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When the Matrix was rebuilt "The One" was very different, it was Abraham Lincoln, and through the many battles with Agent Boothe the final outcome mankind has yet to be decided..... That final battle has yet to happen but Abraham......He's begun to believe.

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Thomas Jefferson was never much of a warrior history tells us, but yet again history is wrong. This is an image of one of the many attempts by Jefferson to battle all the manliest animals on earth while trying to teach them the ways of America.


Epic Meal time.
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In 1752 before Ben Franklin invented Pizza, Gameboy, the iPad2 or Mexican food he was contemplating how to conquer electricity. Being the genius he was he decided go get it at its source, this being Zeus. Strapping himself to a kite, and equipping some homemade lightning claws he ascended through the clouds and into the realm of the Gods to battle it out with Zeus. This is a painting capturing the exact moment the battle started.


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A high definition (1920 x 1080) wallpaper based on the insignia of the Texas Brotherhood (Texas Expedition) from the Fallout universe.

"...they traveled eastward to Texas. There, he [Rhombus] discovered a prototype Vault which was abandoned and installed the Brotherhood's main base of operation in this area. Their principal mission was to eradicate the menace of all super mutants. For this reason, they created [the] new Texas Brotherhood."


(In anticipation for Fallout 4)

Fallout Flag Series:
Flag of the Brotherhood of Steel
Flag of the United States of America
Flag of the New California Republic
Flag of the Enclave
Flag of the Texas Brotherhood
Flag of the European Commonwealth
Vault-Tec Commercial Flag
Vault 111
Flag of the Followers of the Apocalypse
Flag of the Brotherhood Outcasts
Flag of the Texas Commonwealth
Flag of the Four States Commonwealth
Flag of the Northwest Commonwealth
Flag of the Gulf Commonwealth
Flag of the East Central Commonwealth
Flag of the Plains Commonwealth
Flag of the New England Commonwealth
Flag of the Columbia Commonwealth
Flag of the Northern Commonwealth
Flag of the Southeast Commonwealth
Flag of the Southwest Commonwealth
Flag of the Great Midwest Commonwealth
Flag of the Eastern Commonwealth
Flag of the U.S. Annexed Canada
Map of Pre-War America
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Propaganda poster for the New Conglomerate, one of three empires vying fro control in PlanetSide 2.
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Lockheed Martin Boeing F-22 Raptor

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It is primarily an air superiority fighter, but has multiple capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. The United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of the U.S. strike force.[1]

Faced with a protracted and costly development period, the aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the three years before formally entering US Air Force service in December 2005, as the F-22A. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Integrated Defense Systems provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and all of the pilot and maintenance training systems.

The F-22 is claimed by multiple sources to be the world’s most effective air superiority fighter. The US Air Force states that the F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.[1] Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the "F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built."[5]

n 1981 the United States Air Force (USAF) developed a requirement for a new air superiority fighter, the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF), to replace the capability of the F-15 Eagle. ATF was a demonstration and validation program undertaken by the USAF to develop a next-generation air superiority fighter to counter emerging worldwide threats, including development and proliferation of Soviet-era Su-27 "Flanker"-class fighter aircraft. It was envisaged that the ATF would incorporate emerging technologies including advanced alloys and composite materials, advanced fly-by-wire flight control systems, higher power propulsion systems, and low-observable/stealth technology.

A request for proposal (RFP) was issued in July 1986, and two contractor teams, Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas were selected in October 1986 to undertake a 50-month demonstration/validation phase, culminating in the flight test of two prototypes, the YF-22 and the YF-23.

On 23 April 1991 the USAF ended the design and test-flight competition by announcing Lockheed's YF-22 as the winner. It was anticipated at the time that 650 aircraft would be ordered.[6]

[edit] Into production

The first production F-22 was delivered to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on 14 January 2003 and "Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation" commenced on 27 October 2004. By 2004, 51 Raptors were in service.

The first crash of a production F-22 occurred during takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base on 20 December 2004, in which the pilot ejected safely prior to impact.[7] The crash investigation revealed that a brief interruption in power during an engine shutdown prior to flight caused a malfunction in the flight-control system;[8] consequently, the aircraft design was corrected to avoid the problem.

In August 2007, the United States Air Force signed a $5 billion, multi-year contract with Lockheed Martin that will extend production to 2011,[9] and as of 2008, F-22 Raptors are being procured at the rate of 20 per year.[4]

In a ceremony on 29 August 2007, Lockheed Martin reached its "100th F-22 Raptor" milestone, delivering aircraft 05-4100.[10]

[edit] Procurement
Two F-22s, the upper one being the first EMD F-22, "Raptor 01"
Two F-22s, the upper one being the first EMD F-22, "Raptor 01"

The United States Air Force originally planned to order 750 ATFs, with production beginning in 1994; however, the 1990 Major Aircraft Review altered the plan to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. The goal changed again in 1994, when it became 442 aircraft entering service in 2003 or 2004, but a 1997 Department of Defense report put the purchase at 339. In 2003, the Air Force said that the existing congressional cost cap limited the purchase to 277. By 2006, the Pentagon said it will buy 183 aircraft, which would save $15 billion but raise the cost of each aircraft, and this plan has been de facto approved by Congress in the form of a multi-year procurement plan, which still holds open the possibility for new orders past that point. The total cost of the program by 2006 was $62 billion.[3]

In April 2006, the cost of the F-22A was assessed by the Government Accountability Office to be $361 million per aircraft. This cost reflects the F-22A total program cost, divided by the number of fighters the Air Force is programmed to buy; and which has so far invested $28 billion in the Raptor's research, development and testing. That money, referred to as a "sunk cost", is already spent and is separate from money used for future decision-making, including procuring a copy of the jet. The Unit Procurement Cost was estimated at $177.6 million in 2006 based on a production run of 181 airframes.[11] This unit cost will decrease if total production is higher. This cost includes $3.233 billion already spent on research and development by 2006.[12]

By the time all 183 fighters have been purchased, $34 billion will have been spent on actual procurement, resulting in a total program cost of $62 billion or about $339 million per aircraft. The incremental cost for one additional F-22 is around $138 million;[4] decreasing with larger volumes. If the Air Force were to buy 100 more F-22s today, the cost of each one would be less and would continue to drop with additional aircraft purchases.[3]
F-22A Raptors over Utah in their first official deployment, October 2005
F-22A Raptors over Utah in their first official deployment, October 2005

The F-22 is not the most expensive aircraft aloft. That distinction likely belongs to the roughly $2.2 billion-per-unit B-2 Spirit, whose orders went from hundreds to a few dozen when the Cold War ended thus making the unit cost skyrocket, though the incremental cost was under US$1 billion. The F-22 uses fewer radar absorbent materials than the B-2 or F-117 Nighthawk, which is expected to translate into lower maintenance costs.

