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F-22 scores direct hit in supersonic, high-altitude JDAM drop

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June 12, 2006

F-22 scores direct hit in supersonic, high-altitude JDAM drop

F-22 scores direct hit in supersonic, high-altitude JDAM drop

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June 13, 2006 The U.S. Air Force F-22 Combined Test Force team of Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Air Force pilots continued to successfully push the F-22 Raptor's capability last week when it released a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) munition at supersonic speed, high altitude and standoff range. Flying at an altitude of 50,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.5, the F-22 released a GPS-aided, 1,000-pound JDAM from a range of 24 nautical miles, destroying a ground target in the aircraft's fastest and highest JDAM delivery to date. The ability to release a munition at supersonic speeds and standoff ranges greatly enhances the aircrew's survivability against heavily defended targets.

"We've already demonstrated the airplane's ability to operate with virtual impunity in the air-to-air realm, but successfully attacking a ground target at this speed, altitude and range shows that to be true in the air-to-ground mission as well," said pilot Lt. Col. Raymond "Buzz" Toth following the test. "The Raptor is ready to fight and is uniquely capable of supporting Air Force and Joint Command objectives against any enemy."

Success of the standoff delivery is due in part to the Raptor avionics' ability to compute an accurate Launch Acceptability Region (LAR), the area in the sky from which the pilot can release a weapon to successfully attack the desired target. The LAR supersonic algorithm, developed by a Boeing collaboration of F-22, Phantom Works and JDAM engineers, factors in navigation, weather, target and weapon information.

"The LAR algorithm developed by this interdisciplinary team offers the robust capability of updating to the latest weapon performance without requiring a new software build," said Paul Bay, vice president and F-22 program manager at Boeing. "

The F-22 is capable of dominating any adversary through an unmatched combination of stealth, supercruise speed, agility and a complete view of the battlespace provided by an advanced sensor suite. The Raptor will enable combat commanders to change the way wars are fought over the next 40 years.

A GPS-aided, near-precision weapon, the JDAM guidance kit is capable of guiding inventory bombs ranging from 500 to 2,000 pounds, as demonstrated in extensive U.S. Air Force and Navy global operations.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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