Despite the fact that the United States vigorously promotes its own pluses fighter F-22 Raptor and calls him «the best in the world» for the role in an operation carried out by troops of the Western coalition in Libya, he was not allowed.
Officially, this question specifically and not anyone is interested, but U.S. officials were explaining the lack of background of their best aircraft in the skies of Libya. Moreover — the representatives of the U.S. Air Force even been explained why not upgrade installed on the F-22 communications, and why because identified during test flight problems cut the maximum permissible height of the airplane by almost half.
Taking into account the fact that the F-22 fighter in over six years of existence has never taken a particular role in the fighting, such statements are urging the U.S. military to think about the real abilities «Raptor»-a.
Its military operation in Libya, the Air Force Western coalition began March 19, 2011. The main actors in the coalition became the Air Force and Navy of England, Italy, Canada, United States and France, with the implementation of major combat missions was assigned to fighter Dassault Rafale, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and Panavia Tornado GR4.
Even before the raid, which received the code name «Odyssey. Dawn «, some European and South American analysts were anticipating a specific role in it extensively advertised South American F-22 fighter Raptor, which is today the world’s only combat aircraft fifth generation, put into service.
But, despite the expectations and conjectures professionals — F-22 in the skies over 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 active role of the F-22 in combat operations and not waiting for the United States at one point decided to defend himself, calling for all that a number of circumstances in which the celebrated «raptors» were not oriented to providing a no-fly zone over the air territory of Libya.
One of the first on this subject still March 22, 2011 expressed an analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute recognizable. According to him, the most advanced of today South American warplane trivial is not intended for high-end military tasks, similar to those implemented in the skies of Libya at the beginning of the operation «Odyssey.»
Recall, the main objective of the first step, which stood before the participants of the military operation was to provide a no-fly zone over air territory of the North African country, this would have to kill all the air defense system, which were under the control of troops priklnnyh to Gaddafi. With all of this probable confrontation Libyan aircraft in the main settlement was not accepted.
Just Thompson noted that the F-22 Raptor at the physical level is not intended to apply clear attacks on ground targets. Fighter can be equipped with 2 types of JDAM bombs adjustable weighing 450 kg, which can affect only stationary, but not moving targets. Another problem is that the F-22 radar is unable to map the terrain, as well as do integrated radar synthetic aperture, which means that he can not without the help of others to choose targets located on the ground. This means in practice that if the F-22 in its current form and your own will be used to bomb for any items, the information about the order will be made in bortovik fighter before takeoff.
Prepyadstviya above is far not the whole list of shortcomings USAF fighter fifth generation. It turned out that the aircraft has a very limited communication capabilities. Fighter capable of exchanging operational information only with other F-22 going to the link. Raptor resettled and significantly «curtailed» communication system according to the standard Link 16, which is extensively used by the military, NATO and the United States the same, but it works only on the receiving operational information that comes from other aircraft and helicopters. In developing the F-22 engineers purposefully limited communication capabilities of the aircraft, in order to ensure its greater stealth — means that during combat employment plane will always work in radio silence.
Naturally, Thompson inferences can not pay significant attention — it is that analysts give reasons, which then did not go beyond speculation and conjecture or refuted by the military, which indicate the absence of actual evidence.
As an example, is important to investigate the expression of the U.S. Air Force Commander Norton Schwartz: «If the F-22 located on one of the bases in Western Europe, they are, of course, would take part in the Libyan operation. Since the military operation in Libya began comparable rapidly, it was decided the right decision to use available resources, located near «. As you know, according to the U.S. Air Force, at the present time South American F-22 Raptor is based in Alaska, Virginia, California, New Mexico, Florida and Hawaii. At the end of his speech Norton Schwartz said that «despite the fact that non-participation of the F-22 in the Libyan operation itself is not a proof of its uselessness.»
On the same day Schwartz spoke at a hearing during the meeting of the Subcommittee on Appropriations U.S. House of Representatives. In his speech Norton Schwartz tried to explain the premise on which the Air Force in 2010 decided to abandon one hundred percent of the modernization of communication systems of the F-22, which was planned in the framework of programs from Increment 3.2.
On the F-22 was planned to install modules communications system standard MADL. This type of connection is created in the current time for the introduction of promising fighters on the F-35 Lightning II. MADL newcomer communication system is not currently verified in terms of combat deployment, and means its introduction on the F-22 fighters, so unnecessary costs and certain risks to which the Air Force can not go. But he saw Schwartz, all other characteristics programmke Increment 3.2 will be implemented recently.
