Warplanes: F-22s Aimed at North Korea


p> August 10, 2007: The U.S. Air Force has assigned a squadron of F-22 fighters to Elmendorf air force base in southern Alaska. This puts 24 F-22s as close to North Korea as possible (for aircraft stationed in North America). Earlier this year F-22s were sent, for the first time, across the Pacific, to Japan, for a training exercise. About half the 183 F22s to be built, have been delivered already.


Because of its extraordinary performance characteristics, and stealthiness, the F-22 will be used in place of the F117, to launch the attacks on enemy air defense systems. Once those defenses are damaged, less stealthy aircraft can go in with less risk of getting shot down. The F-22 is also the most effective air-to-air fighter available.


The 36 ton F-22 has internal bomb bays, to enhance stealthiness. Thus it can carry two half ton smart bombs, or eight 250 pound SDBs (ground penetrating Small Diameter Bombs), in addition to internally carried two heat seeking and, of fewer bombs are carried,  six radar-homing air-to-air missiles. Using the external hard points, which makes the aircraft more visible on radar, an F-22 can carry about four tons of bombs and missiles.


The F22 has the most advanced radar and electronic warfare gear of any jet fighter. When you include the cost of research and development, each F-22 ends up costing nearly $400 million. But for pilots in combat, it's money well spent.