As excerpted by Ace:
The aircraft is simply the most advanced ever built. There is nothing on earth to touch it. In simulated dogfights it has wiped the floor with the opposition.
In one such encounter, six F-15 Eagle air-superiority fighters — which the Raptor is replacing and which has a perfect combat record of 101 victories with zero defeats — were sent up to “kill” a single Raptor. All six were shot down.
A bit of perspective is needed here. The Eagle is the most lethal air-superiority fighter in the US arsenal and its pilots are the best in the world.
One of those “aura” pilots I was talking about earlier is Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Huffman, the commander of the 64th Aggressor Squadron.
The Aggressors are the dogfighting experts of the US Air Force. In aerial combat training they act as the “enemy”. It’s their job to give the opposing fighter jocks a hard time. It’s also their job to “kill” them. A sort of baptism of fire — a wake-up call.
Huffman and his hot-shots were sent up against the Raptor. I’ll let him finish the story.
“We still joke about our missions against the Raptor, because they can be fairly boring.
“We fly to the [designated combat] range. Die. Go to the tanker [to refuel]. Go back out to the range. Die. Go back to the tanker. Go back out. Die. After the third time we go home.”
Same thing the next day, and the next.
As Huffman told Code One magazine, the 64th flew almost 300 sorties against the Raptors “and we never once got to merge [make visual contact] against a single Raptor”.
Another hard-assed air combat supremo, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Garland, a former F-15 Eagle pilot and now a Raptor jockey, told Code One magazine: “Six adversaries provide a good workout for two F-15 Eagle pilots. But for two Raptors, defeating six adversaries is about as difficult as eating breakfast. We [Raptor pilots] don’t even break a sweat.”
So how do you fight something you can’t see, fire at or out-turn? The short answer is: you don’t. You just die.
See the article for info about how the Raptor achieves this.