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Battle of the Skies: F-22 vs F-35 – A Comprehensive Comparison

f-22 vs f-35

Discover the ultimate aerial showdown on the F-22 vs F-35. Delve into their capabilities, performance, and roles in this comprehensive comparison, as we explore the cutting-edge technology and features that make these fighter jets stand out in modern air forces.

A tabular comparison of the F-22 vs F-35:

FeatureF-22 RaptorF-35 Lightning II
RoleAir Superiority FighterMultirole Fighter
ManufacturerLockheed MartinLockheed Martin
First FlightSeptember 1997December 2006
IntroducedDecember 2005July 2015
Unit CostApprox. $150 million (2009)Approx. $89 million for F-35A (2019)
Approx. $115 million for F-35B (2019)
Approx. $107 million for F-35C (2019)
Maximum SpeedMach 2.25 (1,500 mph or 2,410 km/h)Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph or 1,930 km/h)
RangeApprox. 1,600 nautical miles (2,900 km)Approx. 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km)
Maximum Takeoff Weight83,500 lb (38,000 kg)F-35A: 70,000 lb (31,800 kg)
F-35B: 60,000 lb (27,000 kg)
F-35C: 70,000 lb (31,800 kg)
ArmamentOne M61A2 20mm Gatling gun,External hardpoints for various munitions,
plus internal bays for missiles and bombsincluding air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles
Stealth CapabilityVery highHigh
Avionics and SensorsAdvanced radar, sensors, and avionics suiteAdvanced sensor suite, including radar and
designed for low observabilityelectro-optical systems for stealth operations
ManeuverabilitySuperior agility and maneuverabilityGood maneuverability
Production StatusProduction ended in 2011,In production and planned for several decades
no longer being manufacturedas a major part of many air forces worldwide


The F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II are two of the most advanced and formidable fighter jets in the world. Both developed by Lockheed Martin, these fifth-generation aircraft are at the forefront of modern aerial warfare. In this article, we will conduct a comprehensive comparison between on the F-22 vs F-35, examining their design, performance, roles, cost, international presence, and more. So, let’s dive in and explore the intriguing world of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

Overview of the F-22 Raptor


The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter and boasts unmatched maneuverability, advanced avionics, and stealth capabilities. The F-22 entered service with the United States Air Force in 2005 and quickly earned the reputation of being a dominant force in the skies.

Overview of the F-35 Lightning II

F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 Lightning II is another fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine multirole stealth fighter aircraft. Unlike the F-22, the F-35 was developed with a focus on versatility, making it capable of executing various roles, including air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The F-35 program includes three main variants: the F-35A (conventional takeoff and landing), F-35B (short takeoff and vertical landing), and F-35C (carrier-based variant).

F-22 vs F-35: Design and Development

F-22 Raptor Design and Features

F-22 Raptor Design and Features

The F-22’s design emphasizes agility and stealth. Its streamlined shape, radar-absorbing materials, and internal weapons bays allow it to operate undetected by enemy radars, granting it a significant advantage during air-to-air engagements. The aircraft’s advanced fly-by-wire flight control system, coupled with thrust vectoring nozzles, enables exceptional maneuverability.

F-35 Lightning II Design and Features

F-35 Lightning II Design and Features

The F-35, too, incorporates stealth technology, featuring a low-observable airframe design and radar-absorbent materials. Its advanced sensor suite and distributed aperture system provide unparalleled situational awareness. The F-35’s design enables it to perform short takeoffs and vertical landings, making it suitable for various mission types and environments.

Additional Read: ‘World’s Best’ F-22 Raptor Has Zero Kills To Its Name While ‘Next Best’ F-15 Fighter Have Over 100. Why?

F-22 vs F-35: Performance Comparison


Speed and Maneuverability

The F-22 is renowned for its impressive speed and maneuvering capabilities. It can attain supersonic speeds without the need for afterburners and execute complex aerial maneuvers with ease. The F-35, although not as fast as the F-22, still boasts respectable speed and maneuverability, optimized for multirole capabilities.

