Some commenters claim the Red Flag exercise is not indicative of the way the F-22 would fight in the real world. In an actual shooting war, an F-22′s opponent “won’t make it to visual range,” one reader asserted. The stealthy Raptor would allow it to sneak up high and fast and kill the enemy from long range using an AMRAAM missile, commenters insist.
But that’s assuming two things. One, that the rules of engagement in a future conflict will allow to the Air Force to shoot down targets without visually identifying them — a risky assumption given the world’s increasingly crowded airspace. Two, that the AMRAAM even works. Missile-maker Raytheon hasn’t delivered a new AMRAAM in two years after it was found that the weapon’s rocket motor doesn’t work in a cold environment, which is exactly where the high-flying F-22 is most at home.