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F-22 Service Entry

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posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 09:07 PM
The F-22 (no longer called the F/A-22) will officially reach IOC (Initial Operational Capability) on 15 December 2005. The announcement was made by General Keys, Commander of the Air Combat Command, on 13 December in a memo to the Secretary of the Air Force.

The first operational F-22 squadron is the 27th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Wing based at Langley AFB in Virginia. In the words of Gen. Keys, "If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us."

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 02:07 AM
In the words of Stuart Scott, "Boooyaaaa!"

The Raptor is officially the best fighter in service.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 07:09 AM
Not only did the Raptor get its designation changed back, but it is also operational now, the good news just keeps coming. Also, the second fighter squadron based at Nellis AFB should reach IOC pretty soon too.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 10:27 AM
Cool... Now I can't use my well-know phrase "it's not even combat prooved yet" any more...

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 10:37 AM

Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Cool... Now I can't use my well-know phrase "it's not even combat prooved yet" any more...

Actually, you can! Just because it's in service, doesn't make it combat proven. The Raptor won't get to wear that designation untill it makes it's first Air to Air kill!

Don't worry Raptor Fans, with wars ragining around the world, you won't have to wait long to see the raptor draw first blood in the sky!


posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 12:29 PM
Im glad the Raptor is back to F-22A becouse F/A-22 is quite a mouthfull and catches your tongue!, It is also the same for me with the F-18 Hornet calling it the F/A-18.

The Raptor prototype the YF-22 was named 'Lightning 2' after the famous WW2 Heavy fighter, The YF-23 'Black widow 2' was also named after a WW2 plane.

Imagine the F-23 won the ATF programme, It may have been renamed 'Raptor' or somthin else maybe?.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 12:45 PM
The Raptor just sounds cool... Much better than the Lightning. I'm not a big fan of that name, especially after I beat a 2000 Ford Lightning in a drag race...
(I'll try to find my timeslips or video if I can... it was a long time ago)

Don't forget about the squadron in Tyndall AFB!!! I don't know when that one goes operational, but I hope soon.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 01:32 PM
Sweet when do the first videos on F-22a combat come out? I'm hoping to see missiles just randomly coming out of nowhere and hitting enemy aircraft.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 02:38 PM
I even managed to scoop the newspapers. I started this thread on the evening of 14 December and confirmation came the next day.

F-22 joins U.S. fleet as top fighter
15 Dec 2005 19:09:56 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The futuristic F-22A "Raptor" fighter jet, designed to dominate the skies well into the 21st century, joined the U.S. combat fleet on Thursday, 20 years after it was conceived to fight Soviet MiGs over Europe.

The Air Force said "initial operational capability" had been achieved by 16 of the aircraft at the 1st Fighter Wing's 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.

Pilots in the squadron, the Air Force's oldest in continuous operation, have been training on the F-22, the Air Force's most advanced weapon system, for about a year.

"If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us," Gen. Ronald Keys, head of the Air Force's Air Combat command, said in a statement. He said it was ready for use in combat worldwide or for homeland defense.

The aircraft's role is to "kick the doors down" in a conflict, as Pentagon officials put it, knocking out defenses on the ground and in the air to clear the way for other warplanes and forces.

The radar-evading Raptor is twice as reliable and three times more effective than the F-15C Eagle it is replacing as the top U.S. air-to-air fighter, according to Lockheed Martin Corp. , its developer.

Lockheed described the fighter as the world's most advanced and said it was "relevant for the next 40 years."

Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are top F-22 subcontractors. United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt & Whitney unit makes the aircraft's two engines.


The Raptor combines low-observability, or stealth, with supersonic speed, agility and cockpit displays designed to boost greatly pilots' awareness of the situation around them.

At a "fly-away" cost of about $130 million each for the most recent batch, not including research and development, it is also one of the most controversial U.S. warplanes ever.

Critics have termed it unaffordable overkill in a world without the potential threat of a Soviet Union able to send swarms of MiGs into a dogfight, which prompted its inception in 1986.

The Air Force is planning to stretch F-22 production until 2010 to keep Lockheed's production line open pending arrival of its more affordable F-35 Joint Strike Fighter family of aircraft that will also go to the Navy, the Marines and co-developing nations that include Britain, Italy and Turkey.

