Complaints of the Americans in Syria: F-22 “Raptor” Is Nothing Compared to Russian Sukhois

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


American pilots don’t have it easy. Technological backwardness prevents them from painting Russian jets in the air. The commander of the 95th Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force already complained that the fighter jet of the fifth generation F-22 Raptor isn’t capable of monitoring the movements of the Russian jets – SU-30SM and SU-35 – over the Syrian skies.

The squadron is based at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, the climate of which is known for its dryness and hot sun. As it turns out, this also plays against the American fighter jets. The expensive stealth coating quickly burns out in the sun, it fears the sand, the electronics of the jet are imperfect, and the fuel reserve isn’t enough to perform a combat departure.

Pilots have to make extremely quick decisions in the air, which is unusual for the US Air Force. Plus, there aren’t enough sensors to detect and identify jets at night. Communication channels became a problem too: it’s impossible to contact Russian jets on a special channel, and the tactical Link 16 system is inaccessible for pilots. The lack of a helmet-mounted target designation system should also be added here…

Americans notice themselves near Russian fighter jets increasingly more often, but don’t manage to monitor their movements. To simply constantly turn their head is very problematic. Why do I cite all these complaints of an American officer? Simply because I remembered how earlier it was written to what extent American fighter jets are cooler in comparison with the Russian Sukhois. Examples were also given, including of technological data.

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However, at the beginning of this year the “revelations” of Russian military equipment, which is allegedly so weak against the background of American “power”, turned out to be hot air. The National Interest magazine suddenly recognised that the SU-35 has an advantage in aerial combat over the F-22, and a decisive one at that.

At the same time experts say that the fighter jets in their combat capabilities are approximately at the same level. Only a certain F-35 disappointed… There are no doubts in only one thing: the manoeuvrability of Sukhois is higher than that of the “raptor”. They are the only jets in the world that can execute the so-called “Cobra Turn” – a turn in the horizontal plane without a loss of speed and height. The range is also higher: 3600 km versus 2300 km for the “raptor”, and without suspended fuel tanks. Well, and in the field of military electronics the Russians are for sure the leaders. Radio-electronic warfare isn’t even available on the “raptor”.

At the same time the possibilities of the fighter jets are always being verified in actual combat, and not in computer simulated combat. So the wailing of the American officer of the Air Force speaks about the power of the “raptor” better than the experts who take technical data as a basis. The Russian Sukhois are more mobile and the skill of our pilots is even higher than all praises.

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