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F-22 Raptor success more than skin deep

Many are surprised to discover that the largest organ in the human body is the skin. Skin provides a physical barrier against harmful, external factors.

The F-22 Raptor, much like the human body, has a layer of skin called low observable. It not only assists in retaining the jet’s stealth capabilities, but also prevents corrosion and other damage.

Like human skin, the F-22’s coating consists of several layers. The surface of the F-22 appears to be a simple, gray paint, but in reality the high-tech surface renders one of the largest fighter jets virtually undetectable by radar.

Arguably the most important capability of a fifthgeneration fighter like the Raptor, is what low observable delivers — the stealth.

The benefits of stealth technology may escape some in terms of air combat. The ability of the Raptor to prosecute a lethal attack while remaining undetected is why it has the highest airto air kill ratio of any fighter.

While incredible lethality has defined F-22 tactics, the aircraft has also become known for its unmatched survivability.

Our Air Force maintenance crews’ daily work readies F-22 pilots to defeat the most advanced adversarial aircraft and surface to-air missile systems. Knowing that our jets are fully ready to go gives us the confidence we need to get the job done.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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