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WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT, Japan

Date Posted: 01-Mar-1997


International Defense Review

THE PROGRESS OF THE F22 FIGHTER


PROGRAM
TEXT: Late in May, Lockheed Martin test pilot Paul Metz is due to take the F22A fighter up on its
maiden flight from Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia, next to Lockheed Martin's Marietta plant. It
will be a longawaited milestone in what has become the US Air Force's (USAF's) most important
program of the 1990s, and possibly one of the most significant programs in its history. The
Pentagon is currently preparing the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the secondterm follow
on to the 1993 bottomup review of US military plans. The 1993 review cut the planned number of
F22s from 648 to 442: there is a risk that the QDR will further reduce this. Congress fears a
`tactical aircraft trainwreck': a situation in which increasing expenditures on the F22, the US
Navy's (USN's) F/A18E/F and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) reach a point where it is impossible to
retain all three programs. The F22 is the most prominent of these programs and the most
tempting target for budgettrimmers. Annual cuts imposed by Congress and the Pentagon have
already delayed the program and increased its costs. Further cuts will be more expensive in the
long run, while building fewer aircraft at a lower rate will increase its unit costs. The USAF's
defense of the F22 is farreaching and fundamental. In the latest revision of its postSoviet
doctrine, air and space superiority is listed as the primary USAF `core competency'. Air and space
superiority is intended to provide US forces with freedom of action, while preventing hostile
aircraft and missiles from interfering with US operations and denying them sanctuaries where they
can operate. "Too many people fail to understand how the country depends on air dominance,"
Air Combat Command chief Gen Richard Hawley remarked at an Air Force Association symposium
in Orlando in January. "How long will information from Rivet Joint and Joint STARS be available if
those aircraft are threatened by longrange AAMs [airtoair missiles] launched from sanctuaries
protected by surfacetoair missiles [SAMs]? Will we be able to sustain precision attack operations
against adversary fighters? Will ground forces be able to maneuver as they did in Operation
`Desert Storm' if the enemy's reconnaissance aircraft can see them?" The USAF's case is that air
supremacy is an unstated prerequisite for US military operations. Consider that the US Army
spends relatively little on its own air defense, mainly using SAMs to defend fixed targets or to deal
with `leaker' aircraft. The USN's air defenses are designed for bluewater operations. Joint forces
rely on force multipliers such as the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and Joint
STARS, carried on vulnerable transports. To put it bluntly: what did more for the ground forces in

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the 199091 Gulf War the USAF's control of the air, or USN deepattack missions? F15s have
shot down 96 adversaries with zero losses in air combat. However, the USAF argues that a more
lethal and survivable replacement is needed to counter the proliferation of advanced fighters and
SAM systems. Two factors support the need for a fighter which outclasses the threat, rather than
matching it (as an improved F15 could). First, US and allied forces intheater are likely to be
outnumbered in the early stages of a conflict, as they arrive and establish their bases. Second, the
US public and political leaders expect quick success and minimal losses. A balanced assessment of
the F22's capabilities and the status of the program suggests that it should win the approval of
the QDR and Congress. However, as Hawley said: "If the facts are allowed to speak, the outcome
will not be in doubt. At this juncture, I'm not sure that will happen." While Hawley remarked that
many people do not understand the F22's mission, however, he could also have added that few
people understand its capabilities either. The F22 represents the greatest one generation
advance in fighteraircraft capability in 50 years. It brings about the greatest increase in sustained
speed since the advent of the jet, flying most of its missions at speeds that other fighters attain
only in short sprints, and accelerating and maneuvering at speeds where today's fighters are
working hard to fly in a straight line. It will equal and probably surpass the agility of any other
fighter, including the Su35. It embodies allaspect, widebandwidth radiofrequency (RF) and
infrared (IR) stealth. Its integrated avionics and sensorfused displays are a generation in advance
of anything known to be under test elsewhere. The F22's basic shape was devised in three hectic
months in 1987, after Lockheed decided that the design with which it had won a place in the
USAF's demonstration/validation (dem/val) program was both technically and competitively
unacceptable. The fundamental challenge was to reconcile the demands of stealth, supersonic
cruise and agility. Stealth influences the shape and angle of all external surfaces, and requires that
all weapons and fuel be carried internally, demanding an airframe of much greater volume than an
equivalent nonstealthy design. Supersonic cruise requires low supersonic drag, which usually
implies slenderness and thin wing and tail sections, which are not inherently compatible with large
volume. Agility is achieved through a large wing span and area and effective controls: this is hard
to reconcile either with the need for a small, thin wing for supercruise, or with the fact that the
best tail for a stealth aircraft is no tail at all. The initial goal was a fighter with a 22.5tonne clean
takeoff weight, but that proved impossible, and the F22 tips the scales at 27 tonnes. In general
layout, the F22 is a moderately swept (42) delta of a kind that has not been seen since the
Javelin and Skyray of the 1950s: little of the F22's mass lies behind the line of the trailing edge.
The wing and body are highly blended onethird of the total wingspan lies between the wing
attachment points making room for the weapons bays and much of the fuel. The delta wing
combines ample volume and a low thickness/chord ratio for supersonic drag with enough area to
meet maneuverability requirements, and still fits in standard NATO aircraft shelters. It is
structurally efficient and stiff. At high g loadings, the ailerons deflect upwards to offload the
thinner outer sections. The wing is more sophisticated than it looks; large leadingedge flaps and
complex camber make it more efficient at low speed and high alpha (angle of attack) than earlier
deltas. The F22 was designed to reach extreme angles of attack while remaining under full
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control: the objective was `carefree abandon' handling, allowing the pilot to exploit a very large
alpha/airspeed envelope without overstressing the aircraft or causing it to depart from controlled
flight. Another goal was to avoid stability and control deficiencies that would require limits on the
angle of attack. The F22 is designed to be immune from deep stalls and to recover from high
alpha, poststall conditions with both engines flamed out. According to test pilot Metz, the first F
22A will fly with a set of flight control system (FCS) laws that address the full flight envelope and
all configurations. Although testing will be incremental (as always), the prototype YF22 and wind
tunnel experience suggests that no major changes will be necessary. Thrust vectoring is not used
to expand the envelope. At low airspeeds, vectored thrust gets the F22 from one maneuver state
to another more quickly, but the aircraft is controllable in any part of the envelope without it and
can always recover with a failed engine. The same benefits could have been achieved with
conventional controls, but it would have meant increasing the size of the tails by 30 per cent and
adding 180kg to the empty weight. Given that the twodimensional (2D) nozzles were needed to
meet stealth requirements, thrust vectoring added only 1322kg to the aircraft. The nozzles vector
only in pitch, but they make the F22 more nimble in roll because, with the vectoring system
operational, the horizontal tails can be exploited more fully for roll control. The fourtail
configuration was selected because it provides adequate stability and linear control response in
pitch, roll and yaw over a wide speed and alpha range. The verticals are located well forward, so
that even at high alpha they are not blanketed by vortices from the body, and stability and rudder
effectiveness are retained. The horizontal tails are carried on booms projecting aft of the nozzles,
and their root leadingedges fit into cutouts in the flaperons. The FCS runs the horizontal tails,
the rudders, the vectoring nozzles, the wing surfaces (flaperons, ailerons and leadingedge flaps)
and even the nosewheel steering. There are no speedbrakes: for inflight deceleration, the
flaperons go down, the ailerons deflect up and the rudders move outwards. On the ground, the
entire trailing edge deflects up to spoil the wing lift. Almost 17,000h of wind tunnel testing were
performed during the engineering and manufacturing development program, involving 23 models
in 15 facilities. The basic program was completed in mid1995, but a further 900h of work on GBU
32 and AIM9X weapons (see below) release will be completed this year. No significant changes
have been made as a result of tunnel tests. The F22's stealth design clearly evolved from that of
the F117, with a preponderance of flat, canted surfaces and a sharp chine line from the nose to
the wingtips. Better modeling and testing techniques have allowed the designers to incorporate
some curvature in the surfaces. In the nowfamiliar manner, surfaces and edges are aligned with
one another; large openings such as the landing gear and weapon bay doors have serrated edges,
aligned with the wing and tail edges; and small apertures are diamond or rhombusshaped. Gaps
between control surfaces are delicately sculpted to avoid 90 angles as they move. The object is
to concentrate radar reflections in a small number of lobes, using preflight and onboard mission
planning software to minimize the time during which any lobe `dwells' on a known or detected RF
threat. A basic difference between the F117 and the F22 is that radar absorbent material (RAM)
is not applied to the entire aircraft, but selectively to edges, cavities and surface discontinuities.

