Special upgrade makes stealth fighter F-22 Raptor increase in strength

Stealth fighter F-22 Raptor will significantly extend the range while the stealth ability is very little affected.

F-22 Raptor stealth fighter may be decommissioned by the US Air Force (USAF) in the near future, but this will certainly not happen immediately but will be done gradually.

American experts believe that the F-22 will be in service with the US Air Force for at least another decade, which is the time for the USAF to test and begin production of the next-generation stealth fighter (NGAD).

This means that the F-22 Raptor has to undergo a modernization process. The ability to wage a long-range battle over the Pacific requires fighter aircraft that do not require additional refueling.

The F-22 is a 5th-generation fighter, so it is almost impossible to wear anything outside because doing so will increase the area of ​​​​the radar reflection. That means stealth technology will not work.

The US is thinking of a scenario in which the F-22 Raptor can be used for military action in the skies over the Asia-Pacific region when the aircraft will have to operate away from the base.

Meeting the above requirements, a new type of aerodynamically integrated fuel tank will provide the necessary advantage for the F-22 Raptor. Signals of the program being carried out appeared in the second quarter of 2022.

Then, in the US defense budget report for the fiscal year 2023, interesting upgrades for the F-22 stealth fighter were mentioned. Specifically, the Raptor will have new “invisible” fuel tanks under the wings.

The Raptor’s fuel tank currently has a capacity of 600 gallons. However, they have a negative effect to some extent and somewhat reduce combat ability. New equipment designed for the F-22 is intended to partially compensate for this shortcoming.

Observers say that new enemy technologies give rise to the need to increase the range of attack for the F-22. To ensure mission success, the F-22 Raptor must have increased range “while maintaining survivability.”

US military experts say a new, more stealthy design for under-wing fuel tanks will be created. In addition, the mounts will also be upgraded, their “stealth” ability will also be redone.

Significant changes will occur when the aerodynamically integrated fuel tank is pushed out of the fuselage. In the future, work needs to be done to create a smooth surface, which is important for the normal operation of stealth technology.

Analysts believe that this will be done using pneumatic technology on the mounts, allowing precise control of the operation, in addition to providing a smooth, completely “clean” surface of the reflected signal.

Of course, the 2023 budget doesn’t just bring about these changes. Most likely, the US will invest money in the development and integration of other weapons for the Raptor.

Currently, the F-22 stealth fighter does not have an active electronic warfare weapon, and new types of under-wing devices will most likely be used to integrate such equipment.

Others speculated that the F-22 Raptor would be able to use the long-awaited photogrammetry. That is, a passive means of detecting and targeting enemy aircraft. This weapon will also be provided in the form of a pod hanging under the wings.

Obviously, the retirement of the F-22 Raptor will happen, but it is the long-term future, not the immediate, the US does not want to give up this project lightly, because the fighter still plays an important role. in defending Washington’s position in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first time the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter landed on Japanese soil took place a few weeks ago and its deployment time will be long to replace the F-15 Eagle as an effective deterrent. while sending pledges to Washington’s allies.

The above development will probably cause US adversaries to strengthen their countermeasures through the domestic production of fifth-generation stealth fighters, as well as the addition of advanced anti-aircraft missile complexes.

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