On 31 July 2007, Lockheed Martin received a multiyear contract for 60 F-22s worth a total of US$7.3 billion.[9][13] The contract brings the number of F-22s on order to 183 and extends production through 2011.[9]

During the two-month grounding of nearly 700 older F-15s in November and December 2007, some US Senators demanded that Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England release three government reports that support additional F-22 Raptors beyond the planned 183 jets.[14] Forbes has reported that the USAF plans to extend the production of the F-22 past 2011. This is believed to be a response to the recent grounding of F-15A-D.[15]

In January 2008, the Pentagon announced that it would ask Congress for funds to buy additional F-22s to replace other aircraft lost in combat, and proposed that $497 million that would have been used to shut down the F-22 line instead be used to buy four more F-22s, keeping open the production line beyond 2011 and providing the successor to President George W. Bush the option to buy even more F-22s.[16] The funds earmarked for the line shutdown, however, were directed by Pentagon Comptroller Tina W. Jonas on December 17, 2007, to be used to fund repairs to the F-15 fleet caused by the world-wide grounding of that aircraft in November 2007. This diversion had the same effect of postponing the decision to shut down the F-22 production line until at least 2009.[17][18]

[edit] Proposed foreign purchases

Unlike many other tactical fighters, the opportunity for export is currently non-existent because the export sale of the F-22 is barred by federal law. However, regardless of restrictions, very few allies would even be considered for export sale because the F-22 is such a sensitive and expensive system. Most current customers for U.S. fighters are either acquiring earlier designs like the F-15 or F-16, or else are waiting to acquire the F-35, which contains much of the F-22's technology but is designed to be cheaper and more flexible. Independent writers have suggested that F-22 may not be offered for export in order not to damage the lucrative F-35 export program.[19][unreliable source?]

The Japanese government reportedly showed some interest in buying F-22As in its Replacement-Fighter program for its Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).[20] In such an event, it would most likely involve a "watered-down" export variant while still retaining most of its advanced avionics and stealth characteristics. However, such a proposal would still need approval from the Pentagon, State Department and Congress.

Israeli Air Force (IAF) chief procurement officer Brigadier-General Ze'ev Snir said that, "The IAF would be happy to equip itself with 24 F-22s, but the problem at this time is the US refusal to sell the aircraft, and its $200 million price tag."[21]

Some Australian politicians and defense commentators have proposed that Australia purchase F-22s instead of the F-35.[22][23] In 2006, the Australian Labor Party supported this proposal on the grounds that the F-22 is a proven, highly capable aircraft, while the F-35 is still under development.[24] However, the Howard government ruled out purchase of the F-22, on the grounds that it is unlikely to be released for export, and does not have sufficient ground/maritime strike capacity.[25] This assessment was supported by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which claimed that the F-22 "has insufficient multi-role capability at too high a price."[26] The ASPI analysis was, however, criticized by Air Power Australia.[27]

The US Congress upheld the ban on F-22 Raptor foreign sales during a joint conference on 27 September 2006.[28] After talks in Washington in December 2006, the US DoD reported the F-22 would not be available for foreign sale.[29]

Following the victory of the Australian Labor Party in the 2007 national election, the new government ordered a review of plans to procure the F-35 and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. This review will include an evaluation of the F-22's suitability for Australia; moreover, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has stated: "I intend to pursue American politicians for access to the Raptor".[30] In February 2008, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he had no objection to sale of the Raptor to Australia, but Congress would have to change the law.[31]

[edit] Design

[edit] Characteristics
F-22 Raptor displaying its F119-PW-100 engines on full afterburner
F-22 Raptor displaying its F119-PW-100 engines on full afterburner

The F-22 is a fifth-generation fighter that is considered a fourth-generation stealth aircraft by the USAF.[32] Its dual afterburning Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofans incorporate thrust vectoring, but in the pitch axis only, with a range of ±20 degrees. The maximum thrust is classified, though most sources place it at about 35,000 lbf (156 kN) per engine.[33] Maximum speed, without external weapons, is estimated to be Mach 1.82 in supercruise mode; as demonstrated by General John P. Jumper, former US Air Force Chief of Staff, when his Raptor exceeded Mach 1.7 without afterburners on 13 January 2005.[34] With afterburners, it is "greater than Mach 2.0" (1,317 mph, 2,120 km/h), according to Lockheed Martin; however, the Raptor can easily exceed its design speed limits, particularly at low altitudes, with max-speed alerts to help prevent the pilot from exceeding them. Former Lockheed Raptor chief test pilot Paul Metz stated that the Raptor has a fixed inlet; but while the absence of variable intake ramps may theoretically make speeds greater than Mach 2.0 unreachable, there is no evidence to prove this. Such ramps would be used to prevent engine surge resulting in a compressor stall, but the intake itself may be designed to prevent this. Metz has also stated that the F-22 has a top speed greater than 1,600 mph (Mach 2.42) and its climb rate is faster than the F-15 Eagle due to advances in engine technology, despite the F-15's thrust-to-weight ratio of about 1.2:1, with the F-22 having a ratio closer to 1:1.[35] The US Air Force claims that the F-22A cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter.[1]
Aircraft wing planform shapes: a KC-10 Extender (top) refuels an F-22 Raptor
Aircraft wing planform shapes: a KC-10 Extender (top) refuels an F-22 Raptor

The true top-speed of the F-22 is largely unknown to the general public, as engine power is only one factor. The ability of the airframe to withstand the stress and heat from friction is a further, key factor, especially in an aircraft using as many polymers as the F-22. However, while some aircraft are faster on paper, the internal carriage of its standard combat load allows the aircraft to reach comparatively higher performance with a heavy load over other modern aircraft due to its lack of drag from external stores. It is one of only a handful of aircraft that can sustain supersonic flight without the use of afterburner augmented thrust (and its associated high fuel usage). This ability is called supercruise.

The F-22 is highly maneuverable, at both supersonic and subsonic speeds. It is extremely departure-resistant,[36] enabling it to remain controllable at extreme pilot inputs. The F-22's thrust vectoring nozzles allow the aircraft to turn tightly, and perform extremely high alpha (angle of attack) maneuvers such as the Herbst maneuver (or J-turn), Pugachev's Cobra,[35] and the Kulbit, though the J-Turn is more useful in combat.[35] The F-22 is also capable of maintaining a constant angle of attack of over 60°, yet still having some control of roll.[35][37] During June 2006 exercises in Alaska, F-22 pilots demonstrated that cruise altitude has a significant effect on combat performance, and routinely attributed their altitude advantage as a major factor in achieving an unblemished kill ratio against other US fighters and 4th/4.5th generation fighters.[38]

[edit] Avionics

The F-22's avionics include BAE Systems E&IS radar warning receiver (RWR) AN/ALR-94,[39] and the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-77 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The AN/APG-77 has both long-range target acquisition and low probability of interception of its own signals by enemy aircraft.

The AN/ALR-94 is a passive receiver system capable of detecting the radar signals in the environment. Composed of more than 30 antennas smoothly blended into the wings and fuselage, it is described by the former head of the F-22 program at Lockheed Martin Tom Burbage as "the most technically complex piece of equipment on the aircraft." With greater range (250+ nmi) than the radar, it enables the F-22 to limit its own radar emission which might otherwise compromise its stealth. As the target approaches, AN/ALR-94 can cue the AN/APG-77 radar to keep track of its motion with a narrow beam, which can be as focused as 2° by 2° in azimuth and elevation.[40]

The AN/APG-77 AESA radar, designed for air-superiority and strike operations, features a low-observable, active-aperture, electronically-scanned array that can track multiple targets in all kinds of weather. The AN/APG-77 changes frequencies more than 1,000 times per second to reduce the chance of being intercepted. The radar can also focus its emissions to overload enemy sensors, giving the aircraft an electronic-attack capability.[41][42]

The radar’s information is processed by two Raytheon Common Integrated Processor (CIP)s. Each CIP operates at 10.5 billion instructions per second and has 300 megabytes of memory. Information can be gathered from the radar and other onboard and offboard systems, filtered by the CIP, and offered in easy-to-digest ways on several cockpit displays, enabling the pilot to remain on top of complicated situations. The Raptor’s software is composed of over 1.7 million lines of code, most of which concerns processing data from the radar.[43] The radar has an estimated range of 125-150 miles, though planned upgrades will allow a range of 250 miles (400 km) or more in narrow beams.[38]

