Lockheed Martin FB-22
|Primary user||United States Air Force (intended)|
|Developed from||Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor|
The Lockheed Martin FB-22 (sometimes called the Strike Raptor) was a proposed United States Air Force bomber aircraft. Its design was derived from the F-22 Raptor. The FB-22 was canceled following the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.
Design and development
In 2002, Lockheed Martin began studying a medium bomber version of the F-22 Raptor fighter, featuring a delta wing, longer body and greater range and payload. The FB-22 design was based on existing and planned capabilities of the F-22 fighter; such a heritage would have reduced costs and risks of development compared to a new design. The FB-22 was planned to serve as a regional bomber, a role previously covered by the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark.
The design of the FB-22 differs significantly from the F-22. A lengthened fuselage and larger delta wing provide greater fuel capacity for greater range of some 1,600 miles (2,600 km). The FB-22's fuselage also allows for a larger internal weapons bay. 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. The FB-22 was to have a maximum speed of Mach 1.92.
One early FB-22 concept featured no tailplanes. The FB-22 design incorporated twin tailplanes and likely would have fixed engine nozzles as opposed to the thrust vectoring nozzles on the F-22. The FB-22 design could carry 30 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB), which weigh just 250 pounds (110 kg), compared with the F-22's payload of eight.
Research has been conducted to develop a stealth ordnance pod and pylon. Such a pod would have had a low observable shape and have carried weapons internally, then would have opened when launching a missile or dropping a bomb. This allows a stealth aircraft to carry more ordnance than in the internal bays alone, while maintaining the craft's stealth characteristics. The pod and pylon design allows it to be detached when no longer needed.
The FB-22 was put forward as a candidate for the USAF's requirement for an interim bomber with strategic capabilities to become operational by 2018, which would serve as a stop-gap until the entry into service of a future bomber planned for 2037. To achieve such an ambitious entry into service date, an aircraft based on an already proven platform (such as the FB-22) may have been desired. 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, with the development of the airframe expected to cost US$1 billion (2003 dollars). In 2003, Air Force Secretary James Roche envisioned that there would be 150 FB-22s inducted into the service. 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 DoD favored a bomber with much greater range. The USAF has favored a subsonic stealth bomber similar to the existing B-2 Spirit.
- Crew: 1 (pilot) or 2 (pilot, co-pilot)
- Max takeoff weight: 120,000 lb (54,431 kg)
- Maximum speed: Mach 1.92
- Range: 2,071 mi; 3,334 km (1,800 nmi) (combat radius)
- G limits: 6 g
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- RS21848, "Air Force FB-22 Bomber Concept". CRS, 5 June 2006. Retrieved: 25 July 2009.
- Tirpak, John A. "Long Arm of the Air Force". Air Force magazine, October 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Sweetman, Bill. "Smarter Bomber". Popular Science, 12 June 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Miller 2005, pp. 76-77.
- Tirpak, John A. "The Raptor as Bomber." Air Force magazine, January 2005. Retrieved: 25 July 2009.
- Hebert, Adam J. "Long-Range Strike in a Hurry". Air Force magazine, November 2004.
- "New Long-Range Bomber On Horizon For 2018". Physorg.com, July 27, 2006.
- Cortes, Lorenzo (10 March 2003). "Air Force Issues Clarification On FB-22, FY '11 Delivery Date Possible". Defense Daily. Retrieved 1 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Cortes, Lorenzo (28 February 2003). "Air Force Leaders Address Potential For 150 FB-22s". Defense Daily. Retrieved 3 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- "Quadrennial Defense Review Report" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense, 6 February 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Hebert, Adam J. "The 2018 Bomber and Its Friends". Air Force magazine, October 2006.
- "Return of the Bomber, The Future of Long-Range Strike" (PDF). Air Force Association, February 2007. p. 28. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "RL34406, Air Force Next-Generation Bomber: Background and Issues for Congress". U.S. Congressional Research Service. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Miller, Jay. Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor, Stealth Fighter. Aerofax, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-158-X.
- FB-22 Fighter Bomber page on Air-Attack.com
- FB-22 Fighter Bomber page on GlobalSecurity.org
- "Doubts Surround Bomber's Future". Aviation Week, 24 February 2003.
- "Experimental technology could be applied to FB-22 bomber variant". Flight International, 25 May 2004.
- "Lockheed refines FB-22 concept". Flightglobal.com, 4 January 2005.