Is the F-35 stealthier than the F-22?

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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optimist

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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 01:18

Stealth also includes the IR, visual and noise spectrum. As well as the radar band being measured and distance. So a general 'the F-35 is more stealthy needs clarification. When this was being talked about at the time. A pilot said the 'RCS of the F-22 is lower, at least in the targeting band'. That may infer that the search frequencies RCS are lower with the F-35. Make of it what you will.
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element1loop

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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 02:40

Gen. Mike Hostage On The F-35; No Growlers Needed When War Starts [LONG ARTICLE best read at URL]
06 Jun 2014 COLIN CLARK

"... “The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth.” But stealth — the ability to elude or greatly complicate an enemy’s ability to find and destroy an aircraft using a combination of design, tactics and technology — is not a magic pill, Hostage reminds us...."


If "First Look --> First Shot --> First Kill" still means anything, having a bit better stealth is a significant advantage. Aspect also matters for IR sig detectability, and F-35 may be more detectable from the rear, but is this still so from the front? Whatever.

However, I recently watched some DCS 'simulation' videos, of 'air war' scenarios online, playing off US v PLAAF, in offensive and defensive contests. The one thing all of these lack is any use of advantageous 5th-gen type tactics, to win the fight. The result is this silly impression of approximate parity, in capabilities, poorly using (at best) 4th-gen level tactics, which could not be any further from what would really occur.

I would say that either F-22A flights, or F-35A flights, strictly using their aircraft's advantages, with smart 5th-gen tactics, would wipe-out a PLAAF attacking or defending force, very quickly.

I'm not too worried about VHF detections. All else being equal, to my mind I'd rather be detected, tracked and locked last by enemy fighter sensors, and weapons sensors.

As long as an F-35 can break the kill-chain, at will, and maintain SA doing so, why would I care if an F-22A has better kinematics?

I won't.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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henshao

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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 03:41

it's a good question. hypothetically, how much RCS would you pay for twice the cruise speed? in terms of actual distance of detection the difference could be very small between these two
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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 04:28

element1loop wrote:
Gen. Mike Hostage On The F-35; No Growlers Needed When War Starts [LONG ARTICLE best read at URL]
06 Jun 2014 COLIN CLARK

"... “The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth.” But stealth — the ability to elude or greatly complicate an enemy’s ability to find and destroy an aircraft using a combination of design, tactics and technology — is not a magic pill, Hostage reminds us...."


If "First Look --> First Shot --> First Kill" still means anything, having a bit better stealth is a significant advantage. Aspect also matters for IR sig detectability, and F-35 may be more detectable from the rear, but is this still so from the front? Whatever.

However, I recently watched some DCS 'simulation' videos, of 'air war' scenarios online, playing off US v PLAAF, in offensive and defensive contests. The one thing all of these lack is any use of advantageous 5th-gen type tactics, to win the fight. The result is this silly impression of approximate parity, in capabilities, poorly using (at best) 4th-gen level tactics, which could not be any further from what would really occur.

I would say that either F-22A flights, or F-35A flights, strictly using their aircraft's advantages, with smart 5th-gen tactics, would wipe-out a PLAAF attacking or defending force, very quickly.

I'm not too worried about VHF detections. All else being equal, to my mind I'd rather be detected, tracked and locked last by enemy fighter sensors, and weapons sensors.

As long as an F-35 can break the kill-chain, at will, and maintain SA doing so, why would I care if an F-22A has better kinematics?

I won't.


What about IFR Detection of the F-22 at those high speeds. Remember, RCS is just one aspect of the aircraft's overall stealth.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 09:17

Kill-chain against 4th gen and earlier gen fighters are usually go something like this:
  • Their own radio frequency signals (like from speech radios, data link radios or radar systems) are picked up by long-range ESM sensors hundreds of kilometers away
  • Surveillance radars pick them up from hundreds of kilometers away if they fly at high altitudes
  • The enemy now knows what direction and generally what kind of attack is coming. EW and other measures and tactics can blur how accurate situation picture is, but enemy still has some idea what's going on and prepares themselves accordingly.
  • Enemy can now direct their fire-control radars and other shorter ranged but sharper sensors like IRST/EO sensors to scan the limited volume directed by the long-range surveillance sensors (basically surveillance/early-warning radars and ESM sensors)
  • Enemy starts tracking the attacking fighters with those sensors. Fire-control radars are mostly used to track the aircraft and give accurate range, altitude, heading and speed information. IRST/EO sensors are used to identify targets and in some cases to track highest-priority targets as their scan volume is limited due to very narrow FoV at longer ranges.
  • So now enemy has pretty good idea what aircraft are in the air, where they are and what they are doing. Now they can engage them several tens of kilometers or even hundreds of kilometers away in some cases.

