Tag Archives: F-22 Raptor

Rebuttal of the Pentagon’s pro-F-35 spin

A few days ago, it was revealed that the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter” lost all of its close-range combat tests against the legacy F-16 fighter (which the former is intended to replace) when such mock engagements occurred in January of this year.

No sooner did such reports emerge than the Pentagon engaged in a heavy spin campaign to protect the F-35 at all costs, lying blatantly to the public:

“The media report on the F-35 and F-16 flight does not tell the entire story. The F-35 involved was AF-2, which is an F-35 designed for flight sciences testing, or flying qualities, of the aircraft. It is not equipped with a number of items that make today’s production F-35s 5th Generation fighters,” a JPO office written statement said.

In particular, the JPO statement explained that the AF-2 test aircraft did not have the mission systems software designed to utilize the aircraft’s next-generation sensors.

In short, the F-35 is engineered with a suite of next-generation sensors designed to help the aircraft recognize, detect and destroy enemy targets at longer distances — long before it can be identified by an enemy aircraft.

“While the dogfighting scenario was successful in showing the ability of the F-35 to maneuver to the edge of its limits without exceeding them, and handle in a positive and predictable manner, the interpretation of the scenario results could be misleading. The F-35’s technology is designed to engage, shoot, and kill its enemy from long distances, not necessarily in visual ‘dogfighting’ situations,” the JPO said.

The F-35 office also said the AF-2 test aircraft was not equipped with the F-35’s special stealth coating designed to make the aircraft invisible to enemy radar.

In addition, the JPO statement said the AF-2 “is not equipped with the weapons or software that allow the F-35 pilot to turn, aim a weapon with the helmet, and fire at an enemy without having to point the airplane at its target.”

The Pentagon’s spin was reported by the Military.com news website.

 

Here is our rebuttal of the Pentagon’s spin.

 

