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

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

charlielima223

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1892
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2014, 19:26

Unread post14 Sep 2022, 10:11

ricnunes wrote:
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).


The F-22 getting the F-35's RAM was mentioned a couple a years ago (mid 20teens). If I remember correctly it was stated that while the F-35's RAM coatings were more durable than that on the F-22, it did not make the F-22 more stealthy. So that sort of throws out the claims that the F-35's RAM makes it more stealthy than the F-22.
Also what rock are you living under? Last year and earlier this year the military aviation community went into a bit of a buzz with F-22's out of Nellis with experimental coatings on them.
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=58403
later we saw these very same if not very similar things on the F-35...
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=58788

AGAIN the F-22's retirement is completely dependent on when the NGAD will reach a sufficient operational readiness. Until they release some type of roadmap/timeline of the NGADs development; the F-22 will be here to stay. Until then keeping the F-22 upgraded to stay ahead of current and projected threats is critical. F-35s are rolling off the assembly line yet F-16s are getting SABRs and A-10s got a massive capability boost in its CFI.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2998
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post14 Sep 2022, 11:23

May not be that long. NGAD has already started EMD. The target to IOC before 2030 is achievable. I see worse case scenario as NGAD following F-35 timelines and it ends up 2035. Either way, NGAD could be in service long before the F-16s are close to retirement.

I find the issue of whether F-35s are stealthier irrelevant. The F-22s are no longer in production and it isn't a compete. Even if the F-22s are less stealthy (not saying they are), it still makes sense to keep F-22s in service until NGAD comes online. That in itself avoids a capability gap.
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4390
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post14 Sep 2022, 12:36

weasel1962 wrote:I find the issue of whether F-35s are stealthier irrelevant. The F-22s are no longer in production and it isn't a compete. Even if the F-22s are less stealthy (not saying they are), it still makes sense to keep F-22s in service until NGAD comes online. That in itself avoids a capability gap.


I totally agree. It's fun to talk about, but they are both very stealthy and extremely difficult to detect, track and engage with anything. Even if there was 10 times the difference in RCS or other signatures, both would be far more survivable and deadly than anything else flying. I don't think that's the case but that they are fairly close in their RCS and other signatures.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4795
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post14 Sep 2022, 14:55

charlielima223 wrote:The F-22 getting the F-35's RAM was mentioned a couple a years ago (mid 20teens). If I remember correctly it was stated that while the F-35's RAM coatings were more durable than that on the F-22, it did not make the F-22 more stealthy.


Yes, that is correct.

charlielima223 wrote:So that sort of throws out the claims that the F-35's RAM makes it more stealthy than the F-22.
Also what rock are you living under? Last year and earlier this year the military aviation community went into a bit of a buzz with F-22's out of Nellis with experimental coatings on them.
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=58403
later we saw these very same if not very similar things on the F-35...
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=58788


I never said that the F-35's RAM makes it more stealthy than the F-22!

If the F-35 is stealthier (and again there are some indications supporting this) then I would dare to say that this is achieved by a combination of shape and skin (what's under the coating).

From what I read (and apparently it was from the same place as you did) the F-35 RAM coating is not necessarily stealthier than the "tradicional" RAM coating found of the F-22 (and B-2). Like you said, the F-35 RAM coating should be more durable, easier to maintain and cheaper than the older (F-22) coatings.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4795
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post14 Sep 2022, 14:57

hornetfinn wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:I find the issue of whether F-35s are stealthier irrelevant. The F-22s are no longer in production and it isn't a compete. Even if the F-22s are less stealthy (not saying they are), it still makes sense to keep F-22s in service until NGAD comes online. That in itself avoids a capability gap.


I totally agree. It's fun to talk about, but they are both very stealthy and extremely difficult to detect, track and engage with anything. Even if there was 10 times the difference in RCS or other signatures, both would be far more survivable and deadly than anything else flying. I don't think that's the case but that they are fairly close in their RCS and other signatures.


Yes, absolutely. I fully agree with both of you!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 9112
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 09:18

ricnunes wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:I find the issue of whether F-35s are stealthier irrelevant. The F-22s are no longer in production and it isn't a compete. Even if the F-22s are less stealthy (not saying they are), it still makes sense to keep F-22s in service until NGAD comes online. That in itself avoids a capability gap.


I totally agree. It's fun to talk about, but they are both very stealthy and extremely difficult to detect, track and engage with anything. Even if there was 10 times the difference in RCS or other signatures, both would be far more survivable and deadly than anything else flying. I don't think that's the case but that they are fairly close in their RCS and other signatures.


Yes, absolutely. I fully agree with both of you!


