America’s F-22 Raptor Is the Best Fighter In the World (But France ‘Shot’ One Down)

    David Axe

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    Eight times during a two-week war game in Alaska, individual German Typhoons flew against single F-22s in basic fighter maneuvers meant to simulate close-range dogfights. “We were evenly matched,” German Maj. Marc Gruene told Combat Aircraft.

    Past evidence seems to confirms that a French fighter pilot once “killed” an American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter in mock combat.

    Although not unprecedented, the simulated shoot-down is still a big deal for a couple reasons.

    For one, the Lockheed Martin-made F-22 is supposed to be the most fearsome warplane in history, a quarter-billion-dollar-per-plane technological marvel that flies higher and faster than its opponents while avoiding detection by radar. The Pentagon is counting on a tiny number of the pricey Raptors — slightly more than 180 — to ward off potentially much larger numbers of enemy planes for the foreseeable future. Every mock dogfight the F-22 loses undermines the Pentagon’s plans for air dominance.

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