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Did Philippines FA-50 “Brought Down” Fifth-Gen F-22 Raptor in Cope Thunder?

"Fox 2! Killed one Raptor on right turn!" is the voice of a Filipino FA-50 fighter pilot heard over the radio as they carried out the joint air exercise with the F-22 "Raptor" fighter aircraft.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The FA-50PH light combat aircraft of the Philippine Air Force has claimed to have successfully brought down an United Stated Air Force’s (USAF) F-22 “Raptor” fifth-generation fighter aircraft in a joint air exercise few months ago.

In July, the FA-50PH aircraft of the Philippine Air Force, along with the F-22 “Raptor” from the United States and several other aircraft, participated in a joint air exercise called “Cope Thunder 2023” in the airspace of a Southeast Asian country.

In addition to the Raptor fighter aircraft, the United States also deployed other aircraft to the joint air exercise, including the A-10 “Warthog” and C-130 Hercules.

Information about the “defeat” of the F-22 fighter aircraft was reported by the official journal of the 5th Fighter Wing, Air Defense Command of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

 “Fox 2! Killed one Raptor on right turn!” is the voice of a Filipino FA-50 fighter pilot heard over the radio as they carried out the joint air exercise with the F-22 “Raptor” fighter aircraft.


The success of shooting down the American F-22 “Raptor” by the Philippine FA-50PH aircraft reportedly occurred in the airspace over Luzon Island, the Philippines.

 “This is a historic achievement as the lead-in Philippine Air Force aircraft have engaged and defeated fifth-generation fighter aircraft in an air combat simulation in the airspace over Luzon during the Coper Thunder exercise,” states the official journal report.

The FA-50PH aircraft is developed by the South Korean company, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The Philippine Air Force ordered 12 FA-50PH fighter aircraft in 2014.

While both the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Philippine Air Force use the FA-50 fighter aircraft produced by KAI, the RMAF has obtained the latest and most capable variant, the FA-50 Block 20.

The Ministry of Defense and KAI signed a procurement contract for 18 units of the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft worth RM4 billion during the LIMA 2023 exhibition in Langkawi in May.

The first FA-50 Block 20 aircraft for the RMAF is expected to arrive in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of 2026.

The “defeat” of the Air Dominance F-22 “Raptor” fighter aircraft in air exercises is not uncommon, as there have been previous articles reporting such “defeats.”

 In a 2012 article in the Air Combat magazine, the image of the American Air Dominance fighter, the F-22 Raptor, was slightly tarnished when it was “defeated” in a high-profile air exercise called “Red Flag” that took place in Alaska, USA.

The exercise lasted for two weeks and involved several types of fighter aircraft from various countries. In that widely observed exercise, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) sent eight Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft from the 74th Tactical Air Force Wing.

 Both air-superiority fighter aircraft were introduced around the same time, with the first flight of the Eurofighter Typhoon occurring in 1994 and the F-22 Raptor in 1997.


A U.S F-22 Raptor with the Philippines’ FA-50 light combat aircraft.


According to the article, the German Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon excelled in “Within Visual Range” (WVR) air battles, where F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft could not leverage their advantages in terms of stealth, radar, and other sensors.

In Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat, the F-22 Raptor, with its high-powered sensor fusion capabilities, undoubtedly detect the presence of the Eurofighter Typhoon much earlier than the German Air Force’s Typhoon would be aware of its adversary’s presence. — DSA


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