Actually F-22 has some glaring design flaw that is not being address even after so many years of testing. Right from the beginning, its payload stealthy internal payload is TOO SMALL.
The internal weapon carriage is too short. It should be design to carry missile that is at least 4.2 meter long instead of 3.7 meter long. The extra length permit the carrying of 4 to 5 HARM as well as RAMJET version of HARM.
A future super long range AAM with ramjet weighing 800 pounds could also be carried.
Due to the end of cold war, USAF is unlikely to be outnumbered greatly in any fight, neither is USAF going to face too many small MIG-29.
What USAF will face is a SMALLER number of more advance aircraft like SU-30/35/37 and MIG-31 as well as possibly Rafale and Eurofighter in rare situation.
Meaning you dun need to carry 6xsmall AAM (aka 345 pound AMRAAM). Its better to carry bigger longer range missile in smaller number.
By lengthening the basic F-22A by another 0.5meter (50cm), you can carry 4-5 ramjet HARM or RAMJET long range AAM and also JSSAM (without modification to shorten it).
Right mow there is lots of talk about SSB etc and 1000 pound JDAM. The real reason for such need is because many weapons are DESIGNED around the inherent LIMITATION of the miserly weapon carriage of f-22. Its like applying BAND AID to a flawed design. Smaller missile and bomb=smaller range, less powerful missile radar and less powerful bomb or less bomb or less missile !!
You can carry far more interesting weapon load by lengthening the carriage by 50cm and maybe increasing the height by 10 to 15 cm.
Such modification is FAR smaller than the modification required for producing the far more bigger and expensive FB-22 which has a different wing shape and aerodynamic. By lengthening the basic F-22a weapon bay, the fuslage will be corresponding bigger and longer, so is the wing and wing area. Lift can be improved and internal fuel can increase by another 3500 to 6000 pound due to bigger wings fuel tank and longer fuselage. I am sure fuel fraction will go up marginally as well as lift to drag ratio. You dun increase the size of the nose, pit or air intake. A slight increase in wing span will increase drag only slighly but the corresponding higher lift conpensate for it !!
As if this advantage is not enough, the slightly lengthened F-22 can also have a longer side internal weapon bay which currently can only carry the 3 meter AIM-9X. I am sure some clever engineering can increase the length to 3.66m and enable it to carry AMRAAM phaseIV missile or the future AARDM (advance air breathing dual range missile) missile. With the AADRM, the is no more need for AIM-9x and AMRAAM.
AADRM is about 3.7 meter long and 8 inch in diameter, roughly same weight as Meteor. Its NO ESCAPE ZONE is significantly higher than METEOR and its manevrability is same or better than most short range AAM like AIM-9X, Archer or even Python 5 or IRIS-T.
With the above mention modification, a basic F-22A could carry internally in clean configuration 2xAADRM (dual range, inclusive of short and medium range, missile). The main carriage can carry 4 to 6 10 inch diameter wingless super long range 800 pound ramhet AAM missile, probably longer range than the Novator KS-172, maybe 500km)
Now most of you would ARGUE that stealth fighter dun need long range AAM as you can engage opponent at medium range since you are largely invisible until 40km or so.
I argue otherwise. Improvement in IR imaging seeker and IRST technology as well as large scale employemnty of Ultra Wide band (UWB) AESA radar would in SU-37 , RAFALE second iteration and tranch2 and tranch3 Eurofighter would enable these 4.5 generation aircraft to detect F-22 at far longer range than what 3rd generation aircraft could manage. The radar technology of let say SU-37/Rafae RBE2 and let say a basic su-27 or mig-29 or mirage 2000 is VERY GREAT.
Hence its safer to engage your enemy at longer range.
Now the next argument. Some may say that the 185-250 km range of AADRM (about 450-500 pound) is suffice and there is no need for a 800 pound AAM.
Again I beg to differ. A larger missile can carry a more powerful miniature AESA radar couple to an LIDAR or IR optic for better acquisition capability against stealthy target or target with powerful and advance JAMMER. You need more signal processing too. This entail more electronic and larger or more DSP chip running in parallel.
A missile maximum range is its THEORITICAL range against a incoming slow moving and non maneuvrable traget like a TRANSPORT or AWAC. Against supercruise capable plane at high speed and flying away from you, you need missile that can out run the opponent plane. This shoten the effective range of your missile.
As a RULE, the NON EXCAPE ZONE (NEZ) of a missile is MUCH shorter than its maximum range. NEZ is probably only 25% of max range.
Hence a AIM-120A has a NEZ of probabl