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 ...
Should give it the advantage in BVR combat.
I agree, but it would seem to me that you’ve only got so many long range air to air missiles. If ten of our aircraft are challenged by hundreds of an opponent, doesn’t that make them vulnerable?
I’m asking because I don’t know that answer. Hopefully you’re going to alleviate those concerns.
Stealth is only useful when the enemy is using RADAR. When the enemy is using visual guidance, various non-visual sensors, etc. and can shoot lasers, the F-22 is dog food.
No enemy is there yet...yet.
I saw this article yesterday. Basically, if an enemy aircraft can teleport into close proximity of an F22, there’s a 50/50 chance of the enemy aircraft winning the engagement.
Yep, that sure is disconcerting.
Let the F-22’s ‘fence’ with the enemy BVR and blow up ten each. Then retire onto a wing of less-capable-but-cheaper friendlies who can take up the slack.
OR build a frack-tonne of F-22s and reduce their unit price.
Stealth goes away in a dogfight? Well, duh! At least until you get a cloaking device. Isn’t the whole point to clear the skies BEFORE going bare knuckle in visible contact? The good news is that there’s still a need for the United States Air Force Weapons School.
Journalists are such morons. It isn’t a 79 billion dollar advantage, it is 220 million per plane over the Typhoon. With that 220 million you get a plane the Euro pilots said they could not get within 20 miles of, and within in that they were evenly matched. Looks like it is still worth the advantage.
Yeah, we should just scrap the F-22s and replace them with more F-35s, because that’s been working out well for us. /sarc
Wait’ll they start remotely piloting them. They’ll be able to turn a bit tighter.
Huh. Is that true, this is the first time they had them at Red Flag? That doesn't seem right.
That’s right. YEARS ago, during my senior year cadet summer at the Air Force Academy, I got sent to an F-4 squadron at Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC, for three weeks. While there, the Aggressor squadron from Nellis showed up to teach some DACM to the F-4 jocks. They were flying painted-up T-38’s (yep....not even F-5’s for F-20’s; plain ol’ ‘38’s that we all later flew in UPT).
These guys were unreal. They took me with ‘em for a fair number of sorties out past the NC coastline. They positively kicked the living s**t out of the F-4 drivers.
I learned first-hand, then and there, that the quality of the pilot is as important or MORE important than the aircraft. True, speed, acceleration, avionics, etc. ALL count in a big way.....but a far superior pilot in a lesser aircraft can still kick yer ass.
When you can blow up a plane at the end of your enemy’s runway from 40 miles out... what the hell do you need to dog fight for?
Problem is that most aerial combat doesn't take place at BVR, but at ranges of two miles or less. They made the same incorrect assumptions that the USAF made in the 1950s, until MiG-17s, MiG-21s, and perpetually stupid ROEs made a mockery of U.S. fighters during the Vietnam air war.
These people never learn.
I loved your reply. As they said - they were specifically scripted dog-fights, i.e. they were forced to close to visual distances to see what would happen.
My understanding is that the F-22 flights use a tactic of flying in pairs, with one well behind the second. The tail-end guy is a radar emitter, i.e. he can be found if they can track the F22 radar. The plane in front gets a telemetry feed of the radar image from the back-end plane and shoots his missiles. The aggressor never knows where the missiles came from!
Then there is the bit where you don’t know you are in trouble until you ARE in visual range - with the F22 on your six because you didn’t see the F22 move to sun-ward and come at you because it’s invisible to radar. Whoops!
It sounds very much like any engagement really - you use your platforms best features effectively and stay out of the profile that gives the other guy an advantage over you.
At least one, that I can think of.
In Vietnam, after a “bombing pause”, first mission headed North got a BVR kill because it could be known for certain that the target was not friendly.
I guess I’ve kind of made your point, haven’t I? ;-P
It’s the right question, because its how the Russians eventually beat the Germans. The Russians churned out 1000’s of cheap tanks, while the Germans churned out dozens of very good, very expensive tanks with better range.
Quantity has a quality all its own. We’ve also made this aviation mistake before - eschewing dogfighting - thinking that dogfighting was a thing of the past.
The F-22 is a scary airplane. It can kill other aircraft before it shows up on the other guy’s radar. It’s a good weapon for what it does. Maybe it needs to be accompanied by cheaper dogfighters.