It has been revealed that F-15s were unable to shoot down F-35s in multiple dogfights during a deployment exercise.

The deployment exercise also reportedly confirmed that the jet is on track to reach initial operational capability later this year. The simulated deployment tested the F-35A against a stringent set of IOC requirements to include basic close air support, aerial interdiction and limited suppression and destruction of enemy aircraft.

According to the US Air Force, seven F-35A aircraft and 181 personnel from Hill’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing pushed the aircraft to its limits at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, during the training in June.

Col. David Lyons, 388th FW commander said:

“This was really the capstone event in our preparations to reach IOC and it was a resounding success. By any measure, the aircraft did well. We should be ready to declare IOC very soon. As a longtime F-16 pilot, I can tell you these numbers are impressive. The F-35 performed phenomenally.”

Dueing the exercise, F-35A pilots reportedly flew exercises with F-15Es from the 366th Fighter Wing and remained undefeated.

Col. George Watkins, 34th FS commander said:

“Since the aircraft’s arrival last fall there have been too many milestones to count and we’re making great progress. The Mountain Home deployment marks another significant milestone in validating the F-35A’s capabilities as we pursue IOC.”

According to the USAF, known for its highly advanced stealth capability, the F-35 is the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter and is designed to gather, fuse, and distribute more information than any aircraft in history. It can penetrate enemy territory that non-stealth aircraft such as the F-16, A-10, and F-15 cannot.


  1. That’s a tad unfair. The original article does have more data. And it gives evidence to support what is being said.

    • If they were carrying CFTs (they are removable) then yes, they would indeed be G-restricted. But there are no details of any actual attempted intercepts, or if in fact any F-15s ever found any F-35s in the first place, that I have read so far. If no F-15s ever got into some sort of dogfight with any F-35s–and why would they want to, anyway–then whether the F-15s cold pull only 5.5G or their full 9G is immaterial. So far it seems to mostly be circular reporting of previous reporting of an earlier report, with an occasional guess dropped into the mix, which then gets reported and soon is taken as if it were confirmed fact, etc.

    • From the Aviationist. “However, the “zero losses” may simply mean that the F-35s were able to complete their assigned strikes without being shot down by the aggressors of the Red Air: considered that the F-15Es were probably equipped with the AN/APG-82 AESA radar and the Sniper ATP (Advanced Targeting Pod), the fact that the Strike Eagles performing DCA (Defensive Counter Air) were not able to “find” and/or “engage” the almost-IOC F-35s can be considered a huge achievement for the pricey, troubled 5th generation multirole combat plane.” Either that or the F 35’s simply shot down the F 15’s.

  2. Pound? On the Lockheed Martin payroll are you? From accounts, they were able to deliver ord on ground targets without being detected by the F-15E (ground attack version of the F-15). Of course, the F-15E is not equipped with an IRST camera system, nor were the F-35s being tracked by VHF ground radar. Let’s see what happens when the F-35s engage a flight of F-15s WVR.

    • WVR? On the Boeing payroll are you? Why would F-35 pilots, or for that matter F-15 pilots, even *want* to get into a WVR fight or even worse a dogfight? A guy could get killed that way. The idea of aerial warfare os to see the other guy while not getting seen by him, so you can shoot him down without getting shot down instead.

  3. The one major draw back the F-35 has is the very limited amount of air to air weapons it can carry internally and if more weapons are hung off the outside this compromises it’s stealth ability. A simple way to defeat the F-35 would be to swamp them or attack the other big weakness of western doctrine and find the tankers and destroy them it would be unlikely that a western fighter would carry enough to return to Base. A case proven by the RAND corporation in a virtual engagement with the Chinese over the straights of Taiwan. The F-22 eventually ran out of weapons the Chinese couldn’t find the raptors but could find the tankers and shot them down instead leaving the F-22’s with insufficient fuel to return to their forward operating Base and they crashed.

    • 4 A2A missiles on the lightning isn’t terrible (will be 6 in the future).

      The game changer though is that the Lightning will be able to target, request fire & guide missiles fired from other aircraft.

      In a hypothetical scenario in the far-east, a flight of 2 x Lightnings & 2 x Korean F-15Ks will bring to bear 24+ AIM120-Ds against a foe.

      There is also unlikely to be any scenario where the USAF/USN & Allies are outnumbered by China in the first place.

  4. The area of the control surfaces of the F-35 is quiet huge. Meaning it can initiate a turn or manoeuvre surprisingly quickly.


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