Stealth Capabilities

Both aircraft feature stealth technologies, but the F-22’s design offers superior stealth capabilities. Its radar cross-section is significantly smaller than that of the F-35, providing enhanced survivability in contested environments.

Range and Endurance

The F-22 has a greater combat radius and endurance than the F-35. With its superior range, the F-22 can cover more significant distances and stay on station for extended periods.

Weapons and Armament

The F-22 and F-35 both carry a diverse array of precision-guided munitions. However, the F-22’s primary focus is on air-to-air combat, while the F-35 is designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

Additional Read: USAF ‘Hunts’ For A New, Next-Gen Aircraft To Partner F-22 Raptors, F-35 Stealth Fighters To Battle China

F-22 vs F-35: Role and Mission

Source: Military Machine

F-22 Raptor’s Role in Modern Warfare

The F-22’s primary mission is to achieve air superiority. It aims to establish and maintain control over enemy airspace, neutralizing opposing fighter aircraft before they can pose a threat to friendly forces.

F-35 Lightning II’s Role in Modern Warfare

The F-35, as a multirole fighter, serves a more diverse set of missions. It can engage enemy aircraft, conduct precision strikes on ground targets, gather intelligence, and carry out electronic warfare operations.

F-22 vs F-35: Cost and Affordability

F-22 vs F-35: Cost and Affordability

The F-22 program has been relatively expensive, and as a result, production was capped at a limited number of aircraft. The F-35 program, with its three variants, is more affordable and has seen broader international participation.

F-22 vs F-35: Operational Status and Production

The F-22 has achieved full operational status and is actively serving in the United States Air Force. However, production has ceased, and the existing fleet is being carefully maintained and upgraded. On the other hand, the F-35 is in full-rate production and is steadily replacing older fighter aircraft in various air forces around the world.

F-22 vs F-35: International Sales and Deployment

The F-35 has enjoyed significant success in the international market, with multiple partner nations investing in the program. This has led to increased interoperability and cooperation among allied air forces.

F-22 vs F-35: Training and Pilots

Pilots for both aircraft undergo rigorous training to handle the advanced systems and capabilities of the F-22 and F-35. These elite aviators are trained to exploit the full potential of their respective aircraft.

F-22 vs F-35: Maintenance and Support

The maintenance requirements for the F-22 and F-35 are complex due to their advanced technology. Specialized crews and facilities are crucial for keeping these fighter jets operational and mission-ready.

F-22 vs F-35: Future Upgrades and Development

Both the F-22 and F-35 programs are continuously evolving, with plans for future upgrades and enhancements. These upgrades aim to maintain the aircraft’s relevance and combat effectiveness in a rapidly changing global security landscape.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Each aircraft has its unique strengths and weaknesses. The F-22’s unmatched air superiority capabilities make it a formidable force in aerial combat, but its production limitations and cost pose challenges. The F-35’s versatility and affordability open up new possibilities for air forces worldwide, but it may not match the F-22 in sheer air-to-air dominance.


In conclusion, the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II represent the pinnacle of modern military aviation. While the F-22 excels in air superiority missions, the F-35’s multirole capabilities make it a valuable asset in a wide range of scenarios. Each aircraft has its place in the skies, and the choice between the two depends on a nation’s specific defense requirements and operational needs.


Which aircraft is faster, the F-22 or the F-35?

The F-22 Raptor is faster than the F-35 Lightning II.

Can the F-35 perform vertical takeoffs and landings?

Yes, the F-35B variant is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings.

Is the F-22 still in production?

No, production of the F-22 has been discontinued.

How many countries operate the F-35?

Several countries, including the United States, use the F-35 in their air forces.

What is the primary mission of the F-22 Raptor?

The F-22’s primary mission is to achieve air superiority in combat.

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