The F-22 has several unique functions for an aircraft of its size and role. For instance, it has threat detection and identification capability along the lines of that available on the RC-135 Rivet Joint.[38] While the F-22's equipment isn't as powerful or sophisticated, because of its stealth, it can be typically hundreds of miles closer to the battlefield, which often compensates for the reduced capability.[38]

The F-22 is capable of functioning as a "mini-AWACS." Though reduced in capability compared to dedicated airframes such as the E-3 Sentry, as with its threat identification capability, the F-22's forward presence is often of benefit.[35] The system allows the F-22 to designate targets for cooperating F-15s and F-16s, and even determine if two friendly aircraft are targeting the same enemy aircraft, thus enabling one of them to choose a different target.[38][35] It is often able to identify targets hundreds of times faster than accompanying dedicated AWACS.[38]

The F-22's low probability of intercept radar is being given a high-bandwidth data transmission capability, to allow it to be used in a "broadband" role to permit high-speed relaying of data between friendly transmitters and receivers in the area.[38] The F-22 can already pass data to other F-22s, resulting in considerably reduced radio "chatter."[38]

The IEEE-1394B data bus, developed for the F-22, was derived from the commercial IEEE-1394 "FireWire" bus system,[44] often used on personal computers. The same data bus is employed by the subsequent F-35 Lightning II fighter.[44]

[edit] Cockpit

The F-22 cockpit is a glass cockpit design without any traditional analog flight instruments and represents a marked improvement on the cockpit design of previous advanced aircraft.[45] The leading features of the F-22 cockpit include simple and rapid start-up, highly developed HMI, light helmet, large anthropometric accommodation and highly integrated warning system.[46] Other main features include the large single-piece canopy and improved life support systems.[46]

[edit] Airframe

Several small design changes were made from the YF-22A prototype to the production F-22A. The swept-back angle on the wing's leading edge was decreased from 48 degrees to 42 degrees, while the vertical stabilizer area was decreased 20%. To improve pilot visibility, the canopy was moved forward 7 inches (178 mm) and the engine intakes were moved rearward 14 inches (356 mm). The shape of the wing and stabilator trailing edges was refined to improve aerodynamics, strength, and stealth characteristics.[47]

[edit] Armament
An F-22 releases a JDAM from its internal bay while flying at supersonic speed
An F-22 releases a JDAM from its internal bay while flying at supersonic speed

The Raptor is designed to carry air-to-air missiles in internal bays, both to avoid disrupting its stealth capability and to reduce drag resulting in higher top speeds and longer combat ranges. Launching missiles requires opening the weapons bay doors for less than a second, while the missiles are pushed clear of the airframe by hydraulic arms. The aircraft can also carry bombs compatible with the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance system, and the new Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB). The Raptor carries an M61A2 Vulcan 20 mm rotary cannon, also with a trap door, in the right wing root. The M61A2 is a last ditch weapon, and carries only 480 rounds; enough ammunition for approximately five seconds of sustained fire. Despite this, the F-22 has been able to use its gun in dogfighting without being detected, which can be necessary when missiles are depleted.[35]

The Raptor's very high sustained cruise speed and operational altitude add significantly to the effective range of both air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. These factors may be the rationale behind the USAF's decision not to pursue long-range, high-energy air-to-air missiles such as the MBDA Meteor. However, the USAF plans to procure the AIM-120D AMRAAM, which will have a significant increase in range compared to the AIM-120C. The Raptor launch platform provides additional energy to the missile which helps improve the range of air-to-ground ordnance. While specific figures remain classified, it is expected that JDAMs employed by F-22s will have twice or more the effective range of munitions dropped by legacy platforms.[48] In testing, a Raptor dropped a 1,000 lb (450 kg) JDAM from 50,000 feet (15,000 m), while cruising at Mach 1.5, striking a moving target 24 miles (39 km) away.[49] The SDB, as employed from the F-22, should see even greater increases in effective range, due to the improved lift to drag ratio of these weapons.

While in its air-superiority configuration, the F-22 carries its weapons internally, though it is not limited to this option. The wings are capable of supporting four detachable hardpoints. Each hardpoint is theoretically capable of handling 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) of ordnance. However, use of external stores greatly compromises the F-22's stealth, and has a detrimental effect on maneuverability, speed, and range. As many as two of these hardpoints are "plumbed", allowing the usage of external fuel tanks. The hardpoints are detachable in flight allowing the fighter to regain its stealth once these external stores are exhausted. Currently, there is research being conducted to develop a stealth ordnance pod and hardpoints for it. Such a pod would comprise a stealth shape and carry its weapons internally, then would split open when launching a missile or dropping a bomb. Both the pod and hardpoints could be detached when no longer needed. This system would allow the F-22 to carry its maximum ordnance load while remaining stealthy, albeit at a loss of maneuverability.

[edit] Stealth

Although several recent Western fighter aircraft are less detectable on radar than previous designs using techniques such as radar absorbent material-coated S-shaped intake ducts that shield the compressor fan from reflecting radar waves, the F-22 design placed a much higher degree of importance on low observance throughout the entire spectrum of sensors including radar signature, visual, infrared, acoustic, and radio frequency.

The stealth of the F-22 is due to a combination of factors, including the overall shape of the aircraft, the use of radar absorbent material (RAM), and attention to detail such as hinges and pilot helmets that could provide a radar return.[50] However, reduced radar cross section is only one of five facets that designers addressed to create a stealth design in the F-22. The F-22 has also been designed to disguise its infrared emissions to make it harder to detect by infrared homing ("heat seeking") surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles. Designers also made the aircraft less visible to the naked eye, and controlled radio and noise emissions.[50] The Raptor has an under bay carrier made for hiding heat from missile threats, like surface-to-air missiles.[51]

The F-22 apparently relies less on maintenance-intensive radar absorbent material and coatings than previous stealth designs like the F-117. These materials caused deployment problems due to their susceptibility to adverse weather conditions.[52] Unlike the B-2, which requires climate-controlled hangers, the F-22 can undergo repairs on the flight line or in a normal hangar.[52] Furthermore, the F-22 has a warning system (called "Signature Assessment System" or "SAS") which presents warning indicators when routine wear-and-tear have degraded the aircraft's radar signature to the point of requiring more substantial repairs.[52] The exact radar cross section of the F-22 remains classified.

[edit] External lighting

The aircraft has integral position and anti-collision lighting (including strobes) on the wings, compatible with stealth requirements, supplied by Goodrich Corporation. The low voltage electroluminescent formation lights are located on the aircraft at critical positions for night flight operations (on both sides of the forward fuselage under the chin, on the tip of the upper left and right wings, and on the outside of both vertical stabilizers). There are similar air refueling lights on the butterfly doors that cover the air refueling receptacle.[46]

[edit] Operational history
The 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base was the first squadron to receive the F-22
The 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base was the first squadron to receive the F-22

Intended to be the leading American advanced tactical fighter in the early part of the 21st century, the Raptor is an expensive fighter with an incremental cost of about US$138 million per unit.[4] The number of aircraft to be built has dropped to 183,[9] down from the initial requirement of 750. Part of the reason for the decrease in the requirement is that the F-35 Lightning II uses much of the technology used on the F-22, but at a much more affordable price. To a large extent the cost of these technologies is only lower for the F-35 because they have already been developed for the F-22.

