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How F/A-22 Raptors Work

        Science | Modern

Raptor Radar
This F/A-22 is carrying two AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles in its side weapons bays.
This F/A-22 is carrying two AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles in its side weapons bays.
Photo courtesy DOD/Air Force Flight Test Center/Judson Brohmer

The radar system gives the F/A-22 first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability. That means it can see an enemy plane first, fire a missile and destroy the target without the other pilot ever knowing about it.

The AN/APG-77 radar was developed specifically for the F/A-22. It uses an active, electronically scanned antenna array of 2,000 transmitter/receiver modules. The radar provides pilots with detailed information about multiple threats before the adversary's radar ever detects the F/A-22.

Also, the radar can jam enemy electronics systems and communicate voice and data information over a secure link.

Countermeasures

To detect enemy activity, the F/A-22 carries a radar warning receiver and a missile-launch detector. If an enemy locks on with a heat-seeking or radar-guided missile, the F/A-22 can launch countermeasures. It releases flares to confuse heat seekers and sends out chaff, small pieces of reflective material, to disperse radar waves and confuse a radar-guided missile's tracking system.


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