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Lockheed Martin builds all the edges of the aircraft, which probably consist of wideband radar
absorbent structures. Heatresistant ceramicmatrix RAM is likely to be used on the exhaust
nozzles. The radome is a `bandpass' type which reflects signals at all frequencies except the
precise wavelengths used by the F22 radar. Radar crosssection (RCS) problems were discovered
during early fullscale model tests. There was no single reason for the failure to meet the
specification: rather, the problem was traced to the difficulty of maintaining tolerances in a large
number of apertures and serrations. The result was a detailed redesign of the surface of the
aircraft. Access panels and drain holes were eliminated or combined, and some serrated edges
were modified with fewer, larger teeth. Recent tests of a modified RCS pole model have indicated
that the problem is solved. The F22 structure includes less composite material than the designers
planned, but the weight goal 25 per cent lighter than an allaluminum airframe was achieved
through the selective use of highstrength, highstiffness composites and the largescale use of
titanium, which makes up 41 per cent of the airframe weight. Composites account for only 25 per
cent, mostly in the wings and tails where their stiffness is valuable. The heart of the structure is
the midbody section, built by Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems in Fort Worth. It
incorporates the four weapon bays, the main landing gears and the complex inlet ducts (see
picture on left). The midbody accomodates much of the fuel. Apart from the discrete bays for the
missiles, landing gear, gun and environment control system, the midbody is plumbed and sealed
as set of integral fuel tanks. An onboard inert gas generating system produces nitrogen, which is
pumped into the tanks to reduce the risk of explosion from battle damage. The midbody also
accommodates much of the fuel. Apart from discrete bays for the missiles, landing gear, gun and
environmental control system, the midbody is plumbed and sealed as a set of integral fuel tanks.
Nitrogen produced by an onboard inert gas generating system is pumped into the tanks to reduce
the risk of explosion from battle damage. Attached to the midbody are the forebody,
accommodating the cockpit and avionics, which is built by Lockheed Martin in Marietta; and the
wings, aft fuselage, engine bay and the tailbooms, built by Boeing. Five massive titanium
bulkheads in the midbody absorb most of the structural loads. The largest measures just under
4m between the wing attachment points and 1.8m from top to bottom, and is produced as the
world's largest titanium forging by WymanGordon, weighing 2,975kg. Some 95 per cent of its
mass is removed during machining, leaving a 149kg finished part. The widest of the forgings
measures 4.62m from tip to tip. The midbody and rear fuselage include some unusual structural
features. The inlet lip and the fittings that support the wing and rudder are hot isostatic process
(HIP) castings, made from titanium alloy powder formed under very high pressure. HIP was
originally developed for disks in engines, but is used to form highly loaded, rigid, complexshaped
components with a minimum parts count. The tailbooms are electronbeam welded titanium: the
aft fuselage is 67 per cent titanium because of high temperatures. Carbonfiber/bismaleimide (BMI)
composite is the primary material in the wings. BMI replaced the thermoplasticmatrix composite
used in the YF22 because it was stronger and less expensive. Thermoplastics had previously been
tougher and more damagetolerant than BMI, but improved BMI resins became available during

