F-22 Raptor Thread


Senior Member
Well, the determining factor for the PAK-FA and J-20 vs the F-22 depends on the quality of Chinese and Russian avionics. The Russians would need an IRST with long range to offset the poor stealth on the PAK-FA for BVR, and the Chinese need a mature EODAS system to defeat the F-22 once their J-20 reaches WVR.

On the other hand, with regards to numbers, especially since the Russians and Chinese seem to be moving towards an alliance, would it be unreasonable to expect the Russians to produce 600 PAK-FA and the Chinese to produce 400 J-20s by 2025? If the Russians split their PAK-FA between both borders, then all of a sudden you have 300 PAK-FA and 400 J-20s facing 200 F-22s and ~2000 F-35s. Then the numbers are no longer as favorable.

In this case it'll definitely be the quality of US pilot training and capability for the US armed forces to integrate its various systems (AWACS, Aegis destroyers, F-35s, F-22s, EA-18G jammers, among others) that'll determine the fight.


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USAF F22 Flying agains Malaysian SU30 in Dissimilar Air Combat - Cope Taufan

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In what was one of the most outrageous Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) opportunities of the decade, and the first time the F-22 Raptor made a SE Asia international exercise appearance, Cope Taufan brought the US and Malaysian air arms closer together in a wonderfully aggressive manner.

Cope Taufan is a biennial exercise between Malaysia and the US, and it has grown over the past few evolutions to become one of the premier multinational air combat exercises in the hemisphere. For 2014, America's most capable air-to-air fighters were deployed to take part, and sending the Raptor to Malaysia fired a strong message to potential foes and potential allies throughout the region.

The sheer mix of dissimilar fighter aircraft presented by Malaysia's small but potent air force makes sending America's best fighters and crews halfway around the world, at least when it comes to the Massachusetts Air National Guard and their F-15Cs, well worth the investment.

US Air Force's F-22s & F-15s Just Battled One Of Their Most Feared Foes

Malaysia has both of Russia's most feared fighter competitors currently in inventory, those being the MiG-29 and the Su-30. The MiG-29N is not the most advanced version of the type available, and it will probably only last in Malaysia's inventory another half decade or so, but it still represents the classic MiG-29 threat profile, which is a dangerous one.

This includes eye watering initial turning capability, high-off bore-sight A-11 Archer missile capability, and a capable infrared search and track system. For over two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union, US fighter pilots have been flying basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) against various MiG-29s and even with their many faults (poor rearward visibility, appalling range, a high cockpit workload, etc.) they remain deadly in the right hands.

Malaysia's 18 Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30MKMs are a whole different story. They represent a highly capable foe with eye-watering maneuverability via their three dimensional thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles and their canard fore-planes.

Additionally they have incredible endurance and a mix of both high-end Russian and Western avionics, including a capable phased array radar and powerful electronic warfare suite. All this along with the best missiles Russia has to offer on the export market makes the Su-30MKM just about as potent of bandit as you can currently find anywhere in the world.

See some of the SU-30MKM's "super maneuverability" in the videos below:

The F-22 in particular, which is also equipped with thrust vectoring although only in two dimensions (pitch only), may have much to learn from the Malaysia's Su-30s. In the past only limited engagements between the Raptor and the thrust vectoring Flankers have occurred. Maybe at Cope Taufan, Malaysia will allow their pilots to really open up the jet's full range of capabilities, including full use of its radar, and maybe the Raptor will be allowed to do the same, at least to some degree.

US Air Force's F-22s & F-15s Just Battled One Of Their Most Feared Foes

In so many ways, thrust vectoring introduces a whole new set of variables that modify the close aerial combat fundamentals that have been academically applied to traditional dogfights for decades. Ones where an aircraft's sustained turning capability and a pilot's energy management skills result in a more narrow range of potential outcomes when compared to fighting an aircraft that is equipped with thrust vectoring and a pilot that knows how to effectively employ it. These new variables are especially present when you are talking about a 1v1 fight where both aircraft can maneuver with confidence in the "post stall" flight regime via the use of thrust vectoring.

