Since the end of the cold war, there was no question that American fighter jet ruled over the international airspace and there was no match for FA-18, F-16 fulcrum, F-15. Even the advanced jets like MIG-29 fulcrum couldn’t come close to American airpower. However with the rise of the Chinese defense budget and the sustenance of Russian economy in early 2000’s got defense analyst in Pentagon thinking about long overdue of their air superiority.
One thing was made clear that a 5th generation plane was underway either by the Americans themselves or by Chinese or Russians. This lead to the initiation of advanced stealth program by the US Department of Defense (DOD). In the beginning, 2 teams were made among which one included likes of Lockheed, Boeing and other included prominent players like Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas. After intensive development both the teams presented their working prototype YF-22 (Lockheed, Boeing), YF-23(Northrop, McDonnell Douglas).
Finally, in April 1991, secretary of defense "Donald rice" announced the YF-22 as the victor. However, the airforce preferred YF-23 as it was more quick, technologically advanced but YF-22 was more maneuverable.
After that YF-22 went to the testing phase where many changes were made in it and eventually it looked more like YF-23. Both the jets do not carry their weapons outside in the open rather inside which makes it more stealthier. YF-22 took its maiden flight as air force jet on 15 December 2005. F-22 as it is known after its induction is known for its best thrust to weight ratio. Each unit of an F-22 raptor costs about 150 million dollars which makes it the most expensive fighter jet in the world. However, the performance of F-22 is outstanding as compared to the jets and it basically outcasts all other fighter jets.
Some of the parameters which make F-22 superior to other fighters are
1>Two turbofans which produce the thrust of 35,000 lbs each
2>The 2-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles.
3> Speed of about Mach 2.0
4> The most sophisticated radar system in the world AN/APG-77, which is developed by Northrop Grumman.