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F-16s Spar with Fighter of the Future

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw guides an F-22A Raptor into its parking space after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw guides an F-22A Raptor into its parking space after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw does a post flight inspection on an F-22A Raptor after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- Crew chief Staff Sgt. Adam Murtishaw does a post flight inspection on an F-22A Raptor after a Dec. 14 mission. The 27th Fighter Squadron earned initial operating capability today, which means the stealth jet is combat ready. Sergeant Murtishaw is with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VA. (AFPN) -- Two F-22A Raptors taxi down the runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VA. (AFPN) -- Two F-22A Raptors taxi down the runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

FILE PHOTO -- A KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., refuels an F/A-22 Raptor. The Raptor is the replacement for the F-15 Eagle. It is the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world, combining a revolutionary leap in technology and capability with reduced support requirements and maintenance costs. The F/A-22's integrated avionics gives it first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability that guarantees U.S. air dominance for decades. (U.S. Air Force photo by Judson Brohmer)

FILE PHOTO -- A KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., refuels an F/A-22 Raptor. The Raptor is the replacement for the F-15 Eagle. It is the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world, combining a revolutionary leap in technology and capability with reduced support requirements and maintenance costs. The F/A-22's integrated avionics gives it first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability that guarantees U.S. air dominance for decades. (U.S. Air Force photo by Judson Brohmer)

OVER VIRGINIA -- Lt. Col. James Hecker flies over Fort Monroe before delivering the first operational F-22A Raptor to its permanent home at Langley Air Force Base, Va., on May 12.  This is the first of 26 Raptors to be delivered to the 27th Fighter Squadron.  The Raptor program is managed by the F-22A System Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  Colonel Hecker is the squadron's commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

OVER VIRGINIA -- Lt. Col. James Hecker flies over Fort Monroe before delivering the first operational F-22A Raptor to its permanent home at Langley Air Force Base, Va., on May 12. This is the first of 26 Raptors to be delivered to the 27th Fighter Squadron. The Raptor program is managed by the F-22A System Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Colonel Hecker is the squadron's commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Air Force Reserve F-16 pilots from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., who deployed to Nevada to fly their aircraft against the F/A-22 came away very impressed with the capability of the Air Force’s newest air-superiority fighter.
The F/A-22 Raptor air-superiority fighter combines stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and many other features enabling a first-look, first-shoot, first-kill capability that will provide continued air dominance for generations to come.

“If the Raptor is full up and doesn’t run out of missiles, there is no way to fight it,” said Lt. Col. Tom Harwood, 302nd Fighter Squadron commander. “You are literally a target, and that’s the end of it.”

Colonel Harwood headed up the deployment to Nellis AFB Dec. 12-17. He said “flying an F-16 against the F/A-22 Raptor was like flying a World War II P-51 against an F-16.” There might be rare instances where an F-16 might have a fleeting chance at a shot opportunity. Otherwise, the Raptor completely dominates the Fighting Falcon.

Even though the F-16 proved to be no match for the Raptor, Colonel Harwood said the deployment was a great experience. And his pilots didn’t do a bad job.

“We did very well,” he said. “When given an opportunity, we made the Raptor guys work pretty hard. They said we helped them learn some things about their jet.”

Colonel Harwood said the F/A-22 “makes big leaps in every technology important to fighter success in combat. It’s great to have it on our side. We’ll see some of these technologies migrate to other platforms, maybe even to our old ‘legacy’ F-16s.” «

(Lt. Col. Dave Thoreson, 944th Fighter Wing public affairs, Luke AFB)

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