First Ever F-22 Raptor “Shot Down” (Bumped and Updated)

11.07.07

Categorie: Air, Training |

raptortaxi.JPGDuring their first major exercise in Alaska last year, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighters from the 27th Fighter Squadron shot down 144 “enemy” F-15s and F/A-18s in mock dogfights. Still flush from that victory, the 27th headed to Okinawa in February and its sister 94th Fighter Squadron simultaneously deployed to Nellis Air force Base, Nevada, for the type’s first Red Flag exercise. While the 27th was sweeping the skies clear of Air Force F-15s and 1960s-era Japanese F-4s, the 94th ran headlong into the F-16s of the 64th Aggressor Squadron and suffered its first simulated shoot-down. Somehow the news escaped me, but Airforces Monthly has all the dirty details in its July issue:

raptortakeoff.JPGThe 57th Adversary Tactics Group undertook some interesting tactics not contained in the overall [scripted] intelligence scenario. These involved surprise threats, generally Red Air [enemy] fighters, entering the air battle unexpectedly. White Force [exercise control] staff would confirm that the threat was Red and Blue Air [the "good guys"] had to react. The tactic worked. An F-16C pilot assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron gained the first-ever F-22 kill in Red Flag. [94th commander] Lt. Col. Dirk Smith told AFM: “At least half of the 94th FS crews had less than 50 hours in the F-22 and no matter how magical the F-22, any pilot can make a mistake. The beauty of Red Flag is that we were able to go out and practice our tactics in a challenging scenario, make a mistake, learn a lesson, and be that much better prepared for actual combat.” 

raptorlight.jpgI totally agree: failure is the best way to improve. And if losing one simulated dogfight against other Americans flying F-16s was such a profound experience for our Raptor jockies, imagine what they might take away from a no-holds-barred match with experienced foreign pilots flying a genuinely dissimilar aircraft, say Indian aces in Su-30s or veteran Russian pilots in Su-27s – or even top British aviators in the Royal Air Force’s new Typhoons. So far the Air Force has kept its Raptors on a short leash, letting them play in only the most controlled circumstances. Maybe it’s time to cut them loose for some real education. Just think how prepared they’ll be after 50 mock shoot-downs.

Update 7/11/07:
The folks over at the Alert5 blog believe this represents the second simulated F-22 kill, not the first. The first, they say, occured a year ago during a mock dogfight between a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet and a Raptor, most likely from the 27th Fighter Squadron. They’ve even got a picture to “prove” it.

f18fgunf22.jpgCommenters over at Danger Room contest Alert5′s assertion:

“A lot of people I know still want to know more about the pedigree/authenticity of that ‘pic’ at alert5.com,” writes SMSgt Mac. ”Without some decent expanation behind it (not one has appeared since it came out a while back that I’m aware of) it doesn’t pass the smell test … which is why it has never had the requisite street cred to use as a stick to poke the AF with.”

“The Super Hornet gun shot was real,” elp replies. “However, it was in an unsafe setup. One which both parties realize could have ended up as a mid-air.”

“I don’t think most people assume it was a Photoshop job,” says SMSgt Mac. ”The questions are more about the scenario/conditions [in which] it was taken. Number one question in my mind (given the display info) was: had the Raptor already ‘knocked it off’ because the engagement was degenerating into an unsafe situation? The data looks more like the ‘attacker’ is more ‘falling’ on the ‘target’ than anything else, while inside the typical hard separation limit.”

In other words, the photo wasn’t shot during a legit mock dogfight, rather after a dogfight, when the F-22 wasn’t playing anymore. Not that the Super Hornet isn’t a kickass fighter.

Related:
F-22s in Japan video 
F-22 photo gallery
F-22 trips over International Date Line comic 
My famous “Raptor … or Turkey?” series

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33 Responses to “First Ever F-22 Raptor “Shot Down” (Bumped and Updated)”

  1. Grandjester says:

    Ooooh! Miss America’s got a wart on her ass! Good. About time there was some admission that the 22 is not bulletproof and that training and tactics still play a premier role in Air to Air combat.

    Bet that Raptor jock was surprised as hell!

  2. Glenn Walker says:

    He won’t live that down in a hurry. And it was the USAF’s second best air to air fighter to. That’ll cost a few rounds at the base local

  3. ajay says:

    Third best, Glenn, surely- assuming F-22 is best, then F-15, then F-16…

  4. Glenn Walker says:

    True. I was thinking legacy platforms

    cheers

  5. Mike Williams says:

    “Check Six”

  6. Foreign.Boy says:

    my concerns about a ‘digital controls’ makes me very concerned about the long term life span of this air craft. While, I’m sure it’ll do very well in its lifespan, I doubt it’ll have the life span of the F-15.. maybe as long as the stealth bomber F-117 (now retired).

    While I’m not a Fighter HUD expert… but it doesn’t look photoshop’d. The suspicious parts are that the 2 colours of green on the HUD doesn’t line up… but if there some sort of contrast adjustment on the HUD then it makes sense.

    However.. my big question.. if the F22 is suppose to be so stealthy, then how does any radar pick it up?! If its infa-red, then how come the radar isn’t picking up the heat further to the tail?

  7. Grandjester says:

    Aren’t current gun cams video? If so at 60 fps then any head to head frame shot the 22 would be a blur even at a couple of hundred knots closure. I call BS.

  8. Foreign.Boy says:

    Grandjester,
    Without knowing the frame rate of the camera, or even if it’s a snap shot or a video shot, it’s still hard to tell.

    Even if it’s a snap shot, it could still not look blury based on the settings of the camera (shutter speed aperture or equivalent of)

  9. Raptor finally splashed in exercise…

    First Ever F-22 Raptor “Shot Down” By an F-16, no less. Axe has the story. Go read. (via Alert 5)……

  10. GeekLethal says:

    Axe,
    You know, speaking of going against decent foreign pilots, you might track down a show that was on the Military Channel a few times.

