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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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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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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.

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PS CS5
Gatorade
Epic Meal time.
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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."

FALLOUT FRANCHISE, PROPERTY OF ZeniMax MEDIA INC.

(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

Performance

* 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

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]

Avionics

* 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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F-15 Eagle

The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. The Eagle's air superiority is achieved through a mixture of maneuverability and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics. The F-15 has electronic systems and weaponry to detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft while operating in friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. Its weapons and flight control systems are designed so one person can safely and effectively perform air-to-air combat. It can penetrate enemy defense and outperform and outfight current or projected enemy aircraft.

The F-15's superior maneuverability and acceleration are achieved through high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low wing loading. Low wing-loading (the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area) is a vital factor in maneuverability and, combined with the high thrust-to-weight ratio, enables the aircraft to turn tightly without losing airspeed.

A multimission avionics system sets the F-15 apart from other fighter aircraft. It includes a head-up display, advanced radar, inertial navigation system, flight instruments, UHF communications, tactical navigation system and instrument landing system. It also has an internally mounted, tactical electronic-warfare system, "identification friend or foe" system, electronic countermeasures set and a central digital computer.

Through an on-going multistage improvement program the F-15 is receiving extensive upgrade involving the installation or modification of new and existing avionics equipment to enhance the tactical capabilities of the F-15.

The head-up display projects on the windscreen all essential flight information gathered by the integrated avionics system. This display, visible in any light condition, provides the pilot information necessary to track and destroy an enemy aircraft without having to look down at cockpit instruments.

The F-15's versatile pulse-Doppler radar system can look up at high-flying targets and down at low-flying targets without being confused by ground clutter. It can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes down to tree-top level. The radar feeds target information into the central computer for effective weapons delivery. For close-in dog fights, the radar automatically acquires enemy aircraft, and this information is projected on the head-up display.

The APG-63 radar was developed over 20 years ago and has an average mean time between failure less than 15 hours. APG-63 LRUs have become increasingly difficult to support both in the field and at the depot. First, individual parts have become increasingly unavailable from any source; incorporating newer technology parts often entails module redesign and fails to address the root cause. Second, continuing reliability deterioration impacts both sustainment, particularly during deployment, as well as ACC’s ability to implement two-level maintenance. In addition, the APG-63 radar has virtually no remaining processing and memory capacity to accommodate software upgrades to counter evolving threats. The APG-63(V)1 radar has been designed for improved reliability and maintainability to address user requirements. The radar incorporates components designed for improved reliability and lower failure rates and enhanced diagnostics for improved fault detection and fault isolation. Along with other design features, these should improve radar reliability to 120 hours MTBM, an order of magnitude better than the existing APG-63.

An inertial navigation system enables the Eagle to navigate anywhere in the world. It gives aircraft position at all times as well as pitch, roll, heading, acceleration and speed information.

The F-15's electronic warfare system provides both threat warning and automatic countermeasures against selected threats. The "identification friend or foe" system informs the pilot if an aircraft seen visually or on radar is friendly. It also informs U.S. or allied ground stations and other suitably equipped aircraft that the F-15 is a friendly aircraft.

The Fiber Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) provides aircraft protection against modern radar-guided missiles to supplement traditional radar jamming equipment. The device is towed at varying distances behind the aircraft while transmitting a signal like that of a threat radar. The missile will detect and lock onto the decoy rather than on the aircraft. This is achieved by making the decoy’s radiated signal stronger than that of the aircraft.

A variety of air-to-air weaponry can be carried by the F-15. An automated weapon system enables the pilot to perform aerial combat safely and effectively, using the head-up display and the avionics and weapons controls located on the engine throttles or control stick. When the pilot changes from one weapon system to another, visual guidance for the required weapon automatically appears on the head-up display.

The Eagle can be armed with combinations of four different air-to-air weapons: AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles on its lower fuselage corners, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under the wings, and an internal 20mm Gatling gun (with 940 rounds of ammunition) in the right wing root.

The current AIM-9 missile does not have the capabilities demonstrated by foreign technologies, giving the F-15 a distinct disadvantage during IR dogfight scenarios. AIM-9X integration will once again put the F-15 in the air superiority position in all arenas. The F-15/AIM-9X weapon system is to consist of F-15 carriage of the AIM-9X missile on a LAU-128 Air-to-Air (A/A) launcher from existing AIM-9 certified stations. The AIM-9X will be an upgrade to the AIM-9L/M, incorporating increased missile maneuverability and allowing a high off-boresight targeting capability.

