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April, 12

F-22 vs F-35: A Head-to-Head Comparison of the Ultimate Fighter Jets

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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 with some of the world’s most advanced technology. 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, also developed by Lockheed Martin. This fighter jet was introduced in 2015 and is considered one of the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter jets. 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.

F22 Raptor vs F35 has been a long-time argument among military tech enthusiasts, and it is worth noting 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 its appearance and functionalities.

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

Read our Comprehensive Guide, Giving Full Details About The F15EX Fighter Jet. Let’s analyze the F 22 Raptor vs F 35 Lightning to see which is best.

Features of The F-22 Raptor

Most 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 responsible for 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. Still, 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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See Also: Top Most Significant Military Battles in History

Despite its lengthy development and early operating challenges, the F-22 has become vital to the USAF’s tactical airpower. A significant improvement in air combat capabilities was made possible by the fighter’s combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and mission systems, establishing 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.

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 several 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 still being developed and tested as part of the acquisition strategy, resulted in pricey design modifications and retrofits.

Differences between the F22 Raptor and F35 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 can 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. 

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

2. Speed, Range, Thrust, and Ceiling of F22 Raptor Vs F35 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 ceilings 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 F22 Vs. F35 Fighter Jet

The characteristics of the F-35 and the F-22 show how strong and forceful these aircraft are and 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 and an internal fuel capacity of 18,498. 

By comparison, the F-22 is taller and longer than the F-35 and 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 F22 Vs F35 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)

The F-22 armament can also 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

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– 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 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.

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.

However, the F-35B and F-35C models 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 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

Conclusion – Which fighter jet is the ultimate choice?

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, 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 also make it difficult to detect.

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