I have received a ton of email asking me to comment on the reports that the German Eurofighters sacked numerous F-22s during recent dissimilar air combat training (DACT) and Red Flag Alaska exercises. Both the EF2000 and the F-22 are fine machines in their own right, and once again I cannot stress enough how inconsequential these reports are without knowing the exact rules of engagement for each sortie and the circumstances in which these kills took place. I have read “expert commentary” on other websites and forums regarding these and other air to air training events where the F-22 was subsequently beaten by an inferior foe and every time I walk away laughing or frustrated. Cocky remarks, HUD tape stills, or fake kill markings mean literally nothing. Just because someone says they simulated a missile or guns kill on an F-22 does not mean either type of aircraft involved is superior or inferior. Do folks honestly think that the F-22 can teleport between dimensions or something? Do they think the USAF made first contact with the Klingons and they gifted the boys in blue a cloaking device for the Raptor’s sake? The Raptor is a fighter jet, albeit a very capable fighter jet, not a magical dragon. It is not in any way totally impervious to detection as the mainstream media often alludes to. The F-22 is detectable by radar but at much shorter ranges than its non-stealthy counterparts, especially when X-band air to air type radars are concerned. And most importantly it is not invisible to the naked eye directly before, during, or after it merges with opposing fighters.

Within visual range, a place the F-22 would rather not find itself during actual combat, the aircraft has an incredible ability to point its nose at an enemy aircraft via huge flight control surfaces and two-dimensional thrust vectoring. Yet still, in a time of prolific helmet mounted sights and high off bore-sight infra-red missiles, such maneuverability is not a cure-all to an aircraft’s dog-fighting vulnerabilities. The F-22 was robbed of its planned next generation helmet mounted sight during its later development and funding stages and the JHMCS apparently cannot be reworked to suit the Raptor’s unique needs, so the state-of-the-art Raptor still packs around AIM-9M Sidewinders which are incapable of high angle off bore-sight shots. The German Eurofighters on the other hand pack the highly capable and modern IRIS-T short-range (but longer than the Sidewinder series) missile. During a “turning fight” all the Eurofighter pilot has to do to kill their enemy is to maneuver the nimble fighter into a position where he or she can simply look at the bandit, even up to almost 90 degrees off the jet’s center axis, acquire a lock and fire. This means that almost the whole 180 degree frontal hemisphere of the highly maneuverable Typhoon is deadly, whereas at this time the F-22’s forward close in missile engagement envelope is much more narrow in comparison. Additionally, the IRIS-T has a far wider viewing area with its imagine infra-red sensor bore-sighted, thus the missile is much more capable than the AIM-9M even when not aided by a helmet mounted sight. The Raptor is finally slated to get a helmet mounted sighting system in the next couple of years which will allow it to carry the latest AIM-9X high off bore-sight imagining infra-red missile and employ it to its maximum potential, including a novel lock-on after launch capability. The long-awaited addition of the AIM-9X and helmet mounted sight to the F-22 weapon system, combined with the Raptor’s exiting thrust vectoring capability, should allow it to reliably vanquish anything within the close in air to air realm in the very near future

On the long-range side of the equation, the F-22 packs the AIM-120 AMRAAM (C7 model now, and D model soon) series of beyond visual range air to air missile and the APG-77 low probability of intercept AESA radar. The German Typhoon sports the mechanically scanned array CAPTOR radar and also the AIM-120 (I believe they still carry the B model AMRAAM) series of beyond visual range air to air missiles, and to my knowledge the longer range and highly capable Meteor is not in service with German forces just yet. As far as the same “experts” discussing the value of the German Typhoon’s PIRATE infra-red search and track system’s ability to detect the Raptor passively at long ranges, this analysis is totally worthless as the German Eurofighters were not delivered with PIRATE installed. Both the Raptor and the Eurofighter have higly capable radar warning receivers and electronic warfare suites, yet the Raptor’s ALR-94 is the gold standard of such avionics and would detect the Eurofighter from far away as the Germans attempted to actively search for the almost electronically silent F-22 using their radar sets. Even if the German Eurofighters were to be equipped with the long range Meteor missile, they would still have to detect and lock up the Raptor in some fashion at a very long distance.  If such an event does come to pass, it would occur at a much closer range than the Meteor is capable engaging in the first place, thus eliminating the advantage of the Meteor when it comes to mock combat against the F-22. The reality is that the second the F-22 has been detected the pilot will know they have been seen and can return fire or run. It all comes down to choices, and the Raptor’s unique capabilities allow the F-22 pilot to have an abundance of them throughout almost any combat scenario.

