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Airplanes and history. The maiden flight of the F-22 Raptor: it was on September 7, 1997

Rome, Italy - The first operating utilization will happen later on September 22, 2014

The first test flight of the F-22 Raptor fighter airplane with stealth features, destined to replace F-15, happened on September 7, 1997, but its opeating utilization occurred on September 22, 2014 for a bombing of ISIS positions in Syria. In the '80s to face the threat of the new SU-27, USAF decided to manufacture a new ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) to replace F-15, equipped with fly-by wire control systems, more efficient engines and stealth capacities similar to those of F-117. In October 1986, a year after the production entry of SU-27, the projects by Lockheed-Boeing and Northrop-McDonnell Douglas were selected, whose respective prototypes were named YF-22 Lightning II and YF-23 Black Widow. The YF-22 prototype flew for the first time on September 27, 1990 and the following year it was the winner. From YF-22 to F-22 there were changes to improve performance, wings, tail and many other parts. The F-22 has two Pratt & Whitnery F119-PW-100 engines, with a 35,000 lbs as thurst. It is equipped with a Bae Systems AN/ALR-94 radar to identify the enemy radar signals and a Northrop Grumman AN/APG-77 radar for acquisition of targets at long distance up to 150 miles, it is extremely difficult to intercept and localize thanks to particular devices; it can transport bombs and missile, besides to have a M61A2 Vulcan rotaring cannon from 20mm with 480 shots. After a series of reductions in terms of number of F-22 to produce (whose name Lightning will pass to F-35) from an initial valuation of 750 arrived to 183 units funded by the Congress in 2006, for a total cost of USD 62 bn and 339 million per model. The last one has been produced on December 13, 2011. In contrast with previous units as F-16, the Congress forbade the export due to the extremely advanced technologies that would have been used against USA, reason for which many Countries have opted for the F-35.

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