Rare video shows F-22 Raptor shot down by the French Rafale in mock air-to-air combat

Jun 19 2013 - 70 Comments

As already mentioned earlier on The Aviationist (especially when discussing the famous claims by the German Eurofighter Typhoon pilots at Red Flag Alaska 2012) in November 2009, some 1st Fighter Wing’s Raptors from Langley AFB, flew to Al Dhafra, in the UAE, to train with the French Air Force Rafales and the RAF Typhoons during exercise ATLC 2009.

The episode is quite famous because in late December of the same year the French Ministry of Defense released the captures taken by the Rafale’s OSF (Optronique Secteur Frontal) showing an F-22 in aerial combat. In fact, although the U.S. Air Force pilots told that their plane was undefeated during the exercise, the French were killed once in six 1 vs 1 WVR (Within Visual Range) engagements versus the F-22 (the other 5 ended with a “draw”) and one Raptor was claimed as killed by a UAE Mirage 2000 during a mock engagement.

F-22 killed

However, the following interesting video just made available by the French website http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr proves that even the French scored at least a simulated kill (or, to say it better, were able to achieve a proper position to fire a “Fox 2″, an IR-guided Mica missile) against the Raptor.

HUD or sensors’ captures and videos are no more than marketing stuff because, unless the scenario and ROE are known, it is impossible to say when the alleged kill took place, what was happening before and after, which was the tactics.

Nevertheless, the video shows that the Rafale is almost comparable to the F-22 especially when maneuvering at low speed during close air combat.

By the way, when we talk about maneuverability, we can’t but mention the Su-35 Flanker-E and its stunning display at Le Bourget.

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  • R. Versteegh

    Many said the Titanic was indestructible too.

  • jetaddicted


  • James W McCarthy

    Wish a USAF pilot could explain all that we’re seeing.

  • Spencer

    Do people realize that most pilots in the raptors are just coming out of flight school? The USAF wanted to save money by just training new pilots instead of spending more money on already trained pilots in eagles and vipers to train to fly the F-22. The Brits are doing the same thing. But Germans, Spainish, French, etc. have pulled their most experienced pilots into their new planes. Oh, and I want the USAF to “leak” footage of all the other 200+ simulated kills it got.

    • Rikardo_35

      BS, pilots of the Raptors are the best 200 in US airforce.

  • FrankW

    The video proves the F-22 does not have any external fuel tanks. Realize that there is a difference between agility and maneuverability (as USAF Gen. Jumper once said). The F-22 is very maneuverable (due to TVC), but the Rafale is more agile (thanks to canards, less drag, and being far smaller). The French learned their lesson with highly swept delta wings (Mirage III, Mirage 2000, Mirage 4000). They decreased the wing sweep on Rafale to 48 degrees. So its delta does not generate as much drag as those deltas swept over 52 degrees (Typhoon, Mirage 2000, Mirage 4000). The F-22 is a tailed design optimized for stealth, and it is very large. Comparing the F-22 to Rafale in WVR is like comparing an F-15 to an F-16 in WVR. The smaller fighter usually wins (F-16 usually bested the F-15 at the merge). If the ability of the pilots are equal, then it will come down to which jet has the better aerodynamics-

  • Tyrion

    Sérieusement on va leur montrer ce que valent les pilotes français !

  • joe the fag frenchy

    If it’s a french plane why is english coming up on the screen while he’s flying? You guys are idiots! This shit is fake and someone’s not smart enough to even change the warning messages…lol! French fags!

  • james

    This is fake. The displays across the screen are in English. A French fighter plane wouldn’t have english alerts coming across his display.

    • Picard Alpha

      Actually it would. See my reply to CheetahFang258 above.

  • BenJamN

    Nice. People read way too much into this sort of thing. Doesn’t mean anything concerning the hardware. All these aircraft can outperform their occupants’ capability to endure the maneuvers. It’s a matter of managing the potential energy of the aircraft relative to the adversary, the pilot’s ability to manage their own physical state, and a lot of essentially or functionally random positioning changes predicated on a combination of training, whim, prior states, and things like visibility. Even with competent pilots and competent hardware, there will be variation in the outcome. Those of you that see something profound in it can keep running around in circles in your rat cages hoping it triggers your next feeding. All these aircrew/systems are capable of putting up a fight within visual range. Raptor is expensive because of its beyond visual range capabilities.