The Pentagon is essentially claiming – as it did during the 1960s, in the run-up to the F-4’s Vietnam fiasco – that maneuverability in dogfights doesn’t matter, and that long-range sensors and missiles will do the job. But the Pentagon is dead wrong.
Firstly, despite the Pentagon’s and the defense industry’s promises of super-effective long-range sensors and missiles, such promises have never been fulfilled so far. Close-range combat, i.e. dogfighting, remains the dominant type of air-to-air combat to this day – not Beyond Visual Range combat as the DOD wants us to believe. Even today’s newest long-range sensors, including radar, cannot reliably identify other aircraft and distinguish them from friend to foe; hence why, to this day, the US military does NOT allow its combat pilots to fire BVR missiles without authorization from AWACS or a higher authority. Moreover, in real-world combat, even the newest BVR missiles like the AMRAAM have demonstrated, at best, only a 25% Probability of Kill (Pk). Even in the most recent conflicts, most air-to-air kills have been with Within Visual Range weapons, including sometimes with BVR missiles fired at close range. With a multitude of decoys available on the market, and with BVR radar-guided missiles being able to do only a few Gs at best, evading BVR missiles is not difficult.
The DOD extols the F-35’s radar, but in reality, today, an aircraft’s active radar is more of a target than a shield. Once a pilot turns his radar on, he immediately becomes an easy target. Any enemy equipped with a Radar Warning Receiver can detect such aircraft – and distinguish friend from foe, because the radars of American, Russian, Chinese, and French aircraft operate at different frequencies. Hence smart fighter pilots do NOT turn their radar on – this is called Emissions Control in military parlance.
And the F-35’s AESA radar is nothing special in any case. EVERY modern fighter – including the F/A-18E/F, the Flanker family, the Rafale, the Gripen, the PAK FA, the F-22, the F-15E/SE, and even upgraded legacy F-15s and F-16s – has an AESA radar (the Eurofighter Typhoon will receive it in a few years). So even if an AESA radar were an asset rather than a liability, the F-35 offers nothing, in this regard, that other fighters don’t. As for the F-35’s EOTS and DAS, other fighters also have similar sensors, as well as the ability to receive and process information received from a variety of other (allied) sensors (aerial, naval, ground, spatial). Again, the F-35 offers NOTHING in this regard that other fighters don’t. So the F-35 is no special snowflake.
Moreover, the radars of the F-22, F-15, Rafale, PAKFA, the Flanker family, the Typhoon, and probably also the J-20 are all much more powerful and longer-ranged than the JSF’s radar. So compared to competitor (and some American) aircraft here, the F-35 is actually decisively INFERIOR.
As for “the F-35’s special stealth coating designed to make the aircraft invisible to enemy radar”, I have to inform you, Mr Osborn, that is NO aircraft “invisible to enemy radar.” The most an aircraft can achieve is to dramatically reduce, but not completely erase, its visibility to enemy radar. That feature – known as Low Observability or “stealthiness” – depends in around 95% on an aircraft’s shape, and only to about a 5% degree on coating.
If an aircraft is properly shaped (the cardinal examples being the F-22, the B-2, and the J-20), it will be very stealthy even without special coatings – which can then incrementally increase its LO. If an aircraft is badly shaped, however, the F-35 being a textbook example, it will not be very stealthy, and no coatings will be able to solve this problem. Coatings are not magical Harry-Potter-like “invisibility cloaks” that can make a badly shaped aircraft invisible to radar, contrary to what you wrote.
Because of the F-35’s deeply-sculpted belly and its donut-shaped engine exhaust nozzle, it will only be stealthy from the front – and even that only to X-, S-, and K/Ku-band radar. This type of radar, however, is steadily being supplemented and even supplanted in foreign aircraft and air defense systems (ground- and sea-based alike) by radar operating in other bands (such as the L-band) and at High, Very High, and Ultra High Frequencies (so-called “counterstealth radar”). Against these, stealthiness is useless – they can detect “stealth” aircraft from afar. At that point, an aircraft’s only “protection” is its speed. The F-22, being a supersonic aircraft, can simply deliver its deadly payload and then run away. The F-35 and the B-2 cannot, and are thus doomed to be shot down.
All of which makes mockery of the Pentagon’s utterly ridiculous claim that the F-35 can “recognize, detect and destroy enemy targets at longer distances — long before it can be identified by an enemy aircraft.” It cannot do so, as it is not truly stealthy, easy to see for counterstealth radar, and equipped with decisively inferior radar and missiles compared to adversary frontline fighters.
Making matters worse, competitor aircraft such as the PAKFA, the J-20, the J-31, the J-10, the Typhoon, and those of the Flanker family, can fly much higher (at about 65,000 feet each) than the F-35 (which can theoretically fly at 60 angels, but in practice has been tested only up to 43 angels) and are also much faster: the F-35 can do no more than Mach 1.61, while all the fighters listed above can fly at Mach 2 or more. Please note that missiles launched from a higher- and faster-flying aircraft can fly much farther than those launched from a lower- and slower-flying fighter, and that the newest Russian BVR missiles outrange the longest-ranged American one (the AIM-120D AMRAAM). Also please note that the F-35, in its “stealthy” mode, can carry only four weapons (e.g. missiles). If it takes any more, it completely loses its (already-limited) degree of stealthiness. The forementioned competitor aircraft can all carry 12 missiles (except the J-10, which can carry 11, and the Typhoon, which can carry 13). The French Rafale fighter’s C variant can carry 14. Since no missile has a 100% Pk, the fighter that can carry more missiles has a much better chance of winning.
Furthermore, the PAKFA, the Typhoon, the Rafale, and newer Flanker variants can all supercruise (i.e. fly at supersonic speeds without afterburner). So can the F-22. The F-35 cannot.
Also, the Pentagon’s claim that the F-35 has “weapons and software that allow the F-35 pilot to turn, aim a weapon with the helmet, and fire at an enemy without having to point the airplane at its target” is also demonstrably false, because, as the test pilot of whom your article speaks has experienced first-hand, the F-35’s cockpit is so small that a pilot cannot even turn his head around freely in that cockpit.
This is also a serious impairment of pilot visibility, which will prove deadly for any aircraft’s pilot – as it did for F-4 pilots in Vietnam. Please note that 80% of all fighters ever shot down went down without their pilots being aware of the attacker. Erich Hartmann, the greatest fighter ace of all time (“ace of the aces”), shot down about 80% of all his victims in this manner. When you don’t have full visibility, no amount of super-duper sensors, weapons, or other expensive and exquisite gizmos will help you.
In light of these facts, the Pentagon’s claim that the F-35 can “recognize, detect and destroy enemy targets at longer distances — long before it can be identified by an enemy aircraft” is a total joke.

Rebuttal of Robert Gates and his BS book

Eagle- America Deserves Better

Today,  a book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates will hit the stores. Already some parts of it have been released to the media, which, depending on their political preferences, have focused on the parts favorable or unfavorable to Obama and the Democrats.

But equally (if not more) important is Robert Gates’ disastrous tenure as Defense Secretary under both Presidents Bush and Obama, which, even before Obama’s arrival at the White House, began to sow the seeds of America’s military and thus geopolitical decline.

