David Axe’s F-22 Series: Raptor, or Turkey?
Journalist David Axe notes that “There ain’t a lot of love for the ol’ F-22A Raptor outside of Air Force and Lockheed Martin circles these days.” The critics largely have the floor in the media, so Axe went to talk to the Raptor operators at 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, about some of the specific criticisms. Are they on target?
- Raptor… or Turkey, Part I.
- Raptor… or Turkey, Part II. Axe discusses the F-22’s AESA radar, and the “flashlight in the room” effect. What’s that? Think of conventional radars as being like turning on a flashlight in a warehouse. It will help you see where it points, but the light it radiates can be seen from even farther away. Does the Raptor’s own radar compromise its expensive stealth, as critics like Sprey charge?
- Raptor… or Turkey, Part III. Axe discusses the F-22’s attack capabilities, and the evolution of what may be its most important niche – as a “silver bullet door kicker” in ground attack mode.
- Raptor… or Turkey, Part IV. F-22 pilots point out a few things Sprey missed in terms of the F-22’s dogfight capabilities – though they do concede one item.
- Raptor… or Turkey (Final – NEW). David Axe offers his personal conclusions, and there’s an interesting debate in the comments section.
Additional background on these issues can be found in our F-22 focus article’s “background & controversies” section.