F-22’s average annual program costs will be less than 1.5% of the DOD budget during its production period. In addition, 2/3 of fighter life-cycle costs are incurred after production in the form of maintenance, munitions and other support costs - and the F-22 is expected to be significantly less expensive to operate than the F-15.

Many of the media stories to date focus on the cost issues around the F-22 here and now. Politics are a staple of news coverage and one of the most significant factors to judge newsworthiness is the degree of controversy involved. The media tend to focus here and do not judge it to be within their purview to address the strategic necessity of having the F-22 – the importance of having an asymmetric advantage against all would-be adversaries. By 2005, over 21 countries will maintain arsenals formidably challenging to the F-15. The balance of world power will tip accordingly.

But perhaps the best answer is: How can we afford not to have it? The F-22 provides "first-look, first-shot, first-kill" capability. It can see the enemy first while avoiding detection itself. When we meet the enemy, we want to win 100-0, not 51-49. Why? Simple. American lives. The F-22’s effectiveness minimizes the loss of American lives. What price will you put on these?
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Above Questions and answers from: F22-raptor.com

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