F-35 Lightning II versus the F-22 Raptor

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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vegasdave901

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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 04:09

So let's say it's a near-future Red Flag and F-22's are on the red team and F-35's are on the blue. F-35's are tasked to bomb a target deep in red territory and the F-22's are tasked to stop them. Who wins?
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 04:43

Who cares if they are both on the same side in reality. You would have to spell out the training / exercise environment to make your scenario worthwhile.
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 05:21

That depends on what fighter the F-22s are emulating and what radar modes they are allowed to use.
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 08:55

Lets just throw out the bombing thing for the F-35 since it can bomb the target and still get shot down "notionally" when egressing. We'll say they are both playing the air defense roll. I'd bet on the F-35 because it has the DAS, which looks to be way more effective than the RWR/MLD stuff the F-22 has. I'm going to assume they won't be able to find each other at distance with their radars. I figure the F-35 will passively pickup the F-22 before it can find the F-35. As far as I know, once the F-35 finds the F-22, the pilot just needs to look at it and fire a missile. If this whole thing is taking place at night, then I'd say the F-35 has an extra advantage. That EODAS looks like an amazing piece of equipment. I think it makes all the difference in this situation. If this was 15 years in the future, then maybe the outcome would be a little different. The F-22 will probably see a bunch of upgrades in the future.
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 10:24

Probably depends on the block and Increment, true..

Out of curiosity, the eventual, actual effective EODAS tracking and ID range is classified? Is there a non-classified ballpark estimated range say, vs a head-on fighter? It's no EOTS, of course, but would EODAS forinstance be able to track and ID an aircraft coming head-on to an F-35 (from whichever angle of the F-35) 40km out? Or is that overstated or even know (maybe its a lot less)? Also, can a block III F-35's EODAS be used to 'cue' an AMRAAM passively? I know there are some unknowns as far as which level of 'sensor fusion' will exist in block III, vs block IV sensor fusion upgrade, vs suggested block V sensor fusion upgrade, etc... but it would be interesting to know how much the actual block III fusion (in this near-future example) and weapons management can be done automatically, via fusion. Also, one would have to contemplate the loadouts in this scenario too? Block III would notionally have 4x internal AMRAAM for USAF variant, but it's block III AIM-9X would have to be mounted under-wing? That could entail a minor degree change in the equation given? Or would BVR be the only tactic in the above example.. Oh yeah, I would like to support potential of an Increment 3.1 employing powered MALD decoys (or even jammer variants)?? Maybe not.

Regardless, I'd agree with disco, that perhaps by around 2019, an increment 3.3 would include the AIRST type capability along with possible side arrays, as well as upgraded mini-DAS sys. Perhaps then, vs notional block V with potential DIRCM and full sensor fusion + battle management code (especially effective for WVR?), the BVR advantage might shift more decisively to the Increment 3.3 frame.
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 13:03

It is funny that this thread just came up. Earlier this week I was thinking that with all of the PAK FA hype going around, maybe some day the F-22 may get used as an Aggressor! They should give them a couple of early models painted in PAK FA camo. :lol:

However, I would bet that we will see some testing between the two of them in the not so distant future. A good reason would be to see how any export F-35s would fare against the F-22. Not meaning any insult, but sometimes todays allies can possibly be tomorrows opponents. :idea:
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 13:22

My money is on the F-22 for speed and altitude advantages, plus the F-22 should be stealthier than the F-35 (my :2c:)
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Earlier this week I was thinking that with all of the PAK FA hype going around, maybe some day the F-22 may get used as an Aggressor!

I'm not sure there are enough F-22's to go around, but that is an interesting idea. I'm fairly certain the Air Force will explore testing the F-22s further against different aircraft. So once the F-35's production line starts up, who knows?
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 20:48

geogen wrote:Probably depends on the block and Increment, true..

Out of curiosity, the eventual, actual effective EODAS tracking and ID range is classified? Is there a non-classified ballpark estimated range say, vs a head-on fighter? It's no EOTS, of course, but would EODAS forinstance be able to track and ID an aircraft coming head-on to an F-35 (from whichever angle of the F-35) 40km out?


Since the EODAS has no optical zoom, I would say 40km is pushing it for an ID, while a track at that distance is possible.

geogen wrote:Or is that overstated or even know (maybe its a lot less)? Also, can a block III F-35's EODAS be used to 'cue' an AMRAAM passively?


According to this March'09, EODAS can que AAMs.

Image

geogen wrote:I know there are some unknowns as far as which level of 'sensor fusion' will exist in block III, vs block IV sensor fusion upgrade, vs suggested block V sensor fusion upgrade, etc... but it would be interesting to know how much the actual block III fusion (in this near-future example) and weapons management can be done automatically, via fusion.


This interview makes it clear that EOTS and EODAS will be in Block 3.

With regards to aircraft capabilities, Lockheed Martin confirms that the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) capability is slated for Block 3, the first fully mission capable F-35. "It's a fully functional capability", says Lockheed Martins's Vice President for Business Development Steve O'Bryan. "It includes sensor fused input from both the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System and Electo-Optical Targeting System sensors", often just called the EODAS and EOTS units. Block 3 will focus on air-to-air capability while block 5 will expand with air-to-surface modes.


geogen wrote:Also, one would have to contemplate the loadouts in this scenario too? Block III would notionally have 4x internal AMRAAM for USAF variant, but it's block III AIM-9X would have to be mounted under-wing? That could entail a minor degree change in the equation given? Or would BVR be the only tactic in the above example.. Oh yeah, I would like to support potential of an Increment 3.1 employing powered MALD decoys (or even jammer variants)?? Maybe not.