Low-drag, conformal fuel tanks were especially developed for the F-15C and D models. Conformal fuel tanks can be attached to the sides of the engine air intake trunks under each wing and are designed to the same load factors and airspeed limits as the basic aircraft. Each conformal fuel tank contains about 114 cubic feet of usable space. These tanks reduce the need for in-flight refueling on global missions and increase time in the combat area. All external stations for munitions remain available with the tanks in use. AIM-7F/M Sparrow and AIM-120 missiles, moreover, can be attached to the corners of the conformal fuel tanks.

The F-15 Eagle began its life in the mid 1960s as the Fighter Experimental (FX) concept. Using lessons learned in Vietnam, the USAF sought to develop and procure a new, dedicated air superiority fighter. Such an aircraft was desperately needed, as no USAF aircraft design solely conceived as an air superiority fighter had become reality since the F-86 Sabre. The intervening twenty years saw a number of aircraft performing the air-to-air role as a small part of their overall mission, such as the primarily air-to-ground F-4 Phantom and the F-102, F-104 and F-106 interceptor designs. The result of the FX study was a requirement for a fighter design combining unparalleled maneuverability with state-of-the-art avionics and weaponry. An industry-wide competition ended on December 23, 1969 when McDonnell Douglas was awarded the contract for the F-15.

* The first F-15A flight was made on 27 July 1972, culminating one of the most successful aircraft development and procurement programs in Air Force history. After an accident-free test and evaluation period, the first aircraft was delivered to the Air Force on Novermber 14, 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron was delivered to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Three hundred and sixty-five F-15As were built before production of the F-15C began in 1978. In January 1982, the 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Langley Air Force Base became the first Air Force air defense squadron to transition to the F-15. After twenty years of service, the F-15A has recently been reassigned from active duty Air Force fighter squadrons to Air National Guard units. The F-15A is flown by Air National Guard squadrons in the states of Oregon, Missouri, Georgia, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Massachussets.
* The first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) trainer was made in July 1973. The first F-15B Eagle was delivered in November 1974 to the 58th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where pilot training was accomplished in both F-15A and B aircraft. The F-15B incorporates a tandem seating configuration, with a second crewmember position aft of the pilot's seat. The primary purpose of the F-15B is aircrew training, with an instructor pilot occupying the rear seat while an upgrading pilot mans the front seat controls. The rear seat pilot has a full set of flight controls and can fly the aircraft throughout the envelope, including takeoff and landing. Even though space is sacrificed to accomodate the second crew member, the F-15B retains the same warfighting capability as the F-15A. In keeping with the trainer concept, however, the rear seat is not equipped with controls for the combat avionics and weaponry. In fact, the rear seat is not a mandatory crew position, and F-15Bs are often flown with empty rear cockpits.
* The F-15C is an improved version of the original F-15A single-seat air superiority fighter. Additions incorporated in the F-15C include upgrades to avionics as well as increased internal fuel capacity and a higher allowable gross takeoff weight. The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory beginning in 1979. Kadena Air Base, Japan, received the first F-15C in September 1979. These new models have Production Eagle Package (PEP 2000) improvements, including 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of additional internal fuel, provision for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks and increased maximum takeoff weight of up to 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms). Externally, the differences between the F-15A and F-15C are so slight as to make identification difficult; the only reliable indicator is the aircraft serial number. All F-15As have tail numbers starting with 73- through 77-, while F-15Cs have tail numbers beginning with 78- through 86-. The F-15C is the Air Force's primary air superiority fighter, serving with active duty units at Langley AFB, VA, Eglin AFB, FL, Mountain Home AFB, ID, Elmendorf AFB, AK, Tyndall AFB, FL, Nellis AFB, NV, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, Lakenheath AB, England and Kadena AB, Okinawa. The operational F-15C force structure is approximately 300 aircraft assigned to operational units. In the mid-1990s the F-15C experienced declining reliability indicators, primarily from three subsystems: radar, engines, and secondary structures. A complete retrofit of all three subsystems could be done for less than $3 billion.
* The F-15D is a two-seat variant of the single-place F-15C. The primary purpose of the F-15D is aircrew training, with an instructor pilot occupying the rear seat while an upgrading pilot mans the front seat controls.

F-15C's, D's and E's were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm where they proved their superior combat capability with a confirmed 26:0 kill ratio.

