Can the AIM-120A/B fit inside the F-22 weapon bay?

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disconnectedradical

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Unread post22 Dec 2022, 05:35

This is something that I’m trying to figure out, the way AIM-120C/D is packed in the F-22 bay seems to have little room especially vertically. Even though it was said that F-22 can carry 4 AIM-120A/B or 6 AIM-120C/D, I’m not sure if there’s actually room inside to fit the A/B’s larger tailspan? The A/B tail is 25” across while C/D is 17.6” across, so the difference is pretty significant. While AIM-120A/B won’t be carried, I’m trying to see the feasibility of what can fit inside an F-22 weapon bay that bay be bigger than an AMRAAM, which is why I’m curious about whether a 25” tailspan can be fitted.
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charlielima223

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Unread post22 Dec 2022, 11:24

disconnectedradical wrote:This is something that I’m trying to figure out, the way AIM-120C/D is packed in the F-22 bay seems to have little room especially vertically. Even though it was said that F-22 can carry 4 AIM-120A/B or 6 AIM-120C/D, I’m not sure if there’s actually room inside to fit the A/B’s larger tailspan? The A/B tail is 25” across while C/D is 17.6” across, so the difference is pretty significant. While AIM-120A/B won’t be carried, I’m trying to see the feasibility of what can fit inside an F-22 weapon bay that bay be bigger than an AMRAAM, which is why I’m curious about whether a 25” tailspan can be fitted.


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If I remember way back in the 90s playing those Janes flight sims the YF-22 was said to carry 4-6 amraams in the bay. That was before the F-22 EMD came out and before the AIM-120C came onto the scene.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post22 Dec 2022, 21:08

Well the original goal for EMD was 4 AIM-120A or 6 "compressed carriage" AIM-120C. This old graphic seems to indicate that but I don't know if it would actually fit because AIM-120A tailspan is quite a bit bigger than AIM-120C.

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Looking at pictures I don't know if there's enough room for the bigger fins.
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BDF

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Unread post23 Dec 2022, 18:25

6 compressed carriage AMRAAMs was not a formal ATF requirement. It was looked at but deferred until after down select mainly to give AMRAAM time to stabilize production and service entry. The AMRAAM SPO didn't want to add a further variant and risk running afoul with Congress. So the compressed carriage was a desired objective and was known to both competitors but not a formal requirement.
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wrightwing

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Unread post23 Dec 2022, 18:27

There's no situation where an A/B version would be carried, but they probably could manage with greatly reduced carriage.
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f119doctor

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Unread post23 Dec 2022, 23:22

Yes, the F-22 could carry 4 AIM-120A/B in the main weapons bay. Once the C variant became available, the standard configuration is 3 missiles per side of the main bay.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post24 Dec 2022, 03:04

I thought that was the original requirement but that’s surprising that it’s still possible physically because looking at pictures I’m not sure if there is enough room vertically to fit something with the AIM-120A/AB’s 25” tailspan in the bay, it looks right even with the C/D. But that might just be optical illusion. Basically I’m trying to see if the bay has the vertical room to fit a missile with a 25” fin or tail span.

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During downselect the goal may have been the 4 A/B but wonder if the design was changed in light of the compressed carriage C.
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35_aoa

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Unread post24 Dec 2022, 10:00

My understanding is that the clipped tail -120C re-design was specifically to allow for carriage in the F-22 bays. Could be wrong on that though. Like others have said, basically irrelevant at this point.
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Unread post24 Dec 2022, 18:21

35_aoa wrote:My understanding is that the clipped tail -120C re-design was specifically to allow for carriage in the F-22 bays. Could be wrong on that though. Like others have said, basically irrelevant at this point.


I heard two different things, that the AIM-120C has clipped fins specifically so that AMRAAM can fit in the F-22, or that the clipped fins is meant to increase internal AMRAAM load from 4 to 6. I’m just trying to confirm if the bays are able to fit the original AIM-120A/B, that was the original requirement but the pictures of the bays make me a bit doubtful. I’m just wondering if something with a 25” span can fit into the bay, because I’ve been toying with the maximum dimensions of a missile that can fit.

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