Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, USAF
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). The result of the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter program, the aircraft was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but also has ground attack, electronic warfare, and signal intelligence capabilities.
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It is the first operational aircraft to combine supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, and sensor fusion in a single weapons platform.
The Raptor has three internal weapons bays: a large bay on the bottom of the fuselage, and two smaller bays on the sides of the fuselage, aft of the engine intakes. The main bay can accommodate six LAU-142/A launchers for beyond-visual-range missiles and each side bay has an LAU-141/A launcher for short-range missiles. Four of the launchers in the main bay can be replaced with two bomb racks that can each carry one 1,000 lb (450 kg) or four 250 lb (110 kg) bombs. Carrying armaments internally maintains the aircraft's stealth and minimizes additional drag. Missile launches require the bay doors to be open for less than a second, during which hydraulic arms push missiles clear of the aircraft; this is to reduce vulnerability to detection and to deploy missiles during high speed flight.
The F-22 can also carry air-to-surface weapons such as bombs with Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance and the Small-Diameter Bomb, but cannot self-designate for laser-guided weapons. Internal air-to-surface ordnance is limited to 2,000 lb (910 kg). An internally mounted M61A2 Vulcan 20 mm rotary cannon is embedded in the right wing root with the muzzle covered by a retractable door to maintain stealth. The radar projection of the cannon fire's path is displayed on the pilot's head-up display.
F-22 with external weapons pylons
The F-22's high cruise speed and altitude increase the effective ranges of its munitions, with the aircraft having 50% greater employment range for the AIM-120 AMRAAM than prior platforms. While specifics are classified, it is expected that JDAMs employed by F-22s will have twice or more the effective range of legacy platforms. In testing, an F-22 dropped a GBU-32 JDAM from 50,000 feet (15,000 m) while cruising at Mach 1.5, striking a moving target 24 miles (39 km) away.
While the F-22 typically carries weapons internally, the wings include four hardpoints, each rated to handle 5,000 lb (2,300 kg). Each hardpoint can accommodate a pylon that can carry a detachable 600-gallon (2,270 L) external fuel tank or a launcher holding two air-to-air missiles; the two inboard hardpoints are "plumbed" for external fuel tanks. The use of external stores degrades the aircraft's stealth and kinematic performance; after releasing stores the external attachments can be jettisoned to restore those characteristics.
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Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, USAF