Now that jets, bombs and violence are back in the news, we turn our interest to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the United States Air Force, which together have figured out how to make the F-22 Raptor supersonic warplane deliver bombs faster and higher than ever before. It does this by accurately computing an altitude and distance from the target where the weapon can be released with the highest probability of scoring a hit. This accuracy is possible because of an algorithm developed by Boeing, Phantom Works and the Air Force that computes the Launch Acceptability Region (LAR), taking into account navigation, weather, target and weapon information.
To achieve the new milestone, the Air Force flew an F-22 at 50,000 feet and released a 1000-pound JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition—it's a bomb) at a speed of 1142 mph. That precision-guided smart bomb then destroyed a tiny target 27.5 miles away. This is significant because the higher and faster one of these jets can fly while delivering bombs, the less chance it has of being shot down by enemy fire. That must be a good thing, because after all, what we really want to do is protect our own brave Air Force pilots while killing as many precisely-targeted human beings as possible on the ground.