It's clear that radar systems dominate the kill-chain but own RF emissions can give the enemy the first warning that something is going on. With 4th gen systems the kill-chain is combatted using a lot of support assets (SEAD/DEAD, ESM, EW), long-range fires, tactics like low-level flight path and countermeasures.

But for 5th gen systems wanting to disrupt the kill-chain it's definitely the most important to make enemy radar systems as ineffective as possible. Radar stealth and great SA (sensors, sensor fusion and networking) can make enemy radar systems far more ineffective and shorter ranged than against 4th gen aircraft. Stealthy data links are also needed to avoid detection and tracking by enemy ESM sensors. That's why IFDL and MADL were developed as Link 16 style data link transmissions are fairly easy to detect and track. IR, optical and especially acoustic systems are far less important pieces in the kill-chain and can not replace radar systems even without any thought given to these in 5th gen designs. But especially with IR systems the enemy still has viable kill-chain although much shorter ranged and limited than what radar systems can provide against non-stealthy aircraft. But they could provide serious threat as they are passive systems that could be anywhere without giving any kind of warning.
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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 09:26

optimist wrote:Stealth also includes the IR, visual and noise spectrum. As well as the radar band being measured and distance. So a general 'the F-35 is more stealthy needs clarification. When this was being talked about at the time. A pilot said the 'RCS of the F-22 is lower, at least in the targeting band'. That may infer that the search frequencies RCS are lower with the F-35. Make of it what you will.


I'd like to know when and where this was said or if there is some source for that pilot claim.
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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 13:33

henshao wrote:
ricnunes wrote:I would say that Gen. Mike Hostage knows more about the subject than you and me combined... BOOOOMMM! :wink:


???



That was a joke attempt from my part (a poor/failed one, it seems) in reference to "nuked quotes/posts" hence the word "BOOOMMM". :wink:
Sorry for any misunderstanding from my part.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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henshao

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Unread post07 Sep 2022, 19:32

ricnunes wrote:
henshao wrote:
ricnunes wrote:I would say that Gen. Mike Hostage knows more about the subject than you and me combined... BOOOOMMM! :wink:


???



That was a joke attempt from my part (a poor/failed one, it seems) in reference to "nuked quotes/posts" hence the word "BOOOMMM". :wink:
Sorry for any misunderstanding from my part.


Ok I get it. I thought it was some kind of "dunking on a guy asking for information by giving him the information he asked for" :lol:
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optimist

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Unread post08 Sep 2022, 09:44

hornetfinn wrote:
optimist wrote:Stealth also includes the IR, visual and noise spectrum. As well as the radar band being measured and distance. So a general 'the F-35 is more stealthy needs clarification. When this was being talked about at the time. A pilot said the 'RCS of the F-22 is lower, at least in the targeting band'. That may infer that the search frequencies RCS are lower with the F-35. Make of it what you will.


I'd like to know when and where this was said or if there is some source for that pilot claim.

It was definitely a uniform, I thought it was chip from a video. I have previously looked for spaz, but unable to re-find it. It was around the time they announced that the F-35 was stealthier than the F-22. This is why what was said stuck.
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Unread post08 Sep 2022, 11:31

Ok, thank you optimist! Maybe we can find that video somewhere.
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Unread post10 Sep 2022, 08:57

My :2c: and then some...

Both the F-35 and F-22 are VLO fighter aircraft, the only people who will dispute that are uneducated trolls.

For the longest time it was stated that the F-22 was/is stealthier than the F-35. F-22 is a metal marble and the F-35 is a metal golf ball. The military aviation community went into a bit of a whirl when a former USAF ACC General stated that the F-35 is stealthier than the F-22 in terms of RCS. I believe both statements can be true at once. The statement is rather broad as it doesnt say how the F-35 has an smaller RCS than F-22. I am not so niave to think that they will release certain classified information. I have stated in here in the past that I think the the F-22 has the best opitmal RCS while the F-35 has the better overall RCS.

Someone cannot simply look at an aircraft and accurately with absolute certainty judge how stealthy that aircraft is or is not. HOWEVER someone can take observations along with publicly avialable information to draw some reasonable conclusions.