In all likelihood during a 1v1 engagement between the Raptor and German Typhoon, without data linked targeting information from off-board sensors, the German Eurofighter would have blown up dozens on miles before it would have had a chance to detect and especially engage the F-22. The Raptor, sporting it’s APG-77 LPI radar could detect the Eurofighter at long-range, most likely without being detected conclusively by the Eurofighter’s radar warning receiver. Or the Raptor could just wait till the Eurofighter turns on their radar or any other energy emitting component, at which time their position would be given away and the Raptor pilot could choose to evade, investigate further or attack. In the near future the F-22 will be able to launch the much upgraded AIM-120D AMRAAM at ranges approaching that of the ramjet powered Meteor. Also I have to note that using stated ranges for air to air missiles is a bit ridiculous as it does not take into account the many factors that affect such a munition’s range like the speed, vector, and altitude of both the shooter and target. Additionally, I have been told more times than I can remember that the publicly stated ranges of air to air missiles are almost totally bogus and highly underestimated for operational security reasons.

F-22 pilots, just like Eurofighter pilots, need to train for within visual range contingencies. In doing so, various scenarios are put in place to maximize the training benefit, such as starting from an offensive, defensive or neutral position and limiting what weapons are allowed to be simulated during each unique sortie. Further, the Raptor does nobody any good flying around undetected when basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) are to be practiced. For such a flight they could have packed their radar accelerometers. By doing so they could be more easily detected by the opposing aircraft, thus making it easier to set up the training scenario and to provide positive radar locks throughout the maneuvering flight. Also, believe it or not there are novice F-22 pilots just as there are novice F-16 and F-15 pilots. I have been told many times by Raptor crews that it simply takes time to master the jet’s unique thrust vectoring capabilities in the within visual range air combat regime. As has been proven over and over again throughout history, hours in the jet matter when it comes to winning in a traditional “dogfight.” Even today an F-5 Tiger can reliably smoke a Block II Super Hornet within visual range when flown by an experienced pilot. The Typhoon is a seriously hot machine, and the aircraft is extremely deadly even in a newly minted pilots hands. Put that same weapon system in the hands of a seasoned Luftwaffe fight jock and anything in America’s fighter inventory would be seriously challenged when fighting up-close and personal. Put a young pilot in the cockpit of even a state of the art F-22 and pit him against a seasoned Eurofighter pilot in the within visual range fight, and I would bet on the experienced German jock long before these reports surfaced. It takes a lot of hours to master a jet in the realm of three dimensional jousting, the F-22 is absolutely no different, especially when it comes to multiple aircraft engagements and known vulnerabilities when operating in the “post stall” thrust vectoring environment.

So did the German Eurofighter pilots really have “Raptor salad for lunch” as they have claimed? Are those fresh Raptor kill markings painted on their jets based on fact as opposed to fiction? Sure why not?  But that “Raptor salad” was probably devoured during engagements where the Raptor was well within visual range from the time the “fights on” call was made. If I am indeed wrong I challenge the Eurofighter community, who are clawing for international sales, to prove it. Oh and if the Raptor put red stenciled “kill marks” on its nose for every viable opponent it has fake-splashed during that same exercise I think Raptor crew chiefs would have run out of paint. The Eurofighter is a fantastically maneuverable machine and can fight the Raptor within visual range to maximize the airframe’s comparative advantages regardless of how limited those advantages may be. Sometimes your opponent makes a mistake, does not see you, or they are just out-fly you and they land a great shot, that is just the game of jousting in the aerial domain. Dramatic HUD camera stills, bogus kill markings, and hyped up hyperbole are just promotional tools and ego boosters. Grow up Luftwaffe and all the fan-boys out there who try to make something out of nothing.

