(20-July, 2010) Farnborough UK - Remarkable Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) video of the American Lockheed F-22 Raptor Stealth fighter, the most expensive fighter in service in the world today.
Courtesy of FLIR Systems and Flightglobal / http://www.flightglobal/
The implications of advanced infrared sensor technology negating “the element of surprise” the hallmark feature of the F-22 - might be substantial.
Some may argue that this type of thermal imagery is of too short range to be militarily useful. We would remind the reader that the concern is thermal (IR) detection (used in conjunction with other sensors like radar) not specifically thermal imagery. IR detection could operate at much longer ranges, particularly at high (ultra-frigid) altitudes.
The F-22s primary weapon (the AIM-120C) may operate (well) within this IR detection envelope? That Raptor aircrew must fly into (into) these IR detect-envelopes before F-22s can fire their primary weapon.
Conversely, international foreign sales of F-22 might be a motivator?
From a technology standpoint, there is nothing to stop all manner of sensitive IR (or other EM bands) location-targeting sensors from being deployed on dedicated (or integrated into) current/future ISR, AEW or AWACS class platforms.
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