F-22 undefeated at Al Dhafra: 27th FS pilot [VIDEO]

Thanks to Virginian-Pilot producer Brian Clark for an excellent video.

At the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course at Al Dhafra Air Base, six F-22s apparently faced off against F-16 Block 60s and Mirage 2000-9s, presumably both operated by the United Arab Emirates. If the F-22s also sparred with French Air Force Rafales and Royal Air Force Typhoons, which also participated in the exercise, the pilot does not say. But there were reports last month that the F-22′s were withdrawn from such sorties at the last minute.

In the judgment of this pilot, the F-22s are also now ready for combat duty. Of course, technically, the F-22 has been operational since late 2005, but let’s not be picky.

50 Responses to F-22 undefeated at Al Dhafra: 27th FS pilot [VIDEO]

  1. Dan 17 December, 2009 at 2:10 am #

    Sources state the F-22 participated in DACT with the Rafale. The inference was that the Raptor won handily.

    RAF, at least in the early stages declined the opportunity to do DACT with the Raptor.

    Eurofighter did very well.

  2. Nick 17 December, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    He said England and France – I don’t think the UK flies F16s or Mirages.

  3. Distiller 17 December, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Well, actually he kind of says that they flew against Rafale and EF2k, doesn’t he? “… from countries such as the UAE, England, France …”

  4. Stephen Trimble 17 December, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Thanks Aeroxavier. The French blog on the link says the Rafale and the F-22 have faced off several times, although it’s not clear if the blogger was referring to Al Dhafra. I suspect not. But there have been rumors about this for a while. I would love a confirmed source on this.

  5. mcfly0570 17 December, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    that link talks about manouvers in UAE, so, probably it is the same exercise.

    It also says that the rafale ended up in F22s HUD only once… out of how many fights, it is not said.

    The aircraft that seemed to be in most difficult position appears to be the typhoon (not speaking of those playing “bad guys” during the exercise – F-16s and M2000-9 )

  6. Bjørnar Bolsøy 17 December, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Well the pilot does appear to say that they flew against French and British pilots. Open the gates of speculation!

    B. Bolsøy

  7. aeroxavier 17 December, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    i’m sure the rafale is very good but american and english see that just now (and others to).
    but the pilot make the difference …

  8. Dave 17 December, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Cool, spotted someone I know in this video.

  9. Obamanite 17 December, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    As others have pointed out, the Raptor driver did let it slip, perhaps, that the F-22 in fact flew against Rafales and Typhoons, while remaining undefeated. And yet he only mentioned UAE aircraft specifically. Which is still significant, given that the F-16E/F is equipped with an AESA and therefore a potentially more complicated foe for the F-22 than either the Rafale or Typhoon. In fact, it would not surprise me if the F-16E/F actually had the upper hand against the Rafale and Typhoon, neither of which is currently equipped with an AESA. The advantage of being able to scan a huge swathe of sky in fractions of a second – more accurately and at longer ranges – versus several seconds for a mechanically-scanned array cannot be overestimated.

    “But the pilot make(s) the difference…” Well, part of what the Raptor driver said in his interview is that, in the case of the F-22 versus anyone else, that is not the case. The fact that a pilot with 100 hours in one airplane can shoot down another with 3,000 hours in his airplane consistently and with impunity tells you that the pilot does NOT, when talking about the F-22, make the difference. The F-22 is the great “un-equalizer,” which is the entire raison d’etre of its existence.

    Also, the notion that “the pilot makes the difference” is patently untrue when you pit one side with vastly superior situational awareness against another flying dumb and blind. Look at what happened in the Balkans, for instance. Were American pilots really that much better than their Serbian counterparts? Where F-15s and F-16s really that much better than Mig-29s? Not necessarily. But the Americans knew where then Mig-29s were from the moment they took off, while the Serbians did not have a similar advantage. Now, imagine the F-22 in that equation. You’ve gone from an unfair fight to one in which, if you’re on the opposing side, you have zero chance of success.

  10. Louis 18 December, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    The reason they shut down the production line is beyond me.

    F-35 isn’t any cheaper if you look at its price tag now, offering a much degraded

  11. mia92 18 December, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    The “mamouth” blog comments pointed by aeroxavier are based on information delivered on Dec 17th by the french ministry of defense in verbal communication (“point presse”).
    It says that in a rafale 4 against typhoon, the first acounter was 4-0 for the rafale, and the second one 3-1 for the rafale.
    I says also that there was F22 agains Rafale exercises, but only within visual range air to air engagement only, and that the rafale went only once in the raptor HUD sights, without specifying the number of encounter.
    Taking in account the video above, one can assume a 1-0 in Raptor’s favor.

