F-22 Raptor — not for war.

F-22 Raptor - not for war.
May 6 showed CBS television in the program «60 Minutes» 2-American pilots who master explained to why they are afraid to fly on the world’s best fighter F-22 Raptor. The plot has caused a strong reaction in the South American society, but in our opinion belated. It is clear that the Air Force bought 179 F-22 fighters at a cost of more than 400 million dollars apiece, but none of these miracle-aircraft did not take part in any hostilities in Iraq or Libya or Afghanistan. We bring to your attention an article on the subject, published in April 2011.
Why is the U.S. F-22 was removed from the role in the Libyan operation
After the start of military operations in Libya, the western coalition U.S. suddenly became to explain the reasons for their «most advanced fighter» — F-22 Raptor — does not take part in hostilities, although such explanations from the U.S. military, as if no one wanted. Even more, the U.S. Air Force suddenly feel the need to publicly explain why they will not upgrade communication systems F-22, also because of the problems identified cut marginal altitude aircraft more than doubled. Taking into account that a fighter for 6 years own service never took part in the hostilities, such behavior of the U.S. military forces to think about the real abilities «Raptor.»
Would have the opportunity
Western coalition military operation in Libya began March 19, 2011. It took the role of the Air Force and Navy of England, France, USA, Italy and Canada, with the main fighting puzzles made F-15 fighter Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Dassault Rafale and the Panavia Tornado GR4. Shortly before the start of the operation, received the title of «The Odyssey. Dawn «some South American and European analysts were anticipating her role in the South American F-22 fighter Raptor, the world’s only military aircraft fifth generation, the adoption.
But expectations of professionals did not materialize — F-22 in the skies of Libya and has not appeared, while, according to the U.S. Air Force does not appear in the future. Despite the fact that other members of the Western coalition as the F-22 in a military operation and not waiting for the U.S. suddenly decided to defend himself, calling a lot of circumstances in which eminent «raptors» were not focused on ensuring no-fly zone over the territory of Libya.
First on the issue March 22, 2011 expressed an analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute. According to him, the most advanced South American warplane simply not designed to perform military tasks, similar to those that were implemented in Libya at the beginning of «The Odyssey.» Recall the main purpose of the first step was to provide military operation no-fly zone over the territory of the African countries, why it was necessary to disable all of the air defense system, under the control of troops priklnnyh Muammar Gaddafi. With all this confrontation Libyan aircraft was not taken into account (and indeed, from the beginning of «Odyssey» no Libyan aircraft had not been seen in the air).
Thompson noted that the F-22 on a physical level is not designed to attack ground targets. The aircraft can be equipped with 2 JDAM bombs adjustable caliber 450 kg, which are capable of, but hitting stationary, but not moving targets. In addition, as it turned out, the F-22 radar is not able to map the area, as do synthetic aperture radar, and hence can not do without the help of others to choose ground targets. It practically means that if the F-22 in today’s own form and will be used to bombard some objects information to be loaded into bortovik aircraft before takeoff.
And on this listing deficiencies South American fighter fifth generation is not completed. It turned out that the fighter has very limited communication capabilities. The aircraft can only communicate only with other F-22 in the link. Raptor resettled and «cut down» communication system standard Link 16, is widely used by the U.S. military and NATO, but it works only on reception of operational information from other aircraft and helicopters, and can not be used for data transmission. In developing the F-22 engineers deliberately limited communication capabilities fighter to provide even its huge stealth — means that in case of the introduction of combat aircraft will always operate in a mode-locked.
Thompson on inferences could close your eyes — is that analysts say things that later refuted or the military, or did not go beyond speculation and conjecture, finding no factual evidence. Yet, at the end of March 2011 on the issue of non-participation of the F-22 in the Libyan operation decided to speak personally USAF Commander Norton Schwartz. According to him, the South American fighter does not take part in the Libyan operation, as is geographically far away from the combat area.