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  1. nico says:

    IMO, this has a lot more to do with some “marketing” from the Euro boys, nothing wrong with trying to win some sales than bragging about taking out the F22. With so little known about ROEs,etc…this is just fighter pilots talking. As US F15s pilots have stated, they have to get passed all the fabulous BVR of the F22 and get to the merge, if not, where is the point of training? Doesn’t do them any good or either F22 pilots BTW, if combat training stops after BVR shots…

    I agree that some US fan boys get really pissed when their favorite F22 or F35, god forbid, has a bad day…like they expect that no one will EVER get a shot at a US fighter. I think in the long run, this is a very poor attitude to the conduct of military operations in general, where and when “fan boys” and US population thinks that in war, no one gets hurt and we are somewhat invincible…”you mean a US jet fighter can get shot down?” Impossible!
    It’s a F22 or F35, it’s 5th GEN, Russia and China only fly crap or knock offs!!!….this is the kind of mentality that will sink us one day….

    Last but not least, US and Germany are pretty cool allies inside NATO. When was the last time we fought? 1943-1945……Don’t expect that we will have to face Euro fighters piloted by GAF or top tier pilots in anger anytime soon.
    Now maybe if Saudi Arabia enters into some kind of “Arab spring”, I guess, we could face EF2000s one day but that probably won’t happen soon….I mean, the likelihood that Western Powers will have to fight against their own products and expert pilots are pretty small… F35/Rafale/EFs are going to be sold to our allies, even PAKFA or J20 are still only long term top of the line threats, realistically MiG29s and some beat up SU27s in Africa are our most dangerous threats for years to come….

  2. cheese says:

    You really try to be objective but I feel like you are in love with the F22 and therefore your opinion is biased.

  3. Stefan Rabensteiner says:

    Nice to see how the US-Boys are pissed off when their holy grail was shot down.

    Calm down! First: You’ve said it before – we don’t know the ROEs and the other circumstances. Second: The F-22 is not that golden gun everybody is hoping for. I think the F-22 is a very superior fighter, but it’s possible to shoot her down. It’s also possible to shoot her down under real conditions of war. The F-22 has been shot down during exercises several times before. But you are very arrogant and think that is not possible. And everytime when it happens, you write that really is not possible anyway during real war conditions.

    Especially your last sentences are embarrassing for you. Please try to be more objective!

    Best regards,


    • says:

      What are you guys talking about? I think you all skimmed my post and assumed content that is not there. I SAID THAT THE F-22 is NOT INVINCIBLE, that is was certainly splashed by EF2000 drivers, and that the Typhoon is a fantastic and maneuverable aircraft. I just made my point clear that such an accomplishment is not much of an accomplishment during such exercises and that gloating about it, using hyped up phrases like “eating Raptor salad for lunch” and painting cute Raptor kill markings below your canopy rails is stupid beyond belief. How is this not objective? The EF2000 and Raptor are in two separate classes when it comes to BVR combat, this is not my opinion its the truth. Its not like I just said this I gave details as to why. Once again, if these kills were made BVR in an unrestricted combat training environment than prove me wrong! I even showcased the fact that German Typhoons lack PIRATE and Meteor (to my knowlege) making long range Raptor detection and engagements even less probable before being killed themselves.

      Stefan- I am constantly asked about “wow what do you think about the F-22 bagging Raptors or the French kicking the UKs butt in such and such DACT event” I wanted to address one of these head-on. I don’t care if the F-22 gets splashed, worse thing for the program is that more cash and upgrades will continue to flow to it, or any existing systems direction to remain competitive. I SAID that it is possible to kill the Raptor, especially with a weapon system like the EF2000. I even said the EF2000s surely did so, but not in a free-for all combat scenario. READ THE PIECE. What is embarrassing for me? That I think it is embarrassing for German Typhoon crews to hype up a handful of kills during extensive exorcises with undoubtedly strict ROEs against the Raptor? If the US painted Rafales or Typhoons silhouettes on their jets and claimed that they spanked them during exercise I would say the same thing.

      Just like the message boards, dudes and their fighters. I am telling you I am being objective here, show me where I am not. Are you saying that the Typhoon killed the F-22 over and over at medium and long range?

