As defense strategies adapt to combating insurgencies rather than engaging in traditional aerial combat, the F-22 Raptor, the crown jewel of American air superiority, stands as a symbol of a bygone era. Despite the unparalleled capabilities of the Raptor, which was designed to make the F-15 Eagle obsolete, its production ended in 2011 with a total of 186 models, marking a tragic end. in what was previously predicted as a fleet of 750 aircraft. stealth combat.
The cessation of F-22 production reflects a broader strategic shift following the events of 9/11. With the United States engaged in an asymmetric war in the Middle East, the technological marvel that is the F-22, designed in the middle of the Cold War, seems too much to deal with non-state actors. actor and old military equipment of the enemies of these conflicts. .
Again, the strategic landscape has changed and now there are growing concerns about possible clashes with nearby competitors such as China and Russia; However, reviving the production of the discontinued F-22 faces many obstacles beyond the astronomical cost. The production infrastructure previously dedicated to the Raptor was repurposed for the F-35, fundamentally changing the defense manufacturing landscape and making the F-22’s redesign expensive and logistically complex.
As the Raptor’s operational life dwindles in the face of regular deployments, the focus turns to the upcoming Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. The F-22, so unique, represents an era when stealth and air dominance reigned undisputed on the aerial battlefield. As the United States positions itself for the future, it balances the maintenance of its F-22 fleet with the development of the future NGAD, aiming to maintain a delicate balance between immediate availability and long-term strategic planning in air war. .
- What is the F-22 Raptor?
The F-22 Raptor is a fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force. It is designed for air superiority and includes advanced stealth technology, high performance and sophisticated avionics.
- Why was the production of the F-22 Raptor stopped?
Production of the F-22 was halted due to a broader strategic shift in the US military, which began to focus on counter-terrorism operations rather than traditional air combat after 9/11. Furthermore, budgetary constraints and priorities made its production impossible.
- How many F-22 Raptors were produced?
A total of 186 F-22 Raptors were built before production ceased in 2011.
- What has changed in the strategic landscape affecting the F-22 Raptor?
The strategic landscape has returned to focus on concerns about potential conflicts with nearby competitors such as China and Russia, which may require capabilities similar to the F-22.
- What obstacles exist in continuing production of the F-22 Raptor?
Major obstacles include the cost of reviving production and the fact that previous production infrastructure has been repurposed for the F-35, making it expensive and logistically challenging.
- What is the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program?
The NGAD program is the United States Air Force’s initiative to develop a sixth-generation combat aircraft that will replace the current generation of air superiority fighters and expand air dominance capabilities.