Warplanes: January 14, 2000


The Air Force continues to insist that it must have the F-22 Raptor in order to maintain dominance over potential enemy aircraft. By maintaining dominance rather than just parity, the US could in theory win wars more quickly and at a lower cost. The F-15C is considered the equal of the Russian Fulcrum in maneuverability and radar cross section, and to have advantages in range and the ability to track enemy fighters. The F-22 will have a smaller radar cross section than Fulcrum. The F-15C has advantages in maneuverability and radar detection over the Su-27 Flanker, but is inferior in range and equal in radar cross section. The F-22 will have equal range and a smaller radar cross section. The F-15C will have serious problems against the Eurofighter Typhoon, being inferior in maneuverability, radar detection, and radar cross section; it will have better range. The F-22, on the other hand, will have superior range, radar detection, and radar cross section to the Typhoon, and will be its equal in maneuverability. The F-15C will fair only slightly better against the French Rafale, having inferior radar detection ability and cross section, but equal maneuverability and range. The F-22, however, will be more maneuverable, better able to detect targets on radar, smaller radar cross section, and equal range. The F-15C may hold its own against the Su-35, having superior maneuverability although inferior range, with equal radar detection and cross section. The F-22, however, will be superior in everything except range and the Su-35's equal in that regard. --Stephen V Cole


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