Skip to comments.F-22 Fighter Loses $79 Billion Advantage in Dogfights: Report
Posted on 07/31/2012 9:26:07 AM PDT by moonshot925
The United States has spent nearly $80 billion to develop the most advanced stealth fighter jet in history, the F-22 Raptor, but the Air Force recently found out firsthand that while the planes own the skies at modern long-range air combat, it is "evenly matched" with cheaper, foreign jets when it comes to old-school dogfighting.
The F-22 made its debut at the international Red Flag Alaska training exercise this June where the planes "cleared the skies of simulated enemy forces and provided security for Australian, German, Japanese, Polish and [NATO] aircraft," according to an after-action public report by the Air Force. The F-22 took part in the exercise while under strict flying restrictions imposed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in light of mysterious, potentially deadly oxygen problems with the planes - problems that the Pentagon believes it has since solved.
The Air Force said the planes flew 80 missions during the event "with a very high mission success rate." However, a new report from Combat Aircraft Monthly revealed that in a handful of missions designed to test the F-22 in a very specific situation - close-range, one-on-one combat - the jet appeared to lose its pricey advantages over a friendly rival, the Eurofighter Typhoon, flown in this case by German airmen.
"We expected to perform less with the Eurofighter but we didn't," German air officer Marc Grune said, according to Combat Aircraft Monthly. "We were evenly matched. They didn't expect us to turn so aggressively."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
The first task in air combat is see the enemy. Then turn to meet him or surprise him from behind. Small, light, highly maneuverable aircraft have huge advantages in close combat. If a small plane is nearly impossible to see, it is nearly impossible to defeat. (Again in close ranges). By the way, using the new miniature electronics with networked UAS vehicles, along with small manned command combat aircraft, a very effective Air Force could be build for the cost of half a dozen F-22s.
Have they ever gamed the F-22 against the IDFAF?
That might prove to be interesting.
People are missing the key part of the article: where the German says that the Raptor pilots didn’t expect the Typhoons to turn so aggressively.
IOW, this isn’t about aircraft capability, it’s about the Germans doing something unexpected and blindsiding the American pilots by getting inside their OODA loops.
The F-22 is a conventional planform aircraft with 2-D thrust vectoring while the Typhoon is a delta wing with canards. The Typhoon also has helmet mounted sighting/queing. I’d guess that if the same exercise were to be held again the American Raptor jocks, with 20/20 hindsight, would eat the German’s lunches,
Thirty years ago I had a neighbor who worked full time for the Texas Air National Guard. He used to claim that his squadron (he was not a pilot) scored better than 2-1 over line Air Force squadrons. This was older (for fighter) pilots who flew F-4s on the weekends beating younger men, whose full time job was flying F-16s. The difference was experience. The Air National Guard pilots usually had several, or many, times the flying hours of the Air Force pilots, and many were Vietnam veterans.
On paper the Air Force, with full time fighter pilots, who being younger had faster reflexes, flying the 1970s era F-16, should have dominated the Air National Guard pilots flying 1950s F-4s.
As I said, Hartmann was never shot down.
In his first 3 missions he crashed, once by getting hit by parts of a Stomrovik, the other times by either foul ups by him or failure of the aircraft.
He also was hit by parts and crashed behind Russian lines. He was captured and pretended to be a reporter and screamed with pain any time he was touched. The Russians threw him in the back of a truck and when he got the chance he slipped out and made his way back to German lines.
Hartmann never flew against Americans except in a very short time while flying jets. He did report seeing a large flight of American planes meeting a similar sized group of Russian ones. To his surprise the Russians attacked the Americans. The Americans ended up shooting a bunch of the Russian ones down. Apparently this encounter was kept secret during and after the war.
I have no doubt the Russians claimed to have shot him down but Hartmann was always adamant that he had never been shot down,
My cousin is an F-16 pilot who has trained with/against the F-22 pilots. He tells me that they are virtually invisible in the skies. He said that if they come on radar in his F-16, he only sees them for a brief second and then they are gone. He said that it’s very hard to get a lock on them.
