The F-22 was approved initially to give the Air Force a next-generation stealthy aircraft to evade ever improving enemy air defenses. But a funny thing happened: Our enemies’ air defenses stopped improving.
Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, 2006
Good news for the folks back in Marietta, the F-22 has resumed operational test flights after a four-month grounding following several major malfunctions of the next-generation avionics. It seemed a little prophetic that the demonstration at this year’s Sun N Fun was cut short because of a master caution stemming from the avionics. It’s been a rocky road for the program, with sweeping defense cuts brought on by the Obama Administration being the final nail in the coffin for the world’s only 5th-generation fighter jet.
Personally, I’m divided on the issue–I appreciate the Raptor for everything it’s capable of, but I agree that it’s a bit of a beast and almost unnecessary when F-15 Eagles and F/A-18 Super Hornets can get the job done en masse. However, if (when?) WWIII finally breaks out, and dogfighting once again becomes a necessary form of warfare, it’ll be nice to have a fleet of stealth fighters that can out-turn and out-fire the enemy. That, and they just look so cool doing it.
Read the full story here (via Planenews)