Crucial Platforms Killed On False Pretexts

Gates calls himself “a Defense Secretary at War”, even though he has never seen one day of combat, has never been deployed to a war zone, and spent his entire “career in the national security arena” as a bureaucrat in Washington, DC. Most of his book is about how he ran the disastrous and useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I’ll get to that later.

But first, let me tell you how Gates tried to pay for these utterly useless wars that he was singularly obsessed with: by killing the very weapons systems America needs now and will need in the future to deter and if necessary defeat China, Russia, Iran, and other potential aggressors.

Based on his singular obssession with Afghanistan and Iraq, his myopic shortsightedness, and his naive view of China and Russia, Gates killed over 50 crucial weapon programs based on the most idiotic of pretexts.

For example, he stopped the production of the F-22 fighter – the best jet fighter ever built – at a mere 187 copies, whereas the USAF had long said that at least 337 would be needed to maintain US air superiority and defeat advanced Russian and Chinese fighters, and despite clear evidence from experts such as those at the Air Force Association and Air Power Australia that ONLY the F-22 Raptor could meet that requirement.

Gates thus participated in the smear propaganda against the F-22, fired Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne and Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley (who advocated continuing its production), forced other Air Force F-22 advocates to retire, and advised Obama to veto any defense bill containing funding for F-22 production – a veto threat that sufficed to scare Congress into deleting that funding after it had already been authorized by the House Armed Services Committee, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the full House.

Gates also refused to buy the F-15 Silent Eagle – the newest version of the venerable and combat-proven F-15 Eagle equipped with the newest radar and IRST system, conformal (internal) weapon bays, and stealthy from the front. He put all of America’s airpower eggs into one basket – the utterly failed F-35 program – and killed virtually every alternative to it.

That decision has proven itself to be the most idiotic any defense secretary has ever made, for the F-35 is so well-known for its cost-overruns, delays, bugs, and giant weaknesses that there wouldn’t be enough space even in a dedicated article to list them all, or even to list all references to sources narrating them.

But those cost overruns, delays, bugs, and weaknesses were already well-known in 2009, when Gates killed the F-22 Raptor. Since then, of course, the F-35 Junk Strike Fighter program’s performance has dramatically deteriorated further: the cost overruns and delays have mounted, critical systems have been deleted from the F-35 to reduce cost, and allies are now balking at buying it and looking for alternatives. Which competitors like Dassault, EADS, Saab, and others are all too happy to provide.

(What is the difference between the F-22 and the F-35? The former was designed from the start to do one thing: achieve absolute air superiority. To that end, it is has a tiny radar signature to evade radar detection, is very fast and high-flying, is very agile and maneuverable, has the most powerful fighter radar in the world, and can carry 8 missiles in its stealthy mode – or 12 when enemy air defenses are down. By contrast, the F-35 is not truly stealthy, can carry only 4 missiles, is slow and low-flying, and is so heavy and unmaneuverable that jets from the 1960s could easily defeat it. It is useful neither for air to air nor air to ground combat. It’s not capable or survivable enough for high-tech environments, and is too expensive and overbuilt for counter-insurgency operations.)

The F-22 was but one of the many crucial weapon systems Bob Gates killed, thus leaving the US military unprepared for the current military competition with China and Russia. He killed the stealthy Zumwalt class of destroyers at just 3 ships, supposedly on cost grounds, but ignoring the fact that it was precisely the reduction of planned orders from 32 to 3 ships that caused the price to spike – because economies of scale were lost. He killed the AC-X gunship, a badly-needed replacement for the USAF’s Vietnam-era AC-130 gunships, and the EP-X electronic intelligence plane, a sorely needed replacement for the EP-3. He terminated C-17 production at 221 aircraft, claiming the USAF had ordered enough of these, when the USAF was actually so short on airlifters it had to rent Russian aircraft – at higher prices than what it would pay for BUYING more C-17s.

Most worryingly of all, Gates terminated the Multiple Kill Vehicle, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Airborne Laser programs in 2009. The MKV would’ve been a kinetic metal “warhead” designed to shoot down enemy missiles. It was to be kind of a defensive MIRV bus which would’ve released dozens of small “kill vehicles” that would’ve shot down lots of enemy ballistic missiles all at once. (Currently, a single kill vehicle from a single interceptor can kill only one enemy missile.) This would’ve solved the target discrimination problem missile defense critics often complain about – which among the missiles or warheads are real ones and which ones are duds would’ve been irrelevant, because ALL of them would be shot down.