  12. mrmalaya 18 December, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    does any of this make any sense apart from the french saying they beat the typhoon and the f22?

    when can we expect the RAF to say they are too chivalrous to reveal how the other aircraft faired?

  13. titeuf 20 December, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Ils ne faut pas trop vous etonnez ,cela fait des années que vous pourrissez le Rafale et ses soit disant performances mediocre face aux admirable avions que les USA construise .quand au Typhoon ,construit a 4 pays qui plus est plus chére et beaucoup moins performant en air sol ,je reconnais qu’il a une belle gueule mais c’est tout.
    Pour le F35 arretez s’il vous plait avec ses performances fantastiques car pour l’instant le seul truc fantastique qu’il a pour lui c’est son prix ,je sais que la propagande marche des 2 cotes du channel mais redescendez sur terre avec votre F35.
    Pour le F22 c’est normal qu’il arrive a descendre le Rafale ,il vaut 4 fois plus chere et de technologie plus avancée,le contraire eu etait comment dirai je ……….risible.

  14. john 20 December, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    My 2 cents after reading aeroxavier’s link:

    The Raptor holds it’s rank. No surprise.

    But: scoring only one kill against Rafale means for the Raptor that the frogs not only make the best planes behind the US but also have damn good pilots. Not to mention the high availability rate of the plane.

    During the exercise, the Rafale shot down 3 planes while simultaneously launching 6 smart bombs in less than a minute. Plus, jamming AA radar sites the specialized F16CJ did not detect.

    The Eurofighter is more Euro than fighter and needs a serious boost.

    I suggest to forget the F35, and put its ground attack DNA into the Raptor.

  15. Roquelaure 21 December, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    @ mrmalaya. Hello. They (RAF) are too chivalerous !!? From french : chevalerie ? From …..”amour courtois” ? ( i could not resist..) Seriously . Are you in the twilight zone ? Nobody in the world of the fighters are too chivalrous. Silent gives consent. (“Qui ne dit mot consent”). But, perhaps will have soon another version .If not….

  16. aeroxavier 21 December, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    about the rafale
    this site was one little anti-american about the market but not very much if you know the reality.
    (that was certainly difficult for the trad but google was here)

  17. glider 22 December, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    surely the rafale is a good a/c and in skillful hands can be tough for every opponent.
    that’s far enough for some chauvinist to say that even a baguette can break a foreign sword.

    so what.

    I think readers are interested in aircrafts, not in chauvinism.

    are french people generally a little bit prone to chauvinism when talking about french “whatever”? I’d say yes, a little bit more than the average.

    I think everybody can deal with it, and go ahead.

  18. Roquelaure 22 December, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    you have pointed teeth, you should like bagette!

  19. Jostiniac 23 December, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    The French are not chauvinists. I am French, I live in Mexico for 7 years and I know the United States. The problem is that France has a big problem to sell the Rafale (Generation IV). It’s a best aircraft in the world after the Raptor (Generation V). In confrontation between the Raptor and the Rafale, the Raptor has reached its target only one time. This is not very good for the Raptor, is a new plane. The problems of selling the Rafale is the U.S. pressure on countries wanting to buy this plane and the aggressive marketing techniques of the USA. We must understand the indignation of the French and not to talk nonsense when speaking of chauvinism.

  20. glider 24 December, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    @ Jostiniac
    ok, chauvinism is unfair

    let’s read http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/defense/ where rafale is told to be the best aircraft of the world, period while pretending to be self-bashing

    all this basing on rumors coming from a single ATLC which virtual scenario and engagements are not public.

    let’s call it cocorico ;)

    indeed, though not my favourite :D

  21. Palou 31 December, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi all,

    Just look at this video and compare with the one above ;)


    No great speaking, only demo :D

  22. mrmalaya 5 January, 2010 at 2:17 pm #


    I have literally been losing sleep over this. There has been no come back about how badly the french say the RAF Typhoons (and less critically the F22s) performed in these air combat exercises. There is a lot of very heated and occassionally well informed debate on the web about this outcome but is it still really the case that we only have a translated french account of what went on?

