In response to the report, a spokesperson for the Air Force, Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, told ABC News that one-on-one combat is only one way to evaluate an aircraft’s capabilities and said it’s not “necessarily the most relevant to every scenario.”
“The F-22 is conceived and employed as part of an integrated force that provides offensive capabilities that make close engagements far less likely while retaining the ability to handle close engagements in tandem with other fighters,” he said.
Air Force Gen. John Jumper, one of the few airmen to have flown both aircraft before he retired in 2005, said that year that it is difficult to compare the F-22 and the Eurofighter.
“They are different kinds of airplanes to start with,” he said, according to an Air Force Print News report. “It’s like asking us to compare a NASCAR car with a Formula 1 car. They are both exciting in different ways, but they are designed for different levels of performance.”
The F-22 “can maneuver with the best of them if it has to, but what you want to be able to do is get into contested airspace no matter where it is,” said Jumper, referring to the F-22′s stealth and super-cruise capabilities that are meant to allow the plane to sneak in to hostile territory undetected – an ability the non-stealth Eurofighter lacks.
As for where that contested airspace may be, the Air Force hasn’t said. In April 2011 an executive for Lockheed Martin, the primary manufacturer of the F-22, told ABC News that the plane could “absolutely” find a home in quick strike missions against countries like Iran or North Korea. Over the weekend, the Air Force deployed a squadron of F-22s to Kadena Air Base in southern Japan just over 800 miles south of the North Korean border - a move that comes three months after an undisclosed number of the stealth jets were deployed to an allied base in the United Arab Emirates, some 200 miles from the Iranian mainland.
The F-22 is the single most expensive fighter jet in history at a total acquisition cost of an estimated $79 billion for 187 planes, meaning each plane costs approximately $420 million. Estimates for the Eurofighter Typhoon – the premier fighter for several allied countries including the U.K., Germany and Italy – put that plane at just under $200 million each, according to an April 2011 report by England's Public Accounts Committee.
“[Red Flag was] a mission to get to know each other, the first contact by German Eurofighters in the continental U.S.,” Grune said of mock-fighting the F-22s. “We are not planning on facing each other in combat. We want to work together but it was a starter for us to work together. They were impressed, as we were impressed by them.”
Intellpuke: You can read this article by ABC News correspondent Lee Ferran in context here: abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/07/f-22-fighter-loses-79-billion-advantage-in-dogfights-report/