For more information on this fascinating and shadowy topic you can read this article and watch the little gem posted below that rocked the defense aerospace world a few years ago:

The Royal Malaysian Air Force also has western aircraft in its inventory, those being eight F/A-18D Night Attack configured Hornets, and a about a dozen BAe Hawk Mk.208 advanced trainers.

The Hornets, purchased alongside the MiG-29Ns in the early 1990s, are extremely capable precision strike aircraft and have seen many upgrades since their delivery. These upgrades make them roughly akin to the USMC's missionized F/A-18Ds assigned to all weather fighter-attack squadrons. They also wear a striking dark gray paint scheme which denoted their night-attack and deep interdiction mission.

US Air Force's F-22s & F-15s Just Battled One Of Their Most Feared Foes

The MiG-29 is often simulated here in the US by the F/A-18A/B/C/D, so having the Hornet in the mix alongside MiG-29s that they train with regularly may have been an interesting reality for American aircrews, even if just for comparative and tactics evaluation reasons.

Malaysia's Hawks are used to support their higher performance brethren, but also have rudimentary combat capabilities of their own. Furthermore, the Hawk still remains a potent subsonic dogfighter, and its small visual signature and high maneuverability can give even an advanced heavy fighter a run for its money. They also work great for flying as cost-effective high-speed targets for radar intercept training or to replicate cruise missiles. And we cannot forget that they are also fantastic advanced trainer aircraft in their own right.

US Air Force's F-22s & F-15s Just Battled One Of Their Most Feared Foes

This exercise may have also been a good opportunity for the USAF to test the Raptor-Eagle air dominance team, and the tactics that have been developed in relation to it, against a highly diverse and leading-edge foe. It is one thing developing and testing such tactics back in the states against aggressor squadrons that mimic the operations and aircraft of potential enemies, and a whole other thing testing those procedures against a totally unique air arm that possess the real adversary gear in question and intimately knows its advantages and disadvantages.

US Air Force's F-22s & F-15s Just Battled One Of Their Most Feared Foes
Although we don't exactly know the different rules of engagement or setups for each sortie during Cope Taufan (how many aircraft vs how many aircraft, what aircraft faced what aircraft, were they defense, offensive or neutral at the beginning of the engagement, what weapons and sensors could each side use etc), but what we do know is that this was a "large force employment" exercise. This means that beyond any strictly air-to-air sorties, there were larger, more complicated training objectives, where packages of dissimilar aircraft fought for or against a common goal. The whole idea is to learn from each other, and that does not mean just fighting each other in mock aerial combat, it means fighting with each other in mock aerial combat of of various forms.

Missions such as suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses, combat search and rescue, deep interdiction, close air support and others all took place during this exercise and advanced threat simulation assets were deployed for these exact purposes. Also, airlift was part of the exercise in which the C-17A's and C-130J's capabilities were featured, as well as special forces exercises on the ground. The special forces portion of the event were dubbed "Teak Mint" and "Balanced Mint."

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In the end Cope Taufan set some precedents when it comes to the scope of a US backed exercise in that part of the world, as well as the advanced nature of the assets involved. The Raptor, after almost a decade of operational service, is now showing up around the globe in more international air combat events than ever before, and its presence in SE Asia is not a random assignment. It represents a clear message to China and other regional powers that America is building stronger ties than ever with countries that don't have a positive relationship with China and those who do, as is the case is with Malaysia.

Over the last century America has learned that sometimes the tightest connections between two nations exist militarily, not diplomatically. Even though America's much touted pivot towards the Pacific has been more of a shuffle, it is clear that the stakes are higher than they ever have been in the region and this means close military cooperation with a wide range of nations, all with varying allegiances to different parties in the region, will be a key feature of America's strategy going forward.