I doubt the USAF sees it that way. The problem with the F-22 is the fleet is small and extremely expensive to operate and maintain. This while the F-35 grows exponentially in numbers and capabilities!


So, the question is should the USAF keep pumping resources into the F-22 or just buy new F-35s. My guess is they will just retire the F-22s post 2030 and replace them with F-35s. Until NGAD start to come online post 2040.
Offline

wrightwing

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4163
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 15:22

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 17:53

Corsair1963 wrote:

I doubt the USAF sees it that way. The problem with the F-22 is the fleet is small and extremely expensive to operate and maintain. This while the F-35 grows exponentially in numbers and capabilities!


So, the question is should the USAF keep pumping resources into the F-22 or just buy new F-35s. My guess is they will just retire the F-22s post 2030 and replace them with F-35s. Until NGAD start to come online post 2040.

Well considering that is precisely how the USAF has seen things, you'd be incorrect. There are high end capabilities that upgraded F-22s bring, that the USAF feels are important enough to invest a considerable amount on. Not only would these make the jets vastly more deadly, but would reduce the operating costs.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4795
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 20:13

Corsair1963 wrote:I doubt the USAF sees it that way. The problem with the F-22 is the fleet is small and extremely expensive to operate and maintain. This while the F-35 grows exponentially in numbers and capabilities!


So, the question is should the USAF keep pumping resources into the F-22 or just buy new F-35s.


That's actually why it's planned to "upgrade" the F-22 with the same/similar RAM coating to the one found on the F-35 since such coating is cheaper to maintain which will turn the (expensive to maintain) F-22 fleet a little bit cheaper to operate.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline

disconnectedradical

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1302
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 00:44
  • Location: San Antonio, TX

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 20:21

Corsair1963 wrote:I doubt the USAF sees it that way. The problem with the F-22 is the fleet is small and extremely expensive to operate and maintain. This while the F-35 grows exponentially in numbers and capabilities!


So, the question is should the USAF keep pumping resources into the F-22 or just buy new F-35s. My guess is they will just retire the F-22s post 2030 and replace them with F-35s. Until NGAD start to come online post 2040.


Why would they retire the F-22 in 2030 if upgrade funding goes to 2031? Again, it doesn’t matter how good you think the F-35 is because it’s not a replacement for the F-22 and is not as good for air to air. The F-22 is getting a long range IRST, EW, and ComNav upgrades and will be the first to integrate the AIM-260 JATM, and it has superior air to air missile capacity.

The only replacement for the F-22 is the NGAD, the F-35 doesn’t matter in this. The F-35 won’t match an upgraded F-22 in air to air especially once it gets its IRST, so there’s no way they would retire it before NGAD becomes operational. The USAF doesn’t consider it to be an F-22 replacement, period.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4795
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 21:47

disconnectedradical wrote:Why would they retire the F-22 in 2030 if upgrade funding goes to 2031? Again, it doesn’t matter how good you think the F-35 is because it’s not a replacement for the F-22 and is not as good for air to air. The F-22 is getting a long range IRST, EW, and ComNav upgrades and will be the first to integrate the AIM-260 JATM, and it has superior air to air missile capacity.

The only replacement for the F-22 is the NGAD, the F-35 doesn’t matter in this. The F-35 won’t match an upgraded F-22 in air to air especially once it gets its IRST, so there’s no way they would retire it before NGAD becomes operational. The USAF doesn’t consider it to be an F-22 replacement, period.


I don't agree that the F-35 is not as good for air to air as the F-22 at least in the wide concept of "air-to-air role".
Even if the F-22 gets an IRST and this is a very big IF (apparently nothing is written on stone as we speak, regarding this) there may not be enough internal space in the F-22 in order to be equipped with an (internal) IRST. This can be read here:
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4 ... y-promised
Back in 2017, Ken Merchant, who was then Lockheed’s vice president for the F-22 program, told Air Force Magazine that “we really don’t have the real estate” to fit an internal IRST in the jet, at least in an installation comparable to the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) in the F-35.


So basically in order to equip the F-22 with an IRST which could be as good as the one fitted in the F-35 you'll have to equip it with an external/pod IRST which would obviously increase the F-22's RCS. Or, instead with an IRST that could eventually be fitted internally in the F-22 but would always be inferior to the F-35 IRST.
And this not to mention the integration of the IRST with the sensor fusion which in the F-35 would always be superior. So here's something (IRST + sensor fusion) that the F-22 would never be better than the F-35.

