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Terrible clash in the air: Two US F-22 Raptor intercepts Russiαn Su-35 jet crossing US territory

The F-22 goes head-to-head with Russiα’s top fighter.

Two US F-22 stealth fighter jets intercepted Russiαn Su-35 jets that crossed into the US’s area of operation.

The F-22, with its incredible acrobatic abilities in air and all-aspect stealth cloaking it from enemies at a distance, is the US’s most lethal combat plane.

While the F-35 has been built as a flying quarterback that can dogfight, bomb ground targets, gather intelligence, or conduct surveillance, the F-22 specializes in one thing – air-to-air combat.

But with today’s rules of engagement, the F-22’s huge advantages in stealth mean little.

During an intercept, a jet flies up next to the plane that’s invaded its airspace, and tells the plane via radio some version of “turn around or this will escalate.”

At this time, it’s customary for the jet to tilt its wings and show the intruding adversary a wing full of missiles. But the F-22 can never do that. Because of its stealth design, the F-22 stores all missiles and bombs internally.

A Russiαn pilot intruding into US or US-protected airspace and meeting an F-22 really has no idea if the jet is armed or not. Meanwhile, the Russiαn Su-35 holds more missiles than the F-22 in certain loadouts, and it holds them where everyone can see.

On top of that, if a routine interception were to turn kinetic, the F-22 would start the battle at a huge disadvantage.

Stealth advantage negated

F-22s rely on stealth and establishing the battle on its own terms. When the enemy jet can’t tell where the F-22 is, the F-22 pilot’s preferred course of action is to dictate the entire battle and likely score a kill without ever being seen.

If a fight started during an intercept, the Russiαn pilot has started with the huge advantage of having the F-22 in their sights. What’s more, the Russiαn Su-35 can actually maneuver better than the F-22.

The only US Marine to fly both the F-22 and the F-35, previously told Business Insider that when flying the F-22, “my objective wouldn’t be to get in a turning fight” with an adversary. Instead, Berke said he would use the F-22s natural advantages of stealth to avoid the dogfight.