ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only, or two in tandem in F-22B.
ARMAMENT: Internal long barrel GE M61A1 Vulcan 20mm cannon. Two side weapons bays can carry two AIM-9 Sidewinders each. Ventral weapons bay can carry four AIM-120 Amraams or JDAM PGMs. Four underwing hardpoints can carry a variety of weaponry.
HISTORY: The next generation Lockheed/Boeing F-22 is destined to become the United States' premier fighter aircraft of the next century. The F-22 resulted from the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program to develop a replacement for the F-15 Eagle. In October 1986 the USAF selected Lockheed and Northrop to build two prototypes each of their respective ATF designs for evaluation, allowing the subsequent selection of a single aircraft for full scale development. At the same time competing engines for the ATF from General Electric (YF120) and Pratt & Whitney (YF119) would be compared.
Lockheed teamed with General Dynamics and Boeing and their YF-22 flew for the first time on September 29 1990. The rival Northrop McDonnell Douglas YF-23 had earlier flown on August 27. The USAF announced its selection of the P&W F119 powered F-22 in April 1991.
Currently seven F-22As and two F-22B two seater development aircraft are funded, and the first of these is due to fly in mid 1996. The USAF now plans to acquire 442 F-22s, due to be funded from 1997. These will be delivered between 2000 and 2011, with an initial operational capability (IOC) planned for 2004.
The F-22 is designed to defeat all current and projected fighters in air-to-air combat (first look first kill), while it will have a secondary precision ground attack function with PGMs. The F-22 is designed to be extremely agile and has low observable (stealth) technology (including RAM and serrated edges on doors and panels) as an integral part of the design. The low bypass two shaft F119 engines give the F-22 a thrust to weight ratio of 1.4 to 1 and the aircraft can cruise at supersonic speeds without afterburner (supercruise) with the exhaust exiting through vectoring nozzles. The integrated avionics system featuring a Westinghouse developed low probability of intercept radar, a HUD and four LCD displays is designed to reduce pilot workload, allowing the pilot to concentrate on fighting rather than flying.