«If the F-22 were located on one of the bases in Europe, they certainly would have taken part in the Libyan operation,» — said Schwartz. With all this, he added that «since the operation in Libya began relatively quickly, it was decided to use different resources located nearby.» Currently, the South American F-22, according to the U.S. Air Force, based in Virginia, New Mexico, California, Florida, Alaska and Hawaii. Towards the end of his speech Schwartz said that «the fact of non-participation in the F-22 directly this operation is not an indication of its uselessness.»
On the same day, speaking at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Appropriations U.S. House of Representatives, Schwartz tried to explain why the Air Force in 2010 decided to abandon the upgrade communication systems of the F-22, which was scheduled to take place in the framework of programs from Increment 3.2. According to Schwartz, on the F-22 was planned to establish a communication system standard MADL, which is currently being created for promising fighters F-35 Lightning II. Newcomer MADL system until verified combat use, and hence its introduction on the F-22, according to Schwartz, means unnecessary waste and a risk for which the Air Force can not go. With all the other characteristics of the programs from Increment 3.2 will be implemented.
Properties of the F-22
Crew: 1 person;
Length: 18.9 meters;
Wingspan: 13.56 meters;
Empty weight: 19.7 tons;
Most take-off weight: 38 tons;
Engines: 2 P & W F-119-PW-100 thrust 140 kilonewtons;
Thrust: 1.08;
The highest speed: 2.25 Mach number;
Supersonic cruising: 1.5 Mach number;
Combat radius: 759 km;
Ceiling: 19.8 thousand meters;
Armament: 20-mm gun to 6 missiles «air-air» or two bombs JDAM, four suspension points on the wings for arms weighing up to 2.3 tons.
Previous exploration manager David Deptula USAF, who attended the hearing in the House of Representatives, aggressively criticized the failure of the installation MADL on the F-22 fighter jets. According to him, it was silly to create «the most advanced fighter in the world», that later have no ability to communicate with other aircraft. «There’s wisdom on the penny, and durnosti per pound» — these words commented Deptula USAF decision to abandon the installation of MADL on the F-22 fighter jets.
It is interesting all the same, that in order to allow the F-22 to communicate with other aircraft, helicopters and ground units, the U.S. Air Force made a special air combat communications center. It consists of 6 special versions of UAVs RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 20, which fighters are able to exchange data. With all this drones can relay data from the F-22 to other aircraft and helicopters that are equipped with Link 16. Such bundle created in case of conducting large-scale fighting, and in fact has not been applied.
In other words, the U.S. Air Force almost confirmed that the exchange of data pilots F-22 still needed. But why it was necessary to create a «Raptor» single node communication and renounce from modernizing their communications fighter, not entirely clear. Perhaps rate as previously done by stealth — exchanging information with the communication node, F-22 gets wider access to RAM disk imaging without printing out all this own location.
Interestingly, the F-22 was adopted by the U.S. Air Force in 2005. Since that time, he did not take the role in any military campaign that led the U.S. abroad. On the one hand, the South American fighter is very expensive for a role in military operations in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia. But then, how else can you check all of the abilities of the aircraft, which is actually his «power» has not yet been substantiated.
Technical problems
Another blow to the South American style fighter fifth generation was done at the end of March 2011, when it became clear that the U.S. Air Force have imposed restrictions on the ultimate altitude F-22. According to the order of the Aviation Combat Command (ACC) USAF altitude limit F-22 should not exceed 7.6 thousand meters — despite the fact that, according to the technical features, the «ceiling» «Raptor» is about 20 thousand meters. A prerequisite for such a decision was the investigation, the purpose of which is to check the onboard oxygen generation systems (OBOGS), installed on many U.S. Air Force fighters.
According to the ACC, used military OBOGS may be defective. Namely, it is assumed that the loss of a prerequisite F-22 November 17, 2010 in Alaska could become a problem OBOGS. This system is responsible for generating and supplying oxygen breathing mask consistency in pilot at huge altitudes. Because failure OBOGS pilot crashed F-22 Jeffrey Haney could experience oxygen starvation and lose consciousness. A ban on ordinary flights, the U.S. Air Force with all this made it clear that it does not apply to American fighter sorties, which as before is not limited to their own movements.