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dem/val. Thermoplastics tolerate higher temperatures than BMI, so the change to BMI in the EMD
aircraft meant a reduction in maximum Mach number, from 2.0 to 1.8. The wings incorporate sine
wave spars in which the web is an undulating curve produced by a resintransfer moulding
(RTM) process developed by Boeing and Dow/United Technologies. In the RTM process, dry
carbonfiber fabric is laid up in a mould and BMI resin is injected at high pressure. RTM provides
better yields and lower costs for relatively small, complex parts. One in four of the spars is still
made from titanium, a change made after livefire damagetolerance tests. Alliant TechSystems
provides two of the largest carbonfiber/epoxy components on the aircraft: the 2.8m horizontal tail
pivot shafts. The tapewound shaft is up to 490 plies thick and blends from a long cylinder (on the
aircraft side) to a flattened, sweptback spar buried in the tail. A few thermoplasticmatrix
composites are still used the largest components are the landing gear and weaponbay doors,
where damage tolerance is important. Weight has been an issue, but Lockheed Martin disputes
that it has been out of control and says the projected empty mass is now lower than it was in
1994. There is no weight specification for the F22: the requirement is written in terms of
performance. As a result, some weight growth has been accepted at the expense of small changes
in performance. The totally frameless Sierracin canopy is unique. Most canopy specifications
require nearperfect optics only in the forward field of view, but the F22 will have a helmet
mounted sight and therefore needs `zone 1 quality' throughout. The F22 canopy is made from
two 9.5mm sheets of polycarbonate, sandwiched between two sheets of optical glass, fusion
bonded in an autoclave, and drapeformed over a canopy blank at 400C. Birdstrike protection
remains an issue. The F22 canopy is not as inherently tough as the multilayer F16 canopy.
Although the F22 canopy can withstand a 450kt birdstrike, the impact initiates a wave through
the canopy which, at its lowest point, strikes the headup display (HUD) combiner, sending
fragments into the pilot's face. HUD supplier GEC Avionics is working with Lockheed Martin on
designs for a collapsible combiner. The size and cycle of the F22's Pratt & Whitney F119PW100
engines was driven by the supercruise requirement. Although the F119 is similar in size to the
F100, with a roughly similar airflow (about 125kg/s), it has a very different cycle. The F119's
bypass ratio is 0.2:1 or less, versus 0.7:1 for the F100, so its core handles at least 50 per cent
more air. Although the thrust of the F119 is officially quoted as `in the 155kN class', information
obtained by IDR suggests that the actual thrust may be more than 170kN with full augmentor,
implying an intermediate (non augmented) rating of 113kN. This is compatible with statements
that at supersonic speed, on dry thrust, the F119 generates twice as much power as the F100PW
200. The F119 has not been shown in public, but General Electric has exhibited the rival F120 in
partly disassembled form, mounted alongside an F110 the difference in the size of the core
blading was considerable. These are huge engines, capable of delivering 180kN without
afterburning when fitted with a larger fan for the Boeing JSF design. The F119 has completed a
formal qualification program at the USAF's Arnold Engine Development Center (AEDC) in
Tennessee, and initial flight release has been obtained. By late January, the first two flighttest
engines had been delivered to Marietta, and preparations were being made for engine runs.
Results have been good, says program manager Walt Bylciw, and the engine's early

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developmental troubles (which necessitated an extensive redesign of the turbine and some other
finetuning) are behind it. The F119 has a threestage fan, a sixstage compressor and single
stage low and highpressure turbines. Each has fewer blades than an F100 stage, so in all the
F119 has 40 per cent fewer aerofoils. The counterrotating shafts eliminate a stator between the
turbine stages, saving weight, reducing the engine's length and cutting the requirement for
cooling air. Integrally bladed disks are used throughout the fan and compressor; the hollow first
stage blades are made separately and joined to the disk by linear friction welding, a technique in
which the blade is rubbed so hard against the disk that it bonds to it. Early in the design process,
Pratt & Whitney engineers joined operational USAF F15 maintainers on the flightline. As a result,
the designers selected a small set of wrenches, ratchets and sockets and built the engine so that
all exterior maintenance could be carried out with those tools, and restricted themselves to a few
types of clips and fasteners. Virtually all the engine's plumbing is accessible without removing the
engine itself, and all lines are colorcoded. The F22 inlets are fixedgeometry, one of many ways
in which the USAF's decision to forgo a highMach capability (seldom used on the F15) saved
time, weight and money. Boundarylayer turbulence is controlled by drawing air through pores in
the duct wall, and the air is dumped overboard through exhaust grills and a bleed door. Each inlet
duct has a larger bypass door just ahead of the compressor face, which can open during rapid
deceleration. The philosophy of the design is that no doors are open except during maneuvers or
engine transients. The vectoring nozzles can divert the full augmented thrust 20 upwards or
downwards in a second. Twodimensional nozzles are necessary for stealth in both the RF and IR
bands: the edges of a 2D nozzle can be aligned with the other edges of the aircraft, and its shape
tends to flatten the exhaust plume and promote mixing with the ambient air. In a twinengine
aircraft, too, a 2D nozzle helps to provide a smooth, lowdrag aftbody shape. The nozzles are
largely made of burnresistant Alloy C titanium and incorporate a sophisticated internal cooling
system. The F22's main armament comprises six AIM120C Advanced MediumRange AirtoAir
Missiles (AMRAAMs). Three missiles are carried in each of the ventral bays, which are covered by
bifold doors. The AIM120C was designed for internal carriage on the F22, with clipped wing and
tail surfaces. Its performance is virtually identical to earlier AMRAAMs and it will be the standard
version for all USAF fighters. The AIM120s will be propelled from the weapon bays by
pneumatic/hydraulic AMRAAM Vertical Ejector Launcher units. The side bays will each hold one
GMHughes AIM9X Sidewinder, carried on the AIM9 Trapeze Launcher (ATL), a mechanically
extending rail incorporating an exhaust plume deflector. The ATL will be extended automatically
as the F22 nears the point of achieving launch parameters on the target, allowing the IR seeker
to lock on before launch. A General Dynamics M61A2 20mm cannon, a lighter version of the M61
with longer, compositewrapped barrels and a redesigned breech, is mounted above the right
wing root. The muzzle opens on to a shallow trench in the fuselage, covered by a sidehinged
door. The F22 carries 480 rounds of ammunition in a linear feed system aft of the weapon bays.
In 1994, the USAF asked Lockheed to develop an airtosurface capability for the F22, and the
lower weapon bays have been modified to accommodate the 450kg McDonnell Douglas GBU32