The F-22 also has a ground attack capability to drop 250-pound (113.5-kg), small-diameter bombs or 1,000-pound (454-kg) Joint Direct Attack Munitions while flying at supersonic speeds.

Gen. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, has said the F-22 is needed against threats such as Russian-built surface-to-air missiles sold overseas.

Moseley said on Tuesday he hoped to buy 183 F-22s, four more than currently in the budget and enough for seven combat-ready squadrons, down from the 750 F-22s once planned.

Others have cast it as the weapon of choice for any future U.S. conflict with China, for instance over Taiwan.

"There is a clear role for F-22 here," said Daniel Goure, a former Pentagon strategist now at the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Virginia, research group with close ties to the U.S. defense establishment.

As of last month, 53 F-22s had been delivered to the Air Force. Eventually, a squadron is expected to be based on the Pacific island of Guam, a U.S. territory within striking distance of China.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 03:07 PM
"If we go to war tomorrow"

Huh - aren't we at war today? And what use is an air-to-air fighter in this war? When the troops in Iraq can't afford body armor, this kind of thing doesn't look good.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 03:09 PM
Yes, I believe it was changed from Lightning II to Raptor because they saw a BAC Lightning at an airshow and decided the F-22 wasn not worthy.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 03:41 PM
well done lockheed!!! I may not be american but it's good to know are closest ally has now got the raptor. Congrats!

and btw were born on the same day TSR2 was cancelled...WHOA....that must be weird, but cool!!

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 03:42 PM

Others have cast it as the weapon of choice for any future U.S. conflict with China, for instance over Taiwan.

"There is a clear role for F-22 here," said Daniel Goure, a former Pentagon strategist now at the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Virginia, research group with close ties to the U.S. defense establishment.

As of last month, 53 F-22s had been delivered to the Air Force. Eventually, a squadron is expected to be based on the Pacific island of Guam, a U.S. territory within striking distance of China.

Ha, The Pentagon is finally thinking straight, a very good place to forward base the Raptor, a very good place indeed.

Huh - aren't we at war today? And what use is an air-to-air fighter in this war? When the troops in Iraq can't afford body armor, this kind of thing doesn't look good.

The Raptor’s mission capabilities are not needed in Iraq. However, were we to go to war with a county that has a decent AF and a lot of sophisticated SAM’s the Raptor would be very useful. It would establish Air Superiority, and take out ground SAM’s with less losses then our current fighters. Don't just think of one type of war, the world does not stay static.

posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 04:08 PM
It must be quite a cool image for Americans to have, maybe imagining a Chinese force attempting a secret unopposed raid, 'Pearl Harbour' style, and then just wondering why all their own aircrat were suddenly disappearing off the scopes for no apparent reason. F-22 has arrived.

regards my sig - that is probably why I am obseesed with it, and then aviation in general.

[edit on 15-12-2005 by waynos]


posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 08:36 PM
today is a good day for the raptor...
glad to see this plane in service now

posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 04:47 AM
Today is a _bad day_ for the USAF. It is the day they sold out their common sense and national loyalty for a cheap ride and guaranteed dominance of the piloted airframe for 'just one more generation!'.

Some things to put BACK on the table:

1. The return to the 'F only' means that the USAF can kill off the spiral developments (to get from 160 vanilla airframes to 183) which would have inserted serious (EOTS and APG-81 ISAR plus powered DEAD) air to mud targeting. Reserving these upgrades for the /utterly worthless/ F-35 will in turn secure _it's_ development $$$$ through the general incompetence of it's physical performance vice the weapons systems it carries, once they find out what a turd it is the jack-of-trades mission (1980) in a 21st century 'Air Dominance' environment dictated 90% but S2A threats and 10% by A2A ones. Where the 'specialist mission' must be able to do BOTH.

Where the Raptor can do everything, if properly equipped, the JSF can do /nothing/ without outside aid, regardless. And so we are left with the A2A equivalent to the F-117 trying to protect a herd of high-signature F-teens or 'escorting' a subsonic front-sector stealth platform which itself ruins the Raptors radius for time Supercruise performance.

Thus, (regardless of whether they stick with the F- or try to reapply the F/A- to the 35 as a _bomber_) the hypocrisy of 'semantic correctness' really is an economic corruption to secure production for the cheap-in-all-ways fighter. As an acorn for the Congressional Pigs without whose support 'further addressing the appropriate targeting and TTNT netcentric capabilities down the road' will be impossible anyway. So that they may sell their souls to offshore interests while employing their districts, locally.

