The upgrades allow the Raptor to fire the AIM-9X Block 2 and AMRAAM missiles as well as enhanced software to operate together with the F-35.

F-22 Raptor new weapons software
F-22 Raptor to get advanced weapons and software.

The U.S. Air Force intends to provide the F-22 Raptor with new sensors and updated software to enable the stealthy fighter to fire new advanced weaponry, better identify targets and perform a wider scope of attack missions.

USAF will hire Raytheon to upgrade their F-22's short-range air-to-air Sidewinder missiles. Currently the Raptors are equipped with AIM-9X Block 1 Sidewinders, but the USAF intends to replace them with more advanced Block 2 version. In addition, Raytheon will allow the Raptor to fire the AIM-120D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The AMRAAM is a radar-guided "fire and forget" missile meant for all weather attacks, in contrast to the Sidewinder's head-seeking guidance system. The F-22 currently fires the AIM-120C AMRAAM, but Raytheon claims that the 120D has a 50 percent longer range, improved guidance system and a two-way data link so the pilot knows if the missile has found its mark or not.

"In the Summer of 2019, the F-22 fleet will begin to receive upgrades to its available weapons with the Increment 3.2B upgrade. This upgrade allows full functionality for the AIM-120D and AIM-9X Air-to-Air missiles as well as enhanced Air-to-Surface target location capabilities," said 1st Lt. Carrie J. Volpe, Action Officer, Air Combat Command Public Affair, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

Additional upgrades, such as new sensors, software upgrades, hardware adjustments, new antennas and two-day data links are also in the pipeline for both the F-22 and the F-35, to be installed by 2022. The Air Force intends to pair the planes together, with the F-22's aerial combat supremacy complementing the F-35's flexibility and precision.

"The F-22 is designed to fly in concert with F-35," said Lockheed Martin F-22 Program Deputy John Cottam to Scout Warrior. "Software Update 6 for the F-22 will give the Air Force a chance to link their sensor packages together. Sensors are a key component to its capability. As the F-22 gets its new weapons on board, you are going to need to upgrade the sensors to use the new weapons capability."

Thanks to the mid-life update, the world’s first fifth-generation fighter, will be able to consolidate air supremacy over China and Russia 5th Gen. stealth fighters and fly until 2060.

➤ You may also like RAPTOR 2.0

Written by Matteo Sanzani

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.