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Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). The F22 can carry two each of JDAMs, AMRAAMs and AIM
9s. JDAM is guided by a GPS/inertial system, with a specified circular error probable (CEP) of 13m.
Development of a programmable seeker to provide a 3m CEP, equivalent to a laserguided bomb,
is due to start in 2002. A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode is being added to the F22's radar
for airtosurface operations. Other weapons have been studied for the F22, but not funded. The
aircraft could carry a pair of Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) weapons for use
against area targets. A compact version of the HARM missile is under study for the F22. New and
much smaller weapons are developed for production early next century and are particularly
attractive for the F22. Examples include an operational derivative of the Miniaturized Munitions
Technology small hardtarget weapon, eight of which would fit inside the F22, and the LowCost
Autonomous Attack System, a miniature cruise missile capable of detecting, identifying and
destroying military vehicles. When stealth is not critical, the F22 can carry up to 2,270kg of
external stores on each of four underwing pylons. For ferry flights, each of these can
accommodate a 600gallon (2,270liter) fuel tank and a pair of AMRAAMs, reducing the need for
tanker and cargo support. However, none of the F22's attributes could be exploited properly
without the fighter's least visible element: its avionics system. It is revolutionary, in part because
it has to be. The F22 brings new complexities to the fighter mission. The air battle will unfold
much more quickly in front of the pilot, because of the fighter's greater speed. The F22 relies on
its stealth for protection against hostile air defenses, but stealth can be compromised by emissions
from its own systems. Stealth gives the pilot a new set of variables to consider; the F22 is more
stealthy against some radars than others, and its RCS changes according to the radar's bearing.
Stealth imposes limitations on sensor design and operation. "I have to minimize power, and bury
all my apertures," said avionics team leader Marty Broadwell. "If I don't do it this way [that is, the
integrated and fused approach used on the F22], I can't see anything." Metz looks at the problem
from a slightly different angle: "If you look at history, very few fighter pilots are effective," he
said. In the Second World War, only 21 per cent of fighter pilots made kills and about one in six of
these (3.6 per cent of the total) became aces. During the 195053 Korean War, the 4.8 per cent of
pilots who became aces made 38 per cent of the total kills. "What if we can increase the ratio of
pilots who make kills from one in five to one in two, or three?" said Metz. The implications in
terms of force effectiveness are clear. Metz outlined three principles in the F22 design which are
intended to accomplish that goal. One of these is to eliminate `housekeeping' tasks through
automation and selftest. Launching the F22 is a matter of inserting a Data Transfer Module
cartridge which sets up the displays according to the pilot's preferences switching the battery
on, holding the auxiliary power switch in the on/start position and setting the throttles to idle. The
engines start automatically and the avionics run through their diagnostic routines, and within a
classified but extremely short time the fighter is ready to go. The second principle is the `carefree
abandon' flying qualities which relieve the pilot from worrying about the flight envelope or possible
departure. The third principle, and the driving force behind much of the avionics design, is to
`maximize information and minimize data'. The F22's sensors and displays meet this challenge in

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three basic, interrelated ways: sensor fusion. Combining data from all different sensors to display
one target on the screen and relieving the pilot of the need to monitor and compare different
displays; sensor management. In normal operation, the pilot does not control the sensors. This is
done automatically according to the tactical situation; and emission control (EMCON). One of the
tasks of the sensor management system is to keep electronic emissions at the lowest possible
level. The F22 cockpit is dominated by four large activematrix liquid crystal display screens.
There are no dedicated backup instruments: these are hosted on smaller monochrome LCD
panels. The GEC holographic HUD is designed so that the bulk of the optical system is located
behind the panel, allowing the central 203mm{2} Tactical Situation Display (TSD) to be moved
upward and making room for three 152x152mm screens left, right and below. The architecture
behind the displays is revolutionary. In the traditional sense, the F22 has no radar, electronic
warfare (EW) system, or communications, navigation and identification (CNI) systems. Instead,
like the displays, they are peripherals serving the fighter's GMHughes Common Integrated
Processor (CIP), which consists of two banks of 32bit liquidcooled computer modules housed in
the forward fuselage. The entire system runs on 1.7 million lines of code hosted by the CIP.
Fiberoptic highspeed databuses link the sensors to the CIPs and the CIPs to the displays. A
practice sortie in Lockheed's concept demonstrator a mediumfidelity, securityapproved
simulator shows how the system works from the pilot's viewpoint. The pilot's main sources of
information in the beyondvisualrange fight are the TSD and the screens on either side: the left
for defense, and the right for attack. These both take a subset of the data on the TSD and add
more detail to it. All the screens use the same symbology and the same perspective: `God's eye
view', with the F22's track pointing up the center of the screen. The symbols are `dualcoded'
as far as possible, they differ both in shape and color. This makes them easy to distinguish and
ensures that the displays will be workable if the pilot has to wear laserprotective goggles. Other F
22s in the formation are represented by blue circles, and other friendlies by green circles. Each
symbol has a vector line which shows its direction and approximate speed. As the practice mission
proceeds, four yellow squares appear at the top of the TSD. This symbol indicates that
identification is incomplete. The targets were probably detected by an AWACS and transmitted to
the F22 by the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System. All the pilots in the formation will
see the same displays. As well as a datalink that can import information from AWACS, the F22 is
fitted with an IntraFlight Data Link (IFDL) which can transfer system and target information
among F22s. The IFDL operates at low power and in an RF band which attenuates rapidly in the
atmosphere, so it is difficult for an adversary to detect or track. The F22's Northrop
Grumman/Texas Instruments APG77 radar could identify the targets, but it will not do so to begin
with. The F22's sensor management and EMCON functions divide the airspace around the fighter
into concentric zones. In the outer zone, targets are not close enough to be a threat, and the
system will not break radar silence to identify them. As they get closer and enter the `situational
awareness' zone, the system is programmed to identify and track them. The next zone is defined