    Its really been bugging me, it doesn’t feel right, but if its gospel then I shall just suck it up!

  23. Stephen Trimble 6 January, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    For gosh sakes, dont lose sleep over something like this! Even if we knew exactly what transpired over the sands of Al Dhafra, it would only be, at best, anecdotal. That’s interesting to know, and I really want to know it, but it doesn’t really tell us anything about the capabilities of the individual fighters or even the individual pilots. You’d need a lot more data under controlled circumstances to reach any logical definitive conclusions. That said, if anybody knows the anecdotal stuff, you know where to reach me!!!

  24. mrmalaya 6 January, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Thanks Stephen!

    thats the general concensus I suppose. I do think its interesting that there has been little or no comment from the other airforces involved (besides the french and USAF). I guess thats a good enough reason to get some shut eye :)

  25. Thomas Barton, JD 30 January, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Mr. Trimble, do you have any insight as to how effective the Rafale’s ECM suite, I believe it has a “Ghostbusters” logo with a red bar over it, would perform against AMRAAM class missiles both US and the Russian equivalents ?

  26. Michael 15 February, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    I am British but unbiased and wish to put forward centain pertinent comments regarding the supposed encounter between Rafale / Typhoon / Raptor in the UAE excercise which has lead to innumerable comments. When we talk of an war plane, first & foremost its cost / effectivity / versatility ratio is of paramount importance and, with respects this, undoubtedly RAFALE wins hands down.
    Let us remenber, that it is an operational low – level, deep penetration nuclear – strike aircraft carrying a precision stand – off missile of considerable deterrent power. Meeting this role, with an autonomous self -defence capabilty second to none. Comprisiing highly effective EC + IR MICA missiles with METEOR cooming up soon. Coupled with its new radar which is already in low – rate production. Needless to say, this nuclear role in the central European theatre, means highly evolved , fully integrated electronic counter measures in the form of SPECTRA.
    This suite, is constantly updated and reprogramable on the ground. If RAPTOR realy did switch on its radar (which is highly unlikely), during any encounter with RAFALE in UAE, it would be a golden opportunity to eavesdrop and programme the same to counter its changing frequencies (a funcction also incorporated in the current RAFALE radar). SPECTRA, may even have signal cancellation which could additionally make stealthiness redundant.
    The aforemetioned MICA, has thrust vectoring & can hit an aircraft comming from behind with data link info provided by buddy aircraft, not necessarily fighters, maybe by ASWACS or even by ground control. This has been already proven & tested. This extraordinary missile directed or working in conjunction with the SAGEM GERFAUT helmet mounted sight, once operational and combined with data supplied by OSF, can foreseeably blow any aircraft out of the sky including the F22 which, does not have any of these capabilities. RAPTOR, way have limited thrust vetoring, but this is off-set by the French planes intrinsic agility. The F22 is combersome & heavy by comparison.
    The RAFALE thrust – weight ratio and above all its weight – payload ratio is absolutely brilliant with its present, very reliable powerplant. Future developements of which, may easily see an M -88 – 4 version with increased power + 360º vectoring.
    Similarly, not only will the OSF be up-dated but could even cover sides and rear, since the optronic module is quite reduced in size. Notably, It can also be connected with the DAMOCLES pod for increased resolution and range.
    In its strategic reconnaisance role with the new NG pod, RAFALE, has far greater capability than for instance, the Mirage IV. With the crew not having to do anything other than fly the plane.& monitor. Both in this role and in most other, the dual seat RAFALE B moreover, is a non negligeable asset compared to any single seat planes such as RAPTOR.
    Any moving body creates heat and IR functions are the optimum techniques for countering low – visibility platforms both in the passive mode + the active offensive mode. The French METEOR has MICA single channel data link and other MICA caracteristics and, no doubt, the latter´s IR seeker can easily also de adapted. Such silent mssiles, in combination with the OPTRONIC / SPECTRA detection capabilities are likely to be very, very effective.
    Conventional, stand – off modular weaponry already operational with RAFALE is unequaled in precision and versatility, aside SCALP. In the anti – shipping role, ask the RN what it thinks of French anti ship missiles such as the latest EXOCET?
    All in all, we have a brilliant, cost effective plane second to none.

