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When US Air Force F-22 fighter jets took out its large Chinese spy balloon and two other objects in February, China took notes and spat in envy.
As China knows, the F-22 is more than just a balloon destroyer. The F-22 Raptor is the best fighter plane in the world. Frankly, if the Chinese Air Force becomes aggressive around Taiwan and other allies, we may have to face the Raptor.
The F-22 does things no other fighter plane can. First, it’s designed for stealth, so enemy radar doesn’t track it very well. The material in the gray paint scheme also absorbs radar. We can see that the F-22 maintains stealth by carrying its air-to-air missiles in its armory rather than under its wings. The F-22 has a large, sophisticated radar in the nose that helps it track rogue planes at long range and spot “objects” that are intruding into US airspace. The F-22 is unlikely to intercept data links in flight, allowing pilots to share screens and communicate without detection.
Perhaps the most impressive secret tech is in the engine. Made by Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut, his two powerful F119 turbofan engines produce more thrust than any other military engine and have a special technology called Supercruise. Supercruise allows the F-22 to pass Mach 1.5 and sustain supersonic flight without the use of afterburners.
F-22 Armed with More Precision Strike Technology
Do you know what afterburner is? A military jet engine glows orange with heat as the pilot picks up speed. In the Top Gun movies, Navy pilots are seen lighting afterburners as they launch from aircraft carriers or pursue MiG fighters. The F-22 is the only fighter in the world that can reach top speed without afterburner. Remember China.
The F-22 is also designed to fly well at higher altitudes, which is why the F-22 was chosen to fend off a Chinese spy balloon flying 60,000 feet over South Carolina on February 4. It was. It’s tricky. Like a car zooming down a highway, it’s hard to get a good look at slow objects when you’re moving fast. However, the F-22 has excellent flight control and is very stable at low speeds and when climbing in very thin air. Designed in part as a dogfighter, his F-22’s engine thrust redirection allows it to literally stand on its tail and turn with minimal force. Fast dash speeds and sensors allowed the Raptors to easily intercept an “object” hovering 40,000 feet above Alaska and Canada on his February 10-11.
But the F-22’s primary job is to take out enemy fighters, air defense systems, and anything else that needs to strike with speed and precision.
I’m happy to say that Russian fighter pilots are already intimidated by the F-22. The F-22 flew his first combat mission in 2014 to bomb his ISIS targets in Syria. F-22 pilots realized they could sneak up close to Russian and Syrian fighters before they knew the Raptor was there. I love it!
Not surprisingly, the Alaska-based F-22 pilot has long experience intercepting Russian bombers. (Check out the photos online.) The most recent interception was on February 17th.
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As for China, the F-22 is spring-loaded for rapid deployment across the Pacific. CIA Director William Burns says Xi Jinping has ordered the Chinese military to be ready to fight for Taiwan by 2027. If Xi Jinping flies military planes to attack Taiwan, the F-22 can also sneak up on Chinese military planes.
Alas, I have never flown an F-22. Because there is no two-seater version. After promising not to touch anything, they let me sit in the cockpit of an F-22 in Hawaii. When parked, the F-22 is so low that it looks a bit like a Harley out of a bike roadhouse. But even smarter.
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Raptor pilots know they are the best. F-22 instructor pilot Maj. Chelsea, callsign “Contra,” told Hampton Roads Channel 3 WTKR, “This is the most impressive aircraft we have and will probably always be an air-to-air fighter. I think I will,” he said. in an interview last year. She is one of her four female pilots currently flying the F-22.
Sadly, the Lockheed Martin F-22 production line in Marietta, Georgia was shut down in early 2012 because President Barack Obama didn’t see China or Russia as a threat. With production halted, the Air Force only had 187 of his F-22s left, less than half of what was needed.
Still, the F-22 should remind Xi Jinping that his ambitious and overconfident military cannot outperform American technology and tactics.
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