However, I do agree that F-22 should be kept in service (and upgraded)! Afterall the F-22 is together with the F-35, the most capable fighter aircraft in the world AND it's a relatively new aircraft - let's remember that the F-22 entered in service "only" in 2005! So and IMO before retiring the F-22 the F-15, F-16 and A-10 should be retired first.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline

energo

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2007, 14:06
  • Location: Oslo, Norway

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 23:21

Summary of the reports I know of (some have been mentioned already). Take it for what it's worth:

https://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen ... -starts/4/

The F-35’s cross section is much smaller than the F-22’s, but that does not mean, Hostage concedes, that the F-35 is necessarily superior to the F-22 when we go to war. [...]
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.



http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... roach.aspx

"I would say that General Hostage … is accurate in his statement about the simple stealthiness of the F-35 [with regard] to other airplanes," Bogdan said in the interview. The statement was accurate for radar cross section, as measured in decibels, and range of detectability, he said, and he scoffed at the notion that anyone can tell how stealthy an aircraft is just by looking at it."


http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=52720 (referring to a Flight article):

On a radar map, a 747 would appear the size of a hot air balloon and an F-16 would look like a beach ball. Drill down to legacy stealth aircraft and Lockheed’s F-117 Nighthawk would show up as a golf ball while an F-22 Raptor might appear as a pea. With the F-35, Lockheed is getting down to pebble size, according to Robert Wallace, senior manager for F-35 flight operations.

Wallace, a former chief of low-observability for the US Air Force’s B-2 bomber, says the F-35 has leveraged LO qualities from the bomber – but he could not elaborate on specifics.

Pilots will see a more advanced low-observable signature on the F-35 versus the F-22, but it’s the maintainers who see the greatest leap in durability.



https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... ight-stuff

During a flight debriefing, Col. Chris Niemi and Maj. Nash Vickers both said a comparison of the radar-absorbing F-35 to its nimble but less stealthy twin-engine F-22 cousin might not reveal the whole story.

Niemi has eight years in the cockpit of an F-22 and is one of the few Air Force pilots who is qualified in both the Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

He said he wanted to set the record straight on the Lightning II, once and for all. “Many have compared the F-22 to the F-35 but that comparison is unfair. With the F-35 Lightning, this fighter sees better, has more range, and is stealthier than any of its predecessors
.
Offline

disconnectedradical

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1302
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 00:44
  • Location: San Antonio, TX

Unread post15 Sep 2022, 23:30

ricnunes wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:Why would they retire the F-22 in 2030 if upgrade funding goes to 2031? Again, it doesn’t matter how good you think the F-35 is because it’s not a replacement for the F-22 and is not as good for air to air. The F-22 is getting a long range IRST, EW, and ComNav upgrades and will be the first to integrate the AIM-260 JATM, and it has superior air to air missile capacity.

The only replacement for the F-22 is the NGAD, the F-35 doesn’t matter in this. The F-35 won’t match an upgraded F-22 in air to air especially once it gets its IRST, so there’s no way they would retire it before NGAD becomes operational. The USAF doesn’t consider it to be an F-22 replacement, period.


I don't agree that the F-35 is not as good for air to air as the F-22 at least in the wide concept of "air-to-air role".
Even if the F-22 gets an IRST and this is a very big IF (apparently nothing is written on stone as we speak, regarding this) there may not be enough internal space in the F-22 in order to be equipped with an (internal) IRST. This can be read here:
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4 ... y-promised
Back in 2017, Ken Merchant, who was then Lockheed’s vice president for the F-22 program, told Air Force Magazine that “we really don’t have the real estate” to fit an internal IRST in the jet, at least in an installation comparable to the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) in the F-35.


The F-22 will get an IRST, this is literally called out in FY23 USAF budget documents where long range advanced IRST is specifically spelled out under the sensor enhancement program of record.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/f ... ts-testers

https://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/Portals/84/ ... Y3kw%3d%3d

Vol 3 Page 665 is F-22 Sensor Systems

As part of the F-22 Rapid Prototyping Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) program, previously known as the Capability Pipeline, Sensor Systems improves sensor capabilities to maintain air superiority and preserve first look, first shot, and first kill capability. This includes developing and maturing advanced Infrared Search & Track (IRST) sensor capabilities to provide the F-22 with an asymmetric sensing advantage against potential adversaries while continuing to deliver on its unmatched maneuverability.

The F-22 Sensor System programs utilize a rapid acquisition construct leveraging commercial best practices such as agile and lean. This allows the F-22 Raptor enterprise to develop, test, and field software/hardware from multiple programs (product lines) using a scheduled cadence for capabilities as they mature.