[edit] YF-22 "Lightning II"

The prototype YF-22 won a fly-off competition against the Northrop/McDonnell-Douglas YF-23 for the Advanced Tactical Fighter contract. In April 1992 during flight testing after contract award, test pilot Tom Morgenfeld escaped without injury when the first YF-22 prototype that he was flying crashed while landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The cause of the crash was found to be a flight control software error that failed to prevent a pilot-induced oscillation.[53]

The YF-22 was a developmental aircraft that led to the F-22; however, there are significant differences between the YF-22 and the F-22. Relocation of cockpit, structural changes, and many other smaller changes exist between the two types.[54] The two are sometimes confused in pictures, often at angles where it is difficult to see certain features. For example, there are some F-22 with pitot booms which some think are only found on the YF-22.

The YF-22 was originally given the unofficial name "Lightning II", after the World War II fighter P-38, by Lockheed, which persisted until the mid-1990s when the USAF officially named the aircraft "Raptor". For a short while, the aircraft was also dubbed "SuperStar" and "Rapier".[55] The F-35 later received the Lightning II name on 7 July 2006.[56]

[edit] F-22 Raptor to F/A-22 and back again

The production model was formally named F-22 "Raptor" when the first production-representative aircraft was unveiled on 9 April 1997 at Lockheed-Georgia Co., Marietta, Georgia. First flight occurred on 7 September 1997.

In September 2002, Air Force leaders changed the Raptor’s designation to F/A-22. The new designation, which mimicked that of the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet, was intended to highlight plans to give the Raptor a ground-attack capability amid intense debate over the relevance of the expensive air-superiority jet. This was later changed back to simply F-22 on 12 December 2005. On 15 December 2005, the F-22A entered service.[57]

[edit] Testing
An F-22 refuels from a KC-135; the attachment on the back top is for a spin recovery chute
An F-22 refuels from a KC-135; the attachment on the back top is for a spin recovery chute

Testing of the F-22 began in 1997 and has been curtailed to save program costs, but risks hiding flaws until a point at which fixing flaws becomes unaffordable.[58] The U.S. General Accounting Office cautioned, "Moreover, engine and stealthiness problems already disclosed by the DoD, and the potential for avionics and software problems, underscore the need to demonstrate the weapon system’s performance through flight testing before significant commitments are made to production."[58]

Raptor 4001 was retired and sent to Wright-Patterson AFB to be fired at for testing the fighter's survivability. Usable parts of 4001 would be used to make a new F-22. Another engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) F-22 was also retired and likely to be sent to be rebuilt. A testing aircraft was converted to a maintenance trainer at Tyndall AFB.[59]

On 3 May 2006, a report was released detailing a problem with a forward titanium boom on the aircraft that was not properly heat treated. Officials are still investigating the problem which was caused by the boom portion not being subjected to high temperatures in the factory for long enough, causing the boom to be less ductile than specified and potentially shortening the lives of the first 80 or so F-22s. Work is underway to restore them to full life expectancy.[59]

The F-22 fleet underwent modifications at Hill AFB,[60] and at Edwards AFB near Palmdale, California.

[edit] Recent developments
An F-22 observes as an F-15 Eagle banks left. The F-22 is slated to replace the F-15C/D.
An F-22 observes as an F-15 Eagle banks left. The F-22 is slated to replace the F-15C/D.

In 2006, the Raptor's development team, composed of Lockheed Martin and over 1,000 other companies, plus the United States Air Force, won the Collier Trophy, American aviation's most prestigious award.[61] The U.S Air Force will acquire F-22s that are to be divided among seven active duty combat squadrons, and jointly flown and maintained by three integrated Reserve and Air National Guard squadrons.[3]

During Exercise Northern Edge in Alaska in June 2006, 12 F-22s of the 94th FS downed 108 adversaries with no losses in simulated combat exercises.[3] In two weeks of exercises, the Raptor-led Blue Force amassed 241 kills against two losses in air-to-air combat, and neither Blue Force loss was an F-22.

This was followed with the Raptor's first participation in a Red Flag exercise. 14 F-22s of the 94th FS supported attacking Blue Force strike packages as well as engaging in close air support sorties themselves in Red Flag 07-1 between 3 February and 16 February 2007. Against designed superior numbers of Red Force Aggressor F-15s and F-16s, it established air dominance using eight aircraft during day missions and six at night, reportedly defeating the Aggressors quickly and efficiently, even though the exercise rules of engagement allowed for four to five Red Force regenerations of losses but none to Blue Force. Further, no sorties were missed because of maintenance or other failures, and only one Raptor was adjudged lost against the virtual annihilation of the defending force.[62] When their ordnance was expended, the F-22s remained in the exercise area providing electronic surveillance to the Blue Forces.[63]

While attempting its first overseas deployment to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, on 11 February 2007, a group of six Raptors flying from Hickam AFB experienced multiple computer crashes coincident with their crossing of the 180th meridian of longitude (the International Date Line). The computer failures included at least navigation (completely lost) and communication. The fighters were able to return to Hawaii by following their tankers in good weather. The error was fixed within 48 hours and the F-22s continued their journey to Kadena.[64]

The National Museum of the Air Force, on 30 April 2007, announced that EMD Raptor 91-4003 would be put on display later in 2007[65] in the space being occupied by the YF-22. The Museum publicly unveiled its Raptor 91-4003 display on January 18, 2008.[66]

In 2007, tests carried out by Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and L-3 Communications enabled the AESA system of a Raptor to act like a WiFi access point, able to transmit data at 548 Megabit/sec and receive at Gigabit speed; far faster than the current Link 16 system used by US and allied aircraft, which transfers data at just over 1 Megabit/sec.[67]

F-22A Raptors of the 90th Fighter Squadron performed their first intercept of two Russian Tu-95MS 'Bear-H' bombers in Alaska, on 22 November 2007. This was the first time that F-22s had been called to support a NORAD mission.[68]

On 12 December 2007, Gen. John D.W. Corley, commander of Air Combat Command, officially declared the F-22s of the integrated active duty 1st Fighter Wing and Air National Guard 192nd FW fully operational, three years after the first Raptor arrived at Langley Air Force Base.[69][70] This was followed from 13 April to 19 April 2008 by an Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) of the integrated wing in which it received an "excellent" rating in all categories while scoring a simulated kill-ratio of 221-0.[71] The first pair of Raptors assigned to the 49th Fighter Wing became operational at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on June 2.[72]

In July 2008, F-22s were to be showcased in the 2008 Royal International Air Tattoo air show at Fairford,[73] but did not perform after the show was canceled due to bad weather. An F-22, however, performed on the first day of the Farnborough Airshow on 14 July 2008.[2]

[edit] Variants

Under the Navalized Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) program, a carrier-borne variant of the F-22 with swing-wings was proposed for the U.S. Navy to replace the F-14 Tomcat, though the program was subsequently cancelled in 1993. A two-seat F-22B trainer variant was planned, but was cut in 1996 to save development costs.[74]

Another more recent proposal is the FB-22, which would be used as a deep strike bomber for the USAF, but there has yet to be any word on whether the USAF plans further development of the program. Also, the X-44 MANTA, short for multi-axis, no-tail aircraft, was a planned experimental aircraft based on the F-22 with enhanced thrust vectoring controls and no aerodynamic backup (i.e. the aircraft is controlled solely by thrust vectoring, without rudders, ailerons, or elevators). Funding for the program was halted in 2000.[75]

[edit] Operators

The United States Air Force has 122 F-22s in its active inventory as of July 2008.[2] These are operated by the following commands.

