With its speed, agility, precision weapons and stealth capabilities, the F-22 Raptor is often referred to as the best fighter jet ever built.
The F-22 Raptor fighter jet has been jointly designed and built by Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Boeing Company. The aircraft first entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 2005 after nearly 20 years of development. Despite the long development phase, the F-22 Raptor has quickly earned a sterling reputation in military and aviation circles around the world for its superior speed, manoeuvrability, situational awareness, and its combat capabilities. In 2004, Angus Houston, Chief of the Australian Defense Force, called the F-22 Raptor “The most outstanding fighter plane ever built.”
The U.S. Air Force has been equally complimentary about the F-22 Raptor, claiming that it is the best all around fighter jet in the world, and that it is critical to the U.S. Air Force’s tactical air power – now and into the future. The U.S. military is spending $65 billion to acquire 187 F-22 Raptor fighter jets. At the end of 2010, 170 of the aircraft had been delivered to the U.S. Air Force and are being used primarily in homeland defense operations. The F-22 Raptor has not been put into service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
No Exports Allowed
The F-22 Raptor fighter jet has been developed exclusively for the U.S. Air Force. Export sales of the F-22 Raptor are banned by U.S. federal law, and much of the aircraft’s technology and capabilities are classified information. Military allies of the U.S. such as Canada and Australia are purchasing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, which has some of the same technology and parts as the F-22 Raptor. However, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not as quick, nimble or advanced as the F-22 Raptor. The F-22 is a superior fighter jet.
What distinguishes the F-22 Raptor from other fighter jets is the combination of speeds that exceed Mach 2.0 – more than 1,300 miles per hour – exceptional agility, stealth technology, and the most advanced avionics ever developed. When combined, these characteristics make the F-22 Raptor an exceptional overall fighter jet. The aircraft has a single seat and twin afterburning Pratt &Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines. For weapons, the F-22 Raptor is outfitted with a 20 millimeter M61A2 Vulcan Gatling gun that can carry 480 rounds of ammunition, two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, eight 250 pound GBU-39 small diameter bombs, and two 1,000 pound JDAM bombs.