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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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America's new $150 million* fighter jet is making its debut against ISIS

*That’s per plane.

Japan US F-22 Problems Predicted File photo of the F-22 taking off Source: Greg Baker

AS THE US intensifies air strikes against the Islamic State group, the world is getting its first look at the American military’s latest hardware.

Putting a price on the F-22 Raptor fighter jet is difficult, but whole programme cost around $70 billion, making each plane cost around $350 million, with a flyaway cost of around $150 million.

Getting it flight ready was a long and tortuous process that was, at one stage, shut down.

Now, though, it is providing what manufacturers Lockheed Martin call “air dominance for the next 40 years”.

Source: KINGJULIO3/YouTube

It is designed primarily for air-to-air combat but has some ground strike capabilities.

It flies faster than Mach-2, has a range of nearly 2,000 miles and can be equipped with an array of advance anti-aircraft missiles.

And the F-22 flies at supersonic speeds without using afterburners, a capability referred to as “supercruise.”

It is 62 feet in length and has a 44-foot wingspan.

Due to its speed, sensors and evasion systems, the aircraft can drop its guided bombs 15 miles from a target.

The plane can also also be used for target identification for missile strikes, the role it has likely performed in Syria.

Around $70 billion was spent to acquire 195 F-22s in a project that was first launched in 1988 and involved military contractors Boeing and engine-maker Pratt & Whitney as well as Lockheed Martin.

AFP contributed reporting

Read: US Navy record missile attack on Islamic State group and upload it on YouTube

Read: The flow of Europeans joining Islamic State ‘isn’t drying up’

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