Limitation ACC explained that at the flight altitude of 15 thousand meters and more than a pilot has in his own possession just 10 seconds before losing consciousness when interrupting the oxygen mask. Still not enough to lower the plane to the height at which you can breathe without a mask with respiratory consistency. Height 7.6 thousand meters was considered harmless command, as the pilot in case of termination of oxygen have the opportunity to decline to 5.4 thousand meters — the height at which it is already possible to breathe without a mask.
In general, the authority of the F-22 was blown up a lot earlier. So, in February 2010, the U.S. Air Force for some time stopped all flights «Raptor» — it turned out that the body of the aircraft unstable to water and simply corrode. Corrosion fighters showed up before, but in this case it turned out that the system of drainage of excess water from the light aircraft constructively with bad and not sovladevaet own task. As a result, rust appeared on some elements of the lamp, and even inside the aircraft cockpit, showing a corrosion problems could serve as a prerequisite system bailout.
In 2009, the U.S. Air Force as an experiment sent 12 F-22 fighters from Alaska to Guam Andersen base. Rainy weather on the peninsula was merciless to combat vehicles, and it soon became clear that the criteria for excessive humidity aircraft electrical system is unstable, and the cooling system component in computing humidified simply refuses to serve. Was this deficiency is corrected, it is unclear. But it is clear that from the time the F-22 in climates mokrovatom never used.
In the same year the last Engineer Lockheed Martin Olsen Derrol accused American company in the development of the defective F-22. According to Olsen, on the F-22 aircraft was applied to several unnecessary layers of coating, so that the fighter could pass all the required tests radar. Marriage also consists in the fact that the coating of radar F-22 without much difficulty with the fuselage is erased under the influence of water or fuel oil. In Lockheed Martin Olsen rejected accusations, saying that the production of aircraft used radar-resistant and high-quality finish.
Beginning in 2012, the U.S. Air Force will spend on upgrading F-22 fighters 500 million dollars a year. Namely, start programm modernization Increment 3.1, involves the installation of new avionics, avionics and software. With this program there fighter learns to map the terrain, choose targets on the ground and use new bomb SDB. Implementation of the modernization programs from Increment 3.2 will begin in 2014. According to unconfirmed reports, as a result of the programs from the F-22 will get refreshed software, some new design elements and new computer systems.
2-four years earlier was found funny problem bortovik F-22. In February 2007, the U.S. Air Force for the first time decided to withdraw the F-22 beyond the borders of the country, overtaking several fighters at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa. Link of 6 F-22 emitted from Hawaii, after crossing the 180th meridian — international bands change dates — one hundred percent lost navigation and partly — communication. Air Force Base in Hawaii fighters back, visually following tanker aircraft. Prerequisite problem was a bug in the software, which is due to malfunctioning computer when changing time.
And it is only those issues that the Air Force or the U.S. Defense Department announced officially. With all of this it is possible that there are hidden defects aircraft. For example, Problem B-2 bombers, which resulted in cracks in the steel panel between the rear of the aircraft engines, it became clear only after engineers found the Northrop Grumman method to fix it.
Sophisticated military hardware problems in general are not something extraordinary, as some operating features unrealistic to consider beforehand. These «childhood diseases» and then eliminated in the course of use and accounted for more new developments. But in the history of the F-22 is still a lot of the paranormal. After all, the truth, it is not clear why the United States in the case of the Libyan operation suddenly become excuses for lack of a fighter in the air build coalitions, although in the case of Iraq or Afghanistan, such attempts have been taken.
However, history teaches us that the most modern and precious weapons used in conflicts, even very large, in the last instance. More striking example of this is the British battleships class «Dreadnought» and German «Nassau». These ships stood homeport virtually the entire First World War and were used exclusively in the fighting in the last years of the war. March 31, 2011 the U.S. Office of the Comptroller announced that the purchase price of the 1st F-22 for the U.S. Air Force is 411.7 million dollars. In total, the South American military should get 187 F-22, 170 of which have already been taken into service.
Vasily Sychev
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