While the Raptor would be the most formidable fighter in the world due to its raw performance even without stealth, it’s now clear to me that even the F-35 with its mediocre kinematic performance will be an extremely dangerous foe in the air due to its low radar cross-section and sensors. “If the pilots of both could carry a 9mm and open the canopy inflight, they would have 15 more kills per sortie,” the senior Air Force official told me. “It's like fighting Mr. Invisible.”
Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.