The F-15C has an air combat victory ratio of 95-0 making it one of the most effective air superiority aircraft ever developed. The US Air Force claims the F-15C is in several respects inferior to, or at best equal to, the MiG-29, Su-27, Su-35/37, Rafale, and EF-2000, which are variously superior in acceleration, maneuverability, engine thrust, rate of climb, avionics, firepower, radar signature, or range. Although the F-15C and Su-27P series are similar in many categories, the Su-27 can outperform the F-15C at both long and short ranges. In long-range encounters, with its superiorr radar the Su-27 can launch a missile before the F-15C does, so from a purely kinematic standpoint, the Russian fighters outperform the F-15C in the beyond-visual-range fight. The Su-35 phased array radar is superior to the APG-63 Doppler radar in both detection range and tracking capabilities. Additionally, the Su-35 propulsion system increases the aircraft’s maneuverability with thrust vectoring nozzles. Simulations conducted by British Aerospace and the British Defense Research Agency compared the effectiveness of the F-15C, Rafale, EF-2000, and F-22 against the Russian Su-35 armed with active radar missiles similar to the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The Rafale achieved a 1:1 kill ratio (1 Su-35 destroyed for each Rafale lost). The EF-2000 kill ratio was 4.5:1 while the F-22 achieved a ratio of 10:1. In stark contrast was the F-15C, losing 1.3 Eagles for each Su-35 destroyed.
F-15E Strike Eagle

Although the slogan of the F-15's original design team was "Not a pound for air-to-ground," the F-15 has long been recognized as having superior potential in the ground attack role. In 1987 this potential was realized in the form of the F-15E Strike Eagle. The mission of the Strike Eagle is as succinct as that of its air-to-air cousin: to put bombs on target. The F-15E is especially configured for the deep strike mission, venturing far behind enemy lines to attack high value targets with a variety of munitions. The Strike Eagle accomplishes this mission by expanding on the capabilities of the air superiority F-15, adding a rear seat WSO (Weapon Systems Operator) crewmember and incorporating an entirely new suite of air-to-ground avionics.

The F-15E is a two seat, two engine dual role fighter capable of speeds up to MACH 2.5. The F-15E performs day and night all weather air-to-air and air-to-ground missions including strategic strike, interdiction, OCA and DCA. Although primarily a deep interdiction platform, the F-15E can also perform CAS and Escort missions. Strike Eagles are equipped with LANTIRN, enhancing night PGM delivery capability. The F-15E outbord and inboard wing stations and the centerline can be load with various armament. The outboard wing hardpoint are unable to carry heavy loads and are assign for ECM pods. The other hardpoints can be employed for various loads but with the use of multiple ejection racks (MERs). Each MER can hold six Mk-82 bombs or "Snakeye" retarded bombs, or six Mk 20 "Rockeye" dispensers, four CBU-52B, CBU- 58B, or CBU-71B dispensers, a single Mk-84 (907 kg) bomb F- 15E can carry also "smart" weapons, CBU-10 laser quided bomb based on the Mk 84 bomb, CBU-12, CBU-15, or another, laser, electro-optical, or infra-red guided bomb (including AGM-G5 "Marerick" air-to-ground) missiles.

Conformal Fuel Tanks were introduced with the F-15C in order to extend the range of the aircraft. The CFTs are carried in pairs and fit closely to the side of the aircraft, with one CFT underneath each wing. By designing the CFT to minimize the effect on aircraft aerodynamics, much lower drag results than if a similar amount of fuel is carried in conventional external fuel tanks. This lower drag translate directly into longer aircraft ranges, a particularly desirable characteristic of a deep strike fighter like the F-15E. As with any system, the use of CFTs on F-15s involves some compromise. The weight and drag of the CFTs (even when empty) degrades aircraft performance when compared to external fuel tanks, which can be jettisoned when needed (CFTs are not jettisonable and can only be downloaded by maintenance crews). As a result, CFTs are typically used in situations where increased range offsets any performance drawbacks. In the case of the F-15E, CFTs allow air-to-ground munitions to be loaded on stations which would otherwise carry external fuel tanks. In general, CFT usage is the norm for F15Es and the exception for F-15C/D's.