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as that within which the F22 pilot has the option to engage or avoid the threat. The inmost zone
is bounded by the range of the threat's missiles. In each case, the system uses the radar only as
much as is necessary to maintain a track. As the target gets closer, the radar will revisit it more
often. In the simulated engagement, one of the targets gives the game away by using radar. The
F22's LockheedSanders ALR94 EW sensor suite "does not compare with anything out there
today it's vastly superior," remarks a Lockheed engineer. It can determine the target's bearing
and, to some extent, its range. CIP software compares the incoming radar signal with other target
data. Its source correlates with the unidentified targets being tracked by AWACS, so it is placed in
the same `track file'. The software selects the highestquality data from each sensor to build the
display. The target symbols change to red triangles hostiles. The CIP computes the detection
envelope of the hostile's radar against the F22 at its current bearing. It appears on the defense
screen as a blue cone emanating from the target. The CIP will do the same for any SAM radars,
placing a circle around them on the defensive display. If the F22 turns to present its more
reflective side or rear to the radar, the envelope will expand visibly. The pilot can choose whether
to risk detection or change course. As the targets enter the engageoravoid zone, the F22 pilot
steers a cursor over them and presses a bar on the throttle. This activates a `shoot list': the
targets are placed in order of priority and tracked for engagement. The targets may be divided
among the formation using the IFDL, and only one radar at a time need be used for tracking.
Targets on the shoot list are represented by numbered circles. The pilot can override the shoot
list. It is one of a number of techniques pioneered by the USAF Pilot's Associate. One of the goals
of Pilot's Associate was `adaptive aiding' in which automation would be there to help the pilot in
highworkload situations, but would not take over against the pilot's wishes. The objective is to
help the pilot make good decisions quickly, rather than automating the decision process. Similarly,
the defensive screen will show countermeasure and maneuver options against an imminent threat.
The target formation appears in a larger scale on the righthand attack display. On the left of the
screen is an altitude display. On the right, the targets appear on a range scale, compressed to one
dimension, which shows the maximum range of the F22's missiles and the lethal envelope of the
target's missiles. The F22 pilot can use that information to decide whether to fire as soon as
possible and break away earlier or whether to allow the range to close and give the target less
chance to escape. The shootlist function selects and arms missiles. A `SHOOT' cue appears on
the attack display and HUD when the target is within range. Once the missile is in the air, the
system steps to the next target. The withinvisualrange (WVR) fight has not been ignored. The
HUD regarded as a primary flight display, for the first time on a US fighter uses a combination
of UStype symbology, emulating verticaltape displays, and counterpointer symbols. The F22 will
enter service with the Joint HelmetMounted Cueing System (JHMCS) and AIM9X missile for off
boresight engagements. (Elbit/Kaiser and Honeywell/GEC teams are competing to produce
JHMCS.) The displays and datalink will be important in WVR. Simulations have shown that the
datalink reduces ambiguous voice calls. It also means that a target that is within the radar
envelope of one aircraft in the formation is visible on the displays of all of them. Another
technology which may well be added to the F22 is threedimensional (3D) sound. The F22 has a
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Bose audio system to provide active noise reduction, and research is showing that 3D audio
provides a very accurate and reliable bearing and elevation cue. The F22 display system has been
extensively simulated since the late 1980s, including many realtime sorties using multiple
interlinked dome displays. The results, says Lockheed Martin, show that the F22 system is
intuitive and easily learned, and raises the performance level of an inexperienced pilot. Lockheed
engineers say that it would not be easy to emulate the F22 avionics system on an existing
aircraft. The system works, they say, because the barriers between the different sensors have
been broken down. The most powerful sensor is the APG77. Its activearray antenna consists of
nearly 2,000 fingersized transmit and receive modules (produced by Texas Instruments)
embedded in a fixed array. The cost of these modules has been the critical issue in the radar's
design since the USAF decided to aim for an activearray radar in the Advanced Tactical Fighter
program in the early 1980s. They have entered production for several programs and the USAF is
satisfied that the APG77 will be affordable. A pair of the EMD modules weighs a mere 15g and
puts out over 4W of power. The modular design of the APG77 antenna and power supply
eliminates the cause of many radar failures. The APG77 is also expected to be extremely agile,
and capable of changing the direction, power and shape of the radar beam very rapidly to acquire
target data while minimizing the chance that its signals will be intercepted or tracked. The F22
could be described as bristling with CNI and EW antennas if any of them had been visible. The 30
plus apertures are all flush with the surface of the aircraft, including largeaperture arrays in the
wing leading edges. The EW system includes azimuth and elevation arrays to provide 3D target
data. Windows for the electrooptical Missile Launch Detection system are located around the
forward fuselage, and four dispensers for flare, chaff and active radar decoy cartridges are
installed in the lower wing surfaces. An IR search and track (IRST) system was part of the original
ATF requirement. It was deleted during dem/val, but the Avionics Directorate of the USAF Wright
Laboratories has continued its development with Lockheed Martin as the contractor, and space,
weight, power and cooling provisions for IRST are still on the aircraft. A lowobservable IRST
window for the F22 was tested for stealth and durability last year. IRST is valuable for raid
assessment, because of its high angular resolution. It is also useful against tactical ballistic
missiles, and it can double as a thermal imaging system for ground attack. The F22 is the first
USAF fighter in many years to have a specially developed life support system. It includes the HGU
86P helmet, developed by Helmets Integrated Systems of the UK. The antig garment covers more
of the body than earlier gsuits and can exert pressure on more of the body's blood supply. The
oxygen mask and counterpressure vest are designed for positivepressure breathing and are
controlled by a breathing regulator and antig garment (BRAGG) valve which reacts to the rate of
g onset. Research at the USAF's Brooks Laboratory in San Antonio has shown that positive
pressure breathing, the smart valve and improved antig suit increase g tolerance, reduce the risk
of ginduced loss of consciousness and allow the pilot to sustain g with less physical strain and

