F-22 sensor enhancement

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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by eloise » 12 Feb 2020, 10:39

Anyone want to guess what are those enhancement? GaN radar? DAS? IRST?


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by hornetfinn » 12 Feb 2020, 10:47

I think it could be anything from new software to existing sensors to some totally new hardware. I really doubt they'll go for GaN radar yet as AN/APG-77 is extremely capable as it is. Maybe new software to sensors and maybe upgraded processing capabilities to improve current sensor capabilties? Upgrading current MLD system for DAS like system would naturally be nice.

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by weasel1962 » 12 Feb 2020, 10:52

IRST has been discussed before


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by wrightwing » 12 Feb 2020, 10:59

Continuous radar upgrades are a given, but not what they're talking about. There have been a number of articles stating that F-22s were being upgraded with new passive sensors to work along with their radar. While it was never specified, that can only mean some sort of IR/EO sensor, whether it's an IRST or upgraded MLDs to a DAS-lite capability (or both.)

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by mixelflick » 12 Feb 2020, 14:30

If this has already happened, they've kept a real tight lid on it.

If it's going to happen, it's still good news. Given what the Navy is doing for its SH's (IR sensor on centerline tank) and what the USAF has already done with the Sniper pod, I'd guess it's an IR sensor. But porting over elements of the F-35 sensor suite would be even better, albeit I would think that would be a lot more obvious (i.e. the transparent "glass" chin mount)?

Also, aren't the 6 IR sensors baked into the F-35's skin visible as well? Whatever the case, it's good news and I'm sure Raptor pilots will welcome any additional sensors they can get..

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by disconnectedradical » 22 Feb 2020, 11:35

It looks like funding for F-22 sensor enhancement is a bit earlier than what's reported, since usually that was associated with MLU starting in 2024. But looking at budget document, it looks like they want to start installing in FY2022. I'm really hoping they can fit an IRST in there. Apparently there was space under the nose, but I remember reading an article from 2018 that it may be used for something else now. But if they can free up space elsewhere with smaller and newer avionics, maybe they can reclaim that for IRST? There's been talks that newer avionics racks are lighter and smaller and some space can also be saved by having thinner displays.

But FY2022 for installation seems a bit soon, and considering how long it's taking for Navy to fit an IRST on the F/A-18E/F, maybe the timeline doesn't seem right here? There also isn't any news for potential IRST vendors, so maybe the sensor enhancements in the budget document is for something else.

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