The KEI and the Airborne Laser, for their part, would’ve enabled the US to shoot down enemy missiles in the earliest phase of their flight, when their countermeasures have NOT been deployed yet and their deadly payloads have not yet been released. In other words, when enemy missiles are the most vulnerable. This would’ve come in handy when countering any missiles, especially the hypersonic, high-speed global range missile recently tested by China (as reported by Bill Gertz in the WFB).

But America no longer has that option – because Secretary Gates terminated both of these programs in 2009, even though the ABL program, despite its infancy, was progressing well, having passed 3 out of its 5 tests before being terminated.

So when you read Bill Gertz’s articles in the WFB, the Washington Times, on Fox News, or elsewhere about China’s global range hypersonic missiles, remember America does NOT have defenses capable of stopping those missiles, and that is thanks to Obama and Gates.

Russian and Chinese threats on the horizon

But China’s development as a huge threat to US and allied security, and as a contender to replace the US as the world’s top military power, is nothing new. It was already evident during Gates’ tenure as SECDEF.

Already during Gates’ time, there already was strong evidence that China was closing most gaps with the US military and working to create its own unique advantages. There already was solid evidence China was working to overtake the US militarily and would achieve that objective absent US efforts to maintain an edge over Beijing. Yet, Gates harbored a desire to appease Beijing as well as to drive America deeper into useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So he ignored all that evidence, surpressed the truth and professional advice, lied to the American public, appeased Beijing with word and deed, and killed the very programs needed to counter the People’s Republic’s military buildup.

By 2009, China already had more attack submarines, and almost as many subs in total, as the US – and was steadily replacing old ones with new, ultra-quiet ones. It already had a large nuclear arsenal. It already had two stealth fighters under development. It already had almost as many ships in total as the US Navy, had deployed a dense and modern air defense network, already wielded thousands of missiles capable of targeting all US bases in the Western Pacific, already possessed anti-satellite kinetic and laser weapons, and already had hundreds of advanced fighter aircraft.

Russia was also busy building up its military, increasing its nuclear arsenal, and developing new, cutting edge weapons.

In 2010, Russia’s first stealth fighter, the PAK FA, first flew. This aircraft, when it enters service, will render EVERY fighter in the world except the F-22 Raptor impotent, irrelevant, obsolete, and useless. It will essentially be Russia’s response to the Raptor.

In January 2011, China’s first stealth fighter, the J-20, took to the air – at exactly the time Gates was visiting China. The Gates Pentagon was caught completely by surprise by this development, even though those of us who were clear-eyed about the Chinese threat had been warning for years that the J-20 (J-XX) would soon perform its maiden flight.

At the same time, China and Russia were also protecting America’s enemies North Korea and Iran and shielding them from any consequences of their provocations and illegal nuclear programs.

Also, advanced Chinese and Russian weapons, including the forementioned fighters, will be available to anyone able to pay for them.

But whenever someone dared to call on the US to prepare itself for possible confrontations with China, Gates derided that person as ill with “next-war-itis”, and he ordered the DOD to limit itself to fighting useless “counter-insurgency” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under Gates, tens of billions of dollars were thrown away buying mine-resistant vehicles and nonstealthy, short-ranged, poorly armed drones like the Predator and the Reaper – which are useful only for fighting terrorists, but utterly useless against any nation state wielding any advanced weaponry.

Now that the Iraq war is long over, and the Afghan war is coming to an end, all those mine-resistant (MRAP) vehicles and drones will have to be sold to allies, stored, or scrapped.

Thanks to Gates, who stubbornly advocated staying in Afghanistan and Iraq almost indefinitely and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at them, the US is now dramatically worse off: well over a trillion dollars has been spent fighting those wars, billions more will be spent on caring for veterans of these wars, and over 5,400 brave US troops have died for no good reason.

While Gates attempts to portray himself as a man who stood by military uniformed leaders during crisis times, his tenure in the Pentagon was actually marked by an unrestrained use of political power to surpress the truth and professional military advice in order to fund Gates’ pet projects like the F-35, MRAP vehicles, drones, and, of course, the useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Enabling Obama’s unilateral disarmament of the US

As Defense Secretary, Gates has greatly helped Obama gut the US military – and not just through the program killings listed above, but also through his advocacy of arms control agreements that obligate only the US to disarm itself.

