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F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter: ‘Shot Down’ By France?

F-22
F-22 Raptor. Image: Lockheed Martin.

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor—a single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft—is considered to be one of the most formidable fighter planes known to exist in the world.

“F-22 Raptor has delivered on its promise to provide unprecedented air dominance. The 5th Generation F-22’s unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness, combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world,” Lockheed Martin’s website reads.

According to EurAsian Times, “the fighter aircraft combines a revolutionary leap in technology and capability with reduced support requirements and maintenance costs. …The aircraft’s super-cruise, along with its stealth, integrated avionics, and maneuverability gives its pilots a ‘first-look, first-shot, first-kill’ ability against enemy aircraft.”

It continued: “The Raptor not only has an inherent precision ground-attack capability but can also carry existing and planned short and medium-range air-to-air missiles in its internal bays. The F-22 also comes with an internal 20-mm cannon and provisions for carrying precision ground attack weapons.”

Not Invincible

Despite these amazing next-generation features, that doesn’t mean that the F-22 Raptor is invincible. In fact, it was once shot down by a fourth-generation fighter jet—Dassault’s Rafale. Thank goodness it was in a training exercise and not in actual combat.

“While remarkable in its own stead, in comparison to the Raptor, this French warplane doesn’t appear to be as impressive. It is a versatile “omnirole” fighter that can perform all kinds of missions and carry a very wide variety of weapons,” the Times’ expert writes.

“However, it can only reach a speed of 2 Mach, slower than the Raptor’s top speed of 2.25 Mach. The F-22’s rate of climb, maneuverability as well as avionics outpace those of the French jet,” he continued.

What About the F-35?

With this in mind, should Washington also be concerned about the F-35, known to be the most lethal and versatile aircraft of the modern era? Former Defense Secretary James Mattis even called the F-35 aircraft “critical” for America’s air superiority and applauded its ability to integrate seamlessly with allies who have purchased the jet.

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“The F-35 serves as the backbone of allied airpower for thirteen nations and counting. Playing a critical role in joint domain operations, the fighter brings unprecedented situational awareness, information sharing, and connectivity to the coalition,” Lockheed Martin writes on its website.

The Times’ expert noted that the “F-35 has had more field experience than F-22. Unlike the Raptor, which the U.S. refused to export so as to keep this advanced technology to itself, the F-35 aircraft has been exported globally and is used by several U.S. allies.”

He continued: “Its unique avionics and stealth capabilities give the fighter an edge over most other warplanes known today. Just like the Raptor, the F-35 is likely to have the advantage when it comes to stealth. … The twist, though, is likely to be in a Within Visual Range (WVR) combat situation. In dogfights, the French jet can play to its strength. Rafale’s agility, thrust-to-weight ratio, and maneuverability are likely to prove lethal to the F-35. This would be a case of history repeating itself, for an F-35 vs. Rafale dogfight is likely to be very similar to the exchange that happened between Rafale and the F-22 more than a decade ago.”

F-22 History

F-22 Raptor 4173 takes off from Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Ga., facility on its delivery flight to Langley Air Force Base, Va., Jan. 27. 2011.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Stephen Mersereau

    September 19, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.

  2. Geoff reper

    September 19, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Wot a load of bollocks it be macron trying to look good for the a.u.k.u.s deal

  3. Joe

    September 19, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    100 bucks it had a Luneberg on it.

  4. Chris

    September 19, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    This happened at the Red flag event in nevada and the raptor wasn’t in stealth mode and had external ariels fitted aswell,if it was a real world situation the French plane would have lost before it knew the raptor was there

  5. Chingon

    September 19, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Yeah, and I “Shot Down” the entire French Air Force in a game called Ace Combat… Fricken idiots…

  6. Sylvester Anghuy

    September 19, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    The title is very misleading, even in the french wildest dream it will never happen

  7. Captain Rod Hardman

    September 19, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Yeah …. the F-35 Lightning is “really capable” as is being told in Congress or before a House Committee in recent weeks. All of its weakness and faults laid bare. What next? The 737MAX was “good to go” out of the box and had no flaws? B787 being top notch quality when it comes to assembly and fuselage joints??

  8. Etadik

    September 20, 2021 at 1:59 am

    This website is a joke. This article is ridiculous. So much info left out. Staight clickbait. Also is the author WA based, or Minneapolis based? What a joke they can’t even get that right.

  9. Tim

    September 20, 2021 at 3:15 am

    Dumb. Raptor has a prformance envelope beyond the raf…so if you are saying it’s driver’s good fn luck we will out operate you force on force …really how many times America gotta save France? Asking for a bunch of friends…

  10. Slack

    September 20, 2021 at 5:40 am

    One swallow doesn’t herald a summer. Werner Molders in 1940 downed over a score of hurricanes and spitfires but his air force still lost the battle.

  11. Bob

    September 20, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Nope, no external tanks, don’t cry baby

  12. Donald

    September 20, 2021 at 7:49 am

    Wrong headline topics with false describe.

  13. Joe

    September 20, 2021 at 9:46 am

    What a ridiculous clickbait headline. Putting great use to that english degree.

  14. Jeff Findley

    September 20, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Probably an accident. French pilot was trying to push the white flag discharge button.

  15. d0x360

    September 20, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    It wasn’t exactly a “fair” contest since the f22 wasn’t actually stealth during the game.

    Plus the f22 was designed to take down other fighters from 20 miles away.

    It’s never been able to be tracked in a real world scenario, in fact 2 of them snuck up on some countries fighters from below then flew up next to them and the f22 pilots waved. It was like the scene in top gun minus the poloroid.

  16. Schmuelsons

    September 20, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    I hope it’s true, for a nation that only required less than three months for the blitzkrieg to occupy. It’s not just the machine but brain behind it. Thanks as more and more American and world editors would love to ‘shoot down’ America and glorify communist China.

  17. Ed castile

    September 20, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Wasn’t really shot down, now your sounding like fox news

  18. Rascasse

    September 21, 2021 at 5:05 am

    Ho, the US readers are all angry about this news, if we judge from their comments… Yet, the paper makes it clear that it wass a WVR exercise, so everybody already understands it’s not the most favoprable conditions for the F22. PLus, there’s nothing new here, as the same thing had already happened in 2007. At the time, the USAF was so embarassed that it’s alledgedly invincible fighter had been ridiculed in a dogfight by a supposedly inferior French out-date 4th gen fighter… They spent years denying it had even happened. So in 2013, some people in the French air force leaked the evidence, and proved that in a single dog-fight, the F22 could have been destroyed at least 3 times… It is no accident. Just enjoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGuWadoTgkE

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