Today, we shall digress a little from the normal conversation and get to fly into the skies, to explore the exploits of top military pilots as they navigate and watch guard the world from above. What makes a modern top jet fighter, with the advancement in technology, increased terrorist threat and spending power but nations to increase their military presence and defense? The Raptor makes a cut above the rest.
The F-22 Raptor is a high-tech modern military aircraft. Created for a solo pilot, only the best in the specialty can take up the beast in the air and navigate the skies. The overall flight system of the Raptor integrate the weapons management and electronic warfare systems. The cockpit is designed to make pilot make decisions quickly using the tools and information at hand. This comes handy especially in dog fights or when under attack in hostile territory.
Technically developed as a stealth aircraft to combat in modern warfare, F-22 Raptor costs an average of about USD 340 million. This is about Ksh. 34,406,640,000.00! It’s operational cost is estimated to be Ksh. 5,059,696.00 per hour. What makes this top and super jet fighter so expensive? The Raptor dominates the air in military operations, with superior performance units precise attacking capabilities, stealth, out maneuvering ground and air threats and collecting information tactical information. As such, the jet fighter is characterized by stealth, speed, agility and unmatched maneuverability to be named the best and most dominant jet fighter in the air.
Owned by the US military, the superior performance of the Raptor is evidence on the various mission operations they have been involved in, although this might be classified. However, the success mission rate prove the aircraft is a force to be reckoned with,especially compared to other models such as the F-15,MiGs, Falcons, Harriers and others. Structurally, the uniquely designed jet fighter measures 18.9m in length, has a wingspan of about 13.6m, a height above the ground of up to slightly over 5m. The wing area is about 78 sqm, with the horizontal tail span measuring 8.84m.
Design and Performance ingenuity
The Lockheed Martin’s F-22 is a super all weather jet fighter designed to dominate the air and deliver on performance.
Power and thrust
It’s two Pratt & Whitney 7 F119-PW-100 turbo fan engines give the fighter jet up to 35,000 of thrust power enabling it to super cruise to Mach 1.82, and reach up to Mach 2 with the afterburners on. In simple layman words, this aircraft hits super speeds of over 2,410 km/h!
Air Maneuvering and Speed
The thrust vectoring enable the jet fighter the ability to maneuver more in the air. The sleek aerodynamics and design make it possible for the Raptor F-22 cruise at supersonic speed. They can do high alpha maneuvers while still maintaining roll control. This comes handy especially in dog fights with enemy jet fighters and missiles on their tails. They do not have to carry too much fuel, since they can fly for longer distances, reach further targets with lesser fuel consumption.
Another design ingenuity that makes the Raptor beats it’s nearest rival is it’s 3 internal bays in which the weapons are concealed. These bags assist catch target by surprise, with them opening in split second to launch missiles.
Radar works through sending radio waves from antenna and collecting waves that bounce back from any objectives within the vicinity. When waves are deflected or absorbed, they are not collected by the radar antenna, hence sending confusing signal. This may result in no detection. So as to reduce chances of detention by enemy radar, the F-22’s radar changes over 1,000 times per second. It’s surface curves at changing radii with no right angles to to scatter radar beams. Added to this is the speed, maneuverability in the air make the Raptor a superior opponent in air missions and battles.