Lockheed Martin FB-22

The Lockheed Martin FB-22 was a proposed bomber aircraft intended to enter service with the United States Air Force. Its design was derived from the F-22 Raptor. The FB-22 was canceled following the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.

FB-22
Role Stealth bomber
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Status Design proposal, canceled
Developed from Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

Design and development

In 2001, Lockheed Martin began studies on the feasibility of the FB-22 as the company sought to leverage the design and capabilities of the F-22 Raptor. Experience gleaned from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan demonstrated the value of a bomber that could remain in theatre in the absence of surface-to-air missiles. The F-22, while designed as an air superiority fighter, embodied some degree of air-to-ground attack ability.[1]

One primary objective of the internal studies was to exploit the F-22's air-to-ground capability while keeping costs to a minimum. To this end, the company devised several concepts that saw significant structural redesigns with respect to the fuselage and wings, while retaining much of the F-22's avionics. With an early design, Lockheed Martin lengthened and widened the fuselage to increase the internal weapons load; it was later found that doing so would have incurred a cost penalty of 25–30% in weight, materials and development. Instead, the company left the fuselage intact as it enlarged the wing to a more delta shape.[2][3] The wing, which was around three times that of the F-22, enabled the storage of a much larger amount of weapons and fuel. Various figures give the payload of the FB-22 to be 30 to 35 Small Diameter Bombs; this is compared to the F-22's payload of eight of such 250-pound (110 kg) weapons. Unlike the F-22, the FB-22 was designed to be able to carry bombs up to 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) in size. With stealth, the aircraft's maximum combat load was to have been 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg); without stealth, 30,000 pounds (13,600 kg).[1][2]

Range was almost tripled from 600 miles (970 km) to more than 1,600 miles (2,600 km), which could have been extended by external fuel tanks. This placed the aircraft in the category of a regional bomber, comparable to that of the F-111, as it was intended to replace the F-15E Strike Eagle and take over some of the missions of the B-1 and B-2.[1][4] According to Air Force Magazine, the combination of range and payload of the FB-22 would have given the concept a comparable effectiveness to that of the B-2 armed with 2,000-pound (910 kg) bombs.[5] The design could also have been adapted to use a more powerful engine, such as the F-35 Lightning II's Pratt & Whitney F135, or the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136.[6] While an early FB-22 concept featured no tailplanes, the design incorporated twin tailplanes and likely would have fixed engine nozzles as opposed to the thrust vectoring nozzles on the F-22.[7] The FB-22 was to have a maximum speed of Mach 1.92.[3] Because the aircraft was to emphasize air-to-ground capability while maintaining stealth characteristics, the FB-22 would have lacked dogfighting capability.[5]

One aspect that arose during the early stages of the design process was the consideration that Boeing would be responsible for the final assembly of the aircraft. At the time, Lockheed Martin was making the mid-fuselage at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas, while assembling the plane in Marietta, Georgia. However, since Boeing was responsible for the manufacturing of parts of the fuselage and more crucially, the wings—as well as integrating the avionics—it was considered prudent to give final assembly to Boeing.[4]

Other than the wings, the aircraft would have retained much of the design of the F-22. This included 80% of the avionics, software, and flight controls. This commonality would have also significantly reduced the costs of software integration.[1]

In February 2003, during a session with the House Committee on Armed Services, Air Force Secretary James Roche said that he envisioned a force of 150 FB-22s would equip the service.[8] In 2004, Lockheed Martin officially presented the FB-22 to the Air Force to meet its requirement for a potential strategic bomber as an interim solution to become operational by 2018.[9][10] Because of the work already done on the F-22, the cost of developing the FB-22 was estimated to be as low as 25% of developing a new bomber,[2] with development expected to be US$5–7 billion (2002 dollars), including the airframe cost of US$1 billion (2003 dollars).[4][11] It was later revealed that six different versions of the bomber were submitted, as targets, payload and range had yet to be defined.[2] In addition, as a stealth bomber, the FB-22 was designed to carry weapons externally while maintaining stealth with the assistance of detachable and faceted pods dubbed "wing weapons bay"; previously, an aircraft could only remain stealthy if it carried its weapons internally.[2] However, the FB-22 in its planned form appears to have been canceled in the wake of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review and subsequent developments as the Department of Defense favored a bomber with much greater range.[12][13][14]

Specifications (proposed)

