"Fighting Mr. Invincible": I Tried to Win a Dog Fight Against an F-22 Raptor

Dave Majumdar
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Dave Majumdar

Security,

It did not end so well.

"Fighting Mr. Invincible": I Tried to Win a Dog Fight Against an F-22 Raptor

Flying back to Langley, the experience was an eye-opener. I have been covering the Raptor and the F-35 since beginning of both programs. It is one thing to intellectually grasp the power of stealth, but seeing it in action makes one a believer—our flight had no idea, no warning from the AWACS or GCI that we were about to be hit until it was all over. It’s nearly impossible to fight an enemy you can’t see.

(This first appeared in 2016.)

This past Wednesday, I had the opportunity to fly on a training sortie during the U.S. Air Force’s Atlantic Trident 17 exercise at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Virginia.

The war game brings together the three premier NATO air forces and the best operational fighters in the alliance’s arsenal including the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor—flown by hosts, the 1st Fighter Wing—the Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the British Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoons and the French Armée de l'Air’s Dassault Rafales. U.S. Air Force Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles from the 391st Fighter Squadron and Northrop Grumman T-38 Talon jet trainers from the 1st Fighter Wing’s own 71st Fighter Training Squadron provided “Red Air” support playing the bad guys.

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