Electronic Weapons: July 15, 2000

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The Air Force is looking for more jobs for the F-22 Raptor superiority fighter, hoping to up the production run from 333 to about 600. The first derivative will probably be a wild weasel replacement, since the existing F-22 can approach within 15 miles of the radar that controls Russia's S300 missiles without being detected. The problem is that this is the extreme range of the F-22's primary air-to-ground weapon, the 1,000 pound Joint Direct Attack Munition. The Joint Stand Off Weapon and the JASSM have enough range, but won't fit inside the F-22's weapons bay. If bombs are carried outside of the F-22, the aircraft could be detected at much longer ranges. The Navy and Air Force, however, have new anti-radiation programs to replace HARM, and these would work well with a F-22WW. The Air Force wants a variant of the F-22 (or new weapons for it) that would take over the deep strike job of the F-15E and F-117.--Stephen V Cole


 


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