Jeff Head

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US and Malaysian fighter aircraft exercise together:

Re: USAF F22 Flying agains Malaysian SU30 in Dissimilar Air Combat - Cope Taufan

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I just watched the first video in the part with the caption:
See some of the SU-30MKM's "super maneuverability" in the videos below:

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I liked most the part from about 04:30--05:00, and from something like 08:30 showing what I first thought was the maneuver called "Candle" in Russian (but probably I'm wrong :)
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). Anyway, I was surprised two guys were in the cockpit ... what were they roles, please?


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F-22 vs Su-30MKM dogfight over Malaysia :D Su-30 turns better, but Raptor has more energy (at least according to the article ;) )

MAN: Turning and burning with the best

The Royal Malaysian Air Force and

the United States Air Force engage in an air combat exercise called Cope Taufan. Haris Hussain joins the ‘furball’

“FIGHT’s on! Fight’s on!”

‘Mogwai’ immediately picks up his target off the port side. He’s chugging along at a fairly fast clip. Together, the closure speed of both aircraft is nudging north of 900 knots.

As the two fighters merge and pass within an eyelash of each other in a blur of black and grey, Mogwai doesn’t even have time to flinch as he rolls the jet, yanks the control stick back into his gut and reefs his big fighter into an eye-wateringly tight left turn.

G-forces rip into his body and Mogwai sucks in a lungful of oxygen as he cranes his neck to keep his adversary, a United States Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, square in his sights.

He works the throttles and makes constant changes to the engine settings. His eyes are fixed on the target but one eyeball is cocked to the airspeed reading on his heads-up display (HUD). At this turn rate, he’s bleeding off airspeed and energy like they’re going out of style. Dogfighting is all about energy management.

The two jets are in a classic turning fight at 15,000 feet (4.57km) over the air combat range in Grik, Perak. Mogwai and ‘Smegs’, his weapons systems officer (whizzo in RMAF parlance), are flying the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s latest and most capable aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Super Flanker multirole fighter.

Outside, the twin nozzles of their thrust-vectoring Lyulka AL-31FP engines crank up at a crazy angle and Mogwai begins to “walk up” the nose of his huge fighter onto the Raptor’s centre fuselage.

Up front, Mogwai eyeballs the Raptor, which is also blessed with thrust-vector control, but only in the pitch plane. The target designator box (TDB) on his HUD is locked onto the stealth fighter. The trick now is for Mogwai to bring the “pipper” or gunsight square inside the TDB before he can squeeze off a shot. In the back seat, Smegs provides a running commentary of the unfolding fight.

“Makan dia! Makan dia, beb! Lagi! Lagi! Lagi!” Smegs yells into the hot mike in his Ulmer oxygen mask. His job is that of part tactician, analysing the threat picture, part cheerleader, pushing his pilot on, and as an extra pair of eyes for Mogwai.

This particular evolution is a 1v1 (one-versus-one) engagement, which calls for the employment of short-range air-to-air missiles or guns. The Raptor is armed with the AIM-9M Sidewinder heat-homer and an internal, six-barrel, Gatling-type 20mm M-61A Vulcan cannon. The Super Flanker is carrying the super-agile Vympel R-73 Archer air-to-air missile and has the 30mm, single-barrel Gsh-301 cannon embedded in the starboard leading edge root extension (LERX).

Launching off from Fightertown RMAF Butterworth, this is the second engagement for the two fighters as part of the biggest air combat exercise in the country. Called Cope Taufan, the joint biennial exercise between the RMAF and the USAF is primarily to enhance bilateral training in a realistic environment, ramp up combined readiness, and improve interoperatability between the two fighting forces. In the first “hop” earlier, the advantage went to the Sukhoi boys. Because both aircraft were still hauling bags of gas, the exercise director gave the go-ahead for another fight.


The outcome of a dogfight hinges on a number of things — the aircraft’s aerodynamic and engine performance, fuel load, the position of the sun, the individual aircrews’ learning curve and the ability to adapt and react to a fluid and rapidly changing set of circumstances. The advantage enjoyed by one aircrew could be lost and shift over to the adversary in the blink of an eye. A gun track can last only one or two seconds. Miss that shot and you’re toast.

