Thursday, December 22, 2005

A swath of Hell

You can imagine if you are 60,000 feet doing mach 1.9 (about 1,400 mph) and these bombs are flying out of your airplane, the swath of hell you can produce going through a country saying "I'll take that target, and that target".
Lt. Col. David Krumm, F-22A instructor pilot

He's talking about the F-22A, America's newest fighter jet. And it's a beast, no doubt about it. In training the F-22A takes on and defeats 6 F-15's flown by our most experienced pilots.
Despite the favorable odds, the F-15s, still one of the world's most capable fighters, are no contest for the fastest radar-evading stealth jet ever built.

"The F-15 pilots, they are the world's best pilots," said Lt. Col. David Krumm, an F-22A instructor pilot. "When you take them flying against anyone else in the world, they are going to wipe the floor with them. It's a startling moment for them to come down here and get waylaid."
In spite of its air-to-air superiority, the F-22A is designed to be "especially" efficient in taking out ground-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
"In any air-to-air fight out there, it is a hopeless mismatch," Krumm said. "What we are more concerned with are countries that want to deny us air space by purchasing surface-to-air missiles and that kind of stuff. Those are very lethal to the way the U.S. deploys."

The Raptor is designed to be especially proficient at taking out such ground-launched missiles because of its speed and stealth. That's something military leaders say could be needed in a fight against potential enemies including Iran or North Korea.

"We want to kick the door down so the air space is clear for any (aircraft) you want to go in," Krumm said. "Someone could come in flying a Cessna 172 with a pistol if you wanted after we're done."

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