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fatigue (an important factor in sustaining high sortie rates). Positivepressure breathing also
provides altitude protection. USAF fighters are normally limited to 50,000ft because, if power and
cockpit pressure are lost, the pilot will lose consciousness before the aircraft descends into thicker
air. The F22 lifesupport ensemble has been chambertested to 66,000ft and its emergency
oxygen system will function long enough to reach lower altitudes. The lifesupport system includes
an aircooling garment underneath the gsuit and counter pressure vest, and optional suits that
protect the pilot from chemical and biological agents and cold water immersion. Up and halfway
The F22's first flight marks only the midpoint between the start of EMD and the fighter's entry
into service. Nine EMD aircraft are being built. The first three (40014003) are dedicated to
airframe and engine testing and weapon release clearances. The second of these is due to fly in
April next year and the third the following September. They will have nonstandard displays, no
mission avionics and simpler, flighttestdedicated communications equipment. Conducting the first
flight at Marietta was cheaper than disassembling the completed prototype and transporting it to
Edwards AFB, which had been considered. A mission control center has been set up at Marietta,
and the first flights have been rehearsed extensively using the pilotandhardwareintheloop
simulator in Fort Worth. Lockheed Martin plans a physical rehearsal of the first flight, using an F
15 escorted by F16 chase aircraft. After eight flights, the F22 will be ferried to Edwards AFB non
stop, with inflight refueling. In July last year, the USAF deferred development of the F22B two
seater to save money and eliminated two F22Bs from the test program. This was not a `painless'
decision, says Metz, but the fighter's carefree handling and straightforward flying qualities should
make it easy and safe to fly, while recording devices and the debriefing functions built into the
Boeingdeveloped training system allow a pilot's performance to be reviewed on the ground. The
fourth to ninth aircraft (40044009) will fly between April 1999 and May 2000, and are all
dedicated to avionics testing. The plan calls for all these aircraft to be kept identical: as new
hardware and software is available, all the aircraft will be retrofitted at the same time. Software
and hardware will be released in blocks. The first three test aircraft will fly with Block 0, which
includes the inertial reference system, the stores management system and the displays. The first
major milestone in avionics testing is Block 1, which includes radar and CNI. Altogether,
comments Broadwell, Block 1 includes almost half the lines of code in the final system, and its
successful completion will prove a number of principles. "If we survive Block 1, we'll know a lot
about software integration, and we'll know how to debug the system. We won't be wrestling
functional and infrastructure issues at the same time." With radar and CNI, too, Block 1 will
demonstrate the first elements of sensor fusion. Block 1 will be available for testing almost a year
before F22 4004 is ready, and will fly first aboard the Boeingbuilt Flying Test Bed (FTB), a
modified 757 airliner fitted with the APG77, other sensors, CIPs and displays. If the FTB tests go
well, Broadwell hopes that the F22 test aircraft can be updated quickly to the Block 2
configuration, which adds radar modes and some EW functions and should be available in mid
1999. Block 3, originally planned as the final preinitial operating capability (IOC) release of the
software, should be released in April 2000 and includes all EW functions. It will be followed in late

