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.
However, the following interesting video just made available by the French website http://portail-aviation.
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.