Gates supported the treasonous New START treaty, which obligates the US (but not Russia) to cut its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal to just 1,550 warheads and 700 deployed delivery systems – and Obama envisions even more cuts, down to just 1,000 warheads. That will necessitate, among other things, cutting at least 30 ICBMs. Gates lied to the Congress that the treaty would’ve allowed the US to maintain a sufficient nuclear arsenal and, ridiculously, claimed it would “protect” US nuclear modernization programs, which it actually threatens. He and Hillary Clinton also lied to the Congress that the treaty does not constrain US missile defenses, which it actually does.

Gates also supported the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the Reagan Administration rightly rejected and which would’ve cost America its sovereignty, subordinating it to the corrupt UN and its kangaroo maritime dispute courts, and would’ve cost US taxpayers billions of dollars in new contributions to the wasteful, corrupt UN.

Final verdict: an Obama yes-boy and a traitor

Therefore, based on the above facts about Gates’ tenure as SECDEF, an honest person cannot assess him as anything else as an Obama yes-boy, a traitor, and an utter failure as Defense Secretary. No honest person, and especially no Republican, should give him credit for anything – he does not deserve it. Gates deserves, in fact, to be tried, convicted, and executed as a traitor.

About that July Raptor vs. Typhoon exercise…

Critics of the F-22 Raptor – the world’s best fighter – celebrated when, in July, in a simulated, unrepresentative exercise, German Typhoon fighters “defeated” the Raptor. The F-22’s critics thought they had finally found the “evidence” that the F-22 was useless.

But they were dead wrong and had nothing to celebrate.

It turns out that not only was the exercise unrepresentative of the way USAF operates and how air combat is waged, the rules of engagement were set to assume that F-22 pilots and operational planners would actively cooperate in getting themselves killed by:

1) Not using the F-22′s powerful APG-77 AESA radar.
2) Not using any AWACS aircraft.
3) Not following current American fighter doctrine and tactics.
4) Flying at low speeds and low altitudes.
5) Not using the AIM-120D missile with its over 180 km range.
6) Not using any jammers of its own.
7) Not using any towed decoys, chaff, or flares to spoof enemy missiles.
8) Not using a Missile Approach Warning System.
9) Not using the F-22′s kinematic capabilities to outturn enemy missiles.
10) Sending single aircraft rather than groups of 3-4 Raptors (in the July exercise, single Raptors flew against single Typhoons; such combat engagements never occur in reality).

The only thing in which the F-22 is inferior to the Typhoon is that the Raptor lacks an IRST, but that can be easily added to it at little cost to taxpayers.

Moreover, the Typhoon pilots admitted that in Beyond Visual Range combat, the F-22 is undisputably peerless. They merely claimed they can defeat it in close combat by coming and staying as close to it as possible. The F-22’s ignorant critics thought they had found proof of the F-22’s inferiority, and claimed that most A2A combat occurs within visual range.

There are three problems with these claims. Firstly, the F-22 would likely never allow enemy aircraft to come within visual range of it. Secondly, the F-22 is superior to the Typhoon in close combat just as it is in BVR fights. And thirdly, it’s ridiculous to assume that air combat will always be fought predominantly within visual range.

As to the first point, the F-22 has a far better AESA radar and missiles (the AIM-120D outranges the still-not-in-service Meteor by over 20 kms) than the EF-2000, and being itself highly stealthy, it can evade detection until within visual range, while the EF-2000, with its conventional planform, would be detected and shot down by the F-22 from a very long distance.

The AMRAAM, despite its critics’ smears about its accuracy, has a kill probability of 0.59, 1 representing certainty of kill, so two AMRAAMs are enough to guarantee the shootdown of any enemy (0.59 x 2 = 1.18). That’s what fighters do in real combat: launch multiple missiles to ensure that even if one missile misses, another one will hit the enemy.

But let’s assume that all attempts to shoot the Typhoon down Beyond Visual Range fail and the Typhoon makes it close to the Raptor. Would it defeat the F-22 then?

No.

The F-22, despite being larger and heavier, is more agile and more maneuverable (and therefore more fit for close combat) than the Typhoon. The F-22 has a higher thrust/weight ratio (1.26:1, versus the Typhoon’s barely 1.15:1 ratio); its weight isn’t a problem, because its twin engines give it more than enough thrust. Its thrust loading ratio is lower (i.e. better) than that of the Typhoon. Furthermore, the F-22’s engines have Thrust Vector Control capability; the Typhoon’s EJ-200 engines do not. Thus, the F-22 can outturn enemy missiles; the Typhoon cannot.