The F-15E Strike Eagle’s tactical electronic warfare system [TEWS] is an integrated countermeasures system. Radar, radar jammer, warning receiver and chaff/flare dispenser all work together to detect, identify and counter threats posed by an enemy. For example, if the warning receiver detects a threat before the radar jammer, the warning receiver will inform the jammer of the threat. A Strike Eagle’s TEWS can jam radar systems operating in high frequencies, such as radar used by short-range surface-to-air missiles, antiaircraft artillery and airborne threats. Current improvements to TEWS will enhance the aircraft’s ability to jam enemy radar systems. The addition of new hardware and software, known as Band 1.5, will round out the TEWS capability by jamming threats in mid-to-low frequencies, such as long-range radar systems. The equipment is expected to go into full production sometime in late 1999.

The Defense Department plans to sustain production of the F-15E for at least two more years, purchasing three aircraft in both FY 1998 and FY 1999. Without FY 1998 procurement, the F-15 production line would begin to close in the absence of new foreign sales. These six additional aircraft, together with the six aircraft approved by Congress in FY 1997, will sustain the present 132-plane combat force structure until about FY 2016. Under current plans by 2030, the last F-15C/D models will have been phased out of the inventory and replaced by the F-22.
Service Life

Designed in the 1960s and built in the 1970s, the F-15A - D aircraft has now been in service for over twenty years. While the Eagle's aerodynamics and maneuverability are still on a par with newer aircraft, quantum leaps in integrated circuit technology have made the original F-15 avionics suite obsolete. The objective of the Multi-Stage Improvement Program (MSIP) was to set the Eagle in step with today's vastly improved information processing systems. Some F-15C/D aircraft (tail numbers 84-001 and higher) came off the assembly line with MSIP in place. All F-15A/B/C/D aircraft produced before 84-001 will receive the MSIP retrofit at the F-15 depot. Improvements incorporated via MSIP vary between F-15A/B and F-15C/D aircraft; the C/D MSIP has been completed. However, all air-to-air Eagles gain improved radar, central computer, weapons and fire control, and threat warning systems.

The purpose of the F-15 Multi-stage Improvement Program (MSIP) was to provide maximum air superiority in a dense hostile environment in the late 1990s and beyond. All total, 427 Eagles received the new avionics upgrades. Along with later model production aircraft, these retrofitted aircraft would provide the Combat Air Forces (CAF) with a total MSIP fleet of 526 aircraft. The MSIP upgraded the capabilities of the F-15 aircraft to included a MIL-STD-1760 aircraft/weapons standard electrical interface bus to provide the digital technology needed to support new and modern weapon systems like AMRAAM. The upgrade also incorporated a MIL-STD-1553 digital command/response time division data bus that would enable onboard systems to communicate and to work with each other. A new central computer with significantly improved processing speed and memory capacity upgraded the F-15 from 70s to 90s technology, adding capacity needed to support new radar and other systems. The original Eagle had less computer capacity than a 1990s car. Some of the work prefaced the addition of the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, adding space, power, and cooling that would allow the new avionics to run in the harsh environments in which the Eagle operates. The new programmable armament control set (PACS) with a multi-purpose color display (MPCD) for expanded weapons control, monitoring, and release capabilities featured a modern touch screen that allowed the pilot to talk to his weapons. A data transfer module (DTM) set provided pre-programmed information that customized the jet to fly the route the pilot had planned using mission planning computers. An upgrade to the APG-63 Radar for multiple target detection, improved electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) characteristics, and non-cooperative target recognition capability enabled the pilot to identify and target enemy aircraft before he was detected or before the enemy could employ his weapons. An upgrade of the advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), that carried up to eight missiles, represented an improvement that complimented the combat-proven AIM-7 Sparrow by giving the pilot capability to engage multiple targets to launch and leave, targeting and destroying enemy fighters before they could pose a threat. The upgraded Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and an enhanced internal countermeasures set (ICS) on F-15C/D models improved threat detection and self-protection radar jamming capability that allowed pilots to react to threat and to maneuver to break the lock of enemy missiles.

The F-15 initial operational requirement was for a service life of 4,000 hours. Testing completed in 1973 demonstrated that the F-15 could sustain 16,000 hours of flight. Subsequently operational use was more severely stressful than the original design specification. With an average usage of 270 aircraft flight hours per year, by the early 1990s the F-15C fleet was approaching its service-design-life limit of 4,000 flight hours. Following successful airframe structural testing, the F-15C was extended to an 8,000-hour service life limit. An 8,000-hour service limit provides current levels of F-15Cs through 2010. The F-22 program was initially justified on the basis of an 8,000 flight hour life projection for the F-15. This was consistent with the projected lifespan of the most severely stressed F-15Cs, which have averaged 85% of flight hours in stressful air-to-air missions, versus the 48% in the original design specification.

