F-22 Raptor VS F-35 – Which One is Better

F-22 Raptor VS F-35 – Which One is Better

Hey there, aviation enthusiasts! Today we’re going to take a look at two of the most advanced and cutting-edge fighter jets in the world – the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning. These two fighter jets are often compared and debated, and we’re going to dive into the differences and similarities between them.

Let’s start with the F-22 Raptor. This fighter jet was introduced in 2005 and was developed by Lockheed Martin. It’s a stealth fighter jet and has some of the most advanced technology in the world. One of the key features of the F-22 is its ability to fly at supersonic speeds without using its afterburner. This is thanks to its powerful engines and aerodynamic design. The F-22 also has an impressive range of more than 1,600 miles and can carry a variety of weapons, including air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground bombs.

Moving on to the F-35 Lightning, which is also developed by Lockheed Martin. This fighter jet was introduced in 2015 and is considered to be one of the most advanced multi-role fighter jets in the world. One of the main differences between the F-35 and the F-22 is that the F-35 is designed to be a more versatile fighter jet. It can perform a variety of missions, including air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, and reconnaissance. The F-35 also has advanced technology, including a helmet-mounted display system that provides pilots with a 360-degree view of their surroundings.

F-22 Raptor Vs F-35 has been a long-time argument among military tech enthusiasts, and it is worthy of note that these multi-role fighter jets have revolutionized the power of aircraft design and technology.

The F-22 is the pinnacle of air superiority and is unmatched in terms of both its appearance and functionalities.

Image Credit: SOFREP – F-22 Vs F-35

Although the F-35 is a formidable aircraft, its main function is to modernize and replace outmoded fighter plane models in order to maintain a fleet that is robust and mission-ready.

Features of F-22 Raptor

The F22 Raptor was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) primarily by Lockheed Martin as an American single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft. The aircraft was developed as an air superiority fighter as a result of the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program, but it also includes ground assault, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence capabilities.

Image Source: Wikipedia – Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

The majority of the F-22’s airframe and weapon systems were constructed by the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, who also oversaw the final assembly. Boeing was in charge of building the aircraft’s wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

The F22 made its inaugural flight in 1997 but officially entered service in December 2005 as F-22A. The USAF originally intended to purchase a total of 750 ATFs, but the program was scaled back to 187 operational aircraft in 2009 due to high costs, a lack of air-to-air missions because the military at the time of production was focused on counterinsurgency operations, a ban on exports, and the development of the more cost-effective and versatile F-35.

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The F-22 has evolved into a vital part of the USAF’s tactical airpower despite its lengthy development and early operating challenges. A significant improvement in air combat capabilities was made possible by the fighter’s combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and mission systems, which also established the standard for its generation. The USAF’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) manned fighter component is anticipated to replace the F-22 by the 2030s. 

Features of F-35 Lighting II

The F-35 Lighting II aircraft, developed by Lockheed Martin, is an American family of single-seat, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft designed to perform strike missions and boost air superiority. With Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as main partners, Lockheed Martin is the primary F-35 contractor. The F-35A for conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL), the F-35B for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), and the F-35C for carrier-based (CV/CATOBAR) operations are the three major variants of the aircraft.

Image Credit: Wikipedia – Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The aircraft is a direct descendant of the Lockheed Martin X-35, which won the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program in 2001 by defeating the Boeing X-32. Its development is primarily supported by the United States, with additional funding coming from NATO program partner nations and close U.S. allies like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and formerly Turkey.

The aircraft have also been ordered or are being considered for order by a number of other nations. Due to the program’s unparalleled scale, complexity, skyrocketing costs, and lengthy delivery delays, it has come under intense scrutiny and criticism. The concurrent manufacture of the aircraft, while it was still being developed and tested as part of the acquisition strategy, resulted in pricey design modifications and retrofits.

After making its first flight in 2006, the F-35 entered service with the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015, the U.S. Air Force in August 2016, and the U.S. Navy in February 2019.

Differences between the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II

1. Capabilities of F-22 Raptor Vs F-35 Lightning

After fourteen years of testing and development, the F-22 Raptor entered full-scale production in 2005. At the time, its capabilities and performance were completely unmatched by any existing aircraft model. The aircraft is able to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions and possesses operational concepts necessary for modern war-fighting capabilities.

These capabilities include stealth, Supercruise, Maneuverability, Integrated avionics, and Enhanced supportability. 

The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force’s recent fifth-generation fighter. Just like the F-22, its primary mission is to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. and allied nations’ forces. The F-35A is set to replace the aging F-16 and A-10 as the nation’s primary fighter aircraft. 

Its enhanced capabilities include Aerodynamic performance, Advanced integrated avionics, Next-generation stealth, and Improved situational awareness. 

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2. Speed, Range, Thrust, and Ceiling of F-22 Raptor Vs F-35 Lightning

The F-22 Raptor’s speed is Mach two class and has 35,000 pounds of thrust for each engine, this is more than any current fighter engine. The F-35 Lighting II, on the other hand, reaches a speed of Mach 1.6 and has 43,000 pounds of thrust. 