      Nico- said all this in the piece. How are US fanboys pissed? Nobody in the US is gloating about eating “Eurofighter salad?” I don’t get that. And I agree that we underestimate the enemy chronically. And I realize full well that we are not going to see an F-22 vs EF2000 in the real world, this was just theoretical background “color” to build my case.

  4. says:

    Cheese- Truth sometimes hurts brother!
    Also, this is an editorial site, if you want regenerated news than there are plenty of other outlets on the interwebs. I try to offer something very different here.

  5. nico says:

    MY bad AI. Should have explained myself better, how on some boards some people just can’t understand that F22 won’t win every fight, not really talking about you. They are the ones pissed, not you. Some folks just can’t believe that an F22 can be shot at or that any US military equipment isn’t the best. They seem to take as some sort of affront to their masculinity or something. I just find it very infantile, especially when they break out ranges for AMRAMM or Meteor given on WIKI!

    Also, I don’t think you are biased one way or the other, compared to some sites where you can only be pro or anti F35 for example and no other opinions are allowed.

    These 2 reason are why I pretty much stopped posting on defense boards…

    I did read your ed and I pretty much agree with everything you said. Was just trying to give my 2 cents.

  6. Richard says:

    Here is an article about the post merge engagement.

    What I find interesting is the remark about energy loss using thrust vectoring. I seem to recall somewhat similar comments by the F-22 team at Boeing/McAir…that thrust vectoring (including 3D thrust vectoring the Russians have developed)puts on a good airshow, but is not as large a factor in a dogfight (we now know especially without a helmet mounted targeting system). As I recall it, one of the few F-15 kills against the Raptor was an exploit of post-stall handling characteristics of the Raptor (obviously a close in, post merge engagement).

    One has to wonder if John Boyd’s old buddy Pierre Sprey has been giving DoD a numeric analysis of energy management of the F-22 in such engagements. If so, I doubt we will see it any time soon, but it would be interesting to see if any of your contacts even have information about such analysis being conducted by anyone in the USAF or DoD.

  7. nico says:

    To Richard:
    Listen to what this guy is saying after 6.50min in the video about TVC. Maybe GAF pilots listened to what he was saying and applied it! Not saying the guy knows it all as he makes a few mistakes about weights and what not but you have to figure the guy knows a few things about air combat. Fact that it was unvarnished and not thru some PC bullshit press rep makes it interesting…

    Not just US has trolls, Indians got really pissed off at this guy for what he said about SU30MKI. Some of the comments are priceless! Funny thing, in part 2 of the video, he was, I felt very complimentary of IAF! So it isn’t just F22 that drops but SU30 using TVC also, seems to me, it takes some time and experience for a pilot to understand how to use TV without losing a lot of height. The comments about how TVC and some of the extreme manoeuvrings one sees in air shows has been repeated by numerous pilots that, yeah,it is really nice but not very useful in combat…

    There was an article a few years ago in AirInternational about TV and Europeans looked into installing it on EF, they actually ran a trial of a EJ200 with TV in Spain, if I recall correctly. I will see if I can find the article, maybe someone recalls it. If I remember, they weren’t really looking into more maneuverability since they have AMSRAMM or IRIST with HMDS….

    ….but felt TVC could help them develop a naval EF2000, where TV would help with carrier approaches and it also could increase range (about 10%) since TVC would help keep proper trim without using aerodynamic surfaces which would cut down drag.

    It would seem to me that HMDS with a good AIM9X or similar missile negates to certain extent the benefits of TVC.

  8. reqq says:

    look at the size of the planes, pretty obvious that ef2000 will win close combat 1on1 is it not?

    F22 is not design for that primarly.

  9. Will says:

    Wasn’t there some talk of Eurofighters getting a BVR lock on Raptors at China Lake a few years ago?

    Since the F-22 is not likely to be an export competitor for the EF2000 any time soon (if at all), it would be more interesting to know how a Eurofighter squares up against an F-35, particularly how well the PIRATE IRST performs at BVR given the F-35’s larger thermal signature.

    In fact, I’m a bit surprised you’ve not written about the deal made with the Israelis in the last few days, Ty. Sounds like the US has compromised on fitting Israeli systems to the F-35 by letting them help develop the ECW suite, and given them a disproportionate share of the construction work. Even forgetting the political ramifications to Obama’s campaign and the conflict with Iran, this sounds like good news for the program.