* Air Education and Training Command
o 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida
+ 43d Fighter Squadron - The only USAF squadron to operate F-22As at Tyndall AFB, Florida. The 43d was re-established at Tyndall in 2002, and, in 2003, with a corps of 15 Raptor Instructor Pilots, began training student Raptor pilots. The 43d continues to produce new Raptor pilots and serves as the focal point for all F-22 training of pilots and maintainers.[76]
* Air Combat Command
o 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
+ 27th Fighter Squadron - The first combat F-22 squadron. Began conversion in December 2005 after receiving sufficient numbers of trained Raptor pilots and flew the first F-22A operational mission (January 2006 in support of Operation Noble Eagle).[77]
+ 94th Fighter Squadron - Full complement as of 19 January 2007.[77]
o 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, New Mexico.[78]
+ 7th Fighter Squadron
o 53d Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
+ 422d Test and Evaluation Squadron - The "Green Bats" are responsible for operational testing, tactics development and evaluation for the F-22.[79]
* Air Force Material Command
o 412th Flight Test Squadron - Conducts developmental tests of F-22 enhancements and modernization.
* Pacific Air Forces
o 3d Wing, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
+ 90th Fighter Squadron - Converted from F-15Es to F-22s; first F-22A arrived 8 August 2007.[80][81]
+ 525th Fighter Squadron - Activated on 30 October 2007 - second of two active duty F-22 squadrons in the 3d Wing.
o 477th Fighter Group, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. (Air Force Reserve Command). Jointly flies and maintains aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing.
+ 302d Fighter Squadron - Converted from F-16s at Luke Air Force Base and moved to Elmendorf AFB.
* Air National Guard
o 192d Fighter Wing - Virginia Air National Guard.
+ 149th Fighter Squadron - Transitioned from F-16s and moved from Richmond International Airport, Richmond, VA to Langley AFB, Virginia. Jointly flies and maintains aircraft assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing.

Future bases and units will include:

* 154th Wing, Hickam AFB, Hawaii. (2009/2010)
o 199th Fighter Squadron Hawaii Air National Guard squadron to jointly fly and maintain 531st FS aircraft.
* 531st Fighter Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

[edit] Specifications (F-22 Raptor)
Orthographically projected diagram of the F-22A

Data from USAF,[1] F-22 Raptor Team web site,[82] Lockheed Martin,[83] Aviation Week,[38] and Journal of Electronic Defense[40]

General characteristics

* Crew: 1
* Length: 62 ft 1 in (18.90 m)
* Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.56 m)
* Height: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
* Wing area: 840 ft² (78.04 m²)
* Airfoil: NACA 64A?05.92 root, NACA 64A?04.29 tip
* Empty weight: 43,430 lb (19,700 kg[1][83])
* Loaded weight: 64,460 lb (29,300 kg[84])
* Max takeoff weight: 83,500 lb (38,000 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 Pitch Thrust vectoring turbofans, 35,000+ lb (156+ kN) each


* Maximum speed:
o At altitude: Mach 2.25 (1,500 mph, 2,414 km/h)[85]
o Supercruise: Mach 1.82 (1,220 mph, 1,963 km/h)[85]
* Range: 1,600 nmi (1,840 mi, 2,960 km) with 2 external fuel tanks
* Combat radius: 410 nmi[82] (471 mi, 759 km)
* Ferry range: 2,000 mi (1,738 nmi, 3,219 km)
* Service ceiling 65,000 ft (19,812 m)
* Wing loading: 66 lb/ft² (322 kg/m²)
* Thrust/weight:
o With full internal fuel: 1.09 (18,000 Pounds)
o With 50% internal fuel: 1.26 (9,000 Pounds)
* Maximum g-load: -3.0/+9.0 g[85]

USAF poster overview of key features and armament
USAF poster overview of key features and armament


* Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A2 Vulcan gatling gun in starboard wing root, 480 rounds
* Air to air loadout:
o 6× AIM-120 AMRAAM
o 2× AIM-9 Sidewinder
* Air to ground loadout:
o 2× AIM-120 AMRAAM and
o 2× AIM-9 Sidewinder and one of the following:
+ 2× 1,000 lb (450 kg) JDAM or
+ 2× Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMDs) or
+ 8× 250 lb (110 kg) GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs

* Additionally, four external hardpoints can be fitted to carry weapons or fuel tanks, each with a capacity of about 5,000 lb (2268 kg).[86]


* RWR (Radar warning receiver): 250 nmi (463 km) or more[40]
* Radar: 125-150 miles (200-240 km) against 1 m² targets (estimated range)[38]

[edit] Popular culture

The F-22 has been featured in numerous books, such as Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor (1994)[87] and Fighter Wing (1995)[88] as well as Clive Cussler's Dark Watch (2005)[89] and Daymon Andrews' The Sword and the Star: Temple Mount (2008).[90]

The F-22 made its major Hollywood debut in the 2007 film Transformers[91] as the form taken by the Decepticon character Starscream in addition to numerous USAF fighters that engaged during the initial and climactic battles. The movie crew was allowed to film actual Raptors in flight, unlike previous computer-generated appearances, because of the military's support of director Michael Bay. The Raptors were filmed at Edwards Air Force Base.[92]

The F-22 also appeared in Iron Man (2008) where two Raptors appeared in the film, in pursuit of Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man.[citation needed] During concerts in 2008, Billy Idol debuted "New Future Weapon", a song about the F-22 Raptor.[93]
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The Northrop Grumman (formerly Ryan Aeronautical) RQ-4 Global Hawk (known as Tier II+ during development) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the United States Air Force as a surveillance aircraft.

In role and design, the Global Hawk is similar to the Lockheed U-2, the venerable 1950s spy plane. It is a theater commander's asset to both provide a broad overview and systematically target surveillance shortfalls. The Global Hawk air vehicle is able to provide high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)—that can penetrate cloud-cover and sandstorms—and Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) imagery at long range with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) of terrain a day.

Potential missions for the Global Hawk cover the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide peace, crisis, and wartime operations. According to the Air Force, the capabilities of the aircraft will allow more precise targeting of weapons and better protection of forces through superior surveillance capabilities.

The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance; "Q" means unmanned aircraft system. The "4" refers to it being the fourth of a series of purpose-built unmanned aircraft systems.

The Global Hawk costs about $35 million USD each[1] (actual per-aircraft costs; with development costs also included, the per-aircraft cost rises to $123.2 million USD each

RQ-4 Global Hawk.ogv
Play video
RQ-4 Global Hawk USAF video

[edit] Initial development

The first seven aircraft were built under the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program, sponsored by DARPA,[3] in order to evaluate the design and its capabilities. Due to world circumstances, the capabilities of the aircraft were in high demand, so the prototype aircraft were operated by the U.S. Air Force in theater in the War in Afghanistan.