The F-22 Raptor has supercruise capabilities, due to its aerodynamic design and increased thrust. 

The F-22’s ability to supercruise increases its speed and range capabilities compared to existing fighter aircraft, which rely on fuel-intensive afterburners to reach supersonic speeds.

The F-22 and F-35 both have a ceiling of above 50,000 feet. The F-22 has a range of more than 1,850 miles while the F-35 has a range of over 1,350 miles with internal fuel, but unlimited range with aerial refueling.

3. Aircraft Characteristics of F-22 Raptor Vs F-35 Lightning

The characteristics of both the F-35 and the F-22 show how strong and forceful these aircraft are, as well as how sophisticated their designs are.

The F-35 has a height of 14 feet and a length of 51 feet, with a wingspan measuring 35 feet. The F-35 has a maximum takeoff weight of 70,000 pounds with an internal fuel capacity of 18,498 pounds. 

By comparison, the F-22 is taller and longer than the F-35 and also has a longer wingspan. It has a height of 16 feet 8 inches and measures 62 feet 1 inch in length. Its wingspan measures 44 feet 6 inches. 

The F-22 has a maximum takeover weight of 83,000 pounds and an internal fuel capacity of 18,000 pounds. 

4. Armament of F-22 Raptor Vs F-35 Lightning

Military weapons and equipment are referred to as armament. 

F-22 aircraft armament features one M61A2 20mm cannon (480 rounds).

In addition, for air-to-air loadout, the F-22 armament can include:

– Two AIM-9 infrared air-to-air missiles (internal side weapon bays carriage)

– Six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (internal main weapon bays carriage)

Alternately, the F-22 armament can carry two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles and two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs for air-to-ground loadout.

The F-35 can carry 18,000 pounds of payload.

The F-35 aircraft can carry a variety of armaments and has internal and external armament capabilities.

Depending on the needs of the mission, many types of munitions are carried by F-35s.

5. Maneuverability:

The F-22 aircraft’s aero-design is so advanced that it can outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft in terms of maneuverability.

The following characteristics, as well as the way it was designed, contribute to its excellent maneuverability:

– Advanced flight controls

– Thrust vectoring

– High thrust-to-weight ratio

For unmatched mobility, the F-22’s design was aerodynamically improved and put through rigorous testing during development.

The F-35A is nimble and adaptable despite not having the same amount of maneuverability as the F-22.

The F-35A offers conventional takeoff and landing, allowing it to serve many duties as a fighter aircraft at any time and location.

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Its exceptional pilot situational awareness abilities also contribute to its high-performance maneuverability.

6. Cost of F-22 Raptor Vs F-35 Lightning

The F-22 aircraft’s contractors are Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles make up its power source.

The F-22 costs $143 million per unit.

The F-35 aircraft’s contractor is Lockheed Martin.

One Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine serves as its power source.

The F-35A is priced at roughly $70 million per aircraft.

The F-35B and F-35C models, however, will cost more per aircraft and be closer to $90 million.

7. Advantages:

Both the F-22 and the F-35 have advantages that make it possible for these aircraft to dominate the US military and accomplish missions.

The F-22’s cumulative advantages, which increase its lethality versus all modern air threats, include the following;

– Stealth

– Integrated avionics

– Sensor capability

– Supercruise

– Situational awareness

– Armament and weapons

Due to the F-22’s sophisticated sensor system, pilots can track, identify, shoot, and eliminate air-to-air threats before they are discovered.

The sophisticated cockpit layout and sensor fusion further improve the pilot’s situational awareness.

The F-22’s unmatched tactical capabilities for first-kill opportunities against threats are supported by these advantages, which reduce the capacity of hostile forces to track and/or engage the aircraft.

The F-35 has characteristics that make it a top defense fighter for the present and the future. These advantages are;

– Superior situational awareness

– Positive target identification in all weather conditions

– Precision strike capability in all weather conditions

– Mission systems integration

– Over-the-nose visibility

– Helmet-mounted display system

For coalition interoperability and mission success, the F-35 also provides the benefit of secure data sharing and shared communication capabilities with allied forces. This is because of the aircraft’s sophisticated logistical support and cutting-edge tactical data linkages.


So, which fighter jet is better? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a pure air-to-air fighter jet, then the F-22 Raptor is probably the better choice. It has superior speed and agility, and its stealth capabilities make it difficult to detect.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more versatile fighter jet that can perform a variety of missions, then the F-35 Lightning is the better choice. It has advanced technology that allows it to perform a wide range of missions, and its stealth capabilities make it difficult to detect as well.

In conclusion, both the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning are incredibly advanced and capable fighter jets. They have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and it ultimately comes down to what your specific needs are. Regardless of which one you choose, you can be sure that you’ll be flying one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world!

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Written by MilitaryWiFi

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