Full-scale fatigue testing between 1988 and 1994 ended with a demonstration of over 7,600 flight hours for the most severely used aircraft, and in excess of 12,000 hours on the remainder of the fleet. A 10,000-hour service limit would provide F-15Cs to 2020, while a 12,000-hour service life extends the F-15Cs to the year 2030. The APG-63 radar, F100-PW-100 engines, and structure upgrades are mandatory. The USAF cannot expect to fly the F-15C to 2014, or beyond, without replacing these subsystems. The total cost of the three retrofits would be under $3 billion. The upgrades would dramatically reduce the 18 percent breakrate prevalent in the mid-1990s, and extend the F-15C service life well beyond 2014.

The F-15E structure is rated at 16,000 flight hours, double the lifetime of earlier F-15s.
Foreign Military Sales

The Eagle has been chosen by three foreign military customers to modernize their air forces. Japan has purchased and produces an air-to-air F-15 known as the F-15J. Israel has bought F-15A, B, and D aircraft from USAF inventories and is currently obtaining an air-to-ground version called the F-15I. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has purchased F-15C and D aircraft and acquired the air-to-ground F-15S.
F-15I Thunder

Israel has bought F-15A, B, and D aircraft from USAF inventories and is currently obtaining an air-to-ground version called the F-15I. The two seat F-15I, known as the Thunder in Israel, incorporates new and unique weapons, avionics, electronic warfare, and communications capabilities that make it one of the most advanced F-15s. The F-15I, like the US Air Force's F-15E Strike Eagle, is a dual-role fighter that combines long-range interdiction with the Eagle's air superiority capabilities. All aircraft are to be configured with either the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 engines by direct commercial sale; Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpits; an Elbit display and sight helmet (DASH) system; conformal fuel tanks; and the capability to employ the AIM-120, AIM-7, AIM-9, and a wide variety of air-to-surface munitions.

F-15 production, which began in 1972, has been extended into 1999 by orders F-151 aircraft for Israel. Israel selected the F-15I in January, 1994 after evaluating a variety of aircraft to meet its defense needs. The government of Israel initially ordered 25 F-15I Thunders, powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 low bypass turbofan engine. This foreign military sale was valued at $1.76 billion dollars. The Israeli Air Force received the first two of 25 F-15I aircraft in January 1998. On 22 September 1998 the US Department of Defense announced the sale to the Government of Israel of 30 F-15I aircraft; 30 AN/APG-70 or AN/APG-63(V)1 radar; and 30 each LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods. Associated support equipment, software development/integration, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related requirements to ensure full program supportability will also be provided. The estimated cost was $2.5 billion.
F-15S Peace Sun IX

F-15 production has been extended into 1999 by orders for 72 F-15S aircraft for Saudi Arabia. Peace Sun IX is an F-15 Foreign Military Sales production program, with development, to deliver 72 F-15S aircraft including support equipment, spares, and training to the Royal Saudi government. Saudi Arabia has purchased a total of 62 F-15C and D aircraft and later procured the F-15S, which is a two-seater aircraft based on the F-15E airframe, with downgraded avionics, downgraded LANTIRN pods, and a simplified Hughes APG-70 radar without computerised radar mapping. Four F-15S Eagles were delivered in 1995. On 10 November 1999 the last of 72 F-15S aircraft was delivered to Saudi Arabia. In November 1995 Saudi Arabia purchased 556 GBU-15 Guided Bomb Units (including six training units), 48 data link pods, personnel training and training equipment and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $371 million. Saudi Arabia would use the GBU-15s to enhance the stand off attack capability of the F-15S aircraft.
F-15J Peace Eagle
Japan has purchased and produced a total of 223 air-to-air F-15 known as the F-15J, assembled in Japan from largely indigenously manufactured sub-assemblies and equipment. The Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle is the principal air superiority fighter operated by the JASDF. These differ from the F-15C/D with the deletion of sensitive ECM, radar warning, and nuclear delivery equipment. The AN/ALQ-135 is replaced by indigenous J/ALQ-8 and the AN/ALR-56 RHAWS is replaced by J/APR-4.