Without looking at all the shortcomings in terms of communication with other aircraft, the U.S. Air Force still complex custom designed for the F-22 interaction with other aircraft. It consists of 6 special versions improved unmanned aircraft type — RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 20. C labeled devices fighter capable of exchanging data. With all this drones can relay data acquired with the F-22 to other aircraft equipped with Link 16 communication system. Such operative ligament created role in the case of large-scale fighting, but the practical implementation until now was not.
In this case, if the designated set exists, USAF virtually confirms the need to exchange data pilots F-22. But why was it necessary to create a separate F-22 communications center, and later renounces modernization of communication systems installed fighter is not clear. Perhaps the main, the rate as before is on providing stealth — exchanging operational information with a communication, the fighter gets better access to info and for all that remains invisible.
It should be noted that the authority of the F-22 was blown up much earlier. So, in late winter 2010 USAF purposefully stopped at some time flying all F-22 — it turned out that the body is unstable fighter to water, resulting in just corrode. Corrosion was detected on the aircraft before, but in a particular case, it turned out that the installed system will drain away excess water lantern aircraft structurally poor and entrusted with the task not sovladevaet. Because of this rust appeared not only on certain parts of the aircraft canopy, and inside the cockpit, it is worth to see that show corrosion could then serve as a prerequisite for the failure of the system bailout.
As the experience in 2009, the U.S. Air Force sent 12 F-22 fighters from a military base in Alaska at the base of the peninsula Guam Andersen. As it turned out, the rainy weather of the island affected the stability of the aircraft electrical systems, cooling system and computer systems in a humidified atmosphere in general refuses to serve. Now, it is not clear whether this defect is eliminated.
In the same 2009 last engineer of Lockheed Martin Olsen Derrol indicted American company in the development of the defective F-22. According to Olsen, on the F-22 fighter jets to apply several layers of coating completely unnecessary. This was done so that the fighter could go smoothly all the necessary radar test checks. Marriage is the same that applied radio-absorbing coatings fighter quite rapidly and simply erased from the fuselage under the influence of fuel, oil and even water. Among all Lockheed Martin Olsen made accusations rejected, stating that the aircraft used in the manufacture of high-quality and stable radio-absorbing coatings.
In the U.S. Air Force indicated that since 2012, for the modernization of F-22 fighters will be spent 500 million dollars a year. Namely, will be operational programm modernization Increment 3.1, which involves installing a new and improved avionics, software and avionics. With this program there plane learns to map the terrain, use bombs, SDB and select ground targets. Implementation applets associated with Increment 3.2 upgrade will begin in 2014. According to unconfirmed reports, at the end of this modernization programs from the F-22 will have upgraded software, new computer systems, as well as some improved design elements.
In 2007, was identified and a few funny problem established in the F-22 bortovik. It came out during the first output fighter for the U.S. border in February 2007, overtaking several aircraft on Kadena Air Force base located in Okinawa. Unit consisting of six F-22 flew from Hawaii, after crossing the famous 180th meridian — International Date Line — quite lost and partly navigation — communication. Fighters were returned to the Air Force base in Hawaii, accompanied by visually following the tanker aircraft. Prerequisite failure became a bug in the software installed, and in which there was a problem when changing time.
Must take into account the fact that the above problems are the only ones of which the U.S. Air Force and the Ministry of Defense official said. It is possible that there are shortcomings of the airplane carefully hidden. Problems or deficiencies sophisticated military hardware do not seem something extraordinary, as some operating characteristics unrealistic to consider beforehand. These a kind of early «childhood diseases» eliminated in the course of use and are accepted for attention during the new developments. But in the history of the F-22 fighter is a lot of paranormal and nestled behind a veil of secrecy. After all, in fact, did not understand why the United States in the history of the Libyan operation suddenly for everyone, including allies began to justify the absence of a military operation in the fighter, although in the case of Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan, such attempts have been taken.
Pindostana conducted a study of problems operating the F-22. It turned out that the «most perfect» fighter of the U.S. Army requests 30 hours after each hour of flight hours and the price is $ 44,000 flight operations. Yet, they break down so often that, according to the Pindos themselves, 50% were in service in the Air Force cars are not ready for use.