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    Home未分类The Initial Aerial Triumphs Of The F-22 Raptor: Inflated Balloons Rather Than...

    The Initial Aerial Triumphs Of The F-22 Raptor: Inflated Balloons Rather Than Combat Aircraft

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    The media has been focusing on the recent engagements of the F-22 Raptor, but it’s important to take a step back and consider the journey and strategic implications of this fifth-generation fighter jet. Over the past seven years, the F-22 program has faced numerous cuts, delays, and restructuring, making it difficult for observers to keep track of its progress. Originally, the plan was to buy 750 airplanes, but this number has decreased over time to 650, then 600, and then 442. With the Quadrennial Defense Review, the planned inventory is down to 339, just slightly more than three wings’ worth. As the number of planes being purchased has gone down, the unit cost has gone up. Some members of Congress are concerned that the F-22 may become too expensive to justify its existence. Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio) recently expressed his worries during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, stating that “We must be vigilant that the program not go the way of previous programs” like the B-2, “where the sticker shock overwhelms the capability improvements.”

    Gifu, Japan – Nov 10, 2019. JASDF Mitsubishi F-15J Eagle flying for display at Gifu Air Base (RJNG). The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan.

    The recent downings by the F-22, the first time the jet has been employed in an air-to-air kill capacity, did not involve the advanced enemy fighter jets it was originally designed to combat but rather targets of an unconventional nature. The incidents have sparked a discourse on the current role and practical utility of the Raptor in contemporary warfare.

    Conceived in the 1980s as a replacement for the F-15 and F-16, the F-22 brought to the skies a culmination of lessons learned in air combat over half a century, manifest in its stealth capabilities, supercruise speed, and unparalleled situational awareness.

    On February 4, an F-22 fighter jet shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon. The incident occurred during a time of increased tension between the United States and China. The Chinese government has been operating a network of surveillance balloons across five continents, but it is not yet known what exactly the F-22 shot down over Alaskan airspace on Friday. The Pentagon provided this information.

    “We’re calling this an object, because that’s the best description we have right now,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. “We do not know who owns it, whether it’s state-owned or corporate-owned or privately owned. We just don’t know.”

    Despite the advanced capabilities that make the F-22 a formidable asset within the U.S. military’s arsenal, its lack of combat ‘kills’ before these events is notable but not altogether surprising. The F-22 arrived at a time when state adversaries with substantial air power were not engaged in direct combat with U.S. forces, diminishing the potential for traditional air-to-air encounters. Its deterrent effect, however, has remained a critical component of U.S. military strategy, and its utility in air-to-ground attacks has been proven in various theaters, such as the operations against Islamic State assets in Syria during the 2010s.

    related images you might be interested.

    CAMP SPRINGS, MD, USA – SEPTEMBER 19, 2015: The F-22 performs during the 2015 Joint Base Andrews Air Show held at Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs Maryland.
    Singapore – Feb 10, 2018. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor aircraft belong to the US Air Force sits on display in Changi, Singapore.
    CAMP SPRINGS, MD, USA – SEPTEMBER 19, 2015: The F-22 performs during the 2015 Joint Base Andrews Air Show held at Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs Maryland.

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