Don’t know why there’s so much doubt about the F-22 IRST when it was explicitly called out in budget documents and we’ve seen the actual pods themselves tested and they’re clearly a stealthy design. An internal IRST is better but it’s probably too expensive and if the pods can house IRST and also have other capabilities like ESM/ECM and CommNav, it may end up being much more powerful overall. With these upgrades the F-22 will be clearly be superior in air to air than F-35, since it will have the IR sensor and other enhancements while having tremendous performance.

ricnunes wrote:So basically in order to equip the F-22 with an IRST which could be as good as the one fitted in the F-35 you'll have to equip it with an external/pod IRST which would obviously increase the F-22's RCS. Or, instead with an IRST that could eventually be fitted internally in the F-22 but would always be inferior to the F-35 IRST.

And this not to mention the integration of the IRST with the sensor fusion which in the F-35 would always be superior. So here's something (IRST + sensor fusion) that the F-22 would never be better than the F-35.


It will be a podded solution, but the pods are carefully carefully shaped for VLO and likely have other functions like ESM/ECM, CommNav, and will be no worse when it comes to stealth than the wingtip AIM-9X/ASRAAM that F-35 carries for air to air mission. For a marginal increase in RCS it will get a bunch of additional capability, including IRST that was specifically called out in FY23 budget. The pods are quite slick and low profile that they’re practically the drag equivalent of an F-16 with a pylon mounted AIM-120, which is about DI of 30 so quite minimal impact.

Also this is a dedicated IRST, so I don’t know how you can say it will be worse than the F-35’s EOTS, or that the fusion will automatically be worse. Once the upgraded F-22 gets the IRST and other improvements, the F-35 won’t match it or replace it in air to air, and that’s not what it’s designed for anyways.
Last edited by disconnectedradical on 16 Sep 2022, 01:03, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

henshao

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 92
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2010, 01:24

Unread post16 Sep 2022, 00:02

As much as I want to criticize the USAF for being so IRST-avoidant in their primary air superiority platforms for so long, putting all the eggs in the radar basket has resulted in some amazing fighter radars which has trickled down and benefited other platforms. Reminds me of the situation with the F-14's APG-71. Ultimately there's only so much budget for things and if you start seeming to be able to do without (the best radar), you very well may have to
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 28115
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post16 Sep 2022, 00:21

5 pages about F-22 with upgrades whatever is attached. Yes this is the F-35 sub-forum however it appears the F-22 is somehow the topic of this thread. Many more quotable quotes in the PDF below. Go figure: HTML article here:

https://www.airandspaceforces.com/artic ... rebellion/
Raptor Rebellion
The Air Force wants to retire its F-22, the world’s greatest fighter jet, within the decade. Congress doesn’t agree.
Sep 2022 John A. Tirpak

..."NEW CAPABILITIES
Scarcely a month goes by without a new photo circulating in aviation circles of the F-22 testing some unexplained weapon, pod, coating, or camouflage. After a flurry of revelations surfaced on the internet earlier this year, the Air Force released in May an illustration showing the F-22 firing what appears to be the new AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile (JATM), while carrying conformal, apparently stealthy external fuel tanks and slender, chiseled pods that could contain a new electronic warfare and/or infrared search-and-track system (IRST). Former Lockheed F-22 program manager Ken Merchant said in 2017 that the F-22 lacked available “real estate” to accommodate an internal IRST, providing the basis for that conjecture. The artwork “is simply an artist’s rendering of an F-22 with any number of future capabilities,” an ACC spokesperson said. “We need every combat platform to go farther, sense farther, and shoot farther.”..."

Source: AIR&SPACE FORCES Magazine Sep 2022 https://www.airandspaceforces.com/app/u ... ssue-1.pdf (38Mb)
Attachments
F-22 Rebel Sept2022_Fullissue-1 pp5.pdf
(520.19 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
F-22JATM.jpg
Last edited by spazsinbad on 16 Sep 2022, 06:54, edited 1 time in total.
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos
Offline

northman

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2022, 17:56
  • Location: Finland

Unread post16 Sep 2022, 02:03

I have no technical expertise at all to be talking about whether F-35 or F-22 is stealthier, but there is one thing that I keep wondering about. If the F-35 is really stealthier or at least equally stealthy to F-22, it is amazing (to me at least) that the USA is so happily selling the F-35 - which would then be their number 1 stealthiest fighter - to even countries like Denmark and Finland that aren't exactly a great military power or a tight part of the US-UK cultural family that has been doing everything together for a long long time. And that makes me wonder... maybe the next generation fighter programs are looking very good and the USA is confident they will soon have something even stealthier flying, perhaps already do, so no problem selling F-35 relatively widely? Or maybe the US has just decided to be extra nice and let us have some stealth planes, our pilots must be drooling while they wait for the HX F-35 deliveries to start! :D If someone knows some kind of political explanation for why US is selling their stealthiest fighter so widely when the F-22 was sold to no one, I would love to hear it, it must be interesting stuff, thanks!
PreviousNext

Return to F-35 versus XYZ

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests