(The AEGIS Alliance) – The US Air Force along with Lockheed Martin validated several new weapons for the F-22 Raptor. It equips the stealth fighter with additional long-range precision attack technologies, a larger targeting envelope known as “field of regard” and also new networking tech which enabled improved, real-time “collaborative targeting between aircraft.
Here’s what the new Air Force F-22 two new weapons can do:
The Air Force has plans to use the F-22 for the long term, far into the 2060’s. The weapons upgrades have been engineered for building the technical foundation that is needed to assist in integrating a new generation of air-to-air missiles as they will be emerging in the next years.
These two new weapons have been tested and developed for several years now, and are advanced variations of existing weaponry. These are the AIM 120-D and AIM-9X. Upgrades of the variants of each are scheduled to be operation as soon as 2019.
The new AIM-9X shoots father and reaches a much bigger targeting envelope for the fighter pilots. A variety of display systems and helmets are being worked with. Developers at Lockheed have added the “off-boresight” targeting ability which enables pilots to attack enemies from wide ranges of additional new angles.
“It’s a much more agile missile with an improved seeker and a better field of regard. You can shoot over your shoulder. If enemies get behind me in a close-in fight, I have the right targeting on the plane to shoot them,” Vice President Ken Merchant, F-22, Lockheed, said to Warrior Maven during an interview.
Weapons developers of Raytheon AIM-9X have stated to Warrior that this Block 2 variant is adding a digital ignition safety device and a redesigned fuse that will enhance both in-flight safety and ground handling. Additionally Block 2 features electronic updates that enable significant enhancements. This includes a lock-on-after launch capability which uses a new weapon data-link that supports beyond the visual range engagements, according to a Raytheon statement.
The weapons upgrade also includes engineering to allow the F-22 to fire the AIM-120D. It uses a beyond visual range Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile or “AMRAAM”. It is designed for all weather and to work in night-time attacks. It’s a “fire and forget” missile using active transmit radar guidance, according to Raytheon data.
There are built in upgrades for the AIM-120D to work with previous AMRAAM missiles by increasing the attack range, internal measurement units, GPS navigation, and two-way data link, according to statements by Raytheon.
“The new AIM-120D uses a better seeker and is more maneuverable with better countermeasures,” Ken Merchant stated.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.