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2000 by Block 3.1, which includes provision for JDAM. Although the task of developing such a
radical system is not trivial, Broadwell believes that solid progress is being made. "We surprised a
lot of people," he said, by keeping the current total of 1.7 million software lines of code (SLOC)
relatively close to the 1.3 million SLOC that was predicted in December 1990. "If we can hold the
growth to 25 per cent we'll amaze the world." Every piece of hardware intended for the system
has been built and is working in the laboratory, including a complete radar array, which is looking
out over the airport at Northrop Grumman's Baltimore plant and is linked to a CIP. Software
development so far has stayed on track, and the Block plan is mostly cumulative: "When you add
a block in CNI, you add a function. When you add a block in radar, you add modes. It's done, and
it doesn't change." Flight tests should confirm that the F22's `conservative' looks belie its
performance. Details are classified: however, the immense thrust should provide remarkable
acceleration and speed. A chart published in 1991 shows that the F22 is slightly faster on
intermediate power than an F15C on full burner, when both aircraft have eight AAMs on board.
(The speeds are probably around Mach 1.61.7.) "We expect that this will be one of the things
that surprises the air force," said Metz. "If you don't know what you're doing, you'll be
supersonic." Unlike most fighters, too, the F22 achieves its highest rate of climb at supersonic
speed. It is almost as fast with afterburner as without. The augmentors will be used mainly for
acceleration and supersonic maneuvering. Metz believes that the "afterburner will generally not be
required", and that when it is used it will be in bursts of seconds and tens of seconds, at the
outside. The principal breakthrough in terms of straightline performance is supercruise. The USAF
has stated that "about 30 minutes in a onehour mission" can be flown at supersonic speed, three
to six times the supersonic endurance of any fighter using augmentors. On a typical mission, the F
22 can sustain supersonic speed for most of the time that it is over hostile territory. Supersonic
endurance varies with speed: a supercruising F22 may vary its speed between Mach 1.1 to Mach
1.5plus according to the tactical situation. Supercruise has many tactical advantages. A faster
aircraft retains engagement control: if its pilot chooses to fight, the adversary cannot run, and if
the F22 pilot disengages, the adversary cannot sustain the pursuit. The F22 can maneuver
around a slower adversary to engage it from the rear, and enters the fight with greater energy
and overtaking speed. Supersonic speed goes along with a higher altitude capability: both shrink
the lethal envelope of SAMs. Firstlook, FirstShot The F22's reduced headon RCS is claimed to
guarantee a firstlook, firstshot advantage against any contemporary fighter radar. However,
where the F22 differs from any other aircombat fighter is in the importance placed on allround
RCS, which is described as being in the same order as the slower and less agile F117 and B2. All
round stealth is aimed primarily at the SAM threat. Stealth and supercruise are synergistic: the
aim is not to be invisible, but to reduce detection range to the point where the system cannot
complete an engagement against a fastflying target before the range begins to increase. The
philosophy of `balanced observables' mandated that the F22's IR signature be reduced so that IR
and radar sensors would have a similar detection range. The most prominent source of IR
radiation from an aircraft is its exhaust plume. On the F22, plume radiation is reduced by minimal
afterburner use, the 2D nozzles and bypass mixing. Much of the remaining IR signature
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comprises reflected solar IR radiation and emissions caused by skin friction heat. IRabsorbent
paint reduces solar reflection; it is analogous to normal paint except that it absorbs in the IR
band. Friction heat cannot be absorbed by paint, but coatings have been developed that change
the emissivity of a surface: that is, they make it less efficient at emitting IR. To some extent,
coatings may also be able to shift the wavelength of the emitted IR energy into wavebands which
attenuate most rapidly in the atmosphere. Heat from electronics and other systems can cause IR
emissions. The F22's specialized environmental control system stores peak heating loads in heat
sinks and removes it from the aircraft through airtofuel heat exchangers. The F22's visual
signature will be managed by a new camouflage scheme, an overall grey with darker, softedged
areas on the wings, body and tail. The base color is intended to match the luminance of the sky at
typical combat altitudes and extreme visual range, while the darker patches send mixed signals to
the eye or to an electrooptical seeker with an edgerecognition algorithm. Metz prefers not to be
drawn into the debate over the value of the lowairspeed, highalpha maneuvers demonstrated by
the Sukhoi Su37 at the Farnborough air show last September, or by the X31. Some pilots believe
that the ability to fire a shortrange AAM in almost any direction, by changing the fighter's body
angle independently of its flightpath, will be critical in future combats. Others disagree
vehemently, arguing that poststall maneuvers kill so much airspeed that they are `suicidal' in a
manyonmany fight. Whatever the outcome of the debate, the F22 should be able to acquit itself
well, with a very large flight envelope that is actually usable in combat. (At least some spectacular
airshow maneuvers have involved disabling safetyrelated limiters.) Alphas to 60 were
demonstrated in the YF22 program, and some roll maneuverability was retained at that extreme
pitch angle. The acual inservice alpha limit has not been released. However, the fact that 60
was demonstrated in flight tests, and the F22 fuel system simulator is built to emulate 60
alphas, suggests that the fighter will indeed be designed to attain 60 in service more than twice
the service limit of any other fighter. At alphas of 15 and above, the F22 rolls at least twice as
fast as the F15, and the gap widens until the F15 hits its roll limit of 30 alpha. Maximum pitch
rates are up to twice as fast as the F16. The F22's pitch rate is so fast that it is inhibited by a
soft stop in the aft movement of the sidestick. Pulling the stick through the stop overrides a limit
in pitch acceleration, and it is considered best for the pilot to be aware that the F22 is about to
respond very fast and that the BRAGG valve will respond in turn. The F22 pilot who decides that
the tactical situation warrants highalpha, lowspeed maneuvering may be reassured by the
fighter's controllability and thrusttoweight ratio. The F22 should be able to end a maneuver
rapidly when required, and will accelerate quickly to a safer combat speed. The fighter will be
evaluated against `actual and simulated adversary aircraft' during its flighttest program, Metz
states. "It will be a great airshow airplane, too," he added. The F22 is claimed to have more than
twice the range of the F15C at subsonic speed, with a greater margin when the mission includes
supersonic flight. Such numbers have to be treated with caution. In this case, the comparison is
probably based on a full missile load and internal fuel only. The F22's internal fuel load is greater

