Warplanes: July 28, 2002


The US Air Force is starting to aggressively market the F-22 Raptor to export customers as a bomber! The Air Force notes that the F-22, armed with the new Small Diameter Smart Bomb and fitted with a new synthetic-aperture radar, would be a superb killer of tanks, bunkers, and bridges. With its ability to cruise at supersonic speeds, it could reach the target area quickly, allowing fewer planes to cover a wide area with on-call target services. If any enemy fighter tried to interfere with the Raptor's mission, the Raptor would win the fight as it retains air-to-air weapons and is the best fighter in the world (and will be for decades). The FB-22 design is moving beyond just a concept, and envisions a bomb load three times as great as the F-22 and a range of three times as far (up to 1,600 miles).--Stephen V Cole


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