Just as Mogwai is close to getting a gun solution on the Raptor, the USAF pilot rolls his jet level and pitches the nose up in a high-G manoeuvre. Vortices stream from his wing root as moisture is literally squeezed from the air. The American plugs the afterburners on his twin Pratt and Whitney F-119 turbofan engines and his nozzles belch out tongues of blue flame. He goes vertical and grabs sky like a homesick angel.

“Pacak! Pacak! Dia pacak, bai!” screams Smegs, as he instinctively grabs the speed handles on his instrument panel in anticipation of the onslaught of Gs. Pacak, in RMAF fighter lingo, is to go vertical. Mogwai sees the move but he’s nanoseconds too late. The Raptor has so much excess thrust that by the time Mogwai bangs on the throttles and selects Zone 5 on the afterburner, he and Smegs might just as well have been talking to themselves because the Raptor is looong gone...


Back on the ground, the RMAF pilots whom Life&Times spoke to said the training and experience they received in the two weeks of Cope Taufan was invaluable.

“The objective of these types of exercises is not to see who wins or loses. It’s more of an opportunity for us to learn new things and expand our mission scenarios and capabilities. It also gives us a chance to validate our procedures,” said a Super Flanker pilot.

Sometimes, they have to make things up as they go along. For instance, fighter pilots use what is called EM or energy manoeuvring charts to figure out how best to tackle an adversary.

“We had EM charts on the F-15s but had nothing on the Raptors, since it is still highly classified. So we had to rely on other sources, go online and even make educated guesses based on the aircraft design to come up with a plan to capitalise on its weaknesses,” added the Sukhoi driver.

“There were a lot of things that we learnt from the Americans. The use of large force employment, planning of strike packages and, overall, how to use our forces effectively were some of the lessons we learnt from Cope Taufan,” added an F/A-18D Hornet pilot with No 18 Squadron, based in Butterworth.

A MiG-29N fighter pilot with the famed Smokey Bandits squadron, home ported in RMAF Kuantan, summed it up best.

“Bro, both sides’ learning curve went right through the roof. On the first day! We both went home with a mutual and healthy respect for each other’s capabilities. And to have these (USAF) guys say that we were s*** hot is the biggest compliment you could give a fighter jock.”

[email protected]

Note: For security reasons, the call signs of the aircrew are fictitious and the engagement is a composite of several dogfights as recounted by RMAF pilots.

Star attractions

THE star attractions for this edition of Cope Taufan were undoubtedly the United States Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor and the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Sukhoi Su-30MKM Super Flanker multirole fighter.

For the Americans, the Su-30 is an exotic beast, blessed with immense power and agility.

The Russian type’s nose-pointing ability, thanks to its thrust-vector and fly-by-wire flight control system, is second-to-none.

If there’s one aircraft that can pose a serious threat to the USAF in the air-to-air arena, it would be this baby.

On the flip side, the prospect of going head-to-head with the world’s only fully operational, fifth-generation stealth fighter sent RMAF pilots into a tizzy. Many were itching to go up against this much-vaunted fighter. Although the results of the engagements were classified, it was learnt that several RMAF jet jocks acquitted themselves well against the Raptor.

The F-22As are from the 154th Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii and are the only Air National Guard unit equipped with the type. They were joined by a number of Boeing F-15C Eagles from the 131st Fighter Squadron, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, and other support units.

While RMAF pilots had tangled with the Eagles in previous exercises, Cope Taufan 2014 was the Raptors’ first outing in Southeast Asia.

Cope Taufan is a biennial large force employment exercise designed to improve the US’s and Malaysia’s combined readiness.This year’s edition from June 9-20, collectively involved close to 1,000 personnel.
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Jeff Head

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F-22 vs Su-30MKM dogfight over Malaysia :D Su-30 turns better, but Raptor has more energy (at least according to the article ;) )

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Be interesting to know what the ROEs were.

Usually, the F-22 is fairly well handicapped in order to allow other aircraft to get close so they can turn and burn with them.

So, I'd love to know what those ROEs were, and then what the outcome was based on the ROEs.

But outside of rumors and slips of tongues...it will undoubtedly all be classified.
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