Shape
Yes the F-35 is younger than the F-22 but not by much. The F-35 uses lessons learned from F-22 and incorporates them in a more efficient manner. The shaping of the F-35 compared to the F-22 is rather similar.
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The F-35 and F-22 are not as dramatic in stealth design as the F-117 is from the F-22.
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Visual
F-35 is overall smaller than the F-22.
Image
Due to the F-35 and F-22 having similar fuselage width and height; head on the F-22 and F-35 are very comparable to each other. The F-22 simply being the larger aircraft means it is easier to spot at different angles. One thing that people overlook is that the F-22 has a two tone camouflage pattern while the F-35 has a darker 1 color paint scheme. Think Grey Eagle versus Mudhen in this regard...
Image
Image

Infrared
This is always a tough subject to judge as there really isnt a standard in which to judge by. Both F-35 and F-22 have IR reducing features to them. Both have engines that allow bypass air to cool the exhaust. Both have engine nozzles designed to reduce IR signature plume (I haven't seen a honest side by side comparison between the two). Both have engines that can be hidden from certain angles. However after closer look the F-22 appears to hide its engine better than the F-35. Looking at each aircraft directly from the side, the F-22s flat triangular engine nozzles can barely be seen
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compared to the F-35s more conventional larger rounder nozzle
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Flight profile does make a difference. An F-22 supercruising at mach 1.5 above 50k can no doubt be seen against the colder backdrop than an F-35 at 30k cruising at 0.9 mach. However things tend to change if you want to compare the two if you want them to fly at the same speed. The F-22 only needs to use AB to get to 1.5 mach and can throttle back to hold that (testing showed F-22 was able to reach mach speeds without AB, it just takes longer). F-35 however NEEDS its afterburner to get to 1.5 mach as well to sustain it. At that point the hotter burning engine is more visible in both the IR and visual sense. If BOTH aircraft were flying 0.9 mach at 40k IR signatures could very well be comparable to each other.

Sensors
Stealth isnt a magic botton that makes someone invisible. Just because someone has a ghillie suite doesn't make them a sniper. It is using tactics to avoid detection. While the F-22's own sensors are nothing to sneeze at, the F-22 primarily plays in the radio/radar spectrum. F-35 however has always been stated to have the most comprehensive sensor suite of any fighter aircraft out there. The F-35s sensors allows the aircraft to avoid detection longer than F-22. However I would wager because of the F-22's eye watering kinematics; if the F-22 was to be detected and know about it, the F-22 can quickly reposition itself back into the enemy's blind spot.

Design and purpose
The intended purpose of the F-22 and F-35 aircraft weighed heavily on their design. The F-22 is a 5th generation air superiority/dominance fighter (get over it Corsair). The F-35 is a multi-role aircraft meant to tackle advance IADS. Their individual purpose drove how each aircraft was going to tackle their intended targets/threats as well how they were going to be stealthy in what aspects. One design is more appropriate than the other for a given task/mission set.
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Unread post10 Sep 2022, 11:01

but it can beat the F-22 in stealth

optimist wrote:RCS of the F-22 is lower, at least in the targeting band

charlielima223 wrote:I think the the F-22 has the best opitmal RCS while the F-35 has the better overall RCS.

It's crazy how these 3 statements are compatible.

Perfectly the F-22 could be better in front view x-band , and the F-35 in L-band. While in both (x and l) in the side view the F-35 could be the best.
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Unread post11 Sep 2022, 00:22

Or.....a cigar is just a cigar, and the newer materials/shaping resulted in a lower RCS against a broad range of frequencies and angles.
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Unread post12 Sep 2022, 05:29

None of us will ever really know. Statements like 'better stealth than the F-22' without context. Only create conversations, without definite conclusions. The F-22 is also having a major update, including composite skin and coatings. So what was said a few years ago, may have no meaning today. Also the difference in operational altitude may have an effect?
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ricnunes

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Unread post12 Sep 2022, 22:53

optimist wrote:None of us will ever really know.


Agreed.

optimist wrote:Statements like 'better stealth than the F-22' without context. Only create conversations, without definite conclusions.


IMO, the statements from the US generals are the most contextualized (and thus accurate) data that we'll ever get since all of this is top secret.
On top of this, we have the fact that the F-35 is (way) more modern than the F-22 and thus lessons learned from the F-22 were applied to the F-35.

Don't get me wrong, but it pisses me off that everytime someone says something "good" about an aircraft which is NOT the F-35 (like the example the F-22, Eurocanards, Chinese aircraft, etc...) "everyone" seems to accept it as some sort of "universal truth" but when someone says something "good" about the F-35 then "everyone" seems to doubt and come up with all possible excuses for denying it or saying that it's all out of context. COMMON!!


optimist wrote:The F-22 is also having a major update, including composite skin and coatings. So what was said a few years ago, may have no meaning today. Also the difference in operational altitude may have an effect?


Never read about including (a new) composite skin in the F-22. And I doubt that will happen since we have the NGAD in development which will replace the F-22.
However I read about the F-22 will be getting a new RAM coating which is actually the same type of coating found on the F-35. This "new" F-22 coating shouldn't reduce (or isn't meant to reduce) the F-22 RCS but instead it's easier and cheaper to maintain (while maintaining the same/similar RCS).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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