F-22 Raptor - Air Dominance for the 21st Century
No fighter in the world comes close to matching the F-22. By every measure, the Raptor represents extraordinary breakthroughs in maneuverability, stealth, sensor fusion - a wealth of parameters that define a new era in fighter capability.
The origins of the F-22 can be traced to the early 1970s, when the U.S. Air Force began studying concepts for replacement of its F-15 air superiority fighter. This became a formal program when the service requested proposals for an Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) in October 1985. The simple fact: New air and ground threats were looming that the F-15 would not be able to counter.
Now these threats will be defeated by the highly lethal and survivable F-22, with its balance of increased speed and range, enhanced offensive and defensive avionics, and reduced observability. The design of the F-22 also emphasizes reliability and maintainability of systems.
The F-22 is capable of flying and fighting against the most advanced integrated radar networks and dense surface-to-air missile environments in the world - now and in the future. A new generation of fighters is under development in several countries around the world today. The advent of these new fighters, as well as the continuing export of current air defense and adversary advanced fighter technology to the Third World, put the United States' ability to gain and maintain air superiority, much less air dominance, at increasing risk. The F-22 will retain the competitive edge through innovations and technologies no one can match.
In early 2001, the U.S. Air Force introduced a concept called Global Strike Task Force in which the F-22 Raptor is the enabler for all other forces. The success of any major air-land operation - today and in the future - depends primarily on the United States' preeminent ability to detect and destroy enemy fighters as well as attack high-value ground targets with precision weapons.
With the F-22, the era of U.S. air dominance - against all ground- and air-based threats - has begun.