High-spirited and secretive F-22 "definitely" is the best fighter air-to-air in the arsenal of favorite air force in the world. At least, so he wrote in 2009, the Head of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, the U.S. Air Force.
Three years later, a group of German pilots flying at its last fighter Typhoon, found in time simulated air combat, as you can shoot down the F-22.
In the middle of June 150 German pilots and eight 2-motor Typhoons arrived at the Air Force base in Alaska on Eylson planned exercises in which apart from Germany, involving the United States, Japan, Australia and Poland. Eight times in the time 2-week-old teachings of the individual German Typhoons came together against single F-22 in the time basic fighter maneuvers, the purpose of which was simulated air combat at close range.
The results have been sudden for the Germans, and the Yankees can be, too. "We are equal," says Maj. Gen. Mark Gruen. Basic, says Gruen, was close to F-22 as close as possible … and there and stay. They did not expect that we are so hard on their nasyadem. "
Gruen says that Raptor excels in distance fighting out of sight with his abilities superior speed and altitude, sverhtehnologichnym radar and long range missiles AMRAAM. But at close range, which pilots call "fusion" more difficult and more than F-22 is unprofitable position. "As soon as you came to" merge "with the F-22, Typhoon it is certainly not to be afraid, "says Gruen.
This, of course, not the results expected from the F-22. In many years in the Air Force believed that the Raptor in a dogfight to none.
However, modern air force is meant that most of the air battles will have to pass on the far distances, avoiding close combat. But in reality, despite the desire of manufacturers of combat aircraft, more? Most of the fighting took place on the small distances, which can promise the F-22 is little chance of time future conflicts.
In the 2008 study funded by the Air Force Research Center RAND said that examined 588 cases of knocking down planes in aerial combat since the 1950s, only 24 occurred at longish distances, when the attacker opened fire at a target out of sight. RAND maintains that historically, rocket distant deeds air-to-air has 90 percent less effective than expected.
Remains to be learned will the Raptor and AMRAAM missiles to change this trend. If the strategy battle at far distances itself does not justify, the F-22 pilots will be able to suddenly find themselves battling at close range with the latest fighter planes manufactured in China, Russia or other competing states. And if the experience of the German pilots says something, then so vaunted battle F-22-e can completely lose.