In an unusual move, the aircraft entered initial low-rate production concurrently while still in engineering and manufacturing development. Nine production Block 10 aircraft (sometimes referred to as RQ-4A configuration) were produced, two of which were transferred to the US Navy. Two more were sent to Iraq to support operations there. The final Block 10 aircraft was delivered on June 26, 2006.[4]

In order to increase the aircraft's capabilities, the airframe was redesigned, with the nose section and wings being stretched. The changes, with the designation RQ-4 Block 20, allow the aircraft to carry up to 3,000 pounds of internal payload. These changes were introduced with the first Block 20 aircraft, the 17th Global Hawk produced, which was rolled out in a ceremony on August 25, 2006.[5] First flight of the Block 20 from the USAF Plant 42 in Palmdale, California to Edwards Air Force Base took place on March 1, 2007. Developmental testing of Block 20 took place in and 2008. Future Block 30 and 40 aircraft, similar in size to the Block 20, are scheduled for development from 2008 to 2010. [6]

[edit] Cost overruns

Program development cost overruns had put the Global Hawk system at risk of cancellation. Per-unit costs in mid-2006 were 25% over baseline estimates, caused by both the need to correct design deficiencies as well as increase the system's capabilities. This caused some concerns about a possible congressional termination of the program if its national security benefits could not be justified.[7][8] However, in June 2006, the Global Hawk program was restructured. Completion of an operational assessment report by the Air Force was slipped due to manufacturing and development delays from August 2005 to November 2007. The operational assessment report was released in March 2007 and production of the 54 air vehicles planned has been extended by two years to 2015.[9]

[edit] United States Navy

The United States Navy took delivery of two of the Block 10 aircraft to be used to evaluate maritime surveillance capabilities, designated N-1. The initial example, Bureau Number 166509, was tested in a naval configuration at Edwards Air Force Base for several months, later ferrying to NAS Patuxent River on March 28, 2006 to begin the Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) program. Navy squadron VX-20 was tasked with operating the GHMD system.[10][11] [12]

In the spring of 2006, the GHMD aircraft took part in a demonstration of the type's ability to conduct maritime drug interdiction surveillance, completing four flights over the Caribbean and off the coast of Florida, locating and identifying numerous airborne and surface targets.[13]

The GHMD aircraft flew in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise for the first time in July, 2006. Although RIMPAC operations were in the vicinity of Hawaii, the aircraft was operated from Edwards, requiring flights of approximately 2,500 miles (4,000 km) each way to the operations area. Four flights were performed, resulting in over 24 hours of persistent maritime surveillance coordinated with USS Abraham Lincoln and Bonhomme Richard. As a part of the demonstration program, Global Hawk was tasked with maintenance of maritime situational awareness, contact tracking, and imagery support of various exercise operations. The imagery obtained by Global Hawk was transmitted to NAS Patuxent River for processing before being forwarded on to the fleet operations off Hawaii, thus exercising the global nature of this aircraft's operations.[14]

Northrop Grumman entered a version of the RQ-4B in the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV contract competition. On 22 April 2008 the announcement was made that the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N had won the bid, with the Navy awarding a contract worth $1.16 billion.[15]

[edit] NASA

In December 2007, two Global Hawks were transferred from the U.S. Air Force to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. Initial research activities beginning in the second quarter of 2009 will support NASA's high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions.[16][17] The two Global Hawks were the first and sixth aircraft built under the original DARPA Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program, and were made available to NASA when the Air Force had no further need for them. [3] Northrop Grumman is an operational partner with NASA and will use the aircraft to demonstrate new technologies and to develop new markets for the aircraft, including possible civilian uses.[17]

[edit] NATO

NATO has announced that it expects to have a fleet of up to eight Global Hawks by the year 2012. The aircraft are to be equipped with MP-RTIP radar systems. NATO has budgeted €1 billion for the project, and a letter of intent has been signed, although contracting with Northrop Grumman has not been finalized. [18]

[edit] Luftwaffe
EuroHawk mock-up at the ILA 2006

The German Luftwaffe has ordered a variant of the RQ-4B equipped with European sensors, dubbed EuroHawk. It combines a normal RQ-4B airframe with an EADS reconnaissance payload.

The aircraft is based on the Block 20/30/40 RQ-4B, but will be equipped with EADS' SIGINT package to fulfil Germany's desire to replace their aging Dassault-Breguet Atlantique electronic surveillance aircraft.[citation needed] A first batch of 5 EuroHawks will be delivered for the Luftwaffe from 2010 on.

The costs for the initial five aircraft are approx. €430 million for the development, and €430 million for the actual procurement.

[edit] Potential operators

Australia had considered the purchase of a number of Global Hawk aircraft for maritime and land surveillance. The Global Hawk was to be assessed against the RQ-1 Mariner in trials in 2007.[19] If selected the Global Hawk aircraft would have operated in conjunction with manned P-8A Poseidon aircraft by 10 and 11 Squadrons of the RAAF. This combination, or a similar one, would replace existing AP-3C Orion aircraft in 2018. With the current economic situation, and the delivery schedule pushed back to 2015; the Australian government had decided to cancel the order. [20]

Canada is also a potential customer, looking at the Global Hawk for maritime and land surveillance as either a replacement for its fleet of CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft or to supplement manned patrols of remote Arctic and maritime environments. Spain has a similar requirement, and has existing contacts with Northrop Grumman. [21]

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had expressed interest in acquiring at least four RQ-4B and support equipment by 2011 to increase the intelligence capabilities of the South Korean military after the return of the Wartime Operational Control from the U.S. to ROK, and has allocated approximately USD$19m for evaluation purposes. There is ongoing debate among government officials on whether to take the US offer of Global Hawks or to press on with their domestic UAV development program.

[edit] Design

The RQ-4 is powered by an Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine with 7,050lbf (3,200 kgf / 31.4 kN) thrust, and carries a payload of 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). The fuselage is mostly of conventional aluminum airframe construction, while the wings are made of carbon composite.

The Global Hawk is the first UAV to be certified by the FAA to file its own flight plans and use civilian air corridors in the United States with no advance notice.[22] This potentially paves the way for a revolution in unmanned flight, including that of remotely piloted cargo or passenger airliners.

[edit] Integrated system
The Global Hawk's wings, fuselage, fairings, nacelles, and tails are manufactured from high strength-to-weight composites.

The Global Hawk UAV system comprises an air vehicle segment consisting of air vehicles with sensor payloads, avionics, and data links; a ground segment consisting of a Launch and Recovery Element (LRE), and a Mission Control Element (MCE) with embedded ground communications equipment; a support element; and trained personnel.

The Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) is provided by Raytheon and consists of a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), electro-optical (EO), and infrared (IR) sensors. Either the EO or the IR sensors can operate simultaneously with the SAR. Each of the sensors provides wide area search imagery and a high-resolution spot mode. The SAR has a ground moving target indicator (GMTI) mode, which can provide a text message providing the moving target's position and velocity. Both SAR and EO/IR imagery are processed onboard the aircraft and transmitted to the MCE as individual frames. The MCE can mosaic these frames into images prior to further dissemination.

Navigation is via inertial navigation with integrated Global Positioning System updates. Global Hawk is intended to operate autonomously and "untethered" using a satellite data link (either Ku or UHF) for sending sensor data from the aircraft to the MCE. The common data link can also be used for direct down link of imagery when the UAV is operating within line-of-sight of users with compatible ground stations.

The ground segment consists of a Mission Control Element (MCE) and Launch and Recovery Element (LRE), provided by Raytheon. The MCE is used for mission planning, command and control, and image processing and dissemination; an LRE for controlling launch and recovery; and associated ground support equipment. (The LRE provides precision differential global positioning system corrections for navigational accuracy during takeoff and landings, while precision coded GPS supplemented with an inertial navigation system is used during mission execution.) By having separable elements in the ground segment, the MCE and the LRE can operate in geographically separate locations, and the MCE can be deployed with the supported command's primary exploitation site. Both ground segments are contained in military shelters with external antennas for line-of-sight and satellite communications with the air vehicles.

