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Underestimating the F-22 Raptor: Unveiling the Unmatched Lethality of this Stealth Fighter

Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter is renowned for its capability and potential, but how combat-ready are they truly? The F-22 Raptor: what was pledged The F-22 Raptor is acclaimed as the most advanced air superiority fighter currently in service, with unparalleled air dominance and combat abilities. The United States Air Force regards the F-22 Raptor as an exceedingly lethal combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics. The Raptor can undertake both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, making it a vital component of US military strategy in the 21st century.

However, the truth remains that, until now, the F-22 has never engaged in air-to-air combat, and we lack knowledge regarding its performance in real combat operations. The issue with the F-22 Block 20 This month, the US Air Force has appealed to Congress to eliminate 32 F-22 Block 20 fighters from its 2024 budget, asserting that they cannot be utilized in combat. Upgrading these fighters would necessitate a costly and protracted endeavor, adversely affecting Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II program. Lt. Gen. Richard Moore argues that the Block 20s lack the latest communications, weaponry, and electronic warfare capabilities, rendering them unsuitable for combat.

Retiring the 32 F-22 Raptors would result in an annual saving of approximately $485 million, which could be allocated to the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. The cost of upgrading the F-22 Block 20 It is estimated that updating the F-22 Block 20 would incur around $3.5 billion and take a decade to complete. Moreover, it would impose a burden on Lockheed Martin, as resources would need to be reallocated from the F-35 Block 4 program to the F-22. Moore contends that upgrading the F-22 Block 20 is impractical, considering the exorbitant cost, time required, and its impact on the development of the F-35 Block 4. The History of the F-22 Raptor The United States Air Force chose the F-22 Raptor as a result of the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program.

While it has never participated in air-to-air combat, in 2014, F-22s conducted strikes in Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria. Originally, the plan was to procure 750 F-22s, but in 2009, the program was scaled down to 187 operational aircraft due to high costs, limited air-to-air missions at the time, and the emergence of the more cost-effective and versatile F-35 Lightning II. What lies ahead for the F-22? The decision to retire or retain the F-22 Block 20 and allocate resources to the NGAD program is still under the jurisdiction of Congress. Meanwhile, the debate concerning the combat effectiveness and capability of the F-22 Raptor continues to be a contentious issue within the military and defense community. The US Air Force continues to seek new avenues for enhancing its capabilities and upholding air superiority.

The F-22 Raptor may undergo further evolution to meet the evolving needs of the 21st century. In conclusion Despite the F-22 Raptor’s reputation for its promised unparalleled combat capabilities, the truth is that many of these fighters are not ready for combat. Upgrading the F-22 Block 20 would entail an expensive and protracted effort, and Congress may choose to retire these aircraft and allocate resources towards more modern and promising programs like NGAD. Only time will reveal how the role of the F-22 Raptor will evolve within America’s defense strategy.

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