    • says:

      Great comments by all! Always a lively discussion and I appreciate that. I knew this post may upset some, although I don’t really understand why. Thrust vectoring is a waste of money for 5th generations platforms, I have said this time and time again. The DAS system on the F-35, once further developed, will prove that maneuverability in many forms is just a relic of the past. Sorry to say, but its the truth as I see it. I have written a detailed post on this and it has made very wide circulation. Bombers will be able to be fitted with a DAS like system and BVR and Short range missiles, heaven forbid they make it to the merge after detection, they can ripple off AIM-9X block IIs in LOAL mode and hit the bad guys while they are turning.

  10. cbyhm says:

    The one comment people are overlooking, which I think explains a lot:


    “Moreover, at a distance of about 50 km the Typhoon IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track) system is capable to find even a stealthy plane “especially if it is large and hot, like the F-22″ a Eurofighter pilot said.

    Anyway, the Typhoons scored several Raptor kills during the Red Flag Alaska. On one day a German pilot, recounting a succesfull mission ironically commented: “yesterday, we have had a Raptor salad for lunch.”

  11. Richard says:


    Thanks for posting the YouTube link. I had seen that before, but lost track of it. The exploit mentioned in the video is precisely the same as what I was told. The important point in it is that the inexperienced guys are the ones who will put themselves in a position for this to happen. Experienced guys know their aircraft better (and their opponent’s capabilities) and will not put themselves in such a position. They will fight their fight, not the other guy’s.

    “Never fight fair.” It applied when Claire Chennault told the AVG pilots “never dogfight with the Japanese” in their P-40s. It still applies.


  12. says:

    One again guys, NO IRST ON GERMAN TYPHOONS. These guys miss the details so often its not even funny when extrapolating these stories.

  13. says:

    Ok finally this post is making its way through the net. I am going to ask my readers to repost wherever possible for truth’s sake, regardless if you have a Typhoon or Raptor poster on your wall!

  14. Amicus Curiae says:

    @ Richard regarding the article:”it looks like the F-22 tends to lose too much energy when using thrust vectoring (TV): TV can be useful to enable a rapid direction change without losing sight of the adversary but, unless the Raptor can manage to immediately get in the proper position to score a kill, the energy it loses makes the then slow moving stealth combat plane quite vulnerable”
    I would like to promote my own understanding of the value of TV. It provides the control power to get post stall (and max lift) quicker and stay there. The lift does not come from the engine. Propulsion only provides stability and control. The lift comes from the wings, and as anyone knows, high alpha lift costs dearly in drag. As is typical in aviation engineering, you don’t get something for nothing. Even if it is available, a fighter pilot does not have to use it. The inevitable loss of energy that comes with post stall flight better be worth the trade. Doesn’t the offensive/defensive decision making process apply to all fighter maneuvering, or even for hand to hand combat? TV is another arrow in the quiver for a potential enemy to be concerned with. A mistake can be made by an adversary which can be expoited by TV. That’s when you use it. Otherwise, keep your energy up. FYI, the F-22 design has the ability to regain energy faster than anything else, so you better take the shot when you have it.

  15. Amicus Curiae says:

    to nico, regarding naval use of TV: “….but felt TVC could help them develop a naval EF2000, where TV would help with carrier approaches and it also could increase range (about 10%) since TVC would help keep proper trim without using aerodynamic surfaces which would cut down drag.”
    TV can help with carrier approaches only indirectly. For instance, if the approach speed must be higher to accomodate the 50 foot hop up maneuver, or a wave off, the extra pitch control power may gain you a few knots. Alternatively, a configuration that finds itself in approach speed trouble because of a lack of pitch trim prevents maximum available flaps is another opportunity for a TV fix.
    Regarding the claim of a 10% reduction in drag, there must be something lost in the translation. It would be a very badly designed aircraft that could have that kind of response. Perhaps the number refers to supersonic trim drag reduction, which is a smaller increment of total drag.

  16. Amicus Curiae says:

    To Ty at aviationintel regarding: ” Thrust vectoring is a waste of money for 5th generations platforms…DAS system…maneuverability is a relic…”
    I’m not upset, because I know I’m right. The DAS is an interesting way to reduce the vulnerability of a fundamentally inferior machine. If it works, fine, but agility in a fighter has offensive and defensive value too. If it is lacking, it is the Achilles Heel. The DAS looks really great in the brochure. It had better work, or most of the world’s air forces are in trouble. It is pretty cool but I ask myself would it have been necessary to commit all the time and money into its development if the airplane had better performance or other electronic countermeasures were substituted? There are other ways to go, like the Typhoon.

  17. Amicus Curiae says:

    Richard, I never miss an opportunity to refute a statement like this: “…Pierre Sprey has been giving DoD a numeric analysis of energy management of the F-22…”
    Pierre Sprey is a self serving hack. No one of any aircraft design synthesis experience should respect his opionion. Based on his past public statements, I am sure he has not been in the (OODA) loop regarding actual F-22 capability.

    • Richard says:


      I do not believe anyone has suggested that the post-stall exploit on the F-22 is anything other than a fleeting opportunity, most likely to occur when an inexperience pilot is involved. A trip to Red Flag will demonstrate the error of the inexperienced pilot’s ways and it won’t happen again. That’s what training is for.

      About Pierre, he remains a controversial figure. I have no information that he is involved. I simply made a passing comment that one has to wonder what he would say behind closed doors. You left that part out of the quote you chose and turned a question into a declarative statement.

      In fact, Pierre has been pretty much under the radar for a few decades now, only recently re-emerging. Whether he or someone else evaluates things, the point is that an analytical comparison is a useful tool for the development of tactics. If nothing else, Pierre could be depended upon to give a “worst case scenario” evaluation. Most anyone should be capable of performing such an analysis. The problem is that DoD has a nasty habit of rigging the results of tests to suit their needs.

  18. Amicus Curiae says:

    @ reqq re: “look at the size of the planes, pretty obvious that ef2000 will win close combat 1on1 is it not?
    F22 is not design for that primarly.”
    Size is not a good discriminator. Properly engineered, a larger fighter can be better, in everything except cost. The F-22 has very few compromises for air to air combat whether it is BVR or WVR. It is primarily designed for “Air Dominance”, so it follows that it is the most formidable opponent.

  19. Picard578 says:

    It is true that German Typhoons have no IRST, but you have also forgot to mention that Typhoons which participated in that particular exercise had no helmet mounted sights either.

  20. Dennis F. says:

    I think it is quite obvious that the F22 Raptor as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon are very capable fighter. The general popularity of the article seems to refer to several articles in the public media, which state that the Raptor is an invincible interceptor aircraft and (in comparison to it) the Typhoon not just inferior, but also not up to date. This is not necessarily true since the DASS self defence system of the Typhoon is indeed able to detect LPI radar signals. Furthermore, the often mentioned detection / tracking ranges of the Captor-D radar (160 miles+ / 185km+) are not appropriate any more, since they are related to the tracking and identification range, published in the late 1990´s and therefore refer to the C-variant of the Captor. EADS stated a few years ago, that it (Captor-C or rather -D) has a detection range which is three times that of an APG 68 (though it was not explicitly mentioned wether in the variant V5 or V9). The APG 68 V9 itself is able to detect an aircraft with an rcs of 1m^2 at 70km away…

    To sum it up, I would rather estimate that these two aircraft use different principles to approach the same challenge, one by passive stealth, one by (partially secret) radar jamming techniques, maybe with different pros and cons.

    Sincerely, Dennis F.

  21. Gsh says:

    You really try to be objective but I feel like you are in love with the F22 and therefore your opinion is biased.

    Technically, his statemmets were correct objectively. We dont know the circumstances of the excersises, it could have been that a raptor was flying steady ahead of the typhoon when engagement was allowed. Besides, even IF the typhoon was 100% dominant on air to air, what good is that when the whole squadron got hit 70 km out from the merge 😉 gotta love bvr

  22. says:

    Gsh- Man, don’t know how to address this really. I don’t “like” the Raptor like one would “like” the SF 49ers or Chevy over Ford, I think it is a 5th gen with superior performance that we already paid $70B to field with only 187 examples to show for it. In retrospect it was a bargain compared to the F-35, especially as the airframe could have been expanded to F/B config. Listen I can’t write out years of work here to address this, please read through past posts, I think you will retract your comments.

    On your 2nd paragraph, isn’t that my point?

    I do appreciate your thoughts I just think your really off on this one. I am not the same as most fanboy websites, objectivity is my goal.

  23. kikl says:

    F-22 a dead end? Let me play the devil’s advocate.

    What are the facts?

    1. The Typhoon beat the F-22 hands down in basic flight maneuvers. Consequently, the typhoon is the better dogfighter. Since this was achieved without the use of a helmet mounted display, the typhoon’s advantage is going to become even greater once they are all equipped with HMDs and IRIS-T missiles.

    The US neither has a missile comparable to an IRIS-T nor an operational HMD.

    2. The typhoon’s superiority is going to extend to beyond visual range combat, once it is equipped with the latest sensors and missiles.

    Let’s start with the missiles.

    a) The MBDA meteor is ramjet driven radar guided missile that is vastly superior to the American AIM-120 in terms of range and lethality. The latest version of the AIM-120, the AIM-120D, has been plagued for years with engine problems.

    Let’s look at the sensors:

    b) The Captor-E ASEA radar is due to be fitted to the typhoon in 2015. It will give the typhoon a larger field of view (200° vs. 120°) and a longer range than the outdated APG-77. The Captor-E is going to provide a low probability of intercept modus, a high speed data link, jamming capabilities, and the capability of being used as a bistatic radar. This means that the Captor-E is used in conjunction with a second radar source or radar receiver. So the radar signal must not bounce back to its source in order to detect an enemy aircraft, which makes old school stealth designs like the F-22 all but useless.

    c) The typhoons are equipped with an Infrared search and track system (PIRATE), which allows for the passive detection of enemy aircraft using heat radiation. A large aircraft with a hot engine exhaust like the F-22 lights up like a christmas tree on this sensor. The range is around 50 km, i.e. well beyond visual range.

    d) DASS self defence system including a passive radar warning receiver capable of detectin low probability of intercept radar.

    e) The typhoon is equipped with a high speed bi-directional data link 16, which lets it share target information with friendly aircraft or receive target information from friendly aircraft as well as other sources, such as ground radar.

    None of these technologies is science fiction. The MBDA meteor as well as the sensor are either ready or in active testing and due to be implemented in a few years.

    Now, the F-22 neither has a high-speed bi-directional data link nor an Infrared sensor comparable to the PIRATE system of the typhoon. It has an inferior radar as well as a vastly inferior missile. The only thing its got going for itself is a low radar cross section, which won’t help much, when all the information from these sensors is fused into a single red target F-22 in the helmet mounted display of the typhoon.

    Can we expect any comparable upgrades for the F-22? Since the US is only operating 186 F-22s, the cost and incentive for developing future upgrades for this aircraft are relatively low. The original stealth design is a dead end in terms of fighter jet design and already outdated due to the advances in sensor technology. The F-22 will be the last of its kind.

    So how will the F-22 stack up against a typhoon in 2015 in terms of beyond visual range combat?

    Well, as long as the F-22 remains silent and doesn’t turn on its active radar, it may be capable of running away without being shot down. If the F-22 turns on its radar, the typhoon will be able to target the typhoon using its radar warning receivers and given its better missile win the fight. However, the most likely scenario is that the typhoon is going to detect the F-22 using its IRST system without the F-22 ever noticing it until the MBDA meteor is on its tail. Alternately, the typhoon will detect the F-22 using its bistatic radar implementation or just by getting the target information from an AWACS or ground radar using long wave lengths via the high speed bi-directional data link. In any case, the F-22 goes down.

  24. Old Aeronaut says:

    Many of you folks are looking way past one big glaring point:
    What the hell is a Raptor driver doing – employing TV in a knife fight ?!
    At high speed, all TV will do, is turn your ship from a dart into a bull dozer (literally).
    Regardless of what the ROE was, regardless of what the airplanes are capable of, or even if one had an unrealistice advantage over the other – the simple fact of the matter came from the Euro-driver’s own lips when he said that the F-22 gives up too much energy employing TV. In other words folks, Raptor drivers made bad decisions and got slow, and consequently got thier asses served.
    In my opinion and my experience – this was an error in management (the pilot), and not a problem with the available resources (the jet).