2. The USAF _needs_ 500 of these airframes. Because that is the smallest number of jets that can handle the 10 AEW + Schoolhouse + Depot/Test requirement as a function of simple logistics. And it will cost 70 billion for that many plus 20 more for the upgrades. Vs. the 257 WITH A B that the JSF is going to waste, utterly. Proliferating stealth to the ROW.

Instead, they are BOHICA'ing to the F-16 Mafia for 183. Not 276. Not 380.


For the military tactical aviation community, the answer is simple: as long as there is a 'core force' of 4-6,000 pilots, there will be sufficient 'votes' to secure the man-rated systems metric (Federal Dole as an officer paycheck) forever.

But do you want to know the 'strategic logic' behind which they are cowering?

Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.

Michael O'Hanlon. A somewhat famous moron out of the Brookings Institute who claims to call himself a defense analyst, sat up out of some undoubtedly illegal substance induced stupor with an epiphany: "Hey! They only used about 160 F-15's in Desert Storm, that's the number I'll say is necessary!". And proceeded to write a study about it.

Which is utterly bogus CRAP.


1. We never faced more than Mirage F-1 with Super 530F as the top threat shooter in that war. And the AIM-7M couldn't beat that under all circumstances. SARH weapons mean you trade 1 for 1 based on guiding to impact final pole-out (flight time to distance, whose missile fps:seconds wins). _ARH/IIR_ (+command inertial) BVR weapons. The /only/ ones worth owning at this time, make the trade 1v.4 or more. Even if the shooter is not providing the mid course guidance. Or is in fact _dead_.

You can't afford holes or gaps in your coverage or a reliance on 'self defense' (bomber turrets by any other name) solutions with a MICA, PL-12, Adder, Astra, Darter, Derby or especially Meteor/KS-172 weapons technology. All of which challenge if not outright defeat the subsonic AMRAAM pole.

2. The Iraqi IADS was composed of dated, 1960's SA-2/3 medium level SAMs. Not S-300/400. This means an effective difference of 0-100,000ft and 300km vs. 1,500 to 30,000ft and 30km. Which is indeed 'significant', not only in what it means for the ability to kill the inbound strike itself. But also all the E-platforms that provide their active (on the fly) target foldering to find and allocate PGMs in the most useful manner. And quite possible the refueling force as well. No U-2S, RQ-4, E-10 or KC-135 within a 150nm of the border and you can /seriously/ effect the system performance of U.S. strike warfare by removing on-shooter systems in favor of 'offboard' targeting that is not available.

3. The HUGE number of (Command Launch Computer and ELS capable RHAWS) smart HARM shooters took out almost the entire ADGE network of SOC/IOC and radars. Something that the pathetic F-16CJ/F-18E _cannot do_ because it _does not have the legs or the signature_ to accompany the Rapture deep into Indian country. Even with AARGM/HSARM. This in turn means that if you are going to reduce the enemy EOB (Emitters) with JDAM or SDB class weapons, you are going to do it at an average of Mach .95 to 1.35 over 12-30nm. While he fires Mach 5 telephone poles back at you. Or those you /pretend/ to be 'escorting'.

4, The F-35 cannot make the same radius in the same timeframe, because it is subsonic. Yet we are only buying about /half/ the original 2,937 we 'promised' Lockheed we would, even of these Brand-X fighters. Which in turn means that they will cost at least DOUBLE the 45-50 million dollars that was stated for flyaway when we signed the SDD contract in October 2001. Of course 'death in details' you then have to look at the logistics of the following as well:
a. We won't be all-stealth over the fence before 2020, if then.
b. The F-35, contrary to the F-22 cannot take AMRAAM in it's deep JDAM well. Nor can EITHER platform take HARM-as-is.
c. No highspeed Defense Suppression and only 2 AMRAAM as internal (VLO encapsulated) 'self defense' vice the standard F-16 load is 3 + 1 AIM-9M/X or 4 AIM-120 for night ops means that you cannot adequately protect the conventional signature airframes with a small force of Raptors. NOR can you replace the Raptor's ability to sling-bomb (SDB at high Mach means 60-80nm downrange) as an alternative to ARM because you cannot push your F-35 force far enough forward (of tanking and EA as much as anything) to 'clear the way'. Particularly since the F-35 has RQ signatures that are not /nearly/ as effective as the F-22's 'all round' stealth.