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than that of an F15C with three 2,300liter tanks, and it has much less drag, so it should have a
greater combat radius on a similar mission profile. Despite its remarkable capabilities, the F22
should not be a hardtomaintain, exotic aircraft. Every part of the aircraft has been designed by
an integrated product team that includes engineers and specialists in production and maintenance,
and the goal is an aircraft that requires onethird as many maintenance hours per flight hour as
the F15. Builtin test equipment replaces offboard test equipment, and more items are designed
to be replaced on the flightline rather than repaired in an intermediatelevel shop on the base. A
24aircraft unit of F22s requires only eight C141Bloads of equipment for a 30day deployment,
versus 18 for the same number of F15s. It requires half as many people to support the F22 as
are needed for the same number of F15s. So far, developmental problems have been minor, with
the exception of the turbine redesign, and program managers note that preflight testing and tight
configuration control have unearthed problems before rather than after first flight when there
has been time to solve them at reasonable cost. The main cause of delays has been funding.
Since the EMD program started, budget cuts have moved the first flight from August 1995 to May
1997, and have IOC from 2001 to 2004. These actions have made the F22 more expensive. The
total program cost development, 438 aircraft, spares, ground equipment and construction
stands at US$73.5 billion. Much of this total includes 10 years or more of projected inflation, and it
has increased as IOC has slipped. Lockheed Martin's development contract for the airframe was
estimated late last year at US$12 billion. A review last year showed that costs were likely to rise
more than predicted, because defense industry costs are expected to rise faster than the
governmentwide inflation rate on which the Pentagon's budgets are based. The Pentagon has
responded by slowing initial production and adding a US$1.45 billion reserve to the EMD program.
This is expected to fund investments in production and program changes (such as the early
procurement of some avionics components) that will reduce costs in the future, and includes the
integration of the AIM9X and JHMCS. The total EMD cost, including Lockheed Martin and Pratt &
Whitney contracts, and work done by the USAF, now seems likely to exceed US$17 billion
including the sums already spent or committed. The projected average flyaway price of the F22 is
now US$71 million in 1996 dollars. (This price includes a fullyequipped aircraft but no spares or
weapons.) Some of the added investments being made now, and other proposals made by the
contractors including multiyear procurements are intended to ensure that this number
continues to track the budgeted rate of inflation, rather than with defense industry costs.
Lockheed Martin managers argue that export sales would reduce the cost of the F22 to the
Pentagon, and the sooner the better. Department of Defense policy precludes final contracts until
initial operational test and evaluation is complete, in 200102, but that does not prevent Lockheed
Martin from briefing export customers. The company planned to do this at the Farnborough air
show, but the Pentagon withheld permission until the cost picture became clearer. USAF Deputy
Chief of Staff Gen Tom Moorman noted in January that "I have no doubt that the F22 will be
released for export, and we have some authority to do that now." An executive committee co
chaired by the US Under Secretary of Defense for Aquisition and Technology Paul Kaminski and
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Gen Joe Ralston, vicechair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is reviewing the security issues raised by
the possible export of a stealthy aircraft. Some of the stealth features of the F22 are `modular' in
nature and could be selectively removed or downgraded for export. Potential customers include F
15 operators such as Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia. South Korea is considering a highend fighter
to complement the F16, and Lockheed Martin is looking at the possibility of selling small `silver
bullet' F22 fleets to operators of modern but nonstealthy fighters; even Eurofighter members are
not ruled out. Granted that cost definitions are fraught with a lack of international consistency, the
F22's flyaway cost of US$71 million does not appear widely different from the US$50 million to
US$60 million figures recently quoted (by the German government audit office) for the
Eurofighter, as well as those for Rafale. Eurofighter's claim, repeated at Farnborough, that its
aircraft is "less than half the price" of the F22 appears to rest on a comparison between a flyaway
cost and a unit program cost. Lockheed Martin executives appear reasonably confident that the F
22 will survive the QDR and this year's budget deliberations. Production may be cut to 300350
aircraft, but it would not materially affect the program until 2008 three US elections and at least
two presidents hence. Both Lockheed and the USAF caution against deeper cuts, partly because
experience with AWACS and similar `force multiplier' assets is showing that the limiting factor may
be the ability to sustain and retain essential people for small, highvalue forces that spend months
on end away from home. This year is pivotal for the F22. If it survives the QDR, it is likely to
survive through the tenure of the administration, and by 2001 it should be well established: but by
making the air superiority mission and the need for the F22 its top priorities in the QDR, the USAF
is nailing its colors to the mast. If the F22 does not survive, and the F/A18E/F emerges
unscathed, the USAF will not see another new aircraft before the JSF arrives in 2010. It will be a
victory for the advocates of seabased airpower, and a setback for the concept of an independent
air arm. The continuation of the F22 program, however, would be the starting point for a new,
more forwardthinking airpower doctrine for the 21st century.
CAPTION: An artist's rendition of a visual range confrontation. The F22 in the picture has pursued
two adversary aircraft to low altitude, destroying one (the `fireball' at the top right of the picture),
and has launched one of its six AIM120C airtoair medium range missiles at the remaining enemy
fighter. The visible camouflage scheme is one indication that the US Air Force has not ignored the
certainty of visualrange combat (the retention of a 20mm cannon and 480 rounds of ammunition
being another). Lockheed Martin
CAPTION: The F22 team is using a unique vertical modular tooling process for assembly of the
midfuselage, which incorporates the four weapon bays, the main landing gears and the inlet
ducts. Made of carbonfiber/epoxy, the ducts curve sharply upwards and inwards to mask the
engine faces from radar, changing section smoothly from rhomboidal to circular, and their inner
contours must be smooth and accurate to maintain their stealth characteristics. Lockheed Martin

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CAPTION: F22 versus surfacetoair missile attack. A conventional fighter is detected at point A.
The SAM system projects its track and launches towards intercept point B. The missile retains
enough energy to counter target maneuvers. The stealthy F22, by comparison, is flying equally
close to the SAM system, but is not detected until point C. The missile will take longer to reach its
altitude because the slant range is greater. Coupled with the F22's greater speed, this means that
the first possible intercept point is D a lowenergy, longrange tail chase against a target at the
limits of the system's tracking range. A moderate supersonic `jink' at D runs the missile out of
energy. Source: Lockheed Martin
CAPTION: The F22 canopy is approximately 3.5m long, 1m wide and 0.7m tall, and weighs about
160kg. This test canopy will be mounted on the rocketpowered multiaxis seat ejection vehicle,
and launched along rails to simulate canopy jettison and seat firing in an aircraft traveling at
various speeds. Lockheed Martin
CAPTION: Pratt & Whitney's F119PW100 twinspool augmented turbofan engine was selected to
power the F22 in April 1991. The first production engine is due in late 1999. Pratt & Whitney
CAPTION: An airtosurface capability has been developed for the F22. The aircraft's lower
weapon bays have been modified to carry two McDonnell Douglas GBU32 1,000 lb (450kg)class
Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The GBU32 is a nearprecision standoff weapon guided to its target
by means of an inertial measurement unit updated inflight with data from Global Positioning
System satellites. In this artist's rendition, an F22 pilot releases both GBU32 bombs against an
enemy airfield's surfacetoair missile site.
CAPTION: The tactical display system that will provide unsurpassed situation awareness for F22
pilots. The defense display on the left gives pilots the information they will need to protect
themselves against threats. The display in the middle provides an overall situation awareness and
navigation information, while on the right is the target attack display. Boeing
CAPTION: Boeing has modified a 757 airliner into a flying avionics testbed for the F22.
Modifications include installing a wing shape geometrically identical to the F22 on the crown of
the fuselage. This sensor wing will include F22 electronic warfare and communication, navigation
and identification sensors. There are also various apertures to replicate F22 antennas, and the F
22 forward fuselage structure housing a prototype radar. Boeing

8 Images

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F22
2804

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vertical modular tooling process


2805

F22 versus surfacetoair


2806

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F22 canopy
2807

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F119PW100 twinspool
2808

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F22 releases GBU32 bombs


2810

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tactical display system


2811

Boeing 757
2812
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Copyright IHS Global Limited, 2015

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