Data from Miller,[7] Tirpak[2]

  • Crew: 2 (pilot, co-pilot)
  • Max takeoff weight: 120,000 lb (54,431 kg)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.92
  • Range: 2,100 mi (3,300 km, 1,800 nmi) (combat radius)[2]
  • g limits: 6 g

Armament

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References

  1. ^ a b c d Wolfe, Frank (26 April 2002). "Roche: FB-22 Concept Leverages Avionics, Radar Work On F-22". Defense Daily. 20 (214). Archived from the original on 4 January 2013 – via HighBeam Research.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Tirpak, John A. (January 2005). "The Raptor as Bomber" (PDF). Air Force (magazine). 88 (1): 28–33. ISSN 0730-6784. OCLC 5169825. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Trimble, Stephen (4–10 January 2005). "Lockheed refines FB-22 concept". Flight International. 167 (4966): 12.
  4. ^ a b c Whittle, Richard (30 July 2002). "Air Force Considers F-22 Bomber; Lockheed Would Be Prime Contractor". Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b Tirpak, John A. (October 2002). "Long Arm of the Air Force" (PDF). Air Force Magazine. 85 (10): 28–34. ISSN 0730-6784. OCLC 5169825. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  6. ^ Sweetman, Bill. "Smarter Bomber". Popular Science, 12 June 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  7. ^ a b Miller 2005, pp. 76–77.
  8. ^ Cortes, Lorenzo (28 February 2003). "Air Force Leaders Address Potential For 150 FB-22s". Defense Daily. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  9. ^ Doyle, Andrew; La Franchi, Peter; Morrison, Murdo; Sobie, Brendan (2–8 March 2004). "FB-22 proposed to US Air Force". Flight International. 165 (4923): 21.
  10. ^ Hebert, Adam J (November 2004). "Long-Range Strike in a Hurry" (PDF). Air Force (magazine). 87 (11): 26–31. ISSN 0730-6784. OCLC 5169825. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  11. ^ Cortes, Lorenzo (10 March 2003). "Air Force Issues Clarification On FB-22, FY '11 Delivery Date Possible". Defense Daily. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  12. ^ "Quadrennial Defense Review Report" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense, 6 February 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  13. ^ Hebert, Adam J (October 2006). "The 2018 Bomber and Its Friends" (PDF). Air Force Magazine. 89 (10): 24–29.
  14. ^ "Return of the Bomber, The Future of Long-Range Strike" (PDF). Air Force Association, February 2007. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  • Miller, Jay. Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor, Stealth Fighter. Aerofax, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-158-X.

External links

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Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a major unit of Lockheed Martin with headquarters at Air Force Plant 4 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is based in Marietta, Georgia and Palmdale, California. Palmdale is home to the Advanced Development Programs (ADP), informally known as the "Skunk Works.” Various subassemblies are produced at locations in Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The company draws upon the history of the former Lockheed and Martin Marietta corporations. While the formation of Lockheed Martin in 1995 was a merger of equals, by far the greatest contribution to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was the product portfolio of Lockheed. This included the C-5, C-130, and C-141 transports as well as the F-2, F-16 (purchased from General Dynamics), F-117, F-22, and F-35 Lightning II.

The most important project by far to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the F-35 Lightning II (JSF). Worth a potential $200bn the initial order book is approximately 3,000 excluding almost guaranteed export orders. The F-22 air dominance fighter, while smaller in terms of aircraft ordered, is still of great importance to Lockheed Martin (and partner Boeing).

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The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 before it formally entered service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite its protracted development and various operational issues, USAF officials consider the F-22 a critical component of the service's tactical air power. Its combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and situational awareness enable unprecedented air combat capabilities.Service officials had originally planned to buy a total of 750 ATFs. In 2009, the program was cut to 187 operational production aircraft due to high costs, a lack of clear air-to-air missions due to delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, and development of the more versatile F-35. The last F-22 was delivered in 2012.

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Lockheed YF-22

The Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22 is an American single-seat, twin-engine fighter aircraft technology demonstrator designed for the United States Air Force (USAF). The design was a finalist in the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter competition, and two prototypes were built for the demonstration/validation phase of the competition. The YF-22 won the contest against the Northrop YF-23, and entered production as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The YF-22 has similar aerodynamic layout and configuration as the F-22, but with differences in the position and design of the cockpit, tail fins and wings, and in internal structural layout.

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