The Stealth Fighter That America Never Exported

The Stealth Fighter That America Never Exported | World War Wings Videos

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Since it first took flight in 1997, the F-22 Raptor has been one of the most advanced jet fighters ever built. Also, the fact that the US government never approved to sell this plane to any other countries even to its closest allies speaks volumes of what an awesome aircraft it truly is. 

Super Maneuverable

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The F-22 Raptor is super maneuverable, and at the same time, also has the same stealth capabilities as the F-117 Nighthawk. 

In fact, it’s the combination of three areas that makes it so unique- speed and maneuverability, stealth, and advanced avionics. 

First American Fighter to Supercruise

The Raptor was also the first American fighter with the ability to supercruise- or can cruise at Mach 1.5 or more, but without using afterburners, and for extended periods in combat configuration. 

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Why is this so important? Well, before the development of the F-22, virtually all fighter jets could only cruise under Mach 0.9 while carrying a normal weapons load. They can fly supersonic but only with the afterburners. Supercruise allows the Raptor to be supersonic without making it shine on enemy radars. 

Speed Advantage

The speed advantage of the Raptor is thanks to two large Pratt & Whitney F-119 engines with each engine delivering 35,000 lbs of force. Apart from that, each of those engines also has a nozzle capable of thrust vectoring.

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It can also perform maneuvers such as the cobra and the J-turn. These maneuvers allow the plane to evade missiles that were launched from enemy air defenses and fighters. 

First Kill Opportunity

Another advantage of the F-22 is its avionics suite with only its close relative, the F-35, having better electronics because it’s newer. In fact, the jet’s onboard radar and targeting system are so advanced it gives it the “first kill opportunity,” wherein the jet will see and shoot down the target before the target is even aware of the F-22’s presence. 

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Combine the first kill opportunity and the stealth, and chances are, the Raptor will never have to use its supermaneuverability to avoid being shot. 

The US government also prohibited selling it to any foreign country because of the sheer technological secrecy of all the Raptor’s systems and performance. 

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