Hopefully, you will never find yourself in air-to-air combat with a Lockheed Martin F-22, particularly if you happen to be flying any other fighter besides an F-22. The Raptor still boasts a 30:1 kill ratio in mock dogfights (the only kind of dogfight, alas, the F-22 has ever known).
Notice, however, the “:1″ part of the ratio expression. That’s the proof: The F-22 can be shot down.
This morning, Lieutenant General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for plans, operations and requirements, explained how a Boeing F-15 can shoot down an F-22. Carlisle spoke this morning about fifth generation fighters at a breakfast event sponsored by the Air Force Association in Rosslyn, Virginia.
Here is a transcript of Carlisle’s remarks:
“They [the F-22s] always start defensive as you might imagine because anything elseis kind of a waste of gas. So the F-22 always start defensive. On rareoccasions the F-22 guy — first of all, the [F-15] Eagle guy, you have to fly a perfectlag fight (flight?). You have to have AIM-9X and JHMCS [joint helmet mounted cueing system] to get an off-boresightIR [infrared] capability. And the F-22 guy has to put up his power a nanosecond too earlyand not use his countermeasures and you may get a fleeting, one nanosecondAIM-9X shot, and that’s about it.”
Make that the OTHER way to shoot down an F-22.
We already know there’s another tactic developed by the F-22′s simulated opponents.
Back in November, 2008, there was a minor blogosphere eruption when an Air National Guard colonel was seen on YouTube providing all sorts of fascinating details about Red Flag activities, including how F-15 pilots have learned to shoot down the F-22.
Here’s what he said:
“We’ve been fighting the Raptor and getting our butts kicked, and you know the only chance you have against the Raptor is when he’s in the turn and he’s coming around the corner — and you have an inexperienced guy because the experienced guys know not to get there — but the inexperienced guy has got — and this is, no [shoot], 28-degrees-per-second turn rate at 20,000 feet. The F-15 has an instantaneous [turn rate] of 21 [degrees] and a sustained [turn rate] of about 15-20 degrees. The Raptor can sustain 28 degrees. Some of these young guys, that’s not enough for them. They want more than that! So they come around the corner, and, here you are in your Eagle, just hoping that he gets scared and … [the F-22 pilot] pulls to the point where he’s going post-stall manoeuvring. Once he goes post-stall, the airplane stops moving around the centre of lift on the wing and it goes around the centre of gravity up by the nose because it goes on just thrust, and the ass-end drops down, and the airplane will rotate like this. Well, in the Eagle, or in the [F-16] Viper, when you see that, you immediately go vertical because you know he’s not going to be able to go up with you, and you have one fleeting opportunity against the Raptor and that’s it.”
Yes, that’s it. Consider this your F-22 dogfight survival guide, although you will probably still be dead.