The AIM-120D has very good HOBS and GPS based INS functions. It will be used for BVR and WVR engagements without any problems.

geogen wrote:Regardless, I'd agree with disco, that perhaps by around 2019, an increment 3.3 would include the AIRST type capability along with possible side arrays, as well as upgraded mini-DAS sys. Perhaps then, vs notional block V with potential DIRCM and full sensor fusion + battle management code (especially effective for WVR?), the BVR advantage might shift more decisively to the Increment 3.3 frame.


I agree, upgrade the F-22s to their fullest.
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 22:40

I'm thinking I should take another look at my claim on how the F-35 would win against the F-22 because it has EODAS and the F-22 doesn't. I was thinking basically one F-22 versus one F-35. That's kind of too narrow.

If the scenario was force on force (we'll call it 8 vs 8 ) then maybe the F-22 would have an advantage (aside from altitude and speed). Although the F-35 seems to clearly have better EO sensors, one thing it might not have is better RF/EM sensors. Obviously the F-35s will be linked together transmitting data as a normal transparent function of the avionics systems. What if this stuff was picked up by the F-22s? The F-22 is said to have a SIGINT capability close to the RC-135 Rivet Joint. Perhaps the F-35s could be located on their data emissions alone. Or you could separate the F-22s in to groups. Only a couple would have their radars on full blast. Obviously the radiation propagated from such a powerful radar would hit the F-35, but be absorbed and deflected away from the source so the Raptors with their radars on won't see anything. What if there was another flight of F-22s (at a good distance away from the birds using their radars) in passive mode; could they pick up the emissions deflected from the F-35s? Maybe this is how the Raptors could get the jump the Lightnings. They would use their datalinks and passive sensors to triangulate the exact positions of their adversaries. Those are my thoughts. It's really a tough call.
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Unread post19 Feb 2010, 23:51

No! Don't throw out the bombing! :D That's kind of why I'm curious and asked. My scenario is basically asking about what happens when all the players are stealthy. It seems that air superiority would lose out and the bombers would win. It's seems like we get thrown back in time to WWI and WWII when fighters used to go up enmass and rely on their better than 20/20 vision to find the enemy and if they didn't then the bombers got to do their job.
Also, I think if the F-35's detected the F-22's first they would probably use that info to avoid and skirt around them, at least until the bombing mission was done maybe trying to keep track of them for a fight on the way out, fuel permitting. I figure even if you've got the drop on them, why risk getting one or two only to have even more figure out where you are and drop the hammer on you while your heavy and perhaps chasing you away from the objective.
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Unread post20 Feb 2010, 03:08

Based on the comments, its remarkable that an aircraft primarily built to be a bombtruck can compare so favorably with the mighty Raptor in A2A. Its even more remarkable considering the F-35's detractors who don't give it a chance going up against less capable competition than the F-22. Someone has to be right, right?
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Unread post20 Feb 2010, 05:06

You are espousing a popular misconception. The F-35 was NOT "primarily built to be a bombtruck". For the US, many of the Air Superiority wings will be F-35s. For virtually every partner nation, it will be their primary Air Superiority asset.
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Unread post20 Feb 2010, 05:15

Interesting question. The obvious question is, how good is the F-22 radar compared to the F-35 signature? If the F-22 can't see the F-35....the ground target will be eliminated. And like others have said....it depends on the block/future capability of each A/C.
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Unread post20 Feb 2010, 06:14

Thanks for reply Spud.

RE: EODAS cued AAM, yes, I was aware of the claims made for short-range (ASRAAM/9x) cued weapons (with 9x being slung underwing on block III F-35). My question however was if AMRAAM could be cued by EODAS at short range as that was one example given in this F-22 vs F-35 scenario. However, as you speculated (as with me too), the actual ID/targeting range of EODAS against a head on fighter is probably not something alone which can be counted on as game-changer vs an F-22 homing in?

Re: second point. I conceded your evidenced point about block III in deed having some IRST functions (vs block IV's apparent ground-relevant IRST mode). Point taken. I guess my question was more oriented as to the 'unknowns' of how much actual A2A sensor 'FUSION' would be available on block III in the above hypothesized F-22 vs F-35 block III scenario, vs the Fusion available on a block IV and then block V respectively.

Re: 120D and WVR capacity (USAF block III limited to internal AMRAAM)... sure. But by then the higher maneuvering munition and therefore more specialized/capable round would be a HOBS dogfight missile?

BTW, I left a rather hard response back on Erics blog to one of the threads. As always, please take no offense on any hard style I may take with you in particular, as it is raw competition I guess for me sometimes (like a Hockey match) and nothing against you in kind, whom I respect. (and I know you have hard shots waiting, to take right back). Cheers-
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Unread post20 Feb 2010, 06:22

SpudmanWP wrote:You are espousing a popular misconception. The F-35 was NOT "primarily built to be a bombtruck". For the US, many of the Air Superiority wings will be F-35s. For virtually every partner nation, it will be their primary Air Superiority asset.

I don't use the term "bombtruck" as a criticism of the platform.. one only has to list the weapons that are planned to be certified on the F-35 to see what its primary focus will be. No doubt it will be a mean opponent in A2A, probably second only to the F-22 for the foreseeable future.
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