  • Jeff Ochs

    F 22 ‘s get plenty of Air Time … as they buzz my house all the time in FL …now if my potato gun could just knock em down I’d sleep better.

  • CheetahFang258

    Wait a minute, Why is the HUD in english? Someone please tell me that, and I know for a fact that cameras on any fighter plane is a higher resolution than this. This looks awfully like ace combat 4… Even if this was real how do we know that the Rafale really “bagged” the F-22 Raptor? Did we get to see that F-22 cam?

    • Picard Alpha

      French Air Force (AdlA) has HUD in english due to NATO compatibility, export issues and because English is the aviation language. I also heard from a guy who used to be in AdlA that briefings are also oftentimes held in English.

  • Jason Burn

    This doesn’t prove anything one way or the other. All these war game mock battles are highly unrealistic, due to planes not starting at BVR, having boundaries imposed on where they can go, and probably having transponders on. In real combat, these restrictions would not be in place, allowing the Raptor to probably better utilize its capabilities.

  • CheetahFang258

    Oh dear Rafale fanboy lies.. SMH, Alright listen to me, The F-22 drawed 5 rounds with the Rafale and won 1. Furthermore Rafale is supposed to be able to stay on station longer than F-22 but it didn’t did it? Nope, In fact near the end of the video the computer tells the Rafale pilot Fuel low which means the Rafale was more lightweight than the F-22 due to a lack of fuel. Furthermore only gun kills were counted if this was a missile exercise then the F-22 could have been using flares as seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NEcBaxvbQE Now you may be saying “Oh US only reserves flares for its own exercises.” but son you and I both know that is absolute bullshit. Furthermore if you wanna pull up that Mirage 2000 “kill” on the F-22 then know this. Yes the Mirage got a kill but that doesn’t mean it won, In fact the UAE is quiet about the exercise. The F-22 has a far better wing loading and can handle 9.5 Gs which is 2 Gs more than the Mirage. 7.5 Gs is a Vietnam level performance and in that exercise I would have pulled flares by then because an enemy lock was pounding in my headset. Which means it was a guns only exercise and that doesn’t make it a better fighter either… F-15’s lost many times in exercises then the Europeans proceeded to pound their chests again. However it shone on desert storm did it not? I conclude my response let the hateful replies begin.

  • Disqualifyer

    what complete bias nonsense you write. ‘going to supercruise, and bugging out’…what is this superman flying? …supercruise does not allow you to fly faster than a pursuing missile. as per targeting a Rafale before the pilot knew he was being targeted; if that were so (invisibility), the Rafale, and a Eurofighter would never be capable of defeating the Raptor in mock combat; that stealth advantage is for marketing…the Raptor will be seen, with IRST, or long wavelength radar, or ground radar…and given the Raptor is 44,000 pounds empty, it is the heaviest, and most poorly maneuvering aircraft in dogfights…it is limited to the AMRAAM, which is not the most capable air to air missile.

  • Michael Specht

    Hum… stealthy doesn’t mean invisibility. Rafale is AESA radar equiped (RBE2-AESA), which has the ability to detect the very low F-22 signature at a more than 100 km range. Rafale got some stealth technologies too, it has a gull signature.

  • Michael Specht

    Nope, as soon as canards are made of composite materials and got absorbing skin, they offert very good stealth qualities (very low RCS).

  • Michael Specht

    Stop reading defense magazines, do physics classes instead !

  • 1024moyer

    Why is the HUD of a French designed, French built, French jet flown by l’Armee de L’Air in English?

  • jermagicstick

    U could get a shot off the way f-22 was moving in tight turns missiles would lose lock and u could keep guns on target this proves that this plane was out match by f-22 thx for video if it was a match the f-22 would be in sight lot more u could keep in turn with f-22 good fly though put f-22 behind ur done u could lose f-22

  • jermagicstick

    F-22 out match that plane easy al u sall was f-22 fly buy like a fly its badass man u could guns or missiles on it if this plane was a match the f-22 would be gun sights in turns every chance for shot it it would not lock missiles would fly by and not it f-22 no lock not in it long enough for shot sorry bud no match Germany we beat u again ha ha ha we are the best wooooo