The USAF refused to comment directly about the French claims, though the 27th Fighter Squadron’s project officer for the F-22 deployment, Major John Rogers, told Arabian Aerospace: “I don’t remember the fights quite that way. In any case, we leave claims and counter-claims to the debrief.” [...]
"For these training missions, the F-22As flew only within visual range 1 vs 1 BFM (Basic Fighter Manoeuvring) sorties, and did so carrying under-wing fuel tank [...]"
Major John Rojers brings 2 points on the table :
- He doesn't aknowlege the claims of Lt Colonnel Granclaudon.but remains very elusive on what really happened between the Rafale and the Raptor.
- The F-22 were dogfighting with external tanks reducing their maneuvering capabilities.
It's just like if the fact that the raptor was not able to squash the french fighter was perceaved as a defeat by the US staff... therefore the attempt to explain the lack of "dominance" by strange excuses.
Fortunaltly, the french weekly Air and Cosmos released a very instructive pictures to illustrate the rafale vs F-22 dogfights :
This image of a F-22 was taken by the SFO of a Rafale : The Raptor is obviously maneuvering hard in the vertical plane (noise up and post combution on) to catch up with an inverted rafale pulling G toward the ground. The F-22 is clearly not in a position for a gun or a fox2 kill.
As all the targeting data have been removed, it is also impossible to tell if the rafale has the upper hand : The SFO has a high of boresight capability, therefore the rafale probably took this picture without being able to get valid gun shot on the F-22. in addition, the big red cross could indicate that the F-22 is too close for a mica IR shot (which is less than 500m).
But the most interresting detail of this picture, is that the Raptor is not carrying any external tank despite what Mr Lake says in his article. ;)