[edit] Sensor packages

The Global Hawk carries the "Hughes Integrated Surveillance & Reconnaissance (HISAR)" sensor system. HISAR is a lower-cost derivative of the ASARS-2 package that Hughes developed for the Lockheed U-2. HISAR is also fitted in the US Army's RC-7B Airborne Reconnaissance Low Multifunction (ARLM) manned surveillance aircraft, and is being sold on the international market. HISAR integrates a SAR-MTI system, along with an optical and an infrared imager. All three sensors are controlled and their outputs filtered by a common processor. The digital sensor data can be transmitted at up to 50 Mbit/s to a ground station in real time, either directly or through a communications satellite link.

The SAR-MTI system operates in the X-band and provides a number of operational modes:

* The wide-area MTI mode can detect moving targets within a radius of 62 miles (100 kilometers).
* The combined SAR-MTI strip mode provides 20 foot (6 meter) resolution over a swath 23 miles (37 kilometers) wide at ranges from 12.4 to 68 miles (20 to 110 kilometers).
* The SAR spot mode can provide 6 foot (1.8 meter) resolution over 3.8 square miles (10 square kilometers), as well as provide a sea-surveillance function.

The visible and infrared imagers share the same gimballed sensor package, and use common optics, providing a telescopic close-up capability. It can be optionally fitted with an auxiliary SIGINT package. To improve survivability, the Global Hawk is fitted with a Raytheon developed AN/ALR-89 self-protection suite consisting of the AN/AVR-3 Laser Warning System, AN/APR-49 Radar Warning Receiver and a jamming system. An ALE-50 towed decoy also aids in the Global Hawk's deception of enemy air defenses.[23] [24]

In July, 2006, the Air Force began testing segments of the improved Global Hawk Block 30 upgrades in the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards AFB. This version incorporates an extremely sensitive SIGINT processor known as the Advanced Signals Intelligence Payload. [25]

In September 2006, testing began on a new specialty radar system, the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program, or MP-RTIP, onboard the Scaled Composites Proteus. Once validated, one Global Hawk will be modified to carry this radar set, and the other, larger variant (known as the Wide-Area Surveillance or WAS sensor) will be installed on the Air Force E-10 MC2A testbed or E-8 Joint STARS aircraft.

[edit] Operational history

Air Force Global Hawk flight test evaluations are performed by the 452nd Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. Operational USAF aircraft are flown by the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 12th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base. While testing the first two production aircraft, a delay in take off required a late night call to file a flight plan. When FAA received the call to fill in fields on his computer for SOBs (souls on board), his reply was, 'the computer can't take 0'.

Global Hawk ATCD prototypes have been used in the War in Afghanistan and in the Iraq War. While their data-collection capabilities have been praised, the aircraft did suffer a high number of accidents, with two of the aircraft, more than one quarter of the aircraft used in the wars, being lost. According to Australian press reports, the crashes were due to "technical failures or poor maintenance", with a failure rate per hour flown over 100 times higher than the F-16 fighters flown in the same wars. The manufacturer stated that it was unfair to compare the failure rates of a mature design to that of a prototype plane, and pointed to a lack of trained maintenance staff and spare parts.

[edit] Records

On March 21, 2001, aircraft number 982003, the third ACTD aircraft produced, set an official world endurance record for UAVs, at 30 hours, 24 minutes and 1 second, flying from Edwards.[26] During the same flight, it set an absolute altitude record of 19,928 meters (65,380.6 ft), which was later broken by the NASA Helios Prototype (although the absolute record was broken, the Global Hawk's record still stands in its FAI class category).[27]

On April 24, 2001 a Global Hawk flew non-stop from Edwards in the US to RAAF Base Edinburgh in Australia, making history by being the first pilotless aircraft to cross the Pacific Ocean. The flight took 22 hours, and set a world record for absolute distance flown by a UAV, 13,219.86 kilometers (8,214.44 mi).[28][29]

[edit] Incidents

On December 30, 2001 a Global Hawk crashed in Afghanistan.[30]

On July 10, 2002 a Global Hawk crashed in Pakistan due to an apparent engine failure.[31]

[edit] Variants

Initial production version for the USAF, 59 built.
Improved version with increased payload, wingspan increased to 130.9ft (39.8m) and length increased to 47.7ft (14.5m), due to the increased size and payload the range is reduced to 8,700nm [32]
For USN Broad Area Maritime Surveillance role.

[edit] Miniature variant

Scaled Composites and Northrop Grumman are also offering a 50% proportional shrink of the RQ-4A, currently known as the Model 396, as part of the USAF Hunter-Killer program.

[edit] Operators

United States

* United States Air Force
o Air Combat Command
+ 9th Reconnaissance Wing - Beale Air Force Base, California
# 1st Reconnaissance Squadron
# 12th Reconnaissance Squadron
+ 53rd Wing
# 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron - Edwards Air Force Base, California
o Air Force Reserve Command
+ 610th Regional Support Group
# 13th Reconnaissance Squadron - Beale Air Force Base, California
* United States Navy
o Dryden Flight Research Center

[edit] Specifications (RQ-4A)

General characteristics

* Crew: 0
* Length: 44 ft 5 in (13.5 m)
* Wingspan: 116 ft 2 in (35.4 m)
* Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.6 m)
* Empty weight: 8,490 lb (3,850 kg)
* Gross weight: 22,900 lb (10,400 kg)
* Powerplant: 1 × Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine, 7,050 lbf (31.4 kN) each


* Cruise speed: 404 mph (650 km/h)
* Endurance: 36 hours
* Service ceiling: 65,000 ft (20,000 m)
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Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS-D Air Vehicle System

The Pegasus unmanned air vehicle was initially developed under private funding by the integrated systems sector of Northrop Grumman at El Segundo in California. Pegasus received its X-47A designation in June 2001.

The X-47A provided a proof of concept for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Navy UCAV-N programme, and is spiral 0 in the spiral development programme targeted towards US Navy requirements. A similar programme managed by DARPA and the US Air Force covered the development of the Boeing X-45 targeted towards the US Air Force requirement.

DARPA announced the joint unmanned ombat air vehicle (J-UCAS) programme to meet both the air force and naval requirements. In October 2005, DARPA handed the programme over to a joint USN and USAF office. The spiral 1 development phase under the J-UCAS programme includes the design of the improved demonstrator air vehicles, X-45C and the X-47B.
"The X-47 Pegasus is a
US Navy unmanned combat air vehicle with a stealthy planform design."

The roll out ceremony of the proof-of-concept X-47A vehicle was in July 2001 and the first flight was successfully completed in February 2003.

The X-47B is a larger variant of the X-47A. In August 2004, DARPA awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman for three X-47B demonstrator UCAVs and an operational assessment phase to last from 2007–2009.Construction of the X-47B began in June 2005.

In February 2006, the J-UCAS programme was cancelled by the US Department of Defense and the USAF and USN were to follow separate UAV programmes. Northrop Grumman halted work on the X-47B.

In August 2007, Northrop Grumman was selected by US Navy for the unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) with a version of the X-47B with Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine. The programme is to demonstrate the suitability of an autonomous UAV for aircraft carrier operations and identify critical technologies.

Two demonstrator air vehicles are being built. The first was rolled out in December 2008. Flight testing is scheduled to begin in late 2009, carrier landings in 2011 and the programme will conclude in 2013. It will include catapult take-offs, arrested landings and flight in the immediate vicinity of the carrier.
X-47 Pegasus air vehicle

The airframe is a stealthy planform design. It is diamond-kite shaped with a 55° backward sweep on the leading edge and a 35° forward sweep on the trailing edge. The X-47A has a wingspan of 8.47m and is 8.5m long; the dimensions of the X-47B have yet to be finalised.

