It could happen.
Kill a 'Raptor': How to Shoot Down an F-22 Stealth Fighter
The Chinese—like the Russians—have formidable electronic attack capabilities including DRFM jammers.
The U.S. Air Force has as a tiny fleet of 186 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. That’s all that survived out of 187 production aircraft (195 jets if developmental airframes are included) that were built out of the 750 that were originally planned. Of those 186 remaining Raptors, only 123 are “combat-coded” aircraft with another twenty that are classified as backup aircraft inventory machines. The rest are test and training assets.
But even if 186 aircraft remain in the Air Force’s inventory—not all of those fighters are operational. At least two—possibly more—jets are not currently flyable. One test aircraft—tail 91-4006—at Edward Air Force Base (AFB) in California has avionics that are so old; it’s not worth bothering to fly it anymore. Another aircraft—02-4037—was badly damaged in a belly landing at Tyndall AFB, Fla. It’s going to take at least four years and $98 million to repair the damage. The Air Force has also had trouble with repairing other F-22s due to snafus with retrieving improperly stored production tooling for the jet.
This first appeared in October 2015.