Warplanes: January 18, 2003


The American F-22 Raptor completed its first supersonic engagement on 5 Nov when it fired an AMRAAM missile at a drone that was approaching head-on and flying 15,000 feet higher. The unarmed missile passed within lethal distance and its warhead trigger registered the proper signal for it to have been a hit. The F-22 testing program has been going smoothly, but the aircraft is still very expensive and faces much opposition on that point from senior people in the Defense Department and (quietly) even the Air Force.--Stephen V Cole


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