5. In 2015, when the F-35 has been in production for about 3 years, the first High Energy Lasers will debut. Five years after that, every nation on this earth will have bought, begged or stolen the technology. Just like nukes.
At which point, approaching a target within 50nm or even /navigating to it/ will become a Coin Toss of randomness insta-kill survivability. Mission to Mission. Whereupon we had damn well better have a _standoff_ (high speed = longer reach) FULL STEALTH platform which can protect UCAV cow bombers from 'conventional' (Fighter/SAM) threats. Because we will be down to engaging these directed energy weapons systems by stepping on them as a function of acousto-optic tracking and relay mirror (totally passive sensor networking) airspace denial.

Everytime the USAF 'announces with pride' something, you can more or less guarantee it's CYA in the face of absent balls before Congress.

And the loh'ing herd of American Mass Moo'ers stamp their hooves in appreciation of this propogandist 'spin' tactic, I wanna puke.

Because effectively what the following articles-

Moseley said the Air Force would be able to pay for the additional jets by freezing further developments or "spirals" of the jet and rolling those funds back into the current program, with the aim of extending production -- now slated to end in 2008 -- to 2010.
"By freezing the A-model configuration, you're able to take a lot of the spiral development money, roll it back," Moseley told reporters after a briefing. "So you're not surprised with another bill down the road ... By doing that you can squeeze another four airplanes out and take you out to 2010."
He said the fighter, also known as the Raptor, would still be able to carry out the air-to-air and air-to-ground missions initially planned for the aircraft, including the ability to drop 250-pound, small-diameter bombs and 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions while flying at supersonic speeds.

General Ronald E. Keys, Commander of Air Combat Command, made the historic announcement at Langley Air Force Base, Va., from a Raptor hangar near his headquarters. "The F-22A fulfills a long quest to bring 5th generation capabilities of stealth, supercruise, and precision to the warfighter today and for decades to come," said General Keys in an Air Force news release. "If we go to war tomorrow, the Raptor will go with us."
The Air Force is now capable of deploying and supporting 12 F-22A Raptor aircraft anywhere in the world to execute air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The Raptor is also qualified to perform homeland defense missions when required.
All of these accomplishments are significant milestones for the program. We've completed final assembly on 67 of the 107 revolutionary stealthy aircraft presently on contract. In short, the F-22A program is healthy, solid and on track -- with superb production and solid aircraft performance."

REALLY 'announce' is that the USAF has settled for second best to protect it's union position of pilots uber alles and Congressional fair-haired funding. By rendering the F-22 into an F-104C. From 1965 through the early 70's that jet was the 'best we had' too. But nobody remembers it because it was little more than a toy force dedicated to ADC missions which was among the first to be allowed to fade into no-funded-spares-pipe oblivion. As soon as could politely be done.

Again, you _cannot_ go into threat airspace without an onboard ability to target GROUND threats first and foremost. While dropping bombs on offboard handed coordinates (without a recognitive munition seeker, just on Pin The Tail On The Donkey 'inertial memory') is _useless_.

What's more it is a pathtetic waste. For rather than humiliate the opposition into total submission with their various canard clone subsonic cruisers of nearly conventional signature and weapons capability (i.e. Gen 4.5 = 3.5 with fewer hours on the airframe). We are letting them catch up by buying U.S..

Something that won't happen in the numbers needed for pork politics. And so will not pay for OUR 'superior numbers' overwhelming force structure in turn.

Nor will it combine Land and Sea Basing modes which are where /real/ savings can be made in the JUCAS program of USAF squadrons on USN decks.

Saving us the 257 billion dollars for JSF's _one_ superiority over the Raptor. And relegating airpower back to the sacrificial (robotic) supporting arm it should be. Before Lasers and Masers make it a KT Boundary inevitability.

Our armed forces no longer think in terms of what is best for their nation. Only what is best for their own service and personal futures. The MIB has always been that way. And Congress simply holds the whip hand of playing one off the other with the FMS export control card held in reserve. In ten years or less, our expenditures on a poor doctrinally thought out and economically _stupid_ plateau-platforms and over-sized force structure will see U.S. no longer the top superpower, in a world which laughs at our datedness.


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