    Heh, yeah I know, they only have about 12 shows that they just loop continously. In this one, a unit of F18s traveled to the former DDR to “battle” Mig29s (or -31s?) of the commie (reformed) Luftwaffe.

    Experienced pilots, decent equipment- everybody learned alot.

    Admitedly though it was a little creepy hearing cockpit chatter in German as the “enemy” pilot lined up his shot…

  11. [...] Related: Marine fighters in Iraq  Marine fighters video part one and part two First-ever F-22 “shot down” No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  12. [...] Related: Inside America’s Pacific outpost Raptor “shot down” in exercise! Super Hornets get new radars Raptor photos No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  13. jorg says:

    Hahaha looks like a picture from a xbox game

  14. [...] First Raptor shot down, sorta [...]

  15. Monte Haun says:

    How much money and effort has been wasted on fighter aircraft by the US and the Israeli Jews since the Cold War ended? Oh, my God, we need State of the Art aircraft, some Iraqi or Afghan or Lebanese or Palestinian peasant might get lucky with a rock. All you windbag cowards are fit for is slaughtering unarmed peasants and even then you’re so yellow, you have to send drones.

    Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size? One pickup load of shoulder launched missiles would give you assholes something to think about.

    And that reminds me, who dropped the 500 Pounder on 400 handcuffed POWs in the courtyard at Mazar e Sharif?

    Good Hunting, Your Pal Monte Haun mchaun at hotmail dot com

  16. [...] Back in July I relayed reports of the first-ever “shoot-down” of an F-22 Raptor fighter, during a mock dogfight with a U.S. Air Force F-16. Our European friends — Brits, Italians, Germans and Spaniards — might have had a couple chuckles at the news, for their new fighter, the Typhoon, had never suffered a similar humiliation. (Or if it had, no one had reported it.) [...]

  17. srLn says:

    Why is an Air Force SMSgt commenting in the article? He’s not a pilot. Trigger down…..SNAP!!

  18. [...] Of course, I’m insane. War and conflict don’t have to be normal – and in most places they aren’t. I admit I’ve got a totally distorted model of the world inside my head, a model where the wars loom large, threatening to spread like carnivorous blobs to devour the tiny, helpless, peaceful little countries that naively believe they can just get along without killing off their neighbors or some subset of their own peoples. Gazing upon this mutated mental globe of mine, I want to scream to those peaceful countries: “Buy guns! By tanks! Buy Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor stealth fighters! Arm yourselves! For war is coming, and it will destroy your precious, happy, little society if you don’t appropriate 1 percent of your GDP for weapons procurement in FY09!” [...]

  19. luke says:

    to the dude who says the f-22 wont last as long as the f-15 but as the f-117 lol get ur facts right u say f15 will last longer…f-117 1960-2008 48 yrs lol f-15 74-2008 34 yrs? lol moron

  20. [...] This makes the third F-22 “kill” that I know of. The first, apparently, was by a Navy Super Hornet — the progenitor of the Growler — and the second, by an Air Force F-16. Now, to be fair, that makes three simulated Raptor killed against the literally hundreds of sim shoot-downs Raptors have racked up against other fighters. [...]

  21. Craig says:

    I believe one of those F-16 kills end up with the F-16 having to kill itself to get the F-22 kill. The F-22 managed to take out that F-16 too.

  22. [...] The 57th Adversary Tactics Group undertook some interesting tactics not contained in the overall [scripted] intelligence scenario. These involved surprise threats, generally Red Air [enemy] fighters, entering the air battle unexpectedly. White Force [exercise control] staff would confirm that the threat was Red and Blue Air [the good guys] had to react. The tactic worked. An F-16C pilot assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron gained the first-ever F-22 kill in Red Flag. [94th commander] Lt. Col. Dirk Smith told AFM: At least half of the 94th FS crews had less than 50 hours in the F-22 and no matter how magical the F-22, any pilot can make a mistake. The beauty of Red Flag is that we were able to go out and practice our tactics in a challenging scenario, make a mistake, learn a lesson, and be that much better prepared for actual combat. Full article: War Is Boring The first shoot down was by a F/A-18F (not the EW growler version). Quote: [...]

  23. issru says:

    Дабы полностью осмыслить эту информацию и принять адекватное решения для высказывания своего мнения по этому глобальному вопросу, добавляю в избранное

  24. Uriy says:

    Russian pilots good

  25. [...] Sqn. out of Nellis AFB; the pilot's hometown has not been mentioned AFAIK. Here's an article on it: War Is Boring: First Ever F-22 Raptor “Shot Down” (Bumped and Updated) Supposedly, an F/A-18 Super Hornet claimed the first-ever F-22 kill, but the circumstances were [...]

  26. zack says:

    uhhhhh no,there is still a chance for the YF-23 Black Widow
    to come out of the shadows, and even the X-32, well who knows when the x-32 will enter cervice… but all im saying is that we can kick Russia MIG and SUKHOI ass ant day, any timethe raptor can proove that it can kill a russian SU-47 BERKUT, OR A MIG 33 SUPER FULCRUM. I THINK THE RAPTOR DESERVES ANOTHER CHANCE AT BEING THE TOP BEST

  27. [...] F-22 isn’t invincible. Let’s not forget that an F-22 got shot down during an air-to-air combat simulation at the hands of some F-16 Falcons from from 64th Aggressor Squadron. Here’s what War is [...]

  28. Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  29. [...] how a Navy F/A 18SH got a gun kill on the F 22 and about how the a F16C once shot down an F22. As this article points out, the circumstances around those kills are unique scenarios created during exercises. It [...]

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