Specifications
Primary Function Tactical fighter.
Contractor McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Power Plant Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners.
Thrust (C/D models) 25,000 pounds each engine ( 11,250 kilograms).
Length 63 feet, 9 inches (19.43 meters).
Height 18 feet, 8 inches (5.69 meters).
Wingspan 42 feet, 10 inches (13.06 meters)
Speed 1,875 mph (Mach 2.5-plus) at 45,000 ft.
Ceiling 65,000 feet (19,697 meters).
Maximum Takeoff Weight (C/D models) 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms).
Range 3,450 miles (3,000 nautical miles) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks.
Armament 1 - M-61A1 20mm multibarrel internal gun, 940 rounds of ammunition
4 - AIM-9L/M Sidewinder and
4 - AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles, or
combination of AIM-9L/M, AIM-7-F/M and AIM-120 missiles.
F-15C Weapon Loads
AIM AIM AIM AGM 20
7 9 120 88 MM
4 4

900
4 2 2
900
2 2 4
900
4 4
4 900

4 4 4 900


8
900
F-15E Weapon Loads

12 CBU-52 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-59 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-71 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-87 (6 with wing tanks)
12 CBU-89 (6 with wing tanks)
20 MK-20 (6 with wing tanks)

AGM AGM CBU CBU CBU GBU GBU GBU GBU
AIM AIM 20
65 130 87 89 97 10 12 28 15 JDAM 9 120 MM
4









4 500

1








4 500


8







4 500



8






4 500




8





4 500





4




4 500






8



4 500







2


4 500








1

4 500









4
4 500










4 4 500










2 6 500
# Systems AN/APG-63 X-band pulsed-Doppler radar [Hughes]
# AN/APG-70 X-band pulsed-Doppler radar [Hughes]
[ on F-15E, F-15C/D, F-15A/B MSIP]
# AN/APX-76 IFF interrogator [Hazeltine]

# AN/ALQ-135(V) internal countermeasures system
# AN/ALQ-128 radar warning [Magnavox] suite
# AN/ALR-56 radar warning receiver (RWR) [Loral]
# AN/ALE-45 chaff/flare dispensers [Tracor]

# AN/AVQ-26 Pave Tack
# AN/AXQ-14 Data Link System
# LANTIRN
Crew F-15A/C: one. F-15B/D: two.
Unit cost $FY98
[Total Program] $43 million.
Date Deployed July 1972
Production
[for USAF] 360 F-15A/B
408 F-15C
61 F-15D
203 F-15E
Total Inventory 275 F-15A/B
410 F-15C/D
203 F-15E

Approximately 100 F-15s are in storage @ AMARC
PMAI
Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory 45 F-15A/B Air National Guard Air Defense Force
45 F-15A/B Air National Guard
126 F-15C/D Air Combat Command
90 F-15C/D Pacific Air Forces
36 F-15C/D US Air Forces Europe
342 F-15A/C TOTAL

66 F-15E Air Combat Command
18 F-15E Pacific Air Forces
48 F-15E US Air Forces Europe
132 F-15E TOTAL

Only combat-coded aircraft and not development/ test, attrition reserve, depot maintenance, or training aircraft.
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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 /
GMTI / MMTI / ESM
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Done as a request for :icondrivanmoffitt:

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

GMod.

If you like what I do and want so show some support, drop by my Patreon: www.patreon.com/lonefirewarrio…
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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: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mid6Jk…

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: www.patreon.com/lonefirewarrio…
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After a few weeks without a computer again I went a little insane. This is the culmination of my recently acquired insanity.

Forgive the compression and lack of usual visual flair, I just wanted to get the idea out.

Garry's Mod

If you like what I do and want to show some support, drop by my Patreon: www.patreon.com/lonefirewarrio…
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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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A SPARTAN Recon team is to eliminate a High Value Target during the Insurrectionist War.
A SPARTAN soldier aiming his SRS-99AM loaded 14.5x114mm Anti-Materiel round.

Garry's Mod
GIMP
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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:

:icondimitry-dagofinski:

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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Battlefield 3 fan art
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BATTLEFIELD 3 FAN ART
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Engineer y support del battlefield 3 teniendo un agradable paseo en jeep. Tambien hay otras 5 referecias de videojuegos, ¿puedes encontrarlas todas? miles de premios para los ganadores*


(*)el numero exacto de premios puede ser 0


Engineer and support from Battlefield 3 having a nice trip in a jeep. They are also other 5 videogames references, can you find all of them? thousands of prizes for the winners *


(*) the exact number of prizes may be 0
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