America’s closest allies all want to buy the F-22, but why doesn’t America sell it?
The US Air Force F-22 Raptor is still considered the most modern fifth generation fighter in the world, although it was born nearly 20 years before the F-35.
Japan is America’s most important ally in the Asia-Pacific region. With the Chinese neighbor, simultaneously developed two stealth fighter models, the J-20 and J-31, it made the Japanese leadership feel like sitting on a fire. Both countries are still in territorial disputes in the Senkaku island, or Diaoyu as the Chinese call it.
Japan has been interested in the F-22 for a long time and wants to buy this 5th generation super fighter. However, the F-22 is a “national treasure” of the US, banned from export, all parameters related to it are top secret. Federal law prohibits selling it to any foreign government.
Like Japan, Israel is America’s No. 1 ally in the Middle East. Israel has always received priority sales from the United States for the earliest and most modern weapons, from the F-15, F-16 and more recently the F-35.
Israel is even provided with source technology to upgrade and improve directly on the F-35I stealth fighter, to better match Israel’s requirements for the Middle East.
America’s closest allies all want to buy the F-22, but why doesn’t America sell it? Meanwhile, the F-35 Lightning II, the same 5th generation, born two decades later, is exported to a number of US allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East?
Lockheed Martin’s fifth generation stealth fighter, the F-22 Raptor, was in service at the end of the last century and is used only in the United States Air Force. The Raptor is considered to be the most advanced manned fighter in the world in the past, present and in the near future.
According to military experts, the F-22 Raptor is even more stealthy than the F-35. Initially, the F-22 was designed to deal with Soviet aircraft in air-to-air combat. As a result, it applies the latest achievements in 20th century stealth technology to reduce its detection of enemy radar.
The F-22 Raptor was originally designed to be an air superior fighter. However, it is also capable of carrying out ground attack, electronic warfare or reconnaissance missions. Although not capable of performing nearly 700 different types of flight and combat missions like the F-35, this type of fighter is still considered to be more useful due to specialization in only a few certain mission.
The F-22 Raptor has been officially in service with the US Air Force since 2005 as the F-22A. Up to now, after 15 years, this fighter type has not had a follow-up version.
The engine of the F-22 Raptor is also considered to be the most effective stealth engine system in the world today, slightly better than the F-35, Su-57 of Russia or the J-20 of China. In exchange for stealth, however, the F-22 Raptor’s engine thrust adjusts only up and down – the 2D vector engine, not the 2.5D or 3D engine seen on Russian fighters. Engines with dry thrust up to 116 kN each and 156 kN with afterburner, the F-22 can cruise at supersonic speeds without afterburner.
The United States Air Force originally intended to order up to 750 F-22s. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russia as the heir, became severely weakened, while China’s potential was very weak. There was no longer any real threat to the United States, so they didn’t need a large number of F-22 Raptor aircraft. Only 187 F-22 aircraft were built, and the F-22 production line was closed; caused many controversial. Each F-22 priced at about $200 million and is the most expensive fighter in the world today, twice as expensive as the F-35.
The F-22 can also be considered a victim of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The enormous costs that the United States spent in these conflicts has made it a problem to develop an aircraft like the F-22. The global economic crisis at the end of 2008 was also a cause.
Development of the F-22 began in 1981, but it was not until 1990 that the aircraft took off for the first time, and it was not until 2005 that the aircraft was considered viable. The F-15, meanwhile, took only seven years to develop, from 1965 to 1972 and could be deployed in 1976.
The long development period also caused the F-22 to accidentally get caught up in a competition with the F-35. The cheaper F-35 program is believed to have the capabilities that the F-22 already has. That is one of the reasons that former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposed to terminate the F-22 project.
So why doesn’t the US export the F-22 to some of its closest allies, so that it can offset development costs? In fact, not only Japan or Israel, but any country in the world cannot afford the F-22 “Gemstone”.
Simply because this type of fighter has so much modern technology and secrets inside. To this day, these technologies are completely protected and are not allowed to be exposed.
It should be understood that the export F-35s were designed to resist reverse engineering. They also come with the Lockheed Martin support and tracking systems, which is difficult to disassemble.
The F-22 was never designed for export, so it doesn’t have any of these features. The idea to export the F-22 has not even been formed yet because it was discontinued too soon. And in fact, it’s too expensive, directly competed by the F-35 brother. As a result, the export opportunities for the F-22 have been closed.
Above all, the export capability of the F-22 was prohibited by the ‘Obey Amendment’.
The reason is that Senator David Obey was worried that some sensitive and secret technologies developed for the F-22 could be leaked through the export route. The enemy of the United States will be able to reverse the technology, and uncover the secrets of this aircraft.
Mr. Obey added an amendment to the 1998 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. His amendment was a single sentence: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to approve or license the sale of the F-22 advanced tactical fighter to any foreign government.”
And this single sentence has determined the future of this aircraft, the F-22 is only used by the United States.
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