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      Find a year or term on this page:
1.0: Aim-120C
2.0: Aim-9

3.0: M61A2 cannon

4.0: JDAM
5.0: Arrangement

Following From F-22 Raptor Informative Site (Off Line)

AIM 120C

Located in the ventral bays, the F-22 is armed with six AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). Weapons armament on the F-22 turned out to be a controversial issue in the past. In preferred conditions, a fighter such as the F-22 with internal weapons bays should have a compact missile with folding fins. This condition would mean the F-22 could not carry standard missiles. An anticipated problem of internal missiles with folding fins is they may not be capable of withstanding stresses when carried externally on current fighters. The latter is not acceptable in this modern age in military hardware. This is because of the ability for almost all Air Force weapons to be used on its current fleet of fighter aircraft. The ability for Air to Air and Air to ground weapons to be carried on multiple aircraft cuts down on costs and maintenance support.

The Aim 120C is a compromise. Reason being, the tails and wings of the missile have been reduced in size with the intent for the missile to fit better into internal bays. Best of all, there are no performance compromises with the reduction. In addition, the USAF has announced the AIM-120C will become the standard version for all of its fighters. The Aim-120C's will be propelled off of the missile rack inside of the weapons bays by pneumatic and/or hydraulic ejectors.




The F-22's side weapons bays (one on each side) will initially hold one Aim 9 Sidewinder missile. The Sidewinder is a heat seeking IR guided missile effective at short range. In the future however, the Aim-9x IR guided missile will be introduced which will have small tail surfaces unlike previous versions. Most likely, the F-22 will be capable of carrying two Aim-9x's per side. The Aim 9 Sidewinder will be extended on a trapeze mounted launcher before the launch. This is to allow the Aim 9's IR seeker to effectively acquire the target or "sniff" it.


M61A2 cannon

The F-22 will come equipped with an internal cannon. Lockheed Martin will install a M61A2 cannon, which is an improved version of the original M61. A new feature includes longer, composite-wound bullets. The M61A2 will be mounted just above the right wing root. To preserve the F-22's stealthy characteristics, an inward opening door will cover the muzzle until the weapon is fired.  It is capable of firing 100 rounds per second, carrying 480 rounds in all.




In 1994, the USAF asked Lockheed Martin to develop an air to surface capability for the F-22. Provisions were later made to the lower weapons bays to accommodate one 1,000 pound GBU-30/32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) per side. A simple GPS (Global Positioning System)/inertial system will guide the weapon to its target. Eventually later versions will have increased precision attack capability by including a programmable radar seeker. The F-22's air-to-surface operations will be carried out courtesy of its onboard synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode.

In addition to the F-22's internal weapons bays, it will also be capable of carrying stores externally. Four underwing stations will be able to support up to 5,000 pounds. Underwing stores will be fitted to the F-22 when stealth is not critical. External drop tanks up to 600 US gallons can also be fitted onto the stations. This will increase the F-22's endurance and range significantly.


Following explains the systems and arrangements from:


The F-22 is capable of carrying existing and planned air-to-air weapons. These include a full complement of medium-range missiles such as the AIM-120A advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and short-range missiles such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder.

The F-22 has four internal weapons bays for its main armaments. Two at the bottom of the mid-fuselage and two on the air intake sides. Four underwing hardpoints are mainly meant for fuel tanks on ferry flights, but can also carry a weapon load. Below the different weapons configurations are shown:

Air-to-air configuration; 2 AIM-9 [Sidewinder] missiles in the side bays + 6 AIM 120C [AMRAAM] missiles. (or 4 of the older AIM 120A [AMRAAM] missiles, which have longer fins)


Air-to-ground configuration; 2 AIM-9 [Sidewinder] missiles in the side bays + 2 AIM 120C [AMRAAM] missiles + 2 GBU-32 JDAM 450 pounds bombs. (or 2 GBU-30 JDAM 1000 pound bombs and no AMRAAM missiles)
External combat configuration; 2 fueltanks + 4 missiles.

Ferry configuration; 4 external fuel tanks + 8 missilesBelow is picture of the missile ejection system which can be found in the main weapons bay. If the pilot decides to fire a missile, the beapons bay door of the referring missile will open, the mechanism will carry the missile outside the plane, the missile can lock and it is fired. When the missile is away, the ejection system will retract into the weapons bay again and the bay door closes to preserve the fighters stealthyness.

The next CAD image is showing the main weapons bay, in which 6 missiles are clearly visible. (Air-to-Air configuration). The front of the weapons bay doors are triangular shaped to preserve the F-22's stealth characteristics.

Data courtesy of Lockheed, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, World Airpower Journal


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