    I also believe that this wasn’t just a fluke incident. There may be a problem with some Raptor drivers believing that they could abandon the fundamentals of ACM just because their new jet can do some new tricks.
    Had these engagements only been intended as a series of experiments for Raptor drivers to test low V, high alpha capabilities of their machine, then it could have been done more discretely against USAF F-15/16’s instead of the international stage of Red Flag… No way… These guys are fighter pilots first, and everything else second. If they’re not hanging everything they’re worth on the line in a fight – friendly or not – then they’ve got no business in the cockpit of a fighter.
    I’m a big fan of the Raptor, but the Euro-drivers earned the bagging rights on this one…

    If the USAF is not going to be upholding Raptor drivers to the fundamentals of ACM, then maybe the only armament that the Raptor fleet should be slinging, is the AIM-120D and skip the close-in ACM capability altogether. Might as well… Since there is only 187 planes, and they cost over $300M a pop.

  25. zappa says:


    the titanic can not sink

    • Jim says:

      Well, its more than just “the Titanic can not sink”…
      Ultimately, it comes down to the decisions of the pilot. Everyone places too much emphases on how great the jet is, when it really doesn’t matter if the guy sitting in the seat isn’t making the right decisions.
      Even the “Great Unsinkable Titanic” would still be around today had the captain chose to do things differently.
      So its just like anything in life, only some things you don’t get a second chance at doing twice.

      As for the winers who complain that the engagement wasn’t realistic and fair… I envy your youth and ignorance as I repeat what you’ve probably heard from every other old fart that came before me… “Life is not fair”.

  26. Michael says:

    Well as written in this Text.
    1. The Eurofighter and Raptor are in a different class. The EF is a multirole plane the F22 the Air-superiority plane.
    2. The F-22 costs 60-100% more than the Eurofighter so, I dont need to state what that makes
    And thats it. The EF gets upgraded as well from time to time, so while the F-22 gets a new hud or what ever the Europeans do upgrade as well. Also not to mention the fact that the Eurofighter is more realiable in most parts.

    While the US is wasting the peoples money on the to pricy F22 the Europeans do have a more cost-effective solution: the Eurofighter. Even though it already cost more than planned it will stay the better “bang for the buck” because its also easier to upgrade and as far as i remember the EF can carrie more load (yeah not sure about that), the F-22 is restricted to its design limitations.

  27. Old Aeronaut says:

    I’m not ready to agree that the EF2000 is a better bang for the buck just yet.
    I believe that stealth has its value in war… But I’ve also seen some quick footage of just how F22 pilots are using their TV to rapidly change their flight path in a hairpin turn. The manuver is quick but the high alpha absolutely kills their corner velocity. Then they reheat those big Pratts to re-accelerate them again – which just can’t happen as fast as their heavy jet would like.
    F22 pilots should go back to the basics and retain their energy in a fight. Save the TV for longer engagements after everyone’s speed has bleed off and your struggling for high alpha just above Vs to either shoot or scoot.

  28. Picard578 says:

    I’ll expand on what I wrote:
    1) Germans did not have HMD in that exercise.
    2) LOAL capability is new but not novel, IRIS-T has it already
    3) In war, only idiot will use radar unless enemy is mindboggingly incompetent (e.g. Arabs) as it gives away position.
    4) Exercises are bogus. F-22 achieved its huge kill:loss ratios by fighting in unrealistic conditions:
    – missile probability of kill was way beyond even that experienced against nonmaneuvering targets with no ECM
    – force ratios were not represented: F-22s official flyaway cost is 150 million USD per aircraft (actual value is higher), and it can fly one sortie every two days. F-16Cs flyaway cost is 70 million USD and it can fly 1,2 sorties every day. So 12 F-22s should face 60 F-16Cs.
    – most USAF aircraft it fought used old-type ECM suites incapable of detecting AESA radar (and in war you have to use missile to shoot down opponent, so even if radar is not detected attacker will blow its stealth when launching missile) and were usually simulating USSR fighters from 1980s
    – F-22s had AWACS support and, despite the fact that USSR and now Russia had/have such missiles, AWACS killing missiles were not simulated

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