Moreover, if the Typhoon, for whatever reason, shows its rear end (with its two conventional superhot engine nozzles) to the F-22 (or is spotted from the back by a second F-22), it will be easily and effortlessly shot down with an AIM-9X infrared-guided, heatseeking missile. There is no way that a Typhoon can avoid being hit with a missile once locked on, because, lacking thrust vector control capability, it cannot outturn missiles in combat. The F-22 can, and with slit, stealthy engine nozzles on its rear end, it is far harder to acquire and hit with heatseeking missiles.

Furthermore, while the Typhoon’s PIRATE Infrared Search and Tracking System can detect the F-22 from at least 50 kms, the Typhoon cannot launch infrared-guided missiles until within 25 kms of the Raptor, because that’s how short the range of its most potent IR missile, the IRIS-T, is. The F-22’s most potent IR missile, the AIM-9X, has a range of 35.4 kms. Thus, in close combat, the F-22 can launch IR guided missiles from a longer range.

So it doesn’t matter if it’s Beyond Visual Range or Within Visual Range Combat; the Typhoon is decisively inferior to the Raptor in any case.

Thirdly, it’s completely wrong to assume that all (or even most) future air to air combat will be waged Within Visual Range, despite airpower critic Pierre Sprey’s claims to the contrary. Technology changes overtime, and with it, the way of waging wars.

Radar and missile technology (in the US as well as in Russia and China) has now progressed so much that most future air engagements will be fought Beyond Visual Range (although WVR capabilities will still be important) and their result will be decided by who gets the “first look, first shot, first kill” capability. And that is undisputably the F-22. But if WVR combat occurs – as it will from time to time – the F-22 is, as demonstrated above, decisively superior to the Typhoon in that regime of combat as well.

The Danger Room’s David Axe claimed that:

“Admittedly, advanced air forces plan to do most of their fighting at long range and avoid the risky, close-in tangle — something Gruene acknowledged in his comments to Combat Aircraft. But there’s evidence that, in reality, most air combat occurs at close distance, despite air arms’ wishful thinking. That could bode poorly for the F-22′s chances in a future conflict.”

No, it doesn’t bode poorly for the F-22’s chances, as proven above.

Axe furthermore falsely claims that:

“Given that even the F-22 could find itself in a close-range dogfight, the stealthy jet has other disadvantages besides its heavy weight and large size.”

The F-22 does not have a “heavy weight” or a “large size”, and as demonstrated above, its thrust/weight ratio is superior to the Typhoon’s, as the Typhoon has decisively less powerful engines. So the F-22’s weight and size are NOT disadvantages – especially not vis-a-vis the inferior Typhoon.

Axe laments that

“Technical problems forced the Air Force to omit a helmet-mounted sight from the Raptor. This key piece of gear allows pilots in other planes — including the German Typhoon — to lock missiles onto a target merely by looking at it.”

But these technical problems can be easily fixed at little cost to taxpayers, by adding a helmet-mounted sight or the JSF’s Distributed Aperture System to the F-22, just like several other technologies originally developed for the F-35 were added to the F-22 as well. Even if a HMS is not added to the F-22, however, it can still easily turn and shoot at an enemy plane. The Typhoon cannot do that so easily given its decisively inferior thrust/weight ratio.

Axe further assumes, in response to criticism from commenters, that regarding BVR, AMRAAM missiles wouldn’t work, the F-22 wouldn’t be able to accurately identify enemy aircraft despite having an Identify Friend/Foe system, and wouldn’t be allowed to shoot at unidentified aircraft. In other words, he stacks all assumptions AGAINST the F-22, thus rigging the rules to ensure the F-22 would lose. Needless to say, his assumptions (except the third one) are flat wrong.

Thus, when Axe claimed that

“If long-range tactics fail, the F-22 force could very well find itself fighting up close with the latest fighters from China, Russia and other rival nations. And if the Germans’ experience is any indication, that’s the kind of battle the vaunted F-22s just might lose.”

he was dead wrong, because the F-22 would likely prevail in any close combat, whether against the Typhoon or the latest fighters from “China, Russia, and other rival nations”. The F-22 is far superior kinematically, aerodynamically, and in terms of its radar and weapons against the latest fighters fielded by China and Russia. Only the Russian PAKFA and the Chinese J-20 and J-31 have a chance of matching the Raptor.

So, in short, the F-22 is decisively superior to the Typhoon in both BVR and WVR combat, as proven by its superior aerodynamic and kinematic capabilities and by its weapons, not by David Axe’s false claims or the fantasies of German pilots who have never seen real air combat.