  27. Jostiniac 19 February, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Air & Cosmos N.2206 19 Feb 2010.

    Rafale VS Raptor at Al Dhafra.
    6 Dogfight:
    - 1 Win (Raptor)
    - 5 Draw

  28. Dave 19 February, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Re: Video

    Ah the arrogance of the Raptor pilot, I don’t think he’s ever heard of the word humble has he? Or being generous in his praise of others.

    ‘I’m the best, we are the best, a pilot with 100 hours can beat anyone of any experience’ blah blah, we all know the Raptor is a very good fighter but over confidence and arrogance often lead to a downfall and it’s dangerous to assume that all your enemies are inferior, e.g Vietnam.

    Air combat is not only about swapping missiles shots across the arena but getting into the fight unseen, which admittedly is difficult with a sky full of AWACS and F-22s, so better to be sly and cunning combined with innovative tactics against a Raptor rather than using brute strength.

    Vive La France! Rule Britannia!

  29. agent0060 12 March, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    @ Distiller & Obamanite

    The only aircraft the Raptor pilot mentions is “the latest block F-16 and the Mirage 2000″. No Rafales, no Typhoons. And surely he would have noticed?

  30. Roger 23 March, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    I strongly believe that the Americans claim that they were unbeated at Dubai is a blatant lie,
    I don`t think that the French would say what they did without some truth in it! and as for the Typhoon
    mob saying that the French claims are unfair is a laugh! war isn`t fair,so why should simulated war be!
    I believe typhoon got soundly beated by the French Rafale and the Typhoon mob don`t like it! and as we have learned it wasn`t the first time either!
    It appears to me that the French have the Best alround fighter jet in the world and the Americans and us Brits just don`t like; so lies are said about the Rafale, and now The Rafale is proving its worth, the best military fighter in the world.
    Well done France!!!

  31. Obamanite 23 March, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Roger, “us Brits”? Give me an effing break. If you’re a Brit, then I’m Congolese. Next time you try to masquerade as an English speaker, it may behoove you to, you know, actually speak (and more importantly, write) English…

  32. aeroxavier 24 March, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    it is sure rafale was the big enemy for USA and eurofighter partners.
    everytime US make all of possible for cut rafale export contract. rafale have lose 4 contract, everytime USA win with old aircraft.USA sell with no profit just for win the market.rafale is operational in 2004 but we see every time : “rafale was not sale in the last 30 years” but he have started after eurofighter and ready before it and with better capacity.the price of the rafale is another US propaganda against it, they say he cost 140millions but this price was the R&d include for the number of plane in view for just french army, simple division (284/40bn) but if 200 plane was sale in export? if others country buy techno for make it? see in brazil,and american reaction (carrier , hillary …)
    just for 36 aircraft.

    the rafale was the best plane and if he was sell in others country he can make for what f-35 was make: one excellent aicraft with small price.

    in few day 4 koweiti parlment (/40-50) have say their opposition for the rafale and 2 american contract, normally when i search i find immediately one french source but when rafale have bad signs i find english link like defensenews, but for american contract that not important for american , just rafale is important for propaganda.
    after that you have exercise in uae , and first reaction was immediately done by american pilot: “f-22 undefeated” , but when we see scores , you have one mirage who have shoot the f-22 and the f-22 who have big prob for catch the rafale.
    if you are not stupid you see american is in one bad situation in this sector because the f-35 (multirole(strange?)) have big difficult and the first and better multirole , the rafal,e can take big market where the f-35 can be involved in the future.
    rafale progress in technology and if he win brazil market, others follow immediately because brazil was one assurance for one buyer

  33. Roger 27 March, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    well! so you`re Congolese! hey arsehole! you can`t spell,there is only one “o” in “behove” so who can`t
    write English then!!! So now who`s masquerading as an English speaker! you don`t deserve an effing break!!! Don`t tell me I`m not British you Congolese

  34. Obamanite 28 March, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Okay, Roger, there’s only one “o” in “behoove.” Whatever you say, buddy. Oh, lord…

  35. Roger 29 March, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Obamanite,respectfully I am not your buddy; as for you comment:

    Okay, Roger, there’s only one “o” in “behoove.” Whatever you say, buddy. Oh, lord…

    Firstly your lord won`t help you because he doesn`t exist!
    When I was a child I was taught how to read and write the English language correctly; as it is taught here in England, in an English school where the English language originated.
    And according to the Oxford English dictionnary,
    “behove” has only one “o” as for American English, yes you are correct there are two “o`s” in the American version! But as we English know only too well Americans can`t spell proper English properly!

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