F-22 Raptor Airshow Demo at Langley AFB, VA
F-22 Raptor with easy targets! Please note the artist of F-22 Intercept, K. Chandler has had to put the F-22s near the Sukhois for artistic license, in the real situation the Sukhois would be long destroyed before the Raptors got this close.
A Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter streaks by the ramp at the 2008 Joint Services Open House (JSOH) airshow at Andrews AFB. Despite many great performances most of those at the show wanted to see the latest USAF fighter. The F-22 did not disappoint!
You can just see the vapour trails forming on the wings of this F-22. I also find that the pulsed look of the F-22’s engines to be a really interesting visual effect.
I’ve got to imagine that this would be a very bad view for an opposing fighter pilot to see.
As brilliant as the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 design was, the passage of time has seen the emergence of a number of fighters with the capability to successfully engage it in combat. Because it lacks stealth capability, the F-15 is vulnerable to missile attack from fighters. In a situation in which the rules of engagement delay the F-15’s attack, or in which the hostile fighters fire missiles from the front quadrant, the F-15s could lose the air battle. At best, they will have to fight a battle of attrition—and the United States, as a superpower should not have to engage in such combat. Foremost among the foreign fighters with significant capability to engage the F-15 successfully are the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum and Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. In addition, Russia continues to create new and advanced fighter aircraft, including the the Sukhoi Su-30MK, Sukhoi Su-37, and an experimental forward-swept wing Sukhoi fighter. All of these have some stealth characteristics.
Several excellent foreign fighter aircraft are also scheduled for production. These include the Alenia/ British Aerospace/CASA/Daimler-Benz Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Aviation/ Snecma /Thomson-CSF Rafale, and the Saab JAS 39 Gripen. In the wrong hands—and they will be sold worldwide— these could easily challenge the F-15’s air superiority.
The F-22 is designed to meet all of these challenges and establish total air dominance at the outbreak of hostilities. Air dominance does not imply a battle of attrition; it means that the F-22s will shoot down all enemy opposition with little or no losses. To do this, the F-22 Raptor will not only have to be the best fighter in the world; it will have to be available in sufficient quantity to handle threats in two or more theaters of war.
Critics of the F-22 program complain that the F-15, despite its age, is still superior to aircraft of other nations. And, as General Richard E. Hawley, an experienced F-15 pilot and commander of the USAF’s Air Combat Command, observed, “If you’re up against a Viet Nam War-era MiG-21, you don’t need an F-22.”
The problem will arise when an enemy has ample numbers of aircraft equal to the F-15, and instead of a war such as in the Persian Gulf, the United States might find itself engaged in World War II style combat. Production of an adequate number of F-22s will prevent this scenario from developing, for the Raptor is expected to be 10 times as effective as the F-15, and is thus absolutely necessary to achieve immediate air dominance.
The F-22 has a remarkable combination of capabilities. Its supersonic cruise capability will get it into the target area at long range; its stealth will keep its arrival secret from the enemy. The Raptor’s first-look, first-shoot, and first-kill capability will clear the skies of enemy planes at long range. If a dogfight does ensue, its thrust vectoring for superior low speed agility and maneuverability, missiles, and cannons will ensure its victory. The F-22 is clearly the finest fighter in the world. The most expensive course the United States could take would be to cut expenditure on the F-22 and try to make do with F-15s. If the F-22 is procured in adequate numbers, it will preserve peace by preventing wars—no enemy will dare to take on Raptors in aerial combat.
PS Can’t wait for Sven’s comment on this outrageous claim…