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The F-22 Can Dogfight
by James Dunnigan
August 26, 2012

A recent American Red Flag training exercise allowed F-22s and Typhoons (the latest European fighter) to face off. As expected, the F-22 had the advantage at long range engagements, being more difficult for the Typhoon to spot and usually able to get a long range missile off at the Typhoon before the Typhoon pilots knew it was observed and under attack. But the F-22 managed to hold its own when dogfighting (close range, cannon, and heat seeking missile combat) the Typhoon. The F-22 was not designed with dogfighting in mind. Emphasis was on stealth and things like supercruise (cruising at supersonic speeds).

While the F-22 was surprisingly nimble in a dog fight, this was considered an emergency situation for the F-22. Designed to move quickly into, or away from, enemy aircraft, the F-22 was not meant to do a lot of dogfighting. But F-22 pilots have to be prepared because enemy pilots know that their chances of victory against an F-22 increase enormously if you can get close enough to force the stealth fighter into a dogfight, if only for a short while before the F-22 sprints away.

 


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