True. And they had a LOT of crummy tanks, too, like the BT series, the T-26, and “land cruiser” T-35. But, in 1940, they already had the T-34, which would eventually take them to Berlin.
Thanks for the color! All interesting bits of history.
My favorite is Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel. The most decorated German pilot of WWII (Panzerjäger, Panzerchlachtflieger, Schlachtflieger, Schnellkampflieger, Zerstörerflieger, Jagdflieger ). He was consulted when the A10 warthog was being designed due to his 500 Ruski tank victories in WWII.
My Father had several pictures of the first Russian tank to enter Berlin. He took pictures in 1945 of the monument being constructed and a few after it was completed.
Daddy simply described it as a “Stalin tank”. When he was in a nursing home not too long before he died, I took a bunch of his WWII pics to let him look at. Daddy smiled at the Stalin tank and said it was blown up during the night. Daddy had Alzheimers so I wasn’t sure if his memory was right.
Anyway I looked up on the internet, the first Russian tank in Berlin and sure enough, there are now two T-34s. They are in the same place (Tiergarten Square) so apparently after the first one was blown up they simply found two other “first” tanks into Berlin.
Yes, the AESA is a huge advantage, until jamming tech improves and takes that away, they your BVR advantage vanishes. What the Russkies practiced all day long.
I might be confusing the two. Its been a while since I was reading up on either.
Sounds like the F22 pilots just need to continue to have dog fighting tactics pounded into them. You dominate the stand off fights but you need to know how to win in a turning knife fight as well.
The JS series were darn good tanks, too.
I’m sure your father had nothing to do with that “unfortunate” incident...
I've seen it happen time and time again in business the same as in government: Managers just continue to look for the "one size fits all" solution, when what is needed is a balanced approach.
Life and conflict are very rarely "either/or" situations; rather, success comes from having combinations of both.
The pilot ain't sayin'. Read what little there is to read at The DEW Line blog.
More than you would think. What concerns me is in a REAL war our city’s and manufacturing base will be crippled, or at the very least our supply lines will be strenuous at best.
Its going to be a lot harder to produce & distribute theses very complex missile systems, assuming we could ever build enough of them to take down an air-force more than 5 times more numerous than our own.
An Iraqi Mig-25 did take an F-18 out with a BVR shot.
There aren't many examples out there. The ROE don't generally allow it.
Are you a zoomie?
Once upon a time there were some old crows.....
It is ridiculous to discuss “old school dogfighting” when the Raptor has already shot down all opponents beyond the horizon, long before they can close.
Thanks for the ping.
I am told the 22 pilots were severly restricted in the tactics they were able to use.
Or maybe you don’t show off your best capabilities in public.
Interesting. I guess I can understand him being close-mouthed. Love to hear about that “well timed” shot...:)
I met a pilot who has flown every fighter aircraft in the US inventory except the F-22. When asked, he said he had flown against them.
I asked him what that was like to fly against an F-22, and his exact words were: “It was like being a baby seal.”
As this Air Force Colonel explained, if the F-22 pilot gets too aggressive in post-stall maneuvering, he is a sitting duck. I can see how a Raptor pilot could get in that situation with the tight-turning canard-equipped Typhoon.
No, the Raptor isn't invincible, and without even the modern basics like a Helmet Mounted Cueing and Sighting System, it is even more crippled in the WVR dogfight.
The T-34/85 was a great tank and is, I think, still in service some cessppit third world nations who think of tanks as a means of “crown control.” The Soviets also took scads of them to the Soviet/Chinese border and buried up to their turret rings in concrete and dirt to create pillboxes.
The F4 Phantom was designed to shoot down enemy planes at extreme range. Then in Vietnam, LBJ set the rules of engagement so that they had to visually identify the target, which meant they had to get to within dog-fighting range. And the designers never gave the F4 a gun.
It would be neat if we could have an expendable UAV, with just a radar emitter to paint targets for our planes.