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Tactical Aircraft: Comparison of F-22A and Legacy Fighter Modernization Programs

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Congressional rept.

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The Air Force s F-22A Raptor is the only operational tactical aircraft incorporating a low observable stealth and highly mamaneuverable airframeadvanced integrated avionics, and a supercruise engine capable of sustained supersonic flight. The F-22A acquisition program began in 1991 with an intended development period of 12 years and planned a procurement of 648 aircraft. The system development and demonstration period eventually spanned more than 14 years, during which time threats, missions, and a number of requirements changed. As a result, development costs substantially increased and procurement quantities greatly decreased resulting in the procurement of only 179 aircraft, plus 9 development aircraft. The final aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in May 2012. In 2003, the Air Force established a modernization program primarily to develop and insert new and enhanced ground attack capabilities that were considered necessary to meet current and future threats. The F-22A modernization program is broken into four phases, known as increments, with each phase being made up of multiple projects Increment 2, the initial phase of modernization, addressed some requirements deferred from the acquisition program and added new ground attack capability. Increment 3.1 began fielding in November 2011 and adds enhanced radar and enhanced air-to-ground attack capabilities. It has been fielded. Increment 3.2A is a software upgrade to increase the F-22A s electronic protection, combat identification, and capability to receive data over DOD s Link-16 data network. Increment 3.2B is expected to increase the F-22A s geolocation, electronic protection, and Intra Flight Data Link capabilities and integrate AIM-9X and AIM-120D missiles.

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  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft

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