There's no denying it, the F-22 is the most advanced fighter in the world. Stealthy, maneuverable, and lethal, it is without rival. Still, there may yet be a few kinks to work out. First, Defense Tech reports that the F-22, unlike many older fighters, was built without the ability to send data. Hard to believe, but F-22 pilots need to pass on all information through the comm system. Defense Tech's David Axe: "I asked the Raptor jockeys at Virginia's Langley Air Force Base about this last year and they shifted uncomfortably in their seats while feeding me some line about how voice comms work just fine." Axe says a fix is in the works. But according to Aviation Week & Space Technology (via Defense News), the F-22 is also having problems receiving data.
Essential electronic surveillance systems used by the F-22 may be too sensitive--overwhelmed by the density of U.S. and allied emitters--to be useful in the electronically polluted environment of Baghdad.
The good news is that the F-22 was not built to provide close air support in a war like that being fought in Iraq. Still, at $350 million each, it'd be nice if the plane was able to send and receive information about where the enemy is. It's still an amazing plane, and I'm sure the Air Force will get these early problems ironed out, but one shudders to think how much it might cost. f-22-19990601-f-0000l-001.jpg This thing doesn't have internet?
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