Scaled Composites Inc of Mohave, California, were contracted to manufacture the all-carbon composite airframe. The air vehicle has no tail or vertical fin. Instead of a traditional rudder for yaw control, the upper and lower surfaces are each fitted with two sections of moving surfaces. A large elevon is clearly visible at the mid-section of each trailing edge.

The vehicle is robustly built for carrier take-off and landings and uses a conventional wheeled take-off and landing with an arrestor hook. The retractable tricycle-type landing gear consists of a single nose wheel, twin wheel main landing gear and a fully retractable arrestor hook. Smiths Aerospace is providing the landing gear for the X-47B.
"In April 2007, Northrop Grumman submitted a bid to the US Navy for the unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D)."
Pegasus avionics

The Pegasus is equipped with an avionics suite supplied by BAE Systems Platform Solutions of Johnson City, New York. The avionics and vehicle management computer performs flight control processing, autopilot control, engine control processing, mission command and control, navigation and other functions.

The computer features an embedded, open-architecture CsLEOS real-time operating system which uses 'brick-wall' time and memory partitioning to allow multiple applications to run on the same system without interfering with each other.

The system also provides multiple scheduling modes, allowing users to switch between different schedule profiles in real time.

The navigation systems include the US Navy shipboard relative global positioning system (SRGPS) automatic landing system.
Turbofan engines

The Pegasus is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5C turbofan engine rated at 14,19kN. The air vehicle carries 472kg of fuel but has a maximum capacity of 717kg of fuel for long-range operations or for increased loiter times.

X-47B Specifications
Wingspan......................................62.1 ft
Length...........................................38.2 ft
Altitude..........................................> 40,000 ft
Range............................................> 2,100 nm
Top Speed.....................................High subsonic
PowerPlant....................................Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
System Provisions
Autonomous Aerial Refueling........Probe & Drogue (USN)
Boom Receptacle (USAF)
Weapons Bays..............................4,500 lb
Sensors.........................................EO / IR / SAR / ISAR /
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United States Army Rangers. Hooah! Gotta respect the U.S Army Rangers.
Theme Song:[link]
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U.S Marines moving in to infiltrate and neutralize the PLR.
Standard Marines wielding M16A4's, M4A1's, M249 SAW's, and M240B's. Montes is there with his M240B..... Campo is somewhere in that thick layer of marines and Matkovic is inside the LAV-25 with his EOD crap inside.
Battlefield 3 U.S Models made by :iconsuperninjanub:, he's awesome!
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Russian soldier with his PMK gas mask and wielding an AKS-74U.
Battlefield 3 Russian Engineer with a Russian Gas Mask.
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Kryptops reimaginado :> Fue un dinosaurio carnivoro que coexistió con Suchomimus y medía unos siete metros de largo.
Parcialmente inspirado por uno de los lagartos más fantasticos de nuestros dias, el Phrynocephalus mystaceus.

Kryptops, reimagined :> It was a meat eating dino measuring about seven meters long that coexisted with Suchomimus.
Partially inspired by one of the most fantastic lizards of our times, Phrynocephalus mystaceus.
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Bautizado espinfosaurio por mi hermana, asi que, ¿por que no? :B Lo dibujé en un momento de aburrimiento sin saber realmente qué era, pero acabó pareciendo un eslabón perdido entre un dilofosáurido y un espinosáurido, lo que me recordó viejas conversaciones con :iconjelsin: sobre las similitudes entre estos dos tipos de dinosaurio. Ahora parece que realmente los espinosaurios provienen de megalosaurios como el Eustreptospondylus (o eso fue lo ultimo que escuché) lo cual relega al espinfosaurio a un universo alterno :(

Named "spinphosaur" by my sister, so why not. :B I drew this in a moment of boredom, without really knowing what would turn out to be. It ended up looking like a missing link between a dilophosaur and a spinosaurid, which reminded me of old conversations with :iconjelsin: about the similarities between these two kinds of dino. Now it appears that spinosaurs did evolve from megalosaurs, such as Eustreptospondylus (or that's what I heard last) which I guess relegates the spinphosaur to an alternate universe or something :(
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Un C. megalodon usa su piel moteada para camuflarse entre varios tiburones ballena prehistoricos y acercarse de incognito a sus presas- unas ballenas distraidas con un cardumen de peces- lo suficiente para atacar.
Dedicado a :iconbran-artworks: por su cumpleaños :B No es muy detallado pero espero que te guste.

A C. megalodon uses its spotted skin to camouflage itself amongst several prehistoric whale sharks and sneak onto its prey- some unsuspecting whales feeding on a fish shoal.
Sketched this for :iconbran-artworks: for his birthday
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Requested by:


NATO Symbol Symbolism meaning European military alliance in this regard, also it sort of resembles a Celtic Cross used by the Far-Right.  This flag would probably imply when Europe cuts Canada, and America from their alliance had fascism take hold again.
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I'll try to do all European-Eurasian and Anglo-Saxon nations(Canada, United States, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand).  No I am not making these to be offensive, more of an alternate history.
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-Requested by :iconspunnyz:

Basically a flag for Fascist Panama or a Ariasist Group, Hope it turned out acceptable.
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Done as a request for :icondrivanmoffitt:

Soldiers of many universes getting a moment of peace in a long war.


If you like what I do and want so show some support, drop by my Patreon:…
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This song from Call of Duty: World at War popped up on iTunes and I felt the need to make this in the process:…

Modern BF3/4 soldiers because I felt like it.

Garry's Mod and Photoshop

If you like what I do and want to show some support, drop by my Patreon:…
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Our heroes running through the ashen wake as more worlds begin to fall. Even the strong have to pick when to fight or when to run when death is following so closely.

The following is by :iconkushlukvonshimazu:
The hounds track their every step, and everywhere they look their foe checks their every path. The fallen ash of the city begin to sprinkle down on them, dimming thier vision. In this haze of dust and shadows the howls of the enemy become closer with every moment...

I might make a series out of this, maybe add more characters, since I like this crossover shit.

See the rest of the series here...…

"Blackbirds" - Linkin Park. Stop reading this. Just go.…

Garry's Mod and Photoshop and proud of it.

If you like what I do and want to show some support, drop by my Patreon:…
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Battlefield 3 fan art
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22nd in a series of video game posters.

The goal is to represent each title though basic elements featured in the game that would be immediately recognizable.

Tiberium is central to the primary C&C story, it is the one resource the players need manage and it's also the the reason for the global conflicts that take place throughout its history. I was tempted to do a figure of Kane as well but that might be left for a later edition, not any time soon though as the poster series will be put on hold soon.

Others in the series:

View the rest here: Poster Gallery
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Fourteenth in a series of video game posters.

The goal is to represent each title though basic elements featured in the game that would be immediately recognizable.

I decided to illustrate the opening of a vault's entrance for Fallout's poster as seeing the rays of the sun for the first time is quite a significant moment for the characters for the series so far and I find that it properly shows the start of their journey's from their familiar cradle into the harsh wasteland.

Others in the series:

View the rest here: Poster Gallery
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First in a series of video game posters.

A week full of snow days allowed me to focus on a project I had in mind for some time so I'm finally glad to be able to share these.

The goal is to represent a video game with one basic element that would be immediately recognizable, the ? Panel from 1992's Super Mario Kart is arguable a very iconic symbol for the game.

Others in the series:

View the rest here: Poster Gallery
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